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Raptors win to keep division lead
UNDATED (AP) — The Toronto Raptors have stayed atop the NBA’s Atlantic Division while ending the Philadelphia 76ers’ four-game winning streak.
The Raptors picked up their fifth straight win as Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) provided 18 points and 15 rebounds to a 107-95 downing of the Sixers. Fred VanVleet had 22 points for Toronto, which has won its last 15 home games against the 76ers.
The Raptors had six players score at least 16 points and stayed a half-game ahead of the second-place Boston Celtics in the division race.
Ben Simmons had 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the 76ers, but he had just two points and one board in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics cruised to a 119-95 rout of the Grizzlies but finished without Jayson Tatum, who scored 23 points before leaving the game in the third quarter with a groin injury. Daniel Theis (tys) had 14 points and Enes Kanter provided 13 with eight rebounds to help Boston win its second straight since a season-worst three-game losing streak.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— Pelicans forward Zion Williamson capped his long-awaited NBA debut by scoring 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter of a 121-117 loss to the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, while DeMar DeRozan chipped in 20 points.
— The Lakers were 100-92 winners against the Knicks as Anthony Davis dropped in 28 points to help Los Angeles rebound from its worst loss of the season. LeBron James scored 19 of his 21 points to get within 44 of Kobe Bryant for third on the league’s all-time scoring list.
— The Clippers wasted a 21-point lead in a 102-95 loss in Atlanta. John Collins scored 33 points and Brandon Goodwin provided all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks win without injured guard Trae Young.
— Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) finished with 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds in 30 minutes of Utah’s 13th win in 14 games, a 129-96 blowout over the Warriors. Donovan Mitchell scored 23 to help the Jazz deal Golden State its 11th loss in 12 games.
— The Rockets’ season-worst, four-game losing streak is over after Russell Westbrook delivered 28 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists to a 121-105 verdict over the Nuggets. James Harden scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half against Denver, which played without injured starters Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.
— Tyler Herro (HEE’-roh) scored 25 points and Jimmy Butler scored nine of his 24 in overtime as the Heat salvaged a 134-129 win over the Wizards. Butler also had 10 assists and seven rebounds for Miami, which improved to 20-1 at home and 8-0 in overtime this season.
— The Pacers rolled to a 112-87 win over the Suns as T.J. Warren scored 25 points in his return to Phoenix. Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihz) added 24 points and 13 boards in helping Indiana win for the sixth time in seven games.
— Dennis Schroder (SHROO’-dur) scored 31 points on 13 of 18 shooting and dished out nine assists in the Thunder’s eighth win in their last nine road games, 120-114 versus the Magic. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which shot 60.5% against one of the NBA’s better defenses.
— Zach LaVine (lah-VEEN’) contributed seven of his 25 points over the final 2:25 to send the Bulls past the Timberwolves, 117-110. Lauri Markkanen added 21 to help Chicago overcome Karl-Anthony Towns, who had a season-high 40 points in Minnesota’s seventh loss in a row.
— Derrick Rose tied a career high by scoring at least 20 points for the 10th straight game, finishing with 22 as the Pistons dealt the Kings their sixth consecutive loss, 127-106. Reggie Jackson also had 22 points in his return to Detroit’s lineup after missing 42 games with a back injury.
Mavs lose Powell for season
UNDATED (AP) — Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell will miss the rest of the season with a torn right Achilles tendon suffered during the first quarter of Tuesday’s 110-107 loss to the Clippers. The 28-year-old Powell went down with a non-contact injury with 2:57 left in the period.
The six-year NBA veteran was averaging 9.4 points and 5.7 rebounds this season, starting 39 of his 40 games.
In other NBA news:
— The Nuggets will be without backup center Mason Plumlee indefinitely after he suffered a right foot injury in Monday’s game against the Timberwolves. The Nuggets say Plumlee will be reevaluated in two to four weeks.
— Cavaliers center Ante Zizic is sidelined indefinitely after experiencing dizziness and other vertigo-like symptoms. The team said Zizic has been diagnosed with a vestibular condition.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Dayton downs St. Bonaventure
UNDATED (AP) — The Dayton Flyers had an easy victory in their first game since cracking the top 10 in The Associated Press men’s basketball for the first time since December 1967.
Jalen Crutcher matched his career high with 23 points and the seventh-ranked Flyers improved to 17-2 by trouncing St. Bonaventure, 86-60. Crutcher popped in a 3-pointer that started a 22-5 run that gave Dayton a 47-29 halftime lead.
