Mac McClung, now the NBA dunk champ, wasn’t an unknown
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mac McClung was not exactly an unknown. Long before he won the dunk contest at NBA All-Star Saturday, he was a YouTube phenomenon. It’s impossible to add up all the views that videos of McClung had gotten, but it was in the hundreds of millions. Yet it all seems different now, after this 6-foot-2 boyish-looking guard from a small town in Virginia and with only two NBA games on his resume became the league’s dunk champion. McClung is on a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers and playing in the G League. He finally brought buzz back to an event that had been more criticized than celebrated over the last few years.
Love picks Miami; AP source says Heat also to sign Zeller
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kevin Love says has chosen to sign with the Miami Heat for the remainder of the season once he clears waivers. And a person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Heat also are finalizing plans to add another big man in free agent center Cody Zeller. That deal is expected to be completed before the team gathers in Miami to begin practice following the All-Star break. That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the Zeller contract has not been signed.
Tiger Woods gets some momentum with weekend 67 at Riviera
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The cheers sounded as though someone was making a charge at Riviera. It was just Tiger Woods. But he gave thousands something to yell about. Never mind that he lost ground to the lead and and was 12 behind Jon Rahm at the Genesis Invitational. Woods had a 67. That’s his lowest score on a Saturday since he won in Japan in the fall of 2019. The sample size is small because Woods played only three times last year while recovering form his car crash. But it was his fourth day walking, and his game only got better.
AP source: Brittney Griner re-signs with Phoenix Mercury
Brittney Griner is headed back to the Phoenix Mercury. Griner, who was a free agent, re-signed with the Mercury on a one-year contract according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because no announcement has been made. The 32-year-old had said she would return to Phoenix in a social media post in December after she returned home from her 10-month ordeal in Russia. The 6-foot-9 center last played for the Mercury in 2021 and helped the team reach the WNBA Finals. She averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds that season.
Silver speaks on load management, TV deal at NBA All-Star
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association clearly do not agree on everything, as evidenced by the fact that there’s no new Collective Bargaining Agreement yet. One thing they do agree on: A record-setting trade deadline this season is a good thing. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in his annual news conference preceding All-Star Saturday events that he felt the robust amount of player movement – 12 deals involving 24 teams and 49 players on trade-deadline day, Feb. 9, alone – only speaks to how many teams think they can make deep playoff runs this season and ultimately compete for a title.
NBA All-Star Game: All you need to know about Sunday’s event
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The 72nd NBA All-Star Game takes place Sunday night in Salt Lake City. Captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will pick their teams before the game, leaving Team LeBron coach Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets and Team Giannis coach Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics about five minutes to come up with an actual game plan. Six of the All-Stars are rookies.
Neymar leaves field injured in PSG’s match against Lille
PARIS (AP) — PSG forward Neymar was forced off the field on a stretcher after twisting his right ankle in a league match against Lille. Neymar picked up the injury at the start of the second half after the Brazil forward scored PSG’s second goal before the interval. PSG led 2-1 when Neymar got injured following contact with Lille’s Benjamin Andre. Neymar damaged the same ankle at the World Cup in Qatar. PSG coach Christophe Galtier said Neymar is undergoing tests “to know the extent” of the injury.
Hurricanes top Capitals 4-1 in Carolina’s 1st outdoor game
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Martin Necas had a goal and two assists to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Saturday night in their first NHL Stadium Series outdoor game. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Paul Stastny and Teuvo Teravainen also scored for Carolina, which completed a three-game season sweep of Washington. Tom Wilson scored for the Capitals, who lost their fourth straight. It marked their third straight without captain Alex Ovechkin, who is away after the death of his father. The game was held at Carter-Finley Stadium, home to North Carolina State’s college football team. It drew a buzzing sellout crowd of nearly 57,000.
Spartans pregame ceremony honors 3 killed in campus shooting
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State women’s basketball players wiped away tears as they stood shoulder to shoulder during a moment of silence before losing to No. 8 Maryland 66-61 on Saturday, less than a week after three students were killed in a shooting on campus. Diamond Miller scored 29 points and helped the Terrapins hold on for the win after leading by 16 points in the second half. The Spartans rallied to have a shot at pulling off an upset, coming up short after DeeDee Hagerman missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left.
Spartans lose to Michigan in their first game since shooting
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan showed its support for rival Michigan State with a poignant pregame ceremony before the Wolverines took an 84-72 win on Saturday night, the first game for the Spartan men since a shooting on the their campus that killed three students and wounded five others. A long moment of silence was broken by the Michigan band playing the Spartans’ alma mater — “MSU Shadows” — while Crisler Arena was dimly lit with green and white lights from LED wristbands that were given to fans. The Wolverines broke the final tie of the game with a 12-0 game-ending run.