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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fifth loss

TORONTO - Toronto guard Jose Calderon scored 22 points and handed out nine assists yesterday as the Raptors handed the Los Angeles Lakers their fifth straight NBA road defeat, 108-103. The Lakers were without centre Dwight Howard for the second-half, after he was ejected with 1:18 left in the first-half for his second technical foul of the contest. Howard and Raptors forward Alan Anderson were whistled for a double-technical after they tangled while jostling for position under the basket.

First victory

JOHANNESBURG - Mali claimed the first victory of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations yesterday, but outsiders Democratic Republic of Congo stole the Group B show. DR Congo shrugged off a troubled build-up with rows over bonuses and the poor treatment of players to cancel a two-goal second-half deficit and hold fancied Ghana 2-2 in Indian Ocean city Port Elizabeth. It was an enjoyable reminder of what African football can provide after an awful start to the tournament in Soweto on Sunday.

Juve pulls ahead

MILAN - Juventus reinforced their Serie A title defence thanks to a 4-0 win over Udinese as the Serie A champions opened up a five-point gap on title rivals Lazio and Napoli. Napoli and Lazio went into their weekend's fixtures, respectively against Fiorentina and Palermo, trailing Juventus by three points. However, Lazio were lucky to emerge with a share of the points thanks to an 84th minute penalty from Hernanes in a 2-2 draw at Palermo, while Napoli had Edinson Cavani to thank for their leveller in a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina.

5-goal thrashing

MADRID - Real Madrid put their dismal first-half of the season behind them as they tore Valencia apart for the first 45 minutes to win 5-0 and ease the pressure on coach Jose Mourinho. Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria both hit braces and Gonzalo Higuain was also on target in a first-half goal romp. But there is still little hope of them retaining their title as they trail Barcelona by 15 points despite the Catalan side losing 3-2 against Real Sociedad on Sunday, their bitter rivals' first league defeat of the season.

Two-game ban

AUCKLAND - The New Zealand cricket team will face a new South African captain in its next two one-day internationals after AB de Villiers was banned for a slow over-rate in Saturday's loss at Paarl. De Villiers pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the punishment imposed by match referee David Boon. He was given a two game ban, meaning he will miss the one-day internationals in Kimberley tomorrow and Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Donaldson wins

ABU DHABI - Jamie Donaldson reeled in red-hot Justin Rose to win the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship yesterday. The 37-year-old Welshman poked his nose in front going into the back nine and he held firm, going up against the hotly-favoured world No.5 to record just the second win of his professional career. He came in with a final round of 68 for a 14-under total of 274. Rose and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark were joint second on 13 under after rounds of 71 and 69 respectively with Ricardo Santos of Portugal fourth a further two strokes back after a 68.

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