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Astros Sign INF Jed Lowrie to 3-Year Contract

Astros Sign INF Jed Lowrie to 3-Year Contract

Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros have agreed to a three-year contract with free agent infielder Jed Lowrie, the team announced on Monday. He will receive a guaranteed $23 million, according to ESPN.

In 136 games with the Oakland Athletics last season, the 30-year-Lowrie batted .249 with six home runs and 50 RBIs. He also scored 59 runs and had an OBP of .321.

Lowrie previously played for Houston in 2012, where he hit .244 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 97 games. He was dealt to Oakland on Feb. 4, 2014 along with right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodriguez with Houston receiving first baseman Chris Carter, right-handed pitcher Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi.

Lowrie’s new contract contains a club option for 2018.

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Heat Forward Chris Bosh Out with Injured Calf

Heat Forward Chris Bosh Out with Injured Calf

NIBA via Miami Heat(MIAMI) -- 

As the Miami Heat look to keep their heads above water in the Eastern Conference playoff race, they'll be without forward Chris Bosh for a few games, possibly more, after he suffered a calf strain.

Bosh missed the team's game against against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, which Miami wound up losing.

Even though he has yet to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury, Bosh still plans to meet with a team doctor Monday to have the injury reevaluated.

"We're just trying to see how my body responds," said Bosh. "It's one of those things that can get worse, if you don't take care of it. It can be a lot worse than it has to be. So we have to take this precaution right now."

The Heat, who have made the NBA Finals the past four seasons, are off to their worst start in seven years, at 11-13.

A lot of the team's struggles can be traced back to Lebron James' departure back to Cleveland, as well as injuries to starters Dwayne Wade and Luol Deng.

Bosh is off to his best start since joining the Heat prior to the 2010-2011 season. He's averaging 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 23 games.

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Knicks Guard Iman Shumpert Out 3 Weeks with Shoulder Injury

Knicks Guard Iman Shumpert Out 3 Weeks with Shoulder Injury

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The bad news keeps coming for the New York Knicks as guard Iman Shumpert will miss the next few weeks with a dislocated left shoulder.

Shumpert suffered the injury during the second quarter of the team's win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night after colliding with Celtics' forward Jeff Green.

Now in his fourth year in the NBA, the 24-year-old Shumpert is one of the team's best defenders. In 24 games, he's averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.

According to the team, Shumpert will be reevaluated after three weeks to see if and when he'll be ready to return to the court.

"We don't want to jeopardize the remaining part of his season, so we'll have to see," Knicks head coach Derek Fisher said.

Filling in for Shumpert will likely be second-year guard Tim Hardaway Jr. He's averaging 9.9 points per game this season so far.

Guard J.R. Smith is still dealing with a small partial tear of the plantar fascia and is day-to-day.

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Kings Fire Head Coach Mike Malone

Kings Fire Head Coach Mike Malone

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a move that has some people around the NBA scratching their heads, the Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Mike Malone.

The Kings started the season on a roll, going 5-1 behind the play of center DeMarcus Cousins. Still, Cousins has missed the last nine games and the team wound up losing eight of their last ten games.

Despite Cousins absence, the Sacramento ownership group and front office "expected more" from the team at this point as they have gone 11-13 to start the season.

Malone was hired by the team following the 2013 season. He was the sixth head coach hired by the Kings since the 2005-2006 season, the last season they made the postseason. Overall he went 39-67 during his time tenure as head coach.

Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin will take over the team on an interim basis. He went 112-146 in three-plus seasons as the head coach for the Utah Jazz.

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Patriots Explode in 2nd Half, Clinch AFC East

Patriots Explode in 2nd Half, Clinch AFC East

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- The New England Patriots outscored the Miami Dolphins 27-0 in the second half to stampede to their sixth consecutive AFC East title by winning 41-13 Sunday.The Patriots (11-3) scored on all four of their third-quarter offensive series, the first coming after quarterback Tom Brady scrambled for a clutch 17-yard first-down run on third and 11 to set up a LeGarrette Blount 3-yard touchdown run."I think it was a play that we needed to make so it was good to make it at that time," Brady said of his first-down run. "I was going to slide but I was pretty [upset] that time so I figured I wouldn't slide."The Dolphins (7-7) hung tough in the first half after the Patriots ran the ball three times without gaining a first down. Jarvis Landry returned a punt 32 yards to put Miami on the Patriots' 32-yard line with 11 seconds to play. The following play, Ryan Tannehill went deep to Mike Wallace, who made an acrobatic catch in the left corner of the end zone. The play was initially called incomplete, but the call was reversed after review.Despite their strong first half, the Dolphins couldn't get anything going in the second half as the Patriots avenged their early-season loss that was suffered in Miami."Going down there and losing Week 1; we've been waiting all season to get back and play this game,' Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "So I thought we did a great job in the second half of playing good football and executing."

