Friday, January 31, 2020

NBA Game Recap: Oklahoma City Thunder (111) vs. Phoenix Suns (107) - 1/31/2020

NBA Game Recap: Oklahoma City Thunder (111) vs. Phoenix Suns (107) - Date: 1/31/2020 Feb 01, 2020PHOENIX One day after Oklahoma City's Chris Paul earned his first All-Star selection in four years, the veteran point guard gave a good reminder of why he's still one of the NBA's best players.Paul ripped a steal away from Phoenix's Kelly Oubre Jr. and then made the go-ahead jumper with 1:03 left, and the Thunder held on for a 111-107 victory over the Suns on Friday night.It was another big moment in a surprisingly successful season for Paul and the Thunder. Best Sports Picks Service. They've won seven straight road games and have a 30-20 record, including a 24-9 mark since Thanksgiving. A big reason for those wins is Paul's continued excellence, even at 34 years old.''It's been special. It's been a lot of fun,'' Paul said. &# 39;'Our team has been unbelievable and that's been the best part about it. It's always an honor and privilege to be named an All-Star, especially after not doing it for four years.'' Danilo Gallinari led Oklahoma City with 27 points and Dennis Schroder added 24. Paul finished with 20 points and 10 assists.Oklahoma City used a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to flip a 99-92 deficit into a 105-99 lead with 25 seconds left and held on. Schroder drained a 3-pointer during the rally to tie the game at 99, and Paul hit the go-ahead jumper to make it 101-99.''We just tried to finish, especially when we get to four- or five-minute mark,'' Paul said. ''That's winning time. Top Rated Sports Services. That's when the really good teams lock in.'' The Suns led 81-79 going into the fourth quarter after Jevon Carter hit a 3 in the final seconds of the third and pushed their lead to 99-92 with 4:30 remaining on Deandre Ayton's layup. But then they didn't score for more than four minutes, missing seven straight shots as the Thunder rallied.It was an entertaining game that featured 21 lead changes, which tied a season high for the Thunder.Phoenix was led by Devin Booker and Oubre, who both scored 27 points. Oubre made a 3 with 9.5 seconds left that pulled the Suns to 107-106, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit two free throws on the ensuing possession to put the Thunder up three.''We had our chances,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We turned it over 22 times. Free Sports Picks Daily. They had 15 offensive rebounds. That is a lot of extra possessions to give a team that has as good of a guard trio as those guys.'' Schroder sank a 3-pointer with eight seconds left in the second quarter to put the Thunder ahead 53-52 at halftime. Schroder and G allinari had 12 points apiece in the first half, while Booker led the Suns with 14.REMEMBERING KOBEThe Suns held 24 seconds of silence before the game to honor Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in Sunday's helicopter crash. The public address announcer also read several of Bryant's on-the-court and off-the-court accomplishments, and the crowd chanted ''Kobe, Kobe'' for several seconds afterward.HEARING THE BOOSPaul was booed every time he touched the ball for most of the first half.The apparent reason? He made the Western Conference All-Star team when the reserves were announced Thursday and was likely one of the players who bumped Booker for one of the final spots.Paul got the last laugh with his clutch bucket that put the Thunder ahead late, and he hit multiple free throws in the final minute.TIP-INSThunder: Starting center Steven Adams picked up three fouls in less than seven minutes in the first half. That squashed a potentially good start to the game after he had two quick baskets in the opening minutes. ... Starting guard Luguentz Dort played in college at Arizona State and this was his first game against the Suns. He had eight points.Suns: F Dario Saric sprained his left ankle in the first quarter and didn't return. He played just four minutes. ... Phoenix was playing without F Aron Baynes (left hip soreness), G/F Cameron Johnson (bruised right quad) and F Frank Kaminsky III (right patella stress fracture). Baynes has missed the past five games, Johnson the past six and Kaminsky the past 14.UP NEXTThe Thunder return home to face the Cavaliers on WednesdayThe Suns play at Milwaukee on Sunday.---More NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/-Sports

NCAAB Game Recap: Northern Kentucky (71) vs. Wisc Green Bay (62) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Northern Kentucky (71) vs. Wisc Green Bay (62) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020GREEN BAY, Wis. Bryson Langdon had a season-high 22 points as Northern Kentucky defeated Green Bay 71-62 on Friday night.Langdon shot 5 for 7 on 3-pointers.Jalen Tate had 17 points for Northern Kentucky (15-7, 7-3 Horizon League). Dantez Walton added 15 points. What is Sports Handicapping. Trevon Faulkner had 10 points.Green Bay scored 28 points in the second half, a season low for the team.Amari Davis had 14 points for the Phoenix (10-13, 5-5). Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. Trevian Bell added 12 points. JayQuan McCloud had 11 points.The Norse evened the season series against the Phoenix with the win. Green Bay defeated Northern Kentucky 73-59 on Dec. 30. Northern Kentucky faces Milwaukee on the road on Sunday. Green Bay takes on Wright St. at home on Sunday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NBA Game Recap: Denver Nuggets (127) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (115) - 1/31/2020

NBA Game Recap: Denver Nuggets (127) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (115) - Date: 1/31/2020 Feb 01, 2020MILWAUKEE Will Barton had 24 points and eight assists to lead the tired and short-handed Denver Nuggets to a 127-115 victory Friday night that snapped Milwaukee's nine-game winning streak and handed the NBA-leading Bucks just their third home loss this season.Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Milwaukee, finishing just shy of his fifth triple-double this season. Khris Middleton added 24 points for the Bucks, who hadn't lost at home since Dallas beat them 120-116 on Dec. 16.Malik Beasley scored 16 points for Denver. Nikola Jokic had 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Michael Porter Jr. added 15 points and 11 rebounds as every member of the Nuggets that played scored in double figures.Porter got tangled up under the Bucks' basket and fell awkwardly at 10:27 of the fourth quarter. He was helped to the bench and did not return.Denver shot 7 of 13 on 3-pointers in the third while the Bucks were simply outhustled and lost their touch from behind the arc, going 2 for 8. After trailing by seven at halftime, the Nuggets took their first lead at 78-77 late in the quarter on a 3 by Beasley. Barton hit a jumper and Denver never lost the lead the rest of the way.The Nuggets arrived at their hotel at 4:30 a.m. following Thursday night's home win over Utah and were without two key starters in Paul Millsap (bruised left knee) and Jamal Murray (left ankle sprain), but their bench responded in the first half behind 11 points from Porter and 10 from Juancho Hernangomez.Denver (34-15) leads the Northwest Division and has won eight of 11. NBC Sports Picks. The Nuggets improved to 15-9 on the road.Antetokounmpo and his brother, Thanasis, made some personal history when they started together for the first time in the NBA to put some splash on the Bucks' Greek Heritage Night. Best Sports Picks Today. Thanasis Antetokounmpo stole an errant pass with a minute gone, raced the length of the court and threw down a two-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.Giannis Antetokounmpo flirted with a triple-double by the second quarter with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Middleton added 16 points, going 4 for 4 from behind the arc. Eric Bledsoe chipped in with 10 points and the Bucks led 67-60 at the break.Giannis Antetokounmpo missed Tuesday's win with right shoulder soreness and hadn't played since putting up 30 points and 16 rebounds last Friday when Milwaukee beat the Charlotte Hornets 116-103 in Paris.TIP-INSNuggets: Millsap missed his 13th consecutive game and Murray his ninth. Backup center Mason Plumlee (right foot) and guard Gary Harris (personal) also were out.Bucks: Milwaukee guards George Hill (left hamstring) and Donte DiVincenzo (left ankle) are each expected to miss a few games after sustaining the injuries Tuesday against the Wizards.IT'S ALL GREEKThe Bucks' starters were introduced in Greek as part of the night's Hellenic celebration.UP NEXTNuggets: Play at Detroit on Sunday.Bucks: Host Phoenix on Sunday.

NHL Game Recap: Tampa Bay Lightning (4) vs. Anaheim Ducks (3) - 1/31/2020

NHL Game Recap: Tampa Bay Lightning (4) vs. Anaheim Ducks (3) - Date: 1/31/2020 GAMETRACKERBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYRECLIVEBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYTWEETSLighting goalie Vasilevskiy gets 150th NHL win against DucksANAHEIM, Calif. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for his fifth straight multi-point game, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his 150th career NHL win and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Friday night.Vasilevskiy - who has 13 straight wins in regulation - stopped 23 shots. He is the fourth goalie in league history to get 150 victories in less than 250 games played (246). Sports Monitor. The others are Ken Dryden (241), Andy Moog (245) and Braden Holtby (246).Cirelli had the go-ahead goal with 1:02 remaining in the second period when Jan Rutta's shot deflected off his skate and past Anaheim goaltender John Gibson. Kucherov- who has nine goals in the last 10 games - put it out of reach midway through the third period when he split the Anaheim defense and put a backhander past Gibson.Troy Terry scored with 11.9 seconds remaining for Anaheim to get within a goal.Anthony Cirelli also had a goal and an assist, while Ondrej Palat and Erik Cernak also scored for the Lightning.Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, which has gone 3-3 in its last six games. Michael Del Zotto and Terry also scored for the Ducks. Gibson made 18 saves.Palat opened the scoring at 4:07 with his first goal in 12 games. Cirelli dumped the puck into the Ducks' zone and then chased it behind the net before feeding it to Palat for his 13th of the season.Rakell tied it four minutes later with a wrist shot, beating Vasilevskiy through a screen. Rakell fanned on his first shot before regaining possession and firing a shot after making a spin move to get free from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.Cernak put Tampa Bay back on top with 5:17 remaining in the first when he took a pass from Brayden Point and tapped it past Gibson. It is the first time the second-year defenseman has scored in back-to-back games. Del Zotto evened it with 1:31 left with a wrist shot through traffic.HONORING KOBEGibson wore a Kobe Bryant tribute mask for the game. Handicappers Watchdog. The mask featured a silhouette of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, surrounded by the names of the seven other victims of last Sunday's fatal helicopter crash. Football Predictions. The mask also included the years of all five of his championships and his 81-point game. Bryant's jersey numbers of No. 24 and 8 were also prominently displayed on both sides.NOTES: Kucherov has 11 points (six goals, five assists) over the past six games. ... Steven Stamkos also extended his point streak to six games with a n assist on Kucherov's goal. ... Patrick Maroon's second-period assist gave him a point in 11 straight games against Anaheim.UP NEXTLightning: At San Jose Sharks on Saturday to complete a four-game trip.Ducks: At Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in this season's third installment of the Freeway Series.---More NHL: www.apnewss.com/NHL

