No. 4 SDSU beats Wyoming 72-55 to match Leonard’s 20-0 start
SAN DIEGO (AP) — With transfers Malachi Flynn and Yanni Wetzell once again leading the way, No. 4 San Diego State improved to 20-0 to match Kawhi Leonard’s 2010-11 team for the best start in school history.
Like that team, though, this squad wants a whole lot more.
Flynn scored 18 points and Wetzell dominated inside with 14 points for San Diego State, which opened with a suffocating defense to beat Wyoming 72-55 Tuesday night.
The Aztecs (20-0, 9-0 Mountain West) remained the nation’s only unbeaten team. They equaled the 20-0 start by the 2010-11 team, which reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history before finishing 34-3.
“It’s good to realize we’re up there with arguably probably the best team here,” said Flynn, a junior guard who transferred from Washington State. “But like we’ve said previously, they didn’t stop there. They went on to a Sweet 16. We’ve got a lot more work to do to even be in the conversation with that team still.”
Matt Mitchell agreed, saying the comparison with Leonard’s team is “great notabilty to be up there, but we don’t get a banner for 20-0. We’ve got to keep pushing.”
SDSU also matched the longest winning streak in school history, set with that opening run in 2010-11 and matched by the 2013-14 team, which also reached the Sweet 16.
Mitchell scored 15 and Jordan Schakel 11 for SDSU.
Jake Hendricks scored 20 for Wyoming (5-16, 0-9), which lost its seventh straight game.
Leonard scores 36 to lead Clippers past Mavericks 110-107
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks brought back one big man but lost another Tuesday night, and in the end, they couldn’t rein in the reigning Finals MVP.
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, Landry Shamet hit two clutch 3-pointers late and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-107 Tuesday night for their fourth straight win.
Dallas ended a four-game winning streak, and more importantly, lost a key piece in center Dwight Powell just as they welcomed back Kristaps Porzingis.
Powell went down to a non-contact, right Achilles tendon injury in the first quarter, and though he will have an MRI on Wednesday, the team is fearing a worst-case scenario.
“Guys like him define the culture we want here,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “It doesn’t get much tougher than this, if it ends up being what we fear it might.”
Luka Doncic had 36 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Dallas. He scored 24 points in the second half to help rally the Mavericks after they trailed by double digits from late in the second quarter through most of the third.
Shamet helped the Clippers seize the game late in the fourth quarter. His 3 from the left wing to give Los Angeles a 100-98 lead with 2:48 to play. Montrezl Harrell added two free throws, then Shamet sank another 3 from straight-on to put the Clippers up by seven. He finished with 18 points.
“We just kind of found a way to win,” Shamet said. “We’d loved to keep that lead the whole game, but that’s not how it’s going to be. It’s a long season. We got to find different ways how to win like we did tonight.”
Hunt family finally gets to see Chiefs back in Super Bowl
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Clark Hunt remembers well the celebrations four years ago that surrounded the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl, the championship game whose name was coined by his late father and Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt.
One moment stands out more than the rest. It had to do with Hunt’s mother, Norma, who has been to every championship game since the Chiefs played the Green Bay Packers in the first one in 1967.
“Clark,” she said shortly afterward, “it sure would be nice if we could play in this game once while I’m still able to go.”
She’s finally getting her wish.
On Sunday, the most visible face of the Chiefs ownership family took center stage when Clark Hunt raised the AFC title trophy — the Lamar Hunt Trophy — after a 35-24 victory over Tennessee. Right beside Clark and celebrating the return of the franchise to the big game for the first time in 50 years was his mother, and his siblings weren’t far away.
Football is a family affair for the Hunts. Not only did Lamar found the franchise but he was among the eight owners in the “Foolish Club” who founded the AFL, then barged their way into a unified NFL. Clark was not yet 2 years old when the Chiefs played in the first Super Bowl, and he has only faint memories of attending the 1970 game, when the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings to win their only championship.
