24.02.2016

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Manchester United will attempt to salvage something from its tumultuous season - and potentially keep manager Louis van Gaal in a job - in Saturday's FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.
After failing to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in three years, the Wembley showpiece represents United's last chance to make good on a campaign of stagnant soccer and simmering fan dissent. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is facing speculation about his future with the team ahead of its FA Cup final against Crystal Palace. Van Gaal was booed as he addressed supporters following Tuesday's 3-1 home win over Bournemouth and although victory against Palace would give United its first significant piece of silverware since Alex Ferguson left in 2013, reports suggest that his days at Old Trafford are numbered regardless. While United has not won the FA Cup since 2004, when it beat Millwall 3-0 in Cardiff, victory on Saturday would see it equal Arsenal's tally of 12 successes in the competition - a record it once held outright. As well as giving Van Gaal a first trophy in English football, it would also enable Wayne Rooney, the captain, and Michael Carrick to claim the only top-level medals that have eluded them during their spells at the club.
Van Gaal already has reason to thank the tournament, for it has provided several melodious moments this season amid the steady background hum of speculation about his future. Early victories over lower-league sides Sheffield United, Derby County and Shrewsbury Town came during a dismal run of three wins in 13 league games, when criticism of the Dutchman was at its fiercest. The quarterfinal against West Ham United brought both the relief of Anthony Martial's 83rd-minute equalizer in the first game at Old Trafford and the morale boost of an assured 2-1 victory in the replay. Martial provided another moment to savor in last month's semifinal against Everton, driving into the box from the left in stoppage time to net a deliriously celebrated winner.
If Van Gaal is looking for positive omens, it will not have escaped his attention that the last under-fire United manager to go into an FA Cup final against Palace with his neck on the line was Ferguson. Prior to the 1990 final, Ferguson had gone three and a half years without a trophy, but following a gripping 3-3 draw, a solitary goal by left-back Lee Martin earned United a 1-0 victory in the replay. One of the players who traipsed from the pitch in Palace's unfamiliar black and yellow change strip was 28-year-old midfielder Alan Pardew, who is now the south London club's manager.
Pardew etched his name in Palace folklore by netting an extra-time winner against Liverpool in the semifinals and 26 years later, he is seeking to steer the club to its first major trophy. Following a strong start to the season, Palace won just two of their final 21 league games, which saw it finish 15th in the Premier League. But it has shown superb form in the cup, notably eliminating Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford, and now finds itself on the brink of a historic achievement.
Aside from Wales midfielder Joe Ledley, who fractured his fibula in the 2-1 league win over Stoke two weeks ago, Pardew has a fully fit squad at his disposal. Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin have returned to training for United after brief spells on the sidelines, while Marouane Fellaini is available again after a three-match suspension. While the FA Cup final will always inspire a degree of reverence, Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie will have more reason than most to feel emotional at Wembley on Saturday.
Bolasie grew up just a few miles from Wembley and could see the famous stadium glimmering in the distance from his parents' house in Hillingdon Borough. So, at the end of a season in which Bolasie's father passed away, playing the biggest match of his career so close to home has given the Congo international a burning desire to deliver the performance of a lifetime. Bolasie's father followed the Eagles all over the country to watch his son in action and his death in August inevitably proved hard for the Palace star to take. After flying to Congo for several days, Bolasie returned to action in a Premier League match at Chelsea and he was moved almost to tears when he saw that Palace had arranged for the players to wear black armbands in recognition of his father's passing.
Bolasie has been determined to repay that support by shining for Palace and his impressive campaign reached a new high when he headed in the opening goal in their FA Cup semifinal against Watford last month. That 2-1 victory was a milestone moment for Bolasie as he finally fulfilled his ambition of playing at Wembley. For many years, while he languished in football's lower divisions with Bristol City and Palace, it seemed those glances out of the windows of his old home were as close as he would get to his field of dreams.
He has taken to wearing a pair of boots he designed himself that are emblazoned with a photo of Wembley's famous arch and other pictures charting his winding career path from Hillingdon to the national stadium. Despite the trappings of his status as a Premier League footballer, Bolasie remains down-to-earth. He often pops home for a meal prepared by his mother, Yolande, and he recently tweeted a picture of himself in a local playground with the caption "Where it all began". As if he needed any additional motivation in Saturday's clash with Manchester United, the 26-year-old would dearly love to bring home an FA Cup winners' medal on the day his mother turns 54.
Aston Villa's Chinese owner Tony Xia has pledged to restore the relegated Premier League club to its former glory as soon as possible. Xia, whose Chinese name is Xia Jiantong, purchased Villa on Wednesday for a reported $87 million and is looking to hire a new manager quickly before bringing in a host of players in a bid to transform the troubled club's fortunes. Villa was relegated for the first time in 29 years this season amid acrimonious fan protests against its underperforming players and previous owner Randy Lerner. Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde were both sacked after disappointing spells as Villa's manager this season and former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson and ex-Chelsea chief Roberto di Matteo are reportedly the leading contenders to take charge.
Xia knows getting the managerial appointment right is essential if Villa is to fulfil his ambition of winning promotion from the Championship next term and eventually becoming one of the world's major clubs. Xia is hopeful Villa fans will get behind him now Lerner has gone and the 39-year-old businessman called on them to concentrate on a brighter future rather than dwelling on past failures. Overshadowed as Golden State shot down history during the regular season, the Cavaliers are making this postseason their own. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers notched a triple-double against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. LeBron James recorded a triple-double and Cleveland improved to 10-0 in the playoffs with a 108-89 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.
