Ish Smith's 27 points help Wizards top no-Kemba Celts 99-94
UNDATED (AP) — Missing Kemba Walker, the Boston Celtics became the latest NBA contender to surprisingly come up short against one of the league's worst teams, losing 99-94 to the Washington Wizards, who got 27 points from Ish Smith to lead a depleted lineup Monday night.
Walker sat out his third game in a row with the flu, and while the Celtics won the previous two -- against also-rans Atlanta and Chicago -- they couldn't overcome poor shooting, a slow start and a whole lot of Smith.
In other NBA Monday action:
— DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs had a season-high 19 3-pointers in beating Milwaukee 126-104, snapping the Bucks five-game winning streak. Patty Mills added 21 points, including 6 for 10 on 3-pointers, for San Antonio. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee, which lost for the first time since Dec. 25.
— Luka Doncic scored 21 of his 38 points in the third quarter to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Chicago Bulls 118-110. Doncic had 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Dallas. It was his NBA-leading 11th triple-double of the season. Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 26 points, who lost Wendell Carter Jr. to an apparent ankle injury.
— Joel Embiid (joh-EHL' ehm-BEED') scored 18 points playing with a dislocated left ring finger as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-113. Ben Simmons had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Philly, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Embiid injured his finger in the first quarter. He got it taped up and returned to have a solid offensive game.
— Nikola Jokic (NEE'-koh-lah YOH'-kich) scored a career-high 47 points and Will Barton added a season-best 28 as the Denver Nuggets held off the Atlanta Hawks 123-115. Denver improved to 25-11, second-best in the Western Conference. Jokic surpassed his previous career high of 41 with a putback that gave the Nuggets a 114-109 lead with 3:14 remaining.
— T.J. Warren scored 30 of his season-high 36 points in the second half, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-104. The Pacers snapped a two-game skid and had lost four of their last five.
— Markelle Fultz scored a career-high 25 points, including seven straight during a 15-1 run in the fourth quarter that sent the Orlando Magic past the slumping Brooklyn Nets 101-89. Nikola Vucevic had 23 rebounds and 11 points for his 300th career double-double.
Pelicans' Holiday out vs. Jazz, Hart gets start
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says Jrue Holiday has been scratched from the lineup against Utah because of an elbow bruise. The Pelicans have announced that Josh Hart is starting in Holiday's place at shooting guard. Holiday is New Orleans' second-leading scorer. He's averaged 19.6 points per game this season. Hart is e's averaging 10.9 points. New Orleans also continues to await the regular-season debut of top overall draft choice Zion Williamson. He remains inactive as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery but is practicing again and dunked several times during pregame warm-ups.
In other NBA news:
— The Atlanta Hawks have signed Paul Watson from the G League to give the team more depth at the forward position. The Hawks were short-handed at forward in Saturday night's win over Indiana. John Collins missed the game with a back contusion that's not believed to be serious. Jabari Parker was held out with a throat infection and Cam Reddish missed the game with a sprained right wrist.
— Cavaliers rookie guard Kevin Porter Jr. will be sidelined at least two weeks with a sprained left knee. Porter was hurt in the second half of Sunday's loss to Minnesota. His knee buckled as he attempted to change directions and the Cavs feared he was hurt much worse.
Ehlers helps Jets beat sliding Canadiens 3-2
UNDATED (AP) — Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and an assist, and the Winnipeg Jets beat Ilya Kovalchuk and the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Monday night.
Andrew Copp and Josh Morrissey also scored for Winnipeg, which had dropped five of six. Captain Blake Wheeler had two assists, and Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves.
The 36-year-old Kovalchuk picked up an assist in his Canadiens debut. He signed a one-year contract on Friday.
In other rink action:
— Connor McDavid scored a highlight-reel goal and added three assists as the Edmonton Oilers snapped the Toronto Maple Leafs' point streak at 10 games with a 6-4 victory. Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Kailer Yamamoto, Alex Chiasson and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers. Edmonton was making its third stop on a five-game road trip.
— Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves against his former team, Anders Lee scored and the New York Islanders beat the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. The Islanders had lost two straight overall, and four in a row at the Nassau Coliseum.
Tagovailoa to enter NFL draft
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (TOO'-ah tuhng-ah-vy-LOH'-ah) says is entering the NFL draft.
Tagovailoa, who had surgery on his right hip in November, announced his decision Monday. He ended two months of speculation regarding the star quarterback's plans as he tries to return from a serious injury.
Tagovailoa was projected as a potential No. 1 overall pick before the injury Nov. 16 against Mississippi State.
In other draft news:
— Wisconsin's top receiver is joining its top running back and leaving for the NFL. Quintez Cephus is skpping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
AP source: Cowboys pick McCarthy to replace Garrett as coach
UNDATED (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the decision says the Dallas Cowboys and Mike McCarthy have agreed on a deal for the former Green Bay coach to replace Jason Garrett.
McCarthy interviewed over the weekend before the Cowboys had announced Garrett wasn’t returning. Garrett had an expiring contract coming off a make-or-break season that ended with Dallas missing the playoffs for the sixth time in his nine full seasons.
The 56-year-old McCarthy won a Super Bowl with the Packers on the Cowboys’ home field nine years ago. Green Bay made nine trips to the playoffs in his 13 years.
In other NFL news:
— Veteran defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has been fired by the Los Angeles Rams after three winning seasons. Phillips teamed up on the Rams in 2017 with Sean McVay.
