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Ohio Sports News

Last Update on October 30, 2014 05:33 GMT

CAVALIERS-GILBERT

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert says he never worried his relationship with superstar LeBron James was beyond repair.

When James signed with Miami four years ago, Gilbert publicly attacked James in a scathing letter. The two had a frosty relationship until meeting this summer to talk through their differences in the days leading up to James announcing he was re-signing with Cleveland.

On the eve of Cleveland's season opener, Gilbert said Wednesday his relationship with James "is very good, very solid."

James, too, says he and Gilbert have patched things up. James says they had one bad moment that overshadowed the great times they had together.

Gilbert says when he and James met they agreed there was "too much opportunity together that we could work on."

CAVALIERS-LEBRON'S BABY

CLEVELAND (AP) -- King James has a little princess.

LeBron James confirmed Wednesday that he and his wife, Savannah, welcomed a new baby girl last week. Cavaliers officials say the girl's name is Zhuri Nova.

James already has two sons, LeBron Jr., and Bryce Maximus. James says his family is thrilled with new addition and that "it's a lot different" having a girl around the house.

The NBA superstar said "you give rough love to your boys and you give soft love to your daughter." He said he's looking forward to the journey of all three children growing up.

James returned to Ohio this summer, re-signing with the Cavaliers after playing four seasons with Miami.

The 29-year-old said it's been great being back "home and be with my family and be with my friends."

The Cavs open their season Thursday night against the New York Knicks.

BENGALS' DEFENSIVE REVIVAL

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Bengals' defense finally got its act together after three rough weeks, holding down Baltimore just enough to pull out a pivotal win. The challenge is to keep it going without Cincinnati's best defensive player.

Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict had surgery on his left knee on Wednesday and will miss at least the next two games. The Bengals (4-2-1) host Jacksonville (1-7) on Sunday, then play the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday night.

Burfict also has missed two games with concussions. Coordinator Paul Guenther says the defense is much better when he's on the field.

The defense also is missing linebacker Rey Maualuga, who is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury.

JAGUARS-JOECKEL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars could have left tackle Luke Joeckel back Sunday at Cincinnati.

Joeckel left last week's loss to Miami with a concussion in the first quarter, but he has since passed part of the NFL's concussion protocol. He has been cleared to participate in non-contact drills Thursday.

Coach Gus Bradley says Joeckel "still has another couple things he has to go through, but at least at this late in the week for him to have a chance to play on Sunday is great."

The Jaguars also could have cornerback Aaron Colvin on the field. The fourth-round draft pick has been on the physically unable to perform list all season while he recovers from a knee injury suffered during Senior Bowl practice in January. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

JAGUARS-BALL OUT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed starting cornerback Alan Ball on injured reserve with a bicep injury.

The Jaguars signed fourth-year cornerback Tommie Campbell to replace Ball on the 53-man roster.

Ball started 22 games for the Jaguars over the past two seasons, including seven this year.

Without him, Dwayne Gratz will move back into the starting lineup opposite fellow second-year player Demetrius McCray against Cincinnati on Sunday.

Losing Ball for the season is the latest setback for Jacksonville's improving defense. The Jaguars (1-7) already lost starting linebacker Paul Posluszny for the season with a torn chest muscle and defensive end Andre Branch for at last five more weeks with a groin injury.

Cornerback Will Blackmon also is out indefinitely with a broken finger.

National Sports News

Last Update on October 31, 2014 03:07 GMT

NBA-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- The New York Knicks ruined LeBron James' much ballyhooed return to Cleveland by beating the Cavaliers 95-90 as James was limited to 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points and six assists.

James returned to the Cavs and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami. He also committed eight turnovers and never looked comfortable on a night when the entire city -- and a star-studded crowd -- celebrated his comeback.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Kevin Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who have some work to do before they can start thinking about any titles.

In other NBA action:

-- Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and hit a big 3-pointer with 90 seconds to play to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 97-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

-- Washington beat Orlando 105-98. John Wall had 30 points and 12 assists. Marcin Gortat (MAHR'-chin GOHR'-tot) added 20 points and 12 rebounds.

NHL-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP)-- On NHL ice, Chris Kunitz had two goals in a three-point game to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Marc-Andre Fleury (marhk-ahn-dray FLOOR'-ee) made 35 saves in his 30th NHL shutout.

Kris Letang scored his first goal of the season. Evgeni Malkin became the fifth player in Penguins history to register 400 assists.

In other NHL action:

-- Jacob Josefson scored the lone goal in the shootout, and Cory Schneider made it stand up as the New Jersey Devils beat Winnipeg 2-1. The Devils earned the shootout victory after losing all 13 last season and one other this season.

-- Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.

---- The St. Louis Blues blanked Anaheim 2-0. Alexander Steen and Ryan Reaves scored. Jake Allen stopped 24 shots in his second NHL shutout.

-- Brad Marchand had two goals, including at 1:20 of overtime and the Boston Bruins won their third straight road game, 3-2 over Buffalo.

-- Scottie Upshall scored in the third period and Roberto Luongo made 32 saves and the Florida Panthers earned a 2-1 win over Arizona.

