Here’s a look at some of today’s big sports stories.
COUSINS COOLS OFF
Finally, some NBA team held Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins in check.
C.J. McCollum scored 18 points, Damian Lillard had 15 points and 12 assists and Portland shut down the red-hot Cousins in the Trail Blazers’ 112-97 win over the Sacramento Kings. Portland had seven players score in double figures.
Cousins, who was coming off 56 and 48-point performances in his past two games, led the Kings with 17 points. But he hit only 4 of 21 shots. Cousins also struggled at the free throw line, making 9 of 17.
Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 11 assists for the Kings, who lost in double overtime on Monday night.
In other NBA:
Kevin Durant scored a season-high 44 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 128-122 in overtime. Russell Westbrook finished with 30 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who bounced back from a loss to Brooklyn the night before.
All-Star starter Kyle Lowry put up 29 points before leaving with a hand injury in the final minutes and the Toronto Raptors downed the Washington Wizards 106-89. That’s the Raptors’ ninth straight win, matching a franchise-best mark.
Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked eight times and scored 25 points as the Milwaukee Bucks, with coach Jason Kidd back on the bench, sent the Orlando Magic to their seventh straight loss, 107-100. Kidd missed 17 games after having surgery on his right hip Dec. 21.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 27 points, leading the Miami Heat over the Brooklyn Nets 102-98. Wade also had eight assists and four rebounds.
Ish Smith had 20 points and nine assists and Robert Covington scored 19 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 113-103 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Chris Paul scored 26 points and J.J. Redick added 19 as the Los Angeles Clippers held off a late Indiana comeback for a 91-89 victory. That’s the Pacers third straight loss.
The Dallas Mavericks edged the L.A. Lakers 92-90 on Dirk Nowitzki’s basket with 2 seconds left. Chandler Parsons scored 17 to lead the Mavs. Nowitzki finished with 13 points and six boards.
CLIPPERS WITHOUT GRIFFIN FOR ANOTHER 4-6 WEEKS
The Clippers beat Indiana 91-89 without star forward Blake Griffin, who is out four to six more weeks following an embarrassing incident.
He’s undergone surgery for a fractured finger on his shooting hand sustained after he threw a punch at equipment manager Matias Testi in Toronto Saturday.
The hand fracture comes just as Griffin was nearing a return from another injury. He has been out since Dec. 26 with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon.
In a statement, the Clippers say Griffin’s conduct has no place in the organization.
TOP 25: CAVS WIN ON BUZZER BEATER
Darius Thompson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give No. 11 Virginia a 72-71 victory over Wake Forest. Malcolm Brogdon scored 28 points and Anthony Gill added 17 for the 16-4 Cavaliers, who are 15-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
In other AP Top-25:
Buddy Hield scored 30 points to help No. 1 Oklahoma rout Texas Tech 91-67. It was his seventh game with 30 or more points this season. The 17-2 Sooners remain atop the Big 12 with a 6-2 mark.
Jalen Reynolds had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 7 Xavier held off a late rally to beat No. 10 Providence 75-68. That’s the Musketeers’ first road win over a Top Ten team in 20 years.
Jonathan Holton had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 9 West Virginia to a 70-55 victory over Kansas State. That gives the 17-3 Mountaineers a sweep of the season series.
Nigel Hayes scored 31 points, Ethan Happ added 25 and Wisconsin snapped No. 19 Indiana’s 12-game winning streak, 82-79 in overtime.
PENS BLANK DEVILS
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and the surging Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 for their third straight win.
Sidney Crosby got his 17th goal of the year for the Penguins. The two-time MVP has scored in each of Pittsburgh’s last seven home games, the longest home scoring streak of his career.
The Penguins have won four of five to draw even with the Devils for eighth place in the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star break.
In other hockey:
Riley Nash scored two goals, Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist and the Carolina Hurricanes routed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0 in the final game before the All-Star break for each team. The ‘Canes are 7-2-1 in their last 10.
For the second straight night, the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets beat Montreal by the identical score, 5-2. Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson each had a goal and an assist. The Habs are 2-8 in their last 10 home games.
Corey Perry scored his 20th goal and added an assist for the Anaheim Ducks in a 6-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck scored power-play goals, and the Florida Panthers rolled into the All-Star break on a good note by topping the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1.
Rookie Nikolaj Ehlers had a hat trick and Dustin Byfuglien added two goals and an assist to help the Winnipeg Jets beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2.
Buffalo nipped Ottawa 3-2. Rookie Jack Eichel scored twice, including the winning goal early in the final period for the Sabres.
Joe Pavelski scored his 25th goal in the San Jose Sharks’ 6-1 rout of Colorado.
Nashville nipped Vancouver 2-1 on James Neal’s go-ahead goal in the final period.
DUCKS’ HORCOFF HANDED 20-GAME SUSPENSION
Anaheim forward Shawn Horcoff has been suspended for 20 games for violating the terms of the NHL’s performance-enhancing substances program.
The 37-year-old claims he tried an unspecified treatment to speed up his recovery from an injury last fall, but didn’t know it was prohibited by the league.
In other hockey news:
The Florida Panthers have signed center Aleksander Barkov to a six-year contract extension. The deal is worth $35 million for the second overall pick of the Panthers in the 2013 draft. Barkov has 12 goals and 18 assists in his first 38 appearances this season.
Chicago GM Stan Bowman has been given a three-year contract extension through the 2020-21 season. Bowman is in his 15th season with the Blackhawks and his sixth as senior vice president and GM. In the last six seasons the Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cup championships.
TWO-TIME CHAMP FALLS DOWN UNDER
Angelique Kerber won five consecutive games in the second set and saved five set points to beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
Johanna Konta beat Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semifinals. She is the first British woman to advance the last four of a Grand Slam event since 1984.
Andy Murray reached the Australian Open semifinals for the sixth time in seven years with a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 8 David Ferrer.