Anthony Davis put up a sensational 55-point haul to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their fourth straight road win, triumphing 130-119 over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Davis, who scored 44 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Lakers' previous game, could not eclipse his career-high 59 points from 2016 against the Detroit Pistons.

But Davis' 55 points, coming from 22-of-30 field shooting and nine-of-nine shooting from the line, were the second most in a single game this NBA season, behind only Joel Embiid's 59 against the Utah Jazz on November 13.

The eight-time All-Star scored 31 of his 55 points in the second half, adding 17 rebounds and three blocks. Davis is the first Laker with back-to-back 40-point games since Kobe Bryant in March 2013.

LeBron James, who had been listed as questionable due to an ankle issue, added 29 points on 12-of-26 field shooting with eight rebounds and six assists but committed five turnovers.

Russell Westbrook came off the bench to contribute a season-high 15 assists with seven rebounds, while guard Lonnie Walker IV added 20 points on four-of-four three-point shooting.

The Wizards were not helped by a game-ending first-quarter injury to All-Star Bradley Beal. Kristaps Porzingis top scored for the Wizards with 27 points on 11-of-25 shooting, while ex-Laker Kyle Kuzma added 26 points with seven rebounds before fouling out.

The victory improved the Lakers to 10-12, having won three games in a row, but they remain 12th in the Western Conference.

Brown helps Celtics snap Nets' streaks

The NBA-best Boston Celtics ended the Brooklyn Nets' four-game winning streak and six-game winning home stand on 34 points from Jaylen Brown as they triumphed 103-92.

Brown led the way for the Celtics with 20 of his 34 points in the first quarter, finishing also with 10 rebounds, while Jayson Tatum scored 29 points on 10-of-19 field shooting with 11 rebounds.

Kyrie Irving struggled against his former franchise, shooting seven-of-21 from the field for 18 points with eight rebounds and five assists. Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 31 points but gave up eight turnovers.

Suns extend struggling Spurs' skid

The Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns condemned the San Antonio Spurs to 11 straight losses with a 133-95 blowout win led by Deandre Ayton's double-double.

Suns center Ayton finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 20 points on seven-of-16 field shooting, with Mikal Bridges making six-of-seven triples in his 20 points.

The struggling Spurs were blown away in a 36-11 second quarter, seeing them close within two defeats of a franchise-worst losing streak, set in 1989.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan called it "crushing" to lose starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season after he broke his foot in Sunday's 33-17 win against the Miami Dolphins.

Garoppolo's injury came on the 49ers' eighth offensive play of the game, when he was sacked by both Jaelan Phillips and Jerome Baker to end their first drive. He stayed down, and ended up being carted off the field and promptly ruled out.

After the game it was revealed he had sustained broken bones in his foot, requiring season-ending surgery.

Starting the campaign as the third-string quarterback, Brock Purdy came in and threw two touchdown passes, managing the game efficiently before the 49ers' defense snagged a fumble-return touchdown to pull away.

Shanahan said it hurts to lose Garoppolo, but gave plenty of respect to Purdy for the performance.

"Just hearing it, it was pretty crushing," he told reporters. "We know what Jimmy has been through, how hard he's worked at this. He'll be out. He'll need surgery, broke a few things in there.

"Brock came in and made some big plays. We've got to clean some stuff up, obviously, but just throwing him in there in the heat of battle like that, [with] how much [all-out pressure] that team did, too, which you guys can see.

"We were having to change a lot of stuff on the fly, so putting a lot of pressure on [Purdy] in that way. I thought he did a hell of a job doing it. Protected the ball well, didn't have any turnovers and made some big plays too that I thought weren't there always."

The 49ers ruled out any possibility for Week 1 starter Trey Lance returning in time for a playoff run, meaning it will be Purdy the rest of the way, and he will make his first career start next week when Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town.

"It’s gonna be pretty cool," Purdy said. "[Brady] has been playing football longer than I’ve been alive."

In fact, Brady played his final college game at Michigan four days after 22-year-old Purdy was born.

Defensive captain Fred Warner showed no signs of panic after he heard the news of Purdy's rise to the top of the depth chart, saying all his repetitions against this incredible 49ers defense in practice should have him ready.

