Update on the latest in sports:
Nuggets end Rockets’ streak
UNDATED (AP) – The Denver Nuggets put together a strong defensive performance to end the Houston Rockets’ eight-game winning streak.
The Rockets scored fewer than 100 points for the first time all season as the Nuggets limited James Harden to 16 shots in a 105-95 victory. Harden finished with 27 points, snapping his string of eight consecutive games of 36 or more.
The Rockets guard entered the night leading the NBA in scoring at 39.2 points a game, and Houston was pacing the league at 119.5 points per contest.
Nikola Jokic (nee-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the 11-4 Nuggets, who are 7-0 when holding opponents under 100 points. Will Barton had 15 points and seven boards for Denver.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
– Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) poured in 33 points and Eric Bledsoe added 28 in the Bucks’ fifth straight win, 135-127 against the Hawks. It marked the league-best ninth time this season that Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP, has had at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie De’Andre Hunter finished with a career-high 27 points and Trae Young scored 25 in Atlanta’s fourth straight loss.
– Lou Williams scored 27 points and Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard combined with Paul George for 42 points in their first game together as the Clippers rallied to knock off the Celtics, 107-104 in overtime. George provided 25 points and Leonard added 17 before blocking Kemba Walker’s potential tying 3-point attempt. Los Angeles improved to 9-1 at home by rallying from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit.
– The Heat top the Southeast Division at 10-3 after Duncan Robinson set a pair of Miami 3-point records to lead a 124-100 rout of the Cavaliers. Robinson was 9 for 15 from the field, with all those shots coming from behind the arc. The second-year pro set team marks with seven 3-pointers in the second quarter and eight in the first half before finishing with 29 points.
– Fred VanVleet provided 24 points and Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) added 18 with 11 rebounds as the Raptors ended the Magic’s three-game winning streak, 113-97. Raptors rookie Terence Davis scored a career-high 19 points to help Toronto improve to 6-0 at home. Orlando lost center Nikola Vucevic and forward Aaron Gordon to right ankle injuries in the second quarter.
– Ben Simmons hit the first 3-pointer of his career and finished with 18 points and 13 assists to lead the 76ers to a 109-104 victory over the Knicks. Mike Scott’s fourth 3-pointer of the game with 1:29 left stretched the Sixers’ lead to 99-95. Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Scott scored 12 points.
– Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half of the Mavericks’ 142-94 laugher against the Warriors. Doncic was 10 of 11 from the field, including 6-for-7 from 3-point range. He also had 10 rebounds and 11 assists in his league-leading seventh-triple double of the season despite playing only 25 minutes.
– The Jazz pulled out a 103-95 win at Minnesota as Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic contributed 30 points and Donovan Mitchell added 26. Bogdanovic was 6 of 11 from 3-point range, and Mitchell 5 of 10 to help Utah rebound for a home loss to Minnesota Monday night. Minnesota led by six in the fourth quarter before Utah used a 12-0 run to take the lead for good.
– The Nets downed the Hornets, 101-91 behind Jarrett Allen’s 22 points and 17 rebounds. Taurean Prince and Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points apiece for Brooklyn, which was without Kyrie Irving for the third straight game because of a right shoulder injury. Terry Rozier had 18 points and Devonte’ Graham added 17 in Charlotte’s second consecutive loss.
– Detroit suffered its fifth straight loss as Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points to bust out of a slump and lead the Bulls to a 109-89 romp over the Pistons. It was Markkanen’s first 20-point game since scoring 35 points on opening night. Wendell Carter Jr. had 12 points and 15 rebounds as Chicago ended a three-game skid.
– Bradley Beal shot 9 for 9 while scoring 21 of his 33 points in the third quarter of the Wizards’ 138-132 shootout over the slumping Spurs. Ish Smith and former Spur Davis Bertans each had 21 points for Washington, which had the worst record in the East at 3-8. DeMar DeRozan scored 31 for the Spurs, but he missed two free throws with 9.9 seconds left as the Spurs dropped their seventh straight for the first time in 23 seasons.
Bulls’ Porter stays sidelined
UNDATED (AP) – The Chicago Bulls say forward Otto Porter Jr. has a bone bruise in his left foot and will be reassessed in two weeks. Porter is averaging 11.2 points in nine games but hasn’t played since injuring the foot against the Hawks in Atlanta on Nov. 6.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
– The Trail Blazers have waived center Pau Gasol (pow gah-SAHL’) as he continues to recover from surgery on his left foot in May. Gasol said he plans to remain in Portland to continue his rehabilitation, and he is discussing a new role with the Trail Blazers.
– Charles Barkley has issued an apology on Twitter for a comment he made about hitting a female political reporter Alexi McCammond of Axios. Barkley said in the statement that “it was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all” adding, “there’s no excuse for it”.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL
Cardinals win despite sluggish start
UNDATED (AP) – Second-ranked Louisville needed about 26 minutes to find its footing against unheralded South Carolina Upstate.
The Cardinals trailed 43-40 with 14:07 remaining before allowing just seven more points in a 76-50 win over the Spartans. Ryan McMahon made consecutive 3-pointers and Dwayne Sutton and Darius Perry had one each during the second-half surge.
Jordan Nwora had two 3s among his 28 points and helped the 5-0 Cardinals finished 51% from the field.
