Heat continue streak, but Nuggets end theirs
UNDATED (AP) — The Denver Nuggets' lengthy winning streak is over, but the Miami Heat's streak continues.
LeBron James almost had a triple-double and the Heat picked up their 27th straight win by downing the Magic 108-94 in Orlando. James finished with 24 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to help Miami get within six games of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers league mark for longest winning streak.
Mario Chalmers had 17 points for the Heat, who broke open a tie game by scoring 13 straight points bridging the third and fourth quarters.
Miami played its second straight game without Dwyane (dwayn) Wade because of a sore knee.
The Nuggets saw their 15-game winning streak end with a 110-86 loss at New Orleans. Ryan Anderson scored 23 points and Brian Roberts doubled his career high with 18 assists to help the Hornets win their third in a row.
Danilo Gallinari had 24 points for the Nuggets, who were without starting point guard Ty Lawson for the third consecutive game due to a heel injury.
In other NBA finals, Stephen (STEH'-fehn) Curry had 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as Golden State knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers 109-103. David Lee added 23 points, grabbed 12 boards and helped the Warriors build a 63-40 halftime lead.
John Wall scored a career-high 47 points and had eight assists as Washington surprised Memphis 107-94. Emeka Okafor (eh-MEH'-kuh OH'-kah-fohr) added 21 points and nine rebounds to the Wizards' sixth straight home win.
Indiana managed to beat Atlanta 100-94 despite playing without Danny Granger, George Hill and David West because of injuries. Gerald Green led the Pacers with 19 points, while Roy Hibbert chipped in 17 and 13 rebounds.
Randy Foye scored 17 points and Gordon Hayward added 15 as Utah beat Philadelphia 107-91 to halt a four-game skid. Derrick Favors contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz.
Garnett sidelined for Celtics
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Boston's Kevin Garnett is expected to miss at least a week with inflammation in his left ankle as the Celtics practice patience with their 36-year-old star. Coach Doc Rivers says he doesn't think Garnett will be out for the long term.
Garnett sat out Saturday night's 110-106 loss at Memphis and will miss Tuesday night's home game against the New York Knicks.
Boston general manager Danny Ainge thinks Garnett will be sidelined 1-3 weeks.
B's beat Leafs
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks are just 3-4 in seven games since collecting points in their first 24 games of the season.
Dustin Brown scored off his own rebound with 1:27 remaining to give Los Angeles a 5-4 win at Chicago. Jonathon Toews (tayvz) put the Blackhawks ahead 4-3 early in the third period before the Kings rallied to send Chicago to its second straight loss.
Anze Kopitar (AHN'-zhay KOH'-pih-tahr) scored once and had an assist for the Kings, netting a second-period goal that ended the team's shutout skid at 150 minutes and 35 seconds.
Anaheim remains three points behind the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks. Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Martin Martin Havlat each had a goal and an assist in San Jose's 5-3 victory at Anaheim. Viktor Fasth (fahst) took the loss despite stopping 20 of 21 shots in the second period and finishing with 34 saves.
The Boston Bruins spotted Toronto a 2-0 lead before pulling within three points of Pittsburgh for the NHL's Eastern Conference lead.
Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES' BEHR'-zhur-ahn) scored the tying goal in regulation and the clincher in the shootout as the Bruins topped the Maple Leafs 3-2. Bergeron knotted the score midway through the third period after Milan Lucic (LOO'-chihch) got the B's within 2-1 in the second.
Tuukka (TOO'-kah) Rask stopped 23 and blanked the Leafs after Joffrey Lupul (JAHF'-ree LOO'-pul) and Nikolai Kulemin (KOO'-leh-mihn) scored six minutes apart early in the second period.
Also on ice, Ottawa wasted a pair of one-goal leads before shootout tallies by Daniel Alfredsson and Mika Zabinejad (MEE'-lah zah-BIN'-eh-jahd) gave the Senators a 3-2 win against New Jersey. Ben Bishop outplayed Martin Brodeur (broh-DOOR') while the Devils outshot the Senators 35-14.
Pavel Datsyuk (DAHT'-sook) assisted on the tying goal before scoring the game-winner with 13:48 left in Detroit's 3-2 triumph at Phoenix. Ian White and Johan Franzen also scored in the Red Wings' fifth straight road win.
Nashville has a three-game winning streak after Sergei Kostitsyn (kohs-TEET'-sihn) delivered a goal and an assist in the Predators' 3-2 win over Edmonton. Martin Erat (EE'-rat) had six assists and seven points in his last three games after setting up two goals.
Zach Parise (pah-REE'-say) scored twice and had an assist in Minnesota's sixth straight win, a 7-4 thrashing of the Stars. Mikko Koivu (MEE'-koh KOY'-voo) and Matt Cullen each had a goal and assist as the Wild won at Dallas for the first time in a decade.
Lightning hire a coach
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired a new coach from within the organization, promoting Jon Cooper from their AHL affiliate at Syracuse. Cooper replaces Guy Boucher (boo-SHAY') who was fired Sunday after 2 ½ years with the team.
Dan LaCroix and Steve Thomas will coach the club Tuesday against Buffalo before Cooper takes over on Friday.
Pens and Sharks pull of deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to bolster their roster for a Stanley Cup run, acquiring San Jose defenseman Doug Murray for a pair of second-round picks.
The trade marks the second move in as many days for Pittsburgh, which brought in veteran forward Brenden Morrow from Dallas on Sunday in exchange for promising defensive prospect Joe Morrow.
