Philadelphia losing streak reaches four games
It was the 76ers a season-worst fourth straight loss.
Taken three picks apart in the 1996 draft, Marbury always has been just a notch below Iverson, who has gotten the better of their matchups over the past six-plus years. Iverson also has enjoyed more individual and team success while Marbury has been traded twice and never has won a playoff series.
Marbury, however, had the upper hand in this one. Iverson began by playing off him, and Marbury made four three-pointers in the first half. When Iverson pressed up, Marbury used his bigger frame to push his way past his smaller foe and get inside for baskets for himself or teammates.
Marbury made 12 of 21 shots, including four of six from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, he helped harass Iverson into a seven-of-24 shooting performance, limiting the three-time scoring champion to 22 points.
During the losing streak, Iverson has made just 30 of 98 shots.
Other NBA results: Indiana 94, Denver 72; Orlando 111, Golden State 85; Seattle 91, Toronto 79; Boston 115, Cleveland 100; New York 97, Miami 92; New Jersey 79, Washington 65; Memphis 114, Houston 109 in overtime; Milwaukee 101, Portland 79; San Antonio 97, Los Angeles Clippers 84.
Arnott keys Dallas win
DALLAS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Jason Arnott scored the go-ahead goal with 11:21 remaining Friday night as Dallas held on for a 3-1 victory over lowly Atlanta.
The matchup between the league-leading Stars and the league-worst Thrashers had just one goal and a lot of chippy play before Arnott's eighth tally.
Prior to making it 2-0, Arnott engaged in a second-period fight with Atlanta's Andy Sutton that resulted in major penalties for both players.
But there was nothing violent going on when Pierre Turgeon made his patented wraparound play and left the puck for Arnott, who tapped it past Pasi Nurminen.
The Thrashers halved the deficit 2:50 later on Tony Hrkac's power-play goal but got no closer as they managed just one shot the rest of the way.
In his first start since Nov. 22, Nurminen made 37 saves. Marty Turco of Dallas made 14 of his 21 stops in the second period.
Other NHL results: Buffalo 1, Chicago 1; New York Islanders 3, Florida 3; Edmonton 4, Colorado 3 in overtime; Washington 4, Phoenix 3.
Tiger Woods has knee surgery
PARK CITY, Utah, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery that could keep him out of the season-opening event on the 2003 PGA Tour.
According to Woods' web site, the world's top-ranked golfer underwent a successful one-hour procedure to remove fluid inside and outside the ACL of his left knee. Benign cysts also were removed.
"I had been playing in pain for most of the year and felt it was time to take care of it," Woods said on the web site. "From what I've been told, the operation went well. I'm looking forward to a full recovery and a great start to 2003."
Woods will be off his feet for at least a week before beginning light rehabilitation. There is a chance Woods could miss the Mercedes Championships in Hawaii.
Baseball's winter meetings begin
NASHVILLE, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The annual gathering of Major League Baseball executives kicked off Friday amid a new economic environment in the sport.
This will be the first major gathering of baseball officials since the signing of a bargaining agreement that contains a more stringent luxury tax on team payrolls.
The biggest move Friday came when Randy Wolf avoided arbitration with the Philadelphia Phillies by signing a four-year contract worth $22.5 million.
The 26-year-old Wolf will earn $2.25 million in 2003, $4.25 million in 2004, $6.5 million in 2005 and $9 million in 2006. The deal, which also has performance clauses for the lefthander, includes a $500,000 signing bonus.
Wolf was 11-9 with a 3.20 ERA in 2002.
Many of the 30 teams here will discuss free agents ranging from multiple Cy Young Award winners Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux to offensive like Cliff Floyd and Jeff Kent. But the number of teams that can spend at will could be counted on one hand and much of the attention here figures to revolve around teams looking to swap salary headaches.
With so many teams looking to slash payroll and get under a proposed salary ceiling and avoid the luxury tax, it has become a buyers' market. One of teams that has made no secret of its direction is Montreal.
Owned and operated by Major League Baseball, Montreal could slash its payroll by up to $10 million. To do that, the Expos may have to shop one of their talented young offensive players or aces Bartolo Colon or Javier Vazquez.
