D'Angelo Russell nailed seven 3-pointers and had 31 points with eight assists as the Nets pounded the Kings, 123-94. Joe Harris added 19 points and rookie Rodions Kurucs chipped in 16 for Brooklyn, which has won four straight and 17 of 22.
Paul George scored 31 points and Russell Westbrook came within one assist of a triple-double before both players sat out the fourth quarter of the Thunder's 127-109 rout of the Knicks. New York has dropped six straight and 14 of 15 overall, including nine straight at Madison Square Garden.
Kyrie Irving and Al Horford each had double-doubles in the Celtics' fourth straight win, 107-99 against the Heat. Irving finished with 26 points and 10 assists, while Horford added 16 and 12 rebounds as Boston ran its home winning streak to nine games.
Joel Embiid scored 24 of his 32 points by halftime and grabbed 14 rebounds in leading the 76ers' 121-93 rout of the Rockets. Houston guard James Harden poured in 37 points, his 20th consecutive game with at least 30.
Checking out Monday's other NBA action, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors did a nice job avenging their Christmas Day blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Oakland. Thompson set an NBA record by nailing his first 10 3-point attempts in the Warriors' 130-111 rout of the Lakers in Los Angeles. He missed his 11th and final heave from beyond the arc, but he also delivered 23 of his 44 points while Golden State was outscoring the Lakers by 20 in the third quarter to take a 30-point cushion into the final period. Kevin Durant added 20 points and Stephen Curry had 11 points and 12 assists, going 2 of 10 from 3-point range in the Warriors' eighth straight win. The Lakers fell to 5-9 without LeBron James, whose left groin strain has forced him out for the longest stretch of his 16-year career.
The Bucks have a five-game winning streak and a league-best 34-12 record after Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon combined for 71 points in a 116-106 victory against Dallas. Antetokounmpo led the way with 31 points and 15 rebounds, Bledsoe finished with 21 points and Brogdon added 19 in Milwaukee's 12th win in 14 games.
Utah's six-game winning streak is over after Damian Lillard scored 26 points and the Trail Blazers shot 50 percent in a 109-104 victory over the Jazz. Jusuf Nurkic scored 17 of his 22 points in the third quarter and finished with nine boards, seven assists and six blocks for Portland.
The Pelicans had four players with at least 20 points in a 105-85 rout of the Grizzlies. Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic each scored 21 points, while Jahlil Okafor and Julius Randle had 20 apiece to help New Orleans without injured star Anthony Davis.
The Magic coasted to a 122-103 win against the Hawks in Atlanta as Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points apiece. Vucevic had 14 rebounds and Fournier had seven assists as Orlando snapped a three-game losing streak.
Trevor Ariza scored 20 points and the Wizards turned in their best defensive performance of the season in a 101-87 win over the Pistons. Otto Porter Jr. had 19 points for Washington, which limited Detroit to 30 percent shooting in the first half and allowed a season low for points.
Zach LaVine scored 25 points and the Bulls broke a 10-game losing streak by downing the Cavaliers, 104-88. The Bulls hit 15 of 29 3-point attempts and built a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter before sending Cleveland to its 16th loss in 17 games.
In NBA news, Carmelo Anthony has another landing spot, but it's only temporary. A person with knowledge of the situation says the Rockets are sending the veteran forward and an undisclosed amount of cash to the Bulls. The trade ends a short-lived saga for Anthony, who averaged 13.4 points in 10 games with the Rockets. He has not played since Nov. 8, and will either be traded by the Feb. 7 deadline or ultimately waived by the Bulls.
In men's college basketball last night, Marist defeated Manhattan, 62-46. And in women's basketball, Marist pounded Iona, 76-36.
In top-25 basketball, sixth-ranked Michigan State remains the No. 1 team in the Big Ten Conference after cooling off Maryland. Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins each scored 14 points and the Spartans improved to 8-0 in the conference by stifling the 13th-ranked Terrapins, 69-55. Michigan State allowed just 34 percent shooting and limited Maryland's top scorer, Anthony Cowan, to a season-low seven points. Freshman Aaron Henry scored a season-high 12 points for the Spartans, who are 17-2 following their 12th consecutive win. The Terps ended a seven-game winning streak despite Bruno Fernando's 12 points and 13 rebounds.
