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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) runs away from New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide


10ThingstoSeeSports - Crystal Palace's Fraizer Campbell, left, competes for the ball with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois during their English Premier League soccer match at Selhurst Park, London, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)Here's a look at some of the defining moments, exciting scenes, triumphs and defeats from the world of sports.


FIBA says the JBA has six months to come up with a plan to merge its community-based professional bj League and the National Basketball League comprising corporate-sponsored teamsJapan has six months to hammer out a plan for merging its two national basketball leagues, or risk not qualifying for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, a senior International Basketball Federation (FIBA) official said Thursday. During a visit to Tokyo, FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann repeated calls for the Japan Basketball Association (JBA) to usher in reforms by June, after the body suspended Japan from international competition.


Michigan Wolverines receiver Arrington grabs a pass away from Florida Gators defender Anderson for a 37-yard gain during Capital One Bowl in Orlando(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday rebuffed a $75-million NCAA settlement that aimed to end a massive class-action lawsuit over head injuries suffered by student athletes, court records show. U.S. District Judge John Lee wrote in a 21-page opinion that while the proposed agreement was a step in the right direction, the $70 million devoted to fund concussion testing and diagnosis for players might not cover potential costs, among other issues. "Although these concerns may prove surmountable, the Court cannot grant preliminary approval of the settlement as currently proposed," Lee wrote. ...


Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson of the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden on November 5, 2014 in Boston, MassachusettsKyle Lowry scored 20 points and handed out 12 assists Wednesday to lead Toronto to a 105-89 NBA victory over Brooklyn that made the Raptors the first Eastern Conference team to 20 wins this season. Patrick Patterson and Lou Williams contributed eight points apiece in the fourth quarter and Lowry scored six as the Raptors out-scored the Nets 29-16 in the final frame to pull away for their fourth straight win. Toronto improved to 20-6 and have enjoyed three winning streaks of at least four games this season. Mason Plumlee had 23 points to lead Brooklyn, Joe Johnson scored 17 and Mirza Teletovic added 14 in the first meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals since the Nets' seven-game win in the first round of last season's playoffs.


LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - On Thursday Dec. 18 we will publish the result of the Reuters sports awards, voted for by the agency's journalists around the world. Alongside the results we will publish a series of profiles, interviews and factboxes relating to the winners. The award categories are: Sportsman of the year Sportswoman of the year Team of the year Coach of the year Comeback of the year Breakthrough of the year Flop of the year On Friday Dec. ...

NFL: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ersBy Steve Ginsburg (Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers released defensive tackle Ray McDonald on Wednesday after police said he was a possible suspect in a sexual assault case. San Jose police said they were investigating the assault of a woman seeking treatment at a hospital on Tuesday when officers determined that McDonald might have been involved in the incident. Police then searched the San Jose home of McDonald, an eight-year National Football League veteran. No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing, police said. ...


Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the second day of the Australian Open golf tournament in Sydney on November 28, 2014Paris (AFP) - Rory McIlroy dominated golf in 2014, winning two majors, recapturing the world number one spot and starring in Europe's latest Ryder Cup triumph.


NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Houston RocketsBy Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dirk Nowitzki can still fill up the basket in his 17th season with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, but it has become time to lighten the load on the 7-foot German sharpshooter. "Our roster is built on a lot of guys that can make plays. A lot of guys that can contribute, not just one guy to lead every night," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters before Tuesday's road game against the New York Knicks. "Dirk used to be that guy. We've tried to segue him out of that responsibility to carry the team on his back. ...


Defensive end Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers sits on the bench during a game on September 21, 2014 in Glendale, ArizonaThe San Francisco 49ers dumped veteran defensive tackle Ray McDonald on Wednesday after police said he was the focus of a sexual assault investigation, the latest to hit the NFL. The National Football League team's general manager Trent Baalke said the 49ers notified McDonald and his agent that his contract was terminated. The team had stood by McDonald after he was arrested in August on charges of domestic violence, which were dropped on November 10 due to insufficient evidence. Despite criticism, the 49ers allowed McDonald to continue playing during that investigation.


By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There will be no immediate flow of top Cuban players into Major League Baseball despite the major U.S. policy shift toward the communist-run island, experts on baseball in Cuba said on Wednesday. Any move to let Cuban players leave their country freely will not happen for at least several years, said author Pete Bjarkman, who has written extensively about Cuban baseball. "I don't think it will have any real visible immediate impact," Bjarkman said of the policy change. "Cuba wants to maintain its strong baseball at home. ...
BEIJING (Reuters) - Twenty three female basketball players in China have been suspended for their part in an ugly, bench-clearing brawl as organizers attempted to clamp down on ill-discipline in the scandal-hit league. The incident came during the Sichuan Whales's home game against the Zhejiang Bulls on Sunday, with the hosts reacting angrily to a heavy foul from the visitors that brought about the melee and led to the referee cancelling the game. ...

Marc Gasol, pictured earlier this season, scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies dealt Golden State their first defeat in more than a month, snapping the Warriors winning streak at 16 games with a 105-98 triumphThe Memphis Grizzlies dealt Golden State their first defeat in more than a month, snapping the Warriors NBA winning streak at 16 games with a 105-98 triumph. Spanish center Marc Gasol scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Memphis in the battle between the top two teams in the league. It was the first Golden State defeat since a November 11 setback against reigning NBA champions San Antonio. Memphis clamped down defensively early in the second quarter, forcing 11 consecutive Golden State misses.


NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors(Reuters) - Highly regarded Milwaukee Bucks rookie Jabari Parker will miss the rest of the season after the forward tore a ligament in his left knee, the team confirmed on Tuesday. Parker suffered the injury, initially believed to be a sprain, when making a drive to the basket in Milwaukee's win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday. "Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season," the Bucks said in a statement. ...


By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - The former wife of Hall of Fame football player Deion Sanders was booked into jail on Tuesday after a Texas judge sentenced her to serve seven days for violating a custody agreement by not returning the couple's children on time, his attorney said. Pilar Sanders appeared in court in suburban Dallas without an attorney for a hearing requested by Deion Sanders’ attorney Rick Robertson who requested changes to the divorce decree and an injunction to stop her from disparaging her ex-husband. ...
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida man who received $2.5 million after helping to smuggle Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig out of Cuba pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to court documents. Gilberto Suarez, 40, faces up to 10 years in prison at a March sentencing for conspiring to bring in or harbor aliens. In his plea agreement, he acknowledged coaching Puig on his 2012 defection from the communist-controlled island. After leaving Cuba, Puig, now 24, signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers. Suarez received about $2. ...

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a shot during the Australian Open in Sydney, November 29, 2014World number one Rory McIlroy said on Tuesday that golf should be made quicker at grassroots level in order to attract more young players to the sport. McIlroy, who won the British Open and the US PGA in 2014, taking his tally of major wins to four, added: "The viewership in golf is up, but the participation is down.


Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a single against the Boston Red Sox on August 26, 2014 in Toronto, CanadaFormer drugs cheat Melky Cabrera, who was slapped with a 50-game ban in 2012 for testing positive for testosterone, officially agreed to a multi-million dollar contract with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Dominican Republic outfielder reportedly signed a three-year deal worth $42 million. "Melky provides us with a professional hitter, who reaches base on a consistent basis," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday. Cabrera spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, batting .301 with 16 homers, 35 doubles and 73 RBI in 139 games in 2014.


MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays(Reuters) - The Chicago White Sox crossed another key item off their long holiday shopping list by agreeing with outfielder Melky Cabrera on a three-year $42 million contract, the club said on Tuesday. Cabrera, 30, batted .301 with a .351 on-base percentage for the Toronto Blue Jays last season to go with 16 home runs and 73 runs batted in. The addition of Cabrera, who in 2012 was leading the National League in batting average for the San Francisco Giants before missing the end of the season over a doping violation, was the latest in an offseason overhaul by the White Sox. ...


By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - In a year when the men's soccer and basketball teams flopped on the biggest stage and Rafa Nadal's season was wrecked by injury and illness, it was the women who helped protect Spain's reputation as a nation of sporting excellence. The standout performers were swimmer Mireia Belmonte, who set two world records at the short course world championships in Doha this month, and badminton player Carolina Marin, who pulled off a huge upset to beat Chinese world number one Li Xuerui and win the women’s singles title at the world championships in Copenhagen in August. ...

McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the Australian Open golf tournament in SydneyLONDON (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour's Golfer of the Year for the second time in three seasons, capping an outstanding 2014 for the world number one. The 25-year-old Northern Irishman landed the British Open title in July and the U.S. PGA Championship crown in August -- the third and fourth majors of his career -- before winning three points as Europe retained the Ryder Cup in September. ...


Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints jumps over Kyle Fuller and Brock Vereen of the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on December 15, 2014 in Chicago, IllinoisDrew Brees threw for 375 yards as the New Orleans Saints seized sole possession of first place with a 31-15 victory over the struggling Chicago Bears. Brees also tossed three touchdowns in his 200th career NFL contest for the Saints who vaulted over Carolina Panthers for first place in the woeful NFC South Division. New Orleans now controls their own postseason destiny with two games remaining against division opponents Atlanta and Tampa Bay.


NFL: New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears(Reuters) - The New Orleans Saints climbed into first place in the jumbled NFC South after feasting on the struggling Chicago Bears in a 31-15 win on Monday. Drew Brees fired three touchdown passes and the Saints took advantage of the Bears to move atop their division despite their 6-8 record. “We responded, our defense came out and played fantastic. Offensively, we did enough,” Brees told reporters. “You want to be playing for a lot at the end of the year and we are. We control our destiny. ...


NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Monday's National Basketball Association games: Raptors 95, Magic 82 Lou Williams came off the bench to score 18 points as the Toronto Raptors continued their domination of the Orlando Magic with a comfortable victory on Monday. The win was the third in a row for the Raptors (19-6), who defeated the Magic for a 10th consecutive time to remain top of the Eastern Conference standings. Tobias Harris led the Magic with 18 points. ...


NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors(Reuters) - Highly regarded Milwaukee Bucks rookie Jabari Parker suffered a left knee sprain and had to be carried off the court during his team's 96-94 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday. Parker, the number two overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was driving to the basket during the third quarter when his knee buckled and he fell to the court. He finished the night with eight points in 15 minutes. The 6-foot-8-inch forward was averaging 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds entering the game. ...


Wayne Ellington of the Los Angeles Lakers scrambles for a loose ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 15, 2014 in Indianapolis, IndianaIt didn't take long for the Los Angeles Lakers to come down from their high of watching Kobe Bryant pass Michael Jordan for third place on the all-time NBA scoring list. Just 24 hours after Bryant hit a pair of free throws against Minnesota to pass Jordan, the Indiana Pacers compiled a 33 point halftime lead en route to a 110-91 thrashing of Los Angeles on Monday night. "We were just embarrassed with the way we played in the first half," said Lakers coach Byron Scott. The Lakers trailed 60-27 at the half as Bryant shot three-for-13 and the bench was two-for-19.


The Royal Trophy golf team event that pits Europe against Asia has been "postponed", organisers say, just days ahead of the scheduled tee off in ChinaThe Royal Trophy golf team event which pits Europe against Asia has been "postponed", organisers told AFP on Tuesday, just days ahead of the scheduled tee off in China. Played in a similar matchplay format to the Ryder Cup, the Royal Trophy was founded by the late Seve Ballesteros, whose vision was to bring together the continents of Europe and Asia in a team matchplay contest. The eighth edition of the event -- which is sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation and the China Golf Association and supported by the OneAsia Tour -- was originally scheduled to be held at China’s Dragon Lake Golf Club in the southern province of Guangzhou from Friday to Sunday.


Tyrone Corbin, seen here on November 1, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona, spent four seasons as head coach of the Utah JazzSacramento (AFP) - Mike Malone has been fired as head coach of the Sacramento Kings and replaced by interim coach Tyrone Corbin, the National Basketball Association team announced Monday.


Nick Faldo, Britain's greatest golfer, led Europe to defeat by the United States in the 2008 Ryder Cup and said in September that Spain's Garcia had shown a "bad attitude" during the contestRyder Cup vice-captain Sam Torrance has strongly criticised Nick Faldo for labelling Sergio Garcia "useless" shortly before this year's tournament, in a magazine interview published on Tuesday. Faldo, Britain's greatest golfer, led Europe to defeat by the United States in the 2008 Ryder Cup and said in September that Spain's Garcia had shown a "bad attitude" during the contest. He subsequently softened his stance, while Garcia said he was willing to "forgive and forget", but Torrance remains angry about the 57-year-old's comments. "To say that right in the middle of the Ryder Cup.


Andrew Hawkins of the Cleveland Browns makes a catch on November 30, 2014 in Orchard Park, New YorkCleveland wide receiver Andrew Hawkins made an emotional defense on Monday of his decision to wear a "Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford" T-shirt prior to the Browns' NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The gesture was denounced by the president of the Cleveland police union as "pathetic" and demanded an apology from the Browns. "My wearing of the T-shirt wasn't a stance against every police officer or every police department," said Hawkins, who met with reporters on Monday but did not take questions.


