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#SportsReport: 76ers Beat Hawks; Thousands Attend Bryant Memorial

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Joel Embiid poured in a career-high 49 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the 76ers dumped the Hawks, 129-112. Furkan Kormaz chipped in 15 points for Philadelphia, which wasted a 21-point lead before improving to a league-best 27-2 at home. Trae Young led Atlanta with 28 points despite missing nine of 11 from 3-point range.

James Harden's 37 points, nine assists and six rebounds carried the Rockets to a 123-112 decision over the Knicks. Harden got to the arena just over an hour before the game after attending the memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in Los Angeles hours earlier. Ben McLemore finished with 17 points and Eric Gordon had 16 in Houston's fourth straight win, which keeps them a game behind the third-place Clippers in the West.

Aaron Gordon provided 27 points, 10 rebounds and a big blocked shot in the final seconds of the Magic's 115-113 comeback over the Nets. Terrence Ross added 21 points and eight rebounds for Orlando, which trailed by 19 in the first half before moving without 1 ½ games of the seventh-place Nets in the Eastern Conference. Spencer Dinwiddie had 24 points and eight assists as Brooklyn lost for the first time in six home games.

The Washington Wizards pushed the NBA's best team to overtime before the Milwaukee Bucks avoided a surprising road loss. Khris Middleton scored the Bucks' final nine points in a 137-134 triumph over the Wizards. Middleton dropped in 40 points, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 30.2 seconds left to give Milwaukee a 135-132 lead. Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with 1:33 remaining in regulation. Bradley Beal poured in a career-high 55 points, one night after scoring 53 in a loss at Chicago. Beal delivered 22 points in the fourth quarter to help Washington erase a 17-point deficit. The Bucks' third straight win leaves them 49-8, seven games ahead of Toronto in the Eastern Conference.

The Clippers had dropped three straight before outscoring the Grizzlies, 40-14 in the first quarter of a 124-97 dismantling of Memphis. Kawhi Leonard was high man for Los Angeles with 25 points and Montrezl Harrell added 22 off the bench. Ja Morant had a team-high 16 points for the Grizzlies, who are 2 ½ games ahead of Portland for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

Kevin Porter Jr. came off the bench to deliver 30 points and eight rebounds as the Cavaliers stunned the Heat, 125-119 in overtime. Kevin Love had 17 points and 14 boards for the Cavaliers, who trailed by 19 entering the fourth quarter before outscoring the Southeast Division leaders, 45-20 the rest of the way. Cleveland had seven players score in double figures and sent Miami to its sixth loss in eight games.

The Suns crushed the Jazz, 131-11 as Ricky Rubio finished with 22 points, 11 assists and seven steals. Devin Booker had 24 points and 10 assists while Deandre Ayton added 16 for Phoenix. Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 as the Jazz lost their third in a row and eighth in 12 games.

Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 23 points and Luka Doncic had 20 in the Mavericks' 139-123 thumping of the Timberwolves. The Mavericks never trailed and were able to rest most of their starters in the fourth quarter after scoring a season-high 81 points in the first half. Dallas shot 56% in the first half and went 12 of 23 from 3-point range en route to an 81-65 halftime lead.

In NBA news, Kobe Bryant's wife offered a poignant portrait of her NBA superstar husband and their daughter at a sold-out memorial service for the two. They were among nine people killed last month in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles. Speaking at times through tears, Vanessa Bryant praised her husband's devotion as she addressed thousands of fans gathered at Staples Center. The ceremony began with performances by Beyonce and Alicia Keys. The mourners included Lakers greats such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, plus other celebrities. NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal said he and his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate had a complex relationship but that they always respected each other and never took things too seriously. The two won three NBA championships together. A weeping Michael Jordan told the crowd that "when Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died." He said a piece of everyone in the crowd died as well. Jordan urged people to use the inspiration of Bryant's life for their own. Vanessa Bryant also filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the owner of the helicopter at the center of the crash. 


In women's college basketball, Marist pummeled Fairfield 75-45. 

In men's top-25 basketball, Florida State is the new leader in ACC after knocking Louisville from the top of the conference standings. Trent Forrest scored 14 of his 16 points after halftime to rally the sixth-ranked Seminoles from a double-digit deficit in an 82-67 victory over the No. 11 Cardinals. FSU outscored Louisville, 50-27 in the second half, including a 15-0 run that was capped by Patrick Williams' emphatic slam. Devin Vassell and M.J. Walker each scored 12 points for the Seminoles, who improved to 14-3 in the conference and set a school record for ACC victories with three games remaining. Ryan McMahon scored 14 points and Jordan Nwora added 13 with eight rebounds for Louisville.

Hours after Kansas moved to the top of the AP poll, Udoka Azubuike had 19 points and 16 rebounds as the Jayhawks blew out Oklahoma State, 83-58. Kansas took control with a 16-2 run early in the second half and improved to 25-3 overall and 14-1 in the Big 12. The Jayhawks own a half-game lead over Baylor for the conference regular-season title.

