In Sports from United Press International

Feb. 20, 2003 at 12:13 AM
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Kentucky wins, Louisville falls

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- With the end of the regular season fast approaching, one of Kentucky's big teams succeeded Wednesday night and the other did not.

Gerald Fitch scored 17 points and the second-ranked Kentucky Wildcats used a strong second half in extending the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games with a 66-50 Southeastern Conference victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Kentucky (21-3, 11-0 SEC East) had a 36-29 halftime lead and started the second period with a 10-2 run. Chuck Hayes had six of his nine points in the burst, after which the Wildcats maintained a double-digit lead.

The victory was Kentucky's first in Arkansas since Jan. 26, 1997, and Coach Tubby Smith's first win at Fayetteville in seven tries.

In Louisville, meanwhile, Antonio Burks scored 16 points and freshman Rodney Carney added 14 to lead the Memphis Tigers to an 80-73 upset of No. 3 Louisville in a battle of division leaders in Conference USA.

Memphis (17-5, 8-3 C-USA National) extended its winning streak to six games and handed the Cardinals their first loss in 12 games at Freedom Hall this season.

Last season, Memphis won the National division with a 12-4 record and defeated Louisville, but did not receive an NCAA Tournament bid. However, it will be hard to deny the Tigers this time with this win and non-conference victories over Illinois and Syracuse.

Since reeling off a 17-game winning streak, Louisville (19-3, 9-2 American) has lost two of its last three games.

Elsewhere in the top 10, No. 5 Oklahoma ran away from 16th-ranked Oklahoma State, 64-48; and No. 8 Duke outbattled No. 13 Maryland, 75-70.

Senators escape New Jersey rally

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Radek Bonk scored with 75 seconds remaining Wednesday night to help the Ottawa Senators escape with a 5-3 decision over New Jersey.

Ottawa squandered a three-goal lead in the third period before pulling out the win in a battle of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Devils struck for three goals in an eight-minute span of the final period and appeared to turn a dreadful start into at least one rousing point.

But Bonk pounced on the rebound of a shot by Shaun Van Allen at the left side of the net and wristed it past Martin Brodeur for his 16th goal.

Marian Hossa added his league-leading 38th -- and second of the game -- into an empty net with 38 seconds left as Ottawa extended its lead in the East to six points over New Jersey.

All the momentum had been with the Devils after they cashed in on consecutive four-minute power plays for their second third-period comeback in as many nights.

Other NHL results: Buffalo 2, Montreal 1 in overtime; Carolina 1, Boston 1; Tampa Bay 2, Atlanta 0; New York Rangers 4, Minnesots 2; Dallas 1, Calgary 1.

Lakers overcome lack of rest

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant continued his remarkable scoring run with 40 points Wednesday night in helping carry the Los Angeles Lakers past Utah, 93-87.

The Lakers followed up Tuesday's emotional double-overtime victory over Houston and did so with little rest. After their win in Los Angeles Tuesday night, the Lakers did not arrive at their Salt Lake City hotel until 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Bryant hit 15 of 29 from the floor to reach the 40-point plateau for the seventh straight game, extending his own franchise record.

But after carrying the Lakers through the previous night's win over Houston with a season-high 52 points, Bryant had some help.

With the Lakers trailing, 58-51, in the third quarter, Derek Fisher sank two free throws and a jumper and Rick Fox made a three-pointer to forge the tie with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

The Lakers went ahead by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Utah fought back.

After John Stockton's jumper cut the deficit to 76-74 with 5:26 left, Bryant answered with two baskets and a free throw and Robert Horry sank two foul shots to give Los Angeles an 83-74 advantage with 3:47 left.

Other NBA results: Detroit 89, Toronto 84; New Orleans 87, Washington 75; Minnesota 85, Denver 77; Houston 107, Phoenix 89; Philadelphia 110, Chicago 82.

Memphis works trade with Orlando

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic pulled off the first major trade before Thursday's NBA deadline Wednesday night.

They agreed on a four-player deal that also involved draft picks.

Memphis sent rookies Drew Gooden and Gordan Giricek to Orlando for Mike Miller and Ryan Humphrey. The Grizzlies also received a first-round pick in the 2003 draft and a second-round selection in 2004.

It is the first major trade for Memphis' Jerry West since he became the Grizzlies' president of basketball operations on April 30.

Tyson fight back on

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Clifford Etienne-Mike Tyson soap opera may finally be headed for a conclusion.

Just 24 hours after saying he would not, "live by Mike's rules," Etienne agreed Wednesday to fight Tyson Saturday night at The Pyramid.

Etienne's decision came on the heels of another bizarre moment in life of Tyson -- the former undisputed heavyweight champion. With promoters citing an illness, Tyson pulled out of the fight Monday. He then changed his mind on Tuesday and said he would fight after all.

But after Tyson said he was ready to go, Etienne said he was not prepared to fight -- a move some felt was a financial ploy.

