#SportsReport: Bruins top Predators; Sharks defeat Islanders
It was a record-breaking night for the Memphis Grizzlies despite playing a third straight game without injured star Ja Morant.
The Grizzlies have won the most lopsided game in NBA history, a 152-79 dismantling of the Thunder. Jaren Jackson Jr. nailed six 3-pointers and contributed a season-high 27 points, while John Konchar had 17. De’Anthony Melton scored 19 points, connecting on 8 of 10 shots, 3 of 5 from outside the arc.
The 73-point victory eclipsed Cleveland’s 148-80 win over Miami in December 1991.
Memphis shot 61% over the first three quarters, including 15 of 28 from 3-point range.
Lu Dort had a team-high 15 points in Oklahoma City’s eighth loss in a row.
Meanwhile, the Suns set a team record with their 18th consecutive win, 114-103 over the Pistons. Cam Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 19 points to help Phoenix win despite not playing leading scorer Devin Booker for the first time this season. Johnson and Payne sparked a stellar effort from the Suns bench, which finished with 48 points.
Phoenix shot 76% in the second quarter and led 69-51 by halftime.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
The Raptors have ended Milwaukee’s eight-game winning streak as Fred VanVleet scored 29 points and the Raptors took advantage of the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Bucks, 97-93. Pascal Siakam had 20 points as the Raptors won for the first time in four games and snapped a five-game home losing streak. Antetokounmpo was out because of soreness in his right calf, a day after he scored 40 points in a win over the Hornets.
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic provided all of the Bulls’ fourth-quarter points and finished with a combined 88 in their 117-115 triumph over the Knicks. DeRozan delivered 18 of his 34 points in the final period, including Chicago’s final six. LaVine and Vucevic each had 27 for the Bulls, who held on after blowing a 21-point lead.
Bryn Forbes had 18 points off the bench and the Spurs extended their winning streak to a season-high three games with a 114-83 pounding of the Trail Blazers. Doug McDermott added 16 points and Dejounte Murray had 15 points and 13 assists for San Antonio. CJ McCollum and Norman Powell each had 16 points for Portland, which had won 10 straight at home.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has been cleared to return to the team after missing one game under the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The league said today that James is not positive for COVID-19 despite a series of tests that produced conflicting results on Monday. Additional testing cleared James to play when the Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
In other NBA news:
Bucks center Brook Lopez has undergone surgery to address the back injury that has kept him from playing since their season opener. Team officials didn’t provide a timetable for his eventual return. The 33-year-old averaged 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season while helping the Bucks win the NBA title.
The Pelicans say soreness in Zion Williamson’s surgically repaired right foot has derailed plans for the 2020 All-Star forward to take part in his first full practice of the season this week. Pelicans coach Willie Green says the plan is now to rest the 2019 top overall draft choice for a few days to see if pain subsides. The Pelicans have started the season 6-18 without Williamson.
The Dallas Cowboys separated themselves from the rest of the NFC East by winning for just the second time in their last five games.
CeeDee Lamb had 122 yards from scrimmage and Tony Pollard provided a 58-yard touchdown run as the Cowboys defeated the Saints, 27-17 in New Orleans. Dak Prescott passed for 238 yards and a 1-yard touchdown to Michael Gallup as the 8-4 Cowboys won without coach Mike McCarthy and five assistants because of positive COVID-19 tests. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was the Cowboys’ acting head coach.
Dallas intercepted Saints quarterback Taysom Hill three times in the final 6:32 of the game, including defensive tackle Carlos Watkins’ pick-6 on a screen pass that made it 27-10 with 2:52 left.
Antonio Brown is among three NFL players who have been suspended immediately for three games by the league for violating COVID-19 protocols.
The punishment comes amid recent allegations that players misrepresented their vaccination status. The suspensions were announced two weeks after a Los Angeles chef told the Tampa Bay Times that Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card shortly before the start of training camp in July.
Brown, Buccaneers cornerback Mike Edwards and free agent defensive back John Franklin were found in violation of the protocols.
Also around the NFL
Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has been activated after spending 10 days on the COVID-19 reserve list, an absence that caused him to miss Sunday’s loss to San Francisco. The Vikings also got defensive tackle Michael Pierce back at practice this week, designating him for return from injured reserve.
The Florida Panthers are making a habit out of erasing three-goal deficits.
The Panthers trailed 4-1 for the second straight game before defeating the Sabres, 7-4. The rally came two days after the Cats turned a 4-1, third-period deficit into a 5-4 win over Washington.
Anton Lundell scored twice, including the go-ahead goal that helped the Panthers improve to 16-4-3. Aaron Ekblad provided two goals and an assist, while Sam Reinhart and Jonathan Huberdeau each had a goal and three assists.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
Jason Robertson scored 68 seconds in and added the go-ahead goal late in the second period of the Stars’ sixth win in a row, 3-2 versus the Blue Jackets. Tyler Seguin also scored for Dallas. Joe Pavelski and Jani Hakanpaa had two assists apiece. The Stars have outscored their opponents 21-7 during the winning streak.
Kirill Kaprizov had two goals and an assist as the Wild dumped the Devils, 5-2. Ryan Hartman had a goal and two assists for Minnesota, which has scored a league-high 64 goals in 15 games since Nov. 2. Rem Pitlick and Dmitry Kulikov also scored in the victory.
The Bruins were 2-0 winners at Nashville behind Jeremy Swayman’s 42-save performance. Jake DeBrusk scored the first goal a day after demanding a trade, beating Jusse Saros on a power play. Brandon Carlo also scored in Boston’s second win in three games.
Alex Formenton scored twice and Josh Norris broke a tie 19 seconds after the Senators lost the lead in their 3-2 win over the Hurricanes. Norris pushed in a rebound with 5:54 left and the Senators hung on for their league-low fifth victory of the season. Anton Forsberg made 47 saves for Ottawa.
Victor Hedman supplied a tiebreaking, power-play goal while the Lightning scored three straight in the third period of a 4-2 victory over the Blues. Hedman finished with two goals and an assist for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves. Ondrej Palat and Anthony Cirelli also tallied for the Bolts.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots and blanked Alex Ovechkin in the shootout as the Blackhawks dumped the Capitals, 4-3. Patrick Kane furnished the lone shootout goal and Seth Jones tied it midway through the third period. Jones and Alex DeBrincat each finished with a goal and an assist to help Chicago drop Washington to 0-7 in games decided after regulation.
The Sharks handed the Islanders their ninth consecutive loss as William Karlsson tallied 39 seconds into overtime to complete San Jose’s 2-1 victory. Nick Bonino also scored and Timo Meier had two assists for the Sharks, who have won three straight and five of six. The Isles had lost eight straight in regulation and are winless in their first five games in UBS Arena.
Cale Makar notched the tiebreaking goal in the second period of Colorado’s 4-1 decision over the Canadiens. Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche rebounded from Wednesday’s 8-3 loss at Toronto. Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog also scored and Jonas Johansson made 19 saves for the Avs.
Andrew Mangiapane and Milan Lucic furnished power-play goals in the Flames' fourth straight win, 3-2 at Los Angeles. Matthew Tkachuk had a goal, Jacob Markstrom made 40 saves and the Flames improved to a league-leading 10-2-2 on the road.
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington has entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. General manager Doug Armstrong said Binnington tested positive for the coronavirus, though it was not clear if Binnington had any symptoms.
Binnington joins forward Tyler Bozak as Blues players in protocol.
In other NHL news:
The Sabres have addressed their goaltending depth by acquiring Malcolm Subban from the Blackhawks for future considerations. The move became necessary when goaltender Dustin Tokarski was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Subban had a 2-2-1 record and 3.38 goals-against average in five AHL games this season.
Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall is stepping down after the Cavaliers’ bowl game. The school made the announcement without explaining why the 55-year-old Mendenhall was leaving the school after a 6-6 regular season. He said only that he had to step away from college football.
Mendenhall went 36-38 at Virginia, leading the Cavaliers to five straight bowl appearances and their only Atlantic Coast Conference title game appearance two years ago.
Also in college football:
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez says he will enter the transfer portal, another blow for the struggling Cornhuskers. The three-time captain just finished his best season, completing 61.8% of his throws for 2,863 yards with 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Washington’s basketball game at No. 11 Arizona scheduled for Thursday night has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Huskies program. The game was set to be the opener of conference play for both teams.
Washington had no announcement on whether its home game against No. 5 UCLA scheduled for Sunday would be played.
Hours into Major League Baseball’s first work stoppage in 26 years, Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark presented diametrically opposed views of each side’s negotiating positions that point to a lengthy lockout.
In separate news conferences less than half a day into baseball’s ninth work stoppage, Manfred said the union’s proposal for greater free agency and wider salary arbitration would damage small-market teams. Clark, the first former player to head the union, accused Manfred of “misrepresentations” in his letter to fans.
Owners locked out players at 12:01 a.m. Thursday following the expiration of the sport’s five-year collective bargaining agreement.
Rory McIlroy is playing so well he wishes the year wasn’t about to end. Coming off a win in Las Vegas and a close call in Dubai, McIlroy opened with a 66 in the Hero World Challenge. That gives him a share of the lead with Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer at Albany Golf Club.
The stand the women’s professional tennis tour is taking in China over concern about Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai’s well-being could cost the WTA millions of dollars. It also could end up being unique among sports bodies.
China has held calls with Peng to show she is doing well — but never raise the matter of the sexual assault allegations she made against a former Chinese government official. The accusation was scrubbed from Chinese social media and Peng has dropped out of public view.
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