HOUSTON (AP) — Less than a month before the start of spring training, the American League champion Houston Astros are without a manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were suspended by Major League Baseball and then fired by team owner Jim Crane for a sign-stealing scheme. The penalties were announced Monday by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros lost Game 7 of the World Series last year and begin spring training in four weeks.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dwight Powell scored 21 points and was perfect from the floor in his return to the Bay Area after starring at Stanford, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 124-97. Luka Doncic added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Mavericks won their fourth straight against the Warriors — three in a row on their home floor. Powell shot 9 for 9 and grabbed six rebounds. Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 17 points for injury-plagued Golden State, which lost guard Jacob Evans III to a head injury.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 26 points and eight assists, Dillon Brooks scored 24 and the Memphis Grizzlies won their sixth straight game by defeating the Houston Rockets 121-110. Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 15 despite going 6 of 16 from the floor. Morant missed only one of his 11 shots. James Harden led the Rockets with 41 points as backcourt mate Russell Westbrook took the night off in the first game of a back-to-back. Eric Gordon finished with 23 points, and Clint Capela had 16 points and 16 rebounds.
DENVER (AP) — Esa Lindell scored 1:54 into overtime after Jason Dickinson tied the game late in regulation and the Dallas Stars put the finishing touches on a season series sweep of Colorado by beating the Avalanche 3-2. Lindell found himself all alone in the middle of the ice and sent a wrist shot past Philipp Grubauer as the Stars rallied from an early two-goal deficit. Dickinson tied the game for the Stars with 5:23 remaining on a backhand shot. Denis Gurianov also scored in the fourth and final meeting between the Central Division adversaries. Ben Bishop stopped 41 shots. Gabriel Landeskog and Nikita Zadorov had goals for the Avalanche, with Nathan MacKinnon assisting on both.
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have fired manager Alex Cora. The move came one day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred named him as a ringleader with Houston in the sport's sign-stealing scandal. Cora was the bench coach for the Astros when they won the 2017 World Series and led Boston to the title the following year in his first season as manager. Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were fired on Monday, an hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season for their roles in the cheating scheme.
UNDATED (AP) — Don't expect to see AJ Hinch managing in the big leagues any time soon. Alex Cora, either, and his absence may prove permanent. The punishments handed down by baseball commissioner Rob Manfred weren't enough to bring real justice where it really matters, though. The Dodgers are still without a World Series title since 1988, thanks to sign stealing by the Houston Astros, and they can't be made whole. They got cheated out of a celebration on their home field. They don't have World Series rings and they never got a parade.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Derek Culver scored 17 points, West Virginia’s bench provided a huge lift on the offensive end and the 12th-ranked Mountaineers stomped TCU 81-49. The Mountaineers are unbeaten in eight home games and have held 10 opponents this season to 60 points or less, including five straight. TCU remains winless in Morgantown since joining the Big 12 in the 2012-13 season. The Horned Frogs missed a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the league and had their four-game winning streak snapped. RJ Nembhard led TCU with 14 points and Desmond Bane scored 13.