Julius Randle furnished 22 points and Taj Gibson had 19 as the Knicks picked up their third straight win, 105-103 over the Magic. Elfrid Payton had 15 points and nine assists for New York, which rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to match its longest winning streak of the season.
The Milwaukee Bucks improved to an NBA-best 44-7 by avenging their lopsided Christmas Day loss in Philadelphia. Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 36 and hauled down 20 rebounds as the Bucks dumped the 76ers, 112-101 in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo had 30-plus points and 15-plus rebounds for the fifth straight game and the 14th time this season. Khris Middleton finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Eric Bledsoe contributed 14 points, eight boards and six assists. Joel Embiid had 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, but he shot just 6-for-26 and was 3-for-10 from 3-point range. Tobias Harris had a team-high 25 points for the 76ers, who closed out an 0-4 road swing that also included losses to Atlanta, Boston and Miami.
Russell Westbrook scored 41 points and Robert Covington was productive in his Houston debut as the Rockets topped the Lakers, 121-111. Covington hit two clutch late 3-pointers while getting 14 points and eight rebounds, helping the Rockets drop the Western Conference leaders to 38-12. Houston rallied from a late four-point deficit and ended the game on a 19-5 surge highlighted by two of Covington's four 3-pointers.
Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside each had double-doubles, while Gary Trent came off the bench to add 18 points as the Trail blazers downed the Spurs, 125-117. Lillard delivered 26 points and 10 assists, and Whiteside had 17 points and tied a season-high with 23 rebounds.
Pelicans were 125-119 winners at Chicago behind Zion Williamson's team-high 21 points. Williamson had nine points as New Orleans outscored Chicago 31-19 in the third quarter. JJ Redick dropped in 18 points and Derrick Favors grabbed 15 rebounds as New Orleans improved to 4-4 since Williamson made his NBA debut on Jan. 22.
In NBA news, the Knicks were part of a three-team swap that sends Marcus Morris from New York to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers also get Isaiah Thomas from the Wizards, who come away with Jerome Robinson. The Knicks received Maurice Harkless, Issuf Sanon, the Clippers' first-round pick this year, a protected first-round swap option in 2021 and a second-rounder in 2021.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers have little hope of making the NBA playoffs this spring. That didn't stop either team from landing a major talent before Thursday's trade deadline. The Timberwolves have acquired D'Angelo Russell in a deal that sends Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors. The Wolves also received guard Jacob Evans and forward Omari Spellman for a pair of draft picks, including a first-rounder either in 2021 or 2022. Russell was averaging a career-high 23.6 points for the injury-wrecked Warriors, while Wiggins was scoring 22.4 points a game. The Cavaliers have acquired two-time All-Star center Andre Drummond from the Pistons for forward John Henson, guard Brandon Knight and one of their two second-round picks in 2023 to the Pistons. The 6-foot-11 Drummond leads the league with 15.8 rebounds per game and is averaging 17.8 points and 1.7 blocks.
The Memphis Grizzlies have dealt Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to the Miami Heat for three players who've combined to score a mere 254 points this season. The trade ends the Grizzlies' impasse with Iguodala, who refused to play for them and asked to be traded or have his contract bought out. The Grizzlies get Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Dion Waiters.
Dewayne Dedmon is returning to the Hawks in a trade that sends center Alex Len and forward Jabari Parker to the Kings. Atlanta also requested waivers on center Nene, one day after he was acquired from Houston as part of a four-team trade.
The 76ers have snared Glenn Robinson and Alec Burks from the Warriors in exchange for one second-round pick in each of the next three drafts. The Sixers made room at the deadline when they traded James Ennis III to the Orlando Magic for a future second-round pick.
A person with knowledge of the details says a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others killed in a helicopter crash is planned for Feb. 24 at Staples Center. The date corresponds with the jersey numbers he and 13-year-old daughter Gianna wore — 24 for him and 2 for her. The Staples Center has played host to other memorials, including for Michael Jackson.
In men's college basketball, UConn topped Tulsa 72-56. In women's college basketball, Siena downed Manhattan 59-49, Iona edged Canisius 60-57, and Syracuse routed Boston College 89-79.
In men's top-25 basketball, it took one half of basketball for second-ranked Gonzaga to get going. The Bulldogs are 24-1 after Filip Petrusev contributed 21 points and six rebounds to their 85-67 victory against Loyola Marymount. Drew Timme and Admon Gilder each added 17 points for the Zags, who led by eight before opening the second half on a big run. Gonzaga has won 18 straight and leads the nation in scoring at over 88 points a game.
Nico Mannion furnished 20 points, while Zeke Nnaji and Josh Green each added 18 as No. 23 Arizona won for the fifth time in six games, 85-80 over Southern California.
Tyler Bey scored a season-high 21 points and McKinley Wright IV had 17 to send 24th-ranked Colorado to its fourth loss in five games, 71-65 against California.
No. 25 Houston earned a 75-62 win over Tulane as Caleb Mills had 18 points and Quentin Grimes added 15.
Kieffer Bellows scored his first two NHL goals in his second career game, including the tiebreaker in the third period of the Islanders' 5-3 victory over the Kings. New York's third line of Bellows, Derrick Brassard and Michael Dal Colle combined for three goals and two assists as the Isles improved to 3-0-2 in their last five games.
Detroit ended a nine-game losing streak by getting shootout goals from Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou in a 4-3 victory at Buffalo. Larkin also scored twice in the opening period, but the Wings coughed up a two-goal lead in the third period before winning for just the sixth time since Nov. 12.
