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Sunday
Feb262017

Warriors clinch playoff berth with win over Nets

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) -- The Golden State Warriors clinched a playoff berth with a 112-95 victory. The team was without Kevin Durant, who was nursing a hand injury, though he is not expected to miss an extended period of time.

With the win, the Warriors secured their fifth straight playoff berth. The five-year postseason run is the franchise's second longest stretch. They made the playoffs for six straight seasons from 1946 to 1952.

According to ESPN, the Warriors are the first team to clinch a playoff spot this early on the calendar since the 1985-86 Boston Celtics, who also clinched on February 25th. That Celtics team went on to win the NBA Championship.

Stephen Curry led all scorers in the game with 27 points. Afterwards he told reporters he cherishes their playoff berth because he remembers when the franchise consistently missed the postseason. Curry did not appear in an NBA playoff game until his fourth year in the league.

The team is moving past last year's NBA Finals loss to the Cavaliers. They set an NBA-record by winning 73 regular season games and held a 3-1 lead in the Finals, but  weren't able to secure their second championship in as many seasons.

Golden State's already lost as many regular season games as they did last year, but they hold the NBA's best record and a comfortable lead in the Western Conference.

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Sunday
Feb262017

BYU ends Gonzaga's perfect season with upset win Saturday night

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- BYU spoiled No. 1 Gonzaga's perfect season after being the Bulldogs 79-71 Saturday night. The loss snaps Gonzaga's 29-game winning streak, leaving the team just one win away from an undefeated regular season.

In their regular season home finale, the Bulldogs surrendered a ten point second half lead and lost a chance to become just the fourth team since 1991 to finish the regular season without a loss.

The loss won't hurt Gonzaga's pursuit of their first ever Final Four appearance, but it could make their path a little tougher. They could be relegated to a number 2 seed in the tournament after they were locked in as a number one seed when they were undefeated. Even if Gonzaga wins their conference tournament, other teams from larger conferences could be picked for the top four seeds instead.

The Bulldogs will play next in the West Coast Conference Tournament, which begins March 3rd.

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Sunday
Feb262017

Scoreboard roundup โ€” 2/25/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Charlotte      99  Sacramento     85
Orlando       105  Atlanta        86
N-Y Knicks    110  Philadelphia  109
Miami         113  Indiana        95
Chicago       117  Cleveland      99
Dallas         96  New Orleans    83
Houston       142  Minnesota     130
Golden State  112  Brooklyn       95

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
L.A. Kings    4  Anaheim         1
OT  N-Y Rangers   4  New Jersey      3
Nashville     5  Washington      2
Columbus      7  N-Y Islanders   0
OT  Montreal      3  Toronto         2
Pittsburgh    4  Philadelphia    2
San Jose      4  Vancouver       1
Colorado      5  Buffalo         3

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BYU                       79  (1) Gonzaga      71
(2) Villanova             79  (23) Creighton   63
(3) Kansas                77  Texas            67
(5) UCLA                  77  (4) Arizona      72
(6) Oregon                75  Stanford         73
(8) North Carolina        85  Pittsburgh       67
Iowa St.                  72  (9) Baylor       69
Miami                     55  (10) Duke        50
(11) Kentucky             76  (13) Florida     66
(12) West Virginia        61  TCU              60
Michigan                  82  (14) Purdue      70
(17) SMU                  69  UConn            61
(18) Virginia             70  NC State         55
(19) Florida St.          76  Clemson          74
(20) Saint Mary's (Cal)   70  Santa Clara      56
Iowa                      83  (24) Maryland    69
(25) Wichita St.          86  Missouri St.     67

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Saturday
Feb252017

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield arrested Saturday morning

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback Baker Mayfield was arrested Saturday morning in Arkansas. The Washington County (Ark.) sheriff's office charged him with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing.

ESPN obtained a preliminary police report that states Mayfield began yelling "profanities and causing a scene" as an officer was brought to address an assault and battery report.

ESPN added that officers had to chase Mayfield after he slurred his speech and had trouble walking down stairs. The front of his clothing was covered in food. Mayfield would not place his arms behind his back, and was arrested and booked at 8:21 a.m. local time at the Washington County Detention Facility.

The sheriff's office says Mayfield has a court date on April 7.

The University of Oklahoma released the following statement in response: "We are aware of the matter and are learning the details. We don't have any other information at this time."

Mayfield has finished two straight seasons in the top five of the Heisman voting.

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Saturday
Feb252017

Scoreboard roundup โ€” 2/24/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Philadelphia   120  Washington     112
Indiana        102  Memphis         92
Miami          108  Atlanta         90
Minnesota       97  Dallas          84
OT  Chicago        128  Phoenix        121
Toronto        107  Boston          97
Oklahoma City  110  L.A. Lakers     93
Utah           109  Milwaukee       95
Denver         129  Brooklyn       109
San Antonio    105  L.A. Clippers   97

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Washington   2  Edmonton   1
Carolina     3  Ottawa     0
Calgary      4  Florida    2
Dallas       5  Arizona    2

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Friday
Feb242017

Vancouver Canucks report multiple players with mumps symptoms

iStock/Thinkstock(VANCOUVER, Canada) -- Five members of the Vancouver Canucks may have come down with mumps, the team said on Friday.

