Update on the latest in sports:
Warriors top Rockets
UNDATED (AP) – The Golden State Warriors have padded their lead in the NBA’s Western Conference while ending the Houston Rockets’ nine-game winning streak.
Klay Thompson poured in 30 points and DeMarcus Cousins added a season-high 27 as the Warriors nipped the Rockets, 106-104 in Houston. The Warriors watched a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead shrink to one before Stephen Curry made two free throws with eight seconds remaining to make it 106-103.
The Warriors won without injured star Kevin Durant and bounced back after a loss to Phoenix on Sunday.
James Harden had 29 points and 10 assists for the Rockets but shot just 2 of 12 on 3-pointers. Chris Paul finished with 24 points.
The Warriors lead the West by 1 1/2 games over the Nuggets. The Rockets fell into a third-place tie with Oklahoma City in the conference, a half-game ahead of the Trail Blazers.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
– Russell Westbrook posted his 25th triple-double of the season by contributing 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to the Thunder’s 108-96 downing of the visiting Nets. The Thunder erased the Nets’ lead by scoring 20 points in the first 3:41 of the second half. Brooklyn remains sixth in the East by a half-game over Detroit.
– Justise Winslow scored 16 points and the Heat opened the second half on a 21-0 run en route to an easy 108-74 win over the Pistons. Dion Waiters scored 14 points against the Pistons, who have back-to-back losses for the first time since late January.
– Donovan Mitchell scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half in leading the Jazz to a 114-97 win over the Suns. Rudy Gobert added 18 points and 20 rebounds as the Jazz ended a two-game skid and pulled into a tie with the Clippers for the seventh playoff seed in the Western Conference.
– Bradley Beal scored 23 points and Thomas Bryant added 21 with 10 rebounds as the Wizards knocked off the Magic, 100-90. Jabari Parker added eight of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to help Washington push Orlando two games behind Miami for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
– The Grizzlies’ three-game winning streak has ended after John Collins had 27 points and 12 rebounds in the Hawks’ 132-111 romp over Memphis. Trae Young added 22 points and helped Atlanta take a 72-61 lead into halftime.
Tech reaches ACC quarters
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Virginia Tech has rolled into the ACC quarterfinals as the Hokies try to improve their seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
Kerry Blackshear had 19 points and 10 rebounds to help 16th-ranked Virginia Tech beat Miami, 71-56. Ty Outlaw scored all of his 14 points by halftime for the fifth-seeded Hokies, who never trailed after opening the game with an 11-0 run.
Virginia Tech shot 50 percent and put the game out of reach with a 20-5 run in the second half.
Lots of moves prior to start of NFL season
UNDATED (AP) – The Seattle Seahawks hope they have found the solution for their recent kicking troubles.
The Seahawks have agreed to sign Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers to a four-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Myers was in a battle with veteran Sebastian Janikowski during Seattle’s training camp last year. Janikowski won the job, in part because of his veteran status, but it was Myers who had the better season after being signed by the New York Jets.
Myers was 33 of 36 on field-goal attempts in New York and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.
Among other NFL developments Wednesday:
– The Jaguars have released Blake Bortles after officially agreeing to terms with fellow quarterback Nick Foles. The Jags parted ways with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft just 13 months after handing him a three-year, $58 million contract.
– The Patriots have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agent receiver Josh Gordon and defensive back Jonathan Jones. Gordon could rejoin New England only if he’s reinstated from his latest suspension for violating an agreement that allowed him to play after multiple drug suspensions. Also, a person familiar with the move says cornerback Jason McCourty has agreed to a two-year deal to remain with the Super Bowl champions.
– Shamar Stephen has returned to the Minnesota Vikings to fill the defensive tackle spot opened by the departure of Sheldon Richardson for Cleveland.
– The Saints have agreed to terms on a new five-year contract with kicker Wil Lutz, who made 28 of 30 field goal attempts and 52 of 53 extra points in 2018. Also, Saints have agreed to terms with free-agent running back Latavius Murray on a four-year contract.
– The Cowboys are keeping offensive tackle Cameron Fleming and fullback Jamize Olawale (oh-lah-WAH’-lee) by agreeing to terms on new deals with the unrestricted free agents.
– Guard A.J. Cann has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Jaguars just hours before he would have become a free agent. Cann started 59 of 64 games over four seasons for the Jaguars.
– The Chargers are signing Tyrod Taylor to a two-year contract to be Philip Rivers’ backup, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Taylor has started 46 games during his eight-year career. Also, the Chargers have re-signed defensive tackle Brandon Mebane to a two-year contract.
– A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that cornerback Pierre Desir has agreed to a three-year, $25 million deal to stay with the Colts. Earlier Wednesday, the Colts gave cornerback Chris Milton a one-year contract extension.
– The Browns may have filled a hole at linebacker by reaching agreement with free agent Adarius Taylor on a two-year, $5 million contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. Taylor spent the past four seasons with Tampa Bay.
– A person with knowledge of the situation says the Baltimore Ravens have signed running back Mark Ingram and safety Earl Thomas.
– The Redskins are making salary-cap room by releasing linebacker Zach Brown and defensive lineman Stacy McGee to clear more than $8 million.
– The Titans announced they have agreed to terms with offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile on a one-year contract.
