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Ohio Sports News

Last Update on November 25, 2014 06:32 GMT

MAGIC-CAVALIERS

CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James scored 29 points, including 16 in the first quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers broke a four-game losing streak with a 106-74 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

After bluntly assessing his own play at Monday's shootaround, saying, "I stink," James took control early and sparked his team to a much-needed comfortable win.

After averaging 18.5 points and shooting 41 percent from the field in the losing streak, James was 9 for 17 from the field Monday and tied a season-high with 11 assists while not playing the fourth quarter.

James hit four shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, made all seven of his free throws and had four assists in the opening period. He finished the first half with 22 points, including a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key to end the second quarter.

Anderson Varejao scored 14 points while Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each added 12.

BENGALS-ANDY & AJ

Bengals' Dalton and Green finally get it going

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A.J. Green is playing at a Pro Bowl level again, one of the biggest reasons the Bengals are holding onto first place in the AFC North.

The receiver missed three games and most of another one with an injured big right toe. He had only 23 catches in his first six games, making few big plays along the way.

In the past two games, Green has 18 catches and is forcing defenses to focus on him again. He had a season-high 12 catches for 121 yards on Sunday during a 22-13 win over the Houston Texas that kept Cincinnati (7-3-1) atop the tightly bunched division.

Quarterback Andy Dalton is no longer hesitating to go to his best receiver when he's covered.

BROWNS-BOUNCE BACK

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Brian Hoyer's crucial mistakes nearly cost the Browns a win. However, the interceptions did not come close to getting the quarterback yanked off the field.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday that he never considered taking Hoyer out of Sunday's game in Atlanta and replacing him with rookie Johnny Manziel. Hoyer threw three picks against the Falcons, but shook them off and led the Browns on a late drive to set up Billy Cundiff's winning field goal on the final play.

Pettine praised Hoyer's "resolve" and for being accountable.

Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins said although Hoyer may have been briefly shaken by the interceptions, "the entire team has so much confidence in him."

Hoyer improved to 10-4 as a starter in two seasons with the Browns (7-4), who will play Buffalo next Sunday.

BROWNS-GIPSON INJURY

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Browns starting safety Tashaun Gipson's season could be over after he sustained a severe sprain to his right knee in Sunday's win over Atlanta.

Gipson, who leads the NFL with six interceptions, was hurt when he collided with teammate Joe Haden near the goal line while defending a pass in the fourth quarter. Gipson's knee took the brunt of the force and his leg bent back awkwardly.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday that the team has not yet decided whether to place Gipson on injured reserve. Pettine said the uncertain timetable for Gipson's return combined with having just five games left in the regular season makes it difficult.

Gipson was unable to put any weight on his knee and was carted off.

Veteran Jim Leonhard replaced Gipson against the Falcons and will likely take over his spot.

BROWNS-MANZIEL

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Police say a Browns fan who says he wanted to give Johnny Manziel "a hug" was struck by the rookie quarterback's entourage at a downtown hotel and was left with a swollen eye and lip.

Police were called to The Metropolitan at The 9, where Manziel has a luxury apartment, after a fight broke out at 2:25 a.m. Saturday.

According to a police report, Chris Gonos told police he was assaulted by "Johnny Football and his entourage." The 33-year-old fan said he and his girlfriend approached Manziel and he told the popular first-round draft pick that he was a big fan and wanted to give him a hug.

Gonos said he took one step toward Manziel and was punched by a man listed on the report as Dana Kirk. Kirk said Gonos tried to assault Manziel.

No arrests were made.

HALL OF FAME-BENSON GIFT

CLEVELAND (AP) -- New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has pledged $11 million in donations to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Hall announced Benson's two gifts Monday, saying the contributions are the largest by any individual in the institution's 51-year history.

Benson says it's important to "recognize the origins of our game and embrace the future."

The Hall says $10 million will be earmarked to the immediate renovation of adjacent Fawcett Stadium, which will be renamed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Benson made a $1 million donation after learning of plans for a Hall of Fame Village. It includes a residence for Hall of Famers and former NFL players, a sports and entertainment complex, hotel and conference center, a youth center and playing fields.

MURRAY ST-XAVIER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Trevon Bluiett scored 19 points and Xavier easily cruised past Murray State 89-62 on Monday.

Xavier (4-0) scored the first 11 points of the game and ran out to a 22-5 lead en route to a 52-32 lead at the break. It was more of the same in the second half as a 9-0 run over 4:23 in the middle of the half pushed the lead over 30.

Matt Stainbrook was 8 of 10 from the floor and ended with 19 points and eight rebounds. Dee Davis added 13 points with five assists for the Musketeers, while Jalen Reynolds had 12 points and 11 rebounds and James Farr scored 10 points with 14 boards.

Murray State (2-2) was led by Cameron Payne with 23 points and seven rebounds. Jarvis Williams had 14 points and Tyler Rambo added 11.

BUCKNELL-TOLEDO

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Julius Brown had 20 points and seven assists on Monday night, and Toledo scored the first 16 points on its way to a 92-65 win over Bucknell in a sub-regional of the Progressive Legends Classic.

Toledo (2-2) led by 38 points midway through the second half before Bucknell (1-4) went on a 15-2 run for its only substantial scoring sequence.

Nathan Boothe scored 15 points, J.D. Weatherspoon 14, Justin Drummond 11 and Jonathan Williams 10.

The Rockets had 13 offensive rebounds and a 43-28 overall edge on the boards.

Bucknell missed its first six shots -- four of them from the 3-point line -- and got on the board when J.C. Show made a jumper at the 13:46 mark of the first half.

