AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Raptors claw within 2 games of East-leading Cavaliers...Warriors stay ahead of Bulls record pace
UNDATED (AP) — The Toronto Raptors are not giving up in their drive to wrest the Eastern Conference top playoff seeding from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Raptors clawed within two games of East-leading Cleveland by beating Atlanta 105-97 behind DeMar DeRozan's 26 points. DeRozan added six assists and five rebounds.
Kyle Lowry finished with 17 points, 11 assists and six rebounds as 50-24 Toronto won for just the second time in five games.
Toronto became the final franchise in the NBA to reach 50 in a season.
In other NBA action:
— Stephen Curry poured in 31, including six straight in overtime, and the Golden State Warriors continued their historic run with a 103-96 victory over the Utah Jazz. The 68-7 Warriors surpassed last season's victory total and must win five of their final seven games to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record of 72-10.
— Manu Ginobili scored 20 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Orleans Pelicans 100-92 for their NBA-record 38th straight home victory to open a season. San Antonio topped the 37-0 start by the Chicago Bulls during their record 72-victory season in 1995-96.
— J.J. Barea scored 26 points and made the go-ahead layup with 49.9 seconds left as the Dallas Mavericks rallied to beat the New York Knicks 91-89. The Mavs and Houston are tied for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
— Chris Paul had 20 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers buried the Minnesota Timberwolves 99-79. The Clippers held the T-Wolves to 34.5 percent shooting for the game.
— Khris Middleton scored nine of his 26 points in the final seven and a-half minutes and Jabari Parker added 21 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 105-94 victory over Phoenix. Milwaukee's bench outscored Suns reserves 32-9 in snapping a five-game losing streak.
— Will Barton scored 25 points, Emmanuel Mudiay had 17 and the Denver Nuggets beat the reeling Memphis Grizzlies 109-105.
— The Sacramento Kings topped Washington 120-111, further dampening the Wizards faint playoff hopes. DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and four blocks.
__ And the L.A. Lakers topped the Miami Heat 102-100 in overtime. Julius Randle scored 13, including the spinning layup that won it with 1.9 seconds left. Julius Clarkson led the Lakers with 26. Miami had won seven straight and 11 of 12 against the Lakers.
Fans slightly injured in Curry autograph scrum
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Four fans trying to get an autograph from Stephen Curry fell out of the stands when a railing dislodged before the Utah Jazz hosted the Golden State Warriors last night.
Curry had just finished his pregame routine, which draws many fans at Warriors games, when he stopped to take a picture and sign a few autographs at the opening of the tunnel.
One fan went to first aid on his own and the other three were treated, released and returned to their seats.
Curry autographed an item for the three fans who did not leave the scene.
A Jazz spokesman says the team will re-evaluate the safety measures around the court.
Locker room video causing Lakers problems
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — D'Angelo Russell says he must rebuild the Los Angeles Lakers' trust in him after taking an unflattering video of teammate Nick Young.
Russell apologized profusely for the video Wednesday night before the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 102-100 in overtime.
The rookie point guard says he has no idea how the video became public. He intended it to be a joke between two easygoing teammates.
In Russell's video, he asked Young about being with women other than his fiancée, rapper Iggy Azalea. The video began circulating online in the past week.
Lakers coach Byron Scott says he is "disappointed" that the unflattering video became public.
Flyers assume final playoff spot in East...Ducks take over first in Pacific
UNDATED (AP) — Nick Cousins and Sam Gagner scored in a shootout after Brayden Schenn tied the game in regulation late in the third period to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.
The win propelled the Flyers out of a tie with idle Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 44th goal in regulation for the Caps.
In other hockey:
— The Anaheim Ducks routed Calgary 8-3 to take a one-point lead over the L.A. Kings atop the Pacific Division. Ryan Kesler had a goal and three assists. The Ducks have beaten the Flames 23 straight times at home, an NHL record for consecutive home wins against one team.
— Alex Chiasson and Zack Smith scored and the Ottawa Senators snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg.
NHL Suspends Canucks' Virtanen
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has suspended Vancouver's Jake Virtanen two games without pay for what the league called a "vicious" blindside check on San Jose defenseman Roman Polak in Tuesday night's game. Polak had just passed the puck out of his end when he was sent hard to the ice after being struck from the right side by Virtanen.
Polak was not hurt, while Virtanen was issued a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct.
