Update on the latest sports
LeBron wins in return to Lakers’ lineup
UNDATED (AP) – LeBron James returned to the court following a 17-game injury absence and helped his Los Angeles Lakers escape with a win over the Clippers.
James fell one assist shy of a triple-double and hit the go-ahead basket in overtime to send the Lakers to a 123-120 victory over their co-tenants. He delivered 24 points and 14 rebounds while playing 40 minutes in his first game since straining his left groin in a rout of Golden State on Christmas Day. The Lakers went 6-11 in his absence to fall into a ninth-place tie with Sacramento in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Lance Stephenson added 20 points, including a career-high-tying five 3-pointers for the Lakers.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
– The Warriors’ 11-game winning streak is over after Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) contributed 26 points and 20 rebounds in Philadelphia’s 113-104 win against the two-time defending NBA champs. Ben Simmons also scored 26 points and JJ Redick added 15 in the 76ers’ first win over the Warriors in nearly six years. Golden State fell despite Stephen Curry, who nailed 10 3-pointers while providing 41 points and six assists.
The Bucks saw a 24-point, third-quarter lead slip to six before completing a 105-92 victory over the Raptors. Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) finished with a team-high 19 points and Khris Middleton added 18 as Milwaukee moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Raptors in the conference standings. Pascal Siakam (see-AH’-kam) scored 28 points and Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard had 16 for the Raptors, who ended a 10-game home winning streak.
– Derrick White scored a career-high 26 points and the Spurs erased a 97-90 deficit in the final eight minutes of a 117-114 victory against the Nets. LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points, snared 13 rebounds and provided a critical three-point play in the final minute of San Antonio’s 16th straight home win against Brooklyn.
– Andre Drummond scored 24 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and hit a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left to secure the Pistons, 93-89 win against Dallas. Blake Griffin had 24 points for Detroit and finished with 445 in January, the highest-scoring month in team history.
– Terrence Ross scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter of the Magic’s 107-100 victory against Indiana. Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Orlando, which dealt the Pacers their fourth straight loss since All-Star guard Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Knicks agree to trade Porzingis to Dallas
NEW YORK (AP) – The Dallas Mavericks and struggling New York Knicks have pulled off the first blockbuster deal before the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline.
The Knicks send former first-round pick Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) to the Mavs, along with guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee. New York receives Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks.
The Knicks made the surprising move after saying Porzingis requested a trade earlier Thursday. The fourth player taken in the 2015 draft is still recovering from a torn knee ligament suffered last season.
Smith had an outstanding rookie season last year, but he’s become expendable following the emergence of teenager Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch).
Hardaway has two more years and about $37 million left on his contract.
The trade won’t be finalized until players pass physicals.
Westbrook leads list of All-Star reserves
UNDATED (AP) – Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and New Orleans forward-center Anthony Davis are among the 14 players selected as reserves for the NBA All-Star game set for Feb. 17 in Charlotte.
Westbrook has been named the All-Star game MVP in two of his eight appearances in the midwinter classic. Davis is currently slated to represent the Pelicans in the game, but he has demanded to be moved before the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
Joining Westbrook and Davis in the Western Conference player pool are San Antonio big man LaMarcus Aldridge, Denver center Nikola Jokic (NEE’-koh-lah YOH’-kihch), Portland guard Damian Lillard, Golden State guard Klay Thompson and Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Eastern Conference reserve pool consists of Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton, Philadelphia swingman Ben Simmons and Orlando center Nikola Vucevic, along with Washington guard Bradley Beal, Detroit forward Blake Griffin, Toronto guard Kyle Lowry and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-Dee’-poh). Commissioner Adam Silver will name a replacement for Oladipo, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Lakers forward LeBron James and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) are the team captains and will draft the game rosters, which will be selected on Feb. 7.
In other NBA news:
– Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love took part in a contact scrimmage and could be days away from returning to the lineup. Love has been out since late October after undergoing surgery on his left foot. He played in just four games before the pain became too much and he opted for surgery.
Judge rejects possible ‘do-over’ of Rams-Saints playoff game
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal judge is refusing to order the NFL to implement a rule that could have led to a do-over of the NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams.
U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan on Thursday rejected arguments by two Saints season ticket holders who filed suit against the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell. At issue was game officials’ failure to call interference or unnecessary roughness penalties against a Rams player at a key point in the final minutes of regulation play.
The non-call caused the Saints to settle for a tiebreaking field goal late in the fourth quarter, but the Rams tied it in the waning seconds of regulation before winning in overtime.
The lawsuit argued that the league should invoke a rule allowing Goodell to order a redo of the game due to “extraordinarily unfair acts.”
Arenado gets record $26 mil deal for 2019
UNDATED (AP) – Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH’-doh) has shattered a major league record without breaking a sweat.
