Splash brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 66 points as the Golden State Warriors claimed arguably their best win of the season, beating the Boston Celtics 123-107 on Saturday.

The Celtics had won eight of their past nine games, including a statement win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, but the reigning champions shut down the NBA's number one offensive team while the splash brothers were on song.

Curry finished with 32 points including six-of-11 from beyond the arc, with four off the dribble, while Thompson scored a game-high 34 points with four triples. The Warriors are 14-0 all-time when Curry and Thompson both score 30-plus points.

It was a rare night of frustration for the NBA-leading Celtics, who fall to 21-6 overall, with Jayson Tatum kept to 18 points with seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jaylen Brown scored a team-high 31 points.

Curry and Thompson led the way, but center Kevon Looney pulled down 15 rebounds while Jordan Poole added 20 points.

The win means the Warriors are 12-2 at Chase Center this season and have won 11 of their past 17 games, improving to 14-13 overall.

Thomas stars as short-handed Nets claim shock win

The short-handed Brooklyn Nets recorded an admirable 136-133 victory over the Indiana Pacers, with Cam Thomas coming off the bench to score a career-high 33 points.

The Nets were without eight players, including All-Stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, but Thomas stepped up along with Australian guard Patty Mills with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 35 points for the Pacers, but Thomas and Mills were crucial in the fourth quarter, as the Nets made it three straight wins and six from their past seven games.

Jokic records triple-double in Nuggets victory

Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a 115-110 win over the Utah Jazz with his fourth triple-double of the season and 80th of his NBA career.

Jokic finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists in a dominant display that helped the Nugs improve their record to 15-10.

Jamal Murray supported the reigning MVP well, with 30 points, four rebounds and five assists.

Erik ten Hag revealed Manchester United will target a striker to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the January transfer window.

Ronaldo acrimoniously exited Old Trafford last month following an explosive interview, in which he criticised boss Ten Hag and the club's owners.

United have been linked with moves for Cody Gakpo and Goncalo Ramos - both of whom scored three goals at the World Cup for the Netherlands and Portugal respectively.

Ten Hag says the Red Devils are on the hunt for a centre forward, but the Dutchman would not reveal the identity of their targets.

When asked whether United were on the lookout for a striker, the Dutchman replied: "Yes, but only when we find the right player. We do everything in our power.

"We are doing research on every opportunity, and we do everything we can if that opportunity is there to contract them.

"I cannot give comments on specific players. I will never do that. Players have contracts and I respect that, but make sure we are working in the background to get the right players in."

Meanwhile, Ten Hag has been encouraged by Anthony Martial who, despite sustaining a hamstring injury during pre-season, has registered four goals and two assists in seven appearances this term.

"We have seen, when he is available, he has a massive impact on our game," said Ten Hag.

"He has less than 300 minutes [this season] and has four goals and two assists. That's a really good record.

"The first challenge for him is to be available and fit. He has to be responsible for it, but we have to support him in all the ways we can."

Gareth Southgate will take his time to "make the correct decision" regarding his future as England manager but was encouraged by the way his young team went toe to toe with France on Saturday.

England were the better team for long periods at Al Bayt but ultimately fell short with Olivier Giroud's 78th-minute header proving to be decisive as Les Bleus clinched a 2-1 win to set up a semi-final with Morocco on Wednesday.

Southgate's contract runs until the end of the European Championship in 2024, but he will use the next few weeks to reflect on whether he wants to carry on.

He said: "Whenever I have finished these tournaments I have needed time to make the correct decision because you go through so many feelings.

"I want to make the right decision, whatever that is for the team, for England and for the Football Association. It's right to take some time to do that because I know how my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of previous tournaments.

"It's the decision to go again, it's a lot of energy and you have to make sure you're ready for that. There are Euro qualifiers in March and there's too much in my head to think about that tonight.

"I wanted to focus on this tournament and I think we've given a really good account of ourselves. But in the end only one team wins and we've fallen just short."

Southgate led England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia four years ago and the final of Euro 2020, yet his critics have continued to accuse him of playing in a negative manner.