James had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Cavs became the fourth team to start the postseason with 10 straight wins, joining the Los Angeles Lakers (1989, 2001) and San Antonio Spurs (2012). Kyrie Irving scored 26 and Kevin Love 19 for Cleveland, which swept Detroit and Atlanta and has beaten Toronto by a combined 50 points in two games. Game 3 is Saturday in Toronto, where Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry can only hope the rims at Air Canada Centre are kinder than the ones in Quicken Loans Arena.
Lowry scored 10 points and is shooting 8 of 28 from the field, including 1 of 15 on 3-pointers. James moved past Shaquille O'Neal into fourth place on the career postseason scoring list and posted his 15th playoff triple-double, securing it by running down rebound No.
By then, the Cavs were up 20 and coasting to another easy win in their so-far-spotless spring.
Earlier in the day, James was asked if the Cavs might need a loss to get them ready for the finals. And the Cavs are playing like it under coach Tyronn Lue, also a perfect 10 in the playoffs. Missing center Jonas Valanciunas because of a sprained right ankle, Casey tweaked his lineup by starting forward Luis Scola over Patrick Patterson.
But Cleveland closed the first half with a 16-2 burst, capped by a three-point play from James, who was already flirting with a triple-double when he headed to the locker room. Casey felt the need to speak with his players after their Game 7 win over Miami about not being satisfied in what's already been the deepest postseason run in franchise history.
Casey and his coaching staff wanted to meet across the hallway from Toronto's locker room following the game, but couldn't get access because the door was locked. Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova tweaked his ankle in the second half, but Lue said he should be OK.
Raptors: Scola's start was a surprise considering he played just five minutes in the entire Miami series. Cavaliers: Now that James has passed O'Neal, next on the career postseason scoring list are Kobe Bryant (5,640), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762) and Michael Jordan (5,987).
The Orlando Magic moved quickly to fill their coaching vacancy, agreeing to a deal with Frank Vogel just a week after the position suddenly became available. Vogel and Magic officials met during the day Thursday and reached a deal, which will not be final until Friday afternoon, said a person with knowledge of the negotiations. During a news conference last Thursday, team CEO Alex Martins and general manager Rob Hennigan both said they wanted a coach who has strong defensive principles and can connect with the players. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is confident of being fit to face the Oklahoma City Thunder this Monday despite suffering a badly swollen elbow in Game 2. Curry produced a virtuoso third quarter performance to inspire the Warriors to a 118-91 victory over the Thunder on Wednesday as Golden State leveled the best-of-seven series at 1-1.
However Curry finished the game with a question mark over his fitness after an incident in the first quarter where he dove headfirst into the crowd as he chased a loose ball.
The fall left Curry with visible swelling on his elbow - but the Warriors star is adamant he will be fit to face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday.
Asked if he expected to have the swelling drained, Curry replied: "Something I'll have to pay attention to the next 48 hours until we leave for OKC. Curry, who reeled off 15 straight points in a devastating burst of scoring in the third quarter on Wednesday that effectively settled the game, said he is preparing for another bruising encounter in Game 3.
South Korea's Wang Jeung-hun, 20, completed back-to-back wins with a come-from-behind one-shot triumph in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Sunday, a week after breaking through in Morocco.
The slender Wang edged Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh on the last hole to win the tournament, sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours. Prior to Wang's heroics, compatriot and close friend Lee Soo-min, 22, and China's Li Haotong, 20, won European Tour events in China to fuel optimism about the future of the Asian Tour. South Korean-born Australian Unho Park, who sprayed champagne on Wang after the last putt dropped, said the Asian Tour is on the right track in unearthing international-class players. Wang's win was worth $189,841, which vaulted him to second place on the latest Asian Tour's Order of Merit at $470,338 - some $166,000 behind leader Marcus Fraser of Australia. Filipino Miguel Tabuena, who is 21, is third on the Asian Tour rankings with $336,258 while Lee sits fourth at just over $319,000.
In addition to the victories by Lee and Li in China, Asian golfers carved out a small slice of history by notching an unprecedented four straight wins on the European Tour.
Although disappointed that he failed to land a third Asian Tour victory in Mauritius, Siddikur has moved back into the world's top 300 at No 274 - increasing his odds of qualifying for Rio. Recent victories by Wang Jeung-hun (left) of South Korea and Li Haotong of China underlined the strength of the Asian Tour and the success of homegrown talent in regional competitions. NBC Sports and Golf Channel will combine to provide a record 49.5 hours of live coverage over four days from the British Open at Royal Troon.
NBC and Golf Channel picked up the British Open a year early from ESPN, and it gives the network a major after the USGA signed on with Fox. The Masters prefers limited live television and provided 18.5 hours this year on ESPN and CBS. The Open Championship, with the advantage of extended summer daylight in Britain, typically starts about 6:30 am at St. Golf Channel and NBC, both owned by Comcast, provide a seamless transition in coverage of the PGA Tour, and this will be no different. McCarley said Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo and Frank Nobilo will rotate as lead analyst in the tower on the 18th hole. The 10 analysts on the ground and other towers include the usual NBC crew (Roger Maltbie, David Feherty, Gary Koch, Peter Jacobsen, Notah Begay, Mark Rolfing) and some who mostly do Golf Channel telecasts (such as Curt Byrum and Jerry Foltz). Golf Channel will have its studio live from Royal Troon, which will include David Duval when he gets done playing. With more than a $1.08 million check as a consolation prize for his runner-up finish at The Players Championship, Kevin Chappell no longer has to worry about US Open qualifying and can book his first trip to the British Open. This is the last week of competition before the US Open exempts the top 60 in the world ranking and the British Open takes the top 50. Billy Horschel (47), Ryan Moore (48) and Smylie Kaufman (51) are not playing the AT&T Byron Nelson (David Lingmerth, at No 49, is in the Irish Open). While they are safe for the US Open, Kaufman cannot move into the top 50 this week for Royal Troon. Playing in the Byron Nelson is James Hahn (54), who probably needs a finish just outside the top 10 to crack the top 50.
Tiger Woods played five holes when he opened his golf course in Houston, and he plays at home at the Medalist.
He might be patient when it comes to his recovery, but that doesn't carry over to the golf course.
Faldo won the 1983 French Open, the Martini International in England and the Car Care Plan International in England. Rory McIlroy in 2014 won three in a row - the British Open, Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship - though that was over four weeks. Tiger Woods has done it twice on the PGA Tour - at the end of 1999 (Disney, Tour Championship, American Express) and in 2006 (PGA Championship, Bridgestone Invitational, Deutsche Bank). Notes: The field features eight of the top 10 in the women's world rankings and 15 of the top 20. The doomsayers have some advice for tennis fans: Intoxicate yourselves on the elixir still being served up by the best men's generation ever to grace the game before the well dries up and mere mortals take over. They say when 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, claycourt king Rafael Nadal and Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic, not to mention the mercurial Andy Murray, hang up their rackets, interest in the game will plummet.
However, a hungry bunch of young lions are showing all the signs of keeping the flame burning long after the Fab Four settle down to quiet lives of polishing their silverware.
At Indian Wells this year, the men's Tour launched its ATP#NextGen campaign to promote rising stars aged 21 and under.
Volatile but dazzling Australian Nick Kyrgios, Croatian teenager Borna Coric and Alexander Zverev, a German already being compared to Boris Becker, are already established in the top 50. Throw teenagers Chung Hyeon (South Korea), Karen Khachanov (Russia) and Quentin Halys (France) into the mix alongside American 18-year-old Taylor Fritz, the youngest player in the top 100, Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, Britain's Kyle Edmund and Swede Elias Ymer and there appears to be critical mass of youngsters teeming with potential. Still, according to American Brad Gilbert, a former top-10 player and coach to the likes of Andre Agassi and Murray, there are no guarantees. Stepping up to join Federer, Djokovic and Nadal, winners of 17, 14 and 11 Grand Slam titles since 2003, has been notoriously difficult. Since 2010 Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka have won two apiece and Marin Cilic one while Juan Martin del Potro is the only other active player to have won a major. Kyrgios, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist two years ago at age 19, is leading the charge having risen to a career-high 19th in the world heading to the French Open.
Coric reached his first ATP final in India at the start of the year, while Zverev twice crushed former big hope Grigor Dimitrov and almost beat Nadal at Indian Wells. Zverev cautions against predicting a decline for the big guns any time soon, but says he is part of an exciting transition. With world No 1 Djokovic turning 29 this week, a few days after Murray, Nadal 30 and Federer soon to be 35, ATP chief Chris Kermode is eagerly waiting to see how the kids shape up.
Kyrgios was threatened with suspension last year after making lurid remarks about the Stan Wawrinka's girlfriend, but he is letting his tennis do the talking this season. Lacks the killer weapons of Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev, but makes up for that with a maturity beyond his years. Has struggled to chalk up big results against players in the top 20 but did make the finals in Chennai and Marrakesh. Standing 6-foot-3 and packing huge weapons with his serve and forehand, Zverev also boasts the kind of fluid movement that similarly tall players struggle with. Appears to thrive on the show courts and outplayed Nadal this year in Indian Wells before missing a match point and succumbing. By reaching the Memphis Open final, he became the youngest American man to reach a Tour final since Michael Chang in 1989. A member of the British Davis Cup team that won the trophy for the first time in 79 years last November, the 21-year-old has benefited from spending time with compatriot Andy Murray during an intensive training camp in Dubai before the start of 2016.


Having picked up tips from Murray on how to improve his game, Edmund battled through qualifying before reaching his first ATP quarterfinal in Doha. Australia's Nick Kyrgios argues with the umpire during his opening match at the Madrid Open on May 4. LeBron James hardly missed and scored 24 points in three quarters, Kyrie Irving scored 27 and Cleveland picked up where it left off before a long layoff by thumping the Toronto Raptors 115-84 in Game 1 of the NBA's Eastern Conference final on Tuesday night.
James made his first nine shots - one an arena-rattling powerhouse dunk - and the Cavs, healthy and hungry after losing in the Finals a year ago, shot 67 percent from the field in the first half while improving to 9-0 this postseason.
Cleveland is the first team to start the playoffs with nine straight wins since San Antonio reeled off 10 in a row in 2012. But although the Cavs are more than halfway to winning a title - and ending the city's 52-year drought - James isn't satisfied.
But unlike their second-round series, when they made 77 3-pointers and swept Atlanta, the Cavs did most of their damage from close range, draining just 7 of 20 3-point attempts. DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points and Bismack Biyombo added 12 for Toronto, which had just one day to prepare for the Cavs after going to seven games with Miami.
Kyle Lowry, who scored 35 points in the Raptors' series-clinching win over Miami, was held to just eight as he and the Raptors were roughed up in their first appearance in the conference final.
Cleveland figured to have some rust following a nine-day break since ousting the Hawks, but not only did the Cavs look refreshed, they looked better than before.
These are the Cavs at full force, not the version missing Love and Irving in last year's Finals. The Cavs outscored the Raptors 33-16 in the second quarter when James personally welcomed Canada's NBA franchise to the East's final round with a devastating dunk. Driving baseline past DeMarre Carroll, James cut across the lane and hammered home a right-handed windmill.
