Tottenham squad best in my time – Defoe

Tottenham squad best in my time – Defoe

first_img Defoe, 30, has spent more than seven years as a Spurs player over two spells at the club. During that time the England international has played with the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Rafael van der Vaart, Robbie Keane and Luka Modric, but Defoe feels the squad assembled under Andre Villas-Boas is brimming with quality. “I think it probably is the best squad since I have been here,” he said. “As a player I have always said when you are playing with good players it makes it easier. Especially as a forward, you know you are going to get chances in a game to score.” Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe believes the current crop of players is the best he has played with during his time at White Hart Lane. Press Associationcenter_img He went on: “There are players that could walk into other top teams in the Premier League, but it is great for everyone and keeps you on your toes because you know if you get an opportunity you have to take it. “We have that winning mentality in training – it is just a good time to be here. “There are players that can come into the team and do well so there is that competition which is always healthy. It is a great time to be at the club, we are playing with great players and the sky is the limit.” last_img read more

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Doctor lives in his kid’s treehouse during coronavirus pandemic

first_imgA doctor in Corups Christi, Texas is sacrificing his home for the moment as he works in the emergency room at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.Dr. Jason Barnes is quarantining himself by staying in the family’s treehouse located in the backyard.Dr. Barnes has treated patients positive with the virus and he says “ya know, trying to think about bringing that home, it’s scary for us.”Now, he turned his children’s treehouse into his new temporary home. It is equipped with a bed, water, and food. It even has a bathroom and air conditioning.Barnes said he has everything but his family’s hugs but it is worth it.“Quarantine is serious,” “But it’s the only way we’re going to beat this thing.”last_img read more

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One of our worst defeats in IPL: Virat Kohli

first_imgHyderabad: Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli on Sunday termed their 118-run defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad as one of their worst losses ever in the Indian Premier League.”One of our worst losses ever. Literally nothing I can explain. Nothing went right for us from ball one until our last wicket fell in the second innings,” Kohli said after the match.Kohli’s decision to field first backfired as Jonny Bairstow and David Warner struck whirlwind centuries to take Sunrisers to 231. In reply, RCB gave a poor account of themselves, being bowled out for 113 in 19.5 overs, with the likes of Kohli (3) and AB De Villiers (1) failing to make a mark.RCB are still to win a game after three matches and lie bottom of the table.”We were outplayed in all departments by a quality side. They showed that they are a champion side – they were finalists last time and beat us in the final (in 2016). Credit to them (Warner and Bairstow) – we could have tried a few different things, like pace off the ball,” Kohli rued.”But once those guys got in, they just kept going – you need a few things to go your way, and a few catches fell in between fielders.”They were world-class today and they deserve to be on the winning side.”Asked why he did not open the batting, Kohli said: “We thought about that initially as well – I have done well opening the batting but myself at 3 brings that balance in the side, given that I can bat with AB and put the opposition under pressure.”RCB next take on Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur, and Kohli hoped their fortunes would change from that match onwards.”We just need our players to put up a better challenge up front. There are still 11 games to go. The pitch will be nice in Jaipur against the Royals.”We need to bring our A-game, like we did against Mumbai and play with that kind of intensity. If we go through the motions, we need to do the regular basic stuff, and get results our way and start winning games in the tournament – the next game should be that game for us.” IANSAlso Read: SPORTS NEWSlast_img read more

