James closes on NBA scoring record, Lakers fall to Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — LeBron James moved 36 points away from breaking the NBA career scoring record in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-126 loss to New Orleans on Saturday night that ended the Pelicans’ losing streak at 10 games. James had 27 points to go with nine rebounds and six assists as he continued to close in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record total of 38,387 points. Brandon Ingram scored 35 points for the Pelicans. CJ McCollum had 23 points, highlighted by a late 3 to help New Orleans close out the final 3:14 on a 9-5 run that kept the Lakers at bay. Anthony Davis had 34 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers.
Irving excused from Nets-Wizards, 1 day after trade request
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving sat out the Brooklyn Nets’ come-from-behind win over Washington on Saturday night, a day after he told the team he would like to be traded. The Nets said Irving’s absence was due to right calf soreness, adding him to the injury report for their game against Washington. Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said after the Nets’ 125-123 win that Irving did not attend the game and that the player’s absence was excused. Irving asked the Nets for a trade on Friday, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press. The All-Star has been frustrated that the Nets have thus far refused to give him an extension on his contact that expires after this season.
Strong wind suspends third round at Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Strong wind has stopped play in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That means a Monday finish with no amateurs. Peter Malnati is atop the leaderboard at 12-under par. Keith Mitchell and Joseph Bramlett were two behind. Mitchell faced the strongest wind on the worst part of Pebble Beach along the ocean. He made it through and then the horn sounded to stop play. The culprit was Monterey Peninsula. Officials say two holes are so exposed that golf balls were blowing around on the green. Once play stops at one course, it has to stop on all three.
MVP Matthew Tkachuk lifts Atlantic to NHL All-Star Game win
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk was right at home at the NHL All-Star Game. Again. Detroit’s Dylan Larkin had a hat trick, Toronto’s Mitch Marner had three assists and the Atlantic Division topped the Central Division 7-5 in the All-Star Game final on Saturday. Matthew Tkachuk was the MVP after a seven-point performance in two games for the Atlantic Division. Arizona’s Clayton Keller, Dallas’ Jason Robertson, Colorado teammates Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen all had goals for the Central in the final.
Gary Bettman defends NHL handling of Pride night situations
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman defended the way the league and two teams handled controversial developments involving Pride night celebrations. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov did not take part in warmups citing religion for his refusal to wear a Pride-themed jersey. The New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night despite previously advertising they planned to do so. Bettman said the league has to respect individuals’ choices. Also in his state of the NHL address at All-Star Weekend he announced the event next year will take place in Toronto and addressed concerns about the league’s current playoff format.
Jackson-Davis, No. 21 Indiana beat Edey, No. 1 Purdue 79-74
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 25 points and Jalen Hood-Schifino delivered the clinching basket on a breakaway dunk with 2 seconds left to give No. 21 Indiana a 79-74 victory over No. 1 Purdue. It’s the third time the Hoosiers have beaten a top-ranked team on their home court and the roaring, raucous crowd celebrated by quickly storming the court. Zach Edey had 33 points and 18 rebounds and nearly led the Boilermakers all the way back from a 16-point first half deficit. But after Braden Smith cut the deficit to 71-70 with 2:03 to go, the Hoosiers outscored Purdue 8-4 to close it out.
New-look Logano leads NASCAR back to the L.A. Coliseum
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reigning NASCAR champion Joey Logano opened last year with a win in the inaugural Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It started a season in which he won his second Cup title. NASCAR is now back for the exhibition Clash for the second consecutive year and Logano said he considers the inaugural race one of the biggest wins of his career. The race Sunday does not count for points and is a warm-up for the season-opening Daytona 500. But nearby Auto Club Speedway in Fontana revealed it won’t host racing in 2024 as it undergoes a renovation, so the Coliseum could be auditioning for a spot as a points-paying race as the Southern California representative next year.
Super Bowl-bound Chiefs are built around Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs are headed to their third Super Bowl in four years. So is their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. It might sound easy to have such sustained success when there’s an All-Pro under center. But the massive contract that Kansas City gave Mahomes, which might still be a bargain, made it challenging to fill out the roster around him. That responsibility fell to general manager Brett Veach, who used some savvy business and creativity to pull it off. Veach found some bargains in free agency and made some brilliant decisions in the draft, and those players as much as Mahomes are why the Chiefs are about to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the big game.
Super Bowl-bound Eagles are built around QB Jalen Hurts
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles are trying to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history. They went 14-3 this season largely on the play of quarterback Jalen Hurts. He is a finalist for AP NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year and tied a franchise record with 33 total touchdowns. Hurts is only 24 and could be rewarded with a new contract in the offseason. His only focus now is beating the Kansas City Chiefs next week in the Super Bowl.
Bamba, Rivers, Suggs all suspended after Magic-Wolves dustup
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has suspended Orlando’s Mo Bamba for four games and Minnesota’s Austin Rivers for three games for their roles in an on-court altercation on Friday night. Jalen Suggs of the Magic will miss one game, the league said, for escalating the incident. The league announced the suspensions Saturday. Bamba will forfeit $284,138 in salary, while Rivers will lose about $60,121 and Suggs will lose $47,740.