"He's played against the best defense in the league for the past 13 weeks," he said. "He'll be fine."

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan has clarified Trae Young's absence from Friday's 117-109 win over the Denver Nuggets as down to a "miscommunication" amid reports of a feud.

The Hawks had claimed that the All-Star's absence for the game was due to right shoulder soreness, but The Athletic's Shams Charania has since reported that the coach and player had engaged in a heated exchange at Friday's shootaround.

It is reported that McMillan and Young disagreed on whether the 24-year-old point guard would participate in shootaround or receive treatment. McMillan subsequently handed him an ultimatum to play off the bench or not show up at all, with Young opting for the latter.

The Hawks coach labelled the issue as a "miscommunication" when asked on Sunday, as Young trained normally, putting him in line to play on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Atlanta, who lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs last season, hold a 13-10 record and sit fourth in the East, but there have been reports of simmering tensions.

McMillan took over as Hawks coach in March 2021 on an interim basis from Lloyd Pierce. He went on to guide them to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, earning the job permanently in July 2021.

Two-time All-Star Young is averaging 27.8 points on 41.1 per cent field goal shooting with 9.6 assists this season.

The Cincinnati Bengals had strong contributions from all facets of their offense to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 on Sunday.

In a rematch from last season's AFC Championship game – where the Bengals beat the Chiefs to advance to the Super Bowl – quarterback Joe Burrow was at his sharpest.

The 25-year-old former top overall draft pick completed 25 of his 31 passes, including touchdown passes to Tee Higgins in the second quarter and Chris Evans in the last, with Evans' score putting the Bengals up for good.

In his return from a five-game injury absence, last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase picked up right where he left off as Burrow's top option, catching seven passes for 97 yards, but backup running back Samaje Perine was even more influential.

Perine was used heavily in the fourth quarter as the Bengals looked to claw their way back from a deficit, with three of his six catches coming on their go-ahead touchdown drive, finishing with 49 yards through the air and another 106 on the ground from 21 carries.

It was not the best game from Chiefs quarterback and MVP favourite Patrick Mahomes, with 223 yards and one touchdown, as the Bengals committed to dropping eight defenders into coverage all game, forcing the Chiefs to accept small gains instead of their usual chunk-plays.

With the win, the Bengals are now 8-4, joining the Baltimore Ravens in a tie for the AFC North lead, while the Chiefs are three games clear atop the AFC West at 9-3.

Purdy party keeps the 49ers rolling

Brock Purdy was able to deliver a big 33-17 win for the San Francisco 49ers against the Miami Dolphins, but it came at a cost.

Purdy, the very last pick in this year's NFL Draft, was called upon when starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was carted off and ruled out during their first drive of the game. Garoppolo has been diagnosed with a broken foot, with the team saying afterwards that it will end his season.

Almost a lock for the playoffs now at 8-4 with arguably the best defense in the league, the 49ers will need Purdy to get up to speed in a hurry if they still have dreams of a Super Bowl run, and he was solid against the Dolphins, completing 25 of his 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Deshaun Watson struggled on his return from an 11-game suspension where he was booed throughout as the Cleveland Browns won on the road against the Houston Texans 27-14 on Sunday.

Watson, who had been banned for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy for allegedly committing sexual assault, completed 12 of his 22 attempts for 131 yards with no touchdown passes and one interception.

The Browns' defense picked up Watson with two defensive touchdowns and a punt-return score to improve their record to 5-7, sitting third in the AFC North.

The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback had left the Texans for the Browns in the offseason on a five-year deal worth $230million guaranteed, one of the richest and most guaranteed contracts in NFL history.

That trade came after Watson had not played in the 2021 season as accusations emerged from more than two dozen women of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct during massage sessions, leading to the NFL-imposed 11-game ban and record $5m fine in August.

Watson's first NFL regular-season game in 700 days was met with displeasure, with his former fans booing and jeering him throughout.

"They're supposed to boo," Watson told reporters after the game. "I'm a Cleveland Brown now, and we're on the road, so they're supposed to boo."

Watson again refused to answer any non-football questions after the game, having been asked if he had any remorse for his actions that led to his suspension.

