COLLEGE FOOTBALL-TE'O HOAX
Te'o denies role in creating girlfriend hoax
NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN says Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (MAN'-ty TAY'-oh) maintains he was never involved in creating the dead girlfriend hoax that shocked football fans across the country.
Te'o made the remarks in an off-camera interview Friday night, saying that when people hear the facts they'll know he couldn't be part of the ruse.
The comments were Te'o's first public remarks since Deadspin.com exposed that his girlfriend, who supposedly died in September of leukemia, did not exist.
Notre Dame and Te'o insist he was the victim of a cruel joke, but questions remain about why the All-American never disclosed publicly he was involved with a girl he knew only online and by telephone, and never verified her death.
Armstrong regrets leaving foundation
CHICAGO (AP) — Lance Armstrong choked up when recounting in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, how he had to tell his son that his doping denials weren't true. The disgraced cyclist told Winfrey in the second part of a two-part interview that aired on Winfrey's OWN network that he knew he had to tell his oldest son Luke about his doping when he saw the 13-year old defending him.
Armstrong also says the most humbling moment in his doping scandal was being forced to step aside from the Livestrong cancer charity he founded.
The cancer survivor said Livestrong was like his sixth child and having to leave it "hurt like hell."
Durant goes off in Thunder win
UNDATED (AP) — Kevin Durant poured in a career-high 52 points, including making all 21 of his free throws to lead Oklahoma City to a 117-114 overtime win over Dallas. A Durant runner with 16 seconds left put the Thunder ahead for good. He also pulled in nine rebounds as Oklahoma City notched its sixth consecutive win. Serge Ibaka added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder who improved to a league-best 32-8.
The Mavericks O.J. Mayo drained a game-tying 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in regulation to force the overtime.
In other NBA play;
— Tim Duncan had eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to lead San Antonio to a 95-88 win over Golden State. Duncan also pulled down 10 rebounds in the Spurs 14th straight home win. Tony Parker added 25 and eight assists for San Antonio.
— Marco Belinelli made a game-winning, off-balance fallaway with 3.1 seconds left to give Chicago a 100-99 win over Boston in overtime. The Bulls Kirk Hinrich (HYN'-rihk) hit a jumper with two seconds left in regulation to force the overtime.
— Deron Williams scored 24 points, making four free throws in the final 43.4 seconds, to lead Brooklyn over Atlanta 94-89. Brook Lopez added 20 points for the Nets, who bounced back from a 109-95 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday that snapped their seven-game winning streak.
— Jrue (DROO) Holiday had a career-high tying 33 points and 14 assists, to lead Philadelphia to a108-101 overtime win over Toronto. Holiday scored all 12 of the 76ers points in the overtime. Philadelphia rallied from 19 points down in the second half to pull out the win. Ed Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson each scored 18.
— Bradley Beal scored 23 points to pace Washington to a 112-108 win over Denver. The road victory was only the second of the season for Washington which had lost 16 of its previous 17 road games.
— Paul George scored 31 points and David West had 20, leading Indiana past Houston 105-95. The victory was the 11th straight at home for the Pacers, their longest streak since winning 14 in a row in the 2002-03 season.
— Kemba Walker had 25 points and eight rebounds as Charlotte snapped a five-game losing streak with a 106-100 win over Orlando. Arron Afflalo's 23 points paced Orlando, which has lost its last six games against teams with records below .500.
Suns making coaching change
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns say the team and coach Alvin Gentry have "mutually agreed to part ways."
Gentry had coached the Suns since replacing the fired Terry Porter at the All-Star break of the 2008-09 season. He compiled a 158-144 record. His 2010 squad, led by since-departed Steve Nash, advanced to the Western Conference finals.
The Suns have lost 13 of 15 and four straight at home. Their 13-28 record is the worst in the Western Conference.
MLB-HOT STOVE NEWS
Blue Jays avoid arbitration with two players
UNDATED (AP) — Reigning NL MVP and batting champion Buster Posey is among four San Francisco Giants to reach agreement on one-year contracts that avoided salary arbitration. The All-Star catcher will earn $8 million this season. Outfielders Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco and left-hander Jose Mijares also reached agreements, according to the Giants. Pence's deal is for $13.8 million.
Elsewhere around the major leagues:
— The Red Sox signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a one-year contract on Friday, avoiding arbitration with the outfielder. The 29-year old hit .271 with four home runs and 26 RBIs during an injury plagued last season. He will make $9 million, a year after making $8.05 million.
— The Angels avoided arbitration with Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson, agreeing to one-year deals with both newly acquired starting pitchers. The left-handed Vargas got an $8.5 million deal, while right-handed Hanson will make $3,725,000.
— Arizona has reached agreement on terms for a one-year, $4.265 million contract with right-hander Ian Kennedy, avoiding arbitration with the team's No. 1 starter from a year ago. Kennedy was 15-12 with a 4.02 ERA last season, with a team-high 187 strikeouts.
