The Timberwolves' Zach LaVine had 30 points and seven rebounds to earn MVP honors as the United States team beat the World team 157-154 in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night to kick off the NBA's All-Star weekend.
In the game featuring some of the best rookies and sophomores in the league, LaVine made 13 of 20 shots and added seven rebounds and four assists to beat out Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins, last year's MVP.
"I'm excited for tomorrow," said LaVine, who revived interest in the dunk contest with an electrifying performance last year. "I'm ready to put on a show."
Wiggins scored 29 points on 13-for-15 shooting and had five assists for the World team, playing in front of his hometown fans in Toronto.
For most fans in attendance, Wiggins was the star attraction. He has been churning out highlight reels since he was 14 years old, was drafted No. 1 overall last season and won the rookie of the year award. The locals have called him "Maple Jordan" and openly pine for him to one day come home and play for the Raptors.
Wiggins received a thunderous ovation upon introduction in the starting lineup and was serenaded with chants of "M-V-P! M-V-P!'' late in the game
Karl-Anthony Towns, the third Timberwolf in the game, had 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting with seven rebounds and four assists for the World team.
... Chris Bosh of the Heat will miss Sunday's All-Star Game because of a calf injury, and was replaced on the Eastern Conference roster by Atlanta's Al Horford. Bosh also will miss the three-point shooting contest.
Mets' Mejia gets lifetime ban
New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia became the first player to receive a lifetime ban under Major League Baseball's drug agreement after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the third time.
The commissioner's office said Friday that Mejia tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone, which athletes have used to increase muscle mass.
The 26-year-old righthander was the Mets' closer in 2014, then was suspended for 80 games last April 11 following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders. At the time, he said, "I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system."
Mejia returned July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was banned for 162 games July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.
… The Brewers traded power-hitting outfielder Khris Davis to the Athletics for a pair of prospects. Milwaukee acquired catcher Jacob Nottingham and righthanded pitcher Bubby Derby in the deal. The 28-year-old Davis hit 27 home runs and batted .247 with 66 RBI in 121 games last season. .
Kang, Iwata share lead
Sung Kang had to scramble for par on the last hole to set the course record at Monterey Peninsula with an 11-under 60. It gave him a share of the lead with Hiroshi Iwata, with Phil Mickelson in contention again at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Mickelson was 7 under through 10 holes at Monterey Peninsula, with a pair of par 5s among the eight holes he had remaining. He made bogey on one of them, then bogeyed his last hole for a 65.
Iwata had a 66 at Pebble Beach.
… Bernhard Langer shot a 10-under 62 to take a four-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Chubb Classic at TwinEagles.
Jay Haas was second. Jeff Maggert was third at 67, and Fred Couples was at 68 along with Kenny Perry, Kevin Sutherland, Steve Lowery, Scott Hoch and Michael Allen.
Valcke banned for 12 years
Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's longtime right-hand man, was banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary-general.
Valcke was found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of wide-ranging offenses, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean.
Bears decide to let Forte go
Matt Forte announced that the Bears told him earlier this week he was not in its plans moving forward. He will be an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team beginning March 9.
… The Packers re-signed defensive tackle Letroy Guion to a three-year deal worth $11.25 million.
Iowa facing investigation
The University of Iowa is facing a wide-ranging federal civil rights investigation into allegations that its athletics department does not provide equal opportunities for female athletes.
The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education is looking into gender bias allegations in 13 areas, including how the department counts participation levels, awards scholarships, schedules practices and games and delivers services such as tutoring, medical attention, housing and dining.
Izzo, Ryan among Hall finalists
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan are two of the 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Other college coaching finalists are former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell and former Kentucky/Arkansas/Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton.
Among the other finalists are former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson and fellow NBA stars Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Johnson.
... Riley Bambenek hit a deep three-pointer at the overtime buzzer to give host Winona State a 72-71 victory over Minnesota State Mankato (17-8, 12-7). Bambenek scored 25 points for the Warriors (13-10, 12-7 NSIC), who tied it with 2 seconds left in regulation on a layup by Charlie Koontz.
AROUND THE HORN
Auto racing: HScott Motorsports has leased a charter from Premium Motorsports to secure a ride for Michael Annett for the 2016 season. A charter guarantees revenue and a position in a 40-car Sprint Cup field.
… Tony Schumacher led Top Fuel qualifying in the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals at historic Auto Club Raceway. Robert Hight topped the Funny Car field, and Bo Butner was the fastest in new-look Pro Stock category.
Dog sledding: Officials decided there will be no course changes for this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race despite a lack of snow in Anchorage.