Sloan steps down after 23 years in Utah
NBA: Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan stepped down Thursday after 23 seasons and 1,127 wins as head coach of the Utah Jazz.
“I had a feeling this time was the time to move on,” an emotional Sloan said during a news conference. “(That’s) a long time to be in one organization. Again, I’ve been blessed. Today is a new day. When I get this over with, I’ll feel better. My time is up and it’s time to move on.”
Longtime assistant Phil Johnson, 69, also resigned, surprising even Sloan during their postgame chat Wednesday night with general manager Kevin O’Connor.
The two men agreed to sleep on their decisions Wednesday night at the request of team owners and O’Connor, who said he “begged” Sloan not to resign.
Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin will take over as head coach.
Sloan, the longest-tenured coach in the four major professional sports, hinted that something was in the works after delaying his postgame press conference Wednesday for more than 30 minutes because of what he said was a meeting with O’Connor.
• Bryant rallies Lakers past Celtics; Allen sets mark: Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half, and the Los Angeles Lakers spoiled Ray Allen’s record-setting night by beating the Celtics 92-86 in an NBA Finals rematch in Boston.
Allen became the NBA’s career leader in 3-pointers in the first quarter, but Bryant later put him on the bench in foul trouble during his big second half that rallied Los Angeles from a 15-point deficit.
Pau Gasol added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers.
Hardy, St. John’s topple No. 10 UConn
Men’s basketball: Dwight Hardy scored a career-high 33 points and St. John’s took command in the second half in an 89-72 victory over No. 10 Connecticut, the Red Storm’s fourth win over a top-13 team this season at Madison Square Garden in New York.
D.J. Kennedy matched his season high with 20 points and had 11 rebounds for St. John’s (14-9, 6-5 Big East).
Roscoe Smith’s 16 points paced the Huskies (18-5, 6-5).
Staal, Penguins clip Kings in overtime
NHL: Jordan Staal scored the winning goal with 18.4 seconds left in overtime to lift the host Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 win over the Los Angles Kings.
Neither team had scored since the first period and it appeared a shootout was on the way. Staal ended that when he ripped a shot past Jonathan Quick for his fourth goal.
• Okposo gives Islanders SO win over Canadiens: Kyle Okposo scored on New York’s fourth shootout attempt and Mikko Koskinen got his first NHL win in the Islanders’ 4-3 victory over the host Montreal Canadiens.
Former Spokane Chiefs winger Michael Grabner drew the Islanders even at 3 with his second goal of the game 4:08 into the third. Grabner’s first goal 17:10 into the second tied it at 2.
• Myers lifts Sabres to OT win over Panthers: Tyler Myers scored at 4:55 in overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.
• Flyers use power play to edge Hurricanes: Jeff Carter and Danny Briere each scored a power-play goal, Brian Boucher stopped 31 shots and the host Philadelphia Flyers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1.
League, players’ union cancel talks
NFL: Negotiations to prevent an NFL lockout took a grim turn with the cancellation of the second day of a planned two-day bargaining session in Washington.
“We wish we were negotiating today,” NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah said. “That’s all I can say.”
There are just three weeks to go before the collective bargaining agreement expires on March 3.
• Panel votes to replace Metrodome roof: The landlords of the Metrodome voted unanimously to replace the snow-damaged roof of the venerable Minneapolis stadium, opting for a more time- consuming fix.
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission approved a recommendation from engineers who said they worried simply repairing several torn panels of the stadium’s Teflon roof wouldn’t be enough to prevent another failure.
Work could get under way by the middle of March with a goal of finishing by Aug. 1, at an estimated cost of $18.3 million.
McIlroy takes early lead in Dubai Classic
Golf: Rory McIlroy upstaged the world’s top three golfers with a 7-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead at the Dubai Desert Classic, four shots better than No. 1 Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer and six ahead Tiger Woods in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
McIlroy had eight birdies to go with one bogey at the Emirates Golf Club. Sergio Garcia (67) and Thomas Aiken (67) trail by two shots.
Woods finished at 1 under after an eagle on the 18th hole.
• Marino, Points atop the leaderboard at Pebble: D.A. Points fired eight first-round birdies on the Shore Course to open with a 7-under 63 and share the lead with Steve Marino in Pebble Beach, Calif.
Marino shot 7-under 65 at Spyglass Hill.
A group at 5 under includes Gary Woodland, whose 67 was the best score at Pebble Beach.
Alex Prugh (Ferris, UW) shot a 2-under 68 on the Shore Course and sits five shots back.