Update on the latest in sports:
Raptors pass Bucks for NBA’s top mark
UNDATED (AP) – The Toronto Raptors have reclaimed the NBA’s top winning percentage despite struggling against one of the league’s bottom-feeders on Tuesday.
Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH’-kah) delivered the winning dunk with 17 seconds remaining and added a big rebound to help the Raptors secure a 104-101 victory over the Hawks. Atlanta had a chance to regain the lead, but Ibaka grabbed a missed shot by Trae Young and fed OG Anunoby (AN’-oo-noh-bee) for a slam with less than a second remaining.
Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard had 31 points for the Raptors, who earned their sixth straight home win and improved to 31-12. Pascal Siakam (see-AH’-kam) had 13 points and 10 rebounds to help Toronto withstand John Collins’ 21 points and 14 boards.
The Raptors are three percentage points ahead of idle Milwaukee, but the Bucks have four games in hand.
Checking out the rest of Tuesday’s NBA action:
– Nikola Jokic (YOH’-kihch) registered his fourth triple-double of the season by delivering 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Nuggets’ 103-99 triumph over the Heat at Miami. Jamal Murray added 18 points for the Western Conference leaders.
– The Warriors cruised to a 122-95 win over the Knicks behind Klay Thompson, who nailed seven 3-pointers in a 43-point effort. Stephen Curry had his first double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-best 14 assists as Golden State ended a three-game home losing streak.
– Rookie Landry Shamet (SHAM’-eht) established season highs with eight 3-pointers and 29 points in the 76ers’ 132-115 rout of the Wizards. Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’-ehym-BEED’) had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which has won four straight and seven of nine.
– Indiana won for the seventh time in eight games as Thaddeus Young scored 26 points and Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic had 23 in the Pacers’ 123-115 victory at Cleveland. Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) had 17 points for the Pacers, who handed the Cavaliers their 10th consecutive loss.
– Lou Williams had 27 points and 10 assists in the Clippers’ ninth straight home win against the Hornets, 128-109. Montrezl (MAHN’-trehz) Harrell added 23 points and 11 rebounds, Tobias Harris had 23 and Danilo Gallinari 20 in the Clippers’ third win a row overall.
– Minnesota won its first game under interim coach Ryan Saunders as Andrew Wiggins had a season-high 40 points and 10 rebounds in a 119-117 downing of the Thunder. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 points and Dario Saric added 15 for the Wolves.
– Kelly Oubre Jr. matched his career high with 26 points, including a one-handed rebound jam with 11.1 seconds to play as Phoenix dumped the Kings, 115-111 to end a six-game losing streak. T.J. Warren added 21 points and Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who trailed by 21 and managed to rally without injured leading scorer Devin Booker.
McCaw sign-and-waive investigated by league
UNDATED (AP) – A person with knowledge of the situation says the NBA is looking into the circumstances surrounding Cleveland’s decision to sign Patrick McCaw to an offer sheet and then waive him after three games.
The person says the inquiry comes at the request of the Golden State Warriors, who declined to match the Cavaliers’ two-year, $6 million offer sheet.
McCaw played 53 minutes for the Cavs and averaged 1.7 points after giving the Warriors four points a game his first two years in the league.
The 23-year-old McCaw is a free agent after being let go by Cleveland on Sunday.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL
Blue Devils bury Deacs
UNDATED (AP) – Top-ranked Duke was a winner in its first road game of the season.
Freshman sensation Zion Williamson scored a season-high 30 points with 10 rebounds as the Blue Devils clobbered Wake Forest, 87-65. Williamson was 13 of 16 from the field with three 3-pointers after entering the game with just four baskets from beyond the arc all season.
RJ Barrett finished with 21 points and matched a season high with seven assists to help Duke pick up its eighth straight win and improve to 13-1.
In other top-25 finals:
– Third-ranked Tennessee is 13-1 after Kyle Alexander contributed 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds in an 87-63 thumping of Missouri. Jordan Bowden came off the bench to score 20 points and Jordan Bone added 17 for the Vols, who have won their first two SEC games by a combined 70 points.
– Michigan State is 14-2 after Cassius Winston shook off a slow start and finished with 23 points to help the sixth-ranked Spartans beat Purdue, 77-59. Nick Ward scored 16 points and Xavier Tillman had 11 points in Michigan State’s ninth consecutive win.
– Jarrett Culver had his first double-double of the season and scored seven straight Texas Tech points to break a tie late in the second half of the seventh-ranked Red Raiders’ 66-59 win over 23rd-ranked Oklahoma. Culver finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds as Tech moved to 14-1.
