Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 23


Raptors hand Thunder first home loss of the season

Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, making a pair of clinching free throws with 9.8 seconds left, and the Toronto Raptors handed the Oklahoma City Thunder their first home loss with a 104-98 victory on Sunday night.

The Raptors outscored Oklahoma City 6-0 in the final 1:25, all from the free throw line, and ended the Thunder's nine-game winning streak. Oklahoma City had been 13-0 at home, the NBA's longest unbeaten stretch to open a season since the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first 23 home games during the 2007-08 season.

Amir Johnson had 17 points and 13 assists for Toronto, which won its fourth straight road game, its longest such streak since March-April 2002. Oklahoma City lost for the first time since Dec. 4 at Portland.

Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 24 for Oklahoma City, which missed its final four shots.

Paul George scored 24 points and Lance Stephenson recorded his third triple-double of the season, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 106-79 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Stephenson had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Indiana (22-5) won its second straight. He's the only player in the league with more than one triple-double this season.

Avery Bradley scored 13 points for Boston. Western Kentucky product Courtney Lee and Jeff Green each had 11 in Coach Brad Stevens' return to his hometown.

Fittingly, Dwyane Wade asking Gabrielle Union to marry him was a family affair.

When the Miami Heat star proposed to the actress on Saturday afternoon, inside the home that the couple is building, his nephew and two sons unfurled signs asking Union to marry them.

Bewildered, she turned to Wade and saw him on bended knee. An 8½ -carat diamond sealed the deal.

Wade tells The Associated Press that the wedding is still not scheduled, but will happen this summer, probably in September. He says his oldest son and nephew knew about the plan for some time, and that he's thrilled he was able to pull off the surprise.


Penn St. wins NCAA volleyball title

There was determination behind the two straight aces Micha Hancock served to set up Penn State's four-set victory over scrappy Wisconsin.

"I didn't want to go to five," said the setter known for her powerful left-handed jump serve. "I didn't think anyone did."

Hancock's second ace paved the way for Deja McClendon's match point, a soft hit over the net that fell unanswered and the second-seeded Nittany Lions defeated the Badgers 3-1 Saturday night to win the NCAA championship.

Ariel Scott had 21 kills and Katie Slay added 14 in the 25-19, 26-24, 20-25, 25-23 victory. It was Penn State's sixth NCAA volleyball championship and the team's first since a historic run of four straight from 2007-2010.

"People say you can't put it into words," Hancock said. "And you really can't."

The Nittany Lions (34-3) dogpiled as streamers rained down at Seattle's Key Arena. During the celebration, Wisconsin's players returned to the court to applaud the champions.

The 12th-seeded Badgers (28-10) were the lowest seed ever to make it to the final match. Stanford won the title in 2004 as the 11th seed.

Horse racing

Hollywood Park closes its doors

Fans waited in a long line to get into Betfair Hollywood Park for the last time.

The track closed for good Sunday, ending 75 years of racing that featured such thoroughbred stars as Seabiscuit, Triple Crown winners Citation, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, and superstar mare Zenyatta. The first Breeders' Cup in 1984 was run here. The track will be turned into a residential and retail development starting next year.

For its last day, though, the track came alive again, with jammed parking lots, lines at the betting windows, and fans and employees swapping stories about the Track of the Lakes and Flowers.

The track's 260-acre footprint will be turned into 3,000 housing units, including single-family townhomes and condos; 25 acres of parkland, including a 10-acre central park; and a retail and entertainment district, anchored by a movie theatre, office space and a 300-room hotel.

Two errant flamingoes that escaped capture a few weeks ago sunned themselves on the edge of one of the infield lakes. They will soon be rounded up and taken to a Northern California zoo, where the track's other flamingoes were relocated.

About 50 cats living in the stable area are in search of new homes before the barn area closes at the end of January.

The graves of three horses buried in the infield will be relocated. Native Diver, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup from 1965-67, will be moved to Del Mar racetrack near San Diego. Landaluce, the 2-year-old champion filly of 1982, will go to Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, where she was bred. Great Communicator, the 1988 Breeders' Cup Turf winner, also will be moved.

College football

Baylor returns 5,000 Fiesta Bowl tickets

Baylor will return more than 5,000 unsold Fiesta Bowl tickets from its 17,500-ticket allotment for next month's game with Central Florida.

Baylor athletic officials told the Waco Tribune-Herald that the deadline was Friday to sell the allotted tickets as the No. 6 Bears prepare for No. 15 UCF.

The Fiesta Bowl is Jan. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. University of Phoenix Stadium seats 73,000.

Associate athletic director Nick Joos says the school in Waco kept about 1,000 tickets and those will be available starting Monday online and at the Bears' ticket office.

Baylor, which had to pay for all 17,500 tickets upfront, has sold about 11,000 tickets and will keep others for last-minute buyers. Joos says tickets returned to Fiesta Bowl organizers will probably be distributed to charities.

Sports in the courts

Texas A&M standout arrested

Texas A&M standout freshman linebacker Darian Claiborne has been arrested on two drug possession charges.

Claiborne was arrested Sunday on charges of possession of a dangerous drug and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, according to the Brazos County Jail website. He was arrested at about 3 p.m. and released less than two hours later after posting $6,000 bond.

Claiborne has 89 tackles to tie for team lead and has seven tackles for losses and two forced fumbles.

The Aggies face Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

Former University of Colorado offensive lineman Alex Lewis has pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for his role in a fight in May that left an Air Force Academy cadet unconscious.

The last word

Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning made his record-setting 51st touchdown throw to Julius Thomas, who dropped the ball after the touchdown. There it remained until another teammate, Eric Decker, scooped it up. Manning laughed when asked about Thomas not holding onto the ball after the score.

"It wouldn't have surprised me if Julius would have went and handed it to some babe up in the stands, trying to get her phone number in exchange for the ball. That would be right up Julius' alley."