"That's something that, legal and clinical, we've answered before," Watson said. "They don't want me to address anything like that.

"Of course, it was a tough situation. The suspension was tough. But at the same time, my main focus is just trying to be 1-0 as a football player today.

"I was just excited to be back on the field today. I did everything that I was asked and was required to do. I did all that. I was able to play and be on the field today."

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski conceded Watson was rusty after not played for a season-and-a-half.

"Obviously you're missing a bunch of time so you've got to get back in it," Stefanski said. "You've got to get this first one out of the way. But I know what the kid is capable of."

The Browns face the 8-4 Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson's knee injury is not considered season-ending, according to Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

Jackson will undergo tests on Monday, and the team will have an idea by Wednesday on the severity of the injury and how much time he will miss – if any.

"It's going to be a number, days-to-weeks. We'll see," Harbaugh said after Sunday’s 10-9 win over the Denver Broncos. "We'll see if you can go back this week. If not, it'll be sometime after that shortly."

The 2019 league MVP was injured on the final play of the first quarter, when he landed awkwardly while being sacked from behind by linebacker Jonathon Cooper.

He was then evaluated in the sideline medical tent and sent to the locker room, leaving backup Tyler Huntley to run the offense.

The Ravens' offense struggled mightily Sunday, managing 268 total yards over the final three quarters and didn’t reach the endzone until 28 seconds left in the game, when Huntley scored on a game-winning two-yard touchdown run.

If Jackson’s injury is deemed serious and he ends up missing time, it could not only be detrimental to Baltimore’s playoff hopes, but also factor into Jackson’s next contract.

Jackson, who will be a free agent after this season after contract talks with the Ravens broke down over the summer, hadn’t missed time since suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 14 of 2021, which ultimately cause the Ravens' season to unravel.

Baltimore was 8-4 and atop the AFC North after 13 weeks last season, but ended up losing the last five games after Jackson went down and missed the playoffs.

The Ravens entered this week tied with the Cincinnati Bengals atop the AFC North, and improved their record to 8-4.

San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was carted off the field and ruled out of Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins after only eight plays.

Garoppolo was sacked by Dolphins duo Jaelan Phillips and Jerome Baker on the 49ers' first drive, staying down and eventually needing the cart to carry him back down the tunnel.

He was swiftly ruled out of the remainder of the contest due to the foot injury he sustained, with rookie Brock Purdy brought in as the 49ers' new signal-caller. Purdy was the very last pick in this year's NFL Draft, earning him the title of 'Mr Irrelevant'.

Nevertheless, Purdy closed the first half in style, delivering short-range touchdown passes to Christian McCaffrey and Kyle Juszczyk to head into the break with the 49ers leading 17-10.

At 7-4 while boasting arguably the best defense in the NFL, the 49ers' Super Bowl dreams will take a massive hit if Garoppolo's injury keeps him on the sideline for an extended period.

Viktor Hovland survived a nervy finish on his way to back-to-back Hero World Challenge titles as he finished at 16 under for a two-stroke victory.

Hovland defeated Scottie Scheffler by one stroke in last year's edition, and by defending his crown, he joined Tiger Woods (2006 and 2007) as the only other player to win this event in consecutive seasons.

He entered Sunday's play at the Bahamas' Albany Golf Course with a three-stroke buffer, but was made to sweat in the middle stages as playing partner Scheffler eagled the par-five sixth hole to cut the margin to just one.

Scheffler could not keep it up, posting a bogey and a double-bogey to close the front-nine and give Hovland some breathing room. However, he came roaring back down the stretch, with three consecutive birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to pull to within two.

The Norwegian opened the door on the 18th and final hole, with his tee shot finding the rough, before his next shot went in the water, but he was able to pitch and one-putt to save a bogey, meaning Scheffler had to birdie the hole to force a play-off.

Scheffler could not hit the green in regulation to give himself a birdie putt, and lipped out with his chip, finishing with a par to claim the runner-up spot yet again as the world number two shot a 68 while Hovland finished with a 69.

Speaking to NBC after stepping off the final green, Hovland did not hide his relief after surviving his late blunder.

"It's freaking nerve-wracking," he said. "I mean I was leading by five I think after the turn, but still, you're never that comfortable.

