Irving leads Cavs past Spurs…Grizzlies thumped by Wizards
UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James poured in 31 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, and he wasn’t close to being the team’s leading scorer.
Kyrie Irving had a career-high 57 points and the Cavs rallied to beat the Spurs 128-125 in San Antonio. Irving was 7 of 7 from 3-point range and 20 of 32 overall as the Cavaliers stretched their lead in the NBA’s Central Division to 1 1/2 games over Chicago.
It was the most points in the NBA this season, topping the 55 Irving scored on Jan. 28. He got the game to overtime by scoring nine points in the final minute of regulation.
In other NBA finals:
— John Wall had 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Washington ripped the Memphis Grizzlies 107-87. Marcin Gortat (MAHR’-chihn GOHR’-taht) finished with a 22 points for the Wizards, who built their lead to 27 in the third quarter and kept the Southwest Division-leading Grizzlies two games ahead of Houston.
— The Rockets fell to the red-hot Jazz as Rudy Gobert’s 19 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks led Utah to its ninth win in 11 games, 109-91 over Houston. The Rockets also had trouble stopping Gordon Hayward, who finished with 29 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
— Rodney Stuckey scored 25 points and Luis Scola had 17 points and 15 rebounds to help Indiana earn their seventh consecutive win, beating Milwaukee 109-103 in overtime. The Pacers used a 9-0 run to take a 105-98 lead.
— The New York Knicks were 101-94 winners against the Lakers in Los Angeles behind Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 22 points.
Center Jefferson out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson says that while his right calf is extremely sore, he’s relieved the injury is not more serious.
Coach Steve Clifford says an MRI on the back of Jefferson’s upper calf and knee area proved negative. Jefferson is expected to meet with team physicians, who’ll determine how long he’ll be out.
AP sources: Murray jumps to Eagles…Bills sign backup QB Taylor
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles have found a pretty good replacement for LeSean McCoy.
All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray has agreed to a five-year package with the Eagles. A person familiar with the contract says Murray’s deal was valued at $42 million, with $21 million guaranteed. He turned down a four-year, $16 million offer from the Cowboys last fall.
Murray helped the Cowboys win the NFC East title last season while rushing for a franchise-record 1,845 yards.
The move comes two days after McCoy was officially traded by the Eagles to Buffalo, and about 24 hours after Philadelphia worked out a deal with free-agent rushing back Ryan Mathews.
In other NFL news:
— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have bolstered their defense with a pair of free agents very familiar to coach Lovie Smith, signing safety Chris Conte and tackle Henry Melton. Both players entered the NFL as draft picks of the Bears when Smith coached in Chicago.
— The Buffalo Bills have signed free-agent quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who spent the past four seasons backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore. Taylor signed a two-year contract.
— A person familiar with the deal says the New York Jets and cornerback Antonio Cromartie have agreed to terms on a four-year contract. Cromartie returns to the Jets after one season with Arizona, where he played for former Cardinals defensive coordinator and current Jets head coach Todd Bowles.
— The Baltimore Ravens have re-signed running back Justin Forsett, giving him a three-year contract. Forsett replaced the suspended Ray Rice in the starting lineup last season and rushed for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns.
— The Oakland Raiders have signed former Philadelphia safety Nate Allen in free agency to fill the hole created when former starter Tyvon Branch was released.
— The Detroit Lions’ website says the team has agreed to a one-year deal with defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker, who played the last two seasons with New Orleans. He made one start in 2014 and finished the season with 2 1/2 sacks.
Wildcats pull away from Cal
UNDATED (AP) — Second-ranked Duke and No. 3 Virginia have advanced to the ACC semifinals.
Quinn Cook scored 15 points and the Blue Devils earned their 12th consecutive win by clobbering North Carolina State 77-53. Backup center Marshall Plumlee added a career-high 12 points on six dunks for Duke, which scored on 22 of its first 26 possessions and led by as many as 30.
Mike Tobey scored 11 points and the Cavaliers held on to beat Florida State 58-44. Evan Nolte added 11 points, while Malcolm Brodgon scored all 10 of his in the second half for the top-seeded and defending tournament champions.
In other tournament play involving ranked teams:
— Big East Sixth Man of the Year Josh Hart scored 20 points off the bench, and fourth-ranked Villanova routed Marquette 84-49 in the conference tournament quarterfinals. The Wildcats made 17 of 29 3-point attempts in their 13th straight victory.
— Stanley Johnson had 19 points and Brandon Ashley added 15, lifting No. 5 Arizona to a 73-51 win over California in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. T.J. McConnell added 13 points and six rebounds for the 29-3 Wildcats.
— Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a career-high 25 points, Landen Lucas added 13 and No. 9 Kansas beat TCU 64-59 in the Big 12 quarterfinals. The top-seeded Jayhawks improved to 25-7.
— Eleventh-ranked Notre Dame blew a 20-point lead before knocking off Miami 70-63 to reach the ACC semifinals. Steve Vasturia had a team-high 16 points for the Irish, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:13 left.
— No. 13 Iowa State closed on a 12-0 run and beat Texas 69-67 on a buzzer-beating jumper by Monte Morris. The Cyclones received 24 points from Morris and clawed back from a 16-point deficit to reach the Big 12 semifinals.
