|Today|| Ray Allen says he will not play this NBA season|
MIAMI (AP) Ray Allen might return to the NBA - just not this season.
The league's all-time leading 3-point shooter who played for two NBA championship clubs announced Wednesday that he decided not to sign with any franchise for the remainder of this season, although he left the door open for a possible return in 2015-16.
"Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me," Allen said in a statement released through the office of his agent, Jim Tanner. "I've ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season."
Allen's future has been the source of incessant speculation since last summer, so much so that at one point Tanner felt compelled to post a message on social media and deny widespread reports that the future Hall of Fame sharpshooter had signed with Cleveland.
"Ray has received enormous interest from a number of NBA teams throughout this season," Tanner said in the same statement. "We will communicate with interested teams as Ray makes a decision for the 2015-16 season."
Allen turns 40 on July 20, though he's long prided himself on keeping an extremely high level of fitness. Many of his social-media posts in recent months have been directly related to either his workouts, his passion for running or to encourage others to become more fit.
Allen is a 10-time All-Star who was part of Boston's title in 2008 and Miami's in 2013 - the season when he hit one of the biggest shots in NBA postseason history, a overtime-forcing 3-pointer from the right corner with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of that season's Finals against San Antonio.
The Heat won that game, then prevailed in Game 7 for their second straight crown.
He also played for the Heat in 2013-14, then became a free agent and will stay that way - for now, anyway.
"I'm going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming offseason, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and det
|Today|| With Peterson's status in question, Vikings pay a visit|
The Minnesota Vikings have made their in-person pitch to Adrian Peterson, the latest step toward resolving the star running back's unclear status.
Whether it's keeping him or turning to a trade, the Vikings will likely make up their minds soon about whether Peterson will continue his NFL career in purple.
General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer spent about four hours Wednesday afternoon at Peterson's home north of Houston. KHOU-TV recorded video of Peterson emerging from the gated mansion wearing a white T-shirt and black workout pants to greet the pair with a hug. Spielman and Zimmer left together later, dressed in sport coats and blue jeans, while photographers from several media outlets captured on camera their departure in a gray car.
This was the first time they've had with Peterson since he was placed on paid leave in mid-September following his indictment in a child abuse case involving his 4-year-old son that was resolved with a plea bargain.
The NFL later suspended Peterson without pay under the personal conduct policy, a punishment supposed to be in effect through April 15. But last week a federal judge overruled the league's arbitrator who had denied Peterson's appeal. The NFL promptly appealed the decision to a higher court and put Peterson back on the exempt list in the meantime, which created the opportunity for direct contact by the Vikings.
"I appreciate Rick and Coach Zimmer coming down to see me today," Peterson said in a statement. "We had a great dialogue and they were able to understand where I was coming from and concerns my family and I still have. We respect each other and hopefully the situation can pan out so that everyone involved is content. "
Peterson told ESPN in a recent interview he's uneasy about returning to the organization, though he's still under contract with a $12.75 million base salary for 2015. His agreement to the meeting Wednesday stemmed from his respect for Zim
|Today|| MLS, players agree in principle to 5-year labor contract|
Major League Soccer and its players' union agreed in principle to a five-year labor contract, establishing free agency for the first time and averting a possible strike ahead of Friday's season opener.
The deal, the culmination of talks that began last weekend in Washington, D.C., was announced Wednesday night and would replace the contract that expired Jan. 31.
Under the agreement, players 28 and older could become free agents if they have eight seasons of MLS service and their contracts have expired, a person familiar with the details said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not yet been announced.
The minimum salary would rise to $60,000, with a provision that some players could have a $50,000 minimum, the person said. The minimum was $48,500 for the first 24 roster spots on each team last year and $36,500 for the last six, with a requirement players at the lower figure had to be under 25 years old.
Each team's salary budget will rise from $3.1 million last season to about $3.5 million this year. Only a portion of the salaries of high-priced designated players count against the budget.
"This agreement will provide a platform for our players, ownership and management to work together to help build Major League Soccer into one of the great soccer leagues in the world," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
MLS's 20th season begins this weekend, with the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy hosting Chicago in the opener. The Fire traveled to California on Wednesday for the match.
"We are pleased to finally turn our fans attention back to our players and the competition on the field as we get started on the 2015 season," Bob Foose, executive director of the MLS Players Union, said in a statement.
Orlando and former FIFA Player of the Year Kaka host New York City and former Spanish World Cup champion David Villa on Sunday in the debut of the expansion teams that rais
|Today|| AP Source: Peyton Manning returning for 18th NFL season|
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Hold that gold watch. Peyton Manning is taking one more shot at the silver trophy.
Weeks of speculation about the five-time MVP's future ended Wednesday with word that he's returning for an 18th season in the NFL and fourth in Denver.
A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Manning will take a $4 million pay cut, from $19 million to $15 million, but that he can make it all back through performance incentives. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement of the deal.
Manning, who is still scheduled to make $19 million in 2016 in the final season of the five-year contract he signed in 2012, will take his physical and sign his revised contract Thursday.
Manning mulled retirement after the Broncos' playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. But he determined he still had the health and hunger to keep playing at age 39, when he tries to become the oldest QB to win a Super Bowl.
"We're just excited to have him back," Pro Bowl running back C.J. Anderson told the AP. "Of course, he just wants to go out there and win that ring. And we're just trying to go out there and help him win it. ... If he said he's mentally and physically ready to play, that doesn't mean it's at a subpar level. It means it's at a high level."
Manning, who won a title with the Colts in 2006, met with general manager John Elway a few weeks ago after taking some time to decompress from an arduous season and told him he wasn't ready to retire.
Reminiscent of Brett Favre's annual flirtations with retirement, however, this saga dragged on as the Broncos and Manning's agent Tom Condon reworked the quarterback's contract.
The $4 million savings won't drastically change Denver's free agency plans. It gives Elway about $20 million to work with, but much of that will go to his own restricted free agents and a large draft class.
After dealing with a nagging
|Yesterday|| Trooper: Fingerprints show victim in Hernandez's rented car|
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) A state police trooper who specializes in fingerprint analysis testified Tuesday in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez that the fingerprints of the former NFL player and his alleged victim, Odin Lloyd, were found inside a car that was allegedly used to drive Lloyd to his death.
Prosecutors say Hernandez, then a New England Patriot tight end, and two friends, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, picked up Lloyd from his home early on the morning of June 17, 2013, shortly before he was killed.
Hernandez also is charged in another case with the fatal shootings of two men in 2012, and prosecutors previously suggested as a possible motive for Lloyd's death that Hernandez may have showed Lloyd the spot where the double slayings took place. But a judge ruled last year that prosecutors can't tell the jury about the double slayings.
Massachusetts State Police Trooper David Mackin, who processed the fingerprints found inside a Nissan Altima that Hernandez had rented, testified Tuesday that Lloyd's fingerprints were found on the handle of the rear passenger side door.
Lloyd's sister testified Monday that she saw Lloyd get into the rear passenger side of a silver Nissan that night but could not see the driver. Video from a neighbor's surveillance camera also showed Lloyd getting into a car at 2:32 a.m. Prosecutors have said Lloyd was dead by 3:30 a.m., shot to death in an industrial park near Hernandez's home.
Mackin testified that Hernandez's fingerprints were found on the inside handle of the driver's side. Surveillance footage from the night of the killing shows Hernandez getting into the driver's seat of a Nissan Altima, which he had rented the previous week.
The fingerprints of Ortiz and Wallace also were found inside the car, Mackin said. Wallace's fingerprints were found in various places, including on the inside driver's side window, the driver's side seatbelt latch, the front passenger inside door handle
|Yesterday|| AP Source: Greg Hardy to meet with NFL officials|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers defensive end and soon-to-be free agent Greg Hardy will meet with NFL officials in New York on Wednesday to discuss his domestic violence case, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.
The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no public announcement of the meeting has been made.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had no comment.
The meeting means Hardy's lengthy legal saga could be coming to an end soon.
Hardy has been on the commissioner's exempt list since September.
He becomes a free agent March 10. While he's not expected to re-sign with Carolina, he could command millions on the market.
Hardy, 26, was convicted of assault on a female and communicating threats last summer, but charges were dismissed Feb. 9 during an appeal trial when his accuser couldn't be located to testify. Prosecutors say Hardy reached a civil suit agreement with the accuser.
The NFL has said it is investigating Hardy's case.
The league unsuccessfully petitioned to have evidence from Hardy's first trial unsealed. Without that evidence, it may be difficult for the league to suspend Hardy.
Hardy potentially faces up to a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating its domestic abuse policy even though the charges against him were dismissed.
Hardy is seeking immediate reinstatement from the NFL - before he hits the free agent market next week - after a federal judge cleared way for Adrian Peterson's return to the league. Like Peterson, Hardy spent the majority of last season on the commissioner's exempt list preventing him from playing football.
Hardy was Carolina's franchise player last season.
Despite being convicted last summer he was allowed to play in Carolina's first game before eventually being placed on the commissioner's exempt list when Roger Goodell began to toughen his stance on domestic violence offenders in
|Yesterday|| Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw with team in slide|
DENVER (AP) Last week, Denver Nuggets players broke their huddle with a chant of "1-2-3 ... Six weeks," interpreted by some as a countdown to the end of a season gone sour.
Brian Shaw didn't even make it that far. The first-time head coach was fired after 1 1/2 seasons on Tuesday, with the team at 20-39 and struggling to win at home. Assistant coach Melvin Hunt was promoted to interim coach and the Nuggets promptly won in his first game, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 106-95 to end a six-game slide.
The timing of the dismissal was somewhat surprising given that just last week general manager Tim Connelly seemed to signal Shaw's job was safe at least through the end of the season.
"We were hopeful we could dig ourselves out of the hole, play more respectful basketball," Connelly explained. "Unfortunately, our struggles have been pretty immense and led to today."
Bucks coach Jason Kidd said he had dinner with Shaw the night before and that Shaw didn't appear to have any sort of inkling his firing was imminent.
"This wasn't anything, I don't think, he saw coming," Kidd said after his team's morning practice. "It's unfortunate what happened with B-Shaw, being one of my mentors as a player and also a good friend."
Shaw went 56-85 for a .397 winning percentage. The Nuggets were in the midst of 10 straight losses at home - one shy of tying the franchise record set in 1997-98 - before ending the skid on Tuesday night. The team has also nosedived since the All-Star break, going 1-6, and attendance has suffered.
Forward J.J. Hickson said Shaw addressed the team before departing. Shaw's message was simply to "finish up strong and be pros. Wished all of us luck," Hickson recounted.
