NBA: LA Lakers and LA Clippers win, Boston Celtics v Miami Heat called off

The Los Angeles Lakers continued their unbeaten run on the road with a comfortable victory over the Houston Rockets.

Anthony Davis scored 27 points on his return from injury to help the Lakers to a 120-102 victory.

Defending champions Lakers have won all five of their away games this season.

Elsewhere, Kawhi Leonard surpassed 10,000 career points as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls.

Leonard scored 21 points in the third quarter as the Clippers rallied to win 130-127.

The Boston Celtics’ game against Miami Heat was postponed over coronavirus safety measures.

Miami did not have the required minimum of eight available players, while Celtics themselves only had eight.

Denver Nuggets claimed a 114-89 win over New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors beat Toronto Raptors 106-105 despite a poor shooting performance from Stephen Curry.

Curry made two shots from 16 attempts – his worst performance in his career – before Damion Lee secured victory with four seconds remaining.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a season-high 31 points for Oklahoma City Thunder as they beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-116, while Utah Jazz beat the Detroit Pistons 96-86.

Spurs v Fulham moved to Wednesday after Aston Villa Covid-19 cases mean they cannot play

Fulham’s scheduled home match against Chelsea on Friday will now take place on Saturday.

Villa, who were due to host Everton on Saturday, face the Toffees on Sunday under the revised fixture list.

Fulham’s game at Tottenham was originally scheduled for 30 December.

But it was postponed at short notice because of a coronavirus outbreak at Fulham.

A Premier League statement said Villa had requested to rearrange the Spurs game.

“Due to the number of players and staff who have either tested positive for Covid-19 or have been placed in isolation by the club, the Premier League had no other option than to reschedule the game,” it said.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Has the Juventus forward equalled world goalscoring record?

Ronaldo has scored five goals for Sporting Lisbon, 118 for Manchester United, 450 for Real Madrid, 84 for Juventus and 102 for Portugal – so there is no doubt about his figure.

But the confusion seems to come from his goalscoring rivals of olden days.

Data from Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF) says Josef Bican is football’s all-time top scorer (excluding players who have never played at the top level) with 805 career goals (from only 530 games), with Romario on 772 and Pele on 767.

Bican, who died in 2001, played for five clubs including Rapid Vienna and Slavia Prague as well as Austria and Czechoslovakia – in a career which lasted from 1931 to 1955.

But among the 805 goals were 27 for Rapid’s reserve and amateur teams, as well as strikes which were not in official international games.

Remove those and Bican finished his career on 759 goals in 495 games. Well maybe, because RSSSF says some data is partially missing on the Czech second division in 1952.

So what of Pele and Romario? Again there is some dispute over their goal tallies – with both Brazilian strikers claiming to have netted over 1,000 goals.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi recently broke Pele’s world record of 643 goals for one club… but Santos then claimed Pele’s friendly goals count and he scored 1,091 for the club.

Pele’s own Instagram bio says he is the “Leading Goal Scorer of All Time (1,283)”.

But remove friendly and unofficial strikes (including one for a military team in 1959) and Pele’s 757 goals for Santos, Brazil and New York Cosmos seems to be the figure doing the rounds.

Romario celebrated his 1,000th goal in 2007 – but that included youth, friendly and testimonial games.

The Brazilian is credited with 745 goals in a career which took in spells in South America, Europe, Asia and Australia – although that goal tally seems to change from report to report.

So to answer the question, maybe Ronaldo is the joint top scorer ever. Maybe. Possibly. Not sure actually.

We do know Messi is 40 behind after scoring 719 goals for Barcelona and Argentina in an era when stats are recorded more officially.

This week, Ronaldo has a chance to maybe break the maybe-record in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia game with Genoa.

NFL play-offs super wildcard round: Saints, Browns & Ravens advance

Drew Brees will face Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round of the NFL play-offs after the New Orleans Saints beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Veteran quarterback Brees threw two touchdown passes as the Saints eased to a 21-9 win on day two of the super wildcard weekend to secure a home game against the Bucs next Sunday.

The Cleveland Browns will visit defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs after upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Baltimore Ravens won against Tennessee to secure a trip to the Buffalo Bills.

