Two of the youngest Houston Astros stars on Friday helped one of the MLB’s oldest managers get another shot at a most elusive title, with rookie Luis Garcia showing the poise of an October ace and MVP Yordan Alvarez doing more damage at the plate as the Astros earned yet another trip to the World Series by beating the Boston Red Sox 5-0 in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Garcia and Alvarez, both 24 and ascending, and 72-year-old manager Dusty Baker are to open the World Series on Wednesday morning Taiwan time, either at Dodger Stadium or at home against Atlanta, with the Braves leading Los Angeles 3-2 in the National League Championship Series going into Game 6 this morning Taiwan time. “There’s four more wins on the board out there,” Baker said. “There’s four more wins you’ve got to get.” The Astros advanced to the World Series for the third time in five seasons. They won the championship in 2017, a crown tainted by the team’s sign-stealing scandal, before losing to the Washington Nationals in seven games in 2019. Garcia pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning, leaving to a huge ovation with two outs after a triple by Kike Hernandez. It was an impressive bounce-back performance for Garcia, who started Game 2 and gave up a grand slam in the first inning before leaving with no outs in the second because of discomfort in his right knee. “I know I’m a rookie, but I know what I can do and that’s what I did tonight,” Garcia said. Alvarez continued his scorching streak, a year after watching at home after surgery to both knees as the Astros came one game shy of reaching the World Series. The slugging designated hitter went four for four, including a triple and two doubles. Alvarez hit an
A historic night for Chris Paul on Friday was marred by two incidents, one an altercation between Los Angeles Lakers teammates Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard, during the visiting Phoenix Suns’ 115-105 triumph. Paul led Phoenix with 23 points and a game-high 14 assists. When he made a free throw in the second quarter, he scored his 20,000th point, the 47th player to do so, and he became the first in NBA history with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists. Late in the first half, Davis and Howard had a shoving match on the Lakers’ bench during a timeout. In the third quarter, Rajon Rondo had a run-in with a fan when the Lakers guard was pointing at the man following a soft drink having been thrown or spilled on the sidelines. The man slapped Rondo’s hand away, then was quickly escorted away by security guards. Phoenix’s Devin Booker backed Paul with 22 points, while Mikal Bridges added 21 and Jae Crowder 13. Deandre Ayton pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds to complement eight points. LeBron James finished with 25 points and Davis 22 to go with a team-high 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who trailed by as many as 32 points. WIZARDS 135, PACERS 134 (OT) Spencer Dinwiddie scored eight of his team-high 34 points in the final 2 minutes, 17 seconds of regulation to force overtime as hosts Washington went on an 11-2 run in the extra frame to power past Indiana. Washington gave up the first six points in overtime, but whittled away at the deficit to set up what ultimately gave the Wizards the lead for good. Davis Bertans hit a three-pointer off one of Dinwiddie’s nine assists with 35.2 seconds remaining, breaking a 131-131 tie. Bertans was one of three Wizards to score in double-figures coming off the bench with 17 points. Raul Neto scored 18
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter on Friday posted a new video denouncing China’s human rights record regarding Uighurs and other Muslim minorities. The video came two days after Kanter, who has a history of speaking out against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of his native Turkey, condemned the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Tibet in a similar video, prompting a backlash in China. “Heartless Dictator of China, XI JINPING and the Communist Party of China. I am calling you out in front of the whole world. Close down the SLAVE labor camps and free the UYGHUR people!” Kanter wrote on Twitter. “Stop the GENOCIDE, now!” Chinese authorities have been accused of facilitating forced labor by detaining about 1 million Uighurs and other primarily Muslim minorities in camps since 2016. China denies wrongdoing, saying it has set up vocational training centers to “combat extremism.” “It’s so disappointing that the governments and leaders of Muslim majority countries are staying silent while my Muslim brothers and sisters are getting killed, raped and tortured,” Kanter said in a video accompanying the tweet, posted hours before the Celtics’ home opener against the Toronto Raptors, which they lost 83-115. Kanter, 29, was pilloried on Chinese social media and his name appeared to be