Update on the latest sports

AP

NFL-BROWNS-STEELERS

Roethlisberger’s last start in Pittsburgh?

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be making his final start at Heinz Field when the Steelers host Cleveland tonight. The 39-year-old Roethlisberger’s status beyond this season is uncertain.

Roethlisberger has long tormented the Browns, who passed over the Ohio native in the 2004 NFL draft. Roethlisberger is 25-3-1 against Cleveland though the Browns got the better of him and the Steelers in a playoff win at Heinz Field last January.

The Browns have dropped two straight and are looking to avoid being swept by Pittsburgh for the 14th time since 1999.

NFL-SCHEDULE CHANGES

NFL finale is showdown for playoffs: Chargers at Raiders

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL’s schedule changes for Week 18 will feature a Sunday night showdown for a playoff berth. To finish off the NFL’s first 17-game season, the Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders game was flexed from daytime to primetime. Both AFC West rivals are 9-7 and the winner will advance to the postseason.

The league also switched two games from Sunday to Saturday. Kansas City, already the AFC West champion, will be at Denver, followed by Dallas at Philadelphia. Neither of those games has the strong postseason implications of Chargers-Raiders.

In other NFL news:

— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving on from Antonio Brown, whose NFL career is on hold again after yet another messy departure. Coach Bruce Arians said Monday he has no regrets about giving the often-troubled receiver an opportunity to play with Tom Brady and revive a career derailed by on- and off-the-field issues — even though it ended with Brown leaving the reigning Super Bowl champions in the middle of a game. Arians said he wishes Brown well and that if the receiver needs help he hopes Brown gets it. Arians declined to discuss specifics of what happened but dispelled the notion Brown left after telling coaches he was too injured to re-enter the game.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL

Baylor remains in top spot

UNDATED (AP) — Baylor kept its firm hold on No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll with few changes at the top and no new teams entering the latest rankings.

The reigning national champion Bears earned all 61 first-place votes for the third time in four weeks to easily outdistance No. 2 Duke.

No. 9 Auburn climbed into the top 10 for the first time this season. No. 16 Providence rose five spots in the week’s biggest jump.

No. 24 Seton Hall had the biggest tumble by falling nine spots.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE

Purdue hosts Wisconsin

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Third-ranked Purdue returns to Big Ten action when the Boilermarkers host number-23 Wisconsin. The Badgers got a scare from Illinois State on Wednesday following a two-week break caused by COVID-19.

In the only other game involving a ranked team, number-eight Arizona — coming off of its first loss of the season at the hands of Tennessee — is at home against Washington.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWS

Louisville to retire the No. 2 jersey of standout Russ Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville plans to retire the No. 2 jersey number of former All-America guard and fifth-highest scorer Russ Smith, who led the Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball championship that was later vacated. Smith’s jersey will be retired at halftime of Louisville’s game against Notre Dame on Jan. 22. His number will be the program’s fifth retired and joins those of Charlie Tyra, Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Wes Unseld, Darrell Griffith and Pervis Ellison. Smith is Louisville’s only player with at least 1,800 career points, 350 assists and 250 steals.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NHL

Another NHL game postponed

UNDATED (AP) — The NHL has postponed the Seattle Kraken’s home game scheduled for Thursday against Ottawa because of COVID-19 problems with the Senators. It’s the 92nd NHL game to be postponed for coronavirus-related reasons this season. Several of those are linked to attendance restrictions in Canada.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres added forward Kyle Okposo and another player to the league’s COVID-19 protocol list Monday.

The Dallas Stars removed 10 players from the list and appear to be on track to resume play Thursday. The Stars have not played since Dec. 20.

NHL-SCHEDULE

Rangers host Oilers

NEW YORK (AP) — In the only game on the NHL schedule, the New York Rangers — winners of three of their last five — host the Edmonton Oilers before leaving on a five-game road trip.

The Oilers are 2-7-2 in their last 11 games after starting the season 16-5-0.

NBA-SCHEDULE

Grizzlies visit Nets

NEW YORK (AP) — In NBA action, the Memphis Grizzlies carry a four-game winning streak into tonight’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn.

In other games:

The Golden State Warriors, with an NBA-best 16-and-3 home record, return home to host the Miami Heat.

The Los Angeles Clippers, who’ve been playing short-handed and without their coach because of injuries and COVID, are at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Chicago Bulls are riding a seven-game win streak as they prepare to host the Orlando Magic.

The Milwaukee Bucks have won six straight games heading into tonight’s matchup at home against the Detroit Pistons.

The Philadelphia 76ers, winners of three straight, are at home against the Houston Rockets, who’ve lost seven in a row.

The Denver Nuggets have also won three in a row as they head to Dallas to play the Mavericks.

The Utah Jazz are in New Orleans. The Atlanta Hawks visit the Trail Blazers in Portland. The Charlotte Hornets play at Washington.

NBA-NEWS

Cavaliers land Rondo from Lakers to offset loss of Rubio

CLEVELAND (AP) — Once Ricky Rubio was lost for the season with a knee injury, the Cleveland Cavaliers knew it would take someone special to take his spot. They needed a playmaking guard with experience, intelligence and competitive toughness. Rajon Rondo checked every box.

Cleveland finalized its trade for the 35-year-old Rondo with the Los Angeles Lakers in what eventually became a three-team deal involving the New York Knicks. In the swap, the Knicks receive guard Denzel Valentine from the Cavaliers along with the draft rights to international prospects and cash from the Lakers. Rubio tore his left anterior cruciate ligament last week.

SKIING-WORLD CUP-SHIFFRIN RETURNS

Shiffrin returns to World Cup after recovering from virus

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin is set to return to the women’s World Cup at a slalom on Tuesday in Zagreb. The race comes eight days after a positive COVID-19 test that forced the American out of two tech races in Austria last week. Shiffrin had a negative test on Monday afternoon before the American’s name appeared on the official start list.

Shiffrin’s American teammate, Nina O’Brien, is among a group of racers who have tested positive and will miss Tuesday’s slalom as the coronavirus is increasingly affecting the women’s circuit with less than five weeks left until the Beijing Olympics.

USA SWIMMING

USA Swimming cancels 1st major meet of year due to COVID-19

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — USA Swimming has canceled its first major meet of the year because of the surge in COVID-19 cases. The TYR Pro Swim Series meet had been set to run from Jan. 12-15 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The national governing body says it wants to prioritize the health and safety of its athletes, staff and event volunteers.

The next scheduled stop in the Pro Swim Series is Des Moines, Iowa, from March 2-5.

Last year, three of the Pro Swim Series meets were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Categories: National Sports