Obi Toppin had four dunks while providing 18 points and nine rebounds for the Flyers.
In other top-25 finals:
— Malik Williams had 13 points and grabbed two rebounds that led to three free throws in the final 23 seconds as sixth-ranked Louisville held off Georgia Tech, 68-64. Steven Enoch also had 13 points while Jordan Nwora (WOHR’-uh) and David Johnson each added 10 for the 16-3 Cardinals.
— Romaro Gill matched his career high with 17 points and 10th-ranked Seton Hall claimed its ninth straight win by outlasting Providence, 73-64. Jared Rhoden added 15 points and eight rebounds to help the Pirates improve to 15-4 overall and 7-0 in the Big East, their best start in the league.
— Devan Cambridge shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range while pouring in a season-high 26 points in leading No. 16 Auburn to its 10th straight home win, 80-67 against South Carolina. J'Von McCormick added 13 points to the Tigers’ 16th win in 18 games.
— No. 19 Iowa held off Rutgers, 85-80 as Luka Garza had 28 points and 13 rebounds. Connor McCaffery hit four free throws in the final 16 seconds to close out the win after the Hawkeyes blew most of a nine-point lead late in the game.
— Memphis was destroyed by unranked Tulsa as Jeriah Horne furnished 21 points in the Golden Hurricanes’ 80-40 laugher against the 20th-rated Tigers. The 40-point margin of victory is the largest-ever for Tulsa against a ranked opponent.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-KANSAS/KANSAS STATE BRAWL
Four players suspended following brawl
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Big 12 has suspended four players for their roles in a brawl in the waning moments of last night’s Kansas-Kansas State game at Allen Fieldhouse.
Jayhawks forward Silvio DeSouza received a 12-game ban after being suspended indefinitely by coach Bill Self.
Kansas forward David McCormack got a two-game suspension, Kansas State forward James Love received an eight-game ban and Wildcats forward Antonio Gordon was ordered to sit out three games.
Eli Manning retires
UNDATED (AP) — A two-time Super Bowl MVP is calling it a career.
The New York Giants say quarterback Eli Manning will formally announce his retirement at a news conference on Friday. Manning played his entire 16-year NFL career with the Giants after being drafted first overall by the Chargers in 2004 and traded to New York.
The 39-year-old Manning holds almost every team passing record, but his future at the Meadowlands was in doubt after losing the starting just to rookie Daniel Jones in October.
Manning completed 60.3% of his passes for over 57,000 yards, 366 touchdowns and 244 interceptions. He led the Giants to Super Bowl titles following the 2007 and 2012 seasons.
In other NFL news:
— Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has purchased a minority stake in the NBA's Phoenix Suns. The 11-time Pro Bowler is often at Suns games, sitting courtside with managing partner Robert Sarver. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Mets pick Luis Rojas to replace Beltrán
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets appear to have a new manager, 2 ½ months after hiring their previous skipper.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen says the Mets are finalizing a multiyear contract with Luis Rojas, who served as quality control coach for Mickey Callaway. would replace Carlos Beltrán, who left the club last week before managing a single game in the fallout from the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.
The 38-year-old son of former major league manager Felipe Alou has been with the Mets organization since 2007 as a coach and manager before joining Callaway’s staff prior to last season.
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and pitcher Marcus Stroman have posted ringing endorsements on social media.
In other MLB news:
— The Twins and third baseman Josh Donaldson have finalized their four-year, $92 million contract that is the richest in team history for a free agent. Donaldson agreed last week to the deal that includes a club option for a fifth season. Donaldson hit 37 home runs and drove in 94 runs for the Braves last season.
— The Royals have signed outfielder Alex Gordon to a $4 million contract for next season, giving the rebuilding club a veteran presence in what is expected to be a young lineup under new manager Mike Matheny. The 35-year-old Gordon is a three-time All-Star who earned his seventh Gold Glove last year. He batted .266 with 13 homers and 76 RBIs for Kansas City last season.
— The Cardinals have inked Matt Wieters (WEE’-turz) for a second season as Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina’s backup behind the plate. The four-time All-Star signed a minor league deal before last season and hit .214 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs in 67 games for the NL Central champs.
— Free agent right-hander Juan Nicasio has signed a minor league contract with the Rangers and will go to spring training as a non-roster invitee. He has a 40-46 career record and 4.64 ERA in 362 games while playing for six major league clubs in nine seasons.