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 46 shots in his second shutout of the season as the Devils hammered the Flyers, 5-0. Miles Wood scored twice for New Jersey, which chased Brian Elliott during a three-goal third period.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won a matchup of hot teams to inch closer to the NHL's Atlantic Division lead. The Lightning won for the 18th time in their last 21 games as Andre Vasilevskiy made 29 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Penguins. Vasilevskiy improved to 15-0-2 in his past 17 starts to set a franchise record for consecutive games without a regulation loss. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov each netted their 25th goals of the season to help Tampa Bay pick up its eighth straight home win. Anthony Cirelli provided the eventual game-winner as the Bolts handed Pittsburgh just its third loss in 11 games. The Lightning are within five points of the division-leading Bruins. The Pens remain six points behind the Metropolitan-leading Capitals.
The Blues had collected points in 11 straight home games before Andrew Copp broke a third period tie and Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves in the Jets' 4-2 victory in St. Louis. Patrik Laine, Jansen Harkins and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored as Winnipeg won for just the second time in eight games.
Kevin Fiala and Brad Hunt each had a goal and an assist while the Wild scored three times in the first period of a 4-2 verdict over the Canucks. Ryan Hartman and Zach Parise also scored as Minnesota forced Vancouver to settle for a 2-2-1 record on its five-game road trip.
J.T. Miller and Antoine Roussel scored and Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves for Vancouver, which has played 10 of its last 13 games on the road and finished a five-game trip 2-2-1.
Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho each scored twice and had one assist in leading the Hurricanes to a 5-3 win over the Coyotes. Jaccob Slavin also scored and Trevor van Riemsdyk had two assists for Carolina, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit for its fourth win in six games.
Cale Makar provided a goal and an assist as the Avalanche won for the fifth time in six games, 4-1 at Ottawa. Valeri Nichushkin, Matt Nieto and J.T. Compher also scored and Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves in Colorado's first victory in the Canadian capital since Feb. 11, 2016.
Timo Meier had two goals and an assist in the Sharks' second straight win, 6-3 at Edmonton. Sam Gagner and Connor McDavid scored 76 seconds apart to put the Oilers ahead, 2-0 before San Jose handed the home team its second consecutive loss.
Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist to lead as the Predators nipped the Flames, 3-2. Dante Fabbro and Kyle Turris also scored for Nashville, which has won four of five to pull within one point of Calgary for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The Golden Knights rolled to a 7-2 win over the Panthers as Mark Stone collected two goals and three assists. Max Pacioretty scored two goals and had an assist to help Marc-Andre Fleury nail down his 460th career victory.
The Canadiens pulled out a 3-2 win over the Ducks on Jeff Petry's goal 25 seconds into overtime. Nick Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher also scored and Carey Price made 35 saves in Montreal's sixth victory in eight games.
In NHL news, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook is expected to be ready for the start of next season after undergoing right hip surgery today. The 34-year-old Seabrook also had right shoulder surgery in December and left hip surgery last month. The 6-foot-3 Seabrook has 103 goals and 361 assists in 1,114 games since his NHL debut in 2005, winning three Stanley Cups with the Hawks.
Commissioner Rob Manfred says talks have ended over the proposed sale of a controlling share of the Mets from the families of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. The Mets said in December that the contemplated deal between Sterling Partners and Cohen would allow 83-year-old Fred Wilpon to remain as controlling owner and chief executive officer for five years.
Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy has avoided salary arbitration by accepting a three-year, $26 million contract. The package includes a $13 million team option for 2023, with a $1.5 million buyout. Muncy made $575,000 while batting .251 with 35 home runs and 98 RBIs in 141 games for Los Angeles last season, missing a large chunk of the final month with a broken wrist.
MLB owners are 2-0 in arbitration this winter after the Minnesota Twins beat pitcher José Berríos. The 25-year-old right-hander will be paid just over $4 million rather than his request for $4.4 million. Berríos made $620,000 last year while going 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA in 32 starts for the AL Central champions last season, striking out 195 and walking 51.
Former pitcher Chris Young will replace Joe Torre as the person who decides suspensions and fines for on-field matters. Young's jurisdiction includes intentionally hitting batters, charging the mound and fights. Torre is shifting to a role as special assistant to the commissioner.
Six-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle says he is leaving the NFL after 13 seasons. Weddle made his long-expected retirement announcement on Twitter, although the hard-hitting safety with the big beard didn't use the specific word. Weddle played nine seasons for the San Diego Chargers and three more for the Baltimore Ravens before spending last season with the Los Angeles Rams. He said in December that he didn't expect to return for the second season of his contract with the club. The 35-year-old Weddle became one of the NFL's toughest and most durable safeties after San Diego drafted him out of Utah in the second round in 2007. Weddle was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011, 2013 and 2014 for the Chargers. He joined Baltimore in 2016 and earned three straight Pro Bowl selections.
Nick Taylor opened with an eagle and closed with two birdies in an 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula, giving him the first-round lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Taylor is two shots ahead of Patrick Cantlay and Chase Seiffert, each of whom fired 66s on par-72 courses. Cantlay played Spyglass Hill and Seiffert was at Pebble Beach. Most of the interest over three courses in the rotation was at Spyglass Hill, which featured Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, along with five NFL quarterbacks that included Peyton Manning and his recently retired brother, Eli.
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