AP Monday Sports Roundup
Hamlin wins at Daytona Beach
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Denny Hamlin led Sunday's Daytona 500 most of the afternoon, then needed a late surge to win NASCAR's season-opening race.
Hamlin paced the field for 95 of 200 laps, but he was running fourth on the final lap before making a strong move to the outside, nudging teammate Matt Kenseth and then powering by Martin Truex Jr. Hamlin beat Truex by one-hundredth of a second, the closest finish in the history of the race.
It was the first victory for Toyota in the annual race, and the first for team owner Joe Gibbs since 1993. It capped a near-perfect week for the three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, who made it clear last week he badly wanted to win NASCAR's showcase event. Hamlin and Busch each won one of the exhibition races at Daytona leading up to the Daytona 500.
Hamlin, Truex, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards gave Toyota four of the top five finishes. Busch finished third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Edwards.
Pole-sitter Chase Elliott was forced out of the race on the 19th lap before returning to complete 160 laps and finish 37th. The 20-year-old Sprint Cup rookie lost control of his No. 24 Chevrolet coming out of Turn 4 and slid into the grass infield.
Spurs add to Suns' woes
UNDATED (AP) — Kawhi Leonard missed his third consecutive game due to tightness in his left calf. That didn't stop the San Antonio Spurs from winning without their leading scorer.
Patty Mills matched his career high with six 3-pointers and finished with 21 points as the Spurs downing the Suns 118-111 in Phoenix.
The Spurs also received contributions from Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge as they improved to 47-9, a franchise beat through 56 games. Parker scored 22 for San Antonio, including a spinning drive through the lane that made it a seven-point game with 1:03 to play. Aldridge added 19 points and 10 rebounds as San Antonio sent the Suns to their 11th consecutive loss.
Alex Len had a career-high 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost 26 of their last 28 games.
Also in the NBA:
— Anthony Davis set a team record by scoring 59 points in New Orleans' 111-106 win over the Pistons. Davis hit 23 of his 34 shots and pulled down 20 rebounds in leading New Orleans to its fourth victory in five games. He scored 19 in the fourth quarter alone to set an NBA season high for points in a game, surpassing DeMarcus Cousins' 56 points for Sacramento against Charlotte on Jan. 25.
— Kevin Love scored 29 points and LeBron James came within three rebounds of a triple-double as Cleveland earned its fifth straight win, a 115-92 rout of the Thunder at Oklahoma City. James delivered 25 points and 11 assists for the Cavaliers, who handed the Thunder their worst loss of the season despite playing the last three quarters without Kyrie Irving because of flu-like symptoms.
— Toronto's two-game skid is over after DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Kyle Lowry had 18 in the Raptors' 98-85 victory against Memphis. The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors maintained their 4 ½-game lead over Boston.
— Indiana outlasted Orlando 105-102 as Monta Ellis had 21 points and Paul George added 20. Ian Mahinmi contributed 14 points and nine rebounds in the Pacers' fourth victory in five games.
— Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and 12 assists, and the Boston Celtics whipped the Denver Nuggets 121-101. Avery Bradley had 20 points for the Celtics, while Jared Sullinger added 16 and 11 rebounds in the Celtics' sixth victory in eight games.
— Wesley Matthews scored 21 points and Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 18 as Dallas routed Philadelphia 129-103. The Mavericks set a season high for points in a game and won for just the second time in their last seven games.
— C.J. McCollum poured in 31 points and Damian Lillard added 30 while each hit four of Portland's 12 3-pointers in a 115-111 downing of Utah. Maurice Harkless came off the bench to add 17 points in the Trail Blazers' fifth consecutive win.
— Chicago picked up its second straight win as Derrick Rose and E'twaun Moore each had 24 points in a 126-115 win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. Pau Gasol added 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists against his former team.
— Kemba Walker hit four 3-pointers and scored 28 points in Charlotte's fifth consecutive win, 104-96 at Brooklyn. Al Jefferson had 18 points for the Hornets, who moved 2 ½ games ahead of ninth-place Detroit in the East.
Warriors land Varejao
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors has added yet more bench depth as they try to break the Chicago Bulls' NBA record of 72 victories. A person with knowledge of the deal confirms that Anderson Varejao has accepted a contract with the Warriors, days after being released by Portland.
Varejao had spent all 12 seasons of his NBA career with Cleveland before being dealt last week to Portland in a three-team trade.
Two-game schedule complete
UNDATED (AP) — The sixth-ranked Maryland Terrapins barely avoided their third consecutive loss.
Robert Carter scored 17 points and Jake Layman finished with 16 as the Terps got past Michigan, 86-82 at College Park. Freshman Diamond Stone added 13 points after being suspended for Maryland's previous game because of a flagrant foul against Wisconsin.
