Joe's Morning Sports-Friday, December 28, 2018

James Harden scored 17 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter and had six assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Boston Celtics, 127-113 for their eighth win in nine games.  Harden was 9-18 from beyond the arc, and Clint Capela added 24 points and 18 rebounds.  Eric Gordon scored 20 points for Houston, which shot 48% while improving to a season-high four games above .500.

The NCAA has confirmed that Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence has been suspended for Saturday's CFP semifinal game against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl following a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs.  Lawrence was one of three Clemson players who tested positive for ostarine, a substance used to treat osteoporosis and can act like an anabolic steroid.  Lawrence took part in Clemson's media day session yesterday and said he has no idea what may have led to the failed test.

Ty-Shon Alexander scored 19 points and Creighton routed Missouri-Kansas City 89-53 last night to complete nonconference play.  Fellow guard Davion Mintz added 13 points and six assists while Martin Krampelj had eleven points and eight rebounds for the Bluejays.  They shot 62% from the field, making 10-20 three-pointers, and had a 39-16 rebounding edge.  Creighton improves to 9-4 while the Kangaroos drop to 5-10.

A kicker from Kearney is the latest player to join Nebraska's 2019 class of walk-ons.  The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Gabe Heins, a Bearcat senior, announced his intentions yesterday.  Heins, a 6’0, 165-pounder, made five of eight field goals this past season, including a 44-yarder, and nailed 32 of 34 extra points.  He becomes the second kicker in Nebraska's walk-on class, joining Dylan Jorgensen of Lincoln Southwest.

Holiday basketball tournaments will get underway today for Norfolk High, Norfolk Catholic, & Lutheran High Northeast after all tournaments were postponed on Thursday.  Norfolk High will participate in their first year of the four-day Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament.  The Panther boys will host 0-7 Fremont in an opening round game at 3:00 today while the Lady Panthers will visit 3-4 Lincoln Southeast in an opening round contest at 3:00.  Norfolk Catholic will compete in the three-day Great Northeast Nebraska Shootout at Wayne State College today.  They will play a girl/boy doubleheader versus Laurel/Concord/Coleridge staring with the girls game at 3:30.  In games that can be heard on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com, Lutheran High Northeast will take part in the three-day Shootout on the Elkhorn Tournament at Wisner starting today.  They will face Winnebago in a girl/boy twin bill starting with the girls contest at 2:30.  Elsewhere on today’s local schedule, in basketball, the Nebraska-Omaha women & men host Denver University starting with the women’s game at 5:00 and the Nebraska women entertain Michigan at 6:00.

Local Schedule:  Univ. of Denver at Nebraska-Omaha (W&M BB-5:00); Michigan at Nebraska (WBB-6:00).

This Afternoon: The Lutheran High Northeast girls & boys basketball teams face Winnebago in the opening round of the Shootout on the Elkhorn Tournament at Wisner starting with the girls game at 2:30.  Pregame coverage at approximately 2:10 on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com.  We will have the Eagles all three days.

CBS Sports Radio at Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM Mon-Fri at 6:00 PM; Sat at 4:00; & Sun at 1:00.  Also, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs!

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION

    

      Final    Houston              127    Boston                113

      Final    Milwaukee          112    N-Y  Knicks          96

      Final    Sacramento        117    L.A.  Lakers      116

      Final  OT    Portland            110    Golden  State    109

      Final    Philadelphia    114    Utah                      97

    

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE

    

      Final    New  Jersey      5    Boston                  2

      Final  OT    Columbus          4    N-Y  Rangers        3

      Final    Pittsburgh      5    Detroit                2

      Final    Washington      3    Carolina              1

      Final  OT    Tampa  Bay        6    Philadelphia      5

      Final    St.  Louis        4    Buffalo                1

      Final    Calgary            4    Winnipeg              1

      Final    Dallas              2    Nashville            0

      Final    Chicago            5    Minnesota            2

      Final    Vancouver        4    Edmonton              2

      Final    Vegas                2    Colorado              1

      Final    San  Jose          4    Anaheim                2

      Final    L.A.  Kings      2    Arizona                1

In other news

Toronto police say four people were shot and wounded at a rally for the NBA champion Raptors, and three people were arrested.  Droves of Raptors fans ran from the shooting in a stampede from the City Hall square, which was packed with tens of thousands of people.  Police Chief Mark Saunders …