Basketball

Kawhi Leonard cheered in emotional return to Toronto

Kawhi Leonard finished with a team-high 23 points in an emotional return to Toronto, as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the reigning NBA champions Raptors 112-92 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

He was welcomed back with cheers, despite a sudden exit from Toronto after leading the Raptors to their first NBA title in just one season playing in Canada.

All smiles, Leonard received his diamond championship ring following a video tribute of his season during the pre-game ceremony. Former teammate Kyle Lowry handed him the ring with more than 600 diamonds.

The Scotiabank Arena crowd greeted him with a prolonged ovation, but they watched their Raptors fall behind 64-46 at the half.

Lou Williams finished with 18 points and had eight assists off the bench for the Clippers, who have won five of their past six games.

"It was great," Leonard said of the reception. "We had an unbelievable season last year. It was a historic run in the play-offs and a great feeling."

Both teams were coming off road victories, with the Clippers beating the Indiana Pacers 110-99 and the Raptors squeezing past the Chicago Bulls 93-92.

Maurice Harkless added 14 points and Paul George had 13. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points for the Raptors, who have lost four of their past five games. - AFP

SELECTED RESULTS:

Cleveland 110 Houston 116, Orlando 87 LA Lakers 96, Milwaukee 127 New Orleans 112.

Ferrari to launch their 2020 F1 car on Feb 11

Ferrari will launch their new Formula One car on Feb 11 and expect it to have less outright speed than this year's, but be better equipped to take the fight to champions Mercedes after a disappointing 2019.

Team boss Mattia Binotto told reporters at the Maranello factory yesterday that Ferrari were aiming to put a lot more aerodynamic downforce on the as-yet unnamed 2020 car.

The sport's oldest, most glamorous and successful team have not won a drivers' title since Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen was champion in 2007.

"We are not expecting to be as fast on the straight as we have been," said Binotto. "Our car is aiming for more downforce and by consequence, we are certainly working more on drag."

Binotto said there would be "quite significant changes on the engine", with the power unit a source of controversy this year amid speculation Ferrari were bending the rules - allegations they have firmly denied. Ferrari started the year as favourites after setting impressive times in testing, but failed to live up to expectations. - REUTERS

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