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Dom Amore: For UConn men, it's one crown down, a few more to go

Sports / Basketball /

STORRS, Conn. — Easily sat the crown of national champions upon the heads of UConn men’s basketball players.

Not so comfortable are the thorns in their sides, the things they didn’t win. Maybe some teams in this position wouldn’t even realize there were thorns, but Dan Hurley kept reminding the Huskies of the pinch.

“The Big East (...Read more

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John Clay: This final week will tell us plenty about Kentucky basketball's postseason chances

Sports / Basketball /

Coaches constantly preach taking it one game a time.

Thankfully, we’re not required to follow that rule.

This is a big week for Kentucky basketball. Vanderbilt visits Rupp Arena for a late 9 p.m. Senior Night tipoff on Wednesday. Kentucky handled the Commodores 109-77 in Nashville on Feb. 6. So the Cats will need to take care of business ...Read more

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Jalen Brunson exits with knee injury in Knicks victory over Cavs

Sports / Basketball /

The wins don’t get much bigger than this.

Jalen Brunson left Sunday’s matchup with an apparent knee injury on the game’s first possession, but the Knicks held on for a much-needed victory over the No. 2-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Brunson left the game on the Knicks’ opening possession.

The Knicks’ ...Read more

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Magic handle Pistons as Markelle Fultz provides boost off bench

Sports / Basketball /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Markelle Fultz soared through the sky and slammed home an offensive rebound to open the second quarter for the Magic on Sunday night against the Pistons.

It was the highlight of the evening at Kia Center for Fultz, whose putback dunk was part of a larger run when the Orlando point guard scored 10 straight points from the first...Read more

John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

Even while bruised and battered, Heat turn slump into streak, 'This is the fun part'

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — At least now they’re coming clean.

There is another gear. There is a greater focus. The next level has been activated.

For all the every-game-matters discourse the previous four months, acknowledgement of go-time has arrived for the Miami Heat.

March matters, opening with Saturday night’s victory over the Utah Jazz. Just as ...Read more

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Celtics demolish Warriors in historic blowout victory, extend winning streak to 11

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — After the Celtics’ victory over the Mavericks on Friday night, Jaylen Brown wanted to see them reach another level. Even as the Celtics keep winning, Brown wasn’t satisfied. He said this is the part of the year “where we start to take it up a notch.”

Two days later, Brown backed up his word. But he led the Celtics to a level ...Read more

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Timberwolves fall to Clippers 89-88 for second home loss in a row

Sports / Basketball /

MINNEAPOLIS — For those who rue the fact that defense has left the NBA and scoring has gotten out of control, Sunday's game between the Timberwolves and Clippers was for you.

Depending on your perspective, an intense defensive struggle or offensive brickfest broke out, with every basket feeling more and more precious as the game got later.

...Read more

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UNC basketball passed first March test in a way that bodes well in most important month

Sports / Basketball /

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Hubert Davis played for the New York Knicks during the mid-1990s, in a time of rugged physicality in the NBA and for the team that most personified the grittiest, most bruising period in the league’s history. That’s part of why he didn’t think much of the mini-skirmish here on Saturday early in the second half of ...Read more

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As Duke basketball chases championships, Tyrese Proctor helps Blue Devils find best game

Sports / Basketball /

DURHAM, N.C. — Even while racking up enough wins to stay in the nation's top 10 and among the top two teams in the ACC standings, Duke searched all season for a higher level of play.

The Blue Devils (22-6, 14-4 ACC) found it Saturday as they rolled through the ACC's resident defensive bully, posting a 73-48 win over Virginia.

That it came in...Read more

Iowa's Caitlin Clark passes Pete Maravich to become NCAA's all-time scoring leader

Sports / Basketball /

College basketball’s scoring crown belongs to Caitlin Clark.

Iowa’s generational superstar became the all-time NCAA Division I scoring leader Sunday, breaking “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s 54-year-old record with her 18th point of the day against No. 2 Ohio State.

