#SportsReport: Today Is Willie O'Ree Day In Boston
Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors past the Pistons 96-91. C.J. Miles finished with 21 points to help Toronto avoid its first three-game skid of the season. The Raptors own the NBA's second-best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference at 30-13, three games behind the Boston Celtics.
Tyreke Evans had 23 points, including three free throws in the closing seconds, along with 10 assists to lift the Memphis Grizzlies over the New York Knicks 105-99. JaMychal Green added 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Dillon Brooks and Jarell Martin added 17 points each to help Memphis win its second straight. Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 21 points, while Enes Kanter finished with 20.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points, Patty Mills made seven 3-pointers and the San Antonio Spurs responded to the latest absence of Kawhi Leonard by beating the Brooklyn Nets 100-95. Mills finished with 25 points and combined with Aldridge on the most important play of the game, a three-point play for Aldridge with 53 seconds remaining on a pass from the reserve guard after the Nets had cut a 17-point deficit to three.
Klay Thompson poured in 38 points and the Golden State Warriors ran their road winning streak to 14 games by downing the Bulls 119-112. Stephen Curry chipped in 30 points and Kevin Durant added 19 as the Warriors tied the third-longest road winning streak for a single season in NBA history. Golden State is two away from the all-time league mark of 16 set by the 1971-72 Lakers.
Houston's Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green have both been suspended for two games for entering the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room after a game earlier this week. Ariza and Green went into the Clippers' locker room after a game Monday night in Los Angeles, one that was marred late by on-court chippiness. Ariza had been ejected from that game in the final moments, as was the Clippers' Blake Griffin.
The Boston Bruins are 10-0-4 in their last 14 games following a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who went ahead for good on Ryan Spooner's goal early in the second period. Tuukka Rask stopped 21 shots and blanked Montreal after Jakub Jerabek scored his first NHL goal, just 31 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree was honored in Boston on the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL's color barrier. At a news conference before the Bruins game against the Montreal Canadiens, Mayor Marty Walsh declared Jan. 18, 2018 to be 'Willie O'Ree Day'. O'Ree made his debut in 1958 during a 3-0 victory against the Canadiens at the Forum in Montreal.
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is taking a leave of absence from the team following the death of his father. The Penguins say James Murray, Matt's father, died on Tuesday in Ontario, Canada. Matt Murray, who backstopped Pittsburgh to consecutive Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017, will be away from the team indefinitely.
Laura Schuler always wanted to coach hockey. She is now the first former national team player to coach the Canadian women. She is on a one-year break from her job coaching Dartmouth. She is trying to lead Canada to a fifth straight gold medal in women's hockey. Not bad when she didn't see many role models when playing for her first Olympic team in 1998.
Jalen Brunson had a team-high 18 points and seven assists as Villanova clobbered the Hoyas 88-56. Mikal Bridges added 17 points for the Wildcats, who led by as many as 44 in their fourth consecutive win. It was the Wildcats' seventh straight victory over Georgetown, and the Hoyas' worst loss since 1974 against Maryland.
Jehyve Floyd had 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Caleb Green scored 15 as Holy Cross beat Army 70-66. Army's Jordan Fox made a pair of free throws with 2:27 left before Jacob Grandison made back-to-back 3s in a 60-second span to give the Crusaders a 68-64 lead.
Sam Iorio scored a career-best 26 points to lead American University in a 69-58 upset over Boston University on Wednesday night. Iorio was 9 of 20 from the floor and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc and had seven rebounds, four assists and six steals. Sa'eed Nelson added 18 points with five assist and four steals. Marvin Bragg chipped in nine points with six rebounds.
Police are interviewing Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski's friends and people who knew him to try to learn why he apparently took his life. Police Chief Gary Jenkins says officers have no motive for the death of the 21-year-old athlete, who was found dead in his Pullman, Washington, apartment on Tuesday along with a rifle and a suicide note. Hilinski backed up Luke Falk this season and was the presumptive starter heading into his junior season.
In other college football news:
— Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens will be the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, starting next season. He will serve a two-year term. Six new committee members will replace those whose terms have ended.
The Patriots say quarterback Tom Brady did not attend a scheduled AFC championship news conference because he was meeting with the team medical staff. Brady was later listed with a right hand injury on the team's first injury report of the week in advance of its conference title matchup with Jacksonville.
The New York Jets have fired offensive coordinator John Morton after one season. Morton's offense finished ranked No. 28 overall. Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates is a candidate to be promoted by head coach Todd Bowles.
A slow free-agent market changed Jay Bruce's outlook a little bit before he returned to the New York Mets for a $39 million, three-year contract. His deal was the third-highest among free agents this offseason behind first baseman Carlos Santana's $60 million contract with Cleveland and close Wade Davis' $52 million agreement with Colorado, both for three-year terms.
The Australian Open goes on without Garbine Muguruza. The third-seeded Spaniard was dispatched in the second round by Su-Wei Hsieh, 7-6, 6-4. Muguruza was joined on the sidelines by No. 9 Johanna Konta who lost her second-round match to American Bernarda Pera 6-4, 7-5. The unseeded Pera got into the draw as a lucky loser after another player withdrew before the tournament. Former champion Angelique Kerber celebrated her 30th birthday with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Donna Vekic. The 2016 champion has opened the season by winning 11 straight matches. Other winners on the women's side include sixth seed Karolina Pliskoca, No. 8 Carolina Garcia and unseeded Maria Sharapova, who knocked off No. 14 Anastasija Sevastova.
In the men's bracket, No. 13 Sam Querrey became the later American to be knocked out at Melbourne. Marton Fucsovics beat Querrey 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2. Fifth seed Dominic Thiem (teem) reached the third round by outlasting American Denis Kudla in five sets. No. 19 Thomas Berdych (BUR'-dihk) and No. 21 Albert Ramos-Vinolas also advanced.
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