Brees, who turns 42 on Friday, and six-time Super Bowl winner Brady, 43, are sure to be future Hall of Famers as they are the NFL’s all-time top two for career passing yards and touchdown passes.

The pair have already faced each other twice this season as Brady left the New England Patriots in the off-season for New Orleans’ divisional rivals Tampa Bay.

The Saints won each game before finishing the regular season with a 12-4 record to win the NFC South ahead of the Bucs (11-5). Brees has a 5-2 head-to-head record against Brady before they meet for possibly the last time next week.

“It’s going to be a heck of a game, I know that,” said Brees, who has one Super Bowl win. “They’re a great football team, they’re playing very well right now.

“I think we know what type of game that’s going to be. They’re divisional opponents so we’ve played them twice this year, but I’d say they’re a different team right now – and so are we.”

The Saints welcomed back their top two offensive weapons against Chicago, wide receiver Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara, and each had a touchdown while Brees passed for 265 yards.

Tournament of Champions: Harris English wins play-off against Joaquin Niemann

American Harris English claimed his first PGA Tour victory in seven years by winning the Tournament of Champions.

He holed a six-foot birdie putt to edge out Joaquin Niemann at Kapalua, Hawaii, after both finished on 25 under.

Defending champion Justin Thomas came third on 24 under and said Saturday’s incident in which he was heard using a homophobic slur had played on his mind.

“I made a terrible judgment call,” Thomas told Golf Channel. “It definitely was a distraction.”

English, 31, carded a four-under 69 in the final round at the Plantation Course with Chilean Niemann, 22, shooting 64.

World number three Thomas, who shot 68 on Sunday, was picked up by a television microphone using the slur on Saturday after missing a putt on the fourth hole. He later apologised.

Celtic v Hibernian goes ahead as planned on Monday evening despite the hosts being told that 13 first-team players must self-isolate.

The Scottish champions say Christopher Jullien was the player to test positive for Covid-19 on return from the club’s Dubai training camp.

A local NHS health protection team has since deemed 13 other players to be close contacts.

Manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy must also isolate.

All 15 members of staff will also be absent for Saturday’s Scottish Premiership trip to Livingston.

Celtic stress that injured defender Jullien was the only positive case, saying they are “hugely disappointed” by the decision.

But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Celtic to “reflect seriously” on events that have led to the recent outbreak.

“I know that what I’m about to say wont please everyone, nothing I can say about football ever pleases everyone, but as I have said before, I do have doubts based on how the club itself described it, doubts about whether Celtics trip to Dubai was really essential,” she said.

“I have doubts based on some pictures I have seen about whether adherence to bubble rules was strict enough.”

Jullien is the fifth Celtic player to test positive for Covid-19, with David Turnbull, Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed previously contracting the virus while on international duty.

On Saturday, Celtic assistant manager John Kennedy admitted the club had been guilty of “minor slip-ups” in Covid-19 protocols during their six days in Dubai.

Photos emerged of members of the Celtic party not distancing or wearing face coverings, and Kennedy says they give a “bleak” but “false” impression.

“The contacts were identified during the period from Wednesday last week, primarily around flight and team coach travel, during which time Celtic applied the same rigorous protocols used for pre-season training camps, Uefa match travel and for all domestic match arrangements in Scotland,” read a statement from the Scottish Premiership champions.

“These protocols have served us well in the past, as the club has not had one positive case in our own ‘bubble’ until now. As we have already stated, Celtic’s decision to travel to Dubai for a training camp was for performance reasons. Whilst we were in Dubai, the announcements made on 4 January significantly changed the COVID landscape.

“The reality is that a case could well have occurred had the team remained in Scotland, as other cases have done in Scottish football and across UK sport in the past week.”

Kazuyoshi Miura, 53, extends Yokohama contract for another season

Miura turns 54 on 26 February, the day before the 2021 J League campaign begins.

The former Japan striker joined Yokohama in 2005 and will play his 17th season for the club.

“My aspirations and passion for football are only increasing,” he said.

Miura started his career with Brazilian side Santos in 1986 and became the oldest player to score in a Japanese professional league game with his 2017 goal against Thespakusatsu Gunma aged 50 years and 14 days.

Dubbed ‘King Kazu’ in Japan, Miura is one of the country’s most loved sportsmen and was the face of the J League when it launched in 1993.

