Kobe returns, but Lakers lose to Raptors
NBA: Kobe Bryant had nine points and eight rebounds in his season debut for the Lakers, but Amir Johnson scored a career-high 32 points in the visiting Toronto Raptors’ 106-94 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Bryant began his 18th NBA season by going 2 for 9 with four assists and eight turnovers in 28 minutes. The fourth-leading scorer in NBA history hadn’t played since tearing his Achilles tendon in April, undergoing several months of rehabilitation to return for Los Angeles’ 20th game of the new season.
But the Lakers never led, and Toronto snapped its five-game losing streak.
Nick Young scored 19 points for the Lakers, who went 10-9 without Bryant this season.
• Durant scores 36, leads Thunder past Pacers: Kevin Durant had 36 points and 10 rebounds and Oklahoma City turned a matchup of two of the NBA’s best teams into a blowout with a 118-94 win over the visiting Indiana Pacers.
The Thunder improved to 10-0 at home this season. They are the only Western Conference team to remain undefeated at home.
Russell Westbrook finished with 26 points, Reggie Jackson had 15 and Serge Ibaka 13 for the Thunder.
Paul George scored 32 points for the Pacers, who shot just 40 percent (34 of 85).
• Celtics beat Knicks in season’s biggest rout: Jordan Crawford scored 23 points and the visiting Boston Celtics posted the most lopsided victory in the NBA this season, bursting out to another sizzling start and pouring it on from there to batter the New York Knicks 114-73.
Jared Sullinger added 21 for the Celtics, who jumped to leads of 12-0, 18-1 and 25-3 and improved their Atlantic Division-leading record to 10-12.
• Source: Gay headed to Kings: A person familiar with the deal said the Toronto Raptors have reached an agreement to send Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings in a multiplayer trade.
The Raptors will receive Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. The Kings also will acquire Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade is still pending NBA approval, said the deal is expected to become official today.
Santorelli’s two goals help Canucks top Avs
NHL: Mike Santorelli scored two goals and added an assist in the Vancouver Canucks’ 3-1 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
The Canucks earned their fifth win in sixth games and moved within a point of the Avalanche in the tight Western Conference standings.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere lost for the first time in eight decisions this season. The Avalanche were beaten for just the third time in nine games.
Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks. Jamie McGinn had the lone goal for Colorado, scored with only 7.1 seconds left. That kept Roberto Luongo from earning his 65th NHL shutout.
• Wild make shots count, beat Sharks: Josh Harding made 37 saves in another strong home outing, and the Minnesota Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in St. Paul, Minn., despite recording only 13 shots.
Zach Parise scored twice – once into an empty net – and Mikko Koivu added a goal for the Wild, who have won three of four.
Patrick Marleau scored with 1:41 left for San Jose, which is 0-5-1 in its past six games in Minnesota.
• Lecavalier out a month: Philadelphia Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier could miss a month because of a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. Lecavalier has already missed three games due to back spasms.
UCLA women win first NCAA soccer title
Soccer: Kodi Lavrusky gave UCLA its first NCAA women’s soccer title, scoring in the 97th minute to lift the Bruins past Florida State 1-0 in overtime in cold and rainy conditions in Cary, N.C.
The Bruins (22-1-3) finished the season with a 21-game unbeaten streak. They had 15 shutouts during that span, including five of six matches in the NCAA tournament.
Florida State (23-2-3) had its nine-game winning streak snapped.
• Fan violence halts match: A Brazilian league soccer match in Sao Paulo was stopped by fan violence in the stands, police fired rubber bullets and an injured man was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital.
Supporters from Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama fought before police intervened. Groups of fans punched and kicked each other several times and police fired rubber bullets to contain the situation.
The match restarted after a delay of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Ligety edges Miller for World Cup win
Winter sports: Ted Ligety turned in a flawless final run to win a fourth straight World Cup race, edging U.S. teammate Bode Miller in Beaver Creek, Colo.
Ligety completed the technical course in a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 35.77 seconds, eclipsing Miller by 1.32 seconds. Marcel Hirscher of Austria was third.
It’s the first time the Americans have placed two skiers on a GS podium since 2005, when Miller and Daron Rahlves went 1-2.
Ligety also became the first to capture four straight World Cup giant slalom races since Italy’s Alberto Tomba accomplished the feat in 1991.
• Richardson captures 1,000 meters: American Heather Richardson won the 1,000-meter race in World Cup speedskating in Berlin, the final World Cup event before the Sochi Olympics.
She led a 1-2 finish for the United States, capturing her third win in four races in the event.
Richardson finished in 1:14.51, defeating Brittany Bowe by 0.91 seconds. Russia’s Olga Fatkulina was third.
Olympic champion Mo Tae-bum of South Korea edged Joji Kato of Japan by two-thousandths of a second in the 500-meter race. Dutchman Michel Mulder was third.
• Gut wins super-G: Lara Gut of Switzerland won a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, by three-hundredths of a second for her fourth victory of a World Cup season that is only eight races old. She’s won two super-Gs, one downhill and one slalom.
Gut finished in 1 minute, 22.86 seconds to edge Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein, while Anna Fenninger of Austria was third in 1:23.19.
Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn was fifth Sunday in 1:23.71, showing more progress in her comeback from major knee surgery after coming 40th on Friday, then 11th on Saturday.
Wyoming hires Bohl as new football coach
Miscellany: Craig Bohl is promising Wyoming football fans a great ride in the years ahead after being hired as head coach of the Cowboys.
Bohl comes to Wyoming after 11 years at North Dakota State, where he has won two Football Championship Subdivision titles and is in the process of seeking a third.
Bohl will remain NDSU’s head coach through the end of its playoff run.
When Bohl takes over at Wyoming, he will be paid a base salary of $750,000 a year with the opportunity to earn up to $1.2 million with incentives.
Bohl replaces Dave Christensen, who was fired on Dec. 1 after five seasons.
• Oregon gets past Mississippi: Mike Moser scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half and overtime to lead No. 13 Oregon past Mississippi 115-105 in Oxford, Miss.
Johnathan Loyd added 25 points, and Joseph Young had 19, including an important 3-pointer in overtime to push the Ducks (8-0) ahead 100-93 with 1:59 remaining.
Marshall Henderson had a career-high 39 points for Ole Miss (6-2).
• Qualls returning to Astros: Right-handed reliever Chad Qualls and the Houston Astros, his original team, agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract with a team option for 2016.
Qualls went 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 66 games for the Miami Marlins this year and has made at least 50 appearances in nine straight seasons. He has pitched for eight clubs in his big league career, going 45-37 with 51 saves and a 3.79 ERA in 663 appearances.