Heat render Knicks star Lin-effective in blowout win
Jeremy Lin was no match for the Miami Heat.
Forcing Lin into easily the worst game of his remarkable run as New York's starting point guard by running streams of defenders at him, Miami topped the visiting Knicks 102-88 on Thursday night — the eighth straight win for the NBA-leading Heat, all of those wins coming by at least 12 points.
Chris Bosh scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 22 and LeBron James finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which will go into the All-Star break with the NBA's best record (27-7).
Lin's final line: 1-for-11 from the field, eight points, three assists — a far cry from the 23.9 points and 9.2 assists he had been averaging over his first 11 games in the Knicks' rotation, when he breathed immeasurable life into a team that was floundering.
On Thursday, he simply wasn't the same player, turning the ball over eight times. His last miss came with 6 seconds left, the outcome already decided, and he simply walked quietly off the court into the locker room.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points. J.R. Smith had 14 for New York off the bench.
■ Josh Smith scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to help the host Atlanta Hawks snap a three-game skid with an 83-78 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night. J.J. Redick finished with 13 points and Dwight Howard had 12 for the Magic, who had won two straight and six of seven.
Braun's 50-game suspension overturned
National League MVP Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension was overturned Thursday by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance. The decision was announced Thursday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, one day before the 28-year-old outfielder was due to report to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers. The commissioner's office and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency each were disappointed and angry about the ruling. Braun's urine tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, and ESPN revealed the positive test in December. Braun has insisted that he did not violate baseball's drug agreement. "I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision," he said in a statement. "It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side." MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said management "vehemently disagrees" with Das' decision.
Pirates head faces 4 DUI-related charges
Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly faces four drunken driving-related charges after an incident on Dec. 22 in suburban Pittsburgh. Police in Ross Township, Pa., charged Coonelly, 51, with one count each of drunken driving, driving the wrong way, careless driving and driving with a blood-alcohol content of at least twice the state's legal limit of .08. The DUI charges are misdemeanors. Driving the wrong way and careless driving are summary offenses.
Duerson's family sues NFL over suicide
The family of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL on Thursday, claiming the league didn't do enough to prevent or treat the concussions that severely damaged his brain before he killed himself last year. The suit was filed in Chicago on behalf of Duerson's son, Tregg, and three other children. Duerson died on Feb. 17, 2011, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest at his home in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. The lawsuit accuses the NFL of negligently causing the brain damage that led Duerson to take his own life at the age of 50 by not warning him of the negative effects of concussions.
■ Miami Dolphins fans want the team to acquire Peyton Manning, and they're using a billboard and Web site to campaign. The Manningtomiami.com site is advertised on a billboard along an Interstate near the Dolphins' complex. Under an image of Manning about to throw a pass in a Dolphins uniform, the sign reads "MANNING TO MIAMI.com." The Web site encourages fans to fill out a form urging the Dolphins to bring Manning to Miami.
Bat Cats' home opener is Friday
After three wins during a five-day road trip, the Kentucky baseball team will play its home opener Friday at 4 p.m. against Buffalo. The series will have 1 p.m. starts on Saturday and Sunday. Kentucky (3-0) will start Taylor Rogers in the series opener against Buffalo's Cameron Copping. The Wildcats have not committed an error this season.
Oaklawn increases purses
Oaklawn is increasing purses by a total of $800,000 for the remainder of the racing season, a bump that the track says is possible because of increased attendance. The Thoroughbred track in Hot Springs, Ark., said Thursday purses will rise by $100,000 per week. Oaklawn officials say more than 29,000 people attended Monday's split running of the Southwest Stakes. The weather has been better than last season, when the track lost eight days to poor conditions.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Ex-lacrosse player faces 26 years
Former University of Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely V faces 26 years in prison for the beating death of his former girlfriend, Yeardley Love. A jury Wednesday convicted Huguely of second-degree murder in a drunken, jealous rage, rejecting a first-degree murder verdict and a possible life sentence. Jurors deliberated about nine hours before returning a verdict on the murder count, then recommended that Huguely serve 26 years. The maximum prison term for second-degree murder is 40 years.
The last word
TNT's Kenny Smith, on the play of the hapless Washington Wizards:
"I'm just waiting for the bucket with the confetti to come out one night."