#SportsReport: Knicks Beat Lakers; NCAA Bracket Announced
Emmanuel Mudiay provided 28 points and eight assists as the Knicks beat the Lakers, 124-123 to end an eight game losing streak. New York closed on a 13-1 run and clinched the victory when Mario Hezonja blocked LeBron James' potential game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds to play.
Lou Williams capped his 25-point effort by nailing the game-winning 3-pointer at the final buzzer to give the Clippers a 119-116 victory over the Nets on Sunday night. Los Angeles led 116-106 with 1:02 remaining, only to see Brooklyn score 10 straight points and tie it with 5.3 seconds remaining on DeMarre Carroll's dunk.
Giannis Antetokounmpo did all he could to get the Milwaukee Bucks a victory on Sunday, but the Philadelphia 76ers were just a little bit better. The Sixers overcame Antetokounmpo's career-high 52 points and knocked off the Bucks, 130-125 for their fourth straight win. Joel Embiid had 40 points and 15 rebounds for Philadelphia, which moved one game ahead of Indiana for third in the NBA's Eastern Conference, and two ahead of the Celtics. Jimmy Butler added 27 points, JJ Redick 19 and Tobias Harris 12 for the Sixers. Antetokounmpo was 15 of 26 from the field, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range. He also made 19 of 21 free throws to better his previous career high for points by eight.
Checking out Sunday's other NBA action, the Rockets earned a 117-102 win over the Timberwolves behind Chris Paul, who tied a career high with six 3-pointers and finished with 25 points and 10 assists. Clint Capela furnished 20 and 13 rebounds as Houston moved 1 ½ games ahead of the Trail Blazers for third in the West.
Blake Griffin scored 25 points and the Pistons completed a season sweep of the Raptors with a 110-107 victory in Detroit. Andre Drummond had 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Reggie Jackson added 20 points to help the Pistons win for the 14th time in their last 18 games. The Raptors remain three games behind the East-leading Bucks following their fourth loss in seven games.
Goran Dragic scored 19 points off the bench and Dwyane Wade added 17 in the Heat's 93-75 victory over the Hornets. The 168 combined points was the lowest in the NBA this season.
Nikola Vucevic furnished 27 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 101-91 victory against the Hawks. Aaron Gordon added 22 points and eight rebounds for Orlando, which remains a game behind Miami in the chase for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Marvin Bagley III contributed 21 points and nine rebounds as the Kings crushed the Bulls, 129-102. Buddy Hield added 16 points and inched closer to Sacramento's single-season record for 3-pointers.
Sixth-ranked Michigan State, No. 22 Auburn and No. 24 Cincinnati were able to celebrate tournament championships on Sunday. The Spartans trailed by 13 in the second half and closed on a 10-0 run to rally past 10th-ranked Michigan, 65-60 in the Big Ten title game. Matt McQuaid nailed a career-high seven 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 27 points as Michigan State won the tournament for the first time since 2016. Cassius Winston converted the go-ahead layup in the closing minute and finished with 14 points and 11 assists.
Bryce Brown scored 19 points and the Tigers won their first SEC Tournament title in 34 years by routing eighth-ranked Tennessee 84-64. Chuma Okeke scored 18 points and had 13 rebounds for Auburn, which trailed 17-13 before holding the Volunteers to two baskets over the final 11 minutes of the first half. The Tigers closed the opening half on a 19-6 run and led by 22 midway through the second. Lamonte' Turner led Tennessee with 24 points, but two-time SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams was held to 13.
The Bearcats captured the American Athletic Conference Tournament as Jarron Cumberland delivered 33 points and eight rebounds in a 69-57 victory over 11th-ranked Houston. Cane Broome finished with 15 points and Tre Scott added 12 to help Cincinnati beat the Cougars in the conference title game for the second consecutive year. Armoni Brooks had 17 points for Houston, which fell to 31-3.
In college basketball news, for the second time in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament history one conference has produced three No. 1 seeds. ACC powerhouses Duke, Virginia and North Carolina join West Coast Conference standing Gonzaga as the top seeds in the tournament. The ACC joins the 2009 Big East as the only conferences with a trio of No. 1s. Duke is No. 1 in the East, followed by Michigan State, LSU and Florida State. The Blue Devils took the top spot after winning the ACC Tournament. Virginia heads the South Regional and is followed by Tennessee, Purdue and Kansas State. The Cavaliers and Volunteers were No. 1 in the AP poll at various points this season. North Carolina heads a Midwest Regional that includes No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Houston and No. 4 Kansas. Of the four, the Cougars were the only team to advance to its conference tournament title game. The West is headed by Gonzaga, which is just ahead of Michigan, Texas Tech and Florida State.
Also making the dance are No. 6 Buffalo, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 13 Vermont, No. 15 Colgate, and No. 16 Iona. Georgetown, Xavier, Creighton, and North Carolina State failed to join the 68-team tournament, nor did Clemson, TCU, Texas, Indiana, Alabama and Memphis.
