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Triple No.12 for Harden in Rockets rout

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

NEW YORK — James Harden bagged his 12th triple-double of the season as the Houston Rockets routed the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 to end their two-game losing streak on Sunday in the National Basketball Association.
Harden compiled 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, completing his triple with three assists in the final quarter as the Rockets pummelled the Nets.
Harden was one of six Houston players to make double figures as the Rockets bounced back from consecutive losses to Minnesota and Memphis.
Eric Gordon drained four three-pointers and led Houston's scoring with 24 points while Trevor Ariza added 23 points.
Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell weighed in with 16 points each while Ryan Anderson added 12 as the Rockets blew away a feeble Nets defense.
It was a 10th straight defeat for the Nets, who are now propping up the Eastern Conference standings with a dismal 8-32 record.
Houston's win saw them improve to 32-11, leaving them third in the Western Conference standings behind Golden State and San Antonio.
Brooklyn's losing streak is the second time in the past year that they have lost 10 in a row.
Trevor Booker led the scoring for the Nets with 18 points while Randy Foye contributed 13.

Kerber battles into OZ Open second round

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

MELBOURNE, Australia — World number one Angelique Kerber battled past Lesia Tsurenko in a stuttering start to her first Grand Slam title defence at the Australian Open Monday.
The top seed ultimately proved too much for the Ukrainian, winning 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena and but the German's labored victory was far from impressive.
Kerber, 28, stunned Serena Williams in the final last year and went on to win the US Open, dethroning the American powerhouse as the world's top ranked player.
She is not only defending a major title for the first time but also playing her maiden Grand Slam as top seed, admitting ahead of the tournament that she was carrying the burden of expectation.
She seemed to be struggling under that pressure early in the game, taking time to get into her groove. Once she did, there was no stopping her until Tsurenko came back to life late in the second set.

Thomas delivers Hawaiian punch in record fashion

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 00:00 Published in Sports

LOS ANGELES — Justin Thomas made more history on Sunday at the Sony Open, firing a five-under 65 to set the PGA Tour's lowest 72-hole score at 253.
Thomas sank a one-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th at the Waialae Country Club course where his 27-under 253 is the lowest four round score of all-time.
"It has been an unbelievable week. Unforgettable," Thomas said.
Thomas started his round with a seven-shot lead and cruised to victory, finishing seven strokes ahead of runnerup Justin Rose of Britain.
The 23-year-old American is off to one of the best starts in PGA Tour history.
He has won three of his last four tournaments. That includes a sweep of the Tour's Hawaii swing as he becomes the first golfer since Ernie Els in 2003 to win the Tournament of Champions and Honolulu's Sony Open back-to-back.
Olympic gold medallist Rose closed with a six-under 64 Sunday to reach a 20-under 260 total. Former world number one Jordan Spieth finished in solo third with a final round 63 to finish at 19-under, eight shots back of Thomas.
Kevin Kisner and Jamie Lovemark both shot 65 and tied for fourth at 18-under.
Thomas' epic performance this week started and ended with him making history in Hawaii.
He became the youngest on the Tour to shoot a 59 in the first round, shot 64 to set the 36-hole record in Friday's second round, continued with a 65 to tie the 54-hole record on Saturday and set the 72-hole mark on Sunday.
Tommy Armour held the previous 72-hole record with a 254 at the 2003 Texas Open.
"It is pretty unbelievable what JT is doing now," said Spieth. "He is showing the world what he is capable of."
Thomas said he was aware of the record.
"I told (caddie) with two holes left, 'we need to get one of these last two.'"
In addition to claiming his first PGA Tour victory in the 2015 CIMB Classic, he posted six other top-10 finishes last season, winding up third four times — in the Frys.com Open, the Honda Classic, the Players Championship and the Travelers Championship.

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