Golf: Sunshine is always a pleasant surprise at Pebble Beach, California, and Thursday brought a real stunner: John Daly was near the top of the leaderboard.
With his best opening round on the PGA Tour in nearly 10 years, Daly kept a clean card at Pebble Beach on a magnificent day along the Monterey Peninsula for a 7-under-par 65, leaving him one shot behind J.B. Holmes and Justin Hicks in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Daly won an exhibition in Turkey last year. The last official win for the two-time major champion was at Torrey Pines in 2004.
His golf was as glorious as the sunshine. Three years ago, a beautiful day gave way to fog and then rain without notice in a 2-hour span. Last year, the third round was ravaged by rain and 30 mph win. Thursday brought long shadows.
Hicks and Holmes each shot 8-under 64 at Pebble Beach, typically the easiest course in the rotation in benign conditions.
Jim Furyk, former Pebble winner Brandt Snedeker and Chesson Hadley were at 7-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula, while J.J. Henry and Dudley Hart joined Daly at 65 at Pebble Beach. The low score at Spyglass Hill belonged to Ferris High grad Alex Prugh, who made eight birdies to check in at 6-under 66.
Bulls douse Cavs in Central showdown
NBA: Derrick Rose scored 30 points, and the Chicago Bulls handed Cleveland just its second loss in 16 games, beating the visiting Cavaliers 113-98.
Pau Gasol added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Snell scored 22, helping offset a 31-point performance by LeBron James, and Bulls sent another strong signal that their recent struggles might be behind them.
Chicago led most of the way against the NBA’s hottest team and pulled away in the fourth quarter to collect their fourth straight win.
• Butler plans to play in ASG: Bulls guard Jimmy Butler plans to play in the NBA All-Star game but has dropped out of the skills challenge because of a strained right shoulder.
A first-time All-Star, Butler is averaging 20.4 points and 5.8 rebounds.
He aggravated the shoulder during the first half of Tuesday’s win over Sacramento and sat out the final two quarters. He did not play against Cleveland.
• Kings, Karl reach agreement: The Sacramento Kings announced that they reached an agreement in principle with George Karl to become the head coach.
Karl, the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history, is expected to coach the Kings in their first game following the All-Star break at home against Boston on Feb. 20.
Earlier, the Kings announced that Tyrone Corbin had been relieved of his head coaching duties but will remain in the front office as an adviser.
Epps, Kentucky edge Bulldogs in 2OT
Women’s basketball: Makayla Epps capped a career night with a putback basket as time expired in the second overtime to give No. 10 Kentucky a wild 92-90 victory over No. 13 Mississippi State in Lexington, Kentucky.
Epps scored 42 points but saved her biggest basket for last as she grabbed her miss and put in a soft shot for the winner that sparked a big celebration for the Wildcats (19-5, 8-3 Southeastern Conference).
The sophomore guard’s scoring total was second in program history behind Jennifer O’Neill’s 43 points against Baylor last season. Epps made 18 of 30 from the field including two 3-pointers that helped the Wildcats win their third in a row.
Epps also won a scoring duel with the Bulldogs’ Victoria Vivians, whose career-high 39 points with five 3s gave Mississippi State (23-4, 9-4) chances to win.
• Tar Heels rally to top Seminoles: Allisha Gray scored 13 of her 22 points in the final 6 minutes to lead No. 17 North Carolina to a 71-63 comeback win against No. 7 Florida State in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Gray added 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (20-5, 7-4 ACC) and took over in the final minutes.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Seminoles (22-3, 9-2), who were led by Ivey Slaughter’s 15 points.
Florida State led by 10 early in the second half, but UNC fought back and tied it at 57 on Gray’s 3-pointer with 4:20 remaining.
Predators stay on top with 4th straight win
NHL: Rookie Filip Forsberg set a franchise record with his 19th goal this season and also had an assist and the Nashville Predators beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 at Nashville, Tennessee, for their fourth consecutive victory.
Forsberg topped the mark previously held by Alexander Radulov in 2006-07 with a power-play goal that put Nashville up 2-1 in the second period.
Shea Weber had a goal and two assists, James Neal had a goal, and Roman Josi added two assists as Nashville maintained a three-point lead atop the NHL standings.
Michael Frolik scored for the Jets.
• Hitchcock moves up with Blues win: Alexander Steen had a goal and two assists to help St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock move into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL wins list in the Blues’ 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Tampa, Florida.
Hitchcock’s 693rd regular-season win broke a tie with Dick Irvin. The Blues coach only trails Joel Quenneville (739), Al Arbour (782) and Scotty Bowman (1,244).
T.J. Oshie, Dmitrij Jaskin, David Backes, Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for the Blues.
Tampa Bay got goals from former Chief Tyler Johnson, Brett Connolly and Steven Stamkos.
• Streaking Wild knock off Panthers: Jason Pominville and Zach Parise each scored on assists from Mikko Koivu, and Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves to lead the Minnesota Wild in a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Wild improved to 9-1-2 in their past 12 games, all with Dubnyk in net.
Nick Bjugstad scored in his return home for Florida, but goalie Roberto Luongo fell to 3-10-2 in his career at Xcel Energy Center as the Panthers started a lengthy road trip.
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