Boston Celtics forward Al Horford will miss at least another few games because of an injured left knee.
Horford sat out his third straight game Wednesday in Washington and says the knee pain has not been getting better. He is averaging 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 22 games this season, hitting 49.1 percent of his shots and 34 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Raptors dump Warriors:
The team with the NBA's best record has just completed a season sweep of the two-time defending champs.
Serge Ibaka had a double-double and Kyle Lowry outplayed Stephen Curry as the Toronto Raptors cruised to a 113-93 win over the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. Ibaka shot just 7-for-16 but finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Lowry had a team highs of 23 points and 12 assists, while Curry was held to 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting.
Toronto led by 16 at halftime and improved to 23-7, good for a 3 ½-game lead in the Atlantic Division.
The Raptors completed the rout without Kawhi Leonard, who missed a second straight game with a sore right hip. They also lost 7-foot center Jonas Valanciunas to a dislocated left thumb in the first half.
Kevin Durant had a game-high 30 points in Golden State's third loss in 15 home games.
Checking out Wednesday's other NBA action:
Victor Oladipo returned from his 11-game injury absence and provided 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Pacers' fifth consecutive victory, 113-97 over the Bucks. Oladipo showed few signs of the sore right knee that had kept him off the court since Nov. 17. Thaddeus Young had 25 points, 11 boards and four assists for Indiana.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored a career-high 39 points off the bench and Allen Crabbe had 20 to lead the Nets to a 127-124 triumph at Philadelphia. Joel Embiid had 33 points and 17 rebounds and Ben Simmons scored 22 as the 76ers lost for just the second time in 16 home games. The Sixers were without Jimmy Butler because of a strained groin.
Kyrie Irving nailed back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds while scoring the Celtics' final 12 points in a 130-125 overtime win at Washington. Irving poured in 38 points and Marcus Morris added 27 with nine rebounds as Boston won its seventh in a row despite playing without Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown.
Mike Conley scored eight of his 23 points during a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies' 92-83 verdict over the Trail Blazers. C.J. McCollum matched his season high with 40 points, but Portland still finished with a season low as a team.
The Hornets rallied from a late 10-point deficit and beat the Pistons, 108-107 on Jeremy Lamb's 22-footer with 0.3 seconds left. Kemba Walker finished with a game-high 31 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in Charlotte's third straight win.
The Mavericks picked up their 11th straight home win as Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, Luka Doncic added 24 in a 114-107 decision over the Hawks. J.J. Barea had 18 points before leaving with a sprained left ankle in the Mavs' first win in their last 11 meetings with Atlanta.
Donovan Mitchell scored 21 points and the Jazz led by as many as 42 before completing a 111-84 rout of the Heat. Derrick Favors had 17 points, for Utah, which was never threatened after building a 34-10 lead.
The Pelicans picked up a 118-114 win over the Thunder behind 44 points and 18 rebounds from Anthony Davis. Jrue Holiday had 20 points and 10 assists, and Julius Randle added 22 for New Orleans.
Nemanja Bjelica made four of Sacramento's 19 3-pointers and finished 25 points in a 141-130 shootout over the Timberwolves. Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic each scored 20 points, and rookie Marvin Bagley III had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.
Cleveland squandered a 22-point lead before Rodney Hood delivered a go-ahead basket with 23 seconds left in a 113-106 downing of the Knicks. Jordan Clarkson was high man for the Cavaliers with 28 points, Hood had 23 and Matthew Dellavedova added 15 in his first game since being reacquired from Milwaukee.
In other NBA news:
Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 by the league for directing inappropriate language toward an official following his ejection from a game. The incident occurred with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter of the Suns' 123-119 overtime loss to the Clippers on Monday night.
The City Council has postponed a vote on a proposed $230 million arena renovation that would keep the Suns in downtown Phoenix. The vote has been pushed back to Jan. 23 so residents can attend five public meetings to be held around Phoenix to discuss the project. The deal would revamp the nearly 30-year-old Talking Stick Resort Arena, the oldest in the NBA venue that is not currently being renovated.
Quarterback Joe Flacco is ready to play for the Baltimore Ravens again, but head coach John Harbaugh has other plans.
Lamar Jackson will make his fifth consecutive start when the Ravens take on the visiting Buccaneers on Sunday. The Ravens have gone 3-1 with Jackson under center after dropping their previous three games under Flacco.
The 33-year-old Flacco is finally healthy after suffering a right hip injury last month. He has been a starter since his rookie season in 2008 and was Super Bowl MVP when the Ravens beat San Francisco to end the 2012 season.
The 7-6 Ravens are trying to catch the first-place Steelers in the AFC North.
In other NFL news:
In Thursday’s NFL Action the Los Angeles Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:20 p.m.
The Steelers brought in Kai Forbath and Matt McCrane to kick after practice Wednesday as potential replacements for Chris Boswell after he missed two more kicks during Sunday's 24-21 loss at Oakland. Boswell has made just 10 of 16 field goals and 39 of 44 extra points this season.
Carson Wentz is sidelined with a back injury, but two people familiar with the situation tell The Associated Press the quarterback hasn't been ruled out for Philadelphia's game at the Rams on Sunday. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wentz has "soreness" and "tightness" in his back and was held out of practice Wednesday to rest it. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles would start if Wentz can't play.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is expected to play Sunday at Minnesota despite a right ankle injury that sidelined him briefly during last week's win over New England. AFC interception leader Xavien Howard sat out practice with a left knee injury, and his status for the game is uncertain.
The Seahawks will be without linebacker Mychal Kendricks for the rest of the season after he suffered a knee and lower leg injury in Sunday's win over Minnesota. Coach Pete Carroll says Kendricks will need surgery for a couple of different issues, including the knee and "a little nick" to his lower leg.
The Saints have released veteran receiver Brandon Marshall, who had not been active on game day since signing one month ago. Marshall's release made room on the roster for tight end Erik Swoope, whom New Orleans has claimed off of waivers from Indianapolis.
The Bears have placed cornerback Bryce Callahan on injured reserve because of a broken left foot that will require surgery. He was hurt in Chicago's 15-6 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.
The league will stage four games in London and one in Mexico City next season, with the Jaguars, Chargers, Rams, Raiders and Buccaneers serving as hosts. When the games will be played and who the opponents will be won't be announce until the spring, when the league schedule for 2019 is released.
The NFL draft is heading to Las Vegas for 2020. The city where the Raiders will begin play in September 2020 will host the draft that April.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash now has fewer reasons to open a game with a reliever.
A person familiar with the agreement tells The Associated Press that All-Star pitcher Charlie Morton has accepted a two-year, $30 million with the Rays. The 35-year-old Morton was a first-time All-Star last season when he went 15-3 for Houston. He had a 3.13 ERA in a career-high 30 starts.
The right-hander joins a staff led by AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. The Tampa Bay rotation was beset by injuries this year, and the team often used relief pitchers as starters in their "opener" strategy on their way to 90 wins.
In other MLB news:
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Jordy Mercer and the Tigers have agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million contract, subject to a successful physical. Mercer had spent his entire seven-season big league career with Pittsburgh. The 32-year-old hit .251 with six homers and 39 RBIs, down from 14 homers and 58 RBIs in 2017.
A person with direct knowledge of the negotiations tells the AP that free agent first baseman Justin Bour has reached agreement with the Angels, pending a physical. The 30-year-old Bour hit 20 homers and drove in 59 runs with the Marlins and Phillies last season.
The Nationals and Reds have swapped Tanners, with Washington sending Tanner Roark (ROH'-ahrk) to Cincinnati for fellow right-hander Tanner Rainey. Roark went 9-15 last season with a 4.34 ERA, while Rainey spent most of the year at Triple-A Louisville.
The Red Sox and free agent outfielder Gorkys Hernandez have worked out a minor league contract. The 31-year-old Hernandez hit 15 home runs last season while batting .234 with 40 RBIs in 142 games for San Francisco.
Left-hander J.A. Happ agreed in principle to a two year contract with an option Wednesday night. The New York Post reports the announcement will be made after the contract language is worked out. New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made clear he could shift his focus from pitching to high-priced free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado at any moment. Cashman calls his team "a fully operational Death Star." Happ would join a rotation projected to include Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Patrick Corbin and CC Sabathia.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Texas Tech did nothing on Wednesday to damage its status in the top 25 men's basketball poll.
The 11th-ranked Red Raiders raced out to a 43-point halftime lead and coasted to a 79-44 win against Northwestern State. Tech held the Demons to 15 percent shooting in the opening half to take a 53-10 lead.
Jarrett Culver scored 15 points for the Red Raiders, while teammate Tariq Owens had 14 points and eight rebounds to help his squad improve to 9-0.
The other top-25 game in action was No. 24 Houston, which stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the second half to beat LSU, 82-76. Galen Robinson Jr. scored 18 points and Armoni Brooks each all 13 of his points after intermission for the 9-0 Cougars, who have won 22 straight at home.
Temple edged UMass 65-63
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UMass topped Boston University 66-55
The Vegas Golden Knights could muster just 17 shots against the New York Islanders, but they scored just enough goals to win for the 10th time in their last 13 games.
Tomas Nosek notched the tiebreaking goal 3 1/2 minutes into the third period before the Knights completed a 3-2 victory in Brooklyn. William Karlsson tied it late in the second and Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 34 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Marc-Andre Fleury made his 11th straight start and stopped 23 shots to take over the NHL victory lead with 18.
Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech scored for the Isles, who are just 2-4-2 in their last eight games.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
The Blackhawks' eight-game losing streak is over after Jonathan Toews delivered a goal and two assists in a 6-3 victory against the Penguins. Marcus Kruger, Brent Seabrook, Andreas Martinsen and Brandon Saad each had a goal and an assist to help Chicago overcome Bryan Rust's second career hat trick.
The Flames pulled out a 6-5 win over the Flyers as Johnny Gaudreau scored 35 seconds into overtime to complete Calgary's wild comeback. Matthew Tkachuk had four assists for the Flames, who trailed 5-3 until Sean Monahan and Rasmus Andersson scored in the final 68 seconds in the final 68 seconds of regulation.
Ondrej Kase got his first NHL hat trick and Brandon Montour had four points in the third period, including the game-winning goal in the Ducks' 6-3 win against the Stars. Anaheim trailed 3-2 midway through the third before scoring three goals in a three-minute span for its fifth win in six games.
In other NHL news:
Thursday on the ice The Buffalo Sabres host the Arizona Coyotes at 7 p.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes have placed forward Jordan Staal on injured reserve with a concussion. Staal has missed two games with the injury, and the move is retroactive to Dec. 5. He has five goals and 11 points in 27 games this season.
The Rangers say defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will be sidelined two to four weeks with a separated shoulder suffered in Monday's 6-3 loss to the Lightning. He took a check around the left shoulder and had a sling on his arm postgame. The 29-year-old Shattenkirk has one goal, seven assists and zero penalty minutes in 29 games this season.
Michigan dismissed running back O'Maury Samuels from its football program the same day he was arraigned on two charges, including one for domestic violence.
The school did not say why the move was made.
Samuels was charged with domestic violence and malicious destruction of personal property.
In other college football news:
Syracuse has announced a contract extension for football coach Dino Babers, although the university declined to reveal details. The Orange are ranked 17th after completing a 9-3 regular season and earning a berth in the Camping World Bowl against No. 15 West Virginia. Syracuse also appeared in all six releases of the College Football Playoff rankings and is seeking just the seventh 10-win season in school history.
Missouri defensive end Tre Williams has been charged in a domestic assault case. Williams is accused of hitting his girlfriend early Sunday. He has been suspended indefinitely by the Tigers, who face Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.
All-American running back Darrell Henderson says he's leaving Memphis after his junior season for the NFL draft. He led the Football Bowl Subdivision with 25 total touchdowns. He is second nationally with 1,909 yards rushing and leads the nation with 2,328 all-purpose yards and 22 rushing TDs.
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Temple has hired Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as its next head coach. Diaz would replace Geoff Collins, who left Temple after two seasons to become coach at Georgia Tech last week.
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