NBA – National Basketball Association
New Orleans Pelicans 111, Detroit Pistons 106 – OT
New York Knicks 83, Chicago Bulls 78
Pelicans 111, Pistons 106 – OT – Pelicans hold off Pistons, 111-106 in OT
Ryan Anderson shook off an unusually poor shooting night from long range, hitting two clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Jason Smith scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pelicans, who snapped a two-game skid while handing Detroit its third straight loss. Anderson finished with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including 4 of 12 from 3-point range. Jrue Holiday added 19 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points and 14 rebounds. New Orleans native Greg Monroe had 28 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which led by 3 points early in overtime before Anderson's first 3 of the extra session tied it. Brandon Jennings added 25 points and Rodney Stuckey 20.
Knicks 83, Bulls 78 – Knicks blow big lead but edge Bulls 83-78
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks pulled out an 83-78 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night after blowing a 23-point lead. Amare Stoudemire made the tiebreaking jumper with 2:35 left and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who ended a two-game losing streak but made it harder on themselves than necessary with some sloppy second-half offense. Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 20 points for the Bulls, who have lost three straight and five of six. They are having a dreadful time scoring, topping out at 75 points in their previous two games and barely surpassing that in this one. Joakim Noah had 12 points and 11 rebounds in his return after missing a game with a bruised right thigh, but Luol Deng missed his third straight game with a sore left Achilles.
NHL – National Hockey League
Chicago Blackhawks 7, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Blackhawks 7, Flyers 2 – Blackhawks use big 2nd period to beat Flyers 7-2
Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw scored in a 39-second span at the start of Chicago's five-goal second period lastnight, sparking the Blackhawks to a 7-2 victory over Ray Emery and the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick Sharp had a goal and two assists for Chicago, which has won three in a row after a three-game losing streak. The seven goals set a season high for the Blackhawks (23-6-5), who have scored 19 times during their winning streak and lead the NHL with 129 goals.
Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m.
NHL – Red Wings' Jimmy Howard hurts knee in practice
The Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard was injured a knee in practice Wednesday. That led to the Red Wings recalling Petr Mrazek from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and putting forward Henrik Zetterberg on long-term injured reserve. The Red Wings have ruled Howard out for Thursday night's game at Tampa Bay and plan to reevaluate him Friday in Detroit. Zetterberg hasn't played since Dec. 1 because of a back injury and is eligible to return Dec. 28 against Florida.
United Center to keep name for another 20 years
The arena where the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks play will continue to be called the United Center for the next two decades. The teams, arena and United Airlines said Wednesday that they've entered into a new naming rights agreement. The parties didn't disclose financial terms. Officials say updates and upgrades are planned for the outside and inside of the United Center. Those include new signs and LED boards. More details are expected in the spring. The new sponsorship agreement also includes efforts from the Bulls, Blackhawks, arena and United Airlines to sponsor community outreach programs. Also as part of the agreement United Airlines will continue to be the official airline of the United Center, Bulls and Blackhawks. The arena opened in 1994, hosting more than 200 events annually.
NFL – National Football League – Week 15
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, 8:25 p.m.
NFL – Trestman optimistic Cutler will play this week
Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman is optimistic quarterback Jay Cutler will be ready to return from an ankle injury this week against the Cleveland Browns. Cutler was to work with the receivers yesterday, and Trestman says the Bears will know today if he's ready to start. Cutler's missed the past four games with a high left ankle sprain and also sat out one with a groin injury. Veteran Josh McCown has played well in his place, but the Bears have repeatedly said they would go with Cutler once he's ready. A return against Cleveland looks like a good possibility for Cutler _ but not Lance Briggs. Trestman said he's ``not in any way as optimistic'' about the star linebacker returning this week.
NFL – Lions shooting blanks on offense in 4th quarter
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford says it's tough to win with too many turnovers. The Lions have found that out the hard way. Detroit has won only one game in the last month because it has turned the ball over 15 times in four games. Stafford has had a lot to do with that, throwing seven interceptions and losing two fumbles during the stretch. He has been particularly shaky in the fourth quarter. Stafford has completed less than one-fourth of his passes with one touchdown, two interceptions and has lost a fumble in the final quarters of the last four games. That has led to the offense being held scoreless in those fourth quarters as the team lost leads and three games.
