Early departure for Sharks

Basketball

Basketball

Sheffield Sharks' dream of squaring up to the NBA's Houston Rockets died in the first round of the McDonald's Championship at London Arena last night, when they lost 71-99 to Spain's Real Madrid.

Madrid, who knocked Sheffield out of the European Championship earlier this month, out-rebounded the Sharks 30-12 in the first half and quickly turned their 41-29 interval lead into a 20-point advantage.

Madrid meet Bologna in the first of tonight's semi-finals after the Italian champions defeated the Israelis Maccabi Tel Aviv 112-103 in the first game. Bologna's American Orlando Wooldridge scored 30 points and took 11 rebounds in the Italian champions' victory over Israel's top team.

Hakeem Olajuwon, the Houston Rockets' 7ft 2in centre who features on the front cover of the event programme and was billed as the star attraction, will not risk his injured elbow in the second of tonight's semi-finals, against the Australian champions, Perth Wildcats. "I don't think it would be wise to play," he said. "I don't want to risk turning a minor injury into a major injury. I will train with the team and get ready for the season, that's what matters."

No NBA team has ever lost in Europe and their clubs have won the six previous McDonald's Championships. But the recent lock-out which prevented pre-season training, plus Olajuwon's absence, has left them slightly edgy. Houston's Sam Cassell said: "We know that no NBA team has ever lost in Europe and we don't want to be the first. Let somebody else be the first, not us."

After practice yesterday, the Rockets' coach, Rudy Tomjanovich, said: "It was very important for us to have a good practice today to iron out a few of the kinks. We were very rusty and it was ugly out there for a while, but we ended on a pretty good note."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Intervention Teacher Required To Start ASAP.

£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Maths Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...

Recruitment Genius: PHP / Drupal / SaaS Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...

Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy