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Last Update on February 28, 2015 06:55 GMT


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving sidelined, Rodney Stuckey scored 19 points and George Hill had his first career triple-double Friday night in the Indiana Pacers' 93-86 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hill finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists as Indiana won for the seventh time in nine games -- including twice over the Cavaliers in the past three weeks.

James sat out with soreness in his lower back, while Irving stayed home after hurting his left shoulder. So the Cavs relied on J.R. Smith, who had 21 points, and Kevin Love, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cavs responded by jumping to a 21-8 lead midway through the first quarter. But without their two All-Stars, the Cavs couldn't maintain that pace.


CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving will miss Friday's game at Indiana because of a strained left shoulder.

Irving got hurt during the second half of Thursday's 110-99 win over Golden State. He didn't travel with the team and an MRI confirmed the original diagnosis of a strain. It's the best-case scenario for the Cavs, who have won 18 of 20 games.

The team said Irving's status will be updated before Sunday's game at Houston.

Irving is averaging 21.7 points and 5.2 assists. Matthew Dellavedova will likely start for Irving and LeBron James can also run Cleveland's offense.

Cleveland plays eight of its next 10 on the road, a challenging stretch that includes games at Houston, Toronto, Atlanta, Dallas, San Antonio and Miami.

After missing 49 games in his first three NBA seasons with injuries, Irving has sat out just three this season.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Cleveland will be without LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on Friday night at Indiana.

Coach David Blatt says he is holding out James to give him some extra rest. Blatt says James complained of back soreness and general soreness after the Cavaliers' home victory over Golden State on Thursday night. James scored a season-high 42 points and had 11 rebounds.

James has missed time this season with knee and back injuries. Against Golden State, he stretched out on the floor instead of sitting on the bench when he had a rest in the fourth quarter.

Irving didn't make the trip so he could get an MRI on his injured left shoulder. Blatt says he does not believe the injury is too serious.

Cleveland also will be without forward Shawn Marion. He has a strained left hip.

Cleveland has won 18 of its last 20, with the first of those two losses coming at Indiana three weeks ago.


CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Bengals released defensive end Robert Geathers -- one of Cincinnati's most tenured players -- and receiver Greg Little on Friday.

Geathers played 11 seasons with Cincinnati, a span of 152 career games that ranks third in franchise history for a defensive lineman. Only Tim Krumrie (188) and Eddie Edwards (170) have played in more games for the Bengals. Geathers, a fourth-round pick in 2004, had 21 tackles, one sack and one interception last season.

The Bengals signed Little as a free agent from Cleveland in October, when injuries depleted the group of receivers. He played in six games for Cincinnati, getting six catches for 69 yards. He didn't have a reception during the Bengals' playoff loss at Indianapolis.


Browns agree to terms with quarterback Josh McCown

The Browns have agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Josh McCown on a contract.

McCown, who went 1-10 as Tampa Bay's starter last season, reached agreement with Cleveland on Friday. The 35-year-old had also been in contract talks with the Buffalo Bills.

McCown's signing likely means the Browns will not re-sign Brian Hoyer, who won 10 games for them the past two seasons and is poised to become a free agent next month. Hoyer made 13 starts last season before he was benched in favor of rookie Johnny Manziel. It's not clear if the Browns view McCown as their starter for next season or as a mentor for a young quarterback like Manziel or any QB they may select in the NFL draft.

Manziel entered a rehab facility last month.

McCown previously worked with new Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in Oakland.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed left wing Matt Calvert on injured reserve and recalled center Brian Gibbons from their American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Calvert is out indefinitely due to a concussion.

Calvert has recorded 10 goals and nine assists in 49 games this season and has totaled 39 goals and 43 assists in 202 career NHL games after being Columbus' fifth pick in the 2008 NHL draft.

Gibbons, a free agent signing from Pittsburgh last summer, has five assists in 21 games this season with the Blue Jackets. The Braintree, Massachusetts, native has three goals and six assists in 10 games at Springfield.


GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Marlon Byrd knows the Reds traded for him because they think he'll bring them more than just another run producer in left field.

Cincinnati is hoping the 14-year veteran also helps with a clubhouse that's still got a lot of young players. Byrd notes that he's been demoted, suspended and traded, so can help everyone learn from his experience.

The Reds got Byrd in a trade with Philadelphia in December to play left field, a trouble spot for the last two years. He joins a lineup that struggled to score runs last season. Byrd batted .264 with 25 homers and 85 RBIs in 154 games for Philadelphia last season. He also struck out a career-high 185 times.

National Sports News

Last Update on February 28, 2015 11:35 GMT


UNDATED (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers won for the seventh time in nine games by taking advantage of the absences of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Rodney Stuckey scored 19 points and George Hill had his first career triple-double in the Pacers' 93-86 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hill finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists as the Pacers beat the Cavs for the second time in three weeks.

Cleveland lost for only the third time in their last 21 games. James sat out with soreness in his lower back, while Irving stayed home after hurting his left shoulder in Thursday's win over Golden State.

In other NBA action:

-- The Warriors bounced back from Thursday's loss in Cleveland as Klay Thompson scored 25 points and Stephen (STEH'-fehn) Curry added 22 in Golden State's 113-89 rout of Toronto. Draymond Green had 17 points and nine rebounds as the Warriors improved to 10-2 in the second game of back-to-backs.

-- Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter as Atlanta picked up its third straight win, downing Orlando 95-88. The Hawks trailed at halftime despite racing out to a 19-3 lead.

-- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in Portland's 115-112 win against Oklahoma City. Damian Lillard also had 29 points to help the Blazers withstand the performance by Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who had 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple-double in two nights.

-- Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan had double doubles in the Los Angeles Clippers' 97-79 rout of the Grizzlies at Memphis. Paul had 19 points and 13 assists, while Jordan added 15 points and 22 rebounds for the winners.

-- Houston's Terrence Jones scored a season-high 26 points in a 102-98 triumph against Brooklyn. James Harden had 15 points, collected 12 assists and made the tiebreaking free throw with 43 seconds left.

-- San Antonio ended its four-game losing streak as Tony Parker scored 19 points and Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard had 17 and seven rebounds in a 107-96 triumph at Sacramento. The Spurs had just six turnovers and made 29 of 32 free throws.

-- Chicago was a 96-89 winner against Minnesota behind Jimmy Butler's 28 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy made five 3-pointers on his way to 21 points in the Bulls' seventh victory in nine games, which puts them a half-game ahead of Cleveland for third place in the East.

-- The Wizards absorbed their sixth straight loss as Nerlens Noel had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead Philadelphia's 89-81 win against Washington. Robert Covington added 13 points and Jason Richardson had 12 to help the 76ers halt a five-game skid.

-- Alexis Ajinca (ah-JYN'-kah) hit the go-ahead layup with 26 seconds left and scored a career-high 24 points to push New Orleans past Miami 104-102. Eric Gordon scored 20 points and Tyreke Evans had 19 points and 11 assists in the Hornets' fourth consecutive win.

-- Jordan Clarkson had 16 points to lead six Los Angeles Lakers in double figures during a 101-93 win over Milwaukee. Wayne Ellington scored 11 straight points in the final six minutes of the game to send the Lakers to their third straight win since a seven-game skid.

-- Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points and Boston rallied from a 16-point, second-half deficit to beat Charlotte 106-98. Jonas Jerebko had 16 points and 10 boards for the Celtics, who won their third in a row despite the Hornets' 25-1 run bridging the two halves.

-- Utah got 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks from Derrick Favors in a 104-82 thumping of Denver. Trey Burke came off the bench to score 19 points as the Jazz won for the fifth time in seven games.

-- New York's eight-game losing streak is over after Shane Larkin's three-point play in the final minute of the second overtime led the Knicks past Detroit 121-115. Andrea Bargnani (bahrn-YAH'-nee) scored 25 points and helped the Knicks rally from an 18-point deficit.


CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls are optimistic that point guard Derrick Rose will be back before the NBA playoffs.

The team expects Rose to be out just four to six weeks after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. General manager Gar Forman described the procedure as minor and said that Rose was able to walk out of the hospital.

The team isn't sure when the injury occurred. Rose had an MRI on Tuesday after complaining of knee pain.

Rose played in only 10 games last season before having surgery for a similar injury in November 2013, cutting short his long-awaited comeback from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.


UNDATED (AP) -- Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday at the age of 86. Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the old Washington Capitals. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement the league "will strive to always honor his memory."

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.


UNDATED (AP) -- The Browns and veteran quarterback Josh McCown have worked out a contract, which likely means Brian Hoyer has played his final game for Cleveland. McCown went 1-10 while completing 56 percent of his passes for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as Tampa Bay's starter last season.

In other moves:

-- Arizona has released defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, allowing the three-time Pro-Bowl lineman to test the free agent market. The Cardinals are still interested in retaining Dockett, who has played his entire 11-year career with Arizona.

-- The Philadelphia Eagles have released offensive lineman Todd Herremans. The 32-year-old started 132 games while playing his first 10 seasons in Philadelphia. The move saves the Eagles $2.8 million in salary cap money.

-- The Redskins have announced that they have released defensive end Stephen Bowen and defensive lineman Barry Cofield, both of whom spent the last four years with the team.

-- The Atlanta Falcons released wide receiver Harry Douglas and starting offensive guard Justin Blalock.

-- Receiver Brian Hartline has been let go by the Miami Dolphins.

-- The Ravens have dropped defensive end Chris Canty after two seasons with the team.

-- The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2015 with tight end Zach Miller.


UNDATED (AP) -- Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis (ah-RAH'-mihs) Ramirez has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, his 18th in the majors.

