Wednesday's Sports in Brief

Wednesday's Sports in Brief
November 1, 2012, 7:46 am
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NEW YORK (AP) The Knicks-Nets game that was scheduled for Thursday night at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn has been postponed at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's request after damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Though the NBA had said Tuesday night the game would go on as planned, Bloomberg asked the league that it be called off.

The Barclays Center sits above a subway station and commuter rail terminal and with most of mass transit still out in New York, transportation to the game would have been difficult.

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract extension with the Rockets, then went out and celebrated with 37 points and 12 assists in a sensational debut in Houston's 105-96 victory over the Pistons.

The Rockets acquired the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in a stunning trade with Oklahoma City on Saturday night.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2016-17 season.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Lakers lost guard Steve Nash to a bruised left leg late in the first half their game against the Trail Blazers.

Nash, acquired by the Lakers this summer, collided with Damian Lillard and limped to the locker room. Although the team initially reported he was fine, Nash struggled when he returned for the second half and left the game for good a short time later.


NEW YORK (AP) - The New York City Marathon is a go for Sunday, and while logistical questions persist one thing is certain: The 26-mile route will have a disaster for a backdrop.

Race organizers were still trying to assess how widespread damage from Superstorm Sandy might affect plans, including getting runners into the city and transporting them to the start line on Staten Island. Easing their worries a bit was news that 14 of the city's 23 subway lines were expected to be operating by Thursday morning - though none below 34th Street, an area that includes the terminal for the ferries that go to the island.


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sent to serve his child molestation prison sentence at an institution in far southwestern Pennsylvania that includes most of the state's death row inmates.

The Corrections Department said Sandusky was transferred to Greene State Prison after being evaluated at a facility outside Harrisburg. Prison officials said he will be housed in protective custody.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The attorney for New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma filed a court brief in the bounties case with an email from a former assistant coach who called the Saints a ``dirty organization.''

The email from Mike Cerullo to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello is part of a motion that seeks to block former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue from hearing appeals of the alleged program to pay for injury-producing hits. Vilma claims that Cerullo had a vendetta against Saints interim coach Joe Vitt after being fired.

The motion by Vilma's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, also challenges the NFL's plan to have Cerullo and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams testify by telephone at the hurricane-delayed appeals hearing. Ginsberg writes that both men should be at the hearing if it goes forward.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said there is no truth to the reports that Jacksonville is pursuing Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.

A local television station reported that the Jaguars and New York were talking about a trade involving the former Florida Gators star.

Mularkey said there are no discussions ``that I am aware of.''


Arguing that ``football has become the site of perhaps the gravest health crisis in the history of sports,'' lawyers for thousands of former NFL players asked a judge to reject the league's bid to dismiss their lawsuits about concussions.

In a brief filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the players dispute the league's framing of the cases as a labor issue that should be governed by the sport's collective bargaining agreements instead of the legal system.

Among the players' arguments: Relevant CBAs did not address long-term brain injuries, the NFL committed fraud by concealing risks of repeated head trauma, and the league has a common-law duty to protect players.


Rafael Soriano is poised to leave the New York Yankees, Ervin Santana is headed to Kansas City and Ryan Ludwick plans to test the open market.

Soriano opted out of the final year of his $35 million, three-year contract and will likely seek a long-term deal in free agency. The right-hander had 42 saves for the Yankees last season after longtime closer Mariano Rivera tore knee ligaments in early May.

The Royals made their first move toward shoring up their shaky rotation, acquiring Santana from the Los Angeles Angels for minor league reliever Brandon Sisk.

Santana was an All-Star in 2008 and threw a no-hitter in 2011, but struggled with the long ball this year.

The Royals declined their $8 million club option on closer Joakim Soria after he had elbow ligament-replacement surgery and missed last season. Soria will receive a $750,000 buyout.

All-Stars David Wright ($16 million) and R.A. Dickey ($5 million) had their contract options picked up by the New York Mets.

Tampa Bay exercised options on pitcher James Shields ($9.5 million), closer Fernando Rodney ($2.5 million) and catcher Jose Molina ($1.5 million). The Rays declined a $6 million option on designated hitter Luke Scott, instead paying him a $1 million buyout.

Ludwick and Cincinnati Reds teammate Ryan Madson became free agents when they declined mutual contract options.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A Halloween treat came hours early for San Francisco Giants baseball fans who turned out by the thousand - many climbing trees and rooftops - to cheer on the World Series champions during a confetti-drenched parade through the heart of town.

Fans in the team's holiday-appropriate orange and black stood 30 deep for a chance to see their favorite players wave from convertibles and get serenaded by Tony Bennett singing ``I Left My Heart in San Francisco.''

Series MVP Pablo Sandoval, who swatted three home runs in his first three at bats in Game 1, and second baseman Marco Scutaro, who batted in the winning run of the game that clinched the title, addressed the throngs at the rally in Spanish.

Clouds of black, orange and white confetti were shot from cannons positioned on roofs and along the canyon-like, skyscraper-lined street. Spectators and parade participants, who included legendary Giants alumni Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal and politicians such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, reveled in the showers.

The unifying energy of the Giants' latest victory was evident as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith drove the car carrying Giants pitcher Matt Cain and his family, while 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh did the honors for first baseman Brandon Belt.


LONDON (AP) - Disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong has been chosen as the latest celebrity to be burned in effigy during an English town's nationally famous Bonfire Night celebrations.

Edenbridge in southeast England has built a 30-foot model of Armstrong, who was stripped recently of his seven Tour de France titles for doping offenses.

The effigy, to be burnt Saturday, sports a sign saying ``For sale, racing bike, no longer required.''(backslash)


PARIS (AP) - Sam Querrey recovered from a humiliating first set to beat second-seeded Novak Djokovic 0-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday.

It was the first time since the Miami Masters in March 2010 that Djokovic has been eliminated so early in a tournament.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Caroline Wozniacki defeated Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions.


LONDON (AP) - Chelsea came from behind three times against Manchester United and advanced to the League Cup quarterfinals behind Ramires' goal in the 116th minute.

Three days after losing an acrimonious Premier League match to United 3-2, Chelsea was on the verge of elimination before Eden Hazard's penalty kick tied the score 3-3 in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time.