PORTLAND, ORE. — Marvin Bagley III had a simple explanation for No. 1 Duke’s incredible late rally against No. 7 Florida.
“We just have heart,” the 6-foot-11 freshman sensation said. “That’s pretty much all it is.”
Bagley had 30 points and 15 rebounds, and the Blue Devils came back from a 17-point deficit with 10 minutes left to beat the Gators 87-84 on Sunday night for the Motion Bracket championship at the Phil Knight Invitational tournament.
Fellow freshman Gary Trent Jr., who had a pair of free throws that pulled the Blue Devils (8-0) in front and a key steal in the final moments, finished with 15 points.
Jalen Hudson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Florida (5-1), while KeVaughn Allen added 17 points.
Duke closed within 78-70 on consecutive jumpers from Wendell Carter Jr. and a pair of free throws from Bagley. Grayson Allen’s 3-pointer got Duke to 82-79 with 3:07 left, putting the Blue Devils fans on their feet.
Bagley’s layup closed the gap to 84-83 and Trent made free throws to put Duke in front 85-84 with 1:12 left.
Hudson missed a free throw to tie it before Trent’s steal with 12 seconds left. Trent made another pair from the line for the final margin.
“We started playing hard,” Bagley said about the turnaround. “Now the next step is trying to figure out we can do that in the beginning instead of having to fight back the whole time. That can get stressful sometimes. We just got keep continuing to learn and get better. I think we’ll figure it out.”
The teams were among the 16 Nike teams that took part in the three-day tournament, dubbed the PK80, that started on Thanksgiving and took a hiatus Saturday for college football. Fourth-ranked Michigan State beat defending NCAA champion North Carolina 63-45 earlier in the evening in the Victory Bracket.
The event honored Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday.
Both Florida and Duke were coming off hard-fought overtime victories.
The Gators defeated No. 7 Gonzaga 111-105 in double overtime on Friday night to advance. Hudson had a career-high 35 points, 31 of them coming in the second half.
Florida opened the tournament with a 108-87 victory over Stanford.
The five-time NCAA champion Blue Devils defeated Texas 85-78 in overtime on Friday, led by Bagley with 34 points and 15 rebounds. Duke opened the tournament with a 99-81 victory over Portland State on Thanksgiving.
“I think fatigue played a factor for both teams,” Florida coach Mike White said. “They’re tired too and they’re young. We’re not having any excuses. I thought Duke defended at a high level, I’m guessing, the last six, eight minutes of the game. I thought they tightened up and forced some contested ones late.”
Egor Koulechov, a graduate transfer from Rice, hit a 3-pointer that put the Gators up 16-4 early. KeVaughn Allen added a layup to extend it.
Grayson Allen made consecutive 3-pointers to give the Blue Devils a 42-37 lead with 4:20 left in the half, capping a 22-5 run. The Gators went back ahead 49-48 on Chris Chiozza’s layup, and ended the half on a 14-2 run to lead 53-49 at the break.
Florida’s momentum continued in the second half, opening with an 8-2 run to go up 61-51. Hudson’s layup capped an 11-0 burst that extended the Gators’ lead to 72-57.
“Your blood pressure is a lot higher when you don’t have good players than it is when you have good players. We have very talented players,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I believe in my guys.”
The teams last played on Dec. 6, 2016, in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden, with Duke coming out on top 84-74. Duke leads the all-time series 13-4.
The Gators have defeated a top-ranked team twice in the team history. Florida beat then-No. 1 Duke in the 2000 Sweet 16, and then No. 1 Ohio State for the 2007 NCAA Tournament championship.
Duke: Wendell Carter had four double-doubles through the first eight games, but he picked up three fouled early against Florida.
Florida: Hudson is a transfer from Virginia Tech. With his 13th point of the night, KeVaughn Allen reached 1,000 for his career.
UNCLE PHIL: Knight was presented with a special commemorative PK80 trophy during a break in the first half, earning a standing ovation from the crowd at the Moda Center. Nike’s corporate headquarters are in Beaverton, just west of Portland.