Asked if Shaw lost the locker room, Hickson said, "not in my opinion."
"Have to look in the mirror individually, and own up to some of the stuff that's going on around here," Hickson added.
Nuggets President Josh Kroenke said the
|Yesterday|| AP source: Vikings to meet with Adrian Peterson on Wednesday|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Adrian Peterson is about to feel what it's like to be recruited again.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman plan to travel to Peterson's home near Houston on Wednesday to meet with their disgruntled star running back, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because neither side was publicly discussing the process.
Peterson's wife, Ashley, will also be part of the meeting in which Zimmer and Spielman will try to convince the 2012 league MVP that he should remain with the Vikings after missing almost all of last season while addressing child abuse charges in Texas.
It will be the first time Peterson will meet face to face with Vikings officials since September, and time is of the essence. The new league year, including trades and free agency, opens March 10.
The door opened for the sides to meet after a federal judge ruled last week that an arbitrator erred in retroactively punishing Peterson under the league's new personal conduct policy even though Peterson whipped his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch before the policy change. The NFL increased the minimum suspension for acts of domestic violence from two games to six.
U.S. District Judge David Doty said the arbitrator failed in his duties and sent the case back to league. The NFL is appealing Doty's ruling. It has removed Peterson from the suspended list and placed him back on paid leave, which allows the running back to meet with Zimmer and Spielman.
The case could also return to arbitration or be settled.
USA Today first reported the planned meeting.
Peterson has expressed displeasure with what he believes is a lack of support from key members of the Vikings front office throughout his ordeal. That, coupled with a possible desire by the Vikings to restructure a contract that is set to pay the soon-to-be 30-year-old Peterson $12.75 million next season,
|Yesterday|| AP sources: Eagles deal running back McCoy for Bills' Alonso|
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) LeSean McCoy will lead Rex Ryan's "ground and pound" running attack for the Buffalo Bills next season.
Two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to trade McCoy, their star running back, to the Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. The people spoke under condition of anonymity because the teams had not announced the deal.
ESPN first reported the trade.
The deal has been agreed to, but can't be completed until the 2015 league season begins on Tuesday.
McCoy had an inconsistent season last year after leading the NFL with 1,607 yards rushing in 2013. At his best, McCoy is an elite multidimensional running back who has been a proven threat as both a runner and receiver.
He enjoyed his best season in 2013, scoring nine touchdowns rushing, adding 539 yards receiving and one touchdown.
One reason for McCoy's drop in production last season was a banged-up offensive line in which all five projected starters never played one game together.
McCoy's addition leaves C.J. Spiller in search of a new team. He is eligible to become a free agent next week.
Buffalo's 2010 first-round draft pick told the NFL Network the Bills informed him of the trade, and told him "they were going in that direction, pretty much giving me a `Thank you for your service."'
"Nothing has changed," Spiller said about his offseason approach. "The game plan is still the same. The only thing is that I won't be returning to Buffalo."
Alonso will be reunited with Chip Kelly, who coached the linebacker at his previous job at Oregon. Alonso made an immediate impact in Buffalo after being selected in the second round of the 2013 draft.
He emerged as a top defensive rookie of the year contender after leading Buffalo with 159 tackles, two fumble recoveries and tying for the team lead with four interceptions while barely missing a snap in playing all 16 ga
|Mar 2, 2015|| Arizona sends Keith Yandle to Rangers for 2 players, picks|
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The New York Rangers acquired a big piece in their push for another deep playoff run, picking up All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
The Rangers lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals last season didn't wait until Monday's trade deadline to make a big move for this year's run.
The 28-year-old Yandle has been one of the NHL's best offensive-minded defensemen, a four-time All-Star who has led the Coyotes in scoring the past three seasons. He has 41 points in 63 games this season and has been the anchor of Arizona's power play unit.
New York also received defenseman Chris Summers and a 2016 fourth-round pick for defenseman John Moore, top prospect Anthony Duclair, a conditional first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-rounder this year.
The Rangers made two more deals Sunday ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring forward Carl Klingberg from the Winnipeg Jets for forward Lee Stempniak, and picking up forward James Sheppard from the San Joe Sharks for a fourth-round pick in 2016.
Arizona agreed to retain 50 percent of Yandle's salary to complete the deal.
"It's very simple: The only way we could do a deal with the Rangers given their cap situation was to retain salary," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. "That's the reality of the world we're living in. We would not be doing this type of deal if we were acquiring a 33-year-old player, but when you talk about a 19-year-old potential first-line winger and a couple of other high-draft pick assets, you realize it's going to cost you some money to make this type of deal."
The Rangers are third in the Eastern Conference, five points behind Montreal, and two behind the neighboring Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.
The 28-year-old Yandle has been a core member of the Coyotes since they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. An assistant captain in Arizona, he ha
|Mar 2, 2015|| Chelsea wins League Cup; Real Madrid and PSG held to draws|
PARIS (AP) Coach Jose Mourinho added some more silverware to his collection as Chelsea beat Tottenham to win the Capital One Cup.
It ended his longest trophy drought in management, having last won the 2012 Spanish title with Real Madrid before rejoining Chelsea in 2013.
The London side's day was made better by the fact title rival Manchester City lost away to Liverpool to remain five points behind Chelsea - having played one game more.
In Spain, both Madrid sides were in action. League leader Real Madrid was held 1-1 at home by Villarreal, while Atletico drew 0-0 away to Sevilla.