— Buddy Hield (hyld) scored 22 points as 15th-rated Oklahoma put together a 16-3 run early in the second half to beat Oklahoma State 64-49. TaShawn Thomas added 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the Sooners advance to the Big 12 semifinals.
— Brice Johnson scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and 19th-ranked North Carolina outlasted No. 14 Louisville 70-60 in the ACC quarterfinals. Marcus Paige added 13 points for the 23-10 Tar Heels.
— Taurean Prince scored 18 points off the bench, Royce O’Neale added 16 and No. 16 Baylor pulled away late to beat No. 18 West Virginia 80-70 in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals. Rico Gathers added 14 points and eight rebounds for the fourth-seeded Bears.
— No. 17 Utah blew out Stanford 80-56 in the Pac-12 tournament as Delon Wright contributed 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Jordan Loveridge had 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and helped the Utes outscore the Cardinal 46-17 in the second half.
— Jalen Reynolds put Xavier ahead to stay with a three-point play in overtime before the Musketeers beat 22nd-ranked Butler 67-61 in the Big East quarterfinals. Dee Davis, Myles Davis and Matt Stainbrook each scored 13 points for the winners.
— No. 23 Georgetown has reached the Big East semifinals with a 60-55 triumph over Creighton. D’Vauntes Smith Rivera scored 25 points, including 12 of the Hoyas’ final 14.
— Nick Duncan hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points as No. 25 Boise State pulled away for an 80-68 quarterfinal victory over Air Force in the Mountain West Conference tournament.
Bruins outlast Bolts in shootout
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have kept their six-point lead over Florida in the battle for the NHL’s final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
The Bruins are 6-0-1 in their last seven games after Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhur-ahn) and Brad Marchand scored shootout goals to complete a 3-2 triumph over Tampa Bay. Bergeron and David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) tallied in regulation, and Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask made 35 saves as the Bruins prevented the Lightning from taking over the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division leads.
Vladislav Namestiknov (nah-MEHST’-nih-kahv) had the tying goal in the third period, allowing the Lightning to pull into a three-way tie with Montreal and the New York Rangers for the conference lead.
The Canadiens got two goals from Max Pacioretty (pash-uh-REH’-tee) before blowing a 2-0 lead in a 5-2 loss to Ottawa. Erik Karlsson scored twice and had an assist to support Andrew Hammond, who stopped 27 shots and helped the Senators stay within seven points of the final Eastern Conference playoff slot.
Florida stayed six points behind Boston as Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad (BYOOG’-stad) scored in the final 3:53 to lift the Panthers over Winnipeg 4-2. The Panthers are 4-1-1 in their last six.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Antti Niemi (AN’-tee nee-EH’-mee) blanked Nashville for the second time this season by stopping 35 shots in San Jose’s 2-0 victory. Tomas Hertl scored a power-play goal late in the second period to help the Sharks stay three points behind the Kings. The Predators have lost seven of eight and continue to share the Central Division lead with St. Louis.
— Pittsburgh blew a 4-0 lead before Steve Downie and Patric Hornqvist scored 66 seconds apart late in the third period to push the Penguins past Edmonton 6-4. Brandon Sutter scored twice and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists as the Penguins pulled within three points of the Rangers for the Metropolitan Division lead.
— Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) turned back 41 shots and Scott Hartnell scored the game-winner in the first period as Columbus topped Detroit 3-1. The Red Wings remain six points off the Atlantic Division lead.
— Brian Elliott stopped 28 shots and was perfect in the shootout as St. Louis blanked Philadelphia 1-0. T.J. Oshie (OH’-shee) and Vladimir Tarasenko had the shootout tallies in the Blues’ third consecutive win.
— Andrew Shaw and Brad Richards scored power-play goals while Chicago was outshooting Arizona 45-18 in a 2-1 triumph over the Coyotes. The Blackhawks are 5-1-1 in their last seven to stay in the hunt for the Central Division title.
— Los Angeles has jumped a point ahead of Winnipeg for eighth in the West after Jonathan Quick needed to make just 19 saves in the Kings’ 4-0 shutout of Vancouver. Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) and Justin Williams each had a goal and an assist as the Kings improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games.
— Jarome Iginla (ih-GIHN’-luh) scored Colorado’s lone regulation goal and provided the deciding shootout tally in a 2-1 triumph against New Jersey.
— Patrick Eaves, Alex Goligoski and Cody Eakin each had a goal and an assist as Dallas dumped Carolina 5-3.
Indians work out deal with Cy Young winner
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Indians ace and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber has accepted a one-year contract worth just $601,000 if he stays in the majors this season. The Indians have expressed interest in signing him to a longer deal and have had preliminary talks with his representatives.
Kluber was 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts for Cleveland last season.
Davis leads at Innisbrook
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Brian Davis fired a 6-under-par 65 and a one-stroke lead over Sean O’Hair and Ricky Barnes after the opening round in the first round of the PGA’s Valspar Championship. Davis closed his round with a chip-in from 25 feet on the ninth green. Barnes, playing in the afternoon, was tied for the lead until he three-putted the par-3 17th from 35 feet and missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the last hole.