COACH K ON BAGLEY: “Because he’s 6-11 and he can guard five positions and he put up two 30 and 15 games in a row as a freshman. Other than that he’s similar to many players that I’ve had,” Krzyzewski said, drawing laughter from reporters.
Duke visits Indiana on Wednesday night.
Florida is off until Dec. 4 when the Gators host Florida State.
Larry Nance Jr. to wear his dad’s retired No. 22 with Cavs
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers will again have a No. 22, and he looks eerily familiar.
Larry Nance Jr. is getting to honor his father by wearing his dad’s retired No. 22 jersey with the Cavs, who worked with the NBA to make the unique tribute possible.
“My dad’s jersey will get to stay retired in the rafters, so, I couldn’t be happier with it,” Nance Jr. said Thursday night before making his home debut with the Cavs, who recently acquired him in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. “I’m thrilled. I’ve been wearing 22 my whole life and to get to wear it for the Cleveland Cavaliers is beyond a dream come true.”
Nance Jr. will begin wearing No. 22 next week. For now, he’ll be in No. 24, the number he chose after he was obtained from the Lakers.
When he was traded, Nance Jr. considered how special it would be to wear his dad’s number, which was retired by the Cavs in 1995 and hangs above Quicken Loans Arena. Larry Nance Sr. spent eight seasons with Cleveland and was a fan favorite because of his shot blocking and dunking skills.
The kid is just like his dad.
The younger Nance said his dad didn’t have a big reaction when he got the news.
“I called him and told him yesterday that we were kind of talking about it and got it passed,” he said. “My dad is a man of few words so he kind of just let me know with a smile that he was excited.”
Last weekend in Los Angeles, Nance Jr. wore his father’s No. 22 Phoenix jersey while participating in the dunk contest at the All-Star Game. Nance Jr. took his look a step further by dressing like his dad when he played in the 1980s.
Will he bring back the retro look?
“This means short shorts and high white socks,” Nance joked. “Absolutely.”
Nance Jr. was bracing himself for an emotional homecoming in his first home game with the Cavs. He cracked that one of the only problems he had since his return to Ohio was that his mom was trying to convince him to live at home again.
She’s relaxed on that request.
“They’re actually looking at a house right now,” he said. “So I think I’ve got her once she kind of got some national attention she was like, ‘Oh, gosh. All right. I guess.’”
Noren, Simpson lead at Honda; Woods has solid 70
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods had what he called “easily” his best round hitting the ball, and he didn’t even break par at the Honda Classic.
Alex Noren and Webb Simpson shared the lead at 4-under 66 in steady wind on a penal PGA National golf course, and felt as though they had to work hard for it. Both dropped only one shot Thursday, which might have been as great an accomplishment as any of their birdies.
“When you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, ‘Man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors,’” said Simpson, who is playing the Honda Classic for the first time in seven years.
Only 20 players broke par, and just as many were at 76 or worse.
Woods had only one big blunder — a double bogey on the par-5 third hole when he missed the green and missed a 3-foot putt — in an otherwise stress-free round. He had one other bogey against three birdies, and was rarely out of position. Even one of his two wild drives, when his ball landed behind two carts that were selling frozen lemonade and soft pretzels, he still had a good angle to the green.
“It was very positive today,” Woods said. “It was a tough day out there for all of us, and even par is a good score.”
It was plenty tough for Adam Scott, who again stumbled his way through the closing stretch of holes that feature water, water and more water. Scott went into the water on the par-3 15th and made double bogey, and then hit into the water on the par-3 17th and made triple bogey. He shot 73.
Rory McIlroy was at even par deep into the back nine when he figured his last chance at birdie would be the par-5 18th. Once he got there, he figured his best chance at birdie was to hit 3-wood on or near the green. Instead, he came up a yard short and into the water, made double bogey and shot 72.
Noren, who lost in a playoff at Torrey Pines last month, shot 31 on the front nine and finished with a 6-foot birdie on the ninth hole into a strong wind for his 66.
