Update on the latest sports
76ers end losing streak
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers were able to end their three-game losing streak despite being without the services of Ben Simmons.
Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) had 31 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to guide the Sizers to a 118-113 win over the Rockets. Seth Curry scored 25 points and Tobias Harris added 24 for the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers, who were without Ben Simmons due to illness.
The 76ers led by 29 points in the second half and sent Houston to its seventh consecutive loss. John Wall scored 28 points for the short-handed Rockets, who played without injured starters P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh).
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— It’s now a nine-game winning streak for the Jazz after Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) had an impressive double-double in a 114-96 victory over the Clippers. Gobert had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the NBA-leading Jazz, who improved to 24-5 with their 20th win in 21 games. Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points in Utah’s ninth victory in its last 12 meetings with Los Angeles.
— Damian Lillard pumped 43 points, including a go-ahead three-point play with 16.5 seconds left in the Trail Blazers’ sixth consecutive victory, 126-124 versus the Pelicans. Lillard delivered 11 points in each of the last two periods.
— The Pacers earned a 134-128 overtime win against the Timberwolves behind 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 rebounds from Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs). Malcolm Brogdon added 32 points and nine rebounds for Indiana, which trailed 98-88 and eventually took a five-point lead in the fourth.
— Bradley Beal’s two free throws with 0.1 seconds remaining gave the Wizards their third straight win, 130-128 over the Nuggets. Davis Bertans (DAH’-vihs bur-TAHNS’) scored a career-high with 35 points, while Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
— Stephen Curry’s 25-point performance included a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:15 left in overtime of the Warriors’ 120-112 triumph over the Heat. Kent Bazemore provided two big baskets in OT and finished with a season-high 26 points.
— The Hawks’ four-game skid is over after Trae Young supplied 40 points and eight assists in a 122-114 victory over the Celtics. Clint Capela finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds to help Atlanta beat Boston for the first time in eight games since April 2018.
— Grayson Allen and Jonas Valanciunas (YOH’-nuhs val-an-CHOO’-nuhs) furnished 22 points apiece and Ja (jah) Morant posted his first triple-double of the season in the Grizzlies’ 122-113 downing of the Thunder. Kyle Anderson had 20 points, Dillon Brooks scored 17 points and Morant finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for the third career triple-double.
— Zach LaVine (lah-VEEN’) scored 37 points and the Bulls clawed back from a 25-point, second-quarter deficit to beat the Pistons, 105-102. Wendall Carter Jr. added 18 points and Patrick Williams had 15 as Chicago won its second straight game overall and fifth in a row versus Detroit.
— The Magic ended the Knicks’ three-game winning streak by rallying for a 107-89 victory in Orlando. Terrence Ross scored 18 of his season-high 30 points in the second half and helped the Magic go on a 25-8 run over the final nine minutes of the third quarter.
TOP 25 MEN’S BASKETBALL
Trojans aren’t horsing around
UNDATED (AP) — Southern California continues to win men’s basketball games while moving closer to a Pac-12 regular-season title.
Evan Mobley had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the 17th-ranked Trojans in an 89-71 win against Arizona State. Isaiah Mobley added 20 points and 12 rebounds as USC improved to 18-3 for the first time since 1973-74.
Tahj Eaddy had 18 points for Southern Cal, which is 12-2 in the league following its 13th win in 14 games overall.
In other top-25 action:
— Victor Bailey shot 7 of 10 from beyond the arc and scored a career-high 29 points to lead No. 19 Tennessee to a 93-73 rout of South Carolina. John Fulkerson scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, Jaden Springer finished with 16 and Yves Pons (eev pahnz) had 10 for the Volunteers.
— Keith Clemons scored 16 points and No. 22 Loyola Chicago made a defensive stop in the final seconds to hang on for a 54-52 victory over Valparaiso. The Ramblers have won 12 of 13 overall and 10 straight at home.
