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Clippers surge late, overcome Thomas' 47 to top Nets 124-116


Paul George scored 29 points, Kawhi Leonard added 24 and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a career-high 47 points from Cam Thomas in his first start to beat the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 124-116. Ivica Zubac added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who won for the eighth time in 10 games and finished 4-2 on their six-game Eastern Conference road trip. Thomas, who scored 44 to rally the Nets past Washington on Saturday, was even better on the day the Nets completed the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Dallas. But Los Angeles outscored Brooklyn 25-9 over the final 6:20.

Kyrie Irving is a member of the Dallas Mavericks with the trade from Brooklyn becoming official. The mercurial guard who now will be paired with fellow All-Star Luka Doncic could make his Dallas debut Wednesday at the Los Angeles Clippers. Doncic could be out against the Clippers with a heel injury. Whenever the All-Stars do get on the court together, Doncic and Irving instantly become one of the NBA’s top duos in a tightly packed Western Conference.

Jayson Tatum started slow and finished strong with 34 points, leading the Boston Celtics to a 111-99 win over the Detroit Pistons. The All-Star forward missed his first five shots and had as many fouls as field goals after missing 10 shots in the first half. Tatum made three 3-pointers and an array of driving layups in the third, scoring 18 points in the quarter to turn a seven-point halftime lead into a 18-point cushion. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for the Pistons, who have won just one-fourth of their game

Klay Thompson scored 42 points with a season-high 12 3-pointers, Jordan Poole added 21 points and 12 assists starting in Stephen Curry’s place, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-114. Thompson sat down for the night to a roaring ovation with 4:41 left to finish 15 for 22 from the floor and 12 of 16 on 3s. Thompson now has eight games with 10 or more 3-pointers, second in NBA history behind Curry’s 22. Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points in Golden State’s first game since reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry injured his left leg during Saturday’s win against Dallas.

Mortgage executive and former Michigan State guard Mat Ishbia is approved to become the new majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The NBA’s board of governors approved his plan to purchase the controlling stake of those franchises from Robert Sarver. The vote was 29-0, with the Cleveland Cavaliers abstaining, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the vote had not yet been announced publicly. Ishbia agreed on Dec. 20 to the deal, one that put the total value of the Suns and Mercury at $4 billion.


Kyle Palmieri and Mathew Barzal scored for the New York Islanders in their first game since they acquired All-Star center Bo Horvat, leading them to a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Horvat made his debut a day after the Islanders signed him to an eight-year contract worth $68 million. The 27-year-old Horvat was chosen as an All-Star and played for the Pacific Division on Saturday. Horvat had already tied his career high with 31 goals this season in 49 games with Vancouver. Nicolas Deslauriers scored for the Flyers.

Alexis Lafreniere scored 1:37 into overtime and Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves as the New York Rangers beat the Calgary Flames 5-4. Lafreniere led a 2-on-1 rush and then tracked down the rebound of Mika Zibanejad’s shot, beating netminder Jacob Markstrom for his seventh goal this season. That ended a frenzied game that was tied four times and featured several fights following big hits — two by Rangers captain Jacob Trouba. Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane and Michael Stone scored two minutes apart early in the third period to give the Flames a 4-3 lead, but Mika Zibanejad scored his second goal of the game to tie it for the fourth time at 12:55. Filip Chytil also scored twice for the Rangers, who improved to 9-2-3 in their last 14 games.

Jesper Bratt scored on a power play with 43 seconds left in overtime and the New Jersey Devils beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 on Monday night after squandering a three-goal lead. Jack Hughes and Ondrej Palat scored two goals apiece and Vitek Vanecek made 26 saves in winning his 10th straight game for New Jersey, which is 9-1-1 in its last 11 games. Andrei Kuzmenko, Luke Schenn, Curtis Lazar and Phillip Di Giuseppe scored for the Canucks, who were playing for the first time since trading captain Bo Horvat to the Islanders.


Nick Sirianni answered questions about Rocky, Santa Claus and even which of his players on the Philadelphia Eagles he’d want to date his 5-year-old daughter when she grows up. Welcome to Super Bowl opening night where football talk gives way to the wacky. The circus atmosphere that kicks off the NFL’s biggest week has returned for the first time since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced teams to meet the media on video conferences the past two seasons. Sirianni and the Eagles took the stage first at the home of the Phoenix Suns. “Fly, Eagles, Fly” chants greeted players and coaches before they spent an hour answering wide-ranging questions from more than 2,000 media members.

Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is thrilled young aspiring football players all over the world will get to watch two Black quarterbacks face each other for the first time in the Super Bowl. He’s also pleased they get to watch two really, really good quarterbacks. There are many storylines for this Super Bowl but the duel between Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is right at the top of the list. Mahomes said he's appreciative of the Black quarterbacks who came before him and who helped create the opportunities he has now.

Tom Brady told Colin Cowherd during Monday’s episode of “The Herd” on FS1 and Fox Sports Radio that he will not start his broadcasting career with Fox until the 2024 season. The seven-time Super Bowl champion — who retired last week after a 23-year career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — signed a 10-year deal with Fox last May to become the network’s top analyst when he decided to retire for good. Brady is expected to eventually join Kevin Burkhardt on Fox’s top team. Brady is still not expected to be a part of Fox’s Super Bowl pregame coverage on Sunday.

Sean Payton is returning to the sideline after a year in the broadcast studio. The Super Bowl-winning head coach of the New Orleans Saints will work one more week for Fox Sports as an analyst at the Super Bowl before diving into his new job as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Payton said he's picking the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday to beat the Kansas City Chiefs because he doesn't want anyone else in the AFC West winning anything. Payton is bringing an old-school way of running things to Denver and that's going to mean some changes for Russell Wilson.

The Minnesota Vikings have hired Brian Flores as their defensive coordinator. The Vikings are trying to revive a once-dominant unit that ranked among the NFL’s worst last season. Flores was a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach this season for Pittsburgh. He spent three years as head coach in Miami prior to that. Flores, who is Black, was fired by the Dolphins. He then filed a class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination by the team and the NFL. Flores was an assistant for eight seasons for New England’s defense before he went to Miami.


Justin Rose is a PGA Tour winner again after four years. Rose made short work on a short Monday with three birdies in four holes. That sent him to a 66 and a three-shot victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Rose had not won since Torrey Pines four years ago. Now he's headed to the Masters again. The tournament was delayed to a Monday finish because of high wind on Saturday. Rose benefited from that stoppage of play. And he was helped by hardly any wind over the final nine holes he played Monday. Brendon Todd and Brandon Wu finished second.


American skier Mikaela Shiffrin failed to finish the slalom portion of the women’s combined event on the opening day of the world championships. Shiffrin straddled the third-to-last gate while appearing to be close to beating first-run leader Federica Brignone. The American was trailing Brignone by 0.96 seconds after the super-G portion but had made up 0.88 of that difference before skiing out. Shiffrin reacted with apparent open-mouthed astonishment before bending over her ski poles. She then went over to Brignone and embraced the Italian skier. Shiffrin is competing in her first major event since failing to win a medal in six starts at last year’s Beijing Olympics.

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