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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) -- Thick fog lingering over the mountains Monday caused the biggest weather disruptions of the Sochi Olympics so far, with a biathlon race and a snowboard event both postponed until Tuesday.

The fog rolled in over the mountains in Krasnaya Polyana on Sunday night and was still shrouding some of the Olympic skiing venues in a cloud-like mist by late Monday afternoon. That prompted organizers to call off the men's biathlon mass-start race and men's snowboardcross almost simultaneously.

The rescheduling didn't seem to be a major concern for the athletes, though.

"This is standard for snowboarding and ski events. Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate," American snowboardcross rider Nate Holland said.

The biathlon race had already been pushed back from Sunday evening to Monday morning, and was then postponed to mid-afternoon before being called off for another day. It will now be held Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., organizers said. A decision on the women's mass-start race still scheduled for its original 7 p.m. start was set to be made later Monday.

"Well, I am going to sleep again," double Olympic champion Martin Fourcade tweeted in French after the race was postponed. "We'll see each other tomorrow!"

At the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the snowboardcross was also first delayed then postponed. Organizers first canceled the seeding runs for the event, then pushed back the elimination races before calling it a day. The elimination races will now start at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, with the seeding runs scrapped.

The Alpine events were not affected because Monday was an off-day, but organizers called off a free skiing session to keep the course intact for Tuesday's women's giant slalom.

Women's race director Atle Skaardal said the fog could still affect that event if it remains.

"I don't know if they'll see anything," Skaardal said.

The ski jumping venue is at a lower altitude and was not shrouded in the thick fog. A training round for Nordic combined athletes was held without disruptions, and the ski jump team event was also expected to go ahead as scheduled.

The fog is causing a new challenge for the athletes following days of sunshine and unseasonably warm weather. At the Laura Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Center, the high temperatures toward the end of last week had softened the snow and led to some cross-country skiers cutting off the sleeves on their suits.

In biathlon, fog is an even bigger problem because it limits the visibility on the shooting range.

"You have to be able to hit the targets," said Jerry Kokesh, the editor of the International Biathlon Union's official website, adding that the course becomes more dangerous as well. "Uphills are not a problem, but downhills are. ... That can be a serious safety concern."

The first week of the games went by without any major disruptions to the schedule before Sunday's biathlon race was postponed, despite concerns going into the Olympics about the warm climate in Sochi. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said every Winter Olympics normally faces some rescheduling because of the weather, and that Sochi has been relatively unaffected.

"In terms of what's going on there, I think it's actually quite ironic that the biggest issue we've had so far is due to winter fog," Adams said. "Winter sports is very unpredictable. It's a very dynamic field of play. At present, the conditions are good and we are continuing. We haven't had any major complaints up there."

Certainly not from Holland, the snowboarder, who said it was better to wait another day than to compete in poor conditions.

"It's the Olympics, we want to have the best rider win and not have anything screwy," Holland said. "So we'll be back tomorrow and let her roll from there. It's time to drop the hammer and the sickle on this course."

---

AP Sports Writers Will Graves, Jon Krawczynski, Andrew Dampf and Pat Graham contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Monday, 17 February 2014 06:47
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- LeBron James usually has his fun in June, when the Miami Heat have won NBA championships the last two years.

Doesn't mean he's OK with losing in February.

And he certainly won't stand for his team getting picked on.

Three straight times he had left a loser, and he was even more driven for this All-Star game after a half season of his conference getting ridiculed for its mediocrity.

"We've been getting killed a lot this season, talking about the Eastern Conference is pretty bad, it's a two-man race and we're not holding up our end of the bargain," James said. "So it was special to get this win."

Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the MVP, Carmelo Anthony made a record eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points, and the East stopped a three-game losing streak with a 163-155 victory over the West on Sunday night in the highest-scoring All-Star game ever.

"We took this one personal a bit," Irving said.

James had a steal and dunk on the first possession, long before defense usually shows up in the All-Star game.

"We wanted this win," James said. "They beat us the last three years and they had a lot of bragging rights, so to be able to come through being down 18 was huge."

Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin each finished with 38 points, four shy of Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star game record, for the West. But the East scored the final 10 points to pull out a game it trailed by 18.

"They started making shots and we didn't get stops and we went a little bit cold," said Griffin, who shot 19 of 23, setting a record for field goals made.

Irving scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

The 318 points broke the record of 303 set in 1987.

Durant finished with 10 rebounds and six assists, but the West was shut out after his 3-pointer gave it a 155-153 lead with 1:59 left. Indiana's Paul George made three free throws, Anthony nailed his final 3-pointer, and James scored to make it 161-155. George closed it out with two more free throws and finished with 18 points.

"Both teams played extremely well, we just lost," Durant said.

The game that usually doesn't get tight until the final minutes was close throughout the fourth quarter, neither team leading by more than four until the final minute.

