Karl says Anthony 'crossed the line'

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Carmelo Anthony's checkered reputation has taken another hit. The two-time Olympian served a one-game suspension last night handed down by the Denver Nuggets because coach George Karl tried to put him on the bench and he refused. "In my mind, that crossed the line," Karl said. Anthony (Towson Catholic) wasn't with the Nuggets when they played on the road against the Detroit Pistons. "I saw him yesterday. I didn't see him today," Karl said last night. "I'll spend some time with him tomorrow. I think he's traveling with the team. I heard he was going to be on the plane." Denver's next game is tomorrow night at home against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Nuggets had said they suspended Anthony for an "in-game transgression" Sunday against Indiana, declining to provide details of what he did. During a timeout against the Pacers, though, Karl said, Anthony became the first player in his two-plus decades as a coach to stay on the court after being told he was being taken out of the game. "There's a thin line between passion and an aggressive want to be on the court and emotional immaturity," Karl said. Anthony is averaging a team-high 21.6 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Et cetera:: Trail Blazers center Greg Oden is expected to miss at least an additional week because of a bone chip in his left knee. ... Veteran forward Joe Smith (Maryland) agreed to a one-year contract with the Cavaliers.


Howard, Magic top O'Neal, Suns

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Dwight Howard had 21 points and eight rebounds in a bruising battle with Shaquille O'Neal, and the host Orlando Magic overcame a season-high 24 turnovers to beat the Phoenix Suns, 111-99. O'Neal finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, outmuscling his first NBA team for most of the night before he lost his cool late, drawing boos from the Orlando crowd. His technical foul with 3:38 left contributed to nine straight points for the Magic that gave Orlando a 10-point lead to put the game out of reach. Steve Nash added 20 points for Phoenix after missing three games with a sprained right ankle.

Pistons 100, Nuggets 95:: Chauncey Billups scored a season-high 34 points in his return to Detroit, but the Pistons came away with the victory over Denver.

Bobcats 96, Bulls 80: : Raymond Felton had 18 points and nine assists, and host Charlotte beat undermanned Chicago for its season-high fourth straight victory.

Rockets 107, Raptors 97:: Carl Landry matched a career high with 22 points and Houston beat Toronto to win its 10th straight at home.

Nets 99, Bucks 95:: Brook Lopez had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lift visiting New Jersey.

Warriors 118, Timberwolves 94:: Stephen Jackson had 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists in visiting Golden State's victory.


Rangers reunite with forward Avery


Bad boy Sean Avery is back with the Rangers. New York claimed the controversial forward off re-entry waivers from the Dallas Stars. Avery is set for what could amount to his last chance to resurrect his NHL career and might be in the lineup for tomorrow's game at the New York Islanders. Avery hasn't played in the NHL since his suspension in December for making a crude remark about other hockey players dating his former girlfriends. New York will be responsible for half the money left on Avery's contract that runs through the next three seasons, with a salary cap hit of more than $3.8 million a year.

Red Wings: : Forward Marian Hossa was hospitalized for observation after crashing headfirst into the boards after being checked in the first period of last night's 5-0 win over the host Blues. Hossa, who leads the team with 34 goals and 27 assists in 62 games, did not lose consciousness and had feeling in his limbs, team spokesman John Hahn said.

Et cetera: : All-Star goalie Niklas Backstrom signed a four-year, $24 million contract extension with the Wild. The deal runs through the 2012-13 season. ... Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (groin) missed his fourth straight game.

Miller says he won't ski again this season


et cetera

Bode Miller said he won't ski again this season but has yet to decide on retirement. The defending overall World Cup champion said in his online diary that other things now give him more pleasure than the ski tour. The New Hampshire skier has not won a race this season and already sat out the past two weekends with an ankle injury. This season, Miller finished second three times and failed to medal at the world championships in France last month. He ranked eighth in this season's overall standings.

Soccer: : Forward Machel Millwood, who led the Blast to with 14 points in February, was named the National Indoor Soccer League Offensive Player of the Month. The Blast's P.J. Wakefield was named Defensive Player of the Month.

College football: : Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett writes that he's blogging from prison so others will learn from his wrong decisions. The tailback who led the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship is serving at least 3 1/2 years in the Toledo Correctional Institution on his 2006 conviction for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. In his first blog entry, Clarett said in October that defects in his character put him behind bars. This week, he wrote he's interested in public speaking once he's out.

Olympics:: The U.S. Olympic Committee will reduce its 425-person work force by 10 percent to 15 percent in the coming months as it retrenches to deal with the economic crisis. Chief executive officer Jim Scherr said the USOC hopes to save $7.1 million in its 2009 operating budget with reductions in administrative expenses, programming and personnel.

Cricket: : The sport's governing body will review Pakistan's status as co-host of the 2011 World Cup after the deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team. The International Cricket Council said national teams would be reluctant to play in Pakistan in the foreseeable future. The violence in Lahore left seven players, an umpire and a coach wounded and six police officers and a driver dead.