Wednesday’s Sports in Brief

NBA

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis capped a 41-point performance in his return to New Orleans by intercepting Jrue Holiday’s inbound pass with 5 seconds left and making a pair of game-sealing free throws, and the Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak to nine games with a 114-110 victory over the Pelicans.

A packed-in and energetic crowd booed Davis during introductions and virtually every time he handled the ball, only to see him and new teammate LeBron James take over the fourth quarter.

James had 29 points and 11 assists, scoring 15 points in the final period, when Kyle Kuzma also added nine of his 16 points to help the Lakers erase a 10-point deficit.

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 34 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 and the Houston Rockets snapped a three-game skid with a 117-108 victory over the Miami Heat.

Houston led by double digits for most of this one after the Heat used a 46-point first quarter in a 129-100 rout Nov. 3 in the first meeting between the teams this season.

Kelly Olynyk scored six straight points to get the Heat within 10 with about a minute left. Harden made a free throw after that and Goran Dragic made one for the Heat. There was a bit of a scuffle after a hard foul by Dragic on Danuel House with about 30 seconds remaining. It was reviewed and upgraded to a flagrant 1 foul and House received a technical foul for his reaction after the foul.

NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters acknowledged in a letter of apology that he used offensive language in dealing with a Nigerian-born player 10 years ago in the minors.

General manager Brad Treliving confirmed receipt of the letter, which was first posted on Twitter by TSN, a Canadian sports cable network, during the third period of Calgary’s 3-2 overtime win at Buffalo. Treliving would only say the Flames are reviewing the letter as part of their continuing investigation into Peters, and that he could have an update as early as Thursday.

Without specifically revealing the words he used, Peters wrote his comments to Akim Aliu were the source of both anger and disappointment.

Those were Peters’ first comments in the three days since the NHL and the team began investigating allegations made by Aliu, who said Peters “dropped the N bomb several times” because he didn’t like the player’s choice of music. The alleged confrontation happened during the 2009-10 season while the two were with the Chicago Blackhawks minor league affiliate in Rockford, Illinois.

In another development earlier in the day, Peters was accused of punching and kicking players while he was Carolina’s coach. Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said “for sure that happened,” backing a former player’s complaints about Peters physically going after his own players behind the bench during his four seasons in Carolina from 2014-18.

NFL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have placed three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker on injured reserve for a second straight season.

Walker had missed the past four games and played only five snaps Oct. 20 in a win over the Chargers after aggravating the right ankle he broke in the 2018 season opener. That injury cost him the season. Walker told reporters last week that a key to his return would be how his ankle handled practice.

The tight end had 21 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

BASEBALL

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The rebuilding San Diego Padres rewarded free agent Drew Pomeranz for two strong months in Milwaukee’s bullpen and addressed two big needs by acquiring right-handed starter Zach Davies and lefty outfielder Trent Grisham from the Brewers.

They were the first big moves of the offseason for the Padres, who have lost more than 90 games for four straight seasons and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006.

San Diego and Pomeranz — an All-Star during his brief stay with the Padres in 2016 — agreed to a $34 million, four-year contract.

The left-hander had a strong final two months of the season with the Brewers after being traded to Milwaukee from San Francisco. He was 0-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 25 games, including one start. Pomeranz struck out 45 and walked only eight of the 100 batters he faced

The Padres, last in the NL West at 70-92 this year, sent infielder Luis Urias and left-hander Eric Lauer to Milwaukee for Davies and Grisham. They’ll also send cash or another player to the Brewers. Davies was 10-7 with a 3.55 ERA in 31 starts in 2019, his fifth big league season. He made $2.6 million and is eligible for salary arbitration. He and Garrett Richards will add a veteran presence to an otherwise young rotation. Richards made three starts late last season in his return from Tommy John surgery.

NEW YORK (AP) — First baseman Greg Bird became a free agent after he cleared waivers and refused an outright assignment to the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Bird, who turned 27 on Nov. 9, debuted on Aug. 13, 2015, and hit .261 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 46 games. He missed all of 2016 following surgery that Feb. 2 to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, an injury originally sustained that May with Double-A Trenton.

Bird returned to bat .451 with eight homers in spring training during 2017 but fouled a ball off his right ankle March 30, started the season 6 for 60 and went on the disabled list May 2.

When the foot did not improve, Bird had surgery July 18 to remove a bone in the ankle. He returned in late August and hit three home runs in the playoffs, including a seventh-inning drive off Andrew Miller that lifted New York to a 1-0 win over Cleveland in Game 3 of the Division Series.

ARENA FOOTBALL

The Arena Football League has filed for bankruptcy.

The indoor league was reduced to six teams before it suspended operations in October. Now, it’s declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The AFL dates back to 1987 and saw its heyday from 1996-2008 under then-Commissioner David Baker, now president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Several NFL team owners also owned Arena League franchises back then.

In 2019, the league had six franchises: Albany, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia; and Washington.