NBA

Lakers fall to another loss, Clippers beat Heat

By Sports Desk January 29, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers slumped to back-to-back losses in the NBA, while the Clippers got past the Miami Heat on Thursday.

The Lakers dropped two straight games for the first time this season, beaten 107-92 by the Detroit Pistons.

LeBron James posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 assists, to go with seven rebounds, but the Lakers were beaten.

A day after losing to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers were without Anthony Davis (quad).

Blake Griffin (23 points) and Mason Plumlee (17 points and 10 rebounds) led the Pistons (5-14) to their surprise win.

The Lakers (14-6) are third in the Western Conference, behind the Utah Jazz (14-4) and Clippers (14-5).

Still without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, the Clippers recorded a 109-105 win over the Heat.

They had six players in double-figures for points, with Serge Ibaka (10 points and 13 rebounds) finishing with a double-double.

The Clippers became the first team in the shot-clock era to win a game despite being outscored by 14-plus points in the first and fourth quarters, as per Stats Perform.

 

Awesome Oladipo leads Rockets, Curry's Warriors crushed

Victor Oladipo finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the Houston Rockets' 104-101 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Damian Lillard (30 points, nine assists and four rebounds) led the way for Portland.

Stephen Curry posted 27 points, but the Golden State Warriors were well beaten by the Phoenix Suns 114-93.

 

Warriors' woes

Kelly Oubre Jr. (one-of-11) and Draymond Green (one-of-seven) struggled from the field for the Warriors, combining for just six points.

 

Wood with the dunk

Christian Wood continued his good form with 22 points, including a big dunk, and 12 rebounds for the Rockets.

Thursday's results

Houston Rockets 104-101 Portland Trail Blazers
Detroit Pistons 107-92 Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 Miami Heat
Phoenix Suns 114-93 Golden State Warriors

 

Nets at Thunder

The Brooklyn Nets (12-8) are riding a three-game winning streak ahead of facing the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-9) on Friday. Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden are set to come up against their former team.

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    Only the understandable media attention is allowing Iga Swiatek to keep count of her incredible winning run that reached 30 matches on Thursday.

    The world number one sealed her place in the third round of the French Open after a dominant 6-0 6-2 win against Alison Riske.

    That victory made her just the fourth WTA Tour player this century to win 30 or more consecutive matches. She has also taken 46 of the past 47 sets she has played.

    Speaking at a news conference following her milestone win, Swiatek insisted she does not follow the numbers – although she has no need to while her streak remains the focus of journalists.

    "I know how many matches I have won in a row because you keep reminding me, basically," she said. "But I don't keep track.

    "I'm not like noting or something. I just try to come back to these matches to get experience from them. But that's the only reason why I come back to them."

    Swiatek was asked to explain what had inspired her imperious form, with her 39 match victories in 2022 already three more than she managed in the whole of 2021.

    "I think basically I changed some things, like I started being more aggressive and trying to be more proactive on court," she replied. "That's something that my coach really helped me to do.

    "But also, I think all the work we have been doing, even last season, it finally clicked somehow.

    "You know, last season it was a year for me where I really gained so much experience. This year I feel like I'm using it the right way. I have this experience already, and I can just move forward.

    "So I think it's the physical work I have been doing but also with my psychologist, I think it's the work of the whole team as well. I'm pretty glad that it clicks right now."

    The 20-year-old conceded her form will not last forever, but she is determined to enjoy it while it lasts.

    "I was saying from the beginning that for sure I'm going to reach a point where I'm going to lose a match, and it's pretty normal, you know," Swiatek said. "I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time.

    "For sure, the things we are doing right now are pretty extraordinary, but I know in tennis that only one person wins at the end. I will be okay with that.

    "For sure, it's not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn't be different than any other loss that I had in my career."

  • French Open: Swiatek eases past Riske to extend stunning winning run French Open: Swiatek eases past Riske to extend stunning winning run

    Iga Swiatek again showed relentless form to ease past Alison Riske and book her place in the third round of the French Open on Thursday.

    The number one seed stormed to a 6-0 6-2 victory on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, and will now face Danka Kovinic – the latest woman to attempt to halt the WTA Tour's winning machine.

    Chasing her 30th straight win, there was an ominous start from Swiatek, who sealed the first set in just 20 minutes as Riske won just seven points.

    Swiatek was ruthless as she sped through the games, winning all three break points against Riske to get halfway to victory in double quick time.

    The American tried to fight back at the start of the second, but Swiatek seemed to move up a gear every time her opponent was able to win a point, breaking again in the second game.

    Riske reached deuce in the next game, before finally holding serve to get herself on the board to a big cheer from the crowd.

    The world number 43 showed more fight as she held serve again, but Swiatek's power and shot placement was ultimately too much as she motored to victory.

    The 2020 champion has now won 39 matches this year (including Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers), three more than her tally for the entire 2021 season.

    Data Slam: Dominant Swiatek

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    Swiatek – 23/15
    Riske – 6/14

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Swiatek – 1/1
    Riske – 2/2

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Swiatek – 5/9
    Riske – 0/0

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    Michelle Wie West, the teenage prodigy who went on to win the U.S. Women's Open, has announced she intends to step away from the LPGA Tour.

    The Hawaii-born player, who burst onto the scene as a 10-year-old when she qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, will play just two more competitive events.

    Wie West, who gave birth to her first child in 2020, is now 32 and has only played once on the LPGA Tour this year, at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in January.

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    "Excited to announce the next phase of my career as I'll be stepping back from playing on the @lpga_tour full time," Wie said on Instagram on Thursday. "I'm so grateful for the past 14 years I spent on tour, travelling the world and competing against the best in the game.

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    "I feel like even if it was a huge major fail, at least it makes for a good story now. I think if I hadn't won the U.S. Open, I'd still be out there competing week to week trying to get that U.S. Open win."

    She said she felt "very happy in my decision".

    Tipped to be the Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour as a teenager, Wie West was a record breaker during school, setting a series of impressive benchmarks and raising the profile of the women's game.

    At 14, she carded the lowest score ever by a woman competing on the PGA Tour with a 68 at the Sony Open, and turned professional just before her 16th birthday.

    Injuries hampered her progress despite a slew of major sponsorships, but she fought back in 2014 to claim her only major, in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst.

    Wie West won four other LPGA events during her career, most recently the HSBC Women's World Championship in 2018.

    Despite stepping away from the tour, she has refused to call it a retirement, adding: "I'm definitely not ruling anything out."

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