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  • 01/12/13--20:09: Wolfpack fully on track
  • Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    RALEIGH, N.C. — C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell wanted this moment, the chance to help No. 20 North Carolina State make a big step forward after a bumpy start to a season filled with potential.

    After a rousing performance to take down No. 1 Duke, the duo has put the Wolfpack back on the radar.

    Leslie scored 25, including six straight during a key second-half run, to help N.C. State beat the Blue Devils 84-76 on Saturday.

    Howell added 16 points and 18 rebounds in a relentless performance for the Wolfpack (14-2, 3-0 ACC) in a matchup of the teams predicted to finish 1-2 in the league.

    "Coach (Mark Gottfried) said in the locker room: Nobody's going to give us anything and we've got to take it," Howell said. "That's the mind-set we came out with. We've got to take everything … and that's what we did."

    N.C. State was picked for the first time in nearly four decades to win the league, though two early losses drained some buzz.

    No longer. Any lowered expectations are gone along with Duke's perfect record.

    "I thought our guys, they accepted the challenge," Gottfried said. "It's one of those (games) where it comes to a point where mentally you say, 'I'm going to get it done,' and (the Blue Devils are) not going to go away. … They're not going to lay down for us. Our guys mentally showed a lot of toughness."

    Lorenzo Brown had 12 points and 13 assists for the Wolfpack, and senior Scott Wood added 14 with three 3-pointers, including a four-point play in the first half.

    Seth Curry scored 22 despite missing the final minutes with a left ankle injury for Duke (15-1, 2-1), which shot 45 percent and hung around early by crashing the boards for second-chance baskets. But the Blue Devils had no answer after halftime for Leslie and Howell, a duo that helped the Wolfpack lead all second half.

    Hoosiers hang on

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana had a first half to remember. Then the No. 5 Hoosiers had to survive a forgettable finish.

    The nation's highest-scoring team produced seven points in the final 4½ minutes, barely enough to hold off No. 8 Minnesota's furious closing flurry and hang on for an 88-81 victory.

    On paper, it will go down as a win. In the film room, it will look very different to the Hoosiers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten).

    "A year ago we'd have been ecstatic with that victory, and I want them to enjoy it, but we have different expectation levels now," coach Tom Crean said. "We have a lot of room for improvement."

    Victor Oladipo fouled out after fouling a 3-point shooter for the third time in the game. Jordan Hulls had two turnovers and missed three free throws during Minnesota's closing run. The Hoosiers' vaunted bench went 0-of-8 from the field.

    The mistakes allowed Minnesota (15-2, 3-1) to trim a 23-point Indiana halftime lead to 13 early in the second and a 15-point deficit to three with 19 seconds to go.

    NO. 4 ARIZONA 80, OREGON ST. 70: Solomon Hill had 16 points, including five 3-pointers, and the visiting Wildcats (15-1, 3-1 Pac-12) rebounded from their first loss.

    NO. 6 KANSAS 60, TEXAS TECH 46: Kevin Young scored 14 for the Jayhawks (14-1, 2-0), who won their 13th straight in their first Big 12 road game this season.

    NO. 7 SYRACUSE 72, VILLANOVA 61: C.J. Fair had 22 points, Trevor Cooney hit two 3-pointers to punctuate a late surge and the Orange (16-1, 4-0 Big East) won its 34th straight home game, the longest active streak in Division I. Syracuse senior forward James Southerland is out indefinitely because of an eligibility issue.

    OLE MISS 64, NO. 10 MISSOURI 49: Murphy Holloway scored 22 for the host Rebels, who led the entire game against a Tigers (12-3, 1-1 SEC) team missing leading scorer Laurence Bowers to a sprained MCL in his right knee.

    WISCONSIN 74, NO. 12 ILLINOIS 51: Jared Berggren had 15 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for the host Badgers, who won their sixth straight game. The Illini (14-4, 1-3 Big Ten) have lost four of six.

    NO. 14 BUTLER 79, DAYTON 73: Roosevelt Jones scored 16 for the host Bulldogs (14-2, 2-0 Atlantic 10), who lost top scorer Rotnei Clarke when he hit the padded backboard support after an intentional foul in the first half. He was taken off on a stretcher but was moving his legs.

    NO. 16 SAN DIEGO ST. 79, COLO. ST. 72, OT: Chase Tapley scored 12 of his 19 in overtime, including two 3-pointers and a layup off a steal, to lift the host Aztecs (14-2, 2-0 Mountain West).

    UCONN 65, NO. 17 NOTRE DAME 58: Shabazz Napier scored 19, Tyler Olander scored 12 of his career-high 16 in the second half and the visiting Huskies ended the game with a 7-0 run to snap a 12-game winning streak by the Fighting Irish (14-2, 2-1 Big East).

    NO. 18 KANSAS ST. 65, W. VA. 64: Shane Southwell made two free throws with 21 seconds left, then blocked Gary Browne's layup with a second left for the visiting Wildcats (13-2, 2-0 Big 12), who won their sixth straight game.

    NO. 19 G'TOWN 67, ST. JOHN'S 51: Otto Porter had 19 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the visiting Hoyas (11-3, 1-2 Big East), who had lost two straight games and scored 48 in both.

    NO. 21 CINCINNATI 68, RUTGERS 58: Cashmere Wright had 23 for the visiting Bearcats (14-3, 2-2 Big East), who snapped a two-game skid.

    NO. 25 NEW MEXICO 72, FRESNO ST. 45: Alex Kirk had 19 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for the host Lobos (15-2, 2-0 Mountain West), whose leading scorer, Kendall Williams, sat out for the third time this season for disciplinary reasons.


    ECU 88, UCF 85, OT: Corvonn Gaines sank a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in overtime as the host Pirates rallied past the Knights (11-5, 1-1 C-USA).

    B-CU 72, N.C. A&T 60: Malik Jackson scored 20 and Kevin Dukes added 19 for host Bethune-Cookman (6-11, 1-1 MEAC).

    N.C. CENTRAL 85, FAMU 62: Jeremy Ingram scored 26 for the Eagles, who snapped a three-game home winning streak by the Rattlers (4-12, 1-1 MEAC).

    LYNN 76, TAMPA 60: The visiting Spartans (12-3, 0-3 Sunshine State) shot 38.6 percent from the field, 17.6 percent from 3-point range and 56.5 from the line.

    ECKERD 80, FLA. TECH 76: Darrien Mack hit a fadeaway jumper inside the lane with 37 seconds left to lift the visiting Tritons (8-3, 2-2 SSC).

    SAINT LEO 84, BARRY 79, 2OT: Marcus Ruh had 22 points and Jerrel Harris 21, including eight in a row for the visiting Lions (11-2, 4-0 SSC) in overtime.


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  • 01/12/13--20:09: Sports in brief
  • Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013



    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will be back next season after leading the Fighting Irish to the national title game this season.

    Kelly, who had interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles, said his interest in the NFL is over for now.

    "Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL," Kelly said in a statement. "However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame."

    Those were his first comments since news broke Wednesday that he had interviewed with the Eagles a day after the Irish lost to Alabama 42-14 in the BCS title game.

    MIAMI: The nearly 2-year-old NCAA investigation into the program might be close to ending. AP reported that the NCAA is scheduling meetings to discuss specific allegations with those accused, and that some meetings will happen Monday. The school would likely receive its notice of allegations shortly thereafter.


    American gets first win, Vonn sixth

    Alice McKennis earned her first World Cup victory at a downhill race in St. Anton, Austria, and fellow American Lindsey Vonn was sixth after returning from a nearly monthlong break. McKennis, who had never finished in the top three, beat Italy's Daniela Merighetti by 0.07 seconds. Vonn, the defending overall champion back after recovering from an intestinal illness, was 0.34 seconds behind, while another American, Laurenne Ross, was fifth.

    MORE WINTER SPORTS: American Ted Ligety won a duel with Marcel Hirscher at a World Cup giant slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, for a career-best fourth victory this season in his specialty event. … American and defending World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson won a ski jump event in Hinterzarten, Germany.


    HORSES: Dynamic Sky beat stablemate Sky Commander by three-quarters of a length to win the $100,000 Pasco Stakes, and Vitameta outlasted Cindys Casino by a neck to take the $100,000 Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar. Ridden by Luis Contreras, Dynamic Sky ran 7 furlongs in 1 minute, 22.79 seconds. Divine Ambition was third. Vitameta ran 7 furlongs in 1:23.86 under Jose Cruz. Martha's Moon was third and Cotton Pickin sixth. … Jockey Gary Stevens earned his first victory since ending a seven-year retirement, winning aboard 5-1 shot Branding at Santa Anita.

    SOCCER: World player of the year Abby Wambach, a former Florida star, was assigned to her hometown Western New York Flash, based in Rochester, in the new National Women's Soccer League. World player of the year runnerup Alex Morgan was allocated to Portland and U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo to Seattle. The eight-team league starts this spring. See ussoccer.com for a complete list. … Maryland forward Patrick Mullins and North Carolina midfielder Crystal Dunn won the Hermann Trophy as the top U.S. college players.

    TENNIS: Bernard Tomic of Australia won his first ATP title, beating South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-7 (2-6), 6-3 in the Sydney International final.

    TRACK: The coach of Dayron Robles, Santiago Antunez, says the 2008 Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion will sit out the year because he is upset with his treatment from Cuban sports officials.

