Morant, Grizzlies Win Sixth Straight; Lakers Pull Away From Kings
The Memphis Grizzlies stayed hot away from home for a second straight night on Tuesday, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-106, for their sixth straight victory. Ja Morant had 26 points on the night, including six in the final 30 seconds and the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds left for their 25th win of the season. The Grizzlies have now won 10 of their past 11 games on the road, including a blowout of the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center Monday night. The Cavaliers got Darius Garland back in the lineup after missing four games and he had 27 points and 10 assists, while Jarrett Allen had 22 points and 12 rebounds, but they have now dropped four of their past five games. And LeBron James got hot late out west, helping the Los Angeles Lakers back over .500 with a 122-114 victory over the Sacramento Kings. James scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, while Malik Monk also came up clutch with 11 of his 24 points in the final seven minutes of the game. Talen Horton-Tucker added 19 points, helping the home team to rally from a seven-point deficit late in the game. Russell Westbrook had a productive game, getting 19 points in 34 minutes, drawing a key charge late, and having his first turnover-free game since March 14th, 2016. The Kings got 30 points from De'Aaron Fox and 26 points and seven three-pointers from Buddy Hield in their 23rd loss of the season.
Other key scores saw Devin Booker's 33 points lead the Phoenix Suns over the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-110. R.J. Barrett scored 32 points to power the New York Knicks past the Indiana Pacers, 104-94. And Fred VanVleet surpassed 30 points for a third straight game in the Toronto Raptors' 129-104 blowout of the San Antonio Spurs.
LSU Pulls Away to Beat Kentucky; Akinjo Helps Baylor Stay Unbeaten
The 21st-ranked LSU Tigers got hot down the stretch on their home floor Tuesday night to earn a solid SEC victory, 65-60, over the 16th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. The Tigers used a 19-2 run in the second half to jump ahead and they were able to hold off the road team late for the victory. It was their 13th victory in 14 games this season, as they get back to .500 quickly in conference play, while sending the Wildcats to their third defeat of the year. Tari Eason was a big help off the bench, leading the team with 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists, and helping them do just enough to earn this victory. With both teams being almost even in every category on the state line, they made nearly 40% of their three-point shots, which powered the late run, and gave the Tigers a needed win in conference play. And the top-ranked Baylor Bears remained the best team in the country by staying unbeaten on the season with an 84-74 win over the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday. James Akinjo tied a career high with 27 points, while Adam Flagler added 22 to help the team get their 14th straight win to start the season, and 20th consecutive victory overall. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua added 12 points for the defending National Champions, who won six games in the March Madness Tournament last season to get their first National Title in program history. They keep pace with the seventh-ranked USC Trojans as the only undefeated teams left in major conferences, with the Trojans sitting at 12-0 on the season.
Other key scores saw unranked Marquette snap their skid with an 88-56 upset blowout of 16th-ranked Providence. Wendell Green Jr. had 22 points in ninth-ranked Auburn's 81-66 win over South Carolina. Marcus Carr stayed hot with 19 points as 14th-ranked Texas downed Kansas Sate, 70-57. And sixth-ranked Kansas used a red hot second half, scoring 45 points in the final 20 minutes for a 74-63 road win over Oklahoma State.
Predators Move in to First Place; Panthers Roll to Fourth Straight Win
The Nashville Predators are leaving Las Vegas in first place in the Central Division following a 3-2 road win over the Las Vegas Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena Tuesday night. Filip Forsberg scored twice, while Juuse Saros made 41 saves, helping Nashville move one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues atop the division. Yakov Trenin also scored for the Predators, who are now 9-1-1 over their past 11 games, and now 21-11-2 overall. For the Golden Knights, they struggled to score until late in the third period, this after they totaled 13 goals over their past three games. And the Florida Panthers skated their way to their fourth straight in on their home ice Tuesday night, blowing out the Calgary Flames, 6-2. Patric Hornqvist scored twice, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped a season-high 47 shots, helping the Panthers keep pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Joe Thornton had the official go-ahead goal in the first period, while Anthony Duclair, Ryan Lomberg, and Lucas Carlson all found the back of the net as well. Elsewhere on the stat sheet, Brandon Montour had the second three-assist game of his career, helping Florida move to 18-3-0 on their home ice this season.
Other key scores saw Ondrej Palat sore twice and add an assist as the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-2 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. David Pastrnak's third period goal lifted the Boston Bruins over the New Jersey Devils, 5-3. Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter each scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings blew past the San Jose Sharks, 6-2. And Troy Terry's hat trick powered the Anaheim Ducks past the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1.
Devils' Dougie Hamilton Suffers Broken Jaw
The New Jersey Devils announced that defenseman Dougie Hamilton suffered a broken jaw and will undergo surgery for the injury on Wednesday. This procedure will come just three days after taking a puck to the face in their game against the Washington Capitals. The team did place Hamilton on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday, but there is no official timetable for his return. He was struck with the puck seven minutes in to the first period on a shot off the stick of Justin Schultz. The 28-year-old signed a seven-year, $63 million contract with the Devils last summer and has totaled seven goals and 13 assists over 30 games this season.
Kansas State Pounds LSU in Texas Bowl
The LSU Tigers were without head coach Ed Orgeron for their final game of the season on Tuesday night, in what was the final bowl game ahead of next Monday's National Championship Game. And unfortunately for them, they looked like it, as the Kansas State Wildcats took care of the Tigers with ease, 42-20, in the Texas Bowl. Skylar Thompson threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns, while Deuce Vaughn totaled four touchdowns, including 146 yards and three scores on the ground. The Wildcats played a near perfect game on the offensive side of the ball, never turning the ball over, all to get to their eighth win of the season. For the Tigers, they finish the tough season at 6-7 for their first losing season since 1999 and their second-largest bowl loss in program history. Although, they now move on to a new era with Brian Kelly on the way from Notre Dame to take things over.
Titans' Bud Dupree Charged With Misdemeanor Assault
The Tennessee Titans now have off the field issues to worry about getting closer to the playoffs, as linebacker Bud Dupree has been charged with a misdemeanor assault. This news comes after he got in to an altercation with an employee at a Walgreens in Nashville. The incident reportedly took place Sunday night, as a verbal altercation with a 20-year-old male led to a physical altercation that included Dupree grabbing the employee and his phone. Dupree must report for booking on the citation in three weeks, and the team announced that they are aware of the situation and are gathering more information. The 28-year-old is in his first season with the Titans, this after signing a five-year deal as a free agent last March.
Browns' Mayfield to Undergo Shoulder Surgery
The Cleveland Browns will be without quarterback Baker Mayfield for the season finale on Sunday as he will undergo shoulder surgery as soon as possible. The procedure will repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, so he will miss the contest against the AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals. Mayfield has been playing with the injury since Week 2, and he admitted Monday night that he is "beat up" after getting sacked nine times in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 7-9 Browns are eliminated from playoff contention, one season after getting their first playoff win in 26 years, and Mayfield has struggled during that, ranking 26th with a 35.2 QBR. He is under contract with Cleveland through the 2022 season, as the team has already exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.