Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Armstrong getting little sympathy from IOC
LONDON (AP) -- The vice president of the International Olympic Committee is weighing in on Lance Armstrong's televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Thomas Bach says Armstrong's doping confession is "too little, too late" and fails to provide any new information that will help clean up the sport he tarnished through years of cheating.
A day after stripping Armstrong of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the IOC urged the disgraced former Tour de France champion to supply details to anti-doping authorities in order to "bring an end to this dark episode."
Armstrong admitted that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles, all of which have been stripped by cycling's governing body.
Forgettable 2013 debuts
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The top two golfers in the world missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy struggled a second straight day with his new Nike clubs. The Northern Irishman shot a 3-over-par 75 in round two and was 6-over after 36 holes.
Tiger Woods thought he'd made it to the weekend after signing for a 1-over-par 73. Then he was advised by the European Tour chief referee that he'd been hit with a two-stroke penalty, leaving him one shot off the projected cut line at 2 over. Woods was penalized for wrongly thinking he had a free drop because his ball became entangled in weeds.
Venus bounced from year's first Grand Slam
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Venus Williams is out of the Australian Open. The 25th seed was trounced by No. 3 Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in today's third-round action in Melbourne.
Fellow American and 20th-seeded Sam Querrey (KWEER'-ee) was dispatched from the men's draw in straight sets by Stanislas Wawrikna (vah-VRINK'-uh) of Switzerland.
Top seed Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) repelled a challenge from Radek Stepanek (steh-PAH'-nehk) while advancing to the fourth round in straight sets.
The two-time defending champ remains on course to become the first man in the Open era to win three straight Grand Slams at Melbourne.
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer (feh-REHR') and No. 5 Tomas Berdych (TOH'-mahs bur-DEEK') also moved through to round four.
Other third-round winners on the women's side include fourth-seedeed Agnieszka Radwanska (ag-NAYS'-kah rah-WAHN'-skah) and No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber, who ousted American teenager Madison Keys 6-2, 7-5.
Kobe an All-Star again
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA has announced the starters for next month's All-Star game, and they include four Los Angeles players.
Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard and joined on the West squad by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. It's the 15th time Bryant has been voted into the starting lineup, an NBA record.
The East starters will be Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo (RAH'-zhahn RAHN'-doh) from the Celtics, Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane (dwayn) Wade, and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
Bryant finished with a league-leading 1,591,437 votes, edging James by about 7,800.
Clippers top Wolves...Knicks win game in London
UNDATED (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers are now 3-0 since All-Star guard Chris Paul left the lineup with a bruised right kneecap.
Jamal Crawford scored 22 points and Blake Griffin added 20 as the Clippers coasted to a 90-77 win over the Timberwolves in Minnesota. The Clippers improved to 12-1 when their scoring leader is Crawford, who still hasn't started a game this season. Crawford helped the Clippers' bench outscore the Wolves' reserves 45-23.
The Clippers improved to 31-9 and pulled within a half-game of West-leading Oklahoma City.
Miami still leads the East by a game over New York after LeBron James contributed 39 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the Heat's 99-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Dwyane (dwayn) Wade added 27 points to the Heat's second straight win.
Milwaukee won in Phoenix for the first time in almost 26 years by putting together a late 10-0 run to beat the Suns 99-94. Monta Ellis scored 24 points and Larry Sanders had 19 for the Bucks.
Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half as the New York Knicks whipped the Detroit Pistons 102-87 in London. Amare Stoudemire had 17 points for the Knicks, who jumped out to a 16-2 lead and improved to 25-13.
Duke bounces back...Wolverines win top-10
UNDATED (AP) -- Third-ranked Duke bounced back nicely from its lone loss of the season.
Seth Curry scored 24 points and Mason Plumlee had a double-double as the Blue Devils beat Georgia Tech 73-57. Plumlee finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds after going just 2-for-12 in the first half. Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon (SOO'-lah-mahn) broke out of a slump with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting as the Blue Devils improved to 16-1.
Fifth-ranked Michigan won a matchup of top-10 teams. Tim Hardaway Jr. hit four three-pointers by halftime and finished with 21 points as the Wolverines beat ninth-ranked Minnesota 83-75. Trey Burke had 18 points and nine assists for the Wolverines, who led for the final 33 minutes and improved to 17-1 overall, 4-1 in the Big Ten.
Austin Hollins led the 15-3 Gophers with 21 points and four steals
Checking out the rest of the top-25 schedule:
-- Kelly Olynyk furnished 21 points and eight rebounds as eighth-ranked Gonzaga hammered Portland 71-49. Kevin Pangos hit four three points, finished with 14 points and helped the 17-1 Bulldogs extend the best start in school history.
-- Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 18 as 10th-ranked Florida ripped Texas A&M 68-47. The Gators are 13-2 following their fifth straight win.
