“It is a realistic target, one which we can achieve. It is also the same number of golds we won when we hosted the Games in 2001 to become overall champions,” said Khairy.Khairy, however, did not reveal in detail which sports were expected to contribute to the gold medal tally.“I am not going to reveal it. That will put unnecessary pressure on the athletes. The other reason is that people will start analyzing and criticizing sports associations which do not meet their targets in the Games,” said Khairy.Although Khairy would not reveal the expectations from the sports associations, most of the gold medals are likely to come from athletics, aquatics, bowling, cycling, gymnastics, karate, lawn bowls, sailing, silat, waterskiing and squash.Khairy added that for the Asean Para Games, which will be held from Sept 17-23, a target of 103 gold medals has been set. There will be 16 sports in the Para Games, but with 479 events.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next PUTRAJAY—The Malaysian SEA Games contingent has one aim – one, one, one. The target is to win 111 gold medals and be the top gun of the 29th SEA Games, which is being hosted by the country from Aug 19 to 30.The target was announced by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak handed the Jalur Gemilang to the SEA Games contingent and also to the Para Asean Games contingent at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Quinto saves Letran late, outwits Perpetual for 3rd straight win LATEST STORIES PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief The total number of gold medals up for grabs is 405 in 38 sports.The figure 111 is the same number of golds Malaysia won in the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. That was the first time since the Games’ inception in 1959 that Malaysia become the overall champion.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn the 2001 edition, the total number of events was 391 in 32 sports.Khairy said that they came up with the figure of 111 after analyzing the performance of athletes and also the targets set by the individual sports associations. “We hope to finish second in the Para Asean Games with 103 golds. Thailand will be favourite to become overall champion,” said Khairy.In the last Asean Para Games in Singapore in 2015, Malaysia finished overall third with a medal haul of 52-58-37 in 336 events in 15 sports. Thailand was the overall champion with a haul of 95-76-79 followed by Indonesia with 81-74-63. Malaysia’s best ever performance in the Asean Para Games was also in 2001. The hosts then won 143 golds to become overall champion. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses
Elmer Abatayo continued the Philippines’ haul in the lawn bowls competition in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, bagging the bronze medal in men’s singles Sunday at the National Lawn Balls Centre in Kuala Lumpur.Abatayo outlasted Brunei’s Abd Rahman Omar, 21-20, in the battle for third place as the country gained its sixth medal in lawn balls.ADVERTISEMENT That hiked the Philippines’ lawn bowls collection to one gold, three silvers, and two bronze medals.Muhammad Soufi Rusli of host Malaysia won the gold medal in men’s singles, while Singapore’s Lee Yuan Min settled for silver.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Read Next PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses 50-0: Floyd Mayweather stops Conor McGregor in 10th round View comments SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Dolan said.“Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJackson was a power forward on Knicks championship teams in 1970 and 1973, although he missed the first of those title-winning campaigns after spinal fusion surgery.As a coach, Jackson guided the Michael Jordan-powered Chicago Bulls to six titles in the 1990s and the Los Angeles Lakers to five more. But he could not turn around the club where he spent most of his playing days.“The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Jackson said. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.”Jackson, 71, could not revive a Knicks team that has not had a winning record since 2013, when the club won its only playoffs series since 2000.The Knicks went 37-45 in 2013-14 but since then have had season marks of 17-65, 32-50 and 31-51 in 2016-17 with trade rumors constantly surrounding star Carmelo Anthony as losses mounted in iconic Madison Square Garden.“I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden,” Jackson said. “As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best –- today and always.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. New York Knicks President Phil Jackson speaks with the media att Madison Square Garden training center on July 8, 2016 in Tarrytown, New York. / AFP PHOTO / Bryan R. SmithPhil Jackson, who won a record 11 NBA titles as a coach, announced Wednesday his resignation as New York Knicks president of basketball operations by mutual agreement with team owner Jim Dolan.The move came after Dolan and Jackson discussed the future direction of the Knicks, who have struggled since Jackson took over in March 2014, nearly three years after his retirement from coaching.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Dolan said he will not be involved in operating the Knicks.“While we are currently evaluating how best to move forward regarding the leadership of the organization, I will not be involved in the operation of the team,” Dolan said. “Steve Mills, the team’s general manager, will run the day-to-day business of the organization over the short term.”Tim Leiweke, a former executive for the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors ownership groups, will advise the Knicks in the interim on moving forward. What ‘missteps’? Clutch Castro carries TNT to tie Finals series at 2-2 LATEST STORIES
Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Michael Martinez competes in the men’s individual figure skating in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLMichael Martinez could’ve had another golden moment for the Philippines in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games but he fell short in the men’s individual free skating event.After his spirited appearance in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and gold medal finish in the Asian Trophy, Martinez was tabbed to take home the top prize in the Kuala Lumpur Games.ADVERTISEMENT READ: Breaking the ice with Michael MartinezThe 20-year-old, however, is eager to put his frustrations behind as he looks forward to his next challenge—the 2018 Winter Games.“For me, it’s still the Olympics over of the SEA Games,” said Martinez. “And of course this loss motivated me especially when the judges approached me [saying] that this was my best performance I’ve done in my career.”PH ice athletes get warm welcome after SEAG stint360 viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Prince Eze tops NCAA MVP race after the first round Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ View comments Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion READ: Martinez bags silver, Perticheto wins bronze in figure skatingBut Martinez settled for the silver and 40th-ranked skater in the world admitted the failure stung.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“To be honest, it hurt because my goal was to really win the gold medal,” said Martinez Thursday during their homecoming celebration at SM Megamall’s skating rink.Martinez scored 171.63 points to place second behind Malaysian Julian Zhi-Jie Yee, who won the gold after scoring 205.43. LATEST STORIES
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPerpetual Help’s Prince Eze, the Most Valuable Player award front-runner at the end of the first round, sparkled down the stretch as Saints All Stars outlasted Heroes, 84-80, in the fourth annual NCAA All Star Game last Friday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.In a surprisingly tough and competitive encounter, the 6-foot-10 Eze, playing heavy minutes, drained two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory for the Saints of San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lyceum’s CJ Perez finished with 15 points and four steals for Heroes. But Perez struggled just like Kent Salado in the final minute as the Saints tightened up on defense.Meanwhile, Arellano forward Lervin Flores ruled the slam dunk contest, leaping over three people, including comedian Empoy Marquez who was among the judges.Flores’ perfect 50 dunk in the final round rescued what was an otherwise drab affair which saw six of the nine participants unable to convert their dunk attempts.It was redemption for Flores, who was left frustrated last year when he failed to get past the first round of the competition.Justin Gutang of St. Benilde settled for second place after getting a score of 45 for his 360 slam.ADVERTISEMENT Mapua ruled two side events as Almel Orquina topped the three-point contest, besting a strong field that also included 2016 champion Amiel Soberano. Another Cardinal, JP Nieles ruled the skills challenge while Perpetual, led by GJ Ylagan, topped the Shooting Stars competition. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lady Eagles kick off bid vs Lady Bombers Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim While Eze did most of the damage inside the paint, Fernandez also had a San Beda-Letran combination to thank for as Rey Nambatac joined forces with Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon in a strong finish.Bolick nailed a triple from the corner with 1:49 for an 82-80 cushion.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingEze, who also had 14 rebounds, was named MVP of the All Star game, matching the achievement of his former teammate Bright Akhuetie.“At least the players enjoyed and we were able to balance their playing time,” said Fernandez. “Eze played really well. He has really blossomed as a player.” Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments
After corruption taint and delay in the completion of its venues, the Commonwealth Games (CWG) now faces boycott by foreign players. Australian swimmers could be the first to do so. With the 2010 CWG already under the security scanner, Australia has said that members of its swimming squad are free to fly back home any time if they feel unsafe in Delhi for the Games in October. According to reports, Swimming Australia president David Urquhart has said that the safety of their athletes comes first and there will be no pressure on them to participate in the Games. He said there is no pressure at all on the Australian swimmers to go to New Delhi. “If they don’t want to go that will be their decision and there will be no recourse. If they arrive there and they feel unsafe and they don’t like the place and want to get out, we fly them back,” Urquhart told Australian media.The strong reaction from Australia comes after the attack on an Indian swimmer in Chennai on Sunday. India’s CWG medal prospect — M.B. Balakrishnan — was attacked by a group of unidentified assailants and he may be ruled out of the Games. The 21-year-old swimmer, a backstroke specialist, was on his way to the pool for a morning practice session when he was attacked by four unidentified men. The assailants fled when the local people rushed to the swimmer’s rescue. A severely wounded Balakrishnan was then rushed to a private hospital. Balakrishnan’s coach Chandrasekar said that the swimmer might not be able to participate in the Games since only 28 days are left for the event. Balakrishnan however sounded optimistic.advertisement
Even before Bigg Boss 4 comes to an end, show host Salman Khan has shown interest to appear in the show’s fifth season.Salman KhanThe season 5 is on the cards, for which Sallu is keen to make a small-screen comeback as the host. However, the channel has not given any official confirmation as the actor is yet to finalise the terms and conditions for the next season.For the current season, the actor had charged approximately Rs 3 crore per episode and in the coming season, he is likely to charge more.”Salman thoroughly enjoyed hosting this show. He also increased the entertainment level of the show by being high-spirited and sporting. The decision to host the fifth season has come from him, which the channel is likely to honour,” says a source.We know that Salman went inside the Bigg Boss house at the time of Diwali. Similarly, he had also developed a good rapport with the contestants.Salman enjoyed hosting the show so much that he has even planned to throw a bash for all the Bigg Boss participants.The channel, however, is too busy with the finale of the show which will take place on Saturday night. It is only after the finale is over and the winner is announced that the channel will start working on the fifth season.