He scored 55 goals in 89 games for Japan and has played for Serie A side Genoa, before stints in Croatia and Australia.

Kyle Jamieson: The new 6ft 8in star of New Zealand cricket

With 36 wickets in just six Tests, the Auckland-born seamer has, so far, made the transition from domestic cricket to the international arena look easy.

And after his recent 11-wicket haul in a win over Pakistan, Jamieson now boasts the third best match figures of any Kiwi, second only to greats Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori.

So who exactly is the 26-year-old Black Caps sensation? And can he continue his remarkable rise in international cricket?

Breaking records but ‘not a stats man’

amieson is a product of Auckland Grammar School, which boasts famous cricking alumni such as former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe and current all-rounder Jimmy Neesham.

He was breaking records before his foray into the national set-up.

Playing for Canterbury Kings in the Super Smash T20 in January 2019, he took 6-7 against Auckland Aces; the third best T20 figures in cricket history.

“It just seemed to work out for me today. I’m not a big stats man,” Jamieson said after the match.

His modest and grounded reply is indicative of his character, says Heinrich Malan, who coaches Jamieson at Auckland Aces.

“He’s 100% modest, that’s what’s great about working with him,” Malan says.

“He comes across as a real aggressive person on the field but it’s just his desire to compete. In and around our group he’s just a normal guy who wants to try and get better.”

Black Caps batsman Henry Nicholls, who also plays for Canterbury Kings, told the Stumped podcast Jamieson’s progress has been “incredible”.

“You just feel like he’s been around a lot longer and it’s obviously a credit to him the way he’s handled the international game, and the skill he has speaks for itself,” said Nicholls.

His height ‘can be awkward for batsmen’

Jamieson’s performances in domestic cricket caught the eye of the national selectors. He made his international debut in February 2020 against India and picked up his first five-wicket haul in the following Test.

Former Kiwi captain Jeremy Coney says Jamieson “immediately made a difference” as opposing batsmen struggled with the bowler’s height and skill.

“Kyle’s natural pace is around mid 80mph which isn’t blindingly quick but it’s quick enough, especially if you bowl at the length he bowls from his height,” Coney adds.

“He bowls full and because he’s so full, batsmen are reluctant to push forward. So he tends to keep people on the crease.

“That different incline can be awkward for batsmen, a bit like West Indies’ Joel Garner did when I was playing.”

Although Coney is quick to play down any premature comparisons with the likes of West Indies legend Garner.

“Everybody is going mad on Kyle at the moment but let’s give him a few more seasons and see how he goes,” Coney counters.

“I’m reluctant to wildly embrace it because we’ve seen players like that, perhaps more with the bat, come in and do well for New Zealand and slide away.

“Although saying that, I don’t get the impression that will happen with Kyle.”

He’s also come along at just the right time for New Zealand, complementing a fantastic bowling attack which also includes left-arm paceman Trent Boult, right-arm master of seam and swing Tim Southee and the more aggressive but equally effective left-arm quick Neil Wagner.

Between them – and Kane Williamson’s runs – they have helped the Black Caps to number one in the Test rankings.

“We’ve had Boult and Southee for some time, to which Wagner joined and added something new,” added Coney.

“But over the last two years we’ve met this guy and it’s not as if he’s new to high level cricket – he arrived against India last year and immediately made a difference. Obviously his height comes a lot into play.”

An all-rounder in the making?

It is unsurprising that Jamieson started off his career as a batsman; he has scored 226 runs at an average 56.50 in his short Test career.

In a match between a New Zealand XI and a touring England side in 2018, Jamieson hit 101 from 111 balls against a bowling attack which included James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood.

His innings seemed to get under the skin of Anderson, who reportedly shared a few words with Jamieson.

“He had a few nice words to me, just telling me to keep going, so it was nice,” the Kiwi joked at the time.

But can Jamieson become a genuine all-rounder?

“He’s getting a better understanding of becoming the batter he wants to be,” Malan said.

“As we gear up to two Twenty20 World Cups, he’s got a lot of potential to shine with the bat, especially as a tall, lanky dude.”

IPL calling?

With the ability to take wickets and score runs lower down the order, Jamieson may well be in line for lucrative offers of franchise T20 cricket this year.

