BOSTON (AP) The Boston Celtics traded point guard Rajon Rondo to Dallas, cutting ties with the last remnant of their last NBA championship while giving Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks a chance at another title.
The Celtics will send Rondo and forward Dwight Powell to Dallas for Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, two draft picks and a $12.9 million trade exception.
Boston got a first-round pick in next year’s draft and a second-rounder in 2016. The Celtics have eight first-round picks in the next four years, picking them up in trades for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and even coach Doc Rivers as they shed the pieces of the New Big Three that earned the franchise its unprecedented 17th NBA title in 2008.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant sat out the second half of a 114-109 loss at the Golden State Warriors after spraining his right ankle.
Durant, who missed the first 17 games this season due to a broken right foot, said the sprain was mild and X-rays were negative. The reigning NBA MVP said he hopes to play at the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night but will see how he feels.
Durant grabbed his ankle after stepping on Marreese Speights’ left foot while going hard to the basket late in the second quarter. Durant was called for a charge on the play.
He lay on the ground in pain before walking to the bench with the help of teammates Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, and limped to the locker room at halftime under his own power.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Slugger Matt Kemp has joined the Padres after San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a five-player trade.
The teams agreed to the trade last week during the winter meetings in San Diego. It was the first of three big deals by new Padres general manager A.J. Preller, who also has added outfielder Wil Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year, from Tampa Bay and All-Star catcher Derek Norris from Oakland.
The Padres, desperate to pump up the worst offense in the majors, also get $32 million from the Dodgers to help offset the $107 million remaining on Kemp’s contract.
San Diego also gets catcher Tim Federowicz. The Dodgers receive catcher Yasmani Grandal and right-handers Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The revamping Oakland Athletics made yet another trade of a star player this offseason, sending catcher Derek Norris and minor league right-hander Seth Streich to the San Diego Padres for righties Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez along with an international signing bonus slot.
Norris, a 25-year-old All-Star, batted .270 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 127 games for the A’s, who lost 9-8 in the wild-card game at Kansas City. Oakland had depth at catcher, with capable backstops John Jaso and Stephen Vogt still on the roster despite both dealing with injuries last season. Jaso ended the year out with a concussion for the second straight season.
Earlier in the day, the A’s acquired left-hander Eury De La Rosa from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash.
MIAMI (AP) – A man who admitted working as a black market chemist at a garage lab in his suburban home pleaded guilty to being the main supplier of banned performance-enhancing substances in Major League Baseball’s most recent steroid scandal.
Paulo Berejuk, a 51-year-old Brazilian citizen with permanent U.S. residency, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone. Investigators said Berejuk was the key source of the substance for Anthony Bosch, who ran the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic that provided steroids to MLB players and other athletes.
Berejuk faces a reduced prison sentence of between two and three years because he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, but he also could be deported back to Brazil after prison. In addition, Berejuk agreed to forfeit to the government a 32-foot Intrepid boat.
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Oregon coach Mark Helfrich confirmed that the third-ranked Ducks will be without star cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu when they face Jameis Winston and Florida State in their playoff game Jan. 1.
Helfrich acknowledged the senior, a first-team All-America selection, won’t play after he was injured during a noncontact drill Tuesday.
A person with knowledge of the injury told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Ekpre-Olomu hurt his right knee. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the program does not discuss injuries.
Ekpre-Olomu has been a cornerstone of the Ducks’ secondary with 63 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups this season, and is widely considered among the top cornerbacks for next year’s NFL draft.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Jared Cook wants to be more than hands up, he wants to be hands on this holiday season.
The St. Louis Rams tight end and four other players who recently did the ”Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture are following through on plans to aid residents in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.
Cook and wide receivers Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens contributed $10,000 to an Urban League of St. Louis Christmas Party for residents of Ferguson and north St. Louis County.
Their donations helped purchase gloves, hats, socks, underwear, non-perishable food items, detergent, personal hygiene items and 200 coats.
After practice Friday for the home finale against the New York Giants on Sunday, the five players plan to attend the event.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – The Chicago Bears benched Jay Cutler, deciding to start Jimmy Clausen against the Detroit Lions this weekend instead of their franchise quarterback who signed a massive, seven-year deal at the end of last season.
Coach Marc Trestman said Cutler will be available as the backup for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field, where boos have rained down on a punchless, porous team that is now 5-9 and playing out the string after starting the season with legitimate hopes of a playoff run. They will miss the postseason for the seventh time in eight years.