Show led the Bison with 10 points. Chris Hass and Cory Starkey added nine apiece.

National Sports News

Last Update on November 26, 2014 02:01 GMT

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-CFP RANKING

UNDATED (AP) -- There are no changes among the top four in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State own the first four spots and head into a weekend when just about all the contenders are facing challenging rivals.

TCU was fifth, Ohio State was sixth and Baylor seventh. The only team in the top eight to change was UCLA, which slipped into the eighth spot.

There's also good news for a couple of teams outside the so-called Group of Five conferences. Boise State and unbeaten Marshall have cracked the top-25, with the 23rd-rated Broncos sitting one spot ahead of the Thundering Herd. The highest-ranked team from outside the Big Five conferences is guaranteed one spot in the four New Year's Bowls not featuring the CFP semifinalists.

MLB-SIGNINGS

UNDATED (AP) -- It was an encouraging day to be a Sox fan, whether they are red or white.

The White Sox have added some pop to the line-up by agreeing with first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two-year, $25 million contract. LaRoche hit .259 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs in 140 games this year for NL East champion Washington. He joins a club that hit just 38 of its 155 home runs last season from the left side.

LaRoche likely will be used as a designated hitter with Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) firmly entrenched at first after his rookie-of-the-year season.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox have finalized their five-year deal with Pablo Sandoval. The third baseman gets a $3 million signing bonus payable by Jan. 15, $17 million in each of the first three seasons and $18 million apiece in 2018 and `19. Boston has a $17 million option for 2020 with a $5 million buyout.

Sandoval told Boston media he needed a new challenge after helping the Giants win three of the last five World Series.

The Red Sox also agreed to a four-year, $88 million deal with infielder Hanley Ramirez, who hit .283 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs for the Dodgers last season.

MLB-NEWS

UNDATED (AP) -- A person with knowledge of the arrangements says free agent left-hander Jon Lester has plans to meet with the San Francisco Giants next week.

San Francisco has need for a front-line starting pitcher and was expected to get busy in the free agent market after losing slugging third baseman Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox.

Lester was dealt by the Red Sox to the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline in July and helped the A's reach the playoffs for the third straight year before a 9-8, 12-inning loss to Kansas City in the one-game wild card.

Giants right-hander Matt Cain is recovering from elbow surgery and righty Ryan Vogelsong is a free agent.

In other baseball news:

-- Rangers ace Yu Darvish has been cleared to start his offseason throwing program after missing the last seven weeks of the season because of inflammation in his right elbow. The team said Darvish is already going through his normal offseason training program and expects to start throwing in early December. He was 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA and 182 strikeouts over 144 1-3 innings in 22 starts last season.

-- The Reds hired former Arizona general manager Kevin Towers as a special assistant for player personnel. Towers spent the last four years as general manager of the Diamondbacks and was Padres GM before that.

-- The Minnesota Twins have announced three more assistants for new manager Paul Molitor, adding pitching coach Neil Allen, bullpen coach Eddie Guardado and bench coach Joe Vavra.

-- Longtime Giants third base coach Tim Flannery is retiring. The 57-year-old Flannery, 57, had been on Bruce Bochy's (BOH-cheez) coaching staff dating to their San Diego days and they moved to San Francisco together in 2007.

NBA-INJURIES

UNDATED (AP) -- Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin will miss the next six to eight weeks after having surgery on his fractured right wrist.

He suffered the injury in a game against the New York Knicks last week.

Martin is averaging 20.4 points per game and is shooting 48 percent on 3-pointers this season. His loss is a big one for the rebuilding Timberwolves, who are also without point guard Ricky Rubio, center Nikola Pekovic and backup big man Ronny Turiaf because of injuries.

In other NBA injury news:

-- Wizards forward Nene (nuh-NAY') is sitting out tonight's game against the Atlanta Hawks with plantar fasciitis (fah-SHEE'-eye-tihs) in his right foot and could also miss Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nene left with six minutes remaining in the first quarter of the Wizards' win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. He is averaging 10.6 points and 4.7 rebounds this season.

NFL-BRONCOS

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- The Denver Broncos are changing kickers again, waiving rookie Brandon McManus and signing Connor Barth.

McManus was 9 for 13 on field goal attempts, giving him a 69.2 percent conversion rate that ranked last among all kickers still on NFL rosters as of last weekend. Barth won a competition with 38-year-old Jay Feely but hasn't kicked in an NFL game since 2012.

NFL-LIONS

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- Detroit center Dominic Raiola (ray-OH'-lah) says he hasn't been fined by the NFL for his cut block during a kneel-down at the end of the Lions' loss to New England on Sunday.

Raiola says he didn't intentionally try to hurt anybody or try to do anything out of the ordinary, and he "would have gotten a FedEx letter" if he had. Raiola spoke with reporters Tuesday but tried to keep the focus on Thursday's game against Chicago.

Raiola later told the Detroit Free Press he took the action after the Patriots went for a late-game touchdown in the one-sided win instead of running out the clock.

NFL-UNION MEETING

NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') and players' union chief DeMaurice (deh-MOR'-ihs) Smith are meeting to discuss the league's personal conduct policy.

The NFL Players Association has been unhappy with what it calls "lack of transparency" in the policy. Smith has said the only way to have a fair policy is if the NFL and owners "commit to collective bargaining."

The NFL counters that the union agreed to the policy during labor negotiations to end the 2011 lockout. That collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021.

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Sports Director Clay Hall

WSYX - Clay Hall

Clay Hall is the Sports Director for ABC 6 and FOX 28.

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