The Terrapins improved to 11-4 in the Big Ten and avenged their 70-67 loss at Michigan back on Jan. 12.
The only other game involving a ranked team had Nic Moore scoring 22 points and collecting seven assists to lead No. 21 SMU over East Carolina 74-63. Moore also hit four 3-pointers in the second half after the Mustangs carried a one-point lead into intermission.
Markus Kennedy added 19 points, while Jordan Tolbert had 12 and 12 rebounds for the 22-4 Mustangs.
Wild take it outside, hammer Hawks
UNDATED (AP) — It was a perfect day for the Minnesota Wild and their fans as the team hosted the NHL's Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
Over 50,000 were on hand as the Wild improved to 4-0 under new coach John Torchetti, crushing the Blackhawks 6-1. Jason Pominville and Erik Haula each had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who scored four goals on 23 shots through two periods to chase Corey Crawford.
Pominville has scored three goals and six points in four games since Torchetti took over. He had just 21 points in 55 games before the coaching change.
Patrick Kane ended Devan Dubnyk's shutout bid with 7:55 left, netting his Western Conference-leading 35th goal.
Conditions were ideal for the NHL's 17th open-air, regular-season game, with the temperature at 35 degrees by the opening faceoff. The Wild took advantage and improved to 3-0 versus the Blackhawks this season.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
— Anaheim picked up its fifth straight win as Ryan Kesler had two goals and an assist in the Ducks' 5-2 victory over Calgary. Captain Ryan Getzlaf extended his point streak to eight games with a third-period goal to helped the Ducks improve to 19-4-2 since Christmas and move within two points of the Pacific Division-leading Kings.
— The New York Rangers closed out a 1-0 victory over Detroit on Kevin Klein's goal 1:59 into overtime. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 shots in his fourth shutout of the season and 59th of his career.
— Ryan Callahan scored twice and Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist to send Tampa Bay to its third straight win, 4-2 at Carolina. Stamkos provided the tiebreaking goal with 5:43 remaining to help the Lightning move into a virtual tie with Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division, five points behind Florida.
— Scott Wilson scored for the third straight game and Kris Letang had three assists as Pittsburgh downed Buffalo 4-3. Matt Cullen had a short-handed goal and Marc-Andre Fleury turned back 24 shots in the Penguins' eighth straight win over the Sabres.
— Jannik Hansen scored twice and the Sedin brothers totaled seven assists - four by Henrik - as Vancouver battered Colorado 5-1. Ryan Miller handled 37 shots and blanked the Avalanche until Matt Duchene scored with 42 seconds left.
Avs and Leafs deal
DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche have added a veteran forward to the roster as they try to clinch a Stanley Cup playoff berth.
The Avs have picked up Shawn Matthias from the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward prospect Colin Smith and a four-round pick in this year's draft. Matthias has six goals and 17 points in 51 games this season. Smith has appeared in just one NHL game since being drafted in 2012.
Notes from spring training
UNDATED (AP) — Jeremy Guthrie will compete for a roster spot on the Texas Rangers after signing a minor league contract, 16 months after starting Game 7 of the World Series for the Royals. Guthrie was 8-8 with a 5.95 ERA in 30 games for the Royals last season before he was kept off the postseason roster.
The 36-year-old has a 91-108 record with a 4.37 ERA in 305 major league games with Cleveland, Baltimore, Colorado and Kansas City.
Also in the majors:
— The Dodgers and 24-year-old Cuban pitcher Yaisel Sierra have finalized a six-year, $30 million contract that includes a $6 million signing bonus. Sierra pitched five seasons in Cuba and went 16-21 with 25 saves and a 4.23 ERA in 131 games.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bubba Watson has won the PGA's Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. He finished play 15-under-par, one shot in front of Adam Scott and Jason Jason Kokrak. Watson closed with a 3-under-68 for his ninth career win on the PGA Tour.
First ever win for Japan's Nomura
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Japan's Haru Nomura fired a 7-under 65 to earn her first LPGA victory in 72 starts, taking the Australian Open by three strokes over top-ranked and defending champion Lydia Ko.
Nomura was tied for the lead with two others going into the final round before finishing 16 under par.
Five-time champion Karrie Webb shot 71 to finish third, seven strokes behind Nomura.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer has sold his ring from the first Super Bowl for more than $125,000.
Green Bay Press-Gazette Media reports the ring was among more than 50 items from Kramer that were auctioned Saturday night. His game-used jersey from Super Bowl I sold for more than $45,000.
Kramer said he's selling the items to clear his house of things he doesn't need and plans to use the money to create a college fund for his five grandchildren.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle is jailed in Kansas on suspicion of aggravated battery, drug possession and criminal damage to property. Randle has had a string of run-ins with the law, beginning with a 2014 shoplifting arrest.