Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has congratulated Manchester City after the Reds were officially dethroned as Premier League champions.

Defeat for Manchester United at Leicester City on Tuesday meant Pep Guardiola's side sealed their third title in four years without playing.

Klopp revealed he had texted Guardiola and his former Borussia Dortmund player Ilkay Gundogan to congratulate them.

And he recognised their accomplishment as he addressed reporters for the first time since City were crowned ahead of Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford to play United on Thursday.

He insists City are beatable, but the combination of Guardiola and an expensive squad makes it the toughest of challenges.

"It is a great achievement, congratulations," said Klopp. "I texted Pep last night and already texted Ilkay obviously. 

"Really well done after a very difficult year for the whole world, not just in football, and what they achieved so far this season is exceptional. 

"If you have financial resources and football knowledge, you have a good chance to create something special and that is obviously the case. 

"Incredible squad, and the best manager in the world so that makes it a good recipe I would say! 

"Always a joy to play against them as it is a massive challenge from a football point of view.

"You can beat them but you have to be at your absolute top to beat them. We have done that from time to time but obviously not this year, so well deserved and congratulations."

If Liverpool are to make a push to regain their title next season, Klopp thinks he will have more than just City to worry about.

He added: "We knew last year were weren’t 20-odd points better than other teams and we know next year we have to win football games.

"City are not the only challenge next season, Chelsea – I said to Thomas [Tuchel] that his squad was a present [to him]. 

"[That squad] together with Thomas it works out pretty well. If you look at the squad they can make 11 changes and you still think that’s a proper team.

"So they will go for it next year definitely. They will not get worse next season that’s a fact, and United is in a good way. 

"So it is not who is far away or whatever. My concern is not the gap. We did it last year, it means you have to win your own football games and that’s possible.

"Our season was difficult but we don't close our eyes or blame anyone else, we should have five or six more points, we know that.

"Now we need help from other teams - not the situation you want but now we deal with that.

"[With those points] we would be closer to the Champions League spots with four games to go.

"Now we need help from other teams. We have to win our games and we need help from other teams. That is not the situation we want to be in. But it’s the best we could do and now we deal with that."

Klopp did not rule out a more aggressive approach than normal if his side were drawing in the closing stages, given they sit seven points adrift of Chelsea in fourth.

He added: "Our plan was to win all the games, so we won't change that. Do we have to take more risks when it's a draw? Possible, but not planned now. 

"If you play a game and think only about attacking, you have lost before the first whistle.

"We're not that bad in the form table but two draws [against Newcastle and Leeds] when we 'lost the game' pretty much late on, it felt harsh. That's the situation."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will kick off the new NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9, while Sam Darnold is to be quickly reunited with the New York Jets.

Ahead of the full schedule release later on Wednesday, the Week 1 slate was confirmed with Tom Brady's Bucs the highlight.

After winning the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs last season, seven-time champion Brady is in the Thursday night game against the Cowboys in Tampa.

The Bucs have brought back the entirety of their title-winning team and face a Dallas outfit aiming to improve on an awful 2020 after signing Dak Prescott to a long-term contract.

Elsewhere, quarterback Darnold will make his Carolina Panthers debut against the Jets team he left this offseason.

In three miserable years in New York, Darnold threw for 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions across 38 games with a 59.8 completion percentage – the third-worst rate in the league over this period.

The former third overall pick was traded to the Panthers last month for a sixth-round pick this year and a second and fourth-rounders in 2022, with the Jets then using the second selection in 2021 to take Zach Wilson.

Among Wilson's fellow first-round QBs, Mac Jones could potentially make his bow against the man he succeeded at Alabama.

Jones, who is competing for the starting spot on the New England Patriots with Cam Newton, will hope to face Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins in a big AFC East matchup.

Trevor Lawrence is likely to go straight into the Jacksonville Jaguars team against the Houston Texans, while Trey Lance will hope to get his chance under center for the San Francisco 49ers at the Detroit Lions and Justin Fields for the Chicago Bears at the Los Angeles Rams in the late Sunday game.

