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Kobe: Nash Retiring Is Tough


NBA via Los Angeles Lakers(LAS VEGAS) -- Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant stands behind future Hall of Famer Steve Nash's decision to hang it up this week.

Nash announced his retirement following another back injury and Bryant said on Friday that he knows Nash did everything he could to get back on the court.

"You can control what you can control," Bryant said. "He did everything to get back and play at a high level. From that standpoint he should be able to sleep at night. I know I would. I can only think about that in my situation; I just tried to do everything possible to be ready, and if it wasn't in the cards, if I couldn't get back to being at that level, you just have to accept it and when you lay your head down you know that you did absolutely everything possible."

Bryant would have liked to play a full season with Nash, but understands that his teammate made the right choice.

"It's tough," said Bryant.. "I just asked him if he was in good spirits and he said, 'Yeah.' It kind of is what it is at this point. ... He struggled with his back even when he was in his prime. I really don't think it's an age thing, it's an injury thing. He's had to deal with it his entire career, and it just caught up with him now."

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak reached out to the league about applying for a disabled player exception.

"I think all he knows is that he can't continue to play," Kupchak said. "Whenever he feels like he can, he tries to and then he gets set back three or four weeks. There's age, there's life after basketball. The only reason he's playing this year is because he loves to play, so there's a lot racing through his head. The bottom line is he can't put it together."

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Andy Reid Prepares for Rams


Jason O.Watson/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) are expecting everything from the St. Louis Rams (2-4) on Sunday.

Kansas City will host the Austin Davis led Rams at Arrowhead Stadium and head coach Andy Reid will have his team prepared.

"On the offensive side, they’re explosive. Anytime you can take a young quarterback like that and have him come in and play at the level that he’s playing at, first of all means he’s talented, but it also means you’re doing a heck of a job coaching him," Reid said this week.  "Their runners are good, their receivers are good, their tight ends-everybody’s contributing there. Then, special teams, they’re scoring points too and making big plays. You got a good football team that you’ve got to get ready for. They throw a lot of things at you, offensively, defensively and on special teams. That’s been a [Rams head coach] Jeff Fisher trait over the years that he’s been a head coach."

Davis led the Rams to a 28-26 win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday and Reid said that he's come a long way.

"He’s accurate and gets the ball out. Looks like he’s managing things very well, everybody’s where they need to be. Looks like he’s hitting the right receivers. To me, I mean, I studied him when he came out, he’s a good football player," Reid said.  "He’s transferred that from college into the NFL. He’s a football player, he gets it. That’s an impressive deal, I think. That’s a plus anytime your third guy can come in and do a great job. (Rams Offensive Coordinator) Brian (Schottenheimer) is a great coach too, so he’s lucky to be in good hands there, from an offensive standpoint."

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Marcus Mariota Leads Ducks Past California, 59-41


Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota threw five touchdown passes in Oregon's 59-41 win over California at Levi's Stadium on Friday night.

Mariota threw his first interception of the year and passed for 326 yards in the victory.

"During the game I was upset," Mariota said. "Coach came and joked with me and got me to relax a little bit and forget about it. It's OK. It happens. I just have to learn from it."

The Ducks (7-1) improved to 4-1 in the Pac-12 and California (4-4) dropped to 2-4.

"You might want to go buy a lottery ticket, Marcus made a couple of mistakes," Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich said. "I'm actually glad, I think, that that happened to get him off the schneid."

Oregon running back Royce Freeman had 112 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

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Thunder Lose Guard Anthony Morrow for 4-6 Weeks


Ingrim Publishing/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Oklahoma City Thunder guard Anthony Morrow is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a left MCL sprain at practice Thursday.

Morrow was a candidate to begin the season as a starter at shooting guard due to Kevin Durant being injured. Now it looks like either Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb or Reggie Jackson will get the starting spot.

The 29-year-old Morrow joined the Thunder this summer, signing a three-year, $10 million contract.

Morrow has played six NBA seasons split between the Warriors, Nets, Hawks, Mavericks and Pelicans. During that time he's averaged 10.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and one assist per game.

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McMurray Takes Pole at Martinsville


BananaStock(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) -- Despite not qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup title, Jamie McMurray won the poll at Martinsville Speedway Friday.

McMurray ran a lap of 99.905 mph, which is a qualifying record, to earn the top starting position for Sunday's Sprint Cup race.

