Rubio lifts Minnesota over Spurs
NBA: Ricky Rubio scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and dished out 10 assists to lift the host Minnesota Timberwolves to an 87-79 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night at Minneapolis.
Kevin Love had 18 points and 16 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic added 14 points and 10 boards for the Wolves, who have beaten the Spurs two straight times in the same season for the first time since 2000.
• Heat defeats 3-point-crazed Knicks: LeBron James scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade scored 28 in his return from a sprained right ankle, and the Miami Heat beat the 3-point-obsessed New York Knicks 99-89 in Miami.
Bill Walker scored 21 points for New York, which took 43 shots from 3-point range, the most in the NBA this season and a total that had the Knicks flirting with Dallas’ NBA record of 49 set in 1996. The Knicks connected on 18 from beyond the arc, Walker making seven.
• Hawks force overtime, stun Pistons: Joe Johnson scored 28 of his 30 points after halftime, including a tough, tying 3-pointer over Rodney Stuckey with 1.9 seconds left in regulation, and the Atlanta Hawks stunned the host Detroit Pistons 107-101 in overtime.
• Celtics go on run to top Pacers: Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 28 points in the third quarter, hitting a 3-pointer and two more baskets as the Celtics ran off 11 consecutive points to pull away and beat the Indiana Pacers 94-87 in Boston.
Pierce added 10 rebounds and eight assists to help Boston win its fourth consecutive game despite playing without starters Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Jermaine O’Neal.
• Hornets end long losing streak: Carl Landry scored 17 points and the host New Orleans Hornets snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 93-67 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Before the game, Hornets general manager Dell Demps said the club has decided to pursue a trade for 7-foot veteran center Chris Kaman. Kaman has started six games and played in 17, averaging 9.2 points and 6.6 rebounds. He has an expiring contract paying him about $14 million this season.
• Trail Blazers rout Suns: LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and seven rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers blew out the Phoenix Suns 109-71 for their sixth straight win at home.
• Durant leads Thunder to win: Kevin Durant had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Russell Westbrook dazzled with 28 points and 11 assists and the Oklahoma City Thunder, which boasts the best record in the league, defeated Golden State 120-109 at Oakland, Calif.
Abbott has big lead at U.S. Skating
Figure skating: Jeremy Abbott took a commanding lead at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., with a short program that would hold its own against anyone in the world.
Abbott’s easy, breezy performance to a swing medley scored a whopping 90.23 points, a personal best and a mark that puts him in world champion Patrick Chan’s territory.
Abbott, a two-time national champion, leads Adam Rippon by 7.29 points going into Sunday’s free skate. Armin Mahbanoozadeh was third.
Earlier Friday, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the first U.S. team to win a world ice dance title, easily won the short dance.
Vonn wins super- combined event
Skiing: Lindsey Vonn won a World Cup super-combined event at St. Moritz, Switzerland, to extend her lead in the overall standings against second-place Tina Maze. The American defended her lead from the morning downhill with a solid slalom leg to clock a combined two-run time of 2 minutes, 28.35 seconds. Maze of Slovenia was 0.41 seconds back and third-place Nicole Hosp of Austria trailed Vonn by 0.58.
Vonn earned 100 World Cup points for the victory and leads Maze by 302. The 48th career World Cup win began her defense of the super-combined season title.
Woods two shots back in Abu Dhabi
Golf: Tiger Woods moved into contention in the second round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates, shooting a 3-under 69 to finish two shots behind leader Thorbjorn Olesen. Olesen, from Denmark, shot a 67 to reach 7 under. Teen stars Matteo Mannasero of Italy and Gareth Maybin of Northern Ireland were a stroke back. Mannasero shot a 65, and Maybin had a 70.
• Stanley one-shot leader: Kyle Stanley made more than enough birdies to offset one big mistake, giving him a 4-under 68 on the South Course at Torrey Pines in San Diego and a one-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open.
Stanley went over the back of the 14th green and into the hazard for a double bogey, but made five birdies the rest of the way and wound up one shot clear of Brandt Snedeker, who had a 64 on the North Course.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his hometown tournament for the first time in 10 years.
Gronkowski listed as questionable
NFL: Rob Gronkowski’s playing status for the Super Bowl was listed as questionable after the star tight end missed the New England Patriots’ practice for the second straight day with a high ankle sprain, according to his father.
U.S. women’s soccer team qualifies
Miscellany: The U.S. women’s soccer team qualified for the Olympics by defeating Costa Rica 3-0 in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament at Vancouver, B.C., in a game more suspenseful than most anyone expected.
Tobin Heath scored in the 16th minute to give U.S. all the scoring it needed, and goals by Carli Lloyd (72nd) and Alex Morgan (89th) put the game away late.
The victory also puts the Americans into the tournament final Sunday, a bragging-rights-only game against Canada, which beat Mexico 3-1 in the second semifinal and also qualified for the London Games.
• Rachel Alexandra in hospital: A spokeswoman says Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, and her newborn colt have been taken to an equine clinic in Lexington, Ky., for pain management related to the birth. The horses are expected to return to Stonestreet Farm in a couple of days, barring unforeseen issues.
• Blackhawks get Morrison from Flames: The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired veteran center Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames for minor league defenseman Brian Connelly. The 36-year-old Morrison has 200 goals and 601 points in parts of 15 NHL seasons, the past two with the Flames. He has four goals and seven assists this season.