That certainly wasn't the case in Qatar, with no team scoring more than England's nine goals in the group phase before a 3-0 round of 16 win over Senegal.

And against France, England played front-foot football that troubled the defending champions throughout.

Southgate added: "I think it's the best we've played against a major nation in the period I have been in charge but the scoreline is all that matters.

"They know how close they've come. They know they've pushed a top nation all the way. We had more possession, more attempts on goal…I am very proud of how they've been, not just tonight but throughout the tournament.

"We've shown a different face in terms of how we've played. We wanted to go toe to toe with the top nations, that's how we approached this tournament and we've done that. There's so much to be excited about given the age of some of the players.

"We've shown the rest of the world that English football is healthy and we have some very good players, not just for now but for the future as well."

England captain Harry Kane had the chance to take the game to extra time following Giroud's goal but blazed an 84th-minute penalty over the crossbar.

He had earlier netted from the spot to cancel out Aurelien Tchouameni's first-half opener and Southgate was quick to defend the Tottenham striker.

"He's very low but he's got nothing to reproach himself for," he said.

"We're in the position we are as a team due to his goals and his leadership over a long period of time. The result was due to 100 minutes of football and things that happened at both ends of the pitch.

"Even if the penalty goes in we've still got a lot to do to win the game. We win and lose together.

"It was difficult when you get a second penalty against a goalkeeper you know very well [Kane's Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris]. Even the best are going to miss at times, that's football.

"But there's no-one I'd rather have in that situation and if we got a penalty tomorrow I'd feel the same way.

"It's cruel for him because he will feel disappointed in himself, but he shouldn't."

Harry Kane took responsibility for England's World Cup exit after blazing a late penalty over the bar in the Three Lions' 2-1 defeat to France, saying he will "have to live with" the error.

England more than matched France during Saturday's tense quarter-final at Al Bayt Stadium, with Kane cancelling out Aurelien Tchouameni's opener from the spot after the France midfielder fouled Bukayo Saka in the area.

However, Olivier Giroud restored the holders' lead with 12 minutes remaining, and Kane was unable to score again when Theo Hernandez conceded a second penalty six minutes from time, firing over the crossbar.

The miss saw Kane squander the chance to surpass Wayne Rooney as England's all-time top goalscorer with his 54th international strike, while the Three Lions fell to their seventh World Cup quarter-final elimination – a tournament record.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the defeat, England's captain fronted up to his mistake and praised his team-mates for going toe-to-toe with the world champions.

"It's tough to take for me personally and for the team," he said. "I couldn't be prouder of the boys. We had better spells, better chances, but football comes down to small details. 

"As the captain and the one who missed the penalty, I take responsibility for that. I can't fault my preparation or the details before the game. 

"I felt confident taking it, I just didn't execute it the way I wanted to. It will be something I have to live with and take on the chin.

"The team is in a really good place and there will be highs in the future. Standing here now, we are gutted it has come to an end as we had full belief we could go all the way. We can be proud of what we've done."

Kane is the first player to both score and miss a penalty in a World Cup match (excluding shoot-outs) since Michal Bilek did so for Czechoslovakia against the United States in 1990.

He has scored more World Cup penalties than any other player (four).

The miss leaves Kane level with Rooney on 53 England goals, and the Manchester United great expressed his support for the Three Lions skipper after the loss.

"Absolutely gutted for the lads but proud of the way they've played this tournament and they should be proud," Rooney said on Twitter.

"Congratulations to Harry Kane on equalling the record, he'll be on his own soon and I couldn't think of anyone better to take over. Keep your head up Harry."

Aurelien Tchouameni warned "a group is being born" after France edged out England 2-1 to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Les Bleus are the first reigning champions to reach the last four since Brazil in 1998, as Olivier Giroud settled a tight affair with 12 minutes remaining after a Harry Kane penalty cancelled out Tchouameni's earlier 25-yard effort at Al Bayt Stadium.

Didier Deschamps' side suffered a late scare when England were awarded a second spot-kick six minutes from time, only for Kane to blaze high over Hugo Lloris' goal.

Tchouameni told beIN SPORTS: "We are getting stronger. A group is being born, we feel good, we must continue.

