Update on the latest sports
Dinwiddie, Nets outlast Harden, Rockets
UNDATED (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets weren’t expected to battle for a playoff berth this year, yet they currently hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference after reaching the .500 mark for the first time this late in season since the end of the 2013-14 campaign.
The Nets survived James Harden’s season-high 58-point performance and downed the Rockets, 145-142 in overtime at Houston. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 25 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to propel Brooklyn to its 15th victory in 20 games since an 8-18 start. Dinwiddie hit the go-ahead basket with 28 seconds left after nailing three 3-pointers in the last 30 seconds of regulation.
Harden set a season high for points for the second straight game, but he was just 5-for-19 from beyond the arc as Houston hit 23 3-pointers in a league-record 70 attempts.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— Kyrie Irving’s 27 points and 18 assists carried the Celtics past the Raptors, 117-108. Irving provided the go-ahead basket and followed that with a 31-foot 3-pointer while Boston was closing on a 17-4 run to end a three-game skid. Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard scored 33 points in Toronto’s first loss in six games.
— The Bucks have the league’s best record once again after Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) furnished 27 points and 11 rebounds in Milwaukee’s third straight win, 111-101 versus the Grizzlies. Eric Bledsoe added 16 points for the Bucks, who trailed by one in the third quarter before scoring 19 straight en route to their 14th win in 17 games. Milwaukee’s 32-12 mark is 10 percentage points better than Toronto’s.
— Davis Bertans hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:41 left and finished with 12 points in the Spurs’ 105-101 victory at Dallas. Marco Belinelli had a team-high 17 points for San Antonio, which trailed by 19 in the first half before moving into a virtual first-place tie with Houston in the Southwest Division.
— Blake Griffin scored 30 points and the Pistons won for just the third time in 11 games by outlasting the Magic, 120-115 in overtime. Andre Drummond contributed 14 points and 22 rebounds for the Pistons, who blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter before Drummond’s tip-in forced overtime.
Report: Turkey seeks warrant for Kanter
UNDATED (AP) — Turkish prosecutors are seeking an international arrest warrant for New York Knicks center Enes Kanter, accusing him of membership in a terror organization.
Sabah newspaper says prosecutors are seeking an Interpol “Red Notice” citing Kanter’s ties to Fethullah Gulen (FEH’-too-lah goo-LEN’), who is blamed for a failed coup in 2016. The paper says Kanter is accused of providing financial support to the group.
Sabah says the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office had also prepared an extradition request for the NBA player. Officials at the prosecutor’s office could not be reached for comment.
Earlier this month, Kanter refused to travel to London for a regular-season NBA game, saying he feared he could be assassinated for his opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kanter’s Turkish passport was revoked in 2017.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
— Lakers forward LeBron James has been cleared to practice once the team returns from its upcoming two-game road trip. James strained his groin on Christmas and will have missed 13 consecutive games by the time Los Angeles returns from the road this weekend. He will be sidelined for at least four weeks, the longest stretch he has been out in his 16-season NBA career.
Tigers coast at College Station
UNDATED (AP) — Iowa State has ended a two-game losing streak that knocked them out of The Associated Press men’s basketball poll.
Marial Shayok scored 20 points and Michael Jacobson had a double-double as the Cyclones handed eighth-ranked Texas Tech its first Big 12 loss. Jacobson finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Iowa State, which improved to 13-4 and matched its win total from last season.
Nick Weiler-Babb and Lindell Winnington scored 11 points apiece for Texas Tech, including a bucket for each after the Red Raiders had pulled even at 61-all with less than two minutes remaining.
Tech is 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference, with the other loss coming against Duke.
In other top-25 finals:
Bryce Brown scored all but two of his 22 points by halftime to send 14th-ranked Auburn to an 85-66 victory at Texas A&M. Brown scored 18 straight points for the Tigers, outscoring the Aggies 18-10 during that span to help Auburn grab a double-digit lead late in the first half.
— Kansas State pulled off an upset at Oklahoma as Barry Brown scored 25 points and Dean Wade added 20 to help the Wildcats knock off the 20th-ranked Soooners, 74-61. Kansas State shot 50 percent in its second straight road win over a ranked team, four days after a victory at Iowa State.
— Houston is 17-1 after Corey Davis Jr. dropped in 20 points to lead the 21st-rated Cougars past SMU, 69-58. Armoni Brooks hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points to help Kelvin Sampson pick up his 600th career win.
— Luka Garza matched a season-high 22 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 23 Iowa earned its fourth straight win, edging Penn State, 89-82. Jordan Bohannon added 19 points, Ryan Kriener had 15 off the bench for the 15-3 Hawkeyes.
Flyers rally past Bruins
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins outshot Philadelphia 42-19 on Wednesday, but Sean Couturier’s (koo-TOOR’-ee-ayz) natural hat trick and Carter Hart’s netminding allowed the Flyers to skate away with a victory.
Couturier scored twice in the second period and delivered the eventual game-winner with 4:07 remaining in the Flyers’ 4-3 comeback win against the Bruins. Boston went ahead 2-0 on goals by David Pastrnak (PAS’-tur-nak) and Peter Cehlarik during the first 9 ½ minutes, but Oskar Lindblom began the Flyers’ rally later in the first period.
Couturier’s first career hat trick led the Flyers to their third win in four games since an eight-game skid.
Cehlarik scored twice in his first NHL game of the season, but the Bruins remain tied with Montreal for third place in the Atlantic Division and one point behind Toronto.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Jack Eichel’s (EYE’-kulz) 16th goal of the season came 70 seconds into overtime and completed the Sabres’ 4-3 victory at Calgary. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk (kah-CHUHK’) scored for the Flames, who ended a five-game winning streak.
