Clippers Crush Cavaliers
(Los Angeles, CA) — The Clippers used a big second quarter to crush the Cavaliers, 108-78, at the Staples Center. Blake Griffin posted 23 points and eight rebounds, while DeAndre Jordan finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds. The Clips outscored the Cavs, 33-15, in the second quarter. The Clippers improved to 41-and-29. Cleveland played without LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kyle Korver, who all sat out due to rest. Richard Jefferson scored a team-high 12 points in defeat.
Grizzlies Rally Past Spurs
(Memphis, TN) — The Grizzlies used a late fourth quarter run to rally past the Spurs 104-96 in Memphis. Mike Conley led six Grizzlies in double figures with 19 points. Zach Randolph scored 18 off the bench and Marc Gasol added 16 in the winning effort. Memphis has won four straight and improved to 40-and-30 overall. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 43 points in defeat. The other San Antonio starters managed just 10 points combined as they lost for the third time in five games.
Bulls Rally Past Jazz
(Chicago, IL) — Jimmy Butler led the way with 23 points and seven assists as the Bulls rallied past the Jazz 95-86 in Chicago. Bobby Portis had a big night off the bench with a career-high 22 points in the winning effort. Denzel Valentine scored 11 with 12 boards. The Bulls won for just the third time in their last 11 games. George Hill paced Utah with 18 points in defeat. The Jazz shot only 38.3-percent from the field as a team as they fell to 43-and-27.
Rockets Beat Rockets With Harden’s Triple-Double
(Denver, CO) — James Harden had 40 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Rockets defeated the Nuggets 109-105 in Denver. It was Harden’s 18th triple-double this season. Houston won for the fourth time in five games. Seven Nuggets landed in double figures, led by Gary Harris’ 17 points. Jameer Nelson had 15 points and 11 assists. Denver had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Blue Jackets Escape Islanders In OT
(Brooklyn, NY) — Cam Atkinson scored the winning goal in overtime as the Blue Jackets escaped the Islanders, 3-2, in Brooklyn. Josh Anderson and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in the second period for Columbus. Joonas Korpisalo made 20 saves for the Jackets, who have won six of their past seven games. Travis Hamonic scored in the first for the Isles, and John Tavares tied the game in the third. Thomas Greiss racked up 35 saves in defeat.
Red Wings Stump Avalanche
(Detroit, MI) — The Red Wings fired off four third-period goals as they stumped the Avalanche, 5-1, at Joe Louis Arena. Tomas Tatar had two of the third period goals and assisted another to key the Wings. Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin netted power play goals, and Gustav Nyquist padded the lead in the third. Jimmy Howard racked up 23 saves for Detroit, which has won two straight games. Nathan MacKinnon tied the game for Colorado in the third before Detroit closed it out. The Avs have lost three of their past four games.
Blackhawks Down Maple Leafs In OT
(Toronto, Ontario) — Ryan Hartman scored the winning goal with 17 seconds left in overtime as the Blackhawks downed the Maple Leafs, 2-1, in Toronto. John Hayden scored his first NHL goal in the second period for Chicago. Corey Crawford racked up 25 saves and assisted the winning goal as the Blackhawks won their fourth game in-a-row. Auston Matthews scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs. Toronto has dropped two of its past three.
Rangers Clip Wild
(Saint Paul, MN) — Oscar Lindberg and Jimmy Vesey’s second period goals were enough to give the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Wild in Saint Paul. Brady Skjei hit the back of the net in opening frame, while Antti Raanta turned away 25 shots. New York ended a two-game losing streak. Matt Dumba’s tally in the third period on the power play brought Minnesota to within one. Devan Dubnyk gave up all three goals on 30 shots for the Wild, who have lost four straight and six-of-seven.
Blues Blank Coyotes
(Glendale, AZ) — Jake Allen made 31 saves as the Blues blanked the Coyotes 3-0 at Gila River Arena. Alex Pietrangelo, Scottie Upshall and David Perron scored the St. Louis’ goals. The Blues are 7-and-1 in their last eight games. Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct penalty on his first shife. For the first time in six games, the ‘Yotes failed to pick up a point.
Ducks Hang On, Clip Sharks
(San Jose, CA) — Jakob Silfverberg’s second period goal proved to be the difference as the Ducks slipped past the Sharks 2-1 in San Jose. Patrick Eaves lit the lamp in the first for Anaheim as it won for the fifth time in seven games. Jonathan Bernier stopped 33-of-34 shots in the winning effort. The Ducks moved within four points of the Pacific Division lead. Logan Couture scored the lone Sharks goal. Martin Jones made 25 saves on 27 shots, but San Jose still lost its second-straight.
