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The Malaysian Insider :: Sports


Miami put heat on Boston, take 2-0 series lead

Posted: 03 May 2011 08:03 PM PDT

Miami Heat shooting guard Mike Miller (below) passes as Boston Celtics power forward Glen Davis (above) battles for the ball in the second quarter of Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in Miami May 3, 2011. — Reuters pic

MIAMI, May 4 — The Miami Heat piled the pressure on bruised and battered Boston by taking a 2-0 lead in their NBA playoff series with a 102-91 victory yesterday.

Quicker and more athletic than the Celtics, who have been hampered by a series of nagging injuries, the Heat again met the challenge of the defending Eastern Conference champions and have a commanding lead in the best-of-seven second round series with Game Three set for Saturday in Boston.

LeBron James took his turn to carry the load with 24 of his game-high 35 points coming in the second half, while Game One standout Dwyane Wade added 28 points.

"This is a great team we're going against right now," James told reporters. "We're playing as hard as we can defensively and just trying to wear them down throughout the course of the game.

"They made a run but we stuck to our principles and finally wore them down."

With the game tied 80-80 midway through the fourth, the Heat embarked on a 14-0 charge to put the contest out of reach.

Boston's Paul Pierce, who was ejected from the contentious series opener with two technical fouls in the fourth quarter, returned from a strained left foot that forced him to briefly exit in the first quarter on Tuesday.

Ray Allen also played on despite having a bruised chest following a collision with James in the third but the Celtics ran out of gas.

Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 12 assists for Boston, who trailed by five points after both the second and third quarters.

The Celtics will have to regroup at home if they are to take down Miami's "Big Three" which was constructed in the off-season to challenge Boston's supremacy.

Chris Bosh, the Heat's final member of their triumvirate, finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. — Reuters 

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Schalke face United seeking inspiration from win at Inter

Posted: 03 May 2011 07:31 PM PDT

Schalke 04's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer takes a ball during a training session at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, May 3, 2011. — Reuters pic

MANCHESTER, May 4 — Schalke 04 are hoping to draw inspiration from last month's shock victory at Inter Milan when they try to overturn a 2-0 deficit away to Manchester United in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg.

The German side stunned holders Inter 5-2 in the first leg of their quarter-final at the San Siro and need to produce something similar to make amends for a woeful performance at home to United last week.

"Tomorrow we will show we can play better than we did last week and that we have learnt our lessons," Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick told a news conference on Tuesday.

"In football you can get the chance so we will see what happens... When we played in Milan against Inter people didn't give us much hope either."

The Bundesliga team's task is immense at a stadium where United have not lost for more than a year and have conceded only three goals in Europe this season.

United repeatedly tore apart Schalke's defence last week and on home soil they could prove even more devastating, even if manager Alex Ferguson is resting players ahead of Sunday's key Premier League match against Chelsea.

VISA PROBLEMS

But with Schalke having already overcome problems travelling to Manchester, with the team delayed in Germany for a couple of hours because of visa issues affecting some players, they are showing no signs of giving up without a fight.

"I think we have to be well organised in the first 10 minutes and then we have to take our chances when they're presented, even if there are just two minutes left," Rangnick said.

"You think of Manchester United and the Champions League win when they came back to win 2-1," he added, referring to the English club's stunning 1999 final victory over Bayern Munich which came after two stoppage-time goals.

United could easily have notched several more goals last week had it not been for the heroics of Manuel Neuer who Ferguson said had produced "arguably the finest goalkeeping display against us in Europe in my time."

Asked how important Neuer, who has caught United's eye as they seek to replace the retiring Edwin Van der Sar, would be on Wednesday, Rangnick grinned: "I hope a lot less important than last week." — Reuters 

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