Pelicans hold off Pistons, 111-106 in OT
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Ryan Anderson shook off an unusually poor shooting night from long range, hitting two clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Jason Smith scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pelicans, who snapped a two-game skid while handing Detroit its third straight loss. Anderson finished with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including 4 of 12 from 3-point range. Jrue Holiday added 19 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
New Orleans native Greg Monroe had 28 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which led by 3 points early in overtime before Anderson's first 3 of the extra session tied it. Brandon Jennings added 25 points and Rodney Stuckey 20.
Tigers' Cabrera making progress after surgery
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera is making good progress in his rehabilitation program following offseason surgery for a groin tear.
"All the reports are good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday at baseball's winter meetings. "I've talked to our head trainer a number of times about it and he said he's getting his rehab in and as far as reports go, everything is going well. Knock on wood."
Cabrera could be ready for the start of spring training. He missed several games last season after the break because of a bad back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower abdomen, shin trouble and the groin tear.
The AL Central champion Tigers are planning to move Cabrera from third base to first next season after trading Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler.
Cabrera won his second straight American League Most Valuable Player award this past season. One year after winning baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years, the slugger came back to lead the majors in hitting at .348 and finish second with 44 home runs and 137 RBIs.
Narduzzi withdraws from UConn search
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi says he has withdrawn from consideration for Connecticut's coaching job.
Narduzzi says in a statement Wednesday night that he was honored to be considered by UConn but is devoting his full attention to the fourth-ranked Spartans as they prepare for the Rose Bowl.
Led by Narduzzi's defense, Michigan State won the Big Ten title and will make its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988. Narduzzi received the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant.
OF Rajai Davis and Tigers agree to 2-year deal
DETROIT (AP) - Outfielder Rajai Davis and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $9-10 million.
The Tigers announced the deal Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Davis spent the last three seasons with Toronto and hit .260 this year with six homers, 24 RBIs and 45 steals in 331 at-bats. He made $2.5 million.
He gives the Tigers a speedy presence that the team has been lacking. The Tigers stole just 35 bases last season, fewest in the major leagues.
An eight-year major league veteran, Davis has 268 career stolen bases. He also has played for Pittsburgh (2006-07), San Francisco (2007-08) and Oakland (2008-10).
The right-handed swinging Davis would join an outfield with Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. He could platoon with lefty Andy Dirks.
RED WINGS-HOWARD INJURED
Red Wings' Jimmy Howard hurts knee in practice
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard was injured a knee in practice Wednesday.
That led to the Red Wings recalling Petr Mrazek from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and putting forward Henrik Zetterberg on long-term injured reserve.
The Red Wings have ruled Howard out for Thursday night's game at Tampa Bay and plan to reevaluate him Friday in Detroit.
Zetterberg hasn't played since Dec. 1 because of a back injury and is eligible to return Dec. 28 against Florida.
Ravens S Elam on Calvin Johnson: 'He's pretty old'
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Ravens safety Matt Elam has plenty of words to describe wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the main object of focus for Baltimore's defensive backfield Monday night in Detroit.
Those words include "big, fast, athletic, unstoppable, freak."
Curiously, Elam went in another direction when asked how best to cover the 28-year-old Johnson, who's amassed a club-record 9,184 yards receiving and 67 touchdowns in less than seven years.
Elam said, "He's pretty old, so I don't know how physical he'll be. He's a big guy, but he's older."
Johnson is 28 and Elam, a rookie, is 22. The misinformed 5-foot-10 rookie can only hope he doesn't have to tackle the 6-foot-5 Johnson in the open field Monday night in a game both Baltimore (7-6) and Detroit (7-6) desperately need to win.
Lions shooting blanks on offense in 4th quarter
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford says it's tough to win with too many turnovers.
The Lions have found that out the hard way. Detroit has won only one game in the last month because it has turned the ball over 15 times in four games.
Stafford has had a lot to do with that, throwing seven interceptions and losing two fumbles during the stretch.
He has been particularly shaky in the fourth quarter.
Stafford has completed less than one-fourth of his passes with one touchdown, two interceptions and has lost a fumble in the final quarters of the last four games. That has led to the offense being held scoreless in those fourth quarters as the team lost leads and three games.
Eastern Michigan hires Creighton as football coach
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Eastern Michigan has hired Chris Creighton as football coach.
The school announced the move Wednesday night.
The 44-year-old Creighton led Drake to a 6-5 record this season and was 44-22 in six seasons at the Iowa school. He is 139-46 in 17 seasons as a head coach at Ottawa, Wabash at Drake.
"It is both a huge opportunity and responsibility and I am fired up about it," Creightton said. "My vision is to make playing football at Eastern Michigan one of the most incredible experiences of our players lives. I cannot wait to meet the team and start a new journey with them."
Creighton replaces Ron English, fired last month after the Eagles opened 1-8 en route to a 2-10 mark. He was 11-46 over five years at the Mid-American Conference program.
Drake quickly replaced Creighton, promoting assistant Rick Fox to head coach. Fox spent the past six seasons as the assistant head coach under Creighton.
E MICHIGAN-PLAYER SLAIN
Police: Slain player targeted because of clothes
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Police say an Eastern Michigan University football player killed during a possible robbery may have been targeted because he had on expensive-looking clothing.
The Ann Arbor News reports (http://bit.ly/J53Fs1 ) the detail is in transcripts from a hearing in the case that it reviewed.
Preliminary examinations for 20-year-old Ed J. Thomas and 19-year-old Kristopher K. Pratt are scheduled for Jan. 17. They face murder charges in the fatal shooting of Demarius Reed.
The wide receiver's roommate discovered his body at the bottom of a stairwell at an off-campus apartment complex on Oct. 18. Police say Reed's wallet and cellphone were taken.
Reed was a 20-year-old communications major from Chicago.
The school announced plans Tuesday to hire a total of 10 new full-time police officers by September 2014 to boost off-campus patrols.
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