New Zealand, semifinalists in two of the previous three World Cups, hope to at least replicate – if not better – those performances as they take on Kenya in their opening Group A fixture of the 2011 edition in Chennai on Sunday.The Kiwis are expected to comfortably win more due to the dumps that Kenyan cricket is in rather than their own obvious all-round superiority.New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said his team will look to make a fresh start at the World Cup after a harrowing run in recent One-Day Internationals.The Black Caps have lost 14 of their last 16 one-dayers, leading to doubts about their ability to lift their game in testing sub-continental conditions.”I hope we can look at the World Cup as a fresh start. Our guys have the ability to bounce back. I prefer to look ahead rather than dwell on the past.” Vettori said.New Zealand comfortably defeated Kenya by 148 runs the only time they have played before, in the 2007 World Cup. In 2003, the Kiwis forfeited their World Cup match in Nairobi due to security concerns.But New Zealand don’t want to take the Kenyans lightly. “The hardest thing about playing a qualifier is that you do not see much of them. Some of their players will be a bit of a surprise. You prepare may be after seeing them on television. It adds its own challenge but that shouldn’t matter. We have to turn up to play well and win,” Vettori noted.The Kiwis qualified for the penultimate round in 1999 and 2007 to underline their potential, but for all that, they have never looked a side capable of winning the Cup and it could be no different this time around.advertisementLack of consistency has been New Zealand’s bugbear as their performance levels swing to the extremes. Yet, when the team clicks as one, the Kiwis have proven to be a handful, although these occasions have been rare and far in between.Their top four batsmen in a reshuffled order – Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptil, Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder – have not fired in unison which is worrisome for the Black Caps although all are eminently capable of tall scores.In bowling, the Kiwis have a profusion of seamers. In many ways, the tournament holds immense significance to New Zealand who are expected to qualify for the knock-out rounds from Group A. The luck of draw has provided New Zealand with a projected “soft” opener against the Kenyans whose fortunes revolve around their two senior players, Stephen Tikolo (39) and Thomas Odoyo (32), both set to player their fifth World Cup while Seren Waters, a Durham University student, represents their future hope.Kenya may be rank outsiders but captain Jimmy Kamande warned rival teams that they can notch up an upset or two as they had done in the past.”In this tournament, top 14 countries in the world are competing and nobody should be taken lightly. The results will talk about our performance at the end of the day, Kamande said.”We are going to play our brand of cricket that we know best. In all our matches, we are geared up to get good results. We are well organised and prepared. We will enjoy ourselves and not to copy any team,” he added.