Team USA Punches Ticket To WBC Semifinals
(San Diego, CA) — Team USA is advancing to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the first time in eight years. The Americans topped the Dominican Republic 6-3 in San Diego to punch their ticket Los Angeles. Giancarlo Stanton belted a long two-run bomb to propel the offense. Adam Jones made a highlight reel catch to rob his Orioles teammate Manny Machado of a home run in the seventh. This is the first win for Team USA against the Dominicans in three WBC attempts. The United States will take on Japan in the semis next Tuesday in LA. The Netherlands and Puerto Rico will play in the other semifinal.
Wisconsin Knocks Off Defending Champs Villanova
(Buffalo, NY) — Wisconsin ended the game on a 15-5 run to knock off top overall seed and defending champion Villanova, 65-62, in East Regional action from Buffalo. Nigel Hayes led the Badgers with 19 points and eight rebounds in a back-and-forth affair. Bronson Koenig added 17 points and Wisconsin shot 53-percent from the field. The Badgers will play Florida in the Sweet 16 on Thursday. Josh Hart led the Wildcats with 19 points. Donte DiVencenzo added 15 points off the bench as Villanova ends the year at 32-and-4.
Florida Crushes Virginia
(Orlando, FL) — Fourth-seeded Florida has made it to at least the Sweet 16 in its last four March Madness appearances. The Gators rocked fifth-seeded Virginia, 65-39, in the second round out of Orlando. Florida held the Cavaliers to just over 30-percent shooting and 1-of-15 from three. Justin Leon and Devin Robinson each scored 14 points for the Gators, who draws Wisconsin next. The Badgers upset number-one overall seed Villanova. Not a single Virginia player scored in double figures.
West Virginia Advances Past Notre Dame
(Buffalo, NY) — West Virginia started the game on a 10-0 run and never looked back as it dropped Notre Dame, 83-71, to advance to the Sweet 16 on Saturday. Jevon Carter led the Mountaineers with 24 points in the wire-to-wire victory. Daxter Miles Junior had 18 points and fourth-seeded West Virginia will face Gonzaga on Thursday in San Jose, California. Bonzie Colson keyed Notre Dame with 27 points and eight rebounds. The Irish end the year at 26-and-10.
Gonzaga Fights Off Pesky Northwestern
(Salt Lake City, UT) — Gonzaga led by 18 at halftime and did just enough to hold off pesky Northwestern, 79-73, in West Regional action from Salt Lake City. Nigel Williams-Goss posted 20 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, who improved to 34-and-1 on the year. The Zags move on to the Sweet 16, where they’ll face West Virginia on Thursday in San Jose. The Wildcats pulled within five points on a few occasions in the second half, but couldn’t complete the rally. Bryant McIntosh led Northwestern with 20 points in defeat.
Xavier Routs Florida State
(Orlando, FL) — The 11th-seed Xavier Musketeers earned their second straight upset by routing third-seeded Florida State, 91-66, in West Regional action from Orlando. Xavier took a 10-point lead at halftime and didn’t let off the gas in the second half. Trevon Bluiett led the Musketeers with 29 points as they advance to the Sweet 16, where they’ll face Arizona. Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles with 20 points in defeat. Florida State shot just 4-of-21 from beyond the arc and ends the year with a 26-and-9 record.
Arizona Pulls Away From Saint Marys
(Salt Lake City, UT) — A 9-2 run late in the second half put Arizona up for good as it pulled away from Saint Mary’s, 69-60, in West Regional action from Salt Lake City. Lauri Markannen led the Wildcats with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Allonzo Trier added 14 points and six boards as Arizona advances to the Sweet 16, where Xavier awaits. Jock Landale paced the Gaels with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Saint Mary’s finishes the year at 29-and-5.
Purdue Holds Off Iowa State
(Milwaukee, WI) — Purdue’s 19-point lead almost went to waste, but it held off fifth-seeded Iowa State for an 80-76 win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Milwaukee. Caleb Swanigan and Vince Edwards each tallied double-doubles for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers, who play either top-seeded Kansas or ninth-seeded Michigan State in the Sweet 16. Swanigan posted 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, while Edwards had 21 and 10 boards. Monte Morris helped lead the Cyclones rally with 18 points and nine helpers. Deonte Burton chipped in 25 for Iowa State, which ends the season at 24-and-11.
Butler Downs Middle Tennessee
(Milwaukee, WI) — Butler still hasn’t trailed so far in the NCAA Tournament as it downed Middle Tennessee, 74-65, in second round action from Milwaukee. Kelan Martin scored 19 points off the bench to key the wire-to-wire victory. Andrew Chrabascz added 15 points as the Bulldogs move on to the Sweet 16, where they’ll face either North Carolina or Arkansas. Jacorey Williams led the Blue Raiders with 20 points, and Antwain Johnson added 19 off the bench. Middle Tennessee finishes the season with a 31-and-5 record.