– Luke Maye scored 21 points to help No. 12 North Carolina hold off No. 15 North Carolina State 90-82. Freshman Coby White added 19 points for the 12-3 Tar Heels, who scored the game’s first 12 points and never trailed.
– Freshman A.J. Lawson stole the ball and finished with an emphatic dunk with 13 seconds left in overtime to seal South Carolina’s 87-82 upset of No. 14 Mississippi State. Maik Kotsar scored a career-high 25 points and had nine rebounds as the Gamecocks evened their record at 7-7.
– Kentucky fell behind 10-0 before Tyler Herro produced 21 points and Ashton Hagans added a career-high 18 in the 18th-ranked Wildcats, 85-74 victory against Texas A&M.
– Jeremy Harris scored a career-best 34 points in leading No. 19 Buffalo to a 110-80 rout of Toledo.
– Makai Mason scored 25 points, including five free throws in the final 38 seconds as Baylor held on to beat 20th-rated Iowa State, 73-70.
– Phil Booth hit a go-ahead 3-pointer late in the game and finished with 23 points to help Villanova rally from an 11-point, second-half deficit to beat No. 24 St. John’s, 76-71.
Bolts blank Blue Jackets
UNDATED (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning went back to their winning ways after their 16-game point streak was stopped in San Jose.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV’-skee) handled 31 shots and the Lightning improved to a league-best 33-8-2 by blanking the Blue Jackets, 4-0. Braydon Point had two goals and an assist in support of Vasilevskiy, who notched his second shutout of the season and 14th of his career.
NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) had a goal and an assist to help the Lightning improve to 16-1-1 in their last 18 contests.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Washington handed Philadelphia its eighth consecutive loss as T.J. Oshie (OH’-shee) and Jakub Vrana (vuh-RAH’-nah) each scored twice in the Capitals’ 5-3 verdict over the Flyers. Tom Wilson also scored and Pheonix Copley made 37 saves in Washington’s second straight win since a three-game slide.
– Riley Sheahan and Bryan Rust scored short-handed goals in the Penguins’ ninth win in 10 games, 5-1 against the Panthers. Matt Murray turned back 36 shots and improved to 8-0 with a 1.24 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage since returning from a lower-body injury.
– Blake Wheeler had a goal and three assists as the Jets handed the Avalanche their seventh loss in eight games. Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) got his 23rd goal for Winnipeg, which scored three times on the power play and once short-handed in its second straight win.
– Brandon Pirri (PEER’-ee) scored again and Marc-Andre Fleury carried a shutout into the midway mark of the third period to lead the Golden Knights to a 4-2 decision over the Rangers. Pirri has seven goals in eight games since making his NHL season debut Dec. 20.
– The Sharks blew out the Oilers, 7-2 as Evander Kane and Joonas Donskoi (DAHN’-skoy) each tallied twice. Kane finished with three points and Erik Karlsson set up three goals for the second straight game, giving him 14 assists in his last six contests.
– Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR-zhah-rahn) and Brad Marchand each had a goal and two assists to support Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask in the Bruins’ 4-0 shutout of the Wild. Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk also scored as Boston won its season-high fifth in a row.
– Jeff Skinner got his 29th goal of the season while the Sabres scored five times in the second period of a 5-1 pounding of the Devils. C.J. Smith, Casey Mittelstadt, Jake McCabe and Lawrence Pilut also scored to back Carter Hutton’s 20-save performance.
– The Islanders’ six-game winning streak is over after Justin Williams and Jaccob Slavin scored 1:35 apart late in the third period to send the Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory at New York. Brock Nelson scored twice for the Isles, who were seeking their first seven-game winning streak in 29 years.
– Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia (ahr-MEE’-ah) scored 66 seconds apart early in the second period before Jeff Petry tallied 19 seconds into the third to push the Canadiens past the Red Wings, 3-2. Detroit lost for the eighth time in nine games despite two goals from Andreas Athanasiou (ath-ah-nah-SEE’-oo).
– Tyler Seguin (SAY’-gihn) scored twice and Ben Bishop stopped 26 shots as Stars topped the Blues, 3-1 in St. Louis. John Klingberg had a goal for Dallas, which won despite generating only 17 shots on net.
Blues lose Steen for at least 2 weeks
UNDATED (AP) – The St. Louis Blues will spend at least two weeks without forward Alexander Steen because of a shoulder injury suffered in the first period of Monday’s win over the Flyers.
Steen has six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 32 games this season.
Also around the NHL:
– The Flyers have tied an NHL record by using their seventh goaltender this season, doing it in just 43 games. Mike McKenna became the seventh when he started Tuesday night against the Capitals. Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth (NOY’-vurth), Calvin Pickard, Alex Lyon, Anthony Stolarz and Carter Hart have also tended goal for Philadelphia.