Paris Saint-Germain missed chances in a 0-0 draw at Monaco, while in Italy Napoli slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Torino.
Dutch striker Bas Dost starred again in Wolfsburg's 5-3 win at Werder Bremen.
Here's a look at the action from the top European leagues:
Chelsea won the League Cup for the fifth time and coach Jose Mourinho could hardly contain his joy, hugging his backroom staff and clenching his fist as he turned to celebrate with the London club's delighted fans at Wembley.
Captain John Terry scored the opener in the 45th minute with a deflected strike.
"We handled the game well and the pressure well," said the 34-year-old Terry, whose contract expires at the end of the season. "I don't see it as my last (visit to Wembley)."
Chelsea's first trophy since the 2013 Europa League was secured when another Tottenham defender, Kyle Walker, deflected striker Diego Costa's shot into the net.
In the north, Chelsea's title rival Manchester City dropped vital points after losing 2-1 to Liverpool.
Just like last season, Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho grabbed Liverpool's winner against City, curling in a superb 25-meter goal in the 75th minute after Bosnia forward Edin Dzeko canceled out midfielder Jordan Henderson's blockbusting opener for the home side.
"It is a significant wi
|Mar 2, 2015|| Jimmie Johnson pulls away for another Atlanta Sprint Cup win|
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Jimmie Johnson pulled away after the final restart with 13 laps to go Sunday, winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Johnson, a six-time Cup champion, started near the back after failing to get in a qualifying run because of inspection issues. But the No. 48 Chevrolet was the fastest car on the track at the end of the weekend, cruising across the finish line a comfortable 1.803 seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick.
It was the 71st victory of Johnson's career, and his fourth at the 1.54-mile trioval south of Atlanta.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third, followed by Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano.
|Mar 2, 2015|| Seller's market for NHL teams as trade deadline nears|
General managers, count your draft picks. In this trade market, they're valuable currency.
In the days leading to Monday's NHL trade deadline, draft picks have been moving at a swift pace. It's a seller's market and much more selling could be coming.
Already the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Arizona Coyotes have gotten first-round picks for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, Andrej Sekera and Antonie Vermette, and older players like Kimmo Timonen and Jaromir Jagr have fetched second-rounders and more.
More: Rangers acquire Yandle | Stars send Cole to Red Wings | Caps land Glencross
On Sunday, the New York Rangers acquired All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle from the Coyotes for defenseman John Moore, a top prospect and two draft picks.
Arizona also sent defenseman Chris Summers and a fourth-round draft pick to the Rangers, who gave up prospect Anthony Duclair, a conditional first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-rounder this year.
The Rangers made two more deals ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring forward Carl Klingberg from the Winnipeg Jets for forward Lee Stempniak, and picking up forward James Sheppard from the San Joe Sharks for a fourth-round pick in 2016.
The 28-year-old Yandle is Arizona's leading scorer this season with 41 points and is a four-time All-Star. He has been a core member of the Coyotes since they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. Yandle has one year remaining on a five-year, $26 million contract signed in 2011.
The Detroit Red Wings acquired forward Erik Cole from Dallas. The Stars got cent
|Mar 2, 2015|| Harden's 33 leads Rockets over Cavs in OT|
HOUSTON -- James Harden scored 33 points for Houston and Cleveland star LeBron James missed a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left in overtime, helping the Rockets hold on for a 105-103 win over the Cavaliers on Sunday.
James hit a 3-pointer with 43.5 seconds left to get Cleveland within one. Harden and James got tangled up on Houston's next possession, but no foul was called and the shot clock expired.
James drove into the lane and was fouled by Josh Smith, but he missed both free throws to finish 3 for 11 at the line. Harden, who had his 26th 30-point game this season, added a free throw and Cleveland missed a 3 at the buzzer.
James finished with 37 points after resting during Friday night's 93-86 loss at Indiana. He returned for a chippy contest that had multiple technicals and a flagrant foul by Harden on James.
A long jumper by J.R. Smith put Cleveland in front in overtime, but Houston scored the next five points.Patrick Beverley made a go-ahead 3 and Josh Smith hit two foul shots to make it 104-100 with 2:21 remaining.
The Cavaliers had a chance for the win in regulation but James held the ball until right before the buzzer and his jump shot bounced off the rim.
Kevin Love had 21 points for the Cavaliers, who played their second game without point guard Kyrie Irving, who has a left shoulder strain.
The loss ended Cleveland's 10-game winning streak against the Western Conference and prevented the Cavs from moving into first in the Central Division. Cleveland has won 18 of 22 but has dropped two straight.
An 8-2 run by the Rockets, with four points from Harden, gave them a 98-95 lead with less than two minutes left in the fourth.
James made one of two free throws before Tristan Thompson added two more to tie it about a minute later.
The Rockets used back-to-back 3s from Corey Brewer and Jason Terry to take an 88-82 lead in the fourth quarter. But Cleveland bounced right back, putting t
|Mar 1, 2015|| York leads No. 7 Arizona past No. 13 Utah, 63-57|
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Gabe York scored five of his 12 points in the final 2 minutes as No. 7 Arizona scored the last eight points to rally past No. 13 Utah 63-57 on Saturday night.
Brandon Taylor made a 3-pointer with 1:57 remaining to give Utah a 57-55. York then drew Jakob Poeltl's fifth foul and made one free throw and then rebounded his miss on the second attempt and put it in to give the Wildcats a 58-57 lead with 1:39 to play.
