Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Healing LeBron keys Heat blowout

MIAMI — The defensive effort was closer to Heat standards.

LeBron James made it difficult to notice anything but offense.

James scored 33 on 13-of-21 shooting, with an array of post-up moves getting him going early then a barrage of 3-pointers fueling a big third-quarter push, and Miami encountered little trouble on the way to a 118-95 win over the Bucks on Tuesday night.

James scored 17 in the third quarter, his best 12-minute stretch of the season and an indicator that a balky back that slowed him in the season's first couple weeks is improving.

"It's getting better," James said. "It feels a lot better. Still a little sore … getting a lot of work put on it so I can get to 100 percent. But it's getting better every day and that's a good thing."

Michael Beasley scored 19 and Mario Chalmers had 15 points and seven assists for the Heat, whose biggest victory margin had been a 12-point triumph over the Bulls on opening night. Chris Bosh scored 10 for Miami.

Miami played without former Gator Udonis Haslem (back) and Ray Allen (ill). Shane Battier started in Haslem's place.

"It wasn't perfect," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team was coming off a final-second loss to Boston on Saturday. "There were still some areas we definitely need to improve on, in terms of the details and discipline. But at least the effort, the effort, the activity was better, the disposition right from the beginning and it carried through once we got into the rotation. Guys were much more focused and bringing that competitive spirit."

Former Sickles High standout John Henson and Gary Neal scored 18 each and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 for the Bucks.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points to pass Jerry West on the NBA's career list, and the host Mavericks beat the Wizards 105-95. Nowitzki hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the third quarter, the second one putting him at 25,194 points for 16th place, two ahead of West.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Bulls guard Derrick Rose is day to day with a sore right hamstring. … Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum was excused from the team to address "a family medical matter" and is expected to rejoin the team Saturday. … Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari said he has "no idea" when he will return to the court as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. … The Minneapolis City Council approved an agreement with the Timberwolves and Lynx for a $97 million renovation of the Target Center, at 23 years old one of the NBA's oldest venues.

Heat 118, Bucks 95

MILWAUKEE (95): Butler 4-15 0-0 10, Middleton 3-9 0-0 7, Pachulia 1-4 1-1 3, Wolters 4-8 1-2 9, Mayo 2-6 0-0 6, Henson 7-10 4-4 18, Knight 0-2 6-6 6, Antetokounmpo 4-8 0-0 11, Neal 6-11 3-4 18, Udoh 2-6 3-4 7, Raduljica 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-79 18-21 95.

MIAMI (118): James 13-21 3-6 33, Battier 2-6 1-1 6, Bosh 3-9 3-4 10, Chalmers 4-6 6-8 15, Wade 4-7 0-0 8, Lewis 3-3 0-0 7, Andersen 4-6 0-0 8, Beasley 8-12 1-4 19, Cole 3-5 0-1 7, Mason Jr. 0-1 0-0 0, Anthony 1-1 0-0 2, Jones 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 46-79 14-24 118.

Milwaukee 23 22 17 33— 95

Miami 32 24 28 34— 118

3-Point GoalsMilwaukee 11-30 (Antetokounmpo 3-5, Neal 3-7, Mayo 2-3, Butler 2-8, Middleton 1-3, Knight 0-2, Wolters 0-2), Miami 12-23 (James 4-7, Beasley 2-3, Lewis 1-1, Chalmers 1-2, Cole 1-2, Jones 1-2, Bosh 1-2, Battier 1-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMilwaukee 46 (Middleton 7), Miami 46 (Wade 8). AssistsMilwaukee 19 (Knight 6), Miami 29 (Chalmers 7). Total FoulsMilwaukee 15, Miami 17. TechnicalsMayo. A19,600 (19,600).

Mavericks 105, Wizards 95

WASHINGTON (95): Ariza 10-17 2-3 27, Nene 3-7 8-14 14, Gortat 6-11 0-0 12, Wall 5-10 3-4 14, Beal 2-10 5-6 9, Webster 2-5 2-2 6, Harrington 3-8 0-0 8, Seraphin 0-0 0-0 0, Maynor 1-5 0-0 2, Booker 0-1 0-0 0, Rice Jr. 1-1 0-0 3, Temple 0-0 0-0 0, Vesely 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-75 20-29 95.

DALLAS (105): Marion 4-7 0-0 8, Nowitzki 8-19 1-2 19, Dalembert 5-7 5-6 15, Calderon 4-8 0-0 11, Ellis 7-16 4-5 19, Carter 6-13 0-0 16, Crowder 2-5 0-1 4, Blair 4-6 1-3 9, Mekel 1-2 2-2 4, Ledo 0-1 0-0 0, James 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 41-84 13-19 105.

Washington 34 15 30 16— 95

Dallas 33 28 27 17— 105

3-Point GoalsWashington 9-26 (Ariza 5-11, Harrington 2-5, Rice Jr. 1-1, Wall 1-3, Booker 0-1, Beal 0-2, Webster 0-3), Dallas 10-26 (Carter 4-9, Calderon 3-6, Nowitzki 2-5, Ellis 1-1, Marion 0-1, Mekel 0-1, Ledo 0-1, Crowder 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWashington 50 (Gortat 12), Dallas 50 (Blair 11). AssistsWashington 24 (Wall 10), Dallas 25 (Ellis 7). Total FoulsWashington 20, Dallas 20. TechnicalsDallas defensive three second. A19,627 (19,200).

Comments
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frien...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Cabreras win Father-Son Challenge in Orlando

ORLANDO — Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory Sunday in their debut at the Father-Son Challenge. "This is certainly my best week of the year," said Cabrera, 48, who has one of the best nicknames on tou...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Go with live shrimp in deep water

Water temperatures are around 62 degrees throughout most of the bay, so bait has pushed off deep and, for the most part, been ineffective. The cooler water has the fish hunkered down and their metabolism has slowed. When this happens, the inshore fis...
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Published: 12/16/17
Updated: 12/17/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Thunder 111-96 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 ...
Published: 12/16/17
Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

BOSTON — Mats Zuccarello scored a power-play goal 1:56 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games (9-3-1) overall...
Published: 12/16/17