Semin gets extension
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Alexander Semin has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Carolina Hurricanes. The team announced Monday that Semin will make $7 million per year through the 2017-18 season.
Semin left Washington last summer and signed a one-year deal worth $7 million with the Hurricanes with the hope that a fresh start in Carolina would rejuvenate his career. He has a team-best 22 assists and is second with 30 points while skating on the left wing on the Eric Staal-led top line for Carolina.
PGA-ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL
He's No. 1 again
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods is the world's No. 1 golfer again after completing another victory at Bay Hill.
Woods captured the weather-delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational today, closing with a 2-under 70 for a 13-under total. Justin Rose was two shots back and three ahead of four others.
Woods tied a 48-year-old PGA Tour record by winning the same event for the eighth time. It's also his eighth victory at Bay Hill, including a U.S. Open.
The victory puts him back at the top of the world rankings for the first time since October 2010. Woods has 77 PGA Tour victories, five behind Sam Snead's record.
Next up is the Masters in two weeks, when Woods will try to end his five-year drought in the majors.
Injury update on NASCAR driver
UNDATED (AP) — Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower back during a last-lap crash in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Fontana, Calif. Joe Gibbs Racing disclosed the injury and said Hamlin was expected to be released soon from a Southern California hospital to return home. There was no immediate word on how long his recovery would take.
Hamlin was hurt during a crash with Joey Logano (loh-GAH'-noh) at the end of Sunday's race.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tubby Smith is out as head basketball coach at Minnesota. He was let go less than 24 hours after the Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament. Smith held the job for six years and had a record of 124-81 overall with a Big Ten mark of 46-62. Smith got the Gophers to the NCAA tournament three times and had five 20-win seasons.
Minnesota finished this season with a record of 21-13 after losing 11 of its last 16 games before starting play in the Big Ten tournament.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SOUTH ALABAMA
Graves takes over at South Alabama
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — South Alabama has hired Butler associate head coach Matthew Graves as its head basketball coach, hoping to duplicate some of the NCAA tournament success that program has enjoyed in recent years.
Graves will replace Ronnie Arrow, who retired 10 games into the season as the winningest coach for both the Mobile school and the Sun Belt Conference. Associate head coach Jeff Price served as interim coach the rest of the season, with the Jaguars finishing 17-13.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA TOURNAMENT
UConn back in Sweet 16
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut has advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA women's basketball tournament for the 20th consecutive season.
Kaleen Mosqueda-Lewis scored 22 points and freshman Breanna Stewart added 14 as the top-seeded Huskies cruised to a 77-44 home win against Vanderbilt.
UConn led by 13 before opening the second half on a 17-0 run.
The tournament's other top seeds play on Tuesday.
COLLEGE ATHLETICS-GEORGE MASON
Patriots head to A10
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — George Mason is paying an exit fee of $1 million to leave the Colonial Athletic Association for the Atlantic 10. The departure of the Patriots leaves the CAA with just nine members.
GMU is leaving for the A-10 as of July 1, so the CAA has ruled that the school's seven spring sports teams will be ineligible for conference championships. Two of Mason's regional rivals, Virginia Commonwealth and Richmond, previously departed the CAA for the A-10. The switch also sets up a subway conference rivalry with nearby George Washington.
Brewers get Lohse...Kazmir back in majors
UNDATED (AP) — Kyle Lohse (lohsh) has found a new team after going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals last season. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that Lohse and the Milwaukee Brewers have reached agreement on a three-year contract worth $33 million. He is 118-109 lifetime with a 4.45 ERA in 12 seasons with Minnesota, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Also in baseball, Scott Kazmir will open the season as Cleveland's fifth starter after not pitching in the majors for two years, Kazmir's comeback took him to the independent Atlantic League last season. The two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay outpitched a group in training camp that included Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay maht-soo-ZAH'-kah).
Edinson Volquez (VOHL'-kehz) will be San Diego's opening day pitcher against the New York Mets next Monday. This will be the third straight year that Volquez has started an opener.
— Toronto third baseman Brett Lawrie will start the regular season on the disabled list because of a strained rib. Lawrie felt discomfort in his left side during an exhibition game with Canada's World Baseball Classic team against the Cincinnati Reds on March 6.
ATLANTA (AP) — Center Todd McClure of the Falcons has retired after 14 years with the club. McClure was a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 1999 and went on to become one of the team's most durable players, missing just four games over the last 12 years. He set a franchise record with 148 consecutive starts.
Convicted abuser speaks out
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky said in interview on NBC's "Today" show that a key witness against him misinterpreted him showering with a young boy in Penn State football team facilities more than a decade ago. Sandusky told documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, in recordings played on the NBC program, that he does not understand how Mike McQueary concluded "that sex was going on" when he witnessed Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001.
Sandusky also told Ziegler he was not sure whether head coach Joe Paterno would have let him keep coaching if he suspected Sandusky was a pedophile. Sandusky was investigated by university police for a separate shower incident in 1998, but remained one of Paterno's top assistants through 1999.
Former Tigers pitcher dies
DETROIT (AP) — Virgil "Fire" Trucks, who threw two no-hitters for the Detroit Tigers in an otherwise dreadful 1952 season and was the last pitcher to toss a complete-game no-hitter at Yankee Stadium, has died. He was 95.
The two-time All-Star died Saturday near Birmingham, Ala. He pitched in the major leagues from 1941-58, helping the Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series.