National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Moncrief becomes household name with kitchen catch

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) A catch in the kitchen has made Carlos Moncrief a household name.

The Cleveland minor leaguer has drawn all sorts of attention after a nifty set of pictures from a spring training game against Cincinnati.

The photos Wednesday showed Moncrief's catch on a fly ball by Kristopher Negron at Goodyear Ballpark. An outfield billboard for a homebuilding company in the background makes it appear Moncrief is running into the kitchen.

Moncrief had the picture on his cell phone Thursday.

"I loved it," he said.

"My wife saw it live and said, `good catch,"' he said. "And she never comments on baseball. But she's the master of the kitchen at home. I may go in there and wash dishes once in a while if I'm feeling good."

Associated Press photographer Paul Sancya caught the grab.

"As soon as I saw it, I was like, `please be in focus,"' he said.

Penguins' Kris Letang recovering from stroke

PITTSBURGH (AP) Recovering from a stroke, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said his doctors have reassured him that he'll be play hockey again.

When that could happen is unclear.

The 26-year-old Letang spoke to the media before the Penguins faced Montreal on Thursday night, the first time he has spoken to reporters since having the stroke on a West Coast trip before the Olympic break.

"I'm targeting it day-by-day," Letang said. "I'm trying to improve every day I come here. I try to exercise the best I can. I see doctors pretty much every week, twice a week to get better. So we'll go from there."

Doctors are treating Letang with blood thinners and he has been doing light exercises without weights.

"(Doctors) said being 26 and having a stroke, it's actually a small percentage, but the chance that I get back to normal is really high," Letang said. "We'll take the decision from there, but for now, we're keeping like this. ... I'm going day-by-day to get to 100 percent," Letang said. "I feel like I'm trying to make steps and getting closer to coming back at one point."

The last month has been particularly difficult for his family.

"When you see your mom crying or your wife, any of my family members, it's always a tough thing to handle," Letang said. "Everbody is really careful, like I can't even lift the luggage without them trying to help me out. Otherwise it's just been mentally tough a little bit."

Letang said his wife found him on the ground the morning before the team flew to Los Angeles and his mother-in-law, who is a nurse and was also on the trip, took care of him.

"I was not able to function," Letang said. "The day before I was totally fine, I was practicing. I woke up and didn't expect that would happen. I went in the car and went to Los Angeles and thought it would clear up but it never did."

Letang, from Montreal, has 54 goals and 173 assists in 419 games in eight seasons with the Penguins.

He signed a $58 million, eight-year contract extension last summer, but has been plagued by injuries this season, missing 19 games with an elbow infection and a lower-body injury before the stroke.

Letang's most recent game was Jan. 27 against Buffalo. After being a Norris Trophy finalist last season, he has 10 goals - matching a career high - and 18 assists in 34 games for the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins.

"I'm not going to say it's not a really good season for me," Letang said. "Two of (my injuries) were kind of bad luck, but honestly, if I have the chance to come back this year and play, it's going to be great. I want to make sure I forget all about the three-quarters of the season I missed."

Big Ten unlikely to expand Friday night football

CHICAGO (AP) Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Thursday that the league is not looking to schedule more Friday football games, except on Thanksgiving and Labor Day weekends.

"Beyond that, I don't think while I'm around here you're going to see Friday night games," he said. "Down the road? Who knows?"

There are other questions hanging over Delany and the rest of the college athletics.

Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and the United Steelworkers recently announced plans to form the first labor union for college athletes. Hearings before the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago to determine if they are employees by federal law concluded this week. A ruling in their favor would allow them to organize.

The group is seeking a greater say in matters such as improving safety and ensuring that scholarships cover living expenses as well as tuition.

"Everybody's sensitive to the points that are being made," Delany said. "It's unchartered territory. It reminds me a lot of 1968 because you've got traditions that are 100 years old that are being challenged, and I think in some cases, some of the challenges are proper. For me the time, the number of games, are issues."

Delany is against the idea of pay for play, but he's not opposed to giving athletes more of a voice.

"I think we need more seats at the table, for sure," he said. "And I think that we'll get that. I think that we'll get that as we restructure the NCAA. I feel certain that at institutes and conference and NCAA level, there will be more opportunity for points of view, and I hope to give them not only a voice but maybe a way to weigh in."

He said a victory by the players would mean the NCAA would likely seek "guidance from Congress" before knowing what college athletics would look like.

