#SportsReport: Timberwolves Down Nets; Giants Fire Shurmur
Shabazz Napier scored a season-high 24 points and Jarrett Culver added 21 points as the Timberwolves won for just the second time in 14 games, 122-115 over the Nets in overtime. Gorgui Dieng had 11 points and 20 rebounds in place of injured Karl-Anthony Towns to help Minnesota earn its first home win since Nov. 13.
An unlikely team has ended the Miami Heat's five-game winning streak. The Southeast Division leaders fell to 24-9 as the undermanned Wizards earned a 123-105 rout of the Heat. Jordan McRae scored a season-high 29 points, Garrison Mathews had a career-high 28 and Ian Mahinmi added a career-best 25 to help the Wizards improve to 10-22. Mahinmi provided 19 points in the first half as Washington took a 71-63 lead into the break. Mathews had never scored more than six points in an NBA game before netting 20 in the second quarter. Jimmy Butler had a team-high 27 points for the Heat, who lost for just the third time in 20 games against Eastern Conference opponents.
Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Bucks dumped the Bulls, 123-102. The league's No. 2 scorer played only 27 minutes and sat out the final 5 1/2 because of the lopsided score after missing Milwaukee's previous two games due to back soreness. Khris Middleton scored 25 points as the Bucks improved to a league-best 30-5.
The Jazz won for the eighth time in nine games as Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and Jordan Clarkson added 20 to lead a 104-81 drubbing of the Pistons. Rudy Gobert chipped in 13 points and 19 rebounds for Utah, while Bojan Bogdanovic scored 17. The Jazz didn't score their first basket until five minutes into the game and shot just 33% from the floor before halftime.
The Suns stormed back from a 19-point, first-quarter deficit to down the Trail Blazers, 122-116. Devin Booker had a team-high 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds to help Phoenix win its second straight since an eight-game skid. Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 29 points and teammate Ricky Rubio had 18 with 13 assists for the Suns.
The Hawks' 10-game losing streak is over after Brandon Goodwin scored 21 points and Kevin Huerter added 19 in Atlanta's 101-93 comeback against the Magic. The Hawks trailed by 18 in the first half before winning in their second straight game without leading scorer Trae Young. Alex Len scored eight of his 18 points to fuel a 15-4 run in the third quarter.
In men’s college basketball, UAlbany edged Columbia for its first nonconference road win of the season, 67-66, Akron downed UMass 85-79, and Seton Hall beat DePaul 74-66.
In women’s college basketball, UMass doubled up Southern Connecticut State 86-43.
In men's top-25 basketball, top-ranked Gonzaga has wrapped up its non-conference schedule with an easy home win. Filip Petrusev scored 22 points and the Bulldogs jumped out to a 27-8 lead in a 93-72 rout of Detroit Mercy. Ryan Woolridge added 21 points and eight assists in Gonzaga's first game since Dec. 21. Drew Timme scored 13 points and Anton Watson 11 as the Zags improved to 14-1.
Sixth-ranked Baylor earned its ninth straight win by hammering Jackson State, 83-57. Jared Butler scored 18 points and the Bears went on a 32-6 in the first half to take control and improve to 10-1. MaCio Teague finished with 16 points and Freddie Gillespie posted his fifth double-double this season with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Bears.
Lester Quinones scored 16 points and Damion Baugh finished with 15 to send No. 9 Memphis to an 84-73 win over Tulane in the American Athletic Conference opener for both squads. Precious Achiuwa finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the 12-1 Tigers won their 10th in a row. Former Tiger K.J. Lawson had a team-high 22 points for the Green Wave.
Obi Toppin most of his career-high 31 points from inside as No. 20 Dayton used its front-line advantage and pulled away from North Florida, 77-59. The Flyers forced 21 turnovers and scored 52 of its points in the paint while improving to 11-2.
Villanova won its Big East opener as Collin Gillespie scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead the 10th-ranked Wildcats past Xavier, 68-62. Jermaine Samuels added 14 points to help Villanova improve to 10-2 with its sixth consecutive win.
Gonzaga remains atop The Associated Press men's college basketball poll following a light holiday schedule. The Zags received 63 first-place votes from a 65-member media panel after having the week off. Second-ranked Duke and No. 3 Kansas each had one first-place vote, with Oregon and Ohio State rounding out the top five. The Ducks moved into the top five for the first time since 2016-17, when they went to the Final Four. The Buckeyes dropped three spots after Sunday's 67-59 loss to West Virginia. Sixth-ranked Baylor is followed by Louisville, Auburn, Memphis and Villanova.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have completed a 10-2-0 month that has them within seven points of the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals. Evgeni Malkin scored twice and had an assist as the Penguins downed the visiting Ottawa Senators, 5-2. Malkin put the Pens ahead to stay just 27 seconds into the game and provided the game-winner six minutes into the second period. Jake Guentzel added a goal and two assists, while Patric Hornqvist furnished a goal and an assist. The Penguins have gone 14-5-3 since captain Sidney Crosby was sidelined by a sports hernia that required surgery.