Both fighters are scheduled to attend a news conference Thursday with the weigh-ins slated for Friday. If Tyson is going to beat Etienne, he will have to do so without full preparation. Tyson skipped his workouts for three days, got a large tattoo up the side of his face and around his eye socket and missed two flights to Memphis.

Tyson is hoping for a better result than his last bout, which also was at The Pyramid. He received the worst beating of his career in an embarrassing eighth-round knockout at the hands of IBF and WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on June 8.

Lewis may be best served by Tyson beat Etienne. Not among the most popular heavyweight champions, Lewis has spoken about a rematch with Tyson even though there are several other more deserving challengers.

Bonds has minor surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Barry Bonds underwent minor surgery Wednesday, having scar tissue and an old suture removed from his left elbow.

The procedure, which lasted 10 minutes, took place at an outpatient clinic and Bonds was able to return to his Arizona home later in the morning.

The San Francisco Giants left fielder revealed Tuesday that the suture was left over from a 1999 operation and that the stitching has been irritating him for the past month. He will be sidelined for no more than a few days and is expected to be 100 percent by the start of the regular season.

Bonds is a five-time Most Valuable Player and last season led the Giants to the National League pennant. He set the single-season home run record with 73 in 2001 and last year hit a career-best .370 with a major league-record .582 on-base percentage.

America's Cup race postponed

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The scheduled fourth race of the America's Cup final was called off Thursday because of a lack of steady wind.

More than two hours after the race was to have started, officials decided the wind had not filled in enough in off the coast of Auckland. In addition, the wind that was present was shifting in direction too much.

The Swiss challenger Alinghi holds a shocking 3-0 lead over Team New Zealand in the best-of-nine series.

With an off day scheduled for Friday, the crews will have had three consecutive days off before the fourth race is held on Saturday.

New Zealand was prepared to race Thursday with a new tactician on board as the work of the boat's afterguard had been harshly criticized by the media in this sailing-mad country.

Tactician Hammish Pepper had been replaced Thursday by Frenchman Bertrand Pace when the New Zealand yacht left port. But whatever difference Pace can make will not be known until the weekend.

Marlins win arbitration case

JUPITER, Fla., June 20 (UPI) -- The Florida Marlins Wednesday won their arbitration case with righthander A.J. Burnett.

He will receive $575,000 less than he was seeking.

A panel of arbitrators ruled Wednesday that Burnett, the Marlins' leader in wins last season, will get $2.5 million instead of the $3.075 million he submitted in Tuesday's hearing.

Burnett earned $375,000 last season when he finished 12-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 31 games. He worked 204 1/3 innings, struck out 203 and led the major leagues with five shutouts.

The Marlins were the only team in baseball to have more than one player go through with an arbitration hearing. Florida also won its case against reliever Vladimir Nunez, but lost a decision to starter Mark Redman.

Burnett's case was the last scheduled for this year in baseball. Owners won five of the seven cases.

More surgery facing Hill

ORLANDO, Fla., June 20 (UPI) -- Orlando Magic forward Grant Hill may be headed for a fourth operation on his left ankle.

Florida Today reported on Wednesday that Hill, who has been on the injured list since Jan. 18 and missed Orlando's last 14 games, admitted another surgery on his ankle that would require three weeks of rehabilitation may be necessary.

A team spokesman for the Magic said Hill will undergo x-rays on the ankle next week before a determination is made on further surgery.

"If surgery will be required it won't be the same procedure or the same length of time that there was before," Hill told the web site. "It's more to just fix the structural issues than the fracture."

The 30-year-old Hill has had three surgeries to repair a stress fracture on the inside of his left ankle during the past three seasons. He sustained the injury in the 2000 playoffs while with the Detroit Pistons.

In the third year of a seven-year, $93 million deal, Hill played just four games in 2000-01, 14 games last season and 26 of 55 games this season.

When he was healthy earlier this season, Hill formed a potent 1-2 punch with Tracy McGrady and the Magic got off to a good start, winning five of their first six games. But the Magic are now 26-29 and behind Washington (25-27) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Mattiace tries to defend at Nissan Open

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Len Mattiace will be out to defend his title Thursday when the Nissan Open gets underway at the Riviera Country Club.

Mattiace ended a stretch of 219 starts without a victory by winning this event last season.

Mattiace closed with a 3-under-par 68 to win by a stroke over Brad Faxon, Rory Sabbatini and Scott McCarron. The Nissan Open served as a springboard for Mattiace, who also won the St. Jude Classic and finished with more than $2 million in earnings.

Mattiace did not have to face Tiger Woods last season, but the world's best golfer is part of this week's field after cruising to victory last week at the Buick Invitational.

Woods won last week in his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery in December. He will open in a threesome with David Duval and Robert Damron.

Phil Mickelson, who faded against Woods in the final round Sunday and is not entered this week, is the last golfer to repeat on the PGA Tour, taking the 2001 and 2002 Greater Hartford Opens.

This year's Nissan Open field features 38 of the top 50 players in the world rankings.

The list includes Vijay Singh of Fiji, who did not play last week but is coming off a tie for 28th in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am earlier this month.

Spain's Sergio Garcia also is in the field.

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