Update on the latest sports
Nuggets whip Cavs behind Murray, Jokic
UNDATED (AP) — Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) allowed the Denver Nuggets to end a two-game skid.
Murray pumped in a career-high 50 points and Jokic had a triple-double as the Nuggets handed the Cavaliers their ninth straight loss, 120-103.
Murray hit 21 of his 25 shots, including 8 of 10 3-pointers. He scored 20 points in the final period, including three 3-pointers in a 65-second span to put the Nuggets ahead by 21.
Jokic had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in getting his seventh triple-double this season.
Michael Porter Jr. added 22 points for the Nuggets, who hit their first 12 shots.
Meanwhile, the Western Conference leaders were beaten in Los Angeles.
Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard scored 29 points and reserve Lou Williams had 19 as the Clippers stopped Utah’s nine-game winning streak, 116-112. The Clippers avenged an 18-point loss to Utah two nights earlier, when starters Leonard, Paul George and Nicolas Batum (bah-TOOM’) were sidelined. George had 15 points in his return from a seven-game absence with an injured toe.
Donovan Mitchell scored 29 of his 35 points in the second half for the NBA-leading Jazz, who lost for just the second time in their last 22 games and fell to 24-6.
Checking out Friday’s other NBA action:
— All-Star Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) torched the Bulls for a career-high 50 points in leading the 76ers to a 112-105 victory. Embiid added 17 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals in a dominating performance at both ends of the court. Tobias Harris had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers, who played a second straight game without Ben Simmons due to illness.
— The Bucks’ season-worst, five-game losing streak is over after Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) furnished 29 points, a season-high 19 rebounds and eight assists in a 98-85 downing of the Thunder. Khris Middleton added 20 points and helped Milwaukee set a season low for points allowed. The game was tied at 42-all late in the second quarter before the Bucks began an 18-0 run.
— Nikola Vucevic (VOO’-cheh-vihch) recorded his third triple-double and the Magic overcame a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Warriors 124-120. Vucevic made two free throws with 16 seconds left and finished with 30 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry finished with 29 points, 11 assists and six rebounds but missed a potential game-tying, off-balance 3-pointer from 27 feet with five seconds left.
— Kemba Walker scored a season-high 28 points and the Celtics led by as many as 27 in a 121-109 win over the Hawks. Walker provided nine straight points while the Celts were reeling off a 20-5 run to take a 62-37 lead late in the first half. Jayson Tatum added 25 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who have won two of three since dropping five of seven.
— Chris Paul contributed 15 points, dished out a season-high 19 assists and spearheaded an 11-point, fourth-quarter comeback by the Suns in a 132-114 decision over the Pelicans. Phoenix shot 22-for-39 from 3-point range as Jae Crowder hit six 3s on his way to 20 points. Frank Kaminsky hit five 3s for the bulk of his 17 points, and Devin Booker scored a team-high 23 points in the Suns’ 10th win in 12 games.
— Norman Powell furnished a season-high 31 points and the Raptors closed on an 11-0 run to knock off the Timberwolves, 86-81. Fred VanVleet had 12 points and seven rebounds, while Pascal Siakam added 10 points and nine boards in Toronto’s third win in a row. Minnesota dropped its third in a row since winning at Toronto on Sunday.
— Ja (jah) Morant scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half as the Grizzlies past the Pistons, 109-95. Jonas Valanciunas (YOH’-nuhs val-ehn-CHOO’-nuhs) added 17 points and 15 rebounds to help Memphis pick up its second straight win. The Grizzlies presvented the Pistons from scoring a field goal over 6 minutes after Detroit pulled within 90-89 midway through the fourth quarter.
Hurricanes use power play to beat Hawks
UNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes will carry a 11-3-1 record into Saturday’s big Central Division matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Hurricanes scored three times in the third period of a 5-3 victory over the Blackhawks.
Martin Necas (NAY’-chas) broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal 2:28 into the final period. Nino Niederreiter (NEE’-dur-eye-tur) doubled the Hurricanes’ lead by scoring with the man advantage at 15:04 of the third. Niedereitter has a team-high nine goals this season after scoring twice on Friday. He also assisted on Vincent Trochek’s (TROH’-chehks) second-period goal.
Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists for Chicago.
Carolina still trails the Central leading-Panthers following Florida’s 7-2 rout of the Red Wings. Patric Hornqvist scored in the first and third periods to help the Panthers start and finish strong.
Aleksander Barkov added a goal and two assists, and Chris Driedger stopped 30 shots as Florida moved to 11-2-2.
The Jets and Oilers also won on Friday.
Laurent Brossoit made 29 saves for his second career shutout, Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) scored on a first-period breakaway before the Jets completed a 2-0 victory over the Canucks. Mason Appleton added an empty-netter after Thatcher Demko made 29 saves for Vancouver.
