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.
AP source: Kyrie Irving going to the Dallas Mavericks
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is being traded by the Brooklyn Nets. The team has struck a deal with the Dallas Mavericks. That’s according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the move. The Mavericks will trade Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and a package of draft picks to the Nets. In return, they’ll have another star-level player to pair alongside MVP candidate Luka Doncic.
Bruins rolling, rest of NHL making final push for playoffs
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Bruins are atop the NHL standings and running away with the Atlantic Division going into the second half of the season. But the playoff races are hot in the Metropolitan, Central and Pacific with roughly 30 games left to go down the stretch. There are 11 teams in the mix for eight playoff spots in the Eastern Conference and 10 in the West. All three New York-area teams could make it with the Rangers, Islanders and New Jersey Devils jockeying for position. And out west the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights are among the top contenders.
No. 1 South Carolina tops fifth-ranked UConn 81-77
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Aliyah Boston scored 23 of her 26 points in the second half, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to help No. 1 South Carolina beat fifth-ranked UConn 81-77. The Gamecocks have won 29 consecutive games since losing to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament title game last year. They’ve won four of the past five meetings with the Huskies, including a victory in the NCAA championship game last season. That ended UConn’s perfect 11-0 record in title games. Aaliyah Edwards led UConn with 25 points.
Rodgers takes pro-am at Pebble as Rose grabs 54-hole lead
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The only winner at Pebble Beach on Sunday is Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback and Ben Silverman captured the pro-am portion of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That means Rodgers gets his name on the Pebble Beach Wall of Champions. Justin Rose would love nothing more than to join him. Rose finished his wind-suspended third round at Monterey Peninsula and was 6 under in 10 holes for a 65. That gives him a one-shot lead going into the final round. That won’t be decided until Monday. Rodgers says winning the Pebble pro-am was on his bucket list.
NFL infuses Pro Bowl with points system, flag football
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The NFL has stopped pretending its all-star game was an actual game. The latest iteration of the Pro Bowl won’t have tackle football game but instead flag football. A series of events that accumulates three points each leads up to three flag football contests. The AFC took a 9-3 lead Thursday by winning the precision passing competition, the three-event lightning round and the long drive. The NFC won in dodgeball.
Mahomes, Hurts latest Texas prep QBs on Super Bowl stage
DALLAS (AP) — Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia are set for the first Super Bowl matchup of two Texas high school quarterbacks. The football-crazy Lone Star State was once much better known for running backs such as future Pro Football Hall of Famers Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson. Retired Texas high school coach Todd Dodge was at the center of the start of the transformation of the passing game as a quarterback near Houston around 1980. Now Texas is guaranteed to be the prep home of four of the past six Super Bowl-winning QBs.
Chiefs’ Hunt, Eagles’ Lurie behind Super Bowl-winning teams
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City owner Clark Hunt and Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie are seeing sustained success. Hunt hired head coach Andy Reid after Reid had been fired by Lurie in Philly. Reid has helped the Chiefs to seven straight AFC West titles, four conference titles and one Super Bowl win. They have a chance at a second next Sunday against the Eagles. Lurie got his Super Bowl with Reid’s former offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, but eventually fired Pederson. Now he has Nick Sirianni, who got the Eagles to the wild-card round last season and the Super Bowl 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.
US skiers to don climate change-themed race suits at worlds
Ski racers Mikaela Shiffrin, Travis Ganong and the rest of the U.S. team will wear a race suit that brings awareness to climate change when they compete at the world championships in France. The mostly blue-and-white suit was designed in collaboration with apparel sponsor Kappa and the nonprofit organization Protect Our Winters. It features a design that depicts ice chunks floating in the ocean. The concept was based on a satellite photo of icebergs breaking due to high temperatures. The world championships start Monday with a women’s combined race and run through Feb. 19.