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MIAMI — The only thing that keeps LeBron James up worrying at night is basketball, which simultaneously makes perfect sense and no sense. On one hand, he’s the game’s best...
NEW YORK — The NBA said Thursday that its referees made a mistake when they ejected Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin in the Clippers’ 105-103 loss at Golden State on Wednesday night. Griffin was ejected for his second technical with 10:43 left after scuffling with Andrew Bogut, following Warriors forward Draymond Green to the showers after they got into it at the end of the third. “After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game,” said Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations. “
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return from a left collarbone injury, just in time to start Sunday for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in a game to decide the NFC North title. With no advance warning and little fanfare, the franchise quarterback received the long-awaited good news at the same time as the rest of his teammates Thursday. “This is a fun day for me, but I think the focus needs to be on this game and the opportunity we have to win the division,” Rodgers said. Soon enough.
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Former All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will retire after 11 years in the NFL. Asomugha had his greatest success in the NFL with the Raiders after being drafted in the first round out of California in 2003. He earned three Pro Bowl selections in eight seasons in Oakland and was a first-team All-Pro in 2008 and 2010. Asomugha struggled after joining Philadelphia as a high-profile free agent in 2011.
DETROIT — James Conner rushed for 229 yards — breaking a Pittsburgh bowl record held by Tony Dorsett — and Chris Blewitt kicked a tiebreaking field goal with 1:17 remaining, lifting the Panthers to a 30-27 win over Bowling Green on Thursday night in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Conner also played a handful of snaps on the defensive line, and fellow freshman Tyler Boyd gave Pitt (7-6) a boost with eight catches for 173 yards.
HIBBING, Minn. — Chisholm High School basketball coach Bob McDonald has reached 1,000 career victories. McDonald reached the milestone with his team’s 61-55 win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on Thursday night in the Hibbing Holiday Tournament. The 80-year-old McDonald is in his 53rd and final season coaching the Bluestreaks. The Duluth News Tribune said son Joel, coach of the Hibbing team, presented his father with the game ball after the victory.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson’s status for the last game of the season is uncertain. “Stay tuned,” the Minnesota running back said. Even if he doesn’t play on Sunday against Detroit, Peterson will have plenty more games in purple, his health allowing. Peterson has a lot of prominent teammates who aren’t, however, assured of such a future. Defensive end Jared Allen leads the list. “I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about it, but it’s not what’s on my mind right now,” Allen said on Thursday. “I’ve got to prepare for this game.
HOUSTON — Minnesota looks to reach nine wins for the first time since 2003 and end a five-game bowl losing streak when the Gophers face Syracuse in the Texas Bowl on Friday. It’s their second straight trip to this bowl after they lost to Texas Tech 34-31 last year after a late rally by the Red Raiders. Minnesota coach Jerry Kill hopes the familiarity with Reliant Stadium will help his team. “It certainly helps us manage,” he said. “You just don’t know when you’re playing one game, one shot. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and so forth. I’m always kind of a routine guy, so to speak.
MINOT — Minot police say a Colorado man was captured after he kicked out the rear window of a police cruiser and took off. Police said 27-year-old Rodney Dale Smith of Colorado Springs was arrested on Tuesday for criminal trespass after allegedly entering a Minot home and destroying some property. Police said Smith escaped from the police car while on his way to the Ward County Jail. Police said he was captured after a short chase. In addition to criminal trespass, Smith has been charged with two counts of criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, escape and preventing arrest.
BISMARCK — The year in news in North Dakota was dominated by debate over abortion restrictions in the Legislature — and the courts — and the good and bad effects of the western oil boom. But there were plenty of other topics that drew headlines around the state, from turmoil in the Higher Education system and the Spirit Lake tribe, to a white supremacist who tried to take over a tiny town. Here is a look back at some of North Dakota’s top news stories of 2013: Abortion The Republican-led Legislature approved more than 475 bills in 2013, and spent a record amount of cash.