Apparently attempting to send out a message that the sportspersons should not concentrate on anything except games, the Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday took a jibe at boxer Vijender Singh for focusing more on TV commercials.At a felicitation function for honouring seven sportspersons for their performance at the London Olympics, the CM said Vijender “under-performed” at the event. Vijender was sitting with other players at a function organised by the Haryana Police when the CM made these remarks.”Vijender is an excellent boxer,” he said adding that he should desist from taking non-sports tours. “Tu tour laganey band kar de (Stop taking tours),” Hooda said. Hooda was hinting at his appearance in TV advertisements and interest in modeling assignments.The boxer, however, tried to make light of the remark stating that he was not aware which tour the chief minister was talking about. Vijender had won a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But he failed to make a mark in the recently concluded games in London. He had lost in the quarterfinals.The chief minister, meanwhile, said that another boxer Jai Bhagwan and discuss thrower Seema Antil had been promoted as Inspectors in the Haryana Police. Some other sportspersons including Manoj Kumar and Sumit Sangwan did not attend the function.The chief minister honoured Olympic bronze medalist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, hockey players Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh, discuss thrower Seema Antil and Vikas Krishan. The CM gave Yogeshwar Rs 51 lakh. The other players honoured at the function received Rs 11 lakhs each.advertisementThough the CM honoured the sportspersons, the opposition in Haryana is not amused. In a statement issued in Chandigarh, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) alleged that Hooda was “biased” in honouring the players.Hooda honoured players from other states to project it as an achievement of Haryana. The party general secretary Ajay Chautala said that among the medalists honoured by Hooda, only Yogeshwar Dutt belonged to Haryana. Five other medalists honoured by the CM belonged to other states. “The CM claims that four of the Indian medalists belong to the state but they never represented Haryana at any level in any sporting event,” Ajay said.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, dribbles away from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oklahoma City Thunder had a six-game overall losing streak to the Trail Blazers, and they had lost their last eight at the Moda Center, a streak dating back to 2014.Proclaiming a “new year, new team,” Paul George scored 37 points and the Thunder beat the Blazers 111-109 victory on Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We came here, we told ourselves we need to change it — and we got it done,” George said.Russell Westbrook added 31 points for the Thunder, who held off a furious last-minute rally by the Blazers that fell short. Damian Lillard led Portland with 23 points and eight assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“I was thinking about it when I landed yesterday,” Westbrook said about the long drought. “For me, this was personal. I wanted the streak to end.”The Thunder trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half but pulled in front late in the third quarter and pushed the lead to 107-97 with just over 4 minutes to go on a basket by Westbrook, who scored 20 points came in the second half. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ CJ McCollum’s jumper got Portland within 109-105 and Lillard made two of three free throws to cut the deficit with 42.8 seconds left.Lillard and McCollum both missed shots before George made free throws with 4.3 seconds left. The Blazers fell short on Al-Farouq Aminu’s basket at the buzzer.“The Blazers are a tough team to play against and this is a tough place to play. To find a way to get a win here, since it’s been a while, sometimes you’ve got to do a lot of different things,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.Oklahoma City, sitting in second place in the Western Conference behind the Nuggets, has won three straight, including a 107-100 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday.The Thunder rose to 12 games over .500 for the first time this season.ADVERTISEMENT The Blazers had won two straight overall and were coming off a 113-108 overtime victory in Sacramento on New Year’s Day. The game against the Thunder was the first of a five-game homestand.“You put yourself in that type of position, it comes down to — like I always say — you’ve got to be perfect. We needed to probably make every shot, get every stop,” Lillard said. “We just came up short. We had plenty of opportunity.”George got off to a fast start with 13 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of free throws that pulled the Thunder into a 28-all tie.The Blazers went up 47-39 after Jake Layman’s 3-pointer, and extended the lead to 58-47 after Maurice Harkless’ 3.Jusuf Nurkic had 16 first-half points and Portland went into the break with a 62-57 lead.The Thunder closed within 80-78 on Steven Adams’ layup then took an 83-82 lead on George’s 3-pointer. Aminu answered with a 3 for the Blazers but George made another 3 and the Thunder went into the final period with a 93-87 lead.“We really increased the defensive pressure in the second half and made it harder for them to score,” George said.Nurkic finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.“It was disappointing, kind of a crazy game,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I thought we had good flow and good momentum most of the game.”TIP-INS SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Elite will not tolerate Rabeh Al-Hussaini’s absence from team Thunder: George had 21 points at the half. … Terrance Ferguson fouled out with 2:43 left. … It was the first of four meetings between the teams. Last season Portland won all four of its games against the Thunder.Trail Blazers: Nurkic was coming off a rare 5-by-5 (five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals, and five blocks) against the Kings on Tuesday, when he had 24 points, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and five blocks. The only other Blazer with one was Nic Batum. Nurkic is the first NBA player to pull off a 5-by-5 with 20-plus points and rebounds.REMEMBERING LARRY: The Blazers held a moment of silence for Larry Weinberg, one of the founders and original owners of the team, who died on Monday. Weinberg was among those who got the franchise started as an NBA expansion team in 1970. He sold the team to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1988.UP NEXTThunder: Host the Wizards on Sunday.Trail Blazers: Host the Houston Rockets in the second of a back-to-back on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue