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Anthony Davis drops 42 in Lakers win

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Anthony Davis had 42 points and 12 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers made 13 shots from 3-point range to overwhelm the Phoenix Suns in a 123-110 win on Sunday night in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles avoided the three-game season sweep by Phoenix and remained one game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings with four games left. The top six teams avoid the play-in tournament to reach the playoffs.

Los Angeles, which lost eight of its previous 10 games, was without LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder. After being out six weeks because of an ankle injury, James has missed the last four games with the same injury.

Devin Booker finished with 21 points for the Suns, but he made only 5 of 14 shots from the field and missed his only 3-point attempt. Chris Paul had 13 points and 10 assists.

Heat 130, Celtics 124

Jimmy Butler finished strong with 22 of his 26 points in the second half as Miami strengthened its hold on the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over host Boston.

Despite Butler having only four points at halftime, the Heat managed to build a 26-point lead to help hold off Boston’s fourth-quarter push. Butler also contributed 11 assists and eight rebounds.

Duncan Robinson scored 22 points, Bam Adebayo added 20 and Trevor Ariza scored all but two of his 19 points in the first half for the Heat.

Timberwolves 128, Magic 96

Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell each had 27 points to lead Minnesota to a blowout win, marking just the second time the Timberwolves have won in its previous 12 games in Orlando.

The Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 7-5 over their past 12 games. The Magic dropped their third in a row in their home finale and went 11-25 in Orlando this season.

It was an emotional Mother’s Day victory for Towns, Minnesota’s two-time All-Star, who lost his mother to COVID-19 last year. Towns, who also had nine rebounds and four assists, helped jump-start the Timberwolves as they used an early run to overwhelm the Magic and outscore them 74-44 by halftime.

Knicks 106, Clippers 100

Derrick Rose contributed 25 points and eight assists off the bench and Reggie Bullock finished with 24 points on 5-for-12 shooting from behind the arc as visiting New York defeated Los Angeles.

RJ Barrett added 18 points and seven rebounds and Julius Randle chipped in 14 points and 14 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard topped the Clippers with 29 points but struggled finding his shooting stroke, finishing 9-for-26 (34.6 percent) from the field.

With the win, New York remained the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Clippers maintained their grip on the No. 3 seed in the West despite the loss.

Pelicans 112, Hornets 110

Eric Bledsoe scored 24 points as New Orleans pulled out a tight game over host Charlotte, keeping its slim playoff hopes alive while putting the Hornets’ on hold.

Jaxson Hayes of the Pelicans scored the only two field goals in the last 1:50 for either team before a 3-pointer from Charlotte’s Terry Rozier in the last second accounted for the final score. Rozier finished with 43 points, including 24 in the first half.

The Pelicans went ahead at 109-107 on Hayes’ alley-oop layup on a pass from Lonzo Ball. With 1:29 remaining, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball missed two foul shots, allowing the Pelicans to retain their lead. Hayes soon scored again on a hook shot off a pass from Nickeil Alexander-Walker, making it a four-point New Orleans lead with just 12.7 seconds remaining and putting it away for good.

Bulls 108, Pistons 96

Nikola Vucevic recorded a double-double with 29 points and 16 rebounds and Zach LaVine added a game-high 30 points as Chicago beat host Detroit.

Chicago used a strong defensive effort to keep alive its slim prospects of making the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, moving to 2.5 games behind Indiana with four games left in the Bulls’ regular season.

The Bulls held Detroit — playing without season leading scorer Jerami Grant on the second leg of a weekend back-to-back — to just 39 first-half points and 36-of-78 shooting from the floor for the game.

Kings 126, Thunder 98

Maurice Harkless and Terence Davis scored 18 points each to lead Sacramento to a home win over Oklahoma City.

The Kings kept their faint hopes of making the play-in tournament alive with the win, their fifth in six games. Sacramento is 2 1/2 games behind San Antonio for 10th in the Western Conference with four games to play.

The Kings had eight players score in double figures, including 15 each by Richaun Holmes and Delon Wright. Darius Bazley led Oklahoma City with 18 points while Jaylen Hoard had a career-high 16.

Mavericks 124, Cavaliers 97

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points while hitting on 7 of his 11 3-point shots as surging Dallas defeated host Cleveland in the second game of a home-and-home set between the two teams.

The Mavericks won for the fourth straight game and are a season-best 12 games over .500. Dallas remained in fifth place in the Western Conference, moving a game in front of idle Portland in the standings with four games to play.

