Spurs look for 42nd victory
UNDATED (AP) — San Antonio, the winningest team in the NBA, is on the road for a game this evening in Cleveland. The Spurs, who have won nine of their last 10 games and are 41-12 on the season, are facing a Cavaliers club that has lost two straight and is just 16-36 on the year.
In one of the better matchups of the night Denver is at Brooklyn. The Nuggets are 33-20 while the Nets are 30-22. Denver starts the night 6 ½ games back of the Thunder in the Northwest Division while the Nets are 3 ½ back of the Knicks in the Atlantic. New York is home to the Raptors this evening.
Boston is home to Chicago. The visiting Bulls are second in the Central Division with a record of 30-21, while the Celtics are third in the Atlantic with 27 wins and 24 defeats. The Bulls trail the Pacers, who are facing Charlotte, by just a half-game in the Central.
In the latest start of the night, the Pacific Division-leading Clippers are home to Houston. The Clippers have won two straight and are an impressive 20-5 at home this season.
The rest of the schedule tonight has Orlando at home to Atlanta, Washington at Detroit, Milwaukee at home to Philadelphia, the Blazers at New Orleans, Utah at Minnesota and Sacramento at Dallas.
Top two teams in action
UNDATED (AP) — Indiana and Duke, the No. 1 and No. 2 schools in the AP basketball poll, are in action this evening. In a Big Ten affair the Hoosiers are playing host to Nebraska, which has lost its last 16 road games against ranked schools. The 21-3 Hoosiers retained the top spot in the poll despite losing a game last week to Illinois.
For second-ranked Duke tonight's game is a classic rematch with one of the school's great rivals. The 21-2 Blue Devils are facing the unranked North Carolina Tar Heels. The game in Durham, N.C., may not have the luster of past encounters but it is still a rematch of two longtime ACC rivals. Duke has won 12 straight home games since losing to the Heels in the regular season finale last year. A win would tie Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) with Kentucky's Adolph Rupp for most wins at one school. The record is 876.
In the only other top-five game this evening, No. 3 Miami of Florida is on the road for a game at Florida State. The ranking is the highest in school history. The Hurricanes are 19-3 while the Seminoles are 13-10.
Light night on ice
UNDATED (AP) — There are only three games in the NHL this evening. In a Central Division contest the Red Wings are playing host to St. Louis. The Wings enter the game with 15 points while the Blues have 13. In their first three meetings of the season the Wings have won twice, after being blown out 6-0 in St. Louis in the season-opener.
The Penguins can gain some ground on idle New Jersey in the Atlantic Division tonight. The Pens, who have 16 points, are entertaining Ottawa. Pittsburgh trails the Devils by three points in the divisional race. The Senators can grab a share of first place in the Northeast Division as No. 1 Boston has the night off. Like the Penguins the Sens have 16 points on the season. Pittsburgh is trying to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season.
The final game of the night is being played in Calgary as the Flames face off with Dallas. The Stars are looking for a fifth straight win while the Flames have lost five of their last six home games. That said, the Flames have dominated the series of late, winning five of the last eight meetings.
Blue Jackets hire 1st European as NHL GM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have made history by hiring the first European to become a general manager in the National Hockey League, Jarmo Kekalainen of Finland.
The Blue Jackets fired Scott Howson on Tuesday night after more than five years in the job, during which the club only made it to the playoffs once and fell to the depths of the league.
Indians sign RHP Matsuzaka to minor-league deal
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay maht-soo-ZAH'-kah) has officially joined the revitalized Cleveland Indians.
The Japanese right-hander, limited to just 18 starts the past two seasons because of elbow issues, signed a minor-league contract Wednesday. The 32-year-old is being reunited with manager Terry Francona, beginning his first season with the Indians. The two spent several seasons together with the Boston Red Sox.
Matsuzaka will compete to win a spot in Cleveland's rotation. If he's added to the 40-man roster, Matsuzaka will make $1.5 million this season. He can earn an additional $2.5 million in performance bonuses.
Matsuzaka went 50-37 in six seasons with the Red Sox, who signed him to a $52 million contract in 2007. He went a combined 33-15 in his first two seasons, but is only 17-22 since 2008. He underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in 2011.
Yanks C Cervelli says he consulted with Biogenesis
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli says he consulted with Biogenesis of America LLC after a foot injury, but did not receive any treatment from the facility.
Before New York's first spring training workout for pitchers and catchers, Cervelli told reporters Wednesday that a recommendation to visit the clinic did not come from another player or an agent. He declined to name the person who gave the recommendation.
The Miami New Times reported last month that Cervelli's teammate, Alex Rodriguez, bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances in recent years from Biogenesis, a now-closed clinic in Coral Cables near the three-time AL MVP's offseason home. Cervelli says he has not talked about Biogenesis with Rodriguez.
Rogge backs McQuaid to lead cycling in WADA spat
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — IOC President Jacques Rogge (zhahk ROH'-geh) has backed Pat McQuaid to lead the International Cycling Union in its ongoing dispute with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Rogge says the Olympic body does not currently plan on intervening in a dispute fueled by the Lance Armstrong doping case.
Asked for an opinion on cycling's leadership, Rogge says "we have confidence in Mr. McQuaid as president of the UCI."
The UCI and WADA's public spat has escalated since disagreeing last year on who should prosecute the Armstrong case.
McQuaid, who is an IOC member, and WADA leaders have clashed on how to deal with cycling's doping since the extent of cheating by Armstrong's teams was revealed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Rogge called upon the parties to reconcile "and find a solution together."
IOC president Rogge to meet with wrestling leader
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — IOC President Jacques Rogge says he will meet with the head of wrestling's governing body to discuss ways the sport can fight to save its place in the 2020 Olympics.
The IOC executive board dropped wrestling from the program of the 2020 Games on Tuesday, removing it from the list of 26 sports at last year's London Olympics.
The decision, which still must be ratified by the full IOC in September, has been criticized by wrestling organizations around the world.
Rogge says he has been contacted by Raphael Martinetti, the president of international wrestling federation FILA. He says "we agreed we would meet at the first opportunity to have discussions."
Rogge says he was encouraged that FILA had "vowed to adapt the sport and vowed to fight to be eventually included in the 2020 slot."
NFL, NCAA to hold third annual coaching academy
NEW YORK (AP) — Retired NFL players Andre Rison, Mark Brunell and Terrell Buckley are among 60 aspiring coaches who will attend training sessions next week on how to break into the field and move up.
The third annual NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy runs Sunday through Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. The program is one of several initiatives NFL officials hope will prevent a repeat of this offseason, when none of the league's eight head coaching openings went to minority candidates.
Forty-five of the 60 attendees are African-American. The opening night keynote speaker is the Carolina Panthers' Ron Rivera, the NFL's only current Hispanic head coach.
The group includes 28 former NFL players and nine current players. Many of the participants currently have coaching jobs, mostly at small colleges, though several have not coached before.