GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Keyontae Johnson had a career-high 25 points to go along with 11 rebounds _ his fourth double-double in Florida’s last six games _ and the Gators handled LSU from start to finish in a 81-66 victory. Scottie Lewis also enjoyed a career night for Florida. He finished with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The Gators won for the fourth time in five games and bolstered their NCAA Tournament resume. The Tigers have dropped four of their last five on the road. Emmitt Williams led the Tigers with 24 points. Skylar Mays had his worst game of the season.
MIAMI (AP) — Jordan McLaughlin’s layup with just under nine seconds left put Minnesota ahead for good, D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 27 points and the Timberwolves added to Miami’s late-season stagger by beating the Heat 129-126 on Wednesday night. Malik Beasley scored 21 points, Juancho Hernangomez tied a season-high with 17 points and McLaughlin added 13 for Minnesota. The Timberwolves were down by 12 with 3:59 left, then closed on a 20-5 run to get just their second victory in 20 games. Kendrick Nunn scored 24 points for Miami,. The Heat have dropped seven of nine.
NEW YORK (AP) — David Beckham is used to bending free kicks for goals. He was not prepared for seven years of twists en route to his team's Major League Soccer debut this weekend. The former England captain joined MLS with the LA Galaxy from 2007-12. He boosted the league's profile as part of a deal that gave him the right to buy an expansion team at a discounted price of $25 million. Inter Miami opens Sunday at Los Angeles FC and plays its home opener March 14 in Fort Lauderdale, its temporary stadium for the next few years.
ATLANTA (AP) — Evan Fournier scored 28 points, Aaron Gordon added 25 and the Orlando Magic pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 130-120 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The Magic solidified their hold on the final playoff spot in the East, putting the Hawks away with a 14-5 spurt. Fournier scored nine points in the game-clinching run, and Gordon finished it off with a 3-pointer. The Hawks lost despite a 37-point effort from Trae Young. John Collins added 26 points, but was blocked twice in the fourth quarter to stymie any hopes of an Atlanta comeback.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Tebow is set to swing into action for a new team. The New York Mets minor league outfielder and former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will play for the Philippines next month in the World Baseball Classic. Tebow was born in the Philippines in 1987 when his parents were serving as missionaries in the country. Tebow won two national championships at Florida, then played in the NFL with Denver and the New York Jets. The Philippines will play in a WBC qualifying tournament on March 20-25 in Tucson, Arizona, with teams from Panama, New Zealand, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Spain.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — PGA National’s signature test is a three-hole span on the back nine called “The Bear Trap.” It's named for Jack Nicklaus and touted as one of the most demanding stretches in all of golf. The par-3 15th has water down the right side. The par-4 16th has the approach over water. The par-3 17th goes over water again with a green that’s sloped toward trouble. And the wind is almost always swirling on that part of the golf course. The holes are daunting on a good day and diabolical on a bad day. And to win The Honda Classic, one needs to worry about much more than those three holes. The Bear Trap is one thing. The rest of PGA National is a bear, too.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Brooks Koepka says he respects everything Rory McIlroy had to say on the notion of a Premier Golf League and why he wouldn’t want to be part of one. Then again, McIlroy’s thoughts apparently aren’t going to sway Koepka. The world’s No. 3 player didn’t offer a firm stance one way or another on whether he supports the idea of a tour that would essentially compete with the PGA Tour, other than saying that he wants to continue playing against the best in the game. In his words, “I’m just going to play where the best players play.”