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Texas A&M tops Mississippi State 55-49 in OT

Texas A&M tops Mississippi State 55-49 in OT

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Fabyon Harris scored 17 points, Elston Turner added 11 and Texas A&M rallied past Mississippi State for a 55-49 overtime win on Wednesday night.

Texas A&M (13-7, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) trailed by 14 points early in the second half but recovered to snap a four-game losing streak. Harris made 8 of 13 shots from the field and Turner sank a crucial fadeaway jumper with 30 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Aggies a 53-49 lead.

J'Mychal Reese scored 10 points, including four in overtime.

Mississippi State's Craig Sword banked in a 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left to tie the game at 47 and send it into overtime. Gavin Ware led the Bulldogs (7-12, 2-5) with 14 points while Colin Borchert added 10. The Bulldogs have lost five straight.

Texas A&M started the SEC schedule with impressive back-to-back wins over Arkansas and Kentucky, but since then the offense has disappeared. It wasn't much better against the Bulldogs, but some big shots by Reese and Turner in overtime were enough to give the Aggies the win.

Mississippi State coach Rick Ray has preached a deliberate approach during his first season - especially because the roster has just seven healthy scholarship players - so the Bulldogs' 29-17 halftime advantage was nearly perfection.

Mississippi State was very efficient on offense, making 10 of 15 (66.7 percent) shots from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and the defense forced 13 Texas A&M turnovers.

But the Bulldogs had trouble taking care of the ball in the second half with 14 turnovers. Texas A&M turned many of those into easy buckets and owned a 14-0 advantage in fast-break points.

The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 31-17 early in the second half but Texas A&M then started a methodical comeback, which resulted in a 16-2 run that tied the game at 33 with 13:30 remaining.

The teams traded blows until Texas A&M was finally able to create some separation when Turner hit back-to-back baskets to push the Aggies ahead 45-42 with 3:54 remaining.

But Mississippi State had one more run remaining and Sword's 3-pointer off the glass tied it at 47. Borchert's jumper pushed the Bulldogs ahead 49-47 at the start of overtime, but they didn't score another point during the final four minutes.

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Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

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Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

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Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.

RELATED: BEAL BOUNCED EARLY IN THREE-POINT CONTEST

Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

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The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

Whoever put together the NBA All-Star Game player introductions has some 'splainin to do. 

The NBA introduced a kinda-full Staples Center to their 2018 All-Stars about an hour ago, and boy was it weird. There were a lot of dancers in different themed costumes. Kevin Hart was screaming. Rob Riggle was screaming. Ludacris showed up? Hey! Did you know that the Barenaked Ladies are still a band? The NBA would like you to know they're still around.  The whole thing was like when you're at an art museum and you're told that abstract piece in the corner is actually really meaningful but you gotta be honest, you don't get it. 

Anyways, the internet hated it. Here are some highlights from the internet hating it:

The lesson here is that you never need Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle. One will do.