NHL Game Recap: Boston Bruins (2) vs. Winnipeg Jets (1) - 1/31/2020

NHL Game Recap: Boston Bruins (2) vs. Winnipeg Jets (1) - Date: 1/31/2020 GAMETRACKERBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYRECLIVEBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYTWEETSBruins ride power-play goals to 2-1 win over JetsWINNIPEG, Manitoba Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk scored power-play goals and the Boston Bruins beat Winnipeg 2-1 on Friday night, extending the Jets' losing streak to five games.David Pastrnak had two assists for Boston. Best Sports Handicapping Services. Tuukka Rask, returning for the first time since suffering a concussion on Jan. 14, made 37 saves.''Rask was terrific,'' Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. ''He'd missed some time. Got hit in the head with one (puck tonight), so clearly that you're always worried because he's come off a concussion. Played well, tracked pucks well.'' DeBrusk was left open on his winner after Jets defen seman Anthony Bitetto and forward Andrew Copp literally got tangled up and fell.''I've never seen that, a skate loop,'' Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ''It's Andrew's skate lace that catches the back of the guard on Bitetto's skate and pulls him down as they lock skates.''I've never seen that. Sports Tipsters. That's what's going on right now. Free Pick. Tough one.'' ''I had no idea what (his skate lace) caught on, then I looked down and saw it was that,'' Copp said. ''Less than one-in-a-million play.'' Patrik Laine scored for the Jets, who failed to capitalize on five power plays in the second period. Winnipeg has lost seven of its last eight. Laurent Brossoit stopped 23 shots.The defeat extended Winnipeg's longest losing streak of the season. The Jets a re 1-7-1 in their last nine homes games.The game was tied 1-1 after the first and second periods.Winnipeg opened the scoring when Nikolaj Ehlers sped around the back of the net and fed the puck across the front to Laine, who scored his 18th of the season past Rask at 6:06.Bergeron scored his 22nd with three seconds remaining in a two-man advantage at 19:07.The Jets' first of five power plays in the second period began early.The first advantage started at 2:11 when Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking Blake Wheeler.That became a two-man advantage after Ehlers and Brad Marchand collided and started fighting. Marchand got an extra roughing penalty for the clash at 3:28.The two-man edge continued when Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo got called for delay of game at 4:17. Charlie Coyle was then sent to the box for tripping at 7:07.By the time those penalties expired, Winnipeg had nine shots on goal and Boston none.The Bruins got their first shot on Brossoit a few seconds later, but then Carlo was whistled for instigating at 10:10.The period ended with Boston's Torey Krug called for holding as time expired.Winnipeg outshot the Bruins 11-4 in the middle frame.Laine hit the crossbar during the early power play in the third, and Boston went on the power play when Sami Niku was sent off for slashing at 2:35.DeBrusk scored his goal 32 seconds later, after Pastrnak went around the back of the net and sent a pass just outside the crease at 3:07.Rask stopped a blast by Ehlers in the final minute.''I think then first period my rebound control wasn't where it could have been, but after that I kind of found the pucks and hung onto them,'' Rask said. ''I wasn't worried.'' NOTES: Winnipeg finished 0 for 6 and Boston was 2 for 4 on the power play.UP NEXTBruins: At Minnesota on Saturday.Jets: Host St. Louis on Saturday.---More NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL

NCAAB Game Recap: Wright State (65) vs. Wisc Milwaukee (61) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Wright State (65) vs. Wisc Milwaukee (61) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020MILWAUKEE Bill Wampler scored 19 points as Horizon League-leader Wright State edged Milwaukee 65-61 on Friday night for the Raiders' fourth straight win.Tanner Holden and Loudon Love added 16 points each for the Raiders. Love also had 13 rebounds before the team's leading scorer and rebounder was disqualified for a flagrant-2 foul with just under nine minutes left.Wright State led by seven before Love's disqualification and Milwaukee then rallied to take a 47-45 lead with 6:44 remaining. Best Bets of the Day. The lead went back and forth until the Raiders finished the final 3:15 on a 10-4 run with Jaylon Hall's two free throws, his only points of the game, ensuring the win with 4.2 seconds remaining.Wright State made 19 of 26 free throws to 8 of 10 for the Panthers .Both teams set season lows for scoring in the first half with Wright State (19-4, 9-1 Horizon League) holding a 26-19 lead.Te'Jon Lucas had 18 points and six rebounds for the Panthers (10-12, 5-5). Josh Thomas added 11 points.Wright State also defeated Milwaukee 82-70 on Dec. 30.Wright State will seek its fifth straight victory on Sunday when the team travels to Green Bay. Milwaukee faces Northern Kentucky at home on Sunday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NHL Game Recap: Washington Capitals (5) vs. Ottawa Senators (3) - 1/31/2020

NHL Game Recap: Washington Capitals (5) vs. Ottawa Senators (3) - Date: 1/31/2020 GAMETRACKERBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYRECLIVEBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYTWEETSOvechkin scores twice, moves into 8th on NHL's goal listOTTAWA, Ontario Crowds seldom give loud ovations to opposing players. Alex Ovechkin isn't just a regular opponent.Ovechkin scored two goals and moved into eight place on the NHL's career goals list, leading the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.Ovechkin's second-period goal, his 36th of the season and the 694th of his career, tied him with Mark Messier on the goals list. He added an empty-net goal with seconds remaining and moved into the eighth spot.Ottawa fans gave Ovechkin a hearty cheer, and when he moved into eighth place, responded with a cheer of: ''Ovi! Ovi! Ovi!''''Eight is a good number,'' the Capitals' captain said with a smile . ''I would say it's nice to be in good company. Free Sport Pick. There are a lot of legends up there.'' Ovechkin is 13 goals behind Mike Gartner for seventh on the NHL's career list. His 695 goals have come in 1,135 career games.Messier congratulated Ovechkin via a statement to the NHL.''You have amazed us all with your skill, shot, and grit - a rare combination. But more importantly, you have inspired a generation of girls and boys with your passion to score and play the game,'' Messier's statement said, in part.Praise was being heaped on Ovechkin, who had 19 shots, from both dressing rooms.''You hate seeing it against you, but it's just incredible,'' said Thomas Chabot. ''He's proven he's elite. He's one of the greatest of all time in the NHL to score goals.'' Capitals coach Todd Reirdon said Washington is fortunate to ha ve a player like Ovechkin.''That's how special a player he is,'' Reirdon said. ''We're lucky as coaches and players to see a guy chase an unbelievable record, and he hasn't stopped the last few games.''He was on, he was sharp, and he was ready to go.'' TJ Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Carl Hagelin also scored for the Capitals.Ilya Samsonov made 25 stops and won his 11th straight decision for Washington. Marcus Hogberg stopped 27 shots in a losing effort for Ottawa.Chris Tierney, Chabot and Artem Anisimov scored for the Senators.Oshie opened the scoring for the Capitals, collecting his 19th goal of the season four minutes into the game. Kuznetsov banged home a loose puck seven minutes later to make it 2-0.The Senators got on the board after Tierney scored short-handed at 7:15 of the second period, cutting Washington's lead to 2-1. Winning Sports Handicappers. Tie rney's 10th goal of the season was the Senators' 12th short-handed goal of the season, which leads the NHL, and their fourth in the last three games.Ovechkin ripped a shot from the right circle over the blocker of Hogberg at 10:27 of the second period to make it 3-1.Barely a minute after Ovechkin's first goal of the game the Senators answered, as Chabot unloaded a slap shot from just inside the blue line that pulled Ottawa within one.After being outshot 16-5 in the first period, the Senators responded with 17 shots in the second, but they couldn't keep up with the Capitals' firepower.''We showed some resiliency for sure,'' Ottawa coach DJ Smith said. ''We played hard and we didn't lay down. I thought we hung (Hogberg) out to dry in the first, but in saying that, they're a really good team.''They make plays and there's a reason why they're one of the best teams in the league.'' Just three minutes into the final period, a wrist shot by Hagelin zipped past the glove of Hogberg to make it 4-2. Hagelin's fourth of the season came short-handed.Anisimov scored on the power play, pulling the Senators to within one just over a minute later, but the late push wasn't enough.UP NEXTCapitals: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.Senators: At Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.---More NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL

NHL Game Recap: Vegas Golden Knights (4) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (3) - 1/31/2020