— Larry Walker's Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown will have a Colorado Rockies cap, not a Montreal Expos hat. The Canadian native began his career with the Expos but spent a larger portion of his playing time with the Rockies.
— Major League Baseball will test computer plate umpires during spring training but will not use the system for decisions in any exhibition games. The Major League Baseball Umpires Association agreed last month to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize system at the major league level.
— Dozens of mayors from across the United States have formed a task force opposing a proposal by Major League Baseball to eliminate 42 affiliated minor league franchises for the 2021 season. The coalition joins a growing list of politicians including a congressional task force who are pummeling MLB over its proposal to cut more than a quarter of its 160 affiliates. The league is citing concerns over the quality of facilities, travel and player salaries. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke calls it “a major league error.
Bjorkstrand lifts Jackets
UNDATED (AP) — Oliver Bjorkstrand has sent the Columbus Blue Jackets to their sixth consecutive victory.
Bjorkstand notched his second goal of the night with 5:38 remaining to break a 3-3 deadlock and lead the Jackets past the Jets, 4-3. Pierre-Luc Dubois (doo-BWAH’) had three assists for the Blue Jackets, who are 15-2-2 since falling two games under .500 in mid-December.
Kyle Connor had a goal and an assist for the Jets.
The only other NHL game of the night had Eric Staal and Mats Zuccarello (zoo-kah-REH’-loh) each collecting a goal and assist to send the Wild to a 4-2 win over the Red Wings. Jordan Greenway and Jason Zucker also scored for Minnesota and Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) stopped 25 shots as Minnesota won for the third time in four games.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal had a scary moment in his 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 second-round win over Federico Delbonis — when his wayward forehand hit a ballkid in the head.
He gave her a kiss on the cheek and apologized. After the match he gave her his headband.
He says in a post-match interview that it was “one of the more scary moments I’ve had on the tennis court — the ball was quick, and straight on (her) head.”
She gave the thumbs up, to show she was OK and Nadal said, “You're very brave, so well done.”
In other men’s action:
Nick Kyrgios (KEER'-ee-ohs) composed himself after a third-set lapse in which he lost five straight games to beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 and advance to the third round at the Australian Open.
— Two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem (teem) broke local wild-card entry Alex Boult's serve in the third game of the fifth set and advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 win.
— Seventh-seeded Alexander Zverev also advanced about the same time with a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-5 win over Egor Gerasimov. Zverev has pledged $10,000 toward the bushfire recovery effort in Australia for every match he wins in Australia and promised to donate his full prize money if he claims his first major title this year in Australia.
— Fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev needed a medical timeout for a nose bleed before beating Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 and advancing to the third round.
— Taylor Fritz's 4-6, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2 comeback victory over two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson gives the United States five men in the Australian Open's third round for the first time since 2008. The 29th-seeded Fritz has never been further at a major tournament. This was the second time in his career that he has managed to win a match in five sets after dropping the opening two.
In women’s action:
— Danielle Collins is out of the Australian Open in the second round a year after making her Grand Slam breakthrough with a run to the semifinals at Melbourne Park. The 26th-seeded American bowed out Thursday with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 loss to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
— Wimbledon champion Simona Halep has beaten British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round. Halep ended 2019 ranked fourth, her sixth consecutive year-end top five finish.
— Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova continued her strong recent form at the Australian Open by advancing to the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Laura Siegemund.
— Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic (BEHN’-chihch) and Donna Vekic (VEH’-kihch) have advanced to the third round at Melbourne Park. Bencic beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 7-5 while the 19th-seeded Vekic defeated Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-2.
— In the first completed match at Rod Laver Arena on Day 4, two-time Grand Slam singles champion Garbine Muguruza (gahr-BEEN’ muh-guh-ROO’-thah) beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
— Venus Williams is not quite done at the Australian Open. She has entered the mixed competition at Melbourne Park. She hasn't won a mixed doubles championship at a major in 22 years, when she and Justin Gimelstob took home the trophies from the 1998 Australian Open and French Open. Her partner this time is Juan Sebastian Cabal.
Hall of Fame HS basketball coach Morgan Wootten dies
HYATTSVILLE, Md. (AP) — Hall of Fame high school basketball coach Morgan Wootten has died at 88.
Wooten built Maryland’s DeMatha High School into a national powerhouse and launched the careers of a number of players who went to the NBA, including Adrian Dantley, Danny Ferry, Sidney Lowe and Kenny Carr.
Wootten never had a losing season in his six decades at the school and won at least 30 games on 10 different occasions.
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