The NFL also confirmed Wilson and Lawrence would be in line for appearances in the London games in October, with the Jets facing the Atlanta Falcons and the Jaguars taking on the Dolphins on consecutive weekends.

Another of the more intriguing Week 1 games sees the Green Bay Packers travel to the New Orleans Saints.

As the Saints begin the post-Drew Brees era, the Packers will hope wantaway MVP Aaron Rodgers is still on the team and able to improve his 3-2 career record as a starter against New Orleans.

The Seattle Seahawks, who have kept hold of Russell Wilson, face the Indianapolis Colts, and Patrick Mahomes' latest title tilt sees the Kansas City Chiefs host the Cleveland Browns.

Mahomes went down with a toe injury and then a concussion in an epic Chiefs win over the Browns in the 2020 postseason, with 35-year-old backup Chad Henne making his playoff debut and having a pick and a sack but completing six of eight passes to complete the job.

In the first Monday Night Football of the season, Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens will go to the Las Vegas Raiders.


Week 1 schedule in full:

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sep 9, 8:20pm ET
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Denver Broncos at New York Giants – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams – Sep 12, 8:20pm ET
Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders – Sep 13, 8:15pm ET

Zinedine Zidane does not think 2020-21 will automatically be considered a "bad season" if Real Madrid fail to successfully defend their LaLiga title.

A 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla at the weekend left Madrid two points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid with three games to go, the stalemate meaning title success was no longer in their hands.

They go to Granada on Thursday having beaten the Nazaries in 17 of their 18 LaLiga meetings, that sole defeat coming in 2013 as a result of the only own goal Cristiano Ronaldo has ever scored in Europe's top five leagues.

Their run of 11 successive league wins over Granada is their best current winning streak over a single opponent in LaLiga.

If Atletico beat Real Sociedad on Wednesday, a shock defeat for Madrid will effectively end their title hopes as they will be five points behind with two games to go.

Zidane is not losing faith, though he does not think it can be deemed a poor campaign even if they do not win LaLiga.

"Everything can happen," he told reporters. "We can win it just like we can lose it.

"The most important thing is to give everything and how we act on the pitch. We've played good games and the season is long.

"I am not going to say that it is a bad season, because that's when you don't give everything on the pitch.

"2017 was a phenomenal season and we could have lost in the last game. The most important thing is what you can control, and then whatever happens will happen."

The focus after that Sevilla draw was on the officiating, as Zidane publicly criticised referee Juan Martinez Munuera for giving a penalty against Eder Militao for handball.

The infringement was brought to the referee's attention by a VAR review, his decision to bring play back subsequently robbing Madrid of a penalty of their own at the other end after Karim Benzema had been brought down by Yassine Bounou.

Zidane was not prepared to get into the discussion again, accepting things could get "messy" if he did.

"I'm not going to get into the polemics. Things should be clear to everyone," he said. "The VAR will always help to improve football but specific plays must be clarified.

"In the end, everyone does their job. I'm not going to talk about these things anymore. I trust football.

"We will do our job and the referee his. I'm not going to say something because it makes a mess. We are going to control our work."

Virgil van Dijk has confirmed he will not be taking part in Euro 2020 for Netherlands due to injury.

The Dutch captain will miss the tournament and complete his recovery with the aim of being ready to start pre-season training with Liverpool.

Van Dijk, 29, has missed much of the season having suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Everton in October, ruling him out ever since.

And Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently dented fans' hopes of seeing Van Dijk in action again this season by saying he is still "quite a way" from returning to training despite footage of the player running.

Van Dijk has now confirmed he will not risk his recovery by playing at the Euros, though he is disappointed to miss out.

The defender told Liverpool's website: "In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no?

"With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I've decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the off-season. 

"So, the full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that's a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that.

"Obviously I am very gutted to miss the Euros, to miss the European Championship and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it – we all have to accept it. 

"I think the decision to not go is the right decision in the grand scheme of things. It's tough, but I'm at peace with it.