Mike Smith made 20 saves and the Oilers opened a home-and-home series with the Flames by defeating their archrivals, 2-1. Jesse Puljujarvi (POOL’-yahr’-vee) and Gaetan Haas scored for the winners.
Gardner stays with Yankees
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees are keeping outfielder Brett Gardner.
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Gardner’s one-year package is worth $4 million and is pending a physical.
The 37-year-old Gardner has spent his first 13 major league seasons with the Yankees. He hit .223 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 130 at-bats last year after reaching career-best totals of 28 homers and 74 RBIs in 2019.
In other MLB news:
— Cubs outfielder Ian Happ won baseball’s final salary arbitration case this year and will get a raise from $624,000 to $4.1 million. The 26-year-old Happ hit .258 with 12 homers and 28 RBIs over 198 at-bats last year. Teams finished with a 5-4 advantage in cases that went to a hearing.
— The Mets have made a late addition to their starting rotation, reaching agreement with Taijuan Walker on a two-year, $20 million contract. The 28-year-old right-hander was 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA over 11 starts during the pandemic-shortened season for Seattle and Toronto.
— Former Mets infielder Todd Frazier has agreed to a minor league deal with the Pirates with an invitation to big league spring training. The 35-year-old Frazier split time with Texas and the Mets in 2020, hitting .236 with four home runs and 12 RBIs.
— The Tigers have agreed to terms on a minor league deal with right-hander Wily Peralta. The 31-year-old Peralta hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2019, when he was 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA in 42 relief appearances for Kansas City.
— Marlins top pitching prospect Edward Cabrera will be sidelined indefinitely with an inflamed nerve in his right biceps. Cabrera is with the Marlins at their spring training complex but isn’t throwing. Manager Don Mattingly says the Marlins believe Cabrera will be able to pitch “at some point this year.” .
— Former All-Star outfielder Johnny Damon has been arrested in central Florida. Court and jail records say Damon was charged with resisting an officer after he was pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor offense.
— Indians manager Terry Francona recently underwent surgery for a staph infection in his toe and will be on crutches for several weeks in training camp. Francona said he’ll continue to need medication through the first week in March.
AP source: Panthers make cuts for cap room
UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that the Carolina Panthers are releasing veteran safety Tre Boston, defensive end Stephen Weatherly and punter Michael Palardy in cost-cutting moves. The team will save about $11 million in cap space.
The Panthers are in the market for a quarterback and want to either re-sign or use the franchise tag on offensive tackle Taylor Moton.
The decision to release Boston comes after he signed a three-year, $18 million contract last offseason that included $8 million in guaranteed money.
In other NFL news:
— Bills starting linebacker Matt Milano will explore free agency next month because of Buffalo’s salary-cap constraints. That’s according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Milano is projected to be among the top linebackers available on the market, and the Bills are currently estimated to have only $3 million available under the salary cap.
— Former tight end Kellen Winslow II has agreed to accept a 14-year prison sentence for raping a homeless woman and assaulting two other women. Winslow was convicted in 2019 of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman in Encinitas, California. Facing a retrial on other charges, he later pleaded guilty to raping an unconscious teenager in 2003 and to the 2018 sexual battery of a 54-year-old hitchhiker in Encinitas.
Fans allowed for all rounds of men’s NCAA tournament
UNDATED (AP) — A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend all rounds of next month’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indiana.
Venue capacity will be capped at 25% to allow for social distancing, a figure that will include all participants, essential staff and family of team members. All must be masked.
The NCAA earlier announced the entire tournament will be played in Indiana because of the pandemic, with the majority of the 67 games taking place in Indianapolis.
In other NCAA news:
— The NCAA has granted Louisville’s request for its infractions case to be resolved through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process. The IARP was created in the aftermath of a federal corruption investigation of college basketball. Louisville’s request comes after the NCAA stood by its allegations against the program, including a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance by former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino.
Burns stays on top
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sam Burns has maintained the lead through two rounds of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera as he seeks his first career PGA win.
Burns followed Thursday’s 7-under 64 with a 66 on Friday, putting him five strokes ahead of Dustin Johnson, Tyler McCumber, Jason Kokrak and Joaquin Niemann.
It’s the third tournament Burns has led at the midway point this season. In both cases, he finished in a tie for seventh.
His 12-under 130 ties the 36-hole tournament record last matched by Mike Weir and Shigeki Maruyama in 2004.
Jordan Spieth (speeth) is in the mix for the third straight week as he seeks his first tournament victory since the 2017 British Open.
OLYMPICS-RUSSIAN IDENTITY BAN
Russia’s new team name, flag agreed on for next 2 Olympic Games
GENEVA (AP) — With Russia’s name banned from the next two Olympics, the country’s team and athletes will be officially branded as “ROC,” an acronym for Russian Olympic Committee.
The International Olympic Committee said the name has been agreed on by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has accused the country of running a state-backed doping program.
Russia’s team name, flag and national anthem were banned from this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.