AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Thompson carries Warriors' offense
UNDATED (AP) — Draymond Green's string of triple-doubles ended at three straight games last night. That was the only thing that went wrong for the Golden State Warriors as they improved to 33-2.
Klay Thompson hit six of the Warriors' 13 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 36 points in a 109-88 laugher against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Stephen Curry played a little more than half the game and still went 4-for-8 from beyond the arc while contributing 17 points and six assists.
Green wasn't too shabby, either, providing 12 rebounds, nine points and five assists in the Warriors' fourth consecutive win.
Golden State improved to 16-2 on the road and stretched its lead in the NBA's Western Conference to 3 ½ games over San Antonio.
In other NBA action:
— Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson each had double-doubles as the Chicago Bulls knocked off Milwaukee for their season-high, fifth straight win, 117-106. Butler delivered 32 points and a season-high 10 assists, Gasol scored 26 points with 11 rebounds, while Taj Gibson added 11 points and 14 boards. Derrick Rose looked good after missing Chicago's previous three games with a sore right hamstring, contributing 16 points to help the Bulls improve to 21-12.
— Deron Williams capped his 25-point outburst by draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the second overtime to give Dallas a 117-116 win over Sacramento. Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 23 points and Wesley Matthews added 20 in the Mavericks' 22nd consecutive win over the Kings in Dallas.
— The Knicks completed a home-and-home sweep of the Hawks as Arron Affalo and Carmelo Anthony each scored 23 points in New York's 107-101 triumph in Atlanta. The Knicks saw a 16-point, third-quarter lead reduced to two by the final minute before Jose Calderon scored on a drive with 18 seconds remaining.
TOP-25 MEN'S BASKETBALL
Marquette, Kentucky fall
UNDATED (AP) — It was a tough night for the nation's No. 8 and 9 men's basketball teams.
Ben Bentil scored 14 straight points for eighth-ranked Providence and finished with 28 and nine rebounds, but the Friars ended an eight-game winning streak by falling to visiting Marquette, 65-64. Freshman Henry Ellenson had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, including a rejection of Kris Dunn's potential game-winner at the buzzer.
Duane Wilson scored the winning bucket on a layup with 31 seconds left as the Golden Eagles dropped the Friars to 14-2.
LSU pulled off the other surprise as Tim Quarterman had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in an 85-67 rout of No. 9 Kentucky at Baton Rouge. Craig Victor added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers, who never trailed after tying the game at 2.
Tyler Ulis had 23 points and Jamal Murray added 21 for the 11-3 Wildcats, who lost for the third time in seven games and had their 22-game SEC winning streak snapped.
In other top-25 finals:
— Kellen Dunham shot 4-for-7 from 3-point range while scoring 24 points in 18th-ranked Butler's 77-72 win at DePaul. Andrew Chrabascz added 16 points as the Bulldogs finally earned their first Big East victory following back-to-back losses.
— No. 19 Iowa held off Nebraska 77-66 behind Jarrod Uthoff's 25 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Mike Gesell had 22 points and 10 assists for his first career double-double for the 12-3 Hawkeyes.
— Sindarius Thornwell scored a season-high 22 points and No. 22 South Carolina improved to 14-0 by holding off Auburn 81-69. Thornwell made 5 of 8 3-point attempts and produced his season-high point total for the second straight game.
— Temple knocked off No. 23 Connecticut 55-53 on Josh Brown's spinning jumper in the lane with 2 1/2 seconds left. Quenton DeCosey scored 15 points for the Owls, who blew an eight-point lead in the second half.
Dalton has cast removed
UNDATED (AP) — Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton might be in uniform this weekend.
Dalton has the cast off his passing hand and could be AJ McCarron's backup when the Bengals host Pittsburgh in the AFC wild-card game on Saturday night. Dalton broke his right thumb while making a tackle in a 33-20 loss to the Steelers on Dec. 13. He says that he can move the thumb well, but he hasn't tried to throw.
McCarron is preparing to start his fourth straight game in Dalton's place. The last time an NFL quarterback with such little experience won a playoff game was 1979, when Gifford Nielsen led the Houston Oilers to a win in San Diego.
In other NFL news:
— Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles suffered a broken thumb on his non-throwing hand in Sunday's loss to Houston. General manager Dave Caldwell said Bortles will be in a cast for a couple of weeks, but should be fine for the team's offseason program.
— The Jaguars have fired defensive coordinator Bob Babich after three seasons that included two of the worst in franchise history. The 5-11 Jaguars allowed 448 points in 2015, one shy of the record set in 2013.
— Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says running back DeAngelo Williams is day-to-day for Saturday's wild-card game against Cincinnati. The 32-year old injured his right leg in Sunday's season-closing win over Cleveland.
— The Washington Redskins have signed cornerback Cary Williams ahead of Sunday's NFC wild-card game against the Green Bay Packers. The 31-year-old Williams had 46 tackles in 10 games for the Seahawks this season before he was released in December.
— Tom Coughlin has said an emotional goodbye to the New York Giants. Coughlin called the Giants job a dream come true, a day after stepping down following four straight years out of the playoffs. The 69-year-old Coughlin says he might not be done coaching.
— The Cleveland Browns are hoping Paul DePodesta can do with football analytics what he did with baseball stats, hiring him as the team's new chief strategy officer. Browns owner Jimmy Haslem lured DePodesta away from the New York Mets to help his organization with decision making. DePodesta was a longtime aide to Sandy Alderson and had been the Mets' vice president of player development and amateur scouting.