He celebrated the slam by tilting his head, backpedaling and letting out a primal yell, along with 20,000 fans. The impressive bucket capped a 20-2 spurt for the Cavs, whose swarming defense was making life miserable for Lowry and his teammates.
The Raptors came in as overwhelming underdogs, but Casey wasn't worried about the stage being too big or his team fearing the Cavs. They combined to take 18 foul shots in Game 7 against Miami, and DeRozan said he and Lowry needed to be more aggressive.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James dunks against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of Tuesday's opening game of the NBA Eastern Conference final in Cleveland. Brent Burns scored San Jose's first two powerplay goals of the series and Jones stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the postseason. Jones wasn't happy about giving up the go-ahead goal in Game 1 to Jori Lehtera on a shot that slipped under his left arm. Tommy Wingels and Dainius Zubrus also scored and Logan Couture had two assists to help the Sharks bounce back from a tight loss. Elliott wasn't as sharp as he's been throughout the Blues' run to their first conference final since 2001, nor was the rest of the St.
Burns' fifth and sixth goals of the postseason both came on one-timers with Troy Brouwer in the penalty box, and were his only shots of the game. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound defenseman made it 2-0 in the second off a nice setup from Pavelski just 16 seconds after Brouwer went off for slashing. Zubrus assisted on Wingels' goal early in the first and added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Vladimir Tarasenko led all players with six shots at the end of a long day - his wife, Yana, gave birth to a son earlier Tuesday. The Blues' star was looking at the video board when the team announced the arrival to an SRO crowd of 19,586. The Sharks entered the series clicking at 31 percent on the powerplay, best in the postseason. They were 0 for 3 in the opener and DeBoer complained about the lack of calls during the day between games. San Jose also killed off a four-minute high-sticking call against Marleau early in the third period.
United beat Bournemouth 3-1 in its final game on Tuesday - a game rescheduled from Sunday due to a bomb scare - but it was not enough to take it into the Champions League places as it finished below fourth-place Manchester City on goal difference. United must now beat Crystal Palace in Saturday's FA Cup final to salvage something from its season, and there were ripples of dissent towards van Gaal in the form of boos as he addressed the sparse home crowd after the match. But despite persistent speculation linking Jose Mourinho with his job, when asked if he would still be in place on the first day of next season, van Gaal, who took over at United in 2014, replied: "Yes.
Fears that supporters would stay away following Sunday's postponement, which followed the discovery of a fake bomb left by accident in a toilet cubicle during a training exercise, were realized. While United did not officially announce the attendance, the stadium appeared around two-thirds full. Van Gaal, however, used his post-match speech to praise United's fans for their "unconditional" support and claimed afterwards that the stadium was not full because overseas supporters were unable to make the trip. Van Gaal conceded United's fifth-place finish represented a "step back", but said Leicester City's title triumph proved that anyone could win the title next season. Needing a 19-goal win to leapfrog City into fourth place, United had to wait until the 43rd minute to go ahead as Marcus Rashford dummied Anthony Martial's pass for skipper Wayne Rooney to tuck away his 100th league goal at Old Trafford.
Rashford, named in England's provisional Euro 2016 squad on Monday, made it 2-0 by thrashing home from Antonio Valencia's knockdown and Rooney then freed substitute Ashley Young to add a third.
But in stoppage time Chris Smalling sliced Max Gradel's shot into his own net to gift Bournemouth a goal that prevented David de Gea from earning a share of the Golden Glove - awarded to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets - with Arsenal's Petr Cech. United finished the campaign with just 49 league goals to their name - its worst tally since 1989-90 - and despite decrying perceived poor fortune with penalties, van Gaal could not disguise his team's attacking shortcomings. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe confirmed that his club had rejected offers from West Ham United for midfielder Matt Ritchie and Callum Wilson on the eve of the game, and expressed annoyance over the timing of the bids. As Manchester United's mascot looks on, manager Louis van Gaal applauds fans during a lap of honor following Tuesday's 3-1 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
The unflappable 7-footer, admittedly unsatisfied with any performance short of perfection, is the unanimous winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year award, giving the Minnesota Timberwolves consecutive winners after Andrew Wiggins took the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy last season. Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns celebrates after hitting the game-winning shot against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 9.
The first pick in the 2015 draft out of Kentucky received all 130 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, joining Damian Lillard (2013), Blake Griffin (2011), David Robinson (1990) and Ralph Sampson (1984) as recent unanimous winners. Towns ranked eighth in the NBA in rebounds and field-goal percentage while producing the best debut for a big man since Tim Duncan in 1998.
Minnesota is the first team with back-to-back winners of the award since Bob McAdoo (1973) and Ernie DiGregorio (1974) with the Buffalo Braves.
The only rookie in the league to start all 82 games, Towns was named Western Conference rookie of the month in all six months the award was handed out. The figurative wall that so many first-year players hit during a schedule more than twice as long as college never impeded his progress.
Displaying the polish and poise of a veteran from the opening game of the season, Towns showed an elite ability to pass, rebound and score from both the paint and the 3-point line, giving the Timberwolves hope they've finally found the star they need to carry them out of the league's dregs. With Towns, Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad to be coached next season by Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves believe they have the ingredients to finally reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Thibodeau and Towns have already spoken "a lot," according to the player whom the new coach has already begun to lean heavily on.