    Times correspondent Don Jensen; Times wires

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  • 01/12/13--20:11: Sports on TV/radio
  • Times staff
    Saturday, January 12, 2013


    College basketball

    Women: Tennessee at Florida, 11:30 a.m., ESPNU

    Penn State at Purdue, noon, Big Ten

    Women: Lafayette at Navy, noon, CBSSN

    Women: Boston College at Clemson, 1 p.m., FSN

    Women: South Carolina at Georgia, 1 p.m., BHSN

    Michigan at Ohio State, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 10

    Women: Kentucky at Missouri, 1:30 p.m., ESPNU

    Women: Nebraska at Penn State, 2 p.m., ESPN2

    Women: Fordham at Charlotte, 2 p.m., CBSSN

    Women: Wisconsin at Michigan, 2 p.m., Big Ten

    Women: Alabama at Mississippi, 2:30 p.m., Sun Sports

    Women: Miami at Florida State, 3 p.m., FSN

    Women: Rutgers at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

    Women: California at Stanford, 4 p.m., ESPN2

    Women: San Diego State at Colorado State, 4 p.m., CBSSN

    Women: Michigan State at Illinois, 4 p.m., Big Ten

    Women: Southern Mississippi at Memphis, 4:30 p.m., Sun Sports

    Iowa at Northwestern, 5:30 p.m., ESPNU

    Maryland at Miami, 8 p.m., ESPNU


    PGA Europe: Volvo Champions , 7 a.m., Golf

    PGA: Sony Open, 7 p.m., Golf


    Pacers at Nets, 6:30 p.m., NBA

    NFL division playoffs

    NFC: Seahawks at Falcons, 1 p.m., Ch. 13; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    AFC: Texans at Patriots, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 10; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM


    EPL: Liverpool at Manchester United, 8:15 a.m., FSC

    EPL: Manchester City at Arsenal, 10:30 a.m., FSC

    Mexican: Puebla at Toluca, 12:45 p.m., Univision


    Australian Open, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

    Australian Open, 3 a.m., ESPN2

    TV: NBCSN: NBC Sports Network; FSN: Fox Sports Network; BHSN: Bright House Sports Network; FSC: Fox Soccer Channel

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    CHICAGO — After a promising start to the Big East season, USF fell flat Saturday night, falling 91-75 to DePaul.

    Four days after taking No. 2 Notre Dame to overtime before losing 75-71, the Bulls (11-4, 0-2) shot 37.3 percent from the field (28-of-75), 23.8 percent from 3-point range (5-of-21). Andrea Smith had a career-high 35 points for USF but shot 11-of-32.

    Smith added 10 rebounds after posting 33 points and 11 rebounds against the Fighting Irish. Twin sister Andrea Smith had 17 points, Inga Orekhova added 13, and Alisia Jenkins had 10 rebounds.

    Anna Martin had 35 points for the Blue Demons (12-4, 1-1), who won for the seventh time in eight games overall and their ninth in a row at home. Brittany Hrynko added 22 points and eight assists.

    Martin scored 20 in the first half for DePaul, which erased a 15-14 deficit with a 13-0 run and took a 43-26 lead at halftime. The Blue Demons were ahead by double digits for the rest of the game.

    DePaul shot 45.8 percent from the field (27-of-59) and made 8 of 22 3-pointers, including four by Hrynko and three by Martin.

    USF looks to bounce back 7 p.m. Tuesday when Cincinnati visits the Sun Dome.

    TAMPA 57, LYNN 52: Sadie Oyer scored a career-high 18 on 8 of 9 shooting and Shamika Williams has 12 points and 11 rebounds as the host Spartans (11-1, 2-1 Sunshine State) pulled away.

    FLA. TECH 62, ECKERD 48: The host Panthers opened with an 18-2 run in the first nine minutes, and the Tritons (5-6, 2-2 SSC) never recovered.

    BARRY 81, SAINT LEO 68: The host Bucs used their outside shooting to pull away in the second half from the Lions (7-7, 2-2 SSC).

    3-POINT RECORD: Florida Gulf Coast sank 22 3-pointers to break its single-game Division I record in a 97-60 victory over host East Tennessee State. The Eagles attempted 43 3's and made 51.2 percent. "We shot the ball really well," coach Karl Smesko said. "It was nice to see a lot of players get hot in the same game because it really worked to our advantage."

    Top 25

    NO. 3 UCONN 85, MARQUETTE 51: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 24 and Stefanie Dolson 20 for the visiting Huskies (14-1, 2-1 Big East), who improved to 8-0 all time against the Golden Eagles.

    NO. 15 LOUISVILLE 70, PROVIDENCE 62: Shoni Schimmel and Bria Smith scored 17 each to pace the visiting Cardinals (14-3, 2-1 Big East), who shot 64 percent (16-of-25) in the first half.

    NO. 16 OKLAHOMA 65, TEXAS TECH 55: Aaryn Ellenberg scored 26, including the last 13 for the host Sooners (14-2, 4-0 Big 12).

    NO. 22 DAYTON 82, BUTLER 39: Amber Deane had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the visiting Flyers (13-1) in their Atlantic 10 opener.

    NO. 25 IOWA ST. 68, TCU 52: Chelsea Poppens had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the host Cyclones (12-2, 3-1 Big 12).

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    DENVER — Usually more comfortable in the pocket, Peyton Manning scrambled to his right to avoid pressure.

    Usually so accurate, the Denver quarterback threw a pass across his body — a toss he sometimes has gotten away over his career.

    This time, he didn't.

    Late in the first overtime Saturdays, Manning tried to thread the ball to Brandon Stokley only to have the pass intercepted by Ravens CB Corey Graham.

    Soon after, the Broncos' season — and Manning's first after four neck operations that kept him out all of last season — was over with a 38-35 loss.

    "I accomplished a lot more this year than I thought I would have," said Manning, who finished 28-of-43 for 290 yards. "And I think the team exceeded expectations as well."

    One of Manning's most memorable completions in this comeback season was a touchdown at Carolina in November. He rolled to his right, stopped, twisted and threw across the field to Stokley.

    NFL Films had Manning hooked up for sound. Coming off the field, he called it an example of "Rule No. 1 that you never do." Now Manning has an entire offseason to think about breaking "Rule No. 1."

    "It's disappointing because of how much hard work and effort and time and extra meetings and extra workouts we put in to get to this point," he said. "You want it to go perfect and to win and keep going. But it's not the way it always works."

    Bad audible: With the Broncos up 35-28 after stopping the Ravens on fourth down, most thought Manning could run out the final 3:12. Denver ran rookie Ronnie Hillman on the first two plays, getting a first down. Two more Hillman runs made it third and 7 from the Denver 47 with 2:00 left and the Ravens out of no timeouts. A first down wins it. But rather than Manning throwing on third down, Hillman ran once more, this time for no gain, and the Broncos punted with 1:15 left. "That was an audible," Manning said. "Actually, I called that play, so don't put that on (offensive coordinator) Mike (McCoy). We just didn't do much with it."

    Brrrrr: Temperature at kickoff was 13 degrees, the coldest playoff game in Broncos history. Manning fell to 0-4 when the temperature is 40 or colder.

    Long returns: The Broncos' Trindon Holliday returned the second-half kickoff 104 yards to become the first player in playoff history to score on a kickoff and punt return in the same game. Both the kickoff return and 90-yard punt return were the longest in playoff history. "It was painful," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. Ex-Raven Jermaine Lewis held the punt return record, 88 yards in 2002. The Falcons' Eric Weems held the kickoff record, 102 yards in 2010. And Holliday's 248 return yards also were a playoff record.

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    The price tag to have Tiger Woods was too high, even in the oil-rich state of Qatar.

    Organizers of the Qatar Masters decided not to pay Woods a $3 million appearance fee to play in their tournament, CBS Sports reported, citing a Doha News story.

    "Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters — which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money," Qatar Golf Association president Hassan al Nuaimi said, according to the Doha News.

    Woods never has played in the tournament, and his agent, Mark Steinberg, told Bloomberg News in an email that the 14-time major winner "was never contemplating Qatar."

    The Qatar Masters, a European Tour event, is Jan. 23-26; Woods said last week on his website that he plans to play in a PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., on Jan. 24-27.

    Woods will be in the Middle East this month, but a week after the Qatar Masters — at the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

    Rookies still lead

    HONOLULU — PGA Tour rookies Russell Henley and Scott Langley get to play one more round together at the Sony Open, this time with a lot more on the line.

    Henley two-putted from 30 feet for birdie on the last hole Saturday for 3-under 67, pulling him even with Langley, who shot 65. They broke the tournament scoring record through 54 holes at 17-under 193.

    Better yet, they had a three-shot lead over Tim Clark.

    At stake today is a trophy, the customary lei draped around the neck — and oh yes, an invitation to the Masters.

    If the third round was any indication, Clark and everyone will have to chase them down. The 23-year-old rookies never flinched on a warm afternoon with only a mild breeze on a Waialae Country Club that was ripe for low scores.

    Langley made seven birdies to offset two bogeys. Henley has been steadier and carries a streak of 43 holes without a bogey into the final round.

    They each seek to become the first rookie to win a PGA Tour debut since Garrett Willis in the 2001 Tucson Open.

    "The Vegas odds on me winning were probably not very good," said Langley, not a betting man himself. "I hope somebody bet on me and I make him a lot of money."

    Henley looked relaxed when he finished his round and said he still felt as though he was playing with house money.

