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Phillies Sign Billingsley to 1-Year Contract


Major League Baseball(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Philllies signed pitcher Chad Billingsley to a one-year, $1.5 million contract on Thursday.

Billingsley, a former All-Star, pitched only 12 innings in 2013 due to elbow injuries. He then missed all of last season after having Tommy John surgery.

"He's a bounce-back candidate," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We're cautiously optimistic that it's a good risk. If healthy and if he bounces back close to where he has been in the past, he's a very solid middle-to-upper-rotation-type pitcher."

Billingsley has spent his eight year major league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that time he pitched 1,175.1 innings, compiling an 81-61 record, 1,037 strikeouts, 3.65 ERA, and a 1.36 WHIP.

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Dwyane Wade Out with Hamstring Injury


Miami Heat/NBA(MIAMI) -- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has a strained right hamstring and says the best-case scenario for his return would be two to three weeks

“You can’t put a time on it,” Wade said Thursday. “You can’t look at the hamstring and say you’re going to be out this amount of games. Like many muscle strains, you’ve got to go day by day.”

Wade suffered the injury during Tuesday night's loss to Milwaukee in the third quarter while trying to defend Brandon Knight on the fast-break.

The 33-year-old Wade has already missed nine games this season due to various leg injuries.

The three-time NBA champion has played in 35 games this season, averaging 21.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

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NBA Announces All-Star Reserves


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thursday night, the NBA announced the final players that were selected to play in the 64th NBA All-Star Game that will be held Feb. 15 in New York City.

The Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks led the way with three selections: Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford.

Chicago's Jimmy Butler and Golden State's Clay Thompson were both selected for the first time.  

Despite playing in only 21 of the Thunder's first 46 games, Kevin Durant earned a spot on the West squad. He will be joined in the front court by Portland's LeMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio's Tim Duncan.

Rounding out the West reserves are the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, and Houston's James Harden.

The East squad also includes Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Miami's Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

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Duke Dismisses Guard Rasheed Sulaimon


Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Duke dismissed junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon from the basketball program Thursday.

"Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a release. "It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program."

The news comes as a surprise considering Sulaimon wasn't publicly disciplined all season.

The 20-year-old from Houston started 50 games during his first two seasons with Duke but became a bench player this season when the blue devils brought in freshmen Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.

Sulaimon played in all 20 of the team's games this season, averaging 7.5 points, two rebounds and 1.8 assists.

Sulaimon becomes the first player to be dismissed from Duke's basketball program since Krzyzewski took over as head coach.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 1/29/15


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Indiana Pacers 103 (17-31) – New York Knicks 82 (9-38)

Memphis Grizzlies 99 (34-12) – Denver Nuggets 69 (19-28)

Milwaukee Bucks 115 (24-22) – Orlando Magic 100 (15-34)

Los Angeles Lakers 123 (13-34) - Chicago Bulls 118 (30-18)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (1) Kentucky 69 (20-0) - Missouri 53 (7-13)

(3) Gonzaga 64 (21-1) – Portland 46 (12-10)

UCLA 69 (12-9) - (11) Utah 59 (16-4)

Ohio State 80 (17-5) – (16) Maryland 56 (18-4)

NHL: Boston Bruins 5 (26-16-7; 59pts) – New York Islanders 2 (32-15-1; 65pts)

Montreal Canadiens 1 (31-13-3; 65pts) – New York Rangers 0 (27-15-4; 58pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 5 (21-22-7; 49pts) – Winnipeg Jets 2 (26-16-8; 60pts)

Arizona Coyotes 3 (17-25-6; 40pts) – Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (22-24-4; 48pts)

Tampa Bay Lightning 5 (31-15-4; 66pts) – Detroit Red Wings 1 (28-12-9; 65pts)

Dallas Stars 6 (22-19-7; 51pts) – Ottawa Senators 3 (19-19-9; 47pts)

Florida Panthers 3 (21-15-10; 52pts) – Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (21-23-3; 45pts)

St. Louis Blues 5 (30-13-4; 64pts) – Nashville Predators 4 (31-10-6; 68pts) SO

San Jose Sharks 6 (26-17-6, 58pts) - Anaheim Ducks 3 (32-11-6, 70pts)

Minnesota Wild 1 (22-20-6, 50pts) - Calgary Flames 0 (26-20-3, 55pts)

Edmonton Oilers 3 (13-27-9, 35pts) - Buffalo Sabres 2 (14-32-3, 31pts)

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Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch Meets with Reporters


NFL Media(PHOENIX) -- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch appeared at the last NFL player-mandated Super Bowl 49 media session on Thursday, offering an opening statement to the swarm of reporters but avoiding answering questions.

