AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
23 skidoo for Warriors
UNDATED (AP) — The Golden State Warriors weren't happy with their play in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game at Indianapolis. Fortunately for the defending NBA champions, they began to fade after building a 32-point lead.
The Warriors have extended the greatest start in U.S. major sports history, improving to 23-0 with a 131-123 victory over the Pacers. Stephen Curry had another strong, all-around performance with 29 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists. But the offensive catalyst was Klay Thompson, who poured in 29 of his season-high 39 points in the first half.
Golden State took control with a 22-0 run in the first half and led by 28 entering the fourth quarter. The Pacers got within six in the final 25 seconds before the Warriors claimed their 27th straight regular-season victory since last season. The streak leaves them six shy of the NBA's all-time record of 33, held by the 1971-72 Lakers.
The Warriors also have won 13 straight away from Oakland this season, breaking a tie with the 1969-70 Knicks for the league's best road start.
In other NBA action:
— LeBron James had 33 points and 10 rebounds as Cleveland downed Portland 105-100 to end a three-game skid. Kevin Love had 18 points for the Cavaliers, who trailed by 18 in the first half.
— Oklahoma City crushed Memphis 125-88 behind Kevin Durant's 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Russell Westbrook added 13 points and 16 assists to the rout.
— Brook Lopez scored 24 points and Joe Johnson had 22 as Brooklyn topped Houston 110-105. Thaddeus Young finished with 20 points and 12 boards for the Nets, who swept the two-game season series from the Rockets for the first time in 14 years.
— Orlando was an 85-74 winner against Denver as Nikola Vucevic furnished 18 points and 13 rebounds in the Magic's first victory over the Nuggets in six tries. Elfrid Payton finished with 18 points and Evan Fournier nailed a key 3-pointer down the stretch.
— DeMarcus Cousins was the star in Sacramento's 114-106 win against Utah, delivering 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists before fouling out. Rudy Gay also had 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting for the Kings.
Preliminary contract meeting
NEW YORK (AP) — Representatives of the NBA and NBA Players Association have met to discuss the Collective Bargaining Agreement, about a year before either side could signal its desire to opt out of it.
Both sides said it was a preliminary meeting that included "constructive dialogue" and they agreed to continue their discussions.
The CBA runs through June 30, 2021, but either side could opt out on June 30, 2017. To do so, it would have to notify the other side of its intent by Dec. 15, 2016.
T25 MEN'S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
UVA tops WVU
UNDATED (AP) — The Cavaliers went to New York and won a battle of the Virginias in the Jimmy V Classic.
Anthony Gill had season highs of 20 points and 12 rebounds as 10th-ranked Virginia silenced No. 14 West Virginia 70-54 at Madison Square Garden. London Perrantes returned from a two-game absence to score 13 points and help the Cavs improve to 8-1.
Virginia trailed by as many as 12 late in the first half before shooting 74 percent from the field in the second. Gill was 9 of 11, while Perrantes hit five of his six shots.
In other second game of the Jimmy V Classic, Melo Trimble scored a season-high 25 points and freshman Diamond Stone had 16 and nine rebounds to lead sixth-ranked Maryland to a 76-66 win against Connecticut. The 8-1 Terrapins jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first half and outrebounded the Huskies 45-24 for the game.
Also in top-25 hoops:
— No. 12 Xavier is 9-0 after clobbering Wright State 90-55 behind Trevon Bluiett's career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Musketeers missed 12 of their first 15 shots before scoring 25 straight points en route to a 33-6 lead.
— Rico Gathers scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed a season-best 21 rebounds to lead No. 16 Baylor to a 75-62 victory over Northwestern State.
— Sheldon McClellan scored 24 points and No. 17 Miami held Florida to 39 percent shooting in a 66-55 triumph over the Gators.
— No. 19 SMU is 7-0 after Jordan Tolbert contributed 23 points and nine rebounds in an 82-58 pounding of Michigan.
— Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis each scored 16 points, allowing 20th-rated Gonzaga to escape with a 61-58 win against visiting Montana.
Zack, DBack pact a fact
UNDATED (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks are coming back from the winter meetings with a staff ace and another solid starting pitcher.
The Diamondbacks have finalized their six-year, $206.5 million deal with free agent Zack Greinke. The deal is worth a major league-record $34.4 million a season, topping the previous mark of $31 million set just last week when David Price agreed to a deal with Boston.
Greinke was the major league ERA leader and runner-up for the National League Cy Young Award.
And the Diamondbacks weren't done. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press they have acquired All-Star right-hander Shelby Miller and minor league lefty Gabe Speier from the Braves for overall No. 1 draft pick Dansby Swanson, outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Aaron Blair.
Miller was 6-17 for Atlanta despite a 3.02 ERA.
The Chicago Cubs were just as busy as the Diamondbacks Tuesday.
Free agent infielder Ben Zobrist and the Cubs have agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract, a deal that allowed Chicago to trade Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees for pitcher Adam Warren.
The 34-year-old Zobrist batted .276 with 36 doubles, 13 home runs and 56 RBIs for Kansas City and Oakland last season.
The 25-year-old Castro hit .265 with 11 homers and 69 RBIs this year.
Warren went 7-7 with a 3.29 ERA last season in 17 starts and 26 relief appearances.
The Cubbies also finalized a two-year contract with free agent pitcher John Lackey, who was 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA in 33 starts for St. Louis last season. The 37-year-old right-hander is 165-127 with a 3.92 ERA over a 13-year major league career with the Angels, Red Sox and Cardinals. Lackey compiled a career-best ERA this year and had 175 strikeouts, his most since 2007.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The Detroit Tigers continued their bullpen makeover by completing a two-year contract with reliever Mark Lowe, adding a setup man for new closer Francisco Rodriguez. The 32-year-old right-hander was 1-3 with a 1.96 ERA for Seattle and Toronto this year, striking out 61 in 55 innings.