"Somebody with a clear crystal ball would have to describe what it might look like," Delany said. "I think there would have to be some congressional understanding of how these laws relate to anti-trust and how it would relate to Title IX and laws that relate to funding and whether a person is somebody that could be employable. ... It doesn't seem to me an easy and smooth response."

But, he added, "at the end of the day, we respect the individuals, we respect the system. Ultimately, it will evolve."

Delany, who gave a speech at the City Club of Chicago, also was asked about new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's desire to change the so-called "one and done" rule and push the league's age minimum to 20.

Delany said he sees no problem with players leaving school early or turning pro after high school.

"I don't think the `one and done' has been good," he said. "I don't know that the NFL's (requirement that players be three years removed from high school) has been good. I don't know that the major league baseball rule is good. I wish that we could recruit students who want to go to college - and stay in college. If they want to leave, I think there should be a clear path to leave. There should be choice."

Former NBA star Odom makes debut in Spain

VITORIA, Spain (AP) Former NBA star Lamar Odom lacked game shape and showed rust in his debut for Spanish club Baskonia, which lost 81-71 to Unicaja Malaga on Thursday.

Odom, a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, joined the Basque team last week after being out of contract since the close of the last NBA season, when he played for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Odom played just six minutes to finish the first half, grabbing two rebounds while committing three fouls.

The 34-year-old power forward showed a lack of match fitness and touch after 10 months out of the game as he also missed a three-point shot attempt.

Odom did not return in the second half of the Euroleague game as coach Sergio Scariolo said Odom's body was dealing with the aches and pains of a long layaway.

"That's normal at his age after being 10 months out of the game. But he's left a good impression," Scariolo said. "They are typical muscle problems so we just want to be cautious. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

Baskonia's next game is at Valencia on Sunday.

McIlroy takes the lead at Honda Classic

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 63 to take the lead after one round of the Honda Classic.

It was quite a turnaround for McIlroy, who last year was 7 over through eight holes of the second round when he walked off PGA National out of frustration. He looked more like the free-wheeling kid who won this tournament two years ago to rise to No. 1 in the world.

McIlroy buried a few long putts to help the cause, though his game was solid through a cloudy afternoon.

He was one shot ahead of Russell Henley, who birdied five of his opening six holes before cooling.

Tiger Woods, playing for the first time in a month, was eight shots behind after a 71.

Jeter goes hitless in first exhibition game

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Derek Jeter got a partial standing ovation Thursday before going hitless in two at-bats in the first spring training game of his final season, a New York Yankees' 8-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Yankees captain, who turns 40 in June, hit a double-play grounder to second off Pittsburgh right-hander Charlie Morton in the first and grounded out to third during the fourth against left-hander Jeff Locke.

Limited to 17 games last season due to leg injuries, Jeter was at shortstop in his first exhibition season appearance. He broke his left ankle in the 2012 AL championship series and did not appear at shortstop last spring training until March 13.

Jeter had just 11 at-bats in five games during spring training last year, stayed behind for rehabilitation at New York's minor league complex and broke the ankle again. He returned to the Yankees on July 11 but wound up on the disabled list three more times.

Scottsdale police: Incognito damaged own Ferrari

Police checking on reported damage to a car belonging to Richie Incognito, the player at the center of the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal, say Incognito told an officer he did the damage himself.

Sgt. Mark Clark says the Dolphins guard took responsibility when police contacted him Thursday.

He says police first went to Incognito's home Wednesday after being contacted by TMZ Sports and being given a photo of a black Ferrari with several dents in its hood.

RELATED: Incognito tweets apology to Martin | Sam to Incognito: Week that will change NFL forever

Clark says further details are unavailable because no report was filed because no crime was reported. He says Scottsdale police are done with the matter.

Incognito, who was suspended for half of last season, is currently a free agent. An investigation conducted for the NFL determined Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. 

MLB criticized vetoed Arizona rights bill

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball issued a statement criticizing legislation in Arizona that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a few hours later.

Senate Bill 1062 set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected the state to criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties.

Before Brewer vetoed the bill Wednesday, the baseball commissioner's office said: "As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance. Those values are fundamental to our game's diverse players, employees and fans. We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins."

The statement went on to say "MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association. Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game."

Sixers buy out contract of veteran forward Granger

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers have completed a buyout of the contract of veteran forward Danny Granger, enabling the veteran forward to sign with any team assuming he clears waivers by 5 p.m. on Friday.