In other top-25 finals, Dedric Lawson had 29 points and 15 rebounds to send ninth-ranked Kansas to an 80-76 victory against Iowa State. Marcus Garrett added 16 points and Lagerald Vick had 14 for the Jayhawks, who didn't ice the win until Devon Doston's two free throws with 5.9 seconds remaining.
Freshman Coby White scored 27 points and 11th-ranked North Carolina knocked down a season-high 16 3-pointers in beating No. 10 Virginia Tech, 103-82. Fellow rookie Nassir Little added a season-high 23 points for the Tar Heels, who scored 20 straight in the second half and nailed 15 of their final 22 attempts from downtown.
In basketball news, Tennessee is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll after three of the top five teams lost last week. The Vols received 48 of 64 first-place votes, well ahead of No. 2 Duke with 11. Third-ranked Virginia claimed three first-place votes and is followed in the poll by Gonzaga and Michigan. Michigan State, Nevada, Kentucky, Kansas and Virginia Tech round out the top 10. The Spartans picked up the remaining two first-place votes.
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that pitcher Sonny Gray has agreed to a contract with Cincinnati, adding $30.5 million from 2020-22. The Reds and New York Yankees had agreed on a deal that sent Gray to Cincinnati, pending a window for the right-hander to reach a long-term deal. It's part of a three-team swap with the Mariners. Gray and the Yanks had avoided salary arbitration by working out a $7.5 million contract for 2019.
Saints owner Gayle Benson says she pledges to aggressively pursue changes in NFL policies that will promote more "fairness and integrity." Benson says it's clear the Saints were "unfairly deprived" of a trip to the Super Bowl by the inaction of game officials "charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field." The Saints had to settle for a tiebreaking field goal late in regulation after officials declined to call a penalty on Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman for his early and high hit on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis. The Rams tied the game on the ensuing drive and won in overtime.
A sportsbook in New Jersey is refunding bets on the Saints due to the widespread belief that the team was victimized by the blown call. PointsBet said Monday it will refund spread and money-line bets on the Saints, who lost the game after officials failed to call a penalty on Robey-Coleman.
Fox's telecast of the NFC championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints had a 24.6 rating. The game averaged almost 49.3 million, which is up 14 percent over last year's game between the Eagles and Minnesota Vikings.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots' 37-31 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs was the second-most watched and rated AFC championship game in 42 years. The overtime thriller on CBS averaged more than 53.2 million viewers, just shy of the 54.850 million that viewed Pittsburgh's victory over the New York Jets in 2011. The game is also a 22 percent increase over last year's conference title clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Patriots, which averaged over 44 million.
The Nashville Predators have closed the gap on first-place Winnipeg in the NHL's Central Division. Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist while the Predators scored three times in the second period of a 4-1 win at Colorado. The game was scoreless until Bonino and Victor Arvidsson scored 1:34 apart early in the middle period. Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis also scored for Nashville, which had dropped four of its previous five games. The Predators are within two points of first-place Winnipeg, but the Jets have three games in hand. The Avalanche fell into a fourth-place tie with Dallas in the Northwest Division, one point behind Minnesota.
Elsewhere on NHL ice, Charlie Coyle broke a 2-2 deadlock with 5:31 remaining before the Wild completed a 4-2 win over the Golden Knights. Marcus Foligno, Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu also scored for Minnesota.
The Panthers rolled to a 6-2 win over the Sharks behind Frank Vatrano's goal and three assists. Vincent Trocheck, Keith Yandle and Nick Bjugstad each had a power-play goal as Florida won its third in a row since a seven-game skid.
Jonathan Quick turned back 33 shots and Paul LaDue scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period of the Kings' 4-3 comeback over the Blues. Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli each had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which trailed 2-0 before winning for the third time in five games.
In NHL news, the Carolina Hurricanes and forward Teuvo Teravainen have agreed to terms on a five-year, $27 million contract extension through the 2023-24 season. The 24-year-old native of Finland is second on the team with 28 assists, 38 points and 12 points on the power play.
Danielle Collins is into a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time after coming back to overpower Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 at the Australian Open. The 25-year-old American had been 0-5 in Grand Slam matches before coming to this tournament, and now is on a five-match winning streak, including victories over three seeded players. She reached the quarterfinals by upsetting three-time major winner and No. 2-seeded Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian titlist, 6-0, 6-2.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the youngest man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since 2007 after beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Australian Open.
At 20 years, 168 days, Tsitsipas is the youngest man to make the semifinals at a major since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 U.S. Open. He's the youngest man to do so in Australia since Andy Roddick in 2003.
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