NBA

Westbrook and Davis lead Lakers rally after LeBron ejection, Curry mild in Warriors win

By Sports Desk November 21, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers overturned a 17-point deficit and a chaotic third-quarter brawl which led to LeBron James' ejection to trump the lowly Detroit Pistons 121-116.

James was ejected after an elbow to the eye of Pistons center Isaiah Jackson, who reacted angrily, leading to a wild melee in Detroit on Sunday.

Jackson repeatedly charged at James and had to be restrained by team-mates and coaches. Both players were ejected, with the latter's elbow deemed a flagrant 2 foul.

The Lakers were trailing by 12 points at the time of the incident early in the third quarter, before Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis led a rally on the road.

Westbrook (26 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds) had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds in a final period dominated by the visiting Lakers 37-17.

Davis had 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals – the star becoming the first Laker with a 30/10/5/3/5 game since Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal in 2001.

James, in his second game back after an abdominal injury laid him off for two and a half weeks, played 21 minutes for 10 points and five assists before his ejection as the Lakers improved to 9-0 for the season.

Number one draft pick Cade Cunningham registered his first career triple-double for the Pistons with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

 

Suns maintain hot streak

The Phoenix Suns recorded their 12th straight win as Cam Johnson had a career-high and game-high 22 points off the bench, including four triples in a 126-97 rout of the Denver Nuggets, who were without MVP Nikola Jokic (shoulder) for the second successive game. Chris Paul (nine points and 10 assists) has had 47 games with 10-plus assists and 0 turnovers since entering the league in 2006. He has the most such games since 1985.

Paul George hauled the Los Angeles Clippers past the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks 97-91 with 29 points and six assists. The Mavs were still without Luka Doncic (knee/ankle).

DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points in the Chicago Bulls' 109-103 victory over the New York Knicks. Julius Randle posted 34 points for the beaten Knicks, who led entering the final quarter.

 

Mild Curry returns

Stephen Curry returned from a minor hip issue but was well down on his usual output with only 12 points, making two of 10 field-goal attempts and one of six beyond the arc in the Golden State Warriors' 119-104 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.

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    England have a good enough squad to win the World Cup and should be feared by other competing nations, according to Three Lions midfielder Declan Rice.

    Gareth Southgate's side finished top of Group B with seven points after beating Iran 6-2 and Wales 3-0 either side of a goalless draw with the United States.

    It is the first time since 2006 that England have finished top en route to the last 16, where Group A runners-up Senegal now await on Sunday.

    Following shock defeats in the group phase already for France, Argentina, Belgium and Germany, Rice believes England's serene progress is a sign they mean business.

    "I didn't see the France [loss to Tunisia] last night. I saw the result and there have been a lot of shocks in this tournament," he said at a press conference on Thursday. 

    "You can't take anything for granted. That's why we're doing so well and maybe why we are not getting the credit we deserve.

    "It could have been banana skins for us in any of the three games, but we've done well in all of them. 

    "We've seen big nations lose but we have not put ourselves in a position where we've felt under pressure. We've always felt in control of the group.

    "When you start to play better teams, your level goes up. These are the games you want to be involved in and get remembered forever. We'll be ready for those type of games.

    "Other nations will always look at us and the quality that we have in the squad. Why should we not be feared?

    "If you look at our attacking players, we have world-class, unbelievable talents across the board. Across the whole team, we have players who have won the biggest trophies."

    England have not lifted the World Cup since 1966 and Rice accepts that partly explains why his side are perhaps not as fancied as others to go all the way in Qatar.

    "We're one of the biggest teams here. It's down to us to prove it on the pitch," he said. "Teams like France have won World Cups and done it consistently. We want to change that.

    "All those big nations, we want to show that we're here. We are not here for the round of 16; we want to go all the way."

    The nine goals scored by England is the most they have ever managed in the group stage at a major tournament.

    Rice is one of seven players to have started each of England's matches in Qatar and he was also a regular in their run to the Euro 2020 final, which they lost to Italy on penalties.

    The West Ham midfielder is hoping to use that feel-good factor created last year to propel England to an even bigger achievement this time around. 

    "It was obviously COVID back then so we couldn't see anyone, friends or family," he said. "But we saw videos of the fans back home and it brought all the fans together.

    "We will try to keep going, try to lift everyone. It's obviously really close to Christmas now, so hopefully we'll give them the best Christmas present."

  • Labuschagne and Smith reach double centuries as Australia leave West Indies a mountain to climb Labuschagne and Smith reach double centuries as Australia leave West Indies a mountain to climb

    Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith made double centuries as Australia piled on the runs against West Indies at Perth Stadium, achieving a feat last witnessed over a decade ago.

    Not since Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke plundered double tons against India in January 2012 had any pair of batters made 200-plus scores in the same innings of a Test match.

    This first Test saw Australia follow up their opening-day dominance with more commanding batting to reach 598-4 on Thursday, before West Indies rallied to reach 74-0 at stumps, with debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul closing in on a half-century.

    Labuschagne had been 154no overnight, and Smith was with him on 59, and they went on to post 204 and 200no respectively, sharing in a third-wicket stand of 251 runs. It was a second Test double century for Labuschagne, and a fourth for Smith.

    Australia declared when Travis Head was dismissed on 99, edging the 95th ball of his innings into his stumps to give West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite a second wicket, ending a 196-run alliance with Smith.

    In reply, Chanderpaul, son of West Indies great Shivnarine Chanderpaul, powered to 47no as Brathwaite battled to 18no, offering hope the tourists may be able to show sufficient defiance to still take something from this match, the first of two in the series.

    Smith joins Bradman

    Smith's century, which became a double, was his 29th ton in Tests, moving him level with the great Don Bradman on the all-time list. He and Bradman share fourth place among Australia century-makers, behind Ricky Ponting (41), Steve Waugh (32) and Matthew Hayden (30).

    Chanderpaul a chip off the old block

    Facing the full assault of Australia's pace attack, Chanderpaul did not always look comfortable against Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, but he found a way to survive to the close.

    Dad Shivnarine made 11,867 Test runs for West Indies, so Tagenarine is just 11,820 behind now. More relevantly, perhaps, Shivnarine made 62 in his first Test innings, against England in Georgetown in 1994. After this strong start, West Indies will hope his son can go significantly past that score on Friday.

  • Booker revels in 'MVP' chants from adoring Suns fans after 51-point haul Booker revels in 'MVP' chants from adoring Suns fans after 51-point haul

    Devin Booker lauded the support of the Phoenix Suns' adoring fans after being serenaded with chants of "MVP" during his 51-point showing against the Chicago Bulls.

    Having put up 44 points in Monday's win over the Sacramento Kings, Booker continued his hot streak as the Suns secured a sixth victory on the bounce, downing the Bulls 132-113.

    The Footprint Arena resonated with chants for Booker to land the MVP prize, and the 26-year-old was loving it.

    "It's the best," Booker said about the home crowd.

    "I don't know how many sell-out crowds that is in a row, but it's impressive.

    "Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, it doesn't matter what day of the week it is. They show up and show out."

    Booker added 26 of his 51 points in the third quarter, including making five-of-five from three-point range.

    It was the fourth 25-point quarter in Booker's career, tied with Kobe Bryant for second most in the past 25 years.

    Booker shot at 80 per cent from the field, making six-of-seven from three-point range, while he also added four rebounds and six assists before sitting out most of the final quarter.

    It marked Booker's fourth career 50-point game, which is the most in franchise history.

    "It felt like a double-sized rim out there," Booker said. "If I rise up, it's going in."

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