“I was at that game and I have a photo,” he said, “so I hate to say that I don’t really remember it. I was 4 or 5 years old. Actually, the first game that I remember is the Christmas Day game a few years after” — the Chiefs lost to the Dolphins in the 1971 playoffs in the longest game in NFL history — “which isn’t a great one to have as your first memory. I’m grateful to block that out with what we’re going to do in Miami in a couple of weeks.”
LA City Council says Dodgers should be awarded Series titles
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With Los Angeles fans reeling from news that two of the Dodgers’ recent World Series opponents were linked to a cheating scandal that tipped off batters to what pitch was about to be thrown, the City Council voted Tuesday to ask Major League Baseball to strip the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox of their World Series titles.
The resolution was introduced after MLB revealed in a report Jan. 13 how the Astros used electronics as part of a sign-stealing system instituted by then-coach Alex Cora during the 2017 season, when Houston beat Los Angeles in the World Series. The Red Sox are under investigation for possibly stealing signs in Cora’s first season as manager in 2018, when Boston beat the Dodgers.
Council members acknowledged that the vote was purely symbolic. The goal was to send a message that cheating shouldn’t be tolerated, said Councilman Gil Cedillo, who introduced the motion along with Councilman Paul Koretz.
“It’s important for us to raise our voice and to say that this is not the new normal, that this is not acceptable and that the Houston Astros were not the champions nor the best team that year,” Cedillo said.
Mexican goal-scoring star Chicharito signs with LA Galaxy
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The biggest star in Mexican soccer is coming to the LA Galaxy.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernández announced his move to the five-time MLS champions on Tuesday, bringing the veteran striker back to North America after a lengthy career in Europe.
Hernández will participate in his first training session Thursday. His new team is already thrilled about the boost he will provide to a team in transition after the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“We needed in that position one player like him with a lot of energy,” Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. “He can help us to be better. He’s got a lot of experience. He has spent the last 11 years in Europe playing in big teams. … The expectations we have for this year are growing. When you have a player like him, you start to dream about something big that could happen in the year.”
Hernández is a designated player for the Galaxy and the effective replacement for Ibrahimovic, who signed with AC Milan this winter after two outstanding seasons stateside. Chicharito will also be a compelling — albeit friendly — rival to fellow Mexican star Carlos Vela, who won the MLS MVP award last season during a record-setting performance for Los Angeles FC, the Galaxy’s upstart crosstown foes.
The 31-year-old Hernández is the top goal-scorer in the history of the Mexican national team, which has a fervent following among Los Angeles’ expansive Latino population. His arrival in Major League Soccer also is another boon for the league in its attempts to compete with Liga MX, Mexico’s top professional division and the most-watched pro soccer league in the U.S.
Changes to Hall of Fame and a quick entry for Tiger Woods
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tiger Woods won’t have to wait until he’s 50 to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced changes to the criteria and the selection process, starting with the age limit being reduced from 50 to 45. Players become eligible if they are 45 in the year of the induction ceremony.
The next induction is in 2021. Woods turns 45 in January.
“We believe these changes will enhance the Hall of Fame in many ways and bring greater attention to the most deserving players at a time in their careers when they are still competing at the highest level,” said Greg McLaughlin, the CEO of the World Golf Foundation.
Woods is a shoo-in. The criteria include 15 victories on a player’s home tour or two majors. Woods has 82 victories on the PGA Tour, along with five on the European Tour and victories on the Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia. He also has those 15 majors.
Woods figures to have company on the ballot. Also eligible for the 2021 induction class are three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood, and LPGA major champions Liselotte Neumann, Dottie Pepper and Jane Geddes.
The Hall of Fame originally had an age limit of 40, which is why Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson were inducted years ago. It later was moved to 50. The criteria also allow for anyone three years removed from retirement, always vague for a sport in which no one ever really retires.
Also, the Veterans category has been eliminated and Lifetime Achievement is now called “contributor.”
Meanwhile, the selection process no longer includes a majority of golf administrators voting.
Ten media members and six Hall of Famers will be part of the nominating committee that narrows the list of candidates to four men, four women and two contributors. Eight media members join seven administrators and four Hall of Famers in the final selection process. No more than four can be part of any induction class, and they must get 75% of the vote.