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December 21, 2018
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December 21, 2018
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Update on the latest sports





Rockets lose Paul, game


UNDATED (AP) – It was a tough night for the Houston Rockets.


Chris Paul suffered a strained left hamstring in the second quarter of a 101-99 loss to the Heat in Miami. Paul is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Friday, but Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says it will be some time before the point guard returns.


Josh Richardson scored 22 points and Tyler Johnson added 19 as the Heat stretched their winning streak to a season-high three in a row.


The Rockets’ five-game winning streak ended when Eric Gordon’s 3-point try at the buzzer hit the rim and bounced away, moments after he hit a trey to get Houston within two.


James Harden scored a game-high 35 points on 6 of 14 from beyond the arc, but he was 7-for-23 overall.


Last night’s other NBA game had the Clippers ending a four-game skid with a 125-121 downing of the Mavericks. Danilo Gallinari scored 32 points and Lou Williams added 26 to help Los Angeles overcome a season-high 32 points from rookie Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch).


The Clippers blew a seven-point, fourth-quarter lead and trailed 109-104 with 5:14 left before embarking on a 15-2 run.





Bulls lose Portis


UNDATED (AP) – The Chicago Bulls continue to lose players as they try to climb from the bottom of the NBA standings.


The team expects forward Bobby Portis to miss two to four weeks because of a sprained right ankle suffered in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn. The team said an MRI on Thursday showed no structural damage.


Portis appeared in five games after returning from a sprained knee ligament. He is averaging 11.9 points and eight rebounds in nine games this season.


Leading scorer Zach LaVine is expected to miss a total of two to four weeks after spraining his left ankle against Orlando in Mexico City on Dec. 13.


The Bulls are a league-worst 7-25.


In other NBA news:


– Celtics center Aron Baynes has had surgery on a broken left finger and will be out four to six weeks. Baynes left early in Wednesday’s loss to the Suns after deflecting a pass with his left hand.


– The NBA will play its first games in India next year. The league says the Pacers and Kings will play two exhibition games Oct. 4-5 at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.




Duke, Houston win


UNDATED (AP) – Second-ranked Duke earned its 35th victory at Madison Square Garden while pinning No. 12 Texas Tech with its first loss of the season.


Zion Williamson and fellow freshman RJ Barrett led the Blue Devils to a 69-58 win over the Red Raiders. Williamson provided 17 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out with 3:51 remaining. Barrett has 16 points for the 11-1 Blue Devils, who closed the game on a 16-5 run.


The Red Raiders fell to 10-1, losing for the first time since the NCAA regional finals despite Jarrett Culver’s 25 points.


Thursday’s other top-25 matchup had Armoni Brooks scoring all of his 15 points in the second half of No. 21 Houston’s 60-50 comeback over Utah State. The 11-0 Cougars came back from a 10-point halftime deficit for their 24th consecutive home win.




Gordon punished again


UNDATED (AP) – Josh Gordon’s on-again, off-again NFL career is on hold once again.


The NFL says the New England Patriots receiver has been returned to the reserve/commissioner suspended list indefinitely for violating the terms of his conditional reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy.


He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He was reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2017 and at the time revealed in an interview with GQ magazine that he drank or used marijuana before games.


Gordon said earlier Thursday that he was stepping away from football to focus on his mental health, but vowed to work his way back into the sport.


He was traded by the Browns in September and played in 10 games for the Pats, catching 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns.


In other NFL news:


– Eric Reid says he is “not surprised” he has been drug tested by the NFL six times in the past 11 weeks. But his Panthers teammates and coaches are growing increasingly annoyed at the frequency of the league’s “random” drug testing policy. Reid says it all stems from his pending collusion case against the NFL that alleges owners conspired to keep him out of the league for kneeling during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice.


– The Titans have placed running back David Fluellen on injured reserve and filled his roster spot by promoting linebacker Nigel Harris from the practice squad.