Granger was acquired from the Indiana Pacers last Thursday for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, but never played a minute for Philadelphia. The 76ers also received a 2015 second-round draft pick in the deal.

"Given Danny's future goals and his desire to pursue them, we worked to fulfill his requests and have come to a resolution that we feel is mutually beneficial to both Danny and our organization," Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said in a statement Wednesday night. "We wish Danny the best in the next phase of his career."

Granger has averaged 17.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in his nine seasons, all of which were with the Pacers.

Carl Pavano retires after 14 major league seasons

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (AP) Pitcher Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 major league seasons.

The 38-year-old right-hander didn't pitch after June 1 in 2012 because of a strained right shoulder. His spleen was removed in January 2013 after he was injured when he fell in the snow at his home in Vermont.

Pavano had been hoping to return to the major leagues this year.

"Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season, I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues," Pavano said in a statement released Wednesday by his agent, David Pepe.

"I have achieved many things as a major league pitcher of which I am very proud. However, I feel at this time, I am simply not able to continue to pitch at the major league level, and these last three months of rigorous training have failed to produce the results that I was looking for to allow me to continue my major league career."

Pavano, an All-Star in 2004, was 108-107 with a 4.39 ERA for Montreal (1998-02), Florida 2002-04), the New York Yankees (2005, 2007-08), Cleveland (2009) and Minnesota (2009-12). He was an All-Star in 2004, going 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA and earning a $39.95 million, four-year contract with the Yankees.

Injuries limited Pavano to 26 starts, 145 2-3 innings and a 9-8 record during his Yankees' contract. He rebounded after leaving New York and went 17-11 for the Twins in 2010, when he tied for the AL lead in complete games with seven.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to have been a major league baseball player, and the gratitude I have for being able to do that is profound and beyond any expression I can make in words," he said.

Collins' jersey selling well in return to NBA

NEW YORK (AP) Jason Collins hasn't even worn his No. 98 jersey in a game yet, and already it's a big seller.

Collins had four of the top five selling jersey items Wednesday on NBAStore.com, the day the NBA's first openly gay player was to wear the jersey in a game for the first time at Portland. His home and road replica jerseys, the women's replica road jersey and the men's T-shirt with number on it were top in their categories. A LeBron James item led the fifth category.

A league spokesperson says Collins' items were No. 1 in those four categories. He wore No. 46 on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers because his preferred number wasn't available yet.

Collins picked No. 98 in tribute to Matthew Shepard, who was killed in 1998 in a gay hate crime.

The league doesn't provide the number of jerseys sold.

Rivera surprised by Jeter retirement this year

NEW YORK (AP) Mariano Rivera never figured this would be Derek Jeter's final season.

"I didn't see this coming at all. I didn't see it," the retired New York Yankees reliever said Wednesday. "For sure I was one of the guys that said they would have to pull his uniform off his body to take him out. But I was wrong, and this was a surprise to me."

Rivera announced last March that 2013 would be his final season and was honored in every city the Yankees stopped in. Rivera, who turned 44 in November, had a record 652 saves in 19 seasons and 42 more in the postseason.

Jeter said this month that 2014 is his final year playing baseball. Rivera predicted Jeter's farewell tour will be much like his own.

"It will be better," Rivera said. "He deserves it. He has given everything for the game of baseball, and when you have a player like that, he deserves that and more."

Rivera spoke Wednesday during a telephone conference call to promote a two-game exhibition series between the Yankees and Miami Marlins at Panama City on March 15-16. Rivera said he won't pitch in the games, which are being played to benefit the Mariano Rivera Foundation. Proceeds from a gala dinner will go to Children's Hospital in Panama City.

"I'm a little bit down because I would have loved to participate and compete while I was playing," Rivera said. "I would have loved my people to see me play down there in Panama. But at the same time, I'm happy that the team is going there. Hopefully this will be the opening of doors so Panama can host some baseball, real baseball games during the season down in Panama."

Rivera has been spending time working with his church and community groups.

"I'm doing exactly what I love to do," he said. "Definitely I miss it. I'm not going to lie to you. I do miss baseball. But I need my family, too. I'm fine."

Predators sending G Rinne to Milwaukee for games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne can't wait to test himself in a game.

The Predators, who announced Wednesday that they are sending Rinne to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee, are cautiously waiting to see if the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist can help them chase down a playoff berth.

Both Rinne and the team will have a better idea of where he is after the conditioning assignment for games Friday and likely Sunday in this latest step in his recovery from an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip. Rinne has been limited to only nine games this season.

Coach Barry Trotz said the Predators will be monitoring Rinne after each practice and game.

"He's at a point where we've got to find out where he is game-wise and also body and mind," Trotz said of Rinne.

The Predators start a five-game home stand Thursday night hosting Tampa Bay just four points back of the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot with 23 games remaining. They missed the playoffs last year for only the second time in nine seasons.

How quickly Rinne rejoins them depends on how he fares in Milwaukee.

Rinne practiced with the Predators on Wednesday before traveling to Milwaukee, and he called this a big day with doctors giving him the green light for the latest step in his long recovery. He has been sidelined since Oct. 24 for an infection in the hip surgically repaired May 9, and Rinne said he's focusing on getting his game back and help the Predators.

"So far I feel really comfortable," Rinne said. "I'm happy how things have gone in practice and how things have gone so far. I think I'm actually a little bit surprised it's been going so well. But like I said, it's still a process but for sure I feel like I'm really close to game shape and now it's just a final couple of games before I jump on the ice with the Nashville team."

Rinne, 31, is sixth in the NHL with 152 wins since the 2008-09 season and has 30 shutouts since 2008-09, which leads all goalies during that time. He hasn't played since Oct. 22 in a 2-0 loss at Minnesota. He is 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

The Predators have played four other goalies this season trying to make up for Rinne's absence. Currently, Carter Hutton is their starter, and he is 13-9-4 with a .904 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average. Trotz said what they've been missing without Rinne is a game-changer who can mean the difference in as many as 20 points in the standings each season.

"He's an elite goaltender and steals games maybe when you don't deserve it," Trotz said. "He can steal points."

Trotz said they're not sure what they'll see from Rinne.

"It's not about Pekka coming back and being a savior," Trotz said. "I think it's Pekka coming back and adding to our mix. And if he can get his game to the level close to what he's capable of, we're a better hockey team plain and simple. To me, it's about Pekka for hopefully the next five or six years. He's a difference maker."

Captain Shea Weber, who practiced with the Predators on Wednesday after helping Canada win the Olympic gold medal Sunday in Sochi, said the Predators are definitely excited about the prospect of Rinne returning to the lineup as they try to chase down a playoff spot.

"We've been through a lot this year and to see what position we put ourselves in here four points out coming in it's not going to be easy by any means," Weber said. "If anyone can do it, we can."

Woods begins his road to the Masters

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) The PGA Tour season began five months ago. The new year is two months old. And yet there's something about the Honda Classic that makes Tiger Woods and a collection of stars feel as though it's all about to get underway.

"I think once we get to Florida, I think we're all thinking about our way to Augusta," Woods said.

Six tournaments remaining before the Masters, the first major of the year, and this is now serious business. It shows in the strength of the field at PGA National, with seven of the top 10 players from the world ranking.

The last time Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott competed in the same tournament was the BMW Championship near Chicago last summer.

That's how it was a generation ago, when some of golf's top players either rested or played overseas early in the season, and then showed up in tropical conditions at Doral to start the official road to Augusta National.

Woods has plenty of work to do based on his early performance - a missed 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines in his lone PGA Tour start this year, followed by a dismal performance by his standards at the Dubai Desert Classic, where he tied for 41st.

He conceded that he spent most of his winter break working on his body instead of his golf. Since returning from overseas earlier this month, Woods said he has spent most of his time working on his short game.

Woods isn't the only player coming off a substantial break.

Scott, the defending champion at Augusta, hasn't competed since the Sony Open in Honolulu. He spent the following week on the Big Island, surfing and playing a few casual rounds with his buddies, then killed time on the couch or doing anything not related to golf until it was time to get back to work.

He plans to play three of the next four tournaments.

"After three weeks I kind of felt like I needed to start swinging again and started to get the itch, but I think I timed it pretty well because I've had a nice couple weeks of intense practice before getting here and a week of playing with some mates before that," Scott said. "I feel like I've had a nice preparation, but this is a very tough test, and it's probably not the ideal one to float back in off after an extended break."

PGA National looks to have as much blue (water) as green (grass), and the course is converted into a par 70 at 7,140 yards for the Honda Classic. Michael Thompson won last year at 9-under 271.

It wouldn't seem to favor Mickelson, who has not played PGA National since he was an amateur.

