Prince ties Grizzlies mark by going 8-for-8 in victory
The new guys are making the Memphis Grizzlies look pretty good. Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a 105-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
"I wasn't. I missed a free throw," Prince said with a small smile when asked about his perfection, which matched a franchise record for field goals made in a game without a miss.
Austin Daye, who along with Prince was obtained from Detroit in the three-team trade that sent leading scorer Rudy Gay to Toronto on Jan. 30, was one of three Grizzlies to score 16 points. He was 6-for-9 from the field, including 2-for-4 outside the arc. Ed Davis, who came from Toronto in the swap, was 2-for-3, making the newcomers a combined 16-for-20 in the game for 38 total points.
"Nothing's really changed," Daye said of his recent shooting success. "I'm just playing more. When you are out there for 3- or 4-minute spurts it's hard to hit a lot of shots.
"It's difficult at times to really find a rhythm out there when you are not playing a lot of minutes or straight minutes. I don't think Michael Jordan can go out there and play 3 minutes and have 40."
Memphis matched its biggest lead at 78-57 early in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves would put together nine unanswered points to pull within 11 near the 7-minute mark, but they could get no closer the rest of the way. By that point, Prince had made his eight shots, and Hollins hesitated to put him back in so he wouldn't ruin the perfect shooting night.
"I've just been in the gym getting extra shots up, trying to get in a good rhythm," Prince said. "Since I got here, my legs have been a little heavy. .. Obviously, I don't expect to have games like that, but I had a good rhythm and good flow. "
■ Chris Paul scored 25 points in his second game back from injury, reserve Jamal Crawford had 27 and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers beat the New York Knicks 102-88. Carmelo Anthony had 42 points in his fifth 40-point game of the season for the Knicks, but made only one field goal in the fourth quarter as 40-year-old Grant Hill came off the Clippers' bench to defend him. Eric Bledsoe had 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots in 19 minutes off the bench for the Clippers.
■ Paul Pierce had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists and the host Boston Celtics extended their winning streak to seven games with a 118-114 triple overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets. Boston's win also ended Denver's winning streak at nine games. The Celtics also stayed unbeaten since point guard Rajon Rondo's season-ending knee injury.
■ LeBron James scored 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting in a record-setting show, Dwyane Wade scored 30 and the host Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-97 for their fifth straight win. It was James' fifth straight game with at least 30 points, a franchise record. He's shot better than 60 percent in all five of those games.
Snedeker finally gets 1st win of season
Brandt Snedeker didn't have to take a back seat to anyone at Pebble Beach. A runner-up to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each of the last two weeks, Snedeker finished off a record performance Sunday with a 7-under 65 for a two-shot victory over Chris Kirk in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California.
Snedeker holed a 10-foot birdie on the 17th hole, and then tapped in for par to finish at 19-under 267. That broke the tournament record by one shot held by Mickelson (2007) and Mark O'Meara (1997).
The hottest player in golf, Snedeker finally has a trophy to show for it. "Feels great to finish one," he said. "The last two weeks, playing great but running into two Hall of Famers, really motivated me to go out and prove that I can handle the lead."
In five starts this year, he already had a win, two second-place finishes and a third. He never had much of a chance against Woods at Torrey Pines or Mickelson at the Phoenix Open, who each had big leads going into the final round.
Snedeker goes to No. 4 in the world, the highest ranking of his career and second only to Woods among Americans.
"Kind of crazy to think what's happened," he said.
■ Rocco Mediate birdied the 18th hole and finished with a 1-under par 71 to win the Allianz Championship at Boca Raton, Fla. He finished the tournament at 17-under 199 and became the 16th player to have a winning debut on the Champions Tour.
Mediate's 4-foot birdie putt came after Tom Pernice Jr. missed a 5-footer at No. 18 that could have forced a playoff.
■ Richard Sterne cruised to his first European Tour title in more than four years, winning the Joburg Open at Johannesburg by seven shots. Sterne shot a bogey-free 64 to finish with a tournament record total of 27 under.
Stevens wins 2nd stakes since comeback
A day after taking his first stakes since his comeback attempt began last month, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens won another at Santa Anita on Sunday, guiding Purim's Dancer to a breakaway win in the $75,000 Wishing Well stakes.
Stevens and Purim's Dancer, a 4-year-old filly from the barn of Thomas Proctor, were fourth in the early going of the stakes on the special downhill course, but had a two-length lead by the time they reached the main turf track and pulled away to beat long shot Dancingtothestars by 3¼ lengths, covering about 6½ furlongs in 1:12.25.
"It feels tremendous," said Stevens from the winner's circle. "Because of guys like these, Tom Proctor here to my right and all the great supporters of Gary Stevens through the years and giving me a shot once again. It's time to capitalize and we are, but it's good horses that put you in the winner's circle."
When the weekend began, the 49-year-old Stevens had won just two races of any kind since his comeback began Jan. 6
Softball defeats another ranked squad
After taking down No. 3-ranked California in its season opener two days ago, Kentucky's softball team got another win against a ranked team on Sunday. The Cats (4-2) defeated No. 20 Stanford 3-1 on day three of the Kajikawa Classic at Tempe, Ariz. UK lost 5-3 earlier in the day to Portland State.
Freshman Kelsey Nunley was fantastic against Stanford, pitching all seven innings and allowing only four hits. She also had eight strikeouts to improve to 3-0 in four appearances this season.
Nadal loses to Zeballos in Chile finals
Horacio Zeballos defeated Rafael Nadal in three sets in the VTR Open finals on Sunday at Vina Del Mar, Chile. Nadal had to settle for a runner-up finish in his first tournament after being sidelined for seventh months with a left knee injury. Nadal was an overwhelming favorite, shooting for this 37th singles title on clay. But Zeballos won 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-4 for his first title on any surface.
"This is the game of my life," Zeballos said. "Playing against the best player of all-time, or one of the best in the history of tennis. It's a dream, unforgettable. I will never forget this moment."
Nadal spoke briefly after the match.
"It has been one of the most beautiful weeks lately for me after being unable to experience something like this for long time," Nadal said. "The fact I am here has been a triumph."
The last word
Illinois went 11-for-23 from three-point range to beat the No. 18 Minnesota 57-53 on Sunday. The Golden Gophers lost for the sixth time in eight games. Coach Tubby Smith said:
"We want to play up and down. You're not going to win scoring 53 points."