Daily Archives: April 15, 2016

Liverpool overcomes Dortmund to Europa League semi-final

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Liverpool overcomes Dortmund to Europa League semi-final

Liverpool made it through the semi-finals of the Europa League as they beat Borussia Dortmund by 4-3 in a miraculous comeback within a match startlingly reminiscent of that night the Reds triumphed over AC Milan in Istanbul.

But the Kop had displayed apparent problems, as they conceded two goals against the German team in just 10 minutes from the start. Liverpool began attacking at such a pace they seemed to forget their opponents also have a reputation for quick counters after winning back possession.

One word to sum them up was overeager, as Philippe Coutinho and Alberto Moreno lost the ball high up the field on the left on their first real foray forward, and from that unpromising position Dortmund advanced all the way downfield to take an early lead through Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

And before Liverpool had even waked up to the fact, Dortmund hits another as an inspired Marco Reus passed to the effect of a firm finish by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Roberto Firmino had lost possession.

It was 2-0 after just nine minutes, and Anfield went silent.

Liverpool’s Divock Origi then made a point for starting in the place of Daniel Sturridge by slotting one in early in the second half through the legs of opposition keeper Roman Weidenfeller. But it seemed a waste of effort as Marco Reus made a cool finish in the 57th minute.

They need at least 2 goals in less than 33 minutes left and everyone in a red shirt knows it. Philippe Coutinho stood up to the call, roused the home crowd with a brilliant string of passes then curled it in low and into the net from 25 yards out. 34 minutes left, Liverpool-2, Borussia Dormund-3.

Mamadou Sakho then equalized for Liverpool as the French defender rose up from the back to head in the ball into the net at the near post. Jurgen Klopp was wound up to the point of frenzy, turning around to the crowd beneath Anfield’s directors’ box, whirling his arms in encouragement and gesturing wildly for more vocal support.

Then, the climax came as Liverpool rolled it as James Milner swung a beautiful cross for Dejan Lovren, and the Croatian defender heads it in. Dortmund’s brilliant start ended up being blown away by a rousing European comeback, as glorious attacking honored both clubs and the often mocked Europa league.

Indeed, Anfield had seen many great nights, but this can be added to the list.

Golden State Warriors power through to 73rd win

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Golden State Warriors power through to 73rd win

The Golden State Warriors overpowers the Memphis Grizzlies to a 125-104 win to rewrite NBA history with a record 73 wins in the span of a regular season.

As the West Coast team surpassed the previous record of 72 set by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in 1995-96, Stephen Curry also hits a new high by becoming the first NBA player to net more 400 three-pointers in a season as he improved to 402.

It is that much more impressive when you remember that the previous record of 286 was set by Curry himself.

“We love winning,” Curry said. “We love to compete and to push ourselves, and that’s what pushed us to the opportunity we had tonight, and hopefully we’ll continue this weekend when we get the playoffs started.”

The reigning MVP finished with 46 points with ten 3-pointers, in front of a delirious sellout crowd of 19,596 at the Oracle Arena.

Not a single seat was empty as the Warriors surpassed the Bulls’ mark in the history books, a record previously thought to be unbreakable. It was far from the NBA norm too; typically by the 82nd game of the regular season, post-season seed would have been set and the regulars are rested for the playoffs.

Even fans and supporters would be lackluster if they even show up at all.

But the atmosphere that night was far from it. The arena was filled with blue and gold colors as every home fan screamed their lungs out to cheer for their team and also for each of Curry’s 10 3-pointers.

“It’s a great way to finish off what was an amazing regular season,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who happened to be a reserve guard on that Bulls team.

“I just told our guys I never in a million years would have guessed that that record would ever be broken. I thought it was like [Joe] DiMaggio’s hit streak.”

Even without the 73rd win the Warriors were still magnificent in every way this season. They started the season with a 24-game win streak, and cut short the Spurs’ streak of being undefeated at home, beating them for the first time there since 1997.

Kobe Bryant takes 60 points in NBA last bow

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Kobe Bryant takes 60 points in NBA last bow

Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final NBA game to finish his 20-year career in the league with a dazzling showcase of his offensive prowess.

The veteran nicknamed the Black Mamba scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, making it his first 50-point game since February 2009.

His team, the Los Angeles Lakers was trailing with a 15 point gap behind Utah Jazz, but Bryant entered to rally his team as he had so many times before to win the game by 101-96.

With the entire Staples Center crowd standing in anticipation, Bryant netted a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left, and another after 27 seconds, making it 97-96. He ith an assist before checking out for good with 4.1 seconds left in just the Lakers’ 17th win of the season.

“It’s hard to believe it happened this way,” Bryant said with a smile. “I’m still shocked about it.”

“The perfect ending would have been a championship. But tonight was (me) trying to go out, play hard and try to put on a show as much as I possibly could. It felt good to be able to do that one last time.”

It was indeed, one last classic Black Mamba performance.

The Lakers honored Bryant before and after the game, who is retiring after 20 seasons, five championship rings and 18 All-Star selections with the. As an entire night dedicated Bryant wraps up, he became the fifth player in NBA history to play 20 seasons, and the first with just one team.

Kobe became the oldest player to score 50 points in an NBA game in what was fifth highest-scoring game of his career. He also took another honor by gathering 50 shots in 42 minutes of play, surpassing his previous career high of 47 shots, taken in a loss to the Boston Celtics on 7 November 2002.

Bryant briefly addressed the crowd after the game, expressing thanks for the fans’ support.

“Mamba out!” he said with much finality.