Clippers face Warriors
UNDATED (AP) — There are 12 games on today's NBA schedule, and the league is saving the best for last.
The Los Angeles Clippers head back onto the court less than 24 hours after their team-record 17-game winning streak ended in Denver. The loss dropped them into a virtual tie for the NBA's best record, percentage points behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Clippers hadn't lost since a 105-98 setback on Nov. 26 against the Hornets, who own the league's third-worst record. L.A. is 25-7 overall and 11-4 on the road.
The Clippers have just one player among the NBA's top 10 in scoring, rebounding or assists. Chris Paul is second in assists at over nine per game.
The Warriors own the fifth-best record in the Western Conference at 21-10 and are on a three-game winning streak. They've won 11 of their last 14, a streak that began with a 6-1 road trip last month.
Warriors forward David Lee is ninth in the league in scoring and tied for fifth in rebounds, while teammate Stephen Curry ranks 10th in scoring.
Another good matchup has the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Milwaukee Bucks. The Spurs have opened the season 25-8 and are chasing the Clippers and Thunder for the Western Conference lead. Spurs guard Tony Parker is among the league leaders in scoring and assists, averaging 19.3 points and 7.3 assists. The Bucks check in at 16-13, tying them for fifth in the East. Monta (MAHN'-tay) Ellis paces Milwaukee in scoring at 19.7 points a game.
The Thunder host the Brooklyn Nets, who won their first game under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo (kahr-LEH-sih-moh) before getting blowing out by the Spurs 104-73 on New Year's Eve. Oklahoma City has won three straight and is 24-6 overall, and 16-2 at home.
Memphis visits a Celtics team that limped back to Boston following three straight blowout losses on the West Coast. The Celtics' current 14-16 record includes a 9-5 mark at home. The Grizzlies begin the day 19-9.
Houston is 17-14 heading into its game against the 7-23 Hornets.
Indiana is fourth in the East at 18-13 as the Pacers prepare to tip off against visiting Washington. The Wizards have dropped two straight and are last in the East at 4-25.
Orlando hosts the Chicago Bulls, who come off an embarrassing loss to Charlotte that ended the Bobcats' 18-game losing streak. The Magic have dropped six in a row.
The Miami Heat will try to build on their East-leading 21-8 record when they host the Mavericks. Dallas ended a six-game skid with last night's win at Washington.
Utah hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are 14-13 overall but just 5-9 on the road.
The rest of the schedule has Sacramento at Cleveland, Portland in Toronto and Phoenix hosting Philadelphia.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOWL SCHEDULE
Gators take on Cardinals
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The lone college football game of the day is the Sugar Bowl pitting fourth-ranked Florida against No. 22 Louisville.
The 11-1 Gators are making their 40th bowl appearance after a regular-season loss to Georgia cost them a shot at a national championship. They are seeking their school-record fifth straight bowl victory after finishing fifth in the nation in yards allowed and third in scoring defense. Their offense is led by running back Mike Gillislee, who's rushed for over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The 10-2 Cardinals are in their second BCS bowl game and are playing in the Sugar Bowl for the first time after winning the Big East crown. Teddy Bridgewater ranks eighth in the nation in pass efficiency and averages 287.7 yards passing. He'll have to deal with a Florida defense that ranks first in pass defense efficiency.
TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Blue Devils, Cardinals in action
UNDATED (AP) — Four of the top-10 teams in The Associated Press men's basketball poll are in action today.
No. 1 Duke carries a season-opening 12-game winning streak into its game against state rival Davidson.
Fourth-ranked Louisville and No. 7 Syracuse open their Big East schedules. The Cardinals host Providence while the Orange entertain Rutgers.
Eighth-ranked Ohio State is 10-2 heading into its game against Nebraska, the Big Ten opener for both teams. No. 11 Illinois begins its Big Ten slate by traveling to Purdue.
The rest of the top-25 schedule has 16th-ranked Creighton at Illinois State, 17th-rated Butler hosting Penn and No. 19 San Diego State at home against Cal State Bakersfield.
Back at the bargaining table
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has kicked the ball back to the players' association in the form of another counteroffer as the sides search for labor peace.
The league's proposal was presented last night in a 30-minute meeting that was delayed as the league worked on its response to the counteroffer the union made on Monday.
The NHL started this latest round of talks with a contract offer late last week.
US routs Czechs 7-0 in junior ice hockey quarters
UFA, Russia (AP) — John Gaudreau had a hat trick, Riley Barber scored twice and the United States beat the Czech Republic 7-0 to reach the semifinals of the world junior ice hockey championship on Wednesday.
The Americans will play Canada at Ufa Arena on Thursday.
Sweden awaited the winner of the other quarterfinal between Russia and Switzerland.
Davydenko reaches quarterfinals at Qatar Open
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Russia's Nikolay Davydenko upset fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, beating his countryman 7-5, 6-3 to reach the Qatar Open quarterfinals Wednesday.
Once ranked as high as No. 3, Davydenko has struggled in recent years because of injuries. But he looked like his old self in Doha, with a consistent first serve and aggressive play to unnerve the 25th-ranked Youzhny.
Li Na defeats Julia Cohen of US in China
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Top-seeded Li Na advanced to the Shenzhen Open quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Julia Cohen of the United States in the second round on Wednesday.
The Chinese star overcame five double faults and struggled with her serve during the 94-minute match.
Li will play eighth-seeded Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia.
No. 2-seeded Marion Bartoli also advanced by defeating Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 7-5, 6-4. Bartoli will take on fifth-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic for a place in the semifinals.