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Syracuse men’s lacrosse’s offense is rounding into form at just the right time

first_img Related Stories Syracuse weathers Duke comeback to win 2nd straight ACC tournament championshipFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 14-8 ACC championship win over Duke Published on May 3, 2016 at 1:47 am Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds John Desko knew there was a lot to replace and didn’t know who would step up. He knew finding that out would take time. So when his offense was still developing, he never panicked.Throughout the season, the Orange has evolved. A team that lost four out of five in the middle of the season turned into one that’s won four straight, including an Atlantic Coast Conference championship, which clinched an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.“It’s been a challenge for us to figure out who we are … and trying to piece some things together at the offensive end of the field,” Desko said at media day on Jan. 11. “… I think as we go forward, you’re going to see changes during the season as we figure out our players and guys tend to rise to the top.”With wins over North Carolina and Duke this past weekend, No. 5 SU (10-4, 2-2 ACC) has re-emerged as a contender to return to championship weekend for the first time since 2013. And a big reason behind it is Syracuse’s offensive fluidity in which the ball zips in and out of seams in opposing defenses and players use their skill sets to capitalize on cushions of space. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHannah Wagner | Staff PhotographerThe Orange’s first-line midfield of Sergio Salcido, Nick Mariano and Derek DeJoe boasts three players with the ability to snipe every open shot from as far as 15 yards out. Opponents have to make a decision: get burned by the midfielders on the perimeter or open up the core in front of the net for attacks like Dylan Donahue to sneak through.The offense ranks 11th in the country with an average of 12.6 goals per game. During Syracuse’s current four-game win streak, it’s averaging a fraction fewer than that with 50 goals in that span. With the NCAA tournament set to begin in less than two weeks, the Orange’s offense is finally rounding into form.“You have to peak at the end of the year,” Donahue said. “You don’t want to peak at the beginning of the year.”Emma Comtois | Design EditorOne of the only things Desko could count on a few months ago was that Donahue would be the quarterback. Who would be catching, shooting and scoring after his passes was still unclear. But Mariano and Salcido have become the primary beneficiaries of Donahue’s savvy play.Through the first 10 games of the season, Salcido averaged of 1.6 goals per game. In the past four, he’s averaging two goals per game. Mariano also bumped up his scoring averages from 2.2 in the first 10 to 2.5 in the last four. Three of the last four games came against teams ranked in the top 13.“I think it takes a little pressure off (Donahue) that the midfielders are doing a little more than we’re used,” Mariano said.With five and a half minutes left in the second quarter against North Carolina on Friday, the Orange showed why its offensive has become so dangerous. Donahue (yellow rectangle below) carried the ball behind the net as Mariano (blue rectangle in second and third photos), a lefty, set up on the left wing.Courtesy of ESPN3Courtesy of ESPN3As soon as Mariano caught the ball, two UNC defenders (red circles below) shifted their attention and their bodies toward him. That opened up space (white rectangle) for attack Tim Barber to have a wide-open chance on the crease.Courtesy of ESPN3“Any time you get the defense to pressure out, it leaves so many openings underneath,” Donahue said. “It’s kind of like basketball with 3-point shooters. If a team’s shooting real hot, it leaves everything else open, too.”On Sunday against Duke, Mariano capitalized as a scorer while Donahue (yellow rectangle) drew the defensive attention. About three minutes into the third quarter, Donahue carried the ball behind the net. As he curled closer and closer to goal-line extended, a second Blue Devils defender (red circles) shifted his eyes toward him.Courtesy of ESPN3So Donahue dished the ball to Mariano (blue rectangle) standing near the restraining line with several feet (white rectangle) to crow-hop before shooting. Seconds later, the ball was in the back of the net.Courtesy of ESPN3Courtesy of ESPN3“Having (Donahue) draw the slides for us, we try to help him and can our shots whenever we can,” Mariano said, “because he’s doing all the work and that’s us paying it back to him.”Poetry in motion. Clicking on all cylinders. Locked in a groove. Any cliché would work.What was unknown four months ago is now nearly a surefire lock. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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WATCH: Syracuse football head coach Dino Babers and players’ postgame press conferences after Connecticut win

