Update on the latest sports
Pacers win in Oladipo’s return
UNDATED (AP) – Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) provided a big basket in his return to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Oladipo’s only 3-pointer tied the score with 10 seconds left in regulation before the Pacers won for the eighth time in 10 games, 115-106. He had nine points in his first game back since suffering a season-ending knee injury last January.
Malcolm Brogdon scored seven of his 15 points in overtime and finished with eight rebounds and nine assists. T.J. Warren had a team-high 25 points for Indiana.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
– Damian Lillard registered his first career triple-double by delivering 36 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to the Trail Blazers, 125-112 downing of the Rockets. Russell Westbrook led Houston with 39 points and James Harden added 18 following his two-game injury absence.
– DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 38 points and the Spurs stopped a three-game skid by holding off Utah, 127-120. Patty Mills had 18 points and Dejounte (deh-ZHAHN’-tay) Murray 16 points to help San Antonio send the Jazz to their second straight loss since a 14-1 stretch.
– The Thunder rolled to a 120-100 win at Sacramento as Luguentz (loo-ZHEHNTS’) Dort set season-highs with 23 points and five 3-pointers. Dennis Schroder chipped in 24 points and nine assists for Oklahoma City, which has won six of its last seven.
– Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 of his 28 points while the Nets were reeling off a 12-4 run to pull away in the fourth quarter of a 125-115 win against the Pistons. Kyrie Irving returned to the Brooklyn lineup to score 20 after missing Sunday’s game following the death of Kobe Bryant.
– The Grizzlies won their fourth in a row as Dillon Brooks scored 27 points and Ja (jah) Morant had 18 with 10 assists in their 127-106 thrashing of the Knicks. Memphis forward Jae Crowder and New York’s Marcus Morris Sr. were ejected for instigating a fight after Crowder was knocked into the stands by Elfrid Payton in the final minute.
Lakers returned to practice…Bryant’s widow issues statement
UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Lakers returned to practice Wednesday while they continue to grieve for Kobe Bryant. The Lakers held a light shooting workout as they resumed basketball activities after the death of Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash.
Head coach Frank Vogel was the only person to speak to the media following the working, saying the Lakers “are all deeply, deeply saddened by this tragedy.”
Vanessa Bryant made her first public comment Wednesday since the helicopter crash that killed her husband and their daughter, Gianna. Vanessa Bryant wrote: “Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe – the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna – a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately.”
She also announced the formation of a fund to help support the other families that were affected by the crash.
Chiefs in relatively good health
UNDATED (AP) – The Kansas City Chiefs had everyone on the field Wednesday for their first significant practice of Super Bowl week as they went without helmets or pads during the 90-minute workout.
The only injury concerns involve defensive tackle Chris Jones and tight end Travis Kelce (KEHL’-see), although head coach Andy Reid says Kelce is fine and Jones is “good to go.” Kelce has been dealing with knee soreness during the postseason, and Jones is bothered by a calf strain.
In other news coming out of Super Bowl week:
– Commissioner Roger Goodell used part of his Super Bowl news conference to note the league needs change to its minority hiring policy, saying, “we are not where we want to be on this level.” Though the league requires teams to interview minority candidates, only two African-Americans have been hired for 19 open head coaching spots over the past three years. The league has only two minority general managers among the 32 teams.
– Florida and federal law enforcement agencies preparing for Sunday’s game in Miami say they are ready for anything, including a detonated bomb or massive food poisoning. But they say they haven’t identified any threats but added that they are well prepared. A Homeland Security official says, “It’s all hands on deck.”
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Dayton ekes by Duquesne
UNDATED (AP) – Seventh-ranked Dayton has continued its best start in the history of its men’s basketball program.
Obi Toppin had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help the Flyers hold off Duquesne, 73-69 in Pittsburgh. Dayton led by as many as 19 points in the second half, but the Dukes used a 15-2 run to close the gap before the Flyers improved to 19-2 overall and 8-0 in the Atlantic 10.
Jalen Crutcher had 18 points and was 4 for 6 from beyond the 3-point arc for Dayton.
In other top-25 men’s basketball finals:
– Top-ranked Baylor knocked off Iowa State, 67-53 as MaCio Teague scored 15 points and Mark Vital furnished 10 rebounds and seven assists. Devondo Bandoo came off the bench to score seven of his 12 points during a 17-2 spurt that gave the 17-2 Bears an 18-point lead with 7:43 remaining.
– KJ Feagin scored 18 points and No. 4 San Diego State remained the lone unbeaten team in Division One by pounding New Mexico, 85-57. The 22-0 Aztecs got off to a 17-0 lead while holding New Mexico scoreless for the first 4:44.
– Jordan Nwora (WOHR’-uh) poured in a career-high 37 points and grabbed nine boards to highlight sixth-ranked Louisville’s 86-69 romp over Boston College. Darius Perry scored 14 points and Malik Williams had 13 rebounds in the Cardinals’ seventh straight win.
– Myles Powell finished with 24 points despite shooting 7-for-21 from the field Seton Hall’s 10th consecutive win, 64-57 versus DePaul. Jared Rhoden added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the 10th-ranked Pirates, who rallied from a nine-point, second-half deficit and improved to 16-4.
– Davide Moretti had a career-high 25 points and Texas Tech snapped a two-game losing streak with an 89-81 win over No. 12 West Virginia. Terrence Shannon Jr. added 23 points and fellow freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey scored 21 for the Red Raiders.
– Tyrese Maxey scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half and No. 13 Kentucky used a 23-12 run to rally past Vanderbilt, 71-62. The Wildcats trailed 40-30 early in the second half before handing the Commodores their 25th consecutive SEC regular-season loss.
– Cassius Winston contributed 18 points and Xavier Tillman had 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists to lead No. 14 Michigan State’s 79-50 romp over Northwestern. Foster Loyer scored 12 points and matched a career high with four 3-pointers to help the Spartans move to 8-2 in the Big Ten.
– Caleb Mills provided 18 points and Quentin Grimes added 15 to help No. 21 Houston earn a 69-59 victory against East Carolina.
– LSU earned its ninth straight win as Emmitt Williams had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the 22nd-rated Tigers past Alabama, 90-76.
– Lamar Stevens scored nine of his 17 points in the second half and grabbed nine rebounds to lead 24th-ranked Penn State over Indiana, 64-49.
Astros, Baker reach agreement
UNDATED (AP) – Dusty Baker is about to become the oldest manager in the majors.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the 70-year-old Baker and the Astros have worked out a contract. He takes over from AJ Hinch, who was fired Jan. 13 just an hour after he was suspended for the season by Major League Baseball for his role in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.
The former Braves and Dodgers slugger has previously managed the Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nationals, winning division titles with each club. He led the 2002 Giants to the National League pennant, one year before guiding the Cubs within one victory of the World Series.
Baker has won 1,863 games over his 22-year managerial career.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Reliever Greg Holland is back with the Royals after accepting to a minor league contract. Holland was 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA last year in 40 relief appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who released him on Aug. 9. The three-time All-Star pitched for the Royals from 2010-15, helping them win consecutive AL pennants in his final two seasons.
– All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant has lost his service-time grievance against the Chicago Cubs. Two people with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the decision to The Associated Press. Bryant argued he was held in the minors in a deliberate effort to delay his free-agent eligibility.
Caps suffer loss in sloppy game
UNDATED (AP) – The Washington Capitals followed a couple of gift-wrapped goals by creating their own damaging miscue in a 5-4 loss to the Predators.
Ryan Johansen tied it with a short-handed goal three minutes into the third period following a giveaway by Caps All-Star goaltender Braden Holtby.
Yannick Weber scored the go-ahead goal with 4:37 left as the Predators improved to 4-4 under new coach John Hynes.
The Predators also survived a couple of their own blunders. Netminder Juuse Saros (YOO’-see SAH’-rohs) made 29 saves to make up for handing the puck to Alex Ovechkin for his 693rd career goal. Saros also was victimized by teammate Nick Bonino, who fired the puck off the goalie and into the Predators’ net.
Washington still has a league-high 73 points, three more than conference rival Boston and the defending-champion Blues.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Steven Stamkos scored twice and Eric Cernak scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period of the Lightning’s 4-2 victory at Los Angeles. Every Kings player showed up to Staples Center wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys before the arena’s first sporting event since the retired Lakers superstar died in a helicopter crash.
– Vancouver and San Jose were tied 2-2 until Jake Virtanen (vur-TAN’-ehn) and Brandon Sutter scored 59 seconds apart in the third period of the Canucks’ 5-2 verdict over the Sharks. Quinn Hughes and Tanner Pearson also scored and J.T. Miller set up two goals as the Canucks made it four straight wins and 13 in their last 16 contests.
– Mitch Marner set up goals by Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman to jump start the Maple Leafs’ seventh win in their last eight road games, 5-3 at Dallas. Tyson Barrie and William Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur) also scored on All-Star Ben Bishop, Andreas Johnsson added an empty-netter and Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for Toronto.
– Sean Monahan scored the shootout winner as the Flames beat the Oilers, 4-3 to end a two-game losing streak. Andrew Mangiapane (mahn-jah-PAN’-ee) had a pair of goals and Elias Lindholm also scored for Calgary.
– Adam Henrique (hehn-REEK’) scored twice in the first period and Hampus Lindholm notched the eventual game-winner as the Ducks doubled up the Coyotes, 4-2. Vinny Hinostroza had a goal and an assist for Phoenix, which has dropped three straight and six of seven.
Sabres lose ullmark
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Buffalo Sabres starting netminder Linus Ullmark is expected to miss three to four weeks after injuring his right leg during Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to Ottawa.
Ullmark’s left skate slipped out from under him, and he fell back with his right leg bent under him.
Jonas Johansson was promoted by the Sabres from their AHL affiliate at Rochester to serve as Carter Hutton’s backup.
Djokovic beats Federer, reaches Australian final
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has reached an eighth Australian Open final with a straight-set win over Roger Federer, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3. The second-seeded Djokovic maintained his record of never losing a semifinal match at Melbourne Park and is one win from extending another streak.
He will meet the winner of Friday’s match between No. 5 Dominic Thiem (teem) and No. 7 Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s championship match.
It was an all-upset women’s semifinal at the Australian Open today as American Sofia Kenin and unseeded Garbine Muguruza (gahr-BEEN’ moo-gah-ROO’-thah) moved into the final.
Kenin has reached her first Grand Slam final by upsetting No. 1 Ash Barty. Kenin saved two set points in each set en route to the 7-6, 7-5 victory in the semifinals at Melbourne Park. The 14th-seeded Kenin had never been past the fourth round at a major tournament until now.
Barty was trying to become the first Australian woman to reach the final of the country’s Grand Slam tournament since 1980. Instead, Kenin became the first American other than a Williams sister to reach the Australian Open final since Lindsay Davenport in 1995. She’s also the first American woman to beat the No. 1 player at any major since Serena topped Venus at Wimbledon in 2002.
Kenin is the highest seed left standing after Muguruza knocked out No. 4 Simona Halep (HA’-lehp), 7-6, 7-5. Muguruza accumulated 39 winners, fired 10 aces and won 20 of 30 net points in reaching a hardcourt Grand Slam final for the first time. The former No. 1 is 4-0 versus Halep on hardcourts, the last coming under triple-digit temperatures.
TRACK-INDOOR WORLDS POSTPONED
Indoor world athletics championships postponed over virus
LONDON (AP) – The indoor world athletics championships in Nanjing, China, have been postponed for a year because of the dangerous virus outbreak in the country.
Nanjing is located about 330 miles from Wuhan, where the virus emerged.
World Athletics said in a statement that the event will now be held in March 2021 instead of March 13-15 this year.