BC-AP Sports Digest
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The miss by Bears kicker Cody Parkey won’t be easily forgotten in Chicago. Co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg discuss on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now why kickers are so expendable, and yet so vital in a league that doesn’t seem to value them nearly enough. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
How many sports fans about a year ago had heard of ONE? Try, none. But the MMA organization out of Asia is going global in 2019 and it’s making the kind of moves that shows it plans to become a player in combat sports. ONE has bolstered its roster with notable U.S.-based talent ahead of a North American television deal with Turner Sports that starts this month. ONE just announced it will host 45 events in 2019. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 a.m.
TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-CHANGING FINAL SETS
The Australian Open and Wimbledon are finally doing what the U.S. Open has done for decades: figuring out a way to end a fifth set before it becomes another 26-24 slog or — perish the thought — 70-68. While some fans and even players might still like the idea that a match could go on and on and on forever, or seemingly forever, others are thrilled about the change. One outcome is that each of the four Grand Slam tournaments now will resolve matches in a unique way, with the Australian Open — which begins Monday in Melbourne — the only one opting for a 10-point tiebreaker at 6-all in a men’s fifth set or women’s third set. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— TEN--Australian Open-What to Know. A look at some of the top story lines to keep an eye on during the two weeks in Melbourne. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
WASHINGTON _ The Wizards are set to debut a gambling-focused telecast on the regional sports network that carries their games. The telecast will offer fans the chance to predict the performances of teams and individual players during the game. For now, fans don’t have to pay to play, but the idea is to eventually offer real-time gambling through the TV or a mobile app. City lawmakers in Washington recently voted to legalize sports gambling, although the law has yet to take effect. By Ben Nuckols. UPCOMING: 720 words, photos by 3 a.m.
TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-MURRAY’S FUTURE
MELBOURNE, Australia _ A tearful Andy Murray says the Australian Open could be his last tournament because of the hip injury that has derailed his career. The 31-year-old Murray said he trained in the offseason with the main goal of making one last run at Wimbledon, where he ended the 77-year drought for British men, but now wasn’t sure he’d make it. By John Pye. SENT: 910 words, photos.
GLF--SABBO THE SLOVAK
HONOLULU _ Rory Sabbatini has been playing the Sony Open the last 20 years, and this one was different before he hit a shot. When he stepped to the first tee Thursday, he heard words never uttered on the PGA Tour: ““From Bratislava, Slovakia, Rory Sabbatini.” The South African-born Sabbatini has become a naturalized citizen of his wife’s home country and now plays for Slovakia. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 780 words, photos by 3 a.m.
_ GLF--SONY OPEN _ Canadian rookie Adam Svensson shoots 61 and leads Sony Open. SENT: 890 words, photos.
SAN ANTONIO _ LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 56 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame Russell Westbrook’s triple-double with 24 points, 24 rebounds and 13 assists and outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 154-147 victory in double-overtime. By Raul Dominguez. SENT: 800 words, photos.
COSTA MESA, Calif. _ Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley might be feeling the most pressure going into Sunday’s AFC divisional-round game at New England. Bradley’s game plan of using seven defensive backs to neutralize Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson resulted in a 24-17 win. His challenge this week is coming up with the right strategy to contain Patriots’ QB and five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 780 words, photos.
FRISCO, Texas _ Dak Prescott’s playoff road with Cowboys resumes in LA, where so much started in preseason game two years ago. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 850 words, photos.
COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Clemson All-American defensive end Clelin Ferrell is heading to the NFL. The Tigers junior announced his intention to give up his final college season Thursday night. Ferrell’s departure means all of Clemson’s front four from its national championship team are gone. All-American tackle Christian Wilkins and end Austin Bryant were seniors this year while tackle Dexter Lawrence gave up his final season for the pros Wednesday. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 420 words, photos.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ Arike Ogunbowale scored 30 points and No. 1 Notre Dame overcame 18 turnovers to beat No. 2 Louisville 82-68. By John Fineran. SENT: 1140 words, photos.
LAS VEGAS _ The NHL and NHL Players’ Association held a lengthy meeting to discuss keeping the current collective bargaining agreement past 2020 and agreed to meet again next week to continue the talks. The sides met for more than two hours in Las Vegas about a CBA extension that could pave the way for a World Cup of Hockey in 2020. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 380 words, photos.
HKN--OVECHKIN FLIPS CHARA
BOSTON _ Alex Ovechkin put Zdeno Chara in unfamiliar territory early in a game between the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. Chara, the NHL’s tallest player ever at 6-foot-9, was flipped head over heels into the Capitals’ bench on a shove from the 6-3 Ovechkin late in the first period. SENT: 140 words, photos.
NEW YORK _ Right-hander David Phelps and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 160 words, photos.
_Arbitration stories on various teams that reached agreements Thursday.
_ BKN--NBA CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL CAPSULES
_ BKC--TOP 25 CAPSULES
_ BKW--TOP 25 CAPSULES
Friday’s Time Schedule (EST)
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 22 Indiana at Maryland, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Oregon at Southern Cal, 11 p.m.
No. 6 Stanford at No. 19 Arizona State, 9 p.m.
No. 10 Oregon State at UCLA, 10 p.m.
No. 15 Marquette at Villanova, 11:30 a.m.
No. 24 California at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Milwaukee at Washington, 7 p.m.
Brooklyn at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Indiana at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland at Houston, 8 p.m.
Dallas at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Charlotte at Portland, 10 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Utah, 10 p.m.
Chicago at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Detroit at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Florida at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Anaheim, 10 p.m.