blocked on the Sina Weibo messaging platform. Celtics highlights were absent from China’s Tencent Holdings sports platform on Thursday. The US on Friday voiced concern at China’s actions against the NBA following Kanter’s criticism of China’s treatment of Tibet. A US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail, referring to the People’s Republic of China: “The United States is deeply concerned by the PRC’s actions against the National Basketball Association for statements one player made regarding Tibet.” The Celtics and the NBA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taiwan’s World No. 4 badminton ace and tournament fourth seed Chou Tien-chen on Friday fell to an upset defeat at the hands of unseeded Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong in the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open at the Odense Sports Park. The older and more experienced Chou was edged out in the final moments of the thrilling 1 hour, 18 minute duel by Lee in rubber sets 16-21, 21-19, 19-21 on court 1. The match started with Lee dictating the pace by grabbing a 5-0 lead, with Chou slow to find his range. Chou seemed to warm up during the second game and took the lead for the first time before finding game point 20-17. However, it was the superb variation and angle of attacks that led to Lee winning the final game, booking his first ever semi-final at a Super 1000 event, the top tier of the BWF World Tour. In the mixed doubles, Lee Jhe-huei and Hsu Ya-ching were ousted by Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the quarter-finals. The Taiwanese lost the first game 21-9 and were trailing 11-3 when they were forced to retire. ETtoday reported that Lee sustained a finger injury during the match.
At a stadium full of recent bad memories, Australia yesterday experienced moments of anxiety before beating Japan 32-23 to start their annual rugby tour to the northern hemisphere. The Showa Denko Dome, which hosted yesterday’s match, was where the Wallabies lost to England in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup. Flyhalves Quade Cooper for Australia and Rikaya Matsuda for Japan were influential figures as the teams struggled through an error-ridden match yesterday, deprived of continuity mainly by a high number of breakdown penalties. Cooper threw crucial passes in both of Australia’s first-half tries, then kicked a penalty to allow Australia to turn a one-point lead to a four point margin, 17-13, at halftime. Australia seemed on top when they scored two tries early in the second half, but Japan came back strongly, scoring a try while down to 14 men in the 55th minute to leave the Wallabies with a seven-point margin, which narrowed further with another Japan penalty. Replacement hooker Connal McInerney carried the ball in a well-executed lineout drive in the 78th minute to score a try on Test debut, which inflated Australia’s winning margin. TROPHY FOUND Reuters The original Women’s World Cup trophy has been found in the attic of a house belonging to an administrator’s parents after going missing for more than 15 years, England’s Rugby Football Union has said. The trophy had gone missing after England won the title in 1994 and a new trophy was made for subsequent editions. “It was a very special, treasured trophy and it went out on tour and on road shows after we won the World Cup,” said former England player Gill Burns, who was a part of the 1994 team. “It was in the [World Rugby] museum briefly before it went back out on tour.” “A few years later we started saying: ‘Does anyone know where the World
LIGUE 1 Fans delay game AS Saint-Etienne stayed winless and last in Ligue 1, but salvaged a point against visiting Angers with a late fightback in a match delayed for an hour by protests from angry home fans. After mid-table Angers proved the fans’ point by grabbing a two-goal lead, Saint-Etienne fought back with Mickael Nade scoring a late equalizer. He made the final score 2-2 five minutes into added time, or 65 minutes after the final whistle was originally scheduled to blow. The match had been held back by a pitch invasion during the player warm-up. Home supporters unfurled banners, let off a barrage of rockets and smoke bombs and ran onto the field, damaging the goals. The banners attacked coach Claude Puel, club leadership and the players. “We’ve had enough talk, you’re making us crack,” one visible through the smoke said. “Puel resign,” “management resign” and “we want a team worthy of its fans” the fans chanted. PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal raise performance Arsenal on Friday delivered their best performance of the season to beat Aston Villa 3-1 in the Premier League. Arsenal were completely dominant for most of the game and built a 3-0 lead before Jacob Ramsey pulled a late goal back for Villa, who then pressured for the final 10 minutes without coming closer. Thomas Partey opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with his first Arsenal goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the lead just before halftime, converting the rebound after seeing his penalty saved. Midfielder Emile Smith Rowe capped an impressive display by adding the third in the 56th minute on a quick counterattack. SERIE A Torino hold off Genoa Torino on Friday held off a late comeback from Genoa to see out a 3-2 victory in Serie A for their first win in more than a month. Antonio Sanabria and
