Update on the latest in sports:


Associated Press

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 6:36 AM


Canada, Russia tighten medal race

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Canada and Russia are tightening the race at the top of the Sochi Games medal standings.

The U.S. remains on top with 27 while Russia has 26, Norway has 25 and Canada 24. Norway leads in gold medals with 11, two more than the U.S, Russia and Canada.

Canada was the biggest medal mover on Friday with four medals, including golds in men's curling and women's ski cross. Russia was right behind with three medals, including two men's short track golds.

After going a week without winning any golds, Canada has picked up five gold medals over the last three days of competition, while Russia won four.

Nine countries won medals on Saturday, with the United States continuing its streak as the only country to win medals on each day they were awarded.

Seven events are expected to finish Saturday, while a bronze medal game is scheduled in men's hockey between the United States and Finland.

— Canada ended the gold medal dreams of the U.S. men's hockey team for the second Olympics in a row yesterday.

Jamie Benn deflected a shot into the net in the second period to give Canada a 1-0 win in the semifinal. Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price turned away 31 shots to earn the shutout and propel Canada into the gold medal game against Sweden.

Four years ago in Vancouver, Sidney Crosby's overtime goal gave the Canadians the win over the U.S. in the gold medal game.

— Norway has swept the women's 30-kilometer cross-country ski race. Marit Bjoergen won her third gold of the Sochi Games Olympics. She also won three gold medals in Vancouver.

— The South Korean Olympic Committee has protested the results of the women's figure skating competition, although the sport's international governing body has not yet received the letter. The Koreans believe the judging was biased and cost Yuna Kim a second gold medal. The 2010 champion finished with silver, behind Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova.

International Skating Union rules always have required such protests be filed immediately after the event.

— Mikaela (mih-KAY'-luh) Shiffrin of the U.S. made Alpine skiing history yesterday by becoming the youngest ever winner of an Olympic slalom gold medal. In addition to thanking her coaches, family and Team USA teammates, the 18-year-old says she also drew inspiration from Adelina Sotnikova's stunning victory in figure skating. Shiffrin says the young Russian appeared to "flow more than anybody else" and "kept her skates moving." Shiffrin adds she tried to take took that into her skiing and tried to keep her skis moving all the way down the course.

— The Ukrainian Olympic Committee says cross-country skier Marina Lisogor has failed a doping test. It's the third positive result of the Sochi Games, following failed drug test from a German biathlete and an Italian bobsledder.


Zetterberg, Zuccarello shelved

UNDATED (AP) — There's more fallout from the NHL's participation in the Sochi Games, one day after the New York Islanders learned John Tavares suffered a season-ending injury while playing for Canada.

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg has undergone back surgery and is expected to be evaluated again in about eight weeks. Zetterberg played in Sweden's Olympic opener before leaving with a herniated disk. He has 16 goals and 32 assists in 45 games for the Red Wings this season.

New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello will be sidelined for a while because of the fracture he sustained in his left hand while playing for Norway. The Rangers say Zuccarello has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture, an injury that typically takes 3 to 4 weeks to heal. The 26-year-old Zuccarello is New York's leading scorer this season with 43 points.


Spurs rocked by Suns...Grizzlies top Clippers...Blazers rally

UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs didn't end their nine-game road trip on a very happy note. Markieff Morris scored 21 points and Ish Smith had the best game of his four-year career as the Suns clobbered the Spurs 106-85 in Phoenix. Smith scored a career-high 15 points, matched his career best with seven rebounds and triggered a 17-point run that put the Suns ahead by 11 midway through the second quarter.

Channing Frye added 17 points as the Suns improved to 3-0 and snapped the Spurs' four-game winning streak. Phoenix also pulled within 2 ½ games of the Los Angeles Clippers for the Pacific Division lead.

The Spurs finished 7-2 on their road swing, leaving them three games behind West-leading Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, the Clippers suffered their second consecutive loss as Zach Randolph had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Memphis past Los Angeles 102-96. Marc Gasol added 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the Grizzlies overcome Blake Griffin's 28 points and 13 boards.

In other NBA action:

— Portland was in danger of suffering its fourth consecutive loss until the Trail Blazers outscored Utah 38-21 in the fourth quarter of a 102-94 triumph over the Jazz. Damian Lillard paced the Blazers with a game-high 28 points, Wesley Matthews added 24 and Robin Lopez chipped in 12 and a game-high 18 rebounds.

