AP NEWS

Dolphins Have to Wait to Hire Pats’ Flores

January 22, 2019

While the 2018 NFL champion has yet to be crowned, much of the league is already looking ahead to the 2019 season, and so far the Miami Dolphins are in last place.

Las Vegas oddsmakers recently made the Dolphins a 300-1 choice to win the Super Bowl in Miami a year from now, by far the league’s longest odds.

And because Brian Flores’ team is headed for the Super Bowl, the Dolphins must wait another two weeks before they can seal a deal with the New England Patriots’ defensive play-caller to become their coach. The Patriots sent the Dolphins’ wait on Flores into overtime by beating Kansas City in overtime Sunday in the AFC championship game.

The Dolphins interviewed Flores on Jan. 4, targeted him as their choice for the job on Jan. 11 and are expected to meet with him this week. But no agreement can become final until after the Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

Sunday night’s game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs was the second-most watched and rated AFC championship game in 42 years.

The overtime thriller on CBS averaged 53.919 million viewers, just shy of the 54.850 million that viewed Pittsburgh’s victory over the New York Jets in 2011. The 27.5 household rating fell short of the 2016 matchup between New England and Denver that had a 29.3 rating. Sunday’s game is also a 22 percent increase over last year’s game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, which averaged 44.145 million.

PRO BASKETBALL

Smart fined $35,000

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $35,000 for “aggressively pursuing” DeAndre Bembry of the Atlanta Hawks and failing to promptly leave the court following his ejection.

NBA discipline executive Kiki VanDeWeghe handed down the fine Monday. It stems from an incident that took place Saturday night in Atlanta after Smart received his second technical foul and was ejected in the third quarter of the Celtics’ 113-105 victory.

Carmelo Anthony is going to Chicago, albeit only on paper. Where he’s going next remains unclear.

A person with direct knowledge of the matter said the Houston Rockets are trading Anthony and an undisclosed amount of cash to the Bulls in a deal that is expected to be completed Tuesday. Anthony is a 10-time All-Star who has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his career. He was the No. 3 pick in the star-studded 2003 draft class that also included No. 1 LeBron James, No. 4 Chris Bosh and No. 5 Dwyane Wade.

GENERAL

Gray joins the Reds

Adding Sonny Gray to a rotation already improved by the offseason acquisitions of Tanner Roark and Alex Wood has the Cincinnati Reds thinking about their first NL Central title since 2012.

Gray’s unsuccessful stretch in New York ended when the Yankees traded the pitcher after the 29-year-old right-hander agreed to a contract with the Reds that added $30.5 million from 2020-22 and includes a 2023 club option.

New York received infield prospect Shed Long and a high pick in this year’s amateur draft, then flipped Long to Seattle for 21-year-old outfielder Josh Stowers. The Yankees sent the Reds left-hander Reiver Sanmartin.

Pekka Rinne stopped a penalty shot in making 35 saves and the Nashville Predators knocked off the reeling Colorado Avalanche, 4-1, on Monday to help Peter Laviolette capture win No. 600 of his NHL coaching career.

Nick Bonino and Viktor Arvidsson scored 1:34 apart in the second period, while Roman Josi added another and Ryan Ellis contributed a late empty-netter from deep in his zone.

Peter Laviolette and his goaltender had a lot in common -- both were skillful in the art of deflecting.

In Laviolette’s case, it was too much of the credit after earning victory No. 600 as an NHL coach.

“Tonight was a team win,” the Predators coach said.

On a milestone Monday for Laviolette, goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped a penalty shot in making 35 saves and Nashville knocked off the reeling Colorado Avalanche 4-1.

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