Towns has spoken of his obsessive focus on excellence, and his appearance on the awards stage set up on the arena floor was the embodiment of this extremity in so many ways. Cool and confident in the spotlight, Towns brought an All-Star fashion presence to Monday's ceremony, wearing a black suit accessorized by a Prince-inspired silky purple pocket square and a long, lavender tie. Deferential to the greater cause, Towns also brought a list of teammates, coaches, trainers and others to thank so as not to leave anyone out.
Family-first Towns remembered his upbringing in New Jersey while speaking proudly of his father and sister and bringing his mother in the audience to tears. Towns donated the Kia Sorento he received from the award's sponsor to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in honor of former Timberwolves executive and coach Flip Saunders. The Minnesota Timberwolves will send Karl-Anthony Towns as their representative to the NBA draft lottery, hoping for the same fortune that brought them the NBA Rookie of the Year.
This time, they'll have 88 of the 1,000 ping-pong balls in the hopper, for an 8.8 percent chance of landing the top spot again. Towns will wear one of the late Flip Saunders' wedding rings around his neck as a good luck charm at the suggestion of Saunders' son, Ryan, who wears it around his neck each day. Saunders, Minnesota's former coach, died last October after a battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The potential payoff comes on Tuesday, when the 76ers have the best chance to win the NBA draft lottery. The LA Lakers and Boston Celtics, the NBA's most storied franchises, have the next-best odds of getting the No 1 pick and the chance to draft the type of player that could get them back to the lofty positions they used to occupy.
But nobody is set up like the 76ers, who used to be regular winners themselves but have done nothing but lose - which seemed to be their plan - in recent years. The team with the worst record normally has a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery, but the Sixers' odds are even better.
And there's more: If the Lakers don't remain in the top three, their selection would also go to Philadelphia, a pick the Lakers originally dealt to Phoenix for Steve Nash that the 76ers later acquired in another trade.
The 14 teams that didn't make the playoffs go to the lottery, which sets the top three picks. The Lakers had the No 2 pick last year and are right back in the same spot in the lottery after going 17-65 in Kobe Bryant's final season. The Celtics were a 48-win playoff team who will take the Brooklyn Nets' spot on stage as part of the payment from the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade in 2013. The lottery debuted in 1985 when the Celtics, Lakers and 76ers were in the midst of claiming nine straight NBA championships, so any of them, with good history and strong fan bases, would be a welcome landing spot for this year's top talent. But they didn't have the worst record in either season and last year that proved particularly costly, with Minnesota cashing in its 25 percent chance and getting Karl-Anthony Towns, the Rookie of the Year who appears to be a franchise player. It's unclear yet what the Sixers have, as they ended up with the No 3 pick both times and drafted Joel Embiid - who still hasn't played because of a foot injury - and Jahlil Okafor, who had some rocky times as a rookie.
Nobody was beating Philadelphia to the bottom this season, after an 0-18 start and 28-game skid spanning the previous season sent the Sixers to a 10-72 finish that was barely better than the worst ever in an 82-game schedule. So they're in great position for a shot at LSU's Ben Simmons or Duke's Brandon Ingram - or perhaps one of them and another building block.
Outside his team's locker room, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan received a round of hugs and celebratory handshakes for pulling off something no other team has done at Oracle Arena this postseason: win. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder dazzled in the fourth quarter the way the defending champion Golden State Warriors have done so many times this season on their home floor, rallying from 14 points down to notch a 108-102 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference final on Monday night. Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson shoots between Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (left), Steven Adams (12) and Serge Ibaka (9) during the second half of Monday's opening game of the NBA's Western Conference final in Oakland, California. Durant scored 26 points and made a key 17-foot jumper with 30.7 seconds left, while Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half. Westbrook also had 12 assists and seven steals in the opener of OKC's fourth West final in six years. Steven Adams made a pair of free throws for Oklahoma City with 1:01 remaining, and Klay Thompson missed a reverse lay-in moments later at the other end. MVP Stephen Curry had 26 points and a playoff career-high 10 rebounds, but the Warriors missed too many shots down the stretch. With his team down 105-102, Steve Kerr begged for a traveling call on Westbrook at midcourt with 17.2 seconds left, with the NBA Coach of the Year gesturing with his arms. Thompson scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half, but shot 3 for 10 over the last two quarters. Durant scored to get his team within 88-85 going into the final quarter, then knocked down a tying 3 just 12 seconds into the fourth.
Dion Waiters' layup at 10:30 put the Thunder ahead for the first time since the opening quarter.
Durant, Serge Ibaka and Adams each had double-digit rebounds - a focal point for Golden State after the Warriors won 121-118 in overtime on Curry's long game-winner at Oklahoma City on Feb 27 despite being outrebounded 62-32.
Curry was 9 for 22 from the field, including a 6-for-14 performance from beyond the arc, and committed seven turnovers to go with seven assists.
He hit a 3-pointer in his 45th straight playoff game, breaking Reggie Miller's record set from 1995-2000.
This marked the unanimous MVP's second straight start since coming off the bench in Game 4 against the Trail Blazers following a right knee sprain that still isn't 100 percent. It also marked the first playoff matchup between Oklahoma City and the Warriors, though Golden State lost a first-round series 3-1 to the franchise when it was the Seattle SuperSonics in 1992. In its first European final since losing to AC Milan in the 2007 Champions League, Liverpool is looking to quash the Spanish side's bid for an unprecedented third straight Europa League title at Basel's St. It brings Liverpool's journey through the competition under manager Jurgen Klopp to a thrilling climax, following dramatic wins over Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal in recent months. Liverpool's Emre Can salutes the crowd after the Reds beat Villarreal in the semifinal, second-leg match at Anfield on May 5. After seeing his side sink Villarreal brilliantly to reach the final, Klopp declared: "To go to a final you need a little bit of luck in decisive moments, but most of the time you need outstanding performances. Can wants to seize his chance in his first final with the club, but says a collective show of force will be required against the tough La Liga side. Five-time European champion Liverpool, which has also won the Europa League and its predecessor the UEFA Cup three times, has often provided drama on the European stage.