"I am looking forward to football hopefully with fans and with Holland, we will try to reach the next tournament [the World Cup].

"Hopefully I can lead the boys there for a historical tournament, but we're not there yet. 

"It's going to be a very, very hard but hopefully a promising 18 months for club and country."

Van Dijk's status for the Euros has been a talking point ever since his injury, with debate over whether he should risk playing if he is not fit to return for Liverpool.

His leadership and imperious attributes made him a huge part of the Reds' Premier League title triumph last season, playing all 38 matches.

Only one defender in the league bettered his 191 aerial wins, he attempted – and completed – more passes than any of them and Trent Alexander-Arnold was the sole defensive player to have more than his 3,624 touches of the ball.

His excellence did not only help keep them solid at the back but his influence stretched to their wider philosophy on the ball as well, yet they have been without that for most of 2020-21.

The injury absence of Van Dijk and a host of other players, particularly in defence, has hit Liverpool hard in a campaign where they are now struggling to finish in the top four.

"We all know how the season has gone – and we're not happy with how it's gone," added Van Dijk. "It's been frustrating for all of us, for all the Liverpool fans.

"With everything that is going on in the world and in the football world as well, personally it has been a very tough year, but I am looking forward to next season.

"It has been a very, very tough journey so far, but I am in a good place right now and I'm progressing nicely.

"Seven months ago I got injured and it's been a very, very long road. I had to take it step by step, as I have done. Things have been going well, I've not had a real setback or anything, I've just progressed nicely.

"I am not the youngest anymore; I'm obviously not old, but I am quite mature and I know by now what could be a good decision.

"I think this decision has definitely been the right one, in my opinion, to give my body and my knee a little bit more extra time.

"Obviously I want to be back out there, I want to be helping my team-mates, helping my country in this case and I obviously want to help the club.

"But I think it’s the right thing to do to stay a little bit more patient and work even harder during the off-season and get ready."

Netherlands are in Group C for Euro 2020 along with Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia.

Mikel Arteta hinted at dissatisfaction with some players in his Arsenal squad as he suggested only "the majority" had given their all this season.

Arteta has endured a miserable first full campaign as Arsenal manager, having won the FA Cup at the end of last season.

Next term, for the first time since 1995-96, the Gunners will almost certainly go without European competition.

Arteta's men were eliminated from the Europa League in the semi-finals and approach a midweek match with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League.

Arsenal are 12 points off Chelsea and the top four – Champions League qualification no longer a possibility with three games remaining – and four points shy of seventh, which is set to be enough to reach the Europa Conference League.

They are also four short of last season's points tally, which was their lowest since 1994-95.

Arteta has discussed the need to rebuild in the transfer market, with some members of his team already performing to the extent of their underwhelming potential.

But others have let Arsenal down, the manager suggested.

Asked if his players had given their maximum, Arteta replied: "With the majority of them, yes.

"Some of them can get to a certain level and you cannot push them any further. You want to evolve them but it's not possible.

"When I said a majority, I did not say all of them. Some have a big contribution to make to those results."

Work in the window will be key to changing this, too, according to Arteta.

"Finding a different way to do it, challenging them again, putting somebody next to them to try to push them again," he said, explaining how to get more from his squad.

But there is the possibility Arsenal will have to sell players to make signings.

Last year, they sold Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa after he had excelled in goal. Villa have kept 14 clean sheets this term to Arsenal's 10, with Martinez preventing 3.8 goals using expected goals on target data – ranking third in the top flight.

This time, Joe Willock – starring on loan at Newcastle United – has been mooted as another £20million departure.

He has five goals since his debut on Tyneside, a tally unsurpassed by Arsenal players in this time and only matched by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Some of the bigger names within Arteta's existing XI might fetch even greater sums, although the Gunners boss is reluctant to make any moves that would weaken his hand.

"Let's see what happens," he said. "It is difficult to predict that one but, in general, we wouldn't like to do that because we are only going to be stronger [if they stay].

