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Is Jameis Winston the most baffling player in the NFL?

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Jameis Winston, once again, started a game on the worst possible note. For the fifth time this season – and the 10th time in his career – he threw an interception on the game’s opening drive, this one to the Detroit Lions’ Jahlani Tavai. It looked like it was going to be one of those Jameis Winston Games, but it ended up being the other kind: he bounced back to throw four touchdowns in a 38-17 victory for the . It was yet another chapter in the up-and-down career of a quarterback who continues to show tantalizing flashes of being an elite signal-caller while also showing a frightening predisposition for ugly turnovers.

In Sunday’s win, Winston became the first quarterback in history to throw for at least 450 yards in consecutive games. He’s also thrown for over 4,573 yards on the season, which currently puts him ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott for the league lead, to go alongside his 30 touchdowns. Sounds great, right? Here’s the problem: the interception increased Winston’s season total for picks to 24, with many of those giveaways avoidable. He’s also incredibly sack-prone – he’s been sacked 43 times on the year – and has shown a frustrating inability to learn when he needs to throw the ball away. At no point during his pro career, has he shown any sign of improving all-important ball security.

Ultimately, as much as the Bucs must love games such as the one Winston gave them on Sunday, those strong performances may be making it more difficult for them to figure out what to do at the end of the season. Do the Buccaneers hand an extension to a young quarterback capable of putting up monster numbers? Do they place the one-year franchise tag on him and hope that he becomes more consistent in his sixth year as an NFL starter? Or do they let another team take up his services and find a replacement quarterback in free agency? It’s not like they have had a tremendous amount of success with Winston – he has yet to lead them to the playoffs.

Winston’s troubled history may make that third option more attractive. The Buccaneers drafted Winston out of Florida State University, where he was the subject of a high-profile sexual assault allegation, one that eventually ended with him coming to a (he was not charged over the allegations). There were also several other less serious incidents that occurred during his college career: a citation for shoplifting and a suspension for shouting vulgarities in the campus cafeteria. Tampa Bay took a risk with Winston but hoped that he would keep out of trouble once in the NFL.

He didn’t. In 2018, the NFL suspended him three games after he was accused of groping an Uber driver (Winston was never charged over the incident ). The NFL report : “As a result, the investigation had concluded that Winston violated the Personal C club great quit Roma last summer after feeling isolated in his front office role.”My withdrawal was a bit unexpected, but correct. Now I accepted it, but I needed two years, because it was not my decision. In any case, I never regretted my decisionsonduct Policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent and that disciplinary action was necessary and appropriate.”

The Buccaneers clearly have a conundrum. Winston can win games for the team, he can lose games for the team and there’s a chance that legal or personal issues could prevent him from taking the field altogether.

In a league where starting quarterback options are plentifuLoftus-Cheek has revealed how he has endured a tough season.The 24-year-old has been sidelined since May with an Achilles injury, but he has recently returned to first-team training.”Tough times are definitely hard to stay motivated,” he told the clul, it would be an easy decision for Tampa Bay to move on and let another team take on the risks. That doesn’t describe the modern NFL, however, where teams seem to be constantly installing and discarding proven mediocrities. Because of this, there must be an temptation within the organization to stick with the Devil They Know and hope that he keeps coming up with games like the one had had on Sunday.

. After Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has thrown at least one interception against 31 NFL teams. In other words, . In fact, in what was likely his last game at MetLife Stadium, he ended up throwing three to various Dolphins defenders. Manning also, however, threw two touchdowns and led his team to a 36-20 victory, which was well appreciated by the hometown fans who rewarded him with a standing ovation.

. Congratulations to every fantasy football player who had Drake on their roster: he managed to score four touchdowns in a 38-24 Cardinals win over the Cleveland Browns. As you can imagine, Drake also accumulated plenty of carries (22) and a ton of yardage (137) in an Arizona victory that essentially sealed Cleveland’s playoff fate.

“Walking in here with Stretch (assistant to the head coach, John Streicher) I said one idiot was going to ask me that question” – Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel, LeShaun Sims’ punt return at the end of the Titans’ 24-21 loss to the Houston Texans.

You can’t blame Vrabel for coming into the press conference a little bit heated. His team’s record, after all, fell to 8-6 thus putting the Titans in second place in the AFC South behind the 9-5 Texans. To be fair to the reporter in question, it wasn’t an entirely ridiculous question, as the Titans would have had better field possession, and slightly more time on the clock, had Sims not returned the punt during their final drive of the game. Vrabel, however, had a point by emphasizing that was hardly the key play in what ended up being a frustratingly close loss, one that puts their .

The Cincinnati Bengals’ execution – or lack thereof– on this onside kick was emblematic of their 34-13 loss to the New England Patriots. The Patriots improved to 11-3 thanks to the general ineptitude of the 1-13 Bengals, who are still successfully pursuing the No1 pick in next year’s draft. Given how poorly the Bengals have been playing all season, it feels baffling that the Patriots would decide that they would need to resort to underhand methods to defeat them.

Or, it would be baffling if this were any other football franchise we were talking about. Before the game, footage of a Patriots employee videotaping last week’s game between the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. The videographer, who is heard sheepishly offering to delete the potentially-illicit footage, has been suspended. The NFL is currently investigating the incident and suggests that this story is not going away any time soon.

— The Oakland Raiders played their final game at Oakland Coliseum before the franchise relocates to Las Vegas next season. It was not the storybook ending that the hometown fans were hoping for. The Jacksonville Jaguars snapped a five-game losing streak with a 20-16 comeback win. Who knows, however, maybe there was something fitting about the Coliseum hosting .

— The Baltimore Ravens on the back of a ridiculous performance by MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson, who broke Michael Vick’s single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Jackson now has put together 1,103 yards on the grounds to Napoli on Sunday made it four winless friendlies in a row for the Reds.But Dutch star van Dijk believes the return of the club’s stars, including Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Salah Mane, will be important for Sunday’s Community Sh to go along with his 2,889 passing yards and, frighteningly enough, he’s only in his second year in the NFL.

— Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears ended up doing the exact opposite of clinching on Sunday. With their 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, combined with the Minnesota Vikings’ 39-10 win over the increasingly hapless Los Angeles Chargers, the Bears were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

— The Philadelphia Eagles beat Washington 37-27. They now have a 7-7 record, which keeps alive hopes that whoever wins the NFC East – and gets home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs – could end up having a winning record at the end of the regular season. Their divisional rivals, the Cowboys, are also 7-7 after they beat the Rams on Sunday.

— Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner made this athletic grab to intercept Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen. It was among three interceptions that Allen gifted Seattle in the 30-24 Seahawks victory. It was a dazzling reminder of just how great a defensive player Wagner is, which made it even rougher when he later . There was better news for the Seahawks later in the afternoon, as the Atlanta Falcons’ 29-22 upset road win over the San Francisco 49ers meant that Seattle ended the day as the top seed in the NFC.

NBA 2019-20 predictions: The rise of Los Angeles and the era of the super duos

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This season will be defined by …

How things . The Lakers brought in LeBron James last season and still missed the postseason, so this time around . They had hoped to add Kawhi Leonard and become the new Golden State Warriors. Then the Clippers . Now the Lakers may not even be the best team in their own building.

The end of the superteam era means . The star-studded paradigm favored by the Celtics, Heat and Warriors over the last decade has given way to a two-star model co-opted by more than a dozen teams. Increased league-wide parity promises an improved nightly product and a much-needed injection of suspense at the business end.

The regular season will mirror the offseason, with the NBA’s best duos dominating the headlines in the same way they did this summer. Leonard and George with the Clippers, James and Davis with the Lakers and James Harden and Russell Westbrook with the Rockets are just a few of the superstar combinations that are sure to own the months to come.

. Every team is one bad spill away from watching their championship dreams swirl down the drain. Take the 2019 NBA finals, for example, when Golden State lost Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to back-to-back injuries, greatly interfering with their hopes of beating Toronto. Talent is nothing without health.

Rate the NBA’s handling of the China situation out of 10

If NBA commissioner Adam Silver is about resisting China’s demands to force Daryl Morey out from his role as GM for the Houston Rockets for in Hong Kong, feel free to bump this up to a 3/10 for taking at least one clear stand. Strike me as not giving the commissioner the benefit of the doubt on this one.

. The controversy has in many ways awakened the broader public to the scale of Chinese censorship – and the degree to which US corporations are willing to play along with it in pursuit of their bottom lines. The NBA has shown it’s no different than in recent years, but Silver has done an admirable job by standing steadfastly behind his players.

The NBA took a benign tweet and turned it into an international fiasco. Representatives at every level of the NBA overreacted, as LeBron, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and Silver all scolded Morey and created a media firestorm.

. The NBA learned that it can’t have it both ways. In Silver’s first statement he toed the line, angering many people who thought he was supporting a totalitarian regime which happens to generate huge revenues for the league. After the backlash, he released another statement clarifying that the league supports free expression, later adding that Money won’t be disciplined. With millions on the line, Silver was in a tough position – but he ended up doing the right thing.

Which team had the best off-season?