    "It's already been a successful week," he said. "Win or lose, I'm not too stressed about it."

    Henley and Langley shared low amateur honors at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open, then became fast friends by flying together to Northern Ireland for the Palmer Cup.

    The rookies have ruled along the shores of Oahu, and if not for Clark, it would have been even more pronounced. Clark made a birdie on the last hole that put him into the final group.

    Otherwise, that spot would have been occupied by Scott Gardiner of Australia, who had 64 and was four shots behind.

    Charles Howell III, twice a runner-up at the Sony Open, had 67 and also was four behind. Four others, including Monday qualifier Danny Lee (66), were another stroke back at 198.

    EUROPEAN: Scott Jamieson of Scotland shot 4-under 68 and took a five-stroke lead in the Volvo Champions, while Louis Oosthuizen faded in the third round in Durban, South Africa. Jamieson was at 15-under 201 and led Oosthuizen (74), Thongchai Jaidee (73) and Julien Quesne (67).

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    SAN FRANCISCO — Colin Kaepernick repeatedly raced past the Green Bay defense on option runs. Frank Gore barreled over the Packers on more traditional plays.

    A week after holding 2,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson in check, the Packers were run over by the 49ers and sent home from the playoffs with a 45-31 loss Saturday night.

    The Packers went in brimming with confidence after holding Peterson to 99 yards in a 24-10 win last week. That confidence only increased after CB Sam Shields returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive.

    That ended up being about the only bright spot of a historically bad night for a Green Bay defense that gave up the most total yards (579) and rushing yards (323) and second-most points in franchise playoff history.

    "Our issues were bigger than that with Colin," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "We did not do a very good job of keeping him in the pocket. He was able to get out of the pocket for a number of big conversions there in the first half. We weren't able to get off the field.

    "We tried to make some adjustments in our defensive calls, pass rush lanes and so forth, and did not accomplish that."

    PASS FIRST: It has been two decades since Troy Aikman won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys. The blueprint they used endured for much longer: put a workhorse running back behind a physical offense line, control the ball with the run and wear out the defense, then assemble a defense that won't allow opponents to do the same.

    That was how Seattle reached today's game against Atlanta. But Aikman, a Fox analyst, said that approach no longer is the best way to win a championship.

    "There's really not those dominant defenses anymore," Aikman said. "You better be able to throw the ball and score points."

    If that's true, then the Falcons should have a good chance to win. Their identity is, first and foremost, QB Matt Ryan throwing to a stable of pass catchers that include TE Tony Gonzalez, WR Julio Jones and WR Roddy White behind an offensive excellent in pass protection.

    Missing feat: Gonzalez spent 12 seasons with the Chiefs and went 0-3 in playoff games. With the Falcons for four seasons, he is 0-2 in the playoffs.

    Now retirement looms. Asked if a loss today would leave a hole in his resume, he responded tersely.

    "That's a tough question," he said. "Ask me after the game."

    But Gonzalez, 36, has been around long enough to recognize players are judged significantly on their postseason fortunes.

    "Obviously, in the playoffs, it steps up more because that is really kind of where your legacy comes in," he said. "What you do in the playoffs is what a majority of people remember."

    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    SAN FRANCISCO — Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards, a playoff record for a quarterback, and two touchdowns and threw two touchdowns to lead the 49ers back to the NFC title game with a 45-31 win against the Packers on Saturday.

    Kaepernick, the playoff first-timer, outshined a Super Bowl MVP in Aaron Rodgers, who finished 26-of-39 for 257 yards and two touchdowns.

    Kaepernick ran for scores of 20 and 56 yards on the way to topping the rushing mark of 119 set by the Falcons' Michael Vick in 2005 against the Rams.

    "It feels good. We're one step closer to where we want to be," said Kaepernick, whose team faces the winner of today's Falcons-Seahawks game in the NFC title game. "I feel like I had a lot to prove. A lot of people doubted my ability to lead this team."

    Michael Crabtree caught touchdowns of 12 and 20 yards in the second quarter and wound up with nine catches and 119 yards. San Francisco, the No. 2 seed, had 579 total yards, 323 on the ground.

    Kaepernick, the second-year pro out of Nevada who supplanted Alex Smith as the starter in a much-debated move by coach Jim Harbaugh, shook off an interception cornerback Sam Shields ran back 52 yards for a touchdown on San Francisco's first possession.

    His 56-yard touchdown run on a read-option keeper in the third quarter — the longest by a quarterback in franchise history — gave the 49ers a 31-24 lead. He stopped in the end zone and flexed his right arm, smiling all the way back to the sideline.

    "Our offensive line did an amazing job (all night)," Kaepernick said. "They shut everybody down inside. Our receivers, our tight ends, blocked great outside. And our running backs were running hard, so it made it easier on me."

    Kaepernick, who finished 17-of-31 for 263 yards, also led another drive that David Akers finished with a 36-yard field goal to put the 49ers ahead 24-21 as the first half ended.

    Frank Gore ran for a 2-yard touchdown three seconds into the fourth quarter to extend San Francisco's lead to 38-24.

    Rodgers, who played his college ball at nearby Cal, rallied the No. 3-seeded Packers after tossing his own interception (his first in 184 passes). He threw a 20-yard scoring strike to James Jones, and DaJuan Harris ran for an 18-yard touchdown.

    The amped-up crowd at Candlestick Park endured a flurry of emotions at the start.

    Kaepernick's error quieted it. Shields stepped in front of his pass, shook the quarterback to the ground and scampered down the sideline to make it 7-0.

    Kaepernick unclipped his jaw strap and dropped his head to the sideline while Shields waved his hands at the crowd. Rodgers pumped his fist on the Packers sideline.

    Kaepernick converted two third downs to bring the 49ers back on their next drive. He bought time and scurried out of the pocket to find Gore for a 45-yard gain then darted 20 yards up the middle on third and 8 for the tying score.

    When Rodgers and the Packers offense finally took the field, they didn't do much. San Francisco stopped Rodgers, who had a contingent of friends and family make the four-hour trek from his hometown of Chico, on a three-and-out that whipped the crowd back into a frenzy.

    Rodgers found his groove and floated a 44-yard pass that Jones leaped to snatch over two defenders along the sideline. On the next play, Harris broke through the middle to put the Packers up 14-7.

    Green Bay made its share of mistakes, too.

    Jeremy Ross muffed a punt that Chris Spillman recovered at the Packers 9. Three plays later, Kaepernick found Crabtree free over the middle for a tying 12-yard touchdown.

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    DENVER — No matter where his season or his career might end, Joe Flacco will always have The Fling.

    Peyton Manning, too, will have to live with a throw he made.

    Flacco's 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left in regulation saved Saturday's AFC division playoff game for Baltimore. Manning's throw across his body in overtime all but lost it for Denver.

    On a bitterly cold day at Sports Authority Field — temperature at kickoff was 13 degrees — the Ravens got a 47-yard field goal from Justin Tucker 1:42 into the second overtime to pull off a 38-35 upset of the top-seeded Broncos.

    "I've never been a part of a game so crazy in my life," said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, whose retirement was put off for at least one more game. "It's just awesome."

    Lewis, who led the No. 4-seeded Ravens with 17 tackles, kneeled on the ground when it was over. After thawing out, he will get ready for the AFC title game at the Patriots or Texans, who meet today.

    "It's very disappointing," Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil said. "We did some good things. We just didn't do enough. Give credit to Baltimore, who was the better team."

    The game, the longest since the Browns beat the Jets 23-20 in 1987, was up there with the Chargers' 41-38 double-overtime victory over the Dolphins in 1982 for drama.

    But Flacco's throw might best be put in the same category with one by Roger Staubach, who coined the term "Hail Mary" after his winning toss to Drew Pearson lifted the Cowboys past the Vikings in the 1975 playoffs.

    "It was one of those miraculous plays," said Ravens cornerback Corey Graham said. "I don't think it'll ever be forgotten."

    On third and 3 from the Baltimore 30-yard line with 41 seconds and no timeouts left, Flacco bought time in the pocket and saw Jones sprinting down the right sideline into double coverage. Former FSU cornerback Tony Carter slowed and let Jones streak by him. Instead of staying step for step with Jones, safety Rahim Moore tried to leap and knock down the ball. Flacco got it over Moore's head and into Jones' hands.

    "At that point, you have to start taking shots," said Flacco, 18-of-34 for 331 yards and three touchdowns. "You have to get a little lucky. Had to take a shot, and everyone came through."

    Jones caught it and pranced into the end zone, blowing kisses. "I was kissing to God," Jones said. "I was thanking the Lord. I don't disbelieve in myself. I've been believing in myself since I was born. Never no disbelief."

    Moore was on the verge of tears after the game.

    "The loss, it was my fault," Moore said. "I got a little too happy. It was pathetic. My fault. Next time I'll make that play."

    The teams combined to punt three times to start overtime, the final one setting up Denver on its 7. On second and 6 from the 38, Manning rolled to his right, stopped and threw across the field to Brandon Stokley.

    Graham stepped in front of Stokley for the interception that gave the Ravens the ball at the Broncos 45. It bookended the interception he made in the first quarter and returned 39 yards for a touchdown.

    After an incompletion, Ray Rice ran it on four straight plays, gaining 16 yards to the Broncos 29.

    In last season's AFC title game, Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal for Baltimore against New England that would have tied it at the end of regulation.