‘SURREAL FEELING’: Chris Taylor became the second Los Angeles Dodgers player with a three-homer game in the playoffs after Kike Hernandez also did it in 2017
For a guy who dislikes drama, Chris Taylor sure provided plenty of it. Taylor on Thursday hit three homers and drove in six runs, joining the likes of Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth in October baseball lore, as the Los Angeles Dodgers broke loose at the plate to beat Atlanta 11-2, cutting the Braves’ lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. “It’s cool. It’s definitely a surreal feeling for me,” Taylor said. “I never thought I was going to hit three homers in a game, let alone a post-season game, and it just still hasn’t really sunk in.” A.J. Pollock had two home runs and four RBIs for defending champions the Dodgers, who have won seven straight post-season elimination games dating to last season. They also trailed 0-2 and 1-3 against Atlanta in the championship series last year before rallying to win three straight at a neutral venue in Texas. “We needed to make a statement,” the mild-mannered Taylor said. “They put it on us yesterday [Wednesday]. We had to respond.” Game 6 is today in Atlanta, Georgia, where the Braves get two more chances to clinch their first trip to the World Series since 1999. “I guess when our backs are against the wall we play our best and fight, but that’s just not an ideal spot to be in,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. After mustering only four hits during a 9-2 loss in Game 4 that pushed them to the brink of elimination, the desperate Dodgers rapped out eight hits by the third inning off Max Fried. They finished with 17, a club record for a post-season game, and also equaled a post-season franchise mark with five home runs. The Dodgers got to Fried with four consecutive hits in the second inning. Pollock hit a tying homer and Taylor drove the first pitch
Baker Mayfield had the best seat in the house to watch the Browns’ backups deliver. Case Keenum on Thursday stepped in for an injured Mayfield and made the most of his first start in two years and third-string back D’Ernest Johnson rushed for 146 yards as Cleveland overcame a short week and a long list of injuries to beat the Denver Broncos 17-14. Keenum did not put up impressive stats (21 of 33 for 199 yards), but threw a touchdown pass and did enough — as did Cleveland’s maligned defense — to get the Browns (4-3) a much-needed victory. They survived without Mayfield, who sat out with a shoulder injury and could miss more time. “Unfortunately, some people are going to get hurt,” Keenum said after his first win since 2019. “At the same time, you love other young guys getting chances.” Johnson, playing because stars Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were both out with calf injuries, had the best game of his young career. He scored on a four-yard run in the first half and picked up 52 yards on seven carries as the Browns chewed up the final 5 minutes, 17 seconds after the Broncos pulled within three. Once he reached the end zone, Johnson was not sure how to react. “It’s unexplainable,” he said. “I wanted to celebrate, but I didn’t know what to do. It’s been a long journey.” The Broncos could not stop Johnson and now they cannot stop losing, either. “The last drive was very frustrating,” Denver coach Vic Fangio said. “We loaded up against the run and we couldn’t stop them.” Afterward, Johnson, who worked on a fishing boat when he was not drafted, got doused with water by his teammates in a raucous celebration in the locker room. Johnson could not believe that NBA superstar LeBron James wrote about him on Twitter in the
West Ham United on Thursday took control of Group H in the UEFA Europa League thanks to a 3-0 home win over KRC Genk. Craig Dawson scored late in the first half, before Issa Diop and Jarrod Bowen helped the Irons to go six points clear. “The main thing is topping the group. The home games are vitally important. We want to win away, too,” Bowen told BT Sport. “If we can stay strong, keep the confidence, then I think teams will be fearing us. We could be the team to look out for. We’re only a few games away from a big cup run.” Elsewhere in Group H, Rapid Vienna defeated Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 to open their account in the competition. Olympique Lyonnais have also made a perfect start to the European campaign and came from behind to edge Sparta Prague 4-2. The French side, who finished the final quarter of an hour with 10 men after teenager Malo Gusto was sent off, trailed 2-0 early on. Cameroon’s Karl Toko Ekambi with a brace, France’s Houssem Aouar and Lucas Paqueta of Brazil then responded to claim the victory. “The first 20 minutes were very difficult,” Haouar told RMC Sport. “We have a lot of talent up front, so we knew how to score after. It proves all the quality we have.” Serie A leaders SSC Napoli secured their first European win of the season, overcoming the previously unbeaten Legia Warsaw 3-0. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen took his goal tally to nine for the campaign after Lorenzo Insigne had broken the deadlock for the Italian side. Italy midfielder Matteo Politano then rubbed salt into the Polish wounds with a third in stoppage-time. AS Monaco remain top of Group B after 21-year-old midfielder Sofiane Diop claimed an 89th-minute winner in the 2-1 success over PSV Eindhoven. Austria’s Sturm Graz remain pointless after three rounds
Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma on Thursday were humiliated 6-1 in the UEFA Europa Conference League at Bodo/Glimt, the Norwegian champions whose fans are famed for carrying giant yellow toothbrushes to games. “It’s my responsibility, I chose to use these players,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by Italian media. Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini described the defeat as an “embarrassment” and a “slap in the face.” Bodo/Glimt, who wereplaying their 11th European game of the season, stunned the Italian giants who struggled in temperatures of 2°C on an artificial pitch just inside the arctic circle. Erik Botheim scored a hat-trick for the Norwegians, with captain Patrick Berg, Ola Solbakken and Amahl Pellegrino piling on the misery for Mourinho. Bodo/Glimt won the Norwegian title for the first time in their 104-year history last season. Their fans have become great curiosities in the sport for their habit of waving giant, yellow toothbrushes in the stands. Carlos Perez scored a consolation goal for a much-changed Roma side, who had won their first two games in Group C, scoring eight goals and conceding just one. However, Mourinho would have had one eye on this weekend’s Serie A clash with SSC Napoli, who top the table in Italy with eight wins from eight games. “If I had played the first team, someone might get injured, then we would concede four or five goals against Napoli on Sunday and that decision would have been considered wrong, too,” Mourinho said. “The team that Bodo put out today had more quality than our second string.” Roma skipper Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia there were lessons to be learned. “I can only apologize and get back on track stronger than before. We said what we needed to in the locker room and it remains there,” he said. “Sometimes you need a slap to learn and we got a slap in the face
Tyler Herro on Thursday scored a team-high 27 points as the Miami Heat set a club record for most points in a season-opening game by hammering reigning NBA champion the Milwaukee Bucks 137-95. Jimmy Butler delivered 21 points and Bam Adebayo had a game-high 13 rebounds for the Heat, who used a 26-2 first quarter run to bust the game open and never look back. “I mean, 137’s a lot. Hopefully, we can see that a lot this season,” Herro said. The previous team record for points in a season opener was 128 against Detroit in 1999 and the largest margin of victory was 26 points in 2000 over Orlando. Six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry made his debut for the Heat, but was held to just five points on one-of-eight shooting. The Bucks never led in the contest and went nine straight minutes without a field goal in the first quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Khris Middleton scored just 10 points in the loss. The banged-up Bucks were missing several key players, including Jrue Holiday (right heel), Brook Lopez (back) and Bobby Portis (left hamstring). “We’ll get some of the guys back and every team is going to deal with this at different points,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s a long journey and we’re just getting started.” The Heat shot 53.1 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent on three-point attempts, while the Bucks shot 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. In San Francisco, Stephen Curry drained two late three-pointers en route to a 45-point performance as the Golden State Warriors spoiled the Los Angeles Clippers’ season opener with a 115-113 win. Curry sank a three-pointer with 1 minute, 54 seconds left in the fourth to give the Warriors a one point lead. He hit another clutch three-pointer with 57 seconds left to erase a