While the team says that only one player has received a confirmed diagnosis, four others have "presented with symptoms of mumps." The players with symptoms are being tested and quarantined for five days after the onset of symptoms, or until tests prove negative.

The team also said it was offering vaccination to minimize further risk of transmission and universal preventative hygiene measures would be undertaken. All dressing room areas will be disinfected.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement that the team is "taking this very seriously given how easily mumps can spread."

Benning confirmed that defenseman Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result. Defenders Chris Tanev and Nikita Tryamkin, and centers Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund are the four others who have presented with symptoms.

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Friday
Feb242017

Former female gymnasts accuse doctor of molesting them during treatment

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) -- For young gymnasts with Olympic dreams, Dr. Larry Nassar was considered to be the best. But now, athletes from around the country are coming forward saying he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar was charged Thursday in Michigan with 22 counts of criminal sexual conduct, five of which, according to prosecutors, relate to victims who were under 13 years old. The charges relate to Nassar’s time when he was a faculty member at Michigan State University, from 1997 to when the university says he was fired in 2016 after allegations surfaced. He has pleaded not guilty.

“This guy is despicable, this guy is disgusting, and he’s a monster,” Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, told reporters at Nassar’s hearing.

While he was on staff at Michigan State, Nassar was the chief medical coordinator of the USA Women’s gymnastics team for a period of 19 years, and now, many of the athletes he treated are coming forward with allegations, saying they were so young when he abused them that they didn't understand what he was doing.

Former Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher, one of Nassar’s accusers, took home the bronze medal for Team USA at the 2000 Olympic Games. She said she believed Nassar "was helping me get to my Olympic dream, something I was dreaming about since I was 3 years old. ... I didn’t even question it.”

She said she met Nassar when she made the Olympic team and sought treatment for back pain.

“When he first did the ‘procedure,’ as we’ll call it, I was either 13 or 14,” she said. “He used to do a lot of soft tissue massages. ... He said, ‘There is a procedure,’ or a way to get my hips back into alignment and then he would put his fingers into me vaginally.”

Dantzscher claims that at another point, Nassar touched her breasts underneath her t-shirt.

“I don’t know how I wasn’t uncomfortable,” she added. “But just being a kid and being a little girl and being in such an intense environment I was so miserable because I felt like I got in trouble every day for something else. I had no idea back then that he was doing something wrong.”

Jessica Howard, another one of Nassar’s accusers, said she first met him at the famed Karolyi Ranch, a Houston-based elite Olympics training center, when she was 15 years old after she had finished the World Championships. She said she was visiting the camp to seek treatment from Nassar.

“Through most of that year, I had extreme hip pain, like to the point where I would wake up in the morning, unable to walk,” she said.

Howard described what she said happened during one of her treatment sessions with Nassar.

“I just remember he asked me not to wear underwear and to wear loose shorts and I thought that was a little bit weird,” Howard said. “He began massaging kind of my quads and my IT-bands [tissue on the outside of the thigh] and then he got closer and closer, you know, to a more intimate areas and then he penetrated me.”

Howard said he never said anything to her during that alleged incident.

“I remember feeling rigid on the table, just very uncomfortable,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘What’s happening?’ I was the most innocent 15-year-old you could find. I was so trusting. It didn’t even go through my head that this man could be hurting me.”

More than 60 women and girls have filed complaints against Nassar. Some like Dantzscher are also suing Bela and Marta Karolyi, gymnastics coaches and owners of the Karolyi ranch, saying they created an environment at their ranch that gave Nassar the opportunity to abuse young gymnasts.

“They created an atmosphere of fear and control,” Dantzscher said. “We weren’t really allowed to talk. They controlled what we ate, they controlled when we spoke.”

“He was very nice and he was on the gymnast’s side about what you were going through,” Howard added. “So, he was kind of a break from all of the endless negativity on a daily basis.”

Many are now asking questions about how the doctor had so much access to some of the most elite young athletes in the country for so many years.

“We’re on the elite national team, we’re training at the world and the Olympic level, your parents don’t go with you,” Dantzscher said. “They trusted USA Gymnastics to make sure that they were protecting us. Dr. Nassar was in my room, late at night, giving me treatment in my own bed.”

California attorney John Manly represents many of the accusers, including Dantzscher and Howard, and said Nassar would try to appear as someone the young women could confide in.

