Update on the latest in sports:
James ties MJ record as Cavs beat Hornets
UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James tied one of Michael Jordan’s NBA records while helping the Cleveland Cavaliers stay ahead of Philadelphia and Indiana for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
James came within two assists of a triple-double as he delivered 41 points and 10 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 118-105 win over the Hornets in Charlotte. James has now scored at least 10 points in 866 consecutive games, tying the record held by the Hornets’ owner. The 33-year-old James began the streak on Jan. 6, 2007 and can break Jordan’s record Friday against the Pelicans.
Jeff Green had 18 points for the Cavs, who shot 71 percent while outscoring Charlotte 42-38 in the second quarter.
Kemba Walker scored 21 points to pass Dell Curry as the Hornets’ career scoring leader.
The outcome keeps the Cavaliers a half-game in front of the 76ers and moves them one game ahead of the Pacers.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— The Celtics won their fifth in a row as Jaylen Brown drained a 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left to give Boston a 97-94 win at Utah. Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum added 16 to help the Celtics move three games behind the East-leading Raptors. Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points for the Jazz, who are a half-game behind the Timberwolves for seventh in the West and one game ahead of the Clippers.
— Karl-Anthony Towns scored a team-record 56 points and hauled in 15 rebounds for his league-high 63rd double-double to send the Timberwolves past the Hawks, 124-116. Andrew Wiggins added 17 points and Jeff Teague had 11 with eight assists as Minnesota stopped a two-game losing streak.
—Tobias Harris dropped in 27 points and the Clippers earned their third straight win by topping the Suns, 111-99. DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Los Angeles.
— The Trail Blazers had won 15 of 17 before MarShon Brooks scored 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter of his first game with the Grizzlies to lead a 108-103 comeback over Portland. Brooks signed a 10-day contract on Tuesday and played his first NBA game since April 2014 with the Lakers. CJ McCollum had a game-high 42 points for the Blazers, who are two games ahead of Oklahoma City for the third seed in the West.
— The 76ers ran their winning streak to eight games as Dario Saric contributed 26 points and 14 rebounds to a 118-101 downing of the Knicks. Ben Simmons added 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Philadelphia, which finished the game without Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) because of a facial injury suffered early in the second quarter.
— The Lakers were 103-93 winners against the Mavericks as Brook Lopez scored 22 points and Julius Randle added 20 with 10 rebounds. Brandon Ingram had 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes following his 12-game absence with a groin strain.
— D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert each scored 16 points to lead the Nets to a 111-104 victory over the Magic. Brooklyn opened the fourth quarter on a 17-2 run and ended a three-game skid.
Cavs’ Love in concussion protocol...James matches MJ mark
UNDATED (AP) — Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love is in the NBA’s concussion protocol after being elbowed in the face.
Love was struck by Miami’s Jordan Mickey early in Tuesday’s game at Miami. He briefly returned to the floor, but experienced concussion-like symptoms at halftime.
The Cavs said his status will be updated when appropriate.
In other NBA news:
— Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas will have arthroscopic surgery on his right hip Thursday, ending his season. The procedure typically requires months of rehabilitation.
— Hassan Whiteside is apparently nearing a return to the Heat lineup. Miami is listing its starting center as questionable for Thursday against the Bulls after missing nine games with pain in his left hip.
Bagley, Bridges opting for NBA
UNDATED (AP) — Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III and Michigan State guard Miles Bridges are among the latest premier college players to say they are leaving school early to enter the NBA draft.
Bagley says on his verified Twitter account that he “learned a lot this year on and off of the court.” He did not say in the post if he would hire an agent but is expected to be a high lottery pick. The AP All-American and ACC player and rookie of the year led the conference in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.2 points and 11.3 rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Bridges is skipping his final two seasons of eligibility and entering the NBA draft. Bridges weighed the idea of going pro last year, but he decided to stay in school and helped the Spartans become a national title contender. The 6-foot-7 guard was named a second-team All-American by The Associated Press this month and averaged 17.1 points, seven rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Texas junior guard Eric Davis Jr. and DePaul junior guard Max Strus are also entering the NBA draft.
Davis averaged 8.8 points in 26 games this season, missing the Longhorns’ final six games following allegations in Yahoo Sports report that he took money from an agent representative.
Strus averaged a team-leading 16.8 points and hit 81 3-pointers.
In other college basketball news:
— Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl has received a vote of confidence from the Tigers’ new athletic director. Allen Greene told WJOX-FM in Birmingham that it’s “absolutely” his intention to stand by Pearl barring further developments from the FBI or NCAA. Auburn hired a Birmingham law firm to conduct a review of Pearl’s program after last September’s arrest of then-associate head coach Chuck Person on federal corruption charges.
— Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton has agreed to a two-year extension that puts him under contract through the spring of 2024. The deal is pending Board of Regents approval. Boynton’s Cowboys were picked to finish last in the Big 12, but they won 21 games, tied for sixth in the conference and won two games in the National Invitation Tournament.
— UNC Greensboro has extended men’s basketball coach Wes Miller’s contract through the 2028-29 season after he led the Spartans to their first NCAA Tournament since 2001. UNC Greensboro this season won a school-record 27 games, claimed its second consecutive Southern Conference regular season title, won the league tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament before losing to Gonzaga in the first round.
— Tavaras Hardy has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland. The 38-year-old Hardy has served on coaching staffs in the Big Ten, Big East and ACC over the past 12 seasons.