Taiwanese badminton player Chou Tien-chen on Thursday progressed to the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open by sweeping his Chinese opponent in straight games in the men’s singles. Fourth seed Chou booked his slot in the quarter-finals after a 21-15, 21-18 victory over world No. 27 Lu Guangzu in just 39 minutes in his round-of-16 match at Odense Sports Park. At the start of the first game, Lu gained a 2-0 advantage before Chou found his form and reeled off eight consecutive points. The Taiwanese maintained that lead and won the game 21-15. At 14-14 in the second game, Chou lost the next three points. Adjusting his strategy, he then played at the net and created opportunities for powerful smashes to win the next six points and lead 20-17. A wayward serve gave away a point to his Chinese opponent, but Lu hit the next return long for Chou to win the game 21-18. Chou was due to face 25-year-old Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong in the quarter-finals. In the mixed doubles, Taiwanese duo Lee Jhe-huei and Hsu Ya-ching rallied from a game down to defeat England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith 17-21, 21-19, 21-14 in 53 minutes. Lee and Hsu were due to face Thai second seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the quarter-finals.
OVERWORKED? Julio Urias and Max Scherzer have struggled in the National League Championship Series when starting two days after taking to the mound in relief
The Los Angeles Dodgers were asking the world of Julio Urias when he took the mound for the fourth time in 12 days on Wednesday and the result was a 2-9 loss against Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. Although Urias was the only 20-game winner in the major leagues this season, Los Angeles had used him in three roles in the past week alone. Urias and the Dodgers claimed that it was nothing he could not handle, but the left-hander was out of rhythm and away from his normal between-starts preparation when he took on the Braves. “I felt good physically,” Urias said after the game. “I just have to give them credit for what they did today,” he added. By the time Urias left the Dodger Stadium bump with a five-run deficit, it seemed clear that his team are asking for too much — or are not getting enough — from the top pitchers in their tumultuous rotation. The Dodgers’ front office is disregarding most traditional norms in an October attempt to get the most out of their pitching staff, but with his team on the brink of elimination, it is clear that those decisions have not worked out the way LA boss Andrew Friedman hoped. Urias and Max Scherzer struggled in the series when asked to start just two days after pitching in relief. Walker Buehler also did not match his usual standard when pitching on extra rest. And now the Dodgers are down to their last chance to get those decisions right against the Braves, who have a 3-1 series lead against LA for the second straight October and three opportunities to dethrone the defending World Series champions. After matching the best regular-season record in franchise history, the Dodgers face elimination for the fourth time already in these playoffs in Game
Cristiano Ronaldo’s second coming at Manchester United has already produced two memorable moments with late winners against Villarreal and Atalanta BC to edge the Red Devils toward the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. However, Ronaldo’s return has also come at a cost, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men increasingly looking like a disjointed bunch of talented individuals rather than a team. United were on course for a fifth defeat in eight games when Atalanta led 2-0 at halftime at Old Trafford on Wednesday. A stirring second-half fightback eased the pressure slightly on Solskjaer as United went from bottom of Group F at the break to top by fulltime. Ronaldo completed the comeback with a towering header after goals from Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire brought the home side level. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has come under fire in the past few weeks for the detrimental impact his arrival has supposedly had on the rest of the team. Ronaldo’s lack of running off the ball has been scrutinized as a cause for United’s dreadful defensive record. However, he is delivering at the other end, with six goals in nine appearances. “He’s great in front of goal,” Solskjaer said. “If anyone wants to criticize him for work rate or attitude just watch this game. Watch how he runs around.” A much-needed three points reduces the risk of crashing out at the group stage for a second consecutive season, although there remains plenty of work to do with trips to Atalanta and Villarreal still to come. The spotlight also remains on Solskjaer ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday, with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City also to come before the international break next month. United have taken just one point from a possible nine in the Premier League against Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester City to