Chris Paul had 11 points and 13 assists, and first-time All-Star Stephen Curry had 12 points and 11 assists for the West. But the best point guard on the floor was Irving, who shot 14 of 17 and helped the East ring up 87 points in the second half after it surrendered a record 89 in the first.

In a colorful tribute to New Orleans, players wore sneakers and socks that ranged from green and blue to orange and purple, making the game look like a Mardi Gras parade.

The parade was one of layups and dunks for the West, which scored 44 points in the first quarter and 45 in the second. Griffin had 18 points in the first quarter and Durant had 22 at halftime, both two shy of records set by Glen Rice in 1997.

And there was plenty of music, the rosters and starting lineups introduced around a concert by Pharrell Williams, who was joined by his own All-Stars in Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Snoop Dogg.

Magic Johnson led a band, too, encouraging the All-Stars to join him in singing "Happy Birthday" after the first quarter to Hall of Famer Bill Russell. The NBA's greatest champion was celebrating his 80th.

The All-Stars played better than they sang.

The East finished with 61 percent shooting, needing all sorts of offense after it simply couldn't defend Durant and Griffin.

Durant made six 3-pointers and raised his career scoring average in the All-Star games to a record 30.6 points.

Outside of the ugly sleeved jerseys, it was a good look for the NBA's midseason showcase, bouncing back strongly from an uneven All-Star Saturday night.

The new format of the slam dunk contest Saturday wasn't a hit, but every night is a dunk contest when Griffin is involved.

The guy who once jumped over a car to win a slam dunk contest had eight slams in the first 11 minutes, the backboard often barely done shaking from the last one when he threw down the next.

James Harden started for the West in place of Kobe Bryant, who was elected by the fans but was knocked out by a broken left knee. Bryant said before the game his recovery is "coming slowly" but hopes to be back in another All-Star game.

With Bryant sitting out and longtime regulars Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett not selected, it was a chance for the younger guys to make their mark. The rosters were loaded with players 25 and younger, including first-time starters George, Irving, Stephen Curry and Kevin Love.

The All-Star newcomers also included official Violet Palmer, who became the first female to referee a major U.S. sports league's All-Star game.

---

Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: HTTP://WWW.TWITTER.COM/BRIANCMAHONEY

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Monday, 17 February 2014 06:43
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — T.J. Oshie scored four times in the shootout and got the winner in the eighth round, leading the United States past Russia 3-2 Saturday in the thrilling revival of an Olympic hockey rivalry.

Cam Fowler and Joe Pavelski scored in regulation for the Americans in the marquee game of the preliminary round. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves and stopped five attempts in the shootout.

International rules allow the same player to take multiple shots after the first three rounds of a shootout, and U.S. coach Dan Bylsma leaned on Oshie. The St. Louis Blues forward went 4 for 6 against Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Captain Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals in regulation and another in the shootout. The fast-paced game was played in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an energized home crowd in Sochi.

Sunday, 16 February 2014 08:02
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   Cardinal's spring training camp officially gets busy Thursday with the first official workouts.  Pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter, Florida the day before.  
   Cardinals' Manager Mike Matheny says the talent pool of young pitchers this year is amazing. "Some of the guys we have as leaders in the group don't have a whole lot of experience, but that's just kind of the club we have," he said.  
   Matheny says it's going to be fun watching this group of young, talented pitchers continue to improve and grow.  But the bottom line is competition.  "We've got some very young guys and very talented guys and they're going to have to step in and compete," he said.  "That idea that we're just constantly going to be hounding on them is just competing non-stop.  No matter who you are, no matter what you've done, come in here and work in Spring Training like you've got something to prove, which you do."
   Eight pitchers with proven major league experience are competing for five starting positions.  
 
Thursday, 13 February 2014 02:35
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It's official, the St. Louis Rams announced Gregg Williams as the team's new defensive coordinator.

 

Head coach Jeff Fisher and Williams have six seasons of experience working together. Fisher hired Williams to be his defensive coordinator in 2012. But, Williams was implicated in the Saints bounty-gate controversy and he was suspended by the NFL.

 

Williams was re-instated last year and served as a consultant for the Tennessee Titans. The two will be reunited again with the Rams for the 2014 season.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 14:20
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014 11:04
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014 09:28
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Tuesday, 11 February 2014 10:23
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   Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.  Sam told ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, that he came out to his Mizzou teammates and coaches in August.  

   The 255 pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama last month after leading the SEC with 11 1/2 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.  He's projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick.  

   Sam says: "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."

 

Reaction to Michael Sam saying in interviews that he is gay:

 

"It takes an incredible amount of courage to break ground on a social issue on a national stage. Michael Sam is a young man of tremendous fortitude and confidence. It is these traits that make it possible for him to be among the best on the field and now to have an impact on the world of sport in a very important way. I also applaud the wonderful support given to him by his teammates and the University of Missouri." — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive.

