The Orlando Magic brought an end to the New York Knicks’ three-game winning streak with a 112-99 victory at the Amway Center. The home team were helped by Evan Fournier, who scored 23 points, and Nikola Vucevic, who added 24. Elfrid Payton, back from a hamstring injury which ruled him out of eight games, returned to form, showcasing his well-established alley-oop passes to Aaron Gordon, who scored 21 points. Jonathon Simmons’ 11 points in the fourth quarter helped push Magic to a double-digit lead in the closing stages. The Detroit Pistons continued to dominate, securing their sixth win in seven games against the Indiana Pacers. On the back of another loss, Indiana have been beaten by 10 or more points in 10 of 12 games this season, with Detroit putting 114 past them on Wednesday night to their 97. The Pistons’ Tobias Harris scored 23 and Andre Drummond added 14 points and 21 rebounds. The Boston Celtics overcame the Lakers 107-96 but not before letting LA come within two points of their 20-point lead in the third quarter. The Lakers, however, struggled to take advantage as Kyrie Irving overwhelmed LA’S defence with his dribbling skills and Aron Baynes tied his career high of 21 points. The Celtics have now won 10 games in a row and go on to face the Charlotte Hornets at the weekend. Elsewhere, the Miami Heat never lost the lead against Phoenix Suns, with Goran Dragic’s season-high 29 points helping them to the 126-115 victory, while Klay Thompson scored 28 points for the Golden State Warriors’ 125-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION: Boston Celtics 107 LA Lakers 96, Detroit Pistons 114 Indiana Pacers 97, Golden State Warriors 125 Minnesota Timberwolves 101, Orlando Magic 112 New York Knicks 99, Phoenix Suns 115 Miami Heat 126.
EUROPEAN TOUR NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE – hosted by Gary Player (Sun City, South Africa) First round scores (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72): 67 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut); 68 Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Julian Suri (USA), Branden Grace (Rsa), Scott Jamieson; 69 Alex Noren (Swe), Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Hideto Tanihara (Jpn), Graeme Storm; 70 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den), Mike Lorenzovera (Fra), Ross Fisher, Paul Waring, Callum Shinkwin, Lee Slattery, Haotong Li (Chn), Peter Uihlein (USA), Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Nacho Elvira (Spa), Matthew Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood; 71 Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Joost Luiten (Ned), Alexander Bjork (Swe), Ryan Fox (Nzl), Jorge Campillo (Spa), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Marc Warren, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den), Tyrrell Hatton; 72 David Drysdale, Alexander Levy (Fra), Chris Wood, Matthieu Pavon (Fra), Shane Lowry, Rafael Cabrera-bello (Spa), Renato Paratore (Ita); 73 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Richie Ramsay, Jeunghun Wang (Kor), Tommy Fleetwood, Haydn Porteous (Rsa), David Horsey, Martin Kaymer (Ger); 74 Benjamin Herbert (Fra), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Stephen Gallacher, Andres Romero (Arg), Paul Dunne, David Lipsky (USA), Ian Poulter, Eddie Pepperell, Adrian Otaegui (Spa), Sam Brazel (Aus), Richard Sterne (Rsa), Padraig Harrington; 75 Matt Wallace, Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Dylan Frittelli (Rsa); 76 Romain Wattel (Fra), Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Brandon Stone (Rsa), Jordan Smith, Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa); 77 Dean Burmester (Rsa), George Coetzee (Rsa); 78 Andrew Dodt (Aus); 79 Andy Sullivan, Thomas Bjorn (Den); 80 Scott Hend (Aus).
Two goals from Jimmy Vesey in less than 30 seconds helped the New York Rangers triumph 4-2 over the Boston Bruins. The left winger quickly gave his team the lead in the first period, taking advantage of a bouncing puck to make it 2-1 at 14:41 and then 3-1 at 15:10 after making sure Kevin Shattenkirk’s shot made it to the back of the net. Pavel Buchnevich and Rick Nash also scored, while Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves to lift New York to their fifth win in a row. In Toronto, Frederik Andersen made 35 saves for the Maple Leafs, who overcame the Minnesota Wild 4-2. The Leafs’ goals came from Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau, Connor Carrick and Connor Brown but Jason Zucker’s reply of two goals was not enough to put the brakes on Minnesota’s three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning easily overcame the San Jose Sharks 5-1. By the second period, the Sharks were trailing 4-1 and Vladislav Namestnikov capped off a two-goal night in the third period to secure the win away from home at the SAP Centre. NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE: New York Rangers 4 Boston Bruins 2,San Jose Sharks 1 Tampa Bay Lightning 5,Toronto Maple Leafs 4 Minnesota Wild 2.