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had warned that his big names might be playing too much soccer, and on Wednesday he lost forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to injury against lowly opposition in the UEFA Champions League. The defending European champions ran out easy 4-0 winners against Malmo in Group H with goals from Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz, and two bullet penalties by Jorginho. However, Lukaku fell victim to a clumsy tackle in the 18th minute and Werner pulled up clutching his hamstring just before halftime. “We have a twist of the ankle for Romelu, and muscle injury and hamstring for Timo,” Tuchel said. “They will be some time out.” However, the German said that he did not regret playing Lukaku, who had failed to score in six games before Wednesday’s clash. “It was maybe the moment to give him confidence and let him play,” Tuchel said. “We don’t want these problems too often, but it happens during a season.” The coach had suggested before the game that some of his players might have lost a little motivation through playing too much. He mentioned Lukaku in particular. “In this moment, I feel like Romelu is a bit overplayed, he played too many games over the summer... It is difficult to judge if he really needs a break or if we need to keep him on the pitch,” Tuchel said on Tuesday.
Fast bowlers will need a varied skillset to conquer the “tired” pitches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Australia’s Pat Cummins said yesterday ahead of their Twenty20 World Cup opener against South Africa tomorrow. The pacers would be a worried lot heading into the World Cup looking for ways to master the dry and slow pitches in the UAE, which has split warm-up matches with Oman, but hosts the rest of the tournament from tomorrow’s start of the Super 12 stage. The UAE also hosted the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which concluded on Friday last week, meaning fast bowlers face the prospect of toiling on worn pitches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. “A couple of wickets have been tired and a couple times you get some really good wickets,” Cummins told a virtual news conference sharing his experience from his side’s warm-up matches. “In Twenty20, you got to have a few different varieties. Bowling with a new ball up front is going to look quite different to how you bowl in the end, so you’ve got to be able to adapt and have two or three different spells within the 20 overs.” The 28-year-old, who is returning to competitive cricket after more than five months, said that conditions in the UAE would significantly differ depending on match timing and bowlers would need to adjust accordingly. “The night games tend to be a bit more batter-friendly. There’s a bit of dew around and the ball skids on, whereas the day games are a bit drier,” he said. “I think the biggest difference is when we talk about it being dry. That kind of brings in the slower balls. Night games, if they start sliding on, you’ve got to look at other options. Maybe it’s yorkers, bouncers, and try different deliveries where
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter was pilloried on Chinese social media and his name appeared to be blocked on the Sina Weibo messaging platform after he criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping and China’s treatment of Tibet. Kanter, who is Turkish, posted a two-minute video of himself on Twitter expressing support for Tibet and wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an image of the Dalai Lama, its exiled spiritual leader. “I’m here to add my voice and speak out about what is happening in Tibet. Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non-existent,” Kanter said in the video posted on Wednesday in the US, along with text describing Xi as a “brutal dictator.” Kanter posted similar messages on his Instagram feed. On Wednesday, he wore shoes emblazoned with the phrase “Free Tibet” during their game against the New York Knicks, which New York won 138-134. The shoes’ design was by Baidiucao, a dissident China-born cartoonist and artist based in Australia. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin yesterday told a news briefing that Kanter was “trying to get attention” and that his remarks “were not worth refuting.” “We will never accept those attacks to discredit Tibet’s development and progress,” Wang said. As of midday in China, Kanter’s Chinese-language surname and full name yielded only one result, compared with multiple results earlier in the morning. Sina Weibo did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the NBA in China did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment. The Boston Celtics did not respond to a request for comment sent outside business hours. A Sina Weibo fan page for the Boston Celtics with more than 650,000 followers wrote that it would cease updating its social feed after Kanter’s posts. Twitter is blocked in China. “Any information on the team will cease to appear on this weibo. Any
