Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Lakers lobby for Davis as defensive player of year
Election season is in full swing for the Los Angeles Lakers who have returned from the All-Star break with one clear campaign in mind: Anthony Davis for NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The Western Conference leaders have not-so-subtly promoted their big man as the premier defender in the league.
NBA roundup: Doncic, Kleber carry Mavs past Magic
Luka Doncic scored 33 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out eight assists, Maxi Kleber scored a career-high 26 points off the bench, and the Dallas Mavericks held off the host Orlando Magic 122-106 on Friday. Kleber did much of his damage in the fourth quarter, hitting 3 of 4 3-point attempts and scoring 12 points in the frame. His effort ignited a critical final 12 minutes for the Mavericks, who were dominant in the opening and closing periods.
NHL roundup: After slow start, Bruins top Flames
Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Brad Marchand got the game-winner as the Boston Bruins rallied to beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Friday for their fifth consecutive victory. Calgary jumped to a 3-1 lead through the first 3:23, but the Bruins became just the seventh team in NHL history (regular season and postseason) to win despite allowing three goals in the first four minutes of a game.
NFL notebook: Players Association delays vote on bargaining agreement
Player representatives from the NFL Players Association delayed a vote on a proposed collective bargaining agreement Friday after the union's executive committee voted against recommending the deal on the table. Citing a source, ESPN's Dan Graziano reported that the NFL and NFLPA will meet Tuesday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. A vote by the NFLPA board of player representatives could take place either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, he said, adding that it would still require a vote of all players afterward on the proposal.
Thiem falls to Italian qualifier Mager in Rio quarter-finals
Top seed Dominic Thiem was knocked out of the Rio Open by Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager in the completion of a rain delayed quarter-final match on Saturday. Mager, 25, made his first ATP Tour semi-final by winning 7-6(4) 7-5 after leading 2-1 in the second set when play was halted on Friday.
Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash counseled by FAA after 2015 incident
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) faulted the pilot of the helicopter that crashed in January killing basketball great Kobe Bryant and eight others for violating flight rules in a 2015 incident. The FAA said Ara Zobayan was piloting an AS350 helicopter in May 2015 when he violated rules governing the airspace around Los Angeles International Airport.
Halep survives Rybakina onslaught to win Dubai title
Top seed Simona Halep came back from a set down for the third time in the tournament to beat Kazakhstan's rising star Elena Rybakina 3-6 6-3 7-6(5) to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second time on Saturday. In a battle that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, the match came down to a tiebreak where two shots that went agonizingly wide for Rybakina eventually decided the title in front of a noisy crowd that constantly chanted Halep's name.
Japanese emperor, on birthday, expresses coronavirus concern, looks forward to Olympics
Japanese Emperor Naruhito said on Sunday that he was looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics in summer but that he was concerned about the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed three in Japan and is slowly spreading across the country. Naruhito, who turned 60 on Sunday, ascended the throne last May after his father Akihito became the first Japanese emperor in two centuries to abdicate. The new emperor and his wife Empress Masako, 56, a former diplomat, have put a more relaxed face on one of the world's oldest monarchies.
Tsitsipas to battle Auger-Aliassime for Marseille Open title
Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-3 to advance to his second consecutive Open 13 Provence final in Marseille on Saturday where he will face Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime. Tsitsipas has yet to drop a set in Marseille and was clinical in the semi-final, dropping just one point on serve in the second set, as he looks to become the first man to win back-to-back titles at the tournament since Sweden's Thomas Enqvist in 1998.
Lakers game postponed due to Bryant's death rescheduled for April 9
The Los Angeles Lakers Jan. 28 game against the LA Clippers, which was postponed when Lakers great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident last month, has been rescheduled for April 9, the NBA said on Friday. Bryant was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others when the luxury helicopter they were traveling in slammed into a hillside in foggy weather near Los Angeles.