Friday’s Sports In Brief
BOSTON (AP) — Moritz Wagner scored 25 points and Paolo Banchero added 20 as the Orlando Magic beat the NBA-leading Boston Celtics 117-109.
Franz Wagner scored 19 points as Orlando won its fifth straight game. The Magic outrebounded the Celtics 53-38 and held the lead for the final 37 minutes of the game.
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and Jaylen Brown 26 as Boston (22-8) lost for the third time in four games.
Boston’s Robert Williams played in his first game since the NBA Finals after undergoing surgery on his left knee during the preseason and finished with nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 30 points, Russell Westbrook had 15 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers smoothly overcame Anthony Davis’ latest injury in a 126-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Davis missed the second half with a right foot injury, but the Lakers still produced some of their prettiest team basketball of the season down the stretch of their second win in six games. Westbrook had his second triple-double off the bench this season, while Thomas Bryant scored 21 points, Austin Reaves 16 and Dennis Schröder 15.
Nikola Jokic had 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, whose three-game winning streak ended. Jamal Murray scored 23 points and Aaron Gordon had 17, but Denver couldn’t keep up with the Lakers’ second-half surge.
Davis apparently got hurt when the star big man landed awkwardly after a layup attempt under the basket in the first quarter, although he kept playing until halftime.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 34 points and 13 rebounds, James Harden added 27 points and nine assists and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the short-handed Golden State Warriors 118-106.
Stephen Curry sat out for Golden State two nights after injuring his left shoulder in a loss at Indiana. Draymond Green (right quadriceps contusion) and Andrew Wiggins (strained right adductor) also missed the game, while Klay Thompson played through soreness in his left knee to score 12 points. He was 4 of 17 from the field, missing 10 in a row at one point.
De’Anthony Melton had 17 points and seven assists for Philadelphia. The 76ers improved to 16-12, opening a seven-game homestand with four straight victories.
Jordan Poole led the defending champion Warriors with 29 points.
NEW YORK (AP) — Not long after landing free-agent catcher Omar Narváez, the active New York Mets signed five players to minor league contracts.
Narváez and the Mets agreed to a $15 million, two-year deal, a person familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was pending a physical and had not been finalized.
New York re-signed reliever Tommy Hunter to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis, outfielder Abraham Almonte and infielder José Peraza also got minor league deals with invites to spring training. Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, returns to the Mets on a minor league contract.
Narváez, who turns 31 in February, was an All-Star in 2021 with Milwaukee before batting just .206 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 84 games for the Brewers last season. He joins a crowded catching situation in New York and represents the latest significant addition to the free-spending Mets.
CHICAGO (AP) — All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi and the Chicago White Sox agreed to a $75 million, five-year contract, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical. ESPN first reported the agreement.
The 28-year-old Benintendi helped Boston win a World Series championship in 2018. He won a Gold Glove with Kansas City in 2021 and was chosen to his first All-Star team last season before the Royals traded him to the New York Yankees on July 27. He hit a career-high .304 in 126 games, though his home run total dropped to five from 17 in 2021.
Benintendi batted .254 in 33 games with the Yankees and missed the playoffs because of a broken right wrist.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joey Gallo and the Twins agreed to an $11 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press, a deal that gives Minnesota another left-handed hitting outfielder.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.
A two-time All-Star with Texas, Gallo looked lost at the plate last year with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him at the Aug. 2 trade deadline. He hit .160 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs, striking out 163 times in 350 at-bats.
Gallo has finished with a batting average under .200 in three straight seasons, striking out 455 times in 1,041 at-bats while batting .183 with 67 homers and 150 RBIs. He has a .199 average in eight major league seasons with 177 homers, 386 RBIs and a .325 on-base percentage. Gallo projects as a corner outfielder, along with with Max Kepler and Nick Gordon.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sean Manaea and the San Francisco Giants finalized a $25 million, two-year contract Friday.
The left-hander gets a $5 million signing bonus, half each on March 15 in both 2023 and ’24, and salaries of $7.5 million next season and $12.5 million in 2024. He can opt out of the deal after the 2023 season and become a free agent again next fall.
Manaea adds another experienced arm to a rotation that includes Logan Webb, Alex Cobb and Alex Wood. All-Star lefty Carlos Rodón is leaving in free agency after agreeing with the New York Yankees on a $162 million, six-year contract that is pending a physical.
The 30-year-old Manaea spent his first six major league seasons with the Oakland Athletics. He went 8-9 with a 4.96 ERA over 30 appearances for San Diego this year, making 28 starts and throwing 158 innings in his lone campaign with the Padres under former A’s manager Bob Melvin.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Gunnar Watson’s 12-yard scoring pass to RaJae’ Johnson in the third period put No. 23 Troy ahead to stay, and the Trojans forced five turnovers in an 18-12 come-from-behind win over No. 22 UTSA in the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl.
Troy (12-2), the Sun Belt Conference champion, closed out the season with 11 straight victories and set a school record for wins in a season.
Conference USA champ UTSA (11-3) outgained Troy 345-166 and led 12-0 in the first half, but turnovers proved to be the difference.
Troy linebacker K.J. Robertson picked off a pass by UTSA’s Frank Harris near the goal line in the third quarter. Robertson returned the interception 61 yards, with a 15-yard personal foul penalty tacked on at the end, and the pick set up the go-ahead score.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello had three goals and an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots as the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 for their fourth straight win.
Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists, and Sam Steel added two assists as Minnesota’s top line continued its high-scoring ways. The trio has combined for 19 goals since the 24-year-old Steel was first matched with Kaprizov and Zuccarello on the top line 13 games ago. The Wild are 10-3-0 in that stretch.
Jonathan Toews scored his 10th goal of the season and Petr Mrazek had 18 saves for Chicago, which has lost six straight — all in regulation — and 14 of 15 overall (1-13-1).
Minnesota controlled the puck in the offensive zone for a long shift before Zuccarello scored with 4:54 left in the first period. Zuccarello made it 3-0 with 43 seconds left in the second with a power-play goal and his empty-netter with 2:09 left completed his second career hat trick — first since Oct. 30, 2015, while with the New York Rangers. It was also his 13th goal of the season.