    Saturday, though the weather was cold and the ball was hard, coach John Harbaugh showed zero desire to get the ball closer after Rice's runs.

    Tucker made kicks from 67 yards pregame and practiced during the break between overtimes. "I always feel good when I go out on the field," he said. "Not many people get to do this. This is a heck of a lot of fun."

    Said Harbaugh: "That football game did football proud."

    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, January 13, 2013


    On the final play of his life, Chandler Williams reached the end zone. • That came as no surprise to anyone who knew the Storm receiver, who was an electric player on the field and a magnetic personality off it. • But after Williams suddenly, and mysteriously, died Jan. 5 at age 27 of cardiac arrest during a flag football game near his hometown of Miami, it wasn't the touchdowns his family and friends remembered the most. • It was how Williams touched peoples' lives. He was friends to acquaintances, family to friends, an inspiration to those around him.

    That was evident by the nearly 800 people who laughed, cried and sang during Williams' funeral ("home-going celebration") Saturday afternoon at the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church.

    There were former teammates and coaches from Florida International University and the Storm as well as neighbors from the Larchmont area, where he grew up.

    And there were the loves of his life: fiancee Vanitia Harrigan and their almost 2-year-old daughter, Tori Summer-Rose, who sat in the front row wearing her black-and-white polka dot dress wrapped in a pink bow. During the service, Tori pointed up at the slide show of her daddy, who called himself "Mr. Mom."

    "He lived for that girl," Williams' mother, Karen Dawson, said. "He had everything he wanted. I can't believe he's gone."

    Williams died playing his favorite game, collapsing on the sideline during a 6-on-6 flag football tournament at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach.

    When good friend and former FIU teammate Julius Eppinger first saw Williams on the ground on the sideline, he thought he was just tired. It was their second game of the night, and Williams had just intercepted a pass before halftime, returning it for a touchdown.

    Eppinger told Williams to get up, joking he looked lazy. But when Williams didn't respond, Eppinger got scared. He put a finger over Williams' nose — he wasn't breathing. He checked his wrist for a pulse — nothing. Eppinger screamed for someone to call fire and rescue.

    An off-duty nurse who was watching the game helped perform CPR while another person did chest compressions. They anxiously waited for para­medics, who Eppinger said arrived 20 minutes later. In the meantime, Eppinger used Williams' cell phone to deliver the news to Dawson, who was at work.

    "It's Chan," Eppinger said. "He's not breathing."

    Dawson beat the ambulance to Aventura Hospital by a few minutes, peppering those at the emergency room entrance. Doctors soon pulled Dawson into a room, turned off the television and delivered the news: Her son was gone.

    "I'm like, 'No, you can't tell me that. That's my baby,' " Dawson said. " 'He's only 27.' "

    Eppinger couldn't believe it.

    "It was traumatizing," he said. "Just seeing my best friend die in front of my face. Sometimes, I find myself thinking, 'Did I do enough?' "

    The cause of death remains a mystery. Doctors are awaiting toxicology reports. Dawson said her son never had a heart condition or medical issue, other than asthma as a teenager, and had no trouble passing physicals of the four NFL teams he played for as well as the Arena League's Storm.

    The only solace Dawson could take was Williams' last act was on a football field.

    "That is what keeps me going because I know he passed away playing his passion," she said. "He wasn't murdered. He wasn't beaten. He wasn't killed in an accident. He served his purpose: to show so much love. That's all he had to give.

    "He's leaving a legacy. He's leaving memories. That's something that nobody can take from me … ever."


    Williams dared to dream big. While he would swap NFL trading cards with friends in elementary school, he'd believe his picture would one day be on one of them.

    With his father, Chandler Williams II, and Dawson splitting up when he was young, Williams wanted to help lift his mother, who worked as a manager at a Winn-Dixie to support her five kids, to a better life.

    "He'd say, 'Momma, I'm going to make it happen for you one day. Just wait,' " Dawson said.

    Williams' dazzling days as a dual-threat quarterback at Miami High sparked a scholarship to play receiver for the new program at Florida International.

    "He was just 17 years old and going to redshirt," said Pete Pelegrin, who covered FIU for the Miami Herald from 2002-10 and now works for the school. "But he'd always seek me out at practice and say, 'You better watch out for No. 1. No. 1 is going to be making plays.' "

    Those words proved prophetic.

    Williams is the second-leading receiver in program history. He trails only T.Y. Hilton, who made the NFL all-rookie team this season for the Colts.

    Drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round in 2007, Williams bounced around practice squads for the Chiefs, Falcons and Dolphins. He never played in a regular-season NFL game, but it didn't take away from the joy he displayed.

    "He lived his dream," Dawson said.

    While some consider the Arena Football League a step down, Williams embraced his niche in the fast man's league. Signed by the Storm before the 2012 season, he soon became its top player. He led the league in kickoff returns with a 23-yard average, taking three back for touchdowns. He also caught 83 passes (second on the team) for 996 yards (third) and 17 touchdowns (third) despite playing only 13 of 18 games.

    "He was as quick as a hiccup," said friend Kevin Timothee, a former FIU teammate.

    Storm coach Dave Ewart said Williams, at 5 feet 11, 176 pounds, was, "pound for pound," its toughest guy on the field and one of its best ambassadors off it.

    "When you jump in a vehicle and watch the Storm play, you definitely come to see what Chandler was going to do next," said Storm teammate Deonte Bolden, a Lakewood High grad. "He was bigger than the league. He just had big-play potential every play. He played like he belonged somewhere else."

    Williams gave the Canadian Football League a shot, leaving the Storm in June to sign with the Toronto Argonauts. But Williams was homesick, so he called Ewart and asked if the Storm wanted him back.

    "I said, 'That's a dumb question. Of course,'?" Ewart quipped.

    So Williams asked for his release from Toronto in October and signed a three-year deal with the Storm, making him one of the league's highest-paid players. Just as important, he'd be just a few hours from his Lauderdale home, which was where his heart was.


    Williams and Vanitia were college sweethearts, having met at FIU while she was a journalism and broadcasting major.

    Their courtship withstood his many football stops. And just as Williams kept defenders on their toes, he swept his fiancee off her feet with a surprising move.

    While at a friend's wedding July 2, also his mother's birthday, Williams gave a toast to the newly­weds then popped the question to Vanitia.

    "He stole the spotlight," she said, smiling.

    Williams looked forward to settling down, especially with his brown-eyed girl, Tori, in the fold. He and his daughter were often inseparable, with the proud papa posting tons of pictures on Twitter, taking her to the zoo and building a space shuttle-looking tent in her bedroom for them to sleep under.

    In the offseason, Williams stayed home and watched Tori from 8 in the morning to 5 at night while Harrigan worked as a sales assistant and web producer with WSVN-Ch. 7 in Miami.

    Harrigan called Williams her superhero. He always told her, "I got you, babe!"

    "We planned for a lifetime," Harrigan wrote in the funeral program. "Now I will live with a lifetime of memories."

    His sister Shanika recalled how competitive Williams was in everything, from pumpkin-carving contests to performing Michael Jackson dance moves on Nintendo Wii with his 10-year-old nephew.

    Dawson smiles when she thinks about how much Williams loved eating oxtail, how he joyfully jumped onto their porch instead of using the steps, and how quick he was to deliver a joke.

    For example, one Christmas, Williams gave her a movie DVD, telling her she had to watch it. When Dawson opened it, cash dropped out, and everyone fell on the floor laughing.

    "I'm like, 'You silly rabbit,' " she said. "He was just a character."

    Williams enjoyed bowling and fishing, and though he was frugal with his money, he'd give his last dime to a friend in need.

    "He loved life. He loved laughing," Shanika said. "And he loved making others happy."


    While Dawson struggles to find answers for why her son's life was cut short, she believes she found a spiritual sign that can help give her peace. On Monday, two days after Williams' death, Shanika spotted a beautiful butterfly outside his old bedroom window.

    Later that day, Dawson was walking to her car in the driveway when she saw the same one — a mixture of burnt orange, brown and yellow — turn toward her. The butterfly stopped just over her, flapped its wings, then flew away.

    Dawson and Harrigan have butterfly tattoos on the back of their right shoulders and believed someone was looking over them.

    "I felt that it was my baby," Dawson said. "I felt that it's confirmation to me, saying, 'Mom, I'm okay.' I'm going to keep that story in me, keep his memories. I can move forward and keep his dream alive."

    Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com

    John Pendygraft   |   TimesJohn Pendygraft | Times

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    By Doug Hemmer, Times Correspondent
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    What's hot: Fluctuating water temperature can help predict where and when to fish. Between fronts when water temperature is in the upper 60s, most inshore fish are eager to feed. Trout move out of deeper holes and hang over grass flats 3- to 4-feet deep. Floats rigged with a jig or live shrimp and a jig worked close to the bottom will draw strikes. Redfish will tail during the end of the outgoing tide. Jigs, plugs and free-lined shrimp work best when cast to a school of mullet or to a tailing red. Sheepshead are moving through the lower parts of Tampa Bay to the beach to spawn. Try docks and bridges from Pinellas Point to Fort De Soto. Use chopped shrimp for chum and use a small piece for bait.

    Behind the front: After a strong cold front that drops the water temp to the low 60s or upper 50s, the fishing will slow. Trout move to the deeper holes closest to the flats. They will be slow to feed but will respond to a live shrimp moved slowly across the bottom.

    Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.

