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Friday, October 31, 2014

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Clippers hold off Thunder 93-90 in opener (Yahoo Sports)  

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots against the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 30, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Blake Griffin scored 23 points, making two free throws with five seconds left, Chris Paul added 22 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-90 in their season opener on Thursday night to usher in a new era under owner Steve Ballmer. He paid a record $2 billion to buy the team after 33-year owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks. The Thunder sent the Clippers packing in the second round of the playoffs last spring, shortly after the Sterling scandal erupted. Already without injured Kevin Durant, the Thunder lost Russell Westbrook to a hand injury in the second quarter.


 

Knicks spoil James' homecoming, 95-90 (Yahoo Sports)  

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts during the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on October 30, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Knicks defeated the Cavaliers 95-90. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

LeBron James shot miserably. ''I didn't press,'' James said, dismissing nerves as a factor. ''I didn't do much.'' James struggled from the start in his first game with Cleveland in four years, and the New York Knicks ruined the megastar's emotional return home with a 95-90 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday night. James, who returned to the Cavs and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami, finished with 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting.


 

Winston, Florida State rally to beat Louisville (Yahoo Sports)  

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2014, file photo, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston rolls out to pass late in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, Fla. Second-ranked Florida State is the measuring stick Louisville has prepared all season for, and the Cardinals enter Thursday night's ACC game healthy, refreshed and with something to prove. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser, File)

If trailing Auburn by 18 last season in the BCS Championship game didn't shake Florida State, a 21-0 first-half deficit to Louisville surely wasn't going to, either. Thanks to another remarkable comeback by the Seminoles and quarterback Jameis Winston, their hopes of competing for a second straight national championship remain intact. Winston threw three touchdown passes to offset a three-interception start and Dalvin Cook had two long scoring runs to help second-ranked Florida State rally for a 42-31 victory over Louisville on Thursday night. Fun to watch, wasn't it?'' Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said.


 

Saints top Panthers 28-10 to take NFC South lead (Yahoo Sports)  

New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees (9) dives over the goal line for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Drew Brees and the Saints proved they know how to win big games on the road. Brees overcame a shaky start and threw for one touchdown and ran for another and New Orleans defeated the Carolina Panthers 28-10 Thursday night to take over first place in the NFC South. The Saints (4-4) piled up 375 yards to snap a seven-game losing streak on the road that dated back to last November. Brees finished 24 of 34 for 297 yards and Mark Ingram turned in another solid performance with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns.


 

NCAA denies Georgia's appeal of Gurley suspension (Yahoo Sports)  

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2014, file photo, Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) celebrates with linebacker Amarlo Herrera (52) after an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Athens, Ga. No. 9 Georgia continues to await word from the NCAA on the status of star tailback Todd Gurley for Saturday's game against Florida. Georgia has asked for the reinstatement of Gurley, who has acknowledged mistakes and has been suspended the last two games for an alleged violation of NCAA rules. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

The NCAA upheld its four-game suspension of Georgia tailback Todd Gurley on Thursday night, ending the school's final hope of having its biggest star in uniform for Saturday's game against Florida. In a statement released Thursday night, the NCAA's student-athlete reinstatement committee denied Georgia's appeal of Gurley's four-game suspension. The NCAA announced the suspension on Wednesday, when it said Gurley accepted more than $3,000 for autographed memorabilia and other items over a two-year period. Gurley, who already has been held out of two games, will be eligible to return on Nov. 15 against Auburn.


 

AP source: Hardy's appeal trial postponed (Yahoo Sports)  

Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy waves to fans as he arrives for an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Hardy has been convicted on two counts of domestic violence and is still playing. Though he has already been found guilty, the league is sticking by its policy to wait until the appeal process has been heard before making any decision on a possible suspension. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy's domestic violence appeal trial set for Nov. 17 has been postponed until after the NFL season, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday night. The change could signal the end of Hardy's season - and perhaps his career - with the Panthers. The NFL and the Panthers have said Hardy would not play until after his trial was resolved, although he is still collecting more than $770,000 per week as Carolina's franchise player. The Panthers placed Hardy on the exempt-commissioner's permission list on Sept. 17 after he was convicted in July of assault on a female and communicating threats.


 

Red Sox sign closer Koji Uehara for 2 years (Yahoo Sports)  

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, right, high-fives catcher Christian Vazquez after the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 11-1 during a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The Boston Red Sox have signed Koji Uehara for two more years, committing $18 million to the reliever who closed out the 2013 World Series but struggled along with the team this season. One year to the day after Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter to seal Boston's third title in 10 years, the team gave him a deal that will pay him $9 million in each of the next two years, when he will be 40 and 41 years old. General manager Ben Cherington said he thought Uehara had less wear and tear on his arm than other pitchers his age. ''You're really looking at a guy who has been one of the elite relievers in baseball,'' Cherington said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday night.


 

Redskins: 'every intent' of starting RG3 on Sunday (Yahoo Sports)  

FILE - In this July 27, 2014, file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III speaks during a media availability after practice at the team's NFL football training facility in Richmond Va. The Redskins have allowed Griffin to break his silence about his injury, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Griffin referenced a Winton Churchill quote about courage, said he's been

One of the NFL's most dynamic play-makers - and personalities - is set to return Sunday, and the rest of the season could go far in determining his future in the league. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden made it all but official Thursday when he said he has ''every intent'' of starting Robert Griffin III against the Minnesota Vikings. Gruden said Griffin is fully recovered from a dislocated left ankle suffered in Week 2 and that the third-year quarterback took most of the first-team snaps in practice ahead of Colt McCoy, who started Monday night's upset over the Dallas Cowboys.


 

Reds exercise Cueto's option, decline Ludwick (Yahoo Sports)  

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the firstinning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Reds exercised Johnny Cueto's $10 million contract option on Thursday but decided to let outfielder Ryan Ludwick and infielder Jack Hannahan become free agents.


 

Cards exercise Lackey option at big league minimum (Yahoo Sports)  

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher John Lackey throws to the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Harry How, pool)

The St. Louis Cardinals have exercised their 2015 contract option on pitcher John Lackey, which is at the major league minimum. Lackey did not pitch in 2012 after reconstructive elbow surgery. The major league minimum next year will be $500,000 plus a cost-of-living adjustment to be determined Nov. 20, which is likely to be $9,000 to $10,000. Lackey, who turned 36 on Oct. 23, was 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA last year with the Red Sox and Cardinals and was 1-0 in two postseason starts for the NL Central champions.


 

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