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Manoj Kumar. Source: Aap And Afp
Monday, March 19, 2012


INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Jeremy Lin led the Knicks with 19 points as New York beat the Indiana Pacers 102-88 to improve to 3-0 since interim coach Mike Woodson took the helm of the NBA team.

Lin, who emerged as a NBA sensation under former Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni last month, added seven rebounds and six assists as he showed he can continue to thrive with Woodson in charge.

Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire scored 16 points apiece and JR Smith chipped in 11 for the Knicks, who notched just their eighth road victory of the lockout-shortened season.

The victory followed their 115-100 triumph over the Pacers at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

FOOTBALL (Germany)

BERLIN - Dutch winger Arjen Robben hit a hat-trick as Bayern Munich hammered Hertha Berlin 6-0 in Germany's capital but league leaders Borussia Dortmund beat Bremen to stay five points clear.

Having hammered Hoffenheim 7-1 last Saturday in the Bundesliga, then demolished Basel 7-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals, Bayern have now scored 20 goals in their last three games.

Germany striker Mario Gomez, the league's top-scorer with 22 goals in 25 games, netted a second-half penalty to leave him with eight goals from three games having hit four against Basel and three against Hoffenheim.

In total, the 26-year-old has alread scored 35 in all competitions, while his team remain second in the league and five points behind Dortmund.

Likewise, Robben now has seven goals from his last three matches as Bayern's purple patch continues.


PARIS - Paris Saint-Germain needed an injury-time goal to rescue a 2-2 draw in their French soccer clash at Caen.

However, it was enough to extend PSG's lead at the top of the French league to two points after Montpellier's 1-0 loss at Nancy.

PSG has relied on late goals to either secure a win or salvage a point in their past five matches, and coach Carlo Ancelotti's team was fortunate to get a draw as their vulnerability at set-pieces was again exposed by an inspired Caen team.


ROME - AC Milan cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win at Parma to maintain their four-point lead over Juventus, who coasted to a 5-0 win at Fiorentina. A penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Urby Emanuelson's stunning solo effort secured a win for the league leaders that never looked in doubt and heaped the pressure on Juve in the late game.

But helped by Alessio Cerci's first half dismissal, they cantered to victory with goals from Mirko Vucinic, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Simone Padoin.


MADRID - A sublime chip from Lionel Messi brought up his 150th Spanish league goal for Barcelona in a 2-0 win over Sevilla.

The result cut Real Madrid's lead to seven points.

A Xavi Hernandez free-kick put Barca ahead after 18 minutes and then Messi continued his blistering goal-scoring form with his 14th in six games.

Real Madrid can restore their 10-point cushion when they face Malaga today.

Earlier, Getafe put further distance between themselves and the drop zone as they bounced back from three straight defeats to beat second-from-bottom Sporting Gijon 2-0.

Rock-bottom Zaragoza were just minutes away from a much needed victory but Roversio equalised Helder Postiga's opener after 88 minutes to give Osasuna a 1-1 draw. Elsewhere an own-goal from Inigo Martinez gave Getafe a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

England (FA Cup)

LONDON - A revitalised Tim Cahill kept Everton's FA Cup campaign alive with an instinctive header in his side's 1-1 draw against Sunderland at Goodison Park.

The Socceroos marksman showed his old predatory habits in the 23rd minute of the quarter-final to cancel out Phil Bardsley's long-range opener.

Leighton Baines whipped in a cross from the left which Nikica Jelavic headed towards goal and man-of-the-match Cahill reacted quickly to redirect it beyond Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet.

The goal set up a replay at the Stadium of Light and the chance for Everton to return to Wembley three years after the club's loss in the 2009 FA Cup final to Chelsea.

GOLF (Andalucia Open)

MARBELLA - Unheralded Spanish golfer Eduardo De la Riva will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Andalucia Open at Marbella.

De la Riva, who competes on the Spanish regional tour, posted six birdies in a round of 4-under 68 for a 12-under-par tally on the Aloha course on Saturday.

