National Sports | WRHL http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495 National Sports 2016-12-09T11:06:35Z National Sports LeBron James climbs NBA scoring list as Cavaliers blow out Heat LeBron James's 27 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 114-84 blowout of the Miami Heat moved the Cavs superstar into ninth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Kyrie Irving scored 23 points as Cleveland notched their third straight victory and their second in a row by 30 points. The Heat, hit by Dwyane Wade's departure in free agency and a spate of injuries, are floundering. Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. fined $12,154 for outburst New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was fined $12,154 by the NFL on Friday for verbal abuse and excessive profanity directed toward an official. The fine is at least the fifth of the season for the controversial player, who reportedly confronted an official on the field after the Giants' 24-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Beckham was irked in the first quarter after being called for offensive pass interference and sharply criticized officiating after the game. Kuchar, English take lead at shootout Matt Kuchar and Harris English fired a combined six-under-par 66 on Friday to take a one-shot lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout pairs event in Florida. Kuchar and English moved to 21 under after two rounds, one clear of Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly who carded a four-under-par combined 68 in the modified alternate shot format at Tiburon Golf Club. London to host four NFL games in 2017 The National Football League confirmed Friday that London will host four games during the 2017 season, citing "tremendous support" for the sport in Britain. An NFL statement said it was expanding its international series to four games in recognition of Britain's "passionate and growing" fan base. "We continue to be incredibly excited by the passion and love for the NFL shown by our millions of UK fans," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. NFL expands London push to four games in 2017 (Reuters) - The National Football League (NFL) will stage four games in London next season as part of is growing commitment to what it calls an increasing fan base in the British capital. Teams and venues for the games, which is up from the three games played in London each season since 2014, will be announced on Tuesday. "We continue to be incredibly excited by the passion and love for the NFL shown by our millions of UK fans," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. Danny Willett roars back to form at Hong Kong Open golf Masters champion Danny Willett rediscovered his magic touch as he shot four-under-par 66 to lie hot on the trail of Rafa Cabrera Bello at the Hong Kong Open on Friday. As injury-hampered defending champion Justin Rose and Ian Poulter -- left fuming after a late quadruple bogey -- flirted with the cut, Willett finally located the form that has eluded him for months. "It's nice to be in this position after the last few months," said Willett, who skipped the BMW Masters and last month's World Cup to rest a bad back. Golf-European Tour Hong Kong Open scores Dec 9 (Gracenote) - Scores from the European Tour Hong Kong Open at the par-70 course on Friday in Hong Kong. The cut was set at 140. -11 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 64 65 -8 Sam Brazel (Australia) 66 66 -6 Paul Peterson (U.S.) 66 68 Danny Willett (Britain) 68 66 Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 66 68 Justin Walters (South Africa) 67 67 -5 Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) 67 68 Hung Chien-Yao (Chinese Taipei) 69 66 Danny Chia (Malaysia) 69 66 Steve Lewton (Britain) 68 67 -4 Daniel Im (U.S. ... Cabrera-Bello holds firm as Willett makes move (Reuters) - Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot a five-under 65 to extend his lead to three strokes after the second round of the Hong Kong Open at Fanling on Friday, as U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett moved into contention for the weekend. Spaniard Cabrera-Bello, one shot ahead overnight, rolled in six birdies with a solitary bogey to lead Australian Sam Brazel, who was in outright second place after shooting a second successive 66 in the European Tour co-sanctioned event. "Nice to shoot some numbers again," Willett tweeted. Golf-Cabrera-Bello holds firm as Willett makes move Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot a five-under 65 to extend his lead to three strokes after the second round of the Hong Kong Open at Fanling on Friday, as U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett moved into contention for the weekend. Spaniard Cabrera-Bello, one shot ahead overnight, rolled in six birdies with a solitary bogey to lead Australian Sam Brazel, who was in outright second place after shooting a second successive 66 in the European Tour co-sanctioned event. "Nice to shoot some numbers again," Willett tweeted. Bulls send Spurs to first road loss of season The San Antonio Spurs suffered their first road loss of the season, as the Chicago Bulls led wire-to-wire en route to a 95-91 victory that snapped a three-game skid. The Spurs needed just one more road win to tie the NBA record of 14 straight road victories to start a season, set by the Golden State Warriors last season. The guys get a lot of money to get ready to play," said Popovich of the Spurs. Chiefs topple red-hot Raiders to seize control of AFC West The Kansas City Chiefs won the battle for supremacy in the AFC West with a 21-13 victory over the first-place Oakland Raiders. "This is a big, big rivalry and we knew it was going to come down to the end like this," said Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. In chilly conditions that featured