#SportsReport: Knicks Top Cavaliers; Celtics Beat Pacers
Julius Randle recorded his first triple-double in two years by collecting 28 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Knicks' 95-86 victory over the Cavaliers. Randle scored 18 in the first half as New York built a 16-point lead before completing its second straight win since an 0-2 start.
In other NBA action:
The Celtics erased a 17-point, second-half deficit as Jayson Tatum provided 14 of his 27 points during a fourth-quarter run in a 116-111 triumph over the Pacers. Jaylen Brown added 20 points for Boston, which outscored Indiana, 33-18 in the final period.
The 76ers earned a 100-93 victory over the winless Raptors as Joel Embiid furnished 29 points and 16 rebounds. Embiid suffered an apparent leg injury in the third quarter, but he returned a few minutes later with Philadelphia down by 11.
Zach LaVine scored 23 points, including nine straight in the third quarter of the Bulls' first win of the season, 115-107 at Washington. The Wizards fell to 0-4 despite Russell Westbrook, who had 21 points, 15 boards and 11 assists in his third straight triple-double.
The Miami Heat knocked out the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals this year before advancing to the NBA Finals. The Bucks gained a modicum of revenge with a 3-point barrage in a 144-97 pounding of the Heat. The Bucks set an NBA record by nailing 29 3-pointers, breaking the old mark midway through the fourth quarter. They shot 29 for 51 from beyond the arc, two nights after going 7 for 38 in a loss to New York. Khris Middleton had four 3's on his way to 25 points. Jrue Holiday made six 3's in his 24-point night, and Donte DiVincenzo was 5-for-6 from deep to finish with 17 points. One of the few things the Heat did well was holding Giannis Antetokounmpo to nine points. Tyler Herro had 23 points for Miami.
Stephen Curry dropped in 31 points and Andrew Wiggins had 27 in the Warriors' 116-106 decision over the winless Pistons. The injury-plagued Warriors have won two in a row after dropping their first two games by a combined 65 points.
Tyrese Haliburton scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Kings pulled away to beat the Nuggets, 125-115. Sacramento won despite Nikola Jokic, who had 26 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in his team-record 44th career triple-double.
The Magic are 4-0 for the first time in team history after Nikola Vucevic had a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 118-107 downing of the Thunder. Dwayne Bacon went 9 of 10 from the field and scored 18 points to go with eight rebounds for Orlando.
Lou Williams led seven Clippers in double figures with 20 points in a 124-101 crushing of the Timberwolves. Paul George added 18 points, Serge Ibaka had 16 and Luke Kennard scored 15 for Los Angeles.
Jae Crowder delivered a season-high 21 points and Cameron Johnson added 18 in the Suns' 111-86 rout of the Pelicans. Six Suns scored in double figures as they improved their record to 3-1.
In NBA news:
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love could miss more than a month with a calf injury he aggravated Sunday night in a game against Philadelphia. Love initially got hurt in Cleveland's first exhibition game and sat out the season opener to give it more rest. The five-time All-Star started against the 76ers before leaving the game in the second quarter. The 32-year-old's injury is a setback for the Cavaliers, who are off to their first 3-0 start since 2016.
Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant will miss three to five weeks after spraining his left ankle in the Grizzlies' 116-111 overtime win at Brooklyn on Monday. Memphis said that further tests revealed Morant suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain. Morant led Memphis in scoring last season, averaging 17.8 points a game. He also opened this season scoring a career-high 44 points.
In women’s college basketball, Hartford bested New Hampshire 64-57. Olivia Nelson-Ododa had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 4 UConn to a 75-52 win over No. 18 DePaul. Freshman Paige Bueckers added 18 points for the Huskies, who had five players score in double figures in their first game this season against a ranked opponent. Darrione Rogers had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead DePaul, which averaged better than 88 points over its first seven games. The Huskies held the Blue Demons to 25% shooting. Christyn Williams had 14 points, including the 1,000th point of her UConn career.
In top-25 men's basketball:
Second-ranked Baylor continued its Big 12 preparations with another easy home win. MaCio Teague scored a team-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting as the Bears blew out Central Arkansas, 93-56 to improve to 7-0. Davion Mitchell chipped in six points, grabbed six rebounds and led the Baylor passing game with 12 assists. The Bears erupted for 53 points in the first half and outscored the Bears, 40-21 the rest of the way. Tulsa provided the day's biggest surprise in top-25 action. Brandon Rachal capped his 22-point night by draining two free throws with 0.1 seconds remaining to send the Hurricanes past fifth-ranked Houston, 65-64. After Houston's Caleb Mills made a 7-foot floater with six seconds left, Rachal took a pass, drove the length of the court and was fouled by center Brison Gresham at the rim.
Gonzaga ran the nation's longest home winning streak to 43 games as Corey Kispert scored 25 points to lead the top-ranked Bulldogs to a 112-67 dismantling of Dixie State. Joel Ayayi added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the 9-0 Zags.
Derek Culver scored 18 points and ninth-ranked West Virginia used its size advantage to overpower Northeastern, 73-51. Oscar Tshiebwe had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the 8-2 Mountaineers, who had a 45-34 rebounding advantage and forced 19 turnovers.
Jordan Bohannon shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range while scoring 24 points to send 10th-ranked Iowa to an 87-72 decision over No. 19 Northwestern. CJ Fredrick added 19 and Luka Garza finished with 18 in the Hawkeyes' eighth consecutive home win against a ranked opponents.