NHL Game Recap: Vegas Golden Knights (4) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (3) - Date: 1/31/2020 GAMETRACKERBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYRECLIVEBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYTWEETSTuch's tiebreaking goal lifts Vegas over Carolina 4-3RALEIGH, N. C. Alex Tuch scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 2:28 remaining in the third period to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.The Hurricanes had tied the score with a goal by Sebastian Aho on a power play of their own just 70 seconds earlier. But Aho was called for a hooking penalty with 2:34 remaining, and the Golden Knights won a faceoff and scored the winning goal with just 6 seconds elapsed on the penalty.''That was a key moment obviously at 3-3 where they had all the momentum, and I liked our response,'' Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. ''We got back on our toes, we started to attack, drew a penalty, scored on the power p lay. So big goal, big win, important start to the road trip.'' Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist in the opening 10 minutes as Vegas got off to a fast start after a nine-day layoff. Nate Schmidt and Paul Stastny also scored for the Golden Knights. Reilly Smith assisted on both first-period goals, and Vegas improved to 2-1-1 since DeBoer replaced the fired Gerard Gallant as coach.Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and one assist, and Brock McGinn also scored for Carolina, which had won two in a row. Petr Mrazek made 33 saves as the Hurricanes overcame their slow start but couldn't finish.''It's terrible,'' Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. ''It's not acceptable to play like that for two periods - two and a half periods - to be honest with you. Game Fixing. They were good, I give them a ton of credit. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. They played desperate, they played fast. Sports Handicapping Software. They did everything we said they were going to do and we just weren't ready to...match that, and that is what you get.'' With both teams playing for the first time since Jan. 21, the Golden Knights looked fresh while the Hurricanes were sluggish in the opening period. Vegas had 13 of the first 15 shots on goal, and Stastny opened the scoring by slamming home a goalmouth feed from Smith just 3:52 into the game.Marchessault made it 2-0 at 9:59 when he caught Carolina flat-footed during a line change, received a pass from Smith just past the Hurricanes' blue line and wristed a shot into the net on Mrazek's glove side.''It's a key time of year,'' Smith said. ''I think we just came out with a little more jump than they did, and took advantage of t he opportunity on a couple bounces that we were able to get in the first period.'' Teravainen halved the deficit with the only goal of the second period when he converted the rebound of a miss by Jordan Martinook.Schmidt extended the Vegas lead to 3-1 in the third period before McGinn and Aho quickly answered to tie it. The crowd came to life as the home team suddenly had an opportunity to win after trailing for almost the entire game.But the Golden Knights weren't rattled and struck back for the game-winner.''Obviously at 3-1 in the third period, you want to close that game out,'' Marchessault said. ''But they're a hard-working team. You've got to give credit to them. They came back, but good teams find a way to win. And we did.'' NOTESCarolina has been a model of durability this season, becoming the first NHL team in history to have 13 different skaters appear in each of its first 50 games this season. One of those player s, forward Nino Neiderreiter, was a healthy scratch Friday for the 51st game of the season. ... Both teams' penalty killing units were hot until late in the third period. The Vegas penalty-killers hadn't allowed a goal in eight consecutive periods, killing seven straight penalties, before Aho scored. The Hurricanes had killed 13 straight penalties over five games before Tuch's goal.UP NEXTGolden Knights: At Nashville on Saturday night in the fifth of their eight consecutive road games.Hurricanes: Host Vancouver on Sunday in the last of five straight home games.

NBA Game Recap: Memphis Grizzlies (111) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (139) - 1/31/2020

NBA Game Recap: Memphis Grizzlies (111) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (139) - Date: 1/31/2020 Feb 01, 2020NEW ORLEANS Zion Williamson even surprised himself when he vaulted upward to snare an overthrown alley-oop lob with his left hand, switched the ball to his right hand and laid it in before tumbling across the baseline.''It was one of those things where I just tried to make something of it, hope somebody gets the rebound,'' Williamson began before turning his answer into a joke at the expense of teammate E'Twaun Moore. ''I was shocked it went in. But my biggest shock of the night, I think, is when E'Twaun dunked. He's definitely getting drug tested.'' Williamson scored 24 points in a little less than 29 minutes, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 139-111 on Friday night in the first matchup this season between the NBA's top two draft picks.''His activity was really good and he's still in the learning stages,'' said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, who was wet from a locker room celebration honoring the coach's 500th career victory. ''He really tries extremely hard not to get in anybody's way.'' Williamson was playing in just his fifth game since completing a three-month rehabilitation from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He converted four alley-oop lobs into baskets, three of them on dunks. He also drove the baseline for a twisting two-handed dunk and put back several offensive rebounds.Newly selected All-Star Brandon Ingram scored 20 and Lonzo Ball hit five 3-pointers on seven attempts in his 19-point night for the Pelicans, who won their third straight while ending Memphis' four-game winning streak.Jrue Holiday added 18 points for New Orleans, which pulled to four games behind the Grizzlies for the Western Conference's final playoff spot with 33 games remaining.Jonas Valanciu nas had 18 points for Memphis before fouling out with 8:11 remaining. Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant, taken second overall behind Williamson in last June's draft, scored 16 points.''They played great and we weren't that good,'' said Grizzlies coach Tyler Jenkins, whose team was missing forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and guard Marco Guduric because of one-game suspensions for leaving the bench during an altercation against the New York Knicks in Memphis' previous game.''We can do a better job guarding one-on-one regardless of who we have out there,'' Jenkins said. ''Give (the Pelicans) credit. Football Tipsters. They played with great force.'' Little went wrong for the Pelicans, who shot 53.7%, made 15 3s and led by as many as 32 points in the fourth quarter.TIP-INSGrizzlies: In addition the the Jackson and Guduric suspensions, Memphis's lineup was thinned further by the absence of forward Brandon Clarke, who was ruled out with a sore hip before the game. Clarke joined guard Grayson Allen (hip) and Bruno Caboclo (knee) as inactive. ... Forward Solomon Hill, who played the previous three seasons for New Orleans, got his third start of the season for Memphis and had six points, two rebounds and an assist in 25:42. .... Missed 11 of 26 free throws. ... Jae Crowder scored 15 points, Kyle Anderson 14 and Josh Jackson 13. Dillon Brooks and Tyus Jones each scored 10.Pelicans: Redick scored 16 points and Josh Hart 11, while Moore and Nicolo Melli each scored 10. ... Derrick Favors had 10 rebounds. ... Outrebounded Memphis 57-34, turning 16 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.TOP PICKSWilliamson and Morant, who are both from South Carolina and former AAU teammates, exchanged jerseys after the game.''We never saw each other being the Nos. 1 and 2 pick, playing against each other (in the NBA) and swapping jerseys, Williamson said. ''You can't imagine stuff like that so it was a great moment.'' Both were involved in one of Williamson's early highlights. Holiday stole the ball from Morant, initiating a fast break that led to Williamson throwing down an alley-oop lob from Ball.Later, Ball's turnover led to Morant's soaring two-handed dunk off Brooks' lob.POSITIVE INFLUENCENew Orleans outscored Memphis by 25 while Williamson was on the court, giving the celebrated rookie out of Duke the best plus-minus figure of any player in the game.''With Zion on the court we're a great basketball team, honestly,'' Ball said. ''We're just happy to have him back.'' UP NEXTGrizzlies: Host Detroit on Monday night.Pelicans: Visit Houston on Sunday.---More NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/-Sports

NBA Game Recap: Dallas Mavericks (121) vs. Houston Rockets (128) - 1/31/2020

NBA Game Recap: Dallas Mavericks (121) vs. Houston Rockets (128) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020HOUSTON Houston's small lineup played big on Friday night to give the Rockets a win over the Dallas Mavericks.James Harden scored 35 points, Russell Westbrook added 32 and the Rockets built a big lead and held on for a 128-121 victory.Harden grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds for a Rockets team playing with a starting lineup that had no player taller than 6-foot-6 with Clint Capela out with a bruised heel.Harden said it's fun to play with such a small lineup, but admitted it can be difficult, especially facing a team with a big man as good as Kristaps Porzingis.“It's challenging, especially when you have to guard bigger guys," Harden said. “Porzingis under the basket can bring the competitiveness out of you and you have to compete, and you have to be physical and that's when you rely on your teammates.&q uot; Harden faced Porzingis for the opening tip and said he doesn't remember lining up for that since he was in high school.The Rockets led by 16 points entering the fourth quarter on a night when Mavericks star Luka Doncic sat out with a sprained right ankle that is expected to keep him out at least six games.But the Mavericks started out the fourth quarter strong and got within four with about 5 minutes left.Austin Rivers made a 3-pointer to stretch Houston’s advantage to 113-106 after that. Harden stole the ball from Porzingis seconds later and finished the fast break with a layup.But Dallas wouldn’t go away and cut the lead to four twice after that with the second time coming with about 90 seconds left when Tim Hardaway Jr. was fouled on a 3-pointer and made the free throw for a four-point play.Harden made a 3-pointer to pad Houston’s lead after Hardaway’s play, and the Rockets were able to hold on for the victory.Porzingis had 35 points and 1 2 rebounds as the Mavericks lost their second game in a row.“In the end the 3s got us and it's hard fighting an uphill battle and getting back after being down by (16)," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “I like a lot of things but they're a good team and they force you into some tough situations." Coach Mike D'Antoni said if Capela remains out and they need to go to the smaller lineup more often, they'll have to guard much better.“You've got to hunker down and let's go and get in front of guys," he said. “If we do that and we get conscientious about boxing out and getting back, we could make this lineup pretty good." The Mavericks scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter, capped by a 3-pointer from Seth Curry, to cut the deficit to 101-92. Dallas was still down by nine when Harden entered the game for the first time in the fourth quarter with about 9 minutes to go.But his presence didn’t stop the Mavericks’ charge. Dallas used a 7-1 spurt, with five points from Delon Wright, to get within 107-104 and make Houston coach Mike D’Antoni call a timeout to try and get his team on track.Houston got its first field goal in almost 3 � minutes after that when Harden made a 3-point play midway through the quarter.The Rockets had a five-point lead at halftime and had pushed it to 85-70 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter. Houston got 3-pointers from Danuel House, P. J. Fixed Games. Tucker and Eric Gordon in that stretch and got two dunks after steals to help build the lead.Houston led by 17 later in the third before the Mavericks used an 8-2 run, with the first five points from Porzingis, to get within 94-83.But Westbrook took over after that, scoring the next five points before throwing an alley-oop to Ben McLemore, who finished with a dunk, to push the lead to 101-83. Westbrook smiled broadl y and raised his arms to encourage the crowd to cheer when the Mavericks called a timeout after that play.TIP-INSMavericks: Carlisle got a technical foul in the second quarter for arguing about a foul call. ... Hardaway had 15 points. ... Curry added 16 points off the bench.Rockets: Capela sat out for the second time in three games because a bruised heel that has bothered him for weeks. D’Antoni said he’s day to day with the injury. ... Houston scored at least 100 points through three quarters for the fifth time this season and improved to 34-0 when the team has scored 100 points before the fourth quarter under D’Antoni.REMEMBERING KOBEThe Rockets had a tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and the seven others who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday before Friday’s game. Winning Sports Handicappers. They played a video featuring clips of the Lakers star and his daughter with m any current and former Rockets, before putting pictures of the nine victims on the screen and observing a 24-second moment of silence. Bryant wore No. 24 for the second part of his career with the Lakers.DONCIC’S INJURYDoncic was injured during a scrimmage in practice on Thursday and Carlisle said before the game that he'd be out until at least Feb. 10.Carlisle added that he expects that Doncic will be healthy in time to participate in the All-Star Game after he was selected to the team for the first time and voted a starter.Carlisle said the Mavericks expect to have an update on Doncic's condition on Feb. 8, which is the day of the sixth game.UP NEXTMavericks: Host Atlanta on Saturday night.Rockets: Host New Orleans on Sunday.---More NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/-Sports