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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    TAMPA — At first, Lightning right wing Teddy Purcell said his team cheated to win the brain-teaser challenge during last season's training camp road trip to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

    Then he changed his story and said the team simply "found some loopholes."

    Bottom line, Purcell said, "Any time you get a bunch of competitive athletes together, we're always trying to find a way to win."

    Whether the game was played fairly was not really the point. What counted was they worked together to get it done.

    Coach Guy Boucher hopes the same mentality takes hold today through Thursday when Tampa Bay shifts training camp to Germain Arena in Estero.

    The plan is for players, through team dinners, golf and other activities, to get reacquainted and integrate new players into the group — to bond.

    And though there may not be a contest such as last season's — when players had to figure out a series of challenges such as re-creating a three-dimensional drawing with building blocks — there likely will be things to make players think.

    "You have to talk. You have to interact," Boucher said. "That's the connection between individuals that makes those intangibles that make the difference between two teams that are equal."

    Considering the Lightning opens at home Saturday against the Capitals, connections need to be made quickly, something Boucher said would be more difficult in Tampa or Brandon, where the Lightning has traditionally held camp at the Ice Sports Forum.

    "By going away, there's nobody else that interacts with you," he said. "It's a bubble. You create the chemistry you need really quick."

    "You just want to go to battle more for someone you know," Purcell said. "You push that extra distance. Some people don't believe it, but every athlete knows how important team building and cohesiveness as a group really helps you. It does really translate onto the ice."

    Still, the organization clearly worried that moving the camp would grate on the fans still raw over the 119-day lockout. So, camp opened Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum with Fan Fest.

    About 5,500 attended to get autographs and watch a two-hour practice. Camp is back at the Times Forum on Friday, and the team will provide a free lunch.

    "It certainly wasn't to displease our fans," Boucher said of moving camp to the home of the Lightning's ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades. "It's the opposite, so we can accelerate the process we absolutely need for Saturday."

    "We don't have much time," wing Marty St. Louis said. "We have to come together quick. Getting guys away from home and having them spend a lot of time together solves that problem."

    But not the problem of teammates who cheat or — ahem — find "loopholes" to exploit during team-building exercises.

    "It was a friendly competition," captain Vinny Lecavalier said of last season's brain-teaser challenge, "but when they blew the whistle, you saw everybody running. Everybody was competing pretty hard."

    That is the point.

    DIRK SHADD   |   TimesDIRK SHADD | Times

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    By Tom Jones, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best next analyst

    There's already a buzz that if no NFL team is interested in Tim Tebow, then he might be able to make the jump to television. Actually, the more likely scenario is Tebow would be willing to play a position other than quarterback if that's the only way he could stay in the league, and plenty of teams would be interested.

    But let's just say he can't stay in football. Maybe ESPN could hire him. To make room, they could dump Merril Hoge, an outspoken Tebow critic.

    Speaking of Tebow, you do realize he has won more playoff games than Peyton Manning in a Broncos uniform, right?

    Most entertaining attack

    Please, Jeff Van Gundy, never take another coaching job. Don't hit the lottery. Don't go on a yearlong eat-pray-love trip to find yourself. Don't do anything except what you're doing right now.

    You need to be calling basketball games on TV the rest of your life.

    ABC/ESPN's NBA analyst is already elite, and now he's starting to put distance between himself and every other sports commentator on television. Here's the latest from Van Gundy:

    During Friday night's Thunder-Lakers game, Van Gundy went on one of his best rants ever, laying into Lakers big man Dwight Howard.

    "Let's face it, let's not beat around the bush: Some of Dwight Howard's comments about having to play together? Those are veiled shots at Kobe Bryant," Van Gundy said. "And to me, I would have much rather seen Howard go into the locker room and say, 'Hey, listen, I think we need to do this, this and this.'

    "You don't go in the media and take veiled shots at Kobe Bryant. I guarantee he thought the grass was greener other than Orlando. Now he's disenchanted with his offensive role (on the Lakers) it seems. When's the guy going to be happy?"

    Let's be fair here. Van Gundy's brother Stan was fired in Orlando after last season because he couldn't get along with Howard. So, Howard supporters would argue that Jeff Van Gundy has an ax to grind. Then again, are there any Howard supporters?

    Or how about this: Is there anything Van Gundy said that you would contradict?

    Van Gundy's commentary got even better. Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, outstanding in his own right, suggested to Van Gundy that Howard and Bryant were trying to get along, but Van Gundy interrupted him.

    "I'm not buying that," Van Gundy said. "I'm not buying that Twitter picture. When you have to go and start taking pictures to say that your relationship is okay, I guarantee you your relationship is flawed. They don't have to be best friends. They don't have to like each other. You don't have to announce that you're friends because you don't need to be friends. You need to work well together and get good results. That's what you need to do.''

    Then came the killer last line from Van Gundy: "And believe me, if Dwight Howard took on Kobe Bryant's serious-minded mentality, everybody here would be better served."

    The willingness to be brutally honest and to possibly offend to make a point that needs to be made is what makes Van Gundy, arguably, the best sports analyst on television.

    Biggest switch

    All along, Fox's No. 2 NFL announcing team was considered to be Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa. (Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are the top team.)

    So it was surprising to see Thom Brennaman, top left, and Brian Billick, bottom, calling Sunday's Falcons-Seahawks game. Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks was quoted as saying that this is much ado about nothing, that Fox really doesn't have a No. 2 team.

    I must say, I'm glad Fox went with Brennaman and Billick. Albert is an excellent play-by-play man, but I can do without Moose (Johnston) and Goose (Siragusa).

    Oh, an interesting side note about Billick working Sunday's game. Billick is the brother-in-law of Falcons coach Mike Smith. Conflict of interest? Maybe. Nothing Sunday suggested that Billick was favoring the Falcons, but that is something Fox needs to think about in the future.

    Coolest idea

    MLB Network still has some more time to fill before spring training gets cranked up, so it has come up with a neat idea. It will run a five-week series showing classic baseball movies and host Bob Costas will have half-hour interviews with those who helped make the films. The series kicks off tonight and runs for the next five weeks.

    Tonight's debut will be Cobb with Costas interviewing actor Tommy Lee Jones and director Ron Shelton. Other movies and interviews include the Bad News Bears (actor Tatum O'Neal), A League of Their Own (actor Geena Davis and director Penny Marshall), Eight Men Out (director John Sayles) and The Natural (director Barry Levinson).

    Final results

    This year's Outback Bowl was one of the better games of the college bowl season as South Carolina beat Michigan 33-28 in Tampa. However, the game was just the fourth most-watched non-BCS bowl game with 7.583 million viewers on ESPN. The Cotton Bowl (Texas A&M-Oklahoma) on Fox was the most-watched with nearly 12 million viewers.

    Worst reversal

    Last week, CBS NFL Today analyst Bill Cowher told Newsday's Neil Best that he would consider returning to coaching at some point. Then Cowher, left, said over the weekend: "Contrary to reports, I have no plans on coaching. I plan on being with one team and that is this team here at CBS."

    Okay, so maybe Cowher isn't coming back to coach anytime soon, but to say, "contrary to reports" makes it sound like Best got the story wrong. And anyone who follows the work of Best knows he wouldn't get something like that wrong. Best is one of the best in the business.

    Cowher should have handled it better because I have no doubt he told Best that he was interested in coaching again.

    Biggest risk

    A big story in the newspaper industry last week was what the New York Times did the day after no players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for only the eighth time in history. The paper ran a headline that said, "And the Inductees Are … '' with a three-quarter page of blank space underneath.

    Reaction was split, from those saying it was an inventive way to display the news to others saying it was a waste of space.

    It was a daring idea, but ultimately, I think the New York Times made its reaction to the story bigger than the story itself. The paper became news, and that's a no-no in this business. Plus, I would have rather read what some of the paper's talented writers had to say instead of looking at a blank page.

    Best career move

    Michelle Beadle left ESPN last year to join NBC and, so far, it seems like a good career move. She did an outstanding job as co-host of ESPN2's SportsNation, and now she's doing work on Access Hollywood. Last week, USA Today reported that Beadle will co-host a new NBC Sports Network show called The Crossover, which makes its debut Jan. 28.

    Beadle told USA Today: "I'd be lying if I said we're reinventing the wheel. I came from a show trying to not take anything too seriously, which is easy for me. I don't know if we'll introduce anything mind-dropping. But we'll be there for people who don't want arguments or yelling."

    Watching Beadle last week talking about the Oscars on the Today show, I couldn't help but wonder if she has the career that former ESPN sideline reporter turned Fox studio host Erin Andrews wishes she had.

    Three things that popped into my head

    1. ESPN newcomers Seth Greenberg and Bruce Pearl do superb work on the college basketball studio programs. They are extremely energetic, knowledgeable and charismatic. They are so good, you almost hate to see halftime end.

    2. Great to see Hannah Storm return to ESPN's SportsCenter on Sunday. She made her first appearance on ESPN since suffering serious burns in a backyard grilling accident last month.

    3. This was one of the best NFL playoff rounds in recent memory and yet the best thing I saw this weekend, by far? The new movie Zero Dark Thirty.


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  • 01/13/13--19:27: Sports in brief
  • Times wires
    Sunday, January 13, 2013


    Diamondbacks still want big haul for Upton

    LOS ANGELES — Arizona GM Kevin Towers said he won't lower his demands for Justin Upton after the rightfielder rejected a trade to Seattle last week.

