Monday’s Sports In Brief
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard set a franchise record with 61 points, including a career-best 11 3-pointers, and the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers outlasted the equally depleted Golden State Warriors 129-124 in overtime.
Lillard’s previous career high was 60 points earlier this season against Brooklyn. His 11 3-pointers were also a team record.
It was the seventh regular-season game of Lillard’s career with more than 50 points. He also had 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
BOSTON (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 20 points to end a career-long personal losing streak against LeBron James, and Jayson Tatum scored 27 to lead the Boston Celtics past the Los Angeles Lakers 139-107 and send the top team in the Western Conference to its biggest loss of the season.
Boston snapped a three-game losing streak.
James had 15 points and 13 assists for the Lakers, who had won 10 of their previous 11 games. But the Celtics made 13 of their first 22 3-point attempts to open 103-75 lead in the third quarter — the biggest against Los Angeles all season until Boston made it a 34-point game in the fourth.
Walker, who spent the first eight years of his career in Charlotte, had gone 0-28 in his career against James — second in NBA history only to Sherman Douglas’ 0-30 head-to-head record against Michael Jordan.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The 2019 season for the Green Bay Packers marked the dawn of a new era.
Matt LaFleur took over and won more games than any first-year coach in franchise history.
The final result again fell short of the Packers’ goal of winning it all, but this time it had a different feeling, according to Aaron Rodgers.
The two-time MVP was on the losing end of the NFC championship game in his third consecutive appearance.
There was the overtime loss at Seattle in the title game in the 2014 season, the 23-point rout at Atlanta in the conference championship in the 2016 season and Sunday’s 37-20 defeat to the Super Bowl-bound 49ers.
But the 36-year-old Rodgers said the latest loss isn’t like the others. He likes the moves GM Brian Gutekunst made last offseason, and is confident he will build on it for next season.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Vrabel knows wins and losses are the only true measure for the Tennessee Titans. Coming up one win shy of the franchise’s first Super Bowl berth in 20 years even after a 2-4 start means they still have plenty of work ahead.
The Titans cleaned out lockers a day after being beaten 35-24 by the Kansas City Chiefs in the team’s first AFC championship game in 17 years. Tennessee finished 11-8 after a fourth straight 9-7 record during the regular season, and the Titans haven’t won the AFC South or hosted a playoff game since 2008.
Going 7-3 on the road was nice. The Titans impressed in clinching their second playoff berth in three seasons with a win at Houston before upsetting the defending champs in New England in the wild-card round before knocking off top-seeded Baltimore in the divisional round. Four road trips in four weeks took a toll.
The Titans have little time to lament the loss in Kansas City. They have a lengthy to-do list starting with Ryan Tannehill and NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry set to become free agents in March. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees also announced his retirement
NEW YORK — Baylor and Gonzaga were the only two teams in the top five that took care of business last week.
That doesn’t mean they didn’t move around, too.
The Bears (15-1) leaped over the Bulldogs and into the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, using wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma State to give the Top 25 its seventh team on top this season. That matches the record set in 1983 for the most No. 1s in the history of the poll, which dates to the 1948-49 season.
Gonzaga (20-1) was merely a victim of its conference schedule. The Bulldogs blew out Santa Clara and BYU, but just enough voters considered those wins to be less impressive than the Bears’ perfect Big 12 start.
Baylor received 33 first-place votes and had 1,591 points from the 65-member media panel while Gonzaga received 31 first-place votes for 1,588 points.
WACO, Texas (AP) — MaCio Teague had 16 points, fellow transfer Davion Mitchell had 13 and Baylor held on to win its first-ever home game as the No. 1 team, beating Oklahoma 61-57.
The Bears (16-1, 6-0 Big 12) stretched their winning streak to 15 games. They are 6-0 in conference play for the first time since winning their first 10 Southwest Conference games in 1948.
The only other time the Bears reached No. 1 was in the poll released Jan. 9, 2017, and they lost by 21 the next night at No. 10 West Virginia. They rebounded with a win at No. 25 Kansas State, but had slipped to No. 6 by time they returned home the following week.
NEW YORK (AP) — South Carolina remained atop The Associated Press women’s basketball poll, with Baylor in second place.
The Gamecocks received 22 first-place votes from a 30-member media panel. The Lady Bears got six.
UConn moved up to third after previous No. 3 Stanford lost to Oregon by 32 points. The Ducks moved up to No. 4. Louisville was fifth, sandwiched between Oregon and Stanford. Louisville received the other two first-place votes.
Oregon State, North Carolina State, Mississippi State and UCLA rounded out the top 10.
Northwestern entered the Top 25 for the first time this season, coming in at No. 22. The Wildcats were last ranked for the first nine weeks of the 2015-16 season.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Tyasha Harris scored a season-high 23 points including the go-ahead basket with 2:01 left, as No. 1 South Carolina rallied from nine-points down in the final quarter to outlast No. 9 Mississippi State 81-79.
Mississippi State had several chances to go in front, but could not.
South Carolina freshman Zia Cooke stole Mississippi State’s last inbounds pass with 4 seconds left and ran out the clock.
Harris scored the final five points for the Gamecocks (18-1, 6-0), who won their 12th straight and got a sixth victory in seven meetings with a Top-25 opponent this season.
South Carolina freshman Aliyah Boston had 21 points and 12 rebounds.