NBA Game Recap: Chicago Bulls (118) vs. Brooklyn Nets (133) - 1/31/2020

NBA Game Recap: Chicago Bulls (118) vs. Brooklyn Nets (133) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020NEW YORK Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 54 points, making all 10 shots in the first half and 19 of 23 for the game, to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 133-118 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.Irving's previous season high was 50 against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the season-opening 127-126 loss on Oct. 23. Irving is the first player in Nets franchise history to score 45 points in three games in a single season.Spencer Dinwiddie had 20 points off the bench and Taurean Prince chipped in with 16. Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple contributed 12 and 11, respectively.The Nets never trailed in their second straight win, and their third in their last four games, with Irving playing the lead role. He scored 16 points in the first quarter on 6-of-6 shooting, and by halftime he was up to 27 points. Irving capped it by scoring five points in the final in the final 4.9 seconds, including a buzzer-beating 3 from the right side which gave the Nets a 73-57 lead.Irving also had help as Dinwiddie had 15 and Prince added 11 in the opening 24 minutes.One of Brooklyn's two prized free agent signings along with Kevin Durant, Irving didn't miss his first shot from the field until 1:24 into the third, a twisting fadeaway mid-range jumper from the left side.Chicago, which trailed by as much as 21, fell to 19-32. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 22. Luke Kornet finished with 19. Basketball Picks. Thomas Satoransky had 15, and Thaddeus Young had 14 . Chicago lost Kris Dunn for the game with what appeared to be a knee injury on the very first possession.The Bulls cut Brooklyn's lead to 105-99 on Coby White's 3-pointer 1:17 into the fourth but that was as close as they would get. From that point, the Nets outscored Chicago 28-19.Irving made two free throws with 3:50 left to set his new season high as chants of ''MVP! MVP!'' rained down from the sellout crowd at Barclays Center. On the next possession, he knocked down a mid-range jumper.TIP-INS:BULLS: Jim Boylen made no bones about it: The Chicago Bulls organization is displeased that LaVine will not be inside the United Center during the All-Star Weekend festivities as an active participant.''I am disappointed, we are disappointed that Zach LaVine was not selected to the team,'' Boylen said before the game. LaVine, in his fifth season, is averaging 25.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4 assists for a Bulls team that came into the game in ninth place in the East. ''We feel he's an All-Star caliber player. He's having an All-Star season, and he's obviously a huge part to what we're building. But we respect the process. I believe in the process, and so does Zach.'' NETS: He would not define it as make -it-or-break-it, but Kenny Atkinson is cognizant of the significance of the Nets' next nine games. ''This is starting to get money time, now,'' Atkinson said. Sports Handicapper Tracker. The Nets are eighth in the East. But as Atkinson explained, it is difficult to assess what his team is because they have rarely been at full strength over the course of the first 47 games of the season. ''Now that we're healthy,'' Atkinson said, ''We can get a real sample size of our squad. ... Sports Handicapping Services. The fact that we're pretty much whole except (for Durant) I think that is super important for our evaluation purposes.'' UP NEXT:BULLS: Visits Toronto Sunday afternoon.NETS: Visits Washington Saturday night.---More NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/-Sports

NCAAB Game Recap: Cornell (63) vs. Brown (74) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Cornell (63) vs. Brown (74) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020PROVIDENCE, R. I. Zach Hunsaker had 20 points as Brown got past Cornell 74-63 on Friday night.Tamenang Choh had 14 points for Brown (8-8, 1-2 Ivy League). Jaylan Gainey added 12 points and eight rebounds.Brandon Anderson, who led the Bears in scoring entering the matchup with 19 points per game, had 7 points on 1-of-16 shooting.Josh Warren had 17 points for the Big Red (4-12, 1-2). Jimmy Boeheim added 12 points and eight rebounds. Hot Sports Handicappers. Terrance McBride had 11 points.Brown takes on Columbia at home on Saturday. Cornell plays Yale on the road on Saturday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.st ats.com

NHL Game Recap: Detroit Red Wings (2) vs. New York Rangers (4) - 1/31/2020

NHL Game Recap: Detroit Red Wings (2) vs. New York Rangers (4) - Date: 1/31/2020 GAMETRACKERBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYRECLIVEBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYTWEETSRangers roll to 4-2 win over Red Wings in return from breakNEW YORK Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, and Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider each added a goal and an assist to help the New York Rangers return from an extended break and beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 Friday night.Pavel Buchnevich also scored to start the Rangers' three-goal second period, and rookie Igor Shesterkin stopped 23 shots. New York was off since a 4-2 loss to the Islanders on Jan. 21, getting time off for the All-Star break and subsequent bye week.Robby Fabbri had a goal and an assist and Valtteri Filppula also scored in the third period for the Red Wings, who lost their seventh straight (0-6-1). Detroit, playing for the first time since Jan. 22 for its extended break, has only 12 wins in 52 games. Jimmy Howard finished with 35 saves for the Red Wings to fall to 0-15-2 over his last 17 games since his last win on Oct. 29. He is 2-20-2 on the season.The teams meet again on Saturday night in Detroit.After a scoreless first period in which Howard made 15 saves, Buchnevich broke through at 9:23 of the second, converting a slick cross-ice pass from Zibanejad for his ninth.Kreider, who also had an assist on Buchnevich's score, made it 2-0 at 11:56 tipping Adam Fox's shot past Howard for his 18th. Kreider has three goals in his last four games while Zibanejad, who also had an assist on the second goal, has multi-point efforts in three of his last four games and five of his last eight contests.Panarin increased the margin to 3-0 with his team-leading 27th goal at 19:18, his fifth goal in his last seven games. Panarin has points in 37 of the 48 games he has played this season, including 23 of the Rangers' 24 wins.Panarin missed the Rangers' last game before the break and then last weekend's All-Star Game in St. Louis with an upper-body injury. He leads the Rangers with 70 points, fifth-best in the league.Zibanejad increased the lead to 4-0 with his 19th at 5:02 of the third.Fabbri got the Red Wings on the scoreboard with his 12th at 5:59 of the third. Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin assisted on the goal for his 250th career point.Filppula, playing his 999th career game, scored for Detroit at 10:59, his fourth of the season.The 24-year-old Shesterkin was making his fourth start for the Rangers this month. He now has recorded wins in three as the Rangers improved to 6-2-0 in last eight home games.NOTES: The Red Wings have been outscored 33-12 in their seven straight losses. ... Profitable Handicappers. The Rangers scratched F Micheal Haley and G Alexandar Georgiev. ... Sports Handicapping Monitor. The Red Wings s cratched D Mike Green, D Madison Bowey, and F Brendan Perlini. ... Free Soccer Picks. The Rangers won the teams' previous meeting 5-1 on Nov. 6 at the Garden. ... The Rangers have scored at least three goals in nine of their last 13 games.UP NEXTRangers: At Detroit on Saturday night.Red Wings: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

NHL Game Recap: Philadelphia Flyers (3) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (4) - 1/31/2020

