The Sacramento Kings fired head coach Luke Walton amid their struggles this season, the NBA franchise announced on Sunday.

Sacramento lost patience with former Los Angeles Lakers coach Walton after losing seven of eight games to drop to 6-11 in 2021-22.

The Kings – who are 12th in the Western Conference and have not reached the playoffs since 2005-06 – promoted associated head coach Alvin Gentry to take over on an interim basis.

"After a thorough evaluation of the season thus far, I decided to make a change to the head coach position," said Kings general manager Monte McNair.

"I want to thank Luke for his efforts and contributions to our team."

Walton – an NBA champion as a player with the Lakers – had a 68-93 record as Kings coach following his arrival in 2019.

The Kings have had 10 coaches since last featuring in the postseason, with Gentry set to be the 11th since Rick Adelman guided the franchise to a 34-35 finish in 2006 and a first-round berth.

Talor Gooch enjoyed a memorable day after winning the RSM Classic for his first PGA Tour title.

It was a "dream come true" for American Gooch, who closed with a six-under-par 64 to seal a three-shot victory in Georgia on Sunday.

Gooch earned his maiden PGA Tour trophy in his 104th start – the 30-year-old becoming the second first-time winner on tour this season, joining Lucas Herbert (Bermuda Championship).

A one-time winner on the Web.com Tour in 2017, Gooch tied the RSM Classic 72-hole scoring record of 22 under (Kevin Kisner 2015) after ending the final round bogey free at Sea Island Golf Club.

"To finish the fall season off like I just did, it's a dream come true," said Gooch, who finished the tournament on a streak of 26 consecutive holes without a bogey.

"This gets me into some tournaments I wasn't into. But I want to get to the TOUR Championship and this puts me a little bit ahead of the ballgame for that journey. The goal is to win the TOUR Championship."

Canada's Mackenzie Hughes finished runner-up to Gooch following his eight-under-par 62, while Colombian Sebastian Munoz (65) was a stroke further back at 18 under.

Tyler McCumber (60), Cameron Smith (64), Tom Hoge (67) and Seamus Power (68) shared fourth position, seven shots behind Gooch.

Jonathan Taylor grabbed a staggering five touchdowns as the Indianapolis Colts jolted the Buffalo Bills with a remarkable 41-15 win on Sunday.

The star running back became just the 13th player since 1960 to bag five or more scrimmage TDs in a game, and the first from the Colts to achieve the feat.

Taylor came into the game having scored a rushing touchdown in seven straight games, looking to become the first to reach eight since DeAngelo Williams in 2008.

What transpired was a momentous day for the 22-year-old, who was a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, and he pushed the Colts to 6-5 for the season, after their 1-4 start.

He scored from the Colts' opening drive and was unrelenting from that point on.

The Bills, top of the NFL team defense ranking heading into the game and boasting an average winning margin of 26.3 points this year, had little answer to Taylor's breath-taking display and slipped to 6-4. 

This was a rematch of a wildcard round in last year's playoffs, when the Colts were edged out, and Taylor ensured the outcome was markedly different.

He told CBS: "The offensive line and I, we prepared tremendously throughout this week. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge.

"We had to accept that challenge, that's what we had to do coming into this game and that was half of the battle."

Asked what the secret had been to his recent success, Taylor said: "I think it's been the communication between the offensive line and myself.

"It doesn't matter what defensive front they bring, what pressure, as long as we're all in communication and on the same page we can accomplish anything."

He saluted the Colts' defense, who snagged three interceptions, saying: "A lot of those guys were coming up to me, talking about the game I had today. They create and generate takeovers, and we have to capitalise on them."

The Colts' five previous wins this year had come against teams with a combined 13-34 record, with this victory suggesting they can mix it with higher pedigree sides.

Newton loses out to Heinicke

Cam Newton's first start of his second stint with the Carolina Panthers ended in defeat at home, a 27-21 loss to Taylor Heinicke and Ron Rivera's Washington Football Team.

He finished 21-of-27 for 189 yards, with touchdown passes for DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey. Newton also rushed for a touchdown, but against his old Panthers coach Rivera it was not Newton's night, and his contribution waned late on.

