Lakers hammer Mavs
UNDATED (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks were no match for the NBA’s Western Conference leaders.
LeBron James poured in 35 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers whipped the Mavs, 129-114 in Dallas. James was dominant from the start to help the Lakers build a 22-point lead in the first half.
Kyle Kuzma (KOOZ’-muh) scored a season-high 24 points starting in place of injured star Anthony Davis, who sat out with a buttocks injury suffered Tuesday against the Knicks.
The Lakers are 31-7 following their seventh consecutive win.
It was a tough night for Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) and coach Rick Carlisle. Doncic had 25 points and 10 rebounds but ripped his jersey late in the first half after one of his 11 misses on 19 attempts. Carlisle was ejected after his second technical early in the fourth quarter of the Mavericks’ second consecutive loss.
Checking out Friday’s other NBA action:
— The Bucks improved to an NBA-best 34-6 and extended the best start in franchise history by ripping the Kings, 127-106. Khris Middleton had 27 points and 11 rebounds, while Eric Bledsoe furnished 24 points in Milwaukee’s 16th victory in 20 road games. The Bucks cruised despite an off night by Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-the-toh-KOON’-poh), who finished with a season-low 13 points and 10 boards.
— The Clippers outscored the Warriors 36-17 in the fourth quarter to pull out a 109-100 victory. Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard delivered 36 points, nine boards and five assists, while Lou Williams had 21 points off the bench. Patrick Beverley fell one assist shy of a triple-double while contributing 12 points and 11 boards.
— The Nets had dropped seven straight before knocking off the NBA’s Southeast Division-leading Heat, 117-113. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 26 points and had a career-high 14 assists for the Nets, who had fallen four games under .500 before dropping the Heat to 27-11. Tauren Prince finished with 17 points, including a floater in the lane that put Brooklyn ahead, 114-111 with 25.9 seconds left.
— Utah ran its winning streak to eight games as Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks in their 109-92 trouncing of the Hornets. Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 20 points off the bench, Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic added 16 and Georges Niang chipped in 15 while matching his career high with five 3-pointers.
— Indiana overcome Zach Lavine’s (lah-VEENZ’) 43 points as Myles Turner set season highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds in the Pacers’ 116-105 verdict over the Bulls. T.J. Warren scored 17 to help the Pacers win for the second time in three games despite the absences of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs).
— Memphis had four players score at least 21 points, led by Jaren Jackson Jr’s 24 in the Grizzlies’ fourth consecutive victory, 134-121 over the Spurs. Ja Morant added 22 points and a season-high 14 assists, Dillon Brooks also scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas (YOH’-nuhs val-ehn-CHOO’-nuhs) added 21 as the Grizzlies slid past San Antonio for the eighth seed in the West.
— Devin Booker provided 24 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers down the stretch in the Suns’ 98-94 win against the Magic. Kelly Oubre (OO’-bray) Jr. had 22 points for Phoenix, which closed on an 8-0 run.
— The Pelicans won for the seventh time in nine games as Brandon Ingram delivered 28 points while three other New Orleans players had double-doubles in a 123-111 decision over the Knicks. Jaxson Hayes had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Lonzo Ball finished with 15 points and 11 assists, while Josh Hart chipped in 13 points and 10 boards.
— Jordan McRae scored 29 points and the Wizards went on a 17-4 spurt late in the fourth quarter to pull out a 111-101 win against the Hawks. Troy Brown Jr. added 18 and 10 rebounds to help Washington overcome 37.5% shooting to send Atlanta to its 14th loss in 16 games.
Heat’s Butler, Pacers’ Warren fined for altercation
UNDATED (AP) — Heat forward Jimmy Butler has been fined $35,000 and Indiana’s T.J. Warren $25,000 by the NBA after their altercation in the Heat’s victory in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Warren grabbed Butler by the left arm and spun him around as Butler went for a potential layup with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter. They chest-bumped and were separated by referees.
Both players received technical fouls before Warren picked up a second technical seconds later to earn an ejection.
In other NBA news:
— Clippers forward Paul George sat out out the team’s game against the Warriors after he strained his left hamstring during practice Wednesday. Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said the early prognosis is that the injury shouldn’t keep the 6-foot-8 All-Star forward out of many games.
— Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nuhs) missed Friday’s game against the Bulls because of a sore left knee. The injury has been bothering Indiana’s top scorer the last few days.
— The Raptors are about to activate three major players who were injured during a Dec. 18 victory at Detroit. Swingman Norm Powell was cleared to play Sunday against San Antonio after rehabilitating a left shoulder injury. Forward Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) and center Marc Gasol (gah-SAHL’) practiced Friday and are close to returning. Siakam injured a groin and Gasol strained his left hamstring.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL
Butler tops Providence…Iowa stifles Maryland
UNDATED (AP) — Sixth-ranked Butler remains perfect on its Big East schedule after posting its sixth straight win overall.
Kamar Baldwin scored 17 points and Bryce Golden had 14 as the Bulldogs earned a 70-58 win at Providence to improve to 15-1. Jordan Tucker also scored 17 points for Butler, which held the Friars scoreless for the first 6 ½ minutes.
Providence missed its first 13 shots before David Duke crashed the lane for an off-balance, falling layup with 13:23 left in the first half.
