Rick Barry's son Canyon breaks Florida record for made free throws in a row

Rick Barry's son Canyon breaks Florida record for made free throws in a row

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — No. 17 Florida is glad to be done with early starts.

Even though coach Mike White switched up the team's routine Saturday and let players sleep in, the Gators turned in another sluggish performance.

Justin Leon scored 18 points, Canyon Barry added 12 and Florida overcame a lackluster start to beat Texas A&M 71-62.

John Egbunu notched his first double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds and then getting the game ball from White, as the Gators (20-5, 10-2 Southeastern Conference) won their sixth consecutive game. After winning each of the last five by double digits, this one was considerably closer than most expected.

"Brain dead is (being) kind," White said. "We'll take it. You learn from every game, positively and negatively. When you learn some of the things about yourself that you didn't do so well and you can still come out with a win against a really good team, that's a positive in and of itself. We were very fortunate."

The Aggies (13-11, 5-7) led 42-41 midway through the second half and looked like they might get their first win in five tries against a ranked team this season. But Florida used a 24-10 run to take the lead and pull away. It started and ended with 3-pointers by Leon, who finished one point shy of tying his career high.

The senior made 7 of 15 shots, including four from behind the arc.

"Huge," White said. "This was the second or third one that if Justin doesn't sprint into a couple of 3s, we probably don't do enough offensively. ... He's turned himself into a shooter."

Barry provided a spark off the bench against Texas A&M's constantly changing defense and made all four of his under-handed free throws to break a school record. He has made 39 in a row, topping the former mark (37) set by Taurean Green during the 2005-06 season.

"Trying to keep it rolling, trying to get to 90 percent," Barry said. "I think I'm close now hopefully, but just step to the line, have confidence every time. It doesn't really mean much. I just care about winning, getting these guys ready for the next game."

Chris Chiozza was the fourth Florida player in double figures, finishing with 11 points.

Robert Williams led the Aggies with 18 points and 12 rebounds, the freshman's seventh double-double of the season.

Texas A&M's undoing was 20 turnovers. It surely didn't help that the Aggies made 4 of 18 from 3-point range and finished with just nine assists.

"You can't turn it over 20 times, miss layups around the basket and win," Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said.

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: The Aggies have a talented frontcourt and really took it to the Gators inside, finishing with 30 points in the paint. But they have less depth in the backcourt, and it showed.

Florida: The Gators played their third early start in the last five Saturdays and struggled again. Florida needed overtime to beat Georgia on Jan. 14 and lost to Vanderbilt on Jan. 21. The Gators led by 11 early against the Aggies, looking like they had solved their early start issues, but went into a lethargic stretch that allowed Texas A&M back in it. White tried a lighter practice Thursday and no early morning shootaround on game day. It didn't really work.

UP NEXT

Texas A&M plays at Vanderbilt on Thursday.

Florida plays at Auburn on Tuesday, looking for a seventh straight win that would be the longest in White's two seasons.

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.

Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.

The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.

Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 with injured star Blake Griffin watching from the bench, his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.

Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.

Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.

Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.

Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.

The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.

TIP-INS:
Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.

Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.

 

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.

Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.

But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.

A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.

He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.

The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.

Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.