Denzel Valentine and Luka Samanic hit back-to-back 3-pointers with less than two minutes remaining, and Marial Shayok scored a career-high 31 points on 9-for-10 shooting as the Maine Celtics earned a 136-132 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in a G League game Saturday at the Portland Expo.

After leading for most of the second half, the Celtics fell behind 130-128 before the 3-pointers by Valentine and Samanic.

Samanic finished with 22 points, Mfiondu Kabengele had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and Valentine scored 16 points as Maine improved to 3-0 in the regular-season portion of its schedule.

Rio Grande Valley was paced by Trevor Hudgins with 36 points and Darius Days with 30.

• Myles Turner scored 34 points, Tyrese Haliburton had 24 points and 10 assists – including 14 points in the final four minutes – and the Indiana Pacers held on for a 131-130 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.


Paul George scored 45 points for the Clippers.


ECHL: Mathew Santos, Patrick Shea and Reid Stefanson all had a goal and an assist for the Maine Mariners in a 6-2 win over the Worcester Railers in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Cameron Askew, Alex-Olivier Voyer and Marc-Olivier Duquette also scored for the Mariners, who have won three in a row and six of seven. Maine has 30 goals in its last five games.

WORLD JUNIORS: Minnesota freshman Jimmy Snuggerud had a goal and three assists and the United States beat Finland 6-2 to win its group at the world junior championships in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The Americans will face Germany in the quarterfinals Monday.


NHL: The Colorado Avalanche activated forward Nathan MacKinnon from injured reserve before their game against Toronto on Saturday night.

MacKinnon missed 11 games because of an upper-body injury. His 26 assists were tied for the league lead when he went out during the first period of a game at Philadelphia on Dec. 5.

• Alex Ovechkin recorded his 30th career hat trick, Charlie Lindgren made 31 saves against his first NHL team and the Washington Capitals skated circles around the visiting Montreal Canadiens on the way to a 9-2 rout.

• Gustav Nyquist scored two short-handed goals, Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets ended a seven-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.

• Nic Hague scored during a delayed penalty with 2:56 left in overtime, helping the Vegas Golden Knights overcome a hat trick by Filip Forsberg in a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators in Las Vegas.

• Noah Cates scored a go-ahead, short-handed goal in the third period, Owen Tippett had a goal and an assist and the Philadelphia Flyers snapped the Los Angeles Kings’ seven-game point streak with a 4-2 victory in Los Angeles.



NFL: Defensive co-captain and safety Xavier McKinney was activated from the reserve-non-football injury list and is expected to play for the New York Giants on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Giants, who can clinch their first playoff berth since 2016 with a win, also released receiver David Sills and elevated tight end Chris Myarick and defensive back Zyon Gilbert from the practice squad to the active roster.


ENGLAND: Arsenal stretched its Premier League lead to seven points with a 4-2 win at Brighton, capped by a well-worked breakaway goal from Gabriel Martinelli.

• Demarai Gray scored a spectacular equalizer as struggling Everton had an unexpectedly happy end to the calendar year with a 1-1 draw at crosstown rival Manchester City.


• Fabian Schar wasted three good chances as Newcastle’s six-game winning streak in the Premier League was halted by a 0-0 draw against Leeds, leaving the hosts in third place behind Arsenal and Manchester City.

• Marcus Rashford came off the bench after being dropped for disciplinary reasons and scored the winner for Manchester United, securing a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton that sent the team into the Premier League’s top four.

SPAIN: Barcelona stumbled in its first game since a seven-week World Cup break when it was held 1-1 by Espanyol at Camp Nou in a heated Catalan derby that finished with both teams having a player sent off in the final minutes.

After 15 of 38 rounds, Barcelona will finish the calendar year at the top of La Liga, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference.

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