___
 
"I think a lot of guys in the NFL are going to say they will accept it, but there are a lot of guys who won't. The reality is Michael Sam is going to open himself up to a lot of criticism and a lot of challenges. Those are challenges most gay people have to go through, but when you are dealing with alpha males and some meatheads in an NFL locker room it's amplified. And there are some guys who have strong religious beliefs too, so he's going to be judged. He's going to face some things that are going to be very difficult to overcome." — Former NFL offensive lineman Frank Garcia, now a sports radio show host with WFNZ-AM in Charlotte.
___
 
"Had multiple convos with @MikeSamFootball this year, amazed at his honesty & courage! Once a tiger, ALWAYS a Tiger." — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and former Missouri star Chase Daniel on Twitter @ChaseDaniel.
___
 
"Very happy for Michael Sam. His courage will inspire millions to live their truth." — MLS player Robbie Rogers, who is gay, on Twitter.
___
 
"I could care less about a man's sexual preference! i care about winning games and being respectful in the locker room!" — Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams on Twitter @DeAngeloRB.
___
 
"We are so proud of Michael for what he has accomplished at Mizzou academically, socially and competitively. This is a young man who earned his degree from MU, was a unanimous All-American on the football field and now he's being a leader in his personal life. He continues to display great character, courage and compassion. We are proud of him on every level." — Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden.
___
 
"Best of luck in the draft @MikeSamFootball. #respect #YouCanPlay @YouCanPlayTeam" — Former NFL player Zak DeOssie on Twitter @zdeossie.
___
 
"There will be some interest early on (and missteps), but by week one, it'll be a non story. The way it should be from that point on." — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy on Twitter @BMcCarthy32.
 
Monday, 10 February 2014 02:49
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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson does not have the green light to take a 3-point shot. He has no light.
 
"I heard some guy behind me in the front row telling me to shoot it," said Henderson, who scored 29 points on eight 3-point shots in Saturday's 91-88 win over Missouri. "That's all I need to hear."
 
The Rebels (16-7, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) needed everything Henderson provided — 10 of 18 from the field, 8 of 15 from 3-point range and five assists — to record what Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy admitted, "a game we absolutely had to have. Marshall hits big shots."
 
Ole Miss enhanced their hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid with the win, with home dates remaining against Kentucky and Florida. The Rebels are 27-10 with a .729 winning percentage in SEC play since 2012, trailing only Florida for the league's best mark.
 
The Rebels remained alone in third place in the league standings and won for the third time in four meetings with Missouri (16-7, 4-6) over the past two seasons. The past two wins for the Rebels were turned on the game's final possession.
 
"Huge. Just huge. It's the only time we play them (Missouri) during the regular season," Henderson said. "They're a quality club with a high RPI and we needed it. I was able to get some good looks, but we had big games from everybody today."
 
Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White had 16 points apiece, while Anthony Perez added 11. The Rebels won the rebounding battle, 44-43, including game-high performances of 11 and 10 rebounds from Aaron Jones and Sebastian Saiz, respectively.
 
Despite trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half and 50-35 at halftime, Missouri put on a furious second half rally. Earnest Ross led the Tigers with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists and missed a 28-foot shot at the buzzer that could have forced overtime.
 
Ross was complemented by Jordan Clarkson with 23 points, Jabari Brown with 20 and Ryan Rossburg with 11, all in the second half.
 
"I thought the difference was our post players didn't compete well in the first half and their press bothered us," Missouri coach Frank Haith said.
 
"In the second half, we took better care of the basketball and our effort was there."
 
The Tigers pulled within two points on four occasions, but Henderson responded three times with a 3-point shot or an assist. Missouri's made another late surge to get within 79-78 on a 3-point shot by Brown with 3:18 left.
 
Ole Miss outscored Missouri 6-0 in the following minute, all by Summers, and built a seemingly insurmountable 91-83 lead with 19 seconds remaining. Missouri scrambled within 91-88 and forced a turnover with 0.9 remaining, setting up a final opportunity for Ross.
 
"There were times I felt like we were just blowing them out by the way we were shooting," Henderson said. "Then you'd look up and they were right there. Every game comes down to the wire for us. We embrace hard. We know it's going to be that way."
 
The loss was the third straight for the Tigers, who have lost consecutively to the top three SEC teams — Kentucky, Florida and Ole Miss. Despite the loss, Missouri remains a factor in the title chase with five of the next seven games at home.
 
Ole Miss shot 50 percent (29 of 58) from the field and 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from 3-point range. Missouri shot 47.5 percent (28 of 59) from the field and hit 11 3-point shots, led by Ross with five.
Sunday, 09 February 2014 00:02
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