NHL Game Recap: Philadelphia Flyers (3) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (4) - Date: 1/31/2020 GAMETRACKERBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYRECLIVEBOX SCOREPLAY-BY-PLAYTWEETSCrosby's OT winner lifts Penguins by Flyers 4-3PITTSBURGH Sidney Crosby beat Brian Elliott 55 seconds into overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.The Penguins blew a two-goal lead but recovered for their NHL-leading 19th home victory when Crosby's wrist shot slipped by Elliott for his ninth of the season.Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust and Kris Letang also scored for Pittsburgh. Gambling Profit. Tristan Jarry, fresh of his first All-Star appearance, stopped 27 shots for the Penguins.Jakub Voracek, Tyler Pitlick and Scott Laughton scored for Philadelphia. Elliott finished with 16 saves. Matt Niskanen added two assists for the Flyers but some stellar play by Ja rry in the third period helped the Penguins force overtime.Pittsburgh's promising first half - one in which the Penguins stayed in the thick of the Metropolitan Division race despite injuries up and down the roster, from Crosby to Malkin to Jake Guentzel - ended with a thud, a dismal 3-0 loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia that left head coach Mike Sullivan fuming.The nine-day layoff didn't seem to do Pittsburgh any favors. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The Penguins sent all of three shots Elliott's way in the first period. Soccer Picks. The Flyers only managed four on Jarry, but the fourth turned out to be a power-play goal from Voraceck with 27 seconds left in the period that came at the end of a sequence in which Jarry found himself sprawled in the crease, giving Voracek plenty of time to fire into the open net thanks to a slick cr oss-ice pass by Niskanen.The Penguins emerged from their layoff in the second period thanks in part to a couple of fortunate bounces. Malkin tied it 3:55 into the second when Patric Hornqvist's flip from the top of the zone skipped by Elliott and right to Malkin all alone at the far post. The Russian star jabbed at the puck, getting enough of it to pull Pittsburgh even.Rust's team-leading 22nd came just 81 seconds later, a power-play tally that came courtesy of a pass from Crosby, who fed Rust all alone in the slot. Philadelphia's Travis Sanheim got a piece of it, but couldn't stop it from crossing the goal line to put Pittsburgh in front 5:16 into the second. Letang capped the Penguins' outburst by skating in deep and flicking a shot from along the goal line that smacked off an out of position Elliott and into the net.Pitlick pulled the Flyers within one with 3:31 left in the second during a sequence that started with a Letang turnover while trying to cl ear the zone and ended with Pitlick firing a shot that zipped by Jarry for Pitlick's fifth of the season. Laughton tied it 2:20 into the third when he collected a redirected puck and beat Jarry, to set up a thrilling finish.NOTES: The Penguins held a moment of silence before the opening face-off in honor of fallen basketball icon Kobe Bryant that included the stairwells inside the arena being bathed in purple and gold light. ... Pittsburgh paid tribute to Philadelphia's Oskar Lindblom by wearing T-shirts following the morning skate that read ''Oskar Strong.'' Lindblom's career is on hold while he battles a rare form of bone cancer. ... The Penguins went 2 for 2 on the power play. The Flyers were 1 for 3 with the man advantage.UP NEXTFlyers: Host Colorado on Saturday. The Avalanche beat Philadelphia 3-1 on Dec. 11.Penguins: Face Metropolitan Division rival Washington on Sunday, the first of four meetings between the clubs over the final 30 games o f the season.---More NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL

NBA Game Recap: Toronto Raptors (105) vs. Detroit Pistons (92) - 1/31/2020

NBA Game Recap: Toronto Raptors (105) vs. Detroit Pistons (92) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020DETROIT Pascal Siakam scored 30 points and Serge Ibaka added 21 to lift the Toronto Raptors to their 10th straight victory, 105-92 over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.Siakam made his first five shots from the field and scored 13 points in the first quarter, when the Raptors quickly built their lead into double digits. Expert Sports Picks. They were mostly in control after that, handing a Pistons team that was missing Blake Griffin its fifth loss in a row.The victory clinched a trip to the All-Star Game for Raptors coach Nick Nurse and his staff, who will coach Team Giannis.The Raptors (35-14) are assured the best record in the Eastern Conference among teams with an eligible head coach through this Sunday's deadline. Milwaukee has the top mark in the East but Mike Buden holzer is ineligible because he coached in the All-Star Game last year.Toronto is one win shy of its franchise record for consecutive victories.The Pistons are without Griffin (left knee surgery), and Luke Kennard (bilateral knee tendinitis) also missed the game. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 20 rebounds for Detroit, but much of that came when the Pistons were well behind.Toronto led by 16 in the first half. It was 78-69 after three quarters, and then the Raptors went on an 18-5 run to start the fourth - to the delight of their many fans who attended the game just a few minutes from the U. S.-Canada border.Drummond was scoreless in the first half but finished with his 41st game of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. Best Sports Picks of the Day. That's four shy of Bob Lanier's franchise record, but it's not clear if Drummond has time to reach that mark. He's been the subject of trade speculation. Detroit guard Derrick Rose made a late layup to finish with 21 points, his 14th straight game with at least 20.SELECTEDDetroit's Svi Mykhailiuk was picked to play in the Rising Stars game Feb. 14 during All-Star weekend in Chicago. Basketball Handicappers. The 6-foot-8 Mykhailiuk, in his second season as a pro, has shown some promise for the Pistons. He scored 13 points Friday.TIP-INSRaptors: Marc Gasol (left hamstring tightness), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right ankle sprain) and Malcolm Miller (neck strain) missed the game. ... Toronto won 11 games in a row from Feb. 26 to March 16, 2018, and in January 2016.Pistons: Detroit was outscored 66-28 in the paint.UP NEXTRaptors: Host Chicago on Sunday.Pistons: Host Denver on Sunday.---Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister---More NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/-Sports

NCAAB Game Recap: Va Commonwealth (75) vs. Rhode Island (87) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Va Commonwealth (75) vs. Rhode Island (87) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020KINGSTON, R. I. Fatts Russell had 30 points as Rhode Island extended its winning streak to eight games, beating VCU 87-75 on Friday night.Russell hit 16 of 18 foul shots in the victory that left the Rams a half-game back of Dayton (8-0) in the Atlantic 10.Tyrese Martin had 18 points for Rhode Island (16-5, 8-1. Jeff Dowtin added 17 points. Cyril Langevine had 11 points.Nah'Shon Hyland had 16 points for VCU (16-6, 6-3), whose four-game win streak was broken. Issac Vann added 13 points.Rhode Island improves to 2-0 against VCU on the season. Rhode Island defeated VCU 65-56 on Jan. 11.Rhode Island matches up against UMass at home on Tuesday. VCU is host to Davidson next Friday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.a utomatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Fairfield (52) vs. Rider (68) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Fairfield (52) vs. Rider (68) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020LAWRENCEVILLE, N. J. Dimencio Vaughn posted 15 points and seven rebounds as Rider defeated Fairfield 68-52 on Friday night.Willy Nunez Jr. had 10 points and six rebounds for Rider (12-8, 6-4 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). Stevie Jordan added 10 points.Taj Benning had 19 points for the Stags (8-12, 4-5).Both teams take on Monmouth in their next game. Rider will be on the road for its matchup against the Hawks on Sunday, while Fairfield heads home to host Monmouth on Tuesday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Marist (67) vs. Niagara (48) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Marist (67) vs. Niagara (48) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020NIAGARA, N. Y. Michael Cubbage recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Marist to a 67-48 win over Niagara on Friday night.Jordan Jones had 18 points for Marist (5-14, 4-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). Braden Bell added 15 points. Matt Herasme had six rebounds.Tyler Sagl, who was second on the Red Foxes in scoring entering the matchup with 9 points per game, shot only 11% in the game (1 of 9).Nicholas Kratholm had seven rebounds for the Purple Eagles (6-14, 4-5).Marist plays Canisius on the road on Sunday. Niagara matches up against Quinnipiac at home on Sunday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Siena (87) vs. Iona (64) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Siena (87) vs. Iona (64) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020NEW ROCHELLE, N. Y. Jordan King had 13 points to lead seven Siena players in double figures as the Saints snapped their nine-game road losing streak, easily defeating Iona 87-64 on Friday night. Manny Camper, Kyle Young and Jalen Pickett added 12 points apiece for the Saints. Gary Harris, Jr. chipped in 11 points.E. J. Crawford had 22 points for the Gaels (5-11, 3-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). Isaiah Washington added 13 points.Siena (10-9, 6-4) plays St. Peter's on the road on Sunday. Iona faces Manhattan on the road on Sunday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Bowling Green (78) vs. Buffalo (77) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Bowling Green (78) vs. Buffalo (77) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020BUFFALO, N. Y. Justin Turner scored 23 points, Dylan Frye added 17 and Bowling Green beat Buffalo 78-77 on Friday night for its eighth straight victory.Jayvon Graves made the first of two free throws with seven seconds left to pull Buffalo within 78-77.. After an official review, the Bulls were given the ball after the second free throw went out of bounds off a Bowling Green player. Gabe Grant slipped on the floor, and got up for a shot but it was blocked by Turner.Tayler Mattos and Daeqwon Plowden each had 10 points for Bowling Green (17-5, 8-1 Mid-American Conference). Frye made a long 3-pointer in transition to give Bowling Green a 69-68 lead with 3:50 remaining. It was his 229th career 3-pointer, passing John Reimold's (2002-05) for the program record.Graves had 24 points for the Bulls (14-8, 5-4). Jeenathan Williams added 14 points. Josh Mballa had 12 points.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Quinnipiac (90) vs. Canisius (73) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Quinnipiac (90) vs. Canisius (73) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020BUFFALO, N. Y. Tyrese Williams had career highs of 26 points and eight 3-pointers as Quinnipiac beat Canisius 90-73 on Friday night.Brendan McGuire had 15 points and six assists for Quinnipiac (11-8, 6-3 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). Rich Kelly added 15 points and eight assists. Kevin Marfo had 10 points and 11 rebounds.The 90 points were a season best for Quinnipiac, which made 15 of 28 3-point attempts and shot 61% overall.Majesty Brandon had 19 points for the Golden Griffins (8-13, 3-7). Malik Johnson added 14 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. Armon Harried had 10 points. Canisius had only eight players in uniform because of illness and injuries.Quinnipiac plays Niagara on the road on Sunday. Canisius plays Marist at home on Sunday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-T op25---Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Dartmouth (44) vs. Princeton (66) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Dartmouth (44) vs. Princeton (66) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020PRINCETON, N. J. Richmond Aririguzoh registered 13 points and three assists as Princeton routed Dartmouth 66-44 on Friday night.Ryan Schwieger had 12 points for Princeton (8-8, 3-0 Ivy League), which earned its fifth consecutive victory. Ethan Wright added eight rebounds.Dartmouth totaled 17 first-half points, a season low for the team.Trevon Ary-Turner had 11 points for the Big Green (7-11, 0-3), who have now lost six games in a row. Chris Knight added 10 points.Princeton plays Harvard at home on Saturday. Dartmouth matches up against Penn on the road on Saturday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Columbia (62) vs. Yale (93) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Columbia (62) vs. Yale (93) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020NEW HAVEN, Conn. Matthue Cotton came off the bench to match his career high with 20 points, including six 3-pointers, as Yale romped past Columbia 93-62 on Friday night.Azar Swain had 16 points with four 3-pointers for Yale (15-4, 3-0 Ivy League), which won its fifth consecutive game and its 12th in its last 13. Jordan Bruner added 14 points as did Paul Atkinson. Free Sports Picks. The Bulldogs were 14 of 29 from the arc and shot 57 percent overall.Mike Smith had 20 points for the Lions (6-13, 1-2). Sports Handicapper Records. Tai Bibbs added 12 points. Jack Forrest had 11 points.Yale takes on Cornell at home on Saturday. Columbia faces Brown on the road on Saturday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegeb asketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Akron (67) vs. Kent State (68) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Akron (67) vs. Kent State (68) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020KENT, Ohio Danny Pippen had 20 points and 12 rebounds as Kent State narrowly defeated Akron 68-67 on Friday night in the Wagon Wheel Showdown.Philip Whittington tipped in the go-ahead basket with 20 seconds left. After a timeout, Akron dribbed down the clock before Channel Banks missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer.Antonio Williams had 17 points for Kent State (16-6, 6-3 Mid-American Conference). Whittington and Troy Simons each had 11 points. Kent State leads the all-time series 78-75.Loren Cristian Jackson had 19 points for the Zips (16-6, 6-3). Xeyrius Williams added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Tyler Cheese had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists.Kent State plays Ball State at home on Tuesday. Akron takes on Eastern Michigan at home next Saturday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http:// twitter.com/-Top25---Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NCAAB Game Recap: Harvard (72) vs. Pennsylvania (75) - 1/31/2020