Hollis-Jefferson, who had 10 points, made 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute and York hit two more to clinch the Wildcats' 13th straight win over Utah (22-6, 12-4 Pac-12).
Kaleb Taczewski led Arizona (26-3, 14-2) with 13 points while Stanley Johnson had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
|Mar 1, 2015|| Blackhawks acquire Antoine Vermette from Coyotes|
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Blackhawks acquired center Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night for a first-round pick this year and defensive prospect Klas Dahlbeck.
The 32-year-old Vermette will help replace Patrick Kane, the star Chicago forward who broke his left collarbone Tuesday night and will be out at least until late May.
Vermette is in position to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. He has 13 goals and 22 assists in 62 games this season. In 11 NHL seasons, Vermette has 194 goals and 236 assists in 815 regular-season games with Ottawa, Columbus and Arizona.
"Antoine is the consummate professional and a class act and we wish him the best of luck in the future," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said in a statement.
The Coyotes have lost nine straight, falling 4-1 in Boston on Saturday night.
"I don't know what I am thinking. It's obviously a strange position, and it's not a fun one," Vermette said before the trade. "It's not the way you see it, you know as a group here. It's not the position you want to be. It's a little strange."
The 23-year-old Dahlbeck has a goal in four games for Chicago this season. The Swede has four goals and six assists in 49 games for Rockford in the American Hockey League.
"Klas Dahlback is a big, strong, two-way defenseman who skates well and competes hard," Maloney said.
Chicago acquired defenseman Kimmo Timonen from Philadelphia on Friday for a second-round draft pick this year and a conditional 2016 fourth-rounder.
|Mar 1, 2015|| Collinsworth leads BYU over No. 3 Gonzaga|
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Kyle Collinsworth scored 20 points as BYU beat No. 3 Gonzaga 73-70 on Saturday night, ending the Bulldogs' school-record 22-game winning streak and perhaps costing them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Byron Wesley scored 17 points to lead Gonzaga (29-2, 17-1 West Coast Conference), which also snapped its 41-game home winning streak - the longest in the nation.
Skyler Halford added 14 points and Chase Fischer 13 for BYU (23-8, 13-5), which has won six in a row to preserve its NCAA tournament hopes.
After trailing by 10 points earlier in the second half, Gonzaga used a 20-11 run to pull to 71-70 on Eric McClellan's free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining.
The Cougars inbounded the ball to Ryan Andrus, who was fouled immediately and made both free throws for a three-point lead with 1.5 seconds left.
Kyle Wiltjer's shot from beyond mid-court then bounced off the rim as time expired.
The win was BYU's first against an opponent ranked third or higher since beating No. 2 UCLA in November 1981.
Gonzaga was seeking to become the first team to go through the WCC regular season undefeated since the league's recent expansion to 10 schools. The Bulldogs hadn't lost since being beaten by Illinois on Dec. 8, 2012.
With the score tied 36-all at halftime, BYU opened the second half with a 9-4 run to build a 45-40 lead. The Cougars didn't trail again.
Gonzaga made only five of its first 15 shots in the second half, and Tyler Haws scored seven consecutive points for the Cougars to extend the lead to 60-50.
Wesley's basket cut BYU's lead to 66-61 with 3:32 left before Collinsworth replied with a three-point play to push the lead back to eight.
Gary Bell Jr. made a 3-pointer as Gonzaga pulled to 69-64 with 1:52 left.
After a BYU turnover, Wesley was fouled on a drive and made both free throws to cut BYU's lead to three. The Cougars ran down the clock and Collinsworth scored on a
|Mar 1, 2015|| Anthony Mason, rugged forward of 1990s Knicks, dies at 48|
NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Mason's game was grit over glitz, more force than flash.
That might not fit some stereotypes of New York, but it was the perfect style for the Knicks of the 1990s, and made the rugged forward a beloved bruiser by teammates and fans.
Mason died Saturday morning, the Knicks said. He was 48.
Former teammate Patrick Ewing said his "heart is heavy" after learning Mason died after recent heart problems.
"Mase came to play every night and was always ready to go to battle with me every time we stepped on the court together," Ewing said in a statement. "I will remember him for his strength, determination and perseverance."
Mason was a defensive force who played for six NBA teams from 1989-2003, a popular protector of superstars like Ewing and respected by opponents who knew they were in for punishment when they lined up against his muscular frame.
"As a competitor, there was none fiercer than Anthony Mason. Standing on the opposite end of the playing field, coaching in those great Chicago/New York battles, No. 14 in the orange and blue always stood out," said Knicks President Phil Jackson, who coached the Chicago Bulls during their many matchups against the `90s Knicks.
Added Michael Jordan: "Mase was one of the toughest competitors of his era."
He remained a fighter throughout his health problems, his family said in thanking fans for their prayers.
"Anthony felt each and every one. He fought like a warrior to the very end," the Mason family said in a statement provided by the Knicks.
The Knicks held a moment of silence for Mason on Saturday night before their game against the Toronto Raptors. Many former Knicks posted their thoughts about Mason on Twitter throughout what the Madison Square Garden public address announcer called a sad day for the franchise.
The Knicks have been unable to duplicate their success of the `90s and coach Derek Fisher said Mason's determination co
|Mar 1, 2015|| Thunder's Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone|
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had surgery to repair a fracture to his right cheek Saturday and the NBA's hottest player will miss at least a game.