"We suffered – it's the World Cup, we played a very good English team. We managed to win, we are happy."

Meanwhile, Adrien Rabiot hailed the togetherness in the France group, with Morocco up next in the last four on Wednesday.

"[I feel] pride, proud of this team, this group," the midfielder said. "There is joy. We have suffered, we have shown that we can be united and in solidarity.

"We were warned and prepared, we knew they would be committed. We responded with our weapons. It's an incredible moment. It is a moment of communion, as from the beginning, that carries us.

"More and more people are behind us and believe in it. We feel that there is something to be done. Even when we are in trouble, nothing can happen to us."

Olivier Giroud compared France's tense 2022 World Cup quarter-final win over England to their semi-final victory against Belgium four years ago.

France scraped past the Three Lions 2-1 at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday, with Giroud's deflected header ultimately the difference.

Aurelien Tchouameni had fired the world champions ahead, but England responded strongly and levelled through a Harry Kane penalty.

Gareth Southgate's side might have equalised a second time following Giroud's goal, only for Kane to fire a second spot-kick over the crossbar.

Victory sends France through to a semi-final against surprise package Morocco, with Didier Deschamps' side looking like favourites to retain their crown.

But this tie showed how hard it is to win the World Cup, with Giroud reminded of a 1-0 defeat of Belgium in Russia.

"The match tonight reminded of the match against Belgium in 2018," Giroud told a news conference. "We fought tooth and nail.

"They came back into the match, started to believe, but we showed we could be dangerous on the counter-attack.

"We were a bit lucky because Kane misses the penalty, but we gave our all and fought tooth and nail. It reminds me of the mentality of 2018. This group deserves to get there."

Giroud had equalled and then passed Thierry Henry's France goals record earlier in the finals.

"All goals are important," he added. "The fact is I went ahead of Thierry Henry with the 52nd, but this 53rd is perhaps even better.

"A minute before, I had a chance and I could have scored. I thought I might get another chance, and it was unbelievable to score."

Didier Deschamps felt the "small details and a bit of luck" went France's way as they edged past England 2-1 to secure a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

Olivier Giroud grabbed what turned out to be the winner with 12 minutes to go with England captain Harry Kane missing a second penalty of the night shortly after. His first was successful, cancelling out Aurelien Tchouameni's opener.

Deschamps, whose side now face surprise package Morocco in Wednesday's second last-four clash, was relieved to have squeezed through.

He said: "England have a very good team and what they showed in terms of technical ability and intensity, even though we put up a good fight, was impressive.

"Credit to my team as well, we also showed some very good things. We have great quality and we also have impressive mental strength. We have experience but so do England, they have some young players but they are players that play for the top clubs in Europe.

"We could see they were a good team at the outset of the tournament and it comes down to small details and luckily tonight it went our way. You need a bit of luck sometimes."

Vive la France

Into the #FIFAWorldCup semi-finals!#Qatar2022

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 10, 2022
England were the better team for long periods at Al Bayt Stadium and Deschamps preferred to focus on the strengths of France's opponents than criticise his own team for some of their failings.

"They have quality in all areas of the pitch," he added. "There were certain things we could have done better but maybe it's because they didn't let us do them well.

"We still scored two goals and created several opportunities. We deserved it but the other team were very strong."

Deschamps' contract is due to expire at the end of the tournament but the president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Great, has expressed hope that he will continue.

Deschamps refused to go into any great detail regarding his future but did not commit to remaining at the helm of Les Bleus.

"I will be the coach for the semi-final and then we will see," he said. "We will tackle that problem when it arises. It's great that the president is happy, I am sure there are a lot of people that are happy tonight.

"Just four years after our last victory at the World Cup we are in the last four. Let's focus on Wednesday, I am not thinking about anything else at the minute."

Harry Kane "will be stronger" for having missed the penalty that saw England eliminated from the World Cup by France on Saturday.

That is the opinion of Jordan Henderson, who was substituted shortly before the Three Lions were awarded a second spot-kick in their 2-1 defeat.