"I didn't play all that great on the back-nine, but it was good enough.

"We're at an amazing resort, there's only 20 guys – but it's the best 20 guys in the world, basically."

Cameron Young finished outright third at 12 under, with Xander Schauffele in fifth at 11 under and Justin Thomas rounded out the top five at 10 under.

The Minnesota Vikings took another big stride towards the playoffs with a 27-22 victory over the New York Jets, courtesy of fine showing in the second quarter.

All square with a field goal each in the first quarter, the Vikings hit boiling point to score 17 points without return to enter the half with a commanding lead.

A rushing touchdown each from Dalvin Cook, his eighth of the year, and Alexander Mattison left the Jets needing a response from the third quarter in order to maintain hope for their own postseason push.

The Jets did exactly that, scoring 12 unanswered points, all from the boot of Greg Zuerlein, to claw their way back into the game – Mike White then scoring a touchdown in the fourth on the Jets' immediate possession after Justin Jefferson added further gloss to the Vikings advantage.

It was not to be though, as Braxton Barrios dropped a pass in the endzone for the Jets, before White's last-ditch throw on the final possession was picked off at the goal line by Camryn Bynum to clinch a tenth win of the season for Minnesota.

However, with the Detroit Lions 40-14 victors against the Jaguars, the Vikings did not get the favour they needed from Jacksonville and will have to wait to cement their postseason spot.

Packers lead the way

The Green Bay Packers scored 17 straight fourth-quarter points, as well as a blocked field goal and two interceptions, on their way to a comeback victory against the Chicago Bears – which created NFL history.

Trailing 10-0 and 16-3 in the first half, Aaron Rodgers' side fought back to seal a 28-19 win and became the NFL's all-time winningest franchise, taking their franchise total to 787.

Honours even between Commanders and Giants

The divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants went all the way into overtime, after Taylor Heinicke's 28-yard touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson levelled the score at 20-20 to end the fourth quarter.

Neither side managed to get the score they needed to secure what would have been a valuable win for the playoff charge, resulting in the first tie between the two franchises since 1997 and only the fifth all-time.

Former junior champion, Julian Morrison broke through to win his first senior national title at the recent 2022 All-Jamaica Senior Squash Championships held at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Meanwhile, Mary Mahfood returned from her hiatus to win a second women’s singles crown.

The absence of nine-time national champion, Chris Binnie, made it a more open contest in the men’s draw with Morrison, a former Junior Caribbean champion, Jonathan Walker, along with Tahjia Lumley and 2009 Champion, Dane Schwier, among others all in contention for the title.

Morrison dispatched Schwier 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 in the semi-finals where Walker toppled long-time rival, Lumley 8-11, 11-1, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 as the respective winners earned a place in the championship final for the first time their individual careers.

With everything to play for, the in-form Morrison held off Walker in a no-holds barred battle of skill and will. No sooner had Morrison taken the first game 11-9 than Walker came roaring back to even the score, winning the second 11-9.

 The younger Walker then looked set to secure the lead in the third but Morrison dug deep and rallied for another 11-9 win. The hard-fought third game tipped the scales in Morrison’s favour and after a number of unforced errors from his opponent, he claimed the fourth game 11-6 to win his first All-Jamaica Senior title.

The competition among the women was equally competitive.

Returning to competitive action for the first time since winning the Women’s title in 2015, Mary Mahfood fought off the challenge of promising junior player, Katherine Risden, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7 in the quarterfinals before toppling the number-one seed and reigning All-Jamaica Under 19 girls champion, Savannah Thomson 7-11, 11-2, 3-11, 12-10, 11-7 in a bruising semi-final to book her spot in the finals. 

In the title match, Mahfood went head-to-head with the number two seed, rising star, Mia Todd, who had a more straightforward route to the final. She did not drop a set as she dispatched Nathlee Boreland 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 in the quarterfinals and then Melissa Lue Yen 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 in the semi-finals. Mahfood, however proved to be a much greater challenge and although Todd took the first game, the former champion recovered form to win 7-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-8.

