Te'o tells Couric he briefly lied about girlfriend
NEW YORK (AP) — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has told Katie Couric that he briefly lied about his online girlfriend after discovering she didn't exist.
Te'o said in an interview to air Thursday on Couric's show that he didn't lie about the hoax until December, believing Lennay Kekua had died of cancer. A segment of the interview with Te'o and his parents was broadcast Wednesday on "Good Morning America."
The Heisman Trophy runner-up received a phone call in December from a woman saying she was Kekua, whom he believed had died in September.
Te'o said, "Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?"
Te'o maintained that he had no part in creating the hoax.
Thunder win behind Durant's 32...Irving hits for 40
UNDATED (AP) — In what could be a possible preview of the NBA Western Conference finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away in the third quarter and beat the L.A. Clippers 109-97. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32. Russell Westbrook added 26.
The victory moves the Thunder a game ahead of San Antonio and a game and a-half ahead of the Clippers in the race for best record in the West.
Blake Griffin had a big game for the Clippers with 31 points and 11 rebounds. The Clippers played without All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who missed his fourth straight game with a bruised kneecap.
In other NBA action:
— Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, including several key late baskets, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 95-90 victory over the Boston Celtics. That's one shy of his career high set against the Knicks on Dec. 15.
— Ersan Ilyasova had 27 points and 16 rebounds, Brandon Jennings scored 25 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-102.
— Brandon Knight led Detroit with 18 points in Detroit's 105-90 win over Orlando. J.J. Redick had 26 for the Magic.
Cavs and Grizzlies deal
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade three players and a future first-round draft pick to Cleveland for Jon Leuer (LOOR'). The players the Cavs are getting are Marreese Speights (muh-REES' spaytz), Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby.
The trade is the first big move by the Grizzlies' new ownership and gets Memphis under the luxury tax threshold this season. The Grizzlies rank fourth in the West and are 6-4 over their past 10 games after the NBA's best start this season.
The deal gives the lottery-bound Cavs another first-round pick to improve a team with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Serena out in quarterfinals...Defending champ breezes into semifinals
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — There's been a stunning upset at the Australian Open. Serena Williams is out after losing her quarterfinal match to 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
It was the first loss since Aug. 17 for the 15-time Grand Slam winner, ending a run of 20 consecutive wins.
Williams appeared to hurt her lower back while attempting to pull up short of the net during the eighth game of the second set. She called for a trainer after the ninth game, but said the injury was "no excuse" for the loss.
Next up for Stephens is defending champion Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN'-kuh). She advanced to the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-1 win over former two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova (svet-LAH'-nah kooz-NET'-so-vah).
In the men's draw, U.S. Open champ Andy Murray reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Murray, who ended a 76-year winless streak by British men in majors by winning the U.S. Open last year, will play Roger Federer in a semifinal on Friday. Federer beat No. 7-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic plays No. 4-seeded David Ferrer in the other semifinal.
Reason to panic in Philly?...Sharks erupt in first
UNDATED (AP) — Normally, starting a season 0-3 wouldn't mean that much to an NHL team. But this year, thanks to the lockout-shortened 48-game season, a team with an 0-3 start finds itself in a bit of an early season hole -- and that's exactly where the Philadelphia Flyers are now.
The New Jersey Devils kept the Flyers winless with a thorough 3-0 blanking at Prudential Center. Martin Brodeur (mar-TAN' broh-DYOOR') notched his 120th career regular-season shutout with 24 saves. It's his 10th career shutout against the Flyers.
Travis Zajac and David Clarkson scored first-period goals for the defending Eastern Conference champions, 2-0 in the lockout-shortened season.
In other NHL action:
— The San Jose Sharks erupted with six goals in the opening period and crushed Edmonton 6-3 to spoil the Oilers' home opener. Patrick Marleau (MAHR'-loh) and Logan Couture (kuh-CHUR') each had two goals and an assist.
— Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler each provided a goal and an assist and the Winnipeg Jets beat the struggling Capitals 4-2 to end Washington's 10-game winning streak in home openers.
— Michael Ryder scored in the first and third periods, and Kari Lehtonen came within 3.4 seconds of a shutout in the Dallas Stars' 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Lehtonen made 39 saves, but allowed Damien Brunner's first career goal in the final seconds.
— Keith Aulie scored the momentum-shifting goal that propelled the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Tom Pyatt and Cory Conacher scored early goals and Ryan Malone added a power-play tally.
— Andrei Markov scored two goals, his first in two seasons, and Alex Galchenyuk (gahl-CHEN'-yuhk) had the first of his NHL career to help the Montreal Canadiens beat the Florida Panthers 4-1.
