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Sports Report: A-Rod Says He Will Retire At End Of Contract

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In the NBA, Boston beat Toronto 91-79, New York topped Chicago 115-107, Atlanta won against Washington 122-101, Cleveland bested Milwaukee 113-104, Detroit defeated Orlando 118-102, Minnesota bested Sacramento 113-104, Utah beat Houston 89-87, San Antonio won against Miami 112-88, Denver edged Philadelphia 104-103, Portland topped Dallas 109-103, Phoenix beat the Lakers 119-107, and it was Golden State over the Clippers 114-98.

L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers expects Blake Griffin to return before the regular season ends from a broken hand the star forward suffered by punching an assistant equipment manager. Griffin isn't practicing yet with Los Angeles. But he is running and shooting again. Rivers says Griffin is "doing great. He looks pretty good, so that's why I feel confident."


In the NHL, the Rangers bested Boston 5-2 and it was the Islanders over Ottawa 3-1.


Alex Rodriguez says he plans to retire from baseball after the 2017 season. The New York Yankees slugger returned last season from a one-year drug suspension. He has 687 home runs, 75 shy of Barry Bonds' career record. His 10-year contract with the Yankees runs through 2017.

The Washington Nationals rolled to a 13-0 win over the New York Yankees last night. Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka allowed seven runs in his fourth spring training start. Tanaka allowed a solo home run to Washington's Stephen Drew and a two-run homer to Wilson Ramos in a six-run third inning.

The Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Mets 3-1 yesterday. Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left in the fourth inning after being hit on the right hand by a Bartolo Colon pitch. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says Tulowitzki was struck on the knuckles. Colon limited the Blue Jays to three hits over six scoreless innings.

Forbes estimates the New York Yankees are worth $3.4 billion, up 6 percent from last year and the highest evaluation for the 19th straight year. In its annual rankings, Forbes claims the average value of a Major League Baseball team increased 7 percent in the last year to $1.3 billion. It projects the Los Angeles Dodgers as second at $2.5 billion, followed by Boston at $2.3 billion.

In other spring training news:

— Veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will be the starting pitcher for the Phillies in their season opener at Cincinnati on April 4. The 28-year old went 9-12 with Arizona last season before being traded to the Phillies on Nov. 14. He has given up one run in three starts this spring.

— The Blue Jays have announced that Marcus Stroman will be their opening day starter on April 3 when they play at Tampa. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says Stroman might also get the start for the home opener on April 8 against Boston.

— Cole Hamels has been picked to start on opening day for the AL West champion Texas Rangers. They open up at home on April 4 against Seattle. Hamels will be the seventh different Texas starter on opening day in as many years. Hamels went 7-1 in 12 starts after the Rangers got him in a trade with the Phillies last July 31.


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is looking into the possibility of playing games in China. Speaking to reporters after the end of league meetings in Florida, Goodell said the league will continue to play games in London as well as Mexico and that China is just too big of a market to ignore.

Roger Goodell will not be returning the draft picks stripped from the New England Patriots for the use of deflated footballs in the 2014 AFC championship game. The NFL commissioner said yesterday at the owners' meetings that he responded to a letter from Patriots owner Robert Kraft seeking reinstatement of the first-round selection in next month's draft and a fourth-rounder in 2017.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the New York Jets have restructured the contract of left guard James Carpenter, creating some much-needed salary cap space. Carpenter agreed to convert $3.69 million of his $4.45 million salary for this season into a signing bonus yesterday.

Elsewhere around the NFL:

— The New Orleans Saints have agreed to a new five-year contract with coach Sean Payton. The deal will run through the 2020 season. Payton had two years remaining on his current deal at about $8 million per season. Payton is 87-57 in nine seasons in New Orleans. He has led the Saints to five playoff appearances and one Super Bowl title.

— The Indianapolis Colts signed free agent cornerback Patrick Robinson. He was a 2010 first-round draft pick out of Florida State, who played his first five seasons with New Orleans. In 2015, Robinson started all 16 games with the San Diego Chargers.

— Free agent punter Bryan Anger has signed with Tampa Bay after spending his first four seasons in the NFL with Jacksonville. Anger was a third-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2012 and has averaged 46.8 yards per punt during his career, the second-highest mark in league history.


