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Tottenham’s Harry Kane drops Manchester City hint while ruling one out transfer option

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Tottenham's Harry Kane drops Manchester City hint while ruling one out transfer option

Harry Kane has hinted that a move to Manchester City would appeal to him, as he is eager to play alongside Kevin De Bruyne, but has ruled out taking on a new challenge outside of England if he is to leave Tottenham.

The 27-year-old frontman is expected to push for a transfer away from north London this summer, with one of the most prolific strikers in world football eager to start chasing down the medals that his undoubted ability deserves.

Various landing spots have been mooted, but Premier League rivals appear the most likely to launch a raid on Spurs as City, Manchester United and Chelsea lead the chase for a sought-after signature.

What has been said?

Kane has suggested that the Etihad Stadium may be his preferred destination, telling Gary Neville on the “On The Overlap” YouTube channel when asked to pick out his dream teammate: “Oh, De Bruyne for sure.

“When I watch De Bruyne play he’s a special, special player and some of the balls I see him put in for City are just a striker’s dream if I’m honest but yeah he’s an outstanding player.

“You’ve seen him, he’s an outstanding player with the ball, off the ball, pressing, but his delivery is as good as I’ve ever seen to be honest.”

England the only option

Kane has understandably sparked talk of interest being shown from across Europe, with big-spending sides such as Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid said to figure on a long list of suitors.

A man with 165 Premier League goals to his name has, however, made it clear that he intends to stay close to home and chase down Alan Shearer’s all-time mark of 260 efforts in the English top flight.

Getty composite

Kane added on his future ambition: “I guess injuries would be the biggest thing [in stopping me getting the record], obviously I’ve had injuries, ankle injuries and I haven’t had anything that’s kept me out for months and months, touch wood, but I guess for me I think injuries would be the biggest thing stopping me.

“Of course there’s always the option of maybe moving abroad one day but I don’t think that really interests me in the near future.

“Injuries I guess in my mind would be the only things but I feel like I’ve got a good seven or eight years at the top when you look at the Messis, Ronaldos … your Ibrahimovics, all kind of getting better as they reach their early 30s.

“I’m still 27 so I’ve still got hopefully a long way to go, so, yeah, it’s definitely there, I’m still obviously quite a way off but I like to think consistently I’ve scored 20-plus in my injury-free seasons in the Premier League so if I can do that for the next four or five years then it’ll be there.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t [want the Premier League record], I think if I get to the end and I haven’t broke that record and the Wayne Rooney England record then I’d probably be a little disappointed in myself, to be honest, but it’s definitely there if I carry on doing what I’ve been doing so I guess it’ll just be a great sign of consistency over many years.

“I mean Shearer’s record is incredible when you think about it, 260 goals. I guess it’s just that little bit of motivation there just to push me and hopefully go beyond that.”

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Chris Paul, NBA Twitter react to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk in Suns vs. Clippers

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Chris Paul, NBA Twitter react to Deandre Ayton's game-winning dunk in Suns vs. Clippers

Deandre Ayton was the hero for the Suns in their Game 2 win over the Clippers.

With less than a second left on the clock, the Suns were down one point and had just 0.9 seconds to get a shot off. Jae Crowder inbounded the ball on the baseline under the Suns’ basket and found Ayton cutting to the hoop.

Ayton threw it down. The play took just 0.2 seconds off the clock and sealed the 104-103 win for the Suns.

Here’s a look at the amazing finish.

Ayton and Crowder deserve a bulk of the credit, but Devin Booker had an impact on the finish as well. His physical screen on Ivica Zubac — who is seven inches taller and 35 pounds heavier than Booker — gave Ayton just enough space to get open off the cut and throw down the dunk.

And Booker put his body on the line despite playing with a bloodied nose that required stitches after an inadvertent hit from Patrick Beverley earlier in the game.

The Suns’ finish thrilled Phoenix fans as well as the team’s star point guard Chris Paul, who missed his second straight game in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He took time to celebrate the victory on Twitter and praised coach Monty Williams for his “big-time play call.”

Indeed, it was a nice play call, and Williams made sure Ayton was prepared to dunk immediately after catching the ball.

“DA — if he throws it, you gotta try to dunk it,” Williams said. “Okay?”

