No Kevin Durant? No Kyrie Irving? No problem for the Brooklyn Nets against the NBA's hottest team. Joe Harris poured in 28 points off the bench and Caris LeVert made the most of a rare start as the Nets topped the 76ers, 122-109.
LeVert fell three rebounds shy of a triple-double, delivering 22 points and 10 assists to help Brooklyn drop Philadelphia to 7-2. Jarrett Allen chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds to the Nets' second straight win. Durant missed the game because of the NBA's health and safety protocols. Irving was a late scratch due to personal reasons. Shake Milton had a team-high 24 points and Joel Embiid added 20 with 12 rebounds for the Sixers.
In Thursday's other NBA action:
LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with a season-high 28 points and was one of five in double figures during a 118-109 victory against the Lakers. Demar DeRozan added 19 points and eight assists, for the Spurs, who were 16 of 35 on 3-pointers after making 20 from beyond the arc against the Clippers this week. LeBron James scored 27 points and Anthony Davis added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Luka Doncic came within one rebound of his second straight triple-double, finishing with 38 points and 13 assists to lead the Mavericks over the Nuggets, 124-117 in overtime. Josh Richardson scored 14 points, including five straight in overtime to give the Mavericks the lead for good. Nikola Jokic scored 20 of his 38 points after halftime and grabbed 11 rebounds for Denver.
Damian Lillard drained seven 3-pointers while scoring 39 points in the Trail Blazers' 135-117 thumping of the Timberwolves. CJ McCollum added 20 points for the Blazers, who led by 33 in the second half before dealing Minnesota its sixth consecutive loss. Jusuf Nurkic had 17 points and seven rebounds before Portland rested its starters in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers squeezed out a 94-90 win over the Grizzlies behind Andre Drummond's 22 points and 15 rebounds. Larry Nance Jr. added 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the field as Cleveland ended a two-game skid. The Cavs were minus leading scorer Collin Sexton, who sat out with a left ankle sprain.
UAlbany men’s basketball team has picked up a nonconference, nationally-televised game against St. Joseph’s tomorrow at 6 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. Initially, UAlbany was supposed to play Stony Brook this weekend, but their series was postponed after a member of the Stony Brook program tested positive for COVID-19. Similarly, St. Joseph’s was missing an opponent due to COVID-19 issues.
In top-25 men's basketball Thursday:
Luka Garza showed why he's the AP preseason men's basketball player of the year by dominating the first half of Iowa's game at Maryland. Luka Garza scored 17 of his 24 points while the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes were building a 44-26 halftime lead in an 89-67 rout of the Terrapins. Iowa trailed 19-9 before rattling off 20 straight points to take control. The 6-foot-11 Garza later scored eight points during a 15-4 spurt that closed the first half. Garza made nine of his 14 field goal attempts, went 4 for 4 at the foul line, grabbed seven rebounds and had four assists for the 10-2 Hawkeyes. Iowa's Jordan Bohannon chipped in with 18 points.
Top-ranked Gonzaga opened on a 23-2 run and improved to 11-0 by routing BYU, 86-69. Corey Kispert finished with 23 points in a hastily scheduled game after both teams lost their original opponents to COVID-19 issues. Jalen Suggs provided with 16 points, while Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard each scored 12 in Gonzaga's 45th straight home win.
Tyler Wahl drained consecutive 3-pointers in double-overtime and finished with a career-high 12 points as eighth-ranked Wisconsin pulled out an 80-73 win over Indiana. D'Mitrik Trice scored a team-high 21 points, had seven assists and extended the game by draining a jumper with 7.7 seconds left in the first OT.
Kofi Cockburn scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and finished with 12 rebounds as 12th-ranked Illinois blew out Northwestern, 81-56. Ayo Dosunmu added 15 points for the Illini, who actually trailed by 16 in the first half.
