Update on the latest in sports:
UNDATED (AP) – Paul George and Kawhi Leonard gave the young European duo from the Dallas Mavericks the best look yet at life among the elite in the Western Conference.
George scored 17 of his 26 points in the first quarter, Leonard finished with 28 and the Los Angeles Clippers took control early in a meeting of teams with matching five-game winning streaks, beating the Mavericks 114-99 on Tuesday night.
The Clippers used several defenders to end Luka Doncic’s franchise-record streak of four games with at least 30 points and 10 assists, knocking the 20-year-old phenom to the floor early on a 4-of-14 shooting night. Doncic had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
– Nikola Jokic (NEE’-koh-lah YOH’-kich) had a season-high 20 rebounds and Jerami Grant added a season-best 20 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 117-104 win over the Washington Wizards. Will Barton had 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, Jamal Murray added 16 points and Mason Plumlee scored 15 for the Nuggets, who have won six straight, improved to 10-1 in November and ended a three-game home losing streak against the Wizards.
Bucks’ Khris Middleton to return from injury on Wednesday
UNDATED (AP) – Milwaukee Bucks All-Star forward Khris Middleton says he’s ready to return to the floor after missing two-plus weeks with a left thigh contusion.
Middleton said Tuesday after Bucks’ shootaround that he’s “gonna go” Wednesday at home against the Atlanta Hawks. Middleton has been sidelined since he suffered the injury Nov. 10 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Middleton’s return to the floor is ahead of schedule as he was initially expected to miss 3-4 weeks.
In other NBA news:
– The Atlanta Hawks say guard Kevin Huerter will miss their upcoming road trip while he recovers from a shoulder injury. He was examined again by team doctors and has been cleared to begin limited on-court work. Rookie Cam Reddish and DeAndre’ Bembry have filled in for Huerter, who is averaging 9.3 points. Reddish recently missed two games with a sprained left wrist. The three-game road trip begins Wednesday night at Milwaukee.
– Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown will coach the Australian men’s team at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Basketball Australia says he will succeed Andrej Lemanis, who coached the Boomers to the semifinals at the 2016 Olympics and this year’s World Cup. The governing body did not say how long Brown will coach Australia. Australia is one of seven men’s teams to have already qualified for Tokyo.
Pastrnak records 2nd hat trick, Bruins rout Canadiens 8-1
UNDATED (AP) – David Pastrnak (PAS’-tur-nahk) recorded his second hat trick of the season and the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins routed the Montreal Canadiens 8-1. Jake Debrusk, Brad Marchand, Anders Bjork (byork), Charlie Coyle and Danon Heinen also scored for the Bruins, who have won four straight.
Marchand, Coyle, David Krejci and Torey Krug had two assists apiece, while Sean Kuraly had three.
Captain Shea Weber scored the only goal for the Canadiens (11-8-5), who have lost five straight.
Bruins backup Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves and improved to 6-0-0 against Carey Price, his former teammate in Montreal.
In other ice action:
– Corey Crawford made 32 saves for Chicago’s first shutout this season and the Blackhawks beat Dallas 3-0, ending the Stars seven-game winning streak. Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Connor Murphy scored for Chicago, which rebounded from a 2-1 shootout loss at Dallas on Saturday and snapped a three-game slide.
– Kaapo Kahkonen made 32 saves in his NHL debut, defenseman Ryan Suter scored the winner early in the third period and the suddenly hot Minnesota Wild beat the Devils 3-2 in a game the NHL said New Jersey got credit for a goal that should not have counted. Zach Parise and Jordan Greenway also scored as the Wild extended their point-scoring streak to seven games.
NHL suspends Lightning’s Cernak 2 games for elbowing Dahlin
UNDATED (AP) – The NHL has suspended Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak for two games for elbowing Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the face. Cernak wasn’t penalized for the hit, which occurred during a Sabres power play late in the second period of the Lightning’s 5-2 win on Monday night.
Dahlin was left bloodied and sustained a concussion.
The second-year play-making defenseman drove into the left circle before making a backhanded pass. As Dahlin curled back, Cernak caught him with an elbow that knocked him to the ice.
The suspension will cost Cernak $7,500 in pay.
In other NHL news:
– Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery to repair a cut on his right wrist. The team says Martinez had the radial artery and two superficial radial nerves repaired after they were cut by a skate in the third period of the Kings’ 4-3 overtime loss to San Jose on Monday night. Martinez will be evaluated weekly, but the team doesn’t know yet when he may return. He has five assists in 24 games this season.
Stephen F. Austin stuns No. 1 Duke, 85-83 in OT
UNDATED (AP) – Nathan Bain stole the ball and hit a layup at the overtime buzzer and Stephen F. Austin knocked off No. 1 Duke 85-83 on Tuesday night.
Kevon Harris scored 26 points and Gavin Kensmil added 15 for the Lumberjacks (5-1).
They became the first non-Atlantic Coast Conference team to beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in nearly 20 years and the second unranked team to upset a No. 1-ranked team on its home floor in two weeks after Evansville went into Rupp Arena and stunned Kentucky 67-64.