In 2001, the Reds triumphed after a nine-goal thriller against Deportivo Alaves only after Delfi Geli scored a late own goal. Four years later, Liverpool staged arguably the greatest comeback in Champions League final history by overcoming a three-goal deficit at halftime to force AC Milan into extra time then penalty kicks, winning its fourth title 3-2 from the spot. After Milan took revenge with a 2-1 Champions League triumph in 2007, Liverpool now has the chance to silver-line an encouraging first season for Klopp at Anfield.
With a Champions League spot also offered to Wednesday's winner, the German manager has pulled out all the stops. Sevilla may have the added pressure of facing Barcelona in the Spanish Cup final on Sunday, but coach Unai Emery insisted: "We have the chance to play two finals and, despite the difficulty our opponents will cause us, the team is determined and determined to enjoy it. Kevin Gameiro, Sevilla's top scorer this season with 28 goals including seven in eight Europa League outings, believes his side's past experiences will prove decisive. He already owns losers' and winners' medals from Champions League finals, but as part of Bayern Munich's squad the 22-year-old did not even get to lace up his boots, in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
A security contractor is being blamed by Manchester United for leaving a dummy bomb in Old Tafford stadium that caused the cancelation of Sunday's final Premier League game against Bournemouth. United vice-chairman Ed Woodward said the device had been left in error by a sub contractor following an exercise to train dog handlers at the stadium, after it was recorded as having been removed. The fake device, thought to consist of a mobile phone attached to a pipe, was discovered minutes before United and Bournemouth were due to take to the pitch and was safely detonated by bomb disposal experts.
British media named the company that left the device in the stadium as Security Search Management and Solutions. Christopher Reid, owner of Security Search Management, told Sky News that he was "devastated" about what had happened.
About 3,500 Bournemouth fans made the 500-mile round trip to Manchester to see their club's first league game at Old Trafford.
It was United's second security scare of the week after its team bus was pelted with cans and bottles by West Ham United fans five days earlier.


In April, Chan led Eastern Sports Club to Hong Kong's Premier League championship for the first time in 21 years. Chan Yuen-ting (center), head coach of Eastern Sports Club, celebrates with her players after winning the Hong Kong Premier League title on May 7. The title capped the 27-year-old Chan's debut season as head coach and earned her a Guinness World Record as the first female coach to win a men's championship title in a top regional league.
During his time at Wests John went from a speedy, hard running and tackling winger into a very hard running, ferocious tackling Test playing second rower.But let us not get to far ahead of ourselves a€¦a€¦John was born at Kempsey (not Casino) on the 1-3-1947.
Enlisted 14th October 1914.Australian Imperial Force – Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad – Edward Dudley Milbourne Marsh - 14th October 1914.
Sadly, many people, too wrapped up in their own lives, don't realise the realities of poverty in The UK, assuming it is their own fault. That replicates the journey I've had with Palace, my football journey and the street football with how I've grown up," Bolasie explained.
Playing at a different level than the rest of the field, the Cavs are now two wins from appearing in their second straight NBA Finals and trying to end Cleveland's 52-year sports championship drought. But Toronto lacks the necessary firepower to stay with a Cleveland team playing its best basketball this season, one that James likened to a football team.
DeMar DeRozan scored 22 for the Raptors, who have had a disastrous debut in the conference finals to this point. The move helped Toronto's second unit, as Patterson and Terrance Ross gave the Raptors an early lift and had them tied with the Cavs at 46-all. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Magic have not announced the hire. Vogel comes to Orlando as a proven head coach with playoff experience having led the Indiana Pacers the last five full seasons. His Pacer teams were usually one of the top defensive clubs in the NBA, finishing in the top six in field goal percent defense in each of his five full seasons as head coach.
It looks like it has a tennis ball on top of it, but it doesn't affect range of motion or anything. Wang is a very good buddy of mine and it's great to see him win back-to-back on the European Tour," said Canada's Richard T.
Kim are still ahead of Lee and Wang in the race to represent South Korea at the Olympic Games in Rio, the latter, who grew up playing junior golf in the Philippines, is hoping to push hard for a berth with qualifying set to conclude on July 11.
I'm so excited right now and really happy that I have won," said Wang, who is competing in the Irish Open this week. He is projected to fall out of the top 60 this week, so the Frenchman would need to make the cut and finish around the mid-40s to get back in. He missed out on his bid for the Masters at the Dell Match Play and would help himself toward a US Open invite by finishing in the top 20 or so. But he says he still hasn't played an 18-hole round since his two back surgeries last year.
He is in the Irish Open this week at The K Club and will try to join Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros as the only players to win three straight European Tour events on the schedule. Three years later, Ballesteros won the Irish Open, the Johnnie Walker Monte Carlo Open and the French Open. And in 2010, Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship, Dutch Open and Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland - all in an eight-week stretch. Germany is looking for a new Boris Becker and Zverev could be its best hope, especially at Wimbledon. He finished 11 of 13 from the field and added six rebounds and four assists in just 28 minutes. The Raptors regrouped for a moment and closed within 12 before the Cavs decided enough was enough and closed the half with a 12-4 flurry to go up 66-44.
