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Walker's 60 points not enough; 76ers top Hornets 122-119

Walker's 60 points not enough; 76ers top Hornets 122-119

Jimmy Butler knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired in overtime, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a career-high 60 points from Kemba Walker to beat the Charlotte Hornets 122-119 on Saturday night. Butler's play in the final seconds was the difference. He blocked Walker's shot and saved the ball to a teammate with 15 seconds left, setting the stage for his winning jumper from the top of the key over Dwayne Bacon. Joel Embiid finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Simmons had 23 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the 76ers defeated the Hornets for the third time this season. Butler had 15 points in his third game with his new team. Walker's 60 points were the most in the NBA this season, topping Klay Thompson's 52 against Chicago on Oct. 29. Walker finished 21 of 34 from the field and had six 3-pointers. He made all 12 foul shots and had seven rebounds and four assists. Walker had 37 and 30 points in his previous two games against the 76ers, but only shot a combined 33 percent. This time he was making everything, including banking in a 3-pointer to give the Hornets the lead with 44 seconds left in regulation. Walker held up his palms after the ball went it, similar to that famous gesture by Hornets owner Michael Jordan many years ago with the Bulls. Embiid has feasted on the Hornets this season, with 42 points and 18 rebounds and 27 points and 15 rebounds in his previous two games. JJ Redick finished with 23 points for Philadelphia, including two key jumpers in overtime. TIP-INS 76ers: Simmons threw an alley-oop pass to a breaking Butler from three-quarters court. Hornets: Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry were among those on hand as Charlotte celebrated its recently selected 30th anniversary team. ... Nic Batum, who has struggled of late, was booed by the home crowd after an airball in the third quarter. He didn't score in the game and only played two minutes in the second half. ... James Borrego picked up his first technical foul as Hornets coach. ... Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller fouled out. UP NEXT 76ers: Host the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Hornets: Host the Boston Celtics on Monday night. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Freak pre-game injury to Georgia football linebacker Monty Rice adds to front seven woes

Freak pre-game injury to Georgia football linebacker Monty Rice adds to front seven woes

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said he was pleased with how the Bulldogs came out of Saturday night’s game against UMass in terms of injuries. The problem was how Georgia went into the game, and things quickly got worse when inside linebacker Monty Rice suffered an injury in pre-game warmups. RECAP: Georgia football takes offensive challenge, scoring, news and injury updates from game “ Not sure to what extent or how bad it is; he was just planting and driving, planting and driving,” Smart said after the 66-27 win over UMass at Sanford Stadium. “Then he said his foot was bothering him. So we did X-Rays. I’m not sure the complete verdict, but he was ruled out for the game.” Rice, who overcame a sprained knee that forced him to miss a start earlier this season, was one of the designated team captains for the UMass game. Instead he watched from the sideline with crutches. The Georgia front seven has had its share of struggles this season, already missing run-stopping defensive end David Marshall indefinitely because of a foot injury. RELATED: Georgia football run defense pales compared to Alabama Offensive guards Kendall Baker (knee) and Cade Mays (shoulder) did not dress, and guard Ben Cleveland didn’t see action on the punt team because the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (10-1) didn’t punt. “ As far as Ben, Ben had an ankle sprain that happened at the end of the Auburn game, the opposite leg of his (broken fibula) injury so he’s playing both sides against the middle all week and he’s trying to do what he can to get back,” Smart said. “It’s tough when you’ve got an ankle and you’re coming off that injury. It’s not something you just wake up from. “Ben is cleared but Ben is not his normal self. If he didn’t have the ankle, it would be easier on him.” Cleveland practiced in the days leading up to the UMass game and is expected to be back for next Saturday’s noon game against Georgia Tech in Sanford Stadium. “We need everybody, all the time,” Smart said. “I don’t want anybody to be hurt. We want to stay as healthy as we can, but teams across the country are beat up. It’s why you have 85 scholarships. “You’ve got to prepare guys and get guys ready to play. I think that we’re not as healthy as we have been in the past but things could be worse.” Georgia football injury report OLB Walter Grant (anke) probable OG Ben Cleveland (left fibula) probable DL Tyler Clark (finger) probable DB Divaad Wilson (knee) questionable LB Monty Rice (lower left leg) questionable OL Cade Mays (shoulder) questionable OL Kendall Baker (knee) questionable DE David Marshall (foot) out  DT DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle (unknown) out DB Ameer Speed (unknown) out DE Justin Young (unknown) out SS Jarvis Wilson (unknown) out DB Tray Bishop (internal team issue), out  RB Zamir White (knee), out for season Georgia football stories A  no-sweat night for Georgia football offense against UMass Justin Fields reminds everyone what all the buzz is about Georgia football stock report for UMass game, some ups and downs Instant analysis: Georgia football has no drama in easy victory Game Ball: Tyler Simmons shows he’s more than just a blocker Georgia football gets big day from Justin Fields, routs UMass Steve Hummer column: Justin Fields and Jake Fromm show different faces of UGA football   The post Freak pre-game injury to Georgia football linebacker Monty Rice adds to front seven woes appeared first on DawgNation.

