Randolph grabs career-high 24 rebounds in Grizzlies' win
Zach Randolph had 32 points and a career-high 24 rebounds to help the Memphis Grizzlies hold on for a 102-96 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Randolph's rebound total, including nine on the offensive end, was the highest in the league this season. His work down the stretch allowed Memphis to weather a Denver rally that got the Nuggets within two with 3:22 left when Carmelo Anthony hit an 18-foot jumper.
Randolph's three-pointer with 43 seconds left, only his third three of the season, gave Memphis a 100-91 lead.
Rudy Gay had 19 points for Memphis, which snapped an eight-game losing streak to Denver. Marc Gasol had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley scored 11 apiece. Anthony finished with 41 points.
Mavericks 102, Cavaliers 95: Tim Thomas took Dirk Nowitzki's spot in the starting lineup and did a nice impression with 22 points, helping host Dallas beat Cleveland to spoil LeBron James' 500th career game. The Cavs had won five straight and their previous four against the Mavericks, but they trailed the entire second half. James had 25 points, six assists and three rebounds but didn't get enough help. Mo Williams scored only eight points, and Shaquille O'Neal was 1-for-7 for five points. Nowitzki missed the game because of soreness in his elbow, where two teeth belonging to Houston's Carl Landry wound up following a collision a few nights before.
Raptors 98, Hornets 92: Chris Bosh had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani had 13 points and 11 boards and Toronto beat New Orleans. David West had 21 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which lost for the 11th time in 13 road games.
Lakers 93, Pistons 81: Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and helped Los Angeles build a big lead in a victory at Detroit. The Lakers took the lead with an 11-0 run midway through the first quarter, started the second ahead by 12, had an 18-point lead at halftime and a 21-point cushion after three quarters.
Celtics 122, Timberwolves 104: Paul Pierce scored 29 points and hit all six of his three-point attempts for host Boston. Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 15 assists as the Celtics beat the Timberwolves for the sixth consecutive time since acquiring Kevin Garnett in an unprecedented 7-for-1 deal in summer 2007.
Trail Blazers 102, Heat 95: Brandon Roy scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 for visiting Portland, which trailed by six with 5½ minutes remaining. Dwyane Wade scored 28 points and had 10 assists for the Heat.
Sloppy Stallions pull out win at home
Three Bluegrass Stallions players posted double-doubles in a 103-97 overtime victory against the Kentucky Bisons at the Kentucky Horse Park Indoor Arena on Saturday afternoon. Lamar Castile had 25 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to lead the way. Luke Fitzgerald had 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. Former University of Kentucky standout Bobby Perry had 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Stallions managed to pull out the victory despite committing 31 turnovers. Brandon Stockton, another former Wildcat, scored 11 points for the Bisons.
Blind Luck wins Hollywood Starlet
Blind Luck bounced back from a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with a seven-length victory in the $405,250 Hollywood Starlet on a season-ending Sunday at Hollywood Park. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano for trainer and part-owner Jerry Hollendorfer, Blind Luck was briefly last in the field of seven on the backstretch and fifth at the halfway point. She took the lead four-wide coming out of the second turn and had no filly near her in the final furlong as she covered 11⁄16 miles in 1:41.96 in the Grade I Starlet, among the top late-season races for 2-year-old fillies.
Hollendorfer said he hopes to have the filly running at Churchill Downs on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.
"We were hoping to run in all the Grade I races, and I think this stamps her up pretty good as one of the contenders," Hollendorfer said. "Our long range goal is the Kentucky Oaks."
Jockey Joel Rosario was the leading rider at Hollywood Park's autumn meet. Rosario matched a track record with six wins on Dec. 11 on his way to 37 wins and his third meet title of 2009.
John Sadler edged Bob Baffert by one race to take the meeting's training title with 15 victories.
Ramsay wins title in South Africa
Richie Ramsay of Scotland birdied the first hole of a playoff to defeat Shiv Kapur of India and win the South African Open on Sunday. Ramsay shot a 7-under 65 to finish at 13-under 275 at Jack Nicklaus-designed Pearl Valley in Paarl and move past overnight leader Pablo Martin of Spain.
The last word
It got so bad for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday — a 24-7 loser to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — that they were forced to use cornerback Kelly Jennings as their long snapper for punts when regular snapper Kevin Houser got hurt for the second time in the game. It was a comical sight, the Buccaneers anxiously pointing at the tiny lineman wearing No. 21 amid giants, as if a trick play might be coming. Said Seahawks Coach Jim Mora:
"Goodness sakes. It was exasperation to believe we could actually be at the point where our backup right corner is long snapping. I say to myself, 'How did this happen? ... He's 172 pounds, dripping wet."