Weekend Sports In Brief
FEB 17, 2014 3:45a ET
NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Eastern Conference finally stopped Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin - then stopped their losing streak at the NBA All-Star game.
Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the game's MVP, Carmelo Anthony made an All-Star record eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points, and the East rallied for a 163-155 victory over the West on Sunday night.
''It's a great honor,'' Irving said. ''We had a few MVPs. Everyone out here today is an MVP.''
Durant and Griffin each finished with 38 points, four shy of Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star game record. But the East scored the final 10 points to pull out a game it trailed by 18.
Irving scored 15 points in the fourth quarter as the East ended a three-game losing streak. LeBron James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - With the No. 3 on his door and memories of the late Dale Earnhardt fresh in his mind, Austin Dillon took the fabled number out of hibernation and straight to the top at Daytona.
Dillon won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500 driving the No. 3 Chevrolet - a car Richard Childress had refused to field at NASCAR's top level since Earnhardt's fatal accident on the last lap of the 2001 race.
But now that his 23-year-old grandson is ready to race in the Sprint Cup Series, Childress allowed Dillon to use the number widely associated with the seven-time champion. Earnhardt won 67 races, six championships and the 1998 Daytona 500 driving the No. 3.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Denny Hamlin won the exhibition Sprint Unlimited - a race that ended with only eight cars running to the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway.
Half the 18-car field was knocked out of Saturday night's race during a nine-car accident during the second of three segments.
It was a bizarre kickoff to Speedweeks as Danica Patrick's race was ended when boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slammed into her car during the melee, and the Chevrolet pace car later caught on fire.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Police in Atlantic City say Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested at a casino there after an argument with his fiance turned physical.
Atlantic City police said that Rice and Janay Palmer were both arrested on simple assault charges and were released on a summons after an incident at the Revel Casino early Saturday morning.
Both Rice and Palmer declined medical attention and neither reported any injuries.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama is praising University of Missouri football player Michael Sam for announcing he is gay before the NFL draft.
Obama says Sam's attitude is that he knows he can play great football and that he should be judged only on those facts.
Sam could become the NFL's first openly gay player.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bubba Watson played the final 39 holes without a bogey and shot a 7-under 64 Sunday, the best closing round at Riviera in some three decades, to win the Northern Trust Open by two shots over Dustin Johnson, who closed with a 66 for the second straight week and got the same result.
It was Watson's first victory in 22 months and 41 tournaments worldwide dating to the 2012 Masters.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Australia's Karrie Webb won the Women's Australian Open for the record fifth time, shooting a 4-under 68 to beat South Africa's Chella Choi by a stroke.
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Kirk Triplett won the ACE Group Classic for his third Champions Tour title, holing a 6-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer, Duffy Waldorf and Olin Browne tied for second.
The Eisenhower Tree, so much a part of Augusta National that not even a sitting U.S. president could have it taken down, was removed from the 17th hole this weekend because of damage from an ice storm, the club said Sunday.
''The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept,'' club chairman Billy Payne said. ''We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.''
With the Masters only two months away, Payne said there was no other significant damage to the course.
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - Lamar has fired coach Pat Knight, son of Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, with the Cardinals having won just six games the past two seasons.
Athletic director Jason Henderson announced the move Sunday. Lamar is 3-22 and 2-11 in the Southland Conference this season.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Boston Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster plans to take this season off, a decision that surprised teammates and will cost the 16-year veteran $13.25 million in salary.
Dempster said Sunday he is stepping away for physical reasons and to spend more time with his family. But he left a slight opening to play in 2015.
Dempster, whose contract expires after this season, finished his only year with the Red Sox with an 8-9 record and a 4.57 ERA and didn't get a start during their postseason run to a World Series title.
PHOENIX (AP) - Outfielder Josh Reddick and the Oakland Athletics avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $2.7 million, one-year contract.
The 26-year-old had asked for $3.25 million when the sides swapped proposed arbitration figures last month and had been offered $2 million.
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets will honor late broadcaster Ralph Kiner by wearing a uniform patch all season and having an on-field ceremony on opening day.
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies have completed a contract that guarantees the pitcher $15 million for 2014 and $22.5 million over two seasons.
Under the deal finalized Sunday, Burnett would make $33.5 million over two seasons if he makes 30 starts or more in both years.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Closer Craig Kimbrel and the Atlanta Braves avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $42 million, four-year contract.
Kimbrel gets a $1 million signing bonus under Sunday's deal and salaries of $7 million this year, $9 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016 and $13 million in 2017. The Braves have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Los Angeles Angels pitcher Mark Mulder tore his left Achilles tendon Saturday, cutting short his comeback and possibly bringing his career to an end.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Kei Nishikori of Japan successfully defended his title at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships, beating Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (0) on Sunday.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Seventh-seeded Simona Halep of Romania won her first title of the year with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany in the Qatar Open final on Sunday.
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Tomas Berdych won his first ATP tournament title since October 2012, beating Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 6-2 Sunday in the ABN Amro final.