Blake lifts Lakers over Howard, Rockets
NBA: Steve Blake hit a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 99-98 victory over Dwight Howard and the host Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Houston led by two points before Blake took the inbounds pass from Jodie Meeks and made the shot to win the game.
The Rockets had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Patrick Beverley’s 3-point attempt bounced off the backboard.
Howard finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds against his former team. He missed seven free throws in the last 3 1/2 minutes that could have secured the win for Houston.
• Heat hold off Clippers: Dwyane Wade scored 29 points, 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat held off the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 102-97.
LeBron James added 18 points for the Heat, who extended their club record by scoring at least 100 points in a sixth straight game to start the year.
• Nuggets beat Hawks for first win: Ty Lawson had 23 points and eight assists and the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the visiting Atlanta Hawks 109-107 to give new head coach Brian Shaw his first win.
Nate Robinson added 15 points and JaVale McGee had 14 for Denver, which rallied from eight points down in the fourth quarter before surviving a late Atlanta rally.
• Warriors say Curry has bruised ankle: The Golden State Warriors say an MRI on point guard Stephen Curry’s left ankle shows a bone bruise and his status is officially day to day.
Curry was injured in the third quarter of Golden State’s victory at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Curry had repeated problems with his left ankle during last year’s playoffs. He has had two surgeries on his right ankle.
Capitals rally over Wild in shootout
NHL: Nicklas Backstrom scored the only goal in a shootout, and the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 at home for their fourth straight victory.
Braden Holtby had 33 saves for the Capitals before blanking the Wild during the shootout.
Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson scored Washington’s regulation goals.
• Stars slip past Red Wings in OT: Rich Peverley’s goal at 4:41 of overtime completed a comeback and gave the Dallas Stars a 4-3 road win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Peverley beat Howard on a wrist shot from the high slot.
Shawn Horcoff, Jamie Benn and Cody Eakin also scored for Dallas. Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 shots for the Stars.
• Stamkos leads Lightning over Oilers: Steven Stamkos had two goals to help the Lightning beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 in Tampa Bay, Fla., their sixth win in seven games.
Stamkos, who extended his goal-scoring streak to five games, has 13 goals this season. Ben Bishop made saves on first-period breakaway shots by Mark Arcobello and Taylor Hall.
• Canucks end skid with Sharks: Chris Higgins had a goal and an assist and Roberto Luongo made 22 saves as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Sharks with a 4-2 victory in San Jose, Calif.
• Knee injury to sideline Flames’ Glencross: Calgary Flames left wing Curtis Glencross is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee ligament.
Glencross injured his medial collateral ligament Tuesday in a loss at Minnesota.
Djokovic moves into semis at ATP Finals
Tennis: Defending champion Novak Djokovic joined top-ranked Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London by defeating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Djokovic, undefeated in last year’s Finals, improved to 2-0 in Group B with his victory over the hard-hitting Argentine. Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in his opening match.
Nadal qualified from Group A on Wednesday when he beat Stanislas Wawrinka to clinch the season-ending No. 1 ranking for the third time.
Federer eliminated Richard Gasquet with a straight-sets victory 6-4, 6-3.
A win against del Potro on Saturday will guarantee Federer a spot in the semis.
Gay, Baird grab share of lead at Sea Island
Golf: Heavy fog allowed Brian Gay a quick nap, and he no longer felt so sluggish after traveling halfway around the world from Shanghai to Sea Island in St. Simons Island, Ga.
Gay had enough energy to make eight birdies on his way to a 7-under 63, giving him a share of the lead with Briny Baird among early starters in the McGladrey Classic. The opening round could not be completed because of a fog delay lasting nearly two hours.
Once the sun burned off the fog, the Seaside course was a pushover with virtually no wind. George McNeill ran off five straight birdies and was 8 under with two holes remaining. Will MacKenzie reached 7 under through 16 holes until dropping three shots in two holes for a 66.
Scott Piercy and Boo Weekley also were in China last week for the HSBC Champions, and each opened with a 67.
Cubs officially name Renteria new skipper
Baseball: The Chicago Cubs hired former Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as their new manager.
Renteria, a 51-year-old first-year skipper was given a three-year contract, with club options for 2017 and 2018. Terms were not disclosed.
He has spent the last six seasons in San Diego, the last three as bench coach. Renteria has also coached in the Florida Marlins organization and in March managed Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. He replaces Dale Sveum, who was fired after going 127-197 in two losing seasons.
• Rangers, Perez agree to 4-year deal: Left-hander Martin Perez has agreed to a $12.5 million, four-year contract with the Texas Rangers that could be worth $32.55 million over seven seasons.
The 22-year-old Perez got a deal that includes three club options through 2020.
Perez went 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA as a rookie last season, despite starting the season on the disabled list after breaking his left forearm in a spring training game.
Poland, Slovakia bid for 2022 Olympics
Miscellany: Poland wants to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games with neighboring Slovakia.
Under the plans, Poland’s historic city of Krakow would host the games along with Alpine events held across the border in Slovakia.
The Norwegian capital of Oslo also announced its bid, joining: the Ukrainian city of Lviv; Beijing and the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou; and Almaty, Kazakhstan. A referendum will be held Sunday in Germany on a proposed bid from Munich.
The IOC will select the 2022 host city in 2015.