In other top-25 finals:
– Ninth-ranked North Carolina opened the second half on a 21-5 run and turned a one-point deficit into a 75-61 victory against Elon. Armando Bacot had season highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds, while fellow freshman Cole Anthony flirted with the Tar Heels’ first triple-double in 19 years. Anthony finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and a season-high eight assists for the 4-0 Heels.
– Precious Achiuwa had 16 points and 12 rebounds as 16th-ranked Memphis held off pesky Arkansas-Little Rock, 68-58. DJ Jeffries added 15 points for the Tigers, who closed on a 13-5 run to pull away.
– Jordan Bowden scored 16 points and No. 20 Tennessee earned its 29th straight home win by trouncing Alabama State, 76-41. Lamonte’ Turner added 13 points and six assists for the 4-0 Volunteers.
T25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWS
NCAA clears Memphis freshman Wiseman to return on Jan. 12
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The NCAA has cleared Memphis freshman basketball player James Wiseman to return to the basketball court on Jan. 12, but he’ll have to donate $11,500 to the charity of his choice to regain his eligibility.
The NCAA had ruled Wiseman was “likely ineligible” due to $11,500 coach Penny Hardaway gave the center’s family for moving expenses from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017.
He played in the Tigers’ first three games and will now sit out 12 under the NCAA decision.
NFL hears Garrett’s appeal, upholds Ogunjobi suspension
CLEVELAND (AP) – Cleveland Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett asked an appeals officer today to reduce his indefinite NFL suspension.
Garrett was banned for the rest of the regular season and playoffs for striking Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet last week.
Rudolph avoided injury and was not suspended despite trying to pull off Garrett’s helmet and charging at him.
Meanwhile, Browns starting defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will have to sit out Sunday’s game against Miami after losing the appeal of his one-game suspension. Ogunjobi had his $10,527 fine rescinded by former NFL player James Thrash, who also heard Garrett’s appeal of his 10-game suspension. Ogunjobi shoved Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph seconds after Garrett swung a helmet and struck the Steelers QB in the head.
In other NFL news:
– Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky says his right hip is improving and he expects to play Sunday against the Giants if he’s ready. Trubisky is day to day after suffering a hip pointer in the loss at the Rams on a sack near the end of the second quarter.
– Dolphins starting safeties Reshad Jones and safety Bobby McCain have been placed on injured reserve. The Dolphins’ highest-paid player at $13 million, Jones suffered a cracked rib earlier this season and played in just four games. McCain has been battling a shoulder injury.
– Browns tight end David Njoku has returned to practice after missing eight games with a broken right wrist suffered in a win over the Jets on Sept. 16.
Blueshirts dump Caps
UNDATED (AP) – The New York Rangers have handed the Washington Capitals just their second regulation loss since Oct. 14.
Artemi Panarin (ahr-THE’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) scored twice on power plays and Pavel Buchnevich (booch-NAY’-vihch) added a goal and an assist as the Rangers downed the Caps, 4-1. The Blueshirts were clinging to a 1-0 lead until Panarin and Buchnevich beat Braden Holtby 23 seconds apart early in the third period.
Henrik Lunqvist stopped 30 shots and blanked the NHL points leaders until Evgeni Kuznetsov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) scored on a power play 7:24 into the final period.
Lundqvist earned his 454th win, tying Curtis Joseph for fifth on the NHL’s career list.
New York ended a two-game skid and improved to 6-3-1 in its last 10 games.
The Capitals continue to lead the Metropolitan Division by five points over the New York Islanders, who have five games in hand.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Brady Tkachuk went five-hole on Carey Price 38 seconds into overtime to lift the Senators over the Canadiens, 2-1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau notched his team-high 13th goal and Craig Anderson turned back 35 shots in Ottawa’s fourth victory in five games.
Leafs fire Babcock
UNDATED (AP) – The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired head coach Mike Babcock and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe.
The move comes after the Maple Leafs absorbed their sixth consecutive loss to fall to 9-10-4 this season. They were 173-133-45 in 351 regular-season games under Babcock, but they never won a playoff series.
The 39-year-old Keefe has a long history with Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas (DOO’-buhs) and was in his fifth season as coach of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
– Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan will be away from the team indefinitely while taking part in the NHL/National Hockey League Players’ Association assistance program. Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion said Ryan had their full support, emphasizing that the veteran player was an important member of the team.
Jimmie Johnson to retire after 2020
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson says 2020 will be his final season of full-time racing.
The winningest driver of his era will have a 19th season in the No. 48 Chevrolet and once again chase a record eighth championship. Johnson has 83 career victories, tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time. His seven titles are tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for most in the Cup Series.
The 44-year-old Johnson has been in a two-year slump and last won a race in 2017, one year after his seventh Cup title.
Parra heading to Japan
UNDATED (AP) – Veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra has found a new team and a new league to boot.
Parra has agreed to a contract with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League. Parra was a clubhouse catalyst for the World Series champion Washington Nationals, hitting .250 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 89 games after spending the first 30 games of the season with the Giants. He’s also a two-time National League Gold Glove Award winner.
Koepka withdraws from Presidents Cup, replaced by Fowler
UNDATED (AP) – Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) has withdrawn from the Presidents Cup because of a knee injury he suffered last month in South Korea.
He was replaced by Rickie Fowler.
Koepka is the No. 1 player in the world and was the leading qualifier for the Presidents Cup, which will be played Dec. 12-15 at Royal Melbourne in Australia.