-- E.J. Singler's 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists carried No. 21 Oregon to a 76-74 win over Southern Cal. Damyean Dotson also had 14 points as the Ducks improved to 15-2.
-- Treveon Graham scored six of his 25 points in overtime as No. 22 VCU outlasted Saint Joseph's 92-86 in overtime. Darious Theus added a career-high 22 points, 10 assists and four steals in the Rams' 12th consecutive win.
-- No. 23 Illinois absorbed its third straight loss as Reggie Hearn scored 20 points in Northwestern's 68-54 win over the Illini. Brandon Paul had a game-high 21 points for Illinois, which shot just 38 percent in losing for the fifth time in seven games since a 12-0 start.
-- Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points and 24th-rated UCLA claimed its 10th straight win by downing Oregon State 74-64. Kyle Anderson added 17 points for the Bruins, who used a 20-7 spurt in the first half to take a 27-19 lead.
Te'o quotes contradict timeline of hoax
UNDATED (AP) -- Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te'o (MAN'-ty TAY'-ow) mentioned in at least two interviews his online girlfriend of three years even after the school says he discovered she never existed.
An Associated Press review of news coverage found that the Heisman Trophy runner-up talked about his doomed love in a Web interview on Dec. 8 and again in a newspaper interview published Dec. 10. He and the university said Wednesday that he learned on Dec. 6 that it was all a hoax, that not only wasn't she dead, she wasn't real.
However, former Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Maui'a (MOW'-ee-uh) says he knows the woman, telling ESPN that he met Lennay Kekua in 2011 while he and some teammates were on a charity mission to American Samoa.
Maui'a told the network that this was before the woman met Te'o and that he and Kekua became "good friends."
Meanwhile, NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt believes the uncertainty surrounding Te'o could affect when he might be selected in April's draft. The former Dallas Cowboys general manager adds that Te'o's stock had already plummeted after a poor performance in the BCS championship game.
Cards select Arians
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals have their next head coach.
A person with knowledge of the situation says the team filled the NFL's final head coaching vacancy by hiring Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
The 60-year-old longtime assistant went 9-3 as Colts interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia last season.
Arians replaces Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired on New Year's Eve following the team's second 5-11 finish in three years.
Jags fill coaching vacancy
UNDATED (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as head coach.
The 46-year-old is part of Jacksonville's rebuilding project directed by recently installed general manager David Caldwell.
Bradley spent the last four seasons in Seattle, where his defense improved each of the last three years and finished in the top 10 in points and yards the last two.
Judge dismisses suit against commissioner
UNDATED (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') in connection with the bounty case. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan in New Orleans said the bounty matter "feels as protracted and painful as the Saints season itself, and calls for closure."
Goodell initially suspended Vilma for all of the 2012 season, and three other players received shorter bans. But Paul Tagliabue (TAG'-lee-uh-boo), Goodell's predecessor as commissioner, heard a final round of player appeals and threw out the suspensions last month.
Rangers ink veteran lefty
UNDATED (AP) -- The Texas Rangers have finalized a $55 million, five-year contract with All-Star pitcher Matt Harrison.
The deal includes a 2018 club option that could become guaranteed depending on the number of innings the left-hander pitches.
Harrison was 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts last year and is 32-20 over 399 innings during the past two seasons. He started Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, which the Rangers lost.
In other major league contract news:
-- Pitcher Jeff Karstens is staying with the Pittsburgh Pirates after they finalized a $2.5 million contract for the upcoming season.
-- Relief pitcher Bobby Parnell and the New York Mets have avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1.7 million.
-- The Oakland Athletics have agreed to one-year contracts with new catcher John Jaso (JAY'-soh) and outfielder Seth Smith, avoiding salary arbitration with both players.
-- Matt Garza's one-year, $10.25 million contract allows him to avoid arbitration with the Chicago Cubs.
-- Outfielder Will Venable and the San Diego Padres have avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2,675,000, a raise of $1.2 million.
-- Reliever Drew Storen has agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract with the Washington Nationals, avoiding arbitration.
-- The Red Sox and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (sawlt-uh-luh-MAH'-kee-uh) have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $4.5 million, one-year contract.
-- Rick Ankiel and the Houston Astros have agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
-- A person familiar with the negotiations says the Red Sox and Mike Napoli (NAP'-oh-lee) have agreed to shorten their deal to a one-year contract worth $5 million. Boston and Napoli agreed Dec. 3 to a $39 million, three-year contract before a physical prompted team concerns about his hip.
Three share Humana lead
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) -- There's a three-way tie for the lead after 18 holes of the Humana Challenge in California. Roberto Castro, Jason Kokrak and James Hahn each shot 9-under 63s. They are one stroke better than a group of four golfers, headed up by Aaron Baddeley (BAD'-eh-lee).
Phil Mickelson, who's been battling a bug, opened his season with an erratic even-par 72.
Russell Henley fired a 64, four days after winning the Sony Open in his first start as a PGA Tour member.

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