Vernon Carey had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (6-1), who had 22 turnovers and were just 11 of 24 from the free-throw line in the second half.
Elsewhere around T25 men’s basketball:
– David McCormack scored 16 points, Ochai Agbaji added 14 and No. 4 Kansas turned a big second half into a trip to the Maui Invitational title game with a 71-56 victory over Brigham Young. The Jayhawks dominated inside against the smaller Cougars and did a good job of rotating out to their shooters to earn a shot at their third Maui Invitational championship.
– Cassius Winston had 28 points and eight assists, and No. 3 Michigan State withstood Anthony Edwards’ second-half outburst to beat Georgia 93-85 at the Maui Invitational. Michigan State was sharp early, building a 28-point lead early in the second half. Edwards brought the Bulldogs back, scoring 33 of his 37 points in the second half.
– Samir Doughty scored 22 points to lead No. 18 Auburn to a 79-65 win over Richmond in the championship game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Austin Wiley, who was named the tournament MVP, scored 18 points.
– McKinley Wright IV made two key steals to lead No. 21 Colorado over Clemson 71-67 in the championship game of the MGM Resorts Main Event. Tournament MVP Tyler Bey had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS
Ohio St jumps LSU to No. 1 in CFP rankings with 2 weeks left
UNDATED (AP) – Ohio State jumped LSU to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings with two weeks to go before selection Sunday. LSU slipped to two and Clemson remained No. 3 while Georgia held on at four. If playoff history holds form, three of those top four teams will reach the semifinals.
Alabama remained No. 5 with Utah moving up a spot to No. 6. The Utes are the only Pac-12 team in the top 10 after Oregon dropped eight spots to 14th.
Oklahoma is seventh followed by Minnesota, Baylor and Penn State.
In each of the first five years of the playoff, three of the top four teams in the rankings heading into rivalry weekend reached the semifinals, including the No. 1 team every time.
Steelers to start rookie Hodges against Browns
UNDATED (AP) – Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges will start on Sunday when the Steelers face Cleveland.
Hodges came on in relief of an ineffective Mason Rudolph in a 16-10 victory over Cincinnati, throwing for a 79-yard touchdown to James Washington on his third snap that gave Pittsburgh the lead for good.
Tomlin stressed the decision is for one game only and did not commit to starting Hodges for the rest of the season.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
– Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is back on the active roster after serving a one-game suspension for his involvement in the recent brawl with the Steelers. Ogunjobi was disciplined by the NFL for shoving Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph to the ground in the Nov. 14 melee between the AFC North rivals, who meet again Sunday at Heinz Field. In a surprise move, the Browns released defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence. He made two starts and appeared in all 11 games.
– Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has returned to practice for the first time since suffering a sprained foot. Wide receiver Julio Jones, who suffered a shoulder injury in Atlanta’s loss to Tampa Bay last week, was held out of the practice.
– Two-time Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks said pressure of trying to live up to a new contract led to an anxiety attack that forced him out of the Philadelphia Eagles’ game last Sunday. Brooks has dealt with anxiety for several years but has started 50 straight games, including the playoffs. But he recently signed a four-year, $54.2 million contract and it weighed on his mind.
– The Tennessee Titans have placed five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Cameron Wake on injured reserve after the 37-year-old veteran was hurt late in their win over the Jaguars. The Titans also placed defensive back Chris Milton on injured reserve. They filled the spots by promoting outside linebacker Derick Roberson and cornerback Kareem Orr from the practice squad.
Sherman takes over as Royals controlling owner
UNDATED (AP) – The Kansas City Royals have changed hands from David Glass to an ownership group led by John Sherman and that includes actor Eric Stonestreet and local businessmen.
The purchase of the Royals for approximately $1 billion was approved unanimously by the owners of the other big league clubs at their meeting last Thursday.
His group is just the third owner of the Royals since their inception in 1969, when Ewing Kauffman established the team. The Glass family served as caretakers of the franchise following Kauffman’s death before purchasing it outright and retaining control until this year.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– The Mariners have added another option for their rotation by agreeing to a one-year contract with Kendall Graveman. It guarantees the right-hander $2 million as he returns from Tommy John surgery.
He will have a chance to earn a spot in Seattle’s starting rotation that has a couple of openings. Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi and prospect Justus Sheffield are likely the only set starters for Seattle heading into the season.
– Catcher Dustin Garneau agreed to a one-year contract with the Houston Astros, where he figures to compete for a backup role. Robinson Chirinos (chih-REE’-nohs) and Martin Maldonado (mahr-TEEN’ MAL’-doh-NAH’-doh) became free agents. Adding Garneau likely will not be the final catching move for the AL champions. The 32-year-old Garneau hit .244 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 35 games this year for the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland, which claimed him off waivers on Aug. 3.
– A full postseason share on World Series champion Washington was worth $382,358, down from $416,838 for Boston last year and the record $438,902 for Houston in 2017. The commissioner’s office says the Nationals voted 61 full shares, along with partial shares and two cash awards. The players’ pool was nearly $81 million, the third highest behind a record $88 million last year and more than $84 million in 2017.