"It is clear we want to improve the team. We need some resources."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauded Mason Greenwood for playing with responsibility alongside some of Manchester United's younger players against Leicester City and wants him to retain that authority when teaming up with first-team regulars.

United lost 2-1 at home to Leicester on Tuesday, a defeat that confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions for the third time in four years.

The result did not come as a huge surprise, however, given Solskjaer had made 10 changes to his starting XI from the 3-1 win over Aston Villa just two days earlier – Greenwood the only player to keep his place.

The England international got United's goal, a tidy finish into the bottom-left corner after skipping past Caglar Soyuncu to cancel out Luke Thomas' spectacular opener.

Alongside him in the United attack were 18-year-old Amad Diallo, making his Premier League debut, and Anthony Elanga, who was playing his first ever game for the senior side – Greenwood, although only six months older than the latter, was making his 102nd appearance.

Solskjaer felt Greenwood – occupying the central striker position – played with greater authority and responsibility as a result and he wants the 19-year-old to take that into their next game against Liverpool on Thursday, when the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba can expect to be back in the team.

"You saw some definite leadership, the way he had to take responsibility," Solskjaer said.

"He's got Amad and Anthony next to him, looks at them and thinks, 'I've got 100 games here so I need to help them', which is great.

"He did really well, considering his age he's got 100 games and has got loads of experience.

"The way he took responsibility, I was really pleased with it. That's maybe not as easy when you've got Bruno, Paul, Marcus and Edinson [Cavani] next to you, which is natural.

"I still want him to take that responsibility when he plays. No matter how old you are, if you believe in yourself, trust in yourself, and think it's the right decision, you make that decision.

"He did that [against Leicester] and I still want him to do that on Thursday, when he plays with the more experienced ones."

It has been a testing season for Greenwood, who struggled early on to replicate the remarkable form he had shown in 2019-20.

The teenager had to cope with the death of a close friend and was then involved in controversy on England duty, finding himself sent home after making his debut and then being excluded from the next selection.

Greenwood also appeared to become something of a target for certain sections of the British media, and his form suffered considerably, only managing three goals across all competitions between the start of the season in September and the end of 2020.

His struggles continued into 2021 and the forward went on a run of 15 appearances without a single goal from late January, but he ended that barren spell against Leicester City on March 21 and has since netted eight times in 11 matches.

No Premier League player has scored more goals on all fronts over the same period, with Greenwood once again showing the kind of killer-instinct in front of goal that made him so feared in 2019-20, when he scored 17 goals.

Ten of those came in the league from an expected goals (xG) value of just 2.9, meaning he scored 7.1 goals more than expected. No player in the division could match that xG overperformance.

This would generally indicate elite-level finishing or a player getting lucky. Greenwood's form earlier this season suggested it was the latter, but since March 21 his xG overperformance across all competitions is 5.0 – almost double the next-most efficient player in that time, Kelechi Iheanacho (xG overperformance of 2.9).

After a shaky period, Greenwood is seemingly back on track and showing the finishing talents that made people sit up and take note last season.

While Solskjaer wants him to keep playing with authority for United, on current form many would even be backing him to take extra "responsibility" with England at Euro 2020.

When a team wins a league title, the standard procedure is to stick the trophy in the club's museum – but Ajax have taken a slightly different approach this time around.

Ajax claimed their record-extending 35th Eredivisie trophy on May 2 with an emphatic 4-0 win over Emmen, a victory that meant bitter rivals PSV could no longer catch them.

Thousands of Ajax fans defied local coronavirus restrictions to celebrate the success, with police opting against stepping in to avoid violence.

The team and CEO Edwin van der Sar led celebrations on a balcony at the Johan Cruijff ArenA as they showed off the trophy to the baying crowd, with Ajax later insisting this was not pre-planned and was a "spontaneous gesture".

While local politicians criticised Ajax's celebrations, it showed the club's connection to the supporters and they have taken that even further.