Josh Richardson added 20 points for the Mavericks, and Luka Doncic scored 15 before being ejected early in the third quarter. Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 24 points while Mfiondu Kabengele hit for 14, Brodric Thomas scored 13 points and Isaac Okoro added 12.

 

–Field Level Media

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CFL to return in August

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The Canadian Football League (CFL), which saw its entire 2020 campaign wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak, said on Monday its board of governors voted unanimously to kick off a shortened 14-game season in August.

The CFL, whose biggest source of revenue comes from ticket sales rather than TV deals like those enjoyed by larger U.S.-based leagues, also said fans will be able to return to the stands in line with provincial guidelines.

“This is an exciting day for Canadian football and for Canada itself,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a news release.

“I want to thank our fans, players, coaches, and partners for their incredible support and patience as we’ve worked together towards this day.”

The season will begin Aug. 5 while the Grey Cup championship game will be played Dec. 12 in Hamilton, Ontario.

The full schedule will be released on Tuesday along with each of the league’s nine team’s plan for distributing tickets to season ticket holders and, where government restrictions on stadium capacity allow, ticket sales to the general public.

After first delaying its 2020 season, the CFL decided to scrap it entirely following a last-ditch effort to secure financing from the Canadian government to stage a shortened campaign that would have been held entirely in Manitoba was turned down.

The CFL had previously said it would only move forward with a 2021 season if it could secure the government approvals for its plans to keep players and coaches safe and the green light to allow a “significant” number of fans to attend games.

“We are on track to receive all of the necessary health and safety approvals, thanks to our tireless medical advisers and staff, and the dedicated government officials who have been working with them,” said Ambrosie.

“And while the outlook for fans in the stands varies from province to province, we are confident that process is also on the right track.”

 

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Mixed Martial Arts-Door is open for YouTube’s Paul brothers in MMA

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Logan and Jake Paul would make great Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, Bellator president Scott Coker has said as he targets exhibition matches featuring the YouTube personalities such as the former’s boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Logan Paul went the distance, surviving eight rounds against unbeaten (50-0) five-division world boxing champion Mayweather in an exhibition on Sunday at Miami’s Hard Rock stadium.

USA Today reported the fight brought in one million pay per view buys with $50 million generated from sales in the United States.

It was only the second fight of Paul’s career, while his brother Jake has fought in three professional boxing matches, beating former MMA fighter Ben Askren in April.

Critics have labelled the bouts a sideshow due to the lack of sporting credibility of the duo, who made their names as social media personalities and have millions of subscribers on YouTube.

However, Coker told Reuters the brothers have impressive physiques and the door is open for them to move into MMA.

“I met with Logan Paul about two years ago and I’ve spoken to Jake Paul’s manager and Jake on a zoom call recently… The one thing I said was hey, if you want to do MMA we would love to promote you guys,” the 58-year-old said in a Zoom interview.

“These guys are young, athletic, strong and you saw the fight on Sunday night these guys they came and did their work.

“Mayweather couldn’t finish him and I know he tried, I heard he wanted to knock this kid out so bad,” he added.

“When I heard both had high school wrestling backgrounds in Ohio, which is a prominent wrestling state in the U.S., it really made me interested in pursuing them in some super fights in Mixed Martial Arts – and that door is continually open.”

HEADLINE FIGHT

Bellator, owned by Viacom, is gearing up for a busy month of events, starting with Bellator 260 on Friday with the headline fight between reigning welterweight world champion Douglas Lima and the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov.

However, super fights and exhibitions are where Coker is targeting a younger audience.

“My 14-year-old niece, I told her I was going to the Logan Paul fight and she thought that was the greatest thing,” he said.

“She asked me who he was fighting and I said Floyd Mayweather and she said ‘who’s that?’ – I thought wow, she doesn’t know boxing, she doesn’t know MMA, she’s just a 14-year-old girl on the internet doing what they do.”

As the sporting world gears up for the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July, Coker believes MMA will feature in future Games.

“When you think about mixed martial arts, what you’re talking about is boxing, wrestling, judo, taekwondo, karate – those are all Olympic sports,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t mixed martial arts eventually get into the Olympics because six out of the seven disciplines MMA is known to use really is already there.

“There’d be a lot of details to work out but to me I think it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships

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Montreal will host the 2024 world figure skating championships, the International Skating Union (ISU) said on Wednesday, after the 2020 event Canada was to host was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The championships will return to Montreal from March 18-24, marking the 11th time Canada has staged the event.

“Skate Canada has a proven track record of holding successful ISU events and we are looking forward to bringing the world’s best skaters to the fantastic Canadian city of Montreal,” said Debra Armstrong, CEO of Skate Canada, in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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