Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, April 22, 2021

Chris Paul scored 28 points, Devin Booker had 19 and Mikal Bridges 18 to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 116-113 win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night, improving to the NBA-best road record 19-7.  Joel Embiid had 38 points and 17 rebounds.  He heaved a full court shot at the horn that rattled around the rim and put the All-Center center on his back in disbelief over the near-make.  Phoenix has the second-best record in the NBA at 42-16.  The Sixers again played without starters Ben Simmons because of an unspecified illness and Tobias Harris with a sore right knee.

Stephen Curry had his first rough night in a month, and Bradley Beal rallied Washington in the fourth quarter for its season-best sixth straight victory, 118-114 over the Golden State Warriors.  Coming off a historic eleven-game stretch in which he made 78 three-pointers and surpassed Beal as the NBA’s scoring leader, Curry scored 18 points on 7-25 shooting, including 2-14 from three-point range.  Beal scored 29 points as the glamorous matchup with Curry mostly fizzled until Washington’s late rally.  Russell Westbrook had a triple-double of 14 points, a season-high 20 rebounds and ten assists for the Wizards.

Salvador Perez hit a game-ending RBI single, and the Kansas City Royals avoided a sweep by topping the Tampa Bay Rays 9-8 last night in a game heard on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM.  Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier and Carlos Santana homered for Kansas City, which trailed 6-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning.  Scott Barlow allowed Joey Wendle’s tiebreaking RBI double in the ninth, but got the win when the Royals rallied.  KC improves to 10-7 and have a 1 ½ game lead for first place in the American League Central.

Three Nebraska volleyball players have been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Team.  Lauren Stivrins earned first-team honors, Nicklin Hames earned second-team honors, and Lexi Sun garnered third-team accolades.  Additionally, Madi Kubik received honorable mention.  The Huskers' three AVCA All-America selections improved their total to 95 all-time, which leads the nation.  A nation-leading total of 47 players have combined for the Huskers' 95 awards.  The Nebraska volleyball program has had multiple All-Americans six years in a row.  The Huskers finished 16-3 this season, falling to Texas 3-1 last Monday in the NCAA Tournament Regional Final. Creighton’s Jaela Zimmerman was also named an Honorable Mention.

Mason Miller, a 6’9 forward from Tennessee, has signed a letter-of-intent with the Creighton men's basketball program.  Miller was named the Class AAA Mr. Basketball winner in Tennessee last month after helping Houston High School to its first state championship.  He helped the Mustangs to a 23-3 record and scored a team-best 19.1 points per game.  Miller is regarded as the 78th recruit in 247Sports composite rankings, and the second ranked player in Tennessee.  The newest Bluejay comes from a basketball family.  His father, Mike Miller, was a 17-year NBA veteran and coached his son to the state title this spring.  Miller joins fall signees John Christofilis and Ryan Nembhard as part of a Creighton recruiting class regarded among the top-30 nationally.  The Bluejays finished 22-9 overall and led the BIG EAST with 14 league victories last season, advancing to the program's first Sweet 16 since 1974.

The Lincoln Journal Star has updated their high school soccer rankings.  In the boys rankings, Omaha South stays at number one in Class ‘A’.  In Class ‘B’, Omaha Skutt is once again first, Schuyler remains seventh, and Columbus Scotus enters the rankings at number ten.  In the girls rankings, Lincoln Southwest is once again first in Class ‘A’.  In Class ‘B’, Omaha Skutt stays at number one and Columbus Scotus remains ninth.

Checking out the local schedule for today, the 95th annual Norfolk Track & Field Invitational is held starting at 1:00.  Teams participating include Columbus, Grand Island, Lincoln Northeast, Millard North, Millard West, Omaha Benson, Omaha Burke, and Sioux Falls Roosevelt.  Reports can be heard on 106 KIX & 97.5 KEXL starting at 5:00.  In other track & field meets, Norfolk Catholic is involved in the Pierce Invite at 1:00 and Lutheran High Northeast participates in the Twin River Invitational at Genoa at 12:00.  In soccer, the Norfolk Catholic/Lutheran High Northeast boys visit Omaha Concordia at 6:00 and the Norfolk High girls are at Lincoln Northeast at 4:00.  In other events, the Norfolk High baseball team entertains West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic-Scribner/Snyder-West Point-Beemer in a single game at 5:00, the Norfolk High boys golf squad competes in the Columbus Invite at Elks Country Club at 9:00 AM and Lutheran High Northeast holds their invitational at Norfolk Country Club at 9:30 AM.  Teams participating include Norfolk Catholic, the Norfolk High JV, Niobrara/Verdigre, Battle Creek, Tri County Northeast, Ponca, Wakefield, Pierce, Creighton, West Point-Beemer, Wisner/Pilger, and Crofton.  Also, the Northeast Hawks softball team hosts Ellsworth Community College of Iowa in a 12:00 doubleheader, and the NCAA Volleyball Tournament semifinals are held at CHI Health Center Omaha.  Kentucky plays Washington at 5:00 and Texas meets Wisconsin at 7:30.

This week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week goes to Braxton Brockhaus of the Creighton boys golf team.  At last Saturday’s Plainview Invitational, he won medalist honors with an even par 72 and then claimed medalist honors yesterday at the Summerland Quadrangular with a 37.  Brockhaus has won all four events Creighton has taken place in this season thus far.  He was nominated by Coach Chase Maier.  Congratulations to Braxton Brockhaus of the Creighton boys golf team, he is this week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week.

Local Scores:  NC 187 Plainview 227 (BG Dual); Iowa Central CC 2-6 NECC 1-16 (Bsbl DH); Iowa Central CC 15-20 NECC 1-2 (SB DH); NECC 2 North Iowa Area CC 1 (OT) (M. Socc.); NECC 3 North Iowa Area CC 0 (W. Socc.); Winona St. 6-11 WSC 2-6 (Bsbl DH); UNO 3 Creighton 2 (10 Inn.) (SB).

Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week:  Braxton Brockhaus of the Creighton boys golf team.

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of the Kansas City Royals & Kansas City Chiefs!

INTERLEAGUE

Final    Miami    3    Baltimore    0    

Final    Pittsburgh    3    Detroit    2    

Final    Colorado    6    Houston    3    

Final    Detroit    5    Pittsburgh    2    

Final    Atlanta    4    N.Y. Yankees    1    

___

AMERICAN LEAGUE

    Chi White Sox    at    Cleveland    6:05 p.m.    (Postponed)

Final    Texas    7    L.A. Angels    4    

Final    Oakland    13    Minnesota    12    

Final    Kansas City    9    Tampa Bay    8    

Final    Toronto    6    Boston    3    

___

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final    Philadelphia    6    San Francisco    5    

Final    Washington    1    St. Louis    0    

Final    Milwaukee    4    San Diego    2    

Final    Arizona    5    Cincinnati    4    

Final    Arizona    8    Cincinnati    5    

Final    Chicago Cubs    16    N.Y. Mets    4    

___

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    Toronto    114    Brooklyn    103    

Final    Cleveland    121    Chicago    105    

Final    Indiana    122    Oklahoma City    116    

Final    Phoenix    116    Philadelphia    113    

Final    Washington    118    Golden State    114    

Final    Utah    112    Houston    89    

Final OT    New York    137    Atlanta    127    

Final    Miami    107    San Antonio    87    

Final    Dallas    127    Detroit    117    

Final    Denver    106    Portland    105    

Final    L.A. Clippers    117    Memphis    105    

Final    Sacramento    128    Minnesota    125    

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final OT    Chicago    5    Nashville    4    

Final    Minnesota    4    Arizona    1    

Final    Vegas    5    San Jose    2    

Final    Montreal    4    Edmonton    3   

In other news

The Milwaukee Bucks own a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals following a comeback win in Atlanta.  The Bucks have regained home-court advantage by taking Game Three, 113-102 over the Hawks.  Khris Middleton scored 20 of his playoff career high-tying 38 points in the…

Paul George delivered 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns, 106-92 to pull within two games to one in the NBA's Western Conference Finals.  Reggie Jackson added 23 points for the Clippers, who took control with a 21-3 run that gave them a…

For the first time since 2018, Nebraska men's basketball program will host the annual intrastate matchup with Creighton, as the pairings for the 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games were announced today by the Big Ten and the Big East Conferences.