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Warriors Tested by Pelicans, Win 16th Straight

Warriors Tested by Pelicans, Win 16th Straight

NBA via Golden State Warriors(NEW ORLEANS) -- The Golden State Warriors were tested on Sunday night against the Pelicans, but found a way to pull out a 128-122 victory in overtime.

Curry scored eight of his 34 points in overtime and led the team to their 16th straight victory.

"It was just a tough game to win. (The Pelicans) were playing well and hitting shots," Curry said. "Obviously we had enough in the tank at the end to finish it up."

Klay Thompson chipped in with 29 points of his own and will prepare for the Grizzlies next.

"This winning streak feels great and we don't want it to end any time soon," Thompson said.

Pelicans forward Tyreke Evans scored 34 points with eight rebounds in the loss.  Anthony Davis did not play in the game.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Obliterates Redskins

Odell Beckham Jr. Obliterates Redskins

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Giants found a gem with their first round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Odell Beckham Jr. racked up 143 yards on 12 catches, including three touchdowns, Sunday on way to a Giants 24-13 victory. Beckham had a fourth that was negated because of a holding penalty.

After missing the first four games of the season, Beckham has quickly racked up 71 catches for 972 yards and nine touchdowns.  

"I don't want to get his head too big right now, but he has a lot of skill," Eli Manning said. "You hope he keeps working and grinding and doing the little things to correct. There is still room for improvement."

Colt McCoy got the start for the Redskins but quickly exited after re-injuring his neck on the opening series. 

Robert Griffin III entered and found a groove early. He found Christian Thompson for a nine yard touchdown early in the second quarter. Griffin nearly found the end zone again when he called his own number but after an official replay was ruled to have fumbled the ball before crossing the pylon. The Redskins seemed to go into a funk after that play.

Griffin finished 18 of 27 for 236 yards.

"It's not been a fun year," Griffin said. "We've had a lot of turmoil, a lot of things going on. At the end of the day, you suit up and when your number's called, be ready to play."

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Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(MINNESOTA) -- In his 1,269th career game, Kobe Bryant took over the No. 3 spot on the all-time scoring list on Sunday.

Bryant passed Michael Jordan with a pair of free throws in the second quarter of their game against the Timberwolves.

Bryant moved into third place on the all-time list and trails Karl Malone (36,928 points), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points).

Following the free throws, the game was stopped so Bryant could exchange hugs and handshakes with his teammates and Minnesota's side of the court.

Bryant entered the game with 32,284 points and needed eight to tie Jordan.

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Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan on All-Time Scoring List

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(MINNESOTA) -- In his 1,269th career game, Kobe Bryant took over the No. 3 spot on the all-time scoring list during their 100-94 win against Minnesota on Sunday.

Bryant passed Michael Jordan with a pair of free throws in the second quarter of their game against the Timberwolves.

"The most important thing to me I think is playing for that," Bryant said.

"Playing for respect of the greats and feeling like I'm a part of that culture."

Bryant moved into third place on the all-time list and trails Karl Malone (36,928 points), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points).

Following the free throws, the game was stopped so Bryant could exchange hugs and handshakes with his teammates and Minnesota's side of the court.

Bryant entered the game with 32,284 points and needed eight to tie Jordan.  He finished with 26.

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Johnny Manziel’s Dud Debut

Johnny Manziel’s Dud Debut

Elsa/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- With all the hype surrounding Sunday's debut of Johnny Manziel, not much can be said after a 30-0 beat down at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cleveland Browns first round quarterback was downright dreadful; completing 10-18 passes for 80 yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked three times.

Manziel seemed lost and confused. While under pressure, "Johnny Football" panicked, his mechanics became sloppy and he began to stare down receivers.  The same magic that captured highlights in college were lowlights on the NFL stage.

The Bengals (9-4-1) ran the ball all over the Browns, as rookie Jeremy Hill pounded the rock for 148 yards on 25 carries including two touchdowns. 

This latest loss will likely cripple the Browns playoff chances as they have now dropped four of their last five and their record falls to 7-7.

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Sidney Crosby Has The Mumps

Sidney Crosby Has The Mumps

Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- The NHL has had a rash of mumps outbreaks in the past couple weeks.

The latest victim is its' most high profile player; Sidney Crosby.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Crosby becomes the latest NHL player to contract the virus.

The list includes: Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin of the Anahiem Ducks, Tanner Glass of the New York Rangers, Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson of the New Jersey Devils, as well as Ryan Suter, Keith Ballard, Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin and Christian Folin of the Minnesota Wild.  The St. Louis Blues also were reported to have a couple players diagnosed.

Mumps cases have been rare for several decades as most children receive a vaccination. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Mumps is a viral infection that primarily affects the parotid glands — one of three pairs of saliva-producing (salivary) glands, situated below and in front of your ears... it can cause swelling in one or both parotid glands."

The NHL is taking proactive measures to control the outbreak and educate teams about how to handle the disease. 

According to an NHL spokesman, the league has been working with team doctors and physicians to avoid spreading the virus in team locker rooms, as well as distributing "links to the CDC website" and disseminating "literature regarding mumps."

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Navy Makes It 13 Straight Over Army, 17-10

Navy Makes It 13 Straight Over Army, 17-10

American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(BALTMORE) -- Keenan Reynolds led his team to a 17-10 victory over Army for the Midshipmen's 13th straight victory over the Black Knights on Saturday.

Reynolds tossed a touchdown pass to Jamir Tillman in the first quarter to go along with a one-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to give them the lead for good.

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo picked up his seventh win in the rivalry and became the winningest coach in the program's history [56 wins], breaking a tie with George Welsh.

Army scored on an early punt block that was returned by Xavier Moss and had a chance when a field goal made it 17-10 with 1:51 remaining, but Navy recovered the on-side kick.

The Black Knights finished the season 4-8 under first year head coach Jeff Monken, who is a former Navy assistant.

Navy will now play on Dec. 23 in the Poinsettia Bowl against San Diego State.

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Red Sox Sign Justin Masterson

Red Sox Sign Justin Masterson

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BOSTON) --  A familiar face will soon be re-joining the Boston Red Sox.

While it isn't Jon Lester, who many hoped would return Fenway but instead signed with the Chicago Cubs, Thursday the Red Sox brought back Justin Masterson.

Masterson, 29, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2006 and played with the team through 2009, signed with the team for one-year $9.5 million.

In 2009, the Red Sox traded Masterson to the Cleveland Indians as part of a package to acquire catcher, Victor Martinez.

Masterson began to struggle last year, posting a 5.88 ERA in 2014. The Indians traded Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Red Birds were unable to solve the mechanical issues that have begun to haunt the sinker baller.

The Red Sox will hope that a low-risk signing of a familiar face will provide a boost to a rotation that posted a 4.01 ERA in the 2013 season.

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Former NFL Player Sharper Indicted for Rape

Former NFL Player Sharper Indicted for Rape

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- Former New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings safety Darren Sharper was indicted Friday on multiple counts of rape in New Orleans.

Sharper, 39, is accused of two counts of aggravated rape for assaulting and impairing two women in September 2013 according to District attorney spokesman Christopher Bowman.

If convicted in Louisiana for aggravated rape, he could face life without parole. 

Since Feb. 27, Sharper has been jailed in a California prison awaiting a hearing for charges that he drugged and raped two women in Los Angeles.  

In all, Sharper faces charges and allegations in Arizona, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Orleans for raping, drugging and/or sexually assaulting at least seven women. 

Sharper had been an analyst at the NFL Network since 2010 after he retired, but was soon fired after the allegations surfaced.

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Lester Defends Self Against Red Sox Fans Criticisms

Lester Defends Self Against Red Sox Fans Criticisms

Robert Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill) -- Jon Lester officially signed with the Chicago Cubs Saturday, for six-years, $155 million.

In doing so, he chose not to re-join his former team, the Boston Red Sox; a fact that did not sit well with many of the Fenway Faithful. 

Some fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at the perception that Lester only followed the money.

One fan named Peter wrote, "Does money change a man's mind about family? If so, don't call us family. Have respect for you but money was your #1 priority." 

This did not sit well with Lester who took the time to respond with, "It does not, and I'm sorry you feel that way Peter but that couldn't be further from the truth," Lester replied.

Some fans made things a little more personal as another accused, "Red Sox org. and Red Sox Nation supported you unconditionally while you battled cancer, not the Cubs. Your values are messed up."

Lester defended his decision and took the high road.

"I know they did, and I love them for it. Sorry you feel that way but I'd like to think my values are some of my best qualities," Lester said.

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Dwight Howard Back on the Court for the Rockets

Dwight Howard Back on the Court for the Rockets

Bob Levey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After an 11 game absence, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will make his return to the court Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets.

Howard was out of action after dealing with knee soreness. While the injury wasn't considered too serious, the team felt it was best to hold him out until he felt healthy enough to play at his All-Star level.

He underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy to help restore the cartilage in his knee, and is feeling like his old self again.

"I'm just thankful to be back out there," Howard said. "Nobody wants to sit on the bench in a suit and watch his team play. You want to get out there in the action. But I'm happy to be back out there, thankful. I thank God for just allowing me to be able to play again. I'm just happy to play again. That's the big thing."

The Rockets haven't missed a beat without Howard. The team sits at 17-5 heading into Saturday, which is the third-best record in the NBA.

The 29-year-old Howard is averaging 18.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

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Broncos Reward Cornerback Chris Harris with Contract Extension

Broncos Reward Cornerback Chris Harris with Contract Extension

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Denver Broncos have playmakers all over their defense, and they're doing their best to keep the group together as they agreed on a new contract with cornerback Chris Harris.

The team announced they agreed on a five-year extension with Harris that will keep him in Denver through the 2019 season.

“Chris is a young, ascending player who has consistently performed at a high level during his first four years in the NFL,” Broncos general manager John Elway said. “He joined the Broncos as a college free agent and has worked tirelessly to become one of the league’s best at his position.

“It’s a priority for us to develop and reward our own players as we continue assembling the best possible team. Whether it’s on the field or in the community, we are proud to have Chris representing the Broncos for many years to come.”

Harris has been a productive player since day one for the team. He has 44 tackles this season and has nine interceptions dating back to 2012.

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Bulls Forward Doug McDermott Out Indefinitely with Knee Injury

Bulls Forward Doug McDermott Out Indefinitely with Knee Injury

Ingrim Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Chicago Bulls depth has taken a hit as rookie small forward Doug McDermott is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

"Doug McDermott will have an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee," the team said in a release. "The procedure will be performed by Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.  A timetable for his return will be determined after the procedure."

The Bulls acquired McDermott on draft night from the Denver Nuggets.

McDermott is one of the most prolific college scorers in NCAA history. He ranks fifth all-time in points scored with 3,150.

His rookie season has been a little bumpy. In 17 games this season, McDermott is averaging 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game.

Despite McDermott's struggles, the Bulls are off to a great start this season. Heading into Saturday, the Bulls stand at 14-8, good for the fourth-best record in the NBA.

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Muschamp Rejoins Auburn as Defensive Coordinator

Muschamp Rejoins Auburn as Defensive Coordinator

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Will Muschamp didn't have to wait too long to find employment. The former Florida football coach has reached a deal to become the new defensive coordinator at Auburn, the school announced late Friday night.

The three-year deal is reportedly worth between $1.6 million and $1.8 million annually, making Muschamp the highest paid defensive coordinator in major college football.

"My family, Carol, Jackson, Whit, and I are excited about coming back to Auburn and I look forward to working with Coach Malzahn to win championships," Muschamp said in the statement.

Muschamp, who was 28-21 in four seasons with the Gators, will be making his third stint with the Tigers. He was the defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007 for Tommy Tuberville and was also a graduate assistant in 1995 and '96. 

Despite a disappointing end to his tenure at Florida, Muschamp was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading the Gators to an 11-2 record. During his time, the Florida defense was among the nation's best in multiple categories, including opponents yards per game and third-down percentage.

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Young’s Late Three Helps Lakers Beat Spurs in OT

Young’s Late Three Helps Lakers Beat Spurs in OT

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young hit a monster three with 7.4 seconds remaining in overtime to help give the Lakers (7-16) a 112-110 win over San Antonio on Friday. Young finished with a game-high 29 points while Kobe Bryant added 22 points and nine rebounds.

"I'm so happy it ended up in my hands," Young said. "I wanted to shoot that bad, especially being on the floor watching Kobe and playing for the Lakers; nothing like those types of shots."

San Antonio (16-7) rallied from down 11 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it into overtime, but Young's shot was too much to overcome. With the shot clock about to expire, and Manu Ginobili in his face, Young let go a 30-foot prayer that found the net for a 112-110 lead. The Spurs had a chance to tie but Ginobili's three-point attempt was off the mark and time expired before another they could get another shot off.

"The last 3, Manu was everything but inside his jersey, and he had to adjust his shot in the air and kind of shoot around Manu's hands, and it goes in," Duncan said. "If you put a team in a situation like that, things like that can happen. We put the blame on ourselves for the 48, 50 minutes before it gets to that point."

The Spurs also had a chance to win it in regulation, holding possession with less than two seconds remaining. However, Duncan missed a 17-foot, turn-around jumper that forced the extra session. Duncan finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds for San Antonio.

Bryant's 22 points leaves him eight shy of tying Michael Jordan for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

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