Kane had scored the first to cancel out Aurelien Tchouameni's first-half goal, but his second attempt cleared the crossbar, meaning an Olivier Giroud header proved to be the winner.

No player in World Cup history has scored more spot-kicks than Kane's four, with this the first he has missed.

"We know how many penalties Harry has scored for us, how many goals he has contributed to even get us here," midfielder Henderson told ITV.

"He will be stronger for this in the future. He is a world-class striker and our captain. He will bounce back."

Henderson concluded "it wasn't our night", although he felt it could have been as England went toe-to-toe with the world champions.

"We felt good, the performances were really good, the focus and hunger has been really good," he added.

"But you have to give credit to France, who are a good team. I still feel it was there for us to win tonight."

Declan Rice gave his backing to England manager Gareth Southgate as his players took responsibility for Saturday's agonising World Cup quarter-final defeat to France.

England lost 2-1 to the world champions despite long periods in which they controlled the game at Al Bayt Stadium.

Harry Kane's penalty cancelled out Aurelien Tchouameni's opener, but a second spot-kick from the Three Lions captain sailed over the crossbar after Olivier Giroud had restored France's lead.

Rice felt England "handled the occasion well" and were undone by "two goals that you don't really see us concede".

For that reason, the midfielder felt it was unfair to place any blame at Southgate's door following another missed opportunity at a major tournament.

"I hope he stays. There's a lot of talk around that," Rice said. "I think he's been brilliant for us, and there's been a lot of criticism that's not deserved.

"He's taken us so, so far, further than what people would expect.

"Tonight, he got everything spot on. It's not on him. The tactics were spot on. We played the right way, we were aggressive, we stopped [Kylian] Mbappe – he was quiet – and it was two goals against the run of play.

"That isn't down to the manager, it's down to the players on the pitch. I really hope he stays."

Rice believed England's performance was evidence of their progress under Southgate, who is set to take some time to consider his future.

"We really believed that this year could be our year," he said. "We got to the Euros final, and we've really progressed as a team over the past few years.

"We weren't over-confident, but we were confident we could go out there tonight and beat France. That's the mentality switch England have not had over the years.

"I think we dominated the game. Other than their two goals, I don't really remember them creating much. We played some great football, and it's a game of small margins.

"We win together and we lose together; it's just obviously really hard to process it."

Frenkie de Jong has described the officiating of the Netherlands' World Cup quarter-final against Argentina as "scandalous", claiming referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was influenced by Lionel Messi.

The Netherlands staged a remarkable comeback to force extra time after going 2-0 down in Friday's clash courtesy of Wout Weghorst double, but the Oranje then suffered penalty heartache as they lost the shoot-out 4-3.

Lahoz was widely criticised for his display after showing 15 yellow cards during the match.

Argentina captain Messi said Lahoz was not "up to the task" of overseeing such a fixture at the end of a heated affair, and while De Jong agrees, he felt the presence of his former Barcelona team-mate contributed. 

"When regular playing time was over, the Argentina players all went to him and from then on he only whistled for Argentina," De Jong said of Lahoz. 

"Jurrien Timber's shoe was kicked off, but then he whistled for a foul against us. Luuk [de Jong] just wins a normal header and he blows his whistle, they kick the ball into our dugout, he doesn't care.

"Messi takes the ball with his hand, he just lets it go. He was really scandalous. 

"He is a nice guy, a good referee. But here he was beyond reason. I think he lost his way in overtime. 

"It could well be that the greatness of Lionel Messi had an influence on that. It's not the referee's fault, but it did affect the game."

Only Spain, with four, have lost more World Cup penalty shoot-outs than the Netherlands, one win, three defeats, while Argentina have prevailed on spot-kicks at the tournament more often than any other team with five and one defeat.

The manner of the Netherlands' defeat left De Jong stunned, with the midfielder revealing he was convinced they would lift the trophy.

"I was convinced that we would win when we equalised," De Jong said. "In any case, I was convinced that we would become world champions.''

Harry Kane missed a late penalty as France squeezed through to the World Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win over England.

Kane cancelled out Aurelien Tchouameni's opener with a 54th-minute penalty but could not repeat the feat with seven minutes to go, blazing high over the bar.