If were gettea have announced they recorded a loss of nearly £100million for the year ending June 30.The loss was revealed in the club’s latest financial results but, after two profitable years, the Blues insisted they are still compliant with UEFA’s Financial ing a healthy Durant alongside Kyrie Irving, they would have a case. But Durant’s likely out for the entire season, so it’s clearly the Clippers for luring Leonard and George to California.

could go down as the best summer for any NBA team since the Miami Heat signed Chris Bosh and James in 2010. The addition of a lengthy superstar wing player who can create for himself or his teammates off the dribble, make threes and play lockdown defense would have been enough to lift the longtime Los Angeles afterthoughts into the title conversation. Adding two of them, while managing to retain their depth, makes them overnight frontrunners in a loaded Western Conference.

It wouldbe utterly insane to argue in favor of any team other than . Leonard’s decision to skip town on the Raptors and link up with the Clippers’ veterans was a win from the jump. The surprise addition of George took things over the edge, separating their summer from the rest of the pack in one of the biggest off-seasons in recent memory.

secured the biggest free-agent on the market in Leonard and also acquired George. That’s enough to transform a team that have never made it past the second round of the playoffs in their 49-year franchise history into instant title contenders. Leonard led the Raptors to their first-ever championship last season, perhaps he could do the same thing this year with the former laughing stocks of the league.

One bold prediction

The than they did last year despite the losses of Irving and Al Horford. The Celtics won’t be able to replace everything Horford gave them but Kemba Walker could end up being a better fit for the Celtics than Irving, even if he’s somewhat of a downgrade at point guard.

. The No 2 pick in the 2017 draft has resurfaced with the Pelicans after a pair of injury-hit seasons with the Lakers and he should thrive away from the drama and pressure of playing alongside LeBron. New Orleans has some interesting pieces in place, and it all should add up to plenty of opportunities for Ball to shine in his natural point guard role.

Many are expecting the Nets’ newest member to cause a talented team to crumble from the inside out. But I think Irving learned a lot about himself and the potential pitfalls that leaders face in the locker room and in front of the media last season. Irving has close friends around him in Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan and a strong leadership in Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks. We can expect Irving to play just as well on the court and comport himself much better off it.

. Sure, Durant bolted and Thompson is out at least until February with a torn anterior cemouth captain Simon Francis has hailed the work ethic of manager Eddie Howe.Francis is one of those who have made the journey from League One with Howe.He told the Daily Express: “I did think I would love to be a coach and do it the way he managesruciate ligament, leaving the Warriors with a 47.5-point scoring hole. But Stephen Curry is in top shape and D’Angelo Russell is awfully talented too. Not to mention, the team needed a challenge after five-straight NBA finals appearances and three championships. No more going through the motions.

Rookie of the year

has this one locked up if – and it turns out this could be a big if – he’s healthy and doesn’t miss more time once he’s back from the knee surgery that has . Expect the New Orleans Pelicans to be extremely cautious with the Future of the Franchise, but here’s hoping that we aren’t denied what could be a rookie season of the ages.

Zion Williamson’s bully ball won’t immediately translate to the NBA, so I expect the No 1 pick to endure some growing pains as a rookie. He’s also surrounded by an intriguing mix of young and veteran talent, which could make it difficult for him to stand out even if he plays 30 minutes a night. Instead look to , who put up PlayStation-like numbers at Murray State and will get plenty of opportunity running the point for the rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies.

A rare lockhe’d like to sign Real Madrid youngster Vinicius Junior.Vinicius has battled for minutes this season, with Ronaldo making an attempt to sign him on-loan over the summer.He told Fox Sports Brasil: “He is a great player, he made a fantastic last season in a season that is otherwise impossible to predict. Williamson’s game is built for New Orleans, a team full of young guards who are sure to get up and down the floor. If preseason and Summer League serve as any indication, Williamson will be productive and efficient every night.

. causing problems down the line, Williamson should make an immediate impact on the league when he returns to action. He’s strong, agile and unstoppable around the hoop.

MVP

. If Zach Lowe , who am I to argue? The Bucks star’s main rival should be Davis, but it’s hard to get the votes when you’re on the same team as LeBron James.

. The best shooter in the history of basketball first earned the NBA’s highest individual honor in 2015, then became the first-ever unanimous winner in 2016. Only Curry’s willingness to accept a scaled-back role to accommodate the addition of Durant loosened his stranglehold on the trophy. But with Durant out of the picture and Thompson sidelined all or part of the year with an ACL injury, Golden State will be relying on Curry more than ever – and his numbers will reflect it.

The Lakers wanted as badly as he wanted them. The worst kept secret in the NBA paired Davis with one of the best passers in league history, LeBron James. While they have two of the most transcendent basketball players in history, the Lakers are still top heavy and they’ll need career years from Davis and James. If the Lakers are to make good on their lofty expectations, Davis must be the best player in Los Angeles – and the league.

. We all know the saying ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ Well, I believe that saying – gender notwithstanding – now applies to a certain 6ft 8in, 250lbs player from Akron. He missed the playoffs last season with the Lakers after eight-straight finals appearances. Not reaching the postseason was embarrassing for the four-time MVP, and you better believe he’ll be playing with a chip on his behemoth shoulders this time around.

Western Conference playoff teams

LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs.

LA Clippers, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder.

LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks.

LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs.

Eastern Conference playoff teams

, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic.

Philadelphia 76ers, , Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets.

Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors.

Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers.

Western Conference finals

LA Clippers 4-3 LA Lakers.

LA Clippers 4-2 Denver Nuggets.

LA Clippers 4-2 Denver Nuggets.

LA Clippers 4-3 Golden State Warriors.

Eastern Conference finals

Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia 76ers 4-3 Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee Bucks 4-3 Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA finals

. The Bucks were the best team in the East last season but they lost to Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the Conference finals. Leonard’s in the West now, which means their biggest challengers in the East are an oddly-constructed Philadelphia 76ers team and whatever the post-Kyrie Boston Celtics end up being. The bad news? They may end up facing Leonard again eventually. The Clippers will have a tougher road to the finals, but if they make it they will have a clear advantage over whoever comes out of the East.

. The superteam era may be over but Philadelphia may have the closest thing resembling one. The Sixers lost Jimmy Butler in free agency but added Josh Richardson and the still-underrated Al Horford to a lineup that includes Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. This is a team that’s built their identity around size, versatility and defense and one of the few outfits equipped to counter the Clippers’ two superstar wings. One year after pushing Kawhi and the Raptors to the limit in a , look for Philadelphia to go further and capture their first NBA title since 1983.

With the Warriors’ dominance drawing to a close, this season feels like one of the hardest to predict. The star power is heavy across the league but so are the issues. The Clippers, Warriors and Nets have injury issues, the Lakers and Bucks have short rotations and the 76ers and Nuggets are still green. Equipped with the best stars and the strongest supporting cast, the Clippers are essentially my pick by default.

. Leonard and George are going to be an incredible duo, and they’re going to be hungry. Coached by Doc Rivers, this team is going to go far. As for the 76ers, it’s quite tough to bet against a team that added Horford to a roster with Simmons and Embiid. It will be an exciting series, with the Clippers coming out on top.

Liz Cambage breaks WNBA scoring record with 53-point outburst

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Liz Cambage scored a single-game record 53 points to lift the Dallas Wings to a 104-87 win over the New York Liberty on Tuesday.

The Australia international shot 17-for-22 from the floor, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, and 15-for-16 from the free-throw line, adding 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

The 6ft 8in center broke the record with a wide-open three-pointer with 44 seconds remaining in regulation.

“It’s pretty big,” Cambage said. “I’ve had big numbers in China, I’ve had big numbers in Australia, and I’ve heard a lot of people say I could never have big numbers here in the WNBA. So I guess this game is for y’all.”

The previous mark of 51 was set on 8 September 2013 by Riquna Williams, who did it for the Wings’ franchise when it was located in Tulsa.

Glory Johnson and Allisha Gray each added 13 points for Dallas, which won its first home game against New York since 2016.

Dallas coach Fred Williams was ejected from the game with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter. New York took its first lead of the game, 70-6ker Leandro Trossard has revealed Arsenal and VfL Wolfsburg are going head-to-head fUnited.The Cumbrian midfielder agreed terms with the Magpies shortly after celebrating his 17th birthday last month, having already trained with Steve Bruce’s first team squad and broken into the under-23s team this term.His grandad, Peter Hampton, por the youngster.Rated in the €20m class, Trossard has managed a stunning 22 goals so far this season.”There is still no agreement with any club. But I think that G9, on the next possession, but Dallas opened the fourther is working towards a return from groin surgery.Lampard said, “He’s getting closer, he had a really good week’s work. The reality is he’s not played for a very long time so it’s a mini pre-season. Now the injury hopefully is over, we need to get hi quarter on a 12-3 run and cruised from there.

The 26-year-old Cambage outscored the Liberty’s entire starting five by 10 points.

Kia Nurse scored 25 points, with four 3-pointers, for New York (7-15), which saw its two-game winning streak snapped. Tina Charles added 19 points.

Cambage, who helped lead Australia to an Olympic bronze medal at the London Games in 2012, returned to the Dallas franchise this year after sitting out the past four seasons. She was drafted by Tulsa with the second pick in 2011 behind Maya Moore.

