Knight, Pistons defeat Magic; Rondo close to triple-double
Jason Maxiell, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe combined for 38 points and 28 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons pulled away to beat the undersized Orlando Magic 105-90 Tuesday night.
Brandon Knight led Detroit with 18 points, while Monroe scored 16 and Drummond and Maxiell each had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
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The Pistons also finished with a 16-6 edge in offensive rebounds against the Magic, who had their size issues magnified when Glen Davis was benched for much of the second half after taking 15 first-half shots and grabbing just three rebounds. He attempted just one shot the rest of the way and finished with 11 points.
■ Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, including several key late baskets, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 95-90 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics. Irving scored 11 points in the final 2:33 on four layups and three free throws. Rajon Rondo led Boston with 17 points to go with 13 rebounds and eight assists.
■ Telling Seattle residents "don't celebrate too early," Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson introduced the first part of his four-step plan to keep the Kings in California's capital city. Johnson said he has 20 local investors who have pledged at least $1 million each to buy the NBA franchise. He said the major partner he hopes to anchor the last-ditch deal to save the Kings from moving to Seattle "will be revealed soon." The mayor's announcement came a day after the Maloof family announced it has signed an agreement to sell the Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen. That deal is pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors.
GIRLS' HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Epps scores 41 for No. 1 Marion County
University of Kentucky signee Makayla Epps went 16-for-28 from the field and finished with 41 points and four rebounds in top-ranked Marion County's 87-51 victory at home against Scott County. Patrice Tonge added 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals, and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, another UK signee, had 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals for the Knights.
Tereka Guyn led the Cardinals with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
■ No. 2 Anderson County combined to go 13-for-15 from three-point range in a 65-45 victory at Bryan Station. Eriel McKee led the Bearcats with 28 points.
■ DaiJia Ruffin scored eight of her 16 points during a closing 17-7 run that send No. 20 Sacred Heart to a 73-63 victory at home against Waggener. Ruffin also had 12 rebounds, and was aided by Vanessa Baisas' career-high 18 points. Kristin Matula added 10 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Valkyries.
BOYS' HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Madison Central cruises past Tates Creek
Ken-Jah Bosley scored 25 points to lead No. 7 Madison Central to an 83-51 victory at Tates Creek. Vincent Maddox led the Commodores with 15 points.
■ Alex Beckerson's layup with one second left gave Burgin a 43-41 victory at home against Sayre. Beckerson had game-highs for both points (23) and rebounds (13). Justin Sanders led the Knights with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
■ West Jessamine staged a rally after trailing by 20 in the third quarter, but the Colts came up just short in a 77-76 los to visiting Southwestern. David Kapinga had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors. Daulton Peters scored 28 for West Jessamine.
■ Taylor Gover had 18 points and 11 assists and No. 17 Pulaski County defeated visiting Russell County 80-68.
■ Khmarkis Blanton had 26 points and 15 rebounds in Clark County's 70-47 victory against visiting Paris.
Stephens eliminates hobbled Serena
Serena Williams was knocked out of the Australian Open after losing her quarterfinal match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens. Williams appeared to hurt her lower back while attempting to pull up short of the net during the eighth game of the second set. She called for a trainer after the ninth game with the score 5-4 and on serve.
Stephens won the second set when Williams, serving slower than usual, was broken. Williams also had her service broken in the final game of the match. At 2-1 and on the way to a changeover in the third set, Williams smashed her racket angrily on the court then threw it toward her chair.
Stephens will play defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. Azarenka advanced to the with a 7-5, 6-1 win over two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.
■ Top-ranked Novak Djokovic won his 19th consecutive match at Melbourne Park to keep alive his bid for a third successive Australian Open title, beating fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Djokovic has now reached the semifinals at an 11th consecutive major, second only to Roger Federer's streak of 23.
Mariners to add Griffey Jr. to team Hall
Ken Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame as its seventh member. The Mariners announced the induction Tuesday. Griffey's ceremony will take place Aug. 10 before the Mariners face the Milwaukee Brewers.
Griffey spent 13 of his 22 seasons in the majors with the Mariners. He was drafted by Seattle in 1987, made his debut at the major league level two years later. Griffey finished with 630 home runs — sixth all-time — and was a 13-time All-Star and the 1997 American League MVP.
After time in Cincinnati and Chicago, Griffey returned to Seattle in 2009-10, his final game coming on June, 2, 2010.
Griffey has spent the past two seasons as a special consultant to the franchise.
■ Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax is going to work for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a special adviser. The team announced that the 77-year-old Koufax will assist team chairman Mark Walter. The former Dodgers great also will work with pitchers during spring training, a role he's held for several years.
49ers sticking with Akers in Super Bowl
Niners Coach Jim Harbaugh made it abundantly clear Monday that there won't be another kicking controversy between now and the Super Bowl. "The decision has been made: David Akers is our kicker," Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference.
Akers, a former Tates Creek and University of Louisville standout, missed from 38 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in the NFC Championship game on his only attempt. Akers' kick veered left and hit the top of the left upright.
The 49ers brought in Billy Cundiff on Jan. 1 before the Green Bay playoff game, and he remained on the roster even though Akers did the kicking against the Packers. Cundiff was then waived Friday, the day the team departed for Atlanta. The 49ers couldn't bring back Cundiff even if they wanted to. League rules stipulate that players cut during the post-season are ineligible to sign with another team until after the Super Bowl, which is Feb.3.
The last word
Following Houston's 117-109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last week, forward Chandler Parsons bluntly evaluated the Rockets' defense. The Clippers shot 54 percent from the field and went 11-for-19 from three-point range. Parsons said:
"There's no excuse for guys just getting blown by or getting just dominated. Man up, play better."