– The Panthers have placed outside linebacker Shaq Thompson on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The team signed undrafted rookie quarterback Kyle Allen to the active roster from the practice squad on Thursday.


– Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie broke an ankle during Thursday’s practice. The team provided no information on how the popular assistant was injured.


– Jets players, coaches and ownership have teamed up to commit to donating $800,000 to social justice causes. The team announced that funds will be given to five nonprofit organizations that focus on combating social inequality and reducing barriers to opportunities for people.




Flyers show more Hart


UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia Flyers had originally planned to give goaltending prospect Carter Hart a full season in the minors to prepare himself for the NHL. Hart’s learning curve appears to be shorter than they thought after winning back-to-back starts since his promotion earlier this week.


Hart followed Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Detroit by stopping 31 shots in the Flyers’ 2-1 victory against Nashville. The 20-year-old Hart made two big saves to help kill off the Predators’ lengthy 5-on-3 power play late in the second period.


Claude Giroux (jah-ROO’) and Jakub Voracek scored for the Flyers, who are 2-0 since interim coach Scott Gordon replaced the fired Dave Hakstol (HAK’-stahl) on Monday.


Elsewhere on NHL ice:


– The Jets made it six wins in their last seven games as Nikolaj Ehlers (NIH’-koh-ly EE’-lurz) recorded his fourth career hat trick and Mason Appleton got his first career goal to lead a 5-3 victory at San Jose. Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk) made 41 saves as Winnipeg moved two points ahead of the Central Division-leading Predators.


– The league-leading Lightning pulled out a 5-4 win at Calgary on J.T. Miller’s goal in the seventh round of a shootout. Louis Domingue (doh-MIHNG’) made seven of his 34 saves in overtime as Tampa Bay improved to 27-7-2 overall, and 10-0-1 in its last 11.


– The Maple Leafs rolled to a 6-1 rout of the Panthers behind two goals apiece from Auston Matthews and John Tavares. Matthews finished with four points, Morgan Rielly had four assists and Mitch Marner added a goal and two helpers as Toronto avenged Saturday’s overtime loss at Florida.


– Bryan Rust has eight goals in his last six games after netting two more in the Penguins’ fourth win in five games, 2-1 against the Wild. Casey DeSmith turned back 40 shots and blanked Minnesota after Jordan Greenway’s goal 7:13 into the game.


– The Blue Jackets earned a 2-1 win over the Devils as Cam Atkinson scored on a penalty shot and Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) stopped 30 shots. Nick Foligno (foh-LEE’-noh) also scored as Columbus finished 3-2-1 on its six-game homestand.


– David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists as the Bruins beat the Ducks for the first time in their last 10 meetings, 3-1. Torey Krug (kroog) had a goal and an assist to support Jaroslav Halak (YAH’-roh-slahv hah-LAHK’), who stopped 24 shots in Boston’s fifth win in seven games.


– Carey Price stopped 36 shots in his 300th career victory to lead the Canadiens past the Coyotes, 2-1. Paul Byron and Shea Weber scored as Montreal won the second game of a back-to-back for the first time in four tries this season.



– The Golden Knights trailed 2-1 until William Karlsson and Paul Stastny (STAS’-nee) scored 63 seconds apart in the third period of a 4-2 verdict over the Islanders. Nate Schmidt furnished an empty-net goal and two assists as Vegas ended New York’s three-game winning streak.


– The Blackhawks have their first winning streak since October after Patrick Kane delivered two goals and an assist in a 5-2 decision over the Stars. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and two assists for last-place Chicago.


– Bo Horvat (HOHR’-vat) and Jake Virtanen (vur-TAN’-ehn) each had a goal and an assist as the Canucks whipped the Blues, 5-1 to climb back to .500. Adam Gaudette, Josh Leivo and Loui Eriksson also scored in Vancouver’s sixth win in eight games since a 1-10-2 slide.


