#SportsReport: Beal's 60 Not Enough For Wizards; Knicks Top Jazz | WAMC

#SportsReport: Beal's 60 Not Enough For Wizards; Knicks Top Jazz

Jan 7, 2021

Bradley Beal became the second NBA player to post a 60-point performance, but it didn't stop the Philadelphia 76ers from improving to 7-1. Joel Embiid scored 38 points as the Sixers downed the Wizards, 141-136.

Seth Curry hit six straight 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 28 points. Ben Simmons had 17 points and 12 assists, while Tobias Harris scored 19. Beal went 20 of 25 from the floor, made 7 of 10 3-points and went 13 of 15 from the line to match former Wizard Gilbert Arenas for the franchise single-game points mark.

Elsewhere in Wednesday's NBA schedule:

Rookie Payton Pritchard's putback with two-tenths of a second left capped a wild finish in the Celtics' 107-105 verdict over the Heat. Jayson Tatum scored 27 points and Jaylen Brown had 21 for the Celtics, who wasted an early 17-point lead and a 10-point advantage in the final minute before winning. Both teams considered boycotting the game following the rioting at the Capitol.

Austin Rivers scored 14 straight Knicks points down the stretch and finished with 23 in a 112-100 comeback over the Jazz. Julius Randle had 30 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in New York's third win in a row. The Knicks trailed by 18 in the first half but outplayed the Jazz in the second and won for the fifth time in six games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points and Khris Middleton added 23 as the Bucks rolled past the Pistons, 130-115. Milwaukee improved to just 5-3 overall, but the Bucks have won by an average of 23.5 points while going 4-0 at home. Saddiq Bey scored 20 points to pace the 1-7 Pistons.

The Suns made 21 3-pointers en route to a 123-115 victory over the sputtering Raptors. Jae Crowder nailed six treys and finished with 21 points for Phoenix, which hit 20 3's for the fourth time in franchise history. Devin Booker scored 24 points as the 6-2 Suns dropped the reigning Atlantic Division champs to 1-6.

Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points, including the tying and go-ahead buckets on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' 108-101 of the Warriors. Paul George returned from a one-game absence with a sore right ankle to add 21 points and 12 rebounds in the Clippers' fourth straight win against Golden State. Warriors guard Stephen Curry had just 13 points on 5 of 17 shooting after scoring a combined 92 in his previous two games.

Malcolm Brogdon scored a career-high 35 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:22 remaining to send the Pacers past the Rockets, 114-107. Justin Holiday added a season-high 20 points for Indiana, which closed on an 8-0 run to beat Houston at home for the first time in four years. Rockets guard John Wall had a season-high 28 points in his fourth game with his new team, but James Harden finished with 15.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 points and George Hill provided the go-ahead free throws with 12 seconds left to send the Thunder past the Pelicans, 111-110. Darius Bazley had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which avenged a home loss to New Orleans last week while winning for just the second time in six games. Zion Williamson scored 29 points and Brandon Ingram 24 for the Pelicans.

Gordon Hayward poured in a career-high 44 points and the Hornets coughed up a double-digit lead before knocking off the Hawks, 102-94. LaMelo Ball had 16 points and eight rebounds for Charlotte, which led by 24 in the first half. John Collins had 23 points and 11 boards for the Hawks, but Trae Young finished with just seven points on 2 of 9 from the field.

Terrence Ross scored 20 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Magic to a 105-94 decision over the Cavaliers. But Orlando guard Markelle Fultz suffered an apparently serious knee injury less than five minutes into the game. Fultz came in averaging a career-best 14.3 points in seven games.

Buddy Hield converted a four-point play with 38 seconds left to push the Kings past the Bulls, 128-124. Hield missed 12 of his first 14 shots and was 1 of 8 on 3-pointers before hitting one from the top of the arc and getting fouled by former Kings teammate Garrett Temple. Sacramento first-round draft pick Tyrese Haliburton scored 15 of his season-high 17 points in the fourth quarter and made a key steal in the backcourt.

Several teams showed dismay hours after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump was able to storm the U.S. Capitol and in response to a decision by a Wisconsin prosecutor not to charge a police officer who shot a Black man last year. In Miami, the Heat and Celtics released a joint statement saying they were playing "with a heavy heart" in a game where most players and coaches knelt for the national anthem. In Milwaukee, both the Bucks and Pistons intentionally took turnovers on their first possessions, with all 10 players on the court kneeling.

In NBA news:

Cleveland Cavaliers starting guard Darius Garland could be out another week with a shoulder sprain, and guard Danté Exum could miss two months with a calf strain. Garland began experiencing discomfort in his shoulder last week. He was kept out of Monday's loss and underwent an MRI. The second-year guard is averaging 17.2 points and 6.3 assists in six starts. Exum injured his calf in the first quarter Monday.

Pistons rookie guard Killian Hayes has a torn labrum in his right hip and will continue to be evaluated by the team's medical staff. Hayes has averaged 4.6 points and 21.1 minutes in seven games.

The league is urging teams to make increased commitments toward providing mental health resources to players and staff, releasing updated guidelines to reflect the challenge of playing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The league told teams they should establish "education and awareness materials focused on managing mental health during times of uncertainty and coping strategies for addressing the emotional toll of the pandemic."


Ithiel Horton scored 14 points, Au’diese Toney made a go-ahead putback with eight seconds left for Pittsburgh’s first lead and the shorthanded Panthers erased an 18-point deficit to beat Syracuse 63-60, snapping a seven-game losing streak in the series. After Toney put Pittsburgh ahead, Syracuse dribbled across midcourt and called a timeout with 5.2 seconds left. The Orange turned it over, Xavier Johnson made two free throws for a three-point lead and Alan Griffin’s half-court heave at the buzzer hit the side of the rim. The Panthers were without Justin Champagnie, averaging 17.8 points per game and 12.3 rebounds, due to a knee injury. Griffin had 15 points for Syracuse.

In other college basketball action:

Damien Jefferson scored 16 of his season-high 19 points in the first half of seventh-ranked Creighton's 89-53 dismantling of Seton Hall. The 9-2 Bluejays have a five-game winning streak following their most lopsided Big East win in nearly five years. Denzel Mahoney had 14 points and Marcus Zegarowski added 11 for the Bluejays.

Wendell Moore Jr. contributed a season-high 25 points to help No. 21 Duke hold off Boston College, 83-82. The Blue Devils improved to 4-2 despite playing without Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski due to COVID-19 protocols.

Ninth-ranked Tennessee barely managed to bounce back from its first loss of the season by rallying from a seven-point, halftime deficit. Josiah-Jordan James and Victor Bailey Jr. each scored 17 points in the Volunteers' 79-74 victory against Arkansas. James also had nine rebounds for the Vols and Keon Johnson added 14 points, including 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute. John Fulkerson led the second-half comeback before finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. Fulkerson delivered 12 points in the second half to help Tennessee improve to 9-1.

Second-ranked Baylor is 10-0 for only the fifth time in team history following a 76-61 win over Oklahoma. MaCio Teague finished with 17 points and Matthew Mayer added 16 off the bench for the Bears, who opened with a 16-2 run and led by 17 at halftime. Teague had eight points with two 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game.

Freshman Hunter Dickinson scored a season-high 28 points and 10th-ranked Michigan pulled away in pounding No. 16 Minnesota, 82-57. Isaiah Livers scored 14 points and Franz Wagner had 12 points for the Wolverines, who made 57% of their shots.

Quentin Grimes furnished 20 of his 22 points in the second half as No. 11 Houston rallied for a 70-63 victory against Wichita State. Grimes was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc after halftime and finished with nine rebounds.

David Johnson scored 17 points, including a crucial free throw with five seconds left in Louisville's 73-71 win over No. 19 Virginia Tech. Jae'Lyn Withers finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Louisville, which won its fourth consecutive game overall and 17th in a row against the Hokies.

Sam Hauser scored 11 of his 16 points during a 28-10 run that opened the second half of No. 22 Virginia's 70-61 decision over Wake Forest. Hauser also grabbed 11 rebounds and Trey Murphy III scored 13 for the Cavaliers, who trailed by five at halftime.


