James triple-double fuels Cavaliers over Lakers

Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers chats with LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers after their NBA game at Quicken Loans Arena on December 14. (AFP)
Updated 15 December 2017

James triple-double fuels Cavaliers over Lakers

LOS ANGELES: Cleveland star LeBron James tied Larry Bird for sixth all time in NBA triple-doubles Thursday as the Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112.
“King” James scored 25 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the 59th triple-double of his 15-season career.
Cleveland’s Kevin Love led all scorers with 28 points, while Jose Calderon added a season high 17.
Lonzo Ball, the Lakers rookie playing against James for the first time, finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Brandon Ingram scored 26 points to lead the young, energetic Lakers, who seized an early lead before the Cavaliers found their range.
Cleveland scored 100 points for the 22nd consecutive game, winning for the 16th time in 17 contests.
James helped put the game away, his dunk with 2:20 remaining and short shot with 1:38 to play putting the Cavs up 117-108.
“Tonight the difficult challenge was the way they were kind of spreading the floor, running up and down,” James said. “But if we defend, if we share the ball, move the ball, we’re going to give ourselves a good chance to win every night.”
In other early games, the New York Knicks lost star forward Kristaps Porcinis with a left knee injury in the third quarter but held on for a 111-104 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Although they were just across town from their Madison Square Garden Arena, for the Knicks it was a much needed road win — just their second of the season.
Courtney Lee scored a season high 27 points for the Knicks. Michael Beasley, who replaced Porzingis, added 15 points and Turkish center Enes Kanter added 13 points with nine rebounds.
The Detroit Pistons, called out by coach Stan Van Gundy after dropping their seventh straight game on Tuesday, snapped their skid with an emphatic 105-91 victory over Hawks in Atlanta.
Andre Drummond scored 12 points, pulled down 19 rebounds and handed out nine assists for the Pistons.
“It’s a little less burdensome now,” Van Gundy said of ending the losing streak that had stretched over the first two weeks of December. “Maybe we just get back to playing basketball.”


Rays rally with walkoff stunner to level World Series against Dodgers

Updated 26 October 2020

Rays rally with walkoff stunner to level World Series against Dodgers

ARLINGTON, United States: Brett Phillips’s single scored two runs and the Tampa Bay Rays walked off with a stunning 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday that knotted the World Series at two games apiece.
The Rays became the first team in post-season history to homer in four straight innings, but they trailed 7-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
With two out and two on, Phillips — who entered the game in the eighth as a pinch runner — was down to his last strike in the ninth when he singled to right center field off Dodgers closing pitcher Kenley Jansen and Kevin Kiermaier scored from second base.
Randy Arozarena racing from first, rounded third after the ball bounced off the glove of Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor.
Arozarena tripped between third and home and looked done for, but Dodgers catcher Will Smith bobbled the throw to the plate and Arozarena was able to scramble forward and throw himself headfirst across the plate in time.
“Golly, what a special moment,” said Phillips, who last got a hit in the Rays’ 58th game of the regular season on September 25.
“I am having a hard time putting my emotions into words,” Phillips said. “Baseball is fun.”
Kiermaier called the ending — which sent the Rays into a frenzy of celebration on Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, “truly incredible.”
Arozarena notched a record-breaking ninth home run of the post-season. Kiermaier, Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Lowe also homered for the Rays, who are seeking the first World Series title in franchise history.
The Dodgers, back in the World Series for a third time in four years after disappointments in 2017 and 2018, are seeking their seventh title — but a first since 1988.
“This is certainly a tough one,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They were the best team all year in the American League.
“They are not going to give anything away. We’ve got to regroup and get ready for tomorrow.”
The spectacular ending, capped a tense back-and-forth battle with a World Series record eight straight half-innings with a run scored.
Justin Turner and Corey Seager homered for the Dodgers. Seager’s was his eighth of the playoffs, temporarily tying the single post-season record until Arozarena notched his ninth in the fourth frame.
For the second game in a row Turner got things rolling with a solo homer in the first inning.
Seager added a solo shot in the top of the third that put the Dodgers up 2-0, but Arozarena pulled back a run in the bottom of the fourth with a lead-off blast to right centerfield off a 95 mph fastball from Julio Urias.
Los Angeles stretched the lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Seager singled off Rays relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks and reached second on a wild pitch. With two outs in the inning Max Muncy reached first on a sharp line drive to right field that scored Seager.
The Rays responded with a home run from Renfroe to cut the margin to one run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Dodgers pushed the lead back to two in the top of the sixth when Enrique Hernandez fired a double down the left field line that scored two.
But Lowe — the two-homer hero of the Rays’ game-two victory — put the Rays in front for the first time with a three-run blast off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez in the bottom of the sixth.
In the seventh, Dodgers pinch-hitter Joc Pederson came up with the bases loaded and two out and delivered a two-run single that put Los Angeles back in front.
All seven Dodgers runs came with two outs — continuing a trend for them this series.
The Rays however, wouldn’t be denied, Kiermaier’s homer off Baez knotting the score at 6-6.
“We have no quit,” Kiermaier said. “We have been doing that all year. We’ve been the comeback kids. To do it on the big stage makes it that much sweeter.”