Other teams possibly looking to rid themselves of high-priced players include Colorado, Boston and the New York Yankees. New York, which made the big splash at last year's meetings with the signing of superstar Jason Giambi, has been quiet this offseason but has some issues to address before the start of spring training.
The meetings also will serve as a clearing house for many of the unsigned free agents, who have the opportunity to shop their services to all 30 teams at one venue. Players like Ugueth Urbina, Edgardo Alfonzo, Omar Daal and Paul Byrd will have the chance to work out a deal.
Minnesota coasts to victory
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Michael Bauer scored 14 of his career-high 26 points in the first half Friday night as the 25th-ranked Minnesota crushed Fairleigh Dickinson, 104-55.
Minnesota (6-1) was coming off a difficult 86-84 overtime victory over Arkansas-Little Rock Monday night, needing a big game from star forward Rick Rickert. Fairleigh Dickinson was much less of an obstacle, allowing the Golden Gophers to shoot 58 percent in the first half and falling into a 50-31 hole.
Maurice Hargrow and Rickert opened the game with easy baskets and Ben Johnson's three-pointer made it 7-0. Freshman Stan Gaines' three-pointer gave Minnesota its first double-digit lead at 24-12 with 11:40 to go.
Steve Esselink scored five points in a 9-0 run for a 39-21 advantage with 5:36 to go. Minnesota held a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint in the first half.
The Golden Gophers were the only top 25 team in action Friday night.
Fiji leads World Cup
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Dinesh Chad teamed with Vijay Singh to fire a 62 Friday and vault Fiji into the lead midway through golf's World Cup.
While Singh has made a huge name for himself on the PGA Tour, Chad toils in relative obscurity on the other side of the globe. Playing in an alternate-shot format, the duo collected 11 birdies against a lone bogey at the par-4 second hole of the Vista Vallarta Golf Club course.
Scoring was remarkably low considering the fact that alternate shot is a difficult format for the players.
South Africa is the defending champion, although last year's winning team of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen is not competing. Canada held the lead after the first round as Weir and Leggatt put together a 59 while playing in the best ball format.
Clark and Sabbatini managed an 8-under 64 and Weir and Leggatt carded a 67 on Friday. It is another stroke back to the Australian team of Craig Parry and Adam Scott, who followed Thursday's 60 with a 67.
The top-seeded American team of Phil Mickelson and David Toms had another nondescript round with a 67 that left it tied for 13th in the 24-team unofficial event at 132 with Argentina and unheralded Myanmar.
Heisman Trophy to be awarded Saturday night
NEW YORK, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The winner of what could be the tightest Heisman Trophy race in history will be announced Saturday night.
Ken Dorsey and Willis McGahee of top-ranked Miami, Southern California's Carson Palmer, Larry Johnson of Penn State and Iowa's Brad Banks are the finalists for college football's top individual honor, which will be announced Saturday night at the Yale Club.
The closest vote in the history of the award came in 1985, when Bo Jackson of Auburn edged Chuck Long of Iowa by 45 points.
NFL levies fines
NEW YORK, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The NFL fined six players Friday for their actions late in last Sunday night's game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.
Tight ends Hunter Goodwin and Jim Kleinsasser of the Vikings were each fined $10,000 for leaving the bench and striking an opponent and receiver Chris Walsh was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness.
Safety Antuan Edwards, cornerback Mike McKenzie and linebacker Nate Wayne of the Packers were each fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness.
Edwards instigated the incident when he hit Walsh after the receiver had already taken a knee to declare himself down after catching a pass.
Duke extends coach's contract.
DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Duke continued to show faith in Carl Franks Friday, signing the football coach to a three-year contract extension through the 2006 season.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Blue Devils were just 2-10 this year, but snapped a 23-game losing streak with a 23-16 season-opening win over East Carolina. The only other win was a 43-17 decision over Navy, which won just twice all season.
Duke Athletic Director Joe Alleva instead chose to look at the bright side and saw improvement in a team that lost five times by five points or less.
"With any rebuilding process, continuity is a key factor and extending coach Franks' contract ensures Duke of having the right man in place to direct the program," Alleva said. "Coach Franks has demonstrated the type of leadership that Duke needs in order for the football team to continue the right path for success."
Franks has just a 5-40 record in four seasons at his alma mater.