NCAA Basketball – Men’s
North Dakota State 73, Notre Dame 69
North Dakota State 73, Notre Dame 69 – North Dakota State upsets Notre Dame 73-69
Marshall Bjorklund scored 26 points lastnight to lead North Dakota State to a road upset over Notre Dame, 73-69, in the third round of the Gotham Classic at Purcell Pavilion. Pat Connaughton scored 21 to lead Notre Dame (7-3).
NCAA Basketball – Women’s
Michigan 89, Eastern Michigan 75
NCAA Football – UConn hires ND assistant Diaco as football coach
Connecticut has hired Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco as its football coach, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the hiring. The 40-year-old Diaco takes over a team that went 3-9 this season, and fired Paul Pasqualoni after an 0-4 start. Diaco won the 2012 Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach, the first Irish assistant to ever win the award.
NCAA Football – Eastern Michigan hires Creighton as football coach
Eastern Michigan has hired Chris Creighton as football coach. The 44-year-old Creighton led Drake to a 6-5 record this season and was 44-22 in six seasons at the Iowa school. He is 139-46 in 17 seasons as a head coach at Ottawa, Wabash at Drake. Creighton replaces Ron English, fired last month after the Eagles opened 1-8 en route to a 2-10 mark.
NCAA Football – Conferences mull player finances
The five power conferences of college sports want more flexibility in providing financial support to athletes. NCAA leaders are exploring ways to alter their governing structure, which would allow the colleges that can afford it to pay for certain expenses currently prohibited. That includes offering a stipend for the costs of attending school not covered by scholarships.
MLB – Tigers' Cabrera making progress after surgery
Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera is making good progress in his rehabilitation program following offseason surgery for a groin tear. ``All the reports are good,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday at baseball's winter meetings. ``I've talked to our head trainer a number of times about it and he said he's getting his rehab in and as far as reports go, everything is going well. Knock on wood.'' Cabrera could be ready for the start of spring training. He missed several games last season after the break because of a bad back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower abdomen, shin trouble and the groin tear. The AL Central champion Tigers are planning to move Cabrera from third base to first next season after trading Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler. Cabrera won his second straight American League Most Valuable Player award this past season. One year after winning baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years, the slugger came back to lead the majors in hitting at .348 and finish second with 44 home runs and 137 RBIs.
MLB – OF Rajai Davis and Tigers agree to 2-year deal
Outfielder Rajai Davis and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $9-10 million. The Tigers announced the deal Wednesday. The 33-year-old Davis spent the last three seasons with Toronto and hit .260 this year with six homers, 24 RBIs and 45 steals in 331 at-bats. He made $2.5 million. He gives the Tigers a speedy presence that the team has been lacking. The Tigers stole just 35 bases last season, fewest in the major leagues. An eight-year major league veteran, Davis has 268 career stolen bases. He also has played for Pittsburgh (2006-07), San Francisco (2007-08) and Oakland (2008-10). The right-handed swinging Davis would join an outfield with Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. He could platoon with lefty Andy Dirks.
MLB – MLB intends to ban plate collisions
Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions. New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings. He said player health and increased awareness of concussions were behind the decision. Alderson said the exact wording had not been determined. He said the rule will be given to owners for approval at their January meeting. Approval of the players' union is needed for the rules change to be effective for 2014. MLB could make the change without union approval for 2015.
IndyCar – Indianapolis speedway set for improvement projects
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway says it is ready to start several improvement projects using $100 million in state assistance. Track officials say approval on Tuesday by Indiana Motorsports Commission will allow it to move ahead on arranging financing for the projects. Modifications include the repaving and reconfiguration of the track's road course that was done this fall. A new scoring pylon and new video screens are planned for next spring. Other planned projects include grandstand improvements and better wireless access. Officials say they've decided against spending an estimated $20 million to add lights for night races. State legislators in April approved the assistance plan directing growth in sales and income tax collections from the track and a new ticket fee toward paying off the $100 million loan over 20 years.
AHL – American Hockey League
Chicago Wolves 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 2
ECHL – East Coast Hockey League
Cincinnati Cyclones 3, Toledo Walleye 2
MHSAA – High School Sports
Watervliet Grace Christian at Lake Michigan Catholic WSJM-AM 1400
Cassopolis at White Pigeon
Dream Academy at New Buffalo
Eau Claire at Michigan Lutheran
Centreville at Bridgman