Nevada beat Vermont 86-72 last night in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational Tournament. Cameron Oliver scored 23, on 9-of-16 shooting, with 11 rebounds, and D.J. Fenner had 21 points to lead Nevada. Bell-Haynes and Ernie Duncan led Vermont with 19 points apiece. Drew Urquhart scored 12 on 5-of-7 shooting.

The NCAA men's basketball tournament resumes after a four-day break with regional semifinals at two sites Thursday night. Villanova and Miami meet in the first game of the South regional, followed by No. 1 overall seed Kansas taking on Maryland.

John Calipari says that every Kentucky player eligible to declare will submit their names for this year's NBA draft. Guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray and 6-foot-11 Skal Labissiere are considered likely draft choices, but Calipari said walk-ons will also declare. Freshmen Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard won't because they will not turn 19 this year.

In other NBA draft news, Providence sophomore Ben Bentil says that he will declare for the NBA draft but not hire an agent, leaving open the option to return to school. The 6-foot-9 Bentil had a breakout season, leading the Big East in scoring at 21.2 points per game and averaging 7.7 rebounds.

Washington freshmen Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray have both declared for the NBA draft and will hire agents, ending their college careers after one season. Chriss averaged 13.7 points a game. Murray, a 6-foot-4 guard from Seattle, came on as the season progressed. He averaged 16.4 points, 6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Florida State freshman Dwayne Bacon announced he will submit his name for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent. He's a 6-foot-7 guard.


For the first time in George Washington basketball history, the Colonials are going to New York for the NIT semifinals. GW held off Florida 82-77 behind Tyler Cavanaugh's 23 points. Cavanaugh was 4 for 5 from 3-point land. Next up for GW is a semifinal date with San Diego State.

San Diego State beat Georgia Tech 72-56 in the second game. Trey Kell made a career-high tying four 3-poiners and finished with 18. They join Valparaiso and BYU for the semifinals in New York Tuesday in Madison Square Garden.


Jason Day overcame an early deficit to win his opening match in the Dell Match Play. Now he has to overcome a bad back after he closed out Graeme McDowell, 3-and-2. World No. 1 Jordan Spieth posted a 3-and-2 victory over Jamie Donaldson in their round-robin opener.

Figure Skating:

U.S. runner-up Polina Edmunds has withdrawn from next week's world figure skating championships because of a bone bruise in her right foot. U.S. Figure Skating has announced that Mirai Nagasu will take her place. Nagasu will be joined by Ashley Wagner and reigning U.S. champion Gracie Gold in Boston, where the women's short program will be held next Thursday.


Boston's top law enforcement official says the attacks in Belgium have added a sense of urgency to securing next month's Boston Marathon. Police Commissioner William Evans tells The Associated Press that he has no information suggesting a specific threat against the marathon, which was targeted in 2013.


Joe Garagiola, who led the way for countless former big leaguers to go into broadcasting following their playing careers, has died at 90. His nine-year playing career included helping his hometown St. Louis Cardinals win the 1946 World Series as a 20-year old rookie, but is probably better known for a decades-long TV career at NBC.

Fantasy Sports:

Key New York lawmakers are continuing efforts to legalize daily fantasy sports following Monday's agreement by its two biggest websites to stop taking bets in New York until July.

New York's Republican-controlled Senate has already backed regulating daily fantasy sports, putting that in its recent budget proposal. Sen. John Bonacic, the Middletown Republican whose committee has jurisdiction, is pushing for that. The budget deadline is March 31.

In the Democrat-controlled Assembly, J. Gary Pretlow, who chairs the committee with gambling jurisdiction, has predicted since December that the Legislature will legalize and regulate it.

But he says it will happen later, before lawmakers adjourn in June, giving them time to craft a law that will survive any legal challenges. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office says it "looks forward" to reviewing proposed legislation.


Russian athletes stand to lose an Olympic gold medal and two world championship golds after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the selective doping punishments imposed by Russian authorities were too lenient.

The court ruled that the Russian anti-doping agency had wrongly imposed bans which were timed in a way that meant the six athletes' results were not annulled and allowed them to keep major titles.

The decision means that a 2012 Olympic gold medal in the men's 50-kilometer walk is likely to pass from Russia's Sergei Kirdyapkin to Australia's Jared Tallent, subject to IAAF and IOC confirmation. China's Si Tianfeng would move up to silver, with bronze for Ireland's Rob Heffernan.

The six cases were based on the biological passport system, which tracks unusual blood values for signs of doping.

©2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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