The tournament officially kicks off tomorrow with First Four matchups. In the First Round starting Thursday, No. 13 Vermont faces No. 4 Florida State, and No. 8 Syracuse challenges No. 9 Baylor. On Friday No. 15 Colgate takes on No. 2 Tennessee, and No. 16 Iona plays No. 1 North Carolina.
The women’s tournament seeding will be announced tonight at 7 p.m.
The New York Islanders have regained a share of first place in the Metropolitan Division despite squandering a pair of one-goal leads in Minnesota. Brock Nelson scored 64 seconds into overtime to give the Isles their fifth win in seven games, 3-2 over the Wild. Anders Lee ran his goal streak to four games while putting New York ahead, 2-1 in the second period, but the Wild gained a point on Jared Spurgeon's goal with 12:45 left in regulation. Thomas Greiss stopped 32 shots for the Islanders, who share the division lead with the Capitals at 91 points apiece, three ahead of the Penguins. The Isles, Caps and Pens each have 10 games remaining. The Wild are one point behind the Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
The Sabres blew a 3-1 lead before Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart scored shootout goals to push Buffalo past St. Louis, 4-3. Brayden Schenn evened the score with 11:19 remaining in the third on a questionable goal that was challenged by the Sabres.
Philipp Grubauer recorded his third shutout in five starts by stopping 22 shots in Colorado's 3-0 win over the Devils. Tyson Barrie scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon scored his 37th goal of the season as the Avalanche climbed within two points of the final Western Conference wild-card slot.
Carter Hart turned back 41 shots and Sean Couturier scored with under four seconds left on the clock in overtime to send the Flyers past the Penguins, 2-1. Pittsburgh was on its way to a 1-0 victory until Couturier set up James van Riemsdyk's tying goal with 19 seconds left in regulation.
Elswhere on NHL ice, Jonathan Marchessault scored twice in the Golden Knights' eighth win in nine games, 6-3 against Edmonton. Reilly Smith and William Karlsson each had two assists for Vegas, which is seven points ahead of Arizona for third place in the Pacific Division.
Tim Schaller netted his first two goals of the season and Josh Leivo scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Stars. Jamie Benn and Taylor Fedun tallied for Dallas, which is two points behind the Blues for third place in the Central Division.
The Panthers' four-game winning streak is over after Jakob Silfverberg scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:33 left to give the Ducks a 3-2 victory against Florida. Adam Henrique and Daniel Sprong also scored for Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf had two assists and John Gibson stopped 37 shots.
Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks had a second cortisone shot for his ailing back and will not be ready for opening day. Hicks was hurt while taking batting practice on March 1.
Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies' lineup Sunday as the designated hitter, two days after taking a 96-mph pitch on the right ankle. He was struck by a fastball from Toronto rookie Trent Thornton on Friday.
In other baseball news, Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch has been suspended one game for his argument and ensuing comments about umpire Angel Hernandez at a spring training game over the weekend. Hinch was ejected by Hernandez one pitch into the bottom of the first inning Friday night against St. Louis. Hinch came onto the field and an extended argument ensued. After the game, he called Hernandez "unprofessional" and "arrogant." Hinch served the suspension on Sunday.
Back tightness is expected to keep St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter out of the lineup until Wednesday. Carpenter first noticed the issue on Saturday, when he wasn't scheduled to be in the lineup.
Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, who were in the market for a replacement for Ryan Tannehill. The 36-year-old Fitzpatrick has a 50-75-1 record as a starter for seven NFL teams. He started seven games for Tampa Bay last year and had a passer rating of 100.4, which ranked ninth in the league. The Dolphins traded Tannehill on Friday to the Tennessee Titans in a deal that also involved draft picks.
Rory McIlroy carded a pair of late birdies and closed with a 2-under 70 to win The Players Championship by one stroke over Jim Furyk. McIlroy had to play catch-up over his final four holes after the 48-year-old Furyk closed with a birdie for a 67 that gave him a one-shot advantage. McIlroy answered with a 15-foot birdie on 15 and a two-putt birdie on the next hole before closing out the title on his 10th try. Eddie Pepperell and Jhonattan Vegas finished two strokes back and one ahead of Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and second-round co-leader Tommy Fleetwood.
Kyle Busch has tied Richard Petty's NASCAR record with his 200th career victory across the three national series. Busch used an impressive late surge through the field following a speeding penalty to win the Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. He dominated the first two stages, but a pit-road speeding penalty dropped him to 18th with 73 laps to go. Busch eventually catapulted into the lead for good with 26 laps left by drafting off Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Logano finished second, followed by Keselowski, Kevin Harvick,. Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch.
WORLD CUP FINALS
Mikaela Shiffrin has clinched the season-long World Cup standings title by winning a giant slalom Sunday. The American star needed only a top-15 finish in Andorra to ensure closest challenger Petra Vlhova could not overhaul her points total. It's Shiffrin's fourth World Cup title in the same season, tying the women's record jointly held by Lindsey Vonn and Tina Maze. Shiffrin has now won 17 World Cup races this season, extending her own record for men and women.
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