In the other top-25 game, No. 12 Maryland ended a three-game winning streak by shooting just 32.7% in a 67-49 loss at Iowa. Joe Wieskamp contributed 26 points for the Hawkeyes, who held the Terrapins to their second-lowest scoring output of the season. Luke Garza added 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
Penguins down Avs in OT
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to purr right along as they await the return of team captain Sidney Crosby from a core muscle injury.
The Pens picked up their fourth straight road win and moved closer to the Metropolitan Division lead by knocking off the Avalanche, 4-3 on Jared McCann’s goal 3:19 into overtime. Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who are 13-3-1 since December 4 to climb within six points of the division-leading Capitals.
Matt Murray made 28 saves and Dominik Kahun (kah-HOON’) had three assists.
The Avalanche forced OT on Matt Calvert’s tip-in with 30.4 seconds left in regulation.
Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist for the Avs, who have dropped three straight and are 3-6-2 in their last 11 games.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Petr Mrazek (muh-RA’-zehk) posted his third shutout of the season and 21st of his career by stopping 32 shots in the Hurricanes’ 3-0 win over the Coyotes. Warren Foegele (FOH’-gul) opened the scoring 14:20 into the game before Lucas Wallmark and Martin Necas (NAY’-chas) tallied 63 seconds apart late in the second period to put Carolina in command. The Coyotes were shut out for the second straight game.
— Dylan Larkin scored in regulation and furnished the lone shootout goal as the Red Wings won for the third time in five games, 3-2 against the Senators. Tyler Bertuzzi also scored and Jonathan Bernier (BURN’-yay) made 29 saves through overtime before stopping Ottawa’s three shootout attempts.
Betts agrees to record $27 million deal with Red Sox
UNDATED (AP) — Mookie Betts has snared the largest one-year salary for an arbitration-eligible player.
The Boston Red Sox outfielder has avoided arbitration by accepting a $27 million package for this season, topping the $26 million Colorado gave third baseman Nolan Arenado last winter. Betts batted .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs for the Bosox last season, one year after taking American League MVP honors.
Other major leaguers to avoid arbitration on Friday include Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta (peh-RAHL’-tah) and Reds hurler Trevor Bauer, along with Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd), Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, Atlanta pitcher Mike Foltynewicz (fohl-tih-NEH’-vihch) and Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. All received one-year packages, with Peralta getting $22 million for this season, Bryant taking an $18.6 million offer and Judge settling for $18.5 million. Bauer topped all pitchers who settled on Friday, getting $17.5 million. Syndergaard came away with a $9.5 million pact.
Twenty players exchanged arbitration figures with their teams, including Astros outfielder George Springer, Red Sox outfielder Andre Benintendi and Minnesota pitcher José Berríos (beh-REE’-ohs). National Leaguers preparing for arbitration include Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh), Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, Milwaukee pitcher Brent Suter and Brewers reliever Josh Hader.
In Friday’s other deals of note:
— Twins infielder Miguel Sanó (sah-NOH’) has avoided arbitration by taking a three-year, $30 million contract.
— NL MVP Cody Bellinger has agreed to an $11.5 million contract with the Dodgers, the largest salary for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. Los Angeles also gave shortstop Corey Seager a $7.6 million package.
— The Yankees reached a one-year, $12.5 million deal with left-hander James Paxton.
— Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien came away with a $13 million contract for 2020.
— Nationals shortstop Trea Turner has taken a $7.45 million offer for this season.
— Closer Alex Colomé (KAH’-loh-may) and the White Sox worked out a one-year deal worth just over $10.5 million.
— Blue Jays closer Ken Giles will get $9.6 million this year.
49ers activate Alexander
UNDATED (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have activated linebacker Kwon Alexander from injured reserve to make him eligible for the team’s playoff opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Alexander initially got injured in October when he tore his pectoral muscle. Alexander managed to heal more quickly than anticipated and returned to practice last week.
Also in the NFL:
— The Seattle Seahawks listed offensive linemen Duane Brown and George Fant as questionable Friday, leaving questions about who will start at left tackle for Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Packers in Green Bay. Brown is less than three weeks removed from minor knee surgery, while Fant suffered a groin injury in last week’s opening round playoff win over Philadelphia. Brown and Fant were limited participants in practice Friday.
— The Chiefs could be missing defensive tackle Chris Jones and tight end Travis Kelce when the AFC West champs face the Texans in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs on Sunday. Coach Andy Reid says Jones “tweaked his calf” at practice. Reid declined to say whether there was a chance Jones will play. Kelce has been limited all week with a knee injury that Reid characterized as “a bruise.”
—Microsoft will present the first “Anything But Ordinary” Player of the Year award at the upcoming NFL Honors awards show. The award will be voted on by fans through Jan. 20. It will honor a player’s accomplishments on and off the field. The NFL Honors will be held in Miami on Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl.
Thomas, Reed miss cut
HONOLULU (AP) — The PGA’s Sony Open will continue without Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed.
Neither player made the cut after battling vexing winds and soft greens. Thomas and Reed were 3 over through 36 holes, two below the cut line.
Brendan Steele and Cameron Davis share the lead at minus-6 after carding 66s on Friday. They are one shot ahead of nine players, including Keegan Bradley, Ryan Palmer, first-round leader Collin Morikawa and Rory Sabbatini.