Tuesday’s Sports in Brief


PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers ended the longest losing streak in the history of major professional sports in the United States, topping the Los Angeles Lakers 103-91 to snap a 28-game skid.

The Sixers had lost their first 18 games this season, matching the record for worst start in NBA history. They had dropped 28 straight dating to last season, setting the mark for longest losing streak among the four major U.S. sports leagues

The Sixers won for the first time since March 25 at Denver. Robert Covington scored 23 points for Philadelphia.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant scored 20 points on 7-of-26 shooting in the final game of his career in his hometown. He walked off to a standing ovation and chants of ''Kobe! Kobe!''

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Luke Walton has more NBA coach of the month awards than official wins.

The Golden State Warriors interim coach was named the top coach in the Western Conference for October and November after leading the team to a record 19-0 start in place of injured Steve Kerr.

While the NBA issued a statement earlier in the day reiterating that Kerr remains the head coach of record for Golden State, the league said Walton was eligible for the monthly award.

Kerr has been sidelined since training camp because of complications from offseason back surgery. There is no timeline for his return, but the defending champion Warriors have hardly missed a beat under Walton.


Oklahoma is No. 3 in the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings, putting the Sooners safely in position to be in the final four with their season completed.

The Sooners locked up the Big 12 championship with a blowout victory at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Clemson is still No. 1 and Alabama remained No. 2. Both the Tigers and Crimson Tide head into their conference championship games Saturday needing just a victory to lock up a playoff spot. The top seed gets to play closest to home, so for Clemson a semifinal game at the Orange Bowl in Miami is also on the line against North Carolina.

Iowa is No. 4 and Michigan State is No. 5, setting up a playoff play-in game in Saturday's Big Ten title game.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Rob Gronkowski sustained a bone bruise and sprain of his right knee during New England's 30-24 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night, the Patriots and the Gronkowski family said in a joint statement.

The tight end will be evaluated on a weekly basis and there is no timetable for his return.

Gronkowski was carted off the field with 2:49 remaining after taking a hit to the knee. The Patriots (10-1) led 21-17 at the time, but went on to lose their first game of the season.

CLEVELAND (AP) – Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown is done for the season after breaking his collarbone in Monday night's last-second loss to Baltimore. McCown kept playing despite taking a big hit in the second half, but had to leave the field after throwing an incompletion in the fourth quarter.

PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona placed Chris Johnson on the injured reserve/designated to return list, a move that means the only way the running back will play again this season is if the Cardinals reach the Super Bowl.

Arizona coach Bruce Arians said Monday that Johnson was hurt when he took a helmet to the knee in Sunday's 19-13 victory at San Francisco.

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL moved referee Pete Morelli's crew off the upcoming Sunday night game between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Instead, the crew will work an afternoon game between the Eagles and Patriots. Morelli's group was heavily criticized by both sides after the 49ers-Cardinals game Sunday.


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dodgers great Don Newcombe was resting comfortably at home after fainting at the ballpark.

The 89-year-old former pitcher was on hand at an introductory news conference to welcome Dave Roberts as the club's first minority manager. A team spokesman said Newcombe was doing fine and had returned home after being taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Newcombe has served the Dodgers as special adviser to the chairman since 2009.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – South Korean first baseman Byung Ho Park agreed to a $12 million, four-year contract with the Minnesota Twins.

On Nov. 9, Minnesota won the right to negotiate with the 29-year-old Park for 30 days by placing a high bid of $12.85 million after he was posted by the Nexen Heroes under Major League Baseball's agreement with the Korea Baseball Organization. The money was due only if Park signed with the Twins.

Park hit .343 with 53 homers and 146 RBIs this year. He has a .281 average and 210 homers in parts of nine seasons in Korea.


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – No. 19 Arizona will be without center Kaleb Tarczewski for four to six weeks because of a stress reaction and strained muscle in his left foot.

Tarczewski was injured in the opening game of the Wooden Legacy against Santa Clara last Thursday and missed the final two games of the tournament. The 7-foot senior center averaged 8.6 and 7.2 rebounds through Arizona's first five games. Arizona lost to Providence and Boise State without Tarczewski.

Tarczewski has been Arizona's starting center for four seasons and has a chance to win more games than any player in school history.


LONDON (AP) – Five World Cup sponsors have written to FIFA's executive committee demanding ''independent oversight'' of the reform process in their latest intervention that highlights concerns about their links to soccer's scandal-battered governing body.

Sponsors were originally promised places on the FIFA reform committee. But instead of being invited into meetings discussing the overhaul of the organization, they have been offered seats only on an advisory board which is yet to be appointed.

The sponsors' letter was sent from Adidas, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Visa, and Budweiser brewer AB InBev to FIFA's ruling body ahead of meetings this week when a final slate of reform proposals will be discussed.

The reform panel was established following the indictment of soccer officials by American authorities for bribery, but the sponsors appear to have reservations about its independence.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to more than a half-dozen charges stemming from three separate incidents over the past year, including him shooting and wounding his cousin and firing a gun at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade.

Taylor appeared in Pulaski County Circuit Court with his attorney two days before he faced trial. Sentencing is set for April 19 and it wasn't clear how much time Taylor might face.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Robin Pemberton will leave his position as NASCAR's senior vice president of competition at the end of the year.

Pemberton joined the sanctioning body in August 2004 and has overseen all areas of NASCAR competition. With a racing career spanning five decades, Pemberton has been credited as a key component in bridging the gap between the sanctioning body and the racing community.