"We made the car better throughout the test and hit on a couple of things that really had a lot of speed in it, so I was pretty excited about getting here this weekend," McMurray said. "Our cars have been so quick the past two or three months. This is a great track for me, we had a really good test, and when things are going well, you get excited to come to the track."

Championship contenders Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth qualified second and third.

Martinsville will be the first of three races that will determine the four final drivers that will compete for the Sprint Cup title Nov. 16 at Homestead.

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Reggie Wayne Out for Sunday's Game Versus Steelers


NFL via Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Indianapolis Colts will be without receiver Reggie Wayne when they take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh Sunday, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Friday.

Wayne suffered an elbow injury during the team's victory over Cincinnati last Sunday.

Wayne didn't practice all week and has had a compression sleeve on his left arm.

The 35-year-old Wayne, has 38 catches for 434 yards and a touchdown in seven games this season.

The Colts (5-2) are looking for their sixth straight win.

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Royals' Bullpen Lights Out Again, KC Takes 2-1 Series Lead


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Once again the Kansas City Royals' bullpen proved its worth.

Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis and Greg Holland combined to pitch four innings of hitless relief to lead the Royals to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants, in Game 3 of the World Series Friday night. 

The Royals now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Kansas City headed into the bottom of the sixth with a 3-0 lead. But after starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie let up back-to-back hits, the second being an RBI double by Michael Morse, Royals skipper Ned Yost made the call to his trusty pen. Kelvin Herrera came in first. He walked Gegor Blanco before getting three straight-groundouts, yielding only one run, to preserve the Royals lead. The Giants only had one more baserunner the rest of the way, as the Royals improve their record to 9-1 in this postseason.

"This is the way our games have gone all year," Yost said. "I'm getting really good at protecting a one-run lead because a lot of times that's exactly what we have to deal with. "But I have the necessary tools to be able to do that. It's not me doing it. It's the guys that we put out there that are doing it. We have the type of pitchers in our bullpen that can accomplish that."

Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain all had RBIs in the win.

Giants pitcher Tim Hudson, who was pitching in the first World Series game of his career, went 5 2/3 innings allowing four hits, three runs, one walk while striking out two in the loss.

Game 4 is Saturday in San Francisco. The Royals send Jason Vargas to the mound. He'll be opposed by Ryan Vogelsong.

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Scoreboard Roundup 10/24/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB - World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3 - San Francisco Giants 2 (Royals Lead World Series, 2-1)

NHL: Dallas Stars 3 (4-1-2) - New Jersey Devils 2 (3-2-2) - Shootout

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (5-2-1) - Winnipeg Jets 2 (2-5-0)

Anaheim Ducks 4 (7-1-0, 14pts) - Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (4-3-0, 8pts)

Edmonton Oilers 6 (3-4-1, 7pts) - Carolina Hurricanes 3 (0-5-2, 2pts)

Colorado Avalanche 7 (2-4-2, 6pts) - Vancouver Canucks 3 (4-3-0, 8pts)

Top 25 College Football: (6) Oregon 59 (7-1) - California 41 (4-4)

 

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Bruins' Defenseman Zdeno Chara Out 4-6 Weeks with Knee Injury


Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The Boston Bruins will be without one of the most imposing players in the NHL for the foreseeable future as defenseman Zdeno Chara will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a tear to the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Chara suffered the injury on Thursday during the Bruins' game against the New York Islanders.

While the injury could have been a lot worse, Chara's absence will still felt on the team.

"You hope everyone else picks up the slack," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. "We've had a stretch before, might not have been four to six weeks, more like three weeks where Z was out. They don't happen too often, but you hope everyone picks up the slack and we play a solid defensive game."

Despite being in his 17th NHL season, ninth with the Bruins, the 37-year-old Chara is still one of the best defenseman in the NHL.

Since joining the Bruins in 2006, the team is 341-204-66 with Chara in the lineup during the regular season, and 8-7-5 without him.

During his time with the Bruins, Chara has never missed more than five-straight games.

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Joe Maddon Opts Out of Tampa


Brian Blanco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon won't be returning in 2015.  Maddon exercised his opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the team.

"We tried diligently and aggressively to sign Joe to a third contract extension prior to his decision," Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. "As of yesterday afternoon, Joe enabled himself to explore opportunities throughout Major League Baseball. He will not be managing the Rays in 2015."

ESPN.com reports that Maddon leaving doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be going to join the Los Angeles Dodgers after they hired new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. He worked with Maddon and the Rays as an executive vice president.

Maddon is a two-time AL Manager of the Year and compiled a 781-729 record in 11 seasons.

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