Doncic hits 2 big 3-pointers, Mavs top Lakers 119-115 in 2OT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luka Doncic hit tying 3-pointers in the final seconds of regulation and the first overtime before finishing with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists in the Dallas Mavericks’ 119-115 double-overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Doncic highlighted his 56th career triple-double with a pair of clutch 3-pointers, while Christian Wood added 24 points and 14 rebounds in the Mavs’ fourth straight win over the Lakers. Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 28 points and LeBron James had 24 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers, who have lost two straight after a five-game winning streak.
Atlanta will be site if Bills, Chiefs meet for AFC title
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the neutral site if Buffalo and Kansas City meet in the AFC championship game. The NFL decided to put that potential matchup in a neutral city after the Bills’ Week 17 game against Cincinnati was canceled when Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field. The Chiefs are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but played one more game than the second-seeded Bills. The league brokered the neutral site deal because Buffalo could have been the top seed with a victory over the Bengals.
Djokovic receives warm welcome in Melbourne return
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has received a warm and enthusiastic welcome in his return to Melbourne during an exhibition match against Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic was deported ahead of last year’s Australian Open because of a visa issue relating to his refusal to say whether he had been vaccinated for COVID-19. But the nine-time Australian Open champion was allowed to return for this year’s tournament beginning Monday because vaccination requirements have been dropped by the Australian government. An emotional Djokovic walked into a sold-out Rod Laver Arena to loud cheers from the crowd of 15,000.
WADA says Russia found ‘no fault’ in Valieva doping case
MONTREAL (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency says a Russian tribunal has found figure skater Kamila Valieva bore “no fault or negligence” in a doping case that rocked last year’s Winter Olympics. Valieva won Olympic gold in the team competition in February before it was announced that a sample she had given two months before had tested positive for a banned substance. WADA says it is “concerned” that a Russian anti-doping agency panel ruled that Valieva should only be disqualified from one day of the 2021 Russian national championships.
McDermott hailed for leading Bills through emotional week
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is drawing praise for the vulnerability and poise he showed in helping guide his team through an emotionally draining week. McDermott became the face and voice of the franchise in the aftermath of safety Damar Hamlin going into cardiac arrest and needing to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Those who know McDermott are not surprised. Former William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock knew the Bills were in good hands under his former player.
Australian Open 2023: Coco Gauff, a teen in a tennis hurry
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Coco Gauff acknowledges she tends to be in a bit of a hurry as she moves through life. The 18-year-old American doesn’t stick around in a city after a tennis tournament ends. She doesn’t like to linger at a restaurant after dinner. Her philosophy, in a nutshell: Why wait if you don’t need to? When the Australian Open begins the 2023 Grand Slam season, Gauff will be scheduled to start the action in Rod Laver Arena against Katerina Siniakova. Win that, and Gauff next could face Emma Raducanu, who won the 2021 U.S. Open as a teenager. Keep going all the way to the semifinals, and the No. 7-seeded Gauff might just end up facing No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Lamar Jackson says in tweet he’s suffered grade 2 PCL sprain
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens are still practicing without Lamar Jackson. But Thursday did include one significant development. There was an update from the star quarterback’s Twitter account. Jackson tweeted that he’s suffered a grade 2 PCL sprain. He says there’s still inflammation surrounding his knee and his knee remains unstable. Jackson hasn’t practiced since injuring his knee in a Dec. 4 win over Denver. He missed the final five games of the regular season. Now the Ravens face the prospect of playing their postseason opener at Cincinnati without him Sunday night.
QB Derek Carr says he embraces challenge of new city, team
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr posted on Twitter that he is ready for the challenge of playing in a new city. Those were his first public comments since being benched by coach Josh McDaniels with two weeks left in the season. Carr was the Raiders QB for nine seasons. He owns multiple team records, including most career passing yards with 35,222 and passing touchdowns with 217. The Raiders have until Feb. 15 to release Carr or his $32.9 million salary for 2023 will be guaranteed.
NCAA board approves recommendations for Division I reform
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — At the NCAA convention, outgoing President Mark Emmert said goodbye, incoming President Charlie Baker introduced himself and the state of college sports was declared unstable. Baylor President Linda Livingstone says college sports is “both thriving and threatened.” Livingstone is chairwoman of the NCAA’s Board of Governors. Earlier in the day the Division I Board Division I Board of Directors approved a host of recommendations intended to reform the top-tier of college sports, from membership standards to the size of championship brackets. But Livingstone re-iterated federal intervention is needed to help preserve college sports.
Jordan Spieth part of 3-way tie for the lead at Sony Open
HONOLULU (AP) — Jordan Spieth is playing about how he expects, and that’s a good thing. Spieth opened with a 64 and shares the lead in the Sony Open with Chris Kirk and PGA Tour rookie Taylor Montgomery. Spieth says he is feeling more confident that has swing changes are now becoming routine. The conditions are ideal for scoring at Waialae with a moderate breeze and plenty of sunshine. Harris English and Slovakian silver medalist Rory Sabbatini are among those at 65. The first round did not finish because of darkness at Waialae Country Club.