The New York Jets kicked off their coaching search by interviewing Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The 51-year-old Bieniemy is one of the most popular candidates around the league after helping the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes win the Super Bowl last year and directing the NFL’s No. 1 offense this season. Bieniemy also interviewed with Atlanta and Detroit earlier this week. This is the second time Bieniemy has interviewed with the Jets. The first came in 2019 before New York hired Adam Gase.

In other NFL news:

While sick of the losing seasons, co-owner John Mara felt the New York Giants established a foundation and culture under rookie coach Joe Judge, giving him optimism the playoffs may not be far away. Mara also disclosed today that 69-year-old Dave Gettleman would be back for a fourth season. The team has won 15 games in his first three years as general manager.

Testing is replacing tailgating in the Bills Stadium parking lot, with a limited number of fans being allowed to attend Buffalo’s wild-card playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. Before that can happen, New York state guidelines require the 6,700 or so fans plus another 200 employees and members of the media first test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of kickoff. Each person must show their ID and proof of a negative test before being allowed in the facility. The tests will be held Wednesday and Thursday and conducted by New Jersey-based BioReference Laboratories. The company is converting a portion of the expansive stadium lots into a drive-thru testing site.

The Cleveland Browns continue to work virtually while trying to get a handle on a COVID-19 situation that has knocked coach Kevin Stefanski out of Sunday's playoff game in Pittsburgh. Stefanski says he feels well despite contracting COVID-19, but that he's obviously disappointed he'll have to miss Cleveland's first playoff game since the 2002 season. Stefanski was one of five positive tests for the Browns on Tuesday. He is working from home as the team's facility remains closed. Stefanski said Wednesday that the team did not have any new positive cases and that contact tracing continues.


Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has officially thrown his name into the NFL draft. Lawrence had said in September he planned to play his junior season, graduate in December and move on to the NFL. Lawrence discussed in October keeping his options open, which included possibly returning for another year of college as discussions of the No. 1 pick intensified between the then winless New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lawrence finished 34-2 in his college career, leading Clemson to three ACC titles and the national title after the 2018 season. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy race Tuesday night to Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith.

In other college football news:

Memphis quarterback Brady White has won the William V. Campbell Trophy given to the top scholar-athlete in college football. White passed for 3,380 yards this season and 31 touchdowns this season.

Alabama star receiver Jaylen Waddle has returned to practice, but it's not clear yet whether he will play in Monday's national championship game against Ohio State. Waddle hasn't played since breaking his right ankle while returning the opening kickoff against Tennessee on Oct. 4. Without Waddle available, DeVonta Smith went on to put up big enough numbers to win the Heisman Trophy on Tuesday.

North Carolina State quarterback Bailey Hockman says he plans to leave the 24th-ranked Wolfpack as a graduate transfer. It came after the redshirt junior and former Florida State transfer started nine games for N.C. State. Hockman helped the Wolfpack to eight wins and an appearance in the Gator Bowl.

A diversity study finds increasing numbers of women and people of color in leadership positions at the Football Bowl Subdivision level of college athletics for 2020. Wednesday's report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport issued slightly improved grades of a B- for racial hiring and a D-plus overall compared to the 2019 edition. Those scores were a C for racial hiring and a D overall the previous year.


The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to a five-year contract extension worth $27 million. The deal will keep one of the team's best young players in Columbus through the 2025-26 season. The 25-year-old had one season remaining on his current contract. Bjorkstrand led the team in goals, game-winning goals and multi-point outings, and he finished third in shots despite missing 21 games due to injury last season.

In other NHL news:

Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons is expected to miss the entire season after having surgery to repair a hamstring injury he suffered in a team scrimmage on Monday. Sabres captain Jack Eichel made his training camp debut after missing the first four days with a lower body injury. Goalie Linus Ullmark also practiced for the first time after completing his self-quarantine requirements.

The Predators have signed forward Luke Kunin to a two-year, $4.6 million contract. Kunin played 63 games for the Wild last season, scoring 15 goals and 31 points.


Tommy John has been battling COVID-19 for at least three weeks, and the former pitching great disputes reports that he is a coronavirus denier. The 77-year-old John remains hospitalized near his home in Indio, California. He said he started to feel ill following a trip to Nashville before he was hospitalized on Dec. 13. His son, Tommy III, has been vocal about his opinions on the coronavirus, saying on social media that it's not a pandemic.

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