Lakers romp to 10th straight victory, 125-103 over Wizards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers have won 10 straight games for the first time since December 2009, when Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol rode that fast start all the way to their most recent championship.
Nobody is ready to declare the current Lakers are headed for a similar summer after their streak hit double digits with an overwhelming effort against the Washington Wizards.
Still, it’s obvious something special is brewing again in LA.
“That’s the best team in basketball,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “Their record is 17-2 for a reason.”
Anthony Davis had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and LeBron James had 23 points and 11 assists before both superstars took the fourth quarter off in the Lakers’ 17th win in 18 games, 125-103 over Washington on Friday night.
Quinn Cook scored 17 points and JaVale McGee had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the steamrolling Lakers, who went 14-1 in November to soar to the top of the overall NBA standings. Los Angeles hadn’t won this many games in a month since March 2000 — in another season that ended with a banner.
Los Angeles’ 17-2 start matches the best in franchise history, but the Lakers realize true history isn’t made in November or December, which looks much tougher on paper.
“We have championship aspirations, but that’s not what’s here right now,” James said. “What’s here is our next opponent. We want to continue to get better. We have guys who have been there and know what it takes. This is a long process, and we can never shortcut it. But we can enjoy it along the way.”
Aldridge, White lead Spurs by Leonard, Clippers, 107-97
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — This trip looked a lot like Kawhi Leonard’s last game in San Antonio.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White each had 17 points, and the Spurs beat Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers 107-97 on Friday night.
“They wanted it more and it showed tonight,” Clippers guard Patrick Beverly said. “You’ve got to congratulate them. They came in here with an edge, with more of a thirst, and it showed.”
The Spurs stopped the Clippers’ seven-game win streak in Leonard’s second appearance in San Antonio as an opponent. Leonard finished with 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting.
“This wasn’t just any old team,” San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan said. “It’s a high-caliber team in our conference. We went out there and compete, compete, compete and the outcome came out our way.”
San Antonio had lost two straight and 12 of 14, but it found its footing against Los Angeles and its former teammate.
Leonard spent his first seven seasons in San Antonio before demanding a trade. He was shipped off to Toronto and won his second NBA Finals MVP last season before joining the Clippers as a free agent.
Leonard’s initial return to San Antonio on Jan. 24 resulted in thunderous boos and a 125-107 loss for the Raptors. Friday’s game had a similar feel.
“Uhm, didn’t make nothing of it,” Leonard said of the reception. “Felt like a normal away game.”
Flynn scores 28 2nd-half points as San Diego St. tops Iowa
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Malachi Flynn scored all of his 28 points after halftime to lead San Diego State past Iowa 83-73 as the Aztecs rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit in Las Vegas Invitational championship game on Friday night.
Flynn, the tournament’s MVP, also had five rebounds and four assists while going 9 of 9 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Schakel and Yanni Wetzell each had 14 points for the Aztecs (8-0) — their best start since 2010-11, when they were also was 8-0.
CJ Fredrick led Iowa (5-2) with 16 points. Connor McCaffery added 15 and Joe Toussaint had 13. Luka Garza, who is averaging over 20 points per game, had nine points on 3-for-8 shooting and eight rebounds.
San Diego State took the lead for good on Wetzell layup with 14:01 left after trailing by 16 with 3:05 remaining until halftime.
After the Aztecs led for most of the early portions of the first half, Iowa took the lead on a five-point possession, 20-17, after free throws by Toussaint and Garza. That also started a 22-4 run building Iowa’s largest lead at 37-21, before leading 41-32 at halftime.
This was the first meeting between the teams.
No. 24 Arizona women force 29 TOs, beat UC Riverside 70-27
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Aari McDonald scored 11 of her 14 points in first half and No. 24 Arizona beat UC Riverside 70-27 on Friday.
The Wildcats (7-0) are off to their best start since opening the 1999-2000 season with nine straight wins. Arizona also held an opponent to less than 30 points for the first time.