McKinley Wright IV recovered from a scary fall to score 21 points, including a game-sealing scoop layup with 27 seconds left in Colorado's 79-71 upset of No. 17 Oregon. Grad transfer Jeriah Horne added 17 points for the Buffaloes, who improved to 10-0 against the Ducks all-time in Boulder.
The New York Mets have pulled off their biggest trade since Steve Cohen purchased the team in November. The Mets have landed shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland. The Mets part with infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene. A two-time Gold Glove winner, Lindor is a career .285 hitter and has averaged 29 homers, 86 RBIs and 21 steals in his six major league seasons. Carrasco is one of the game's best comeback stories, overcoming leukemia to reemerge as one of the AL's steadiest starters. Rosario was a Mets mainstay the last two seasons, and Gimenez showed major league ability following his recall last year. Lindor can become a free agent after the 2021 season, and Carrasco has two years and an option left on his contract. Mets president Sandy Alderson says he hasn't spoken to Lindor's agent about an extension.
In other MLB moves:
The Yankees have acquired switch-hitting outfielder Greg Allen from the Padres for minor league left-hander James Reeves. The 27-year-old Allen has a .239 average with eight homers and 57 RBIs in 557 at-bats and 221 games over four seasons with Cleveland and San Diego.
Bianca Smith will make history in March when she begins her job as a Red Sox minor league coach, becoming the first Black woman in Major League Baseball history to serve as an on-field coach. She comes to Boston from Division III Carroll University where she was an assistant athletic director and baseball team hitting coordinator. She also has previously interned for the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and in the MLB league office.
The Cleveland Browns continue to receive bad news as they deal with COVID-19 while preparing for Sunday's AFC wild-card game against Pittsburgh. The Browns have placed safety Rodney Harrison on the COVID-19 reserve list as they await permission from the NFL to practice for their first playoff game in 18 years. Harrison is the latest on the list for the Browns, who will be without coach Kevin Stefanski against the Steelers after he tested positive with the virus. The NFL's chief medical officer says there has been "some spread" amongst the Browns players. Safety Andrew Sendejo was activated from the COVID list as Harrison was added, but the team is down seven rotational players and six coaches at this point and its training facility in Berea, Ohio, remains closed.
In other NFL news:
The playing status of Bills' receivers Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley is uncertain for Saturday's game against the Colts. Both were listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis on Thursday. Beasley has been dealing with a knee injury and Diggs is bothered by am oblique issue.
Rams coach Sean McVay and Jared Goff both declined Thursday to say whether the quarterback will return from a one-game absence with a broken thumb to start against the Seahawks. Although backup John Wolford led the Rams to a season-ending win over Arizona last week, observers say Goff emerged from this full week of practice at the Rams' training complex looking like he's ready to play.
The Texans have hired Nick Caserio to be their general manager. The longtime executive with the New England Patriots replaces Bill O'Brien, who was the team's coach and GM before he was fired after this season's 0-4 start. Caserio has spent the last 20 seasons with the Patriots and has been the director of player personnel in New England since 2008.
Alabama receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith has added to his collection of postseason honors by receiving the Maxwell Award as the college football player of the year. Smith won the Maxwell over Alabama quarterback and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, becoming the first wideout to win the award since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991. Smith also won the Walter Camp player of the year and the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver. It was a big haul of awards for Alabama products. Jones won the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Year Award. Najee Harris captured the Doak Walker Award as the top running back. Offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood became the sixth Crimson Tide player to win the Outland Trophy as the outstanding interior lineman, and teammate Landon Dickerson won the Rimington Trophy as the top center.
The Montreal Canadiens will be able to play home games despite the Quebec government's imposition of a curfew aimed at curbing COVID-19 in the province. Quebec's premier says the new measures will take effect Saturday and remain in place until at least Feb. 8. There will be no fans at games. Alberta and British Columbia also have given the green light for their NHL teams to play home games during the pandemic. Manitoba says it is confident the Winnipeg Jets can play home games. Ontario has yet to make a final decision.
© The Associated Press 2021. All Rights Reserved.