Sports briefs: April 15

April 14, 2014 

College basketball

Louisville dunk specialist Harrell returning for junior year

Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell has announced that he's returning for his junior season with the Cardinals.

Harrell had been projected as a possible late first-round NBA draft selection after becoming an imposing force on both ends for the Cardinals (31-6) last season. The 6-foot-8 power forward led Louisville with 8.4 rebounds per game, was second to Russ Smith in scoring at 14.0 points and just two behind blocks leader Mangok Mathiang with 49.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino described Harrell's return as "obviously great news" in a release, adding that he believes his co-captain will benefit from playing another season.

A first-team all-American Athletic Conference selection, Harrell also set a Louisville season record with 97 dunks including several with enough force to leave basket supports shaking for several seconds after scoring.

Minor league baseball

Legends drub Rome 17-0

The Lexington Legends broke the game open with an eight-run third inning and went on to a 17-0 victory over the Rome Braves Monday night. Every Legends starter had at least one hit in the 18-hit Lexington attack.

Fred Ford and Chad Johnson each drove in four runs, and Michael Antonio had three RBI, including the game's only homer, a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Jake Junis (1-1) allowed two hits over the first six innings to get the win. Matt Alvarez worked the seventh and eighth, and Kevin McCarthy preserved the shutout with a scoreless ninth.

NFL

Browns sign Pressley from Cincy

The Browns have signed fullback Chris Pressley, a potential lead blocker to open holes for new running back Ben Tate.

Pressley missed all of last season with Cincinnati because of a knee injury. The 5-foot-10, 249-pounder has made 20 career starts in the NFL for the Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2012, he helped Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis lead the league by converting 14 of 15 times on 3rd-and-1 plays.

NBA

After ejections, Evans shines as point guard

Taking over for regular point guard Austin Rivers, Tyreke Evans scored a career-high 41 points to go with nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an eight-game skid by shocking the playoff-bound Thunder 101-89 on Monday night.

Evans made 14 of 26 shots while scoring mostly on quick, powerful bursts to the hoop. He also scored 12 points at the foul line.

Thunder forward Nick Collison and Rivers were both ejected following a brief scuffle in the second quarter. Rivers shoved his way out of Collison's prolonged screen and soon after started jawing with Collison as the two followed the play down court. They bumped again in the paint, igniting a brief shoving match with 7:56 remaining in the first half.

Kevin Durant scored 25 for the Thunder.

Michael Carter-Williams had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Wroten scored 20 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Boston Celtics 113-108 Monday night. Chris Johnson appeared to hit the game-tying three-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining but stepped out of bounds before attempting the desperation shot. James Anderson made two free throws a half-second later to seal Philadelphia's win. Kelly Olynyk scored 28 points to lead the Celtics. Rajon Rondo finished with eight points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.

Greivis Vasquez scored 25 points, Kyle Lowry had 24 and the Toronto Raptors set a franchise record with their 48th win, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 110-100 on Monday night. Ramon Sessions scored 21 points, Jeff Adrien had 19 points and Brandon Knight 18 as the Bucks lost their 14th straight road game, matching a record for futility set in the 2004-05 season.

 The season is over for Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. The NBA announced Monday that it upheld his 16th technical foul of the season. Players and coaches are suspended one game without pay when they reach 16 technical fouls.

 The Pacers' biggest win so far this season came Monday — off the court. Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board approved a new deal that would help the Pacers stay financially competitive in one of the NBA's smallest markets. In exchange for providing $164 million to pay for operating costs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse over the next 10 years, the Pacers agreed to extend a lease agreement that will keep them in Indy for up to 13 more seasons. Board members voted 8-0 in favor of the deal.

Joe Dumars is stepping down as the Detroit Pistons' president of basketball operations. The team made the move official Monday, a day after the Pistons lost their home finale and dropped to 29-52 with one game remaining in the season. Detroit will miss the postseason for a fifth consecutive year.

High school baseball

Tates Creek atop Kentucky poll

Tates Creek has moved up to No. 1 in the latest Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association rankings.

The Commodores, previously No. 3 in the poll, beat Lafayette, Western Hills and Eastern by a combined score of 18-1 last week to improve their record to 9-2-1.

West Jessamine, 14-2, jumped from No. 9 to No. 2 in the poll, which was released today.

Sports in the courts

49ers Culliver pleads not guilty to hit-and run, brass knuckles charges

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles.

Culliver was arrested on March 28 after San Jose police say he struck a bicyclist, then rammed a witness' vehicle that was blocking him from leaving until officers arrived. The San Jose Mercury News reports that he entered his plea on Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

His case is among a string of recent legal problems for 49ers players, including the arrest Sunday of linebacker Aldon Smith.

 Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is suing Nike for trademark infringement and unfair competition over its Lights Out apparel line. The suit, filed on behalf of Merriman's Lights Out Holdings LLC, was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday. According to the suit, after Nike and Merriman unsuccessfully negotiated to create a Lights Out apparel line in 2006 or 2007, the company used the name anyway. The lawsuit says Merriman acquired the federal trademark rights for Lights Out in 2007. He was nicknamed "Lights Out" after knocking out opponents in a high school game.

The last word

After Denver Bronco Von Miller began last season with a drug suspension and ended it with a blow-out knee, he's mostly kept a low profile. His latest charity work included handing out prescription glasses to underprivileged kids, but he says it's not an attempt to rehabilitate his image.

"I'm not too big on the perception of the fans. In time everybody will see the type of guy that I am and the type of things that I do. I can't rush that. But the guys in the locker room, my teammates, the people who are close to me, they know what type of guy I am."

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