#SportsReport: NBA All-Star Draft & The XFL Returns
A Philadelphia museum dedicated to America's revolutionary patriots is temporarily renaming its biggest gallery in honor of the city's Super Bowl-bound football team. The Museum of the American Revolution on Thursday rechristened its Patriots Gallery as the Eagles Gallery. The new name will stay through Super Bowl Sunday when the Eagles face the New England Patriots.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski sat out practice Thursday with a concussion and quarterback Tom Brady was limited with his right-hand injury as New England returned to the practice field in preparation for its Super Bowl matchup with Philadelphia. Gronkowski suffered his concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit early in the Patriots' AFC championship game win over Jacksonville. Brady got several stitches in his hand after getting hurt in practice leading up to that game. Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise (concussion) and Malcolm Brown (foot) also did not participate in Thursday's practice. Safety Devin McCourty (shoulder), running back Mike Gillislee (knee) and offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle (knee) were all limited participants.
LeBron James got Kevin Durant and reunited with Kyrie Irving in the NBA's first All-Star draft. Stephen Curry picked James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Yannis Ah-deh-the-kom-poh), the NBA's top two scorers, and grabbed his other two Golden State teammates in the selections Thursday. The draft was not televised, and neither James nor Curry would reveal who they chose first when they were interviewed on TNT when the rosters were unveiled. However, Durant later said that he had been the No. 1 selection.
James was among those who said fans should have watched the proceedings and his decision to draft Irving could have made for a must-see moment. The point guard asked out of Cleveland last summer and the Cavaliers traded him to conference rival Boston. "Kyrie was available on the draft board, he's one of the best point guards we have in our league," James said. "It was an easy choice for me."
James and Curry will be the captains Feb. 18 in Los Angeles for the first NBA All-Star Game that doesn't use the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format.
James had the No. 1 pick as a result of earning the most votes in fan balloting, while Curry had the first pick in the reserve round after the starters were selected. He passed on Russell Westbrook, the NBA MVP who instead ended up on Team LeBron. The league is hoping that trying something new will bring back some old-school intensity that has been absent from the last two games, when the West nearly scored 200 points.
James also took the New Orleans duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. His other reserves are Cleveland teammate Kevin Love, Washington guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, LaMarcus Aldridge of San Antonio, Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Kristaps Porzingis of New York.
After taking starters Joel Embiid of Philadelphia and DeMar DeRozan of Toronto, Curry rounded out his roster with Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Minnesota's Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, Toronto's Kyle Lowry, Portland's Damian Lillard, and Boston's Al Horford. The league was widely criticized for not televising the draft, a decision that was made to protect players from any embarrassment over being chosen last.
"The fans should have been a part of this for sure and everybody who loves the game," James said, "but it's the first year and I think it's going to be pretty cool going into the future." Team LeBron has all five players in the game who have won All-Star Game MVP awards: James (2006, 2008), Westbrook (2015, 2016), Davis (2017), Durant (2012) and Irving (2014).
Gary Harris scored 23 points, Trey Lyles had 21 and the Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 130-118. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic added 18 points apiece for the Nuggets. They defeated the Knicks for the 10th time in a row in Denver.
The Golden State Warriors nailed a season-high 21 threes on 37 attempts in a 126-113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Klay Thompson hit seven of his nine 3-point attempts while scoring 25 points, and Kevin Durant's 28 points included 6-for- 9 from beyond the arc. Stephen Curry added five treys and 25 points as Golden State improved to an NBA-best 39-10.
Russell Westbrook poured in a season-high 46 points on 19-for-29 shooting as the Oklahoma City Thunder outscored the Washington Wizards 121-112. Paul George chipped in 18 points in helping the Thunder earn their sixth consecutive win. The Wizards committed 23 turnovers and wasted Bradley Beal's 41 points.
Vincent Edwards poured in 30 points and Isaac Haas added 24 as third-ranked Purdue eked out its 16th consecutive victory, 92-88 over No. 25 Michigan. Edwards drained a game-tying 3-pointer to ignite a 9-0 spurt that put Purdue ahead 74-68 with 7:23 remaining. The Boilermakers have won 20 straight at Mackey Arena and are 9-0 in the Big Ten conference for the first time since the NCAA Tournament began.
No. 13 Ohio State and No. 21 Arizona State were beaten at home on Thursday. Tony Carr drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to push Penn State past the Buckeyes, 82-79. Sedrick Barefield scored 17 points and provided the tying 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left in regulation before Utah completed an 80-77 overtime upset against the Sun Devils.
Bolden Brace, Vasa Pusica and Anthony Green each had a double-double to help Northeastern beat Hofstra 81-67 for its fourth win in a row. Brace had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Green added 14 and 10 and Pusica finished with 16 points, five rebounds and a career-high 10 assists.
Christian Vital scored 20 points and Jalen Adams added 18 to lead UConn to a 63-52 win over SMU. Josh Carlton added a season-high 12 rebounds for the Huskies (11-9, 4-3), who used a 19-4 second-half run to secure much-needed conference win after losing back-to-back games by at least 20 points. Shake Milton scored 18 points and Jimmy Whitt had 14 for SMU, (14-7, 4-4) which was coming off wins over No. 17 Wichita State and Tulane.
