5 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

3:54 pm on 5 October 2020

Latest - Jimmy Butler and the undermanned Miami Heat have breathed new life into the NBA Finals with a gritty 115-104 upset victory over the Los Angeles Lakers that cut the best-of-seven series deficit to 2-1.

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Three of the 2020 NBA Finals

Jimmy Butler celebrates during game three of the NBA finals Photo: AFP

The Heat, well aware that no NBA team has ever come back from a 0-3 series deficit to win in seven games, squandered a 14-point third-quarter lead but dug deep in the fourth to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination.

Miami were without injured starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic for a second consecutive game but got a sensational outing from All Star forward Butler, who scored a game-high 40 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

LeBron James had a team-high 25 points for the Lakers while Anthony Davis, who was a dominant force in the first two games of the series, got in early foul trouble and lacked rhythm as he managed just 15 points.

Game four is on Wednesday.

- Reuters

Liverpool and Man U both well beaten

Ollie Watkins scored a first-half hat-trick and Jack Grealish had a hand in five goals as Aston Villa deservedly stunned champions Liverpool with one of the most unbelievable scorelines in English Premier League history.

A dejected Mohamed Salah of Liverpool watches on.

Mo Salah watches on Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Villa's record signing Watkins had never scored a Premier League goal before kick-off and 45 minutes later he had the match ball, as the home side took advantage of Liverpool's high line and individual mistakes.

It is the first time Liverpool have conceded seven goals since 1963 and only their fourth Premier League defeat since 3 January 2019.

Villa, who escaped relegation on the final day of last season, overtake them in the table with their best start since 1962.

A shambolic Manchester United suffered a club record-equalling defeat in the EPL era as they crashed to a 6-1 loss at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

In other games West Ham beat Leicester 3-0, Arsenal beat Sheffield United 2-1, Wolves beat Fulham 1-0 and Southampton beat West Brom 2-0.


NZ athletes appeal turned down

The New Zealand Sports Tribunal has upheld Athletics New Zealand's decision not to send anyone to this month's World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland.

Daniel Wallis had appealled the decision.

Athletics New Zealand refused permission basing its decision on the increasing danger that Covid-19 presented to the athletes.

Mr Wallis asked ANZ to reconsider its decision on several occasions, however ANZ refused to change its stance and both parties agreed to refer the matter to the Tribunal for determination.

The Tribunal accepted that the process that ANZ followed was fair, reasonable and appropriate.

Souths down Newcastle

South Sydney came back from 14-0 down to beat Newcastle 46-20 in their NRL elimination game in Sydney.

Wayne Bennett. South Sydney coach.


The win means the Rabbitohs will play Parramatta next weekend where the winner will play Penrith in a preliminary final in Sydney the following week

In front of a healthy crowd of 17,212, the Knights were overrun in their first finals match since 2013.

Souths coach Wayne Bennett reiterated they weren't distracted by serious allegations against former player Sam Burgess which are being investigated by the NRL Integrity Unit and NSW Police.

Burgess has stood down as an assistant coach.

"It wasn't going to have an impact, it still hasn't and it won't," Bennett said.

In week two of the play-offs, where all games are sudden-death, the Roosters play Canberra and Parramatta play Souths, while in the WNRL the Warriors play the Roosters.


Italian wins stage two of Giro

Diego Ulissi sprinted to victory on the second stage of the Giro d'Italia in Sicily as the home nation continued its superb start to the race.

After world champion Filippo Ganna's win on the opening day time trial, Ulissi produced a strong burst on the uphill finish in Agrigento after a 149km ride.

Ganna finished safely in the bunch with the overall race favourites to retain the magliot rosa going into tonight's third stage which takes the riders up Mount Etna.

- Reuters

Sprint finish in London marathon

Ethiopian Shura Kitata outsprinted Kenya's Vincent Kipchumba to win the London Marathon men's race as a stunned world record holder Eliud Kipchoge faded late in the race to suffer his first defeat since 2013.

In cold, wet conditions, 24-year-old Kitata edged clear in the final metres to win by one second over Kipchumba in a relatively slow two hours, 05.41 minutes.

Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia was third in 2:5.35, with Kipchoge, the hot favourite, who in his last race a year ago became the only man to break the two hour mark for the distance, eighth in 2:06.49 having suffered cramp and a blocked ear.

Earlier, Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei was a comfortable winner of the women's race in 2:18.58 as American Sara Hall produced a great finish to snatch second from Ruth Chepngetich.

The races, originally postponed from April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were run over almost 20 laps of a fenced-off course in a "controlled secure biosphere" around St James's Park.

Although there was no mass field this year, around 40,000 people are running the distance at venues of their choice through the day.

- Reuters