BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Jake Seiner, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at email@example.com or 877-836-9477. All times EST.
A bad Super Bowl and a week short on big events have AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg scanning the calendar and ranking the best days in sports. Also, AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi joins them for the “Brady or Belichick” debate and predict which teams _ not named the Patriots _ might turn up in the 2020 big game. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
BKC--EMPTYING THE BENCH
TEMPE, Ariz. _ The players at the end of the bench watch the score running up and the clock winding down, wondering when it will be their turn to finally get a chance to play. Most of the time, it doesn’t happen until the final minute _ even when a game has long been out of reach. The reasons vary, from coaches fearing a big comeback to wanting their teams to finish off a full 40-minute game. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ Chad Knaus got his first big break at Hendrick Motorsports when he was picked to build a team from scratch around a rookie driver who had done very little to prove he belonged at NASCAR’s top level. The pairing with Jimmie Johnson led to a record-tying seven championships and cemented the No. 48 team as the very best in the sport. But the Knaus and Johnson relationship could be fragile despite their 17-year friendship and the strain of underperforming last year took its toll on both driver and crew chief. So Knaus was given a new project and moved to the No. 24 team to lead a rebuild while developing second-year driver William Byron. The winningest crew chief in the garage is essentially starting over. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by noon.
BOSTON _ Rajon Rondo hit a 20-foot jumper as time expired to lift the Los Angeles Lakers over the Boston Celtics 129-128. LeBron James had 28 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Kyle Kuzma added 25 points and Rondo 17 points and 10 assists to help Los Angeles bounce back after a 42-point loss at Indiana. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 840 words, photos.
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, has died. He was 83. Robinson had been in hospice care at his home in Bel Air. Robinson hit 586 career home runs and won the Triple Crown while leading the Baltimore Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966. Commissioner Rob Manfred says Robinson’s resume is “without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense.” By David Ginsburg and Ben Walker. SENT: 1890 words, photos.
Toronto, Milwaukee and Philadelphia made their moves. Anthony Davis will have to wait until the summer for his. The New Orleans Pelicans held onto Davis but dealt Nikola Mirotic to the Bucks, one of the Eastern Conference contenders who fortified their teams on Thursday before the NBA trade deadline. The Raptors are getting center former All-Star center Marc Gasol from Memphis. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 720 words, photos.
The Memphis Grizzlies have taken another big step toward rebuilding their roster, trading center Marc Gasol. That leaves Mike Conley as the lone remaining piece from the core four of the franchise’s best success. And Conley’s tenure might come to end this summer. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 810 words, photos.
NEW ORLEANS _ The New Orleans Pelicans say they have decided to play six-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis during the remainder of the season. By Brett Martel. SENT: 830 words, photos.
BKN--NBA TRADES-WINNERS AND LOSERS
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, with more than 20 teams swinging deals and more than 20 draft picks changing hands in the days leading up to the closing of the window at 3 p.m. Thursday. Some of those draft picks extend until 2024. That means these deals will impact the NBA for years. But in the short term, Dallas, Philadelphia, the Clippers, Washington, Milwaukee, Toronto, Houston and Erik Spoelstra should all be happy right now. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1230 words, photos.
LeBron James finally has Anthony Davis as a teammate, at least for one game. His Los Angeles Lakers were unable to swing a deal for Davis, but James drafted the New Orleans Pelicans star when he and fellow captain Giannis Antetokounmpo sat down to choose their teams for the Feb. 17 All-Star Game in Charlotte. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 660 words, photos.
LINCOLN, Neb. _ Nebraska is on a six-game losing streak as it heads into its visit to No. 15 Purdue on Saturday. The downturn comes after the Cornhuskers opened the season with wins in 11 of their first 13 games. They were picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten but now sit in 13th place. Nebraska is shooting 33 percent and averaging 59 points during the losing streak. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 770 words, photos by 3 a.m.
ORLANDO, Fla. _ Baseball owners and players are hoping to invigorate the sport with rule changes, though some of the more radical ideas under consideration are not likely to be adapted for this season. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 720 words, photos.
The St. Louis Cardinals knew they were short a couple of pieces last season, even though they were in contention to make the playoffs until the final week. They may have plugged those holes with a trade for All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and star reliever Andrew Miller. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 720 words, photos by 3 a.m.
The Chicago Cubs begin spring training with largely the same group of players who blew a five-game lead in the NL Central last September and lost to Colorado in 13 innings in the NL wild-card game. Chicago’s biggest move might have been the one it didn’t make. Manager Joe Maddon did not receive a contract extension, sending him into the final year of his current deal with an uncertain future. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 690 words, photos by 3 a.m.
ANAHEIM, Calif. _ Bradie Tennell of the United States leads after the short program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, with defending champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan in second and American Mariah Bell third. Tennell skated her best short program in an international competition and earned a score of 73.91, two points higher than what she scored at Golden Spin earlier this season. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES
_ BKW--TOP 25 CAPSULES
Friday Time Schedule
All Times EST
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 3 Oregon at California, 11 p.m.
No. 7 Oregon State at No. 11 Stanford, 9 p.m.
No. 8 Marquette vs. Georgetown, 8 p.m.
No. 17 Utah vs. Southern Cal, 9 p.m.
Cleveland at Washington, 7 p.m.
Denver at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
New York at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Golden State at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Minnesota at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m.
Miami at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Carolina at N.Y. Rangers, 8 p.m.