Mickelson missed the last two weeks because his kids were on spring break, spending some of that time skiing and some of that playing golf. He did not want to fly out from California for one tournament next week at Doral, so he added the Honda Classic.

"The greens are really immaculate," Mickelson said. "If you get hot with a putter, you can make a lot of putts. But I do like the golf course. I've always liked Nicklaus-designed golf courses. I know this course he renovated or redesigned years ago, and it's a wonderful test of golf, and I think that's a real credit as to why such a strong field continues to come here."

This is only the third time Woods has played the Honda Classic as a pro. He rallied with a 62 in the final round in 2012 to finish behind McIlroy, and then struggled off the tee - particularly on the sixth hole - a year ago when he tied for 37th.

McIlroy has his own set of memories from PGA National, not all of them good. Even though he won in 2012 to become No. 1 in the world for the first time, he followed that by playing 26 holes last year before walking off the course with his game in disrepair and his business affairs not much better.

McIlroy said it was a mistake to quit, something he won't ever do again. But the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland is in a better frame of mind this year. He is comfortable with his equipment. He's engaged. He has settled into his own management (though he still is going through a legal battle with his old firm). And he is playing like the guy everyone expected to be the biggest threat to Woods.

"I'm in a better place," McIlroy said. "And I feel like when my game is in a good place, everything else can sort of fall in line with that. It makes me feel more comfortable about everything."

Trout, Angels agree to $1 million, 1-year contract

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Mike Trout has his first seven-figure contract. Up ahead is what figures to be a nine-figure deal.

"It feels good," Trout said Wednesday after agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

The salary is the highest for a one-year major league contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration who wasn't coming to the big leagues from Japan or Cuba or wasn't required to have a larger amount because of the maximum cut rule. Ryan Howard earned $900,000 with Philadelphia in 2007 and Albert Pujols with St. Louis in 2003.

Trout will become eligible for arbitration after this season and could become a free agent after the 2017 World Series. The sides are thought to be discussing an agreement through 2020 in the $150 million range.

Trout wouldn't talk about the possibility of a multiyear contract.

"I just go out there to play the game," he said. "If the money is where it's at, that's where it's going to be."

By agreeing to a one-year contract now with the 22-year-old, the Angels avoid having a long-term deal count toward their 2014 luxury tax payroll.

"It's a landmark to do a $1 million with a two-plus player," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "I think it's fitting and Mike's earned that and we're glad to provide that for him."

Trout was voted AL Rookie of the Year and finished second in MVP voting in 2012, when he hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals. He was second again to Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in MVP voting last year, when he batted .323 with a .432 on-base percentage, 27 homers, 97 RBIs and 33 steals.

"We thought his performance was exceptional," Dipoto said. "There are players that force you to break rules. What he did for two consecutive years forced us to break our own rule. His performance certainly merited us to do differently than any of the others."

Trout had a $482,500 salary as a rookie and earned a $10,000 bonus for winning Rookie of the Year. The Angels renewed his contract last year for $510,000 - just $20,000 above the major league minimum at the time.

"The Angels could have easily just done the same thing that they did last year," Trout said. "It makes you feel good inside. It makes you feel like they really want you here. It means a lot to me."

NOTES: Because of the maximum cut rule, some players not eligible for arbitration have had higher salaries. Shortstop Jose Iglesias agreed to a deal with Detroit in January that pays $1.65 million while in the major leagues and $1,237,500 while in the minors. The major league base represents the maximum 20 percent cut from the average of the $8.25 million, four-year deal he completed.

Felton says arrest not a distraction to Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) Raymond Felton is determined to keep personal turmoil from affecting what was already his most trying season professionally.

A day after his arrest on felony weapons charges, Felton returned to practice with the New York Knicks on Wednesday, saying that was "not a distraction" to the team.

Felton spoke for less than a minute and did not take questions. He thanked family, friends and teammates for their support and insisted his thoughts were on the Knicks' game Thursday night in Miami.

"This is not a distraction to this team," he said. "I'm focusing on finishing out this season, finishing out these games with my teammates and going down to Miami, focusing on this next game at task versus the defending champs."

The Knicks are barely hanging on in the playoff race and Felton's struggles have been among their biggest problems. Slowed by nagging leg injuries early, he's averaging a career-worst 10.4 points on 40.3 percent shooting for a team with a 21-36 record.

