Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
James' record streak ends as Heat overcome Thunder
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Sharapova too good for Stosur in Qatar 2013-02-15T162921Z_2_BRE91E0T1_RTROPTC_0_US-TENNIS-WOMEN-QATAR. XML () -
Alpine skiing-American Ligety wins third gold in Schladming
SCHLADMING, Austria (Reuters) - Ted Ligety became the first male skier for 45 years and only the fifth overall to win three gold medals at the world skiing championships when he defended his title in the giant slalom on Friday. Having already won the super-G and super combined events, a hat-trick was always on the cards for the American in his favorite event, although he had to survive a couple of slips on the second run before winning by 0.81 seconds.
Flawless Kuchar takes control at Riviera
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Matt Kuchar, revitalized after a three-week break, took advantage of ideal early scoring conditions to charge into a one-shot lead in the first round of the Northern Trust Open on Thursday. With hardly a breath of wind on a glorious morning of unbroken sunshine at Riviera Country Club, the 34-year-old American fired a flawless seven-under-par 64 to take control of the PGA Tour event.
Islanders rally to edge Rangers in shootout
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Islanders overcame a two-goal deficit to grind out a 4-3 shootout victory over city rivals New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. The victory enabled the Islanders (5-7-1) to end a five-game losing streak, while the Rangers (7-6-1) were consigned to a first defeat in four contests.
Garcia finds late birdies in thickening Riviera fog
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Sergio Garcia could hardly see the flagstick on his last three holes, yet the Spaniard finished with two birdies to end the Northern Trust Open first round a stroke off the lead on Thursday. As thick fog rolled across the iconic Riviera Country Club layout, the world number 14 completed a six-under-par 65 with only American Matt Kuchar ahead of him in a high-quality field.
Del Potro powers through in Rotterdam
ROTTERDAM (Reuters) - World number seven Juan Martin Del Potro stayed on course for his second successive appearance in the final of the World Indoor Tournament by sweeping aside Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 6-4 on Friday. The Argentine, beaten in last year's final by Roger Federer, will play Grigor Dimitrov in the last four after the Bulgarian came from behind to defeat Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-7 7-6 6-3 in a thriller.
Blade Runner Pistorius sobs in court after murder charge
PRETORIA (Reuters) - South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria home. The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic superstar stood with head bowed in front of magistrate Desmond Nair to hear the charge that he had murdered model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp.
Riviera no pain in the neck for charging Jobe
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - Having spent six months on the sidelines because of a lingering neck injury, Brandt Jobe could not wipe the grin off his face after making a strong start to the Northern Trust Open on Thursday. The 47-year-old American, who has had two nerve block procedures to help him cope with severe inflammation and a loss of control in his hands, fired a five-under-par 66 at Riviera Country Club to end the opening round two shots off the pace.
Frustration follows in wake of Australia's "blackest day"
SYDNEY (Reuters) - It was dubbed the "blackest day" in Australian sport but one week after a government report said doping was widespread among professional athletes, frustration and anger had replaced soul-searching as the prevailing mood. The incendiary report, the result of a year-long probe by Australia's top criminal intelligence unit, said it had found evidence of performance-enhancing substance abuse across several sports and increasingly dangerous links with criminal figures.