Paul George on Monday scored 32 points as the Los Angeles Clippers turned up the heat defensively in a 113-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets for a 2-1 lead in their NBA Western Conference semi-finals series.
Kawhi Leonard added 23 points, 14 rebounds and six assists for the Clippers, coming up big on both ends of the floor as Los Angeles powered to the finish in the see-saw battle.
Denver, blown out in Game 1, but coming off a convincing Game 2 victory, led 78-68 midway through the third quarter, which featured nine lead changes.
Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY
It was tied at 101-101 with less than five minutes remaining and the Clippers closed it out with a 12-6 scoring run.
“The game came down to one of the two teams was going to play some defense,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
“For three-and-a-half quarters, both teams were basically scoring and the last six minutes it was our defense,” he said.
Leonard contributed a breathtaking block, reaching to deny a dunk attempt from Jamal Murray with his fingertips at the rim with 1 minute, 47 seconds left to play in the game.
“That play by Kawhi was amazing,” Rivers said. “I don’t even know where he came from.”
Nikola Jokic scored 32 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists for Denver, while Murray scored 14.
The Nuggets had their chances late, but after Denver took a 97-90 lead early in the fourth quarter the Clippers came back with eight straight points.
Ivica Zubac’s dunk — assisted by Leonard — tied it at 101 and he followed with a free throw to give the Clippers the lead for good.
“We got stops,” George said. “It’s going to be a battle, [Denver] is a great offensive team. We’re up for the challenge.”
There was no suspense in the Boston Celtics’ 111-89 blowout victory over the Toronto Raptors, which pushed the reigning NBA champions to the brink of elimination in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The Celtics, who had lost two straight as the Raptors clawed their way back into the best-of-seven series, took a 3-2 lead and can clinch a place in the conference finals with a win today.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has welcomed Ferrari’s U-turn to support a Formula One engine freeze from 2022. The move gives Red Bull a chance to continue using Honda power after the Japanese supplier exits next year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s final practice for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner said that Ferrari’s decision was encouraging for F1 and everyone involved in the business end of the sport. “It’s positive news,” he said. “I think all the manufacturers, all the CEOs of the automotive industry, they all recognize the investment and cost of these engines, particularly with the new technology coming for 2026,
Argentina’s Pablo Matera yesterday said that he was “deeply ashamed” as he was stripped of the captaincy and suspended along with two other players over messages he wrote on Twitter in 2011 to 2013. Just weeks after leading the Pumas to their first win over the All Blacks, the Argentina Rugby Union “revoked” Matera’s captaincy and suspended him, along with lock Guido Petti and hooker Santiago Socino. “The Argentina Rugby Union forcefully rejects the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Pumas squad on social media,” a statement read. In the tweets, since deleted, Matera spoke of “running over blacks” with
Taiwan Steel on Sunday celebrated with the Taiwan Football Premier League trophy, despite a 3-1 loss in their final match of the season, while Taipower claimed second place and Tatung’s Ange Samuel scored on a breakaway to claim the Golden Boot with 20 goals. Ahead of all four of Sunday’s matches players, coaches and fans observed a minute’s silence prior to kickoff in honor of Argentine great Diego Maradona, who died aged 60 on Wednesday last week, following a directive received from FIFA. Already assured the title, Taiwan Steel manager Lo Chi-chong fielded a second-string team against defending champions Tatung in Taoyuan. Lo
Argentine prosecutors on Friday were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Diego Maradona and whether it could have involved medical negligence, judicial sources said. “There are already irregularities,” a close family member told reporters. Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla, had earlier called for an investigation into claims that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the soccer star’s house in response to an emergency call on the day of his death. A preliminary autopsy report established that Maradona died in his sleep at noon on Wednesday of “acute lung edema and chronic heart failure.” The prosecutors’ office in Buenos Aires has opened