Friday's Sports in Brief

March 31, 2018

NBA

CLEVELAND (AP) Still chasing championships, LeBron James caught - and passed - Michael Jordan on one list.

James broke Jordan's NBA record by scoring at least 10 points in his 867th straight regular-season game, a streak the Cavaliers superstar could make nearly untouchable by the end of his brilliant career.

James entered Friday's game against New Orleans sharing the mark with Jordan, one of his boyhood heroes. But with one of his patented two-handed dunks midway through the first quarter, James moved ahead of Jordan, whose streak stretched from 1986 to 2001.

James finished with 27 points as the Cavs avoided dropping in the standings with a 107-102 win over the Pelicans.

After breaking Jordan's mark, James was handed the ball and he received a standing ovation from the sellout Quicken Loans Arena crowd, which included pop superstar Justin Timberlake.

James last failed to score in double digits on Jan. 5, 2007, against Milwaukee. In the time since, he has won three NBA championships, left Cleveland for Miami and returned, and established himself as one of the best players in league history.

TENNIS

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - After John Isner clinched his berth in the Miami Open final, he came over the top one last time, throwing a celebratory punch at a speed to match his thunderous serve.

The towering American moved one step closer to the most prestigious title of his 14-year career by beating a weary Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 7-6 (2) in Friday's semifinals.

''I'm playing the best tennis I've played in a very, very long time,'' said Isner, 32. ''And I'm so happy to be doing it here.''

Dominating with his serve and aggressive baseline strokes, the 6-foot-10 Isner ended a 15-match winning streak for del Potro, who won Indian Wells two weeks ago by beating Roger Federer in the final. The toll of so many matches showed, and Isner was the better player from start to finish.

Seeded No. 14, Isner is 0-3 in ATP Masters 1000 finals. His opponent Sunday will be No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany, who beat No. 16 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Zverev, 20, has won two Masters 1000 titles, both in 2017.

BASEBALL

TORONTO (AP) - The New York Yankees placed Aaron Hicks on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right ribcage in the latest injury to one of their outfielders.

The Yankees made the move a day after Hicks got two hits in a season-opening 6-1 win at Toronto. Hicks, who played the entire game, felt soreness between his third and fourth at-bats, general manager Brian Cashman said.

Outfielder Billy McKinney was promoted from Triple-A to take Hicks' roster spot.

Hicks was limited to 88 games last season because of injuries to his core. He hit .266 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs while primarily playing center field.

''He's such an important player,'' manager Aaron Boone said. ''Hopefully it's a short-term thing. If you're going to be as good a team as we hope to be, you've got to be able to withstand some blows here and there.''

Hicks, who will be shut down for three days, said he was disappointed to be sidelined so early in the season by a similar injury to those he suffered in 2017.

''It's frustrating after spending the offseason trying to prevent something like this,'' he said.

New York is already without outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, out with an oblique injury, and Clint Frazier, who is recovering from a concussion.

Cashman said the Yankees will try to accelerate Ellsbury's return. Ellsbury is eligible to come off the DL on April 5.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

DENTON, Texas (AP) - Roosevelt Smart scored 25 points and made all 14 of his free throws, leading North Texas over San Francisco 88-77 in the deciding Game 3 of the College Basketball Invitational final.

The Mean Green (20-18) lost the opener in the best-of-three matchup, but won 69-55 Wednesday to set up the championship game.

Four of Smart's points came during a key 8-1 run in the second half.

Frankie Ferrari led the Dons (22-17) with 19 points. Nate Renfro added 18 and Chase Foster had 12.



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