Update on the latest sports
Irving returns, but new-look Nets beaten by Cavs in 2 OTs
UNDATED (AP) – Kyrie Irving returned from his personal “pause” to score 37 points in his first game with Kevin Durant and James Harden but the new-look, star-studded Brooklyn Nets struggled and lost 147-135 in double overtime to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Collin Sexton scored 15 of his 42 points in the second OT – most of them over Irving – for the Cavs, who outplayed the Nets all night.
Sexton dropped two 3-pointers and fed Taurean Prince for another in a span of 55 seconds as Cleveland put Brooklyn away. Durant led Brooklyn with 38 points and Harden added 21 for the Nets.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
– Stephen Curry had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 121-99 while honoring new Vice President Kamala Harris and her Oakland roots. Rookie James Wiseman added 20 points, six rebounds and four assists and Draymond Green dished out six of the Warriors’ 31 assists. Golden State made it consecutive impressive wins after erasing a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter of a 115-113 road victory against the Lakers on Monday. Dejounte Murray scored 22 points to lead the Spurs, who had won the past three meetings with the Warriors and five of six.
– Deandre Ayton had season highs with 26 points and 17 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns beat the Houston Rockets 109-103 on Wednesday night to end a two-game skid. The Suns won for the first time since Jan. 9. Between the two losses, they had three games postponed because of health and safety protocols after playing at Washington. Devin Booker added 24 points for Phoenix. Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon had 22 points apiece for the Rockets. They have lost three of four since James Harden was traded to Brooklyn.
– Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points, Paul George added 19 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings 115-96 for their season-high fifth consecutive victory. The Clippers handed the Kings a 38-point loss at their place last Friday. A new week didn’t change anything. Sacramento dropped its fourth in a row and sixth of seven. The Kings were led by De’Aaron Fox with 25 points. The Clippers broke the game open with 34 points in the third quarter, when they had scoring runs of 9-0 and 13-0.
– Cole Anthony hit a hurried 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Orlando Magic stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-96 to stop a six-game losing streak. Nikola Vucevic (NEE’-koh-lah VOOCH’-uh-vihch) had 28 points and eight rebounds for Orlando. Evan Fournier (FOHR’-nee-ay) added 24 points in his return to the lineup after missing nine games with lower back spasms. Minnesota led by 20 before the Magic slowly chipped away in the second half. Jarred Vanderbilt missed a pair of free throws with a chance to ice the game for the Timberwolves.
– Joel Embiid had 42 points and 10 rebounds and Tobias Harris scored 22 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 117-109 win over the Boston Celtics. Embiid is off to the best start of his career and topped 40 points for the second time in three games. He made 12 of 19 from the floor and was 17 of 21 from the free-throw line. He did it in 34 minutes and scored 20 points in a half for the fifth time this season. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 26 points and Marcus Smart had 25.
– Kendrick Nunn scored 28 points and the injury-plagued Miami Heat pulled away in the second half for a 111-102 win over the Toronto Raptors. Bam Adebayo had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for Miami and Kelly Olynyk added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Nunn had scored just 33 points all season before his 18-point game on Monday night. He came off the bench in this one and shot 9 of 12 and had eight rebounds in 35 minutes. Fred VanVleet had 24 points and nine assists for the Raptors whose three-game winning streak ended.
– Trae Young scored 38 points, John Collins had 31 and the Atlanta Hawks rallied to beat Jerami Grant and the Detroit Pistons 123-115 in overtime. Grant had a career-high 32 points, including all of Detroit’s nine points in overtime, to continue his hot start to the season. Clint Capela had 27 points and a career-high 26 rebounds for Atlanta. Young scored 21 points in the third period, when Atlanta charged back after trailing by 14 points. The Pistons have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
– Kristaps Porzingis posted season-high totals of 27 points and 12 rebounds, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 124-112 victory at Indiana. Dallas was in control most of the game as it snapped a three-game losing streak against the short-handed Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 26 points and Domantis Sabonis had 25 points in Indiana’s first game with fans in the stands. Dallas took the lead for good on the final basket of the third quarter and pulled away with an 11-4 run in the fourth.
Grizzlies-Blazers called off; Wizards worry about readiness
UNDATED (AP) – Washington got back on the practice court Wednesday for the first time in more than a week, and Bradley Beal wondered if the Wizards need more time there before returning to game mode.
The NBA apparently agreed. Not long after the league’s leading scorer said he believes the short-handed Wizards may be following “a recipe for injury” if they played Milwaukee as scheduled Friday night, the NBA said that game would be postponed in a move that simply gives Washington more time to get game-ready again.
Also, the Memphis-Portland game was postponed Wednesday and the league revealed that 11 more players in the past week have tested positive for COVID-19.
Draisaitl breaks 3rd-period tie, Oilers beat Maple Leafs 3-1
UNDATED (AP) – Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul) broke a tie on a power play midway through the third period in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. Kailer Yamamoto was credited with the opening goal for Edmonton after the Maple Leafs fumbled the puck into their own net in the first.
Mikko Koskinen (KAHS’-kihn-ihn) made 25 saves, Josh Archibald scored into an empty net with 1:06 left, and Connor McDavid added two assists.
Auston Matthews scored for Toronto, and Frederik Andersen made 19 saves.
Also in NHL action:
– Tomas Hertl scored the only goal in a four-round shootout to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Marcus Sorensen scored the tying goal late in the second period and Martin Jones made 22 saves for the Sharks, who snapped a six-game losing streak to St. Louis that started in the 2019 playoffs. Jones denied all four Blues shooters in the tiebreaker. Brayden Schenn scored in his second consecutive game and Jordan Binnington made 37 saves for the Blues. San Jose appeared to get the game-winner with 11 seconds left in overtime, but the officials quickly waved it off for goaltender interference on Ryan Donato. After a replay review, the call was upheld.
– Bo Horvat scored the shootout winner and the Vancouver Canucks overcame Tyler Toffoli’s hat trick and beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-5. Horvat put a shot between the legs of Montreal goalie Carey Price to make the Canucks winners in their home opener. Horvat and Brock Boeser each finished with two goals and an assist for Vancouver in regulation. Tyler Motte also scored and J.T. Miller had three assists. In addition to Toffoli’s scoring, Jesper Kotkaniemi had a goal and an assist and Brendan Gallagher scored his first of the season in the loss.
– Shea Theodore scored two goals, Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 Wednesday night. It marks the first time the Golden Knights have started 4-0-0 in their four-year existence. They’re the first team in the NHL to reach four wins this season. Alex Tuch added a goal and two assists, Mark Stone had a goal and an assist, and Alex Pietrangelo scored his first goal with Vegas. Nick Schmaltz and Phil Kessel scored for the Coyotes (1-2-1). Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves.
NHL postpones at least two more Carolina games
UNDATED (AP) – The NHL has postponed games for the Carolina Hurricanes through “at least” Saturday after five Hurricanes players have been placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list, a day before the Hurricanes were set to host the Florida Panthers in their home opener. The teams were scheduled to play again Saturday afternoon.
The league is reviewing and revising Carolina’s regular-season schedule.
In other NHL news:
– Three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin and three other Washington Capitals players have been added to the NHL’s COVID-19 list and the team has been fined $100,000 by the league for violating coronavirus protocols. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov (kooz-NET’-sahv), defenseman Dmitry Orlov and top goalie Ilya Samsonov (SAYR’-gay SAM’-soh-nahv) are the other Capitals who can’t practice for the time being. Five players from the Carolina Hurricanes also have been on that list and that team’s games were called off by the league through “at least” Saturday.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL- SCHEDULE
Ga Tech routs No. 20 Clemson 83-65; 3 players score 20
UNDATED (AP) – Georgia Tech returned from a 17-day layoff with one of its most impressive showings of the season. The Yellow Jackets routed No. 20 Clemson 83-65 as three players scored more than 20 points. Michael Devoe led the way with 22 points, while Moses Wright and Jordan Usher chipped in with 21 apiece. The Yellow Jackets built a nine-point halftime lead and led by as many as 22 to stretch its winning streak to five in a row. They handed the Tigers their second straight blowout loss. Aamir Simms led Clemson with 19 points.
Elsewhere in college basketball:
– Marcus Sasser scored 26 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 points and seven rebounds and No. 8 Houston avenged its only loss with an 86-59 win over Tulsa. Houston shot 43%, including 13 of 32 on 3-pointers. The Cougars outrebounded Tulsa 52-24 and held a 26-7 advantage in second-chance points.
– Nate Watson scored a career-high 29 points and Providence turned back Creighton each time it pulled close to beat the 11th-ranked Bluejays 74-70. Creighton lost its second straight after one of its worst offensive games of the season. The Friars built an early 17-point lead behind the strong inside play of the 6-foot-10, 260-pound Watson. Creighton battled back to 39-34 at halftime, fell behind by double digits in the second half and then made late runs that fell short.
– Tyler Wahl paced a balanced attack with 14 points and No. 10 Wisconsin pulled away in the second half for a 68-52 victory over Northwestern. The Badgers gained control with a 12-0 run midway through the second half. Micah Potter’s 3-pointer put Wisconsin up 56-39. Northwestern went scoreless for almost six minutes until Chase Audige’s 3-pointer made it 56-42 with 10:26 left. D’Mitrik Trice added 12 points, Brad Davison 11 and Potter 10 for Wisconsin. Audige had 16 points and Miller Kopp 10 for Northwestern, which has lost six straight.
Judge rules in favor of Williamson
UNDATED (AP) – A federal judge in North Carolina has ruled in favor of New Orleans Pelicans player Zion Williamson in a case surrounding the validity of a contract he terminated with a Florida-based marketing agent who is seeking $100 million in damages from the former Duke star. U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs in Winston-Salem ruled that marketing agent Gina Ford’s contract with Williamson was void because Ford was not licensed in North Carolina and because the contract did not comply with state laws meant to protect amateur athletes from being misled by sports agents.
In other college basketball news:
– The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that Saturday’s Pittsburgh-Boston College men’s basketball game has been postponed following a positive COVID-19 test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing within the Boston College men’s program. No makeup date was given. The conference also said Pittsburgh’s men’s game at Wake Forest scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7, will move to this Saturday evening.
– Georgetown’s men’s basketball game at Xavier scheduled for next week has been postponed because of a coronavirus-related issue in the Hoyas program. The game was supposed to be played Tuesday. No makeup date was announced.
Brantley nets $32 million, two-year Astros deal
UNDATED (AP) – Outfielder Michael Brantley has agreed to a $32 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The deal is pending completion of a physical. Brantley spent the last two seasons in Houston after playing for Cleveland for his first 10 MLB seasons. Brantley hit .300 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 46 games in last year’s pandemic-shortened season.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– A person familiar with the negotiations says the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to contracts with free agent pitchers Kirby Yates and Tyler Chatwood. Yates received a $5.5 million, one-year deal with $4.5 million in potential performance bonuses. Chatwood agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with incentives that could take it to $5.5 million. Yates led the major leagues in saves in 2019 with 41 saves for San Diego and earned a place on the National League All-Star team. Chatwood went 2 – 2 with a 5.30 ERA in five starts with the Chicago Cubs last year.
– Reliever Wade Davis is returning to the Kansas City Royals, the team he helped pitch to the 2015 World Series title. Davis and the Royals agreed Wednesday to a minor league contract, and the 35-year-old right-hander will go to spring training trying to earn a spot on the major league roster. If added to the 40-man roster, Davis would get a one-year contract paying at a rate of $1.25 million while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors.
Colts QB Rivers retires from NFL after 17 seasons
UNDATED (AP) – Longtime NFL quarterback Philip Rivers has decided to retire after playing one season with the Indianapolis Colts.
His decision at age 39 comes less than two weeks after the Colts suffered a 27-24 loss at Buffalo in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Rivers finishes his career ranked among the league’s top five in career completions, career yards passing and career TDs. His 240 consecutive regular-season starts was the second-longest streak since 1970, trailing only Brett Favre. He never played in a Super Bowl.
In other NFL news:
– Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ’) remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but he practiced in a limited capacity today, raising hopes that the reigning Super Bowl MVP can play in Sunday’s AFC title game against Buffalo.
– The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with Dan Campbell to be their coach. The Lions announced the agreement with the New Orleans Saints tight ends coach a day after formally introducing Brad Holmes as their general manager. A person familiar with the situation says Campbell will sign a six-year contract.
– The Browns can pick up Baker Mayfield’s fifth-year option this offseason and may look to sign him to a long-term contract. Before the Browns drafted him first overall in 2018, the team went through 29 starting quarterbacks. The team has until May to pick up Mayfield’s fifth-year option.
Top-ranked Ash Barty to make return in Adelaide exhibition
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) – Top-ranked Ash Barty is to return to the tennis court for something other than practice for the first time in 11 months.
Barty says she plans to play in a one-day exhibition event in Adelaide which includes Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep. Called “‘A Day at the Drive,” the January 29 exhibition at Memorial Drive also features four of the top men’s players.
The men’s lineup includes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem. Barty didn’t contest the U.S. Open or French Open last year because of travel restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott stepping down at end of June
UNDATED (AP) – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is stepping down at the end of June, ending an 11-year tenure in which the conference landed a transformational billion dollar television deal, but struggled to keep up in revenue and exposure with some of its Power Five peers.
Sports Business Journal first reported the news Wednesday night and a person with knowledge of what was being called a mutual decision between Scott and university presidents who make up the league’s executive committee confirmed it to AP.
Scott’s current contract was set to expire June 2022, but he will only finish out this academic year and assist with the transition to his successor.
Mike Sadek, former Giants catcher, dies at 74 after illness
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Mike Sadek, a popular backup catcher who played all eight of his major league seasons with the San Francisco Giants, has died. He was 74.
The team announced Sadek died Wednesday in San Andreas, California, following a short illness.
Sadek was a .226 career hitter with five home runs and 74 RBIs in 383 big league games from 1973-81. His 64 games in 1980 were a career high. After his playing days ended, Sadek went on to work in the Giants’ community relations department from 1981-99 before retiring.