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#SportsReport: Nets top Washington; Hornets defeat Celtics

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NBA:

Joel Embiid tied his career high for points in a game despite playing just 27 minutes.

Embiid torched the Orlando Magic for 50 points as the Philadelphia 76ers coasted to a 123-110 victory. He also had 12 rebounds and three blocks while making 17 of 23 field goals and 15 of 17 free throws. The four-time All-Star and MVP candidate played just 58 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Tobias Harris added 21 points in the 76ers’ ninth win in 11 games.

Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks in a 126-114 decision over the Grizzlies. Khris Middleton chipped in 27 points against the short-handed Grizzlies, who were without Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane in losing for the second time in 14 games. Ja Morant had 33 points and 14 assists, and Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 29 for Memphis in the opener of a four-game road swing.

The Bulls halted their four-game skid by closing on a 14-2 run to beat the Cavaliers, 117-104. DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 12 rebounds to the victory. Cleveland pulled within 103-102 on a 3-pointer by former Bulls player Lauri Markkanen and free throw by Isaac Okoro.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 of his 30 points in the first half of the Nets’ 119-118 win at Washington. LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 points for Brooklyn, which led by as many as 16. James Harden had 18 in helping the Nets win for only the fifth time in their last 12 games and snap a four-game losing streak at Washington.

Caleb Martin dropped in 26 points and Bam Adebayo added 20 with 11 rebounds in the Heat’s 104-92 victory over the Trail Blazers. Max Strus scored 15 points for Miami, including a 3-pointer that put the Heat up 10 with 2:01 remaining. Kyle Lowry missed the game for personal reasons and Tyler Herro entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday.

Garrison Mathews furnished 23 points, including five 3-pointers in the Rockets’ third win in four games, 116-111 versus the Jazz. Jae’sean Tate contributed 18 points and Eric Gordon scored 16. Bojan Bogdanovic had a team-high 29 points and Rudy Gobert had 23 points and nine rebounds for Utah.

Luka Doncic scored a season-high 41 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:01 to play in the Mavericks’ 102-98 downing of the Raptors. Doncic also tied a season best with 14 rebounds and Kristaps Porzingis contributed 18 points and seven boards. Dallas has won four straight and 10 of 11.

Nikola Jokic notched his third straight triple-double with 49 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nuggets outlasted the Clippers, 130-128 in overtime. Jokic completed his 10th triple-double of the season by feeding Aaron Gordon for a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left. Gordon made his fourth 3 of the game to give him 28 points.

The Hornets earned a 111-102 win over the Celtics as LaMelo Ball recorded a triple double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Terry Rozier had a team-high 28 points, Miles Bridges had 22 and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 in the Hornets’ ninth win in 12 games. Dennis Schröder paced Boston with 24 points, but Jayson Tatum had just 12 on 5 of 19 shooting.

The Pacers won for just the second time in 12 games as Caris LeVert provided 22 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter of a 111-104 victory against the Lakers. Domantas Sabonis had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Pacers snapped their four-game losing streak. LeBron James finished with 30 points and 12 boards, including the 10,000th rebound of his career.

Dejounte Murray recorded his eighth triple-double of the season by delivering 23 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds in the Spurs’ 118-96 rout of the Thunder. McDermott scored 20 points and Devin Vassell had 19 for San Antonio, which hit 15 3-pointers.

Trae Young scored 23 of his 37 points in the third quarter to sparking the Hawks’ comeback in a 134-122 decision over the Timberwolves. Young also had 14 assists and Atlanta opened the second half with a 20-2 run after Minnesota carried a 73-61 lead into halftime. De’Andre Hunter had 22 points for Atlanta and D’Angelo Russell led Minnesota with 31 points.

Cory Joseph made a 14-foot jumper with 25.9 seconds remaining to cap a game-ending 11-0 run that rallied the Pistons past the Kings. 133-131. Saddiq Bey had 30 points and seven rebounds to help the Pistons (11-33) win their fourth in seven games.

Three NBA teams shuffled their rosters through one trade that was completed on Wednesday.

The Nuggets acquired veteran wing player Bryn Forbes from San Antonio, the Spurs received Juancho Hernangomez from Boston and the Celtics picked up injured players Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier from Denver.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

Wednesday’s top-25 men’s basketball schedule included a pair of upsets.

Justin Lewis buried a 3 from the top of the arc with 11.5 seconds left to send Marquette to a 57-54 win over No. 11 Villanova. The bucket ended the Wildcats’ 29-game on-campus winning streak.

Lewis hit five 3s and scored 21 points for the Golden Eagles.

Eric Dixon led Villanova with 15 points.

Alabama has handed 13th-ranked LSU its second straight loss.

Keon Ellis made two free throws with 5 seconds left as the Crimson Tide held off the Tigers, 70-67. The Tide led by eight with 1:08 remaining, but Brandon Murray hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to help LSU get within 68-67.

Jaden Shackelford led the 12-6 Crimson Tide with 26 points, while Jahvon Quinerly scored 17.

Murray scored 19 points for the Tigers.

UAlbany topped UMBC, 66-54, Vermont defeated NJIT, 83-57, and Hartford beat New Hampshire, 69-57. On the women’s side, UAlbany defeated UMBC, 69-40, Vermont bested NJIT, 71-49, Dayton held off UMass, 69-60, and New Hampshire squeaked by Hartford, 69-66.

Also on the top-25 men’s basketball slate:

Walker Kessler had 15 points and six blocked shots to lead a half-dozen scorers in double figures for No. 2 Auburn in an 83-60 rout of Georgia. The 17-1 Tigers built a 25-point halftime lead and earned their 14th straight win, tying David for the nation’s longest current streak. Auburn is 6-0 in the SEC for the first time in 63 years.