USC's Clay Helton doesn't expect to lose job after UCLA loss

USC's Clay Helton doesn't expect to lose job after UCLA loss

Less than two years ago, Clay Helton left the Rose Bowl field in triumph after leading Southern California past Penn State in one of the most thrilling bowl games ever played. The Trojans' head coach left the same field Saturday by walking underneath a red-lettered sign reading 'HELTON OUT. TIME FOR CHANGE.' Helton still had his job as he left Pasadena following USC's 34-27 loss to struggling UCLA, the fourth loss in five games overall for the Trojans (5-6, 4-5 Pac-12). But disgruntled USC supporters chanted for his firing during the game, and more fans shouted insults at him while he walked up the tunnel to a somber locker room. The coach spoke in the locker room with athletic director Lynn Swann, and Helton said he got no indication a coaching change is imminent at the West Coast's premier program. 'He just hugged my neck in there and said, 'Coach, see you Monday,'' Helton said. 'Look forward to it.'' Helton has repeatedly said he doesn't expect to lose his job this season, and Swann has backed him in public. But just two seasons after that Rose Bowl triumph, and just one season after a Pac-12 title capped the best two-year stretch to start a coaching tenure in USC history, even the folksy Texan realizes his job security looks tenuous from the outside. 'It doesn't bother me,' Helton said of the vociferous boos and taunts from USC's fans at the Rose Bowl. 'My main heartbreak is for our seniors, because I wanted it for them. I know the job. The job is if you win, people are going to pat you on the back, and if you lose, you know they're going to get after you. If you don't like it, don't be in this profession. I know it. It rolls off my back, so I'm not worried about it.' With its season in tatters, USC would have to upset unbeaten Notre Dame next weekend just to become bowl-eligible. The Trojans haven't had a seven-loss regular season since 2000, coach Paul Hackett's final year before Pete Carroll took over and started a renaissance. Helton expects to be on the sideline to face the Fighting Irish. 'I live just like I told you: I work my butt off every 24 hours to try to buy another 24,' Helton said. 'If you work as hard as you can and do the best job you can for your kids and for the university you love, you have no regrets, and I don't. I'll continue to work as hard as humanly possible. I've got great support from USC, from Lynn Swann and from these kids, and I owe it to them to work as hard as I can for them.' Just 9 1/2 months ago, Helton received a contract extension through the 2023 season. The deal from Swann was a reward for winning a school-record 21 games in his first two seasons, including that epic Rose Bowl triumph and the Trojans' first Pac-12 title since 2008. USC's loss to the rival Bruins was the most damaging blow yet to the longtime offensive assistant who took over a team engulfed in turmoil midway through the 2015 season and eventually led it to remarkable heights, only to see it all crash down in the past three months. The Trojans were terrible offensively in early-season losses to Texas and Stanford before their current 1-4 skid. Even his detractors must admit Helton has given stability to a turbulent program and provided adult leadership at a school sorely lacking it in recent years. But while the Trojans were winning big over the past two years, a large segment of USC fans still never bought into Helton, who had never been a head coach before replacing Steve Sarkisian. They critiqued his offensive imagination, his choice of assistants and even the incongruity of his Southern style in the heart of California. As the losses pile up, the boos have only grown louder at a school trying to sell tickets and suites at the renovated Coliseum next season. Many fans point out that Helton's Trojans have largely struggled whenever Sam Darnold wasn't Helton's quarterback, and freshman passer J.T. Daniels had another rough game at the Rose Bowl, going 20 of 34 for 337 yards and two costly interceptions. Daniels, the nation's top prep quarterback last season, gave impassioned postgame support for the coach who recruited him out of Orange County. 'Nobody wants to see him go,' Daniels said. 'Everybody here that knows him loves him. If you blame Clay Helton for that loss, then you have no idea what football is. There's things that players aren't executing, and that's it. The players' part of the ballgame is to make the plays. We have the opportunity.' ___ More AP college football: www.apnews.com/CollegeFootball and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

OT defeat to Furman has Nova on rare losing skid Defending national champion Villanova lost its second game in a row on Saturday, falling to Furman 76-68 in overtime three days after being blown out by No. 18 Michigan.