Lexie Brown tied a school record with 14 points in the first quarter when she joined an exclusive club and finished with 19 points to lead No. 18 Duke to a 75-50 win over Boston College. Brown had five steals, which made her the third NCAA Division I player with at least 1,800 points, 500 assists, 200 3-pointers and 300 steals, joining Niesa Johnson (Alabama) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor).
Ryan McDonagh scored his first two goals of the season and Brady Skjei added a short-handed tally that helped the New York Rangers salvage the final game of a four-game road trip by beating the San Jose Sharks 6-5. New York had been outscored 13-6 in losing the first three games of the trip before overcoming a deficit in the second period with a three-goal barrage from McDonagh and Skjei.
Robin Lehner made 30 saves for his second straight shutout and the Buffalo Sabres blanked the Vancouver Canucks 4-0. Sam Reinhart, Nicholas Baptiste, Kyle Okposo and Johan Larsson scored for the Sabres. Buffalo won three straight games for the first time this season.
Rookie Jake DeBrusk broke a 2-2 deadlock in the third period to send the Bruins to their fifth win in a row, 3-2 at Ottawa. Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES' BEHR'-zhuh-rahn) set up goals by Danton Heinen and Tim Schaller as Boston improved to 14-0-3 in its last 17 games.
Ross Johnston scored the first goal of his career, as the New York Islanders defeated the Vegas Golden Knights, 2-1, Thursday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning headed into the All-Star break with the NHL's best record following a 5-1 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia. Second-period goals by Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde and Ryan Callahan gave the Lightning a 3-0 lead in their third consecutive win. Vladislav Namestnikov scored twice late in the third period to back Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 36 shots.
All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban scored in his third straight game and Pekka Rinne made 23 saves in posting his fourth shutout in leading the streaking Nashville Predators to a 3-0 victory over the slumping New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm and Viktor Arvidsson also scored as the Predators extended their point streak to a season-high eight games.
A minor league team of the New York Yankees will sounds like a real farm team this season. The Trenton Thunder of the Double-A Eastern League is changing its name, at least on Fridays, to the Trenton Pork Roll. The pork roll is a New Jersey staple, being served on breakfast sandwiches and as a topping for burgers.
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Jose Reyes and the Mets have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract for the infielder to remain in New York. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical. The 34-year-old was a four-time All-Star shortstop with the Mets from 2003-11 and returned in 2016 following a domestic violence suspension. He hit .246 with 15 homers, 58 RBIs and 24 steals.
Vladimir Guerrero will become the first player to wear an Angels hat on his Hall of Fame plaque. Guerrero made the announcement Thursday, a day after he was elected to the Hall by an overwhelming margin. The slugger played the first eight seasons of his career in Montreal. He joined the Anaheim Angels as a free agent in 2004 and spent six seasons with them, including their rebranding as the Los Angeles Angels.
The Padres say their social media accounts were hacked early Thursday and posts were made that suggested the team had either agreed to terms with free agent Eric Hosmer or that a deal was imminent. The team says "Messages that were inaccurate and unauthorized were posted." The team also says "MLB Cybersecurity is now investigating the matter." The Padres have offered Hosmer a seven-year deal.
The XFL is set for a surprising second life under WWE leader Vince McMahon. McMahon announced the return of the much-maligned league that spawned He Hate Me and flamed out in 2001 after one wild season. McMahon said the XFL would return in 2020 but offered few other details about the late winter/early spring football league. The XFL will launch with eight teams, 40-man active rosters and a 10-week regular-season schedule.
Tiger Woods made his return to the PGA Tour by shooting an even-par 72 in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Woods was 1-over before coming within six inches of a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th. He is competing in a tour event for the first time since undergoing fusion surgery on his lower back last April, his fourth back operation in three years. Woods is currently on the bubble to make the cut and seven shots behind leader Tony Finau, who opened with a consecutive birdies in a 65. Finau is one stroke ahead of Ryan Palmer and Ted Potter Jr., with Jon Rahm among 11 players at minus-4.
Brooke Henderson is the leader through the opening round of the LPGA's Bahamas Classic. The 20-year-old Canadian had four birdies in a seven-hole stretch and shot a bogey-free 5-under 68 as she seeks her sixth LPGA victory. Sarah Jane Smith and Luna Sobron Galmes are one shot back and one ahead of Shanshan Feng and five others.
Lindsey Vonn was fastest in the opening super-G run of an Alpine combined event Friday, chasing her 80th World Cup win. The American racer was especially quick after midway and finished 0.60 seconds ahead of Federica Brignone of Italy. Third-place Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway was 0.65 seconds behind before the afternoon slalom. Three racers were tied in fourth place, 0.71 behind: world champion Wendy Holdener, Switzerland teammate Lara Gut and Marta Bassino of Italy. Holdener is the best slalom skier among the contenders. Friday's combined replaces one abandoned because of poor weather in St. Moritz in December. Mikaela Shiffrin, the overall World Cup leader, is skipping the race to focus on scheduled weekend events in giant slalom and slalom.
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