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BC-AP Sports Digest

February 8, 2019

The supervisor is Fred Lief, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.

A bad Super Bowl and a week short on big events have AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg scanning the calendar and ranking the best days in sports. Also, AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi joins them for the “Brady or Belichick” debate and predict which teams _ not named the Patriots _ might turn up in the 2020 big game.




ARE, Sweden _ Lindsey Vonn’s father and two siblings will be there. So will U.S. team top brass and Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark. But one very significant other will be missing. Boyfriend P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators has a game to play when she races Sunday. By Andrew Dampf and Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 800 words, photos.


NEW ORLEANS _ Disgruntled All-Star Anthony Davis is set to return to New Orleans’ lineup _ in front of the fans he’s chosen to abandon _ when the Pelicans host the Minnesota Timberwolves. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 9:30 p.m.


ORLANDO, Fla. _ Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says management is focused on pace-of-game changes for 2019. Bolder ideas suggested by players, such as expanding the designated hitter to the NL, are too complicated to put in place this season. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.

_ With:

_ BBO--LONDON 2020 _ Mets-Nationals or Cubs-Cardinals for London in 2020, the AP is told. SENT: 140 words.


RIO DE JANEIRO _ A fire tears through the sleeping quarters of a development league for one of Brazil’s most popular professional soccer clubs, killing 10 people who were most likely players and injuring three others, authorities say. By Peter Prengaman and Marcelo Sousa da Silva. SENT: 600 words, photos.


DENVER _ A group of winter sports athletes wants the president of the International Ski Federation to resign after he spoke of “so-called climate change” and said he would rather deal with dictators than argue with environmentalists. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 550 words, photos.



TEMPE, Ariz. _ The subs watch the score running up and the clock winding down, wondering when it’s their turn. Mostly, not until the final minute. The reasons vary, from coaches fearing a big comeback to wanting their starters to finish a full game. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 700 words, photos.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. _ The strain of underperforming last year took its toll on Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus. This has been a 17-year relationship. But now there’s a rebuild with second-year driver William Byron, and the winningest crew chief in the garage is essentially starting over. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 900 words, photos.



Well, that was quite an episode of “Surivor: NBA.” All kinds of drama and plot twists. Despite complaints from Kevin Durant and LeBron James, this off-the-court reality show leading to the trade deadline was welcome respite from a dreary regular season. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.



PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. _ Brian Gay and Scott Langley share the lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth among the big names not far behind. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.

_ Also:

_ GLF--VIC OPEN _ Nick Flanagan, Jason Scrivener lead men’s field while Kim Kaufman is top woman in Australian tournaments sanctioned by men’s European tour, LPGA. SENT: 250 words.



PHILADELPHIA _ The new-look 76ers play the division-leading Denver Nuggets after acquiring Tobias Harris from the Clippers as part of their three trades and. Philadelphia, which trails Toronto by five games in its division, is trying to make its move. By Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.


DALLAS _ Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks take a five-game winning streak into Dallas a day after getting Nikola Mirotic from New Orleans. The Mavericks must adjust their rotation again after sending Harrison Barnes to Sacramento. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.



LOS ANGELES _ A loaded starting rotation. Solid hitters who can play multiple positions. An All-Star closer. The Los Angeles Dodgers are once again stocked for a successful run. By Beth Harris. SENT: 650 words, photos.


ATLANTA _ Ronald Acuna Jr. helped the Braves accelerate their rebuild in 2018, when they surprisingly won the NL East. The next challenge is for Atlanta _ beginning its last spring training at its Disney complex _ to move closer to its first World Series since 1999. By Charles Odum. SENT: 650 words, photos.

_ All other NL spring previews. All spring training capsules, by division.




RALEIGH, N.C. _ It’s been a rough season for the Pac-12, and it won’t get easier for league teams to play their way into the NCAAs. The Pac-12 hasn’t had a ranked team in more than a month. Washington is the only team on solid footing. By Basketball Writer Aaron Beard. SENT: 700 words, photos.


