Nets end skid, stop Celts from catching Raptors
UNDATED (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets propped up their fading NBA playoff hopes while preventing the Boston Celtics from moving into a first-place tie in the Atlantic Division.
Caris LeVert pumped in a season-high 51 points and the Nets halted a four-game losing streak by outlasting the Celtics, 129-120 in overtime at Boston. Brooklyn erupted for 51 points in the fourth quarter to erase a 17-point hole before outscoring the Celtics 11-2 in OT.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot added 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench as the Nets moved a half-game ahead of Orlando for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Jaylen Brown finished with a team-high 22 points and Kemba Walker had 21 for the Celts, who fell one game behind the Raptors.
Checking out Tuesday’s other NBA action:
— Dejounte (deh-ZHAHN’-tay) Murray scored 21 points and the Spurs gave Tim Duncan his first victory as an acting head coach with a 104-103 victory at Charlotte. San Antonio longtime coach Gregg Popovich missed the game while dealing with “personal business,” according to the team. Forbes added 15 points for the Spurs, who trailed by 17 in the first half.
Kyrie Irving has shoulder surgery
UNDATED (AP) — Kyrie Irving has undergone surgery to repair the injured right shoulder that ended his first season with the Brooklyn Nets after just 20 games.
The Nets say the procedure to relieve the impingement was performed Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The team says Irving is expected to make a full recovery.
Irving began having trouble with the shoulder as he worked to get back in shape after another injury in the preseason. He missed 26 games before returning in January.
Irving signed with Brooklyn in July along with Kevin Durant, who is recovering from surgery to repair his Achilles tendon.
In other NBA news:
— The Pistons say guard Derrick Rose suffered a sprained right ankle during the first quarter of Sunday’s loss at Sacramento and is expected to be re-evaluated in two weeks. The 31-year-old Rose is averaging 18.1 points over 50 games this season, his highest scoring output since 2011-12. He was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2010-11 but hasn’t played more than 66 games in any season since.
— Suns forward Kelly Oubre (OOL’-bray) Jr. will miss at least four weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Phoenix has gone 0-3 while the 6-foot-7 Oubre sat out because of the injury. Oubre ranks third on the team with 18.7 points per game and is averaging 6.4 rebounds.
— Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is missing tonight’s game against Charlotte due to personal business. The team announced former Spurs star and assistant coach Tim Duncan would step in as head coach. Popovich is expected to return for San Antonio’s next game against the Nets on Friday night. Will Hardy said he and fellow assistant Becky Hammon would collaborate with Duncan.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Spartans beat Nittany Lions, catch Terrapins
UNDATED (AP) — Michigan State has pulled into a first-place tie with Maryland in the Big Ten.
The 16th-ranked Spartans are 13-6 in the conference after turning a 19-point, first-half deficit into a 78-71 victory at No. 20 Penn State. Xavier Tillman Sr. scored 23 points and had 15 rebounds for Michigan State, which trailed 46-31 at intermission before scoring the first nine points of the second.
Rocket Watts added 18 points, Cassius Winston had 14 and Aaron Henry scored 12 for the Spartans.
The Terrapins lost for the third time in four games as Jacob Young came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points in Rutgers’ 78-67 win against Maryland. Montez Mathis added 15 points and Gio Baker had 11 as the Scarlet Knights snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 19-11 overall.
Jalen Smith had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Maryland, while teammate Anthony Cowan added 19 points. But the Terps shot a horrendous 6 of 32 from 3-point range, including 2 of 16 in the first half.
The Spartans and Terrapins will have company atop the conference if Wisconsin and Illinois win their next games.
Bruins nip Lightning
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have added two more points to their lead in the NHL’s Atlantic Division by notching their third straight win.
Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk provided power-play goals in the Bruins 2-1 triumph at Tampa Bay. Marchand opened the scoring in the last minute of the opening period and DeBrusk doubled Boston’s lead midway through the second.
Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask stopped 20 shots and blanked the Bolts until Mitchel Stephens notched a short-handed goal late in the second period.
