Thunder run ends at dozen...James over 20 again
UNDATED (AP) — It was not a lucky No. 13 for the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose 12-game winning streak ended on the home floor of the Minnesota Timberwolves, 99-93.
Kevin Love had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the T-Wolves. Nikola Pekovic had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota. But it was guard J.J. Barea (buh-RAY'-uh) who was the key. Barea scored 12 straight at one point for the Wolves to hold off the team with the best record in the league. Barea scored 14 of his 18 in the final quarter.
Kevin Durant had 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder, who had not lost a game since Nov. 23 at Boston.
In other NBA action:
__ The defending NBA champion Miami Heat breezed past Dallas 110-95 for their 11th win in 14 games. LeBron James led the way with 24 points and nine boards in just under 31 minutes of play. James has scored at least 20 points in all 23 games, the longest streak to start an NBA season since Karl Malone's 24 in a row opening the 1989-90 season.
__ Portland downed the Denver Nuggets 101-93. Nicolas Batum (bah-TOOM') led the Trail Blazers with 22.
Mavericks G Derek Fisher to miss at least 3 games
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks point guard Derek Fisher will miss at least three games because of a strained right knee. He didn't play against Miami Thursday night and will skip a two-game trip to Memphis and San Antonio. The team says there is no timetable for his return and Fisher will be re-evaluated next week.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOP RECRUIT
Duke wins services of prized prospect Jabari Parker
CHICAGO (AP) — Duke has won the Jabari (jah-BAHR'-ee) Parker sweepstakes.
The 6-foot-8 Parker from Chicago's Simeon (SIH'-mee-uhn) Career Academy, one of the most highly touted recruits in years, is headed to Duke.
With a national TV audience watching, he announced his decision at a news conference at his high school gym. Parker can't sign his letter of intent until April 17, but he made his intentions clear with one highly anticipated oral commitment.
Duke beat out Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and Brigham Young for Parker's services.
In the end, he chose to play for Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) for at least a year before making what many believe will ultimately be a jump to the NBA.
Duke fares well on the court as well
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — On the court, Duke did pretty well too. Mason Plumlee had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and top-ranked Duke beat Elon (EE'-lahn) 76-54 for its 100th straight nonconference win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Ryan Kelly added 14 points, freshman Rasheed Sulaimon (SOO'-lah-mahn) had 13 and Tyler Thornton hit a pair of key 3-pointers 30 seconds apart that helped the 11-0 Blue Devils pull away.
Playing on back-to-back nights, Duke counted on its defense to pick up an offense that was off on more open shots than usual. Duke shot 43 percent but forced 17 turnovers and turned them into 19 points while holding Elon to just five offensive rebounds.
Quinn Cook added 10 points for Duke, which hasn't lost to a non-ACC team at Cameron since falling to St. John's on Feb. 26, 2000.
In the only other Top-25 game of the night, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points and a career-high seven assists to help No. 2 Michigan rout Eastern Michigan 93-54. The 12-0 Wolverines are off to their best start since winning the first 16 games of the 1985-86 season.
AP MALE ATHLETE
Michael Phelps voted AP male athlete of year
UNDATED (AP) — Michael Phelps has added another triumph to his list of accomplishments: The Associated Press male athlete of the year.
The retired swimmer edged out LeBron James in voting announced in a fitting payoff for winning four golds and two silvers at the London Games. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian ever.
Phelps finished with 40 votes in the media balloting, winning the award for the second time. James had 37, followed by track star Usain Bolt with 23.
Carl Lewis is the only other Olympic-related star to capture AP male athlete of the year more than once, taking the award in 1983 and '84 for track and field. The only men honored more than twice are golf's Tiger Woods, cyclist Lance Armstrong and basketball's Michael Jordan.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-POINSETTIA BOWL
BYU wins defensive tussle, 23-6
SAN DIEGO (AP) — BYU is this year's Poinsettia Bowl champion -- and the Cougars did it with defense.
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble in the end zone and recovered it for a touchdown, and scored on a 17-yard interception return, both in the fourth quarter, to lead BYU to a 23-6 victory over San Diego State.
BYU finished 8-5 with four of the Cougars' losses coming by a total of 16 points. San Diego State, playing in its hometown bowl for the second time in three years, finished 9-4.
DePauw goes for Lynch, again...Utah State promotes Wells
GREENCASTLE, Ind. (AP) — DePauw has hired Bill Lynch as its new football coach — for the second time.
Lynch became interim coach in 2007, after the death of head coach Terry Hoeppner. He took the Hoosiers to a bowl game that season and kept the job until being fired following the 2010 season. Since then, Lynch has been the associate athletic director for development at Butler, his alma mater. Over 32 years coaching college football, Lynch is 100-97-3 as a head coach.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah State has promoted offensive coordinator Matt Wells to replace Gary Anderson as head football coach.