Leafs stall Panthers’ playoff push
UNDATED (AP) — The Florida Panthers have wasted one of their games in hand as they try to catch the New Jersey Devils for the NHL’s final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
James van Riemsdyk’s (REEMZ’-dyks) 35th goal of the season was the eventual game-winner as the Maple Leafs downed the Panthers, 4-3. Van Riemsdyk scored with 8:12 remaining to put Toronto ahead 4-2.
Auston Matthews notched his 30th goal of the year, and Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist for the playoff-bound Leafs, who set a franchise record with their 46th victory.
Jonathan Huberdeau (HOO’-bur-doh) scored twice for the Panthers, who remain three points behind the Devils with one game in hand. Florida has seven games remaining.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
— Evgeny Kuznetsov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) scored 38 seconds into overtime to complete the Capitals’ 3-2 victory over the Rangers. Kuznetsov sent the Caps to their fifth straight win and a seven-point lead in the Metropolitan Division after Lars Eller tied the game with 65 seconds left in regulation.
— First-period goals by Claude Giroux (juh-ROO’) and Ivan Provorov were enough offense for the Flyers in a 2-1 win at Colorado. Philadelphia slid a point ahead of the Blue Jackets for third place in the Metropolitan Division, while the Avalanche stayed one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.
— The Coyotes’ 3-2 win at Vegas keeps the Golden Knights just five points ahead of second-place San Jose in the Pacific Division with five games remaining. Kevin Connauton contributed the first and last goals in Arizona’s fourth victory in six games.
B’s extend Chara
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have locked up defenseman Zdeno Chara (zuh-DAY’-noh CHAH’-rah) for another season.
The Bruins agreed to pay the 2009 Norris Trophy winner $5 million next year, when he will turn 42. Incentives could add another $1.75 million.
Chara has seven goals and 16 assists this season, his 20th in the NHL.
New helmet rule likely to be part of replay for officiating
UNDATED (AP) — The Raiders are another step closer to leaving Oakland again.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority has signed the final documents necessary to build the future home of the Raiders. Raiders President Marc Badain and authority chairman Steve Hill have signed the lease and development agreements in Las Vegas for the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat stadium that also will serve as home to the UNLV Rebels.
The move comes a day after NFL owners voted 31-1 to approve the stadium plans and financing, including a $200 million loan from the league.
In other NFL personnel news:
— Benjamin Watson’s agent says the veteran tight end has agreed to return to the Saints. Watson posted career highs of 74 catches and 825 yards receiving with the Saints in 2015, the third and final year of his prior stint in New Orleans.
— Cornerback Justin Coleman is staying with the Seahawks after signing his restricted free agent tender with the club. Coleman became Seattle’s primary nickel cornerback last season and finished with 35 tackles, nine passes defensed and two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
— A person with knowledge of the deal says the Broncos have acquired safety Su’a Cravens from the Redskins. Denver and Washington flip fourth- and fifth-round picks this season as part of the trade. In addition, Denver sends a fifth-rounder to Washington in 2018 and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020.
— The Browns have traded former starting quarterback Cody Kessler to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cleveland will get back a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019 for Kessler, who started eight games as a rookie in 2016 but has been sliding down Cleveland’s depth chart. Kessler sat behind rookie DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan last season. The Browns are expected to use the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft on a quarterback.
—The Arizona Cardinals have gone across the Atlantic to sign defensive lineman Moubarak Djeri. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Togo native played the last two seasons in the German Football League. Last year, he had 12 sacks, 40 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
— The NFL’s new rule outlawing a player from lowering his head to initially make any sort of hit with his helmet likely will be included in replay reviews for officials. Though nothing has been finalized, Commissioner Roger Goodell and competition committee chairman Rich McKay made it clear that video reviews probably will be part of the process.
— Former University of Nebraska and Oakland Raiders quarterback David Humm has died at age 65. Humm was a starter for three seasons at Nebraska and was a backup on Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1976 and ’83 seasons, playing 95 games over 10 seasons with the Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts. Humm had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988 and was in a wheelchair for more than 20 years.
Royals lose Perez for 4 weeks
UNDATED (AP) — Royals catcher Salvador Perez will miss up to six weeks after spraining the MCL in his left knee.
Perez was injured at home as he missed a step while carrying a suitcase up stairs. The five-time All-Star heard a “pop” and immediately called Royals trainer Nick Kenney, who advised Perez to ice the knee and come in for an MRI exam on Wednesday.
No surgery is required, and recovery can be as little as four weeks.
In other MLB news:
— The Reds have pushed back their season opener against the Nationals by a day because rain is forecast for all day Thursday. They’ll open on Friday afternoon instead, taking advantage of what was a scheduled day off for both teams. The pitching matchups remain the same, with Max Scherzer facing Homer Bailey.
— Tampa Bay pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) has loose bodies in his pitching elbow and will undergo arthroscopic surgery. The 28-year-old right-hander was expected to be part of the Rays rotation after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s been placed on the 10-day disabled list ahead of the opener against Boston.
Russia says US barring its wrestlers from Iowa competition
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the United States of trying to bar Russian wrestlers from an upcoming competition and claims the U.S. is unfit to host international sports events.
The ministry says the U.S. embassy in Moscow refused to arrange visa interviews for the Russian team ahead of the freestyle wrestling World Cup, which starts April 5 in Iowa City, Iowa.
IOC chief visits NKorea after its participation in Olympics
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is visiting North Korea.
His three-day visit comes after the IOC played a key role in allowing North Korea to participate in last month’s Pyeongchang Olympic Games in South Korea.