Moore is third in the WNBA for most points in a game, scoring 48 in a double-overtime game in 2014. Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi had 47 points in a three-OT game in 2006.

Froome case has ‘damaged credibility of Wada’, says Usada chief Tygart

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The handling of is “another shard that has damaged the credibility” of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency has warned.

Travis Tyga Kante out of his squad.Blues chief Frank Lampard wants his midfielder Kante to have a proper rest after a knee injury and sprained ankle so far this season.And ex-Chelsea anchorman Deschamps has agreed to leave the 28-year-old out of next month’s Eurt, who led the fight to bring the US cyclist Lance Armstrong to justice, also criticised the lack of transparency over Wada’s decision to clear Froome this month.

“The question is whether justice was truly served or did a star get an undeserved break,” Tygart said. “Unfortunately it’s another blow to the perceived credibility of the global anti-doping movement.”

and cycling’s governing body, the UCI, have only released some details about why Froome was given the all‑clear, after he was tested for double the permitted limit of salbutamol at the Vuelta a España last September.

In an interview with the BBC Tygart insisted that was unfair to Froome, who he said faced the “worst-case scenario” where he was “caught” between being seen as having benefited from his high profile yet could also have been “unfairly tarnished”.

“Athletes should not be accused or it be inferred that they’re not clean until proven through the established process and that didn’t happen here and he deserves the benefit of that presumption of innocence.”

Tygart also claimed that in nearly 75,000 drug tes Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake on their shopping list.The Holland international is viewed at Napoli as an alternative to Roma stopper Kostas Manolas, says Corriere dello Sport.Napoli are pushing to sign Manolas this week – and will turn to Ake if tts conducted by Usada since the salbutamol rule was updated in 2011, the organisation did not find “a single athlete” in any sport that exceeded the maximum permitted amount.

In response, a Wada spokespeited title winner Robin van Persie has likened himself to whizkid Mason Greenwood.Although he did feature fleetingly last season, Greenwood has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Old Trafford in 2019/20 as he’s scored seven goals in 19 appearances inrson told BBC Sport: “Mr Tygart’s assessment appears uninformed, is unconstructive, and quite frankly is surprising given that Usada has itself previously taken the decision to close a salbutamol case where the athlete exceeded the threshold without a controlled pharmacokinetic study being conducted.

“In leading the fight against doping in sport, Wada is sometimes forced to make difficult decisions. This is one of those occasions. Wada is convinced that, in view of the complex and unique circumstances of Mr Froome’s case, the UCI reached a correct and fair outcome.”

Andy Murray targets Davis Cup return after encouragement of US Open

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Andy Murray, simultaneously relieved and disappointed after enduring two long matches of a satisfactory grand slam comeback at the US Open, says he is desperate to return to action in Glasgow in a fortnight.

While the Scot is equivocal about that threaten to marginalise the oldest team event in sport, a chance to play again in the city where he was born – for Great Britain in the tie against Uzbekistan, whicPSG have opened talks with Everton for Idrissa Gueye.Foot Mercato says PSG are reviving their January interest in the talented midfielder.However for now, they’re yet to make a formally offer for Gueye.PSG pushed hard for Gueye in January, but the deal fell through due to Everton’s €60m asking price.If they offer €30-35m Everton would be prepared to sell.h starts on 14 September – seems irresistible.

“Potentially it’s the last time I’d get to play competitive tennis in Scotland, so I’d like to do that,” he told the BBC. “I’d have to chat to my team because this is obviously a very important period in my rehab and my long-term strategy.”

Murray, who last played Davis Cup when Argentina won in Glasgow in 2016, left New York spent but in one piece after 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 23 minutes in sweltering heat on Wednesday afternoon. That followed Murray’s in three hours and 17 minutes against the competitive Australian James Duckworth in similarly tough conditions on the opening day.

Murray and Kyle Edmund missed Great Britain’s fighting loss to Spain in February, which was notable for the impressive debut of Cameron Norrie. Edmund, Britain’s No 1, is yet to declare himself available after a non-specific illness cut him down here in the first round, so Murray and Norrie – who went out in the second round on Wednesday – are favourites to lead the line.

Defeat at Flushing Meadows did not leave Murray distraught, as it used to in the distant past. He is comfortable in his life away from the court, a husband and father of two daughters. It is understandable that he and Kim have decided their growing family should form the increasingly important focus of their lives, as his playing career enters its autumnal days.

Yet the ending to the fourth set – especially the last game, which Murray extended to 12 minutes – suggests the hunger to achieve more is still strong.

Whether or not he adds to his three slam titles is the great unknown. Bookmakers put the oddse Roma legend, now a free agent, is on the verge of a switch to Argentine giants Boca Juniors.“De Rossi will definitely arrive in the next few days, he has the desire to wear the Boca shirt,” Angelici said in a Press conference.“[Nicolas] Burdiss at 8-1. He has returned at another moment of flux in the game, with this tournament again examining the credentials of his long-time rivals as well as the young contenders. On the evidence so far, Murray’s task is more challenging than when he was at his peak, whatever the state of his fitness.

Where he can determine the direction of his game is to cut down the time on court by taking more risks, as he seeks to inject more attack into his grinding defensive game. His occasional forward sprinting is impressive but he is still struggling with his lateral movement.

And he has yet to rediscover the swinging of the torso behind his forehand, particularly, that made it such a lethal weapon from mid-court before his flexibility was compromised. Instead, he has to rely on the power of his arms alone mostly when going for winners, and that turns him square to the net, leaking power from the shot.

The core of his game – and currently a weakness – is the serve, which let him down against Verdasco, who only had to wait for the first one to pass harmlessly outside the box to pounce on the second.

Murray’s own analysis of his performance immediately after the match was as honest and perceptive as any. “Some of the tennis I played was some of the best I’ve played since I had the surgery or since I came back,” he said of a four-set match – his second in three days in his first slam for nearly 14 months – that included humid, 36C heat.

“To still be doing as well as I was at the end of the match, considering the lack of practice and matches that I’ve had, was positive. At the end, when my back was against the wall, I came up with some good tennis to makebakary Soumare this month.Despite raising €80m from the sale of Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal, Lille intend to part with midfielder Soumare, says RMC.LOSC are seeking €40m to sell, with plans to also take the youngster back on-loan for the new season.W it close and interesting and almost got myself back into it.

“I did all right. I chased balls down right to the end of the match. I wasn’t giving up on points. It wasn’t the most comfortable I felt on a tennis court. I got through it and fought right to the end. But there were also periods in the match, especially in the first set, where I really didn’t play particularly well. There were too many ups and downs for my liking.”

While Murray agrees it is “completely normal” for people to speculate about his future, it looks likely he is not going to leave either soon or quietly.

NFL round-up: Patriots shock Steelers at the death while Eagles keep winning

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Tom Brady fed Rob Gronkowski repeatedly to set up Dion Lewis’ go-ahead eight-yard touchdown with 56 seconds remaining and Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone with five seconds left.

The Patriots (11-3) gained the inside track for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs by ending Pittsburgh’s eight-game winning streak. Brady threw for 298 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Gronkowski, fresh off a one-game suspension, finished with nine receptions for 168 yards, including four on the winning drive.

It briefly looked like it wouldn’t be enough.

The Steelers (11-3), who played most of the game without injured star wide receiver Antonio Brown, appeared to take the lead when Roethlisberger connected with tight end Jesse James for a 10-yard touchdown with 28 seconds to left. The play was overturned on review, with official Tony Corrente saying the ball did not “survive” the completion of the catch.

Roethlisberger hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for a short gain, whp but stayed in bounds. With the clock running and no timeouts, rather than spike it to set up a short kick that would have sent the game to overtime, Roethlisberger tried to win it.

Instead, he lost it. His pass to Eli Rogers was batted into the air, and New England safety Duron Harmon came down with it. One kneel down later, the Patriots had their fifth straight victory over the Steelers.

Brown, the NFL’s leading receiver, went to a hospital having his left calf injury examined.

Jaguars 45, Texans 7

The Jacksonville Jaguars are returning to the playoffs for the first time in a decade thanks to a 45-7 drubbing of rival Houston on Sunday.

Once the NFL’s poster child for futility and a punchline for potential relocation, the Jaguars (10-4) are now one of the league’s top turnaround stories.

Blake Bortles threw three touchdowns passes, including two to a reserve receiver who slept in his car earlier this season. The Jaguars won for the seventh time in eight games to clinch a postseason berth for the first time since 2007.

Bortles finished with a season-high 326 yards and the best QB rating (143.8) of his career, including 186 yards and a touchdown to rookie Keelan Cole. Primary punt returner Jaydon Mickens, who stepped in for injured starter Marqise Lee in the first quarter, caught four passes for 61 yards and two scores against the Texans (4-10).

The Jaguars were an NFL-worst 22-74 over the previous six years, more a laughingstock than a postseason contender.

Rams 42, Seahawks 7

Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four total touchdowns in just 2½ quarters, and the Rams moved to the cusp of their first division title since 2003.

The matchup to determine first place in the NFC West was completely one-sided. Los Angeles (10-4) was dominant, embarrassing Seattle into the worst loss during Pete Carroll’s eight seasons in charge.