The Thunder said the surgery took place in Los Angeles, where they will play the Lakers on Sunday, and that Westbrook would be re-evaluated next week.
Westbrook was hurt in the final seconds of the Thunder's 115-112 loss Friday night in Portland, when he scored 40 points in his third straight triple-double. Teammate Andre Roberson's knee crashed into Westbrook's face, leaving a noticeable imprint on his right cheek.
The MVP of the All-Star Game, Westbrook has had triple-doubles in his past three games. For the month of February, he averaged 31.2 points, 10.2 assists and 9.1 rebounds and led the team to a 9-3 record.
The Thunder already were without reigning league MVP Kevin Durant, who had a screw replaced in his surgically repaired right foot last Sunday. Thunder center Steven Adams also has been out with a hand injury.
|Feb 26, 2015|| Mavs suspend Rondo for game after exchange with Carlisle|
ATLANTA (AP) The Dallas Mavericks suspended Rajon Rondo for their game Wednesday night in Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the team, a day after the point guard had a heated exchange on the court with coach Rick Carlisle and was benched.
Carlisle said he must communicate better with Rondo.
"The incident last night was born in large part from poor communication between him and I," Carlisle said before Dallas' 104-87 loss. "That's on both of us. We had a long talk about the situation today and we both agreed we need to communicate more frequently and we need to work on the solution of making his stint as a Dallas Maverick the most successful one possible."
Rondo came out with 8:10 left in the third quarter of Dallas' 99-92 home victory over Toronto. He was bringing the ball up the court when Carlisle angrily shouted for a timeout and exchanged words with Rondo from several feet away as the player headed to the bench.
The Mavericks were trailing by nine when Rondo was pulled and rallied with backups Devin Harris and J.J. Barea running the offense along with leading scorer Monta Ellis, who sometimes handles the ball.
Carlisle said Rondo will return as a starter for the Mavericks' next game against Brooklyn on Saturday.
"It's one game. He'll serve it tonight," Carlisle said. "We'll be off tomorrow. He'll practice Friday and he'll be back in the starting lineup on Saturday. The events of last night are now in the past and we've got to move forward.
"I need to say this very clearly: He's an extremely important part of our team. Our efforts to get to the highest possible level largely hinge on ... playing well with him. He needs to play well with us and we need to play well with him. It's a two-way street."
Carlisle said the suspension was "an organizational decision."
The suspension left the Mavericks with only 11 players against the Hawks. Center Tyson Chandler was held out with a hip contusion and forwa
|Feb 26, 2015|| Cop: Shell casings in Hernandez car, at scene from same gun|
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) A shell casing found in a car rented by ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and at the scene of a killing near his home were fired from the same weapon, a state police sergeant testified Wednesday.
Five shell casings were found near where Odin Lloyd was shot to death June 17, 2013, in an industrial park not far from the Hernandez home in North Attleborough. An employee of a rental car business has previously testified that she found one shell casing under the driver's seat of Hernandez's rented Nissan Altima, which he returned the day of the killing.
Police later found that shell casing in a trash bin at the business.
Sgt. Stephen Walsh testified Wednesday that his examination determined all six .45-caliber casings were fired by the same gun. He said they were consistent with having been fired from a Glock.
The murder weapon has never been found.
During cross-examination, the defense went after Walsh for not looking more thoroughly for ways to match the bullets, such as by contacting the manufacturer or by checking a national database for comparing bullets.
|Feb 26, 2015|| AP source: Manning, Broncos talking about reworking contract|
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) It looks as if it's going to come down to money.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations confirms the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning's representatives are discussing ways to revise his contract and give the team more flexibility in free agency.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.
Manning, who has made more money than any player in pro football history, is due to make another $19 million in both 2015 and `16, and his salary cap number for next season is $21.2 million.
John Elway has traditionally been one of the more aggressive general managers in the NFL when it comes to free agency, and he has plenty of problems to fix again this offseason.
Last year he lured DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and Emmanuel Sanders, Pro Bowlers all, and he wants to make another run at a Super Bowl title with Manning, who turns 39 next month.
Redoing Manning's deal would give Elway more maneuverability as he addresses Denver's offseason needs, including retooling the offensive line that figures to have up to three new members next season.
Following Denver's playoff loss to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, last month, Manning was non-committal about playing next season, which would be his 18th in the NFL. Elway asked him the next morning not to make a rash decision.
Manning flew to Denver on Feb. 12 to meet with Elway and new coach Gary Kubiak, both of whom said at the NFL scouting combine last week that they expected Manning to be their quarterback next season.
Manning must also pass a physical by March 5 where doctors check to see if there's any degeneration in his surgically repaired neck, but both the five-time MVP and Elway have said they consider that a mere formality.
The Broncos figure to have about $27 million to work with under the projected $148 million salary cap in 2015, but a franchis
|Feb 26, 2015|| Angels' Hamilton meeting with MLB about disciplinary issue|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is meeting with Major League Baseball officials about a disciplinary issue.
Angels spokesman Tim Mead confirmed the Los Angeles Times' initial report Wednesday that Hamilton went to New York to meet with baseball officials. The team declined to give any more specific information.
Hamilton hasn't reported to spring training in Arizona after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month. He is expected to be out until after the regular season begins.