News from spring training
UNDATED (AP) — Prosecutors in Hawaii are moving to dismiss a domestic abuse charge against suspended Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes because his wife isn't cooperating. The prosecuting attorney says Reyes' wife won't talk to prosecutors or return to Maui. Reyes was scheduled to go to trial April 4. He pleaded not guilty to abusing a family or household member.
The former New York Mets shortstop was arrested Oct. 31 at a resort and according to a recording of a 911 call released by police, a hotel security guard reported the woman had injuries to her leg and scratches on her neck.
In other spring training news:
— Rockies reliever Jason Motte has a shoulder strain and manager Walt Weiss says it's possible Motte will miss next week's season-opening series against Arizona. The Rockies signed Motte away from the Cubs with a two-year, $10 million deal in December. He was competing with newly acquired Jake McGee for the closer's job. Motte has a 9.53 ERA in six spring appearances and hasn't pitched since March 24.
— The Seattle Mariners have rounded out their bullpen just before the start of the season by acquiring right-hander Nick Vincent from the San Diego Padres for a player to be named. He appeared in 26 games in four stints with the Padres last season.
— The Indians have set their rotation for the new year. Following ace Corey Kluber will be Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Cody Anderson and Josh Tomlin. Left out, headed to the bullpen, is Trevor Bauer, who had been considered the No. 4 starter on the team after winning 11 games last season.
— The Cubs have re-signed outfielder Shane Victorino to a minor league deal. The move comes a day after they cut the veteran and the whole process saves the club some money.
Bengals land Dansby...Pats sign defensive end Biggers
UNDATED (AP) — Free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby is moving from the shores of Lake Erie to the shores of the Ohio River, signing with the Cincinnati Bengals. He led the Browns in tackles last season and had a team-high three interceptions.
— The New England Patriots have signed defensive back E.J. Biggers. He was a free agent who played seven seasons with Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia. In 92 career games, he has 279 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
— The Cowboys have signed unrestricted free agent center Joe Looney to a two-year contract. He started six of his eight games with Tennessee after signing with the Titans midway through last season.
— Detroit has signed guard Geoff Schwartz. He started 11 games last year for the New York Giants before breaking his left leg, ending his season.
— The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with former Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos offensive lineman Manny Ramirez. The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Ramirez played for Bears coach John Fox in Denver.
Broncos bet on Sendek
UNDATED (AP) — Herb Sendek has been introduced as the new men's basketball coach at Santa Clara.
He's charged with building a program that can compete with Gonzaga, Saint Mary's and BYU in the top-heavy West Coast Conference. The Broncos have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1996.
Sendek has built NCAA Tournament teams at each stop in his 22-year head coaching career. After starting at Miami of Ohio he then turned around struggling programs at North Carolina State and Arizona State.
In other coaching news:
— Providence coach Ed Cooley has signed a long-term contract extension that he hopes will keep him at the school for the remainder of his coaching career. Cooley also announced that he and his wife, Nurys, would donate $500,000 to the academic portion of a planned student development center. The Friars finished 24-11 this season and made their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Cooley was hired in 2011 and signed an extension in 2013.
— The University of San Francisco has hired now former Columbia coach Kyle Smith to replace the fired Red Walters. Smith led Columbia to a record of 25-10 this past season and the championship of the CollegeInsiders.com tournament.
HORSE RACING-BOREL RETIRES
Jockey Borel retires
UNDATED (AP) — Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel has ended his accomplished career as a jockey.
Nicknamed "On the Rail Borel," the 49-year old has retired after winning 5,146 races, according to Equibase, in a career that covered 33 years. The horses he rode earned more than $127 million. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2013.
Borel is the only jockey to win three Derbies in four years.
Wife of 1984 Olympic medalist convicted in his murder
VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — The wife of a 1984 Olympic medalist was found guilty Wednesday of murdering him in what she claimed was a self-defense shooting following years of abuse.
The Ventury County Star reports that 58-year-old Jane Laut was convicted of first-degree murder of David Laut and could face 50 years to life in prison. They had been married 29 years.
Laut was the high school sweetheart of David Laut, who won a bronze medal in the shot put at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
COLLEGE BASEBALL-ST. JOHN'S
Legendary Johnnies' coach notches 700th victory
NEW YORK (AP) — St. John's baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer earned his 700th career victory with a 9-5 win over Wagner.
Blankmeyer is in his 21st season with the Red Storm. He has a record of 700-430-4 — all at St. John's — and is the winningest coach in the program's history.