first_img Related Stories Syracuse football snaps 2-game losing streak with 31-24 win over ConnecticutSyracuse-Connecticut football: A graphical breakdown of the Orange’s 31-24 winAmba Etta-Tawo sets Syracuse football single-game record with 270 receiving yards in win against Connecticut3 things we learned from Syracuse football’s 31-24 win over ConnecticutSyracuse football’s offensive line patches together mediocre performance Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 24, 2016 at 10:05 pm Syracuse (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) beat host Connecticut (2-2, 0-1 American Athletic), 31-24, on Saturday afternoon. Amba Etta-Tawo set a single-game school record while the Orange’s inexperienced offensive line patched together a mediocre performance.Here’s what first-year head coach Dino Babers had to say after the game.center_img Comments Here’s Etta-Tawo’s postgame press conference.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHere’s quarterback Eric Dungey and middle linebacker Zaire Franklin’s postgame press conference.last_img read more

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Offensive struggles doom No. 18 Syracuse in first loss of the season to South Carolina, 64-50

first_img Published on November 26, 2016 at 7:13 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds NEW YORK — First, PJ Dozier stole the ball from Andrew White. Then Tyler Lydon turned it over immediately after corralling a defensive rebound. Then, John Gillon had it stolen from him, the first of his five first-half turnovers.Three lost possessions. Twenty seconds. One foreshadowing stretch to open the game.“This is about our offense,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Every time we lose a game, it’s really almost never about our defense. … We have a problem on offense.”No. 18 Syracuse (4-1) fell for the first time this season, 64-50, to South Carolina (6-0) on Saturday afternoon at the Barclays Center. After steamrolling opponents in its first four contests by an average of 33.8 points, the Orange finally hit a road bump. SU turned the ball over 17 times and shot just 31.8 percent from the field.After averaging 86.3 points per game, Syracuse’s offense was thwarted for the first time this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We did not that great of a job of attacking (South Carolina),” sophomore guard Frank Howard said. “We were standing around a lot. And we got beat doing it.”South Carolina pressed out on the Orange’s wings and dared SU to score inside. But Syracuse still hasn’t developed a low-post scoring option, Boeheim said, and the Gamecocks put the Orange in a predicament by denying passes. Bigs Tyler Roberson, Dajuan Coleman and Paschal Chukwu combined for five points in 53 minutes. Forward Taurean Thompson came off the bench but went 1-for-6 from the field and Boeheim said he was “a little excited.”The Gamecocks’ defense also opened up driving lanes inside, but as a result of poor spacing, USC players still clogged up those areas.“It was kind of confusing to learn that on the fly,” Gillon said.After trailing by 11 at halftime, Tyler Lydon opened the second half with eight straight points. Syracuse fought its way back within four points with under 12 minutes to play. But immediately after, Maik Kotsar scored a layup.After grabbing a key defensive rebound with SU trailing, 51-43, Lydon attempted a 3 that rolled around the rim and out. After White made a 3 to cut the deficit to five with 6:30 to play, Lydon missed a floater in the lane on the next offensive possession.SU opportunities were answered by the Gamecocks as the Orange struggled to string points together.Over the past two years, USC was 25-1 when leading at halftime. The Gamecocks once again kept the clamps down and improved that record by one as it held the Orange to 24 second-half points.At times, Boeheim used a lineup of Gillon and Howard while bumping White down to the forward spot in order to generate more drives to the basket.“Against pressure defense, that should be a lineup that works,” Boeheim said. “It partially worked for a little while but it really wasn’t the answer.”Boeheim said he watched South Carolina’s 61-46 win over Michigan on Wednesday and was aware of what was coming. The Wolverines are one of the best offensive movement teams in the country, he said. The game plan was to move the ball and get penetration.But simply knowing what was coming wasn’t good enough. Syracuse didn’t execute.For the first time, the Orange faced a team that could match its offensive firepower with a pressuring defense. And for the first time, it suffered a loss.“They just were good defensively today. We didn’t execute,” Gillon said. “It’s us. It’s us. We have to look in the mirror and we have to get better.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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I Wish There Can be a Replay of Algerian Free Kick,…