He's also dealing with the breakup of his marriage, and he was arrested early Tuesday after authorities said a lawyer for his wife turned into a police precinct a loaded semi-automatic handgun allegedly belonging to the point guard, claiming she no longer wanted it in their home.

Felton was released on $25,000 bail, and his next court appearance is scheduled for June 2.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he never considered not letting Felton play against the Heat.

"The bottom line is Ray is a part of our team, and as his coach I'm going to support him and make sure he's doing everything the right way from here on out, and to try to get him to just concentrate on basketball and practice and playing games," Woodson said.

Felton was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminal possession of a firearm. The firearm charge is punishable by up to four years in prison. The weapons charge is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

He had turned himself into police not long after a 110-108 loss to Dallas dropped the Knicks farther back in the playoff race. His wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, filed for divorce last week, according to court records, and Felton acknowledged recently dealing with personal problems.

He said he wouldn't comment on the case, referring any questions to his lawyer.

"But other than that, I'm here to concentrate on this team, finish this season out with the New York Knicks and see what happens, man," Felton said. "Trying to make it to the playoffs. We're 5 1/2 games out, 25 games left, so I'm really focusing on that with these guys, with the team and trying to make that happen."

Felton was playing well in his first stint in New York before he was traded to Denver in the middle of the 2010-11 season as part of the package for Carmelo Anthony. He had a dismal 2011-12 season for Portland, admitting he reported out of shape because he wasn't sure if, or when, the lockout might end.

Yet the Knicks surprisingly re-signed him that summer, a move that paved the way for them to let Jeremy Lin leave as a free agent. Felton rebounded with a strong performance last season in helping the Knicks to their first Atlantic Division title since 1994, but neither he nor the team has been able to build on that.

Felton has played better lately, and center Tyson Chandler said he was focused at practice Wednesday.

"He seemed like he was no different," Chandler said.

Felton still could face punishment from the NBA, though likely not until the legal process has been completed. He is set to earn $3.8 million next season and has a player option that would pay him $4 million in 2015-16, and any attempt by the Knicks to void his contract would be met with a strong challenge from the players' association.

For now, Felton and the Knicks are just trying to salvage the season.

"My job is to continue to coach and try to get guys to do the right thing on and off the basketball floor. I take pride in that, so when things creep in like this, it's a surprise, but again we've got to get through it," Woodson said.

"Again, I don't know the legal part, the severity of it. All I know is Raymond is still with us and I'm on Raymond's side in terms of trying to make sure that he's doing the necessary things to play basketball and I'm going to continue to do that."

Notes: The Knicks plan to sign veterans Shannon Brown and Earl Clark to 10-day contracts Thursday and have them available to play against the Heat. ... Anthony missed practice for personal reasons but will be with the team in Miami.

Sheriff: Hernandez involved in prison altercation

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) A Massachusetts sheriff says former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has been involved in a prison altercation.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson tells Rhode Island's WJAR-TV (http://bit.ly/1clACsv ) that the former New England Patriots tight end had an altercation at the Bristol County House of Corrections on Tuesday.

Hodgson said he couldn't provide much information, but told the TV station that Hernandez and another inmate are part of an internal investigation at the prison. He said Hernandez is away from the general prison population, in a segregated housing unit.

The 24-year-old Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the killing of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. The Boston man was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Harden scores 43, Rockets rout Kings 129-103

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) James Harden scored a season-high 43 points before resting for all of the fourth quarter, and the Houston Rockets routed the Sacramento Kings 129-103 on Tuesday night.

Harden helped Houston go ahead by 25 points in the first quarter, 31 in the second and 33 in the third. He shot 11 of 20 from the floor, made 15 of 16 free throws and added eight assists, three steals and two rebounds.

Dwight Howard left briefly after banging his right knee but returned to finish with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Chandler Parsons had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who have won 10 of their last 11 games.

DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and six rebounds for the Kings before getting ejected for vehemently arguing with an official in the third quarter. He picked up his NBA-leading 14th and 15th technical fouls.

Rudy Gay had 25 points and six assists, and Ben McLemore scored 15 points for a Sacramento team that looked nothing like the one that beat the Rockets twice previously this season. The teams split four games.

The Rockets outshot Sacramento 56.9 percent to 40 percent. It was the most points the Kings had allowed all season, surpassing a 125-117 loss at Denver on Jan. 26.

Sacramento was trying to win three consecutive games for only the second time all season. Instead, Harden and the Rockets turned the game into a layup line.

