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Poole scores 36 on bobblehead night, Warriors rout Spurs

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jordan Poole’s bobblehead doll was a big hit — and the real guy himself sure shined, too.

Back in the starting lineup for a night, Poole scored a season-best 36 points and led the Golden State Warriors past the San Antonio Spurs 132-95 on Monday.

“I loved it. Everything,” he said.

A performance fitting of a Poole Party, indeed: He shot 13 for 20 and knocked down five 3-pointers. With 10:36 left, Poole fired a 3 under pressure and the ball bounced high against the backboard before falling through. He converted the free throw for a four-point play.

Poole received a warm ovation when he exited for good at the 8:04 mark of the fourth quarter following his 13th career game with 30 or more points.

“Jordan was pretty amazing offensively,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “He got it rolling right away.”

Stephen Curry added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes. Andrew Wiggins scored 10 for the Warriors in the second game of a back-to-back after they lost 122-115 at Sacramento on Sunday to fall to 0-7 on the road.

Golden State grabbed an early lead and ran away from the Spurs for a 61-45 advantage at the break. That allowed Kerr to use his reserves in extended stretches. Anthony Lamb scored 17 points and Jonathan Kuminga contributed 15 off the bench.

Keldon Johnson scored 15 points for injury-plagued San Antonio, warming up in the second half. The Spurs snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 111-93 on Friday night.


The Hall of Fame trio of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin served as the broadcast team for the “Run TMC Takeover.”

“It was very special. When I was here as an assistant I got to enjoy Timmy and Mully — Mitch was gone,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It was cool, it was fast-paced, it was creative. The people really bought into it. It was a wonderful time in the NBA. These guys were one of the best shows available, for sure.”

The Warriors hadn’t opened 0-7 on the road, though, since that group lost its initial nine away games in 1989-90.

On the broadcast, Hardaway made a reference to rape while describing a defensive play by Draymond Green, and later apologized for his poor choice of words.


Poole started in place of Klay Thompson and was thrilled with his first bobblehead doll.

“I love it, it’s absolutely amazing,” Poole said. “It’s really a special accomplishment. It’s an honor. I’m glad it came out the way it did.”


Spurs: G Tre Jones missed the game with a stomach illness. Jeremy Sochan moved into the starting lineup. … Johnson has made a 3-pointer in 30 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in franchise history behind Danny Green’s 32 straight in 2012. … The Spurs had won the previous two on Golden State’s home floor.

Warriors: Curry was selected Western Conference player of the week for the 19th time. He became the oldest player with back-to-back 40-point performances since Michael Jordan in 2002. … Thompson rested as he typically does during one of the back-to-back games as the Warriors use caution given his right Achilles tendon surgery that kept him out until January. … C James Wiseman will report to the G League Santa Cruz Warriors for an extended period of perhaps 10 straight days, Kerr said.


Spurs: Play at Portland on Tuesday night to complete a back-to-back. San Antonio has won the last four matchups, and two in a row in Portland.

Warriors: Play at Phoenix on Wednesday night having lost the last two meetings vs. the Suns and four of five on the road.


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Report: NWSL to expand in Boston, Utah and California

The National Women’s Soccer League is close to expanding by three teams, which will be in Boston, Utah and the San Francisco area, according to a Friday report in the Wall Street Journal.

The women’s pro league previously indicated it would add at least two teams by 2024. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the franchises in northern California and Utah are set to start play next year, with Boston to join at a later date.

The NWSL did not confirm the report in a statement Saturday to The Associated Press, saying: “We remain engaged in our expansion process and are excited about our prospects. When we have news to share, we will do so.”

The NWSL has 12 teams, after Angel City in Los Angeles and the San Diego Wave joined the league last year.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the Boston and Bay Area groups will pay about $50 million in franchise fees. The Utah team will pay a reduced fee because of a previous agreement struck when the Utah Royals folded in the 2020 season.

Before the NWSL draft earlier this month, league commissioner Jessica Berman said it would be “somewhere between days and months, more like weeks, when we’ll be in a position to share information” about an expansion.

“What I can say is that I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we have in front of us,” she added.


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Former MVP Candace Parker to sign with champion Aces

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former two-time MVP Candace Parker announced on social media Saturday that she would sign with the defending champion Las Vegas Aces.

Parker spent the past two seasons playing for her hometown Sky, leading Chicago to the WNBA championship in 2021. She also won the 2016 title playing for the Los Angeles Sparks.

She posted on Instagram that Chicago would always be her home, but “my family’s home is on the west coast.

“To play for a championship close to home is the perfect situation for us. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey this summer in Las Vegas.”

The free-agent signing period begins Wednesday, and the Aces can’t comment until then.