Taking advantage of field position, the Rams scored on six of seven first-half drives, including a 21-point blitz in the second quarter capped by a 57-yard TD run by Gurley on third-and-20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half to take a 34-0 lead at the break.

Gurley had 144 yards rushing in the first half, twice scoring from the 1. He added a 14-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter for a 40-0 Rams lead and spent the rest of his day watching. The 152 yards rushing were the second best of his career.

The Rams don’t have the division wrapped up, but have a two-game lead with two weeks to play. A win against either Tennessee or San Francisco is enough for their first division title in 14 years.

49ers 25, Titans 23

Jimmy Garoppolo led one final scoring drive in the closing seconds to cap a fantastic first home start and Robbie Gould kicked a winning 45-yard field goal as time expired.

Garoppolo threw for a career-high 381 yards and a touchdown to give the 49ers (4-10) a three-game winning streak in a lost season. nham defender Jan Vertonghen.The 32 year-old former Ajax stopper’s contract with Spurs expires in June.Ten Hag told Ziggo Sport: “Jan is a player with a past at Ajax. He knows the philosophy of the club. Of course we are following his situation empAnd Tom Brady’s former backup showed he could do it at home as well as on the road — and against a playoff contender, no less — outdueling Marcus Mariota down the stretch as the teams traded field goals.

Gould kicked three of his six field goalrested in signing Youri Tielemans.The Red Devils could lose star midfielder Paul Pogba, after the World Cup winner declared his desire to start a “new challenge”.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would need to replace the 26-year-old, should his wish come true.Tis over the final nine minutes: 50, 48 and 45 yards, and has now gone 20 consecutive without a miss.

Gould put the Niners out front on a 48-yarder with 3:08 remaining. Mariota then drove the Titans (8-6) to a lead as Ryan Succop kicked a 50-yard field goal with 1:07 to play, then Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense got one last shot.

Vikings 34, Bengals 7

Eric Kendricks had an interception return for a touchdown, Case Keenum passed for 236 yards and two scores, and the Vikings clinched the NFC North over the depleted and disinterested Bengals.

Running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon combined for 37 touches and 242 yards from scrimmage for the Vikings (11-3), who were given quite the reprieve on the schedule a week after their eight-game winning streak ended at Carolina in the last of three consecutive road trips. They were never challenged the Bengals (5-9), missing more than half of the starting defense to injuries, and met with a morning report by ESPN that head coach Marvin Lewis will not return next season .

The game went so smoothly that Teddy Bridgewater even made his grand entrance, his first live action in 16 months since a massive knee injury. Bridgewater’s first pass was intercepted, a high throw that bounced off McKinnon’s hands and into the arms of strong safety Shawn Williams deep in Vikings territory. That set up a short touchdown run by Giovani Bernard to keep the Bengals from being shut out for a second time this year.

Keenum completed 20 of 23 passes, including seven easy tosses to McKinnon for 114 yards in the first 100-yard receiving game for a Vikings running back since Onterrio Smith on Sept. 26, 2004, against Chicago.

Lewis who lost to a former assistant (Mike Zimmer) for the first time in eight matchups. Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2008-13.

Eagles 34, Giants 29

Nick Foles threw four touchdown passes in his first start replacing the injured Carson Wentz, and the Eagles secured a first-round playoff bye.

Foles hit 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and no interceptions. The NFC East champion Eagles (12-2) made a late stand on first-and-goal in the final minute in edging the Giants (2-12) for the second time this season, spoiling a three-touchdown, season-high 434-yard passing game by Eli Manning.

Foles hit Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Trey Burton and Nelson Agholor on scoring passes ranging from 3 to 13 yards in filling in for Wentz, who tore an ACL last week and was lost for the season after a brilliant year.

The Eagles also got two field goals from Jake Elliott and three blocked kicks from their special teams, foiling an extra point, a punt and field goal. The block on the punt set up a touchdown.

Manning finished 37 of 57 and hit Tavarres King on two touchdowns and Sterling Shepard on one. It was Manning’s ninth career 400-yard game and his first since last season.

Panthers 31, Packers 24

Cam Newton threw for 242 yards and four touchdowns, and the Panthers spoiled Aaron Rodgers’ return from a broken collarbone.

Damiere Byrd had two touchdown catches, and Christian McCaffrey had 136 yards from scrimmage, including a 7-yard touchdown reception as the Panthers (10-4) won their fourth straight home game.

Greg Olsen had his most productive game since returning from a broken foot, catching nine passes for 116 yards and a TD, and the Panthers kept pace with the first-place New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

Rodgers, making his first appearance since 15 October, threw for 290 yards with three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times as the Packers’ playoff hopes took a critical blow.

Green Bay (7-7) had a chance to send the game into overtime for a third straight week. But cornerback James Bradberry stripped wide receiver Geronimo Allison of the ball with 1:48 remaining. Mike Adams recovered to finish off the Packers.

Saints 31, Jets 19

Mark Ingram ran for two touchdowns and gained 151 yards from scrimmage, including a late 50-yard TD run, and the Saints overcame three turnovers.

Michael Thomas became the second player with at least 90 receptions in his first two seasons. He caught nine passes for 93 yards, including a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown on a short slant for New Orleans (10-4), which retained its tenuous hold on first place in the NFC South heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Alvin Kamara turned a short catch into a 10-yard TD in his return from a concussion that knocked him out of the Saints’ loss at Atlanta a week earlier.

Bryce Petty made his first start at quarterback this season for the Jets (5-9), who were eliminated from playoff contention. Petty completed 19 of 39 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice — once on a tipped pass and once on a long, inconsequential throw as the game ended.

His 2-yard touchdown pass to rookie Elijah McGuire cut New Orleans’ lead to 24-19 with 1:51 left. But the Jets’ onside kick failed and Ingram broke loose for his long score while the Saints were trying to run down the clock.

Drew Brees completed 26 of 36 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, but also was intercepted deep in his own territory to set up a Jets field goal at the end of the first half.

Ravens 27, Browns 10

Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass, ran for a score and beat Cleveland again as the Ravens stayed on track for the AFC playoffs.

With victories at home over Indianapolis and Cincinnati in its last two games, the Ravens will return to the postseason after a two-year absence.

The Browns are two losses from becoming the NFL’s second 0-16 team.

Flacco scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 33-yard TD pass to Benjamin Watson as the Ravens (8-6) took control with two touchdowns in the final 3:01 of the first half.

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams recovered a fumble and rolled in for a TD in third quarter to put the Ravens up 24-10.

The Browns (0-14) went 0-8 at home – 0-7 in Cleveland, 0-1 in London – for the second time and must win at either Chicago or Pittsburgh to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in the notorious 0-16 club. Last season, the Browns avoided infamy by winning their final home game and finishing 1-15.

Cleveland is 1-29 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who is expected to be back despite his .033 winning percentage.

Bills 24, Dolphins 16

LeSean McCoy scored twice and surpassed 10,000 career yards rushing, while helping the Bills stay in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt.

Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and Shareece Wright and Jordan Poyer intercepted Miami’s Jay Cutler on consecutive drives to start the second half. Buffalo never trailed. Rookie Tre’Davious White sealed the win by intercepting Cutler with 28 seconds remaining — and one play after Miami punter Matt Haack recovered an onside kick at Miami’s 37.

The Bills have won three of four and improved to 8-6 to match the team’s best record through 14 games during Buffalo’s 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports. The Bills were 8-6 in both 2004 and 2014, but missed the playoffs with 9-7 finishes.

Buffalo also finished 6-2 at home to match its best finish at Orchard Park since 1999.

Buffalo must now hit the road to continue its playoff pursuit, closing the season at New England, then at Miami on Dec. 31.

The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Dolphins (6-8) from playoff contention.

Washington 20, Cardinals 15

Anthony Lanier sacked Blaine Gabbert and forced a fumble that Preston Smith recovered and Washington held on to beat the Cardinals in a comedy of errors for each team.

Smith also intercepted Gabbert and Lanier batted down three passes and had two sacks as they gave Washington (6-8) a glimpse of their potential as significant pieces of the defense for years to come.

Gabbert was 16 of 41 for 189 yards with the interception and a fumble he recovered himself in the fourth quarter. Arizona (6-8), which got all its points on field goals by Phil Dawson, went 0 for 6 in the red zone and 4 for 19 on third down as it was eliminated from playoff contention.

Washington’s Kirk Cousins was 18 of 26 for 196 yards with touchdown passes to Jamison Crowder and new running back Kapri Bi winger Yannick Bolasie has made a Christmas plea to Portuguese football authorities after being sent off for Sporting CP last week.Bolasie was sent off in victory over Portimonense, with the resulting suspension to rule him out of the clash with Porbbs. Washington were booed at times in the second half by fans in the announced crowd of 71,026.

London franchise moves closer as NFL confirms first game at Spurs stadium

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The NFL’s international development manager believes the league’s “11-year tease” with London will lead to a permanent franchise, potentially as soon as 2021.

Speaking at the announcement of this year’s three games in London, Mark Waller, the league’s executive vice-president, said the economic case had been proven and it was now only a case of persuading any relocating team it would not be at a competitive disadvantage.

Having staged 21 games in London since 2011, Waller told Press Association Sport there was “no decrease in the enthusiasm for London” among the league’s 32 team owners and “they all know the numbers stack up”. The next task is finding solutions to any concerns a London-based team’s players and staff might have about issues such as accommodation, travel, tax status and schools.

Waller pointed out that the current collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union expires in 2020 and the league’s various broadcast deals run until 2021. “You could say it’s been an 11-year tease, but various strands would seem to be coming together,” Waller added.

Thursday’s announcement revealed that Tottenham’s new stadium will only host one NFL game next season, despite the Premier League club having a 10-year deal with the league to stage two games a season. The new White Hart Lane, which is under construction, will stage its first NFL game on 14 October, when the Oakland Raiders host the .

Having staged its first NFL game in 2007, Wembley gets its 19th and 20th games over the following two weekends – the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Los Angeles Chargers versus the Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars have agreed to play one game in London until 2020.

Waller urged British NFL fans not to read anything into the fact that there will be only three games in London this year, after four last year. Waller added that both Wembley and Twickenham started with just one game per season, and that White Hart Lane would be able to host three games in a season “pretty soon.” London mayor Sadiq Khan has also moved to reassure fans over the lack of a second game at White Hart Lane.

With the NFL committed to holding two games a season at Wembley until 2020, that means London can expect to stage five games in either 2019 or 2020 – a move that would only increase the clamour for a full-time franchise in the UK capital.

Despite missing out on a second game, White Hart Lane will benefit from hosting two good teams. The Seahawks have reached the playoffs in six of the last seasons, and won the Super Bowl in 2014. The Raiders, meanwhile, have emerged from the doldrums in recent years and are in the process of relocating – although Las Vegas, not London, will be their new homns.The Brazilian midfielder has two offers on the table, reports Le 10 Sport, from Newcastle United and Genoa.Genoa have bid €7m for Maia plus 50 per cent of his sell-on fee.Newcastle, meanwhile, have proposed a loan with a superior salary offer foe.

“The announcement of the first game of the NFL’s 2018 London games to take place at our new home heralds the commencement of our 10-year pa Azzurri were knocked out of the Champions League at the gas with Fikayo Tomori’s new deal.The defender recently committed his long-term future to the club by signing a new five-year contract.”He’s been playing fantastically well since I had him at Derby and then this season he’s shown it in the Premier Learoup stage which included finalists Liverpool and were dumped out of the Europa League in the last eight by Arsenal, who will face Chelsea in Baku.Ancelotti said, “It is a small consolation rtnership,” said the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy. “This is one of the cornerstones of our vision for creating a world-class sports and leisure destination that will make Tottenham a hive of activity 365 days a year, and drive the regeneration of one of the most deprived areas of London.”

Kieron Pollard’s poor show, the return of NFL and a Gaelic football curse

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1) Kieron Pollard attracted ire for bowling an in the Caribbean Super League, denying St Kitts’ Evin Lewis a chance at a century. Pollard’s no-ball sealed defeat for his Barbados team, leaving Lewis stranded on 97. Back in 2010, Sri Lanka’s Suraj Randiv was banned for one match for to Virender Sehwag.

2) This weekend sees a true Super Sunday, with the return of NFL and a long evening of becoming one with the sofa. The game of week one is Seattits that it would be a challenge for the club to keep Dwight McNeil if top teams come calling.The England under-21 midfielder is being linked with a move to the likes of Manchester United following his impressive displays this season.They want to keele at Green Bay, who memorably met in the 2014 NFastle United striker Ayoze Perez is a target for Napoli.The Northern Echo says sources in Napler a promotion at Chelsea.Chelsea are set to clear the decks for Frank Lampard with Maurizio Sarri’s entire coaching staff set to be released or reshuffled.The Chelsea-remove-Sarris-ENTIRE-coaching-team-Frank-Lampard-set-bring-Jody-Morris.html”>Daily s suggest the Italian giants have been watching Perez over the second half of the campaign.And apart from being near the top of Napoli’s wishlist, he is alC Championship Game. That comeback overtime win for the Seahawks involving , , , and will be hard to top. Red Zone has us covered if the Carolina Panthers utility back (montage warning) gets going, or Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber . Finally, and the worst of pre-season:

3) It’s been a big week for sports that may not actually be sports. There was the and a in – where else – Germany. Central Europe is also the spiritual home of Kaninhop, or rabbit show jumping. That’s right. Enjoy , and even .

4) T20 Blast finals day threw up some stunning catches. Perhaps the best was from Birmingham captain Grant Elliot to dismiss Glamorgan’s Colin Ingram with a . Birmingham eventually lost the final to Notts as Samit Patel to their second white-ball trophy of the season:

5) In Ireland, the GAA season is reaching its climax. In the All-Ireland hurling final, for their first title since 1988. In the Gaelic football final, Mayo will take on Dublin looking which has seen the county lose eight finals since 1951. Last year, they in a draw with Dublin, then lost the replay – so maybe there’s something in it. And if you think that’s unbelievable – here’s Chris Kamara in County Tyrone.

6) Syria’s brave bid to reach the World Cup looked over with the side 2-1 down in Iran – but a late equaliser saw the war-ravaged nation into a play-off with Australia, and it all .

1) In 1964-65, newly promoted Leeds made a surprise title bid, but because there was no TV gantry at Elland Road, they didn’t appear on Match of the Day . Leeds won 2-1 but lost the title to Manchester United, and Norman Hunter was on the receiving end of some very un-Arsenal language (at 38.35, should you want to avoid it).

2) Ali Mabkhout and Ahmed Khalil score two beauties for UAE in their World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia:

3) Guy goes surfing … .

4) Here’s a nice way to .

5) And finally, New Mexico State’s wide receiver Jaleel Scott makes an .

StuartRG, whobroughtoranges, BlackCaeser, garethr,

Guardian YouTube sport channel

Is Kawhi Leonard the NBA’s most valuable player?

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For most of the season, Kawhi Leonard was having one of the quietest MVP campaigns in recent memory. That changed on Monday night when Leonard scored 39 points as the fought back from a 16-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets.

In the game’s final 30 seconds, he single-handedly secured the 112-110 win with a soon-to-be where he put the Spurs ahead with a three-pointer and then raced to the other end of the floor to block James Harden’s potential game-tying lay-up. The win helped the second-placed Spurs keep pace with the Golden State Warriors, while igniting a long overdue discussion about Leonard’s place in an incredibly competitive MVP race.

Leonard’s time in the spotlight was short-lived. The very next night, Russell Westbrook on the Portland Trail Blazers. He also accounted for all nine of the assists made by the Thunder’s starters in what ended up being a 126-121 home loss.

It’s rare to see two of the best players in the league put up their best individual games of the season on back-to-back nights, but it’s also not often that we have a MVP race as tightly contested as this one. Right now, at least four players have a genuine shot at the honor and their chances fluctuate on a weekly, sometimes even daily, basis. Here’s our unscientific snapshot of how the race is shapinangers have signed Brighton striker Jan Mlakar on a season-long loan deal.The 20-year-old joined the Premier League side from NK Maribor in January, but was loaned straight back to the Slovenian outfit.Mlakar scored 13 goals in 26 league appearances g up so far, but keep in mind that these names could be in a completely different order by the end of the week.

1) Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Let’s start with the offensive numbers. Leonard currently averages 26.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He is the biggest reason why San Antonio have already clinched a playoff spot, something reflected in his usage rate, which measures how many plays a player uses while he’s on the floor. His , the highest in his career, although he hasn’t experienced a corresponding dip in efficiency.

That’s only part of the story. The most remarkable thing about Leonard is that he’s putting up these numbers as the reigning defensive player of the year. What made Monday’s performance so memorable was that he carried the team on his back at the same time he was guarding Harden, one of the most difficult players in the league to defend. It was as complete of a performance as you’re likely to see.

When Tim Duncan retired in the offseason, Leonard became the face of the Spurs. It’s a monumental task to replace Duncan, perhaps the greatest player of his generation, but it clearly hasn’t phased the unflappable Leonard. If anything, it compelled him to raise his game on both ends of the floor. If he doesn’t end the season as the best player in the league, he still should be considered the most well-rounded one.

2) James Harden, Houston Rockets

This has been a rough, rough season for those of us who have spent the last few years rooting against the polarizing Harden, who has answered his critics and then some this season. Harden’s a better scorer than Leonard – his 29 points per game places him just behind Westbrook and the Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas – but that production doesn’t come at the expense of his team-mates. Harden is with 11.3 per game. If the Rockets are looking more and more like a team with a legitimate shot at making the NBA finals, much of that is thanks to Harden.

In the past, the knock on Harden’s game has mostly revolved around his defense, but it’s clear just from the eye test that he’s taken huge strides this season on that end. The numbers back this up as well. For instance, Fox Sports had Harden ranked 125th overall when it came to his defensive rating. This season? He’s , moving all the way up to 53th place. He’s never going to compete with Leonard for DPOY honors, but he’s not the liability he once was.

3) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Yes, yes, I hear you: could a player averaging a triple-double only be the league’s third most valuable player? Yes, what Westbrook is doing this season is incredibly impressive, historical even. Right now he averages 32.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10 assists per game, he’s literally doing it all.

That’s the problem, though: he’s doing it all because he can’t rely on anybody else on his team doing all that much. Westbrook currently has an eye-popping usage rate of 42.6%. In comparison, Harden, who is also tasked with carrying his team for long stretches, has one hovering around the 34% mark. Westbrook’s racking up video-game minutes, but there’s some inflation going on here: he has far more opportunities.

Also, while this is more of an aesthetic problem than a genuine criticism of his game, it doesn’t help his case that he has a knack of putting up his gaudiest individual performances in losses.

4) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

“LeBron James: still good at basketball” continues to be the biggest “dog bites man” story in the NBA. We simply expect excellence from him on a yearly basis. All he’s doing is averaging 26.0 points per game, 8.2 reboun the elite of football.Milan are again facing missing out on Champions League qualification this season.Baresi told Gazzetta dello Sport: “If (Nils) Liedholm were here, I think he’d say we needed to be patient, because he was a very calm person, evds and 8.8 assists while his team once again has settled on top of the Eastern Conference standings. While it’s hard to rank him above Leonard, Harden or Westbrook at the moment, last year’s finals should have taught us to the most important player in the sport.

Bubbling under

James is clearly the best and most important player in the East, that’s clear, but it’s hard to single out who would be the second most important player. If the Washington Wizards continue to win, John Wall could rightfully emerge as a dark horse. Isaiah Thomas garnered some MVP talk back when he was turning every four quarter into his own one man act, but he gives back a few too many points on defense.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference, the best team in the league, the Golden State Warriors, don’t really have a MVP candidate on their team. Kevin Durant was in the mix, but he will miss of the regular season. Steph Curry has been struggling from behind the three-point line, which is a strange thing to type and an even more surreal thing to witness.

It’s odd especially when we remember that , Curry had all but wrapped up his MVP campaign. This season, however, the honor will probably be up for grabs headed into the final week of the season. Which is great. As fun as it was to watch Curry dominate the gamer United midfielder Paul Pogba.Pogba remains a top target for Zidane, but Real need to sell players this month to fund a bid for the France international.Asked about the prospect of landing Pogba, Zizou replied: “If Pogba will come? I will repeat exa all last year, anything that adds drama and suspense to the often anticlimactic end of the regular season should be celebrated.

Steph Curry’s record three-point streak ends as Lakers stun Warriors

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While the shouted and shoved each other with elation, Luke Walton managed to look unsurprised by the incredible upset unfolding before them.

The Los Angeles Lakers were battering the mighty . Walton’s championship-tested former team just cLeicester City defender Filip Benkovic could be on the move next month.The Telegraph says Derby County have launched a bid to sign Benkovic in January.The Rams are set to table a loan offer for the out of favour centre-half for the rest of the season.The Croatian is yet to feature in the Premier League this term.Benkovic has been with Leicester since 2018 and spent last season on-loan with Celtic.ouldn’t catch up to his young, hungry new squad.

Although it’s far too early in the season to truly celebrate anything, Walton thinks the Lakers’ future is fascinating.

Lou Williams scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers snapped Stephen Curry’s NBA-record streak of 157 games with a three-pointer during their 117-97 victory Friday night.

Julius Randle had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and D’Angelo Russell added 17 points for the rebuilding Lakers. They built a 21-point lead in the third quarter and hung on to shock the Warriors at Staples Center for the third consecutive season.

“It obviously feels better because they’re the best,” Walton said. “They’re as good as it gets … But it was just good to see the progress continuing.”

After his first meeting with his former team and his coaching mentor, Steve Kerr, Walton claimed the win meant nothing special to him – but he could understand why the Lakers and their fans might feel differently.

Los Angeles has made a habit of surprising the Warriors recently, but as Williams put it: “This one was valid.”

“We’ve got a lot of young talent here,” Williams added. “Finally it’s starting to look like we have some pieces in the right places.”

Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Draymond Green had 16, but the Warriors never led and couldn’t entirely close the huge gap in the second half while falling to 4-2. Golden State didn’t lose its second game under Walton last year until Dec. 30.

One night after Durant scored 39 points to beat his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates, the Warriors scored a season-low 15 points in the first quarter and never fully recovered.

“You don’t like the feeling at all,” Curry said. “But you’ve got to wrap your head around where you are in the season, and the good we’ve shown early innal legend Nigel Winterburn has revealed how close he came to joining Chelsea. Right-back Winterburn is one of the club’s most storied players, having made over 400 appearances in the red and white, winning three league titles and two FA Cups.But he the year, but also focus on the things we need to work on. Regardless of a game like last night or tonight, we still have some things we need to work on.”

Curry scored 13 points while going 0 for 10 from 3-point range, ending several incredible long-distance streaks. He had hit a three-pointer in every regular-season game since 11 November 2014.

Including the postseason, Curry had at least one three in 196 straight games, and he hanal.The Times says Arteta is ready to hold talks with Arsenal about replacing Unai Emery as boss.He is keen to talk to the Arsenal board about possibly replacing his compatriot at the helm at Arsenal.The report adds that Gunners chiefs are also interd also hit in 116 straight regular-season road games – both records.

“That was a cool little ride,” Curry said. “Would have loved to finish my career making one every game, but hey, start a new one. What was it, like two years? Kind of weird not to make one, but I will keep shooting.”

Eight months ago at Staples Center, the pre-Durant Warriors also lost 112-95 to the worst Lakers team in franchise history, one of Golden State’s mere nine losses last season. Another bad Lakers team also beat Golden State at home on 23 December 2014.

“It’s our annual beatdown at Staples by the Lakers,” Kerr said. “They do this every year. Let’s just give them credit. They came in sky-high with a ton of energy, played really well, and we were flat, right from the beginning.”

UFC 199: trash talk picks up before Rockhold-Bisping duel

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When Dana White stands at a dais to promote the , the organization’s charismatic president tends to leave an impression.

On Thursday, he didn’t – mostly because it wasn’t necessary.

As has become common among fighters engaged in the Octagon, a visceral lack of respect was on display at the beautifully restored Forum in Inglewood, California, which this weekend hosts the UFC for the first time in nearly 400 fight events at the building.

To the Whs six Premier League clubs are chasing Liverpool midfielder Harry Wilson.Wilson, 22, has shone on loan at Derby Couill finish in the top-four this season.Chelsea have now won their last four games in all competitions and sit just outside the Champions League qualifications spots in fifth place in the table. Speaking to Betdaq, Johnson said: “If Chelsea can keep gnty from Liverpool this season.The Mirror says Bournemouth, Newcastle, Southampton and Brighton are the top-flight contingent asking foite’s right: champions Luke Rockhold and Dominick Cruz.

To the White’s left: challengers Michael Bisping and Urijah Faber.

Ready. Set. Go.

In the aftermath of Chael Sonnen and the midst of Conor McGregor, UFC fighters seem to let loose tirades designed to rile up fans as much as the person on the opposite side of the cage with regularity.

This can often be construed as insincere, yet the rampant hostility ahead of UFC 199 comes off as if it’s grounded in something more real than ticket sales or showmanship.

Rockhold, the 185lb champion, is genuinely chippy – perhaps the chippiest person on the UFC roster. A California surfer with model looks, Rockhold is perceived as annoyingly confident, so to stick it to the Eintracht Frankfurt away support during last night’s Europa League shootout victory.The away support tried their best put Chelsea’s stars off their stride as they attempted to put their penalties past Kevin Trapp.Frankfurt fans bome might say egotistical. One thing is certain, he maintains a high opinion of himself and his status among middleweights.

After Chris Weidman dropped out of the card’s main event due to a scary neck injury two weeks ago, Bisping, the wisecracking veteran from Manchester, England, who lives in Los Angeles, was picked to replace him and, no surprise, trash talk picked up.

Will it mean Bisping can produce a competitive fight? Most observers suspect not.

The British fighter has agonized over receiving a UFC title shot since his earliest days with the organization.

Both times Bisping had a chance to rise to top contender status he failed – Dan Henderson famously starched him at UFC 100, and Chael Sonnen won a tight decision three years later. So when a title opportunity presented itself, it didn’t matter that Bisping’s last loss, his seventh, came versus Rockhold in 2014 following a lopsided affair that saw the British fighter mounted and choked with one arm.

Bisping, a Manchester United supporter, rebounded from the Rockhold setback with three straight victories, including a five-round decision over aging all-time great Anderson Silva in February. This performance at the O2 Arena in London did nothing to make the 31-year-old champion cautious of Bisping in the short-notice rematch.

Rockhold claimed he nursed his left leg through much of his training camp because of an issue with his meniscus. After hearing this (despite the fact Rockhold said the same on his Instagram account weeks ago) Bisping was incredulous, as if the cocky champion maligned an unwritten rule among fighters not to disclose bumps and bruises before a fight.

“You’re just an average bloke,” Rockhold explained to Bisping. “I’m a fucking samurai.”

After taking pot shots at Rockhold, who earned the belt last year with an impressive stoppage of Weidman, Bisping (28-7) acknowledged the champion’s status and accepted the notion that despite his optimism at the age of 37 he’s supposed to lose.

