=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, January 28 ===
=== Hornets' Walker has surgery, out 6 weeks ===
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets announced Wednesday
that Kemba Walker underwent successful surgery to repair a torn lateral
meniscus in his left knee.
Walker is expected to be sidelined a minimum of six weeks.
The fourth-year point guard is the Hornets' leading scorer this season,
averaging 18.8 points in 42 games. He also tops the club with 5.2 assists and
1.4 steals per game.
=== Nets' Teletovic to be discharged, full recovery likely ===
Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic is
expected to be discharged from a Los Angeles hospital Wednesday after being
diagnosed with multiple blood clots in his lungs last week.
Teletovic left Thursday's 123-84 loss to the Clippers after experiencing
shortness of breath and was taken to a hospital.
Nets team physician Dr. Michel Farber provided an update on Teletovic's
condition Wednesday in a statement issued by the club.
"Mirza was diagnosed with pulmonary embolus on January 22 and started on the
appropriate medications for this condition," the statement read. "Diagnostic
testing was arranged and he was then observed until testing showed that he
reached the expected therapeutic range. We are pleased to say that he reports
no symptoms at this time and that he will be discharged to return home today.
"This was a true collaborative effort between our medical team and training
staff and the local physicians at the Los Angeles hospital where Mirza was
treated. I am really pleased with how Mirza has progressed. We will evaluate
him upon return, personally review all of the testing he had done, and arrange
for further testing if necessary.
"I expect Mirza to make a full recovery."
Teletovic, who will miss the remainder of the season, averaged 8.5 points and
4.9 rebounds in 40 games.
=== Wiggins, Carter-Williams highlight Rising Stars rosters ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning NBA Rookie the Year Michael
Carter-Williams and Andrew Wiggins, the current favorite to win the award this
season, highlight the selections for the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge.
In a new format, 20 players will take part in the game as members of either
the U.S. Team or World Team. The contest will be played on Feb. 13 at
Brooklyn's Barclays Center, two days before the NBA All-Star Game.
Carter-Williams, the face of the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers, is averaging
15.3 points, 7.1 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game. Wiggins, picked first
overall in the 2014 draft, has improved his game after a slow start. In 14
January games, the Minnesota Timberwolves forward is averaging 19.7 points on
46.6 percent shooting.
Joining Carter-Williams on the U.S. squad are 76ers teammate Nerlens Noel,
Orlando's Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton, Timberwolves teammates Zach LaVine
and Shabazz Muhammad, Utah's Trey Burke, Detroit's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope,
Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee and Charlotte's Cody Zeller.
Noel leads all rookies in rebounds, steals and blocks per game, while Oladipo
is the sophomore class' leading scorer.
Wiggins will be joined on the World squad by Minnesota teammate Gorgui Dieng,
Jazz teammates Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City's Steven Adams,
Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brooklyn's Bojan Bogdanovic, Chicago's
Nikola Mirotic, Boston's Kelly Olynyk and Atlanta's Dennis Schroder.
The U.S. team will be coached by Golden State assistant Alvin Gentry, while
Atlanta assistant Kenny Atkinson is in charge of the World squad.
Timberwolves forward Anthony Bennett, chosen with the first pick in the 2013
draft, was not invited to the game in either season he was eligible.
=== Spurs sign Reggie Williams to 10-day contract ===
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs signed forward
Reggie Williams to a 10-day contract on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Williams has appeared in 180 games for Golden State, Charlotte
and Oklahoma City during his five-year career. Known for his shooting touch,
Williams is a career 37.1 percent 3-point shooter and has averaged 8.5 points
and 2.6 rebounds.
In 13 games this season with the NBA D-League's Oklahoma City Blue, Williams
was averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
=== Blue Jackets place F Morin on IR ===
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets placed forward
Jeremy Morin on injured reserve Wednesday.
Morin will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury, general
manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced.
The 23-year-old Morin has a goal and two assists in 17 games for the Blue
Jackets since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 14.
=== Isles' Clutterbuck fined for diving/embellishment ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck
was fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment by the NHL on Wednesday.
Under NHL Rule 64, players can be fined for embellishment if they are cited by
the league twice. Clutterbuck's first citation came on Dec. 6 against the St.
The second incident came when Clutterbuck drew a hooking penalty on
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek in a Jan. 19 game.