In between the spot-kicks, Oliver Giroud's header had given France an advantage that proved decisive as they advanced to a last-four clash with Morocco on Wednesday.

 

Luka Doncic will not play for the Dallas Mavericks against the Chicago Bulls after he was ruled out with a right quad strain following Friday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The three-time All-Star, who currently leads the NBA for points per game with a 32.9 average this season and sits second on the scoring charts outright, complained of pain during his side's 106-105 defeat.

With a three-game home run set to start on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the call has been made to keep Doncic sidelined for this weekend's trip to United Center.

It is not yet known if there is further reason to be concerned for the point guard, who has been in scintillating form across the campaign so far.

In addition to Doncic, Maxi Kleber and Josh Green will miss Saturday's match with the Bulls, after they also picked up injuries against the Bucks at American Airlines Center.

The forward is out with right foot soreness, while the guard has suffered a right elbow sprain.

The Mavericks arrive in Chicago having suffered their first loss in four, with defeat to the Bucks snapping a three-game victorious run over the New York Knicks, the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets.

Doncic has topped the points chart for his team in all but one of those games, scoring 33 on Friday in addition to 11 assists and six rebounds. 

His efforts have guided the Mavericks to seventh in the Western Conference this season, with a 13-12 winning record to date.

The New Orleans Saints, two of their coaches and defensive end Cameron Jordan were fined a total of $550,000 by the NFL for allegedly delaying gameplay by faking an injury.

The Saints have denied any wrongdoing and are appealing the fines.

The incident in question occurred in the fourth quarter of the Saints' 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday. Jordan took a knee and pointed to his left foot, forcing Tom Brady and the Buccaneers' offense to pause before a fourth-and-10 play. After the delay, Tampa Bay chose to punt.

The league alleges Jordan faked an injury to prevent the Buccaneers from snapping the ball, levying fines of $50,000 each to Jordan and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen. Saints head coach Dennis Allen was fined $100,000, while the organisation faces a bill of $350,000.

"The New Orleans Saints deny any allegations of purposefully delaying the game on Monday evening," the team said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement goes on to explain that Jordan had his foot examined and taped before he finished the game.

"[Jordan] had an MRI performed the following day in New Orleans and was confirmed that he suffered an acute mid-foot sprain in his left foot. He has been at the facility each day receiving treatment for his injury he suffered on the play.

"The Saints will appeal the fines through the proper channels and believe the allegations will be proved incorrect."

All 32 teams were sent a memo on December 2 reminding them of rules prohibiting taking advantage of a stoppage in play, according to NFL.com.

Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates is also appealing a fine of $50,000 for a similar alleged infraction during last Sunday's 27-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jordan called the fines “ridiculous” on Twitter and expressed his cynicism with the NFL’s process for enforcement.

"Are fines made by nfl open to public? I just feel like this should be public knowledge," Jordan's tweet read. "Cause some of the fines are silly but this [one]… ridiculous. Anyways & for what a 'deliberate action to delay game' before a [team] punts?"

Cristiano Ronaldo's partner Georgina Rodriguez has criticised Portugal coach Fernando Santos' tactics as the nation suffered a shock World Cup elimination against Morocco.

The 37-year-old forward was benched for the second successive match, as his side fell to a 1-0 quarter-final defeat thanks to a Youssef En-Nesyri header.

Though Ronaldo was introduced shortly after the start of the second half, he was unable to make an impact.

He marched down the tunnel in tears after Portugal crashed out and Rodriguez later launched a stinging attack on head coach Santos.

"Today, your friend and coach decided wrong," she wrote on Instagram. "That friend for whom you have so many words of admiration, and so much respect.

"The same friend who, putting you on the field, saw how everything changed, but it was too late. 

"You can't underestimate the best player in the world and the most powerful weapon you have, just as you can't stand up for someone who doesn't deserve it."

Ronaldo has almost certainly played his last World Cup game and it remains to be seen where he will continue his club career after he was released by Manchester United.

Though Ronaldo has hinted he may yet play on through to the 2026 World Cup, the question of his future with the national side is also up in the air.

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