TAKEOVER CHANGES: Steve Bruce left his position as manager by mutual consent, but said that the abuse directed at him by supporters had been difficult to take
Steve Bruce yesterday said that his stint at Newcastle United could be his last managerial role after the 60-year-old left the club following a poor start to their English Premier League campaign and the takeover of the side by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium. Bruce, who has been the target of fans’ ire since replacing the popular Rafa Benitez in 2019, left by mutual consent with the team in 19th place and winless after eight games. “I think this might be my last job. It’s not just about me; it’s taken its toll on my family because they are all Geordies and I can’t ignore that,” Bruce told the Telegraph. “This will probably be me done as a manager until I get a phone call from a chairman somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I’ve learned that.” Bruce, a boyhood Newcastle fan, said the abuse directed at him by supporters was difficult to take. “To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head ... and it was from day one,” Bruce said. “I tried to enjoy it and ... I did. I’ve always enjoyed the fight, proving people wrong, but that’s all it ever seemed to be. A fight, a battle. It does take its toll because even when you win a game, you don’t feel like you’re winning over supporters,” he added. Bruce had appeared to be on borrowed time after the Premier League announced earlier this month that Newcastle had been sold to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The 60-year-old had said following the change of ownership that he would understand if he was replaced, but he was
Cody Bellinger on Tuesday smashed a three-run homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5, while the Houston Astros recovered to score a series-leveling 9-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Bellinger’s monster eighth-inning home run off Atlanta reliever Luke Jackson turned a 5-2 deficit into a 5-5 tie just as the Dodgers appeared to be sliding toward a third straight defeat in their National League Championship Series. Chris Taylor singled to keep the inning alive before Mookie Betts drove in a run-scoring double to put the Dodgers ahead at 6-5 heading into the ninth, allowing closer Kenley Jansen to lock down the win. After Atlanta stunned the Dodgers with walk-off victories in the opening two games of the best-of-seven series, Tuesday’s Game 3 at Dodger Stadium had acquired must-win status for the reigning MLB World Series champions. However, until Bellinger’s homer, the Dodgers looked to be heading for defeat after a fitful display from starting pitcher Walker Buehler and a spluttering offensive performance. “Man, pure elation, joy — it’s just hard to imagine a bigger hit that I can remember,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Bellinger’s game-changing homer. “We were dead in the water. You could see it,” Roberts added. “It just flipped everything. We needed that kind of shot in the arm.” The Dodgers’ victory left Atlanta 2-1 ahead in the series. “Right now, any win is huge, but the way we won tonight shows we’re still fighting,” said Dodgers leadoff hitter Betts. In Boston, 2017 World Series champions Houston erupted with eight runs in the final two innings to defeat the Red Sox in Game 4 at Fenway Park. Boston had looked to be closing in on a 3-1 American League Championship Series lead after Xander Bogaerts’ two-run homer put them 2-1 up in the first inning. The Sox preserved that lead
Andy Murray on Tuesday said that he had “never played a match like it” after the former world No. 1 battled past the US’ Frances Tiafoe in an epic at the European Open. The 34-year-old Scot, who has suffered career-threatening hip injuries, saved two match points to pull off a 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (10/8) victory in a thrilling first-round clash in Antwerp, Belgium. At 3 hours, 45 minutes it was the longest best-of-three match this year, the ATP said, eclipsing the 3 hours, 38 minutes played by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final in April. “I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that,” Murray said. “I think it’s the longest three-set match I’ve played by quite a distance. I’m tired right now, obviously it was an unbelievable battle.” Murray shared a warm embrace with 23-year-old Tiafoe afterward. “Nowadays obviously my body is old now. I’ve played a lot of matches on the Tour,” he said. “I don’t mind playing long matches, but that was taking it to another level.” Murray faces Argentine second seed Diego Schwartzman today.