Latest North Carolina and South Carolina sports news from The Associated Press

April 05, 2017 - 4:04 am

LGBT RIGHTS-ALL-STAR GAME

AP source: NBA board to discuss Charlotte as All-Star host

NEW YORK (AP) — A person with knowledge of the plans says the NBA will discuss whether to bring the 2019 All-Star Game to Charlotte at its Board of Governors meeting this week.

The person tells The Associated Press that the NBA board was already planning to discuss the matter at its meeting Thursday, though it's not known if a decision will be made. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the board's agenda is not publicized.

The league pulled this year's All-Star event out of Charlotte and it went to New Orleans instead. The NBA had it said it hoped the All-Star game could go to Charlotte in 2019 if changes were made to a North Carolina law that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

North Carolina has repealed the "bathroom bill" and replaced it with a compromise law. The NCAA said Tuesday it would again consider the state as a host for championship events.

The 2018 All-Star Game is already set for Los Angeles.

HORNETS-WIZARDS

Wall dominates third quarter as Wizards snap Hornets' streak

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter, and the Washington Wizards hurt Charlotte's playoff chances with a 118-111 victory over the Hornets on Tuesday night.

The Wizards returned from a five-game trip and stopped a three-game slide. Tying Toronto for the third seed in the Eastern Conference, Washington dealt Charlotte a significant blow after it had crept closer to a playoff spot with a three-game win streak.

Kemba Walker scored 37 points, but the All-Star guard went cold in the third quarter along with the rest of the Hornets. After making 26 of their first 42 shots, they went 6 for their next 18 as the game slipped away.

Washington won for the 17th time this season when trailing by double digits.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP-VIEWERS

Ratings boost: NCAA title game viewership up 30 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Perhaps with an assist from the memory of Villanova's Kris Jenkins, viewership for the NCAA national championship game between Gonzaga and North Carolina was up 30 percent from last year.

The finale on Monday night, which aired on CBS, was watched by an average of 22.998 million viewers, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co.

The game peaked at 26.105 million viewers from 11:15-11:30 p.m. EDT and also garnered a record 4.4 million live video streams, Nielsen said.

Last April, Jenkins hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer to give the Wildcats the title over North Carolina.

Although Monday night's game was often slow-paced and filled with fouls, it wasn't decided until the final minutes, with North Carolina prevailing 71-65.

The NCAA Tournament, broadcast by both CBS and Turner Sports, was the second-most watched men's tournament in 23 years. It averaged 10.827 million viewers, up 16 percent from last year, Nielsen said.

HURRICANES-WILD

Niederreiter leads Wild to 5-3 victory over Hurricanes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Nino Niederreiter had two goals and an assist to lead Minnesota to a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night that clinched second place in the Central Division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the Wild.

Zach Parise scored and had two assists, and Eric Staal also added two assists to give the Wild's first line eight points. Charlie Coyle scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period, and Devan Dubnyk shook off a shaky first period to stop 27 shots for his 39th win.

Jeff Skinner scored twice to set a career high with 35 goals and Lee Stempniak had a goal and an assist, but the Hurricanes were eliminated from postseason contention on a night when they took their third straight loss.

Cam Ward made 31 saves for the Hurricanes.

WNBA DRAFT-SOUTH CAROLINA

Staley: South Carolina's Davis, Gray to enter WNBA draft

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley says Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray are leaving the NCAA champion Gamecocks to enter the WNBA draft.

Gray posted on Twitter that she was giving up a fifth year of college to go pro. Staley says as of last night, neither player had hired an agent.

The league allows players up to five days before the April 13 draft to rescind their decision if they haven't signed with an agent.

Davis and Gray helped the Gamecocks to the national championship with a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State on Sunday.

Should both remain in the draft, South Carolina would lose three starters. Senior Alaina Coates, injured before the NCAA Tournament, is considered a likely top WNBA pick.

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