NCAAB Game Recap: Harvard (72) vs. Pennsylvania (75) - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020PHILADELPHIA AJ Brodeur had 20 points, eight rebounds and assists as Penn narrowly defeated Harvard 75-72 in overtime on Friday night.Ryan Betley had 17 points and seven rebounds for Penn (9-7, 1-2 Ivy League). Jordan Dingle and Devon Goodman each added 15 points.Chris Lewis had 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Crimson (13-5, 2-1), whose eight-game winning streak ended. Justin Bassey added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Christian Juzang had 12 points and seven rebounds. Harvard entered with the longest active overtime winning streak in Division I with 10.Harvard's Noah Kirkwood forced overtime with a fade-away jumper in the lane just before the buzzer. Bassey made a 3-pointer and was fouled with nine seconds left in OT but he missed the free throw. Harvard got the offensive rebound and had a good look at a tying 3-pointer b ut it rolled out.Penn takes on Dartmouth at home on Saturday. Harvard plays Princeton on the road on Saturday.---For more college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/-Top25---Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from LLC, https://www.stats.com

NBA Game Preview: Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks - 1/31/2020 - 9:05 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 31, 2020Giannis Antetokounmpo is the motor that has put the Milwaukee Bucks atop the NBA for the second straight season, but he has received some help from his teammates.One of them got deserved recognition when he was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star squad on Thursday. Khris Middleton was happy to be going back to the midseason event for the second straight year."Being an All-Star last year was a huge goal of mine, so you never want to take a step back," Middleton said Thursday during an interview on TNT during the show unveiling this year's All-Star reserves."I thought if I didn't have a great year, if I wasn't an All-Star, I might have taken a step back. Sports Bettors Phone Leads. This year, I just wanted to find ways to get better with myself individually and through the team, and it's been working out so far." Middleton has instead improved, including a career-best 51-point performance against Washington on Tuesday night, and he will try to build on that when the Bucks host the short-handed Denver Nuggets on Friday night.Middleton is averaging 20.2 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and gives Milwaukee another potent weapon for teams to worry about. Antetokounmpo is also going to Chicago for the All-Star Game in February, as is Denver center Nikola Jokic.Jokic is making his second straight appearance for the Western Conference, and he has earned it while carrying the Nuggets through an injury-ravaged stretch.Denver has played the last 12 games without its best low-post defender in Paul Millsap (left knee contusion), and point guard Jamal Murray (left ankle sprain) has missed eight straight.Neither is expected to play against Milwaukee, and the Nuggets will also be without backup center Mason Plumlee (right foot injury). Gua rd Gary Harris sat out Thursday's 106-100 over Utah for personal reasons, and his availability for Friday is not known.Jokic has continued to shoulder more of the offensive load with the injuries. He came up big in the win over Utah on Thursday, scoring 11 straight points down the stretch to hold off a Jazz rally. He finished with 28 points and 10 assists."There was no doubt in my mind that he was an All-Star, that he'd be selected for his second consecutive appearance," Denver coach Michael Malone said before Thursday's game. "I think it symbolizes the recognition of him being a great player and the fact that we have earned a reputation as a team that has a chance to compete at the top of the West. When you have the record that we have, you deserve to have an All-Star." The Bucks could be without Antetokounmpo, who sat out Tuesday's win with right shoulder soreness. He is listed as questionable for Friday.The Nuggets wouldn't mind if Antetokounmpo took another game off considering the players they're missing, and playing the second of a back-to-back set.It's a rough end to January for the Nuggets, who played two of the hotter teams in the league this week in Memphis and Utah, but none is hotter than Milwaukee. Free Sport Pick. The Bucks have won nine in a row and are 11-1 in January.--Field Level Media

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NBA Game Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets - 1/31/2020 - 8:05 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 30, 2020Mavericks second-year point guard Luka Doncic has spared no foe in fashioning an MVP resume this season, producing at a historic clip relative to any 20-year-old the NBA has seen.On Nov. 24, the Houston Rockets experienced first-hand the devastation Doncic often inflicts, succumbing down the stretch of a 137-123 home loss at Toyota Center while Doncic posted 41 points, six rebounds and 10 assists. Hockey Predictions. The Rockets proved helpless in his wake, with Doncic showcasing his blend of step-back 3-pointers, crafty forays into the lane and exceptional court vision to pace the Dallas attack. It was an effort the Rockets won't soon forget.But with Doncic spraining his right ankle in practice late Thursday, the Rockets won't have to concern themselves with the Sloven ian when Houston hosts the Mavericks Friday at Toyota Center.Doncic did not accompany the team on the flight to Houston and is likely to be sidelined Saturday when Dallas plays the second game of a back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks."We've done it before," Mavericks reserve guard J. J. Barea said to the team website. "It's not easy but it gives more opportunities to other guys. We got to go out there and step up. We don't have our best player, so everybody's got to step up and go down to Houston and get a win." Doncic missed four games in December with a sprain of the same ankle, with the Mavericks splitting that quartet of contests. Dallas has certainly come to rely on Doncic and his averages of 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists. But the league's most efficient offense proved it can survive in a pinch with Doncic unavailable thanks to a wealth of able contributors complementing center Kristaps Porzingis, who takes a centra l role when Doncic sits.During that four-game stretch without Doncic, Porzingis averaged 22.5 points and 13.8 rebounds while blocking 2.8 shots. Porzingis has thrived serving as a second fiddle to Doncic, but his undeniable talent resonates when the moment calls for him to play the part of linchpin.However, matters might be complicated for Dallas. Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is questionable with lower-back tightness. He scored a season-high 31 points in the first meeting with Houston.The Rockets, tied with the Mavericks for fifth in the Western Conference, followed a spirited, short-handed win at Utah on Monday with a defensive clunker against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. After dropping three of four games on their previous homestand, the Rockets talked openly of regaining their stride and perhaps building some momentum into the All-Star break.Houston instead split its four-game road trip and has idled since winning eight of 10 through Jan. 8, going 4-7 since. Guard J ames Harden returned from a two-game injury hiatus against Portland yet continued his shooting struggles, going 5 of 18 in the 125-112 loss.Harden is shooting just 32.9 percent over his last 10 games, including 22.5 percent on 3-pointers. It will be difficult for the Rockets to reclaim their footing if Harden can't rediscover his shooting stroke."A lot of ups and downs, obviously," Harden said of the road trip. "A lot of emotion. Obviously a tough week but 2-2 isn't bad. Obviously we wanted to be better but now we go home and try to finish off these few games." Houston plays five of its last seven games prior to the break at home.--Field Level Media

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NHL Game Preview: Detroit Red Wings vs. New York Rangers - 1/31/2020 - 7:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Detroit Red Wings vs. New York Rangers - Date: 1/31/2020 There is nothing the NHL-worst Detroit Red Wings can do to convince management not to be active sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. But starting Friday, the New York Rangers have 25 days to prove whether they should acquire players or stand pat next month.The Rangers will look to begin a last-ditch playoff push Friday night, when they host the Red Wings in the first game for both teams following the NHL All-Star break.The Rangers have been off since losing to the visiting New York Islanders 4-2 on Jan. 21. NBC Sports Picks. The Red Wings most recently lost their sixth straight game when they fell to the host Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Jan. 22.The Islanders game was the second straight defeat for the Rangers, who moved on to the periphery of the Eastern Conference playoff race by going 6-4-0 between Dec. 27 and Jan. 16.However, the back-to-back defeats leave little margin for error for the Rangers, who will enter Friday in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and 11 points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs, who are tied for the final wild-card spot.Barring a swift surge by his team, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton likely will be compelled to sell at the deadline for the third straight season. But winger Chris Kreider, an All-Star and impending free agent who could be the most popular trade target on the New York roster, said he believes in the ability of the Rangers to climb the standings and make Gorton's choice more difficult."We have such a good group," Kreider told the New York Post during the All-Star Game festivities in St. Louis. "We've already gotten so much better, and we hope that continues." There's not much hope for the Red Wings, whose 28 points are a distance last in the NHL. Detroit's point p ercentage of .275 puts it on pace to finish with fewer points than the 2016-17 Colorado Avalanche, whose 48 points were the fewest by a non-expansion team since a point began being awarded to overtime losers in 1999-2000.If the Red Wings continue their pre-All-Star Break skid -- they were outscored 29-10 while going 0-5-1 in the final six games -- they could even have trouble exceeding the 39 points earned in 1999-2000 by the expansion Atlanta Thrashers, whose point percentage was .238.Detroit is 3-13-1 in the past 17 games.Former Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman, who is in his first season as the team's general manager, expects to be active at the trade deadline, when he likely will continue the franchise's rebuild.Detroit's impending free agents include defensemen Alex Biega, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Mike Green as well as goalie Jimmy Howard."My plan isn't to be passive," Yzerman told the Red Wings' radio network during an interview e arlier this month. "I'm looking for ways to build for the future and trying to acquire draft picks or prospects or young players that can come into the organization sooner or later." --Field Level Media

