Hornets' Kidd-Gilchrist expected back Wednesday
It appears the Charlotte Hornets are getting back their best defensive player after small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed the past dozen games with a stress reaction in his right foot. Kidd-Gilchrist was cleared to practice Tuesday, and, barring a setback, will play in Wednesday's home game against the Boston Celtics.
"It felt good. I'm just happy to be back on the floor," Kidd-Gilchrist said following Tuesday's practice. "I'm excited for tomorrow. I can't wait."
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Kidd-Gilchrist was diagnosed with a stress reaction Nov. 13, the day before a road game against the Phoenix Suns. A magnetic resonance imaging revealed the condition, a precursor for a stress fracture. Had the reaction become a fracture, Kidd-Gilchrist would have missed six to eight weeks, so the team was careful with his treatment. Just recently he was cleared to jump.
The Hornets went 2-10 in his absence. Over the past two seasons the Bobcats/Hornets are 10-22 when Kidd-Gilchrist doesn't play.
Coach Steve Clifford said Kidd-Gilchrist gave every indication in practice Tuesday that's he's well and ready to play again.
"He had a ton of energy and played really, really well," Clifford said. "As long as he's not too sore (he'll play) — to me, he looks like he'll be fine."
Kidd-Gilchrist, averaging 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, can obviously offer a boost to a team that has started a disappointing 5-15.
"He brings an energy level and an intelligence," Clifford said. "He handles the ball (in the fast break), which allows us to play quicker. And just his competitiveness — that's really at this stage his exceptional trait."
■ LeBron James scored 35 points, making the tiebreaking three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining, and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to beat the visiting Toronto Raptors 105-101 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory. Patrick Patterson had 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks for Toronto.
■ Tyreke Evans scored 27 points, Anthony Davis added 18, and the New Orleans Pelicans (10-10) dropped the reeling New York Knicks to their ninth straight loss, 104-93.
Bledsoe's 1st triple-double comes in loss
Former University of Kentucky standout Eric Bledsoe posted the first triple-double of his career late Monday night. He had 27 points, a career-high 16 assists and 11 rebounds in the Phoenix Suns' 121-120 loss in overtime to the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I'm mad we didn't get the 'W,'" Bledsoe said. "Stats don't mean nothing. At the end of the day, I go out there to play the game the right way."
■ The NBA fined Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands during Monday's game. Kanter was upset over being called for travelling.
High school basketball
Lafayette boys win 71-57 at Dunbar
Lafayette's Ross Jenkins and Paul Laurence Dunbar's Taveion Hollinsworth both put up big numbers, but it was the visiting Generals who came out on top 71-57.
Jenkins was 9-for-13 with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Jajuante Carpenter added 14 points and five assists for Lafayette. Hollinsworth was 11-for-28 from the field and 13-for-17 at the line to end up with 35 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
■ Matt Rose scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, both game-highs, in the Lexington Christian boys' 69-39 win at Tates Creek. He also had three assists and three steals. Jordan Fucci led the Commodores with 11 points and four rebounds.
■ Brooks Ely and Siah Holifield both topped 20 points with 24 and 21, respectively, in West Jessamine's 88-65 victory at Danville. Holifield added six rebounds and four assists.
■ North Laurel sophomore Peyton Broughton had a career-high 47 points to go with 12 rebounds in a 75-71 victory against visiting Madison Southern.
■ Torell Carter scored a career-high 39 points in Letcher County Central's 55-41 victory at home against Union (Va.).
■ Bradley Lawson had 14 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in Wolfe County's 56-44 win against visiting Breathitt County.
■ No. 10 Lexington Catholic got 18 points and five rebounds from Tanner Johnson in a 76-33 win at home against Frankfort.
■ Elizabethtown, ranked No. 1 in the coaches' preseason poll, led 27-0 after one quarter and rolled to a 72-21 win against visiting Nelson County. Erin Boley led the way with 17 points, 13 rebounds and three steals.
■ Grace Berger scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and had four steals and three assists in No. 11 Sacred Heart's 53-48 at Lexington Catholic. Rachel Blake provided the bulk of the offense for the Lady Knights with 28 points.
■ Sydney Weeks hit four three-pointers and finished with 25 points in Lexington Christian's 70-43 win at Tates Creek.
■ Wayne County got 25 points and 18 rebounds from Bethany Peyton in a 60-59 win in overtime at Lincoln County.
Coaches put two Cats on All-SEC squad
A day after the Associated Press named Kentucky defensive end Bud Dupree and kicker Austin MacGinnis to its first-team All-Southeastern Conference squad, the league's coaches did the same on Tuesday.
Dupree led all SEC defensive linemen with 74 total tackles. He led the Cats with 121/2 tackles for loss, including 71/2 quarterback sacks. MacGinnis set five school records as a freshman, including his 21 field goals and 104 points.
■ UK defensive end Za'Darius Smith accepted an invitation to play in the 2015 East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 17. It had previously been announced that Dupree will play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24.
Major League Baseball
A's trade pitcher Samardzija to White Sox
Jeff Samardzija has played for Notre Dame and the Cubs and now will get to pitch for the White Sox.
"Being a Chicago guy, that's one of the craziest things I've thought about," he said Tuesday after Oakland dealt him to Chicago's South Side. "I'm sitting here thinking, 'Now, do I really have to go get my cleats on and go play for the Bears?' If I could skate, maybe the 'Hawks. My jumper's garbage, so the Bulls are out of the question."
Trading an All-Star for the third time in less than two weeks, the Athletics sent the Samardzija and right-hander Michael Ynoa for right-hander Chris Bassitt, catcher Josh Phegley and first baseman Rangel Ravelo and infielder Marcus Semien.
An All-America wide receiver with the Fighting Irish, Samardzija was 31-42 with a 3.97 ERA for the Chicago Cubs from 2008 until July 5, when he was traded to the A's. He went 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA for Oakland.
■ All-Star catcher Miguel Montero was traded from Arizona to the Chicago Cubs in a deal that relieves the Diamondbacks of having to pay $40 million over the next three years. Arizona received minor league right-handers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley in Tuesday's swap.
The last word
Magic Johnson says the Los Angeles Lakers should get serious about losing. According to a report in Newsday, Johnson wants his former team to lose enough games in order to contend for a high lottery pick in next year's NBA Draft:
"I hope the Lakers lose every game. Because if you're going to lose, lose. I'm serious. ... you can't be in the middle of the pack. You either have to be great or you have to be bad to get a good pick."