Anderson has reportedly been hired at Wisconsin to replace Bret Bielema (BEE'-leh-mah). Bielema left to take the Arkansas job. Wisconsin hasn't officially announced the hire yet.
Andersen just completed his fourth and best season at Utah State. The Aggies went 11-2, won the Western Athletic Conference and beat Toledo on Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Colts' Pagano expected back...RGIII 'should be ready'...Jets consider options with Sanchez
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts coach Chuck Pagano has been medically cleared to return to the team by his physician and could be back as soon as Monday.
Dr. Larry Cripe tells The Associated Press it's up to Pagano and the Colts to figure out when he'll be back and how much he'll do.
Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia Sept. 26 and took an indefinite leave from the team to undergo three rounds of chemotherapy. Cripe says that while the cancer remains in remission, Pagano will continue to take oral medication and will be closely monitored for the next couple of years.
Indy (9-5) has gone 8-3 since Pagano left and is on the cusp of clinching a playoff berth.
In other NFL news:
— Robert Griffin III looks good to go. The Washington Redskins rookie had a full practice Thursday for the second straight day as the team prepares for this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach Mike Shanahan says he likes what he sees and, "If there is no setback, he should be ready to go." Griffin missed last Sunday's game with a sprained right knee.
— The New York Jets are mulling what to do with their muddled quarterback situation. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that, while the Jets have not made any decisions involving Mark Sanchez, they will consider all their options in the offseason. Sanchez is due $8.25 million in guarantees next season and that could make it difficult for the Jets to trade or cut him. And the uncertainty is not limited to Sanchez. The futures of Tim Tebow, coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum also are undetermined.
— Bills cornerback and return specialist Leodis McKelvin has been placed on injured reserve because of a groin injury.
Marlins adding after purge...AP source: Jackson gets 4-year deal from Cubs
UNDATED (AP) — The Miami Marlines are now adding players, after their payroll purge.
A person familiar with the negotiations says Placido Polanco (PLAH'-sih-doh poh-LAHN'-koh) has agreed to terms with the Miami Marlins. The 37-year-old third baseman battled injuries this year, hitting .257 with two home runs and 19 RBIs in 90 games with Philadelphia. The 15-year veteran is a career .299 hitter with 103 homers.
In other Hot Stove news:
— A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with right-hander Edwin Jackson. The Cubs will be the eighth team in 11 years for the 29-year-old Jackson, who also pitched for the White Sox. He is 70-71 lifetime with a 4.40 ERA. He was 10-11 with a 4.03 ERA for Washington last season.
— The Phillies and reliever Mike Adams have finalized a $12 million, two-year contract. The 34-year-old right-hander is expected to fill the eighth-inning role for the Phillies. He was 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers. Adams is coming off October surgery for a condition that left his fingers numb and sidelined him the last week of the season.
— Right-hander Mike Pelfrey and the Minnesota Twins have finalized an incentive-laden $4 million, one-year contract. The 28-year-old made just three starts for the New York Mets last season and had elbow ligament-replacement surgery on May 1.
ESPN suspends Rob Parker for RG3 comments
NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN has handed commentator Rob Parker a 30-day suspension for questioning the "blackness" of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The network announced the suspension Thursday, a day after Parker apologized for comments he made during a Dec. 13 episode of "First Take".
Posting to Twitter, Parker said, "I blew it and I'm sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care."
Parker, who is black, was discussing Griffin's role as an African-American quarterback when he noted that Griffin has a white fiance and is rumored to be a Republican.
Among his comments, Parker said, "Is he a brother or a cornball brother?"
USOC chair Probst gets another 4-year term
UNDATED (AP) — U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst has been elected to a second term. Probst, also the chairman at Electronic Arts, took over for Peter Ueberroth (YOO'-bur-ahth) in 2008 during a period of turmoil for the USOC.
During Probst's first four years, the USOC solved a long-simmering feud with the International Olympic Committee over their revenue-sharing agreement and the USOC management has returned to stability under the leadership of CEO Scott Blackmun.
SKIING-WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin earns 1st World Cup victory by winning slalom in Sweden
ARE, Sweden (AP) — American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin has won her first World Cup event, putting down a perfect second run to win a night slalom ahead of home favorite Frida Hansdotter.
Lindsey Vonn skipped the race, having taken a break from the World Cup to fully recover from an intestinal illness.
Suzy Favor Hamilton says she has worked as escort
UNDATED (AP) — Three-time Olympian runner Suzy Favor Hamilton has admitted leading a double life as an escort.
The 44-year-old middle-distance runner issued an apology after a report by The Smoking Gun website said she had been working as a prostitute in Las Vegas. In a series of tweets, Hamilton says she was "drawn to escorting" because it provided what she described as "coping mechanisms" during "a very challenging time" in her marriage and her life.
Favor Hamilton won seven U.S. national titles and competed for the U.S. at the Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000 but did not win a medal.