The 36-year-old Ramirez hit .285 last year with 15 homers and 66 RBIs. He's also a lifetime .285 hitter with 369 home runs and 1,342 runs batted in.

Elsewhere in major league camps:

-- St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright won't pitch in exhibition games until mid-March because of his abdominal strain suffered Monday. The delay could prevent him from starting the major league season opener against the Cubs on April 5.

-- Outfielder Juan Pierre has announced his retirement after a 14-year major-league career that included a World Series championship with the 2003 Florida Marlins. He goes out ranked 18th in career stolen bases with 614. He was a .295 hitter who finished with 2,217 hits.

-- Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Michael Saunders has undergone surgery on his left knee and could return to the team sooner than previously expected, perhaps in mid-April. Saunders tore cartilage Wednesday when he stepped on a sprinkler while shagging fly balls.


UNDATED (AP) -- The New York Islanders have regained a two-point lead in the NHL's Metropolitan Division, but the second-place Rangers now have three games in hand on their archrivals.

Jaroslav Halak (YAH'-roh-slahv hah-LAHK') set an Islanders record by picking up his 33rd win of the season, stopping 26 shots in a 2-1 decision over Calgary. Halak blanked the Flames until Josh Jooris (JOOR'-his) beat him with 21 seconds left.

Ryan Strome's (strohmz) goal midway through the first period was the only scoring until Cal Clutterbuck added an empty-netter.

The Islanders moved within a point of East-leading Montreal by improving to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.

The Flames remain one point behind Minnesota in the scramble for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

-- Steven Stamkos (STAM'-kohs) scored twice and Ben Bishop handled 28 shots in Tampa Bay's 4-0 win over Chicago. The Lightning pulled within three points of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens and kept the Blackhawks 10 points behind Nashville for first place in the Central Division.

-- Anaheim scored four times in the third period to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 victory against Los Angeles. Ryan Kesler and Emerson Etem (EE'-tehm) scored 90 seconds apart to tie the game before Corey Perry provided the last two goals, helping the Ducks increase their lead in the Pacific Division to 12 points over Vancouver.

-- Boston blew a 2-0 lead before beating New Jersey 2-0 on Ryan Spooner's first NHL goal, beating Cory Schneider at 2:46 of overtime. David Pastrnak (PAS'-tur-nak) had a goal and an assist to help the Bruins stretch their lead to four points over Florida for the final East playoff berth.

-- Anton Khudobin (kuh-DOH'-bihn) picked up his first shutout of the season by turning back 28 shots in Carolina's 3-0 win against Washington. Brett Bellemore, Jeff Skinner and Nathan Gerbe (GUR-bee) did the scoring as the Hurricanes dropped the Capitals eight points off the Metropolitan Division lead.

-- Ryan O'Reilly assisted on the game-tying goal before netting the lone shootout tally in Colorado's 5-4 verdict over Dallas. Jarome Iginla (ih-GIHN'-luh), Nate Guenin (GEH'-nihn) and Gabriel Landeskog (LAN'-dehs-kahg) each had third-period goals for the Avalanche, the last one tying the game with 6:43 left in regulation.


UNDATED (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Kimmo Timonen (KIM'-oh TEE'-muh-nehn) from Philadelphia for a 2015 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2016 fourth-rounder. Timonen is set to return after being sidelined all season because of blood clots discovered in his leg and lungs last summer.


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano (jee-ohr-DAN'-oh) has been sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. The NHL's top-scoring defenseman left Wednesday night's 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in the third period after he was hauled down by Devils forward Steve Bernier (burn-YAY'). Giordano has 11 goals and 37 assists in 61 games.


NEW YORK (AP) -- San Jose's Logan Couture has been fined $5,000 by the NHL for tripping Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith. Couture came from behind and used his skate to knock Smith to the ice in the third period of Detroit's win Thursday night.


HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) -- Travis Kvapil (KWAH'-pihl) will be on the sidelines for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after his car was stolen. The $250,000 stock car was taken from a hotel parking lot near the track and hadn't been found in time for mandatory inspection before qualifying.

The No. 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup car is owned by small-budget Team XTREME, which doesn't have a backup car to run.

The owner of one NASCAR sponsor offered a pit pass to every race the rest of the year to anyone who helped locate the Chevrolet.


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Rory McIlroy has missed the cut at the PGA's Honda Classic. The world's No. 1 golfer had just one birdie and bogeyed three of his last four holes for a 4-over-74 that left him 7-over for the tournament and four shots below the cut line.

Patrick Reed is the clubhouse leader at 6-under, but Brendan Steele was at minus-8 through four holes before the second round was suspended by rain.


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- The PGA Tour is completing plans to bring the Match Play Championship to Austin, Texas, starting in 2016.

Three people aware of the negotiations told The Associated Press that Texas-based Dell will be the title sponsor of the World Golf Championship event that features the top 64 players from the world ranking. The tournament would move to March, making it inviting for international players to stay in the US to play in the Masters.


Sports Director Clay Hall

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

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