Kevin McCullar scored 11 points in his injury-delayed season debut and No. 13 Texas Tech warmed up for the rest of its Big 12 schedule by thumping Incarnate Word, 79-51. Marcus Santos-Silva also had 11 points for the 8-2 Red Raiders, who got a brief holiday break after a two-point win at Oklahoma.
No. 14 Rutgers was an 81-76 winner against Purdue as Montez Mathis contributed 16 of his career-high 25 points in the second half. Geo Baker had 19 points six rebounds and four assists for the Scarlet Knights, who played without leading scorer Ron Harper Jr. because of an ankle injury.
Nick Honor delivered all his 13 points in the second half, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, as Clemson rallied past No. 18 Florida State, 77-67. Clyde Trapp scored 15 points and Al-Amir Dawes added 11 for the Tigers.
Keve Aluma scored a career-high 26 points and No. 24 Virginia Tech made crucial free throws in the final minute to hold off Miami, 80-78. Justyn Mutts added 15 points for the Hokies, who made three free throws in the final 37 seconds after blowing most of a 17-point lead.
In college basketball news:
The Arizona men's basketball program has self-imposed a one-year postseason ban related to its long-running NCAA rules infractions case. The NCAA issued a Notice of Allegations in October accusing the Wildcats of nine counts of misconduct, including five Level I violations. The violations include a lack of institutional control and failure to monitor by the university, and lack of head coach control by basketball coach Sean Miller. Arizona is 7-1 this season, including a 1-1 mark in the Pac-12 Conference.
Oklahoma State has ended its season with a bowl game victory. Spencer Sanders threw for four scores and the Cowboys won the Cheez-It Bowl by building a three-touchdown lead before downing No. 18 Miami, 37-34. The Cowboys scored on their first three possessions while jumping out to a 21-0 lead. Brennan Presley caught three of Sanders' TD passes, finishing with six receptions for 118 yards after entering the game with just one catch all season. Hurricanes starting quarterback D'Erik King threw a 10-yard TD pass but had to leave the game late in the first half with a right knee injury. Backup quarterback N'Kosi Perry threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns for Miami. Perry's 5-yard TD pass to Michael Harley helped the Hurricanes close to 37-34 with 5:39 left.
In Tuesday's other bowl game, backup Casey Thompson passed for 170 yards and four touchdowns as No. 20 Texas hammered Colorado, 55-23 in the Alamo Bowl. Thompson entered the game after starter Sam Ehlinger injured his shoulder late in the first half. Freshman running back Bijan Robinson had 183 yards on 10 carries with a TD for the Longhorns, who are unbeaten in five bowl games under coach Tom Herman.
In college football news:
The Associated Press has honored one of this year's Heisman finalists. Alabama's DeVonta Smith is the AP college football player of the year. He is the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998. Smith received 26 first-place votes and 114 points to finish ahead of his teammate and quarterback, Mac Jones. They are the first teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting for AP player of the year. Smith is also the first Alabama player to win the award. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished third and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask was fourth.
The Texas Bowl has been canceled because of an increase of positive COVID-19 tests within TCU's program. The Horned Frogs were supposed to play Arkansas on New Year's Eve in Houston. It's the 19th bowl canceled this season and the third canceled since the bowl lineup was set earlier this month.
Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters will return for a third season with the Illini and play for new coach Bret Bielema. Peters transferred from Michigan and threw for 1,884 yards with 18 touchdowns this season, his first with the Illini.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will sit out the team's regular-season finale against Cleveland so he can rest for the playoffs. Coach Mike Tomlin says Mason Rudolph will start for the AFC North champions when they face the Browns. The Steelers will enter the AFC playoffs as the second or third seed. The Browns are trying to end an 18-year postseason drought.
In other NFL news:
The Rams have placed leading receiver Cooper Kupp on the COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Kupp has a team-high 92 catches for 974 yards and three touchdowns this year.
The Titans have put three-time Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern on their COVID-19 list, one day after kicker Stephen Gostkowski landed on the list. Tennessee visits Houston on Sunday needing a win or an Indianapolis loss to clinch its first AFC South title since 2008.
The Browns have added three more players to their COVID-19 list. Safeties Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph were placed on the list, along with rookie tight end Harrison Bryant It's not yet known if Sendejo, Joseph or Bryant tested positive for the virus or if they had close contact with an infected person. A positive test would cause them to miss Sunday's showdown with the Steelers.
The San Diego Padres pulled off one blockbuster deal for a starting pitcher on Tuesday while finalizing another. The Padres got Cubs ace Yu Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and cash while sending right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers to Chicago. The 34-year-old Darvish was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts for Chicago during the pandemic-shortened season, finishing second in the NL Cy Young Award race. He has three years and $59 million left on the $126 million, six-year deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2018 season. The deal broke after the Padres finalized their acquisition of ace left-hander Blake Snell from the Rays. The Rays will receive right-handers Luis Patiño and Cole Wilcox and catchers Francisco Mejía and Blake Hunt for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner. Snell went 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 regular season. He also posted a 2-2 record with a 3.03 ERA in six postseason starts for the American League champions.
Also, the Twins have signed right-handed reliever Hansel Robles to a one-year, $2 million deal. The 30-year-old Robles had 23 saves and a 2.48 ERA for the Angels in 2019 before struggling He posted a 10.26 ERA in 18 games in 2020.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss the start of training camp because of an unspecified illness, and there is no timetable for his return. The 32-year-old Toews says he has been experiencing symptoms that have left him feeling "drained and lethargic." The veteran center and three-time Stanley Cup champion had 18 goals and 42 assists in 70 games last season, but he also is one of the team's best defensive forwards and face-off options.
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