Update on the latest in sports:
76ers, Pacers, Bucks in action
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks are in action tonight as the teams jockey for playoff position in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The 76ers host the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Pacers entertain the New York Knicks and the Bucks are in New Orleans against the Pelicans. The Bucks are 50-17 and lead the conference by 2 ½ games over Toronto, while the 76ers and Pacers are tied for third in the East at 42-25.
Western Conference playoff contenders tonight
UNDATED (AP) — There are three NBA games tonight involving Western Conference playoff contenders. The Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Denver Nuggets, who are second in the West and 1 ½ games behind the Golden State Warriors. The Portland Trail Blazers are fifth in the conference heading into their game against the Los Angeles Clippers. San Antonio takes on the Mavericks in Dallas as the Spurs attempt to stay ahead of the Clippers for the final playoff slot in the West.
Westbrook confronts 2 fans at Jazz game, cites racial taunt
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook confronted a man and his wife during a game after the Oklahoma City star says the two racially taunted him. The heated exchange came early in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 98-89 victory over the Utah Jazz. Westbrook was on the bench and stood when he heard what the fans said.
He says they told him to “get down on my knees like I used to.”
After that, Westbrook is seen on video cursing at the man and threatening him and his wife.
After the game, Westbrook spoke of verbal abuse he and teammates hear from spectators on the road. According to Westbrook, much of it has been directed at their families,. He said he will no longer tolerate such disrespect saying it’s not fair to the players.
Jazz security repeatedly warned fans in the area, and the team said after the game it will investigate what happened.
Gonzaga faces Saint Mary’s, NCAA bids up for grabs
UNDATED (AP) — Top-ranked Gonzaga goes for its seventh consecutive West Coast Conference title and an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament tonight against Saint Mary’s. The Bulldogs are 30-2 and riding a 21-game winning streak following last night’s 100-74 rout of Pepperdine. There are also automatic NCAA bids up for grabs for the winner of tonight’s Colonial Athletic Association, Horizon League, Northeast Conference and Summit Conference title games.
In other college basketball news:
— Coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF’-skee) says No. 5 Duke won’t have injured big man Marques (MAR’-kus) Bolden for this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Krzyzewski told the school’s website that “there’s no way Marques will be ready” after he sprained a ligament in his left knee early in a loss at North Carolina in the regular-season finale.
— No. 6 Michigan State expects forward Nick Ward to play in the Big Ten Tournament. Coach Tom Izzo says he isn’t sure how much the 6-foot-9 junior will be able to play nearly a month after having surgery on his left hand. The top-seeded Spartans will face the winner of the Ohio State-Indiana game Friday in the conference quarterfinals.
— The NCAA Tournament selection show is returning to CBS and its traditional bracket-first format for revealing the field for March Madness. Last year, the Selection Sunday show aired on TBS for the first time since CBS and Turner became broadcast partners for the men’s basketball tournament in 2011.
Lead is up for grabs tonight
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL’s Western Conference lead is up for grabs tonight as the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames play separate games. The Sharks lead the conference by one point heading into their road game against the Winnipeg Jets, who lead the Central Division by one point over Nashville. The Flames host New Jersey as Calgary tries to make up its one-point deficit on San Jose.
Penguins host Capitals
UNDATED (AP) — Tonight’s NHL slate includes a big Metropolitan Division matchup in Pittsburgh as the Penguins host the Washington Capitals. The Pens trail the division-leading Caps by six points and are two points ahead of fourth-place Carolina and four in front of Columbus. The Blue Jackets host the Boston Bruins, who saw their 19-game point streak end with Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Penguins.
AP source: Browns agree to deal with DT Sheldon Richardson
CLEVELAND (AP) — A person familiar with the deal says the Cleveland Browns and free agent defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson have agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract. Richardson has played with three other teams since 2013. He will receive $21.5 million guaranteed.
Richardson is the second defensive lineman nabbed in the past week by Browns general manager John Dorsey, who acquired edge rusher Olivier Vernon in a trade with the Giants.
In six seasons, Richardson has 23 ½ sacks. He has also been suspended twice.