(Reuters) - The Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Mike Malone, the struggling National Basketball Association team said on Monday. Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin will take over on an interim basis for the Kings, who have lost their last three games. "This was an extremely difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the franchise moving forward," Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro said in a statement. "Michael made significant contributions to the organization on many levels and helped foster cultural changes that positively impacted our team. ...

Pitcher Jon Lester attends an introduction press conference by the Chicago Cubs on December 15, 2014 in Chicago, IllinoisJon Lester says Chicago has some of the most passionate fans in Major League Baseball and he is fully committed to bringing the Cubs their first championship season since 1908. "I got a good sense of how crazy these fans are about their Cubs baseball," Lester said. The Cubs formally introduced the 30-year-old pitcher at a downtown Chicago news conference on Monday. The Cubs did not provided details of his contract but the US media had reported that it is a six-year deal worth $155 million.


MLB: World Series-San Francisco Giants at Kansas City RoyalsNEW YORK (Reuters) - Major League Baseball must produce documents relating to a dispute over television rights fees involving the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals before the matter goes to trial next year, a judge ruled on Monday. The regional baseball rivals have been at odds over the amount the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, also known as MASN, should pay the Nationals to broadcast their games. The Orioles control MASN, which broadcasts in the U.S. capital and seven surrounding states. The Nationals own a minority stake. ...


Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Arena on November 25, 2014 in Miami, FloridaAll-Star center Chris Bosh will be sidelined indefinitely with a strained calf, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday dealing another injury blow to the NBA team. Bosh, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, felt tightness in his left calf after the Heat's victory in Utah on Saturday, and was kept out of Sunday's defeat at home against the Chicago Bulls. "He's still sore," Spoelstra said of Bosh.


Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before a game against the Houston Texans on November 2, 2014 at NRG Stadium in HoustonThe Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles won't play against the Washington Redskins next Saturday after not being passed fit as he recovers from a broken collarbone dealing a blow to the Eagles hopes of taking the NFL's NFC East division title. "He's not cleared, he's out this week," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said on Monday, a day after Philadelphia lost 38-27 to Dallas to fall a game behind the Cowboys in the division race.


McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a shot on the 17th hole during the fourth and final round of the Australian Open golf tournament in SydneyLONDON (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy has urged golf's rule-makers to quicken the game up at grass-roots level in order to make it more attractive to youngsters. More people are watching the sport on television these days but fewer are taking to the fairways and the 25-year-old Northern Irishman believes something needs to be done to reverse the trend. "Everything's so instant now and everyone doesn't have as much time as they used to so you maybe try some way of speeding the game up," McIlroy told BBC radio. "The viewership in golf is up but the participation is down. ...


(Reuters) - Sy Berger, a 50-year employee of the Topps Company and the man credited with creating the look of the modern baseball card, died of natural causes at the age of 91, the company said. Berger's design of the 1952 Topps set was a game-changer. It had color photos of the players with names, team logos, and positions on the front of the card, with statistics on the back, a form still used today. Baseball cards had been around since the 19th century but it had not caught on as a popular hobby until the 1952 Topps set, said baseball historian Marty Appel. ...
LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy has urged golf's rule-makers to quicken the game up at grass-roots level in order to make it more attractive to youngsters. More people are watching the sport on television these days but fewer are taking to the fairways and the 25-year-old Northern Irishman believes something needs to be done to reverse the trend. "Everything's so instant now and everyone doesn't have as much time as they used to so you maybe try some way of speeding the game up," McIlroy told BBC radio. "The viewership in golf is up but the participation is down. ...

NFL running back Adrian Peterson addresses the media on November 4, 2014 in Conroe, TexasThe NFL Players Association has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a ruling which upheld the suspension of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. NFL-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson on Friday upheld the sanction, saying the ruling was neither unfair nor inconsistent. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, however, chastised the player for showing "no meaningful remorse" for his conduct.


Suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Peterson exits following his hearing against the NFL over his punishment for child abuse, in New YorkBy Steve Ginsburg (Reuters) - The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the National Football League on Monday challenging an arbitrator's decision to uphold the league's suspension of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Filed at the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, the lawsuit claims arbitrator Harold Henderson, a former NFL executive hand-picked by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the case, was not impartial. ...


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