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More Sports In Brief

Published:Saturday | December 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM
José Mourinho

Rain ends Windies warm-up

BENONI, South Africa (CMC):Persistent thunderstorms forced the abandonment of the final day of West Indies' three-day tour match against the South African Invitational XI here yesterday.

The adverse weather, which occurred overnight and lasted into the morning, wiped out any possibility of play from early at Willowmoore Park.

West Indies' bowlers would have been disappointed not to get another run out, especially with the contest the only warm-up game heading into next week's first Test in Centurion.

The Invitational XI were expected to resume at 17 without loss in their second innings.

West Indies, however, dominated the first two days, piling up 508 in response to the hosts' 125 all out, with Marlon Samuels getting 203 and Devon Smith 174. There was also a five-wicket haul from left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell.

Harden on fire

SACRAMENTO, California (AP):Houston's James Harden scored 44 points, including 10 in overtime, to lead the visitors to a 113-109 win at Sacramento, moving the Rockets within half a game of the NBA Southwest Division lead.

Harden, the NBA's leading scorer, tied the game with a three-pointer and then opened the extra period with seven unanswered points. The win was the fifth in six games for the Rockets.

Trevor Ariza scored 15 and Patrick Beverly had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Houston.

Darren Collison scored 24 points and Ben McLemore added 21 for the Kings, who committed 22 turnovers that led to 27 Houston points.

In the day's other game, Oklahoma City capitalised on the absence of LeBron James from the Cleveland team and beat the Cavaliers 103-94.

James sat out with left-knee soreness and, without him, Cleveland's winning streak ended at eight games. Cavaliers coach David Blatt said before the game that James' injury wasn't too serious, and he would be assessed from day to day.

EPL for Friday nights

LONDON (AP):English Premier League (EPL) games will be played on Friday nights from the 2016-17 season, emulating German, Spanish and French competitions.

The new slot was included in the bidding documents for the 2016-19 television rights, issued yesterday to British broadcasters, who can show only 168 of the 380 games live.

There are seven packages of rights, five with 28 games and two with 14 games. The existing Monday night package will add Friday night games for the first time, potentially giving Champions League participants longer to prepare for European matches.

Chelsea Manager José Mourinho earlier this year called on the football authorities to change the fixture schedule to accommodate European commitments.

"If we played on Friday night, at 7:45, it makes a difference to who? Less spectators ... I don't think so," Mourinho said. "It'd be a full house, the same. And for television? It wouldn't make a difference. If it was the only match on TV, the (audience) share would be fantastic.

"Would it be good for Chelsea? Yes. Would it be good for English football? Yes."