Thursday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) The Indiana Pacers decided Evan Turner gave them a better shot against Miami than Danny Granger.
Many other teams decided there wasn’t much worth doing.
Big names and big deals were mostly absent from the NBA’s trade deadline, with the Pacers’ late-day swap with Philadelphia the one that could have the biggest impact on the playoff race. Indiana sent Granger and a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for Turner and Lavoy Allen.
Kevin Love, Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo spent weeks in trade rumors, but all three remained with their teams.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Dolphins coach Joe Philbin is promising to change the culture inside Miami’s locker room and make it a better workplace than the one that forced Jonathan Martin to leave the team last season.
Philbin said he wants players to treat one another with civility and he won’t tolerate anything less.
In taking questions for the first time since Ted Wells released his report into the bullying scandal that rocked the league, Philbin made it clear things would be cleaned up.
Philbin’s comments at the NFL scouting combine came a day after Miami fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and longtime head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill for their roles in the scandal.
MARANA, Ariz. (AP) – Getting to the round of 16 in the Match Play Championship was all that mattered.
Jordan Spieth made it look like child’s play. Graeme McDowell aged another 10 years with another stunning escape. And it proved too difficult for Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, who lost in extra holes on another wild day at Dove Mountain.
One day after he rallied from 3 down with three holes to play to win in overtime, McDowell was two holes behind on the 15th tee when he made an 8-foot birdie, halved the next hole with a 10-foot par, won the 17th with a birdie and then holed a 6-foot par putt on the 18th for a 1-up win over Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.
Jason Day already has played 40 holes in two rounds. He won a tough match against Thorbjorn Olesen in the opening round, then rallied from 3 down early in his match against Billy Horschel and beat him 22 holes.
Stenson, the No. 1 seed, fell behind early against Louis Oosthuizen and never caught up in a 4-and-3 loss. It was the sixth straight year, dating to Tiger Woods winning the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2008, the top seed failed to make it out of the second round. Rose (No. 2) and McIlroy (No. 4) followed him.
PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) – Anna Nordqvist holed out from 60 yards for eagle on the par-4 15th hole and made a short birdie putt on No. 17 to take a one-stroke lead over Michelle Wie after the first round of the LPGA Thailand.
Nordqvist, the 26-year-old Swede who won both of her LPGA Tour titles in 2009, shot a 6-under 66 on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course. She eagled No. 15 after making two straight bogeys.
Wie had six birdies and a bogey in her 67.
Americans Angela Stanford, Lexi Thompson and Jennifer Johnson shot 68. Stanford had a hole-in-one on the 135-yard eighth hole.
Second-ranked Suzann Pettersen opened with a 69. Top-ranked Inbee Park, the defending champion, had a 71 in her first start of the year.
ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Braves and shortstop Andrelton Simmons agreed on a $58 million, seven-year contract, a record deal for the latest young star locked up by the NL East champions.
The deal, which runs through the 2020 season, is the largest ever awarded to a player subject to American draft rules with less than two years of service time. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo signed a $41 million, seven-year contract last May.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – The Boston Red Sox have reached agreement with left-hander Chris Capuano on a $2.25 million, one-year contract, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Capuano, 35, was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season when he went on the disabled list twice and was limited to 24 appearances, 20 of them starts.
CHICAGO (AP) – Northwestern University officials countered a quarterback’s allegations that the program places athletics over academics, urging a federal agency to deny a bid by the school’s football players to form the first college athletes’ union in U.S. history.
Witnesses for the school challenged union lawyers’ assertions Northwestern football is highly profitable. And they denied accusations by the union’s star witness, outgoing senior quarterback Kain Colter, that classroom performance is given far less weight than on-the-field success.
The testimony came in a third day of hearings on whether the National Labor Relations Board should approve the Wildcats’ players request to unionize. The first-of-its kind effort is being closely watched by other schools and college athletes nationwide.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Rafael Nadal showed no problem with his tender back in his second match since returning from the injury, defeating fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Rio Open.
The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka.
In the other key men’s match, third-seeded Fabio Fognini reached the last eight beating Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-3. Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine advanced to his second quarterfinals of the year, beating Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (4).
On the women’s side of the combined ATP-WTA event, fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan and Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain set up a quarterfinal matchup after second-round wins. Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania also made the last eight, as did Brazil’s Teliana Pereira.
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) – John Isner held off an upset bid by Dudi Sela of Israel to advance to the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Open after No. 3 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan exited the tournament because of a left hip injury.
The second-seeded Isner squandered four match points in the third set after leading 4-1, but the 6-foot-10 American rallied from a 5-2 deficit to prevail in the tiebreaker for a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory that earned him a spot in the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.
The world No. 13 will face American qualifier Rhyne Williams, who ousted wild-card Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-2.