Hayward Leads C’s Past Timberwolves
Gordon Hayward came off the bench to score a season-high 35 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 115-102 on Wednesday night.
Terry Rozier scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter while making his third start of the season because Kyrie Irving scratched both of his eyes in Monday’s game against San Antonio. Hayward took over from there, with 13 in the second quarter and 15 in the third to finish with his highest scoring game with the Celtics.
Andrew Wiggins scored 31 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 of his 28 points -- and grabbed five of his 12 rebounds -- in the third quarter, when Minnesota trimmed a 22-point deficit to six points. But with about four minutes left the Celtics scored eight straight points to clinch their fifth straight win over the Wolves.
UML wins AE opener
Brianna Rudolph scored five points in the final 75 seconds as the UMass Lowell women’s basketball team picked up its first-ever America East opener victory, fending off Vermont, 54-51. After a 21-9 Catamount (4-9, 0-1) run over an 11-minute span spreading over the third and fourth quarters, the River Hawks (5-9, 1-0) faced a 51-49 deficit entering the final 4:44 of regulation. Neither team could add to the scoreboard until Rudolph knotted the contest from the free throw line, and drove through the paint to give the hosts the lead for good with 41 seconds to play. The guard connected on one final free throw, and Vermont could not extend the game in the final seconds.
Ovechkin to skip All-Star Game
Alex Ovechkin will skip the All-Star Weekend in San Jose to get some extra rest and serve an automatic one-game suspension. The Washington Capitals announced Ovechkin’s decision Wednesday. The team says the NHL’s leading goal-scorer wants to take advantage of the adjoining bye week to prepare for the second half of the season. Washington’s final game before the All-Star break is Jan. 23 at Toronto. The All-Star game is Jan. 26, and the Capitals don’t play again until Feb. 1 against Calgary.
Mariners sign Kikuchi
The Seattle Mariners have signed Japanese left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi to a four-year deal just ahead of the deadline for him to sign with a major league club or be forced to return to Japan for another season. Seattle made the signing official Wednesday after word first surfaced of an agreement late on New Year’s Eve. Kikuchi was one of the few starter options remaining on the market and he will be joining a team with a long history of success with Japanese players. Kikuchi was 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA for the Seibu Lions last season.
The New York Yankees have obtained a low-cost infield replacement, agreeing to a one-year contract with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for the major league minimum $555,000.