Sparks' Leslie says next season her last
Three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player and four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie will call it quits after her upcoming 12th season with the Los Angeles Sparks. The center, 36, announced her decision yesterday, accompanied by her 19-month-old daughter and her husband. She says she decided to retire as it became more difficult to balance her family life and her basketball career. Leslie, a cornerstone of the league since its start in 1997, guided the Sparks to WNBA championships in 2001 and 2002. She is the WNBA's career scoring and rebounding leader and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Wizards fall to Nets; James' 52 points lift Cavs
Devin Harris scored 26 points, and the visiting New Jersey Nets shot a season-high 61 percent in a 115-88 victory over the worst-in-the-East Washington Wizards, who had Caron Butler absent with the flu and Antawn Jamison giving a should-have-been-absent 4-for-20 shooting performance. The scene for the Wizards was so disheartening that in the fourth quarter fans began to chant "Edd-ie Jor-dan!" Jordan was the coach who took Washington to four consecutive playoff appearances before he was fired by team president Ernie Grunfeld after this season's 1-10 start. Nick Young scored 21 points for the Wizards, who matched their loss total (39) from last season.
Cavaliers 107, Knicks 102: : LeBron James scored a season-high 52 points in his 21st career triple double, joined Michael Jordan as the only visiting players with multiple 50-point games at the present Madison Square Garden, and led Cleveland to a victory over New York. James added 11 assists and 10 rebounds, becoming the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to have a triple double in a 50-point game.
Nuggets 114, Thunder 113:: Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) had 11 assists and 32 points, including the winning basket with 5.3 seconds left, to help visiting Denver defeat Oklahoma City for it third straight win.
Lakers 115, Raptors 107: : Kobe Bryant scored 36 points, Pau Gasol added 31 and visiting Los Angeles beat Toronto for its fourth straight victory and eighth in nine games. Raptors All-Star Chris Bosh left the game with 9:50 remaining in the fourth because of a sprained right knee.
Mavericks 104, Trail Blazers 99:: Josh Howard scored 23 points and Jason Kidd passed Oscar Robertson for fourth place on the career assists list (9,985) as host Dallas defeated Portland.
Pistons 93, Heat 90: : Rodney Stuckey (18 points) hit two jumpers in the final 90 seconds to help host Detroit beat Miami. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 29 points and 13 assists. The Pistons failed to sell out the game, ending the team's sellout streak at 259 games and just over five years.
Magic 125, Clippers 96: : Anthony Johnson had a season-high 25 points in place of injured point guard Jameer Nelson, and host Orlando routed Los Angeles.
Grizzlies 104, Rockets 93: : O.J. Mayo had 32 points and host Memphis held off Houston. The Rockets' Yao Ming had 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
Hawks 94, Timberwolves 86:: Marvin Williams had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lift visiting Atlanta.
Bulls 107, Hornets 93: : Derrick Rose scored 21 points and Chicago handed host New Orleans its fourth straight loss.
Et cetera: : Bucks center Andrew Bogut will miss at least eight weeks with a stress fracture in his back. ... The Bobcats doesn't expect top scorer Gerald Wallace (16.4 points a game) to return until sometime after the Feb. 13-16 All-Star break as he recovers from a partially collapsed lung and broken rib.
L. Johnson says he wants out of Kansas City
Chiefs running back Larry Johnson says he wants to leave Kansas City. During an appearance on 610 Sports Radio, Johnson said he thinks it's time for him and the Chiefs to "break ties." He says his departure would allow the Chiefs to find "what they want, and I can try to go on and rebuild my career and find what I want." Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said there was nothing that came out of the interview that hadn't been talked about before. Johnson said in December he felt he had no future with the Chiefs.
More Chiefs: : Kansas City has received permission from the Cardinals to interview Todd Haley for their head coaching vacancy, sources told The Kansas City Star.
Redskins: : Washington signed kicker Dave Rayner, giving incumbent Shaun Suisham a possible competitor during training camp. Rayner has played for five teams in four seasons since being picked by Indianapolis in the sixth round of the 2005 draft out of Michigan State. His best season came with Green Bay in 2006, when he made 26 of 35 field-goal attempts. The Redskins also signed running back-kick returner Dominique Dorsey, who spent the past three years in the Canadian Football League. He was chosen the league's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2008.
Raiders: : Owner Al Davis formally introduced Tom Cable as his fifth head coach since 2003 in a news conference lacking the theatric vitriol of last year's rare public appearance by Davis, when he promoted Cable and fired Lane Kiffin four weeks into the season. Cable went 4-8 as the interim coach last season.
Cowboys: : Dan Reeves, 65, who played and coached for Dallas, had been at the team's facility this week in anticipation of joining the organization in some capacity. But the team said last night that wasn't happening.
Galaxy's Beckham wants to stay with AC Milan
David Beckham wants to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy and remain with AC Milan after his stay with the Italian team ends next month. The English midfielder, 33, announced his intentions after playing in Milan's 2-2 tie at Glasgow Rangers. Beckham has played well with the Italian club during his three-month loan, which is up March 8. "At the moment, my lawyers are not talking to the Galaxy," Beckham said. "But I have expressed my desire to stay at AC Milan now, and it's just down to Milan and Galaxy to come to an agreement." Beckham is about two years into a five-year, $32.5 million contract with Major League Soccer.
College football: : Former Miami coach Larry Coker has applied to lead the new Texas-San Antonio program in what would be his first head coaching job since the Hurricanes fired him in 2006. Coker went 60-15 in six seasons with Miami and won the Bowl Championship Series title in 2001, but he was fired after going 6-6 his final year. That season was marred with off-the-field problems, as well as Miami's infamous on-field brawl with Florida International that resulted in the suspension of 31 players. ... Former Penn State quarterback Pat Devlin has signed with Delaware.
NHL: : The head of the NHL Players Association believes it is time to consider a rule mandating helmet use during fights and to examine the role of one-dimensional enforcers in the game. "If it's true that when guys get hurled to the ice or tripped to the ice and bang their skull on the ice is where the real danger comes from, then maybe we can protect against that," Paul Kelly said.
Cycling: : Alberto Contador, whose initial reaction to Lance Armstrong's joining him on Team Astana "wasn't very good," said he now believes the squad is more than big enough for him and Armstrong. "Now I'm very happy to share a team with Lance," Contador said during Team Astana's media news conference.