Sports Report: MAAC Tournament Under Way
In the NBA, Miami beat Phoenix 108-92, San Antonio defeated New Orleans 94-86, Sacramento won against Dallas 104-101, and it was Golden State over Oklahoma City 121-106.
Carmelo Anthony says the decision to issue an apology for his interaction with a fan was made by Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan. Anthony told a heckling fan Tuesday during the Knicks' loss to Portland to ask Dolan for his money back, pointing to the owner sitting nearby. On Wednesday, the Knicks sent a statement on Anthony's behalf in which he said he shouldn't have responded the way he did.
Anthony says he spoke to Dolan, who felt it would be best to apologize. "It was Mr. Dolan's decision," Anthony says Thursday after practice. Anthony adds that it was written in collaboration with the Knicks, saying: "We sat down and we talked about it. Everybody thought it would be a good idea to send out an apology." A spokesman for Dolan declined to comment.
In the NHL, Buffalo doubled up Calgary 6-3, Boston topped Chicago 4-2, Pittsburgh won against the Rangers 4-1, New Jersey edged Nashville in overtime 5-4, the Islanders skated by Winnipeg in overtime 4-3, Anaheim beat Arizona 5-1, Colorado defeated Florida 3-2, San Jose bested Vancouver 3-2, Edmonton blanked Philadelphia 4-0, Minnesota edged Toronto 2-1, Tampa Bay trumped Ottawa 4-1, and it was Los Angeles over Montreal 3-2.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could once again be facing a four-game suspension for the scandal known as Deflategate. A federal appeals court in Manhattan gave a players' union lawyer a tough time yesterday, with one judge even saying evidence of ball tampering was "compelling, if not overwhelming," and there was evidence to support a finding that Brady "knew about it, consented to it, encouraged it."
The Texans have released franchise rushing leader Arian Foster after seven seasons. The four-time Pro Bowler missed 12 games last season with groin and Achilles tendon injuries. Foster led the NFL in rushing with 1,616 yards in 2010. He leaves Houston with a franchise-record 6,472 yards rushing.
In other NFL notes:
— Defensive end Charles Johnson has been released by the Carolina Panthers. The move will save the team $11 million under the 2016 NFL salary cap. Johnson played for the Panthers for nine seasons, and is second in sacks in tea history.
— The Colts have made a qualifying offer to tight end Jack Doyle, meaning the team has the right to match any offer Doyle might get from another club. Doyle has 35 receptions for 209 yards and three TDs in 47 games.
— The Bills have restructured the contract of defensive back Corey Graham to help free up salary cap room. The nine-year veteran was owed a combined $6.35 million in base salary over the final two seasons of his contract.
Scott Piercy and Marcus Frazier share the lead after the opening round of the Cadillac Championship after their 6-under 66 at Doral. Phil Mickelson trails by a shot and No. 1-ranked Jordan Spieth is three back.
There is a two-way tie for the lead after the first 18 holes of the LPGA event in Singapore. Australian teenager Minjee Lee and Taiwan's Candie Kung each opened with a 5-under 67. Defending champion Inbee Park is among a group of four players tied for third at 4-under 68, while world No. 1 Lydia Ko and American Lexi Thompson both shot rounds of 1-under 71.
The MAAC Tournament is underway in Albany as No. 8 Rider beat No. 9 Quinnipiac 60-57, No. 7 Canisius topped No. 10 Niagara 102-97 in triple overtime, and No. 6 Manhattan blasted No. 11 Marist 81-63. No. 3 Siena will take on No. 6 Manhattan at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Canisius College men's basketball coach Jim Baron has agreed to a three-year contract extension that will lock him through the 2019-20 season. The deal was announced Thursday, shortly before Canisius faced Niagara in the opening round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament at Albany.
The extension is a reward for Baron, who in four seasons has provided stability after taking over for Tom Parrotta, who was fired after going 64-121 in six seasons. The Golden Griffins are 72-60 under Baron. They had winning records in his first three seasons and are currently 13-18. Baron has a 461-429 career record over 29 seasons, including stints at Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. Canisius also announced that Baron's assistant, Pat Clarke, has been promoted to associate head coach.
In college women's basketball, North Carolina State built a big first quarter lead and cruised to a 76-60 victory over Boston College last night in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Miah Spencer scored 17 points, and Jennifer Mathurin added 15 for North Carolina, which will face Number 3 seed Syracuse in a quarterfinal game today. Nicole Boudreau scored 16 points, and Kelly Hughes added 14 to lead Number 14 Boston College.
Rhode Island took control early and beat Massachusetts 68-50 last night. Kuran Iverson had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Jared Terrell added 15 points, and Andre Berry and Earl Watson had 10 apiece for Rhode Island, which is tied with Davidson for sixth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Rashaan Holloway led UMass with 11 points.
Eighth-seeded Rider dropped Number 9-seed Quinnipiac 60-57 in a Metro Atlantic tournament first round game last night. Jimmie Taylor scored 18 points with five 3-pointers, and Teddy Okereafor hit a couple of big free throws late for Rider, which will face top-seeded Monmouth in the quarterfinals today. Quinnipiac was led by Abdulai Bundu with 13 points, James Ford finished with 12 and Chaise Daniels added 10.
Jonny Gomes has wasted no time getting into the swing in Japan. After agreeing a one-year deal with the Rakuten Eagles, Gomes hit a home run in just his second preseason game on Friday. Batting cleanup, Gomes hit a two-run homer in the first inning to help the Eagles win 11-2 over the Seibu Lions. He was hitless in his first game on Thursday. The 35-year-old outfielder hit 162 home runs over 13 seasons in Major League Baseball.
The world champion Royals may have to start the new season without outfielder Jarrod (jur-RAHD') Dyson. He is expected to miss the start of the campaign after straining his oblique while batting during the team's spring training opener. This type of injury typically takes about six weeks to heal, and manager Ned Yost says Dyson will likely begin the season on the disabled list.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Brett Anderson, a projected starter in the Dodgers' rotation, faces back surgery and is expected to miss three-to-five months. Anderson has a bulging disk in his lower back and was scheduled for an operation at a Phoenix hospital. A 28-year-old left-hander, Anderson was 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA last season.
— Detroit center fielder Cameron Maybin is expected to miss four to six weeks because of a broken left wrist. He suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch in a spring training game Wednesday.
Australian Bernard Tomic defeated American Jack Sock 7-6 (2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 today to even their first-round World Group Davis Cup match 1-1. Earlier, John Isner gave the U.S. the lead with a 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2 win over Sam Groth on grass at Kooyong, the former home of the Australian Open. On Saturday, Groth and John Peers are scheduled to play doubles against Bob and Mike Bryan, although that lineup can be changed on the morning of the match. There is reverse singles on Sunday.
Maria Sharapova will miss next week's BNP Paribas Open because of a left forearm injury. The No. 7 ranked player hasn't competed since losing to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January.
Despite an outbreak of the Zika virus, Michael Phelps says his fiance and newborn son will accompany him to the Rio Olympics.
Nicole Johnson is due to give birth to the couple's first child in May. She is with Phelps this week at the Arena Pro Series meet in Orlando, Florida, one of the key tuneup events for the Olympics that begin Aug. 5.
Phelps tells The Associated Press he's "not worried" about the virus, but adds: "I think if you go into any Olympics, there's always something that comes up."
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