The 2010 AL MVP is entering the third season of a five-year, $125 million contract. Hamilton has been a disappointment for the Angels, batting just .255 with 31 homers and 123 RBIs in two seasons.
Hamilton also has a well-chronicled history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse, leading to previous suspensions.
MLB declined comment on Hamilton.
|Feb 26, 2015|| Blackhawks' Kane has surgery for broken left clavicle|
CHICAGO (AP) Blackhawks star Patrick Kane had surgery Wednesday to repair a broken left collarbone, likely sidelining the dynamic forward for the rest of the season unless Chicago makes another deep run in the playoffs.
Team physician Dr. Michael Terry and Dr. Bradley Merk performed the surgery, and Terry said a full recovery will take "approximately 12 weeks."
Kane, who leads Chicago with 27 goals and 37 assists, lost his balance and crashed into the boards after he was cross-checked by Florida defenseman Alex Petrovic with 12:11 left in the first period of Tuesday night's 3-2 shootout victory over the Panthers.
He stayed down on the ice for a short time and was hunched over as he skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room.
The three-month timeline means Kane would be out until the Western Conference finals. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and lost to eventual champion Los Angeles in the conference finals a year ago, but it will be quite difficult to make a similar run without Kane, who was working on one of his best seasons.
"You miss a valuable guy, a buddy," coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday night. "He's having one of those years that are very noticeable. But the guys still got to stick with it. Playing the right way will be emphasized as we go along."
The 26-year-old Kane led Chicago with 20 points in last year's postseason. He had the winning goal against Philadelphia when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP when they won the title again two years ago.
"I don't think you replace the things that he does with the puck, the attention he gets," teammate Patrick Sharp said. "But one of the strengths of our organization is depth. When a player goes down, you try to collectively try to fill in for him. But you know, as well, as you can't replace Kaner."
The Blackhawks began preparing for the rest of the season when they placed
|Feb 25, 2015|| Council OKs Los Angeles-area stadium backed by Rams owner|
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) The Inglewood City Council late Tuesday night approved plans to build a football stadium that includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke as a partner, clearing a path for a return to the Los Angeles area of the NFL for the first time in two decades.
The council approved the $2 billion plan with a 5-0 vote after a meeting with several hours of public comment and many vocal Rams fans wearing jerseys in attendance.
With only a small handful of dissenters, most of the commenters exuberantly supported the move.
They included Henry Yet, 54, of Brea, a board member of the Southern California Ram boosters.
"I'm not going to sleep, I'll probably stay up all night just thinking about it," he said after the vote. "This is a monumental step."
Another commenter, Eric Geller, urged the council to "plant those shovels in the dirt tomorrow morning."
The vote adopts a new redevelopment plan without calling a public vote, effectively kickstarting construction and sidestepping lengthy environmental review of issues such as noise, traffic and air pollution.
It adds the 80,000 seat, 60-acre stadium to an existing 2009 plan to redevelop the former Hollywood Park racetrack site with homes, offices, stores, parks and open space and a hotel.
Kroenke is part of the Hollywood Park Land Co. development group that is promoting the project. But a plan is also in the works in St. Louis in hopes of keeping the team with a 64,000-seat stadium on the city's north riverfront.
Yet said he believed Kroenke and the team would make the move, even if there are legal or other obstacles.
"He knows he's going to be in litigation, but he has the money and the firepower to do it, and the city says yes," Yet said.
New urgency for Inglewood came to the issue last week with the announcement that the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers are planning a shared stadium in suburban Carson if they don't get the
|Feb 25, 2015|| Chicago's Rose out again with knee injury, needs surgery|
CHICAGO (AP) Derrick Rose's knee has failed him again.
The Chicago Bulls star will have surgery on his right knee for the second straight season, casting doubt on whether the once dynamic point guard will ever be the same after a series of injuries.
The team announced Tuesday night that Rose was feeling pain in his knee, and an exam and MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear.
The 2011 NBA MVP played in only 10 games last season before he had surgery for the same injury in November 2013, shelving him for the year, but the Bulls said a timetable for his return will be determined after the operation.
It's unclear when Rose re-injured the knee. He appeared to be rounding into form last month, averaging 22.6 points over his final 14 games before the All-Star break, but he had struggled since returning to the court after the time off.
Rose became the latest NBA star to be sidelined for a significant period within the past few days.
Chris Bosh will miss the rest of the season after the Miami Heat announced blood clots were found on one of his lungs. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (left knee surgery) won't return this season, either.
Thunder star Kevin Durant had surgery on his right foot, and Pelicans big man Anthony Davis has a sprained right shoulder. Both are expected back this season.
Rose's status remains to be seen.
Rose had eight points on 1-for-13 shooting while playing almost 33 minutes in Monday night's 87-71 victory over Milwaukee. He averaged 10.7 points on 23.5 percent shooting in Chicago's first three games after the break.
It's a big blow for the surging Bulls (36-21), who have won six of seven and appeared to be picking up steam after a tough stretch. They lead the Central Division by a half-game over Cleveland, but any extended absence for Rose will make it quite difficult for Chicago to hold off LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
"Man feel bad for D.Rose! Keep your head up homie a
|Feb 25, 2015|| Love, old captain, now 'new' captain of US Ryder Cup team|
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Davis Love III was on his porch in Sea Island taking part in a conference call for the first Ryder Cup Task Force meeting, and he was shocked by what he heard.