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NHL Game Preview: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes - 1/31/2020 - 7:38 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes - Date: 1/31/2020 The team that responds better from an extended layoff figures to have the upper hand when the Vegas Golden Knights and Carolina Hurricanes meet Friday night in Raleigh, N. C.Both teams last played Jan. 21, so with their bye week and the NHL All-Star break bumping on the respective schedules, it has been a break for each side."The break is at a good time," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour told reporters this week. "We push really hard with this group. I demand a lot, I think." This game will end a tumultuous month for the Golden Knights. Baseball Handicappers. They're 3-5-1 thus far in January, losing four in a row at one point.Most notably, however, there was a coaching change with Peter DeBoer replacing Gerard Gallant on Jan. 15."We're not where we want to b e," DeBoer said. "I think we have some work to do, and it's going to be a sprint to the finish line. Come back ready to go to work, because this is going to be a dogfight right to the end." The Hurricanes have had incredible stability through the first 50 games. Carolina became the first team in NHL history to have 13 different skaters appear in each of their team's first 50 games of a season.Not among them is winger Justin Williams, who made his season debut Jan 19. Basketball Predictions. Two days later, he notched two goals against Winnipeg, becoming the second-oldest player in the league this season (at age 38 and 109 days) to have a multi-goal game."It's not really unexpected," Brind'Amour said. "He knows how to play. I don't care how old you are, if you know how to play. You know where to go." This is the fifth straight road game for the Golde n Knights, who went 1-2-1 in games prior to the break and have three more on the road after Friday before returning home to face Carolina on Feb. 8.Friday night will mark Carolina's fourth game on a five-game homestand, having gone 2-0-1 in the first three."It's going to be another push to the end," Brind'Amour said of coming out of the break.With 61 points, the Hurricanes have a seven-point improvement through 50 games from a year ago.The Golden Knights are counting on a refreshed outlook."Hit the reboot button," defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "The team has been through a lot. ... We need to have our foot down on the gas as soon as we come out of the break. ... I think we have it in the room right now. We have the guys. We have the goaltender. We have a good team. We don't accept the way we're playing. It has got to turn around." Each team had one player in the NHL All-Star event.Vegas left winger Max Pacioretty scored a goal during the competition in St. Louis."Happy to have a good experience," Pacioretty said.Carolina had defenseman Jaccob Slavin in the All-Star event, replacing injured teammate Dougie Hamilton."He's as good as any defenseman in the league in my opinion," Brind'Amour said of Slavin. "Certainly as valuable as any defenseman." The Golden Knights added Steve Spott as an assistant coach during their layoff.Williams played from 1998-2000 for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers, who were coached at the time by DeBoer, with Spott as an assistant coach.--Field Level Media

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NBA Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans - 1/31/2020 - 8:05 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 30, 2020The New Orleans Pelicans hope to make a push for a playoff spot now that they have their entire starting lineup healthy.If they're going to succeed, they have to take advantage of games against teams between them and the top eight spots in the Western Conference.One such game comes Friday night when the 12th-place Pelicans host the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies. New Orleans is five games behind the Grizzlies after Memphis' 127-106 victory at New York on Wednesday.The Pelicans received a huge boost last week when No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson made his debut after recovering from knee surgery. He has played well in each of his four games and New Orleans got big games from Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday together for the first time in a 125-111 victory at Cleveland on Tuesday.Holiday scored 28, Ingram had 24 and Williamson 14 points to go with nine rebounds while playing a season-high 30 minutes."I thought Jrue was terrific," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters after the game. "I thought Brandon started the game exactly as we needed for him to start. He hadn't had many opportunities in the last couple of games, but I thought with the speed that we played with and the ball movement we had, we created some things for him." The Pelicans threatened the break the game open numerous times in the second half, but Cleveland got within eight with more than seven minutes remaining."Even when we got the big lead (22 points), they got it to single digits again," Gentry said. "We've got to do a better job, ourselves, of being in that situation and being able to close out games. We should've been in the situation where our bench players should've been able to finish that game and we didn't have to play guys the extra four or five minut es that we did." Memphis has an exciting rookie of its own in guard Ja Morant, who was selected right after Williamson. Morant has been a key factor in the Grizzlies being a surprise playoff contender.Morant had 18 points and 10 assists and Dillon Brooks scored 27 to lead Memphis to its fourth consecutive victory Wednesday night."It's not always points. It's not always assists," Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said of Morant's contributions. "He was a difference maker. He did a heck of a job -- had some good deflections, stuff that might not even show up on the box score. He came up with some key buckets in the fourth as well. Overall huge impact on the game." Memphis completed a back-to-back set that began with a 104-96 home victory against Denver. Soccer Picks. The victory against the Knicks improved the Grizzlies to .500 (24-24) for the first time since they were 18-18 on Dec. 31, 2018."Great win by our guys -- back to back," Jenkins said. "Hard-fought game. Overall for the most part of a really solid win by our guys." Memphis has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA of late, winning 11 of 13, but it saw its seven-game winning streak end in a 126-116 home loss against New Orleans on Jan. 20 in the Pelicans' final game before Williamson's debut.--Field Level Media

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NHL Game Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks - 1/31/2020 - 10:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks - Date: 1/31/2020 On a night the Anaheim Ducks remembered the late Kobe Bryant, perhaps it was only fitting that Carter Rowney provided the highlight.The center, who wears No. 24, matching Bryant's jersey that adorns the rafters up the road at Staples Center in Los Angeles, scored a short-handed goal on Anaheim's 24th shot in its 24th home game of the season as the Ducks defeated the visiting Arizona Coyotes 4-2 Wednesday night.It was Anaheim's first game since the retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. His oldest daughter and seven others were killed in the crash. Bryant and his family lived in Newport Beach in Orange County, Calif.Ducks coach Dallas Eakins marveled at Wednesday's turn of events."For that to happen, I'm not sure what to believe sometimes when it comes to religion and things like that, but I do wond er if that happened by accident or was that part of the night? I get goosebumps standing here and talking about it," Eakins said.Adam Henrique scored twice for the Ducks and Derek Grant added two assists.Grant, who stole the puck to set up Rowney's goal, was also struck by the occurrences involving No. 24."It's definitely weird. It was a cool thing to see it go up there, and whoever figured that out deserves a raise," Grant said.The Ducks have won three of their past four games entering Friday night's contest against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning."Our execution was back, that's for sure," Eakins said. "For us to play well and be able to play with teams like that, it has to start there. It was something we keyed on in practice. With execution comes pace. We had some pace."Lastly, the thing I liked was that we had some snarl in our game. We never want to lose that in our organization. We're going to continue getting qui cker and more skilled, but we certainly want to keep that kind of intensity in our game." The Lightning are coming off a 4-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, the first sporting event at Staples Center since Bryant's death.Steven Stamkos scored twice for the second consecutive game and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves as the Lightning rallied from an early two-goal deficit.Tampa Bay improved to 6-0-0 against Pacific Division foes this season and has gone 13-2-1 in its past 16 games.Players from both the Kings and Lightning wore shirts honoring Bryant and daughter Gianna under their equipment, and a moment of silence was held prior to the game."I'm from Sweden, obviously, and basketball is maybe not the biggest sport, but Kobe Bryant is still someone that everybody knows," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said."Doesn't matter if you're a hockey player or a soccer player back home. All my friends, family, everyone knows w ho Kobe is. ... Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrible accident, and it was an honor for us as an organization to be a part of that pregame ceremony," Hedman said.In the previous meeting between the Lightning and Ducks on Nov. 23, Tampa Bay won 6-2 as Brayden Point scored twice.--Field Level Media

