76ers-Thunder game time changed

The NBA announced today that the Philadelphia 76ers-Oklahoma City Thunder game scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 at Chesapeake Energy Arena will now be played at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

The game was initially slated to begin at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT; the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.

This will be a battle of two of the top teams in the NBA, and will be a rematch of their game back in January, in which the Thunder won 117-115 in Philadelphia.

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HOF Roaf on Super Bowl 53: ‘I think we gotta put an asterisk next to that one’

For some, Super Bowl 53 was not very exciting, in fact, some people were bored by what they watched in Atlanta. In a game that saw the Rams have more punts(9) than points, the Patriots would defeat Los Angeles 13-3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history.

While all eyes were on the big game in Atlanta, many fans in New Orleans refused to watch because they felt jobbed by the NFL after a missed pass interference call late in the NFC title game against the Rams, and according to nola.com, last year’s Super Bowl earned a rating of 53 in New Orleans, while Super Bowl 53 earned a 26.2 rating in the “Big Easy,” which is a clear indication that Saints fans were not interested in watching.

Hall of Famer Willie Roaf, who started his career with the Saints and played nine seasons in New Orleans, thinks the Saints not playing in Super Bowl 53 took away from the game.

“I think it lost its luster,” Roaf told Paul Gant and the Go4it podcast. “I think a lot of people feel the way I feel that they don’t count it as a Super Bowl because the Saints should have been there, and the way that game was played, even made that more apparent they(Rams) shouldn’t have been there. The Rams had a great year; they stepped it up in the playoffs, but a lot of people feel the same way I feel. They’re really not thinking of counting that(Super Bowl), especially in New Orleans. You go anywhere in New Orleans, and they are not counting that as the Super Bowl. They’re not; they think the Saints got screwed out of it.”

Because the Saints were not there, Roaf believes that people should put an asterisk next to the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl 53.

“I think we gotta put an asterisk next to that one,” Roaf added. “That’s six, but the way they won that, I think there is an asterisk next to that Super Bowl.”

Missed calls happen in the NFL, but we still have to give the Patriots their proper respect for winning Super Bowl 53. Maybe the Saints beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but no matter how anyone feels, the Patriots are the world champs, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Listen to the interview below with Roaf at 16:50 as he talks Super Bowl 53:

 

76ers’ Milton has surgery on fractured hand

Philadelphia 76ers two-way player Shake Milton underwent successful surgery this morning to address a fracture of the 4th metacarpal in his right hand that was suffered during a Delaware Blue Coats game vs. Austin on Feb. 5.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Asif M. Ilyas, a hand specialist at the Rothman Institute/Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Milton is out and will be re-evaluated in approximately 2-3 weeks.

In 13 games with the 76ers, Milton is averaging 4.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.

Crawford: ‘The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude’

Start spreading the news. The year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown is headed to The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan on Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets for this world championship event go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. ET/9a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online atwww.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

Undercard bouts and details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

“I can’t wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan. The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude,” Crawford said. “I know that my fans will make the trip up to New York and I’ll have a ton of support when I step in to the ring. I expect Khan’s British fans to come out as well, and I believe we will have a packed house on April 20. It’s going to be a great fight so make sure to get your tickets early.”

“New York is undoubtedly one of my most favorite cities in the world, and it’s like a second home to me,” Khan said. “This is the biggest fight of my career against one of the world’s best in Terence Crawford, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. It’s a short flight for my fans from the United Kingdom, and they will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight. I want to become a three-time world champion, and that is my primary motivation to win this fight.”

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), widely regarded as the world’s best fighter, is a three-weight world champion who has knocked out five consecutive opponents. A former undisputed 140-pound world champion, Crawford won the WBO welterweight title in June 2018 with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. He defended the belt in October with a 12th-round TKO over bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s second headlining appearance at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. In May 2017, he knocked out 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in 10 rounds.

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), a former unified world champion at 140 pounds, has won two in a row since his 2016 knockout loss to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. He is 4-0 in his career when fighting as a welterweight, including wins over former world champions Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and Luis Collazo. Khan headlined at Madison Square Garden once before when he defended his WBA 140-pound world title against Paulie Malignaggi at The Theater on May 15, 2010.
Photo: Top Rank/Mikey Williams

Hawks, Jeremy Lin agree to buyout; Lin expected to sign with Raptors

Atlanta Hawks waived G Jeremy Lin, the team announced on Monday. According to ESPN, Lin is expected to sign with the Raptors.

Lin could sign with the Raptors as soon as midweek, according to the report.

In 51 games (one start) with the Hawks, Lin, 30, averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds on .466 FG%, .333 3FG% and .845 FT% in 19.7 minutes per contest.

Winky Wright on Keith Thurman: ‘He’s a complete fighter'(VIDEO)

WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman returned to the ring after almost two years away from the sport and defeated Josesito Lopez by majority decision back in January, and while some were unimpressed by Thurman’s performance, Hall of Fame Winky Wright was impressed, and he thinks Thurman showed a lot of good things against Lopez.

“Listen, he fought a tough fighter as you can see,” Wright recently told goforitradio.com. “He fought a game fighter; he fought a guy that didn’t come to lay down. He came to win, and Keith showed what a lot of fighters don’t show. Keith showed yall how to move, Keith showed yall he can punch, Keith showed yall that he can take a punch… He’s a completer fighter…

“Keith is a well-rounded fighter. He can box, he can punch, he can go to the body, so I can’t wait to see him fight all these other fighters. I like Terence Crawford; I like Errol Spence, Pacquiao; I like all them fights, so that’s what the game needs, that’s what the sport needs for them fighters to fight each other.”

Wright does believe that Thurman can hold his own against some of the top names at 147, including Spence, Crawford, and Pacquiao.

“He stacks up well against anybody,” Wright said. “He can box, he can jab, he can do whatever they do. That’s one thing that he can do, and that’s punch with both hands. So, no matter what you say. You might do this or do that, but if he catches you with either one of those hands, one-time, lights are out.”

It should be interesting to see where Thurman goes after the Lopez fight. You could see the rust against Lopez, but that is expected after almost two years out of the ring.

Listen below as Wright talks Keith Thurman:

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

Photos: Lubin defeats Ishe Smith by TKO; Smith announces retirement

Former world title challenger Erickson Lubin (20-1, 15 KOs) knocked down Ishe Smith (29-11, 12 KOs) a total of four times before the fight was stopped at the end of round three in a scheduled 10-round super welterweight bout. This was the first time Smith has been stopped in his career.

After the fight, Smith announced his retirement from the sport of boxing. The 40-year-old Smith won his first and only title in 2013 when he defeated Cornelius Bundradge to capture the IBF 154-pound belt — becoming the first Las Vegas-born fighter to win a major title.

Photos/Courtesy: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

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Photos: Gervonta Davis stops Hugo Ruiz in 1

Gervonta Davis defended his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship with a thrilling first-round TKO of former world champion Hugo Ruiz before a sellout crowd of 8,048 at Dignity Health Sports Park Saturday non SHOWTIME.

Knockdown video highlight: https://s.sho.com/2URYn8t

Baltimore’s Davis (21-0, 20 KOs) recorded his eighth career first-round knockout as referee Jack Reiss called off the fight with one second remaining in the first round following a devastating sweeping right hook by Davis connected cleanly and sent Ruiz (39-5, 32 KOs) down to his knees.

Davis, who entered the ring to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, wasted little time showing why he is one of boxing rising super stars with his impressive fourth win in a world title fight. The 24-year-old Davis is the youngest U.S.-born world titlist in boxing and was headlining for the first time.

With his promoter Floyd Mayweather looking on, Davis made quick work of his late-replacement opponent. “I knew it was coming,” he said. “I wanted to go more rounds, but I knew if I got him out of there early I could fight again sooner. When I touched the jab I saw his arm was in front of his face so if I threw a hook or uppercut it was right in line.”

Davis, who has now stopped his last 12 opponents, connected on 50 percent of his power punches, just under the 51 percent power accuracy he logged in his last four fights.

The late substitute 32-year-old Ruiz was fighting for the second time in three weeks as he replaced the injured Abner Mares. Ruiz was used to being on the other side of first-round knockouts having recorded 18 of his own during his career.

“As soon as he started landing punches, I could feel them,” Ruiz said. “I have a lot of first round knock outs, today was my turn to lose in the first round. It happens in boxing.”

Next up for Davis could be the winner of the March 2 Ricardo Nunez-Edner Cherry WBA Eliminator on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center. “We could do that,” Davis said. “At the end of the day I’m a fighter. I’m a fighter and I have a great team. One of the best in the sport. I believe in my team and whatever they line up, I’m ready.

Davis told SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray he’s ready for a sweet homecoming for his next fight. “Yes, sir. We’re coming to Baltimore. We’re going home, baby.”

Photos: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

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Clippers waive Michael Beasley

The L.A. Clippers have waived forward Michael Beasley, the team announced today. Beasley came to the Clippers, with Ivica Zubac, from the Lakers in exchange for Mike Muscala on Thursday before the NBA trade deadline.

Beasley, 30, was initially appeared in 26 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 49 percent from the field in 10.7 minutes.

The 6’9”, 235-pound forward holds career averages of 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field in 22.8 minutes in 609 appearances across 11 NBA seasons with Miami, Minnesota, Phoenix, Houston, Milwaukee, New York