First, the PGA of America really was going to let the players have a voice.
And then it quickly became clear the choice was going to be him.
Love was introduced Tuesday afternoon as U.S. captain for the 2016 matches at Hazeltine.
And while it appeared as though the Americans were looking in their past, he was presented as the start of a new model they hope can end two decades of European dominance.
He also was captain in 2012 at Medinah when Europe staged the biggest rally by a visiting team.
"I'm here with the same goal I had in 2012, but not as the same captain," Love said.
Love was part of an 11-member task force - eight of them former Ryder Cup players - that met twice since December.
The agenda for the first meeting was to define the role of the captains and assistant captains, and then to throw out names. Among those mentioned were Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Love.
Phil Mickelson, whose biting comments at Gleneagles regarding Tom Watson's style was the impetus for the task force, said the qualities of a captain included someone who was respected, didn't let his ego keep him from listening, some who could take the blame and share the credit, and who had the experience to build a blueprint for the next 20 years.
"There's only one guy who fits that bill," Mickelson said.
The PGA of America also announced changes to the U.S. team to boost its chances.
Qualifying for the top eight players will end after the first FedEx Cup playoff event (The Barclays) instead of the PGA Championship. Three of the four captain's picks will be selected after the third playoff event (BMW Championship), while the final pick will be selected after the Tour Championship.
With a crowded schedule in 2016
|Feb 25, 2015|| David Ragan, Erik Jones to replace Kyle Busch at Atlanta|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) David Ragan will drive Kyle Busch's car in the Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Atlanta, while 18-year-old Erik Jones will drive Busch's car in the Xfinity Series.
Busch broke his right leg and left foot when he crashed head-on into a concrete wall Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. He left the Florida hospital on Tuesday and was transferred to one in Charlotte for further treatment.
Ragan will drive the No. 18 Toyota for at least the next several weeks. The move was accommodated by Front Row Motorsports, the team Ragan currently drives for, and sponsor CSX.
Jones will drive the No. 54 Toyota in Saturday's race. Busch was driving the No. 54 in the Xfinity Series opener when he was injured.
Joe Gibbs Racing said additional lineup changes to the Xfinity car will be made moving forward. Jones currently runs a full season in the Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial Xfinity schedule for JGR in the No. 20.
|Feb 25, 2015|| K-State apologizes to Kansas for court-storming incident|
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Kansas State athletic director John Currie promised to review the school's security procedures after an upset of eighth-ranked Kansas on Monday night turned into a chaotic scene as students and fans rushed the court.
Currie also apologized in a lengthy statement to Kansas counterpart Sheahon Zenger, Jayhawks coach Bill Self and his team Tuesday morning, and said the school would review video of the incident along with law enforcement personnel to identify fans who became unruly.
"Although no one was hurt last night," Currie said, "we fell short of our expectations for securing the court and escorting KU to its locker room without incident."
NCAA spokesman David Worlock said there are no national rules against court-storming, but that conferences and individual schools are expected to provide sufficient security.
The Big 12 said in a statement that it was reviewing the postgame celebration, and that "in accordance with conference policy, home team game management is responsible for the implementation of protocols to provide for the safety of all game participants, officials and fans."
Currie said that security formed a human barrier Tuesday night, just as they are instructed. But he said they were unable to get into position in time, even though the Wildcats led for several minutes at the conclusion of the game, and it had become apparent long before the final buzzer that a sea of humanity was ready to rush the floor.
As the court was engulfed, Self was nearly crushed against the scorer's table, and Kansas State coach Bruce Weber tried to shield him. At the other end of the floor, Jayhawks assistant Kurtis Townsend could be seen yanking away a student who was taunting several players.
Kansas forward Jamari Traylor was even hip-checked by a student rushing onto the court. The video quickly went viral, and Kansas State police posted a picture of the student on Twitter on Tuesday morning and asked
|Feb 25, 2015|| Busch crash leading to additional SAFER barriers at tracks|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) International Speedway Corp. is developing a plan for the installation of additional SAFER barriers at Daytona and Talladega, and will review the safety standards at its other racetracks.
The renewed focus announced Tuesday by ISC President John Saunders comes three days after NASCAR star Kyle Busch broke his right leg and left foot in a crash into a concrete wall at Daytona International Speedway.
Busch left a Daytona Beach, Florida, hospital on Tuesday and was transferred to another facility in North Carolina for further treatment.
Busch was injured Saturday in the season-opening Xfinity Series race when his car hit an interior wall that did not have a Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier.
After his accident, Daytona president Joie Chitwood III vowed to cover every inch of the speedway with SAFER barriers.
Daytona is owned by ISC, the sister company of NASCAR.
Saunders said ISC is "developing a significant plan" for more impact-absorbing technologies that will not be limited to SAFER barriers for Daytona and Talladega.
ISC will also immediately review Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, as both tracks host NASCAR races in March.
"We will utilize all available tools to ensure the safety of the drivers and our fans. It will remain our top priority," Saunders said in a statement. "ISC is working very closely with NASCAR and industry experts to identify areas for additional safety protections."
SAFER barriers were one of the many safety initiatives that came about after Dale Earnhardt's death in 2001 in an accident on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
The soft walls were developed by Dr. Dean Sicking at the University of Nebraska, and although they debuted in 2002 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they are currently installed in some form at every track used by NASCAR's top series.
The barriers, a combination of steel and foam