Rockets streak reaches 14 again..Warriors dump Wizards
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Rockets now have their second 14-game winning streak of the season following a dominant first quarter in Wednesday’s 105-92 win over the Clippers at Los Angeles.
James Harden delivered 17 of his 25 points while the Rockets were outscoring the Clippers 34-12 in the opening period. Clint Capela and Eric Gordon each scored 22 points for the Rockets, who made 13 3-pointers and improved to an NBA-best 48-13.
Tobias Harris had a team-high 24 points for the Clippers, who missed 16 of their first 19 shots and had 11 turnovers in the first quarter.
The outcome keeps the Rockets a half-game ahead of Golden State.
Kevin Durant hit for 32 points and Stephen (STEH’-fehn) Curry added 25 as the Warriors earned their seventh victory in eight games, 109-101 at Washington. Klay Thompson finished with 13 points and helped Golden State limit Bradley Beal to eight points after the Wizards guard entered the night averaging 23.7 a game.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— Kyle Lowry added 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds as the Raptors beat the Magic, 117-104. DeMar DeRozan had a team-high 21 points in helping Toronto win for the 11th time in 13 games. The Raptors still top the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division by a half-game over Boston.
— The Celtics kept pace with their fourth win in a row as Kyrie Irving dropped in 34 points before resting in the fourth quarter of a 134-106 blowout over the Hornets. Aron Baynes had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Jaylen Brown scored 15 as Boston ended Charlotte’s five-game winning streak.
— The Pelicans were 121-116 winners at San Antonio as Anthony Davis contributed 26 points and 15 rebounds to New Orleans’ seventh straight win. Jrue (juh-ROO’) Holiday finished with 25 points for the Pelicans, who trailed by 15 before sending the Spurs to their fifth loss in six games. San Antonio finished the game without LaMarcus Aldridge because of a right ankle sprain.
— Russell Westbrook scored 30 points, including the go-ahead three-point play in the final minute of overtime to push the Thunder past the Mavericks, 111-110. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Paul George added 23 points and 11 boards.
— Detroit won for only the second time in eight games as Andre Drummond’s 15 points and 16 rebounds carried the Pistons to a 110-87 thumping of the Bucks. The Pistons outscored Milwaukee 56-34 in the paint and had 15 offensive rebounds in the first half alone as they sent the Bucks to their third consecutive loss.
— The Hawks blew most of a 23-point lead before Dennis Schroder (SHROO’-dur) scored seven of Atlanta’s final eight points in a 107-102 verdict over the Pacers. Indiana dropped its second straight despite 26 points from Bojan Bogdanovic and 22 from Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh).
— The Suns’ 10-game losing streak is over after Devin Booker poured in 34 points and Josh Jackson added a career-best 29 in leading Phoenix past Memphis, 110-102. The Grizzlies committed 20 turnovers and shot 38 percent in their 11th consecutive loss.
TOP 25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Musketeers clinch no worse than share of Big East crown
UNDATED (AP) — Third-ranked Xavier has clinched at least a share of its first Big East regular-season title since joining the league in 2013.
Trevon Bluiett scored 23 points in his final game at the Cintas Center to lead the Musketeers to an 84-74 victory against Providence.
Bluiett will leave Xavier as its second all-time scorer. He made the game’s first basket on a driving layup and finished off the Friars with a dunk and a pair of free throws in the final minute.
Quentin Goodin added 18 points for the Musketeers, who opened with a 21-8 run and improved to 14-3 in the conference.
Fourth-ranked Villanova still has a shot at a piece of the Big East crown after Mikal (mih-KAYL’) Bridges scored 23 points in a 69-68 overtime win at Seton Hall. Jalen Brunson was 1 of 8 from the field midway through the second half before finishing with 14 points, including two free throws in the waning seconds.
The Wildcats never trailed in OT after Phil Booth and Brunson sandwiched 3-pointers around a free throw by Angel Delgado for a 60-55 lead.
In Wednesday’s other top-25 finals:
— Marcquise Reed scored 22 points and No. 18 Clemson earned a team-record 11th ACC win by downing Florida State, 76-63. The Tigers had won 10 league games six times in 64 years as ACC members before improving to 11-6 this season.