Ayton was ready and obliged. As a result of his make, NBA Twitter erupted and celebrated the exciting end to yet another tightly-contested playoff battle. 

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How Suns perfectly executed game-winning play — and why goaltending didn’t apply on Deandre Ayton’s dunk

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How Suns perfectly executed game-winning play — and why goaltending didn't apply on Deandre Ayton's dunk

Back in December 2017, the Suns and Grizzlies found themselves in a down-to-the-wire contest. Phoenix had the ball with just 0.6 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 97.

So what did then-Suns coach Jay Triano do? He unveiled a play that he had kept in his back pocket for years.

MORE: Chris Paul reacts to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk

While standing on the sideline near the Grizzlies’ bench, Dragan Bender threw a pass toward Tyson Chandler that floated directly above the rim, giving Chandler the opportunity to slam it through the bottom of the net. Wait, you can do that?

“You cannot goaltend a ball that isn’t going to count,” Triano told reporters after the game.

More than three years later, Triano’s words were once again ringing throughout Phoenix Suns Arena. Coach Monty Williams drew up a similar play on Tuesday night, and his players executed it perfectly to give the Suns a stunning 104-103 win over the Clippers and a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals.

Look at this beauty:

OK, let’s break down what NBA TV’s Matt Winer called “The Valley Oop.” (Great work, Matt).

First, notice the positioning of DeMarcus Cousins. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue made a smart move by putting Cousins on Jae Crowder in order to make an inbound pass more difficult, but Cousins is squared up to Crowder, opening up the passing lane Crowder needs.

As for the action in the paint, Devin Booker sets a terrific screen on Ivica Zubac, allowing Deandre Ayton to break free. Could Nicolas Batum have bumped Ayton and recovered? Possibly, but he is understandably concerned with leaving Booker.

(NBA)

Once Ayton gets a step on Zubac running toward the basket, it’s on Crowder to put the ball in a spot in which Ayton can score. As you can see from the angle below, Crowder just narrowly avoids the backboard. The placement here is simply incredible.

“That’s definitely Jae’s game-winner,” Ayton said after the game.

deandre ayton suns play
(NBA)

Now, you may still be asking, “But why isn’t that a goaltending violation?”

As the NBA explained in its Last Two Minute Report from that December 2017 game, “Goaltending rules do not apply because (Chandler) makes contact with the ball off of a throw-in and not a live ball that has already legally been touched on the playing court.” Scott Foster, who served as the crew chief on Tuesday, offered the same explanation when asked about Ayton’s dunk.

Sometimes less than a second can be all the time in the world. Just ask any Suns fan.

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Clippers’ Paul George misses crucial free throws in stunning Game 2 loss to Suns

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Clippers' Paul George misses crucial free throws in stunning Game 2 loss to Suns

The box score from Tuesday’s Suns-Clippers game — a pivotal Game 2 win for Phoenix in the Western Conference finals — will show Paul George had a decent game.

Twenty-six points, on 10-of-23 shooting; six assists; six rebounds; and 5-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. He also scored his team’s last six points, all within the last minute, to help the Clippers to a 103-102 lead with just 8.2 seconds remaining.

The only stats that ultimately mattered in the Clippers’ 104-103 loss, however, were the final two free throws George — a career 84.7-percent free throw shooter — missed. They ultimately allowed Phoenix a chance at an unbelievable comeback victory, which may prove costly even as the series heads back to LA.

NBA MOCK DRAFT 2021: Who will Pistons, Rockets take with top picks?

Had George sunk both of those shots, the Suns would have needed a 3-pointer just to send the game to overtime. Had he sunk even one shot, they would have needed a 2-pointer. But he missed both, allowing the Suns to win on an inbound dunk with less than a second remaining:

Credit to Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and the Suns. That play will go down as one of the top plays in NBA playoffs history. But every heartbreaking loss needs a goat, and no one fits the bill better than “Playoff P,” who could have secured a win for his team with the simplest of basketball scoring plays.

Here’s the bright side for the Clippers, if there is one: They have already overcome 2-0 deficits in each of their first two series against the Mavericks and Jazz, respectively. That’s likely a cold comfort as George and Co. head back to LA, however. The scathing Twitter comments aimed at George likely won’t do anything to help, either:

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