The Boston Bruins got help for the new NHL scoring leader to snap the Calgary Flames' 10-game win streak, as Brad Marchand netted his 36th goal in the Bruins' 5-2 win Wednesday night. David Backes returned from injury to score the game-winner, as Boston now sits three points behind the Senators for second in the Atlantic, and four points behind the Canadiens for the top spot. David Pastrnak scored twice on the night in Boston's fourth straight victory. Marchand is now also tied with Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid for the NHL lead with 76 points. Meanwhile, the Flames' loss, combined with the Anaheim Ducks' win over the St. Louis Blues, drops them behind Anaheim for third place in the Pacific Division. Alex Chiasson and Dougie Hamilton scored in the Flames' first loss since February 18th against the Vancouver Canucks. It's their first regulation loss since getting shutout by the Arizona Coyotes on February 13th.
Lillard, Blazers Spoil Aldridge's Return For Spurs
Damian Lillard is trying to lead his Portland Trail Blazers back to the NBA Playoffs, but the road is not going to be easy. That included a road test Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, which they passed, as Damian Lillard scored 36 points to spoil the return of LaMarcus Aldridge in a 110-106 Blazer victory. Aldridge missed two games with a minor heart arrhythmia, but was cleared Wednesday morning to return to action. He scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard had 34 points in the Spurs' loss. They had won 11 of 12 heading into the game, and now sit a game behind the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA. The Blazers were coming off an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans in which they shot just 30 percent, but came back to shoot 48 percent on Wednesday. At 30-37, Portland sits just two games behind the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
USC, UC Davis Punch Tickets to Round of 64
The final two First Four matchups took place Wednesday night, almost as a preview to the madness that is the NCAA Tournament. The USC Trojans got the excitement started by rallying from a 17-point deficit in the second half to take out Providence, 75-71. The Trojans were led by Bennie Boatright's career-high 24 points, as the 11-seed advances to face the SMU Mustangs on Friday. USC took down the Mustangs by five points in November, and leads the all-time series, 5-1. Meanwhile, the battle for the 16-seed in the Midwest Region went to UC Davis, as they prevailed in their first NCAA Tourney game, 67-63, over NC Central. Chima Moneke had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, as the Aggies were fueled by an 11-2 run to begin the second half after trailing by three at the break. They move on to take on top-seeded Kansas in Tulsa on Friday.