Again.

“Fingers crossed I’ll get the job done and go back to England,” he said.

Bisping offers quality MMA in many areas, but nothing stupendous. He steps in against the tall, athletic Rockhold in good form, and could make a contest of it as long as he doesn’t make a mistake. One hiccup would be enough for Rockhold to make good on his promise of showcasing what he characterized as a widening gap between himself and competent fighters like Bisping.

In the night’s co-main event, Cruz and Faber will meet for the third time. The rubber match of two of California’s finest mixed martial artists is likely to settle their years-long feud inside the cage. Reconciliation of another kind feels like a lost cause, especially after Cruz and Faber hurled enough insults at one another at the Forum to make a fight night feel like professional wrestling.

Free from having to give a hard sell on this weekend’s UFC pay-per-view, White was able to enjoy the back-and-forth as he swiveled his shaved-and-polished head during the verbal volleys between fighters.

Rockhold and Bisping certainly entertained, but the real sparks were ignited by a pair of 135lb rivals.

Cruz, 30, has suffered one loss in 22 fights. That came against Faber at 145lbs in 2007 when he tapped to a guillotine choke. Four years later, at bantamweight, Cruz secured a unanimous decision and defended his UFC belt over Faber. By that time Cruz had developed into a much more complex competitor, adding layers of blistering footwork, off-angle movement and counter-striking to an under-appreciated wrestling game.

With or without his nemesis in action, Faber has remained an important fighter but never the breakout star he might have been had he captured a UFC title. A month after turning 37, this challenge could represent the California Kid’s last stand.

Cruz, a highly-regarded analyst for UFC on Fox events, said Faber (33-8) can’t touch him. And he was cocky about it, too.

“He fights exactly the same,” Cruz surmised. “Big shots, one at a time. He’ll go for a submission and conserve his energy looking for a finish. He’ll miss often. I’ll connect often. And I’ll beat him.”

Saturday’s pay-per-view also features an important contest in the featherweight division, as Max Holloway takes on Ricardo Lamas. Veterans Dan Henderson and Hector Lombard tussle at 185 pounds. And Dustin Poirier meets Bobby Green in a lightweight clash.

Is surfing ready for Kelly Slater’s ‘perfect’ artificial wave project?

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The wave curls, whip-fast and flawless; it goes on, and on, and on. Inside it, surfing in the barrel of the wave – the feeling, the high, that surfers yearn for – is , an American pro-surfer, ranked ninth in the world.

Above him, a drone films his run – 10 se at Manchester United can “get hot”.The Sweden defender was reacting to the England bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez last Monday. Manchester City attacker Sterling missed England’s 7-0 Euros qualifying win against Montenegro on Thursday conds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds. It was the longest barrel of his life. Young had never surfed a wave like this before. Yet this was 110 miles from the ocean, in farm country in a specially constructed, exquisitely engineered freshwater pool. And it was perfect. “It’s an awesome feeling,” Young told the Guardian.

The pool was built by 11-time World Surf League champion , who for 10 years had been focused on an idea that many thought was impossible – building a machine which could reproduce the ideal wave, and create it on command.

Few people thought it was possible. But in December, after two years of construction in near perfect secrecy, Slater released an extraordinary of his machine in action. The excitement the video caused in the surfing community is hard to overstate. “That thing basically broke the internet,” said Craig Brokensha, surf forecaster for surfing news site Swellnet.

In that video, the wave curls over silently, dark and mys Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has an offer to return to Stamford Bridge once he retires.Cech has been offered a sporting director role at Chelsea after he retires – which will happen following the Europa League final.”I feel sorry for some Chelsea anterious in the early morning light. The water from which it rises is glass-flat; the wave’s curling edge is smooth, sharp, almost sculptural. “It is,” Brokensha said, “almost too perfect.”

“It’s the most bizarre-looking thing you’ve ever seen,” said Tom Lowe, a Brester United are eyeing Norwich City fullback Max Aarons.The Mirror says United have identified Norwich’s teen-talent Aarons as a cheaper alternative to Crystal Palace starlet Aaron Wan-Bissaka.United are considering the other names on their shortlisitish professional surfer. “A robotic wave which goes forever.” Lowe watched the first video, when it came out in December, 20 times over.

“It was kind of like, just a normal day on a surf trip,” said Young of his day riding the machine that Slater calls his “freak of technology”. “We woke up pretty early, 6 or 6.30, had some food, some coffee, got the wave pool up and running, and we went and we surfed.

“I couldn’t believe it when Kelly gave me a call and invited me to come up there,” he said. “I felt honored that I was one of the people he invited; it’s amazing to be one of the first people to surf it.” Young was joined by WSL women’s champion Carissa Moore, Californian pro and Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, a veteran American surfer who starred in the 1994 surf movie Endless Summer II.

Young said the narrowness of the pool – 700 yards long, but only 40 or so yards wide – struck him when he saw it in person. “My first impression, when I saw the first wave come through, was disbelief,” he said. “It’s a flat pond, and then, all of a sudden, you’re watching a perfect wave.”

Slater’s machine is powered entirely with solar energy, and the wave itself is created with a specially shaped foil or plough, which is pulled along mechanically beneath the surface, shaping the wave and pushing it forward.

Nick Houndsfield is founder and CEO of , a British-based company currently constructing their own artificial surf pool in Bristol. He said that wave machines have been around for 40 years, but that it is only in the last 15 years or so that the technology has been good enough to make waves suitable for surfing.

over the past 20 years, with an estimated 500,000 regular surfers in the UK alone. “It’s completely crossed over into mainstream culture,” said Matt Barr, the director of All Conditions Media, an action sports agency. The perfect predictability of Slater’s wave means that the final piece of that puzzle – the fact that competitive surfing has relied, to a greater or lesser degree, on the luck of the wave – can now be overcome. “The problem with surfing is it’s so unpredictable,” Barr said. “If you can build this at an Olympic city, you’ve got a surfing event.”

Young, who rode Slater’s wave this week in a VIP session along with several other pro surfers and executives in the World League, also agreed. “It has a set running time, instead of waiting for the swell and conditions,” he said. “So, that’s huge. And being able to recreate the same wave over and over gives people an even playing field – because it’s sometimes a bit of luck catching waves [in the ocean].”

For some surfers, the very idea of the artificial, man-made wave is problematic. “I think a big part of surfing is reading waves and being in the ocean,” said Andrew Cotton, a professional big-wave surfer who famously took on the monster waves at Portugal’s Praia do Norte, 80 miles north of Lisbon.

“The one in California looks absolutely amazing – it’s like the dream wave. Any surfer would be excited to surf it,” said Cotton. “It’s amazing to watch Kelly Slater ride that wave, because he rides it as best as anyone could ever ride a wave. But it’s amazing watching Kelly Slater ride, full-stop. I don’t think anything makes up for learning to surf, or having the skill of reading the ocean. That’s surfing.”

Thunder play ugly brilliantly as they shock Warriors in conference finals

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This year’s NBA playoffs have found their villain now, thumping into the title holders with frosty glares. The Oklahoma City Thunder became the bad guys of the postseason when what was probably Tim Duncan’s last championship run. And now they ao deciding where to go next.A Arsenal-wanted-Jose-Mourinho-Unai-Emery.html”>reported boardroom split regarding the club’s long-term direction is to blame for the paralysis as their shortlist gets longer, not shorter. It is an apt symbol of the chaos re trying to ruin the Golden State Warriors’ joy.

OKC swaggered onto the Warriors floor Monday night no longer the young, happy team of a few years back but gruff outsiders scarred by disappointments and looking to stomp on sunshine. There’s nothing fun about this Oklahoma City team. Almost an afterthought in Steph Curry’s Western Conference, the Thunder have remade themselves as a rugged spoiler of pretty basketball, ready to shove, elbow or wrestle their way to a victory. This is what makes them the most serious threat to the Warriors’ dance to a second straight title. They lug with them a world of resentment with nothing to lose ­­– a lethal combination in playoff basketball.

“I mean we hear it all the time, defense wins games,” Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant said in a leaden, passionless voice after the Thunder’s 108-102 victory over the Warriors in the first conference final game.

The team that was supposed to be the Warriors’ latest victim on their march to the next title will not go quietly. All those beautiful passes, skipping shots and delicate player movements that dazzled the this season do not impress a core of Oklahoma City players all these years on. The Thunder use words like “resilient” and “focus,” which usually fill the dreary, heavy talk of a team that looks at the playoffs as a long, tedious slog of games to be endured rather than won.

In Game 1 they forced Golden State to rush perfection. Their aggressive lunges at the ball forced the Warriors out of the precise and delicate pace. Passes were thrown a foot too far, shots were an inch too far to the left or right. The Warriors didn’t miss by much. But all the Thunder needed to turn a Golden State party into a seven-game war was nudge Curry (26 points on the night) and Klay Thompson (25) to shoot a couple of seconds too soon and from just the wrong angle. The Golden State machine broke down after that.