first_imgSuper Eagles goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, has said that he wished for a replay of the free kick by Algerian Riyad Mahrez which halted Nigeria’s dream of a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt on Sunday.Speaking with Nigerian journalists covering the tournament in Egypt shortly after the 1-2 loss to Algeria, the Kaizer Chief goalkeeper said now he knows what to in similar situation in future.“I wish there can be a replay but it’s over now and we have to look up to the third-place game,” he noted without any regret. Akpeyi defended his teammates from criticism.The Super Eagles looked to be in with a great chance of beating Djamel Belmadi’s men to reach the competition’s final after dismissing South Africa in the quarter-final.However, a Mahrez last-minute free-kick sent Gernot Rohr’s men crashing after Odion Ighalo had erased Willam Troost-Ekong’s own goal.Rohr’s team faced the wrath of fans for offering precious little in Cairo, but Akpeyi believes otherwise.“It’s very tough and very sad that we have to lose in that manner, to have conceded through that kind of free-kick,” Akpeyi stressed.“So far, it doesn’t matter whatever anyone would say about the team. These players have actually tried.“A lot of teams have been knocked out of this competition but we are still here.“We have very young talent and I’m very sure if this team can be given a chance, we’ll be able to fix things.”Nigeria will battle Tunisia in Thursday’s third-place encounter. The Super Eagles have won each of their six third-place games in AFCON, while keeping a clean sheet in four of these ties.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Boye up for Crocodiles clash

first_imgGhana defender John Boye admits they face a tough test in Sudan, but believes the Black Stars are poised for maximum points when they lock horns in 2014 World Cup qualifying action on June 7.The Black Stars currently sit second in qualifying Group D, one point behind leaders Zambia after three matches, and meet the Nile Crocodiles in a return fixture on June 7, having previously hammered the side 4-0 in their first meeting.Ghana then take on fellow group rivals Lesotho nine days later as they look to earn their ticket to Brazil next year.“We have to concentrate on Sudan first before the Lesotho game,” told JOY Sports.“The first game in Kumasi was difficult but we manage to score four. We know they will be difficult this time around because the game is in Sudan – we have to beat them and boost our chances (of qualifying) and that is what we will do.“We have been motivated enough and with the quality we have, Sudan will fall.”Ten players are yet to join the rest of the national team, but will eventually link up with their team-mates in Ethiopia for a five-day training camp next month.However, Isaac Vorsah’s injury is likely to see Boye pair with Awal Mohammed who had superb campaign with PSL outfit Maritzburg United.last_img read more

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Lakers rally after blowing lead, coast past Kings