MLB-CONTRACTS

UNDATED (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have exercised their 2015 contract option on pitcher John Lackey. The right-hander was 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA last year with the Red Sox and Cardinals and was 1-0 in two postseason starts for the NL Central champions. He was acquired from Boston at the trade deadline in July.

Elsewhere:

-- The Reds exercised Johnny Cueto's (KWAY'-tohs) $10 million contract option. Cueto also made $10 million last season, when he went 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA, the Reds' first 20-game winner since Danny Jackson in 1988. Cueto can become a free agent after next season.

-- The Boston Red Sox have signed All-Star closer Koji Uehara (KOH-'jee yoo-ee-HAR'-ah) for two more years for $18 million. He was a key part of the 2013 World Series winners, but struggled at times this season. He finished with a 6-5 record and an ERA of 2.52 that was more than twice the previous season's.

-- The Seattle Mariners have picked up the option the $7 million on Hisashi Iwakuma's contact for next season. Iwakuma missed the first month of the 2014 season but went 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts. In 91 career games with Seattle, Iwakuma is 38-20 with a 3.07 ERA.

-- Dodgers pitcher Dan Haren has exercised his $10 million player option for next season. The right-hander was 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in his first season with the Dodgers.

-- The Angels have exercised their $7 million contract option on closer Huston Street. The veteran right-hander was acquired from San Diego on July 19. He picked up 17 saves with a 1.71 ERA for the Angels.

-- The Washington Nationals have exercised their $9 million option for 2015 on center fielder Denard Span who hit .302 and tied for first in the National League with 184 hits. The team declined options on first baseman Adam LaRoche and reliever Rafael Soriano. The 34-year-old LaRoche's deal included a $15 million mutual optional for next season, but Washington instead chose to pay him a $2 million buyout. Soriano's contract included a $14 million club option for 2015.

-- The Orioles have exercised a $4.75 million option on left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and a $4.25 million option on right-hander Darren O'Day.

-- The San Diego Padres have declined right-hander Josh Johnson's $4 million option for 2015. Johnson didn't throw a pitch for the Padres in 2014 while making $8 million. He suffered an elbow injury during spring training.

MLB-HALL OF FAME

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- Gil Hodges, Luis (LOO'-ee) Tiant and Maury Wills are among 10 candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot for its Golden Era committee. Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat (kaht), Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva and Billy Pierce also are on the ballot. The only non-player is Bob Howsam, the late Cincinnati Reds general manager.

A 16-member committee will convene Dec. 7-8 at the winter meetings in San Diego to consider the candidates, whose most significant impact was from 1947-72.

In another Hall of Fame note, Madison Bumgarner's World Series performance earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame -- well, at least for his caps. The San Francisco Giants ace donated caps he wore during his Game 1 and 5 wins against Kansas City plus his hat from his Game 7 save Wednesday night.

MLB-RATINGS

NEW YORK (AP) -- An estimated 23.5 million people watched the San Francisco Giants' 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7, enabling the matchup to escape the distinction of least-watched World Series. According to Neilsen's overnight ratings, the Game 7 viewership was 10 million more people than tuned in to any of the previous six games between the Giants and Royals.

NFL-SCHEDULE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- First place is on the line in the NFC South this evening as the Panthers entertain the Saints. Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham each scored late in the second quarter and the New Orleans Saints are leading Carolina 21-6 in the fourth quarter.

Carolina starts the night with a percentage-points lead over New Orleans with a record of 3-4-1, while the Saints are 3-4. It's been an odd year for New Orleans as the Saints have won all three home games while dropping all four road games. Of those four defeats, three have been by three points or less.

The Panthers are welcoming back running back DeAngelo Williams, who is the team's all-time leading rusher. He's missed the last four games with an ankle injury.

NFL-PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A person familiar with the situation says Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy's domestic violence appeal trial set for Nov. 17 has been postponed until after the NFL season, meaning his career with Carolina could be over. The person said the new trial date has not been set.

The person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the decision has not been publicly announced.

The Panthers placed Hardy on the exempt-commissioner's permission list on Sept. 17 after being convicted in July of assault on a female and communicating threats.

The NFL and the Panthers have said Hardy would not play until after his trial was resolved, although he is still collecting $13.1 million this season as Carolina's franchise player.

T25-SCHEDULE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Florida State, the nation's second-ranked team, has rallied from a 21-0 deficit to lead the unranked Louisville Cardinals 35-31 late in the game.

The visiting Seminoles have won their last 23 straight games and enter the contest atop the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference with a record of 7-0 and 4-0 in league play. The Cardinals are enjoying a good season as well with a record of 6-2 and 4-2 in the ACC's Atlantic Division.

The Louisville defense could pose a problem for Seminoles Heisman Trophy winner Jameis (JAYM'-ihs) Winston as it ranks No. 1 in the nation in defense, allowing just 245.8 yards a game. The Cardinals also lead the nation with 15 interceptions.

T25-WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

UNDATED (AP) -- The pre-season Associated Press women's Top-25 basketball poll is out and the top team is Connecticut. The Huskies received all 35 first place votes after a season of going 40-0. The second-ranked school is South Carolina with Notre Dame third, Tennessee fourth and Texas A&M fifth.

The second five in the pre-season poll consists of Stanford, Duke, Baylor, Texas and Maryland.

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