— Cody Martin scored 26 and Jordan Caroline added 22 as No. 21 Nevada hammered UNLV, 101-75.
— Kevin Knox had 22 points and Quade Green added eight of his 18 points during a 15-5, second-half run that helped No. 23 Kentucky pull away in a 96-78 downing of Mississippi.
— Rob Gray had 19 points and nine assists, while Corey Davis Jr. provided 17 points in No. 25 Houston’s 69-56 win over SMU.
Arizona Regents to discuss hoops program
UNDATED (AP) — The Arizona Board of Regents has scheduled a special meeting on Thursday to get legal advice and discuss the men’s basketball program at the University of Arizona and the contract of coach Sean Miller.
ESPN reported that federal investigators had recorded the coach in a wiretap talking about a $100,000 payout involving star freshman Deandre Ayton. Miller has said he’s confident he’ll be vindicated. Ayton and his family have denied the report.
Sabres beat Bolts
UNDATED (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning were able to expand their lead in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division races, but they did so while losing to the worst team in the East.
Jason Pominville scored on a power play at 1:26 of overtime to push the Sabres past the Lightning, 2-1. Chad Johnson stopped 21 shots and was perfect after Cory Conacher beat him late in the first period.
Pominville set up the tying goal by Evan Rodrigues midway through the third period before sending Buffalo to its second straight win over Tampa Bay.
The Lightning top the East and the Atlantic with 90 points, five more than Toronto and six in front of Boston.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
— Jonathan Drouin (DROO’-an) scored a power-play goal in the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock before the Canadiens completed a 3-1 win over the fading Islanders. Drouin also assisted on Paul Byron’s tying goal and Antii Niemi (AN’-tee nee-EH’-mee) stopped 27 shots as Montreal handed New York its fourth consecutive loss.
— The Blues ended their seven-game losing streak as Carter Hutton turned back 35 shots to lead a 2-1 triumph over the Red Wings. Scottie Upshall scored for the first time since Dec. 30 and Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) made it 2-0 with 5:23 remaining.
— The Avalanche knocked off the Flames, 5-2 as Nathan McKinnon and Tyson Barrie each delivered a goal and an assist. Semyon Varlamov (SEHM’-yahn vahr-LAH’-mahv) made 30 saves for Colorado, which tied Calgary with 73 points and moved within a point of Anaheim and St. Louis for the second wild card in the West.
— Henrik Lundqvist stopped a season-high 50 shots and John Gilmour scored 82 seconds into overtime as the Rangers ended a seven-game losing streak, 6-5 at Vancouver. Kevin Hayes scored twice, Ryan Spooner had three assists and Vladislav Namestnikov (nah-MEHST’-nih-kahv) had a goal and an assist in his first game since coming to New York from Tampa Bay.
Vancouver gets ’19 draft
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The 2019 NHL draft will be held in Vancouver.
The league announced the decision Wednesday and noted it will help the hometown Canucks launch their 50th season later that year. The two-day event will be June 21-22 at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver has twice previously hosted the draft, in 1990 and 2006.
Song leads Women’s World Championship by 2 shots
SINGAPORE (AP) — Jennifer Song shot an opening 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead at the Women’s World Championship in Singapore on Thursday.
The 28-year-old American reeled off seven birdies at the Sentosa Golf Club in a round that was interrupted for two hours by lightning.
Michelle Wie and Ji Eun-Hee (both 67) were tied for second while another nine players finished a further stroke back at 4 under.
Top-ranked Shanshan Feng (70) bogeyed the last hole, No. 2 Lexi Thompson (75) struggled in making five bogeys.
Karam lands Indianapolis 500 ride with Dreyer & Reinbold
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Sage Karam will drive for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the Indianapolis 500.
The 22-year-old Karam will make his fifth straight start in the Indy 500. He finished ninth as a rookie in 2014 but has failed to finish each of the last three races.
Karam has only raced the Indy 500 the last two seasons and has no other IndyCar ride lined up for the rest of this season. Karam will make his fourth Indy start with the Dreyer & Reinbold team.
Karam has been unable to find a steady IndyCar ride despite previously highlighted by the series as one of its future stars. He made the jump last year to sports cars with Lexus in the GTD class of the IMSA sports car championship series.