Heinicke finished 16-of-22 for 206 yds with three touchdown passes to help Washington improve to 4-6, earning another prized scalp after topping Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10.

Vikings pick off Packers as Joseph wins it

Greg Joseph's last-gasp field goal gave the Minnesota Vikings a stunning 34-31 win over the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

His walk-off 29-yard glory kick settled a tumultuous game that had seen the Vikings lead 23-10, only to be overhauled and trail at one point in the fourth quarter.

It became a ding-dong battle from there and overtime looked to be on the cards after Aaron Rodgers sent a 75-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling to tie it at 31-31 in the fading moments.

Yet Minnesota made ground and gave Joseph the chance to win it, meaning they improved to 5-5 and the NFC North leading Packers slipped slightly to 8-3.

Rodgers went 23-of-33 for 385 yards with four touchdown passes.

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai said she is "safe and well" in a video call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Sunday, the governing body said.

Peng had been widely considered to have been missing since making sexual assault allegations against Zhang Gaoli, the ex-vice premier and member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, more than three weeks ago.

Despite footage released by Chinese state-run media on Saturday purporting to show Peng in a restaurant with friends, followed by images of the 35-year-old at a youth tournament on Sunday, concerns have been raised regarding her safety.

However, with the likes of Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic calling for answers on Peng's whereabouts, the former world number 14 has now spoken publicly for the first time since November 2.

In a statement released on Sunday, the IOC said Peng had spoken to president Bach for 30 minutes.

The announcement added: "She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.

"That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much."

The statement included an image of the video call between Bach and Peng, who was smiling to the camera.

IOC member Li Lingwei and IOC Athletes Commission chair Emma Terho were also on the call, with the latter adding: "I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. 

"She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated."

Prior to Sunday's latest development, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) called for more information about Peng.

"I am glad to see the videos released by China state-run media that appear to show Peng Shuai at a restaurant in Beijing," said WTA chairman and chief executive officer Steve Simon in response to the restaurant footage.

"While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference. 

"This video alone is insufficient. As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai's health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug. 

"I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads."

Collin Morikawa became the first American to win the Race to Dubai after clinching the DP World Tour Championship title on Sunday.

The 24-year-old entered this week's season finale knowing there were five challengers who could pip him to the European number one crown, although he teed off on Sunday with a three-shot advantage over his nearest rivals.

Morikawa showed few nerves as he produced his best round of the tournament, carding a 66 to finish three strokes ahead of Alexander Bjork and Matt Fitzpatrick at 17 under par.

It capped a memorable 2021 for Morikawa, who has won three titles this year, including the Open Championship in July, having only made his professional debut in August 2019.

"It's special, it's an honour, really, to be the first American to do that on the European Tour to put my name against many, many great Hall of Famers, it's special," he said.

"Two years ago, it wasn't in my thoughts. It was, 'yeah, let's go play around the world' but we didn't know what the cards were going to be dealt.

"To have this chance and finally close it out, and not just closing it out with a top 10 or something, but to actually win the DP World Tour Championship, which concluded with the Race to Dubai, not a better way to finish – what a great way to finish.

"To close out the season-long race, the Race to Dubai, it means everything. Obviously, I won some big events and that obviously helped catapult me up to the top."

Rory McIlroy, who led after the first day at Jumeirah Golf Estates, finished in a tie for sixth with Dean Burmester and Ian Poulter after a final round of 74 left him at 12 under.

The best performance of the day belonged to Bernd Wiesberger, who carded a brilliant 63 to finish on two over after only managing 76, 76 and 75 in the first three rounds.

Alexander Zverev outmatched defending champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to claim his second ATP Finals title on Sunday.

World number three Zverev was defeated by Medvedev in the group stage, but the German prevailed 6-4 6-4 in the final for his tour-best sixth trophy of the year.

The 24-year-old fired eight aces on his way to a deserved win over Medvedev, secured in just an hour and 15 minutes.

"It was great," Zverev said in his on-court interview. "I won the Finals, with a win in the final against someone I had lost [against] five times in a row, so I had to play one of my best matches. 

"I am happy about that and happy to go on holiday with this win."