— Marcus Garrett scored 14 points, Jalen Wilson added 11 and No. 23 Kansas beat Kansas State 59-41. The Jayhawks shot 46% from the field and held the Wildcats to 31% on 18-for-58 shooting.
Osaka keeps Williams at 23 slams
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Naomi Osaka has again denied Serena Williams an opportunity for a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam singles title.
Williams couldn’t quite get it done, playing well in stretches but making too many mistakes in a 6-3, 6-4 victory by Osaka in the Australian Open semifinals.
Osaka also beat Williams in the chaotic 2018 U.S. Open final. She reached her fourth major title match and stretched her winning streak to 20 matches by claiming the last eight points.
The No. 3-seeded Osaka’s Grand Slam collection also includes last year’s U.S. Open and the 2019 Australian Open.
Williams was off-target too often in this contest as her 24 unforced errors were twice as many as her winners.
Williams’ loss doesn’t mean an American didn’t advance to the final. Jennifer Brady has reached her first Grand Slam final with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Karolina Muchova (kar-ah-LEE’-nah) MOO’-koh-vah). Brady claimed an epic, 18-point last game in which she fought off two break points and finally converted her fifth match point.
The final will be a rematch of last year’s U.S. Open semifinal won by Osaka.
Cats beat Canes in OT
UNDATED (AP) — The Florida Panthers have won a battle of two of the NHL’s top teams.
Jonathan Huberdeau’s (HOO’-bur-dohz) second goal of the day completed the Panthers’ 4-3 overtime win against the Hurricanes. Huberdeau opened the scoring for Florida and added an assist before his seventh goal of the season sealed the win at 2:29 of OT.
Alex Wennberg and Juho Lammikko (YOO’-hoh lah-MEE’-koh) also scored as the Panthers improved to 10-2-2, one point ahead of Carolina and Tampa Bay for the Central Division lead.
Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho (AH’-hoh) tallied in the first period and Vincent Trocheck (TROH’-chehk) added a third-period goal for the Hurricanes.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Kevin Lankinen posted his first NHL shutout and the Blackhawks improved to 4-0 versus the Red Wings this season with a 2-0 win at Detroit. Lankinen turned back 29 shots in helping Chicago win their third in a row and sixth in the last seven.
— The Maple Leafs pulled out a 2-1 win over the Senators as Alexander Kerfoot broke a tie with 9:14 left. Auston Matthews added his NHL-leading 14th goal and Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots for the league-leading Leafs in the second game of three-game series in Toronto.
— Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul) scored twice and the Oilers gained a split of their two-game set with the Jets by winning, 3-2. Jesse Puljujarvi (pool-YAHR’-vee) also scored for Edmonton and Connor McDavid had a pair of assists, including his 500th NHL point.
— The Canucks were 5-1 winners over the Flames as Brock Boeser (BEH’-sur) contributed a goal and two assists. Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller also scored and had an assist for Vancouver.
Rangers’ Trouba out 4-6 weeks, Panarin ready to return
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob Trouba’s (TROO’-bahz) broken thumb will keep the New York Rangers’ defenseman out of action for four to six weeks. Trouba was injured in the second period of the Rangers’ fourth straight loss, 3-2 to the Devils on Tuesday.
MVP finalist Artemi Panarin is expected to return to the Blueshirts Thursday against Philadelphia after missing the past two games with a lower-body injury.
Tatis, Padres hammer out huge deal
UNDATED (AP) — The San Diego Padres have locked their top player into a very long-term contract.
Two people familiar with the situation tell The Associated Press that Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. has agreed to a 14-year, $340 million package that will keep the electrifying shortstop with the team until he’s 35 years old. It will be the longest contract signed in MLB history.
Tatis has two years of service and would have been eligible for salary arbitration for the first time next offseason.
In other MLB news:
— Jake Arrieta (ar-ee-EH’-tuh) is returning to the Cubs after finalizing a $6 million, one-year contract that includes an extra $1 million in performance bonuses. And left-hander Tyler Anderson has finalized a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Pirates, where he joins a very young pitching staff.
