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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Reports: Nationals re-sign INF Kendrick to one-year deal
The Washington Nationals have reached a one-year deal with infielder Howie Kendrick, bringing back the postseason hero for another season, according to multiple reports. Kendrick will return to the World Series champions for $6.25 million with a mutual option for 2021.
NBA notebook: Portland reportedly will guarantee Anthony's deal
The Portland Trail Blazers will change Carmelo Anthony's contract into a guaranteed deal, ESPN reported Thursday. Anthony signed a non-guaranteed, one-year, $2.15 million deal upon joining the team last month but his production has fast-speeded the decision.
James Harden scored six of his 23 points in the fourth quarter after leaving the game briefly at the end of the third with a head injury and the visiting Houston Rockets defeated the Toronto Raptors 119-109 Thursday night. After Harden attempted a running floater near the end of the third, Serge Ibaka accidentally hit Harden in the head with an elbow or forearm. Harden was on his back for a few minutes before going to the dressing room on his own power. He returned early in the fourth quarter.
Russia braces for four-year Olympic ban over doping scandal
Russia could be hit with a four-year Olympic ban on Monday for flouting anti-doping rules, a punishment local officials have said would be unfair and part of a malicious Western attempt to destroy sport in the country. Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.
Though they remain atop the AFC East with a 10-2 record, the New England Patriots continue to experience setbacks. The latest involves 42-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, who was limited in practice Thursday due to toe and right elbow injuries. Brady's toe ailment reportedly is a new development, but his limited participation is a step back from Wednesday, when he was listed on the injury report as a full participant.
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Seattle Mariners on Thursday for minor-league pitcher Adam Hill and a draft pick. Narvaez, 27, gives the Brewers a catching option after losing Yasmani Grandal to the Chicago White Sox in free agency.
NHL roundup: Blackhawks end Bruins’ win streak despite 3-goal rally
Jonathan Toews scored on a breakaway 54 seconds into overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks overcame blowing a three-goal lead in the third period to beat the host Bruins 4-3 Thursday, ending Boston's eight-game winning streak. Ryan Carpenter, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat tallied in regulation for the Blackhawks, who won for just the second time in their past eight games (2-5-1). Robin Lehner stopped 37 shots in his return from an illness.
Boxing: Joshua lightens the load as Ruiz Jr piles on the pounds
Lean-looking British challenger Anthony Joshua weighed in more than three stones lighter than world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of their title rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Joshua hit the scales at 16 stones and 13 pounds (107.5kg), the former champion's lightest ever weight for a world title fight, at the Diriyah venue near the capital Riyadh on Friday.
Tennis: Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki said on Friday she will retire from tennis after January's Australian Open -- the venue of her sole Grand Slam triumph. The 29-year-old, who triumphed in Melbourne last year, said her retirement had nothing to do with her health and that she wanted to accomplish more in life off the court with her husband David Lee, a professional basketball player.
Doping: UKAD calls for strict sanctions on Russia for state-sponsored doping
The World Anti-Doping Agency must impose the "strongest possible sanctions" on Russia for its state-sponsored doping because athletes around the world have suffered as a result, the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) agency said on Friday. A WADA compliance committee recommended last week that Russia receive a four-year Olympic ban, which would keep it out of next year's Tokyo Games, as part of a sanctions package to punish Moscow for having provided the agency with doctored and incomplete laboratory data.