He made it a three-goal gap about 12 minutes into the third off a feed from Patrick Marleau 24 seconds after Brouwer was whistled for high sticking. Louis Blues as they battle for the puck during the third period of Tuesday's Game 2 of the Western Conference final in St. In spite of the fact we have not always played very well, they have supported the players on the pitch always. Those organizations, they're big-time," said Marquette center Henry Ellenson, an expected lottery pick.
If this one was any kind of preview of what is coming, this should be a dandy of a series between the NBA's highest-scoring teams from the regular season. He rotated his entire starting XI for the 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday, meaning he welcomes back the big guns.
Tony Lloyd, who serves as Manchester mayor and police commissioner, branded it "outrageous" and a "fiasco". At age 27, Chan is younger than several of the players she coaches, yet she has already secured a unique place in soccer history by becoming the first woman to lead a men's team to a top-division regional championship. He scored on Cleveland's next possession, and while sitting on the bench during a subsequent timeout, he saluted applauding Cavs fans by pressing his fingers to his lips and touching his heart. Abdul-Jabbar attended Game 2 and flashed the peace sign when he was shown on the arena's giant scoreboard.
I'm really happy to get second position," said the Bangladeshi, who has been hampered by a back injury in recent years.
The PGA Championship is shown on TNT and CBS with 28 hours from Baltusrol the last week in July.
Pushed Rafael Nadal hard on clay at the Italian Open and has reached a career-high ranking.
Then you come back and do it again the next day and do it again and again and again," Fritz told the ATP website recently. Rickie Fowler, Justin Fowler and Smylie Kaufman took another trip, though this was more work than play. Steven Bowditch began the year with a tie for 10th in Kapalua, but his game has gone south since then. Bernhard Langer, who has not finished worse than 11th this year, is first or second in seven statistical categories. The whole problem is that the greedy few take far more than they need, leaving the rest of us struggling.We ask you, - who really needs more money than they can possibly spend? I think that's enough said about that." - Ken Duke, on comparing Jason Day and Jordan Spieth toTiger Woods.
He also will play the Scottish Open to fulfill requirements for his first European Tour season. Lowry texted Lue on Wednesday night and said he wanted to get together and watch the Golden State-Oklahoma City game. John was also playing rep football Group v Group.A 1965 A  Johna€™s life was about to change forever. Milbourne MarshTaken and subscribed at Liverpool in the State of New South Wales, this fourteenth October of 1914, before me D.J. The Mark, the currency of Germany's value was not competitive in the international currency and the economic fabric became miserable with poverty, unemployment and other economic problemsIn 1931, Hitler came to power with his intrigues and Nazi propaganda. Knox also will play the Scottish Open to get his minimum five starts required for being a European Tour this year. Eric organized for Billy Owens and Noel Kelly to visit and chat to John about playing for Wests in Sydney. He established a racial regime where top position was given to blue eyed Aryan race of Germans .Where as Jews and blacks were given low position.
Associating with Jews was not felt good and they were forced to surrender their property and send to areas where poverty and unemployment were the social outcomes.
He was told that he should play Rugby Union to beat the transfer fee that Smithtown might put on him.The story was if you played RU for 1 year you could move over to League and not incur a transfer fee.
He encouraged to multiply the children of German race and given clear instructions to avoid the marriages with the Jews. One of Johna€™s flatmates was trying out for Easts Rugby League and told John to come along and try out for Easts.John met with Roy Flynn, the Easts treasurer at the time and the conversation went like thisa€¦a€?No chance, bring him back when he grows up!!!a€? John had just turned 18.
MOVE FORWARD TO 2014: Disillusioned with Capitalism and Socialism,A Nigel Farage joined a small party called UKIP. This chat stayed with John and he always played that little bit harder when Wests played Easts.John, without a car, arrived at Ashfield park via public transport and trained with Wests. Through his attractive speeches, he got a wide following all over The UK.The economy is struggling, and through the ConDem's policies, there is widespread poverty, unemployment and economic problems.
A A Despite what he says, Nigel Farage and his cohorts are racist, indeed, the name United Kingdom Independence Party says it all - The British for the British! I cana€™t find out the score but John tells me the Water Board boys won.A A The main event. It was a political earthquake!A Less than 12 weeks earlier, Winston Churchill (pictured right) had announced the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
Churchill wanted his wartime coalition to continue until Japan too had been defeated, but was not unduly dismayed when his Labour ministers insisted that the country be offered a choice. The Prime Minister called the election for early July, confident that the British people would back the greatest hero of the hour. Of all Churchill's colossal misjudgments, that was probably the most egregious!A The voters wanted an end to wartime austerity, and no return to prewar economic depression.
Three years earlier, in the darkest days of the war, they had been offered a tantalising glimpse of how things could be in the bright dawn of victory. It offered nothing less than a cradle-to-grave welfare state.That was the great promise dangled before the British electorate in 1945. One team, drawn out of a hat, would have the luxury of playing the winner of the first playoff match.
Though Churchill had presided over the planning for radical social reform, though he was a genuine hero of the masses,A the people of The UKA did not trust him to deliver the brave new world of Beveridge.There were other factors too. Sadly, many people, too wrapped up in their own lives, don't realise the realities of poverty in The UK, assuming it is their own fault.
One night Ned arrived to find me asleep on a park bench with a newspaper over my head and I was christened Sleepy which over time was turned into Snoozer.a€?A Below is a story about Johns life now at South West Rocks. A A Ita€™s a bumpy, dusty drive beside the Macleay River just south of South West Rocks (home to Smoky Cape Lighthouse and a prison with a killer view, Trial Bay Gaol) to get to the big blue shed at Rainbow Reach, with potholes so deep you could fish in them a€“ but the drive is worth it. The Mark, the currency of Germany's value was not competitive in the international currency and the economic fabric became miserable with poverty, unemployment and other economic problemsIn 1931, Hitler came to power with his intrigues and Nazi propaganda.
