Sports Briefs

Pitino: Former coach says Lousiville should fight for title

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino believes the school should take legal action against the NCAA after the governing body nullified the Cardinals of the 2013 men’s basketball title. Pitino, speaking from his attorney’s offices, said that the NCAA’s decision to have Louisville vacate the title as part of sanctions for a sex scandal was unfair. The sex scandal occurred during Pitino’s coaching tenure, though the Hall of Fame coach once again reiterated that he didn’t know about the sex shows. Pitino did take responsibility for the people he hired as assistant coaches — including Andre McGee. It was McGee who an escort said hired her and other dancers for sex parties on campus with players and recruits that led to the NCAA investigation. As for taking legal action himself, Pitino said he was defenseless in this situation, but he is suing Louisville for his dismissal. He was not fired after the sex scandal, but Louisville let him go in October after the school acknowledged the university was being investigated as part of a federal college corruption case. That case is unrelated to the NCAA’s investigation of the sex scandal.

NBA fines Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for comments

DALLAS (AP) — The NBA fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 on Wednesday for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving. Commissioner Adam Silver said the fine was for “public statements detrimental to the NBA.” The league said the podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles. Cuban said during the 30-minute interview that he met recently with some of his players and told them “losing is our best option.” Cuban was trying to illustrate to Erving how he believes he is a transparent owner. After trading veteran guard Devin Harris to Denver at the deadline this season, Dallas (18-40) is tied for the fewest wins in the NBA and among seven teams with 18 or 19 victories at the All-Star break.

Denver Nuggets make 24 3-pointers, beat Bucks 134-123

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nikola Jokic had a triple-double wrapped up in the first half, and the Denver Nuggets put together one of the best 3-point shooting nights in NBA history in a 134-123 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. Denver matched a franchise record with 24 3-pointers, one shy of the NBA record, on 40 attempts. Jokic finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and a careerhigh 17 assists, reaching a triple-double with 1:54 remaining in the second quarter. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo also had a tripledouble with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most triple-doubles in franchise history with nine.

Timberwolves come from behind to top Lakers 119-111

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Taj Gibson scored a season-high 28 points and Jimmy Butler added 24, providing the Minnesota with the production and energy for a comeback victory over Los Angeles 119-111. Jeff Teague had 20 points for the Timberwolves. They allied from a deficit as large as 15 points in the second quarter and 12 points late in the third to raise their home record to 24-7 on an emotional evening that started with a tribute to former coach and executive Flip Saunders. Julius Randle had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers.

Golden Knights set points record for inaugural season

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Another game, another record for the Vegas Golden Knights. Alex Tuch scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Vegas pulled away for a 7-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. The win moved the Golden Knights back atop the NHL standings with 84 points — a record for an expansion team in its inaugural season — one point ahead of Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay. Vegas improved to 23-4-2 at home to also set the record for home wins by a team in its inaugural season. It topped the previous mark set by the Gordie Howe-lead 1979-80 Whalers (22-12-6).

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