Ajax posted a video to Twitter on Wednesday showing how the club had their copy of the trophy melted down to create tiny 'champion stars'.

"Piece of victory, piece of history, piece of Ajax. Literally. For you," the video's caption read.

Van der Sar said in a tweet of his own: "To all season ticket holders: XXXV is for you in a special way. We melted our trophy and created a piece of history!"

Ajax say the melting of the shield led to the production of 42,000 of the stars, with each season ticket holder set to receive their own share of the trophy.

Van der Sar added in a statement: "This season, we have largely had to play without our fans. Well, without them sitting in the stands, at least.

"Despite this, we have felt their support every week. On the way to the stadium, on social media and in our personal contacts.

"Previously, when we said, 'This title is for you', we were expressing how we were doing it for the fans; however, sharing the trophy is the ultimate proof that we really are. After a turbulent year, we are ensuring our fans feel part of our championship."

Fans have been unable to attend Eredivisie matches for most of 2020-21 but were allowed to return in reduced numbers last month.

Manager Bob Melvin is hopeful the Oakland Athletics can make progress on a new ballpark to ensure they do not become the latest team to move out of the city.

MLB on Tuesday instructed the A's "to begin to explore other markets while they continue to pursue a waterfront ballpark in Oakland".

The league said it was "concerned with the rate of progress on the A's new ballpark effort", with a $12billion proposal yet to be approved by the city.

A's president Dave Kaval released a statement saying the team were "committed to succeeding in Oakland" but would follow MLB's directive.

A negative outcome would represent another big blow to the sports scene in Oakland, which has already lost the NFL's Raiders to Las Vegas while the Golden State Warriors of the NBA moved to a new arena in San Francisco.

"With two other sports franchises recently leaving the community, [the team's] commitment to Oakland is now more important than ever," MLB's statement added.

Palo Alto native Melvin took the same tone as he addressed the media ahead of Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

"My job is to go out and play where we are right now," said Melvin, whose A's lead the AL West. "It is unfortunate that a couple of teams have left and certainly we don't want that to happen.

"And I don't think anything that was said today would suggest it's going to. It's just giving MLB and the organisation a few more options to maybe look elsewhere."

The A's moved to Oakland from Kansas City in 1968 but have played at the multi-purpose Coliseum ever since, despite talk of a new ballpark in Oakland for the best part of 20 years.

Anthony Davis revealed he was dealing with groin tightness as the Los Angeles Lakers scraped past the New York Knicks for a big overtime win on Tuesday.

Davis missed more than two months with an Achilles issue but has crucially featured in all 11 games since his return last month, helping a Lakers team hit by a number of injuries.

LeBron James remained out – instead an active cheerleader on the sidelines – as the defending champions defeated the Knicks 101-99 at Staples Center.

Davis had 20 points but was clearly moving uneasily in the closing stages. He stayed in the game, though, with 43 minutes his most since early February.

"I'm hurting," he said afterwards. "There's nothing worse on my body, just my groin got tight. That was really it, I'm not sure where it came from, but my groin got a little tight.

"There was no way I was coming out of the game. It was a big game for us. The team was playing real hard, the situation that we're in, trying to battle for the six.

"It was a big game for them, trying to battle for fourth, trying to keep that fourth seed – I think they might be sixth now after the loss, I'm not sure.

"It was a huge game for us and I didn't want to come out, no matter injury, and finish the game and make sure we secure the win."

The Lakers are quickly back in action against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and in need of another victory, still sitting seventh in the West – in an unwanted play-in place – but now just 1.0 games back from fifth.

"I'm not sure about tomorrow. I'm going to get treatment and see how I feel," Davis said. "I want to say I'm going to play, but it was really bothering me tonight.

"We'll see how I feel tomorrow and then later on in the day.

"There's a very strong possibility that I fight through it and play since the next day's an off day, but also I don't want to have it lagging and then I'm out for a couple of games. We'll see how I feel."

Regardless of Davis' status, there is the possibility James returns against the Rockets.

Having won back-to-back games for the first time since late March, the Lakers could now have some momentum heading into the postseason.

