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Page 54 stories Kobe takes Lakers to victory over Pistons Forward Kobe Bryant compiled 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the Los Angeles…

Page 54 stories

Kobe takes Lakers to victory over Pistons

Forward Kobe Bryant compiled 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game losing skid with a 97-85 victory over the Detroit Pistons at Staples Centre on Sunday.

Guard Jordan Clarkson also had 17 points for Los Angeles (2-8) as Bryant made just 6-of-19 shots from the floor but was effective in involving his teammates.

Guard Nick Young came off the bench to score 13 points for the Lakers, whose only other victory was over the Brooklyn Nets. Centre Roy Hibbert chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds.

Despite suffering a woeful start to the new season, the Lakers defeated the Pistons for the seventh consecutive time and the 10th time in the past 11 meetings.

Reserve guard Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 points for the Pistons (5-5). Centre Andre Drummond extended his streak of double-doubles to 10 in a row with 17 points and 17 rebounds, but he and the Pistons saw their losing streak reach four games.

Los Angeles was clinging to a 78-74 lead after a dunk by Drummond on an alley-oop pass from Reggie Jackson with 7:28 remaining but the Lakers scored seven consecutive points, starting with a three-pointer by Bryant with 3:44 left.

That sealed the outcome as Detroit got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

The Lakers led by as many as 11 in the first half before taking a 48-44 lead at the break. They held the Pistons to 39.6 percent shooting while making 43.2 percent of their shots.

The Lakers also had the edge in free throws, making 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) attempts to only two of three for the Pistons. The teams entered the final period tied at 66-66.

Overall, Los Angeles converted 41.3 percent of its shots compared to only 36.5 percent for Detroit. Both teams struggled from behind the three-point stripe. The Lakers made just six of 19 (31.6 percent) to 25.9 percent (seven of 27) for the Pistons.

The Lakers prevailed despite committing 16 turnovers to 12 for the Pistons.

Phelps wins 200m medley in Minneapolis

Michael Phelps posted a comfortable victory in the 200 metres individual medley on the last day of the Arena Pro Swim Series meet in Minneapolis.

In an event he has dominated at the Olympics, winning three times, Phelps led from start to finish to clock one minute, 59.30 seconds.

Though well off his world-leading time this year of 1:54.75, the 30-year-old was satisfied with his performance.

“It feels good to pick up where we left off last (season),” said the 18-times Olympic champion, who is in the midst of a heavy training load as he eyes next year’s Rio Olympics.

In the women’s competition, Olympic 200m backstroke champion Missy Franklin recorded 2:07.24, less than one second outside her 2015 best that ranked her third in the world.

Katie Ledecky, winner of four golds at this year’s world championships, cruised to victory in the 800m freestyle in a relatively pedestrian 8:19.16.

McDowell wins OHL Classic after play-off

Graeme McDowell earned his first title this year with a play-off success at the delayed OHL Classic in Mexico.

The Northern Irishman, 36, was tied on 18 under par with USA’s Jason Bohn and Scotland’s Russell Knox, who bogeyed the last in regulation play. McDowell then birdied the 18th in sudden death to prevail.

He and Knox shared the lead at 19 under when play was suspended after rain on Sunday and both men finished with five-under rounds of 66 as Bohn shot 68.

Knox was bidding for back-to-back victories, having picked up his maiden tournament win at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.

McDowell, who has fallen to 85 in the world rankings after only one top-10 finish in 25 events this year, three-putted the 16th and had to drain a 10-footer for par at the 18th.

Knox immediately picked up a shot at the 13th when play resumed on Monday but bogeyed the next.

The US-based Scot was leading as he teed up at the last but found a bunker, left a chip well short of the hole with his third shot and could not convert a 15-foot putt.

There was a delay of over three hours at the El Camaleon Golf Club after Sunday’s storms and yesterday’s closing holes were played out in gusty conditions.

However, McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, was completely unflustered as he clipped a sweet iron to within a few feet of the target in the play-off, while Knox, who hit the longest drive, tugged his ball wide of the green.

Third-round leader Derek Fathauer finished on 16 under after a final round of 71.

“It really gives me something to grab onto,” McDowell said of the victory. You go through a year like this and you think ‘am I finished? Am I good enough?”

‘Doping threatens Kenya’s credibility at Rio Olympics’

Doping could cast a shadow over Kenya at the 2016 Rio Olympics unless the East African nation implements credible systems to root out drugs cheats, said veteran Kenya-based coach Brother Colm O’Connell.

O’Connell, who trains 800m world record holder David Rudisha, has coached more than 30 world champions and five Olympic gold medalists during nearly 40 years in Iten, a small village 8,000 feet above sea level in western Kenya’s Rift Valley.

O’Connell said elite Kenyan runners – who topped the table at the world championships in Beijing in August with seven gold medals – were concerned their reputations were being tarnished by an international doping scandal and a spate of failed tests by Kenyan athletes.

“If Kenya wants to really move into the Olympics with a clear conscience and with global credibility, then … better testing and monitoring of our athletes has to be put in place immediately,” O’Connell told Reuters in Eldoret, close to Iten.

“If this scenario is going to drag on until Rio, then of course (a cloud) is going to hang over Rio as well.”

O’Connell said Kenya had been too slow to react in 2012 when a German documentary alleged it had a doping problem. At the time, Athletics Kenya (AK) dismissed the claims as efforts to destabilise it ahead of the London Olympics.

“When this documentary came out, we should have taken it a lot more seriously and delved into it to nip it in the bud,” added O’Connell.

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