– Linebacker Preston Brown got a three-year extension from the Bengals, who signed him last year from Buffalo.
– A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press the Falcons have agreed to terms with guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown. The team also cut former starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder, creating $3.5 million in cap space.
-The Chiefs have released safety Eric Berry, who missed nearly all of last season with a mysterious heel injury that cropped up early in training camp.
-Four-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton has been released by the Dolphins, a decision that was expected as part of the team’s youth movement.
-The Raiders have agreed to a deal with free-agent receiver Tyrell Williams. A person familiar with the deal said on condition of anonymity that the Raiders will sign the former deep threat for the Los Angeles Chargers.
-The Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran offensive lineman Ted Larsen.
– Linebacker Deone Bucannon and receiver Breshad Perriman have agreed to join the Buccaneers on one-year deals.
Hawks hold off Leafs
UNDATED (AP) – Two months ago the Chicago Blackhawks were tied for the NHL’s worst point total at 16-24-9. Right now they are within four points of a Western Conference playoff berth after surviving a furious comeback by the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Red hot Brendan Perlini collected a goal and two assists while the Hawks built a 5-0 lead in their fourth straight win, 5-4 over the Leafs. Perlini’s three-point night comes two days after he registered his first career hat trick.
Alex DeBrincat’s (deh-BRIHN’-kats) 38th goal put the Blackhawks ahead by five 12 1 1/2 minutes into the second period. Perlini, Duncan Keith, Dominik Kahun (kah-HOON’) and Branden Saad (sahd) scored against Frederik Andersen, who was pulled before the second period after stopping 10 of 14 shots.
Hawks netminder Colin Delia (DEE’-lee-uh) entered in the third period after Corey Crawford had to leave due to illness. Delia surrendered three goals but stopped 27 shots in protecting the lead.
The outcome keeps Toronto four points behind Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Kenny Agostino, Kevin Rooney and Damon Severson (SEE’-vur-suhn) each had a goal and an assist as the Devils doubled up the Oilers, 6-3. Cory Schneider backstopped the victory in 36 saves.
– Tyler Motte scored twice in an 11-second span of the second period of the Canucks’ 4-1 win over the Rangers. Brock Boeser (BEH’-sur) and Jake Virtanen also tallied as Vancouver handed New York its eighth loss in nine games.
Martinez to go on injured list
UNDATED (AP) – St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez will begin the season on the injured list as the two-time All-Star tries to work his way back from shoulder weakness.
Martinez will not appear in an exhibition games. He is to throw on flat ground for the next week before moving to a mound.
St. Louis has not announced a timetable for Martinez’s arm strengthening program. The pitcher received a platelet-rich plasma injection two weeks ago, and manager Mike Shildt said treatment improved Martinez’s condition.
A 27-year-old right-hander, Martinez was the Cardinals’ opening-day starter last year.
Strop has strained hamstring
MESA, Ariz. (AP) – Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (strohp) has a mild strain of his right hamstring, eliminating the likely candidate to close at the start of the season as Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow surgery. The 33-year-old right-hander felt a hamstring issue on his last pitch on Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, his second appearance of spring training. If Strop isn’t available to close, the Cubs’ options include Steve Cishek (SEE’-shehk), Carl Edwards Jr. and Brad Brach (brahk).
In other baseball news:
– Alex Cobb has been picked by new Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde to start the Orioles’ opener on March 28 at the Yankees. Cobb was 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA last year in his first season with the Orioles after signing a $57 million, four-year contract on March 21.
– Blue Jays hurler Marcus Stroman has been chosen to start the team’s opener against the visiting Tigers on March 28. The 27-year-old struggled last season, going 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA. He is 41-34 in his five-year big league career.
– A person familiar with the deal has told The Associated Press that that left-handed reliever Tony Sipp and the Nationals have agreed in principle to a one-year contract for 2019 that guarantees $1.25 million and includes a mutual option for 2020. The person spoke on condition of anonymity.
NASCAR-HALL OF FAME NOMINEES
Stewart headlines new nominees for NASCAR Hall
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Tony Stewart headlines six new nominees eligible for induction into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame.
Stewart joins Neil Bonnett, Sam Ard, Marvin Panch, Jim Paschal and Red Vogt as the new nominees.
NASCAR also added three new nominees for the Landmark Award for contribution to the sport: Edsel Ford II of Ford Motor Co., Pocono Raceway founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli and NASCAR President Mike Helton.
DeVos calls admissions scheme ‘disgraceful’
BOSTON (AP) – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says officials are reviewing whether a widespread college bribery scandal violated federal education rules.
A statement issued Wednesday by DeVos calls the scheme “disgraceful” and says her department is “looking closely” at the issue.
Fifty people have been charged in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed sports coaches and other officials to get their children into elite universities.
The coaches worked at colleges including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.
Nearly $2 billion in New Jersey sport bets in 9 months
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Nearly $2 billion has been wagered on sporting events in New Jersey since such betting became legal last year.
New Jersey gamblers plunked down more than $320 million on sporting events in February, led by action on the day of the Super Bowl and the two days preceding it.
The extra money helped Atlantic City’s casinos to an increase of nearly 26 percent in gambling revenue in February compared to a year earlier. The casinos kept $12.7 million of bets on completed sporting events after winnings bets and other expenses were paid.