"It's good. It's a confidence booster for us," Davis said. "We've been playing well as of late.

"If [James] comes back tomorrow, we can get him back acclimated with the team and get him back in the rhythm. If he doesn't then he doesn't, but we want him to get healthy first and foremost, get ready for the playoffs.

"I'm not sure what he's going to do – that's none of my business, I just want him to get health – but my job is just to come out here and help this team.

"If he is able to come back tomorrow, it's our job to get him back into a rhythm to get him ready for playoff mode, which we know he'll be ready for."

Talen Horton-Tucker hit the game-winning three among eight overtime points, but the Lakers only reached that stage thanks to Davis' suffocating defense.

The Knicks had the lead and the ball in the final 30 seconds of regulation, only for Davis to brilliantly stop All-Star Julius Randle (31 points) and force a shot-clock violation.

"Julius, that's my guy," said the Lakers superstar, who guarded Randle throughout the closing stages. "I played with him in New Orleans and he's definitely developed his game, with his shooting ability and off the dribble.

"That last possession, I just had to lock in defensively and make sure that he wasn't going to score to help the team.

"I feel like I made him hit the three with my contest at the end [in overtime] – he shot it a little higher than normal.

"He's been playing like this all year. I think he's an MVP candidate, he for sure should win Most Improved, what he's doing, got this team in the playoffs right now for a team who hadn't been in the playoffs for a while.

"He's playing his a** off and you can do nothing but respect him."

Golden State will not be among the favourites heading into the NBA playoffs, but Draymond Green insists this team is not comparable to the "We Believe" Warriors of 2006-07.

The Warriors are eighth in the Western Conference, in line to enter the play-in tournament – potentially against defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers.

There are certainly echoes of the 2007 team, who scraped into the postseason with a late-season run to clinch the eighth seed and then dumped out the first-placed Dallas Mavericks, adopting the slogan: "We Believe".

However, Green says, the similarities end there.

That was the Warriors' first playoff appearance since 1994, while they were without a title in 32 years.

Green's team reached the NBA Finals in five straight seasons, winning three championships, before injury ravaged their 2019-20 campaign.

And where Golden State were led in 2006-07 by two-time All-Star Baron Davis, who averaged 20.1 points per game, Green can turn to Stephen Curry to get the Warriors going.

Curry is a three-time champion, a two-time MVP, a three-time selection to the All-NBA First Team and a seven-time All-Star. He also leads the NBA in scoring with 1,969 points this season (31.8 per game).

"The 'We Believe' days are over," Green said after the Warriors beat the second-placed Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, having upset the league-leading Utah Jazz the previous night.

"I've won three championships, I'm not part of no 'We Believe' team.

"That's no disrespect to the OGs that came before me. I love those guys and what they started here is incredible. No disrespect to them at all, because what they did is incredible.

"But, no, we're not no 'We Believe' 2.0. We've got f****** Steph Curry on our team."

Curry (21 points) did not need to top the charts against the Suns, as Green had a triple-double and Andrew Wiggins went off for 38, making a joint-career-high 17 field goals.

Wiggins' performance justified pre-game comments from coach Steve Kerr, who spoke of his excitement at the prospect of pairing the forward with injured guard Klay Thompson.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves man has been Curry's right-hand man this year, starting all 70 games and averaging 18.6 points.

Thompson has previously been a dominant scorer for the Warriors with 19.5 points per game across his career before consecutive major injuries ruled him out of the past two seasons.

"It's so valuable to have someone who you know you can count on every single night to play big minutes and to guard one of the opposing team's best players," Kerr said of Wiggins.

"Klay's been that guy for many years, and now Andrew the same thing. So, what I love to think about is next year, having both guys in that role, two guys you can count on to be there night in and night out, because I think that's what's going to be the case with Klay.

"So, we start thinking about that, it gets pretty exciting. But we've got to take care of this year first."

