Nuggets Too Much for the Celtics
Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Boston Celtics, 114-105, on Monday night.
Will Barton added 20 points for the Nuggets, who clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2012-13. They have won four straight.
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 30 points. Al Horford finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Both teams came into the night trying to improve their playoff position.
The Nuggets tipped off their four-game road trip just a game behind Western Conference-leading Golden State in the standings. The Celtics came in fifth in the East, a game back of fourth-place Indiana and two behind Philadelphia, whom they visit on Wednesday.
But the Nuggets got some breathing room in the final period and took a 106-94 lead with 3:47 left in the game.
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks became the NBA’s sixth-leading scorer with another of his signature long-range jumpers.
Nowitzki took Luka Doncic’s handoff and backed down New Orleans’ Kenrich Williams before hitting a turnaround from the top of the free-throw circle with 8:33 left in the first quarter.
The basket brought Nowitzki to 31,420 points in his career, one more than Wilt Chamberlain. The 40-year-old German trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan. James passed Jordan for fourth place on March 6.
Red Sox fall to Twins
Eddie Rosario hit a two-run home run for the Twins during a 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Jose Berrios pitched 42/3 innings and limited the defending World Series champions to a run, three hits, and three walks while striking out four. Nathan Eovaldi pitched four innings of two-run ball for Boston. J.D. Martinez was 2 for 2.
Clayton Kershaw won’t be starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day, ending his streak of pitching eight straight openers. Manager Dave Roberts announced the decision. Kershaw has dealt with left shoulder inflammation during spring training, and has yet to pitch in a game.
Bengals release Burfict
The Cincinnati Bengals released oft-suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Burfict’s career was marked more by his behavior than his tackling skills. In his seven years with the Bengals, he was suspended by the NFL to start each of the past three seasons, mostly for egregious hits that violated the league’s player safety rules.
Undrafted out of Arizona State, Burfict played in 75 games with 73 starts. He made 684 tackles, had 81/2 sacks, five interceptions, 33 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He made the 2013 Pro Bowl.
Haloti Ngata found a unique way to announce his retirement from the NFL: from atop Mount Kilimanjaro. The 35-year-old Ngata, who played with the Eagles last season following three years with the Lions, was at his best with Baltimore. He made two All-Pro teams and five Pro Bowls with the Ravens in nine seasons after being a first-round draft pick in 2006. He won a Super Bowl with them in February 2013. ... Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has earned reinstatement from the NHL as he enters the follow-up phase of the league’s substance abuse program.