—The Browns resumed their coaching search by meeting with Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. He is the fifth candidate to speak with Cleveland. Daboll has spent the past two seasons running Buffalo's offense.
— The NFL wild-card playoff games were the most watched opening weekend in four years. The four games averaged 30.5 million viewers. Seattle’s 17-9 victory over Philadelphia drew the most viewers. It averaged 35.8 million, according to Nielsen and Abode Analytics. That makes it television’s most watched show since last year's Super Bowl.
LENDING TREE BOWL
Lewis, Louisiana-Lafayette beat Miami of Ohio 27-17
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Levi Lewis threw two touchdown passes to Ja'Marcus Bradley, and Louisiana-Lafayette beat Miami of Ohio 27-17 in the LendingTree Bowl.
Lewis was 19 for 26 for 246 yards as the Ragin’ Cajuns earned their first bowl win since 2014. Bradley finished with seven receptions for 88 yards. Brett Gabbert was 22 for 31 for 248 yards for Miami, and Jack Sorenson had 10 receptions for 107 yards. Gabbert is the younger brother of NFL quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL
First three unchanged atop poll
UNDATED (AP) — Gonzaga, Duke and Kansas remain atop The Associated Press men's college basketball poll.
The Bulldogs received 54 first-place votes from a 65-member media panel. The Blue Devils had nine first-place votes and the Jayhawks two.
No. 4 Baylor moved into the top five for the first time in three years and undefeated Auburn rose to No. 5. Butler climbed five spots to No. 6 for the program's highest ranking ever. San Diego State is the only other undefeated Division I team. The Aztecs jumped six spots to No. 7.
Michigan State, Oregon and Florida State round out the top 10.
Moore to have surgery
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says freshman Wendell Moore will have surgery for a broken bone in his right hand. It’s unclear exactly how long Moore will be out for the second-ranked Blue Devils. Moore was hurt late in the weekend win at Miami. He has started five games and is averaging 7.4 points for the Blue Devils.
In other college basketball news:
— Syracuse says that forward Robert Braswell is out for the season. The sophomore has been suffering from pain in both shins. He has played just 48 minutes in parts of seven games.
— Outfielder Shogo Akiyama agreed to a $21 million, three-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, the only major league team that hasn't had a player born in Japan. The 31-year-old center fielder was a five-time All-Star during his nine seasons with the Seibu Lions in Japan's Pacific League.
— Outfielder Kole Calhoun can earn $23 million over three seasons as part of his $16 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 32-year-old Calhoun has a .249 average with 140 homers and 451 RBIs in eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. He hit .232 last year with 74 RBIs and a career-high 33 homers.
— The Washington Nationals are bringing back reliever Daniel Hudson and adding first baseman Eric Thames. The 33-year-old Thames hit .247 with 25 homers, 61 RBIs and 140 strikeouts for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. Hudson was acquired in a trade-deadline swap with the Toronto Blue Jays on July 31 and eventually moved into the closer's role with Washington. He got the final out of the World Series.
— Pitcher Shun Yamaguchi is guaranteed $6.35 million as part of his two-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The deal allows the 32-year-old right-hander to earn $9.15 million if he pitches at least 170 innings per season.
— Catcher Martín Maldonado will have salaries of $3.5 million each season as part of his $7 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros. The 33-year-old spent the second half of the last two seasons with the Astros after being traded in July in both 2018 and 2019. Maldonado hit .219 with 10 homers last season.
— The Baltimore Orioles filled a huge hole in the middle of the infield by agreeing to a $3 million, one-year contract with shortstop José Iglesias. The Orioles desperately needed a shortstop after trading veteran Jonathan Villar to Miami in December.
— Right-hander Kohl Stewart would earn an $800,000 salary while in the major leagues and a $200,000 salary while in the minors as part of his one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles. The 25-year-old pitched the past two seasons with the Minnesota Twins.
— Second baseman César Hernández can earn $250,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances as part of his $6.25 million, one-year contract with the Indians. The 29-year-old spent his entire professional career in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
—The Los Angeles Angels have acquired right-handed reliever Kyle Keller from the Miami Marlins. The Angels traded minor league catcher Jose Estrada to Miami. The 26-year-old Keller made his major league debut last Aug. 4 and pitched in 10 games for the Marlins. He had a 3.38 ERA with 11 strikeouts.
— The Philadelphia Phillies have hired Bobby Meacham as an assistant coach and Greg Brodzinski as bullpen catcher/catching coach to complete manager Joe Girardi's staff. Meacham spent the past three seasons managing Triple-A Buffalo in Toronto’s organization. Brodzinski spent the last two seasons as a coach in Philadelphia's system with Single-A Williamsport.
MLB-YOUTH CENTER-SEX ABUSE-RED SOX
Red Sox attendant accused of sexual assault at youth prison
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — One of two men charged with repeatedly raping a teenage boy at New Hampshire’s youth detention center in the late 1990s went on to work as a clubhouse attendant for the Boston Red Sox, which suspended him when it learned of the allegations, the team told The Associated Press on Monday.
Stephen Murphy, of Danvers, Massachusetts, was charged in July with 26 counts of aggravated felonious assault. He and Jeffrey Buskey, of Boston, are accused of sexually assaulting and beating the boy at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, where they worked as youth counselors.
Trump planning to attend college football championship game
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is planning to attend the Jan. 13 College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans.
The game features No. 1 Louisiana State University versus No. 3 Clemson, which is looking for its third national title in the last four seasons. Both teams are undefeated.