— San Diego avoided salary arbitration with pitcher Edinson Volquez who went 11-11 last season with a 4.14 ERA. He'll get $5,725,000 this season, up from $2,237,500.
— Milwaukee has agreed to one-year contracts with John Axford. He will be paid $5 million this season after earning $525,000 last year.
— Seattle has agreed to one-year contracts with first baseman Kendrys Morales and shortstop Brendan Ryan to avoid arbitration. Morales will make $5,250,000 this season. He made $2,975,000 last season. Ryan will make $3,250,000 this season. He made $1.9 million last season.
— The Detroit Tigers avoided arbitration with six players including right-hander Doug Fister and center fielder Austin Jackson. Fister, 18-11 since the Tigers acquired him in a midseason trade in 2011, will make $4 million this season. Jackson, the speedy outfielder who hit .300 last year, will make $3.5 million.
— Washington shortstop Ian Desmond got a raise of more than $3 million as one of six Nationals players that avoided salary arbitration. The All-Star gets a one-year, $3.8 million dollar deal, up from $512,500 last season.
— The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to terms with catcher Matt Wieters, on a one-year, $5.5 million contract. He made $500,000 last season when he made the AL All-Star team and finished with a .249 batting average while setting career highs with 23 homers, 83 RBIs and 144 games played.
Niners receiver subject of sexual assault probe
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police in San Francisco say they're investigating a sexual assault allegation involving 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Police said in a statement released Friday night that the alleged assault occurred in a city hotel room early Sunday.
The statement says Crabtree has been interviewed with his attorney present and has cooperated with the probe. The receiver hasn't been detained or arrested, and agreed to be available for further questions in the future.
Authorities didn't release any further details, and a spokesman for the 49ers had no immediate comment.
Akers wins kicking battle
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have released Billy Cundiff, making David Akers the only kicker on the roster heading into Sunday's NFC championship at Atlanta. San Francisco signed Cundiff on Jan. 1 to compete with the struggling Akers, a 15-year veteran who made 29 of 42 field-goal attempts in the regular season.
The Niners are playing in Sunday's NFC Championship game.
Serena rolls on
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Title favorite Serena Williams unleashed a career fastest 124 mph serve during a 6-1, 6-3 third round win over Ayumi Morita at the Australian Open.
Williams recovered from a break down in the second set to win six straight games and finish off the win in 66 minutes.
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka beat American Jamie Hampton 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the fourth round. Hampton played through a painful back injury that brought tears to her eyes.
In men's third round action, U.S. Open champ Andy Murray advanced with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania.
Four-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open with a 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1 win Saturday over Bernard Tomic, the last Aussie in the draw.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Lindsey Vonn gets 1st victory in 5 weeks in Italy
CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Lindsey Vonn showed she's back in form Saturday, winning a World Cup downhill for her first victory in more than five weeks.
The four-time overall World Cup champion, who recently took three weeks off to regain her strength following an intestinal problem, clocked 1 minute, 38.25 seconds down the course in Italy. Current overall leader Tina Maze (MAH'-zeh) of Slovenia finished second, 0.43 seconds behind, and Vonn's American teammate Leanne Smith was third, 0.89 back.
It was Vonn's seventh win in Cortina and the 58th of her career, moving her within four of the all-time record held by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell.
Vonn's last win was a super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Dec. 8.
Racing continues in Cortina with a super-G Sunday.
Hahn, Castro tied for lead
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — James Hahn and Roberto Castro are tied for the lead after two rounds of the Humana Challenge at 14-under. Both shot 5-under 67 in the second round.
Darron Stiles, Scott Stallings and Richard H. Lee were 13 under, all shooting 65.
Two-time winner Phil Mickelson shot a 67 and is 9 shots off the lead.
Frost heats up Champions opener
KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — David Frost of South Africa fired a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Frost made a 40-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole to reach 5 under. His only bogey came on the next hole and three birdies on the back nine put him into the lead.
Kirk Triplett, the 2012 Champions Rookie of the Year, bogeyed the last hole to fall into a six-way tie for second at 66. He shares that spot with 63-year-old Tom Kite, Willie Wood, John Cook, Fred Couples and Tom Lehman, the senior tour's Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012.
Canucks give Edler a new deal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks re-signed defenseman Alex Edler to a six-year deal. The 26-year-old had 11 goals and 38 assists in 82 games with the Canucks last season.
Edler has spent his entire career with Vancouver after being drafted 91st overall in the 2004 draft.
HORSE RACING-DOMINGUEZ INJURED
Top rider suffers skull fracture
NEW YORK (AP) — The agent for jockey Ramon Dominguez says the nation's leading rider has suffered a fractured skull after being involved in a spill during the seventh race at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Agent Steve Rushing said Dominguez's wife, Sharon, told him that results of a CT scan revealed the skull fracture. Rushing says he's been told the next "24 to 48 hours can be critical."
Dominguez was taken from the track by ambulance to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition.
It's unclear how long he'll remain hospitalized, or when he'll be able to ride again.