“For some reason y’all continue to come back and do the same thing that y’all did,” Lynch said. “I don’t know what story y’all trying to get out of me. I don’t know what image y’all trying to portray of me. But it don’t matter what y’all think, what y’all say about me because when I go home at night, the same people that I look in the face, my family that I love, that’s all that really matters to me.”

During his five-minute session, the five-time Pro Bowler gave “shout-outs” to his teammates and his hometown of Oakland, California, among others.

On Tuesday, Lynch responded to every question asked of him with some form of, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” The following day, he answered reporters with, “You know why I’m here.”

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Browns WR Josh Gordon Speaks Out About Off-The-Field Issues


American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- After another failed drug test, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon wrote a first-person letter posted on Medium.com, telling his own story of his most recent incidents with the law. 

Gordon directs the letter to his critics, including Charles Barkley, and ESPN analysts Stephen A. Smith, and Cris Carter, all who have expressed concern for Gordon’s future in professional football, and his well-being off-the-field.

In the letter, Gordon explained his failed alcohol test, which came after a flight he took with teammates and former receivers coach, Mike McDaniel on Jan. 2.  He also discussed his 10-game suspension this past NFL season and his reduced four-game suspension for a DWI charge last year. 

Gordon says he just made a bad decision at the wrong time. However, after discussing his current instances, Gordon took full accountability for his actions, saying, “the only person to blame is me.”

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St. Louis Blues Goaltender Martin Brodeur Retires from NHL


christian ammann/iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur announced his retirement from the National Hockey League on Thursday. He will join the team’s front office as a senior adviser to the general manager.

“I know I can play,” said Brodeur. “I know I still can have fun with this game.”

The 42-year-old Brodeur, who spent the previous 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, signed with St. Louis on Dec. 2, 2014. In seven games with the Blues, he went 3-3 with a .287 goals against average.

During Brodeur's illustrious career, he won the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's best goaltender, four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008), and has finished in the top five in voting for the league's MVP seven times.

Brodeur compiled a record of 691-397-176, along with a 2.24 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts, in 1,266 career regular season games. Last year with the Devils, he finished with a 19-14-6 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

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J.R. Smith Credits Leaving New York City Nightlife for Resurgence in Cleveland


Jim McIssac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Since being traded from the New York Knicks to Cleveland Cavaliers, guard J.R. Smith has played much better as of late. According to Smith the reason is because he's away from the New York City night life.

Smith was averaging 10.9 points per game in 24 games for the Knicks, but he's averaging 14.0 points per game for the Cavs.

“I think this is the best situation for me, ’cause there’s nothing but basketball," Smith told NBA.com. "There’s nothing you expect but basketball. There’s nothing, there’s no going out, there’s no late nights. There’s video games, basketball and basketball. So it’s a great thing, ’cause I go back to where I came from."

"When I grew up, I never, I wasn’t allowed to go out," he continued. "I missed my prom because I went to an AAU tournament, and all that stuff. For me, it was basketball, basketball, basketball. And then when I got in the situation where I was at an early age, it was more, alright, let me see what this life is about, as opposed to just keep going. So now, I get the chance to get back to my root."

Smith is in his 11th NBA season.

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Nets' Doctors Expect Mirza Teletovic to Make Full Recovery from Blood Clots


Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- About a week after learning he had multiple blood clots in his lungs, Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic expects to make a full recovery.

It was unclear if or when the second-year forward would get back onto the court, but doctors say Teletovic will be back eventually.

“Mirza was diagnosed with pulmonary embolus on January 22 and started on the appropriate medications for this condition," Nets Team Physician Dr. Michael Farber said. "Diagnostic testing was arranged and he was then observed until testing showed that he reached the expected therapeutic range. We are pleased to say that he reports no symptoms at this time and that he will be discharged to return home today.”

“This was a true collaborative effort between our medical team and training staff and the local physicians at the Los Angeles hospital where Mirza was treated," Farber continued. "I am really pleased with how Mirza has progressed. We will evaluate him upon return, personally review all of the testing he had done, and arrange for further testing if necessary.”

“I expect Mirza to make a full recovery,” he added.

In 40 games this season, Teletovic was averaging 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds off the bench for the Nets.

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