Pro Sports

LeBron, Cavs climb in standings, back in title conversation

The four-time league MVP recently missed eight games to rest a strained back and left knee. The time away clearly revived the 30-year-old, who may want to consider a January retreat in upcoming seasons. He's running, jumping, cutting, scoring — doing everything at his own towering standards. He's physically stronger, mentally recharged.

Kobe Bryant to have shoulder surgery, likely out for season

The Lakers will announce a timetable for Bryant's recovery after surgery, but coach Byron Scott anticipates losing the third-leading scorer in NBA history for the rest of the year.

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

What everyone saw included 512 home runs during a 19-year career that put him in the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. But perhaps more importantly, what everyone appreciated was "Mr. Cub," an always positive attitude that sparked a steady stream of tributes after Banks' death Friday night at age 83.

Belichick on deflated balls: 'We try to do everything right'

Saying his team "followed every rule to the letter," New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick described in detail how his team prepares its footballs on game day and defended his players from chatter that they made it to the Super Bowl by cheating.

NFL says no conclusion yet on Patriots' deflated footballs

The league said evidence shows the Patriots used underinflated footballs during the first half of the AFC championship game Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

Azarenka beats Wozniacki, joins Williams in 3rd round

Azarenka's ranking slipped into the 40s due to a series of injuries that restricted her to nine tournaments in 2014, meaning she didn't have a seeding at the Australian Open despite winning the title here in 2012 and 2013.

Brady, Belichick offer no explanation for deflated footballs

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he has not been contacted by the NFL, even as league officials investigate whether the team cheated against the Indianapolis Colts.

Bruce Irvin has become key starter for Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks

Once considered to be a risky draft choice who could only be a pass rusher in the NFL, Irvin has developed into an every down linebacker who rarely leaves the field.

Blount happy with Patriots after rocky time with Steelers

Blount helped the Patriots get to the Super Bowl by rushing for 148 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries in a 45-7 rout of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

What trick will Belichick pull from his hoodie sleeve next?

Belichick reached his sixth Super Bowl as a head coach with the help of a touchdown pass to a 320-pound offensive tackle.

Missouri alumnus Max Scherzer finalizes blockbuster deal with Washington Nationals

Speaking after a news conference Wednesday to announce the addition — via a $210 million, seven-year contract — of 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner and Missouri alumnus Max Scherzer, Lerner was thinking big thoughts. After all, the club's starting rotation, at least for the moment, also includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez.

"If they all stay healthy," began Lerner, whose father, Ted, is the team's principal owner, "I guess it's a possibility we may give up the fewest runs in National League history during a 162-game schedule, which is amazing."

Details of Boston's 2024 Olympic bid made public

The 3-inch thick binder included plans for venues, transportation, finances and security, and hints at the political and public arm-twisting needed to make it happen. David Manfredi, an architect who is the co-chair of the Boston 2024 planning committee, said the goal is to leave a legacy not just for the athletes, but for the city as a whole.

Nadal, Sharapova pushed to near-elimination in second round at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal was taken to five agonizing sets by No. 112-ranked Tim Smyczek, who even did him a sporting favor in the last game of a 4-hour, 12-minute night match. Maria Sharapova needed to save two match points before prevailing 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 over fellow Russian Alexandra Panova, ranked No. 150.

Seven things to know about New England's deflated ball controversy

The NFL is investigating a report that the New England Patriots used underinflated footballs in the AFC championship game while beating the Indianapolis Colts 45-7. ESPN cited anonymous sources Tuesday night in reporting the league found that 11 of 12 balls were underinflated by 2 pounds per square inch of air.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick tampers once again

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick no longer gets the benefit of the doubt among fans and those in football circles, even those who think he's the best coach in the league. Earlier this month, Hall of Fame coach Don Shula called him "Beli-cheat."

Goalkeeper Hope Solo suspended from U.S. women's national team

U.S. Soccer did not specify the reason for the suspension, announced Wednesday night. It comes after the arrest of her husband, former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens, earlier this week on suspicion of driving under the influence.

St. Louis Cardinals won't mind strikeouts in search of power hitting

The Cardinals have lacked a power bat off the bench, or power anywhere for that matter, and Mark Reynolds also could platoon with Matt Adams at first base. Manager Mike Matheny promised he won't have batting coach John Mabry tinker too much with a stroke that's boom or bust.

Super Bowl-bound Patriots have record of blowout wins

Some of the NFL's top teams — Denver, Detroit, Cincinnati and Indianapolis — all lost to the AFC champions by at least 22 points. Now the Patriots are in the Super Bowl against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, whose four losses were by a total of 22 points.


Nori Aoki finalizes $4.7M, 1-year deal with Giants

Aoki brings more than just a big personality and sense of humor to the World Series champions. Manager Bruce Bochy is projecting him as the team's starting left fielder, while noting Aoki's versatility allows him to fill in for Angel Pagan in center field and Hunter Pence in right as needed.

No worries for Djokovic, Williams in 1st round of Australian Open

The No. 1 seeds in the men's and women's draws both had straight-set wins in their first-round matches on Tuesday.