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NBA Game Preview: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - 1/31/2020 - 10:35 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 30, 2020Thousands of Kobe Bryant fans have flocked to Staples Center since the devastating news Sunday of the NBA great, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.The nightly tributes have poured in and are another testament to the love affair the City of Angels experienced with Bryant, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles in his 20 seasons with the club.Hearts will be heavy Friday night, when the Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers in their first game since Bryant's death but it might help lift the spirits of a city and his fans in deep mourning."I think its therapeutic. Anytime you can get out and take your mind off something like this, there is no doubt it will be therapeutic, and help with the process of us moving forward," Lakers coach Frank Vogel told a large assembly of media gathered for the team's first practice Wednesday since the gut-wrenching development.The Lakers haven't played since Saturday, when the host Philadelphia 76ers handed them a 108-91 loss. Los Angeles was scheduled to face the L. A. Clippers on Tuesday, but the NBA granted the Lakers' request to postpone the game as the club grieved.In an eerie prelude, LeBron James surpassed Bryant's mark of 33,643 points to become the NBA's third-leading career scorer in the city where the late Laker grew up one night before the sports world would be rocked to its core.Bryant's last Twitter post saluted James, who finished with 29 points, eight assists and seven rebounds against the Sixers."Continuing to move the game forward KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644." The Lakers received the news on their flight from Philadelphia. With the exception of social media posts, including ones by James and Anthony Davis, the Laker player s have been practically silent expressing their agony publicly. Vogel spoke for them."We want to represent what Kobe was about more than anything," Vogel told the media. "We've always wanted to make him proud. And that's not going to be any different here." At Portland, Damian Lillard recorded his first triple-double with 36 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, boosting the Blazers past the Houston Rockets 125-112 on Wednesday. Lillard converted 6 of 12 3-pointers and 11 of 21 shots from the floor, leading the Blazers to their third win in four games.Lillard, who had 25 points in the first half, has scored at least 30 points in a franchise-record six games in a row."It's about time," Lillard told reporters after the game on recording his initial triple-double. "It took eight years. I think there's been plenty of times where I could have just hunted it. I've been two rebounds or one assist away, but it's just something I never wanted to (go) out there and just chase." CJ McCollum finished with 22 points, while Hassan Whiteside delivered a solid outing with 15 points, 10 boards and five blocks. Former Laker Trevor Ariza, who won a title with Bryant in 2009, contributed a season-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in his third game with the Blazers after being acquired from the Sacramento Kings.--Field Level Media

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NBA Game Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns - 1/31/2020 - 9:05 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns - Date: 1/31/2020 Jan 30, 2020The Phoenix Suns expected big things out of second-year center Deandre Ayton this season.Instead, the former No. 1 overall pick missed 30 of the first 32 games of the season, but Ayton is finally starting to show off his considerable talent.Not much was expected of Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Luguentz Dort.Dort went undrafted after leaving Arizona State following his freshman season, and he eventually signed a two-way contract with the Thunder.But Dort, pressed into significant action with the seven-game absence of Terrance Ferguson, has been a pleasant surprise.Friday night in Phoenix, the Suns and Thunder will meet for the second time this season, with their surging youngsters ready to take center stage.The Suns are coming off a 133-104 win Tuesday in Dallas, and Ayton had a season-high 31 points on 13-of-15 shooting."His ability to drive and force guys to help, and then we got 3s on the backside or him just driving and finishing or just him posting up," Suns coach Monty Williams said of the way Ayton changes the game. "That's who we want to see him be consistently." Friday's home game comes between a pair of three-game road trips for the Suns. Phoenix is in a stretch of playing 13 of 19 games away from home.Williams changed up his starting lineup against the Mavericks, going bigger with forward Mikal Bridges as a starter. Williams had used the lineup late in games but hadn't deployed it to start.The result was an early lead and eventually a comfortable victory for the young Suns."It says a lot about where we're going as an organization, the leadership on our team, the people that surround these guys every day," Williams said after Tuesday's win.For the Thunder, Dort spent much of the first part of the season in the G League, not making his debut until ea rly December.After playing a season-high 32 minutes in Oklahoma City's comeback in Houston on Jan. 20 with Ferguson out for personal reasons, Dort moved into the starting lineup for the last six.Ferguson's timetable for return is unknown.Dort more than doubled his previous high with 23 points in Wednesday's win in Sacramento. In that game, Dort went 5 of 6 from 3-point range."As long as he's taking the right shots ... he's a good shooter," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "I think the biggest thing for young players is, 'When do I shoot? When do I pass? When do I drive?' And I think these are things that Lu is learning." In the teams' first meeting, Dec. 20 in Oklahoma City, the Thunder pulled out a 126-108 victory thanks to 32 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.Ayton missed that game with a sprained ankle.The Thunder come into Friday's game having won six consecutive on the road to tie the second-longest streak in Ok lahoma City history. Sports Handicapping Services. The Thunder have won 11 of their last 12 on the road, a dramatic turnaround after losing their first six away from home."I think to win on the road, you've gotta be a together team," Donovan said. "I think this group is together." --Field Level Media

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NHL Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Winnipeg Jets - 1/31/2020 - 8:08 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Winnipeg Jets - Date: 1/31/2020 David Pastrnak's most recent hat trick won't count toward his league-best 37 goals this season, however it did go a long way in helping him being named the NHL All-Star Game MVP.With Pastrnak fresh off winning a new car, the Boston Bruins aim to continue their drive in the standings on Friday when they return from the break to visit the Winnipeg Jets."Well, he's our MVP a lot of nights too, so I'm used to seeing him go to work," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after Pastrnak collected four goals and two assists in the All-Star Game tournament."I'm happy for him. Good for him. I'm sure he had a great time here. Got to play with some good players, score a few goals. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. Too bad we came up a little short, but I'm sure he' d tell you he had a real good time." Pastrnak has been having a good time throughout the season, including recording three hat tricks that actually count toward his official statistics. His last official three-goal performance, in fact, came in Boston's 5-4 home victory over Winnipeg on Jan. 9.The 23-year-old Pastrnak would add five more points (two goals, three assists) over his next six games as the Bruins skated into the All-Star break and their bye week by collecting at least a point in 11 of their last 14 contests (8-3-3)."It was a fun [weekend]," Pastrnak said of the All-Star break. "But excited to get back with our boys. Got a couple days to rest up and get ready for the second half of the season." And that starts with the opener of a back-to-back versus the Jets, against whom Pastrnak has shredded for 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in eight career meetings.Linemate Brad Marchand has done well against Winnipeg in his own right. Good Sports Handicappers. The pesky 31-year-old boosted his point total to 18 (seven goals, 11 assists) in 22 career encounters earlier this month by notching one of his club-best 44 assists this season.Boston's Tuukka Rask is expected to return following a three-game absence due to a concussion. Cassidy said the former Vezina Trophy recipient was "looking great" in practice and should play on Friday barring any setbacks, or on Saturday at the Minnesota Wild.Rask was injured after being elbowed in the head by Emil Bemstrom early in the first period of a 3-0 setback to Columbus on Jan. 14.The Jets hope to reverse course after being outscored 20-7 en route to losing a season-high four in a row heading into their break.Connor Hellebuyck yielded 13 of those goals on 73 shots over the last three games to mar what has been otherwise a strong season, with his performance earning him the midseason Vezina honors by t he Professional Hockey Writers Association. Soccer Picks. The 26-year-old was rewarded for his efforts by being named to the NHL All-Star Game, an experience he clearly enjoyed."It was fantastic, I think my whole family enjoyed it. Just being here and getting some family time," Hellebuyck said. "You know getting to see each other during a grueling season like it is, it's nice. It's a good release." Hellebuyck was joined at the All-Star Game by teammate Mark Scheifele, who leads the Jets in both assists (31) and points (54).Scheifele, who will skate in his 500th NHL game on Friday, joined Kyle Connor in both scoring and setting up a goal in the previous encounter versus Boston.Connor has scored 11 of his team-leading 25 goals over the last 15 games.--Field Level Media

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NHL Game Preview: Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators - 1/31/2020 - 7:38 PM EST

NHL Game Preview: Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators - Date: 1/31/2020 As Alex Ovechkin continues to climb the NHL's career goal list, the Washington Capitals must rebound from their first defeat in almost three weeks.Ovechkin and the visiting Capitals can do so with an eighth consecutive victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.With his 35th goal of the season and career No. 693 late in the first period on Wednesday against Nashville, Ovechkin passed Steve Yzerman for ninth on the league's all-time goal list. Ovechkin is just one away from tying Mark Messier for eighth."A big honor to be on that list," Ovechkin, who has scored nine times during a four-game goal streak, told NHL.com. "Kind of happy, but still a long way to go." It was another good night for Ovechkin, but the NHL-leading Capitals had their four-game winning streak end with a 5-4 home defeat to the Predators. Washington, whic h previously fell to New Jersey on Jan. 11, trailed 3-1 in the first period, but two second-period goals put it ahead 4-3, before Nashville scored twice in the third."It's definitely self-inflicted," forward Nic Dowd told the Capitals' official website of the late collapse. "On a positive note, that means we can fix it." Facing Ottawa could also help.The Capitals are amid a 14-1-1 stretch against the Senators, and have outscored them 33-13 during their seven-game winning streak in the series. Ovechkin has six goals with three assists over the last seven meetings versus Ottawa.Teammate Braden Holtby has struggled while posting a 4.28 goals-against average in going 2-6-0 over his last nine starts. However, he has a 1.78 GAA during his 9-0-1 stretch against the Senators.Backup Ilya Samsonov, though, stopped 26 shots while Ovechkin and T. J. Oshie each scored twice in Washington's 6-1 home rout of Ottawa on Jan. 7. Samsonov has a stellar 1.66 goal s-against average during his nine-start winning streak.Though Ottawa sits near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, it's amid a 2-0-1 stretch following an 0-5-4 rut. Baseball Picks. Tyler Ennis and Mile Reilly each had a goal with an assist as the Senators tallied a season-high three times on the power play in Tuesday's 5-2 win at Buffalo."We've been in a lot of games. We kind of strung out some overtime losses there and gotten some points," goalie Craig Anderson, who made 28 saves, told the Senators' official website. "We haven't been rewarded for our efforts, but we've just got to keep striving to get better and get rewarded for the good, hard work." Ottawa will try to win consecutive contests for the first time since a three-game run from Nov. 19-22. Anderson, meanwhile, snapped an 0-4-1 rut on Tuesday, but Marcus Hogberg (stopped 90 of 95 shots in last two games) could be in net as the Senators await the return of Anders Nilsson from a concussion.Ennis has a goal in two straight games and four points in the last three. However, he's been blanked in six consecutive contests versus Washington. Make Money Betting Sports. Teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau recorded his career-high 20th goal against the Sabres, but does not have a single point in 17 career games against the Capitals.--Field Level Media

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