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Headlines from Around the World in Sports

NBA

Lakers fire second-year coach Brown after 1-4 start

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers fired Coach Mike Brown yesterday after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced the surprising move several hours before they hosted Golden State. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers against the Warriors while the club’s top brass searches for Brown’s replacement after just 18 months in charge.

Los Angeles began the season with championship expectations after trading for center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash, adding two superstars alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. But the Lakers went 0-8 during the preseason last month for the first time in franchise history before stumbling into the regular season with an 0-3 start, losing to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers.

After finally beating Detroit last Sunday for their first win, the Lakers looked listless again in a loss at Utah on Wednesday, dropping to last place in the Western Conference.

Sprint Cup

Report: Harvick signs
with Stewart-Haas Racing

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Tony Stewart reportedly signed Kevin Harvick to drive for his team beginning in 2014.

Stewart would not comment yesterday on the report by ESPN.com, which said Harvick signed a multi-year agreement to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing when his contract expires after next season. Asked about the report at Phoenix International Raceway, Stewart said he doesn’t discuss business until he’s got something official to announce.

Stewart, a three-time series champion, is expanding SHR to three cars next year when Danica Patrick moves to the Sprint Cup Series full-time. Stewart and Ryan Newman have driven for the team since Stewart became a co-owner in 2009, and Patrick is driving her 10th and final race of the season Sunday at Phoenix.

Team spokesman Mike Arning said Friday that Stewart’s goal has always been to expand to four cars and Harvick, one of Stewart’s close friends in NASCAR, would be a candidate if available when the team is ready.

NFL

Steelers, receiver Sanders fined for faking injury

PITTSBURGH – The NFL levied $50,000 in fines to the Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for faking an injury during an Oct. 21 game in Cincinnati.

Sanders was fined $15,000 and the organization $35,000. Sanders grabbed the back of his leg and collapsed to the ground during the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s 24-17 win.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson handed out the discipline after meeting with Sanders last week.

Anderson said it found no evidence the Steelers, on an organization-wide basis, were instructing or condoning the faking of injuries for competitive purposes.

NFL

Vikings’ Harvin listed as doubtful for Lions game

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin is listed as doubtful for the game tomorrow against Detroit with a sprained left ankle.

Harvin did not practice all week after being injured against Seattle. He is widely considered one of the toughest players on the roster, so Coach Leslie Frazier says he is not ruling out Harvin entirely just yet. He will try to test things again today and before the game tomorrow before a final determination is made.

NFL

Locker set to start at
QB for Titans vs. Dolphins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Quarterback Jake Locker is set to start for the Tennessee Titans tomorrow against Miami in his first game in more than a month.

Coach Mike Munchak said yesterday that Locker looks good and is ready to go unless something comes up between now and kickoff Sunday in Miami. The coach says Locker moved around and reacted well. Locker separated his left, non-throwing shoulder for the second time in four games on Sept. 30 against Houston.

Baseball

Lee MacPhail, oldest
Hall of Famer, dies at 95

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Lee MacPhail, the former American League president who followed his father into baseball’s Hall of Fame and whose son, Andy, became a top executive for several major league teams, died at 95.

He was the oldest Hall of Famer, and he died Thursday night at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., the Hall of Fame said yesterday.

In the second generation of one of baseball’s most famous families – and part of the only father-son Hall of Fame pairing – MacPhail’s most well-known moment in baseball came in 1983. He upheld Kansas City’s protest in the Pine Tar Game against the New York Yankees, restoring a ninth-inning home run to Royals slugger George Brett – also a future Hall of Famer.

Lee MacPhail was the son of Larry MacPhail, a top executive with the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees.

College basketball

Feds drop sex abuse case against Syracuse’s Fine

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Federal officials are dropping their investigation of sexual abuse claims against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.

They said yesterday they found no evidence to support a man’s accusations that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room when the team played there. Zach Tomaselli initially said Fine put pornography on the hotel room television, then molested him. He later said he was lying.

Before Tomaselli’s claim, two other men accused Fine of molesting them, but the statute of limitations prevented any investigation into those claims.

Fine denied the charges but was fired after Tomaselli went public in November.

Tennis

Djokovic, Murray advance
to semis at ATP finals

LONDON – Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray won their final group matches yesterday at the ATP finals, sending both into tomorrow’s semifinals.

Djokovic improved to 3-0 at the season-ending event for the top eight players in the world, beating Tomas Berdych, 6-2, 7-6 (6).

Murray, needing only to win a set to advance, defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-2, 7-6 (3), in the late match at the O2 Arena.

In Group B, six-time champion Roger Federer has already qualified for the semifinals and will face Juan Martin del Potro in his final group match today. David Ferrer is also in the group and can still qualify for the semis, while Janko Tipsarevic has been eliminated.

Bobsledding

Jones, Fenlator win silver in women’s World Cup opener

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Reigning world champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada won the gold medal in the World Cup bobsled season-opener, beating the United States team of Lolo Jones and Jazmine Fenlator.

Humphries and brakewoman Chelsea Valois finished the two runs at Lake Placid in 1 minute, 54.86 seconds, 0.47 seconds ahead of Fenlator and Jones, a two-time Olympian in hurdles.

Bobsledding

Holcomb, Butner 1-2 for U.S. men at World Cup opener

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Steven Holcomb won the two-man gold medal in the World Cup bobsled season opener at Mount Van Hoevenberg as the United States swept the top two spots.

Holcomb and brakeman Steve Langton finished the two heats in 1 minute, 51.75 seconds to best teammates Cory Butner and brakeman Charles Berkeley by 0.60 seconds.

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