McDonald was 6 of 9 from the floor and had four steals. Mara Mote added 12 points from four 3-pointers for Arizona, which shot 47.5% percent from the field and forced a program-best 29 turnovers.
UC Riverside (2-6) shot just 21% (3 of 15) in the first half and made just shot — a Marina Ewodo layup — in the third quarter. Jannon Otto scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter when the Highlanders scored 13. Ewodo finished with four points.
Martin Jones makes 33 saves, Sharks beat Kings 4-1
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Martin Jones helped the San Jose Sharks get over a bad game.
Jones made 33 saves and Noah Gregor scored his first career NHL goal in the Sharks’ 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.
Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored to help San Jose rebound from a lackluster effort Wednesday night against Winnipeg with Aaron Dell in goal that coach Peter DeBoer described as “lifeless.”
The Sharks have won 10 of their past 12, continuing their turnaround after a 4-10-1 start. Jones was part of an improved defensive effort Friday, following the 5-1 loss to Winnipeg.
“We’ve got a lot of veteran guys in here,” Jones said. “You go through it every year, tough stretches. It was pretty important to get it turned around as soon as you can and not let it spiral.”
Jones was closing in on his 23rd career shutout until Kyle Clifford found the net with 1:49 left to finally get Los Angeles on the board.
The Sharks beat the Kings for the second time in five days. But unlike Monday, when San Jose blew a 3-0 lead before winning in overtime, the Sharks kept the pressure up in the rematch.
Flames coach Bill Peters quits; accused of slurs, abuse
Bill Peters resigned as coach of the Calgary Flames after it was disclosed he directed racist slurs at a Nigerian-born player in the minors a decade ago and kicked and punched players behind the bench during his recent time with Carolina.
General manager Brad Treliving said he received a resignation letter from Peters on Friday that wraps up a weeklong investigation into the veteran coach’s behavior. He refused to discuss whether Peters would continue to be paid, saying only, “He’s no longer with the organization.”
“We consider the matter closed,” Treliving said at a news conference in Calgary. “It’s been a difficult time. But we are going to move forward.”
Chargers activate safeties James, Phillips for Broncos game
COSTA MESA (AP) — Safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips have been activated by the Los Angeles Chargers for Sunday’s game at Denver.
James and Phillips had been on injured reserve. James sustained a stress fracture to his right foot during training camp. Phillips broke his right forearm during the fourth quarter of a Sept. 15 game at Detroit.
Coach Anthony Lynn liked the way both players practiced this week but said their snaps will be limited.
The Chargers also promoted wide receiver Jalen Guyton from the practice squad on Saturday. In corresponding moves, defensive tackle T.Y. McGill and safety Shalom Luani were waived while wide receiver Geremy Davis was placed on injured reserve.
California high school competes for title after deadly fire
SACRAMENTO (AP) — A Northern California high school football team will play for a championship Saturday one year after most of the players and coaches lost their homes to a wildfire that nearly destroyed their town.
Paradise High School will face Sutter Union High School for the Northern Section Division III championship. The game comes just over a year after the Camp Fire mostly destroyed the town of Paradise, burning down roughly 19,000 buildings and killing 85 people.
Most of the people who lived in Paradise have moved away. But many have returned on Friday nights to watch the football team’s remarkable season.
“The football team has come to represent all of us,” Paradise Mayor Jody Jones said. “There is not a whole lot that gets emotional about this whole fire. But I have to tell you, every time I have to tell someone who is not from Paradise the story of our football team, I start crying.”
Paradise High School has a football tradition, consistently fielding competitive teams. The school produced Jeff Maehl, a wide receiver who played for the University of Oregon in the 2011 BCS national championship game and later played for two NFL teams.
Last year, the school was 8-2 and preparing to host a home playoff game when the wildfire swept through the town. The school survived, but nearly every player and coach on the team lost their homes. The team forfeited the playoff game, ending their season.