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Competition is underway before opening ceremony
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The U.S. got off to a bad start in the opening round of the news team figure skating event at the Sochi Olympics. The Americans are tied for fifth in total points after the men and pairs short programs. However, the U.S. is ranked seven out of 10 teams when tiebreakers are factored in. Only the top five countries advance to the free skate. Russia has the lead.
Falls and botched jumps from U.S. champions Jeremy Abbott and the pairs team of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir hurt the Americans chances.
The U.S. hopes to gain ground in the women and ice dance short programs. Meryl Davis and Charlie White are the reigning world champs in ice dance.
— Defending gold medalist Hannah Kearney leads the qualifiers in the women's moguls with fellow American Eliza Outtrim in fourth ahead of the finals on the weekend.
— In the first ever slopestyle snowboarding, Canadian Max Parrot has the top spot heading into the final round. The top woman qualifier is American Jamie Anderson. Teammate Karly Shorr has qualified fourth.
— Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marion Gaborik (MEHR'-ee-uhn GAB'-ohr-ihk) will be unable to play for his native Slovakia in the Olympic hockey competition. He had to withdraw because he's not completed recovered from a broken collarbone suffered Dec. 21.
— Opening ceremonies are set for Friday.
Woods to skip Match Play
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods will not compete in the Match Play Championship in Arizona in two weeks. It's the first time he's missed the event when healthy and the tournament is held in the U.S.
Woods originally planned to attend the Sochi Olympics before his girlfriend and champion skier Lindsey Vonn got injured.
Instead, he will stay home and prepare for three tournaments in Florida. He'll next play the Honda Classic on Feb. 27 followed by title defenses at Doral and Bay Hill.
This means the Match Play will be without three of the top players in the world -- Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott.
GOLF-PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM
Rain interrupts first round
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — First round play at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was interrupted by rain for three hours earlier today. Play is back underway. Brandt Snedeker is the defending champ in the tournament that's played over three courses on the Monterey Peninsula.
Parker, Duncan to sit for Spurs
UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio will be short-handed when they visit Brooklyn as part of a two-game NBA schedule tonight. The Spurs will be without Tony Parker and Tim Duncan
Parker left Wednesday night's game against Washington at halftime with lower back problems and did not return. The 37-year-old Duncan will miss the Nets game to rest after playing a season-high 40 minutes
Chicago Bulls at Golden State is the only other game on the schedule.
CAVS Fire GM
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — The flailing Cleveland Cavaliers have fired general manager Chris Grant. With the 16-33 Cavs sliding further toward the bottom in another disappointing season, owner Dan Gilbert decided to make the move a day after Cleveland was beaten by an injury-ravaged Los Angeles Lakers team that finished the game with just five players.
Cleveland's only win in their last nine games was against the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the worst record in the NBA.
No. 2 Arizona back in action.
UNDATED (AP) — There are three top 25 games in college basketball this evening. Number 2 Arizona hosts Oregon, while Number 7 Cincinnati is at home against number 22 Connecticut, and Number 9 Michigan State plays Big Ten rival Penn State in East Lansing.
Toyota gets Daytona naming deal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has become the first company to land a naming rights deal at the revamped Daytona International Speedway. The 11-year agreement will provide Toyota with naming rights to one of the five massive fan entrances at the redesigned speedway starting in 2015. Toyota will have more than 20,000 square feet with which to work, giving the company plenty of space to showcase its automotive lineup and promote affiliated race teams.
The deal contains no exclusivity clause, meaning a rival car manufacturer, like Chevrolet or Ford, could sponsor another fan entrance at Daytona.
Pre-Olympic schedule packed
UNDATED (AP) — Three days before the National Hockey League takes its break for the Winter Games, the league is trying to pack in as many games as possible.
On tonight's schedule, the New York Islanders take on the Calgary Flames on Long Island, while Edmonton is also in New York, to face the Rangers. The Philadelphia Flyers host the Colorado Avalanche and the Washington Capitals take on the Winnipeg Jets. The Canadiens are at home against the Canucks, Buffalo is at Ottawa, Toronto travels to Tampa Bay and the Red Wings are on the road against Florida. There's a good matchup in St. Louis, where Boston Bruins visit the Blues. Nashville visits Minnesota, while on the West Coast, Columbus is in Los Angeles to face the Kings.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — The baseball Hall of Fame says slugger Ralph Kiner has died at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 91.
Kiner hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career from 1946 through 1955, mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won or tied for the National League lead in homers in each of his first seven seasons.
After finishing up as a player, Kiner became a popular broadcaster with the New York Mets for more than a half-century, even working a handful of games last year.