— All-American junior cornerback Jalen Ramsey says he is leaving Florida State for the NFL draft. He is considered by many scouts to be the top defensive back and a top-five pick in the draft.
Coker resigns after building UTSA football program
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Larry Coker has stepped down after five seasons and a 26-32 record as head football coach at Texas-San Antonio. The national championship-winning head coach at Miami built the UTSA program from scratch in 2009, two years before the Roadrunners played their first game. He went 8-4 in 2012, but he was just 3-9 this past season.
Former Heisman winner Detmer back at BYU
PROVO, Utah (AP) — Heisman Trophy winner and former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer will coach on the collegiate level for the first time as Cougars' offensive coordinator under rookie head coach Kalani Sitake.
Detmer has no coaching experience beyond leading St. Andrew's Episcopal high school in Utah the last six seasons. He played 14 NFL seasons and worked with quarterbacks such as Brett Favre, Tim Couch, Michael Vick and Matt Schaub.
Rangers hammer Stars
UNDATED (AP) — The Dallas Stars probably can't get out of New York City fast enough.
The NHL's Western Conference leaders followed Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Islanders by absorbing a 6-2 spanking by the New York Rangers. Derek Stepan entered the game with just six goals this season before scoring twice against Antti Niemi, including a short-handed tally that put the Rangers ahead 4-1 early in the third period. Keith Yandle scored just his second goal of the season, Jayson Megna tallied for the first time in almost 22 months and Rick Nash had three assists as the Rangers won for only the fourth time in their last 12 games.
The outcome allowed Washington to move a point ahead of Dallas in the overall standings. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a power-play goal and an assist as the Capitals beat Boston 3-2 to end a two-game skid. Marcus Johansson provided the eventual game-winner midway through the third period to help the Caps pick up their 10th victory in 12 games.
Washington tops the East by nine points over Florida.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— The Panthers have extended their team-record winning streak to 10 games by scoring the last four goals in a 5-1 rout of Buffalo. Derek McKenzie snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period and had an assist as the Panthers stretched their Atlantic Division lead to five points over Montreal and Detroit.
— The Canadiens lost for the 12th time in 15 games as Brayden Schenn delivered a goal and two assists in Philadelphia's 4-3 win over the Habs. The game was tied 1-1 until Shayne Gostisbehere and Wayne Simmonds scored less than five minutes apart early in the second period.
— Chicago squandered a 2-0 lead in the third period before beating Pittsburgh 3-2 on Artemi Panarin's goal at 3:47 of overtime. Panarin finished with two goals, Corey Crawford stopped 34 shots and NHL scoring leader Patrick Kane had two assists in the Blackhawks' fourth consecutive win.
— Zach Parise capped his second hat trick of the season and fourth of his career by scoring the game-winner to lead Minnesota's 4-2 verdict over Columbus. Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists in the Wild's first victory in three games.
— Nashville outshot Winnipeg 44-17, but Connor Hellebuyck made 43 saves to lead the visiting Jets past the Predators 4-1. Drew Stafford had a pair of power-play goals in the Jets' fourth win in six games.
— Karri Ramo made 30 saves and Mark Giordano had two assists in Calgary's 3-1 victory against Tampa Bay. Giordano set up goals by Matt Stajan and David Jones before Lance Bouma clinched the Flames' 11th victory in 15 games by scoring into an empty net.
HOCKEY-WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
US finishes third; Finland wins gold
HELSINKI (AP) — Anders Bjork, Matthew Tkachuk and Ryan Donato each scored twice as the U.S. hammered Sweden 8-3 in the bronze medal game at the world junior hockey championship in Helsinki. The Americans pulled away with a four-goal second period as Brock Boeser, Donato, Brandon Carlo and Bjork scored to make it 6-2.
Finland captured the gold medal by beating Russia 4-3 on Kasperi Kapanen's wraparound goal 1:33 into overtime. Finland erased a 2-1 deficit in the third period and went ahead 3-2 before the Russians forced OT on a goal with six seconds left in regulation.
Napoli, Indians complete deal
CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Napoli has finalized his $7 million, one-year pact with the Indians after passing a physical and working out contract language.
The 34-year old is expected to become the Indians everyday first baseman, with Carlos Santana serving as the designated hitter.
Napoli has 204 career homers. Napoli hit .224 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs with Boston and Texas last year.
Rangers get pitching help
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have signed left-hander Cesar Ramos to a minor league contract with plans to convert the 31-year-old reliever back into a starter. Ramos had a career-high 65 relief appearances with the Los Angeles Angels last season, going 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA.
Williams out at Aussie Open prep
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Two weeks ahead of the Australian Open, Serena Williams is battling an injury problem that has forced her out of her first match of the season.
The top-ranked Williams had to retire in her Hopman Cup match due to inflammation in her left knee.
2 baseball players sue Al-Jazeera
UNDATED (AP) — Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Phillies first sacker Ryan Howard have filed defamation lawsuits in Washington against Al-Jazeera America over statements made in a documentary about performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
The suit alleges that Charles Sly, a pharmacist who appeared in the documentary, made false statements when he said Zimmerman and Howard both took a human growth hormone. The documentary also suggested that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took HGH while recovering from neck surgery.