John Elfords oysters explode in your mouth, salty and creamy, with a lingering mineral aftertaste.Hea€™s been oyster farming here for a dozen years, is passionate about his product and the river he works and lives by, and reckons he wouldna€™t want to do anything else.
As aA  Wests fan in the 1960a€™s and 70a€™s John a€?Snoozera€? Elford was a player I would love to watch play. Also a Tribute to the late Bob Burns (Fishy) Amazing Lost Scrapbooks found Great Rugby League Web Sites. Squadron Sergeant Majors will obtain the sizes from each Squadron and furnish the Adjutant with same immediately.
The following Signallers reported for duty, having returned from Signal School, Broadmeadows.
About Us Contact Us A Tribute to Ben Fisher and Jack Thompson Bill Keato the Lad from Liverpool Old Newspaper stories and photos from the 1960's VALE Laurie Bruyeres VALE Nev Charlton.
VALE Bill Keato VALE Vince Karalius VALE Bob McGuiness VALE Denis Meaney VALE Johnny Mowbray Vale Kel O'Shea Vale Mark "Snow" Patch VALE Bob Sargent Vale Ken "Nebo" Stonestreet.
VALE Doug Walkaden 1966 Season 1967 Season 1968 Season 1969 Season Noel's Dream Team What a game Wests Photos from the Old Days Case of the Missing Goal Posts A Visit to Old Pratten Park Peter Dimond Book Launch Interview with ------ Noel Kelly Interview with ------ Tony Ford Interview with------- Mick Alchin Interview with Jim Cody Interview with ------ Colin Lewis Interview with ------ John Mowbray Interview with ------ Noel Thornton Interview with ------- Bill Owens Interview with John "Chow" Hayes Arncliffe Scots 1969 Un-Defeated Premiers Arncliffe Scots 85 years reunion 2003 Pratten Park Reunion 2007 Pratten Park Reunion 2008 Pratten Park Reunion 2009 Pratten Park Reunion 2010 Pratten Park Reunion 2011 Pratten Park Reunion 2012 Pratten Park Reunion 2013 Pratten Park Reunion. Gallipoli – 15th May 1915 20th May 1915Gallipoli6th Light Horse acting as infantry without their horses landed at Gallipoli.
Left the peninsular 20th December 1915     Edward Dudley Marsh in his 6th Light Horse uniform. Photo says 4 troopers of the 7th Light Horse  mounted.1914-1918 4 Troopers of the 7th Light Horse dismounted.
Am keeping communication (per telephone) between the firing line and Head Quarters until the last moment when we finally evacuate this position. The uncertainty and suspense is somewhat trying as we do not know exactly how much the enemy know of our movements.
But it shall not be long now before we make tracks for the beach and incidentally the boats.
When the last of all firing line parties, “C” 1, 2, and 3 had passed “X” depot and there was not a man between the enemy and ourselves on Gun Ridge, then we the Rear Guard Party retired for the beach.
Ten minutes later we were crossing the beach in two’s and walking along a pier made of bags of sand etc and boarding Navy Cutters.
Two or three minutes after arrival at beach the steam pinnace left with the last men to evacuate the position from Gaba Tepe on Gallipoli. That I was one of the very last party, 20 men altogether, to turn our backs upon the Turks and make for the boats, I am very proud. At the same time there is nothing to brag about still the fact remains that had the enemy known anything then we would have had a lively and exciting time. We had left set rifles in the trenches so that after leaving the firing line these kept going off and so the Turks believed we were still there. Truly this evacuation without loss is almost as great as the landing.   Photograph labelled as 4 horse carriage with Australian troopers. He has been in the trenches at Gallipoli  but I do not know what position he held, and as I want to write an important letter would you let me know as soon as possible if you could furnish any particulars. A P4812 28th February 19166th Light Horse Regiment joined with 2nd Light Horse in defence of the Suez Canal.
Milbourne Marsh 6th Light Horse  Regiment was in Hospital and I beg to thank you for sending me the information . Colmar Storey?)The first and last entries will be signed, and transfers from one Medical Officer to another, attested by their  signatures. LH 4850 30th June 1917 – Casualty Form – Active Service.Received from Isolation Camp – Marched in and attached to instructional staff. R. 21st July 1917 – Casualty Form – Active ServiceReceived from 2nd Light Horse (Troop) Regiment.
LH 5880 2nd February 1918 – Casualty Form – Active Service6th Light Horse – Rejoined Regiment x Dump Belah.
Regiment – Rejoined x Central Gas School 17th August 1918 - Casualty Form – Active Service2nd Light Horse T. LH12107 24th August 1918 - Casualty Form – Active Service6th Light Horse – Rejoined x cadre 2nd Light Horse Regiment. Marsh, Sixth Light Horse returned ex “Port Douglas.” Paybook shows promotion Corporal, 28th March 1915.
Marsh, Sixth Light Horse returned ex Port Darwin paybook shows promotion corporal twenty eighth three fifteen please verify and advise.
According to Australian War Memorial - after Gallipoli he went on with the 6th Light Horse to Palestine and was shot while making a special survey at Beersheba and died at Rafa the next day. 1917 This photo of Dudley's is described as "Inside a Hospital." Could be Jack Marsh (George Milbourne Marsh) on the right.




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