The Swede is a nine-time winner on the European Tour who is No. 16 in the world, though he has yet to make a connection among American golf fans — outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma, from his college days at Oklahoma State — from not having fared well at big events. Noren spends time in South Florida during the winter, so he’s getting used to this variety of putting surfaces.
“I came over here to try to play some more American-style courses, get firmer greens, more rough, and to improve my driving and improve my long game,” Noren said. “So it’s been great.”
PGA champion Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Morgan Hoffmann — who all live up the road in Jupiter — opened with a 67. There’s not much of an advantage because hardly anyone plays PGA National the other 51 weeks of the year. It’s a resort that gets plenty of traffic, and conditions aren’t quite the same.
Louis Oosthuizen, the South African who now lives primarily in West Palm Beach, also came out to PGA National a few weeks ago to get a feel for the course. He was just like everyone else that day — carts on paths only. Not everyone can hole a bunker shot on the final hole at No. 9 for a 67. Mackenzie Hughes of Canada shot his 67 with a bogey from a bunker on No. 9.
Woods, in his third PGA Tour event since returning from a fourth back surgery, appears to be making progress.
“One bad hole,” he said. “That’s the way it goes.”
It came on the easiest hole on the course. Woods drove into a fairway bunker on the par-5 third, laid up and put his third shot in a bunker. He barely got it out to the collar, used the edge of his sand wedge to putt it down toward the hole and missed the 3-foot par putt.
He answered with a birdie and made pars the rest of the way.
“I’m trying to get better, more efficient at what I’m doing,” Woods said. “And also I’m actually doing it under the gun, under the pressure of having to hit golf shots, and this golf course is not forgiving whatsoever. I was very happy with the way I hit it today.”
Woods played with Patton Kizzire, who already has won twice on the PGA Tour season this year. Kizzire had never met Woods until Thursday, and he yanked his opening tee shot into a palmetto bush. No one could find it, so he had to return to the tee to play his third shot. Kizzire covered the 505 yards in three shots, an outstanding bogey considering the two-shot penalty.
Later, he laughed about the moment.
“I was so nervous,” Kizzire said. “I said to Tiger, ‘Why did you have to make me so nervous?’”
NBA setting up hotline to report misconduct, work concerns
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA is establishing a confidential hotline for league and team employees to report concerns about misconduct in their workplace.
The move comes after a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile environment for women in the Dallas Mavericks organization.
Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to teams Thursday detailing plans for the hotline and asking them to review their respect in the workplace policies. The memo states that “respect and integrity are core NBA values, and we all must work to ensure that they are reflected in the culture and workplaces of our organizations.”
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press and other organizations, asks teams to complete their review of their policies by March 6.
The hotline will allow employees to report concerns “including but not limited to sexual harassment, illegality, or other misconduct,” the memo stated.
It also stated that league office employees were told in December about plans to conduct mandatory, small-group discussions facilitated by outside experts to ensure a full understanding of issues related to sexual harassment and expectations for to behave in the workplace. In the memo, Silver encourages teams to implement the same program in their organizations.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers remembers having to attend a sensitivity course when he was in Boston, annoyed at first because it was on a day off.
“But after it, you did learn some things that we all should know. I think it’s good. I think the league has continued to do that,” Rivers said.
“I think it’s good for sports, I think it’s good for our young athletes to hear this and see this and understand no matter who you are and how good you are or how popular you are, you still have to treat everybody with respect and the right way. There are a lot of people that will fall, and that’s fine by me. I just think it’s great … I have a daughter and I think it’s great that this is where we’re at right now, and we have a long way to go.”
A number of other teams also do sensitivity training.
The SI story this week detailed allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by former Mavericks President Terdema Ussery, and said team website reporter Earl Sneed was twice accused of domestic assault while working for the Mavericks.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the magazine he was “embarrassed” and that it needs to be fixed.
The Mavericks have hired Evan Krutoy and Anne Milgram to lead the independent investigation.
Krutoy served as a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for over 20 years and served as Acting Deputy Bureau Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit. Milgram is a professor at New York University School of Law, and a former New Jersey attorney general.
The NBA has said it would “closely monitor” the investigation.
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