The Andalucia Open is only his ninth European Tour appearance in four years, with all but one having been contested in his homeland. De la Riva will earn a one-year European Tour exemption should he succeed, but 18 players lie within four strokes of his lead.

Transitions Championship

PALM HARBOR, Florida - South African Retief Goosen defied a painful back ailment to fire a six-under-par 65 and seize a share of the third-round lead with Jim Furyk at the US PGA Tour's Transitions Championship.

Goosen's seven birdies on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook included three in a row from the 14th as he reached 11-under 202 and positioned himself for a run at a title that could earn him a Masters berth.

Goosen, who said he would take next week off to have his aching back treated, needed just 25 putts on a course where he won titles in 2003 and 2009.

He was joined there by Furyk, who bogeyed the 18th for a 66. They were one stroke in front of American Jason Dufner (71) and South Korean Sang-moon Bae (68) with John Mallinger (66) and Ken Duke (69) a further stroke back on 204. John Senden, the best-placed Australian, remained four shots off the pace after carding another 70 - among 26 players within five strokes of the lead going into the final round.

Goosen, ranked 52 in the world, could also book a Masters berth with a good enough finish to get into the top 50.

His position atop the leaderboard seemed unlikely after the pain in his back flared up last month after he kicked a football around with his son.

A bulging disc and a degenerating disc in his lower back had already caused him to miss two major championships last year.

He said he plans to get a protein injection in his discs on Wednesday in Virginia. The treatment is similar to that received by Vijay Singh and Fred Couples in Germany.

Bae, a US tour rookie who made it to the quarter-finals of the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship last month, was five-under through 11 holes and had sole possession of the lead until Furyk caught him at 15.

At the next, Bae drove into the trees as he tried to avoid the water on the right of the fairway. He pitched out, then hit over the green and three-putted.

LPGA Founders Cup

PHOENIX, Arizona, March 17 AFP - Ai Miyazato reeled off three birdies in a row on the back nine en route to a six-under 66 to be tied for the lead with world No.1 Yani Tseng after the third round of the LPGA Founders Cup.

Japan's Miyazato, owner of seven LPGA tour titles, birdied three in a row from the 14th and had six birdies overall on Saturday in a bogey-free round that gave her a 14-under total of 202.

"Definitely, it was more difficult than yesterday," Miyazato said of the breezy weather at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

"The wind makes more greens firmer, and I did have a long distance because some holes were really down wind.

"It was difficult to make birdies out there, but I was really patient, and my putting was really good."


AUCKLAND - Canterbury have maintained their unbeaten start to the NRL season by repelling a Warriors fightback to secure a 32-18 victory in a thriller in Auckland.

Centre Jonathan Wright's second try five minutes from time sealed the win after both sides had produced a second-half nailbiter.

The try was set up by fullback Ben Barba, who moments earlier had denied opposite Kevin Locke with a tackle in the corner. Substitute Joel Romelo grabbed the visitors' sixth try in the final minute to blow out the final margin.

It was the third week in a row that the Warriors had had to play catch-up as a rampaging Bulldogs raced to an early 16-0 lead.

TENNIS (Indiana Wells Masters)

INDIAN WELLS, California - American John Isner edged world No.1 Novak Djokovic 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in their Indian Wells Masters semi-final. Isner fired 20 aces, including a 218-km/h bullet on his fourth match point.

Isner will play either No.2 Rafael Nadal or No.3 Roger Federer in today's final.

However, approaching rain is threatening to disrupt Saturday's other semi-final.

The win is the 26-year-old's first triumph over a world No.1. Isner's victory guaranteed he will break into the top 10 for the first time in next week's ATP Tour rankings at No.10. A victory in the final would move him to No.8, passing countryman Mardy Fish who is currently in that spot. Defending champion Karrie Webb posted a 70 to head a group sharing sixth on nine-under 207. Fellow Australian Katherine Hull is a further shot back at 208 after carding 71 on Saturday

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