    "I'm not taking less," Towers said Sunday. "I'm in no hurry (to make a trade)."

    The Diamondbacks have two veteran outfielders, Cody Ross and Jason Kubel, and touted outfield prospect Adam Eaton. Towers said owner Ken Kendrick is "fine" with keeping them as well as Upton. Seattle agreed to trade two of its top prospects, RHP Taijuan Walker and SS Nick Franklin, and two other prospects, RHP Stephen Pryor and LHP Charlie Furbush, for Upton, 25. The brother of former Rays CF B.J. Upton has averaged 23 homers and 78 RBIs over the past four seasons. He is signed through 2015 and can reject trades to the Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners and Red Sox.

    World Baseball Classic: Angels 1B Albert Pujols expects to play for the Dominican Republic in the spring event if his right knee feels okay, his agent said. He had minor surgery in October. … Royals LHP Bruce Chen will pitch for China, cbssports.com reported. He would be the first major-league player to represent it. Chen, 35, pitched for Panama in 2009 but also has family from China.

    Mets: GM Sandy Alderson watched a private workout for former Giants RHP Brian Wilson, USA Today reported. The one-time closer missed most of last season after Tommy John surgery.


    Armstrong says he's prepared for interview

    Lance Armstrong is "ready to speak candidly" about doping allegations in his interview with Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong, 41, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, was out for a run near his home in Austin, Texas, when he spoke briefly with the Associated Press. He would not divulge what he will say in the interview, which will be taped tonight and aired Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. USA Today and the New York Times reported he will confess to using performance-enhancing drugs. "I'm calm. I'm at ease and ready to speak candidly," he said. "I hope we'll talk for a couple of hours."

    Et cetera

    Running: Adriano Bastos captured his eighth Disney Marathon, winning in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 16 seconds, 16 seconds ahead of fellow Brazilian Fredison Costa. Renee High of Virginia Beach, Va., repeated as women's champ, in 2:48:30.

    Skiing: Slovenia's Tina Maze became the sixth woman to win a World Cup race in all five Alpine disciplines during a career, taking the super-G in St. Anton, Austria. Lindsey Vonn was third.

    BOWLING: Parker Bohn of Jack­son, N.J., beat Australian Jason Belmonte 254-227 to win the World Championship in Las Vegas, the PBA Tour's first major. Earlier, Bohn beat Rhino Page of Dade City 200-170.

    Times wires

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    Times wires
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    BROSSARD, Quebec — The Canadiens sent Scott Gomez home for the season.

    General manager Marc Bergevin said at the opening of training camp Sunday that he will buy out the center's contract next summer to remove his team-high $7.3 million salary cap hit from the books. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the cap will drop by about $10 million next season, but teams will be allowed two "amnesty" buyouts to help reach the cap.

    However, if a player is injured, he cannot be bought out. Bergevin said it was safest for Montreal that Gomez not play this season.

    "I have nothing against Scott Gomez," he said. "It was the best thing for the future of the team."

    Gomez, 33, was limited to 38 games last season because of injuries and had two goals and nine assists.

    KOVALCHUK ON WAY BACK: Devils leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk will be back in the United States on Tuesday and practice with the Eastern Conference champions Wednesday, team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. Kovalchuk played in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg during the lockout and participated in the KHL All-Star game Sunday. While he could not give "official" permission to play in the game, Lamoriello said he was okay with it.

    SIGNINGS: Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto signed a two-year, $5.1 million contract extension, ending his restricted free agency. … The Canucks gave forward Cam Barker, the No. 3 overall pick by Chicago in 2004, a one-year deal for $700,000, espn.com reported. … Sabres center Jochen Hecht signed a one-year deal; TSN reported that it was worth $1 million.

    HURRICANES: The team got forward Kevin Westgarth from Los Angeles for forward Anthony Stewart and two draft picks, and sent goalie Brian Boucher and minor-league defenseman Mark Alt to Philadelphia for minor-league center Luke Pither. Carolina also signed goalie Dan Ellis to a one-year deal worth a prorated $650,000 this season.

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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    TAMPA — Brett Connolly appreciated Lightning GM Steve Yzerman being so positive in their Saturday conversation.

    "It softened the blow a little bit," the Syracuse right wing said.

    But it did not eliminate the sting of being left out of Tampa Bay's training camp. "I understand this is all for the right reasons," Connolly said Sunday. "But for right now, it's disappointing."

    Connolly's absence was the biggest news on the first day of camp. The No. 6 overall pick of the 2010 draft played all of last season with the big club.

    He struggled, with four goals and 15 points in 68 games and did not score in his final 50 games. But he worked during the summer with trainer Gary Roberts, who also trains Steven Stamkos, and for AHL Syracuse this season he has 15 goals and 33 points in 36 games. He is stronger, Yzerman said, carrying the puck with confidence and scoring from in front of the net.

    That is why Yzerman said Connolly, 20, "is not in jail. … I'm very pleased with his development. He's going to be a good player for us. We just felt at this time for our needs in Tampa, the role that he would play here, he's better off playing there."

    Stamkos also sent Connolly a text message: "I told him to try to not let this bother you. Keep having a great year. Keep lighting it up down there, so when we do need you and we call you up, you have the same mentality."

    "I'm going to use this as motivation," Connolly said. "I want to be a go-to guy in the NHL. Once my time comes, I'll be a different player coming into camp. I'll be more ready to jump into that role."

    RESPECTS: Thirteen Lightning players — including Stamkos, Marty St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier and Ryan Malone — will attend today's funeral in Cambridge, Mass., for Katie Moore, wife of former Lightning player Dominic Moore, who died of liver cancer on Jan. 7. "It will be good to give (Dominic) a hug and let him know we support him," Malone said. The players will fly on owner Jeff Vinik's plane. To accommodate their trip, today's practice at Germain Arena in Estero is at 6:15 p.m.

    APOLOGIES: As confident as Vinik is that the new collective bargaining agreement will help Tampa Bay financially, he said of the lockout, "Players and owners agree the process was unfortunate and not in anybody's best interest and hurt our game."

    "Hopefully, our fans stick with us," he said. "I can understand if they're frustrated and disappointed." The "prize," Vinik said, is the length of the deal. "We have a 10-year agreement, so (fans) know that for another decade they don't have to endure another situation like this."

    FAN FEST: The Lightning said about 5,500 attended the event at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. St. Louis said that proved the healing process from the lockout has started. "It was flattering to see the amount of people here hungry to see some hockey," he said. "I can't express how terrible we feel for what went on, but some things are worth fighting for for the better of the game."

    TICKETS: Single-game tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. today at the Tampa Bay Times Forum box office, via Ticketmaster (outlets, ticketmaster.com, toll-free 1-800-745-3000) and by calling (813) 301-6600. Ticketmaster fees will be waived today only.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "There is no reason we can't be the Green Bay Packers of the NHL." — Vinik.

    ODDS AND ENDS: Yzerman said he does not expect to make any moves before the season's start. A couple of roster openings will be filled from within the organization. … Last season's final cut, Cory Conacher, will start camp on left wing with Lecavalier and RW Teddy Purcell.

    DIRK SHADD   |   TimesDIRK SHADD | Times

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    Times wires
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    ATLANTA — Tony Gonzalez said he has cried after losses but never after a victory.

    He could not stop the tears Sunday afternoon, though, as the tight end in his 16th — and what he says will be final — season helped engineer an improbable comeback.

    Gonzalez's 19-yard reception with 13 seconds left set up Matt Bryant's 49-yard field goal as Atlanta defeated Seattle 30-28 to make the conference title game.

    "I still can't get over it because at the end of the game, I promise you, I thought, 'Well, here we go again. I guess it wasn't meant for us to get a playoff victory,' " Gonzalez said. "Especially for me individually. I guess it was never going to happen. What a roller coaster of emotions. I'm spent right now."

    Gonzalez's first playoff victory — after three tries in 12 seasons with the Chiefs and in his third postseason game with the Falcons — came in dramatic fashion after it looked like this venture would end with another heartache for him.

    The top-seeded Falcons led 20-0 at halftime and 27-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, only to watch electric Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson stun them. The Seahawks took a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds remaining on Marshawn Lynch's 2-yard touchdown run.

    On the ensuing Atlanta drive, Gonzalez ran right at Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner before pivoting back to the ball and shielding off Wagner with his body to make the catch.

    "Tony is 'Mr. Reliable,' " QB Matt Ryan said. "He's so consistent. He did a great job with the route and created separation to give me a good window to throw it."

    "Probably the best catch I've ever had and probably one of the easiest," Gonzalez said. "(Ryan) put it right in my chest. It's the most important catch I've had in my life. I will never forget it. It was wonderful."

    KAEPERNICKING: Move over, Tim Tebow. Kaepernicking is all the craze now.

    In the wake of San Francisco's 45-31 victory over Green Bay in Saturday night's division playoff game, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick's touchdown celebration of flexing his right arm and kissing his bicep has taken off.

    Several 49ers fans have posted pictures on social media of themselves in the act at home, in bars, on the street. Others have made online videos.

    Kaepernicking started doing it weeks ago, and now the quarterback often reposts on Twitter other fans' pictures of the act. Last season "Tebowing" became popular as people mimicked Tebow, a dedicated Christian, kneeling in prayer after scores when he was with Denver.

    ABRAHAM DINGED AGAIN: Falcons DE John Abraham, who sprained his left ankle Dec. 30 in a meaningless regular-season finale against the Bucs, appeared to aggravate the injury early in Sunday's game and did not return.