— Martin Erat (EE'-rat) scored an unassisted goal for Nashville with 8:15 left when Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom couldn't clear the puck cleanly, and the Predators earned their first victory by beating the Wild 3-1.
— Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook and Viktor Stalberg scored to back Corey Crawford, and the Chicago Blackhawks hung on to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2.
— Gabriel Landeskog and David Jones scored 1:35 apart in the final period to help Colorado rally for a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Kopitar added to roster
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have activated center Anze Kopitar (AHN'-jay KOH'-pih-tar) from the non-roster list after their longtime leading scorer missed the season opener.
Kopitar injured his knee shortly before the lockout ended in a collision while playing in Sweden. He's led the defending Stanley Cup champs in scoring in each of the last five seasons.
In other hockey news:
— Tomas Holmstrom has retired after 15 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings that included more than 1,000 games and four Stanley Cups. Holmstrom, who turns 40 today, says he had the greatest job in the world.
Jayhawks take over first...Louisville falls again
UNDATED (AP) — Travis Releford scored 12 points and No. 3 Kansas held off No. 11 Kansas State down the stretch for a 59-55 victory Tuesday night that gave the Jayhawks sole possession of first place in the Big 12.
Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey added 11 points each for the 17-1 Jayhawks, who pushed their nation-leading winning streak to 16 games
In other AP Top-25- hoops:
— Achraf Yacoubou (YAH'-koh-boo) hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer late in the second half to help Villanova upset No. 5 Louisville 73-65. That's the Cardinals' second straight loss. Louisville had an 11-game winning streak end in a 70-68 loss to Syracuse on Saturday.
— Keith Appling scored 19 points and Branden Dawson added 18 to lead No. 13 Michigan State to a 49-47 victory over Wisconsin.
— Deshaun Thomas, who missed part of the second half with a cut above his eye, scored 16 points and No. 14 Ohio State built a big lead and then held off Iowa 72-63. Thomas, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 21 points per game, sat out about 3 minutes while an open cut over his right eye was bandaged.
— Freshman Devin Thomas had a season-high 25 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to help Wake Forest upset No. 18 North Carolina State 86-84.
— Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown hit key 3-pointers in the final 1:11 and No. 22 Missouri rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat South Carolina 71-65.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Payton is back as coach of the New Orleans Saints. His season-long suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty program has been lifted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL'), nearly two weeks earlier than expected.
The decision allows Payton to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday, where some of the top college players available for the NFL draft will be competing.
In a statement, Payton said that he recognizes "that mistakes were made, which led to league violations." He went on to say he has "assured the commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed."
The suspension was scheduled to end after the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, but was moved up after Payton and Goodell met on Monday.
MLB-HOT STOVE LEAGUE
Cards make deal with reliever...Phils sign D. Young
UNDATED (AP) — Reliever Jason Motte (maht) and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. The 30-year-old right-hander had a career-high 42 saves in 49 chances last year, when he was 4-5 with a 2.75 ERA. He made $2 million.
In other baseball news:
— Delmon Young, MVP of the American League championship series, has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies for $750,000. The 27-year-old outfielder batted .267 with 27 doubles, 18 homers and 74 RBIs for Detroit last season.
— The Reds will host the 2015 All-Star game at Great American Ball Park, the city's first since 1988. That's what a person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press.
— Mike Napoli (NAP'-oh-lee) has signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox after a multiyear deal fell through because of health concerns. The $5 million contract includes possible bonuses that could raise its total value to $13 million. Napoli, a catcher-first baseman, originally agreed to a $39 million, three-year contract at last month's winter meetings, subject to a successful physical. But that wasn't finalized after the team became concerned about the condition of his hip.
— The 77-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax is going to work for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a special adviser.
Signs, flowers, vigil mark anniversary
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A candlelight vigil was held near the Penn State campus to mark the anniversary of the death of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.
About 150 people gathered on a chilly last night in front of a downtown mural that includes a depiction of Paterno.
Flowers and mementos left by supporters adorned Paterno's gravesite, a year after the longtime Penn State coach's death.
At the spot where a bronze statue of him used to stand outside Beaver Stadium, a makeshift sign of cardboard flapped in a cold wind. It read, "Joseph Paterno. Always remembered. Always a legend."
The Hall of Fame coach died of lung cancer Jan. 22, 2012, at age 85.
Sandusky victim sues
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A young man who testified at a child sex abuse trial last summer that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky tickled and grabbed him in a campus shower in 1998 has sued him, his charity and the school
The man, previously described as Victim 6 in court papers, filed the federal lawsuit in Philadelphia as John Doe 6. He claims that Sandusky's behavior was "ratified" by The Second Mile charity and Penn State and that the organizations acted with reckless indifference to his rights. He is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.