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Sports in brief: Longtime Wizards owner Pollin dies

Wizards’  owner Abe Pollin left his mark in Washington.  (Associated Press)
Wizards’ owner Abe Pollin left his mark in Washington. (Associated Press)

Basketball: Abe Pollin, the Washington Wizards owner who brought an NBA championship to the nation’s capital and later had the mettle to stand up to Michael Jordan, died Tuesday. He was 85.

His death was announced by his company, Washington Sports & Entertainment. No details were disclosed but Pollin suffered from progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder impairs movement and balance. He had heart bypass surgery in 2005 and broke his pelvis two years later.

“With Abe Pollin’s passing, the NBA family has lost its most revered member, whose stewardship of the Wizards franchise, together with his wife Irene, has been a study in unparalleled dedication to the city of Washington,” NBA commissioner David Stern said.

Pollin was the NBA’s longest-tenured owner. With his death, a group led by longtime AOL executive Ted Leonsis is poised to take ownership of a Washington-area sports empire that began when Pollin purchased the Baltimore Bullets in 1964.

•Antawn Jamison had 32 points and 14 rebounds and Nick Young scored 20 to lead the Wizards past the Philadelphia 76ers 108-107 in Washington.

•Thunder storm past Jazz: Kevin Durant scored 28 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a late surge by Utah for a 104-94 win over the Jazz in Salt Lake City.

Durant also had eight assists to end a four-game losing streak in Utah.

•Jackson to play in Australia: Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson will play out the Australian season for the Canberra Capitals in the Women’s National Basketball League.

Longhorns win CBE championship

College basketball: J’Covan Brown scored 12 points, replacing guard Varez Ward who was injured in pregame warmups, and helped third-ranked Texas beat Pittsburgh 78-62 in the championship game of the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo.

The loss ended the Panthers’ remarkable run of 38 consecutive victories in the month of November.

•Lady Bears freshman dunks in win: Baylor freshman Brittney Griner became the seventh woman to dunk in a college game with her one-handed slam in the eight-ranked Lady Bears’ 104-45 win over Jacksonville State in Waco, Texas.

Bergeron leads Montreal to victory

NHL: Marc-Andre Bergeron scored his second goal of the game 4:46 into the third period, leading the Canadiens to a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Montreal.

Carey Price stopped 33 shots for Montreal.

Chairs of concussion panel resign

Football: Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a wide-ranging memo about concussions to NFL teams, saying the co-chairmen of the league’s committee on brain injuries have resigned and that he is examining potential rule changes “to reduce head impacts.”

Goodell wrote that Dr. Ira Casson and Dr. David Viano, who have led the league committee on concussions since 2007, “have graciously offered to resign from those positions and to continue to assist the committee in its important work. We have accepted those resignations and are currently identifying their replacements.”

•Roethlisberger expected to play: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a concussion, but is expected to play Sunday at Baltimore as long as he continues to pass the daily tests given to players who have sustained the injury.

•Leftwich’s season over: Byron Leftwich’s season is over after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put the backup quarterback on injured reserve with a sore right elbow.

•Bills consider Shanahan: The Buffalo Bills consider two-time Super Bowl-winner Mike Shanahan a legitimate candidate to be their next head coach.

A person familiar with the Bills’ search told the AP that the team has contacted the former Denver Broncos’ coach.

•Clausen sports shiner: Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was sporting a black eye behind the tinted visor he wore to practice.

According to a university official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter, Clausen was punched outside a South Bend bar early Sunday morning.

Coach Charlie Weis declined to talk about the dustup at his news conference other than to say Clausen would practice this week and start Saturday against Stanford.

Federer ensures No. 1 ranking with victory

Miscellany: Roger Federer once again bounced back after losing the first set, rallying to beat Andy Murray 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at the ATP World Tour Finals in London and ensuring he will have the year-end No. 1 ranking for the fifth time.

Federer, who has two wins from two matches in Group A and is favored to reach the semifinals at the season-ending tournament, still has to play Juan Martin del Potro in the round-robin stage.

•Barcelona holds off Inter Milan: Barcelona revived its chances of holding onto the Champions League title with a 2-0 victory over visiting Inter Milan, while Fiorentina and Arsenal advanced to the second round and Liverpool was eliminated.

•Little League alters pitching rules: Little League Baseball is tweaking its pitch count rules so they are the same in regular season and tournament play.

Beginning next season, a 12-year-old who throws the maximum 85 pitches will be required to rest four days, whether during the regular season or tournament play.

•Feds want rehearing over drug list: Federal officials are asking for a rehearing of an appeals court decision that said the government illegally seized drug-testing samples and records of baseball players who allegedly tested positive for steroids.