Other category winners included Kyle Gregg who beat young Aman Dhiman, 11-8, 15-13, 8-11, 11-8, to take the Men’s B title, and Nabeel Jawad who prevailed in a round robin fixture to win the Men’s C draw.

In the Men’s Over 40 category, Jerazeno Bell beat Mark Haddad 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 while Brian Yong turned back Warren Burrowes 7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 to win the Over-50 title.

Tahjia Lumley and Melissa Lue Yen placed third in the Men and Ladies main draws, respectively, with Lue Yen beating Thompson 11-4, 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 11-2 and Lumley winning 11-5, 12-10, 7-3 after Schwier retired injured in the third set.

Additionally, Mia Todd won the David Bicknell Award for exemplary performance and sportsmanship in the Ladies Competition while Allan Roper won the Tony Burrowes Award, the corresponding honour for the men.

 

Rory McIlroy decided to become "a pain in the a**e" for Greg Norman after the LIV Golf chief executive accused him of having been "brainwashed" by the PGA Tour.

The Northern Irishman has been a fierce critic of the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed circuit, and was recently joined by Tiger Woods in calling for Norman to leave his role.

McIlroy said last month that Norman must "exit stage left" and that the bitter civil war engulfing the sport would not end "unless there's an adult in the room".

Norman recently opted to continue the duo's war of words when speaking to Today's Golfer, saying he paid "zero attention" to the three-time FedEx Cup champion's opinion.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, McIlroy recalled a positive exchange he had with Norman after watching a documentary focused on the Australian's collapse at the 1986 Masters, where Jack Nicklaus edged him out for a one-shot victory.

"It was a bit of an olive branch," McIlroy said. "He came back to me straight away, [saying] 'I really think golf can be a force for good around the world... I know our opinions are not aligned but I'm just trying to create more opportunities for every golfer around the world.'

"Fine. Really nice. Then, a couple of weeks later, he does an interview with The Washington Post and says I've been brainwashed by the PGA Tour.

"We've had this really nice back-and-forth and he says that about me.

"I thought: 'You know what? I'm going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his a**e as possible'."

Home favourite Thriston Lawrence fought back to win the South African Open Championship despite surrendering a five-shot lead with two holes remaining in Sunday's final round.

Lawrence began Sunday with a two-shot advantage at 18-under-par, with Clement Sordet hot on his heels after carding consecutive rounds of 66.

The South African looked to be cruising after moving five shots clear of the Frenchman on the 10th hole, but had to wait until the penultimate hole to secure the win after a series of slip-ups.

Sordet drew level with his rival before dropping a shot by missing a short putt on the 17th, allowing Lawrence to seal the title despite missing the green off the tee in a tense finish.

Lawrence's relief was clear when he spoke after the win, saying: "It's not over until the fat lady sings and I got a little conservative over the closing stretch and it cost me. I managed to hang in there. 

"It's what you strive for and play for every day. Being a kid you dream of this moment. I'm just so pleased, words can't describe it."

The victory represents Lawrence's third on the European Tour, with the 26-year-old having followed up 2021's Joburg Open win by claiming the Omega European Masters title in August.

Jens Fahrbring finished one shot behind Sordet in third, with Matti Schmid three shots further back in fourth. 

Adrian Meronk overhauled Adam Scott to win his second DP World Tour title in five months with victory at the Australian Open.

Meronk trailed Scott by a shot going into the final round at Victoria Golf Course.

But the Pole, who won the Irish Open in July, was superb for the third successive round in Melbourne, his four-under 66 propelling him to triumph.

He made the turn three under for the round and on the back nine bogeys at 13 and 17 were sandwiched by a birdie at 15.

Meronk finished it in style with a stunning eagle putt from the edge of the green that saw him finish 14 under for the tournament.

Scott, who could only manage a level-par 72, was five shots back at nine under.

"To finish like that on the 18th hole, it's unreal," said Meronk. 

"[I] kept doing what I done last two days and just worked pretty well so I'm just super proud of me, proud of my team."

Deion Sanders is the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, the NFL Hall of Famer leaving Jackson State to take charge of a moribund Power 5 program.

Sanders' profile and coaching acumen has transformed Jackson State, turning the HBCU (Historically black colleges and universities) into a powerhouse in the FCS. 

