A look at the big sports stories making news today, Wednesday, Dec. 17.
GRIZZLIES HALT WARRIORS’ WIN STREAK
The Golden State Warriors’ team-record winning streak has come to an end.
The Warriors had won 16 straight before Marc Gasol scored 24 points to lead Memphis past Golden State 105-98. Zach Randolph had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who blew most of a 14-point lead before earning their fifth consecutive win.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry missed back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds. He had 19 points on 9-of-25 shooting, including a 1-for-10 night from beyond the arc.
Oklahoma picked up its seventh straight win as Russell Westbrook pumped in 32 points and Kevin Durant added 26 in the Thunder’s 104-92 win at Sacramento. The Thunder opened on a 9-0 run and led by 15 in the first quarter as they spoiled Ty Corbin’s debut as the Kings’ head coach.
John Wall had 21 points and equaled a career high with 17 assists as Washington picked up its fifth straight win, beating Minnesota 109-95. Rasual Butler had 23 points for Washington, which is 18-6 and a half-game off the Eastern Conference lead after going 11-13 through 24 games last year.
Tyson Chandler returned to New York and had three dunks while grabbing 14 rebounds against his former team to help Dallas crush the Knicks 107-87. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 16 points for the Mavericks, who hit 13 of their first 16 shots to take a 34-15 lead.
Dwyane Wade scored 28 points as the Miami Heat beat the Nets 95-91 in Brooklyn. The game was delayed for 29 minutes in the first quarter when the installation of a new green roof at Barclays Center led to a water leak.
Anthony Davis returned from a chest injury and scored 31 points to lead New Orleans to a 119-111 comeback win against Utah. Ryan Anderson hit six 3-pointers and finished with 28 points for the Pelicans, who trailed by 14 in the final period.
Also in the NBA:
ARIZONA RIPS OAKLAND
The third-ranked Arizona Wildcats had no trouble keeping their perfect season intact.
Freshman Stanley Johnson matched his season high with 18 points as the 11-0 Wildcats rolled to a 101-64 win over Oakland. Brandon Ashley and Gabe York added 15 points apiece for the Wildcats and helped them race out to a 26-4 lead. Arizona led 33-8 with just over seven minutes left in the first half.
In other top-25 action:
Myles Turner contributed a season-high 26 points, nine rebounds and six blocks as ninth-ranked Texas throttled Lipscomb 106-61. Turner did most of his damage in the first half when he scored 19 points, seven boards and five blocks.
Darius Carter’s slam with 11.9 seconds left capped No. 11 Wichita State’s rally from an 11-point deficit in the final six minutes of a 53-52 triumph against Alabama. Carter finished with 16 points and Ron Baker had 14 for the Shockers.
Buddy Hield scored 16 points and TaShawn Thomas added 14 as 15th-ranked Oklahoma crushed Oral Roberts 85-53. Ryan Spangler had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Sooners, who shot 54 percent in their third straight win.
Kennedy Meeks scored 18 points as No. 24 North Carolina beat UNC Greensboro 79-56. Preseason AP All-American Marcus Paige struggled with his shot again for the Tar Heels, finishing with five points on 1-for-8 shooting.
YANKEES CLARIFY A-ROD’S ROLE
Alex Rodriguez is no longer considered an everyday player by the New York Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman says that Rodriguez, who missed last season after being suspended by baseball, will solely be a designated hitter.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Cashman said even before the suspension, Rodriguez “wasn’t the same player at third base on the defensive or offensive side.”
Also in the majors:
The Colorado Rockies have signed free-agent infielder Daniel Descalso to a two-year, $3.6 million contract. Descalso played all four infield positions for St. Louis last season, batting .242 with no homers and 10 RBIs in 161 at-bats over 104 games.
Left-hander Chris Capuano is staying with the Yankees. A person familiar with the negotiations says the two-sides have agreed on a one-year, $5 million contract.
The Los Angeles Angels have acquired outfielder Matt Joyce from Tampa Bay for right-handed reliever Kevin Jepsen. Joyce hit .254 with nine homers last season, while Jepsen pitched 65 innings and had 75 strikeouts with a 2.63 ERA.
SHOOTOUT TAKES 20 ROUNDS
Fans of the NHL shootout format have to love what happened in Florida on Tuesday.
The Panthers and Washington Capitals shattered an NHL record by going 20 rounds in the shootout, five more than the previous mark set by the Caps and New York Rangers nine years ago. Nick Bjugstad ended it by beating Braden Holtby for the Panthers’ sixth shootout goal in a 2-1 win over Washington.
Bjugstad and teammate Jussi Jokinen each took two attempts in the shootout, scoring once. Alex Ovechkin scored the Capitals’ first shootout goal before missing on his team’s final attempt.
Elsewhere on ice:
Toronto is 19-9-3 after earning its sixth consecutive win, beating the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk each scored once and had an assist for the Maple Leafs, who top the NHL in goals per game.
Chicago is within two points of the West-leading Ducks after Patrick Kane scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play with 3:28 remaining in the Blackhawks’ 5-3 win over Minnesota. Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and two assists as the Hawks won for the 10th time in 11 games.
Vladimir Tarasenko reached the 20-goal mark by notching his second hat trick of the season in the St. Louis Blues’ fifth straight win, 5-2 over Los Angeles. The Kings led 2-1 midway through the third period until Kevin Shattenkirk, Tarasenko and Alexander Steen scored during a 3 ½-minute span.
The New York Rangers are 3-0 on their four-game western swing after Rick Nash scored twice, including a short-handed goal in a 5-2 triumph at Calgary. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots and Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist in the Rangers’ fourth straight victory.
CHARGERS LOSE ALLEN, COLE IFFY FOR EAGLES
The San Diego Chargers have lost leading receiver Keenan Allen to a broken right collarbone suffered in Sunday’s loss to Denver. The team announced the injury on Tuesday, saying Allen also injured his right ankle against the Broncos. Allen has 77 catches for 783 yards and four touchdowns this season.
In other NFL news:
Philadelphia will likely be without veteran outside linebacker Trent Cole when they face a must-win game against the Redskins on Saturday. Cole suffered a broken hand Sunday night in the Eagles’ 38-27 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Washington has placed quarterback Colt McCoy on injured reserve with a neck injury, ending his season. Robert Griffin III is back in the No. 1 spot on the team’s depth chart at quarterback.
Jacksonville has signed defensive tackle Roy Miller to a four-year contract extension worth $16.2 million. Miller has started 14 games this season and has recorded 30 tackles and a sack.
The Chicago Bears say chairman George McCaskey was pushed by a New Orleans Saints fan during Monday night’s game at Soldier Field. Chicago police say the fan was arrested and charged with simple battery for pushing someone.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S ALL AMERICA TEAM
Florida State leads the way with the most players chosen to be on the annual Associated Press All America team. The Seminoles placed three players on the list: tight end Nick O’Leary, guard Tre Jackson and kicker Roberto Aguayo.
Oregon and Alabama each have two players, including two Heisman Trophy finalists. Heisman winner Marcus Mariota is the first Ducks’ quarterback to be an All-American.
SPRING LEAVING NASCAR
Sprint has informed NASCAR it won’t extend title sponsorship of the circuit’s top series beyond 2016, when its current contract expires. The wireless carrier assumed a 10-year sponsorship agreement with NASCAR when it acquired Nextel in 2005. The Nextel Cup Series became the Sprint Cup Series in 2008, and Sprint later agreed to a three-year extension that took the contract through 2016.