Harden had 22 points and four assists in the first quarter to help Houston go ahead 42-17. The only downer during the run came when Howard and Cousins banged knees. Howard limped to the locker room and returned with black leggings underneath his shorts midway through the second quarter.

Even while Howard and Harden sat out, the Kings never halted Houston's quick-strike offense.

Jeremy Lin's uncontested layup gave the Rockets a 50-19 lead with 9:49 remaining before the half. Kings coach Michael Malone called timeout, and fans showered the home team with boos.

Sacramento sliced Houston's lead to 69-51 at the half before Cousins completely lost his composure when the Rockets roared back in the third quarter.

Officials called Cousins for a technical foul after he was whistled for a foul against Howard and shouted back. Cousins picked up his fifth personal foul moments later, then got called for another technical foul - earning an automatic ejection - after screaming in the face of official Courtney Kirkland during a timeout.

Cousins had to be restrained by coaches and teammates. He flicked his headband into the stands on his way to the locker room.

If Cousins gets another technical foul this season, he will be suspended by the NBA for one game. The last two seasons Cousins has needed to have a technical foul rescinded by the league to avoid the automatic suspension that comes when a player reaches 16 technicals.

NOTES: Houston hasn't lost a non-overtime game since Jan. 25 at Memphis. ... Kings G Jimmer Fredette was not at the game. The Kings and Fredette are working to complete a buyout of his contract. .... The Rockets have won all 17 games in 2014 when scoring at least 100 points. The last such loss came against Sacramento on Dec. 31, when the Kings beat the Rockets 110-106 in Houston.

No. 2 Wichita State rolls to historic 30-0 mark

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) Ron Baker scored 15 points to lead four Wichita State players in double figures and the second-ranked Shockers became the first Division I team to reach 30-0 in the regular season with a 69-49 victory over Bradley on Tuesday night.

Wichita State is the 11th team to reach 30-0, the previous 10 all hitting the 30-win mark during postseason play. The last team to reach 30-0 was UNLV in 1990-91. The Runnin' Rebels went 34-0 that season before losing to Duke in the national semifinals.

The Shockers (30-0, 17-0 Missouri Valley Conference) has one more regular-season game, at home Saturday against Missouri State. The last team to finish a regular season unbeaten was Saint Joseph's in 2003-04 at 27-0. The next season, Illinois got to 29-0 before losing its regular-season finale at Ohio State.

A barrage of 3-pointers early in the second half broke it open for Wichita State, which beat Bradley (12-18, 7-10) for the 10th straight time and second this season.

After Bradley trimmed a 10-point halftime deficit to eight, Shockers point guard Fred VanVleet made consecutive 3s for a 14-point lead, the visitors' largest to that point. By the 12:50 mark, Cleanthony Early had added a 3-pointer and Baker made two 3s off screens for a 50-32 lead.

Wichita State finished the game 11 of 21 from beyond the arc, with four players making two or more. Bradley was 4 of 14.

Tyshon Pickett finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for Bradley after nearly reaching a double-double in the first half with 10 points and nine rebounds. Pickett was just 5-of-20 from the field and leading scorer Walt Lemon Jr. was 6 for 20 and had 18 points.

Miserable shooting prevented Bradley from mounting much of a threat. The Braves were at 25 percent (11 for 44) through 30 minutes and finished 16 for 59 (27.1 percent).

Bradley was playing host to its highest-ranked opponent since 1982, when then-No. 2 Wichita State lost 55-47 to the Braves who went on to win the NIT.

The Shockers led 35-25 at halftime after holding the Braves to 8-of-34 shooting (23.5 percent).

The game was a matchup of the top two defensive teams in the conference, though Wichita State (60.8 points per game) leads Bradley (65.5) comfortably. Offensively, Wichita State is also the MVC's best (75.8) while Bradley (63.8) is last.

The No. 2 ranking equals the highest ranking in Wichita State history, matching the 1981-82 team.

Dantonio gets pay raise at Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio will earn $3.64 million in annual compensation after agreeing to an amended contract following the school's first Rose Bowl victory in over a quarter-century.

The school announced Dantonio's new six-year deal Tuesday. His yearly compensation increases from $1.99 million.

Michigan State won the Big Ten title and beat Stanford in the Spartans' first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988.

Athletic director Mark Hollis says nearly $785,000 also has been allocated to enhance assistant coaching salaries. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who remained with the Spartans despite speculation he might leave for a head coaching job, is now slated to make $904,583.

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