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  • 01/13/13--19:59: Final unbeaten falls
  • Times wires
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A ball that rattled around the rim and bounced out separated Michigan from its first No. 1 ranking in more than 20 years.

    Point guard Trey Burke's stepback jumper with 17 seconds left went down then came out, leaving the No. 2 Wolverines — who went in as the only unbeaten team in Division I — on the wrong side of a 56-53 loss to No. 15 Ohio State on Sunday.

    A day after No. 1 Duke lost to North Carolina State, the Wolverines were in prime position to ascend to the top for the first time since November 1992. Instead, they went home with their first loss, also depriving them of the best start in school history.

    "Some go in and some don't," said Burke, a sophomore who happens to be from Columbus and is friends with several of the Buckeyes. "I thought it was going in. It looked good. I think it went in and then came out."

    Michigan (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) trailed 52-50 and had the ball as the seconds ticked away. Probably most of the capacity crowd of 18,809 knew that Burke, a star at Columbus' Northland High where he was a teammate of former Buckeye star Jared Sullinger, would likely take the last shot.

    Aaron Craft — who Michigan coach John Beilein said was as good as any defender he had seen — prevented Burke from driving. His path blocked, Burke jumped back then launched the shot.

    "We were up two, so that makes it a little more challenging for me," said Craft, selected as the league's top defender a year ago. "Fortunately enough for me, that shot he took rimmed in and out. I kind of turned around (and saw) we grabbed the rebound."

    Lenzelle Smith grabbed the rebound. A moment later he was fouled and hit two free throws. Craft, who had struggled on offense most of the season, then made two more free throws to more than offset Burke's circus 3-pointer with a second left.

    The Buckeyes (13-3, 3-1) did most of their offensive damage early, following Burke's opening 3-pointer with a 16-0 run that started and ended with baskets by Deshaun Thomas. From there, it was a matter of whether Ohio State — which blew a late lead at Duke in November — could hold off the Wolverines, who went in averaging 81 points with four starters in double figures.

    Burke had 15 points for Michigan, which was trying to exceed the 1985-86 team's 16-0 start.

    NO. 22 MICH. ST. 66, NEB. 56: Derrick Nix made two free throws with a minute left and scored 17 to help the host Spartans (14-3, 3-1 Big Ten) pull away for their third straight win.

    EVANSVILLE 71, NO. 23 WICHITA ST. 67: Colt Ryan had 24 points and eight assists for the host Aces (11-6, 4-1 MVC), who made seven free throws over the final 1:25 and capitalized on a season-high 22 turnovers by the Shockers.

    MIAMI 54, MARYLAND 47: Kenny Kadji scored 14 and Trey McKinney Jones 12 for the host Hurricanes (12-3), who are 3-0 in the ACC for the first time.

    Women: Vols survive Gators in overtime

    GAINESVILLE — Meighan Simmons scored 27, Bashaara Graves added 17 points and 15 rebounds and No. 9 Tennessee held on 78-75 in overtime against Florida, which lost leading scorer Jennifer George to a dislocated right shoulder in the first half. The Vols (13-3, 4-0 SEC) snapped the Gators' 15-game winning streak at home and won for the 44th time in 48 meetings. UF (13-5, 2-2) rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half.

    NO. 18 FSU 86, NO. 24 MIAMI 65: Leonor Rodriguez scored 21 and Natasha Howard had 20 for the Seminoles (13-3, 3-2 ACC), who have won 10 of their past 11 against the Hurricanes (12-4, 3-2) in Tallahassee.

    NO. 1 BAYLOR 82, NO. 17 KANSAS 60: Brittney Griner had 33 points and seven rebounds for the Bears (14-1, 4-0 Big 12), who won their 12th straight and handed the Jayhawks (11-4, 2-2) their first loss in 10 home games.

    NO. 2 NOTRE DAME 71, RUTGERS 46: Skylar Diggins scored 15 despite being benched briefly after angrily protesting a foul and getting a technical, and the Irish (14-1, 3-0 Big East) won their sixth conference home opener in the past seven seasons.

    NO. 4 DUKE 73, WAKE FOREST 44: Elizabeth Williams scored 18 to lead the visiting Blue Devils (15-0, 5-0 ACC) to their 38th straight victory in the series.

    NO. 7 CAL 67, NO. 5 STANFORD 55: Gennifer Brandon had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the visiting Golden Bears (13-2, 3-1 Pac-12), who snapped an 81-game conference winning streak by the Cardinal (14-2, 3-1).

    NO. 6 KENTUCKY 69, MIssouri 43: DeNesha Stallworth scored 17 for the visiting Wildcats (16-1, 4-0 SEC), who extended their school-record winning streak to 15 games.

    NO. 8 PENN ST. 80, NEB. 58: Alex Bentley scored 19 and led a swift backcourt trio that created havoc for the host Lions (13-2, 3-0 Big Ten), who won their seventh straight.

    NO. 10 MARYLAND 74, VA. TECH 45: Alyssa Thomas had 26 points and 18 rebounds for the visiting Terps (13-3, 4-1 ACC), who won for the ninth time in 10 games.

    NO. 11 UNC 79, GA. TECH 58: Megan Buckland scored 19 to lead five players in double figures for the host Tar Heels (17-1, 5-0 ACC), who won their 10th straight.

    NO. 13 GEORGIA 42, NO. 18 S.C. 40: Jasmine Hassell scored 19 for the host Bulldogs (15-2, 3-1 SEC), who held off the Gamecocks (14-3, 2-2) while posting the fewest points in a win in school history.

    NO. 14 UCLA 85, WASH. 68: Jasmine Dixon tied her season high with 13 points and added 11 rebounds for the host Bruins (13-2, 4-0 Pac-12), who overcame 16 first-half turnovers to win their sixth straight.

    NO. 20 TEXAS A&M 78, AUBURN 56: Kelsey Bone had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the host Aggies (13-5, 3-1 SEC).

    NO. 21 OKLA. ST. 64, TEXAS 52: Toni Young had 19 points and seven rebounds for the visiting Cowgirls (13-2, 2-2), who have won two in a row after losing their first two Big 12 games.

    NO. 23 COLORADO 56, UTAH 43: Jen Reese scored 11 for the visiting Buffaloes (13-2, 2-2 Pac-12), who beat the Utes for the second time in six days.

    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    Times wires
    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Maria Sharapova finished her first match of the year in 55 minutes, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 win today over Olga Puchkova to start proceedings on center court at the Australian Open without showing any signs of trouble with her sore right shoulder.

    The No. 2-ranked Sharapova, who lost the final to Victoria Azarenka here last year before going on to win the French Open, faced only two break points this morning, and she saved both of those in the first game.

    Then she went on a 12-game roll that earned her a second "double bagel" in a year.

    Sharapova started her run to the French title at Roland Garros with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Alexandra Caduntu. But she said the score wasn't really relevant.

    "If you win 7-6 in the third, you've still won the match," she said.

    Sharapova withdrew from the Brisbane International this month with an injured right collarbone, saying she wanted to concentrate on being fit for the season's first major. She skipped that tournament last year, as well, before going on to reach the Australian Open final.

    Against Puchkova, she said, "I didn't want to focus on the fact I hadn't played a lot of matches."

    Sharapova has a potential third-round match against Venus Williams, who needed just an hour for her opening 6-1, 6-0 win over Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.

    Williams played with power and determination and took command of the match early with a steady stream of winners and powerful serves.

    She skipped last year's Australian Open due to illness. Williams had the biggest jump of any of the top players in 2012, moving from outside the top 100 to finish the year at No. 24. Williams said she was happy with the match statistics, particularly her serve (77 percent of first serves won).

    "I don't think my opponent quite got the hang of … you know, it's hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure,' Williams said. "I did my best to just close it out."

    Also, Novak Djokovic started his bid to be the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian titles with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu. He next plays American Ryan Harrison, who knocked out Santiago Giraldo.

    No. 9 seed Sam Stosur, an Australian residing in Tampa, made the second round with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 victory over Chang Kai-chen to end a run of five losses on home soil. No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 6 Li Na also advanced in straight sets.

    No. 3-ranked Serena Williams is in the top half of the draw with Azarenka, and the pair won't start until Tuesday.

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    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony was hungry, and not just to end the Knicks' skid. He wanted something to eat.

    Anthony, struggling to keep his energy up while fasting for two weeks, snapped out of a slow start by scoring 18 of his 27 in the second quarter, and New York ended its season-worst three-game losing streak with a 100-87 victory over the Hornets on Sunday.

    Anthony missed seven of eight shots and scored two in the first quarter of the noon start he dislikes, then he outscored the Hornets by himself in the second quarter as the Knicks took the lead for good.

    "I'm kind of going through something right now with my own self, trying to find some energy and things like that. But we'll be fine," Anthony said. "We bounced back pretty well, I bounced back pretty well, stuck with it and won the game."

    Anthony has scored 20 or more in a career-best 24 straight games, but it has been a struggle for him lately.

    The All-Star forward said he hadn't had any meats or carbs in 15 days, and that his body just felt "depleted out there." Perhaps that explains his 6-for-26 shooting night Monday, or the 1-for-8 first quarters in the past two games.

    "I usually do it sometimes just to get some clarity in my life and just spiritual reasons. I'm done now. I can't do it no more. I surrender," Anthony said, saying he was headed out to look for a steak after the game.

