- Associated Press - Thursday, November 23, 2017


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Jameel Warney and Reggie Hearn each scored 17 points, and the United States opened qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup with an 85-78 victory over Puerto Rico on Thursday night.

Xavier Munford scored 12 points and Markel Brown added 10 for the Americans, who trailed 57-51 late in the third. A 10-0 run late in that quarter gave the U.S. the lead, and a 22-12 burst in the fourth decided things.

Hearn scored 16 of his points in the second half for the U.S., the two-time defending World Cup champions. The Americans are using players from the G League to try and qualify for the tournament, to which the U.S. would send NBA stars in an effort to claim another gold.

Angel Vassallo scored 16 points and Angel Rodriguez finished with 13 points and eight assists for Puerto Rico, which led by as many as nine early.

The Americans and Puerto Ricans are in Group C of the World Cup qualifying; Mexico was playing host to Cuba in the other Group C opening game later Thursday night.


The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation is provisionally suspending four Russian sliders who have been banned from the Olympics for doping violations.

The decision Thursday means Aleksandr Tretiakov, Elena Nikitina, Mariia Orlova and Olga Potylitsyna cannot compete in IBSF competitions. The Russians are likely to appeal.

The decision is in stark contrast to one by the International Ski Federation, which is allowing Russian cross-country skiers who were found guilty of doping at the Sochi Olympics to compete in World Cups this weekend.

Tretiakov and Nikitina were Sochi medalists until the International Olympic Committee stripped those awards Wednesday because of the doping findings. They were planning to compete this weekend in a World Cup at Whistler, British Columbia.

Orlova and Potylitsyna have been racing this season on the lesser-tier Intercontinental Cup Circuit.


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd was placed on injured reserve Thursday by the Chicago Bears, ending his season because of a knee injury.

Floyd suffered a knee injury Sunday in a 27-24 loss at Soldier Field to the Detroit Lions. He was attempting to make a tackle on a running play and collided with teammate Kyle Fuller.

Bears coach John Fox said on Monday that Floyd did not suffer a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the damage to the knee is severe enough to keep him from playing again this season.

Floyd, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft, had 4½ sacks this season and had seven as a rookie.

The Bears have promoted outside linebacker Howard Jones from their practice squad to take Floyd’s spot on the 53-man roster. Jones had five sacks in 2016 with Tampa Bay. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound Jones played last season with Tampa Bay, as well, but suffered a season-ending torn ACL in November.

The Bears have signed former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Demarcus Ayers to their practice squad. Ayers had six catches for 53 yards with a touchdown last season in two games with Pittsburgh.

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