Parker, a 6-foot-4 forward/center, adds to an already loaded lineup that includes reigning MVP A’ja Wilson, who also won the league’s top award in 2020. Wilson also was last season’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Chelsea Gray was MVP of the WNBA Finals and Kelsey Plum MVP of the All-Star Game. Wilson, Plum and Jackie Young were All-Star starters.

Parker and Gray were teammates on Los Angeles’ 2016 title team.

The Aces traded one of their key pieces, two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby, to the Sparks on Jan. 21, creating speculation Las Vegas was creating salary cap room to sign a big-name player.

Parker, the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year and the 2016 Finals MVP, certainly fits that bill. Even at 36 last season, she averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the Sky.

“Candace has done so much for our franchise in her time here,” Chicago coach and general manager James Wade said in a statement. “I understand her reasons for wanting to be closer with her immediate family. We wish her nothing but the best. She will always be a part of the Sky family. We will celebrate her time here as she deserves.”

Losing her is a big blow to the Sky, who made the semifinals in last season’s playoffs before losing in five games to the Connecticut Sun. Kahleah Copper is the only starter under contract for next season, so the Sky could head into a rebuild.

“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to win a championship in my hometown and parade down the same streets I watched the Bulls parade down as a young girl first falling in love with the game of basketball,” Parker posted.

Parker joins the Aces at a time the Women’s National Basketball Players Association said it wanted that organization investigated regarding allegations that Hamby made after being traded. She posted on Instagram she was “lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against” because she is pregnant with her second child.

The Aces still have not commented on Hamby’s allegations.


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Estrada, Hofstra end No. 18 Charleston’s 20-game win streak

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — This season, Hofstra has been a one-man show. This time, Aaron Estrada had some help as the Pride ended the nation’s longest winning streak.

Estrada scored 25 points, but just two in the second half, while Darlinestone Dubar added 18 as Hofstra had four players in double figures to knock off No. 18 College of Charleston 85-81 on Saturday — ending the Cougars’ 20-game win streak.

“That’s a really big for our program,” Hofstra coach Speedy Claxton said. “To beat a nationally ranked team on their home court when they’ve got it rolling like they do speaks volumes about our kids.”

Claxton saw a team effort to take down the hottest team in the country.

“It wasn’t just Aaron,” Claxton said. “He had a great first half, but we had other guys step up and make baskets or get rebounds when we really needed them.”

The loss ended Charleston’s spotless run that began after losing to then-top-ranked North Carolina on Nov. 11.

Hofstra, the CAA’s leader in field-goal shooting, used that to move past Charleston in the second half as it made 18 of 32 attempts. The Pride led 76-69 with 6:10 to play before the Cougars cut it to two points on Ryan Larson’s foul shots with 2:02 to play.

But Charleston managed just two free throws after that and missed all four 3-pointers they tried.

This is the second straight season the Pride have beaten a Top 25 team. A year ago, Hofstra defeated then No. 24 Arkansas 89-81. The Pride’s only other victory against a Top 25 team came against Southern Illinois in 1976.

Hofstra (15-8, 8-2 Colonial Athletic Association) beat the Cougars (21-2, 9-1) at their own game — 3-point shooting. The Pride were 11 of 22 from 3-point range and overall shot 56 percent from the floor in the second half.

Estrada, who had 23 points in the opening half, shredded the Cougars defense at will. Estrada was 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

“Estrada is a great player, hit a bunch of tough shots, especially in the first half,” Charleston coach Pat Kelsey said. “Hofstra is a very, very talented team. It’s not just Estrada. They were better than us tonight.”

Then Estrada took over. The CAA’s leading scorer at 21.1 points a game scored 16 of the next 24 points for the Pride, including four 3-pointers.

Ante Brzovic’s dunk at the buzzer gave the Cougars a 46-44 advantage at halftime.

Tyler Thomas had 17 points and eight rebounds for Hofstra.

Brzovic finished with 18 points to lead the Cougars.


Hofstra: The Pride are on a roll in 2023. winning seven of their past eight games, including three in a row.

College of Charleston: The Cougars chances of receiving an NCAA Tournament at-large bid took a major blow with the loss to the Pride. Despite having the nation’s longest win streak for three months, Charleston will most likely have to win the CAA Tournament in March to advance to the NCAAs.


The Cougars’ 20-game win streak wasn’t the only streak to end on Saturday. College of Charleston played 14 of its first 23 games at TD Arena to start the season and were a perfect 13-0 at home before facing the Pride. Charleston’s 13-game home win streak included three wins in the Charleston Classic. The Cougars became the first mid-major program to win the ESPN event, beating Virginia Tech 77-75 in the championship game. Charleston will finish the season playing four of their final eight games on the road.


Charleston’s first loss in nearly three months might drop the Cougars from the national rankings. They have been part of the last four rankings, entering at No. 23 before reaching No. 18 this past week.


Hofstra returns home to play Towson on Thursday night.

College of Charleston starts a two-game road trip at Drexel on Thursday night.


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