NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Eastern Conference has its first All-Star game victory in four tries after MVP Kyrie Irving provided 31 points and 14 assists to lead the East past the West 163-155. LeBron James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the winners, who trailed by 18 at one point and closed on a 10-0 run. The West lost despite Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin, who had 38 points apiece to finish four shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Ron Baker poured in 26 points and Fred VanVleet had a dominant performance as the Shockers downed Evansville 84-68. VanVleet finished with 18 points, eight assists and five steals to help Wichita improve to 27-0, extending its school-record winning streak. The Shockers are the 21st team in Division I history to go 27-0, a list the Orange could join later this week.
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — Lamar has fired basketball coach Pat Knight with the Cardinals having won just six games the past two seasons. The son of Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight is 3-22 this season, 2-11 in the Southland Conference. Knight was 29-62 overall during his three seasons with Lamar. He guided the Cardinals to the NCAA tournament and a 23-12 record in his first season.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rookie Austin Dillon has won the pole for the Daytona 500 and will start alongside Martin Truex Jr. Dillon turned in a lap of 169.019 mph while driving the No. 3 Chevrolet, a car Richard Childress had refused to field at NASCAR’s top level since Dale Earnhardt’s fatal accident on the last lap of the 2001 race. But with his 23-year-old grandson ready to move to the Sprint Cup Series, Childress allowed Dillon to use the number widely associated with the seven-time champion.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bubba Watson fired a final round 7-under 64 to capture the Northern Trust Open by two shots over Dustin Johnson. Watson was 15-under for the tournament for his first victory since winning the 2012 Masters, a stretch of 41 tournaments worldwide. He was 14 under par over the final two rounds.