Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2018 Contents sports A29
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Ronaldo vs Messi in Spain’s scoring race
MADRID (AP) — Regardless of who
wins the Spanish league, Lionel
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will
be battling to the end.
Real Madrid doesn’t have much
chance of keeping Barcelona from
winning the league, but Ronaldo
is making a strong run to snag the
scoring title from Messi with nine
Ronaldo added another four
goals as Madrid beat Girona 6-3
on Sunday, giving him 22 for the
season. That is only three behind
Messi, who scored his 25th as Bar-
celona beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0.
“Hopefully he can catch him,”
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane
said of Ronaldo. “It’s important
for him and for us, too. When he’s
playing well, the team plays well.
He transmits an important and
positive energy to the group.
“He’s always in very good form
come the end of the season. He’s
got an eye for goal and he’ll never
Ronaldo has scored at least one
goal in his last eight matches in all
competitions. He has 21 in his last
“He’s unbelievably ambitious
and that comes across in every
training session and in everything
he does on the field,” Zidane said.
“If he has a penalty in training,
he will take it with the maximum
concentration. It’s what makes
him different from the rest.”
Ronaldo is trying to keep Messi
from winning the top-scorer’s
“Pichichi” trophy for the second
consecutive year. The Argentina
forward scored 37 league goals
last season, 12 more than Ron-
Ronaldo hasn’t won the award
since 2015, when he had 48. That
was still shy of Messi’s record of
50 in 2011-12.
Despite’s Ronaldo’s impressive
run, Madrid trails Barcelona by
15 points after 29 matches. The
teams meet again in May at Camp
Nou. They could also meet in the
Champions League semifinals or
Messi scored twice against
Madrid this season—in a 3-1 loss
in the Spanish Super Cup at the
beginning of the season and in a
3-0 win at Santiago Bernabeu Sta-
dium in a league match late last
year. Ronaldo scored in that Span-
ish Super Cup game.
Messi has scored at least once in
his last six matches in all compe-
titions. He has at least 25 league
goals in nine consecutive seasons
Ronaldo has at least 25 league
goals in the last eight seasons.
He has 50 career hat tricks, and
scored four or more goals in a
match with Madrid eight times.
Trail Blazers win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 23
points and CJ McCollum added 21 to lead the Port-
land Trail Blazers to their 13th straight victory,
122-109 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday
Portland’s dynamic guard duo led five Blazers
players in double-figures, with Maurice Harkless
scoring 21 points, Jusuf Nurkic 17 along with 12
rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu adding 16 points.
Lou Williams led the Clippers with 30 points.
Montrezl Harrell had 24 points and DeAndre Jor-
dan had 16 rebounds for Los Angeles, which lost
its third straight and fell two games back of the
final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The
Clippers have 13 games remaining.
THUNDER 132, RAPTORS 125
ROCKETS 129, TIMBERWOLVES 120
PELICANS 108, CELTICS 89
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP)—Juan Martin del Potro
keeps surprising himself.
Close to quitting tennis after four wrist surgeries
in recent years, the Argentine fought to get back
to the ATP Tour even as he was reduced to hitting
his backhand with one hand instead of his usual
The struggle paid off Sunday, when Del Potro
staved off three match points in the third set to
beat top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4,7-6 (8), 7-6 (2)
for the BNP Paribas Open title.
The win ranks up there with Del Potro’s 2009
U.S. Open title, in which he beat Federer, and
helping Argentina win the Davis Cup in 2016.
Naomi Osaka of Japan won the women’s title 6-3,
6-2 over Russian Daria Kasatkina in a match-up of
20-year-old rising stars.
Del Potro and Osaka each earned $1.3 million.
Del Potro edges Federer
Lue taking leave
CLEVELAND (AP)—Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is
taking a leave of absence from the team to address
health issues that have included chest pains and
loss of sleep.
Lue said yesterday in statement that tests have
offered no conclusion about what the issue is and
offered no timetable for his return. The coach said
he feels he needs to step away “and focus on try-
ing to establish a stronger and healthier founda-
tion” from which to coach the rest of the season.
Associate head coach Larry Drew will run the
team in Lue’s absence starting with Monday’s
home game against Milwaukee.
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