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No. 15 USC stunned by Stanford again

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Two weeks back from its lengthy layoff, two losses after its undefeated start was spoiled by Stanford, USC had seemed to finally find its footing. The defense that ranked among the nation’s best before its COVID-19 pause was back on track. The last three teams to face USC had limped to the finish line, stunted by its ...Read more

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Timberwolves can't match Golden State's shooting touch in 124-115 loss

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SAN FRANCISCO – With the Golden State Warriors doubling and triple teaming Karl-Anthony Towns in the second half, and D'Angelo Russell leaving early because of a left shin contusion, the Minnesota Timberwolves could have used another explosive night from Anthony Edwards.

Edwards had torched Portland for 40 two nights earlier, but in a ...Read more

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No. 7 UCLA defeats California to take top spot in Pac-12 standings

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LOS ANGELES — In case UCLA was tempted to linger in the giddy afterglow of its biggest victory of the season, another setback brought some unease before tipoff Thursday.

Leading scorer Johnny Juzang, one of only three players to avoid being placed in COVID-19 protocols last month, added his name to the tally. Further thinning the team’s ...Read more

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Ohio State shakes off rust, hits multiple milestones in win at Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS — The recent numbers weren’t pretty here for Ohio State.

Take 3:45, for instance. In their last three trips to Williams Arena, that is the combined amount of time the Buckeyes ever held a lead. All three of those games were losses of the double-digit variety.

Thursday night, they added a few new ones to their personal history ...Read more

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Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris lead 76ers past Lakers

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — A year ago Wednesday, the 76ers used that night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers as a barometer to see where they stood.

Things were much different in Wednesday night’s meeting, as both teams were battling injuries and looking to get into a groove.

Fortunately for the Sixers, Joel Embiid was healthy and Tobias Harris ...Read more

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DeMar DeRozan named a starter for NBA All-Star Game, first Bulls player to earn the honor since 2017

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CHICAGO — Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan became an NBA All-Star for the fifth time in his career Thursday night, joining a star-studded starting group alongside LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

After icing fourth quarters and nailing back-to-back buzzer beaters to lift the team to second in the Eastern Conference, ...Read more

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David Murphy: Joel Embiid is the James Harden of big men. Just look at the Sixers star's MVP-level run.

Sports / Basketball /

There's a video clip making the rounds that could easily be rebranded as a 12-second crash course from Joel Embiid University.

It opens with Embiid standing behind the three-point line on the right wing and Tyrese Maxey biding his time with the ball near half court. As the shot clock dips below 10 seconds, Embiid glances to his right and sees ...Read more

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What Hornets' LaMelo Ball is doing is elite. There's no doubt he should be an All-Star.

Sports / Basketball /

When you hit a career-best 10 shots beyond the 3-point arc and spur the best offensive performance in franchise history, you’re more than qualified to break down other absurd acts.

But even Kelly Oubre Jr. had trouble describing the latest magical outing by the Charlotte Hornets’ star point guard that left people talking yet again. Such is ...Read more

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'Study the legends and become one': Joel Embiid explains how Kobe Bryant helped shape his ever-evolving game

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — The 55-second video clip rapidly toggled between Joel Embiid and either Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan, with the 76ers’ star big man pulling off nearly identical moves with the ball in his hands. A turnaround fadeaway one step outside the lane. A crossover at the elbow. An over-the-shoulder spin and finish at the rim. An up-and...Read more

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John Clay: Forget all-time wins list, a Kentucky win at Kansas would bode well for March

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — To be honest, I'm not worried about which school has the most all-time wins in college basketball.

I know, I know, Kentucky is No. 1 on the list. Kansas is No. 2. Three victories separate the blue bloods who meet Saturday in Lawrence as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. A Kansas win pulls the Jayhawks one step closer to ...Read more

Bogdanovic returns from injury, makes splash in Hawks' win vs. Kings

Sports / Basketball /

Led by Bogdan Bogdanovic in his return, a huge push from the bench unit helped the Hawks (22-25) squash the Kings, 121-104, at State Farm Arena Wednesday.

Next up, the Hawks will continue their five-game homestand and host the Celtics Friday.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. The Hawks have now won five straight games and continue to ...Read more

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Heat again flex muscle, power past Knicks, 110-96

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MIAMI — Amid its seemingly non-stop coverage of all things New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN was courteous enough to offer some prime time Wednesday night to the Miami Heat.

Considering what the Heat did against LeBron James and the Lakers for most of Sunday’s matchup and how they managed to quiet the Knicks’ snowbird following...Read more

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Dom Amore: With Isaiah Whaley back to full strength, UConn men have all the tools they need

Sports / Basketball /

The UConn men’s basketball team has answered a critical question in its recent games. How deep are the Huskies?

Long before halftime against Georgetown on Tuesday night, nine players had been in the game and eight had scored.

Coach Dan Hurley wanted a UConn team where it would be hard to get on the floor and, indeed, he has several touted ...Read more

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Magic get fuller rotation back in loss to Clippers as uncertainty looms

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ORLANDO, Fla. — After getting their preferred starting lineup back in Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bulls, the Orlando Magic got as close to having their regular rotation as they’ve had in a couple of months for Wednesday’s 111-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

With Gary Harris (back spasms) and Terrence Ross (right knee soreness) ...Read more

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Return of Anthony Davis has the Lakers feeling like the worst might be behind them

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — Anthony Davis' neon sneakers were greener than a traffic light, the first play in his first game back drawn up to prove that he was ready to go.

After winning the opening tip Tuesday in Brooklyn, Davis caught the ball at the top and quickly pushed it to LeBron James on the wing. Setting a soft screen while James drove toward the ...Read more

Mark Bradley: Tom Crean hasn't won at UGA. I still believe he can, though.

Sports / Basketball /

After 110 games and 3-1/2 seasons, Georgia under Tom Crean is, according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, the lowest-rated team among the Power 5 leagues plus the Big East. In ordinary times, that’d be enough for me to say, “Next.” I can’t in good conscience say that today.

Crean’s Bulldogs are 47-63 overall, 15-46 in SEC play, and the ...Read more

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John Clay: There should be only one name on Louisville's coaching list: Kenny Payne

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — After all the drama, the scandals and the unexpected failure that was Chris Mack, Louisville basketball has an easy answer to its complicated problems.

Hire Kenny Payne as its head coach.

He's the guy, right? He has to be. He checks the appropriate boxes.

Box 1: Payne is a former Louisville player popular with his fellow ...Read more

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Lakers sign local product Stanley Johnson to two-year contract

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers will keep one of Orange County's best prep basketball players ever, signing Stanley Johnson to a two-year deal, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Los Angeles Times.

The second year will be a team option. The Lakers hope to finalize the deal on Thursday.

Johnson, who has played through three 10-day ...Read more

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Mac Engel: The Texas Longhorns cleared out Shaka Smart to be better than this under Chris Beard

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Inside the packed purple palace on Tuesday night in Fort Worth there was nary a Texas Tech Red Raiders fan on hand to yell and scream at their least-favorite former head coach.

The Red Raiders have their eyes set on Feb. 1, when the Nature Boy Ric Flair and Tech (not kidding) host the University of Texas in men's ...Read more

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Lakers great Jerry West remembers Kobe Bryant's 'enormous love and respect' for daughter Gianna on 2-year anniversary of their deaths

Sports / Basketball /

Los Angeles Lakers great Jerry West remembered the special bond that Kobe Bryant shared with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, before their tragic deaths.

Wednesday marks the two-year anniversary of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna and seven others in Calabasas, Calif.

“I just saw this enormous love and respect for this ...Read more