— The Rockies have patched two holes in their bullpen by agreeing to two-year contracts with Jason Motte and Chad Qualls. Motte appeared in 57 games with the Cubs last season and had six saves. Qualls was 3-5 with a 4.38 ERA with Houston last season.
— The Cardinals have picked up infielder Jedd Gyorko and cash from the Padres for outfielder Jon Jay. Gyorko hit .247 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs this year. Jay hit just .210, his lowest average in six big league seasons and down from .303 in 2014.
— The New York Mets say infielder Wilmer Flores broke his left ankle when he was hit by a pitch during a winter league game in Venezuela last month. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco says Flores does not need surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training. Flores hit .263 with 16 homers and 59 RBIs for the National League champs last season.
— Police in Davie, Florida, have closed their investigation into Aroldis Chapman, saying there was "insufficient evidence" to charge the Cincinnati Reds closer in a domestic disturbance incident with his girlfriend. The police report cites conflicting stories and a lack of cooperating witnesses and says there were no physical injuries. However, a proposed deal sending Chapman to the Dodgers appears on hold, and MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre says there is no timetable in making a decision on Chapman's status under the league's new domestic violence policy.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Johnny Manziel is back on top of the Browns' quarterback depth chart. He'll make his fourth start of the season this Sunday against San Francisco. He was relegated to third-string duties after being caught in a lie with the coaching staff.
Manziel had been named the starter for Cleveland's final six games on Nov. 17 only to throw away the opportunity with his partying.
Season over for Bears and Niners tight ends
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers have lost their top tight ends.
Martellus Bennett will miss the rest of the season because of a rib injury that caused him to miss much of the Bears' last two games. Bennett leads Chicago with 53 catches despite sitting out their Thanksgiving night win at Green Bay and most of Sunday's overtime loss to San Francisco.
The Bears filled the roster slot by signing former Arizona and Cleveland tight end Rob Housler.
Garrett Celek has been placed on season-ending injured reserve by the 49ers because of a high left ankle sprain. He was injured in the Niners loss to the Cardinals on Nov. 29.
In other NFL injury news:
— The New York Giants have placed long snapper Zak DeOssie and tight end Larry Donnell on injured reserve. DeOssie has played in 140 straight games, but has a wrist injury. The Giants signed long snapper Danny Aiken and cornerback Tramain Jacobs to fill the open roster spots.
Caps pass Rangers with win over Wings
UNDATED (AP) — There's a new leader in the NHL's Metropolitan Division.
The Washington Capitals erased a one-goal deficit in the third period before T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored shootout goals to complete a 3-2 victory against Detroit. The Red Wings led 2-1 until Alex Ovechkin beat Jimmy Howard on a power play midway through the third period.
Justin Williams also scored and Marcus Johansson had two assists as the Capitals won for the seventh time in eight games to move one point ahead of the second-place New York Rangers.
The Wings ended a three-game winning streak.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Dallas pulled out a 6-5 win over Carolina on Patrick Sharp's goal with 19 seconds remaining. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin each had a goal and three assists, while Stars linemate Valeri Nichuskin scored once and had two helpers.
— Patrick Kane extended his team-record point streak to 23 games and collected his 600th career point with an empty-net goal that secured Chicago's victory over Nashville, 4-1. Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford stopped 36 shots and Dennis Rasmussen tallied in his NHL debut.
— Alex Steen's short-handed goal was the eventual game-winner as St. Louis whipped Arizona 4-1 to end a three-game losing streak. Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk each finished with a goal and an assist after Vladimir Tarasenko scored his team-high 16th goal of the season.
— The Islanders are 6-0-2 in their last eight after Frans Nielson scored twice and Kyle Okposo provided the lone shootout tally in a 4-3 win at Philadelphia. Jaroslav Halak had 43 saves through overtime and stopped all three Flyers attempts in the shootout.
— Alec Martinez scored 4:33 into overtime to give Los Angeles its fifth straight win, 3-2 at Columbus. The Blue Jackets were up 2-1 until Jeff Carter scored with 1:27 left in regulation.
— Zack Smith and Kyle Turris scored power-play goals before Mike Hoffman notched the game-winner with 5:37 left in Ottawa's 4-2 verdict over Florida. Mark Stone had three assists as the Senators won for the third time in four games.
— Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak provided shootout goals in Toronto's 3-2 win at New Jersey. P.A. Parenteau and James van Riemsdyk scored in regulation to help Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello get a victory against the team he ran for 28 years.
— Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist in the second period of Calgary's 4-2 decision over San Jose. Michael Frolik snapped a 2-2 tie early in the middle stanza.
Pens forward forced to retire
DENVER (AP) — Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis has had to retire because of a medical condition related to blood clots that caused him to miss most of last season. The 36-year old ends his career with 190 goals and 409 points in 871 games for the Pens, Wild, Rangers and old Atlanta Thrashers.
League changes compensation for loss of a coach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The NHL is eliminating its policy that allowed teams to seek compensation when other franchises hired away a coach or executive under contract.
Commissioner Gary Bettman told the Board of Governors that, as of Jan. 1, the league will revert to its old policy that gave teams the right to grant or deny permission to other franchises to talk to coaches and executives under contract. The league had a one-year trial run that allowed either a second- or third-round pick to be given as compensation for coaches and executives under contract even if they had been fired.