National Sports

Packers-Falcons, Steelers-Patriots for Super Bowl berths

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer Tom Brady vs. Ben Roethlisberger. Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Ryan. Quite a quartet of QBs is heading to the NFL's conference championship games next weekend: Brady's New England Patriots host Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC, and Rodgers' ...

Bell carries Steelers into AFC title game in New England

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Le'Veon Bell deftly danced his way through the teeth of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Next, he'll carry Pittsburgh Steelers off to New England. With his amusingly patient, maddeningly effective running style, Bell followed ...

Cavs and Warriors headline MLK Day for the NBA

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Basketball Writer There are days the NBA holds dear, days the league sets even more emphasis on putting its best foot forward. Opening night, Christmas Day, All-Star weekend. They are all important dates for the league to engage its fans, grab ratings and put on a show. ...

Federer returns with a win, joins Murray in 2nd round

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer returned from a six-month layoff to beat fellow 35-year-old Jurgen Melzer just before midnight on day one of the Australian Open, agreeing it felt a bit like coming home. The 17-time major winner hadn't played at tour ...

On ballot for final time, Tim Raines hopes for Hall entry

By SEAN FARRELL, Associated Press MONTREAL (AP) — The 1982 All-Star Game at Olympic Stadium was the first outside the United States, the host Montreal Expos giving the event a distinctive international flair. As Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ...

Matt Ryan is keeping some special company these days

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Matt Ryan is keeping some special company these days. Well, maybe it's Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger who should be looking up to Ryan. The Atlanta passer is, after all, the All-Pro quarterback. When the ...

Arrieta, Harper, Machado, Britton get big-money deals

By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, Washington star Bryce Harper and Baltimore standouts Manny Machado and Zach Britton got big-money deals Friday as more than 100 major leaguers reached agreements for 2017 and left just 27 players on track for ...

Thomas sets records and moves closer to winning

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer HONOLULU (AP) — Justin Thomas put his name in the PGA Tour record book two days in a row. The idea now is to get his name on the trophy. And with each record, that becomes a little easier at the Sony Open. Thomas set the course record Thursday at Waialae ...

Tennis stars look forward to start of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Two days before the Australian Open begins, a stream of top players fronted news conferences Saturday to talk about their chances in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. Here are excerpts of what they said: ___ — Novak Djokovic handed out dairy free, ...

Lindsey Vonn’s WCup comeback race delayed due to snowfall

By ERIC WILLEMSEN, Associated Press ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (AP) — Lindsey Vonn's return to World Cup skiing has been delayed for at least a day after snowfall forced the cancellation of downhill training and the race itself on Saturday. Organizers moved the program to Sunday, with ...

Klinsmann believes US Soccer made progress before his firing

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurgen Klinsmann is proud of his half-decade in charge of the U.S. national team, and the coach believes he left successor Bruce Arena in a position to make the Americans even better. Klinsmann made his first public remarks since his ...

Arrieta skipping White House trip, cites family reasons

By JAY COHEN, AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — When the World Series champion Chicago Cubs visit President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, star pitcher Jake Arrieta won't be with them. Arrieta said he needs to be home — his mother-in-law is recovering from brain surgery, son ...

No. 8 Creighton beats No. 12 Butler to match its best start

By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Maurice Watson Jr. says he and his Creighton teammates followed the script perfectly against Butler, putting the Bulldogs away early by playing a blistering first half. "We start every game saying we want to come out and cook every team," ...

Match-fixing back in spotlight on eve of first Grand Slam

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press For Rafael Nadal and the other stars of tennis, there's a familiar ring to the questions being raised as the first ball is about to be struck at the Australian Open. Recent match-fixing sanctions and a new case are bringing fresh scrutiny to the integrity ...

Column: Mayweather in search of attention, not a fight

By TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Columnist Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants attention more than he wants a fight. And, really, let's be truthful here. It wouldn't be much of a fight if Mayweather and Conor McGregor met in a boxing ring. Put them in a UFC cage and it might be different. Mayweather has ...

Momentum with Man United as Liverpool heads to Old Trafford

By STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer MANCHESTER, England (AP) — With Manchester United on its longest winning run in eight years, it's tempting to conclude that a giant of English soccer is starting to resemble the force of old. Some perspective is needed, however, when assessing United's ...

Ovechkin scores twice, passes 1,000 points as Caps beat Pens

By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Nothing about Alex Ovechkin the showman surprises the Washington Capitals anymore. That Ovechkin carried them on his back with two goals as they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 Wednesday night for their seventh consecutive victory was ...

Canceled downhill training postpones Vonn comeback for a day

ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (AP) — Lindsey Vonn's return to World Cup skiing has been postponed for a day after downhill training was canceled Thursday because of bad weather. The International Ski Federation says the Kaelberloch course could not be prepared "due to excessive snowfall" in ...

No. 9 FSU beats No. 7 Duke for record 12th straight win

By JOE REEDY, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State celebrated its return to the top 10 with another impressive performance, wearing down Duke with its size and depth. Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half, helping the ninth-ranked Seminoles ...

NHL All-Star Game rules force tough omissions on rosters

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Hockey Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NHL All-Star Game's 3-on-3, four-team tournament format put an intriguing spin on a staid exercise when it was introduced last season. The format also essentially guaranteed a few glaring snubs when the All-Star teams are chosen. All ...