    Game highlights: Former Sickles High standout John Henson scored 19, and Brandon Jennings added 19 points and 10 assists as the Bucks rallied from a 20-point first-quarter deficit to beat the host Raptors 107-96, Milwaukee's eighth straight victory over Toronto. Henson's hook shot with 6:54 to go gave Milwaukee its first lead of the fourth quarter at 87-86. … Tony Parker scored 20 as the Spurs extended their home winning streak to 12 with a 106-88 victory over the Timberwolves. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the fourth quarter after a double technical for arguing a foul call, sparking an 11-0 Spurs run. … Deron Williams had 22 points and nine assists, and the host Nets rallied from 12 down in the third quarter to beat the Pacers 97-86 and post their season-high sixth victory in a row. … Danilo Gallinari scored 21 to overcome 29 points from Stephen Curry, and the host Nuggets won their season-high fifth straight, beating the Warriors 116-105.

    Howard returns: Lakers center Dwight Howard (torn cartilage in right shoulder) returned from a three-game absence against the Cavaliers late Sunday looking to help end Los Angeles' six-game losing streak. Meanwhile, teammate Pau Gasol (concussion) is still not cleared to play. He will be re-evaluated today.

    Late Saturday: Mario Chalmers posted career highs of 10 3-pointers and 34 points as the Heat beat the host Kings 128-99. Chalmers was 10-for-13 from long range, tying Brian Shaw's franchise record. "He had it going and we kept finding him," Heat teammate LeBron James said.

    Knicks 100, Hornets 87

    NEW ORLEANS (87): Aminu 1-1 0-0 2, Davis 6-13 1-3 13, Lopez 5-14 0-0 10, Vasquez 4-10 3-4 11, Gordon 7-14 7-9 22, Anderson 3-12 0-0 7, Ja.Smith 0-3 0-0 0, Mason 3-7 1-1 9, L.Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Roberts 1-4 5-5 7, Rivers 0-0 0-0 0, Henry 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 33-82 17-22 87.

    NEW YORK (100): Anthony 9-25 7-8 27, Copeland 9-15 0-0 22, Chandler 1-3 3-6 5, Kidd 2-4 0-0 5, White 1-2 0-0 2, J. Smith 3-11 2-3 8, Prigioni 3-4 1-2 8, Stoudemire 3-6 6-6 12, Brewer 1-3 0-0 2, Novak 3-8 0-0 9. Totals 35-81 19-25 100.

    New Orleans 29 12 25 21— 87

    New York 22 27 22 29— 100

    3-Point GoalsNew Orleans 4-23 (Mason 2-3, Gordon 1-6, Anderson 1-8, Vasquez 0-3, Roberts 0-3), New York 11-30 (Copeland 4-8, Novak 3-7, Anthony 2-8, Prigioni 1-1, Kidd 1-3, J. Smith 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew Orleans 53 (Aminu 11), New York 53 (Chandler 14). AssistsNew Orleans 14 (Vasquez 6), New York 24 (Kidd 8). Total FoulsNew Orleans 23, New York 21. TechnicalsChandler, J. Smith. A19,033.

    Spurs 106, Timberwolves 88

    MINNESOTA (88): Kirilenko 4-8 0-0 9, Cunningham 5-11 1-2 11, Pekovic 6-12 2-2 14, Ridnour 6-11 0-1 13, Shved 0-7 2-4 2, Rubio 0-6 4-4 4, Williams 3-9 1-2 8, Hayward 0-4 0-0 0, Barea 4-11 6-6 15, Stiemsma 4-6 2-2 10, Amundson 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 33-89 18-23 88.

    SAN ANTONIO (106): Leonard 4-5 0-0 9, Duncan 4-8 4-5 12, Splitter 4-7 2-2 10, Parker 10-15 0-0 20, Green 0-4 0-0 0, Ginobili 6-11 0-0 12, Diaw 1-1 0-0 3, Jackson 3-6 1-2 9, Blair 4-5 1-2 9, Mills 2-8 0-0 5, Neal 6-9 0-0 15, De Colo 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 45-80 8-11 106.

    Minnesota 21 29 21 17— 88

    San Antonio 24 31 23 28— 106

    3-Point GoalsMinnesota 4-16 (Kirilenko 1-2, Ridnour 1-2, Williams 1-3, Barea 1-5, Rubio 0-1, Hayward 0-1, Shved 0-2), San Antonio 8-21 (Neal 3-3, Jackson 2-4, Diaw 1-1, Leonard 1-2, Mills 1-5, Ginobili 0-1, Parker 0-1, Green 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMinnesota 47 (Kirilenko 11), San Antonio 52 (Duncan 9). AssistsMinnesota 23 (Ridnour, Barea 6), San Antonio 31 (Parker 6). Total FoulsMinnesota 10, San Antonio 19. TechnicalsParker, San Antonio Coach Popovich 2, San Antonio defensive three second. Ejected— S.A. Coach Popovich. A18,144.

    Nets 97, Pacers 86

    INDIANA (86): George 6-18 0-0 15, West 11-19 5-6 27, Hibbert 3-5 0-0 6, Hill 6-13 0-0 13, Stephenson 0-1 0-0 0, Green 5-13 4-4 15, T.Hansbrough 1-4 0-0 2, Mahinmi 2-2 1-2 5, Augustin 1-4 0-0 3, O.Johnson 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 35-83 10-12 86.

    BROOKLYN (97): Bogans 2-4 3-4 8, Evans 1-2 0-0 2, Lopez 5-14 5-8 15, Williams 7-18 6-6 22, J.Johnson 7-16 3-3 20, Humphries 4-7 2-2 10, Blatche 1-8 3-4 5, Brooks 1-5 3-4 5, Watson 4-4 0-0 8, Stackhouse 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-81 25-31 97.

    Indiana 21 28 26 11— 86

    Brooklyn 27 19 23 28— 97

    3-Point GoalsIndiana 6-24 (George 3-7, Augustin 1-2, Hill 1-5, Green 1-6, Stephenson 0-1, O.Johnson 0-3), Brooklyn 6-14 (J.Johnson 3-6, Williams 2-5, Bogans 1-2, Stackhouse 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsIndiana 43 (George 12), Brooklyn 61 (Lopez, Humphries 9). AssistsInd. 18 (Augustin 4), Brooklyn 19 (Williams 9). Total FoulsIndiana 21, Brooklyn 15. TechnicalsHill, Ind. Coach Vogel. A16,499.

    Bucks 107, Raptors 96

    MILWAUKEE (107): Mbah a Moute 4-5 0-0 8, Ilyasova 3-6 2-2 9, Sanders 4-6 3-6 11, Jennings 5-13 7-7 19, Ellis 7-17 2-2 17, Udoh 1-2 0-0 2, Udrih 2-5 0-0 5, Henson 8-13 3-4 19, Dunleavy 5-8 2-2 15, Daniels 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 40-77 19-23 107.

    TORONTO (96): Fields 1-5 1-2 3, Davis 8-12 4-7 20, Johnson 9-16 4-4 22, Calderon 9-15 0-0 21, DeRozan 7-19 9-10 23, Anderson 2-10 1-2 5, Acy 0-3 2-2 2, Lowry 0-4 0-0 0, Ross 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-85 21-27 96.

    Milwaukee 16 31 27 33— 107

    Toronto 34 15 29 18— 96

    3-Point GoalsMilwaukee 8-19 (Dunleavy 3-4, Jennings 2-5, Udrih 1-2, Ilyasova 1-2, Ellis 1-3, Mbah a Moute 0-1, Daniels 0-1, Henson 0-1), Toronto 3-13 (Calderon 3-4, Lowry 0-1, Fields 0-1, DeRozan 0-2, Anderson 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMilwaukee 41 (Sanders 8), Toronto 55 (Johnson 14). AssistsMil. 29 (Jennings 10), Toronto 25 (Calderon 8). Total FoulsMil. 25, Toronto 21. A17,384.

    Nuggets 116, Warriors 105

    GOLDEN STATE (105): Barnes 8-11 0-0 21, Lee 11-18 1-2 23, Ezeli 0-0 0-0 0, Curry 11-18 0-0 29, Thompson 6-16 0-0 13, Landry 2-4 1-2 5, Green 1-3 0-0 2, Jack 4-11 2-2 10, Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0, Bazemore 0-2 2-2 2, Tyler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-83 6-8 105.

    DENVER (116): Gallinari 7-12 4-6 21, Faried 4-12 1-1 9, Koufos 4-6 0-0 8, Lawson 6-14 6-6 20, Iguodala 4-11 1-2 10, Chandler 6-14 0-0 14, A.Miller 5-8 2-2 12, McGee 2-3 5-8 9, Brewer 5-10 2-2 13, Fournier 0-0 0-0 0, Randolph 0-0 0-0 0, Hamilton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-90 21-27 116.

    Golden State 25 29 33 18— 105

    Denver 27 25 27 37— 116

    3-Point GoalsGolden State 13-24 (Curry 7-9, Barnes 5-6, Thompson 1-7, Jack 0-2), Denver 9-27 (Gallinari 3-7, Chandler 2-5, Lawson 2-5, Brewer 1-4, Iguodala 1-6). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsGolden State 44 (Lee 13), Denver 51 (Faried 10). AssistsGolden State 28 (Jack 8), Denver 27 (A.Miller 8). Total FoulsGolden State 24, Denver 16. A15,861.

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