Knight scores season-high 26 in Pistons' win over Bucks
Rookie Brandon Knight scored a season-high 26 points, holding his own against Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and helping the host Detroit Pistons snap a seven-game losing streak with an 88-80 victory over the Bucks on Friday night.
Knight, who was outscored 21-0 by Jennings in a loss at Milwaukee on Monday, helped the Pistons build a 15-point lead in the third quarter.
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Detroit led by only four with 2:54 remaining, but the point guard out of Kentucky responded with a floater, followed moments later by a driving shot off the glass, and the Pistons held on.
■ Heat 99, 76ers 79: Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, and LeBron James had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lift Miami over host Philadelphia. The Heat used a 15-0 spurt in the fourth quarter to hand the Sixers just their third home loss of the season.
■ Thunder 101, Grizzlies 94: Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the tiebreaking three-pointer in the final minute to lift host Oklahoma City in a rematch of their epic Western Conference playoff series. Durant scored the final seven points of the game after Memphis had pulled even at 94 on Mike Conley's three-pointer from the right side with 1:12 remaining.
■ Celtics 91, Knicks 89: Paul Pierce scored 30 points, and Ray Allen had nine of his 14 in the final quarter to lift host Boston over struggling New York. Carmelo Anthony scored 26 for the Knicks, who lost for the 11th time in 13 games. Boston point guard Rajon Rondo returned after missing the previous eight games with a right-wrist injury but was ineffective, scoring just seven points and getting seven assists.
■ Raptors 106, Wizards 89: Leandro Barbosa shook off flulike symptoms to score 19 points, and host Toronto beat Washington. Washington dropped to 1-10 away from home this season and has won just four times in 52 road games since the start of last season. Nick Young scored 21 points, and former UK star John Wall had 15 for the Wizards.
■ Timberwolves 108, Nets 105: Luke Ridnour made the tiebreaking three-pointer with 1:23 left, Nikola Pekovic scored a career-high 27 points, and Minnesota beat host New Jersey. The Timberwolves overcame a career-high 42 points from Anthony Morrow, whose eight three-pointers in 11 attempts were the most in the NBA this season.
Martin returns to NBA with Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers and free agent Kenyon Martin have agreed to a one-year deal, returning the veteran forward to the NBA after a brief stint in China. Martin's agent, Andy Miller, confirmed Friday that the sides reached agreement. The deal is believed to be worth the mini-midlevel exception of $2.5 million.
■ Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will undergo an arthroscopic procedure to "remove debris" from his right knee, his fourth surgery since Portland selected him with No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, the team said.
Sports in the courts
Prosecutors close Armstrong probe
Federal prosecutors say they are closing a criminal investigation of Lance Armstrong and will not charge him over allegations the seven-time Tour de France winner used performance-enhancing drugs. In a press release, United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. said the case has been closed but didn't disclose the reason for the decision. Investigators looked at whether a doping program was created to keep Armstrong and his teammates running at the head of the pack while, at least part of the time, they received government sponsorship from the U.S. Postal Service. Armstrong won the Tour de France every year from 1999-2005 and has always fiercely denied doping.
Eagle on 17 helps Levin built 3-shot lead
Spencer Levin holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-4 17th and shot an 8-under 63 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the suspended second round of the Phoenix Open. Levin completed a first-round 65 in the morning and was 14 under overall. Harrison Frazar was 6 under for the round and 11 under overall with three holes left at TPC Scottsdale when play was suspended because of darkness. Frost delayed the start for an hour for the second straight day. Fan favorite Phil Mickelson finished off a 70 at dusk to reach 4 under. He had a bogey and a double bogey in a front-nine 38, then made four birdies on the back nine.
■ European Tour officials reduced the Qatar Masters to 54 holes when they called off play Friday after strong winds moved golf balls and blowing sand reduced visibility on several holes. First-round leader Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano dropped two shots on his first five holes to fall to 4 under through seven. John Daly, who had yet to start his second round, was the clubhouse leader after his 5-under 67 on Thursday. A stroke behind were Fernandez-Castano, Jason Day (par through 6 holes) and K.J. Choi, who had yet to start.
■ U.S. Open champion So Yeon Ryu shot an 11-under 61 on Friday to take a four-stroke lead after two rounds of the Australian Ladies Masters. Ryu, who had 12 birdies and a bogey at Royal Pines, had a two-round total of 17-under 127 after an opening 66. Christel Boeljon finished birdie-birdie-eagle to shoot a 65, putting her in second place.
UConn's Calhoun takes medical leave
Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun, who missed three games earlier this season because of NCAA sanctions, is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence because of back problems. The Hall of Fame coach of the defending national champions, who turns 70 in May, has been suffering for several months from spinal stenosis, a lower-back condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility, he told The Associated Press on Friday. Associate head coach George Blaney will lead the team in Calhoun's absence. The Huskies (14-7, 4-5 Big East) have lost four games in a row and fell out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in 28 weeks. They host Seton Hall on Saturday before traveling to Louisville on Monday.
Georgia kicks 3 freshmen off team
Three freshmen Georgia football players — cornerback Nick Marshall, defensive back Chris Sanders and receiver Sanford Seay — have been dismissed from the team by Coach Mark Richt for undisclosed violations. Richt said he would assist the three in transferring to other schools.
Louisville swimmers sweep Kentucky
Kentucky won three of the four diving events, but it wasn't enough to avoid a sweep against visiting Louisville in a dual swimming and diving meet at Ralph Wright Natatorium. Louisville's men won 188-107, and the women won 183-107. UK sophomore Greg Ferrucci won both the 3- and 1-meter dives, and freshman Christa Cabot took first on the 3-meter.
The last word
New England Patriots tight ends coach Brian Ferentz, comparing Rob Gronkowski to a Labrador retriever:
"You throw him the ball, he runs and catches the ball, he brings the ball back. You throw him another ball, he comes back, he runs into other dogs, he laughs, he thinks it's funny. He brings the ball back again, and you throw it until he gets tired and doesn't want to do it anymore."