Update on the latest in sports:
Lakers rip Warriors despite finishing without James
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers had to play most of the second half without LeBron James on Christmas Day, but they had enough talent to whip the NBA’s two-time defending champions.
Kyle Kuzma (KOOZ’-mah) led seven Lakers in double-figures with 19 points in a 127-101 rout of the Warriors in Oakland.
James already had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists when he strained his left groin after slipping under the Warriors basket at the 7:51 mark of the third quarter. James awkwardly walked toward the Lakers bench trying to loosen up before leaving for the locker room under his own power with Los Angeles leading by just single digits.
The Lakers expect to know more about his status following an MRI exam Wednesday.
Stephen Curry made consecutive 3s shortly after James exited, and the Warriors got within 78-76 at the 2:48 mark of the third. The Lakers responded by outscoring Golden State, 36-19 in the final period to improve to 20-14.
Ivaca Zubac (ee-VAH’-kah ZOO’-bahts) finished with 18 points and 11 boards for the Lakers, while Rajon Rondo (RAH’-zhahn RAHN’-doh) contributed 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds off the bench. Rondo provided a spark once James left the court.
Andre Iguodala (ihg-ah-DAH’-lah) had a season-high 23 points off the bench to lead the Warriors, who fell into a virtual tie with Denver for first place in the Western Conference.
Checking out Tuesday’s other NBA action:
— Kyrie Irving hit five of the Celtics’ 14 3-pointers and finished with 40 points as Boston outlasted the 76ers, 121-114 in overtime. Philadelphia led by five in OT before Irving nailed back-to-back 3s as part of the Celtics’ 13-1, game-ending run. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris each scored 23 for the Celtics, while Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) was high man for the Sixers with 34 points to go with 16 rebounds.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) delivered a game-high 30 points and a team-best 14 rebounds as the Bucks downed the Knicks, 109-95 in New York. Antetokounmpo dropped in 11 points while Milwaukee outscored New York 36-22 in the third quarter to take an 84-65 lead into the final period. Brook Lopez finished with 20 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 17 in Milwaukee’s fifth win in six games.
— The Rockets made it seven wins in their last eight games as James Harden poured in 41 points in a 113-109 victory over the Thunder. Harden has scored 30 points or more in a career-high seven games in a row, marking the first time a player has done that since Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had eight straight 25 months ago. Paul George scored 28 points, grabbed 14 boards and hit two free throws that got the Thunder within two with 43.6 seconds remaining.
— The Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers are playing the final NBA game of the day in Salt Lake City.
Swearinger back with Cardinals
UNDATED (AP) — D.J. Swearinger had no trouble finding a new team, and it’s one of his old franchises.
The Arizona Cardinals have claimed the safety off waivers from the Washington Redskins, one day after he was let go for criticizing defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Swearinger reportedly blamed the game plan for the Redskins’ loss to the Titans in Tennessee and was critical of the play calling earlier this year.
The 27-year-old Swearinger played 20 games for the Cardinals in 2015 and ’16 before heading to Washington. He has four interceptions, three forced fumbles and 64 tackles this year.
The Cardinals also placed offensive lineman Korey Cunningham on injured reserve with a foot injury.
Also around the NFL:
— A person with knowledge of the MRI results tells The Associated Press that Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay’s season is over after tests showed he sustained major damage to his right wrist in Monday’s loss at Oakland. It also appears unlikely he’ll be able to play in the Pro Bowl next month after becoming the first undrafted offensive rookie in NFL history to earn a Pro Bowl selection. Lindsay finishes the season with 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns.
Banned Russian biathlete retires
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian biathlete Anton Shipulin has announced his retirement, saying at a news conference that he made the decision after he was barred from the Winter Olympics earlier this year.
The decision comes amid an investigation by Austrian police of 10 members of Russia’s biathlon team for doping and fraud offenses allegedly committed around the 2017 world championships in Austria. Prosecutors said those accused have been formally notified that they are under investigation but did not name the suspects.
Shipulin has vehemently denied the accusations and dismissed the Austrian inquiry as a “witch hunt.”
The 31-year-old Shipulin is one of scores of Russian athletes banned from competing for being part of Russia’s state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Shipulin won a gold medal in Sochi’s biathlon relay race.