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#SportsReport: Nets Beat Spurs; Will Brown Leaves UAlbany

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James Harden had 30 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets overcame a collapse in the final seconds of regulation to beat the Spurs 124-113 in overtime. The Nets snapped a 17-game losing streak in San Antonio. Kyrie Irving added 27 points and Bruce Brown had 23 for Brooklyn, which bounced back after a loss to Dallas on Saturday ended its eight-game win streak.In other NBA action: 

Joel Embiid had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz came off the bench to help the Philadelphia 76ers to a 130-114 rout of the Indiana Pacers. Ben Simmons had 18 points and six rebounds. Milton led the Sixers with 26 points and Korkmaz hit six 3-pointers and scored 19 points. Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 20 points.

Damian Lillard had 23 points and 10 assists and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 123-111 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Robert Covington had a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds while Carmelo Anthony added 29 points off the bench for the Blazers, who got off to a sluggish start but led by as many as 19 points in the final quarter. LaMelo Ball had 30 points for the Hornets, who have not won in Portland since March 2008.

Zion Williamson had 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and the New Orleans Pelicans held off the NBA-leading Utah Jazz, 129-124. Brandon Ingram scored 26, Lonzo Ball added 23 and JJ Redick scored 17, highlighted by two four-point plays. Bojan Bogdanovic hit seven 3s and finished with a game-high 31 points for Utah, which lost for just the eighth time this season, but the second time in three games.

Nikola Jokic dominated with 39 points and 14 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 118-112. The three-time All-Star scored 17 in the fourth quarter to help the Nuggets come away with the win after blowing a 15-point lead. Jokic also finished with nine assists, just missing his 50th career triple-double. All-Star Zach LaVine led Chicago with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Coby White added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Luka Doncic had 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, Kristaps Porzingis played a nearly flawless second half and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Orlando Magic 130-124. Jalen Brunson scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half as the Mavericks broke open a close game. Dallas has won four of its last five and nine of 12. Nikola Vucevic had 29 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Magic, who dropped their fourth straight.

Collin Sexton had 39 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the hapless Houston Rockets their 12th straight loss with a 101-90 victory. The Cavaliers have won four straight after losing their previous 10 games. It's Houston's longest losing streak since dropping 15 in a row in 2001 and the first time the Rockets have lost five straight at home since March 2006.

In NBA news: 

Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce has been fired following a slow start to a season of heightened expectations. Hawks president Travis Schlenk announced the move Monday in a short statement released by the team. The Hawks are 14-20 and 11th in the Eastern Conference, following a 109-99 loss at Miami on Sunday night. The teams play again in Miami on Tuesday. Schlenk says the move, which comes less than a week before Atlanta hosts the All-Star Game, is timed to help the team enjoy a second-half resurgence. Pierce, hired in 2018, was 63-120 (.344) with the Hawks. He missed the playoffs in each of his two completed seasons.

Toronto's game against Detroit that was scheduled for today is being postponed until Wednesday, a move that the NBA hopes gives the Raptors time to get back onto the floor. The Raptors were scheduled to play Chicago on Sunday and that game was postponed indefinitely because of positive tests and contact tracing issues. The league cautioned that Wednesday is a tentative rescheduling date for the game against the Pistons and is "pending additional test results."


In women's college basketball, No. 1 UConn bested Marquette 63-53. 

In men's college basketball, Saint Louis crushed UMass 78-57, Marist topped Quinnipiac 65-52, and Buddy Boeheim scored 26 points to become a 1,000-point career scorer as Syracuse breathed life into its NCAA Tournament hopes and held on for a 72-70 win over North Carolina. 

Elsewhere, Sam Hauser scored 18 points and No. 21 Virginia ended a three-game skid by handing Miami its sixth loss in a row, 62-51. Trey Murphy III added 12 points for the 16-6 Cavaliers, who took command with a 14-2 run to end the first half. Miami closed within six points several times after halftime, but each time Virginia kept the Hurricanes from getting closer.

In college basketball news: 

After nearly 20 years leading the men’s basketball team, coach Will Brown is leaving the University at Albany. The move comes one day after the team was bounced from the America East Tournament with an 83 to 77 loss to Hartford. In a statement Monday, UAlbany said Brown and the school agreed to mutually part ways. Under Brown, the Great Danes had a record of 315 and 295 and reached the NCAA tournament five times. UAlbany says a national search for a coach will begin immediately.

The NIT is moving the entire 2021 event to Texas, taking the semifinals and championship game out of New York's Madison Square Garden for the first time in the 83-year history of college basketball's oldest postseason tournament. The pandemic is also reducing the field to 16 teams from the usual 32. All games are set for two venues in the Dallas area. First-round games will be played March 17-20, with the quarterfinals March 25. The semifinals are set for March 27, followed by the championship game the next day. Last year's event was canceled because of COVID-19.


Michael Hutchinson stopped 31 shots or his sixth career shutout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-0. Morgan Rielly and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist, and Zach Hyman also scored for Toronto. The Maple Leafs blanked Edmonton for the second straight game, following a 4-0 win Saturday. Mikko Koskinen started in goal for the Oilers and allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Mike Smith to start the second period. Smith had 13 saves in relief. The teams meet again Wednesday night in Edmonton to finish a three-game series.

