James Harden, Tyrese Maxey lead 76ers past Nets, 137-133
James Harden hit two 3-pointers and had a driving layup in the final four minutes against his former Brooklyn teammates and the Philadelphia 76ers stretched their winning streak to six games, outscoring the Nets 137-133 on Wednesday night. Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers with 27 points, and Joel Embiid had 26. Harden added 23, and Philadelphia was 35 of 36 from the foul line. Seth Curry had a season-high 32 points for Brooklyn. Kyrie Irving had 30 for the Nets, who have lost five of the last seven games without Kevin Durant. The game was the first regular-season matchup between Embiid and former teammate Ben Simmons since a February 2022 trade that sent Simmons to Brooklyn for Harden.
Damian Lillard scored a season-high 60 points, hitting nine 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 134-124 on Wednesday night. Lillard tied for second-most in the NBA this season. Donovan Mitchell had 71 in an overtime game for Cleveland against Chicago on Jan. 3, and Luka Doncic scored 60 in Dallas’ OT victory over New York on Dec. 27. Jerami Grant added 19 points to help Portland win its second straight game. Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 24 points. He had a layup followed by a tip shot with 5:20 left that got Utah to 115-108.
Jordan Poole made the winning layup with a second remaining to cap a crazy, back-and-forth final minute, and the Golden State Warriors fought back to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-120 on Wednesday night. Brandon Clarke had a tying dunk with 6.3 seconds left for Memphis on a pass from Ja Morant after Klay Thompson’s 3-pointer with 14.6 remaining put the Warriors ahead. Thompson then missed a rushed baseline jumper with five seconds to play, but Golden State got the ball out of bounds. Stephen Curry outdueled Morant and scored 34 points before being ejected with 1:14 remaining in another thrilling game between the rivals who played last year in the Western Conference semifinals won by the Warriors.
Anthony Davis scored 21 points in his return from a right foot injury, LeBron James added 20 and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 113-104. Davis was 7 of 15 from the field and also had 12 rebounds in 26 minutes for his 19th double-double in 26 games played this season. Patrick Beverley scored a season high 18 and Rui Hachimura added 12 in his Lakers debut. Keldon Johnson had 25 points and Zach Collins scored 16 for San Antonio, which has won just five times in 22 road games.
Mitch Marner scored 19 seconds into overtime and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders. Pontus Holmberg and Timothy Liljegren had the goals in regulation for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov stopped 27 shots. Filip Chytil scored twice for New York, and Igor Shesterkin made 32 saves. Marner weaved his way past all three Rangers skaters in the 3-on-3 extra period after Toronto won the faceoff at center ice. He cut hard across the crease and tucked his 18th goal of the season past an outstretched Shesterkin.
Claude Giroux’s second-period power-play goal was the game-winner as the Ottawa Senators tripped the New York Islanders 2-1 on Wednesday night. Shane Pinto also scored for the Senators, who snapped a two-game losing streak with the victory. Anton Forsberg, who stopped 21 shots, was called into action in the second period after Cam Talbot, who made 14 saves, left the game with a lower-body injury. The Islanders continue to struggle as their winless streak reached six games. Brock Nelson scored the lone goal for New York, while Semyon Varlamov stopped 36 shots.
Jalen Hurts, Justin Jefferson and Patrick Mahomes are finalists for The Associated Press 2022 NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards. The winners will be announced at NFL Honors on Feb. 9. A nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league completed voting before the start of the playoffs. Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Bengals QB Joe Burrow also are finalists for MVP. San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons are the finalists for AP Defensive Player of the Year.
The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes went through a morning walkthrough Wednesday and intends to practice as usual, raising expectations that the All-Pro quarterback will not be slowed by his sprained right ankle in this weekend’s AFC title game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mahomes said the injury is similar to one he played through early in the 2019 season, when he came back the following week to throw four touchdown passes in a win over the Raiders. The only difference is it’s the opposite ankle. The Chiefs and Bengals play Sunday night for a spot in the Super Bowl.
Brock Purdy’s NFL career started with the moniker of “Mr. Irrelevant” and the weeklong trip to Newport Beach to celebrate the player picked last in the draft. With one more win, Purdy’s rookie season in the NFL will end on the brightest stage of all as a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl for the San Francisco 49ers. It’s been an improbable nine-month journey from the trip to Disneyland, golf tournament, and a roast where he received the Lowsman Trophy as the last draft pick to the NFC title game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Purdy will try to become the first rookie quarterback ever to reach the Super Bowl.
Jon Rahm struggled to a 1-over 73 at Torrey Pines South while Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai and Brent Grant all shot 8-under 64 on the more forgiving North Course to tie for the first-round lead at the Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm is ranked No. 3 in the world and trying for his third win in as many starts. He made a double bogey on the par-4 seventh hole and was continually left frustrated on the harder South Course. Rahm earned his first PGA Tour victory at Torrey Pines in 2017 and then won the U.S. Open on the South Course in 2021.
WORLD CUP SOCCER
Brandon Vazquez scored to lead a U.S. lineup with seven starters making their international debuts, but the Americans lost 2-1 to Serbia in their first match since the World Cup. Veljko Simic scored the go-ahead goal in the opening minute of the second half for Serbia, which gave debuts to 14 players. Eight Americans in all debuted during a lively friendly that felt like spring training. The American team is in transition with interim head coach Anthony Hudson running the show while U.S. Soccer Federation determines the future of coach Gregg Berhalter, whose contract expired last month.
WORLD CUP SKIING
Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t wait long to add to her record total of World Cup wins. Shiffrin added her 84th win in another giant slalom on the same course a day after securing record victory No. 83. Shiffrin again led from start to finish by dominating the first run down the steep Erta course and then adding to her advantage in the second run. Shiffrin finished a massive 0.82 seconds ahead of two-time Olympic silver medalist Ragnhild Mowinckel and 1.19 ahead of Olympic champion Sara Hector. She's now within two wins of the overall record of 86 wins held by Ingemar Stenmark.
Men's Doubles Semifinals: Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski beat Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6-3, 5-7, 6-2; Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler beat No. 8 Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic will face Tommy Paul in the Australian Open men's semifinals. The other semifinal Friday is between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov. Djokovic is on a 26-match winning streak at Melbourne Park and has been particularly dominant in recent contests: He has won his past 11 sets and dropped only 27 games in that span. He is seeking a 10th Australian Open title and 22nd Grand Slam championship overall. He's also a combined 18-0 in semifinals and finals in Melbourne. Paul is participating in his first major semifinal. Tsitsipas was the runner-up to Djokovic at the 2021 French Open. Khachanov has never reached a Slam final.
Women's Singles Semifinals: No. 22 Elena Rybakina vs. No. 24 Victoria Azarenka; No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka vs. Magda Linette.
In the mixed doubles final, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will play Rafael Matos and Luisa Stefani. The 36-year-old Mirza is playing in her last Grand Slam tournament before she plans to retire next month. She made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open and won the mixed doubles title at Melbourne Park with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009, one of her six major doubles trophies.