The Los Angeles Lakers kept alive their aspirations to avoid the Play-In Tournament with a 101-91 over-time victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

With LeBron James still absent with an ankle problem, the Lakers were pushed all the way by the in-form Knicks who had the chance to win the match in normal time when Julius Randle missed a good two-point look on the buzzer.

With James and Dennis Schroder unavailable and Alex Caruso exiting early with foot soreness, Talen Horton-Tucker played a key role with 13 points and 10 assists, including a vital over-time three-pointer after a costly turnover moments earlier.

In a team effort, Anthony Davis finished with 20 points, four assists and six rebounds, Andre Drummond had 16 points and 18 rebounds and Kyle Kuzma added 23 points off the bench.

The win improves the Lakers to 39-30, holding seventh spot in the Western Conference, behind the Dallas Mavericks (40-29) who lost to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Ja Morant (24 points) won the battle against Luka Doncic in a game where the Mavericks could have ensured they would avoid the Play-In Tournament.

 

76ers miss chance and miss Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers missed the chance to seal top seeding in the East with a 103-94 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Pacers center Domantas Sabonis had a busy night with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists.

Joel Embiid missed for the 76ers with illness with Tobias Harris scoring 27 points in his absence as Philadelphia leave the door open at 47-22.

The 76ers are 8-11 without Embiid this season, while they are 38-11 with him in the side.

The Brooklyn Nets put together back-to-back wins to keep the pressure on the 76ers, triumphing 115-107 over the Chicago Bulls.

There was an injury scare for the Nets with Kyrie Irivng leaving the game with a facial contusion and undergoing testing for a possible concussion after a stray elbow from Nikola Vucevic early in the third.

Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 21 points and Bruce Brown Jr had 15 points to half-time and finished with 10 rebounds too, while Zach LaVine had a game-high 41 points for the Bulls.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, had 12 rebounds and five assists in the Milwaukee Bucks'  114-102 win over the Orlando Magic to improve their record to 43-25.

Stephen Curry was not his usual self, kept to only four points until half-time in the Golden State Warriors' 122-116 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Curry finished with 21, while Andrew Wiggins had 38 points and Draymond Green got a triple-double as the Warriors stay in the hunt at 37-33 and eighth in the West.

The Miami Heat clinched a top six berth with a 129-121 win over the Boston Celtics with Tyler Herro starring off the bench with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

 

Thunder come crashing down

Oklahoma City Thunder have fallen away drastically this season and their 122-106 ot the Sacramento Kings made it eight consecutive defeats for Mark Daigneault's side. They have won once in their past 23, having been 20-26 at one point.

 

Jokic's defense splitting assist

Prime MVP candidate Nikola Jokic showcased his all-rounder game with an unbelievable pass for Austin Rivers in the Denver Nuggets' 117-112 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Jokic finished with six assists, along with 30 points and 11 rebounds.

 

Tuesday's results

Denver Nuggets 117-112 Charlotte Hornets
Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Clippers 115-96 Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat 129-121 Boston Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies 133-104 Dallas Mavericks
Indiana Pacers 103-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Brooklyn Nets 115-107 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 114-102 Orlando Magic
Golden State Warriors 122-116 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 (OT) New York Knicks
Sacramento Kings 122-106 Oklahoma City Thunder

 

Spurs at Nets

The San Antonio Spurs are looking to seal their Play-In Tournament position while the Brooklyn Nets are out to reinforce their top two seeding.

The Houston Astros brought home four at the bottom of the eighth to claim a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels in MLB on Tuesday.

Shohei Ohtani had 10 strikeouts from seven innings but he was not on the mound, instead at right-field, as the Astros did the damage after Taylor Ward leveled the match up with a home-run at the top of the eighth.

Jose Altuve raced home for the go-ahead knock from Michael Brantley's hit and two batters later with two-on Yuli Gurriel hit his sixth home-run of the season.

Aaron Judge hit his eighth homer for the 2021 season early in the New York Yankees' 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

At 2-0 down, Mike Zunino hit the biggest Rays home run, at 472 feet, since tracking began in 2008.