The Colorado Rockies third baseman will make $26 million this season after accepting the largest one-year salary for an arbitration-eligible player. Arenado broke the mark set by Josh Donaldson, who worked out a $23 million deal with the Blue Jays before last season.
Arenado has won a Gold Glove at third base in each of his six major league seasons. He is a career .291 hitter with 186 home runs, 616 RBIs and an .886 OPS.
Arenado is eligible for free agency after the 2019 season and figures to be the top player on the market next offseason.
In other baseball news:
– The Nationals and outfielder Michael A. Taylor have argued baseball’s first salary arbitration hearing this year. Taylor asked for a raise from $2.5 million to $3.5 million, and the Nationals countered with $3.25 million after he hit .227 with six homers and 28 RBIs last year. A decision is expected Friday.
– The Rangers will use specially designed synthetic playing surface rather than grass in their new retractable-roof stadium that opens in 2020. The decision will make the Rangers the fourth of the 30 major league teams to use artificial turf.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Cougars, Boilermakers win
UNDATED (AP) – No. 13 Houston was able to avenge its only loss of the season.
Corey Davis Jr. scored 24 points and the Cougars improved to 21-1 by downing visiting Temple, 73-66. DeJon Jarreau added 14 points and 12 rebounds in Houston’s 31st consecutive home win.
The Cougars have won six straight since a 73-69 loss to the Owls on Jan. 9.
Quinton Rose scored a game-high 26 points for Temple.
In Thursday’s other top-25 final:
– Brandon Clarke scored 23 points and Rui Hachimura added 20 to lead No. 4 Gonzaga to a 93-63 win over BYU on Thursday night. The 20-2 Bulldogs shot 59 percent from the field, including 10 of 20 from 3-point range in their 28th straight road win against West Coast Conference opponents.
– Carsen Edwards poured in 38 points and 17th-ranked Purdue earned its sixth straight win by downing Penn State, 99-90 in overtime. Edwards provided 20 points in the first half and a four-point play in OT as the Boilermakers improved to 15-6. Ryan Cline added 20 points to the victory.
Flyers extend win streak
UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia Flyers continue to push their way back into the Stanley Cup playoff hunt after slipping into the Metropolitan Division cellar at 16-23-6.
Travis Sanheim scored a power-play goal 2:56 into overtime to give the Flyers their sixth straight win, 3-2 at Boston. Sanheim assisted on Oskar Lindblom’s tying goal with 9:24 left in regulation and beat Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask just before a penalty to Brad Marchand was about to expire.
Claude Giroux also scored, Jakub Voracek had two assists and Carter Hart turned back 23 shots as the Flyers dealt the Bruins their third straight loss.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– The Jets picked up their sixth consecutive home win by beating the Blue Jackets, 4-3 on Kyle Connor’s goal with 1:44 to play. Jack Roslovic tied it midway through the third period as Winnipeg sent Columbus to its fourth straight loss.
– Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kah zih-BAN’-eh-jad) capped his second career hat trick by breaking a 3-3 tie with 4:36 left in the Rangers’ 4-3 triumph over the Devils. Zibanejad also had an assist on Chris Kreider’s goal, and linemate Mats Zuccarello (zoo-kah-REH’-loh) had three assists after New York fell behind, 2-0.
UNDATED (AP) – Center Antoine Vermette (AN’-twahn vur-MEHT’) has retired after 14 NHL seasons as one of the best faceoff men of his generation.
Vermette scored 228 goals and 515 points in 1,046 regular-season games. He won 56.6 percent of his faceoffs, the ninth-best mark since the league began tracking the statistic in 1997-98.
In other NHL news:
– The Blues have placed winger David Perron (peh-RAHN’) on injured reserve with an upper-body injury that has caused him to miss the team’s last three games. Perron had six goals and 10 assists during a career-best 13-game point streak just before the injury. The 30-year-old has scored 17 goals and a team-high 35 points.
3-way tie at Phoenix Open
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – There’s a three-way tie for the lead through one round of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.
Harold Varner III snaked in a long birdie putt at TPC Scottsdale’s rowdy 16th hole, highlighting a 7-under 64 to tie Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas for the lead. Fowler and Thomas played bogey-free rounds in the morning under pristine weather conditions.
Defending champion Gary Woodland shot 68, as did Phil Mickelson.
Missouri sanctioned by NCAA
The NCAA has sanctioned Missouri’s football, baseball and softball programs after an investigation revealed academic misconduct involving a tutor who completed coursework for athletes.
Among the penalties handed down Thursday were three years of probation and one-year postseason bans for all three programs. That means the baseball and softball teams will be ineligible for the NCAA Tournament this season and the football team will be ineligible for a bowl game this fall.