In NHL news, the host St. Louis Blues will have three players at NHL All-Star Weekend. Captain Alex Pietrangelo, goaltender Jordan Binnington and playoff MVP Ryan O'Reilly will represent the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues for All-Star festivities. St. Louis native Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames was also chosen as an All-Star. Washington's Alex Ovechkin was voted in by fans but opted to skip All-Star to rest his body for the stretch drive and playoffs. Capitals teammates John Carlson and Braden Holtby will go instead. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is set to make his ninth All-Star appearance.
An NHL official says an angry postgame rant by Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella was "unprofessional along with unacceptable." NHL director of operations Colin Campbell was taking issue with Tortorella's furious criticism of officiating and league operations over a clock-management issue late in Sunday's overtime loss to the Blackhawks.
Two of the worst teams in the NFC have made major changes a day after completing another losing season. Pat Shurmur has been fired after two seasons as head coach of the New York Giants. The Giants just finished a 4-12 season after going 5-11 in Shurmur's first year at the helm. However, the Giants elected to keep general manager Dave Gettleman despite the team's 9-23 record over the past two years. Co-owner John Mara says the decision to keep the 68-year-old Gettleman was based on giving him the chance to finish a major overall of the roster and the scouting system.
Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen has been fired after 10 seasons. The Redskins went 62-97-1 with Allen serving as Snyder's right-hand man, a stretch that featured only two playoff appearances and zero postseason victories. Washington never won more than 10 games under Allen and just concluded a 3-13 campaign. News of Allen dismissal came as Ron Rivera visited the Redskins about their head coaching vacancy.
Dolphins Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Howard has been arrested on a domestic battery charge following an argument with his fiance. Police in Davie, Florida, said in an arrest report that the woman was injured as the couple argued over the purchase of a purse. The report says Howard pushed her against a mirror in the hallway of their bedroom and let her go. She fell to the floor, landing on his crutches.
Raiders guard Richie Incognito has signed a two-year, $14 million contract extension that includes $6.35 million in guaranteed money. The Raiders signed Incognito last offseason to a one-year prove-it deal to bring him out of retirement after a troubled past that included several suspensions, accusations of racism and bullying and run-ins with police off the field.
Florida's passing game was overshadowed by Lamical Perine as the sixth-ranked Gators won the Orange Bowl. Perine scored on a 61-yard run in the opening minute and carried 13 times for a career-high 138 yards as the Gators topped Virginia, 36-28. He finished with three touchdowns and 181 total yards of offense after entering the game with just 538 yards on the ground this season. Perine also scored on a 10-yard run, caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Trask and was chosen the game's most valuable player. Florida ends the year 11-2 under second-year coach Dan Mullen and likely will finish in the Top 10 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2008-09.
Louisville rallied from a 14-point deficit by scoring 31 straight to beat Mississippi State, 38-28 in the Music City Bowl. Micale Cunningham threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns for the 8-5 Cardinals, who were coming off a 2-10 campaign that led to the hiring of coach Scott Satterfield. Cunningham also ran for 81 yards and Javian Hawkins led Louisville with 105 yards rushing, including a late TD.
Chase Garbers threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score in leading California's 35-20 win over Illinois in the Redbox Bowl. Christopher Brown Jr. ran for 120 yards on 20 carries as the 8-5 Golden Bears won its first bowl game since 2015. Makai Polk caught five passes for a season-high 105 yards in Cal's third straight win.
Freshman Cory Munson kicked a career-long 52-yard field goal with no time left after a rules review to give Western Kentucky a 23-20 victory over Western Michigan in the First Responder Bowl. The Hilltoppers drove 36 yards in 27 seconds before Munson kicked his third field goal in four tries. The clock had expired before the winning kick, but the Broncos were penalized for having 12 players on the field, giving Munson a chance to win it.
The Chicago White Sox and 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel have finalized a three-year, $55.5 million contract. Keuchel will earn $18 million in salary each of the next three seasons. The White Sox hold a $20 million option for 2023 with a $1.5 million buyout. The 31-year-old left-hander won the Cy Young Award with the Houston Astros in 2015. He went 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA for the Braves this year.
The Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $4 million, one-year contract with free agent Travis Shaw. The infielder hit .157 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 86 games for Milwaukee last season. The 29-year-old Shaw has a .243 career batting average over five big league seasons with the Brewers and Red Sox.
The Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Kole Calhoun to a two-year contract worth $16 million that includes a club option for 2022. Calhoun has played eight major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. He has a career .249 batting average and 140 homers. He had a career-high 33 homers last season.
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