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Heat run away from Magic; streak at 27

Tue., March 26, 2013

NBA: LeBron James finished with 24 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, and the Miami Heat won their 27th straight game by running away in the final minutes to beat the Orlando Magic 108-94 on Monday night in Orlando, Fla.

Mario Chalmers scored 17, and Chris Bosh and Ray Allen each added 12 for Miami, which broke open a tie game with a 13-0 run spanning the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters. Miami eventually pushed the lead to 20 before Heat coach Erik Spoelstra emptied the bench in what became his 250th victory with the team.

The Heat are within six games of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history.

Miami’s Dwyane Wade missed his second straight contest with a sore right knee. He had an MRI exam over the weekend to rule out any major problems and will be listed as day-to-day before the game in Chicago on Wednesday.

Hornets end Nuggets’ streak: Ryan Anderson scored 23 points, Brian Roberts doubled his career high with 18 assists and the short-handed New Orleans Hornets beat Denver 110-86, ending the visiting Nuggets’ 15-game winning streak.

New Orleans, playing without its starting backcourt of Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez, won its third in a row and was in control all the way.

Wall leads Wizards: John Wall scored a career-high 47 points and added eight assists, Emeka Okafor had 21 points and nine rebounds, and the undermanned Washington Wizards beat the visiting Memphis Grizzlies 107-94. It was Washington’s sixth straight home win, while Memphis dropped its fourth straight road game.

Celtics’ Garnett sidelined: Kevin Garnett is expected to miss at least a week with inflammation in his left ankle as the Boston Celtics practice patience to help their 36-year-old prepare for the playoffs. Coach Doc Rivers said he doesn’t think Garnett will be out for the long term.

Mavericks sign Dentmon: The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract off their NBA Development League team.

Dentmon averaged 26 points and 3.4 assists in 22 games for the Texas Legends. He was the MVP of the D-League last season with the Austin Toros.

Dentmon, 27, was a four-year starter at Washington before going undrafted in 2009.

Minnesota fires Smith after NCAA ouster

Men’s college basketball: Minnesota fired coach Tubby Smith one day after the Golden Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA tournament.

Athletics director Norwood Teague said it was time for a “fresh set of eyes” on the program.

Smith was 124-81 (.610) in six seasons at Minnesota. But he went just 46-62 in Big Ten play and never finished higher than sixth in the conference. The Gophers made three NCAA tournament appearances under Smith.

Providence advances in NIT: Vincent Council scored seven of his 12 points in the closing 5:21, including a key 3-point play off his only basket of the game, to lift Providence to a 77-68 win over Robert Morris in the second round of the NIT in Providence, R.I.

In other NIT games, BYU beat Mercer 90-71 in Provo, Utah, and Southern Miss beat Louisiana Tech 63-52 in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Lightning promote Cooper as coach

NHL: The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Jon Cooper as their new coach.

Cooper had been coaching Syracuse of the AHL, Tampa Bay’s top minor league affiliate. He is replacing Guy Boucher, who was fired Sunday after 2 1/2 years with the team.

Penguins trade for Murray: The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to bolster their roster for a Stanley Cup run, acquiring San Jose defenseman Doug Murray for a pair of second-round picks.

The trade marks the second aggressive move in as many days for Pittsburgh, which brought in veteran forward Brenden Morrow from Dallas on Sunday.

Kings edge Blackhawks: Dustin Brown converted his own rebound with 1:27 remaining, lifting the visiting Los Angeles Kings to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anze Kopitar also had a goal in the second period to end Los Angeles’ scoreless streak at 150 minutes, 35 seconds.

Michael Frolik had two goals and an assist for Chicago, which has lost two in a row.

Semin, Hurricanes agree to extension: Alexander Semin has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Carolina Hurricanes. The team announced that Semin will make $7 million per year through the 2017-18 season.

Lohse, Brewers agree to three-year deal

Baseball: Kyle Lohse and the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-year contract worth $33 million on Monday, a big boost to their suspect rotation exactly a week before the season opener at home against Colorado.

Lohse enjoyed his best season in the majors last year, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and helping the St. Louis Cardinals earn an N.L. wild-card spot.

The 34-year-old right-hander turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals in November, so most major league clubs had to be willing to forfeit a first-round draft pick if they wanted to sign him.

“Fire” Trucks dies at 95: Virgil Trucks, who pitched two no-hitters in 1952 for the Detroit Tigers, has died. He was 95.

The two-time All-Star died Saturday near Birmingham, Ala. He pitched in the major leagues from 1941-58, helping the Tigers win the World Series in 1945.

Trucks pitched 12 seasons for the Tigers and also had stints with the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Athletics and Yankees.

Williams rallies to advance at Sony

Miscellany: Serena Williams overcame a big deficit in her fourth-round match at the Sony Open to beat Dominika Cibulkova 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in Key Biscayne, Fla.

The top-ranked Williams was down a service break, trailing 4-1 in the second set, before she won five straight games. She swept the final three games and served out the match at love with three aces.

Williams’ opponent in the quarterfinals will be fifth-seeded Li Na, who beat wild card Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Bengals retain two more: The Cincinnati Bengals have reached deals with two more of their unrestricted free agents, cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones and receiver Brandon Tate. That makes five free agents on defense and six on offense or special teams who have decided to stay with Cincinnati. The Bengals’ only notable signing from outside the team has been backup quarterback Josh Johnson.

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