Catcher Gary Sanchez spectacularly threw out Austin Meadows on second after an error, while Aroldis Chapman sent down some heat in the ninth to clinch the win. Gerrit Cole should return Wednesday.

 

Red Sox overcome Means, Bieber ripper

John Means, coming off a no-hitter with 14 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, was excellent again for the Baltimore Orioles but they lost 3-2 to the Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles took the lead and held it into the eighth when Albert Almora ran at full speed at center field face first into the wall trying to make a catch, although he got up and walked off. Baltimore plated a subsequent run to go 2-0 up from a Freddy Galvis.

But the Mets found a way back after Kevin Pillar was a foot away from a home run. Pillar eventually slid into home base from Patrick Mazeika's hit to complete a come-from-behind win. Mazeika celebrated his walk-off with his team-mates ripping his shirt off.

Chris Bassitt had 10 strikeouts across seven innings as the Oakland Athletics won 3-2 over the Boston Red Sox.

The As scored two runs in the seventh, with first baseman Matt Olson hitting the plate before he made the decisive catch with runners on two bases in the ninth to seal the win.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber pulled off an instinctual catch from Joc Pederson's hit which traveled with an 111 mph exit velocity in their 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Bieber made eight strikeouts but it was Jose Ramirez in the fourth who hit a crucial home-run, his 10th of the season.

In a National League Central match-up between two in-form sides, the St. Louis Cardinals got past the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 with five runs in the 11th including a Tyler O'Neill homerun.

The Detroit Tigers led 7-0 before an almighty comeback from the Kansas City Royals who eventually went down 8-7 with Niko Goodrum getting home at the bottom of the ninth.

Mitch Haniger hit two home-runs, taking his season tally to 10, as the Seattle Mariners blew a 4-1 lead to go down 6-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Ward and Trout clash in outfield

It was not a good night for the Angels, especially when outfielders Ward and Mike Trout had a collision where the former somehow held on to a catch and both avoided injury, walking away with bruised egos.

 

Number 11 for Acuna Jr

Ronald Acuna Jr took the outright lead for most home runs this season, his 11th of 2021 in MLB, but it was not enough for the Atlanta Braves who lost 5-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Tuesday's results

San Francisco Giants 4-2 Texas Rangers
Cleveland Indians 3-2 Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies - Washington Nationals
New York Mets 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics 3-2 Boston Red Sox 
New York Yankees 3-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Detroit Tigers 8-7 Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Atlanta Braves 
St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago White Sox 9-3 Minnesota Twins
Houston Astros 5-1 Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres 8-1 Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3 Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 Seattle Mariners

 

Yankees at Rays

Last season's runners-up, the Tampa Bay Rays, continue their American League East series against the New York Yankees.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving appears to have been cleared of a concussion after being forced out of Tuesday's 115-107 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Irving went down on the back court after being collected accidentally by a stray elbow from Bulls center Nikola Vucevic.

The 29-year-old, who had played 21 minutes with 13 points, three rebounds and five assists to that point, did not return to the game.

Irving's issue would be an additional concern for Brooklyn with James Harden already sidelined with a hamstring injury, although he is close to a return.

The Nets guard suffered a facial contusion and underwent concussion tests but Nets coach Steve Nash revealed it looked like he was in the clear.

"No signs of a concussion," Nash said post-game. "He had an x-ray which was inconclusive so we’ll really just have to look again in the morning.

"Probably be rescanned and all that when we get home and we’ll take it from there."

Kevin Durant played a key role for the Nets with 21 points as they improved their record to 45-24, firming up second spot in the East, ahead of the playoffs.

Durant added about Irving: "I thought he would be alright. I know those - he mixes it up a lot with the big fellas - so he might catch an elbow here and there.

"Kyrie, he plays with such toughness and competitiveness, I knew he'd get up, but I knew he took a nice one, a nice elbow to the face.

"Hopefully he gets checked out tomorrow, sees everything is alright and we move forward."

The Nets are due to play the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.