Texas posted a 67-57 victory over No. 20 West Virginia as Andrew Jones delivered 22 points in the Longhorns' third straight win. Courtney Ramey added 21 points to help Texas avenge their 38-point loss to the Mountaineers on Jan. 20. WVU is 19-9 overall and 7-8 in the Big 12 following its sixth straight conference road loss.

Kansas has reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press men's basketball poll following Saturday's three-point win over previously top-ranked Baylor. The Jayhawks picked up 62 of 64 first-place votes, with the second-ranked Bears taking the remaining two. Gonzaga dropped a notch to third with its loss to BYU. Dayton and San Diego State round out the top five and are followed by Florida State, Duke, Kentucky, Maryland and Creighton. Michigan, Texas Tech and Michigan State returned to the poll.


The Columbus Blue Jackets have moved into a virtual tie for the first wild-card in the NHL's Eastern Conference while ending an eight-game losing streak. Emil Bemstrom scored 4:35 into overtime to send the Jackets past the Senators, 4-3. Ottawa took a 3-2 lead on Colin White's goal 9:16 into the third period, but Columbus countered with Stefan Matteau's tally 29 seconds later. Nick Foligno scored twice and Boone Jenner had two assists as the Jackets pulled even with the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division standings, two points ahead of Carolina. The Isles and Hurricanes each have three games in hand. The Blue Jackets' first win since Feb. 7 might have been a costly one after goaltender Elvis Merzlikins departed in the second period following a big collision at the net with former Jackets forward Anthony Duclair.

Monday was the NHL's trade deadline: the Carolina Hurricanes were among the busiest teams as they acquired forward Vincent Trocheck from Florida, defenseman Brady Skjei from the Rangers and blueliner Sami Vatanen from New Jersey.

The Hurricanes parted with forwards Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark, along with two prospects for Trocheck. The Hurricanes also strengthened their blue line amid injuries to Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce by getting Skjei and Vatanen.

The Islanders acquired scoring help at the NHL trade deadline, and the Rangers worked out a long-term package with forward Chris Kreider rather than dealing him. The Isles signed center Jean-Gabriel Pageau after getting him from Ottawa for a conditional first-round pick in this year's draft, second-rounder in 2020 and a third-rounder if New York wins the Stanley Cup this spring. The Rangers and Kreider worked out a seven-year package reportedly worth $45 million after working themselves back into playoff contention.

The Oilers grabbed winger Andreas Athanasiou from Detroit and forward Tyler Ennis from Ottawa. The Oilers sent 2020 and 2021 second-round picks and forward Sam Gagner to Detroit for Athanansiou, who's a restricted free agent after this season. The Oilers also got winger Ryan Kuffner in the Athanasiou trade and picked up Ennis for a 2021 fifth-rounder.

The Penguins have acquired forwards Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues from the Buffalo Sabres for Dominik Kahun. Sheary helped Pittsburgh win two Stanley Cups. Pittsburgh also came away with veteran forward Patrick Marleau, who was relinquished by the Sharks for a condition third-round pick in 2021.

The Golden Knights swapped out goaltenders, getting Robin Lehner in a deal that sends Malcolm Subban to the Blackhawks. Chicago also receives forward Stanislav Demin and 2020 second-round pick while shipping forward Martins Dzierkals to Vegas, who was subsequently dealt to Toronto.

Nick Ritchie is a Bruin after being traded by the Ducks for forward Danton Heinen.

The Flames acquired defensemen Erik Gustafsson from Chicago and Derek Forbort from Los Angeles.

The Avalanche picked up forward Vladislav Namestnikov from Ottwa.

Forward Wayne Simmonds was dealt to the Sabres by the Devils for a conditional fifth-round selection in 2021.

The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired forward Barclay Goodrow and a 2020 third-round pick from Sharks for a 2020 first-round pick and forward Anthony Greco.

In other NHL news, Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour says defenseman Brett Pesce, and goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek are all dealing with "longer term" injuries from Saturday's win at Toronto. Brind'Amour says it was unclear exactly how long each would be out.


Major League Baseball is urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants over sign stealing by the Houston Astros. MLB says attempts at cheating are part of sports. Five men have sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan. Among their claims are fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws and negligence.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Major League Baseball officials agreed to work to keep Binghamton's Double-A baseball team, which is among the 42 minor league franchises targeted to lose their big league affiliation. The New York Democrat met with MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem, Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, and Eastern League president Joe McEachern to discuss the future of the Rumble Ponies, a New York affiliate.


The Green Bay Packers have signed longtime placekicker Mason Crosby to a three-year contract extension. Crosby, who turns 36 in September, has been with the Packers since being selected in the sixth round of the 2007 draft. He's appeared in every game since then. His string of 208 games are second in Packers history to Brett Favre's 255. Crosby is one of four NFL players to appear in every regular-season game since 2007, joining former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, Baltimore punter Sam Koch, and Dallas long snapper L.P. LaDouceur. He's the franchise leader in points, field goals, 50-yard field goals and extra points. Meanwhile, the Lions are keeping veteran receiver Danny Amendola, who had 62 catches for 678 yards and out touchdown last season.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.