DURHAM, N.C. _No. 2 Duke will begin the second half of its conference schedule as the best second-half team in the country. No team in Division I outscores its opponents by more points in the second half than these Blue Devils. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

_ Previews of weekend play in ACC, SEC.

_ Women:

_ BKW--T25-OREGON ST-STANFORD _ No. 11 Stanford hosts No. 7 Oregon State. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 9 p.m.



SAN DIEGO _ Nearly four decades removed from a stint in the short-lived USFL, Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian will preside over the opening weekend of the newest spring league, the Alliance of American Football. Polian, 76, is a co-founder of the AAF. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


MMA--UFC 234

Robert Whittaker defends his middleweight belt against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event Sunday in Melbourne, Australia. Even more eyes will be on the 185-pound fight right before them, when MMA great Anderson Silva takes on up-and-coming star Israel Adesanya. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 p.m.



MOSCOW _ Russia will be able to compete at next year’s Paralympics in Tokyo. The country was being reinstated more than two years after it was suspended for widespread doping. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 400 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ OLY--TOKYO 2020-RECYCLED MEDALS — What’s in a Tokyo 2020 medal? Old phones, discarded cameras. SENT: 100 words, photos.



ARE, Sweden _Wendy Holdener keeps her combined title at the world championships, beating Petra Vlhova by 0.03 seconds. The downhill is shortened because of poor visibility, giving slalom specialists like Holdener a crucial advantage. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 400 words, photos.

_ With:

_ SKI--WORLDS-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.

_ SKI--WORLDS-SHRIFFIN’S CHOICE _ Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn question Mikaela Shiffrin’s choice to sit out events. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 450 words, photos.


Olympic champion Chloe Kim goes for one of the few titles she hasn’t won yet _ a world halfpipe championship. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos.


ANAHEIM, Calif. _ Alysa Liu is too young to compete in this weekend’s Four Continents meet. She is, after all, only 13 _ the youngest champion in U.S. But she was part of the opening ceremony after what has been a whirlwind few weeks. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING. 500 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ FIG--FOUR CONTINENTS _ Bradie Tennell of U.S. in front entering women’s free skate. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Long program starts 10:30 p.m.



COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Clemson’s offensive coordinators got raises boosting their yearly salary to $1 million, giving the national champion Tigers three assistants making at least that much. Clemson will pay its assistants a total of $7.1 million, for now the highest total in the country. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 450 words, photos.


Defensive lineman Derrick Brown had a newborn son and a chance to perhaps be a first-round NFL draft pick. He chose to stay put and finish his degree in a big offseason boost for the Tigers. By John Zenor. SENT: 550 words, photos.



PARIS _ Emiliano Sala waited near the penalty spot, anticipating the ball’s trajectory. When it finally came, he lurched forward and sent a powerful header into the bottom corner of the net. It was the last goal Sala would ever score. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 700 words, photos.

_ With:

— SOC--MISSING PLANE-SALA — Tributes paid across soccer for late Argentine player. SENT: 140 words, photos.

_ Also:

_ SOC--GHANA-JOURNALIST KILLED _ Six arrests in killing in Ghana of journalist who exposed corruption of top FIFA official. By Francis Kokutse. SENT: 600 words.


_ BBA--INDIANS-LINDOR INJURY _ All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor likely to miss start of season with calf strain. By Tom Withers. SENT: 140 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.

_ TEN--OPEN SUD DE FRANCE _ Tomas Berdych reaches semifinals of tennis tournament in Montpellier, France. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 200 words by 7 p.m.







Friday Time Schedule (EST)


Cleveland at Washington, 7 p.m.

Denver at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

New York at Detroit, 7 p.m.

Chicago at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Golden State at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Minnesota at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m.

Miami at Sacramento, 10 p.m.


Carolina at N.Y. Rangers, 8 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)


No. 3 Oregon at California, 11 p.m.

No. 7 Oregon State at No. 11 Stanford, 9 p.m.

No. 8 Marquette vs. Georgetown, 8 p.m.

No. 17 Utah vs. Southern California, 9 p.m.