Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 25th 2017 Contents sports A43
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Serena Williams at No 1, despite
not playing since January
Serena Williams is
briefly back at No. 1
in the WTA rankings,
despite not playing a
match since January ---
and with plans to take
the rest of 2017 off be-
cause she is expecting
Thanks to a calendar
quirk, Williams moved up
one spot yesterday from
No. 2, swapping places
with Angelique Kerber.
The return to No. 1 ,
which gives the 35-year-
old American her 317th
week there, comes less
than a week after Wil-
liams let the world know
via Snapchat that she is
pregnant. The baby is due
in the fall, and spokes-
woman Kelly Bush Novak
said Williams will take off
the rest of this season and
intends to return to the
tour next year.
that timetable on Insta-
gram on Monday, when
she posted a photo of her-
self and a note addressed
to "My Dearest Baby."
"You gave me the
strength I didn't know I
had. You taught me the
true meaning of sereni-
ty and peace. I can't wait
to meet you. I can't wait
for you to join the players
box next year. But most
importantly, I am so hap-
py to share being num-
ber one in the world with
you.... once again today,"
the post reads.
The reason Williams
was able to supplant Ker-
ber for at least a week ---
and possibly more --- is
that the women's clay-
court tournament that
is being played this week
in Stuttgart, Germany,
was played a week earli-
er a year ago. So Kerber,
a two-time defending
champion at that event,
lost the rankings points
she earned there and
can't replace them un-
til the end of this year's
Kerber can reclaim the
top ranking by winning
two matches in Stuttgart.
Williams hasn't com-
peted since winning her
Open era-record 23rd
Grand Slam singles title
at the Australian Open at
the end of January. She
was pregnant at the time. James caps Cavs
sweep over Pacers
with 3 pointer
James made a 3-pointer with 68
seconds left, helping the Cleve-
land Cavaliers sweep their playoff
series against the Indiana Pacers
with a 106-102 victory yesterday.
James finished with 33 points and
10 rebounds. He became the first
player under the current playoff
format to win 21 straight first-round
games, and he also set a league record
with his 10th career playoff sweep.
It sure wasn't easy. After taking a
96-83 lead with 9:29 to go, the Cavs
found themselves in a 102-100 deficit
with 1:31 left.
But James answered with his big
3-pointer, and Cleveland sealed the
win on James' free throw with 1 sec-
Lance Stephenson scored 22 points
for Indiana. Paul George had 15, but
missed a 3-pointer that could have
forced overtime in the closing sec-
Kyrie Irving added 28 points for
the Cavs, who await the winner of
the Bucks-Raptors series.
ROCKETS 113, THUNDER 109
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)---Nene
scored 28 points on perfect shooting
from the field, and Houston grabbed
a 3-1 lead in its first-round playoff
series against Oklahoma City.
Nene made all 12 of his shots and
had 10 rebounds. He helped the Rock-
ets overcome an off night by James
Harden, who finished with 16 points
on 5-for-16 shooting.
Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each
scored 18 points for the Rockets.
Game 5 is today in Houston.
Oklahoma City star Russell West-
brook had a triple-double by halftime
and finished with 35 points, 14 re-
bounds and 14 assists. The Thunder
said Westbrook joined Wilt Chamber-
lain as the only players to claim three
consecutive playoff triple-doubles.
Steven Adams scored 18 points
and Victor Oladipo added 15 for the
CELTICS 104, BULLS 95
CHICAGO (AP)---Isaiah Thomas
scored 33 points, and the Celtics beat
the Bulls to tie their first-round play-
off series at 2-all.
Boston blew a 20-point lead, but
Thomas keyed a third-quarter run
that put the Celtics back on top after
Chicago briefly went ahead.
Gerald Green made four 3-pointers
on his way to 18 points, helping the
top-seeded Celtics return the favor in
Chicago after dropping the first two
games at home. Al Horford added 15
points and 12 rebounds.
Game 5 is tomorrow night in Bos-
Jimmy Butler carried the Bulls with
33 points and nine assists.
JAZZ 105, CLIPPERS 98
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)---Joe Johnson
scored 28 points, and the Jazz beat
the Clippers to level their first-round
playoff series at 2-all.
Johnson, who hit the winning shot
in Game 1, scored 11 straight Jazz
points during a crucial stretch in the
fourth quarter, including a pull-up
jumper for a 91-90 lead with 3:55 re-
maining after trailing by seven early
in the period. The Clippers never led
again after controlling the game for
most of the night.
Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles also
hit huge baskets for Utah down the
stretch. The Jazz needed all the help
they could get after Gordon Hayward
left with food poisoning.
The series returns to Los Angeles
for Game 5 tonight.
Chris Paul had 27 points, 12 assists
and nine rebounds for Los Angeles,
which played without Blake Grif-
fin after he suffered a toe injury in
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James reacts after hitting a free throw in the
closing seconds in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series
against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Indianapolis. AP PHOTO
FILE --- In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, Serena
Williams holds up a finger and her trophy after
defeating her sister, Venus, in the women's singles
final at the Australian Open tennis championships in
Melbourne, Australia. AP PHOTO
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