Sports Minute: Here is the latest New England sports news from The Associated Press
(AP) - Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme. The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fanfests on Saturday. Instead of talking about preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about sign-stealing that left them without managers. Astros star second baseman José Altuve says players will have to talk about the scandal at spring training and then try not to let it distract them in the new season.
BOSTON (AP) - Devin Booker had 39 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and the Phoenix Suns overcame a franchise-record 11 3-pointers by Boston's Marcus Smart and beat the Celtics 123-119. Deandre Ayton had 26 points and 15 rebounds and Mikal Bridges added a career-best 26 points for the Suns, who have won four of their last five games. Smart shot 11 for 22 from 3-point range and finished with a career-best 37 points. His performance marked the first time in NBA history that a player made 11 or more 3-points in a losing effort, according to Stats.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Marcus Zegarowski hit the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left and No. 25 Creighton came back late to beat Providence 78-74. Ty-Shon Alexander had 24 points to lead the Bluejays. David Duke had 24 of his career-high 36 points in the second half to pace the Friars. The Bluejays were down five points in the last 90 seconds before Alexander made a 3 and a bank-in to tie it with 36 seconds left. Creighton got the ball back on the alternating possession because of a ball tie-up. Zegarowski brought the ball upcourt, suddenly stopped and launched a deep 3.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jermaine Samuels scored 19 points and made the decisive three-point play that put No. 14 Villanova ahead for good in a 61-55 victory over Connecticut. Collin Gillespie scored 12 points and Villanova made 11 of 23 3-pointers. Christian Vital led the Huskies with 13 points and eight rebounds. The Huskies have lost four of five games. The Wildcats' 10th win in 11 games came after they needed overtime Tuesday at home to survive a serious scare by DePaul and win by four points.
BOSTON (AP) - Celtics guard Kemba Walker is out for Saturday night's game against Phoenix with left knee soreness. He'll join forward Jaylen Brown, who will miss his second straight with a sprained right thumb. Boston enters the night having lost five of its last seven games.
KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) - Fatts Russell scored 13 points, including two free throws with two seconds left, and Rhode Island edged La Salle 66-63. Jeff Dowtin added 10 points for the Rams, including a pair of clutch free throws with 10 seconds left for a 64-59 lead. After Dowtin's free throws, La Salle's Isiah Deas was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with four seconds left. Deas made the first two free throws but missed the third. Ed Croswell snared the rebounded and made the put back to cut the margin to one. Following Russell's free throws, the Explorers did not get off a potential tying shot. Deas scored 19 points.
BOSTON (AP) - Chris Ledlum had 18 points off the bench to lead Harvard to a 67-62 win over Dartmouth, the Crimson's seventh straight victory. Chris Lewis had 18 points and three blocks for Harvard. Christian Juzang added 11 points and six assists. Danilo Djuricic had seven rebounds. Aaryn Rai had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Big Green, whose losing streak reached four games. Ian Sistare added 11 points and eight rebounds. Chris Knight had 10 points.
HAMILTON, N.Y. (AP) - Will Rayman had 21 points plus 13 rebounds as Colgate won its eighth consecutive home game, beating Boston University 79-70. Javante McCoy led the Terriers on Saturday with 16 points and six assists.
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