Clutterbuck was not assessed an on-ice penalty for either incident. Subsequent
embellishment citations will result in larger fines.
=== White Sox bring back Gordon Beckham ===
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms
on a one-year, $2-million contract with infielder Gordon Beckham.
Beckham hit .226 with 27 doubles, nine homers and 44 RBI in 127 games last
season with the White Sox and Los Angeles Angels. He was traded to the Angels
on Aug. 21.
The 28-year-old Beckham is a career .245 hitter with 149 doubles, 63 homers
and 284 RBI in 765 games with the White Sox and Angels. He was selected in the
first round (eighth overall) of the 2008 draft.
"Adding Gordon improves the depth and flexibility of our roster," said Rick
Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. "We are thrilled to
have him back. Like Emilio Bonifacio, Gordon brings the ability to play solid
defense at multiple positions or play on an everyday basis should the need
arise. This also gives Robin the ability to play matchups more effectively
when setting the lineup."
The White Sox also designated outfielder Dayan Viciedo for assignment. He
batted .231 with 21 home runs and 58 RBI in 145 games last season.
=== Djokovic to meet Wawrinka in Aussie semis ===
Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Four-time champion Novak Djokovic
handled Milos Raonic, while Stan Wawrinka kept his hopes of a repeat
Australian Open title alive by besting fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori in
straight sets on Wednesday.
The world No. 1 Djokovic dismissed the eighth-seeded Canadian star Raonic
7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2, while the fourth-seeded Wawrinka fired 20 aces and was
broken just once in a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) quarterfinal victory over the U.S.
Open runner-up Nishikori at Rod Laver Arena.
The 27-year-old Djokovic is bidding to become the second man in history to win
the Australian Open for the fifth time, joining Aussie great Roy Emerson. The
Belgrade native won his first major title in Melbourne in 2008 and followed
with three successive victories in 2011-13. He has a 48-6 match record at
Djokovic still has yet to drop a set in his ruthless run at this 2015
fortnight. He is through to his 25th Grand Slam semifinal, one behind Andre
Agassi for the fourth most in the Open Era.
Djokovic improved to 5-0 against Raonic, as he doused the Canadian in two
hours. The Serb was not at his best in the first set, not quite finding his
timing under the lights at Laver. But a costly forehand unforced error from
Raonic at 5-6 in the tiebreak -- having just saved two set points -- gifted
the Serb the opener.
From there, Djokovic was clinical. He lost just two points on serve in each of
the second and third sets, while breaking Raonic three times in total.
"It was a close first set, but I thought I had more chances in the first set
than him," said Djokovic. "Managed to stay tough in the right moments and win
the crucial first set. Obviously winning it in a tiebreak and making the
break of serve first game of the second set was definitely huge really for me.
I could start swinging through a little bit more, be more aggressive into the
court. After that first game of the second set I played a great match."
The 24-year-old Raonic was looking to become the first Canadian in history to
reach the Aussie Open semis. The Toronto resident reached his first Grand Slam
semi last year at Wimbledon, losing to Roger Federer.
"I just think [the first set] gave him a bit more belief," said Raonic. "I
wish I would have served better in certain moments, but I didn't lose because
of my serve. He just didn't allow me to organize my game. Even when he was
returning well, by the end of the match he was doing a good job of playing
deep and never allowing me to go forward. Obviously if you watch the footage,
he was pretty much on the baseline the whole time and I was further back."
The reigning Wimbledon champion Djokovic is seeking an eighth Grand Slam
A five-set thriller was played between Wawrinka and Nishikori at last year's
U.S. Open, and it was Nishikori who survived a 4-hour, 15-minute marathon.
The evenly-matched opponents were on the court for less than half that on
The defending champ Wawrinka dominated the first set and did not face a
break point until he was serving out the second ahead 5-4. Nishikori had
three chances at pulling even, but Wawrinka's overpowering serve closed it
Nishikori finally earned a break early in the third, but Wawrinka countered
with one of his own at love. Three aces early in the tiebreak helped Wawrinka
jump out to a healthy 6-1 lead.
After staving off five match points, Nishikori hit a drop shot that fell into
the net, and Wawrinka finished him off with another big ace.