first_imgThe Lakers (13-27) know that they won’t be able to get away with the same mistakes they made Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.Start with the turnovers. The Lakers committed a season-high 26, including seven by Brandon Ingram and six from Julius Randle, who led the Lakers with 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.“Those are big playmakers for us,” Coach Luke Walton said. “We need them to be strong with the ball. We need them to not take the risky pass, especially down the stretch.”Walton chalked that up to “lazy passes” even though the Lakers assisted on 30 of their 37 baskets. The ball movement was a credit to rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who finished with 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and would have had his third career triple-double if not for a 2-for-10 shooting performance that limited him to five points.Ball was also responsible for just one turnover. Clippers coach Doc Rivers says criticism of Lakers counterpart Luke Walton is ‘awful’ Kyle Kuzma defends Luke Walton, says most Lakers ‘love playing for him’ “It’s just how I play, kind of wild, kind of free,” Ball said. “I’m just glad I made it because I saw Luke going to the bench if he didn’t make it. I don’t know how he caught it, but it went in.”Lopez was 5 for 8 from 3-point range, but his three during the third quarter run were the most crucial.The Kings started hot after halftime, building an eight-point lead at 64-56. That’s when Lopez and the Lakers experienced their great awakening.After a timeout, Lopez knocked down a 3-pointer. On the next possession, he drained another. It provided the Lakers a respite from the unwelcome criticism leveled earlier in the week by LaVar Ball.After a bizarre 48 hours, Walton shut down any more talk about comments made by Lonzo Ball’s father that Walton had lost the locker room.“I’m kind of done talking about all that stuff,” Walton said Tuesday morning. “I think we should just get back to talking about our basketball and our games and what I’m actually here to do and that’s coach this team.”It looked as though the Lakers would take the pressure off their coach early on Tuesday.They used a 21-2 run to break open the game and build an 18-point lead. That quickly eroded, however, when Walton gradually subbed out his starters. A Lakers bench that has been so good at making up deficits on Tuesday was responsible for giving away a healthy lead.Sacramento answered with a quick seven points, and by the end of the first quarter had climbed back against the reserves to trim the Lakers’ lead to 31-27.That early collapse played a role in Walton’s overall frustration. He thought the Lakers became too individually minded once they had the lead.“Obviously, we’ve been struggling,” Walton said. “We will take a win if we can get it, but it doesn’t feel the same way as when you play the game the right way throughout.” Heisler: Rebuilding Lakers style – hey, things have been worse AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersRelated Articlescenter_img PreviousLakers forward Julius Randle, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, right, backs up against Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsSacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein, center, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, and center Brook Lopez defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton, right, talks with guard Lonzo Ball during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, center, shoots as Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, left, and forward Zach Randolph defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein, left, blocks the shot of Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, right, shoots as Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, right, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso, right, passes the ball past Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. dunks over Sacramento Kings center Kosta Koufos during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, blocks the shot of Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, right, passes the ball as Sacramento Kings guard Vince Carter defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 09: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers calls a play during the second half of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis, below, shoots as Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, reaches for the ball held by Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 99-86. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 09: Head coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the second half of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 09: Corey Brewer #3 and Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers box out Skal Labissiere #7 of the Sacramento Kings during the first half of a game at Staples Center on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 09: Vince Carter #15 of the Sacramento Kings defends against a pass to Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of a game at Staples Center on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 09: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the ball as De’Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the second half of a game at Staples Center on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 23Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, left, shoots as Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES — The Lakers might have won their second straight game on Tuesday night, but it came in a performance that was worse than many of their outings during a recent nine-game losing streak.“Obviously we’re glad we got the win,” center Brook Lopez said after the Lakers topped the Sacramento Kings 99-86, “but we definitely felt we could have been better tonight as well.”Lopez scored 18 points, including a barrage of three 3-pointers in the third quarter that ignited a 26-5 Lakers run.If it was such a decisive victory, then what was the problem? Ivica Zubac waits for opportunity even after Lakers waive Andrew Bogut After three makes, Lopez finally missed on a hopeful, heat-check attempt. Ball was there to tip in the miss and push the Lakers ahead 70-66.The Lakers were aggressive offensively, finding cutters and making the extra pass. When Kyle Kuzma, attacking the basket with a full head of steam, dumped the ball off to Larry Nance Jr. for a dunk instead of going up himself, Walton excitedly exploded off the bench. “He impacted (the game) on both ends,” Walton said. “He creates our pace for us, he makes winning plays for us, he gets other people easy shots … and was a big part of why we won tonight.”The only blemish on Ball’s night was an errant pass off the backboard that everyone can laugh about now.The attempted alley-oop did not go as planned, with Randle out of position to dunk the ball and instead managing only to direct it off the glass with his fingertips. Somehow, it went in. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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AEW ‘Dynamite’ vs. WWE NXT: ‘Wednesday Night Wars’ Week 1 winners and losers

