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Knicks beat Heat without Melo in lineup

New York’s Raymond Felton drives around Miami’s Chris Bosh. (Associated Press)
New York’s Raymond Felton drives around Miami’s Chris Bosh. (Associated Press)

Raymond Felton scored a season-high 27 points, and the New York Knicks connected on 18 3-pointers to more than offset the absence of Carmelo Anthony while topping Miami for the second time this season, beating the Heat 112-92 on Thursday night in Miami.

Steve Novak scored 18 points, J.R. Smith added 13 and Tyson Chandler scored 13 for the Knicks, who won their fifth straight and moved 1 1/2 games clear of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

’Melo sat out, one night after needing five stitches to close a cut on the middle finger of his left hand.

LeBron James nearly picked up his second straight triple-double – 31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists – in Miami’s second straight loss.

• Trail Blazers lay off three executives: The Portland Trail Blazers have laid off three longtime executives about a month after Chris McGowan became the new team president. Chief financial officer Gregg Olson, senior vice president of tickets and marketing Michele Daterman and senior vice president of human resources Traci Reandeau were let go.

Arkansas turns back 17th-ranked Kansas

Women’s basketball: Quistelle Williams scored 15 points, Keira Peak tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and the Arkansas Razorbacks (8-1) handed the No. 17 Kansas Jayhawks (7-1) their first loss of the season 64-56, in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Razorbacks were 14 of 21 from the free-throw line compared to Kansas, which was only 2 of 3.

Angel Goodrich notched a game-high 21 points for Kansas.

• No. 22 Iowa State knocked off: Melissa Dixon hit a pair of key buckets down the stretch at home as Iowa (7-3) beat 22nd-ranked Iowa State 50-42 in Iowa City, Iowa, despite blowing a 14-point lead.

Nikki Moody scored 12 to lead Iowa State (5-1).

Rays sign Loney to one-year contract

Baseball: Free-agent first baseman James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays completed their $2 million, 1-year contract.

The sides agreed on the deal earlier this week at the baseball winter meetings, pending a physical. Loney can make an additional $1 million in performance bonuses.

• Johnson stays with Braves: Reed Johnson, the top pinch hitter in the National League last season, rejoined the Atlanta Braves with a one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.

• Uehara joins Red Sox: Reliever Koji Uehara has reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, pending a physical.

The 37-year-old right-hander spent the last two seasons with the Texas Rangers.

• Twins re-sign reliever: The Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Jared Burton on a two-year, $5.5 million contract that includes a club option for the 2015 season.

• Phillies acquire Revere: The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handed starter Vance Worley and righty Trevor May, who pitched at Double-A Reading last season.

Mastroeni will return to Rapids next season

Soccer: Colorado captain Pablo Mastroeni is returning to the Rapids for a 12th season in 2013.

Mastroeni is the club’s career leader in games played and a veteran of two World Cups. He spent much of last season on the disabled list with concussion symptoms. He had suffered a series of head injuries dating to the 2011 season that caused him to miss games.

The 36-year-old midfielder has played in 218 games for the Rapids, whom he joined in 2002 after four seasons with the Miami Fusion. He took over from John Spencer as captain on Sept. 23, 2004, and has held that role ever since.

• Carr tore ACL: The Houston Dynamo say forward Calen Carr suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the MLS championship game against the L.A. Galaxy over the weekend.

Carr, 30, is expected to have surgery in several weeks and then a potential date for his return to the field will be set.

Harris takes lead at National Finals Rodeo

Rodeo: Three-time world bull riding champion J.W. Harris had a 90.5-point ride on Stink Eye in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas to win the opening round and take the lead in the world standings.

Harris, from Mullin, Texas, earned $18,257 to move from second to first with $170,886.

Previous leader Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, one of only five cowboys with successful first-round rides, finished fourth with a 74.5 on Gauteraux’s Iron Horse. He has earned $167, 225.