Cardinals, Bucs find coaches
UNDATED (AP) – The Arizona Cardinals have dipped into the college ranks to find a head coach who can mentor young quarterback Josh Rosen. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have handed over the reins to one of the Cardinals’ former coaches.
The Cardinals have hired Kliff Kingsbury, who went 35-40 in six seasons at Texas Tech before his dismissal last month. Kingsbury will be trusted to resuscitate the worst offense in the NFL, one month after accepting a job as Southern California’s offensive coordinator.
Kingsbury’s Texas Tech teams were known for their high-scoring performances and featured current Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ’). Kingsbury was among the school’s most prolific passers, completing 65.4 percent for 12,429 yards and 95 touchdowns in 43 games from 1999-02.
He replaces Steve Wilks, who was fired after going an NFL-worst 3-13 in his one season in Arizona.
The Bucs have coaxed Bruce Arians out of his one-year retirement to fill the team’s fifth coaching vacancy in a decade.
Arians replaces Dirk Koetter, who was dismissed Dec. 30 after leading the Bucs to 19 wins and no playoffs berths over three seasons.
Arians coached the Cardinals for five years, stepping down after the 2017 season with a 50-32-1 record. His run included one division title, two playoff berths, three seasons with double-digit wins and one NFC championship game appearance.
The Bucs have finished last in the NFC South seven of the past eight seasons.
Humphrey leaving Texas for NFL
UNDATED (AP) – Texas wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Humphrey led the Longhorns with 86 catches for 1,176 yards and nine touchdowns as Texas won 10 games for the first time since 2009. The 6-foot-4 Humphrey caught the winning touchdown against Texas Tech when he wrestled the ball away from a defensive back and stretched into the end zone with 21 seconds left.
Also in college football:
– The Clemson flag is flying over the South Carolina State House after the Tigers’ national championship win over Alabama. The flag was also atop the capital’s dome two years back when Clemson won the crown. Clemson will have a parade and fan celebration at campus and the football stadium Saturday.
Baseball payroll spending drops for the first time since 2010
UNDATED (AP) – Spending on Major League Baseball payrolls dropped last season for the first time since 2010, a decline attributable to drug and domestic violence suspensions and a player retiring at midseason. Teams combined to spend $4.23 billion on major league payroll last year, down $18 million.
That’s according to figures compiled by the commissioner’s office and obtained by The Associated Press.
Even a year with flat payrolls is unusual. The only previous drops since 2002 were by $3 million in 2010 and by $32 million in 2004.
World Series champion Boston had the highest payroll for the first time since the free-agent era started in 1976 at $230 million. A record 24 teams had $100 million payrolls, and the Red Sox figure was the lowest for the top payroll since 2012.
– Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (sah-BATH’-ee-uh) has been cleared to resume working out, including baseball activities. The 38-year-old left-hander had a blockage in one artery to his heart and had a procedure Dec. 11 to insert a stent to clear the blockage.
– Two-time All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera and the White Sox have finalized a two-year, $18 million contract that includes a $10 million team option for 2021 and a $1 million buyout. Herrera appeared in 48 games for the Royals and Nationals last season, going 2-3 with 17 saves and a 2.44 ERA.
– Left-hander Hector Santiago has agreed to a minor league contract with the Mets. The 31-year-old had a 4.50 ERA and two saves in 42 relief appearances and seven starts last year for the White Sox.
The Dodgers have acquired right-handed pitcher Jaime Schultz from the Rays for minor league right-hander Caleb Sampen. Schultz was 2-2 with a 5.64 ERA in 22 appearances with one start for the Rays last year.
GOLF-RYDER CUP-EUROPE CAPTAIN
Harrington chosen as captain for 2020 Ryder Cup
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) – Padraig Harrington has been chosen as captain of Europe’s team for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
The 47-year-old Irishman has served as vice-captain for the past three Ryder Cups, most recently under Thomas Bjorn last year when Europe regained the trophy outside Paris. Bjorn was on the five-person panel that selected his replacement.
Harrington played in six Ryder Cups and was on the winning team four times.
UNDATED (AP) – A person familiar with the U.S. Tennis Association’s decision tells The Associated Press that former top-10 player Mardy Fish has been selected as the new captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, replacing Jim Courier.
Fish won six titles in singles and eight in doubles, played in the Davis Cup from 2002-2012 and won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics.
The 37-year-old Fish retired from the men’s professional tennis tour in 2015 after dealing with anxiety disorder.