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Sports Report: Bills Hire Kathryn Smith As First Full-Time Female Coach

Kathryn Smith
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NFL:

The Buffalo Bills have made Kathryn Smith the first full-time female member of an NFL coaching staff. Smith has been hired as the Bills' special teams quality control coach. She spent last season working as an administrative assistant for Bills coaches on Rex Ryan's staff. Before that, Smith had a 12-year run working in various capacities for the New York Jets, including a player personnel assistant from 2007-13.

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory has been added to the Pro Bowl roster, replacing injured Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy. Ivory was named a first alternate when Pro Bowl selections were announced last month. It's the first time Ivory will participate in the game, which will be played January 31st at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.

New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming says he didn't hesitate when he saw a woman trapped in a smoking car. He says he kicked out the window, enabling her to escape. Fleming was on his way home from practice last Thursday when the accident happened. He received 22 stitches for cuts on his right calf, but played in last week's playoff game anyway.

Reports indicate that suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has applied to the NFL for reinstatement. That's according to a person with direct knowledge of the process. Gordon was banned for a year in February for multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy. He failed an alcohol test last year, wiping out his 2015 season. Gordon will have to prove sustained abstinence during his suspension in order to be reinstated.

Kansas City's Andy Reid will coach one team and Green Bay's Mike McCarthy will be on the other side for the Pro Bowl on Jan. 31. Players were selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. The Pro Bowl format first was used in the 2014 game. Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was added to the Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. Carr originally was an alternate.

NBA:

In the NBA, New York topped Utah in overtime 118-111, Toronto bested Boston 115-109, Cleveland won against Brooklyn 91-78, Philadelphia beat Orlando 96-87, Detroit defeated Houston 123-114, Golden State crushed Chicago 125-94, Dallas squeaked by Minnesota in overtime 106-94, Atlanta beat Portland 104-98, Sacramento defeated the Lakers 112-93, Oklahoma City won against Charlotte 109-95, and it was Washington over Miami 106-87.

The New York Knicks are worth $3 billion, highest in the NBA, according to Forbes. Forbes said Wednesday in its annual ranking of franchise valuations that the Knicks regained the top spot from the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to a 20 percent value increase from 2015. It says the increase was driven by a new cable deal and the highest premium-seating revenue in the league.

The Lakers have a value of $2.7 billion. The Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers rounded out the top five. Forbes says the average NBA team is now worth $1.3 billion, a 13 percent increase from 2015, and the $5.2 billion in revenue teams generated last season was a record for the league.

NHL:

In the NHL, Colorado beat Buffalo 2-1, St. Louis edged Detroit 2-1, and it was Anaheim over Minnesota 3-1.

NCAA:

In women’s college basketball, No. 1 UConn humiliated UCF 106-51.

MLB:

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner says reliever Aroldis Chapman is "innocent until proven otherwise." New York acquired Chapman from Cincinnati last month, after a proposed trade between the Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers came apart when a Florida police investigation into an accusation of domestic violence involving the Cuban left-hander became public.

Junichi Tazawa and the Boston Red Sox have avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.375 million. As part of the agreement, Tazawa could earn a $25,000 performance bonus for pitching in 70 games. The deal is not guaranteed.

A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that free agent reliever Antonio Bastardo and the NL champion New York Mets have agreed to terms on a $12 million, two-year contract. Bastardo was 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA and one save in 66 games last season for Pittsburgh, helping the Pirates claim an NL wild card. The left-hander had 64 strikeouts and 26 walks in 57 1-3 innings.

Golf:

Rory McIlroy began 2016 with a masterful display of driving to set up a 6-under 66 at the Abu Dhabi Championship, upstaging top-ranked playing partner Jordan Spieth in the first round on Thursday. McIlroy was one stroke behind early leader Henrik Stenson (65) after rolling in eight birdies in his first appearance after two months off, during which he underwent laser eye surgery.

Spieth scrambled well to shoot a 68 but was put in the shade by McIlroy on a warm, wind-free morning. Spieth, who was warned about slow play late in his round, said "it was the Rory that I have seen win majors. It was spectacular." Stenson birdied five of his last eight holes in his first round after keyhole surgery on his right knee in December.

Tennis:

Andy Murray continues to be a rude guest at the Australian Open. The second-seeded Murray maintained his perfect record against Australian opponents when he defeated Sam Groth 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 in a second-round match. It was his 17th consecutive win against players from Down Under.

American John Isner and 13th Milos Raonic also advanced to the third round. The 10th-seeded Isner won a pair of tiebreaks in a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 victory over Marcel Granollers.

Women's third seed Garbine Muguruza had little trouble winning her second-round match, beating Kirsten Flipkens, 6-4, 6-2. No. 14 Victoria Azarenka, 15th seed Madison Keys and No. 18 Ana Ivanovic also advanced.

The Ivanovic match was suspended when a female spectator fell on the stairs at Rod Laver Arena. Ivanovic was up a service break and leading 4-3 in the first set when medical personnel rushed to the woman's aid in the upper level of the 15,000-seat stadium. Tournament organizers said the woman was treated in the stadium before taken away on a stretcher for observation. American Vania King was a loser in her second-round match.

©2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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