— Infielder Donovan Solano went to salary arbitration with the Giants on Wednesday, asking for a raise to $3.9 million rather than the team’s $3.25 million offer. The 33-year-old middle infielder hit a career-high .326 with three homers and 29 RBIs in 190 at-bats during the pandemic-shortened season.
— Indians all-time saves leader Cody Allen has announced his retirement on Twitter. The 32-year-old Allen spent seven years with Cleveland and posted three 30-save seasons, including 32 for the 2016 American League champs. He picked up 149 of his big league 153 saves while in an Indians jersey.
— Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says veteran catcher Stephen Vogt (voht) received a positive COVID-19 result during intake testing and will miss at least the next 10 days. Pitching prospect Luis Frias tested positive a few days earlier and didn’t practice.
— Athletics catcher Sean Murphy will be sidelined for several weeks with a collapsed lung that required surgery. He is expected to be fully recovered by opening day.
— Twins bench coach Mike Bell has taken an indefinite leave from the team because of kidney cancer. The 46-year-old Bell had surgery to remove the growth last month, shortly after being diagnosed. He’s been recovering at home with his family in Arizona.
— Mets manager Luis Rojas condemned the behavior of former New York hitting performance coordinator Ryan Ellis but said he never witnessed his longtime coworker act inappropriately. Ellis was fired last month after the team reopened an investigation of sexual harassment against him. New allegations and evidence came to light in January.
— Tim Tebow (TEE’-boh) is retiring from baseball after five years and three minor league seasons, all as a Mets outfield prospect. The 33-year-old Tebow spent the 2019 campaign at Triple-A Syracuse and batting .223 with 18 homers and 107 RBIs in 287 minor league games in the Mets system. Over four big league spring trainings, Tebow batted .151 with one home run in 34 games.
Cavs’ Love nears return from injury
UNDATED (AP) — Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love took part in most of the team’s practice Wednesday as the five-time All-Star moved closer to returning from a calf injury.
Love has been out since Dec. 27, when he aggravated a strain he initially incurred in an exhibition game. Love’s return would provide a boost for the Cavs, who are sitting center Andre Drummond while attempting to trade him.
The Cavs have lost eight straight and had Wednesday’s game against San Antonio postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Spurs.
Weather scraps more sports in Texas, Oklahoma
UNDATED (AP) — The wintry weather in Texas and Oklahoma has led to another postponement for the Dallas Stars while adding to the list of Top 25 college basketball games now on hold. The Stars’ game against Tampa Bay scheduled for Thursday has been called off. Dallas and Tampa Bay are still scheduled to play Saturday, and temperatures are expected to be above freezing by then.
The Dallas Mavericks had a game against the Detroit Pistons scheduled for Wednesday called off. That will mean four straight nights of weather-related postponements at the home arena of the NHL’s Stars and the NBA’s Mavericks.
No. 8 Alabama’s visit to Texas A&M has been called off, along with the fifth-ranked Texas A&M women’s game the same day at home against Missouri. The Aggies have had five straight games postponed, the first four because of COVID-19 issues.
Also off are No. 9 Oklahoma’s home game against No. 12 Texas and No. 15 Texas Tech’s game at TCU. Both games were moved to new days before getting postponed.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Syracuse-Louisville basketball game postponed again
UNDATED (AP) — The Louisville men’s basketball game scheduled for tonight against Syracuse was postponed following a positive COVID-19 test, quarantining and contact tracing within the Cardinals’ program. It’s Louisville’s fifth postponement in six games, including both scheduled meetings against the Orange.
Louisville coach Chris Mack returned to practice on Tuesday after testing positive last week and experiencing mild symptoms.
Also in the ACC, the league says No. 18 Virginia Tech’s trip to No. 16 Florida State and Clemson’s visit to Pittsburgh scheduled for Saturday have been postponed. Additionally, North Carolina’s game at Boston College next Tuesday is also postponed.
The postponements come amid positive COVID-19 tests, quarantining and contact tracing for Virginia Tech, Clemson and Boston College.