But playing for New Zealand remains his priority, according to Malan.

“Having spoken to him, his goal is to play international cricket,” he says.

“Kyle has said no over the last 12 months to go play offshore with the goal in mind that he wants to cement his place in the Black Caps side. He’s said no to certain opportunities and it’s paid off.

“The outside noise and all the opportunities that come his way, he’ll have some decisions to make. There will be a lot more interest from teams and franchises around the world, like the Indian Premier League.”

Finidi George: Ex-Super Eagles star undeterred by Nigeria coaching rejections

The 49-year-old retired from playing in 2004 after a 15-year career, which included winning the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as well as three league titles and the 1995 European Champions League with Dutch giants Ajax.

After concluding his internship at Dutch minnows PEC Zwolle as part of his coaching course, George has been seeking an opportunity to manage at youth level in the West African nation after twice failing to get the nod for the Under-17 job.

“I’m very disappointed but I understand the Nigerian system quite well,” George told BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s a matter of having the patience. So I’m open continue to improve myself with the hope of getting a chance to coach one of the country’s youth teams.

“When you have the right qualifications, attitude and professionalism, you can only aim for the best and it may even be a chance with the senior side, the Super Eagles, we shall see.”

George is not only continuing his search for a coaching role but is also keen to continue improving himself as he splits his time between Nigeria and Spain, where he spent much of his playing career.

Happy to wait

His first rejection came in 2018 when Manu Garba was retained as Nigeria’s under-17 coach and then last year Finidi once again applied for the post, this time another ex-international and veteran local manager Fatai Amoo was chosen by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

“I was disappointed to be ignored, but only consoled that at the end of the day this is Nigeria,” he added.

“I understand the challenges, I will just wait for when the time is right and the opportunity present itself again.

“As I continue to look at other options out there, I am open and will not shut the doors to Nigeria.

“I just hope someday that decision will be made and I will be call upon to handle one of the teams. I can only just keep hoping.”

Qualified coach

Since his retirement from football in 2004, he has earned his Uefa A Licence which is one level below the highest qualification, the Pro Licence.

He is currently allowed to be head coach of youth teams up to age 18, reserve teams (also known as ‘B’ teams) for top-flight clubs, and men’s professional second-tier clubs.

His previous coaching roles include director of international football at former club Real Betis and managed the youth team of his erstwhile Spanish side Real Mallorca in 2013.

Super Eagle

George was part of the “golden generation” of Nigerian football stars, alongside Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Sunday Oliseh and Daniel Amokachi.

He earned over 60 caps for Nigeria and featured at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.

One moment that caught the attention of many around the world came after he scored a spectacular goal against Greece at the 1994 World Cup and promptly celebrating by getting on all fours and cocking his leg like a dog.

He represented the country in four Nations Cup tournaments, by achieving success in 1994, finishing runners-up in 2000 and third place in 1992 and 2002.

Flying winger

At club level George played in Nigeria for Calabar Rovers and Iwuanyanwu Nationale before shining at Sharks of Port Harcourt and earning a moving to Ajax in the Netherlands in 1993.

The winger won three Dutch league titles, two Dutch Super Cups, the Uefa Champions league and Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and finished runner-up in the 1996 European Cup final against Juventus.

He then played for Real Betis, notching up 44 goals in 152 games from 1996-2000 after leaving Ajax Amsterdam.

He scored five times in 31 appearances for Mallorca between 2000 and 2001, before switching to English football.

George joined Ipswich from Real Mallorca for £3.1m in August 2001 but failed to keep a place in the Town side and reached a settlement to leave in summer 2003.

He returned for a second stint at Mallorca in January 2004 before hanging up his boots.

Cyril Abiteboul leaves role as Renault F1 team boss

The Frenchman, 43, will leave before the team rebrands as Alpine for the 2021 season.

The new season is due to start in March with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso joining the outfit to replace Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Abiteboul thanked the team for trusting him “for many years, particularly with the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016”.

He added: “The solid foundations of the racing team and the entities in France and England built over these years, the strategic evolution of the sport towards a more economically sustainable model, and more recently the Alpine project which provides a renewed sense of meaning and dynamism, all point to a very fine trajectory.”

No replacement has been announced for Abiteboul.

Renault celebrated three podium finishes last season on the way to finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship.