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Rockets rally to extend win streak

UNDATED (AP) — James Harden and the Houston Rockets have continued their hot streaks. So have the Boston Celtics.

Harden poured in 44 points and the Rockets used a big fourth quarter to pull away for a 111-102 victory over Indiana. Houston has won its last six games, with Harden scoring at least 36 points in five straight.

Houston used a 14-0 spurt to make it 94-88 with about five minutes left. Harden took over in that stretch, scoring the last 12 points and making two 3-pointers.

Ben McLemore had a season-high 21 points and Russell Westbrook scored 17 with eight rebounds and six assists.

Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs) provided 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who had won four in a row.

In San Francisco, the Celtics picked up their 10th consecutive victory since a season-opening loss by rallying past the Warriors, 105-100. Jayson Tatum scored a team-high 24 points for Boston, including a dunk after a jump ball with 1:36 left to put his team ahead.

Jaylen Brown had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who remain unbeaten since their Oct. 23 loss at Philadelphia.

Checking out Friday’s other NBA action:

— LeBron James hit two free throws with 5.5 seconds left before Anthony Davis blocked Harrison Barnes’ driving shot at the buzzer to secure the Lakers’ 99-97 win over former coach Luke Walton and the Kings. James had 29 points and 11 assists, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 10th win in 11 games. Sacramento led by 13 in the first half while hitting 10 3-pointers, but the Lakers scored 14 consecutive points in the second quarter to pull even.

— Danilo Gallinari (dah-NIH’-loh gah-lih-NAHR’-ee) dropped in 28 points and Chris Paul had 27 as the Thunder topped the 76ers, 127-119 in overtime. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points and Terrance Ferguson finished with 19 in Oklahoma City’s most impressive win since losing All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George in offseason trades. Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) had 31 points and 12 rebounds and Josh Richardson added 28 points for the 76ers, who have lost five of seven since a 5-0 start.

— Evan Fournier scored 26 points, including a couple of late 3-pointers to send the Magic past the Spurs, 111-109. Al-Farouq Aminu (al fah-ROOK’ ah-MEE’-noo) had 13 points and 13 boards for Orlando, which reeled off a 12-0 run to take a 69-66 lead in the third quarter. Terrence Ross had 10 of his season-high 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Magic hand the Spurs their fourth consecutive loss.

— Bradley Beal shot 15-for-22 while scoring 44 points for the second straight game to lead the Wizards to a 137-116 thumping of the Timberwolves. Moritz Wagner came off the bench to add 30 points and 15 rebounds as Washington ended a three-game losing streak. Karl-Anthony Towns had 36 points on his 24th birthday to lead the Wolves, who were without leading scorer Andrew Wiggins due to personal reasons.

— Malik Monk hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Hornets a 109-106 victory over the Pistons. Monk finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting to help Charlotte snap a four-game losing streak. Terry Rozier added 19 points and Devonte Graham overcame a slow start to finish with 18 and 10 assists.

— Ja Morant scored 25 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:32 remaining in the Grizzlies’ 107-106 downing of the Jazz. Mike Conley had 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting in his first game back in Memphis since his trade to the Jazz. Dillon Brooks added 20 points for the Grizzlies.


Duke gets past Georgia State

UNDATED (AP) — Second-ranked Duke was able to avoid a major upset after entering its game with Georgia State as 28 ½-point favorites.

The Blue Devils made up for their season-worst 34.2% shooting by outrebounding the Panthers, 58-32 in a 74-63 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tre Jones scored a career-high 31 points for the Blue Devils, who have won their last 150 non-conference home games.

Freshman Vernon Carey Jr. added season highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds to help the Blue Devils improve to 4-0.

Duke’s 30 offensive rebounds were the most in Mike Krzyzewski’s (shuh-SHEHF’-skeez) 40 seasons as its head coach.

In other top-25 finals:

— No. 5 Kansas rolled to a 112-57 victory over Monmouth as Isaiah Moss poured in 21 points to lead six Jayhawks in double-figures scoring. Moss was 5 of 6 from beyond the arc as the Jayhawks ran their home winning streak to 23 straight games. Devon Dotson added 17 points for Kansas, while David McCormack chipped in 13 points and 11 boards.

— Freshman star Cole Anthony had 28 points in sixth-ranked North Carolina’s 77-61 victory against Gardner-Webb. Fellow freshman Armando Bacot posted his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels. North Carolina shot 50% after carrying a 30-27 lead into halftime.

— Admon Gilder and Ryan Woolridge each scored 16 points to lead No. 8 Gonzaga to a 79-49 rout of Texas A&M. Filip Petrusev added 14 points and 10 rebounds in helping the 4-0 Bulldogs overcome a slow start.

— Alphonso Anderson’s 21 points, six rebounds and three assists carried 17th-ranked Utah State to an 81-54 pounding of North Carolina A&T. Justin Bean added 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to the rout.

— Paul Scruggs scored 14 points and made a layup with 11.6 seconds left as No. 21 Xavier held off Missouri State, 59-56. Tyrique Jones contributed 15 points and six rebounds for the 4-0 Musketeers.

— Samir Doughty scored a career-high 33 points and J’Von McCormick had a school-record 16 assists in leading 22nd-ranked Auburn to a 116-70 rout of Cal State Northridge. Doughty made his first five 3-pointers and scored 22 by halftime in the Tigers’ highest-scoring performance since Nov. 24 2017 versus Winthrop.

— Jared Butler scored 15 points and Freddie Gillespie added a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as No. 24 Baylor knocked off Texas State, 72-63. The Bears had five players score in double figures while playing without preseason All-Big 12 junior forward Tristan Clark, who had a non-operative procedure on his knee this week.


Browns’ Garrett suspended for rest of season by NFL

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL has doled out quick and stern punishment on Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett following his assault on Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph during Thursday’s game against the Steelers.

Garrett has been suspended for at least the rest of the regular season and postseason, the longest ban for a single on-field infraction in league history. He ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and clobbered him on top of the head with it, triggering a brawl between the rivals near the end of the Browns’ 21-7 win over the visiting Steelers.

The league’s No. 1 overall pick in 2017 was also fined an undisclosed amount. Garrett must meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell before his reinstatement is considered.

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended three games for punching and kicking Garrett. Browns defensive tackle received a one-game suspension for shoving Rudolph to the ground from behind.

The Steelers and Browns were also fined $250,000 each.

In other NFL news:

— The Eagles have signed running back Jay Ajayi (ah-JAH’-ee), bringing back a key offensive player from their Super Bowl championship team two years ago. Ajayi replaces Darren Sproles, who was placed on injured reserve Friday.

— The Broncos are bringing back wide receiver Tim Patrick from injured reserve and have decided to put cornerback Bryce Callahan on IR. Patrick has been sidelined since breaking his left hand in the season opener. Callahan hasn’t played this season because of pain caused by a bent screw in his surgically repaired right foot.

— Former Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway has been suspended 10 games by the NFL for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. League spokesman Brian McCarthy said Friday that Callaway will begin serving the suspension immediately. He was suspended four games earlier this season for a drug violation. He was released on Thursday.

— The Falcons will be without running back Devonta Freeman, tight end Austin Hooper and safety Kemal Ishmael for Sunday’s game at Carolina. The Falcons will have starting cornerback Desmond Trufant, who is set to play for the first time since Week 5. He’s been out with a toe injury.


Habs end Caps’ point streak

UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Capitals had gone 13 straight games without a regulation loss before running into red-hot Shea Weber and the Montreal Canadiens.

Weber extended his point streak to five games by producing a goal and an assist in the Canadiens’ 5-2 win at Washington. The game was scoreless until Phillip Danault (dah-NOH’), Weber, Jordan Weal (weel) and Nick Suzuki scored during an 8:20 span of the second period to put the Habs ahead, 4-0.

Tomas Tatar (tah-TAHR’) finished with a goal and three assists to back Carey Price, who stopped 26 shots and blanked the Caps until Alex Ovechkin (oh-vehch’-kihn) scored a power-play goal 5 ½ minutes into the third period.

Evgeni Kuznetov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) also scored for the Capitals, who are 11-1-2 in their last 14 games.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— Brad Marchand scored a pair of third-period goals to drive the Bruins past the Maple Leafs, 4-2. Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist for Boston, while Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask turned back 29 shots. The Bruins ended an 0-2-2 skid and dealt Toronto its fourth consecutive loss.

— The Blue Jackets pulled out a 3-2 win over the Blues on Zach Werenski’s power-play goal 3:34 into overtime. Pierre-Luc Dubois (look doo-BWAH’) tied the game with a third-period goal before Columbus snapped a two-game losing streak. Vladislav Gavrikov (GAV’-rih-kahv) notched his first NHL goal and Joonas Korpisalo (YOH’-nuhs kohr-pih-SAH’-loh) stopped 25 shots for the Jackets.

— The Devils beat the Penguins, 2-1 behind Mackenzie Blackwood’s 38-save performance. Jack Johnson ended Blackwood’s shutout bid with 12 minutes remaining, but Pittsburgh lost in its first game since learning captain Sidney Crosby would be out at least six weeks following core muscle surgery. Travis Zajac (ZAY’-jak) and Blake Coleman scored as New Jersey won for the second time in five games.

— Anders Nilsson made 26 saves and the Senators killed off a late four-minute power play to beat the Flyers, 2-1. Ottawa trailed 1-0 until Tyler Ennis netted a power-play goal and Filip Chlapik (KLAH’-pihk) furnished the go-ahead score with a 3:57 span late in the second period. The Flyers lost in regulation for the first time since Oct. 29.


Flames’ TJ Brodie home after collapsing at practice

UNDATED (AP) — Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie is home from the hospital after falling to the ice and convulsing at practice.

General manager Brad Treliving (treh-LIHV'-ihng) said Friday that Brodie was "feeling good" and neurological tests came back negative. He’ll undergo more tests.

The 29-year-old Brodie won’t travel with the Flames for their road game Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. There was no timetable for his return.

In other NHL news:

— Jordan Martinook is back with the Hurricanes a little over a month after having core muscle surgery. The team on Friday activated the forward from injured reserve following his 15-game absence.

— A misdemeanor charge accusing Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews of disorderly conduct and disruptive behavior in Arizona has been dismissed. Court records indicate the charge was dismissed Wednesday.


Cherington to become Bucs’ next GM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A person familiar with the decision says the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to hire Ben Cherington as their general manager.

Cherington replaces Neal Huntington, who was hired in September 2008 and fired in October. Cherington has been Toronto’s vice president of baseball operations under GM Ross Atkins since September 2016.


Georgia Tech appeals NCAA sanctions, Seton Hall gets probation

UNDATED (AP) — Georgia Tech has formally appealed sanctions levied by the NCAA against its men’s basketball program.

The Atlantic Coast Conference school announced its notice of appeal last month and filed its written arguments with the governing body on Friday.

Georgia Tech is appealing a ban on postseason play this season, as well as scholarship reductions and limits on official visits.

The NCAA ruled in September that major recruiting violations were committed by one of head coach Josh Pastner’s former assistants, as well as an ex-friend. Pastner was not directly named in the NCAA’s findings and was largely cleared in the school’s own investigation.

Meanwhile, the NCAA has placed the Seton Hall men’s basketball program on probation for three years, but the Pirates remain eligible for the NCAA Tournament.

The penalty includes the loss of one scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year and limited recruiting in each of the next two seasons as part of a negotiated resolution of a transfer tampering case started in 2016.

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard was given a two-game suspension he has already served, and his former assistant and current St. Peter’s University head coach Shaheen Halloway received a four-game suspension that has two games remaining.

Also in college basketball:

— Authorities say Former North Carolina State basketball player Anthony Grundy died Thursday from stab wounds suffered as the result of a domestic dispute in Kentucky. Grundy played for the Wolfpack from 1998 to 2002. He was an All-ACC guard as a senior in 2002 and helped the Wolfpack end a 10-year NCAA tournament drought in his final season.


US beats Taiwan, would clinch Olympic by beating Mexico

TOKYO (AP) — Minnesota's Brent Rooker hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning, and the United States beat Taiwan 3-2 on Friday in Tokyo to keep alive the Americans' chance of earning an Olympic baseball berth at the Premier12 tournament.

The U.S. finished the super round 2-3 and would clinch a berth if it beats Mexico on Sunday in the Premier12 bronze-medal game. Mexico lost 7-3 Saturday to South Korea, which clinched an Olympic berth and plays Japan for the Premier12 gold medal. Taiwan defeated Australia 5-1, putting the Americans in position to qualify with a win over Mexico.

The top finisher from the Americas qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics next year. The second-place finisher from the Americas goes to another qualifying tournament in March or April.

Host Japan and Israel already had earned berths in the six-nation Olympic tournament.


Lee has Mayakoba Classic lead

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — Danny Lee flirted with a PGA record-tying 58 before settling for a 9-under 62 and a one-stroke lead through the opening round of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico.

Lee shot 29 on the front nine and started thinking about a sub-60 round when he birdied the par-5 13th hole to move to 10 under. He bogeyed the next hole and closed with four straight pars to finish just ahead of Brendon Todd and Adam Long.

The start of the tournament was pushed back a day and isn’t expected to be completed until Monday.


Russell finally accepts Hall ring

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Bill Russell says he’s finally ready to be a Hall of Famer.

The 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA champ said on Twitter on Friday that he was presented with his Hall of Fame ring. The private ceremony comes three decades after he was first selected for the shrine at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Russell didn’t attend his induction ceremony in 1975. He says he didn’t deserve to be the first black player inducted.


Jury rules USA Swimming not liable in sexual abuse case

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A jury in California has ruled that USA Swimming was not negligent in the case of a former coach who sexually abused a 13-year-old swimmer.

However, the swimmer will receive $1.125 million from two USA Swimming affiliates in a civil lawsuit.

In the criminal case, former Stockton Swim club coach Shunichi Fujishima pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the girl he’d coached and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in October.

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