Tuesday's Sports in Brief

Tuesday's Sports in Brief

With much of the Northeast in the early stages of recovering from Superstorm Sandy, the NFL and NBA plan to carry on with their schedules.

The New York City Marathon is hoping that the course will be clear by Sunday and runners will be able to get to the starting line in Staten Island.

The NBA's season-opening games Tuesday night in Miami, Los Angeles and Cleveland all tipped off on time.

There was some concern about whether Philadelphia would be able to host its opener Wednesday against the Nuggets.

However, the NBA's announced on Twitter that the Nets' first game at their new Brooklyn home against the crosstown-rival Knicks on Thursday will go as scheduled at 7 p.m. despite the lack of public transportation to the Barclays Center.

The biggest challenge for the New York City Marathon on Sunday could be getting to the start, not the finish.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the race is still on, but flying in runners from out of town will be tricky, and there may not be subway service to get everyone to the starting line.

In the NFL, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he is focusing on ways to stop Eli Manning and not whether the storm's aftermath will affect Sunday's game in New York against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.

``I'm simply focused on the things that are in our control,'' he said.


Pittsburgh center fielder and San Diego third baseman Chase Headley were among nine players who won Gold Gloves for the first time.

Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy also was in the first-time group. The Orioles were the only team with three winners, with center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Matt Wieters also being picked by major league managers and coaches.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira each won for the fifth time.

Angels center fielder Mike Trout didn't get chosen despite a season full of sensational catches. The San Francisco Giants were shut out after playing great defense to win the World Series.


Pitcher Jake Peavy and the Chicago White Sox agreed to a $29 million, two-year contract.

The right-hander will receive $14.5 million in each of the next two seasons. Peavy could receive a $15 million option for 2015 if he has 400 innings in the next two years, including a minimum of 190 in 2014, and he doesn't finished 2014 on the disabled list.

Chicago also exercised a $9.5 million option on right-hander Gavin Floyd, declined a $10 million option on right-hander Brett Myers and turned down a $13 million option on third baseman Kevin Youkilis, acquired from Boston in June.

The Los Angeles Dodgers brought back Brandon League, agreeing to a $22.5-million, three-year deal.

DETROIT (AP) Jim Leyland is returning next year as manager of the Detroit Tigers.

The team and its manager quickly ended any remaining speculation about his status by announcing that Leyland's contract was extended through 2013. He managed on a one-year deal this year and led the Tigers to the World Series, where they were swept by the San Francisco Giants.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA passed a proposal that will impose tougher sanctions on programs and hold coaches more accountable for rule-breaking.

The board's decision concludes an effort that began in August 2011 when university leaders met with NCAA President Mark Emmert at a retreat in Indianapolis in the midst of one of the most scandalous years in college sports history.

Under the new legislation, programs that commit the most egregious violations could face postseason bans of two to four years and fines totaling millions. Head coaches also could be suspended for up to one full season for violations committed by their assistants if they cannot prove they were unaware of the infractions.


GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Amare Stoudemire could be sidelined for two months, the second straight season the New York Knicks forward will miss significant time because of injury.

The Knicks said that Stoudemire would have left knee surgery and could be out six to eight weeks, more than twice as long as originally estimated when he was hurt during the preseason.

DENVER (AP) - Ty Lawson signed a four-year, $48 million extension with the Denver Nuggets, eliminating a distraction that's been hanging over the team and its star point guard for weeks.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wishes he wouldn't have guaranteed his team would win an NBA title before LeBron James.

When James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010, Gilbert famously promised in a letter to disappointed Cleveland fans that his Cavs would win a championship before James got one with the Heat.

Well, that ended in June when James, capping his third MVP season, led Miami to a finals win over Oklahoma City.

``Looking back now, that probably was not the most brilliant thing I've ever done in my life,'' Gilbert said.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger is out indefinitely because of a sore left knee.

Team officials said that Granger will get a second opinion on the injury and an update will be provided following that visit.


DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Authorities said they uncovered a massive gambling operation targeting youth football games in South Florida, leading them to arrest nine men, including several coaches with extensive criminal backgrounds who they say exploited kids to turn a profit.

