NBA

Booker and Paul make it six in a row for Suns, Giannis scores 50 in Pacers win

By Sports Desk February 16, 2022

All-Star pair Devin Booker and Chris Paul led the way as the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 103-96 to make it six wins in a row.

Booker scored 26 points and Paul added 17 and 14 assists for the NBA-leading Suns, who have now won 17 of their past 18 games and are 47-10 for the season.

The Clippers had defeated the Golden State Warriors in their previous game and led the Suns 90-88 with six minutes to play at Footprint Center.

But Booker and Paul took control to give the hosts a slender lead and restricted their opponents to just one point in the final 2:53 to put another victory on the board.

Reflecting on a hard-fought win, Suns head coach Monty Williams said: "Our past experiences are helping us now, even the hurt that we felt last year is helping us now."

 


Giannis guides Bucks past Pacers

The Milwaukee Bucks snapped a two-game losing run with a 128-119 victory over the Indiana Pacers thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo's latest impressive showing.

Two-time NBA MVP Antetokounmpo scored 50 points on 17-of-21 shooting, with those 21 attempts the fourth-fewest in a 50-point game in NBA history.

It is the first time the 27-year-old, returning from an ankle injury that kept him out of the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, has hit 50 in the regular season since November 2019.

The Bucks improve to 36-23 for the season, with a winning percentage of .610, while the Pacers have now lost seven successive games.

Celtics continue strong form

The Boston Celtics eased to a 135-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers for their ninth win in a row, with Jaylen Brown scoring 26 of his 29 points in the first half.

They are now 11-1 across their last 12 games and have outscored opponents by 253 points – only the 1970-71 Bucks (+260) have a larger point differential over a 12-game span in NBA history.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Luka Doncic scored 21 points in the Dallas Mavericks' 107-99 win against the Miami Heat, while the Atlanta Hawks held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-116.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies recorded 126-120 and 121-109 victories over the Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Pelicans respectively.

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    The extension is the maximum a player can have added to his rookie contract and could be worth a reported $231m.  

    The deal is the largest in franchise history.  

    Garland scored 21.7 points per game last season and averaged 8.6 assists, helping to guide Cleveland to a resurgence.

    With a 44-38 record, 2021-22 was the Cavs' first winning season without LeBron James since 1997-98.  

    Garland, 22, is now locked into a promising young core that includes 21-year-old Evan Mobley and 24-year-old Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt.

    The Cavs drafted Garland fifth overall in 2019, and the point guard was named to his first All-Star team last season.

  • Wimbledon: Allez Alize as Cornet halts Swiatek run, eight years after famous Serena upset Wimbledon: Allez Alize as Cornet halts Swiatek run, eight years after famous Serena upset

    Iga Swiatek's 37-match winning streak came to an end on Wimbledon's Court One as wily Frenchwoman Alize Cornet pulled off a sensational third-round victory.

    Top seed and world number one Swiatek had not lost since February, when she was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai, reeling off six successive tournament wins, including her second French Open title. It was the longest winning streak in women's singles in the 21st century, and now it is over.

    The 21-year-old Polish player had not looked comfortable on grass in her opening two rounds at Wimbledon, and she was outsmarted on Saturday by the experienced Cornet, losing 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 32 minutes.

    At the age of 32, Cornet is playing a record-tying 62nd consecutive grand slam, matching Ai Sugiyama's record. She is also enjoying her best year at the majors, reaching a slam quarter-final for the first time in Australia before getting to the third round at Roland Garros.

    Crucially, Cornet already had a famous Wimbledon scalp behind her coming into this match. Eight years ago, on the equivalent first Saturday of the championships and on the same court, Cornet defeated Serena Williams.

    On this occasion, Cornet swept to a swift double break against the former Wimbledon girls' champion, opening a 3-0 lead. Swiatek got back into the opening set by recovering one break, but she could not draw level.

    Swiatek then had a chance to break in the second game of the second set, and a 2-0 lead was hers when Cornet went long with a forehand. Yet the lead was immediately squandered, a dazzling stop volley from Cornet saving game point before a looping backhand winner brought the set back onto serve.

    From there, Cornet pulled away, Swiatek's belief fading as the match raced away from her. At her 15th Wimbledon, Cornet was able to celebrate another show-stopping moment.

    Data slam: Alize in wonderland

    This was a 24th career win for Cornet against a player ranked inside the top 10, and a fourth against a world number one – the previous three all came against Serena Williams, all in 2014 (including one by retirement). The world number 37, who reached a career-high ranking of 11th in 2009, was facing Swiatek for the first time and now goes on to tackle Ajla Tomljanovic for a place in the last eight.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Cornet – 16/7
    Swiatek – 21/33

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Cornet – 1/2
    Swiatek – 3/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Cornet – 5/6
    Swiatek – 2/6

  • Tour de France: Jakobsen enjoys 'amazing day' as Van Aert takes yellow jersey Tour de France: Jakobsen enjoys 'amazing day' as Van Aert takes yellow jersey

    Fabio Jakobsen celebrated "an amazing day" after sprinting to victory in stage two of the Tour de France.

    The second of three stages to be held in Denmark proved to be a frantic one, but ultimately pre-race favourite Jakobsen took his first individual Tour de France triumph.

    Preferred to Mark Cavendish and Julian Alaphilippe for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, Jakobsen repaid the team's faith with a perfectly executed sprint in Nyborg, following a 202.5-kilometre ride from Roskilde.

    Saturday's route included an 18km crossing of the Great Belt Bridge, on which heavy winds caused havoc, with a huge crash halting the progress of two-time reigning champion Tadej Pogacar and world champion time trialist Filippo Ganna among others.

    Fortunately for the General Classification hopefuls, the crash occurred within the final 3,000 metres, meaning no rider lost time, and the focus was able to switch to the sprinters at the front.

    Wout van Aert and Danish hope Mads Pedersen looked well set coming out of the bunch, but Michael Morkov's exceptional lead-out ability proved crucial for Quick-Step, as Jakobsen was able to launch an attack in the final 150m, and ultimately crossed the line first by a matter of inches.

    For the 25-year-old, who suffered horrendous injuries in a crash at the Tour de Pologne less than two years ago, it marked a remarkable success story.

    "For me it was a long process, step by step," said the Dutchman. "A lot of people helped me along the way – this is to pay them back so they can see that it was not for nothing.

    "I'm happy that I still enjoy riding the bike, racing, and luckily I can win. It was an amazing day.

    "The team kept me in a good position when we exited from the bridge. I could stay behind Morkov, he dropped me off in the wheel of Van Aert. I was next to [Peter] Sagan, we kind of touched each other but luckily we stayed alright, then it was a final stretch where I could launch.

    "It sounds easy, but for sure the legs were in pain. But this is what we train for, this is why we race. And a stage at the Tour de France, I've been dreaming about that for 15 years. It's the biggest race. As a sprinter you want to make it here and to win."

    Van Aert takes yellow

    While he was pipped to the post by Jakobsen, Van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) leads the GC, taking a one-second advantage over overnight leader Yves Lampaert, meaning he will wear yellow on Sunday's route from Vejle to Sonderborg.

    Van Aert also leads the points classification after his efforts in the sprint, ending Quick-Step's run of 34 successive Tour de France stages in which one of their riders has held the green jersey.

    STAGE RESULT 

    1. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 4:34:34
    2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) same time
    3. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) same time
    4. Danny van Poppel (BORA-Hansgrohe) same time
    5. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:49:50
    2. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) +0.01
    3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0.08

    Points Classification

    1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 60
    2. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 59
    3. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 30

    King of the Mountains

    1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) 3

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