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Saturday, February 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Tiger Woods drops out of Farmers Insurance Open with back pain

Tiger Woods lasted only 11 holes Thursday at Torrey Pines, as he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open with back pain. (Associated Press)
Tiger Woods lasted only 11 holes Thursday at Torrey Pines, as he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open with back pain. (Associated Press)

Golf: For the third time in his last eight PGA Tour events, Tiger Woods got into a cart in the middle of his round and was driven to the parking lot because of back pain. Most troubling about Thursday in the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego was he spoke only a week ago of feeling “great” physically, and this was only his second event of the year.

He blamed this one on the weather, which caused his back to stiffen up after 11 holes on the North Course at Torrey Pines.

Woods has now gone 12 straight PGA Tour events without a top-10 finish.

Nicholas Thompson had an 8-under 64 on the North Course and had a one-shot lead over Michael Thompson when play was suspended by darkness. Brooks Koepka, coming off his victory in the Phoenix Open, had a 66 on the North course. Ferris graduate Alex Prugh shot 70 on the North. The best score on the tougher South Course belonged to Jhonnatan Vegas, who shot 67.

Dustin Johnson, playing for the first time since his six-month leave for “personal challenges,” was 2 over with one hole remaining on the South course.

• Pancake leads in Bahamas: Brooke Pancake shot a 6-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead in the suspended first round of the Bahamas LPGA Classic at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Play was suspended for the day and more than inch of rain fell on Atlantis Resort’s Ocean Club course.

Second-ranked Inbee Park was tied for second with Natalie Gulbis and Brittany Lincicome. Gulbis is making her first start since having hip surgery in November.

• Westwood, McDowell tied: Defending champion Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell both shot a 6-under 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

They are one shot ahead of a trio that included Malaysian Danny Chia, who was even par through nine holes before thrilling the local galleries with a superb 31 on his back nine. England’s Tommy Fleetwood was also on 67 along with South Korean Kang Sung-hoon.

Cavs beat Clippers, push win streak to 12

NBA: LeBron James scored 23 points, Kevin Love had 24 and the host Cleveland Cavaliers pushed their winning streak to 12 games with an easy 105-94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, who also lost their composure.

The Cavs built a 32-point lead in the third quarter, allowing James and Love to sit out the fourth and rest. With their longest winning streak since a franchise-best 13-gamer in 2010, the Cavs moved into first place in the Central Division. Cleveland was seven games behind Chicago when the streak began with a victory over the Lakers on Jan. 15.

The Clippers were whistled for five technical fouls, including four in a contentious third quarter when they lost their cool and forward Matt Barnes was ejected.

Blake Griffin scored 16 and Jamal Crawford 13 for Los Angeles, whose subs made the score respectable in the fourth.

• Aldridge, Blazers best Suns: LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 13 rebounds for his team-record 220th double-double, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the visiting Phoenix Suns 108-87.

Nicolas Batum scored 20 points and Robin Lopez, playing for the second time after missing 23 games with a broken right hand, had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who won their second straight after a three-game skid.

Markieff Morris had 18 points for the Suns, who dropped their third in a row.

• Three-point field announced: Golden State guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will join Atlanta’s Kyle Korver and five other players in the Three-Point Contest before the NBA All-Star game.

Houston’s James Harden and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving also will compete along with defending champion Marco Belinelli of San Antonio, Portland’s Wesley Matthews and the Los Angeles Clippers’ J.J. Redick.

Ducks take top spot with win at Predators

NHL: Jakob Silfverberg scored two goals, and the Anaheim Ducks took the top of the NHL standings for themselves by beating the host Nashville Predators 5-2.

Anaheim and Nashville came in tied atop both the NHL and the Western Conference with 72 points, though the Predators have a game in hand.

Sami Vatanen and Matt Beleskey scored a goal each for Anaheim. The Ducks started a five-game road trip in dominating fashion even with center Ryan Getzlaf scratched after aggravating a lower-body injury in warmups.

• Johnson’s brace boosts Lightning: Former Chief Tyler Johnson scored two third-period goals, lifting the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning past the Dallas Stars 5-3.

Johnson tipped Brian Boyle’s shot from the top of the left faceoff circle down between goalie Kari Lehtonen’s legs to break a 3-3 tie with 3:37 remaining. He’d put Tampa Bay ahead 3-2 with a power-play goal at 12:27.

Nikita Kucherov scored into an empty net with 1:17 to go. Kucherov and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist.

South Carolina stays perfect, blasts UGA

Women’s basketball: Bianca Cuevas scored 16 points and top-ranked South Carolina protected its undefeated record by beating No. 22 Georgia 58-35 in Athens, Georgia.

South Carolina (22-0, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) plays at No. 2 Connecticut on Monday night in a matchup of the nation’s top two teams.

Tiffany Mitchell had 14 points for the Gamecocks.

Georgia (17-6, 5-5) has lost three straight – all to top-10 teams.

• Stringer sets Big Ten record: C. Vivian Stringer became the winningest coach in Big Ten history when Betnjiah Laney had 16 points and 14 rebounds to help No. 21 Rutgers beat 19th-ranked Nebraska 46-43 in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Stringer earned her 177th career Big Ten win, passing former Penn State coach Rene Portland for No. 1 on the conference’s victory list. Stringer won 169 of those games when she was coaching at Iowa.

Rutgers (17-5, 8-3 Big Ten) led 26-17 at the half before Nebraska (17-5, 7-4) closed to 28-26 with 14:33 left in the game. Then the Scarlet Knights took control scoring 10 of the next 12 points, including six by Tyler Scaife.

Hernandez jury won’t see some house items

Miscellany: A prosecutor in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez told a judge that several trophies and religious items had been added to Hernandez’s home since the 2013 killing, and asked that they be removed before the jury tours the house.

The defense agreed to remove the items, or to cover them before jurors see the home during a visit scheduled for today.

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