Playing in front of her home crowd, Clark made a pair of free throws with 0...Read more

Dan Woike: Lakers frustrated they can't beat Nuggets, and the problem is getting worse

Sports / Basketball /

Last spring, there was almost a universal Lakers' voice bemoaning a lack of continuity, their deadline-assembled roster no match for the bulldozing Denver Nuggets, who made every big shot and got every big stop during a Western Conference finals sweep.

The Lakers' offseason, in no small part, was driven by the chance to respond — the vow to ...Read more

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No. 1 South Carolina WBB caps perfect regular season with win over Tennessee

Sports / Basketball /

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Perfection (again).

South Carolina women’s basketball solidified its second consecutive undefeated regular season Sunday with a 76-68 win over Tennessee at Colonial Life Arena. The victory extended USC’s program-record home win streak to 57.

“I am super proud of them,” coach Dawn Staley said. “Like, super proud. If...Read more

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UConn men beat Seton Hall 91-61, clinch first outright Big East regular-season title in 25 years

Sports / Basketball /

STORRS, Conn. – The UConn men’s basketball team cut down the nets in Gampel Pavilion after its 91-61 win over Seton Hall clinched the program’s first outright Big East regular-season title since the 1998-99 season.

UConn, ranked third in the nation and 16-0 at home this year, finished its first undefeated season at both Gampel Pavilion ...Read more

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Tyrese Maxey survives a scare and lifts the Sixers past the Mavericks in a homecoming

Sports / Basketball /

DALLAS — Tyrese Maxey had a great homecoming.

After practice Saturday at Buddy Hield’s Big D residence, Maxey took an Uber to his parents’ home. The next day, the native of Garland, Texas, led the Sixers to a 120-116 victory over the Dallas Mavericks with family members and friends in the stands at American Airlines Center.

Sunday’s ...Read more

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Marcus Hayes: Joel Embiid, injured again, should not play in the Olympics. He should prepare for the next Sixers season.

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — Sometimes I wonder if it’s me who's crazy or if it’s everybody else.

Or maybe it’s just Joel Embiid.

On Thursday, the 76ers’ fragile center addressed the press for the first time since his second surgery on his left knee, which was his third knee injury in seven seasons.

He said, morosely, that he was sad his injury ...Read more

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Ira Winderman: Heat again at crossroads of contention or survival, of playoffs or play-in

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — The respect is that of a championship contender.

The place in the standings is that of a survivalist.

For the Miami Heat, the dichotomy lives on, once again viewed as something more than the standings indicate amid this scramble to avoid the play-in round.

No sooner, for example, did the Heat complete one of their most impressive ...Read more

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No . 2 Purdue beats Michigan State, clinches a share of Big Ten title

Sports / Basketball /

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Tom Izzo tempered expectations heading into Saturday’s game at No. 2 Purdue.

He wanted to see Michigan State play well. If the Spartans fell short against the second-best team in the country at a place they haven’t won in over 10 years, he could live with it.

But he made clear what he can’t tolerate.

“I can’...Read more

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Nuggets dominate clutch minutes again to spoil Lakers' celebration of LeBron James scoring milestone

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — The clutch-time Nuggets spoiled another landmark night for the Lakers.

On the night LeBron James became the first player to ever score 40,000 career points, Denver came back from an 11-point deficit for a 124-114 win, the team’s sixth consecutive since the All-Star break, on Saturday night.

Nikola Jokic went for 35 points and...Read more

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LeBron James becomes first NBA player to score 40,000 points in Lakers' loss to Nuggets

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — In a game the NBA and the Lakers celebrated all the shots LeBron James made on his way to 40,000 points, the Nuggets continued to make every big shot necessary to gut the Lakers.

For the eighth consecutive time, including last year’s Western Conference finals, the Nuggets defeated the Lakers, collectively overshadowing any ...Read more

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LeBron James becomes first NBA player to score 40,000 points

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James had scored more points than anyone in NBA history before Saturday’s game with Denver, but a major statistical milestone provided another chance to reflect on his longevity — a left-handed layup against the Nuggets in the second quarter giving him 40,000 career points.

James entered the game needing nine points ...Read more