Martin Necas scored 1:59 into overtime and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Monday night. Brett Pesce and Vincent Trochek also scored for the Hurricanes, who won their second straight at Florida. Alex Nedeljkovic had a career-high 44 saves. Frank Vatrano and Eetu Loustarinen scored in the third period to give Florida the lead, and Chris Driedger finished with 24 saves. The Panthers have lost three of four.

Dakota Joshua scored in his NHL debut and Zach Sanford got two goals in the St. Louis Blues' 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Jordan Kyrou and David Perron also scored for the Blues, who won for the second time in five games. Ville Husso made 29 saves for the Blues in the same arena where he earned his first NHL victory on Jan. 31. Isac Lundeström scored three goals for the Ducks, whose winless skid stretched to a season-worst seven games. John Gibson stopped 30 shots.

Max Pacioretty scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Golden Knights erased a third-period, two-goal deficit to earn the victory in a matchup between the West Division's top two teams. After Alex Tuch scored the tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, it was Pacioretty punching home the game-winner after Vegas captain Mark Stone fed him with his fifth primary assist of the game.

Drake Batherson scored twice, giving him six straight games with a goal, and the Ottawa Senators beat the Calgary Flames 5-1. Artem Anisimov and Thomas Chabot also scored for the Senators, and Colin White had an empty-netter. Tim Stutzle contributed two assists to help Ottawa win for the fourth time in five games. The 22-year-old Batherson has seven goals in his last six games. He matched Jason Spezza for the longest goal streak in franchise history. Matt Murray, who was pulled from Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Flames, stopped 27 shots for the win.

Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots for his first career shutout as the Vancouver Canucks scored three goals in the first period and beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Nate Schmidt, J.T. Miller and Nils Hoglander scored early to help the Canucks end a four-game losing streak (0-3-1). Elias Pettersson added an empty-netter. Connor Hellebuyck had 15 saves for Winnipeg, which snapped a four-game winning streak, The teams finish their two-game series Tuesday night in Winnipeg.


J.J. Watt has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The team announced the deal with the free-agent edge rusher on Monday. Watt was released last month by the Houston Texans, for whom he won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. The 31-year old Watt has been one of the NFL's best players for a decade, but asked out in Houston, which is undergoing a roster upheaval. Watt joins another former Texans star, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, in Arizona. Hopkins was acquired by the Cardinals in a one-sided trade a year ago.

In other football news:

The Houston Texans released veteran quarterback Josh McCown on Monday, likely ending his 18-year NFL career. The Texans signed the 41-year-old in November, but he did not appear in a game. McCown joined the Texans after spending the early part of the season on the Eagles practice squad.

The Kansas City Chiefs expect Patrick Mahomes to be ready for offseason workouts following surgery on his toe, and they are optimistic that offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz could be available for the start of training camp. Mahomes had surgery on Feb. 10, shortly after the Chiefs were walloped by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, to repair a turf toe injury that had hobbled him throughout the playoffs.

The Chicago Bears have hired former Texas coach Tom Herman in an analyst role on Matt Nagy's staff, his first NFL job after more than two decades of college coaching. Herman led Texas to a 32-18 record and four bowl victories the past four seasons. But he failed to deliver a Big 12 title or lead the Longhorns into national championship contention and got fired in January, with Steve Sarkisian replacing him.

The father of the young cancer patient who captured the hearts of college football fans when he ran for a touchdown in Nebraska's spring game eight years ago has died after a seven-month battle with brain cancer. The Team Jack Foundation announced Andy Hoffman died Monday. He was 42. His son Jack was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. Wearing a miniature Cornhuskers uniform, Jack took a handoff and ran 69 yards into the end zone, with players mobbing him and lifting him on their shoulders. Andy was diagnosed with cancer last summer.


Major League Baseball has cleared the way for the return of in-game video on dugout iPads beginning on opening day, with catcher signals obscured by a computer program. For decades, baseball players retreated to a clubhouse video room to check out their at-bats or take a closer look at a reliever coming into the game. But that practice was prohibited in 2020, contributing to a down year for offense during the pandemic-shortened season. Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who opted out of last season because of COVID-19 concerns, calls video "a huge part of the game."

In other MLB news:

Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto had to sit out the team's exhibition home opener because he fouled a ball off his right foot a day earlier. Manager Dave Martinez said the 2020 NL batting champion originally was scheduled to play Monday against the Houston Astros. But then the mishap happened during live batting practice Sunday.

The New York Mets will honor the late Tom Seaver by wearing a "41" patch on their home and away jerseys this season. The Mets say they'll pay tribute to the Hall of Fame pitcher by putting his number on the right sleeves of their uniforms. Seaver died Aug. 31 at age 75. The right-hander is the Mets career leader in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He earned three Cy Young Awards with the Mets and pitched them to their first World Series championship in 1969. The Mets plan to unveil a Seaver statue at Citi Field this year.

Vi Ripken, matriarch of the famed Orioles family that includes Hall of Fame son Cal Ripken Jr. and once the victim of a bizarre kidnapping, has died. She was 82. Family spokesman John Maroon said she died Friday, a day before her birthday. Violet and Cal Ripken Sr. married in 1957 and he managed in the late 1980s, when sons Cal Jr. and Billy played for him.

© The Associated Press 2021. All Rights Reserved.