Weekend Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Weekend Sports In Brief
February 24, 2014, 4:19 am

PRO BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete in the United States four major pro leagues on Sunday, playing 10 scoreless minutes with two rebounds and five fouls in the Nets' 108-102 victory of the Lakers.

Collins signed a 10-day contract with Brooklyn earlier Sunday and coach Jason Kidd said he would play in their game in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The 35-year-old center revealed at the end of last season he is gay, but he was a free agent and had remained unsigned.

Collins was aware of the magnitude of his signing, but repeatedly said he was most concerned with learning the Nets' schemes.

"The pressure is playing in an NBA game tonight and last time I played in an NBA game was last April," Collins said. "So I think that's enough pressure right there."

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Knicks are preparing to buy out the contracts of veterans Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih.

Neither player was available Saturday for the Knicks' 107-98 loss in Atlanta.

World Peace wrote on his Twitter account earlier Saturday that his agent was working on a buyout and thanked fans and the city.

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AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -Dale Earnhardt Jr. persevered through rain and wrecks to win NASCAR's signature event on Sunday.

Stock car racing's most popular driver won the Daytona 500 for the second time, a decade after his first victory in the "Great American Race."

Earnhardt snapped a 55-race winless streak that dated to 2012. It ended a streak of futility at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished second in three of the previous four 500s.

He radioed to his crew "this is better than the first one," as he circled the track on his cool-down lap in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Rain stopped the race about 45 minutes after it began for a delay of more than six hours. When it resumed, Earnhardt dominated at the track where his father was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 race.

ATLANTA (AP) - Ken Roczen raced to his second AMA Supercross victory of the season Saturday night, beating Ryan Villopoto in front of 69,785 fans at the Georgia Dome.

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GOLF

MARANA, Ariz. (AP) - Jason Day never stopped believing he would win the Match Play Championship, even in the midst of so many shots by Victor Dubuisson that defied belief.

With his ball at the base of a cactus, Dubuisson took an all-or-nothing swing though the sharp needles and a TV cable and incredibly hit it to 4 feet to save par. Seemingly out of it on the next playoff hole, the 23-year-old Frenchman somehow whacked a wedge through a desert bush and rocks and onto the green for another par.

Day finally ended the madness Sunday on the 23rd hole with a pitch to 4 feet on No. 15 for birdie.

CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) - Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Thailand to end a five-year victory drought, holding off top-ranked Inbee Park at Siam County Club.

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PRO FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's official 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine was 4.68 seconds. That's fourth at his position among those who participated in the drill Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The best was Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, who registered 4.61 seconds.

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MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Ronda Rousey kept her UFC women's bantamweight title, dropping Sara McMann to the mat with a left knee to her liver area at 1:06 of the first round at UFC 170 on Saturday night.

Rousey (9-0) was booed by fans during the post-fight interview after the co-main event was quickly stopped by referee Herb Dean, much to the fans' dismay at Mandalay Bay Events Center. McMann, who seemed hurt after the hit to the right side with her back to the fence, is now 7-1.

Daniel Cormier (13-0) easily defeated Patrick Cummins (4-1) by TKO at 1:19 of the first round of their light heavyweight co-main event.

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BASEBALL

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - Baseball's new guidelines regarding home plate collisions will be out on Monday.

MLB executive vice president Joe Torre made the revelation Sunday after wrapping up a series of meetings to discuss expanded replay with the 15 teams that conduct spring training in Florida.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Outfielder Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees agreed Sunday to a four-year contract worth $52 million.

The new pact starts in 2015 and includes a fifth-year club option for $12.5 million and a $2 million buyout. If traded, Gardner would receive $1 million.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - All-time home run leader Barry Bonds is returning to the San Francisco Giants as a spring training instructor

The Giants say Bonds is expected to arrive during the second week of March. Manager Bruce Bochy says he's looking forward to having Bonds in camp and thinks he can help the hitters.

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Free agent Nelson Cruz and the Baltimore Orioles have reached agreement on a one-year deal, giving the slugger a fresh start after his drug suspension.

A person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press on Saturday that Cruz will earn about $8.5 million, and can make more in performance bonuses.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract wasn't complete. Other media outlets had reported a deal was in place.

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a $25 million, five-year contract Saturday.

NEW YORK (AP) - Babe Ruth's pocket watch from the 1923 World Series sold for $717,000 Saturday at auction in New York City.

The pentagonal 14-karat gold watch was bought by a telephone bidder who is remaining anonymous, Heritage Auctions said.

The timepiece was part of a set given to Ruth and his Yankees teammates after they beat their rivals, the New York Giants, in the 1923 World Series.

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HORSE RACING

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Wildcat Red edged General a Rod by a head Saturday in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park after they battled for the lead almost the entire race.

Top Billing, the 2-1 favorite, finished third by two lengths in the 1 1/16 mile race for 3-year-olds.

Wildcat Red, at 9-2, was ridden by Luis Saez and won in 1:41.85. trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red earned 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, and is virtually assured a spot in the race on May 3 at Churchill Downs.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Intense Holiday rallied along the outside and narrowly edged Albano to win the Grade II Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds Race Course on Saturday night.

The Risen Star is Fair Grounds' final prep for the $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 29, and the race featured several horses that could wind up in the Kentucky Derby on May 3.

The victory all but assured that Intense Holiday, trained by Todd Pletcher, would qualify for the Triple Crown's opening race at Chuchill Downs.

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TENNIS

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Croatia's Marin Cilic won the Delray Beach Open on Sunday for his 11th ATP World Tour title and second in three weeks, beating Kevin Anderson 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-4 in 3 hours, 8 minutes.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Rafael Nadal returned from a troublesome back injury to win the Rio Open on Sunday, defeating Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-3, 7-6 (3).

MARSEILLE, France (AP) - Third-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia showed he has the temperament for big matches, extending his perfect record in finals to 5-0 after beating defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (5), 6-4 to win the Open 13 title on Sunday.

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TRACK AND FIELD

TOKYO (AP) - Dickson Chumba of Kenya won the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday in a race record time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 42 seconds.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Bernard Lagat showed he is not ready to hand over his crown as the country's premier middle distance runner, winning the 3,000 meters Saturday at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

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