On Friday, fans will be hoping for another epic when Djokovic faces Wawrinka
for the third year in a row at Melbourne Park. Two years ago, Djokovic denied
Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set of a fourth-round clash, but last year the
Swiss got his revenge with a 9-7 fifth-set victory in the quarterfinals.
"I take a lot of confidence [into the match]," said Djokovic. "I try to carry
that in every next match, next challenge. Obviously I'm going to play Stan,
who is the defending champion here. We played five-set matches at the 2013 and
'14 Australian Opens. I'm going to be ready for a fight. But knowing that I
have raised the level of performance tonight, and probably playing the best
match of the tournament so far is affecting my confidence in a positive way.
Hopefully I can carry that into next one."
Djokovic is 16-3 lifetime against Wawrinka, including a 3-1 record at the
The first men's semifinal will be staged on Thursday when sixth-seeded Andy
Murray takes on seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych. The big Czech is 6-4 lifetime
against Murray, including 1-1 at the Slams.
Murray is a two-time Grand Slam champion and three-time Aussie Open runner-up,
while Berdych is a former Wimbledon finalist.
=== Serena vs. Keys in Aussie semis ===
Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - There may not be an all-
Williams semifinal at the Australian Open, but two Americans will
square off as Serena Williams and Madison Keys won their respective
quarterfinal matches on Wednesday.
The reigning U.S. Open champion Serena cruised past Dominika Cibulkova in 64
minutes, while Keys continued her impressive run with a three-set win over
a her childhood idol Venus at Melbourne Park.
Serena looks poised for her sixth Aussie title and 19th major overall after
running through last year's Aussie runner-up Cibulkova, 6-2, 6-2.
The 11th-seeded Cibulkova stood no chance against the focused superstar, who
fired 15 aces and 31 winners in the lopsided match.
The world No. 1 Serena made her win look easy Wednesday despite suffering from
a bad cold.
"I've been sick the past few days, and it's just getting worse and worse, but
hopefully it will get better," she said. "I heard there's a virus going around
with a lot of the players, and I think I caught it."
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Keys, who had never traveled past the third round
at a Grand Slam, battled through a thigh injury and overcame 45 unforced
errors to pull out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over her much-older countrymate
The unseeded Keys cruised in the first set but struggled with the thigh
in the second. Venus took that set with an ace, and the third fittingly
The former top-ranked star Venus, who was seeded 18th and came into the match
9-0 on the year, twice went up a break, and Keys promptly answered with one of
Up 5-4 on Venus' serve, Keys closed things out with four consecutive points
at love. On match point, she caught Venus on her heels with a deep forehand
that was returned into the net.
"It's amazing, you just have to embrace the moment," Keys said after the
match. "And I get to enjoy another moment next round."
"Sky's the limit," Venus said of Keys. "There is no limit on what you can
achieve. No one can stop you."
"Sometimes you may not win every match, but there's a lot of them you can
win," said the seven-time Grand Slam champ. "Really, the sky's the limit
for her and anyone out there."
At 34-years-old, Venus was trying to become the oldest woman to reach a Grand
Slam semifinal in decades. She had her sights set on a potential eighth major
and a Grand Slam matchup with her younger sister for the first time since
the 2009 Wimbledon final.
Venus lost to Serena in the 2003 all-sibling Aussie Open final.
Serena and Keys have never met before, while the Thursday's other women's
semifinal will pit second-seeded former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova against
10th-seeded fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Sharapova is 5-0 lifetime
against the left-handed Makarova, including quarterfinal wins at the last two
Sharapova owns five major titles, including last year's French Open and the
2008 Aussie. She's also a two-time runner-up in Melbourne.
=== American Mattek-Sands reaches Aussie dubs final ===
Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Friday's women's doubles final
at the Australian Open will pit 14th seeds Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie of
China against an unseeded team of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech
Wednesday's semifinals at Melbourne Park saw Chan and Zheng whip 13th
seeds Michaela Krajicek of The Netherlands and Czech Barbora Zahlavova
Strycova 6-3, 6-2 and the 29-year-old Minnesota native Mattek-Sands and
Safarova best a 16th-seeded German duo of Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena
Groenefeld 6-0, retired.
Zheng was an Aussie and U.S. Open doubles champ in 2006, while Chan was an
Aussie and U.S. Open doubles runner-up in 2007.
The winning team here will split $575,000.
01/28 15:27:34 ET