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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Celtics grind out ugly victory over slumping Bulls
2013-02-14T061918Z_2_BRE91D07U_RTROPTC_0_US-NBA-CELTICS.XML () -
Senators lose to Penguins, lose Karlsson to injury 2013-02-14T061856Z_2_BRE91D06W_RTROPTC_0_US-NHL-PENGUINS.XML () -
Mickelson a huge Riviera fan after long learning curve
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson ranks Riviera Country Club as one of his favorite venues on the PGA Tour, even though it took him almost a decade to discover the art of playing the par-71 layout. Known as a classic shot-maker's course, Riviera continually vexed Mickelson as he missed four cuts in eight PGA Tour appearances here between 1988 and 2001.
Couples set for record 31st start at beloved Riviera
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Fred Couples will set a tournament record with his 31st appearance at the Northern Trust Open when he tees off in Thursday's opening round, and he could not wish for a more perfect setting. The laid-back American with the honey-smooth swing has long been a fan of Riviera Country Club where he has won the PGA Tour event twice and finished runner-up three times.
Nadal pulls out of Brazil doubles
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Former world number one Rafa Nadal withdrew suddenly from the doubles at the Brazil Open on Wednesday because of what organizers said was a desire to preserve his strength for the singles competition. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who returned to action at the Chile Open last week after a left knee condition had sidelined him for seven months, was down to play both singles and doubles in Sao Paulo.
Orlando Magic's Turkoglu banned 20 games for doping violation 2013-02-13T210144Z_1_BRE91C1J4_RTROPTC_0_US-NBA-MAGIC-TURKOGLU. XML () -
Barry Bonds' lawyer seeks to overturn conviction
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A lawyer for Barry Bonds told an appellate court on Wednesday that it should strike down the home run king's felony obstruction of justice conviction tied to a probe of steroids in sports. "There's not a shred of evidence that Mr. Bonds was ever given anything to inject himself with or that he ever injected anything," the player's attorney, appellate specialist Dennis Riordan, told the court.
Federer warms up for title defence by freezing out Zelda
ROTTERDAM (Reuters) - Roger Federer struggled to see the ball and felt the conditions at the World Indoor Tournament were a little too warm for his liking but that did not stop the top seed from romping to a 6-3 6-1 win over Slovenian Grega Zemlja in the first round on Wednesday. Playing his first competitive match for almost three weeks, the Swiss defending champion struggled with his first serve in front of a capacity 10,500 crowd but he still completed victory in 58 minutes.
Finland's Kekalainen becomes NHL's first European GM 2013-02-13T190504Z_1_BRE91C1DG_RTROPTC_0_US-NHL-BLUEJACKETS-KEK ALAINEN.XML () -
Cardinals running back James banned four games for doping 2013-02-13T202943Z_1_BRE91C1HO_RTROPTC_0_US-NFL-CARDINALS-JAMES .XML () -