19 Apr 2019

Today's Sports News - What you need to know

5:26 pm on 19 April 2019

Latest - The Golden State Warriors have bounced back in style in the NBA playoffs.

Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant celebrates winning his first NBA championship title.

Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant celebrates winning his first NBA championship title. Photo: AFP

The two-time defending champions have blown away the Clippers 132-105 in Los Angeles to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven game first round series.

The Warriors had blown a 31-point lead in game two, but showed no signs of a hangover in game three, jumping out to a 73-53 lead at halftime.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 38 points in just 29 and a half minutes of court time.

The San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers have also taken 2-1 leads in their respective series against the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets.

The Spurs have beaten the Nuggets 118-108 in San Antonio, while the 76ers have overcome the Nets 131-115 in Brooklyn.

Warriors' fears realised

Pre-season fears that the Warriors' NRL hopes hinge on the fitness of Blake Green have been heightened this week, although the club insists they can cope without him against North Queensland.

Blake Green of the Warriors

Blake Green Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2018

Green's groin has been a talking point all week ahead of Saturday's match between two bottom-eight rivals at Mt Smart Stadium.

The 32-year-old was named to start and trained on Wednesday but coach Stephen Kearney can't be conclusive about the starting halfback berth.

Green must train without trouble on Friday and convince medical staff there will be no recurrence of the twinge during the warm-ups that ruled him out of last week's 28-24 loss to South Sydney.

That match was notable for the Warriors conceding three tries in the final quarter to squander a 12-point lead.

The control and direction Green provides was missing but Kearney wouldn't attribute his absence for the late meltdown.

Meanwhile Penrith's sorry start to the National Rugby League season has sunk to a new low after blowing a 14-0 lead in a demoralising four-point loss to Cronulla.

Cronulla went scoreless until ten minutes into the second half but then went on a four try spree which gave them a 24-20 win.

The defeat is the Panthers' fourth in their opening six games.


Wallabies vice captain joins chorus of criticism against Folau

The Wallabies vice captain Wallabies vice-captain Will Genia has joined the chorus of criticism against international teammate Israel Folau and believes he's played his final Test alongside the controversial star.

Will Genia.

Will Genia. Photo: Photosport

Rugby Australia has indicated it intends terminating Folau's contract following repeated homophobic social media posts, but Folau will contest the sacking at at a code of conduct hearing next week.

Genia admits teammates will struggle to play alongside Super Rugby's all-time leading try-scorer if should Folau successfully overturn his sacking.

Genia said Folau was being selfish and emphasised the Wallabies could still win the World Cup this year without arguably their best player.

"You can have your beliefs and have faith ... but you can't go around trying to tell people they'll be going to hell because they are a certain way, for me that's completely wrong," Genia told the Fox Sports' Rugby Podcast.

Even the Best careers come to an end

Rory Best, who captained Ireland to their first ever test win over the All Blacks has announced he'll retire from rugby after this year's World Cup in Japan.

Ireland rugby captain Rory Best

Rory Best Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Best, 36, has spent spent 15 seasons at the top level playing 116 tests helped Ireland win the Six Nations four times including two Grand Slam triumphs.

He has also toured New Zealand and Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and 2017.

Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time in Dublin in 2016 when they won 16-9.

Light winds stymie sailors again

New Zealand sailors Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have jumped from 40th to second in the Nacra 17 class in the world cup series in Italy.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders competing in the Nacra 17 class at the World Cup series in Genoa.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders competing in the Nacra 17 class at the World Cup series in Genoa. Photo: Supplied: Sailing Energy

Just one race was possible today with light winds have again hampered racing in Genoa

The four New Zealand 49er crews have all qualified for the gold fleet, with Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie the best placed in seventh.

Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke banked a couple of good results to sit 10th overall.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are 15th overall but the pack is quite bunched and they are only 10 points off third.

Leading footballers boycott social media

Leading English Premier League football players have backed a 24-hour social media boycott in protest at an escalation of incidents of racial abuse online.

Twitter is planning changes to the platform aimed at curbing the abuse some users receive.

Twitter is planning changes to the platform aimed at curbing the abuse some users receive. Photo: 123RF

The campaign launched will urge players to stay off social media from eight o'clock tonight after posting the hashtag .Enough.

The Professional Footballers Association says it's intended as a show of solidarity with players who have been targeted, as well as a demand to social media organisations and the game's authorities that more needs to be done.

"Over the last few months we have seen a rise in appalling instances of racist abuse at grounds around the world, and on social media. We cannot stand by while too little is done to address this unacceptable behaviour," said PFA head of equalities Simone Pound said.

Concern is mounting over racism in football after a spate of attacks on players both on social media and in and around stadiums.

England's black players were subjected to repeated chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month, while Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose revealed recently he has "had enough" and "can't wait" to quit the game.