— Philadelphia's losing streak has reached double digits with a 124-112 setback against Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki dropped in 25 points and Shawn Marion added 22 in the Mavericks' seventh victory in nine games.

— D.J. Augustin had 22 points and eight assists as the Chicago Bulls picked up their fifth straight win, mauling Denver 117-89. Rookie Tony Snell was one of seven Bulls to score in double figures, netting a career-high 20 points.

— Atlanta picked up its eighth straight loss by blowing an 11-point halftime lead in a 115-107 setback against Detroit. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help the Pistons end a three-game skid and improve to 23-32.

— Toronto won for the fourth time in five games as Terrence Ross scored 20 points and Jonas Valanciunas (val-ehn-SHOO'-nehs) had 18 in a 98-81 triumph against Cleveland. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each had 14 points to help the Atlantic Division leaders end the Cavaliers' six-game winning streak.

— Charlotte was a 90-87 winner over New Orleans behind Al Jefferson's 33 points and 10 rebounds. Kemba Walker hit four free throws over the final nine seconds to secure the Bobcats' third straight win since the All-Star break.

— Arron Afflalo (af-LAH'-loh) scored 32 points and Orlando trailed by as many as 14 before downing New York 129-121 in double overtime. Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE'-poh) delivered 25 points and 10 assists after halftime and finished with 30 points and a career-high 14 assists.

— The Los Angeles Lakers ended their four-game skid by opening the final period on a 29-9 run to beat Boston 101-92. Chris Kaman (KAY'-mihn), Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol each had 16 points as the Lakers won for only the sixth time in their last 29 games.


LeBron has broken nose

MIAMI (AP) — Miami Heat forward LeBron James might have to miss Sunday's game against Chicago after suffering a broken nose in Thursday's win at Oklahoma City.

James was injured when he was struck inadvertently by defender Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH'-kah) on a drive to the basket. James finished with a dunk but then crumpled to the floor, blood gushing from his nose.


Niners' CEO denies Harbaugh was close to leaving

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York is denying his team nearly traded coach Jim Harbaugh to the Cleveland Browns last month for draft picks.

York shot down a report Friday by Pro Football Talk, posting on Twitter: "Is this on the record? Report isn't true." Pro Football Talk reported that a deal was in place that would have sent Harbaugh to coach Cleveland, but he opted to stay put.


New deal for the coach

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have given coach Tom Coughlin (KAWF'-lihn) a one-year contract extension. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach and the Giants had wanted to get the deal done earlier, but it was delayed while Coughlin reshaped his offensive staff.

The 7-9 Giants missed the playoffs this past season.


Elliott, Labonte on NASCAR Hall ballot

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Bill Elliott and Terry Labonte are among the first-year eligible nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Mark Martin failed to make the ballot in his first year of eligibility.

NASCAR announced sweeping changes to the Hall of Fame election process last year. Drivers are now eligible if they have competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR or turned 55 in the calendar year before nominating day. Previously, drivers were not eligible until they had been retired for three years.

The ballot will also include only 20 nominees, down five from the first five classes.


Third day of play in Match Play

MARANA, Ariz. (AP) — For the third straight round, Graeme McDowell pulled off another improbable escape to advance to the quarterfinals in the Match Play Championship. This time, all he had to do was win the last two holes against Hunter Mahan to force overtime and make a 20-foot par putt to stay in the match on the 20th hole. He won with a birdie on the 21st hole.

In three matches, McDowell has played 58 holes and has never had the lead until he won.

Jordan Spieth (speeth) beat Matt Kuchar (KOO'-chur). Ernie Els ousted Jason Dufner, Victor Dubuisson (doo-bih-SAWN') beat Bubba Watson, and Rickie Fowler won on the last hole against Sergio Garcia. The other winners were Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy-zehn) and Jason Day.


Nordqvist leads by one

PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) — Anna Nordqvist has maintained her first-round lead at the LPGA event in Thailand with a second-round 72. She stands 6-under after 36 holes, one shot in front of three players. Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie (wee) of the U.S. are two shots back.


Serena Williams ousted

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — World No. 1 Serena Williams has been knocked out of the Dubai (doo-BY') Championships. She was beaten by Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals. The 26th-ranked Cornet's win ruined the chances of a first all-Williams final anywhere since 2009. Venus Williams defeated eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki (wohz-nee-AK'-ee) 6-3, 6-2.