Going home: Bills' Hamlin released from Buffalo hospital
Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from a hospital in Buffalo nine days after he went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated during a game at Cincinnati. Hamlin went home home after spending two days undergoing tests at Buffalo General Medical Center. He was transferred to Buffalo after spending last week at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where the 24-year-old experienced what doctors called “a remarkable recovery.” Neither doctors nor the Bills disclosed the results of the tests Hamlin had. Doctors said he will continue his rehabilitation with the Bills.
Jaylen Brown scored a season-high 41 points and had 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics won their fourth straight game, holding off the New Orleans Pelicans 125-114 on Wednesday night. Jayson Tatum added 31 points and 10 rebounds, Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points, and Al Horford had 14, making four 3-pointers. The Celtics have won their last five home games. CJ McCollum had 38 points for New Orleans, his fifth consecutive game with at least 25 points. Naji Marshall added 18 points and Trey Murphy III had 15 for New Orleans, The Pelicans have lost three of four.
Pascal Siakam scored 28 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 24 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 132-120 on Tuesday night. O.G. Anunoby scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and matched his career high with six 3-pointers as Toronto won its fourth straight home meeting with the Hornets and reached the midway point of the regular season at 18-23. The Raptors made a season-high 20 3-points in 44 attempts. Toronto won consecutive games for the sixth time this season. The Raptors have yet to win three in a row this season. Terry Rozier scored 33 points and LaMelo Ball had 24 points and a season-high 14 assists for Charlotte.
Domantas Sabonis had 25 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists as the Sacramento Kings beat the skidding Houston Rockets 135-115. De’Aaron Fox added 24 points and nine assists for Sacramento. Trey Lyles scored 15 of his 20 points off the bench in the fourth quarter. Keegan Murray and Harrison Barnes each finished with 16. Alperen Sengün became the youngest center in NBA history with a triple-double. The 20-year-old finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for Houston. Jalen Green had 26 points for the Rockets, who have lost eight consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 21 off the bench.
After a young Memphis Grizzlies fan had her prized basketball stolen, Ja Morant jumped in to ease the anguish. Ellie Hughes, an 11-year-old Grizzlies fan, was trying to get Morant’s attention for an autograph at Monday’s game against San Antonio when two people swiped her special ball. Hughes, of Forrest City, Arkansas, had collected players’ signatures on the ball for the past six years. Hearing of her plight through social media, Morant reached out to her family, invited her to Wednesday night’s rematch against the Spurs and then gave her his game-worn jersey and Ja 1 Nike shoes, which haven’t been released to the public yet.
Red Sox infielder Trevor Story had surgery on his throwing elbow and appears likely to miss a significant portion of the 2023 season. Boston says Story underwent an internal bracing procedure on his right ulnar collateral ligament a day earlier. Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister operated at Texas Metroplex Institute in Arlington, Texas. The internal brace procedure repairs an existing ulnar collateral ligament instead of a full reconstruction involved in Tommy John surgery. The less-invasive option has the potential to allow for quicker recovery. Still, that timeframe can be five to six months.
Rafael Devers has $75 million in deferred salaries in his new contract with the Boston Red Sox, who committed $331 million over 11 seasons to the third baseman but will not fully pay the money until 2043. Boston on Wednesday finalized a 10-year contract worth $313.5 million that covers 2024-33 and follows a $17.5 million, one-year agreement reached on Jan. 3.
Devers' long-term deal includes a $20 million signing bonus, of which $5 million is payable each February from 2023-26. He gets salaries of $27.5 million a year from 2024-26, $31 million annually from 2027-30 and $29 million per season from 2031-33. In each season of the long-term deal, $7.5 million will be deferred. The money will be payable 10 years after the season in which is is earned, half on Feb. 1 and half on Nov. 30. Devers would receive a $2 million assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team.
Devers was the AL’s starting All-Star third baseman each of the past two years. In 141 games last season, he batted .295 with 42 doubles, 27 home runs and 88 RBIs.
Boston hopes to bounce back after finishing last in the AL East at 78-84. The Red Sox won 92 games in 2021 and reached the AL Championship Series.
Last week, the Red Sox agreed to a $21.7 million, two-year contract with third baseman Justin Turner. His deal includes a $8.3 million salary this year and a $13.4 million player option for 2024 with a $6.7 million buyout. Turner can earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses this year based on plate appearances: $200,000 for 480 plate appearances and each additional 20 through 560.
In an era dominated by WAR and OPS, Carlos Correa’s free-agent destination was decided by MRIs. Turns out the Minnesota Twins had a leg up on keeping the All-Star shortstop because of their doctors’ comfort with his surgically repaired right leg. San Francisco balked at finalizing a $350 million, 13-year contract and the New York Mets hesitated to close a $315 million, 12-year deal, both after a scan of Correa’s tibia alarmed their physicians. Minnesota’s medical staff felt more comfortable with an ankle repaired in 2014. The Twins went ahead with a $200 million, six-year agreement.
Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel says quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol and has been ruled out for Sunday’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa has not yet been cleared to return to football activities. The Dolphins are preparing for rookie Skylar Thompson to be their starter when they face the Bills for the third time this season. Backup Teddy Bridgewater is working his way back to full strength after dislocating his pinky finger.
Lamar Jackson was again absent from practice during the portion open to reporters. The Baltimore star hasn’t practiced since injuring his knee in a Dec. 4 win over Denver. There was no sign of him Wednesday as the Ravens prepared for Sunday night’s playoff opener at Cincinnati. Jackson missed the final five games of the regular season. Tyler Huntley started the first four of those, but he has been dealing with shoulder issues and did not play in the regular-season finale. Anthony Brown started that game.
The Dallas Cowboys are focusing on a playoff reboot with a defense that wasn't as dominant late in the season as it was early. Dallas visits Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a wild-card game Monday night. Safety Jayron Kearse is making a hard turn to 2023. He says the regular season doesn't matter anymore. Defense carried the Cowboys to a 4-1 record in the five games quarterback Dak Prescott missed after breaking a thumb in a loss to the Bucs in the opener. That unit wasn't nearly as dominant in the final four weeks before the playoffs.
Wild-card weekend is all about familiarity. All six games feature teams that already faced off this season, including three matchups between division rivals going head-to-head for the third time and two clubs playing each other in back-to-back weeks. Bust out the popcorn. It should be a wild weekend. The action kicks off Saturday with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers are the hottest team in the NFL, entering the postseason on a 10-game winning streak that gave them the NFC’s No. 2 seed. The Seahawks walked off the field last week uncertain about their playoff berth and got in when the Detroit Lions upset Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
Heisman-winning tailback, dies at 64
Charles White, the Southern California tailback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1979, died Wednesday. He was 64. USC announced the death of White, who is still the Trojans’ career rushing leader with 6,245 yards. The nine-year NFL veteran died of cancer, the school said. A two-time All-American, White won a national title in 1978 before claiming the Heisman in the following season, when he captained the Trojans and led the nation in yards rushing. White led the Trojans in rushing in each of his final three seasons. He played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams.
WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
The World University Games start today in New York’s North Country. About 1,400 college athletes from 50 counties are competing over the next week and a half. As the official host, Lake Placid has been preparing for these games for years, but it’s still unclear what kind of impact they’ll have on the village.