If Villanova’s Collin Gillespie is out, where do the Wildcats go from here?

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PHILADELPHIA — Wednesday was supposed to be a night of celebration for Villanova.

The Wildcats secured their seventh Big East regular-season title in the last eight years with a 72-60 win over Creighton, the same team that handled them effortlessly on Feb. 13 inside the CHI Health Center Omaha. When the game clock hit double zeros, revenge was supposed to taste sweeter. Their championship moment was supposed to feel a little more satisfying, but it didn’t.

It was senior night for Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and walk-on Kevin Hoehn, four members of Villanova’s 2017 class who contributed to 101 victories, two Big East regular-season championships, two Big East tournament titles and a national championship win in 2018 over

Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox starter, tops out at 96.2 mph with fastball in 2021 spring debut; ‘Iâ

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For the second straight spring and fifth time in eight seasons, Cruz punctuated his spring debut with a home run on Wednesday, blasting a three-run shot to deep left-center. But Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec homered twice and Boston pounded seven doubles en route to a 14-6 victory over the Twins at Hammond Stadium.

José Berríos pitched two scoreless innings, hitting 95 mph and striking out three hitters in his first outing of the spring.

“I didn’t see any [mph] numbers, but that’s how I feel. I feel strong,” Berríos said. “I was happy about that. I’ve been working hard to be in this position.”

Bullpen candidates Cody Stashak and Ian Hamilton each whiffed two of the three hitters they faced.

But Alex Colomé’s first inning as a Twins pitcher included five hits and four runs, and Boston racked up eight runs in the fourth off righthanders Glenn Sparkman and Chandler Shepherd before an out was made. They recorded only one, in fact; since both pitchers had thrown 20 or more pitches, the inning was declared over without a second or third out.

In addition to Cruz’s rocket, the Twins got home runs from Mitch Garver and outfield candidate Kyle Garlick, his second of the spring.

LAVINE’S 36 POINTS LIFT BULLS PAST PELICANS 128-124

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zach LaVine capped a 36-point performance with a driving layup and four free throws during the final minute, and the Chicago Bulls held off a late rally to beat the mercurial New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 on Wednesday night.

“I’ve got to stay aggressive,” LaVine said, noting that he might have been too eager to pass when the Pelicans tightened the game up in the final five minutes. “It makes the play a little bit easier, because if they don’t stop me, then obviously I’m at the rim or have an open shot.

“I feel comfortable taking those free throws at the end of the game,” LaVine added.

Coby White scored 25 for the Bulls, who led by as many as 19 and were still up 18 in the fourth quarter before the Pelicans’ late surge pulled them as close as 117-113 on Jaxson Hayes alley-oop dunk as he was fouled with 1:49 left.

Hayes missed the free throw, however, and Zion Williamson, who scored 28 points, missed two free throws with a chance to cut it to two with 1:23 left.

“I really feel like I let my team down, man,” said Williamson, who missed eight of 16 free throws in the game and returned to the empty court afterward to work on his foul shots. “I’ve got to be better in that situation. If I want to be one of those great players and I take a lot of responsibility, I’ve got to be ready for those moments.”

Kelly Oubre Jr. out with a sprained wrist

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The Golden State Warriors are wrapping up their first half schedule, but they’re suddenly without the services of one of their hottest offensive players. Kelly Oubre Jr. sprained his left wrist during Tuesday’s practice, and will miss Wednesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to coach Steve Kerr, Oubre suffered the injury on a dunk attempt with a bad landing. It sounds like it could have been a lot worse.
Kent Bazemore will start in Oubre’s place, and it seems likely that Jordan Poole — who just rejoined the team after a scorching hot stint with the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors — will see some significant minutes off the bench.

There’s never a good time to lose a player to injury, especially since Oubre had a sensational February in which he averaged 20.1 points per game and shot 43.0% from three-point range. With that said, suffering an injury right before the start of the All-Star break is about as good of timing as possible.

The Warriors play again on Thursday night against the Phoenix Suns, a game in which Oubre has not yet been ruled out for. Then they’re off for a week before returning next Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

TJ McConnell tallies triple-double with steals vs. Cavaliers

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McConnell was one steal shy of tying the NBA’s single-game record but notched a triple-double that broke the main slate on DraftKings. He tallied 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting to go along with 10 steals and 13 assists. McConnell tallied 66 DKFP and helped power the Pacers to a comeback win. Indiana claimed a 114-111 victory.

Indiana Pacers guard TJ McConnell is the ultimate glue guy, and he could etch his name in the NBA’s record books on Wednesday in his team’s matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. McConnell is known for making hustle plays, but his spectacular defense is what’s turning heads against Cleveland.

McConnell racked up a ridiculous nine steals in the first half. The record for most steals by a player in an NBA game is 11, and there’s plenty of time for McConnell to catch up. The undersized guard is a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with 8 points and has dished out 6 dimes as well in a well-rounded performance. Despite all his ball-hawking, the Pacers trial 61-51.

The Cavs have been careless with the ball and amassed 17 turnovers in the first half. However, they’re shooting a blistering 59.5% from the field and 46.2% from deep. Four Cavs scored at least 10 points in the first half. Cleveland will have to protect the ball a lot better in the second half to hold onto its lead.