The 18-month long investigation started when ESPN journalists brought Broward County Sheriff's officials surveillance video showing parents openly exchanging money in the stands while watching their kids' tackle football games. Authorities later uncovered the stakes on pee wee games were high, with more than $100,000 wagered on the youth football championship.


ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams say running back Steven Jackson is not available in a trade.

Coach Jeff Fisher did his best to quash persistent rumors, saying that the Rams aren't shopping Jackson and have not been getting calls about him, either.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville gave Rick Pitino a five-year contract extension that will keep the coach with the Cardinals through the 2021-22 season.

His $3.9 million base salary remains the same, but he will earn a $600,000 retention bonus every other year from 2014 to 2022.

The deal includes incentives for being chosen AP national coach of the year ($100,000) and winning the Big East Conference regular season title ($50,000).


CHICAGO (AP) - Tom Sermanni, who led Australia to the quarterfinals at the last two Women's World Cups, was chosen to replace Pia Sundhage as coach of the U.S. women's soccer team.

Sundhage stepped down Sept. 1 after leading the U.S. women to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and their first World Cup final in 12 years. Sundhage finished with a 91-6-10 record in five years, including 23-1-1 this year.

Sermanni takes over from interim coach Jill Ellis on Jan. 1.

LONDON (AP) - Arsenal staged a stunning comeback at Reading, overcoming a 4-0, first-half deficit and winning 7-5 to advance to the League Cup quarterfinals as Theo Walcott scored a hat trick.


Rory McIlroy and Acushnet Co. are ending their sponsorship agreement after this year.

Acushnet has supplied the 23-year-old star with Titleist and FootJoy equipment since he turned pro in 2007.

There are strong indications that McIlroy will sign with Nike for what one industry observer estimated to be upward of $20 million a year. A Nike official said the company would not comment on rumors and speculation.


PARIS (AP) - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the third round of the Paris Masters with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (2) win over Julien Benneteau.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Caroline Wozniacki and Roberta Vinci had easy straight-set victories in their first round-robin matches at the season-ending Tournament of Champions.

The top-seeded Wozniacki defeated Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan 6-2, 6-2 in 60 minutes while it took Vinci five minutes longer to rout Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-2.


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Rescued kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart said that Penn State's inaugural conference on child sexual abuse is a way to promote discussion about crimes that drew more attention after the molestation scandal involving former university assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Smart, after recounting her sexual abuse by a kidnapper during months of captivity at age 14 starting in 2002, called the conference an ``incredible opportunity to not only change the community but change the nation ... to change how we do things, how we look at victims and how we work around them.''

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' important win over Pacers, including Kelly Oubre's big dunk

5 must-see moments from Wizards' important win over Pacers, including Kelly Oubre's big dunk

Here are five plays or moments from the Wizards' 109-102 win over the Pacers on Saturday night that are worth revisiting... 

1. The Wizards took care of business against the Pacers on Saturday night and in doing so earned an important advantage in the playoff race. They won the season series and therefore own a tiebreaker for playoff seeding and currently that would mean home court advantage in the first round if the playoffs began today.

The Wizards took control early and part of that effort were five first-half assists by Bradley Beal. He ended up with 19 points, but some of his best plays were passes.

On this one, he executed a perfect pick-and-roll with Marcin Gortat:


2. This was another pretty pass to Gortat. Tomas Satoransky, who had 12 points and eight assists, fed Gortat with a nice reach-around pass on a play that featured some impressive ball movement overall:

3. This was a great moment. The Wizards had a member of the military surprise his niece on the court. She literally did not see it coming:


4. These last two plays are dunks by Kelly Oubre, Jr., who finished with 16 points. On this play, he cut through the and threw down with authority:

5. This dunk was set up by a beautiful pass from Ramon Sessions. It traveled about three-quarters of the court and Oubre did the rest:

The Wizards now have three days off before their next game as they sit fourth in the Eastern Conference. Things are trending positive for the Wizards as the playoff race heats up.

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Wizards take out Pacers to earn important advantage in playoff seeding

Wizards take out Pacers to earn important advantage in playoff seeding

The Washington Wizards beat the Indiana Pacers 109-102 on Saturday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Important victory: Saturday night's game between the Wizards and Pacers had several layers of playoff implications on the line and it was Washington who rose to the occasion and showed the urgency commensurate for the stakes.

By beating the Pacers, the Wizards locked up the season series between the teams, two games to one. That gives them the tiebreaker for playoff seeding if the teams finish the regular season with the same record. That could very well prove paramount. As of now, the Wizards and Pacers have the same record (40-30) with 12 games to go.

The season series advantage means the Wizards are above the Pacers in the standings despite having the same record. They moved into fourth place in the East with the win and the Cavs slotted back into third. There will likely be a lot more movement as these next few weeks play out, but the Wizards now hold an important edge over the Pacers.

The win also pushed the Wizards to 14-8 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. Wall could return this coming week or the week after and the Wizards have more than stayed afloat during his absence.

The Wizards' magic number to make the playoffs is now just five. 


Sato went off: The Wizards jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter mostly thanks to a hot start from Tomas Satoransky, who scored the Wizards' first five points and had 10 by the end of the first quarter.

Satoransky's floater was automatic. He dropped in several in the lane from all different angles. Satoransky was practicing the same shots, floaters off each foot, the day before in practice and it paid off.

It was a well-rounded night for Satoransky. In addition to his 12 points, he also had eight assists and five rebounds, including this one to find Marcin Gortat for the dunk:

Gortat came up big: Speaking of Gortat, the Wizards' big man had one of his best games of the season. He poured in 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists a steal and a block. Gortat shot 6-for-8, consistently having his way on the block.

The Pacers were without two of their best big men in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis and Gortat took advantage of that. He was way too much for Al Jefferson.

The Pacers tried to roll with small-ball lineups using Trevor Booker and Thaddeus Young as their big men, but it didn't work. Gortat was too big for them and his teammates did a great job finding him for open looks.

Gortat's 18 points were his most since Jan. 3 when he had a season-high 21 against the Knicks. Lately, Gortat has seen his minutes dwindle with the increased role for Ian Mahinmi, so Saturday night must have felt good for the Polish Machine.


Bojan held in check: Bojan Bogdanovic, who spent part of last season with the Wizards, was a major factor in the first two matchups between Washington and the Pacers this season. He had 20 points in one game and 29 in another, each time getting hot from three.

The Wizards, though, made some adjustments in this one and held Bo Buckets in check. He didn't make his first shot until nearly the midway point of the second quarter and it was only because Kelly Oubre, Jr. (16 points, 18 minutes) lost his balance. Oubre stumbled backward, giving Bogdanovic a split second to get off an open three. That was the only shot he hit in the first half as he began the game 1-for-4.

Oubre did a good job harrassing Bogdanovic and not giving him space on the premiter. Otto Porter (eight points) and Bradley Beal (19 points) did as well. Both Porter and Beal stripped the ball out of Bogdanovic's hands early in the third quarter. Midway through the third, Bogdanovic got past Porter only to be called for an offensive foul on a collision with Gortat. All in all, it was a frustrating night for Bogdanovic, who had 11 points, three below his season average.

Bogdanovic is a very good shooter and when he's hot can alter games. But when you take his shots away, there's not much else he can do to hurt you. The Wizards did a good job taking away his strengths and making others beat them. Not having to focus on Turner and Sabonis certainly helped. 

Sessions is still in the rotation: It turns out those five games for Ramon Sessions over the course of his second 10-day contract weren't just an audition. Now that he has been signed for the rest of the season, Sessions is still getting the nod over Tim Frazier as the backup point guard.

Sessions logged 18 minutes and even played alongside Satoransky and Jodie Meeks in the fourth quarter. The Wizards had a sizable lead and head coach Scott Brooks decided to experiment with his lineups. That is something to keep in mind for when Wall comes back. Once he does, Sessions will be the third point guard and likely rarely see the court. But if they see something they like about him at shooting guard, that could open the door for more playing time possibilities.

Up next: The Wizards have three off-days before their next game. That will be on Wednesday when they head to San Antonio to face the Spurs. Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. with Wizards HangTime.

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