first_imgShayna Baszler. Before everyone gets upset, this is no reflection on the match she had with Candice LeRae. It was good, but that was due to LeRae, who is an underrated performer. Baszler has shown no improvement in the ring. Facing opponents the caliber of LeRae, Io Shirai and Kairi Sane should have raised her game, but it hasn’t. She carries herself like a star, but when the bell rings, Baszler comes up short and underwhelms. It was time for a new champion and LeRae would have been an excellent choice to make the switch. Hard to see what WWE sees in her.Brandon Cutler. After the hot open, Cutler took on MJF, with the latter winning in about two minutes. Cutler didn’t come off as someone who belonged on a special night when everyone involved should be perceived as someone on which to keep an eye. Cutler also was shaky in the ring with two blown spots. He’s going to have improve quickly in order to hang with a lot of the talent in AEW. The return of Finn Balor. The longest-running NXT champion and first Universal champion appearing to confront Adam Cole was a sight to see, but why have him there at all? The move came off as desperate because the perception then is the promotion needs someone from the main roster to give NXT a boost when that isn’t necessary. There’s plenty of exceptional talent to put in a program with Cole, such as Keith Lee, WALTER and Donovan Dijakovic. Give them a chance, because that’s how new stars are created, not by going back to established acts. Each week, Sporting News will give you the winners and losers from the “Wednesday Night Wars.”Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearWinnersThe fans. At the end of the day, Wednesday night wouldn’t have been possible if pro wrestling fans didn’t care about the product. They were tired of what the WWE was putting out and were actively seeking change. They wanted better wrestling. Along came AEW to answer the call. Because of the new promotion, WWE realized it was time to start delivering what people are looking for in this day of modern wrestling. Once AEW was scheduled to go on Wednesday, WWE decided to move NXT from the WWE Network to USA Network.You could see on both shows how excited people were to be there. They knew something special was in the air, and they were able to be apart of this moment in time. The fans got to see great wrestling and stories for over two hours. When you combine those two things, everyone wins. Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle. When AEW announced a few weeks back that its first match was going to be Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara, WWE countered with an NXT championship match between Cole and Riddle. The pressure was on both guys to set the tone for the entire show, and they delivered in spades with excellent back-and-forth action, which in turn had the crowd in the palms of their hands. A great, creative finish in having Cole use the cast from the attack by Riddle on last week’s show. Cole is one of the best in the business, and Riddle, if given the opportunity, can be “The Guy.”On a monumental evening, this was the best match on either show.  Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara. Like Cole and Riddle, the heat was on Rhodes and Guevara to deliver. Rhodes, an executive vice president of AEW, handpicked the 26-year-old to have the debut match on “Dynamite.” You couldn’t have asked for a better match to kick things off for AEW. Was it better than Cole-Riddle? No, but the action was great and the crowd was hot for everything they did. The bout was paced well with good false finishes, and even though Rhodes won, it helped establish Guevara as a heel.Add in the attack by Chris Jericho after the match and this was the proper way to get things started. Jericho is an established name who the fans in the arena and the fans watching at home know. Riho vs. Nyla Rose. On paper, the match shouldn’t have been very good, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They delivered the goods and then some. Rose couldn’t have played the menacing monster heel any better and Riho as the sympathetic babyface suits her quite well. The fans bought it hook, line, and sinker. Rose will get her chance as the champion, but having a fan favorite capturing the first women’s title belt was the correct move. LosersKevin Smith and Jason Mewls’ segment with Jack Evans and Angelico. Smith and Mewls were there to promote the reboot of “Jay and Silent Bob,” in which Jericho has a role. The movie was plugged, and then Evans and Angelico interrupted to threaten the actors. Private Party arrived on the scene to have the actors’ back. If this wasn’t the first show, then this could pass as acceptable. Smith is a recognizable name, and AEW is looking for as much mainstream publicity as possible, but it wasn’t the right time for something like this. It took the life out of the crowd for a bit because it made no sense. Neither team is facing each other in the upcoming tag team tournament and just met each other at All Out.  History was made Wednesday night when a new wrestling war began. All Elite Wrestling presented its inaugural “Dynamite” show on TNT from the sold-out Capital One Arena in Washington, while WWE presented NXT from the sold-out Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla. How did the upstart promotion execute in its first time out? How did the established brand fare with AEW nipping at its heels?last_img read more

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