SRN - Sports News

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) -A stoppage-time goal from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic earned Lazio a dramatic 2-2 draw at Juventus in Serie A on Monday, a point that sealed the Rome club’s spot in next season’s Europa League, overshadowing Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala’s farewell.

Already assured of a fourth-placed finish this term, Juventus could take the game to Lazio with the pressure off, racing into a 10th-minute lead after Dusan Vlahovic’s flying header found the net.

Veteran defender Chiellini was then taken off early, and given a standing ovation by fans in what will be his last home match for Juventus before he leaves the club after 18 years in Turin.

Spanish striker Alvaro Morata then doubled Juve’s lead in the 36th minute as they looked on course to give their supporters something to cheer after a disappointing season on the whole for Serie A’s most successful side.

Juve took their foot off the gas in the second half, however, with Alex Sandro’s own goal six minutes after the break giving Lazio hope of getting something from the match.

The visitors did not look like they had another goal in them, with Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri taking Dybala off to allow him his moment of applause before he too leaves the club.

But Milinkovic-Savic had the final say, with the last kick of the game, to ensure Lazio in fifth cannot be caught by Fiorentina in seventh, so a Europa League campaign awaits next term.

“Tonight was a wonderful evening, full of emotions,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia. “The evening of Chiellini and Dybala.

“A few videos of Chiellini should be sent to our training ground to show how he applies himself. On a personal and human level, he also helped me a lot when I arrived at Juventus. He introduced me to Juventus.

“Dybala was an important player for seven years, I raised him because he was a child and the fans gave him a well-deserved tribute. It would have been nice to finish with a win for them, but tonight’s game sums up our year – we need to get used to winning again.”

(Reporting by Peter HallEditing by Christian Radnedge)


Brought to you by www.srnnews.com

0
comments



MIAMI (AP) — He grew up in Portland, basketball in his blood. Wasn’t exactly a big-time recruit before eventually playing some college ball in the West Coast Conference. Took a circuitous route into coaching, guided along the way by one of the game’s legendary sideline bosses. And last summer, he was part of the brain trust that helped USA Basketball win Olympic gold.

That is Erik Spoelstra’s story.

That is also Ime Udoka’s story.

There is enormous respect between those men, who have known one another for decades and have deep ties. Spoelstra coaches the Miami Heat, Udoka is in his first season coaching the Boston Celtics, and one of them will be representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Game 1 of the East title series is Tuesday night, the top-seeded Heat playing host to the second-seeded Celtics.

“We have great respect for what they’ve done during the regular season, to develop the right habits,” said Spoelstra, now in his 14th season after taking over as Miami coach for Hall of Famer Pat Riley. “And like I said, this is the way it should be — the two teams that played most consistently at the top of the East for most of the year, and we’re meeting in the conference finals to figure it out.”

The Heat needed five games to get past Atlanta in Round 1, then six games to oust Philadelphia in the East semifinals. Boston swept Brooklyn in Round 1, then ended Milwaukee’s reign as NBA champions by finishing off a seven-game series win in the other East semi that ended Sunday.

It’s a rematch of the 2020 East finals, held in the restart bubble at Walt Disney World, when Miami topped Boston 4-2 to earn a berth in the NBA Finals. That was the third East finals loss in a four-year span for members of the Celtics — and many of the players from some of or all those defeats, like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, are Boston’s core today.

“This is the group I feel like is poised enough to get it done,” Brown said. “I feel like everything that we’ve overcome — all these battles and challenges and adversity we’ve been through this season, as well as the challenge that we just had overcoming the defending champions — I think that we are prepared. I think we’re ready to take that next step. We’ve just got to go out and take it.”

For its part, Miami — seeking a seventh trip to the NBA Finals and what would be a sixth in the last 12 seasons — isn’t looking back at the bubble win or much of anything else, All-Star forward Jimmy Butler insisted.

“We just want to focus in on today, right now, the group of guys that we get to go to war with every single day,” Butler said.

So, players might not look back.

It’s a little different for the coaches.