 

Building on his semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic, Zverev made a strong start in Turin and broke his opponent in the third game.

Medvedev was unable to hit back as Zverev dominated behind his first serve to see out the first set.

The Russian's hopes of becoming the first repeat champion since Djokovic's four in a row between 2012 and 2015 were further dented when losing serve in the opening game of the second set.

Putting his powerful game to good use, Zverev only improved as the contest went on at the Pala Alpitour venue as he saw the job through with his first match point to cap the year in style.

Your moment, @AlexZverev#NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/HOSxnFdSfh

— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 21, 2021 Data Slam: Alexander the great?

Zverev had lost his previous five meetings with Medvedev, as he pointed out, but he bettered his opponent in every department on his way to becoming just the fourth player in ATP Finals history to earn semi-final and final wins over the world's top-two players.

His 59 tour-level wins in 2021 is the most of any player, fittingly overtaking Medvedev on that list with this statement victory.

TOTAL POINTS WON

Zverev – 61
Medvedev – 51

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 8/1
Medvedev – 3/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 2/4
Medvedev – 0/0

Formula One "woke up the lion" in Lewis Hamilton when he was disqualified from qualifying due to a DRS issue in Brazil, Toto Wolff says.

Hamilton, who was already serving a penalty for taking a new engine at last week's Sao Paulo Grand Prix, was forced to start from the back of the grid in the sprint race but recovered to take fifth.

In the main race, the Mercedes man then triumphed from 10th despite an incident that saw title rival Max Verstappen force him wide and avoid punishment.

The FIA dismissed an appeal for that incident to be reviewed again this week, while a stewards' inquiry in Brazil saw Verstappen only fined after he touched Hamilton's car.

These factors may have frustrated Hamilton, but he has not become distracted, instead adding another victory at the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday to close to within eight points of Red Bull's Verstappen.

"Lewis is totally in the zone," Mercedes team principal Wolff told Sky Sports. "They woke up the lion in Interlagos on that Saturday and you see that."

Hamilton added: "The last two weeks have been fantastic, just amazing. But there's no time for celebration.

"I'll be back with the team already again next week and training tomorrow, stay on it, heads down.

"I don't have too much emotion other than being driven right now, but it's just amazing to be able to close so many points in the last two races which has been important.

"[Red Bull are] obviously still very fast, as you could see today with their fastest lap and both their cars getting past pretty much everyone quite easily. So we've still got our work cut out.

"I'm loving it. I love the close battle, the pressure, the demands it puts on you and the whole team.

"So I thoroughly enjoyed it, but these next two races need even better performance, so we'll be bringing our 'triple A' game for those ones."

Tyler Huntley came in for unwell Baltimore Ravens superstar Lamar Jackson on a day fellow undrafted quarterback Tim Boyle also made his first NFL start.

Huntley has served as Jackson's backup in Baltimore for the past two years since going undrafted in 2020 but has so far been restricted to just 29 passes and 16 carries across five games in the regular season and playoffs.

He threw 13 passes in last year's playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, completing only six for a passer rating of 59.8 after Jackson exited with concussion.

Huntley was given his chance from the start against the Chicago Bears with Jackson missing due to a non-coronavirus illness.

The absence of the 2019 NFL MVP came as a blow to the Ravens, whose offense is ranked second in the league with 414.1 total net yards per game this year. Jackson ranks ninth for passing yards (2,447) and seventh for rushing yards (639), leading all QBs in the latter.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Boyle lined up under center for the Detroit Lions against the Cleveland Browns as Jared Goff recovers from an oblique muscle injury.

Boyle had not previously featured for the Lions but did play 11 times across two seasons with the Green Bay Packers, albeit he threw for just 15 yards, was sacked for 11 yards and lost a further 16 rushing.

The Lions' offense ranks 27th (319.4 net yards), with Goff throwing just eight touchdowns and six interceptions across nine games.

Fernando Alonso was delighted to return to a Formula One podium for the first time in seven years as he finished third at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Alonso was a two-time champion with Renault, now Alpine, and a regular title contender in his time at Ferrari before he quit the series at the end of 2018 having struggled with McLaren.

The Spaniard twice won the 24 Hours of Le Mans while away from F1 but is back with Alpine this year.

Heading into Sunday's race at the Losail International Circuit, where he started from third following penalties for Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, Alonso had registered 13 points finishes this season without reaching the podium.

Indeed, his last top-three finish had been in Budapest in 2014, but that wait came to an end with a little help from a virtual safety car.

Alonso struggled to stick with race winner Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Verstappen beyond the first few laps but clung on to third when Sergio Perez, who pitted twice, was slowed in the closing stages.

The Alpine man had been ailing at that point, having benefited from one of several tyre punctures when Valtteri Bottas fell from third and later retired.

"Unbelievable. Seven years but finally we got it," Alonso said of his 98th F1 podium. "We were close [in] a couple of races but not [close] enough. Sochi was the last possibility.

"Here today, honestly, I thought I could be leading after lap one. I thought with the red tyre I could have a go at Lewis, but I couldn't.

"Then Checo was very close at the end, but I'm so happy for the team. Also with Esteban [Ocon] P5, it's a good Sunday."

Alonso maintained his spotless record of having collected points at all 34 circuits at which he has raced in F1 following this first Qatar GP.

He added: "I'm enjoying it. F***, I was waiting so long for this, so I'm happy."

Three seconds was all it took for Tiger Woods to show he may just have a golfing future.

The 15-time major winner, whose career has been in doubt since he was severely injured in a high-speed car crash in February, released a short video on Sunday showing him playing an iron shot.

It was the first time the world has seen the all-time great swing a club since he was lucky to escape with his life from that scrape.

Woods, 45, badly fractured his right leg and needed emergency surgery after his single-car smash in California, while he also sustained foot and ankle injuries.

Extensive rehabilitation has followed, and the former long-time world number one is up to hitting balls again, representing a huge step forward in his recovery.

In the brief clip, he is shown in shorts, with a protective stocking over his right leg. Although the video shows Woods hitting only one shot, he is on the range with a bucket of balls at the ready.

He posted the video along with a short message – "Making progress".

It raises hopes – for Woods and fans of golf – that the American superstar may be able to return to competition on the PGA Tour, perhaps as soon as next year.

Woods said in May that his objective was to be able to walk again unaided, but it appears he is now well past that stage.

Los Angeles police said in April that Woods' crash was caused by excessive speeds that led him to lose control of the vehicle he was driving.

Police examined data recorded from the vehicle – a 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV – and found he was driving at speeds in excess of 80mph in an area with a 45mph speed limit.

He was travelling at an estimated 75mph when he hit a tree, with officers believing the five-time Masters champion might have inadvertently hit the accelerator instead of the brake as there was no evidence of braking.

Ireland coach Andy Farrell was delighted with his side after they hammered Argentina 53-7 to collect their third win from three games in the Autumn Nations series on Sunday.

The visitors caught Ireland cold when Santiago Carreras danced down the right wing to open the scoring at the Aviva Stadium. However, tries from Josh van der Flier, Andrew Porter and Caelan Doris ensured the hosts led 24-7 at half-time.

Van de Flier bundled over for a second time after the break, with Cian Healy, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Beirne all getting in on the act after Tomas Lavanini's dangerous tackle had seen Argentina reduced to 14 men.

Having overcome New Zealand last time out, the hosts are now unbeaten in eight games since a 15-13 loss against France last February and Farrell reflected on a great performance from his whole squad.

"We are delighted with the win," Farrell told Channel 4 after Ireland's 27th win in 29 games at the Aviva Stadium.

"It is a great day for us because we grow as a group, with players out some people got their chances and did pretty well, it is pretty satisfying overall.

"That's how we train, we make sure we're all across our work, anyone who comes into the hotel on Friday or Saturday has to be ready to play."

Asked how his side will prepare for their next clash with Wales in their Six Nations opener in February, Farrell added: "We will meet and review and take the lessons learned.

"We will watch the lads fight against one another for their provinces over the next couple of months and hopefully they grow as players before they come back in and we hit the ground running for our first game of the Six Nations."

Lewis Hamilton was "really, really grateful" for a Qatar Grand Prix win that closed the gap at the top to eight points, but Max Verstappen is pleased to be pushed all the way for his first Formula One title.

Hamilton is bidding for a record-breaking eighth championship but has work to do to reel in leader Verstappen.

The Briton followed up his Losail pole with victory on Sunday, although Verstappen recovered from seventh – following a grid penalty – to finish second and take the fastest lap, limiting the damage as much as possible.

It was ultimately a day both men could enjoy, even if Verstappen's penalty meant the only real jeopardy for Hamilton was avoiding the fate of others in the field who saw their tyres punctured.

"It was pretty straightforward. It's pretty lonely at the front," Hamilton said. "Of course, I enjoy those races where you're battling through, but we needed those points today.

"It was a really solid job from the team with pit stops and with the car.

"I can't wait to watch the replay of the race to see what happened behind me. I'm not really sure why people's tyres were going – I'm sure it's the kerbs.

"But I'm really, really grateful for these points. It's been a hell of a year, so to be at this point in the year and have back-to-back wins is a great, great feeling. It puts us in good stead for the next two."

Verstappen added: "Of course our starting position was a bit compromised, but luckily we had a really good start. From there, I was quite quickly back into second.

"At the end of the day, to get that fastest lap was very nice. I know it's going to be difficult to the end, but I think that's nice. It keeps it exciting."

Lewis Hamilton celebrated consecutive Formula One wins for the first time since May as a precious victory at the Qatar Grand Prix moved him to within eight points of Max Verstappen.

The Mercedes superstar followed up his Sao Paulo success with another triumph, although Verstappen limited the damage despite a five-place grid penalty due to a yellow-flag infringement in qualifying.

The championship leader recovered to finish second and also took the extra point for the fastest lap, assured of beating Hamilton to that feat due to a late virtual safety car following a series of punctures.

The two title rivals were joined on the podium by Fernando Alonso, the two-time champion's first top-three finish since 2014.

Both he and pole man Hamilton enjoyed strong starts, although Verstappen wasted little time in wiping out his penalty.

Starting from seventh, the Dutchman gained three places from the start but was then shut out by Alonso, who passed Pierre Gasly into second.

Verstappen stayed on Gasly's tail and eased past on lap four before quickly hunting down Alonso, yet Hamilton had already disappeared into the distance.

Hamilton continued to stretch his advantage out towards 10 seconds before Verstappen pitted and the Mercedes man immediately responded, following him in to maintain the lead.

That gap closed very slightly as Hamilton worked his way through the backmarkers, but drama was limited at the front until Valtteri Bottas, running in third, suffered a puncture as he attempted a one-stop strategy.

That was the first of several such issues, meaning Verstappen took no risks and pitted a second time soon after, with Hamilton again heading in on the next lap.

Sergio Perez questioned Red Bull's call to bring him in twice as he pursued a podium, and it was a move that ultimately did not pay off as he failed to reel in Alonso due to the virtual safety car.

BOTTAS BLOW ADVISES STRATEGY

Mercedes expected a two-stop from Verstappen, so promised Bottas there would be "opportunities" if he went longer and took care of his tyres. Unfortunately, that strategy failed.

Bottas, who qualified in third, was penalised to sixth and then fell to 11th, had recovered to third place on lap 36 when he sustained a puncture and was forced to limp back to the pit, ruled out of contention entirely as he re-emerged in 14th. He later retired, just as Williams pair George Russell and Nicholas Latifi each also suffered punctures to the same front-left tyres.

Perez might have been less than impressed, but the single stops proved a huge gamble.

ADD LOSAIL TO LEWIS' LIST

Hamilton already held the record for poles (30 of 34) and wins (29 of 34) at the most different circuits and added to both tallies at the first ever Qatar Grand Prix.

Alonso also enjoyed his Losail bow, collecting points at the 34th of 34 tracks in real style.

Formula One title leader Max Verstappen was handed a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's Qatar Grand Prix after a yellow-flag infringement in qualifying.

The Red Bull driver was due to start second in Lusail behind Lewis Hamilton, but he instead started from seventh as a gripping title race took another twist.

Verstappen had been under investigation, along with Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz, for not slowing down under yellow flags near the end of Saturday's qualifying session after Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture on the pit straight.

The stewards confirmed the Dutchman's grid drop around 90 minutes before Sunday's race, while Bottas was docked three places to put him sixth due to his breach being under single waved flags.

Sainz avoided punishment as he "made a significant reduction in speed".

Explaining the decision to penalise Verstappen, a statement released by F1 ahead of the race read: "Notwithstanding the fact the team argued that the turning off of the yellow sector on the FIA marshalling system some 34 second prior to the driver reaching the yellow flag, signified that it was 'play on', it was the driver's responsibility to take the appropriate action when entering what was a double yellow flag area.

"The driver acknowledged his awareness of the presence of Car 10 on the right side of the track.

"Having seen a disabled car, it is reasonable to expect, as was the case of the driver of Car 55 [Carlos Sainz], that there was a potential danger and that a yellow flag situation probably existed and therefore to take the appropriate action (i.e. to reduce speed)."

Verstappen leads Hamitlon by 14 points in the standings.

Jimmy Butler criticised the Miami Heat's complacency after they blew a 16-point lead in Saturday's defeat to the Washington Wizards.

The Heat had won four straight games coming into Saturday's trip to the capital, but that run has now been bookended by collapses.

Against both the Los Angeles Clippers (17 points) and the Wizards, Miami have led by double digits only to lose. Earlier this season, the Heat let leads of 12 and 11 slip to the Utah Jazz and the Brooklyn Nets respectively, although they rallied again to win on both occasions.

Of those four games, only the Utah victory was at home.

This latest setback was particularly painful due to the late nature of the collapse; the Heat had a 10-point lead with just over four minutes remaining but went down 103-100.

Miami were the victim of three fourth-quarter double-digit comebacks last season, and Butler is concerned the Heat – now 11-6 and behind the 11-5 Wizards in their division – are not dealing well with praise following a strong start.

"[The collapses are] probably because we stopped doing what we were doing to get those leads," he said.

"We tend to get comfortable, and that's a bad thing when you're comfortable. You get complacent and you just think the games going to keep going that way.

"For us, at least, it doesn't."

Butler, who led Miami with 29 points, added: "When everybody's giving you this praise all the time, you think you deserve it. You think you're supposed to be talked about like that – and that's not the case.

"This league is very humbling. It's fragile, and just as soon as you think you're good and you're high on yourself, you get hit like this.

"I don't think we should have lost this game. We did. You can say we'll learn from it, we'll go back to the drawing board. I'm hoping this is the last time that this happens, but I can't guarantee that."

Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed that watching tape of his struggles on the glass had provided the catalyst for his superb showing in the Milwaukee Bucks' win over the Orlando Magic.

Antetokounmpo collected 20 rebounds as the NBA champions claimed a 117-108 victory in Milwaukee, adding 32 points for good measure.

Mike Budenholzer's men have now won three in a row for the first time this season, with Antetokounmpo leading the way.

The Finals MVP became the fifth player to reach 32 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks in a game over the past 40 seasons, following in the footsteps of DeMarcus Cousins, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon.

"I watched a lot of clips and I was losing rebounds," said Antetokounmpo. 

"That frustrates me and I wanted to do a better job, using my body, being in the right spots.

"I know if I can get the rebounds, we can get on the offense; it's faster and I can get myself going that way."

 

Bobby Portis added a season-high 24 points along with 15 rebounds, earning warm praise from Antetokounmpo.

"He creates space on the floor for everybody, not just me but for Khris [Middleton] and Jrue [Holiday], for Grayson [Allen]," said the 26-year-old.

"A lot of guys are worried about him, they know he's capable of making the open shot. He helps us find more driving lanes, he just makes the court bigger. 

"It's great that he's feeling good. When he's open, you pass him the ball and he's probably going to make it.

"We need him to keep playing like this, we need him to keep being aggressive, to keep leading – he's one of the leaders in this team – we need his energy, and we need everything he's doing moving forward."

With the Bucks now 9-8 for the season, Antetokounmpo hopes this winning streak can continue.

"It feels good, but we've got to stay humble and keep getting better," he added.

"Khris is going to keep getting more involved and getting into his spots, Jrue is going to do the same. Bobby is playing great, competing.

"We're getting better and that ends up with wins, but we've got to keep going and get more wins."

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic does not know if he will defend his crown due to the COVID-19 mandate in Victoria.

It remains to be seen whether world number one Djokovic will fly to Melbourne in January amid vaccination requirements.

The state of Victoria, where the year's opening grand slam takes place at Melbourne Park, has introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes and across most industries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As doubts over Djokovic's participation linger, the 34-year-old superstar was asked about his Australian Open plans after losing to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals on Saturday.

"I haven't been talking to [Tennis Australia], to be honest," nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic told reporters after his 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3 defeat in Turin.

"I was just waiting to hear what the news was going to be. Now that I know, we'll just have to wait and see."

The 2021 Australian Open went ahead, albeit in February instead of January, and without fans for most of the tournament following a snap lockdown of Melbourne due to COVID-19.

Djokovic – winner of a joint-record 20 grand slam titles – was among the players critical of the conditions athletes endured prior to this year's Australian Open, with strict quarantine measures introduced.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's monster performance helped the Milwaukee Bucks top the Orlando Magic 117-108 in the NBA on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo posted 32 points and collected 20 rebounds to fuel the NBA champions at home to the lowly Magic in Milwaukee.

The Finals MVP became the fifth player to reach 32 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks in a game over the past 40 season, following in the footsteps of DeMarcus Cousins, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Bobby Portis added a season-high 24 points along with 15 rebounds as the streaking Bucks (9-8) celebrated their third consecutive victory.

 

 

Lillard leads Blazers

Damian Lillard had a season-high 39 points as the Portland Trail Blazers outlasted the Philadelphia 76ers 118-111. Portland improved to 8-1 at home to his season. The 76ers, who continue to be without MVP runner-up Joel Embiid (COVID protocol), were led by 28 points apiece from Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey.

All-Star pair Rudy Gobert (21 points and 14 rebounds) and Donovan Mitchell (26 points) inspired the Utah Jazz to a 123-105 victory away to the Sacramento Kings.

 

Lowry struggles from the floor

The Miami Heat's prized recruit, Kyle Lowry had an off night in the team's 103-100 loss at Eastern conference rivals the Washington Wizards. The NBA champion was just three-of-12 shooting – making one of only seven three-pointers in a seven-point display.

The Charlotte Hornets had their five-game winning streak snapped by the Atlanta Hawks, who prevailed 115-105. Charlotte tasted defeat, despite big performances from Miles Bridges (35 points and 10 rebounds) and LaMelo Ball (15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds).

Terence Crawford stopped Shawn Porter in the 10th round to retain his WBO welterweight crown and remain unbeaten.

Crawford made it 38 wins from 38 fights thanks to Saturday's TKO as the American star successfully defended his crown in Las Vegas.

In his fifth consecutive title defence, Crawford was pushed by Porter (31-4-1), who applied relentless pressure at Michelob Ultra Arena.

But Porter eventually came unstuck in the 10th round, going down twice after being caught with a left uppercut and a right hook to the temple.

It led to Porter's father and trainer Kenny throwing in the towel in bizarre fashion.

"He's been in there with everybody," Crawford said. "He did what he could. I was just the better man tonight."

On his father's decision to stop the fight, Porter added: "He's doing what he knows he needs to do.

"I didn't expect that. We never had a conversation like that. We just have an unspoken understanding that if he sees what he needs to see, he's going to do what he did. I didn't expect that.

"Yes [I could have gone on]. The punches he was catching me [were] too clean. I think that's what my dad saw. I saw and felt it.

"I just think my timing was a little off, great fighter over there wouldn't allow me to catch my rhythm. He's a dynamite dude in and out of the ring."

Kenny Porter said: "Honestly, his preparation [on why he threw in the towel]. He didn't prepare like I wanted him to prepare. That just makes me say I don't want him in that situation.

"Shawn was hurt and moving forward, this guy is a sharp fighter and my kid is at a deficit and couldn't defend himself. I had to protect him."

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