He helped Jackson State land the top recruit in the 2022 class, cornerback Travis Hunter, who flipped his commitment from Florida State and had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma. Hunter became the highest-ranked prospect to ever commit to a HBCU or an FCS program

On the field, Sanders went 4-3 in a 2020 season that was moved to the spring of 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but led Jackson State to an 11-2 record in his second season and leaves the Tigers having guided them to a 12-0 record in 2022 and a place in the Celebration Bowl for the second successive campaign.

Now the man known as 'Coach Prime', in a take on the 'Prime Time' nickname he earned during his stellar playing career, turns his focus to revitalising a Colorado team that went 1-11 in 2022, finishing last in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes have just one winning season in 17 years.

"There were a number of highly qualified and impressive candidates interested in becoming the next head football coach at Colorado, but none of them had the pedigree, the knowledge and the ability to connect with student-athletes like Deion Sanders," athletic director Rick George said.

"Not only will Coach Prime energise our fanbase, I'm confident that he will lead our program back to national prominence while leading a team of high quality and high character."

Greg Norman says he pays "zero attention" to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy after they called for him to be ousted as LIV Golf CEO and commissioner.

Woods this week echoed McIlroy's sentiments that Norman "has to go" in order for the PGA Tour and breakaway series LIV Golf to hold constructive talks, with the two organisations having filed lawsuits against each other.

The legendary American stated: "There is an opportunity out there if both organisations put a stay on their litigation. That's the problem.

"There is no willingness to negotiate if you have litigation against you. I think Greg has to go first of all. It has to start with leadership on their side, understanding that what is happening right now is not the best future for the whole game of golf.

"You need to have the two bodies come together and if one side has so much animosity, trying to destroy our tour, then how do you work with that?"

World number one McIlroy said last month: "I think he [Norman] just needs to exit stage left. He's made his mark but I think now is the right time to sort of say, look, you've got this thing off the ground but no one is going to talk unless there's an adult in the room that can actually try to mend fences."

Yet Australian Norman is adamant he will be going nowhere.

"I pay zero attention to McIlroy and Woods, right?" he told Today's Golfer. "They have their agenda for whatever reason. They're saying whatever they want to say.

"It has no bearing or effect on me. I'm going to be with LIV for a long, long period of time."

Norman says he can heal the rifts and is doing a good job.

He said: "Of course it can happen under my leadership. I mean, Tiger might be a messenger, right? Who knows. All I know is we are going to keep doing what we're doing with LIV, and we are just going to keep moving forward."

Norman added: "No matter where I go in the world, nobody - not one person - has said what I'm doing is stupid or wrong."

There is "grave worry" for Sbu Nkosi after the World Cup-winning winger was reported missing by his club the Bulls.

The 26-year-old flyer, who was in the South Africa squad that lifted the World Cup in Japan three years ago, has been absent without leave from the Pretoria-based club for three weeks.

Nkosi has been capped 16 times but missed the tour of Europe last month due to a rib injury.

A statement from his club said: "The Blue Bulls Company can confirm that Bulls contracted player Sbu Nkosi has been absent without leave for the past three weeks. Nkosi's last known contact with any executive, management or playing squad member is Friday 11 November 2022.

"After numerous failed attempts, which include but are not limited to phone calls, texts messages, calls to relatives, partner and close friends as well as four house visits to his known place of residence, the company took the decision to open a missing person case with the Brooklyn Police Station (which was subsequently transferred to Sunnyside Police Station), in Pretoria on Thursday 17 November 2022.

"This resulted from the grave worry and concern of everyone at Loftus as well as the need for the expert assistance of the South African Police Services.

"We appreciate both the public and media interest in the matter, as we all share the same concerns about the player's safety. However, we ask that you understand that we cannot make any further comments on the matter as it now sits with the South African Police Services."

The Golden State Warriors played their "best stretch" of basketball this season in Saturday's 120-101 win over the Houston Rockets says head coach Steve Kerr, as the reigning champions ominously made it five wins from six games.

The Warriors raced to a 39-23 quarter-time lead, inspired by Andrew Wiggins with a season-high 36 points and reigning NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry with 30.