temperatures around minus-10 Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) with the wind chill, the Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce posted his fourth consecutive game with 100-plus yards receiving. DeRozan, Lowry spoil Wiggins' homecoming party DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Kyle Lowry tallied 25 points and 11 assists as the Toronto Raptors rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-110 in Andrew Wiggins' homecoming game. Wiggins scored 11 of his 25 points in the first quarter but the Timberwolves were no match for the offensive firepower of the Raptors at home. Coachless golfer Ko urged to look to Kiwi guru World number one Lydia Ko was urged to look to the Kiwi guru who set her on the road to golf stardom on Friday after she split with high-profile coach David Leadbetter. New Zealand's World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Bob Charles said the 19-year-old prodigy needed to stop looking "outside her environment" and seek advice from her former coach, Guy Wilson. "Please, please don't go out looking for another David Leadbetter or whatever, just go back to Guy," Charles told Fairfax Media. Chiefs KO Raiders, seize control of AFC West (The Sports Xchange) - The Kansas City Chiefs took control of the AFC West with a 21-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday in chilly weather conditions, The result left the teams with identical 10-3 records, however, Kansas City has the tiebreak edge with two victories over Oakland this season. The Chiefs suffered a big loss when inside linebacker Derrick Johnson went down with five minutes to play in the first half and needed help getting off the field. The 34-year old first-round choice by Kansas City in the 2005 draft, missed 15 games in the 2014 season with a torn right Achilles. Cardinals set to sign Fowler: MLB (Reuters) - The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a free agent deal to sign former Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler, Major League Baseball reported on its website. Terms of the deal have not yet been reported, but the Cardinals have called a press conference for Friday morning. The 30-year-old Fowler will undergo a physical on Friday to complete the move to Chicago’s National League Central rival. Cowboys out to avenge lone loss against Giants The Dallas Cowboys aim to avenge their lone defeat of the season and clinch the NFC East title on Sunday when they clash with a New York Giants team whose pursuit of an NFL playoff spot has been slowed by a suddenly sputtering offense. The 11-1 Cowboys, led by the dynamic rookie duo of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, have already become the first team to secure a post-season berth. Prescott says he's learned a lot since the Cowboys' 20-19 loss to the Giants in week one, and he's eager to turn the tables. Kelly-Stricker lead Templeton Shootout Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker got off to a rousing start at the Franklin Templeton Shootout, firing an opening round 16-under 56 for a one-stroke lead in Naples, Florida. The former winners of the event have a slight lead over fellow Americans Harris English and Matt Kuchar at the Tiburon Golf Club course. Kelly and Stricker combined to shoot one eagle, 14 birdies and three pars in the first round scramble format as they finished just one stroke shy of matching the event's 18 hole scoring record which has been set four times. Giants' Cruz speaks out on racist vandalism at teammate's home New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz spoke out Thursday after racist graffiti was scrawled at the home of teammate Nikita Whitlock during a break-in. Whitlock's home in Moonachie, New Jersey, was broken into on Tuesday night by robbers who wrote "Go back to Africa" on the walls, along with a swastika and "KKK'. The defacement also included "Trump" -- and Cruz said it showed that some who support US President-elect Donald Trump "are not necessarily the most positive people in our community". Kings' Barnes, Cousins sued over alleged nightclub brawl Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Matt Barnes are being sued by two people who claim the NBA players assaulted them at a New York night club early Monday morning. No criminal charges have been filed against either Cousins or Barnes, who according to the Sacramento Bee have both hired attorney Alex Spiro to represent them. Spiro has represented numerous athletes in high-profile cases, including Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha, who was found not guilty of several charges in an incident at a club in New York in which his leg was broken. Woods in contention at tragedy-hit Dubai Masters Cheyenne Woods, the niece of superstar golfer Tiger, was one shot off the lead held by England's Florentyna Parker after the first round of the tragedy-hit Dubai Ladies Masters on Thursday. Play had been suspended early Wednesday in the season-ending championship of the Ladies European Tour following the death of caddie Max Zechmann on the course. The 27-year-old, who is fourth in the money list and enjoying a superb year without winning a tournament, made a bogey on the eighth and then closed with a double bogey on the ninth. NFL player's New Jersey home vandalized with racist taunts: police By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) - An National Football League player's northern New Jersey home was vandalized with a swastika and other racist taunts scrawled on the inside walls during a break-in this week, according to police and photos that the player posted online. The break-in happened on Tuesday night while Nikita Whitlock, a fullback with the New York Giants, and his family were not at home, police in the borough of Moonachie said. Photos that Whitlock posted on Instagram showed a broken window, a swastika and a racial epithet for black Americans. Golf: Moving ball rule changed in wake of Johnson controversy Golf's governing bodies have introduced a new local rule to eliminate the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the green, the scenario that overshadowed Dustin Johnson's maiden major victory at this year's U.S. Open. Johnson played the closing holes of his final round at Oakmont not knowing whether he would be given a stroke penalty after the ball moved fractionally on the marble-slick fifth green when he grounded his putter next to it. Although he was later docked a shot, it made no difference to the outcome of the tournament, sparing the United States Golf Association (USGA) the embarrassment of denying him the title on a technicality. NBA: James's Cavs silence Knicks, Warriors clobber Clippers LeBron James let his game do the talking as his NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers humbled the New York Knicks 126-94 at Madison Square Garden. While the Cavs were dismantling the Knicks, Western Conference powerhouse Golden State were producing another dominant win of their own, routing the Clippers 115-98 in Los Angeles. New golf Asian Tour CEO praises Europe deal The Asian Tour's strategic tie-up with the European Tour is a "great option" which will create more tournaments and opportunities for regional golfers, the body's new CEO told AFP. Josh Burack said the "strategic alliance", adopted after Asian players baulked at a proposed merger with the bigger tour, wasn't a second-best move for Asia. The agreement was struck in July after Burack's predecessor Mike Kerr, who had backed a full merger of playing memberships and business interests, stepped down last December amid deep divisions over the move. Yankees agree deal with Chapman: MLB (Reuters) - The New York Yankees have reached an agreement for the return of hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, Major League Baseball reported on its website on Wednesday. Five months after trading the left-handed closer to the Chicago Cubs, the Yankees will bring him back with a five-year, $68 million free agent deal, the most lucrative for a reliever in baseball history. The 28-year-old is coming off a roller coaster World Series triumph in which he blew a save chance in the deciding Game Seven but ultimately got the win as the Cubs rallied to overcome Cleveland. Antetokounmpo triple-double fuels Bucks It wasn't always pretty, but Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his second triple-double of the season to help the Milwaukee Bucks to a 115-107 NBA victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Jabari Parker led the Bucks with 27 points, 10 of them in the third quarter as Milwaukee erased a seven-point halftime deficit. After connecting on just three of 11 from three-point range in the first half, Milwaukee hit six from beyond the arc in the third. Golf-World number one Ko parts ways with coach Leadbetter * Leadbetter says decision came from Ko * Ko out of winner's circle since July * Slump could be attributed to burnout (Adds fresh quotes, details) Dec 7 (Reuters) - World number one Lydia Ko, who clinched the most recent of her 14 LPGA titles in July before enduring the first barren spell of her young but already stellar career, has split from her coach David Leadbetter after three years working together. Ko and Leadbetter joined forces shortly after she turned professional in late 2013, with the then 16-year-old leaving her New Zealand-based coach Guy Wilson after 11 years in tandem. Leadbetter, who announced the split on his website, later told New Zealand media the decision had been a "surprise" but it had come from Ko and he felt her family had been a major factor in the thinking. China's top court rules in Michael Jordan's favor in trademark case China's highest court has ruled in favor of former basketball star Michael Jordan in a long-running trademark case relating to a local sportswear firm using the Chinese version of his name, overturning earlier rulings against the athlete. The ruling is a rare bit of good news for a foreign brand in China, where companies, including iPhone maker Apple Inc and shoe brand New Balance, have often come out on the losing side in trademark disputes. The former Chicago Bulls player sued Qiaodan Sports in 2012, saying the company located in southern Fujian province had built its business around his Chinese name and famous jersey number "23" without his permission. Howard shines as Hawks halt skid Dwight Howard scored 23 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to help the Atlanta Hawks end their seven-game NBA losing streak with a 103-95 victory over the Miami Heat. "It was good to get the monkey off our backs, but we've got to keep working," said Howard, who connected on nine of 11 shots from the floor and made five of six from the free-throw line. Defensively, Howard helped limit Miami's Hassan Whiteside to just eight points -- 10 fewer than his season average. World Series champion Chicago Cubs add new closer The reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed closing pitcher Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Jorge Soler, the Cubs announced on Wednesday. Davis is expected to fill the void as the closer for the Cubs, who look likely to lose left hander Aroldis Chapman to free agency. Chapman had served as Chicago's closer since a July trade. World number one Ko parts ways with coach Leadbetter (Reuters) - World number one Lydia Ko, who clinched the most recent of her 14 LPGA titles in July before enduring the first barren spell of her young but already stellar career, has split from her coach David Leadbetter after three years working together. Ko and Leadbetter joined forces shortly after she turned professional in late 2013, with the then 16-year-old leaving her New Zealand-based coach Guy Wilson