The Bruins lead the division by nine points over the Lightning and pace the entire NHL with 96 points.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Brayden Schenn broke a 1-1 deadlock midway through the third period before the Blues completed a 3-1 victory over the Rangers. Jaden Schwartz added an empty-netter and set up the deciding goal as St. Louis won its eighth in a row to expand its lead in the Central Division to three points over Colorado. The Rangers remain seventh in the Metropolitan Division after their third straight loss.
— The Penguins ended their six-game losing streak as Sidney Crosby scored and collected his 800th career assist in their 7-3 rout of Ottawa. Bryan Rust collected his third career hat trick for the Penguins, who tied a season high in goals and ended their longest slide in eight years. Pittsburgh defenseman John Marino scored 48 seconds into his return after missing 11 games due to facial surgery
— The Islanders continued their slide out of the Eastern Conference playoff berth with their fourth straight loss, 6-2 against the Canadiens. Joel Armia (ahr-MEE’-uh) and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist as Montreal beat New York for the sixth time in seven games. Carey Price needed to make just 20 saves and blanked the Islanders until Brock Nelson made it 4-1 with just under 14 minutes left.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NCAA TOURNAMENT
An NCAA Tournament with empty arenas? It can’t be ruled out
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA is ruling out no contingencies when it comes to coronavirus and the NCAA Tournament.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Chief Operating Officer Donald Remy did not dismiss the possibility of games being played with no fans in arenas. The games presumably would still be televised.
The NCAA declined further comment to the AP on the possibility of no fans in the stands. Also, the NCAA announced it has established a coronavirus advisory panel of medical, public health and epidemiology experts and NCAA schools.
Japan Olympic minister says games could be held any time in 2020
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Olympic minister says the contract to hold the Tokyo Games only specifies the event has to be held during 2020.
Seiko Hashimoto’s response to a question in the upper house of parliament implies the Olympics could be held later in the year and would not have to start on July 24 as planned.
The issue of a delay follows the fast-spreading virus that has been blamed for 12 deaths in Japan and has shut down most schools, sports competitions and Olympic-related events in the country. The virus that started in China has been detected in at least 70 countries, with 90,000 cases and 3,100 deaths reported.
IOC officials and Tokyo organizers have repeatedly said they expect the Olympics to open on schedule.
In other outbreak sports concerns:
— The Italian Cup semifinal between Juventus and AC Milan scheduled for Wednesday in Turin has been postponed indefinitely as part of measures to stop the spread of the virus outbreak in Italy. Over 50 people have died and more than 2,000 have been infected in Italy by the COVID-19 virus.
Sale has elbow soreness
UNDATED. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox say starter Chris Sale has undergone an MRI after experiencing soreness in his throwing elbow.
Manager Ron Roenicke said Sale felt the soreness in his elbow Monday morning, the day after his 18-pitch batting practice session. Sale missed the last seven weeks of last season due to elbow inflammation, finishing the year 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts.
Sale already was slated to start this season on the IL after reporting to camp with pneumonia.
In other MLB news:
— Carlos Carrasco made his first start for Cleveland since last May, allowing two runs over two innings against the Angels. He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last May and missed three months while undergoing treatment. He returned to pitch 15 innings of relief in September.
— An arbitrator has accepted Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein’s rationale for delaying Kris Bryant’s debut at the start of the 2015 season. The ruling was that there was no proof of “a nefarious motive” by Epstein to delay the third baseman’s eligibility for free agency. The decision accepts Epstein’s explanation that injuries to Mike Olt and Tommy La Stella prompted the timing of Bryant’s call-up to the Cubs in April 2015. Had Bryant been brought up one day earlier, he would have been eligible for free agency after this season.
—Yankees outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are likely to miss the team’s season opener at Baltimore on March 26 because of their injuries. Judge is having more tests to determine the cause of soreness in the right pectoral area near his shoulder. Stanton strained his right calf last month.
— Houston ace Justin Verlander says the groin tightness that has slowed him this spring is no longer worrisome. Verlander made his Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday, throwing 2 2/3 innings against the Cardinals.
— St. Louis pitcher Andrew Miller will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time as he tries to regain the feel for his pitches. The two-time All-Star and 2016 ALCS MVP with Cleveland says there’s no pain, but that his release simply doesn’t feel right. Miller says the issue contributed to his disappointing 5-6 record and 4.45 ERA last year.