COLLEGE FOOTBALL-SUGAR BOWL
Sooners outscore Tide to win Sugar Bowl
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trevor Knight and the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners have closed their season by knocking off the two-time defending BCS champs in the Sugar Bowl.
Knight completed 32 of his 44 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns as the Sooners knocked off No. 3 Alabama 45-31. Oklahoma scored the last 17 points of the first half to take a 31-17 lead into the locker room. Knight put the Sooners ahead to stay with a 43-yard TD pass to Jalen Saunders with 2:59 left in the half, less than two minutes before Sterling Sheppard scored on a 13-yard run.
The Crimson Tide had the ball with a chance to tie in the final minute until Geneo Grissom returned an AJ McCarron fumble eight yards for the game-clinching touchdown. McCarron passed for 387 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice as Alabama ends the season on a two-game losing streak.
New Yorkers beat Thunder, Spurs...Warriors stretch streak
UNDATED (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have struggled all season, combining for a 19-42 record heading into Thursday night's NBA schedule. Somehow they managed to earn road wins against two of the league's top teams.
The Nets pulled out a 95-93 comeback win at Oklahoma City on Joe Johnson's jumper as time expired. Deron Williams scored 18 of his season-high 29 points in the second half to help Brooklyn erase a 77-61 deficit.
Kevin Durant had 24 points for the Thunder, who dropped to 2-2 since Russell Westbrook underwent knee surgery.
Iman Shumpert scored a career-high 27 points, including the tiebreaking tip-in with 23.4 seconds left in the Knicks' 105-101 triumph at San Antonio. Carmelo Anthony had 27 points and 12 rebounds after missing the Knicks' previous three games with a sprained left ankle.
The outcomes leave the Thunder a half-game behind West-leading Portland, with the Spurs one game back.
The Trail Blazers were 134-101 winners against Charlotte as Wesley Matthews scored 25 points and hit five of Portland's 21 3-pointers. Damian Lillard finished with 24 points, including all six of his 3-point tries.
Also in the NBA:
— Stephen (STEH'-fehn) Curry drained eight 3-pointers and finished with 36 points and 12 assists in the Warriors' seventh consecutive win, 123-114 over the Heat. David Lee contributed 32 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 56 percent from the field overall and 15 of 29 from beyond the arc.
— Anderson Varejao (VAR-eh-zhow' ) had 25 rebounds and 18 points in Cleveland's 87-81 triumph against Orlando. The Cavaliers won without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who suffered a bruised knee in Tuesday's loss to Indiana.
— Jerryd Bayless scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as Memphis survived an 18-0 run by Phoenix in the second half of a 99-91 win over the Suns. Zach Randolph had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who overcame 33 points and seven rebounds by Goran Dragic (DRAH'-gihch).
— Joakim (JOH'-keem) Noah had 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to help Chicago beat Boston 94-82. Carlos Boozer added 16 points as the Bulls won for only the second time in their last eight home games.
— Philadelphia had three players score over 20 points in a 113-104 victory at Sacramento. Thaddeus Young led the way with 28 points, Evan Turner had 24 and Tony Wroten added 21.
— Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and Derrick Favors had 21 and 11 rebounds in Milwaukee's 96-87 win at Utah. The Jazz made all 17 of their free throw attempts and outrebounded the Bucks 43-34 to claim back-to-back wins for just the third time this season.
Nuggets suspend veteran guard
DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have suspended veteran guard Andre Miller two games for "conduct detrimental to the team."
Miller was upset after not playing in a 114-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. It was the first "Did not play - coach's decision" of Miller's 15-year career.
New deal for Cutler
UNDATED (AP) — Jay Cutler will continue to take snaps for the Chicago Bears.
The team has signed Cutler to a seven-year contract, ending speculation the team would seek another starting quarterback. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal for the 30-year-old Cutler is reportedly worth nearly $18 million per year over the first three years and includes at least $50 million guaranteed. The Bears also signed cornerback Tim Jennings and guard Matt Slauson to four-year deals.
In other NFL news:
— The Houston Texans have announced the hiring of Bill O'Brien as coach. He takes over a team that won just two games this season. O'Brien spent the last two seasons rebuilding Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky mess. Prior to that, he was an offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.
— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have confirmed that they've finalized terms of a five-year contract with new head coach Lovie Smith. The former Bucs assistant was 81-63 in nine seasons with Chicago, earning three playoff berths and leading the 2006 team to the Super Bowl. Smith replaces Greg Schiano (shee-AH'-noh), who was fired Monday following a 4-12 finish.
— Colts linebacker Robert Mathis has been named winner of the inaugural Deacon Jones Award in the NFL. The honor will go to the league sacks champion after every season. Mathis set a franchise single-season record with 19½ sacks, giving him half a sack more than St. Louis' Robert Quinn.
— Kevin Gilbride has retired as offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, saying he wants to devote more time to his family. The 62-year-old Gilbride is a veteran of 39 years in coaching, the last 10 with the Giants.
— The league has given the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals one more day to sell their remaining playoff tickets and avoid local television blackouts. The Packers had roughly 3,000 tickets left for the wild-card game Sunday against San Francisco. Fewer than 3,500 tickets remained for Saturday's wild-card game between the Colts and Kansas City, and the Bengals also had tickets left for their game Sunday afternoon against San Diego.
— Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (KLOO'-ee) has written a scathing article on the website Deadspin, alleging that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer made several anti-gay comments in objection to Kluwe's outspoken support of a gay marriage amendment in Minnesota. Kluwe also said former coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman encouraged him to tone down his public rhetoric on gay marriage and several other issues. Kluwe was cut last summer and did not play in the NFL this season.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOP 25 SCHEDULE
Badgers continue unbeaten start
UNDATED (AP) — Top-ranked Arizona has opened its Pac-12 schedule by shattering the McKale Center record for fewest points allowed.
Kaleb Tarczewski scored 11 points and the Wildcats improved to 14-0 by silencing Washington State 60-25. Arizona opened the game on a 21-2 run, led 28-7 at halftime and held the Cougars to 20 percent shooting for the game.
The previous McKale record for fewest points was 37 by Northern Arizona in 1989.
In other Top-25 action:
— Fourth-ranked Wisconsin is 14-0 for the first time in 100 years after winning its Big Ten opener 76-49 over Northwestern. Nigel Hayes had a career-high 19 points and Sam Dekker added 15 for the Badgers, who can tie the longest season-opening winning streak in team history when they face Iowa at Madison on Sunday.
— Fred VanVleet had 17 points, seven assists and two steals as eighth-ranked Wichita State opened its Missouri Valley Conference schedule with an 82-67 victory over Southern Illinois. Cleanthony Early scored 23 points for the Shockers, whose 14-0 start is the best in school history and matches the team's longest winning streak.
— Damyean Dotson stole a pass from Dallin Bachynski and hit a breakaway dunk with one second left in overtime to give 10th-ranked Oregon a 70-68 triumph at Utah. Richard Amardi had 14 points and Dominic Artis added 12 as 13-0 Ducks won their Pac 12 opener.
— Przemek Karnowski had 15 points and nine rebounds as 24th-rated Gonzaga clobbered archrival Saint Mary's 73-51. Kevin Pangos added 15 points and eight rebounds to help the 13-2 Bulldogs improve to 3-0 in the West Coast Conference.
Blues thump Kings...Okposo lifts Isles again
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings have their first five-game losing streak since December 2011.
T.J. Oshie (OH'-shee) scored twice and Brian Elliott made 30 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-0 win over the Kings. Oshie scored twice in 91 seconds to put the Blues ahead 3-0 in the second period. Elliott is 11-1-2 following his third shutout of the season and 24th of his career.
St. Louis has won four straight and six of seven to pull within three points of Chicago for the NHL's Western Conference lead.
Elsewhere on ice:
— Left off the U.S. Olympic roster on Wednesday, Kyle Okposo (oh-POH'-soh) scored in overtime and had an assist as the New York Islanders won for the fifth time in seven games, 3-2 over Chicago. Okposo has eight points in his last three games, giving him 42 in as many games this season.
— Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau scored 49 seconds apart late in the first period to spark San Jose's 5-1 romp over Edmonton. Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist in the Sharks' fifth victory in six games.
— Semyon Varlamov (SEHM'-yahn vahr-LAH'-mahv) stopped 29 shots and Colorado ended Philadelphia's four-game winning streak by downing the Flyers 2-1. Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn provided the Avalanche goals.
— Boston beat Nashville 3-2 on Brad Marchand's goal at 54 seconds of overtime. Niklas Svedberg stopped 33 shots in his NHL debut to help the Bruins climb within three points of East-leading Pittsburgh.
— Max Pacioretty (pash-uh-RET'-ee) and P.K. Subban (SOO'-ban) each had four-point nights, but Lars Eller notched the tiebreaking goal in the third period of Montreal's 6-4 triumph at Dallas. Pacioretty had two goals and two assists, while Subban chipped in a goal and three helpers as the Canadiens concluded a 3-2-1 road trip.
— Jeff Skinner completed his second hat trick of the season by scoring 80 seconds into overtime to give Carolina a 4-3 triumph at Washington. Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH'-kihn) notched his league-leading 31st goal for the Capitals, who've dropped three straight and five of six.
— Jason Pominville scored another goal against his old team as Minnesota downed Buffalo 4-1 to halt a team-record streak of six straight regulation losses. The game was scoreless until Marco Scandella and Pominville tallied 1:46 apart in the second period.
— Mika Zibanejad (MEE'-kah zih-BAN'-ih-zhahd) had a goal and an assist in Ottawa's 4-3 verdict over Winnipeg. It was a 2-2 game until Zack Smith and Clarke MacArthur scored to put the Senators ahead 4-2 midway through the third period.
— Curtis McElhinney made 34 saves for his second shutout of the season to lead Columbus past Phoenix 2-0. Nathan Horton scored in his Blue Jackets' debut after missing the first 40 games following shoulder surgery.
HOCKEY-WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Russia knocks out U.S., Canada advances
MALMO, Sweden (AP) — Russia has ended the United States' one-year reign as world junior hockey champions. Nakita Zadorov scored two power-play goals and Pavel Buchnevich scored twice as Russia downed the Americans 5-3 in the quarterfinals. Canada beat Switzerland 4-1 to reach the semifinals for the 16th consecutive year.
Sox secure Downs
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox and veteran left-handed reliever Scott Downs have agreed to terms on a one-year, $4 million contract. The 37-year-old was 4-4 with a 2.49 earned run average with 37 strikeouts in 68 appearances last season with the Angels and Braves. In 12 major league seasons, he is 38-36 with a 3.48 ERA and 550 strikeouts.
GOLF-PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Scott edges Woods
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Adam Scott narrowly beat out Tiger Woods as player of the year in voting by the Golf Writers Association of America. The association takes into account more than just the PGA Tour. Scott won four times, including the Masters, and joined Jason Day in winning the World Cup for Australia. Out of 218 votes cast, Scott won the honor by five votes.