– Niklas Kronwall scored a power-play goal and set up Frans Nielsen’s game-winner to help the Red Wings knock off the Hurricanes, 4-1 to end a four-game losing streak. Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves and was perfect following Andrei Svechnikov’s (SVEHCH’-nih-kahvz) goal 90 seconds into the second period.




Shiffrin wins giant slalom for 49th World Cup victory


COURCHEVEL, France (AP) – Mikaela Shiffrin won a giant slalom for her 49th career World Cup victory Friday as the American continued her march to a third straight season-long overall title.


Under heavy snow, Shiffrin had a fantastic second run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 49.81 seconds and beat first-run leader Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany by 0.14 seconds.


France’s Tessa Worley recovered from injury to take third place, 0.33 behind Shiffrin.


The 23-year-old Shiffrin, who is the reigning Olympic GS champion, trailed Rebensburg by 0.08 after the first run.




Rockies get 2B Murphy


UNDATED (AP) – Second baseman Daniel Murphy has found a landing spot.


A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the three-time All-Star has agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract with the Colorado Rockies.


The 33-year-old Murphy batted .299 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs in 91 games for the Nationals and Cubs last season, missing the start of the year following knee surgery. He’s a lifetime .299 hitter with 122 home runs, 333 doubles, 641 RBIs and a .458 slugging average.


In other MLB news:


– Astros reliever Joe Smith will be out six to eight months after undergoing surgery on Tuesday to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Astros said the right-hander was injured while working out last week. The 34-year-old right-hander was 5-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 56 appearances for Houston last season.


– Ian Kinsler has signed his two-year, $8 million contract with the Padres, who cleared space on the 40-man roster by designating veteran left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment. Kinsler is expected to play second base.


– The Angels have added to their pitching staff by agreeing to a one-year, $9 million package Trevor Cahill. He can earn up to $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on innings, up to a maximum of 170 frames.




Marshall whips USF


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Isaiah Green, Keon Davis and Brenden Knox led Marshall’s bowl game victory on Thursday.


Green ran for a touchdown and was 17 of 25 for 221 yards as the Thundering Herd knocked off South Florida 38-20 in the Gasparilla Bowl. Davis ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns, while Knox accumulated all 93 of his rushing yards in the first half.


Marshall finishes 9-4, while USF ends a 7-6 season with six straight losses, including a bowl game on their home field.




Higdon not Peachy


UNDATED (AP) – Michigan running back Karan (kah-RAHN’) Higdon will skip the Peach Bowl, saying on Instagram that it is in his best interests to miss the game to prepare to pursue an NFL career. Higdon is one of the Wolverines’ top offensive threats, rushing for 1,178 yards as a senior this season. Michigan will also play the Dec. 29 bowl game against Florida without defensive end Rashan Gary, who is skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft.


Also in college football:


– An affidavit alleges University of Kansas running back Pooka Williams punched a woman in the stomach and grabbed her by the throat during a Dec. 5 incident. The Lawrence Journal-World reported the 18-year-old woman showed the officer text messages from Williams admitting to punching her in the arms. Coach Les Miles says a suspension has been given to Williams, who received several national and Big 12 honors this season.




Pitino eyes Greek job


ATHENS, Greece (AP) – A Greek team official says former Louisville coach Rick Pitino is in talks with the basketball club Panathinaikos about its coaching vacancy.


The official says “contacts have been made” and it is “probable” the Hall of Fame coach and Panathinaikos, the reigning Greek champion, will reach an agreement.


The 66-year-old Pitino was fired by Louisville a year ago after the school was implicated in a U.S. federal corruption investigation of college basketball.




Rosters surprises for US team


CHICAGO (AP) – U.S. captain Michael Bradley is being called for the team’s first training camp under coach Gregg Berhalter. But goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Jozy Altidore have been omitted from a 27-man roster picked exclusively from players in Major League Soccer.


Berhalter chose 12 players with no national team experience for the training camp, which opens Jan. 6. His first matches are exhibitions against Panama on Jan. 27 at Glendale, Arizona, and against Costa Rica on Feb. 2 at San Jose, California.