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Barrett scores 30, helps Knicks hold off Heat 106-104


R.J. Barrett rebounded from a late-game benching with 30 points, Isaiah Hartenstein made big plays on both ends of the floor in the final minute and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 106-104. New York pulled out the victory after Erik Spoelstra correctly challenged a call that turned a Heat foul into a Knicks turnover. But Tyler Herro’s potential winning 3-point attempt bounced off the rim. Julius Randle added 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who pulled within a game of Miami for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, the final guaranteed playoff spot. Bam Adebayo finished with 32 points and nine rebounds for the Heat.

LeBron James had 26 points and pulled within 63 points of becoming the NBA’s career scoring champ as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 112-111. James gave Los Angeles its first lead on a 3-pointer with 2:35 left in the game, and Anthony Davis’ 11-footer with 35.1 seconds to go proved the decisive basket. James has 38,325 career points, just behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA’s scoring record of 38,387 points. Aaron Nesmith scored a career-high 24 points, newly minted All-Star Tyrese Haliburton had 26 and Myles Turner added 20 for Indiana. When Buddy Hield’s 17-foot jumper clanked off the rim in the closing seconds, Indiana lost its fourth in a row.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 54 points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-105 for their sixth consecutive victory. Antetokounmpo also had 18 rebounds. The Greek star reached the 50-point mark for the third time in his last 11 games. He had a career-high 55 on Jan. 3 against Washington and scored 50 in only 30 minutes Sunday against New Orleans. The Clippers lost for the second time in eight games and failed to capitalize on a couple of Milwaukee turnovers in the closing seconds. Kawhi Leonhard missed an 18-footer in the final second while being guarded by Wesley Matthews with help from Pat Connaughton.

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Portland’s Damian Lillard had to have known they were going to the All-Star Game. Players averaging more than 30 points per game typically don’t have to worry about not hearing their name called. Other players — like Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton and Utah’s Lauri Markkanen — had reason for concern. NBA coaches made them very happy. And probably made a few other guys very unhappy.


The AFC took a 9-3 lead over the NFC after the first day of skills competitions at the Pro Bowl. The AFC also won the lightning round, a series of competitions that included a water balloon toss, as well as the long drive contest. The NFC got on the scoreboard at the end of the day by winning the dodgeball tournament. Four skills events take place Sunday. Then three flag football games will be played, the first two each worth six points. Then the points will be combined with those accumulated from the skills events for the score entering the third and final flag football game. The NFL changed the Pro Bowl format this year, replacing the traditional all-star game with a flag football contest and series of other skills events.

New England fans are “clamoring” for Tom Brady to retire as a member of the Patriots, and team owner Robert Kraft said he would like nothing more than to grant their wish. Kraft affirmed Thursday that the Patriots are keenly interested in bringing Brady back to New England on a one-day contract, after the 45-year-old quarterback said Wednesday he was ending his unprecedented NFL career following three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That would enable Brady to formally exit the league as a member of the franchise with which he spent 20 extremely successful years. “I’d do it tomorrow,” Kraft said when asked about it during an appearance Thursday on “CNN This Morning.”

One-day contracts, in this context, are ceremonial documents that have been signed through the years by athletes who enjoyed standout careers for a particular franchise before finishing their playing days elsewhere. Jerry Rice, to name a comparable superstar, put his name to one in 2006 with the San Francisco 49ers, for whom he set NFL receiving records over 16 years before moving on to brief stints with the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks. Running back Emmitt Smith returned to the Dallas Cowboys to bid farewell in 2005 after playing his final two seasons for the Arizona Cardinals. On a more recent and less historically elite note, defensive end Ryan Kerrigan signed a one-day contract with Washington last year following an 11-year career that ended with one season in Philadelphia.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has been charged in a warrant with pointing a gun at a woman and threatening her. Mixon faces a misdemeanor charge of aggravated menacing, according to documents filed Thursday in Hamilton County Municipal Court and obtained by The Associated Press. No attorney is listed for him in court records. According to the warrant, Mixon pointed the gun at the woman and told her, “You should be popped in the face. I should shoot you, the police (can’t) get me.” The incident occurred on Jan. 21, the day before the Bengals beat the Buffalo Bills in a divisional-round playoff game.

Patrick Mahomes strolled through Arrowhead Stadium without any issues with his injured right ankle on Thursday, and the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback expects to practice fully in the next 10 days leading up to the Super Bowl. The injury news was not quite as clear-cut for other Chiefs leading up to the game against the Eagles. Wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney did not practice Thursday, while Mecole Hardman is likely out for the Super Bowl with his pelvis injury. L'Jarius Sneed also did not work out while he remains in the concussion protocol.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is ready for a big matchup in the Super Bowl. The Eagles can win their second Super Bowl in franchise history with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Hurts and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes are both Texas natives. They are both NFL MVP finalists. And they will be the first Black QBs to face off in a Super Bowl. The Chiefs beat the Eagles in October 2021 when Hurts threw for 387 yards and two touchdowns. Mahomes threw for five.


Hank Lebioda knows as well as anyone about change, and not just the Pebble Beach weather. He's the leader after the opening round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Lebioda had an 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula. Because he played multiple-course rotations the last two weeks, this was his sixth different course in six rounds. But the real change was the weather. The cold and wind arrived without warning. The wind was bending flagsticks. Will Gordon was tied for the lead at Pebble Beach until he finished bogey-bogey-triple bogey in the wind. Lebioda leads by one over three players.


Tennis star Nick Kyrgios KEERI OHS.has pleaded guilty in an Australian court to assaulting a former girlfriend during an argument in his hometown of Canberra in January 2021. Magistrate Beth Campbell didn't record a conviction against the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up for reasons including that the offense was at the low end of seriousness for a common assault, and was not premeditated. Campbell described it as an act of “stupidity” and “frustration.” A psychologist told the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court that Kyrgios had suffered severe depression, suicidal ideation and insomnia in the past but his mental had improved.

The Empire State Winter Games

The Empire State Winter Games began Thursday night in Lake Placid. The games will go on despite the cold forecast, although several competitions are being rescheduled. About 2,000 athletes and their families are in Lake Placid and surrounding communities for the competition. The event runs through Sunday but significant wind chill forecasts have led to some events being rescheduled to a later start time, postponed or canceled. Adirondack Sports Council spokesperson Jon Lundin says the safety of athletes, volunteers and fans is of utmost importance, Updated schedules will be posted at the Empire State Winter Games website. A link is at wamc.org.

David Guistina is the host of Capital Connection, Legislative Gazette, and Morning Edition and the producer of the Media Project on WAMC.