— Matt Duchene (doo-SHAYN’) scored twice and had an assist in his first game against his former team, guiding Senators to a 5-2 win over the slumping Avalanche. Colorado lost for the 10th time in 12 games, failing to recover after Brady Tkachuk (kah-CHUHK’) and Mark Stone scored 67 seconds apart to make it 2-0 early in the second period.
No 2020 vision of World Cup
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL and the Players’ Association have given up on the possibility of staging the next World Cup of Hockey in September 2020.
The sides met Wednesday in Toronto to discuss the World Cup as part of collective bargaining talks after meeting last week in Las Vegas. Owners or players could choose this September to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement and end it Sept. 15, 2020.
The current CBA runs until 2022 unless one side chooses to terminate it early.
Canadiens’ Byron suspended
NEW YORK (AP) — Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron has received a three-game suspension without pay from the NHL for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar during Tuesday’s game.
Byron was assessed a minor penalty for charging in the second period of the Canadiens’ 5-1 victory. The suspension will cost Byron almost $19,000.
Brown not in contact with Steelers
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are still waiting to hear from wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Team president Art Rooney II says he’s still not sure what led the perennial Pro Bowler to walk out on the team before the season finale. The Steelers benched Brown for their victory over Cincinnati, and he did not show up to clean out his locker after the team missed the playoffs.
Rooney says the team has “left everything open” in regards to Brown’s future.
In other NFL news:
— The Bills have re-signed veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander to a one-year contract, bringing him back to Buffalo for a fourth season The 12-year veteran said he wanted to play one more season and preferred it being in Buffalo. The Bills also re-signed offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles to a one-year contract.
— Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley is with a family member in Oakland after undergoing a mental evaluation prompted by a friend’s call to Los Angeles police. Falcons spokesman Brian Cearns told The Associated Press McKinley “is in a good spot” and has been in “constant communication” with the team, including coach Dan Quinn.
MLB suspends Royals hurler
UNDATED (AP) — Kansas City Royals pitcher Eric Skoglund has been suspended for the season’s first 80 games after testing positive for two performance-enhancing substances.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore says in a statement Skoglund “unknowingly made a mistake” and “we remain proud of who Eric is as a person and will support him as an organization.”
Skoglund was 1-6 with a 5.14 ERA last season, spending the first two months in the rotation and pitching well out of the bullpen in September after a sprained elbow sidelined him for three months.
In other baseball news:
— A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the Diamondbacks have agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million contract with former Mets infielder Wilmer Flores. The deal includes a $6 million club option for 2020 with a $500,000 buyout. Flores played 83 of 126 games at first base last season, hitting .267 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs.
— Rangers right-hander Shawn Tolleson has retired after a setback from Tommy John surgery. Tolleson was the Rangers’ former closer and made the last of his 215 major league appearances with the ballclub on July 27, 2016. He had 35 saves for the AL West champion Rangers in 2015.
— Reds play-by-play broadcaster Marty Brennaman will retire after the 2019 season, his 46th in Cincinnati. The 76-year-old joined the Reds’ radio team in 1974 and soon became known for his sign-off line after each win: “And this one belongs to the Reds.” He and former Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall shared the booth for 31 seasons from 1974-2004.
Hurts leaving Alabama for Oklahoma
UNDATED (AP) — Oklahoma has found a replacement for reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.
Jalen Hurts says he is leaving Alabama and transferring to Oklahoma, making the announcement in a story in the Players’ Tribune. He will be available immediately as a graduate transfer.
Hurts was a two-year starter who led Alabama to a pair of national championship games and was Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year as a freshman.
Hurts left Alabama with 5,626 yards and 48 touchdowns passing and 1,976 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing.
COLLEGE ATHLETICS-MICHIGAN STATE-ENGLER
Engler stepping down
DETROIT (AP) — Former Gov. John Engler is resigning as interim president of Michigan State University, effective Jan. 23.
The decision comes amid public backlash over Engler’s comments about women and girls sexually assaulted by now-imprisoned campus sports doctor Larry Nassar. A member of the university’s Board of Trustees says the final straw for the board came last week when Engler told The Detroit News that Nassar’s victims had been in the “spotlight” and are “still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition.”
Pliskova tested by Brengle
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Fifth seed Madison Keys is through to the third round of the Australian Open.
The 2017 U.S. Open runner-up was a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Anastasia Potapova. Keys next faces No. 12 Elise Mertens, who won her second-round match in straight sets.
Unseeded American Madison Brengle had put herself in position to advance to the third round before Karolina Pliskova (PLIHSH’-koh-vah) found her game.
Brengle won her opening set before the seventh-seeded Czech rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory. Pliskova is joined in the third round by sixth seed Elina Svitolina, who won in straight sets.
Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR’-ee) has moved into the third round on the men’s side with a five-set win against Ivo Karlovic (EE’-voh kahr-LOH’-vihch).
Play was suspended briefly on all courts for about a half-hour following rain showers.
Costas leaving the Peacock
LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC Sports says Bob Costas is leaving his longtime broadcast home, though the network provided no further details on his exit. A representative for the 66-year-old Costas didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Costas’ departure comes two years after he stepped down as NBC’s prime-time Olympics host.
Costas served as the emcee for NBC’s Olympic coverage 11 times starting in 1992. In early 2017, he stepped aside for network newcomer Mike Tirico.
Louisville Airport to be renamed in Ali’s honor
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Muhammad Ali’s Kentucky hometown will honor the late boxer by renaming its airport Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
The Louisville Regional Airport Authority’s board has voted to change the name in honor of the three-time heavyweight champion.
Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, said in a news release from the board that she is proud of the name change, adding that he never forgot his hometown despite being a “global citizen.”