Sports briefs: Feb. 3

February 3, 2014 

NBA

Rondo posts double-double in Celtics' win over Magic

Rajon Rondo waited more than a year to celebrate playing in a victory. He made nine of 11 shots and finished with season highs of 19 points and 10 assists while helping Boston end a four-game losing streak with a 96-89 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic on Sunday.

"We didn't stop pushing the pace even though we had the lead," Rondo said. "We finally finished a game strong. They made a run at it, but at the end of the day we still got some stops when we needed and made the plays."

Boston entered Sunday winless in six games since Rondo's return last month after missing nearly a year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He sat out the second of back-to-back games earlier in the week and was fresh enough at the end Sunday to help the Celtics hold off a late push by the Magic.

"You just feel like you're really under control the way he was playing late," Boston Coach Brad Stevens said.

Jared Sullinger scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Celtics, who let a 12-point lead slip to one in the final period before pulling away at the end.

"I think we execute a little crisper," Stevens said. "The ball seems to have found the right guys a lot, especially today. I think that's more of guys getting used to playing with one another."

Bulls' Thibodeau: Davis 'an All-Star player'

New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis had 24 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in the Pelicans' 88-79 victory Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls. He's averaging 20.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and a league-leading 3.4 blocks — numbers that most feel warranted a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team. Davis could replace the injured Kobe Bryant, especially considering the All-Star Game will be played in New Orleans.

"He's shooting the ball a lot better, running the floor, playing great defense," said Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Davis over the summer for Team USA. "And he's a great kid. He's an All-Star player who just didn't happen to make the All-Star team." Antoine Walker wants back in basketball

Antoine Walker told The Boston Globe that he wants to be a cautionary tale to young NBA players. Still only 37 but six years out of the NBA, the former University of Kentucky and Boston Celtics star wants to contribute something to the league.

The newspaper reported that Walker, who earned an estimated $108 million in his career and needed to file for bankruptcy to settle his financial issues, has dabbled as a TV analyst, attended the NBA pre-draft camp last May in hopes of landing a scouting or coaching job, and just finished a documentary on his NBA life for which he is seeking a distributor.

"I want to be close to the game, whether it be coaching, scouting, front office — I'm still working on trying to find the right niche, right fit," Walker told The Globe. "I'm really trying to be a role model for these young guys, kind of take my story and turn a negative story into a positive story. Just give guys some knowledge of the ups and downs and pitfalls of being in the NBA, making a lot of money, making sure guys make the right decisions with their money, building a financial literacy program to help these guys understand there is life after basketball. I'm really trying to give toward that and I feel like that's a need."

Golf

Stadler wins after Watson misses 5-foot putt

Kevin Stadler won the Phoenix Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title when playing partner Bubba Watson missed a 5-footer for par on the final hole. Stadler, the 33-year-old son of PGA Tour winner Craig Stadler, closed with a 3-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Watson and Canadian Graham DeLaet.

Stadler won in his 239th PGA Tour start, earning a spot in the Masters — a tournament his father won in 1982. The Stadlers are the ninth father-son winners in tour history.

Gallacher wins Dubai Desert Classic by 1

Stephen Gallacher shot a final round 72 Sunday to become the first player to successfully defend the Dubai Desert Classic title, beating Emiliano Grillo by one stroke. Gallacher fought back after four bogeys over his opening eight left him in a five-way tie for the lead after 11 holes.

Rory McIlroy struggled with a 74 to finish tied for ninth while top-ranked Tiger Woods (71) birdied his closing three holes for a share of 41st with a 6-under 282.

Mi Hyang Lee shot a course-record 9-under 63 to win the Women's New Zealand Golf Open by a stroke over defending champion Lydia Ko.

Horse racing

Wild Dude rallies past favored Secret Circle

Wild Dude rallied late to beat 1-2 favorite Secret Circle by a neck in the $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Wild Dude ran 6 furlongs in 1:08.09 and paid $19.20, $5 and $3.20 at 8-1 odds.

"I saved ground around the turn and waited for the stretch," Bejarano said. "I just had to wait for the right moment. My horse loves coming from behind so the only change was I didn't want to leave too much for him to do at the end, so I kept him a little closer."

Secret Circle, favored for the ninth time in his 10-race career, was making his first start for Bob Baffert since winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Nov. 2. Secret Circle opened up a half-length lead with 100 yards to go only to be overtaken in the shadow of the finish line by Wild Dude.

Indoor football Boyd vs. Lorenzen tonight at Horse Park

The Bluegrass Warhorses, with former Kentucky star Shane Boyd at quarterback, will make their Continental Indoor Football League debut Monday night, weather permitting, when they host fellow ex-Cat Jared Lorenzen and the Northern Kentucky River Monsters at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Lexington-based squad is coached by Harry Lewis, who also starred for the Wildcats.

Tennis

Britain defeats Americans in Davis Cup

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3 to clinch Britain's opening-round Davis Cup victory against the United States on Sunday in San Diego.

Murray won his 18th straight Davis Cup singles match and Britain beat the Americans for the first time since 1935.

Britain advanced to the World Group quarterfinals for the first time since 1986. It will face Italy, which defeated Argentina.

Murray split tiebreakers with Querrey in the first two sets, breezed through the third set in 29 minutes and won the match when Querrey returned a serve long.

The last word

The Cleveland Cavaliers' Luol Deng was upset at how he was portrayed in a New York Daily News report and said he hopes his teammates believe him when he says he's happy to be there:

"Obviously we're losing. I'm not happy. But to go as far as to say I'm frustrated with the guys, that to me doesn't make sense. ... Writing an article like that is just giving a writer who wants everyone to read whatever he's writing (what he wants). I'm really disappointed and it hurt me a little bit because I do care about the guys in the locker room and I've never in my career had something like that written about me."

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