Sports briefs: Dec. 14

December 14, 2013 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL Sorry, Texas: Saban not going anywhere, Alabama tweets

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is staying put.

The university announced on its Twitter account Friday night that the football coach has reached "a long-term agreement" to remain with the Crimson Tide. Alabama didn't release terms of the new deal, which must be approved by the board of trustees.

Saban received an eight-year deal in March 2012 worth about $5.6 million annually and seems likely to remain college football's highest-paid coach.

The agreement quells speculation that Saban would take over at Texas if Mack Brown steps down. Saban, who turned 62 on Oct. 31, has led the Tide to three national championships in the past four years with no signs of fading from annual contention.

The third-ranked Tide was on the verge of another Southeastern Conference, and perhaps national title, before losing 34-28 to No. 2 Auburn in the regular-season finale on a last-play 109-yard return of a missed field goal.

Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 in New Orleans.

NCAA VOLLEYBALL Penn State, Stanford in regional finals

Penn State rallied from a first-set loss to beat Michigan State on Friday and advance to the NCAA regional finals at Memorial Coliseum. Penn State's 22-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-23 victory was its 22nd in a row. Stanford beat Minnesota in the other semifinal, 28-26, 25-23, 25-22. The finals are Saturday at 4 p.m.

NBA

Thunder rout Lakers, even with Kobe

Thunder 122, Lakers 97: Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, and host Oklahoma City rolled to a win over Los Angeles on Friday night. The Thunder are unbeaten in 11 home games this season. Los Angeles has lost all three games since the return of Kobe Bryant from a torn Achilles tendon. Bryant had 13 assists — just two shy of his career high — but showed little of his trademark offensive ability, finishing with four points on 2-of-6 shooting.

Hawks 101, Wizards 99 (OT): Al Horford scored a season-high 34 points, including a jumper as time expired in overtime, and host Atlanta recovered after blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. Trevor Booker led Washington with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Celtics 90, Knicks 86: Avery Bradley scored seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a three-pointer with 2:38 to play to give host Boston the lead for good.

Cavs 109, Magic 100: Kyrie Irving scored 31 points, Dion Waiters added 21, and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a big second half to earn just their second road victory of the season, over the Orlando Magic on Friday night. It was the Cavaliers' first road win since Nov. 16. Victor Oladipo tied a career high with 26 points.

Pacers 99, Bobcats 94: Lance Stephenson had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help host Indiana improve its franchise-record home start to 11-0 with a victory over Charlotte. Al Jefferson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats.

Raptors 108, 76ers 100: DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Terrence Ross had a season-high 24 and host Toronto beat Philadelphia, handing the 76ers their fifth straight loss. Tony Wroten scored 23 points for the 76ers, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Pelicans 104, Grizzlies 98: Eric Gordon made 10 of 12 shots on his way to 25 points, and host New Orleans won its second straight game. Jon Leuer scored 19 for Memphis.

BASEBALL Hart signs 1-year deal with Mariners

The Seattle Mariners finalized a one-year contract with free agent Corey Hart. The Kentucky native signed an incentive-laden one-year deal after missing all of 2013 because of knee surgery. Hart, a two-time All-Star, hit .270 in 2012 with 30 homers and 83 RBI for Milwaukee.

Royals: Kansas City and veteran second baseman Omar Infante reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said. Infante would stabilize second base in Kansas City for the first time in years. He hit .318 with 10 homers and 51 RBI in 118 games for Detroit last season.

Pirates: Pittsburgh signed right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez and infielder Clint Barmes to one-year deals. The 30-year-old Volquez, a former All-Star with the Reds, went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA in 2013 while splitting time with the Padres and Dodgers.

Rockies: A person with knowledge of the situation said reliever Boone Logan has agreed to a three-year, $16.5 million deal with Colorado. Logan, 29, has spent the last four seasons with the Yankees. He was 5-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 39 innings last season.

GOLF

Two shoot 59* at Mandela tourney

Two players shot a 59 in the second round of the rain-affected Nelson Mandela Championship, although it won't count as a European Tour record because players were allowed preferred lies on the soaked layout. Jorge Campillo of Spain and Colin Nel of South Africa both reached what is seen as golf's magic number. But their 59s come with asterisks because of the preferred lies, and the Mount Edgecombe course in Durban, South Africa, was reduced by 1 stroke to a par 70. Campillo has a share of the clubhouse lead at 11-under 129 with England's Matthew Baldwin (62).

Defending champions Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair shot an 8-under 64 in modified alternate-shot play Friday for a share of the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Fla. The teams of Matt Kuchar-Harris English and Charles Howell III-Justin Leonard also shot 64 on the Ritz Carlton Resort's Tiburon course. The 24 teams will play better ball Saturday and finish with a scramble Sunday. After playing the front nine in 3 under, Kentucky native Perry and O'Hair birdied Nos. 13-16.

Propelled by a hole in one, Sergio Garcia carded a 7-under 65 to share the lead with Justin Rose halfway through the Thailand Championship. Garcia, who finished fourth last year, had a bogey-free round which included an ace on the 236-yard eighth hole.

Etc.

Barcelona sponsor on inside of jersey

Barcelona has signed a sponsorship deal worth a reported $34 million with Intel, whose logo may never be seen despite being on the jerseys of the Spanish league champions. The phrase "Intel Inside" will be placed on the inside front of the jersey, meaning it may be seen only when a player lifts his shirt over his head in celebration. The Catalan club calls this a "pioneering initiative in the world of sports advertising." NCAA asks judge to throw out lawsuit

The NCAA has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by former UCLA basketball standout Ed O'Bannon and other former student-athletes challenging the collegiate athletic association's ban on compensating athletes. The lawsuit does not show the association's rules violate antitrust laws, the NCAA said in its motion filed with a federal court in Oakland. The NCAA also said the athletes' demand for revenue from the licensing of live broadcasts is pre-empted by the First Amendment right to televise newsworthy events.

The last word

Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan, to reporters, after listing his reasons for benching QB Robert Griffin III:

"I'm trying to be as honest as I can, and I don't normally do that."

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