Thursday Sports Update – Astros Hire Dusty Baker As Manager

(Houston, TX) — The Houston Astros are bringing in Dusty Baker to be their next manager. Multiple reports say it is a one-year deal with a club option for 2021. The 70-year-old Baker becomes the oldest skipper in the majors. He last managed in 2017 with the Washington Nationals and ranks 15th all-time with 1,863 career wins. Baker will replace A.J. Hinch, who was fired along with GM Jeff Luhnow for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal.

49ers, Chiefs Prep For Super Bowl

(Miami, FL) — The Chiefs and the 49ers continue preparations for Super Bowl 54, which kicks off on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The Chiefs are slight favorites for the big game. Kansas City is seeking the second Super Bowl title in franchise history. A win for the 49ers would give them a record-tying six Super Bowl titles. Pittsburgh and New England have both won six.

Harden Returns, But Rockets Fall In Portland

(Portland, OR) — James Harden returned to the Rockets’ lineup after missing two games with a thigh bruise and scored 18 points, but it was not enough as Houston lost 125-112 to the Trail Blazers in Portland. Russell Westbrook had 39 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets. Reserves Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore each scored 17 points in defeat. Houston is 3-and-6 in its last nine. The Rockets will return home tomorrow night to host the Mavericks.

Spurs Sink Jazz

(San Antonio, TX) — DeMar DeRozan posted 38 points as the Spurs sank the Jazz 127-120 in San Antonio. Patty Mills added 18 points off the bench, and Dejounte Murray scored 16. The Spurs took the lead late in the first quarter and never looked back. Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 31 points in defeat. Jordan Clarkson added 20 points off the bench and Rudy Gobert poured in 17 points and 19 rebounds.

Thunder Take Down Kings

(Sacramento, CA) — Dennis Schroder scored 24 points as the Thunder took down the Kings 120-100 in Sacramento. Luguentz  Dort added 23 for Oklahoma City. Danilo Gallinari posted 19 for the Thunder, who have won six of seven. Bogdan Bogdanovic  led the Kings with 23 points. De’Aaron Fox chipped in 19 for Sacramento, which has lost seven of nine.

Indiana Pacers 115, Chicago Bulls 106 (OT)
Memphis Grizzlies 127, New York Knicks 106
Brooklyn Nets 125, Detroit Pistons 115

Mavericks Play Tomorrow In Houston

(Houston, TX) — The Mavericks will face the Rockets tomorrow night in Houston. Dallas will try to rebound from 133-104 loss Tuesday at home to the Suns, trailing by as many as 39 points. The Mavs, who have lost three of their last five, will return home Saturday to tangle with the Atlanta Hawks.

Stars Fall To Maple Leafs

(Dallas, TX) — Alexander Radulov scored a pair of goals for the Stars, who lost 5-3 to the Maple Leafs in Dallas. Denis Gurianov also lit the lamp for Dallas. Ben Bishop stopped 29 of 33 Toronto shots in the loss. The Stars are 28-18-and-4, sitting in third place in the Central with 60 points. The Stars will go on the road Saturday for three games at the Devils, Islanders and Rangers to start February.

Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Dallas Stars 3
Nashville Predators 5, Washington Capitals 4
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Los Angeles Kings 2
Anaheim Ducks 4, Arizona Coyotes 2
Calgary Flames 4, Edmonton Oilers 3 (SO)
Vancouver Canucks 5, San Jose Sharks 2

Phoenix Open Tees Off Today

(Scottsdale, AZ) — The Waste Management Phoenix Open tees off today at TPC Scottsdale. Defending champion Rickie Fowler is back along with 2018 winner Gary Woodland. Phil Mickelson will skip the Phoenix Open for just the second time since 1989. Ryan Palmer tees off at 12:35 Phoenix time.

Top-25 College Basketball (Coaches’ Poll)
#1 Baylor Bears 67, Iowa State Cyclones 53
#4 San Diego State Aztecs 85, New Mexico Lobos 57
#5 Louisville Cardinals 86, Boston College Eagles 69
#7 Dayton Flyers 73, Duquesne Dukes 69
#9 Seton Hall Pirates 64, DePaul Blue Demons 57
Texas Tech Red Raiders 89, #11 West Virginia Mountaineers 81
#13 Kentucky Wildcats 71, Vanderbilt Commodores 62
#14 Michigan State Spartans 79, Northwestern Wildcats 50
#20 Houston Cougars 69, East Carolina Pirates 59
#23 Penn State Nittany Lions 64, Indiana Hoosiers 49
#24 LSU Tigers 90, Alabama Crimson Tide 76

Number-One Baylor Wins At Iowa State

(Ames, IA) — Number-one Baylor won 67-53 at Iowa State. MaCio Teague led the Bears with 15 points. Freddie Gillespie and Devonte Bandoo each scored a dozen points for Baylor, which improved to 18-and-1 and 7-and-0 in the Big 12. The Bears are home Saturday against TCU.

College Basketball Roundup

(Undated) — In other college basketball, Texas Tech beat #12 West Virginia 89-81, TCU lost 62-61 to Texas in Fort Worth. Kevin Samuel and RJ Nembhard each scored 17 points for the Frogs, who are 13-and-7 overall and 4-and-3 in the Big 12. The Longhorns are 13-and-7 and 3-and-4. Tonight, West Texas A&M hosts Western New Mexico, Lady Buffs at 5:30, Men at 7:30, Texas-Arlington will host Louisiana-Lafayette in a Sun Belt contest.