James' 3s rally Wizards to win; Cassell traded
Antawn Jamison had 29 points and 11 rebounds, Mike James hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 70 seconds, and the host Washington Wizards beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-103. Caron Butler added 17 points, six assists and five rebounds before limping off the court in the final minute, having banged his hip while falling to the court, clutching a rebound. James scored eight of his 15 in the fourth quarter to rally Washington (12-42). The Timberwolves (17-35) overcame a 19-point first-half deficit but blew a six-point fourth-quarter lead.
Magic 107, Bobcats 102, OT:: Dwight Howard had a career-high 45 points, to go with 19 rebounds and eight blocks, leading host Orlando (39-13) over Charlotte (21-32) in overtime. J.J. Redick made a three-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation to tie it for the Magic.
Hornets 100, Thunder 98: : Chris Paul (21 points) drove for a layup with 2.7 seconds left to lift visiting New Orleans (31-20) over Oklahoma City (13-41), despite Kevin Durant's career-high 47 points. Durant hit a fallaway three-pointer to tie the score with 13.8 seconds left. The Hornets' David West had 37 points and 13 rebounds.
Suns 140, Clippers 100: : Host Phoenix (29-23) routed Los Angeles (13-41) in Alvin Gentry's debut as the Suns' interim coach. The Clippers' Zach Randolph was ejected for punching Phoenix's Louis Amundson.
Other results: : Nate Robinson followed his slam dunk title by notching 32 points and 10 rebounds to lead the host Knicks (22-31) to a 112-107 overtime win over the Spurs (35-17). ... Andrei Kirilenko (14 points) returned from an ankle injury to spark a key fourth-quarter run, lifting the host Jazz (31-23) over the Grizzlies (15-38), 117-99, for its fifth win in six games. ... Yao Ming had 20 points and 12 rebounds as the host Rockets (33-21) defeated the Nets (24-30), 114-88. ... Danny Granger had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the host Pacers (22-33) beat the 76ers (27-25), 100-91. ... Richard Jefferson scored 29 and the visiting Bucks (27-29) beat the Pistons (27-25), 92-86, for their third straight win.
Et cetera: : The Kings have acquired guard Sam Cassell (Dunbar) and cash from the Celtics for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2015. Cassell, 39, hasn't played this season for the Celtics, who acquired him in early March before their NBA title run. He essentially served as another assistant coach this season with Boston. ... Forward Tyson Chandler was dealt to the Thunder in a trade that brings veterans Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox, both Maryland alums, to the Hornets and could give New Orleans some cap room next season heading into the first year of Paul's new four-year, $68 million contract. ... The Magic plans to borrow about $10 million from the NBA to help offset operating losses until its move into a new arena in 2010. ... Nuggets guard J.R. Smith was fined $1,000 by a New Jersey judge for failing to show up at a court hearing last month on charges stemming from a 2007 traffic accident that resulted in the death of a passenger in Smith's vehicle. ... Cavaliers center Ben Wallace needed 14 stitches to close a cut in his right forearm after suffering lacerations from glass while playing catch with a football over the All-Star break in Richmond, Va. ... TNT analyst Charles Barkley will return from his leave of absence and be back on the air tomorrow night.
Reports: Griffey to sign with Atlanta, not Seattle
Ken Griffey Jr. has decided to play for the Atlanta Braves, a person close to the veteran outfielder and familiar with the negotiations told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Seattle Times later also reported that Griffey had chosen the Braves over the Mariners. Griffey, one of only six players to hit more than 600 career home runs, could sign a contract with the Braves as soon today. It's believed the contract will be for one year and include a base salary of $2 million or less.
Clemens: : Federal prosecutors interviewed Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte last week in Washington as they investigate whether his former teammate Roger Clemens lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs, two people familiar with the case told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Pettitte has acknowledged taking human growth hormone and told congressional investigators that Clemens informed him nearly a decade ago that he used hGH.
Selig: : Commissioner Bud Selig strongly disputed the perception that he was in any way complicit in the proliferation of steroids in the major leagues over the past 15 years. "I don't want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn't care about it," Selig told Newsday on Monday. "... If you look at our whole body of work, I think we've come farther than anyone ever dreamed."
Et cetera: : All-Star outfielder Nate McLouth reached an agreement with the Pirates on a three-year, $15.75 million contract that includes a team option for 2012. ... Mike Hampton's irregular heartbeat has cleared up without a procedure, and the Astros left-hander is headed back to spring training earlier than expected. ... Scott Kazmir will not pitch for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic because the Rays were concerned about the injury risk to the All-Star left-hander. ... Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus arrived at camp after undergoing shoulder surgery last month, although he still cannot throw or hit. The team hopes to have him back by late April. ... Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez reached an agreement Saturday on an extension through 2011. ... Edwin Encarnacion and the Reds agreed to a two-year contract that will pay the third baseman at least $7.6 million through 2010. ... Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier agreed to a one-year, $3.1 million deal. ... The Brewers reached agreement with right fielder Corey Hart on a one-year, $3.25 million deal and added reliever Eric Gagne with a minor league contract.
Saints drop McAllister; Broncos give Bly boot
Running back Deuce McAllister was released by the New Orleans Saints before he was due $7 million next season. McAllister, the team's all-time leading rusher with 6,069 yards over eight seasons, ran for just 418 yards last season. He has had reconstructive surgery on both knees.
More NFL: : The Broncos released 11-year veteran cornerback Dre' Bly. He was due $6.8 million next season. ... Cowboys owner Jerry Jones strongly hinted that wide receiver Terrell Owens will return next season. ... The Lions have restructured quarterback Daunte Culpepper's contract and signed kicker Jason Hanson and guard Stephen Peterman to long-term deals. ... Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw returned to a Tazewell County, Va., jail Sunday to complete his 60-day sentence for a parole violation, the team said.
Elsewhere: : NCAA president Myles Brand told USA Today he's fighting advanced pancreatic cancer "as hard as I can" with aggressive chemotherapy. ... Roger Federer pulled out of Switzerland's Davis Cup series against the U.S. next month because of a back problem that has bothered him since last year. ... The Capitals' Mike Green declined to relinquish the hockey stick that he used during his eight-game goal-scoring streak, the longest by a defenseman in NHL history, to the Hockey Hall of Fame. ... Credit-rating agency Fitch Ratings predicts the U.S. sports industry will start to feel the full effects of the recession this year.