Golden State led 22-4 at one stage in the first quarter and did not commit a turnover until the second quarter, in an ominous sign from the reigning champions who improved to 12-11.

"It was a phenomenal first 18 minutes," Kerr told reporters. "I thought that was maybe the best stretch we've had all year to start the game.

"Then halfway through the second quarter, maybe eight minutes left in the second quarter we didn’t have any turnovers, we had like 16 assists, we were defending, rebounding, doing everything right and then we just lost our focus.

"That's our biggest challenge right now is trying to maintain our focus long enough to not give up leads and allow teams back in and I thought that’s what happened tonight."

Warriors shooting guard Thompson was rested for the game, the second of their back-to-back games, having won 119-111 over the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

"The hope is that he will play back-to-backs later this year," Kerr said.

"Today, he will go through really good court work to try and simulate as best we can what a back-to-back would feel like for him."

Wiggins and Curry both scored eight three-pointers each as the Warriors tallied 25 for the game on 52.9 per cent shooting from beyond the arc.

The Warriors became the second team behind the Utah Jazz in November-December 2021 to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry piled on the points as the Golden State Warriors improved to a 12-11 record with a 120-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Wiggins scored a season-high 36 points on 14-of-19 field shooting with a joint career-high eight three-pointers, including three in a row in the third quarter at the Chase Center.

Curry added 30 points, including eight triples, as well as providing 10 assists for Golden State, who have won five of their past six games.

Jordan Poole, who came into the starting line-up for Klay Thompson who was rested, also had 21 points with five three-pointers. Center Kevon Looney had 12 rebounds with nine points.

The Warriors shot 25-of-52 from three-point range as a team, compared to the Rockets who went at 10.7 per cent from beyond the arc, making three-of-28 attempts.

Golden State became the second team in NBA history to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

Gobert ejected in Timberwolves defeat

Rudy Gobert was ejected for deliberately tripping Kenrich Williams as the Minnesota Timberwolves were beaten 135-128 by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The French center was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected in the second quarter when he tangled with Williams, appearing to sweep a leg out while on the ground, seeing his unbalanced opponent tumble.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander top scored for OKC with 33 points and six assists, while for the Timberwolves, who were already without Karl-Anthony Towns (calf), D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards scored 27 and 26 points respectively.

Short-handed Bucks down Hornets

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo due to left knee soreness as they moved to 16-6 with a 105-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference, were also without Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday but Bobby Portis (20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) stepped up.

Jordan Nwora added 17 points, while Brook Lopez (14 points including three three-pointers and six rebounds) and Jevon Carter (14 points and six assists) were strong contributors.

With baseball’s winter meetings getting underway on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates could be a very busy team now that center fielder Bryan Reynolds has requested a trade.

Reynolds hit .262 with 27 home runs and 62 RBIs in 145 games last season and as a young, controllable player would be a very attractive piece for teams should the Pirates choose to deal him.

"While it is disappointing, this will have zero impact on our decision-making this offseason or in the future," the team said Saturday in a statement.

"Our goal is to improve the Pirates for 2023 and beyond. With three years until he hits free agency, Bryan remains a key member of our team. We look forward to him having a great season for the Pirates."

The 27-year-old switch-hitter is set to earn $6.75 million this season in the second year of a two-year, $13 million arbitration extension. He is then under club control for two more seasons via arbitration before becoming eligible for free agency after the 2025 season.

Reynolds experienced a dip in production last season after he was an NL All-Star in 2021, when he batted .314 with 24 homers and 90 RBIs. He also had a career-best .390 on-base percentage and eight triples, tied for the major league high.

Pittsburgh finished 62-100 last season and is 211-335 for a .386 winning percentage in Reynolds’ four years with the team. The Pirates’ lead the majors in losses since the start of the 2019 season.

The Pirates acquired Ji-Man Choi in a trade with Tampa Bay on November 10 and signed fellow first baseman Carlos Santana to a one-year, $6.75 million contract.

Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said on Tuesday at the news conference for Santana's contract that the team wants to be better in 2023.

''We think we've got a group of young players that has a chance to help us get better and continue to get better and we'll try to add to that group in the way that makes the most sense,'' he said.

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