Wednesday Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden scored a career-high 61 points, tying Kobe Bryant’s record for a visiting opponent at the current Madison Square Garden, and the Houston Rockets edged the New York Knicks 114-110 on Wednesday night.
Harden made the clinching layup with 3.8 seconds remaining after the Knicks turned it over, capping his fifth 50-point game this season and a wild stretch of back-and-forth basketball across the final minutes.
Eric Gordon made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left when Houston couldn’t get the ball to Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer who earlier had passed Wilt Chamberlain into fourth place in NBA history with his 21st consecutive 30-point game.
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Liberty have a new owner and get to keep their NBA ties.
An investment group led by Brooklyn Nets minority owner Joseph Tsai has bought the Liberty, the WNBA announced Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed. Tsai, co-founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, bought a 49 percent interest in the Nets in April.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA 2K League will host its first international qualifying event to find players in the Asia-Pacific region.
The NBA 2K League APAC Invitational will be held Feb. 2-3 in Hong Kong. The competitive video game event will feature players from Australia, China, New Zealand and the Philippines.
The league said Wednesday that 20 players will take part in competitions and meetings with league and team representatives. Several players will become eligible for the 2019 draft.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is returning to the Arizona Cardinals for a 16th NFL season.
The Cardinals announced Wednesday that they signed the 35-year-old Fitzgerald to a one-year contract. Team president Michael Bidwell says, “No player has meant more to this franchise or this community than Larry Fitzgerald.”
In the finale of his 15th season, Fitzgerald still looked the part of an NFL wide receiver and exceptional pass catcher with four catches for 36 yards. He caught the 116th touchdown pass of his career and became the third player with at least 1,300 career receptions. He matched the franchise record for career games played with his 234th game in a Cardinals uniform and became the second receiver in league history with 2,000 yards receiving against three different teams, joining Jerry Rice.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets have hired former Dolphins assistant Dowell Loggains as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Loggains — LOG-gins — is reunited with Jets coach Adam Gase after serving as Miami’s offensive coordinator last season under the then-Dolphins head coach.
The 38-year-old Loggains also worked with Gase in Chicago in 2015 as the Bears’ QBs coach before taking over the offense the following season when Gase left for Miami.
SEATTLE (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki has agreed to a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners, paving the way for the 45-year-old to play in the Mariners’ season-opening series in Japan.
Suzuki’s agent, John Boggs, confirmed the agreement on Wednesday and said Suzuki’s deal would become a major league contract if he is added to Seattle’s expanded roster for the two games the Mariners will play against Oakland to open the season in March in Tokyo. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has said Suzuki is expected to be on the roster for those games.
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles have hired Don Long as hitting coach and Doug Brocail as pitching coach under first-year manager Brandon Hyde.
Long spent the past five seasons as the hitting coach of the Cincinnati Reds.
Brocail was the Texas Rangers’ pitching coach for the past three years. He was the Astros’ pitching coach from June 2011 through 2013.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers have promoted general manager David Stearns, adding president of baseball operations to his title and giving him a contract extension after the team came within one win of the World Series.
The Brewers also elevated chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger to president of business operations and boosted his contract. The club announced the moves Tuesday without detailing the length of the extensions.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers have fired president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli amid another season that has failed to live up to expectations.
The team announced Chiarelli’s abrupt dismissal Wednesday in the aftermath of its third consecutive loss. Edmonton has lost 12 of its past 16 games going into the All-Star Break. The Oilers are 14-14-2 since firing coach Todd McLellan and replacing him with Ken Hitchcock.
President and CEO Bob Nicholson said Keith Gretzky will assume more responsibilities as the Oilers look for a full-time GM.
The Oilers are in seventh place in the eight-team Pacific Division and three points out of a playoff position with 32 games left.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Former Auburn tailback Carnell Williams has returned to his alma mater as running backs coach.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn announced Williams’ hiring Wednesday.
Williams was the 2005 NFL Rookie of the Year after being picked fifth overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a senior, he led Auburn to an undefeated record.
Johnny Miller’s final broadcast as NBC’s golf analyst will be during the third round of the Phoenix Open.
The network said Wednesday that it will honor Miller during the Feb. 2 broadcast since the final round on Feb. 3 is about crowning a champion. The final round is on the same day as the Super Bowl.
Miller, who announced his retirement in September, has been NBC’s lead analyst since 1990 and has worked with announcer Dan Hicks since 2000. The Hicks-Miller duo holds the record for the longest-tenured 18th tower tandem in broadcast golf.
Barcelona signed promising 21-year-old Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax for 75 million euros ($85.5 million) on Wednesday, although he won’t start playing for the Spanish champions until next season.
The deal could reach 86 million euros ($98 million) including possible add-ons depending on the youngster’s and the team’s performances during the five-year contract, which starts in July.
The transfer was finalized by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in Amsterdam.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former U.S. national team and MLS star Landon Donovan is coming out of retirement again, this time to play for the San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League.
Donovan, 36, signed a contract Wednesday and will be introduced Thursday.
He’ll make his debut on Feb. 15 when the Sockers host the Tacoma Stars. The team says he’ll play all home
PARIS (AP) — Neymar limped off with an apparent right foot injury after one hour of Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 French Cup win against Strasbourg on Wednesday.
The Brazil forward had just received the ball on the left when he raised his hand to seemingly signal to his coach Thomas Tuchel he was in pain, and looked to be in tears as he left the field at Parc des Princes.
Neymar limped heavily as he walked to the dressing room, consoled by a PSG staff member, and looked upset as he wiped his face with his right arm.
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — The New York Red Bulls have signed former Philadelphia Union midfielder Marcus Epps.
The MLS team announced the signing on Wednesday. Epps was selected by New York in the MLS Waiver Draft in December.
Epps played in 32 games for the Union over the past two seasons with three goals and three assists.
LONDON (AP) — The English Football Association has charged Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with improper conduct after he appeared to perform a Nazi salute in a photograph posted online by German teammate Max Meyer.
The FA alleges the gesture was “abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.” The governing body adds that it was an aggravated breach of its rules because it included a “reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Kay has resigned after 5 1/2 years as chief executive officer and president of the New York Racing Association.
NYRA’s board of directors says it accepted Kay’s resignation effective immediately on Wednesday. No explanation was given.
David O’Rourke was named interim CEO. O’Rourke has been senior vice president and chief revenue officer for NYRA, which runs New York’s three major racetracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.