“Dr. Nassar wasn’t just alone with these girls, he was alone with them in their sleeping quarters, not just at the ranch but at venues all over the world when they went to compete,” Manly said. “What Nassar did is came in with a sunny personality, 'I’m a nice man, you can trust me,’ gave the kids candy, listened to their problems and they liked him and they trusted him, and he used that trust to disguise sexual assault as medical treatment.”

A spokesman for the Karolyis told ABC News that they “deny the existence of a ‘toxic’ environment,” and that the Karolyis say they “were never aware that Dr. Nassar would be performing any procedures which are now the subject of the present litigation.”

Dantzscher's lawsuit, like some others, names USA Gymnastics as well, claiming they also failed to protect them.

In a statement to ABC News, USA Gymnastics said they were “outraged that a physician would exploit his patient in the alleged manner” and reiterated that they dismissed Nassar when they learned of the accusations and reported him to the FBI.

Both Dantzscher and Howard said it took them years to come to grips with what they say Nassar did to them and to decide to speak out. Howard said she’s not sure she could ever face him again.

“But I find strength in the fact that there are so many others that have come forward and I believe that together we could face him easily and show him that we are not victims anymore, we are not innocent children, and we can fight back now,” Howard said.

Dantzscher said she has six nieces and many of them do gymnastics so she wanted to come forward to help protect them.

“I couldn’t live with the fact that this could happen to them,” she said, “If I didn’t say anything, I just couldn’t live with that.”

The Michigan attorney general says his team will be seeking the longest possible sentence against Nassar. Each first-degree charge is punishable by up to life in prison.

“I want him to spend the rest of his life in prison,” Howard said. “The number of people that have come forward, the things that he’s done, are reprehensible, an affront to basic human rights, and I believe that he deserves to be punished for what he’s done.”

Nassar will also have to face several civil lawsuits, including those brought by Dantzscher and Howard.

“When somebody sacrifices their childhood and their adolescence to compete for their country in the Olympic games and we watch them and we see those smiles, I want people to know and they want people to know that behind those smiles in some instances is a tremendous amount of pain that shouldn’t be there,” Manly said. “And the adults in charge of USA Gymnastics are responsible for that.”

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Friday
Feb242017

Tennis tournament using shelter dogs as ballboys

iStock/Thinkstock(SAO PAULO) — Everybody knows that dogs loves to fetch balls.  Tennis matches need people to fetch balls.  Hey — maybe we're on to something.

The Washington Post reports that for the second year in a row, shelter dogs will be featured at the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo, serving as ball boys — make that ball dogs.

The pro tennis tournament will feature adorable pooches with sweatbands on their ankles and scarves around their necks. The dogs are specially trained for the job of ball-retrieving for the exhibition match that kicks off the event, to promote the adoption of homeless dogs.

Six doggies are being deployed this year — Cindy, Nanda, Pretinha, Mia, Arlete and Ovelha — all of which come from Sao Paulo shelters and will be available for adoption.

In a statement, Madalena Spinazzola, spokeswoman for Premier Pet, the Brazilian pet food company that’s organizing the event, said, “What do these dogs have in common? In addition to a history of abandonment and looking for adopters, they love to run after balls.”

Four ball dogs performed at last year’s Brazil Open and all of them found homes.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb242017

Scoreboard roundup โ€” 2/23/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Portland 112, Orlando 103
Detroit 114, Charlotte 108 (OT)
Houston 129, New Orleans 99
Cleveland 119, NY Knicks 104
Sacramento 116, Denver 100
Golden State 123, LA Clippers 113

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

NY Islanders 3, Montreal 0
Calgary 3, Tampa Bay 2
NY Rangers 2, Toronto 1 (SO)
Nashville 4, Colorado 2
Chicago 6, Arizona 3
Boston 4, LA Kings 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(1) Gonzaga 96, San Diego 38
(4) Arizona 90, Southern Cal 77
(5) UCLA 87, Arizona St. 75
(15) Cincinnati 87, Memphis 74
Ohio St. 83, (16) Wisconsin 73
(20) Saint Mary's (Cal) 78, Pepperdine 49

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Thursday
Feb232017

Chicago White Sox to retire Mark Buehrle's jersey number this summer

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(CHICAGO) -- The Chicago White Sox will honor former pitcher Mark Buehrle by retiring his jersey number this summer.

The left-handed hurler won 161 games on Chicago's South Side, throwing a no-hitter and a perfect game in the progress. He also helped lead the White Sox to the 2005 World Series, their first in 88 years.

"You know he's one of the best that has ever put on a White Sox uniform," General Manager Kenny Williams said Thursday. "He represented the organization in a first-class, fun way. The next person you meet that says that Mark Buehrle wasn't a good teammate or wasn't a top notch pitcher and person will be the first you meet that says those things."

Buehrle will join 11 other White Sox who have had their numbers retired, including former teammates Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko.

The lefty spent 12 of his 16 seasons in Chicago, ranking among the franchise's all-time leaders in strikeouts, starts, wins, innings pitched and games pitched.

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