Sahvir Wheeler scored 12 points and No. 12 Kentucky used a strong second half to outlast Texas A&M, 64-58. The victory extends Kentucky’s winning streak to four games and snaps an eight-game winning streak for the Aggies.

Jack Nunge provided 15 of his 23 points in the second half, and No. 20 Xavier rallied for a 68-67 victory over DePaul. Colby Jones had 13 points for the 14-3 Musketeers, who trailed by as many as 12. Paul Scruggs finished with eight points and seven assists.

OLYMPICS:

NBC will have a smaller presence in Beijing next month.

The network will not be sending its announcers and most hosts to the Beijing Olympics due to continued concerns about rising COVID-19 cases worldwide and China’s strict policy about those who test positive.

NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes said in a phone interview the network no longer plans to send announcing teams for alpine skiing, figure skating and snowboarding to China. Those had been among the handful of announcers expected to travel, but NBC’s plans changed over the past couple of weeks.

It is the second straight Games for which the broadcast teams will work mostly out of NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, rather than the host city.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL:

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is returning for another season after leading the Bulldogs to their first national championship in 41 years.

Bennett began his Georgia career as a walk-on. He then transferred to a Mississippi junior college before returning to the Bulldogs. As a senior in 2021, Bennett replaced JT Daniels as the starter and then kept the job.

Bennett will take advantage of the NCAA’s “Super Senior” rule to use the added year of eligibility granted in 2020 because of the pandemic.

NFL:

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Mayfield initially was hurt in Week 2 and continued to play while wearing a protective harness.

His uneven season has led to speculation the Browns might look for another quarterback. However, last week general manager Andrew Berry said the team is confident Mayfield will bounce back.

Mayfield said the surgery “went great” and that he’s looking forward to “the road to recovery.

In other NFL news:

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians says he’ll appeal a $50,000 fine imposed by the NFL for slapping the helmet of one of his players during last Sunday’s 31-15 NFC wild-card playoff victory over the Eagles. Arians said he was trying to prevent safety Andrew Adams from drawing a penalty for pulling players out of a pile when he stepped a short distance off the sideline and struck the player’s helmet with his hand before trying to push Adams away from Eagles players. Arians said on Monday that he didn’t feel he had done anything wrong.

NHL:

The New York Rangers won for the seventh time in nine games by erasing a pair of two-goal deficits against Toronto.

Ryan Strome scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period of the Rangers’ 6-3 victory over the Maple Leafs. Ryan Reaves scored twice and Adam Fox had two goals and an assist as the Rangers reclaimed the Metropolitan Division lead by two points over Carolina. The Hurricanes have four games in hand.

Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist for the Leafs, who are 2-2-1 since a four-game winning streak.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

The Avalanche ran their point streak to 10 games as Pavel Francouz made 34 saves for his second career shutout, a 2-0 decision over the Ducks. Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist as Colorado moved to 15-1-2 in its last 18 games.

The Coyotes posted a 4-1 win over the Devils as Lawson Crouse scored a goal and added an assist. Dysin Mayo, Travis Boyd and Johan Larsson also scored Karel Vejmelka made 35 saves in Arizona’s third win in five games.

Despite postponing more than 100 games for coronavirus-related reasons, the NHL is still on track to complete the regular season on time by the end of April.

While it came at the expense of players competing in the Beijing Olympics, the new schedule keeps the top hockey league in the world on pace to award the Stanley Cup before July 1.

The NHL has revealed new dates for 98 postponed games, keeping the initial target date of April 29 for the end of the regular season.

A total of 104 games have been postponed this season, including dozens linked to attendance restrictions in Canada.

In other NHL news:

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov has been suspended two games for kneeing Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers during Tuesday’s game. Orlov was not penalized for the knee-on-knee hit late in regulation of the Capitals’ game against the Jets. Ehlers was injured on the play and is considered out indefinitely.

TENNIS:

Garbine Muguruza’s bid for a third Grand Slam title has ended quickly.

The No. 3 Muguruza has become the highest-seeded player to lose a match at this year’s Australian Open, bounced in the second round by Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3. Muguruza made 33 unforced errors, more than twice as many as Cornet’s 16.

Also at Melbourne:

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka shrugged off a shaky serve and 19 double-faults to beat Wang Xinyu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 and advance to the third round.

Sam Stosur has finished her 20th and last Australian Open in the singles main draw. The 2011 U.S. Open champion lost her second-round match 6-2, 6-2 to No. 10 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, her sometimes doubles partner.

Dan Evans moved into the third round at Melbourne Park when Arthur Rinderknech pulled out with an injured wrist before their scheduled match.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR ASSAULT SETTLEMENT:

The University of Michigan has announced a $490 million settlement with more than 1,000 people who say they were sexually assaulted by a sports doctor during his nearly four-decade career at the school.

The university said 1,050 people will share in the financial settlement, the latest in several large payouts made by American universities following accusations of repeated sexual abuse by employees. Individuals and their attorneys will determine how to split $460 million, with no input from the university, the school said in a statement. An additional $30 million will be set aside for future claims.

Board of Regents Chair Jordan Acker told reporters that the settlement reached Tuesday night will resolve all survivor claims.

NCAA:

The NCAA has adopted a sport-by-sport approach for transgender athletes, bringing the organization in line with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.

Under the new guidelines, approved by the NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday, transgender participation for each sport will be determined by the policy for the sport’s national governing body, subject to review and recommendation by an NCAA committee to the Board of Governors.

When there is no national governing body, that sport’s international federation policy would be in place. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would take over.

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