NBA

LeBron helps Lakers return to .500 with Timberwolves win, Giddey makes history with triple-double

By Sports Desk January 03, 2022

LeBron James led the way as the Los Angeles Lakers returned to .500 with a hard-fought 108-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

The four-time NBA MVP had 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Lakers, who have won three of their past four games.

The Lakers had endured a rough period, losing six out of seven games, but are beginning to re-discover some form.

Russell Westbrook contributed 20 points with three rebounds and five assists but had nine turnovers, while Malik Monk added 22 points.

James also shot nine of 12 from the stripe, moving up to fourth on the all-time NBA free throws made list with 7,695, going past Oscar Robertson. Karl Malone, Moses Malone and Kobe Bryant are the players ahead of the 37-year-old.

 

Giddey breaks LaMelo's mark for youngest NBA triple-double

Oklahoma City Thunder's 19-year-old rookie Josh Giddey returned from COVID-19 protocols with a bang, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, breaking LaMelo Ball's mark. Giddey had 17 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists but OKC were beaten 95-86 by the Dallas Mavericks, who had Luka Doncic return from protocols with a near-triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

Jaylen Brown scored a career-high 50 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, in the Boston Celtics' 116-111 over-time win over the Orlando Magic. Brown also had 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

Devin Booker scored 24 points with seven rebounds and three assists as the Phoenix Suns improved to 28-8 after beating the Charlotte Hornets 133-99.

 

Wayward Heat burnt by Kings

Jimmy Butler shot nine of 22 from the field and only one of six from beyond the arc the Miami Heat were beaten by the Sacramento Kings 115-113. Tyler Herro was also eight of 23 from the field.

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  • 'Another step in the right direction' – Nagelsmann pleased with Bayern response 'Another step in the right direction' – Nagelsmann pleased with Bayern response

    Julian Nagelsmann feels Bayern Munich's resounding 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen was "another step in the right direction" for his side ahead of facing Borussia Dortmund.

    Bayern followed up Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen with an even more emphatic victory in Tuesday's Champions League tie with Czech champions Plzen.

    It marks the first time the Bavarians have won back-to-back matches in all competitions since August, having gone four league games without a win prior to the international break.

    Nagelsmann is pleased with what he saw from his side against Plzen, with Bayern returning to form at just the right time ahead of Saturday's Klassiker showdown with fierce rivals Dortmund.

    "The boys did well today," Nagelsmann told DAZN. "That's how you have to approach a game. We decided it quickly then controlled it. 

    "With a view to Saturday, that was important, serious and well deserved. It was another game that shows we are taking steps in the right direction."

    The hosts were three goals up inside 21 minutes, with Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netting after Leroy Sane had opened the scoring at the Allianz Arena.

    Sane doubled his tally early in the second half before substitute Eric Choupo-Moting rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a one-sided Group C contest.

    It is the 26th time Bayern have scored five or more goals in a Champions League match, which is five more than next-best Barcelona.

    Mane wasted some promising chances to add to the scoring, netting from just one of his six attempts, but the forward was happy with his side's performance.

    "The team played a great game, with a lot of chances created," he said. "We deserved to win. 

    "The past few weeks have been tough. It was important we reacted. We reacted well after the international break. Hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.

    "We have nine points from three Champions League games and a good goal difference. We are in a good place. 

    "We were disciplined today. We were well prepared for the opponent and that's where most of the goals came from."

    Bayern have now gone 31 games without defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, overtaking the record of 30 set by Real Madrid in 2017.

    "We rightly received criticism during the international break," said Leon Goretzka, who set up two of the goals against Plzen.

    "We used the time well and focused on our game again. Our aim is to perform on a regular basis. We're still extremely upset about the games before that."

  • Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzen: Sane stars as new Champions League record set Bayern Munich 5-0 Viktoria Plzen: Sane stars as new Champions League record set

    Leroy Sane scored twice in an emphatic 5-0 win against Viktoria Plzen as Bayern Munich made it a record 31 Champions League group games without defeat.

    Reigning Czech champions Viktoria are without a point at the midway stage in Group C and found themselves three goals down after 21 minutes at the Allianz Arena.

    Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane netted after Sane had opened the scoring in Tuesday's contest as Bayern cruised towards a third win out of three in this season's competition.

    Sane's second was swiftly followed by a strike from substitute Eric Choupo-Moting, with Bayern settling for five goals ahead of their big Bundesliga clash with Borussia Dortmund.

    Bayern were without Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich, who tested positive for COVID-19, but were ahead inside seven minutes thanks to Sane's powerful shot from 18 yards.

    Gnabry, fielded through the centre of Bayern's attack, slotted home a second six minutes later with a clinical finish after being played in by Leon Goretzka at the end of a counter.

    Some poor Plzen defending allowed Mane to waltz through and score a third for Bayern, who had a Jamal Musiala goal ruled out before half-time due to an offside infringement.

    Sane doubled his tally after controlling Mane's pass with a sublime first touch and firing past Marian Tvrdon, with that proving to be his final meaningful act before being replaced.

    It was left to Choupo-Moting to round off the scoring prior to the hour mark with a shot that went in off the post following another precise pass from Goretzka. 

  • Rossouw's 48-ball century sets up South Africa for consolation win over India Rossouw's 48-ball century sets up South Africa for consolation win over India

    Rilee Rossouw took the India attack apart with a stunning 48-ball century as South Africa secured a consolation 49-win Twenty20 International run victory.

    After a pair of ducks in the opening two matches, Rossouw cracked 100 not out on Tuesday as the Proteas rattled to 227-3, before limiting the hosts to 178 all out at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.

    India, armed with a 2-0 lead, were seeking to seal a series sweep ahead of three ODIs, but they did not threaten to get near South Africa's total.

    South Africa opener Quinton de Kock made 68 from 43 deliveries and shared in a second-wicket stand of 90 with Rossouw, before the latter cut loose, with eight sixes in his maiden T20I ton.

    India suffered a wretched start to their reply as they lost Rohit Sharma (0) and Shreyas Iyer (1) inside 10 balls.

    From 4-2, they recovered somewhat, stepping up the run rate significantly, but Rishabh Pant (27) and Dinesh Karthik (46) had to keep going to make it competitive. Both were gone by the end of the seventh over, and so in essence was India's hope of victory.

    India were seven wickets down by the time they got halfway to their target and a late flurry from the hosts serving essentially as crowd-pleasing batting practice. Lungi Ngidi took 2-51, in the process becoming the sixth South African bowler to reach 50 T20I wickets.

    Dwaine Pretorius claimed 3-26 as the tourists finished the series on a high note.

    Curious life of Rilee 

    Rossouw's ducks in the first two matches of this series were his third and fourth in T20Is, which is hardly ideal considering they were just his 18th and 19th innings in the short format. He has 12 sub-20 scores (including a 19no) in T20Is, but showed his class with a stunning century. It came as a mesmerising rate, with Rossouw topping his previous best of 96 not out, which came against England in Cardiff in July of this year.

    A word, too, for De Kock, who passed the 2,000-run mark in T20Is, becoming the second player, after David Miller, to achieve that feat for the Proteas.

    Twenty20 20 sets a record

    Umesh Yadav's unbeaten knock of 20 was the highest individual score by an Indian batter coming in at number 10 or below in the batting order in men's T20Is. It made ostensibly no difference, but coach Rahul Dravid was seeking runs all the way down the order so would have taken that as a small positive.

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