Udoka remembers meeting Spoelstra when he was a kid — at 44, Udoka is seven years younger than Spoelstra — and watching him play in pro-am runs alongside other Portland basketball legends like Damon Stoudemire. Udoka played against Spoelstra-coached Heat teams four times before becoming a coach, spending the bulk of his years as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.

Hence, the Olympic ties they share: Popovich was USA Basketball’s coach in the last Olympic cycle, and asked Udoka and Spoelstra to be part of his circle of confidants for that journey.

“He’s always had success,” Udoka said of Spoelstra. “One of the best coaches in the league, in my opinion. It’ll be a task for us because he has his team well-prepared, hard-fought, Heat Culture mentality. I got to know him on a more personal level in that time spent in Tokyo in preparations for the Olympics, but I’ve known Erik for a while.”

They’ll know each other a little better after the next couple weeks.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Boston won the regular season series 2-1; the Celtics went 1-0 at Miami and the teams split two games at Boston.

Miami has won 13 of the 23 previous playoff games between the franchises.

NEW LOOK

Of the players Miami gave minutes to in the 2020 East finals, only four — Butler, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson — remain on the roster. That doesn’t include Udonis Haslem, who didn’t play in that series.

Boston has six veterans of the 2020 series back — Tatum, Brown, Smart, Daniel Theis, Grant Williams and Robert Williams.

INJURIES

Heat point guard Kyle Lowry won’t be ready to start the series because of his balky hamstring, but Miami went 4-0 against Philadelphia without him (and 0-2 with him trying to play while still clearly laboring).

Smart has a mid-foot sprain and is questionable for Game 1.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Brown averaged 24.7 points in the regular season series between the clubs. Butler averaged 22 per game and Miami’s Max Strus — who has had an excellent postseason, his first as a starter — went 13 for 26 from 3-point range in his two appearances against the Celtics.

ODDS ARE

FanDuel Sportsbook says Miami is a 1.5-point favorite in Game 1, but also lists Boston as the favorite to win the series.

Golden State is FanDuel’s favorite to win the NBA title, followed by Boston, Miami and Dallas.

___

AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Boston contributed to this report.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Brought to you by www.srnnews.com

0
comments



NEWCASTLE, England (Reuters) -Newcastle United dealt a huge blow to Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League by beating them 2-0 in the Premier League on Monday.

An own goal from Ben White and then a late strike from January signing Bruno Guimaraes sealed the win for Newcastle and left Arsenal two points off Tottenham Hotspur in fourth in the standings with one game of the season remaining.

Thanks to their superior goal difference, Spurs will only need a point at already-relegated bottom side Norwich City on Sunday to qualify for Europe’s elite competition. Mikel Arteta’s side face his former team Everton at home at the same time.

Newcastle started brightly, roared on by their fans in their last home game of the season. Eddie Howe’s side were in the bottom three at Christmas but thanks to their new owners’ spending in the January transfer window, have climbed up the table and only lost once at home in the league in 2022.

They dominated the match and came close to opening the scoring in the 37th minute through Allan Saint-Maximin, who cut in from the wing and jinked his way to the edge of area, but saw his low shot palmed away by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The breakthrough came shortly after halftime, however, when Joelinton powered down the left wing and sent in a low cross for striker Callum Wilson but it came off Arsenal defender White and into his own net.

The hosts had plenty of chances to double their lead and finally did in the 85th minute when Wilson ran through on goal but the ball ricocheted off Ramsdale into the path of Guimareas who side-footed it in.

The win, Newcastle’s first in the league over Arsenal since April 2018, means Howe’s side move up to 12th in the standings.

Arsenal manager Arteta conceded his side were deservedly beaten.

“Newcastle deserved to win the match and were much better than us. We had nothing in the game. They were much better in every department and we were poor with the ball,” he told Sky Sports.

“A lot of things happened during the game, like substitutions for injuries, but it’s not an excuse because they were much better than us.

“It’s true that we could not cope with the game that we had to play here. We tried to change some things but it didn’t make it better. We had moments where we looked better but then the execution was so poor and the goals we gave away were extremely poor.”

(Reporting by Christian RadnedgeEditing by Pritha Sarkar)


Brought to you by www.srnnews.com

0
comments



Local Weather - Sponsored By:
 
Townhall Top of the Hour News

 

SRN News