after 11 years in tandem. "These things happen in the world of coaching," Leadbetter said on his website (www.davidleadbetter.com). LPGA player Thompson set to compete with men at Shark Shootout (Reuters) - Women's world number five Lexi Thompson will be following in the footsteps of golfing great Annika Sorenstam when she competes with the men, off the men's tees, at this week's Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Florida. Swede Sorenstam was paired with Fred Couples at the 54-hole team event in 2006 and Thompson, a seven-times winner on the LPGA Tour, will make her debut in the tournament hosted by Greg Norman in partnership with PGA Tour rookie Bryson DeChambeau. The duo, who share an equipment and apparel sponsor, will be competing against 11 other teams in the Dec. 8-10 event at Tiburon Golf Club. Vikings Adrian Peterson says return linked to playoffs Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson says he doesn't plan on playing anymore this season unless the Vikings can turn their season around. Peterson's comments differ from head coach Mike Zimmer who has said the running back's health would be the determining factor in whether he returns this season. The Vikings have lost six of their last seven games after winning their first five games of the season. Tiger's next chapter a hot topic for players and fans By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - With the opening PGA Tour event of 2017 just a month away, golf fans and players are bracing for the next chapter from Tiger Woods as the former world number one prepares for his first start on the U.S. circuit since August 2015. Back in action after an absence of almost 16 months caused by chronic back problems, Woods produced roller-coaster form at the Hero World Challenge which he hosts to finish 15th in an elite 17-man field. Woods was clearly delighted to be back competing with his peers and his fellow American, world number five Jordan Spieth, expressed the views of many in that Bahamas field with a positive and excited assessment of the tournament host's return to competition. Golf-Tiger's next chapter a hot topic for players and fans By Mark Lamport-Stokes Dec 7 (Reuters) - With the opening PGA Tour event of 2017 just a month away, golf fans and players are bracing for the next chapter from Tiger Woods as the former world number one prepares for his first start on the U.S. circuit since August 2015. Back in action after an absence of almost 16 months caused by chronic back problems, Woods produced roller-coaster form at the Hero World Challenge which he hosts to finish 15th in an elite 17-man field. Woods was clearly delighted to be back competing with his peers and his fellow American, world number five Jordan Spieth, expressed the views of many in that Bahamas field with a positive and excited assessment of the tournament host's return to competition. IOC approves venues for new sports at Tokyo 2020 By Karolos Grohmann LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Venues for the five new sports to be introduced at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were finalised on Tuesday following approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo Games chief Yoshiro Mori told reporters. Baseball and softball will be held at the Yokohama Stadium, the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo will be the site of the karate competitions, while temporary facilities in the capital will house the sports climbing and skateboarding competitions. "Our proposals were confirmed and approved by the IOC," Mori said. Injured Rose was '50-50' for HK Open defence Justin Rose on Wednesday said he had been close to pulling out of this week's Hong Kong Open title defence after a back injury laid him low. The Olympic champion was in doubt after the injury forced him to abandon last week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas after just one round. "Sure, I've been worried about my participation the last few days," Rose told reporters. Play stopped at Ladies European Tour event after caddie dies (Reuters) - The first round of the Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament was suspended on Wednesday after the death of a caddie on the course, the Ladies European Tour said in a statement. "Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is extremely shocked and saddened today by this sudden death and therefore we have taken the decision to suspend first round play as a mark of respect," Ladies European Tour CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh said. Tiger must prove he is over chipping yips: Jacklin By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods must prove he has overcome the "chipping yips" in order to fully challenge golf's elite again, according to double major champion Tony Jacklin. American Woods, 40, made his comeback after an absence of almost 16 months caused by chronic back problems to finish 15th in an elite 17-man field at last week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. "I thought it was a promising return by Tiger," Jacklin told Reuters in a telephone interview from his Florida home. Golf-Tiger must prove he is over chipping yips - Jacklin By Tony Jimenez LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Former world number one Tiger Woods must prove he has overcome the "chipping yips" in order to fully challenge golf's elite again, according to double major champion Tony Jacklin. American Woods, 40, made his comeback after an absence of almost 16 months caused by chronic back problems to finish 15th in an elite 17-man field at last week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. "I thought it was a promising return by Tiger," Jacklin told Reuters in a telephone interview from his Florida home. WRHL 2016-12-10T04:06:35Z http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495