They are the antidote to the effortless brilliance that has been Golden State for nearly these last two seasons. If they are going to win they will win ugly and this is something they are more than fine with. That determination was never more obvious than in the fourth quarter as they fought their way to victory – at one point in the game they had been 14 points down to the Warriors. Durant picked up 26 points, including a crucial jumper with 30 seconds left, and Russell Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 in the second half.

“I mean what’s to celebrate?” Durant said of his team’s dour look after what should have been a momentous victory. “We didn’t win the championship.”

He did not smile.

concerned about losing Jurgen Klopp.The Reds manager is being tipped to replace Max Allegri at Juventus this summer.”We don’t really want to discuss his situation publicly, especially so close to the final,” Werner told the Liverpool Echo.”But I thinOnce the Thunder were the Warriors. Once Durant was Curry, a player who played as if he loved every minute he was on the court. to his postgame press conferences and . They were everybody’s darlings, the team the world wanted badly to win back.

Late on Monday night, long after Curry had dressed and left the arena, Durant lingered in the hall outside the Thunder locker room. He had on ripped jeans and a denim jacket. He didn’t wear a backpack. He didn’t look young and happy. He waited impatiently for Westbrooall Lane.The Daily Mail says McCabe has been told he will not be welcome at Bramall Lane if he fights the High Court ruling which awards full control of the club to his co-owner Prince Abdullah.McCabe, who has been on the board for more than 25 yearsk who was several steps behind and looked less like a fashion icon and more like someone out to walk the dog in an oversized orange sweatshirt. The Thunder have grown up into something far less fun but far more dangerous. They are forgotten and experienced and they know just how to make the Splash Brothers struggle to make everything look easy.

Defense wins games.

Who knew years ago this would become the mantra of Westbrook and Durant? But if they are to ever win a title together that is the stand they have to take. They never could win everything by being pretty but they might just take it all by playing ugly.

The new Thunder will never be as loveable as the boundless Warriors who skip passes through games with a splendid ease that can resemble a world-class soccer team.

“They didn’t make many mistakes on the defensive end which forced us into bad shots,” Curry said.

“Offensively we sucked,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said.

This was, of course, but just one game of a long series and the shots Curry took that looked dumb on Monday would have been brilliant had they fallen. He has a way of turning shots that no one should take into works of art. If two of those attempts that clunked of the rim and instead swished through the net we would be talking about another chapter in the never-ending Curry story.

But he didn’t make them and with seven turnovers, many on sloppy pass attempts over the Thunder’s formidable front court he fell into the trap set by the new Thunder, the one that will try to grind their way to a championship. In two weeks they have beaten the Spurs and the Warriors three times on their home courts which is as many times as San Antonio and Golden State lost at home all season.

After years of despair they have learned to deliver despair to others. Suddenly there is a threat to the Warriors. Few saw the Thunder coming.

Dallas Seavey wins fourth Iditarod dog race in competition marred by violence

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A new dynasty has been claimed in the world’s most high profile sled-dog race. Running alongside his sled to the finish in Nome, Dallas Seavey won his fourth . He’s onlyteran Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian fullback will become a free agent at the end of this month and is wanted by a number of teams in MLS.The Valencia.html”>Daily Mail says United are looking to give the 33-year-old a chance to stay in the Premier the seventh musher ever to win the race four times, and at just 29 years old, by far the youngest.

“It was a tough one. This one was a little bit harder than last time,” Seavey said from beneath the Burled Arch at the trail’s end shortly after his victory at 2.20am.

It’s the fastest time in the race’s history: eight days, 11 hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds. When Seavey’s grandfather, Dan Seavey, ran the original race in 1973, the winner took just over 20 days reaching the finish.

“There’s really a changing of the guard happening,” said four-time winner Jeff King during his mandatory eight-hour rest in White Mountain, a community of 209 and the penultimate checkpoint before Nome.

King and other mushers drank Tang and re-heated breakfast burritos in a small office in between quick naps and checking in on their dogs, frequently consulting leaderboards and their wristwatches. Half a dozen gathered around a television to watch a live broadcast of the finish, few saying very Ndombele has explained why he chose to move to the Champions League finalists.Ndombele has left Lyon for Spurs in a deal worth up to €70m.He told L’Equipe: “When we look at it, I think it’s a very good choice. What guided me is the Premier Leaguey much as yet another Seavey title was claimed. The only year in the last five that Dallas didn’t win was 2013, when the champion was his father, Mitch.

“The next generation is no longer kids,” King said, referring to a crop of young mushers that are filling out the race’s top ranks. Beating King into White Mountain were Wade Marrs, Pete Kaiser, and Joar Leifseth Ulsom – all of them under 30.

Many of the sport’s most accomplished champions had a rough time along this year’s trail. Four-time winner Lance Mackey scratched mid-way through the race, citing concerns for his personal health. Martin Buser, another four-time victor, injured his leg so badly heading in to Unalakleet that he struggled to feed and water his dogs during a rest. And King himself lost a dog named Nash when an during a run along the Yukon River early Saturday morning.

The death, along with injuries to another three dogs, put him at a strategic loss for the second half of the race.

“The other two I dropped are two of my best leaders,” King said, emotion creeping into his voice. “They were really a significant loss to the leadership of the team.”

State Troopers arrested 26-year-old Arnold Demoski of Nulato shortly after he contacted local law-enforcement officer the morning of the incident to confess.

“I don’t know how I can make it right,” Demoski said during an interview with a local television station before his arrest.

Though the incident was first reported as an intentional attack, Demoski said he’d been drinking heavily and didn’t remember striking King, or musher Aliy Zirkle, who was further along the trail, and told race officials what happened upon reaching Nulato. Accoridng to Zirkle’s report to law enforcement, the snowmachiner made multiple passes at her team before pointing the vehicle at her, revving the engine, then driving off.

It was a dark spot on a race that was otherwise marked by its cooperative weather, fast trail conditions and an exceptionally high level of competitiveness among the top 30 teams.

For much of the trail, Dallas Seavey pushing at an aggressive clip to keep up with Brent Sass, a musher from the remote Interior community of Eureka who is a top performer and past winner of the Yukon Quest, Alaska’s other prominent thousand-mile sled-dog race between Fairbanks and Canada.

Sass arrived into White Mountain about two hours behind Seavey. But as he got ready to leave for the last leg of the trail, his team quit on him.

“They don’t want to run anymore,” Sass said during a brief interview after he’d walked his team back to the checkpoint, spread out bundles of straw, and removed their racing booties.

“It was my responsibility to control that. And obviously I didn’t,” Sass said, petting his team. “Sorry guys.”

The protest along the banks of the Fish River, Sass believed, came from pushing the dogs too hard on the last two legs of his run, when he was trying to maintain an edge over Seavey. The tempo had taken its toll.

“I pushed ‘em too hard. Bottom line,” Sass said. “I feel horrible about it. It’s totally my fault.”

As Sass rested both himself and hre targeting midfielder Isaac Hayden from Newcastle United.The Hammers are persisting with a move for Andre Gomes from Barcelona, but their bids have been rebuffed so far.According to the Evening Standard, they see Hayden as an alternative if they cais team, Aliy Zirkle, the fourth musher into the White Mountain checkpoint, left ahead of him. Ultimately she took third place in the race – the fourth time she’s been locked out of a victory by either Dallas or Mitch Seavey.

Mushers will continue to race until the conclusion of festivities on Sunday during the Red Lantern Banquet in Nome.

NFL moves touchbacks to the 25-yard line and passes new ejections rule

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The has moved touchbacks to the 25-yard line and passed a new ejections rule – despite objections from coaches.

NFL owners voted to move the ball spot on touchbacks after kickoffs to the 25-yard line, to try to limit the number of returns after injuries on the play rose in 2015. They also ruled that players will be subject to automatic ejection if they commit two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game. Specifically, a “player penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls” will be “disqualified”.

The automatic ejection proposal was suggested by NFL commissioner Roger ribute to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.The United manager signed Agnaldo for Molde, with the Brazilian currnager Edinburgh passed away on Saturday at the age of 49 – the same age Ginola was when he suffered a cardiac arrest back in 2016.In the wake of the tragic news, the Frenchman spoke fondly of his old friend and Tottenham teammate and the impact Ediently on-loan in Finland with RoPo.He told ESPN Brasil: “I could have gone back to other teams in Brazil, but I chose to stay in Europe and a lot of myGoodell just before the Super Bowl.

Both rule changes will be reviewed after the 2016 season before the NFL decides whether to make them permanent.

The owners were concerned about player safety on kickoffs t to Crystal Palace confirmed their relegation.The veteran manager praised the efforts of his troops over the course of the season and spoke passionately about the transformation since he took the reins.”You have heard this lot (Cardiff fans), they h– but the decision to move the touchback up five yards could have the opposite effect.

Some coaches suggested that the number of kickoff returns could actually increase, with kickers using “mortar kicks” that drop close to the goal line and require a return.

, two veteran special teams coordinators told the Chicago Tribune the new rule will lead more teams telling the kickers to get as much hang time as possible while landing the ball near the goal line in an effort to cover a kick and pin the offense inside the 25 or even inside the 20.

Coaches also claimed that opponents will bait players into committing penalties that qualify for the ejection rule, but owners say that won’t happen. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: “I think it points to our emphasis on good sportsmanship.”