The NBA-worst Washington Wizards fired coach Flip Saunders yesterday after a 2-15 start and replaced him with assistant Randy Wittman. “I’m not the miracle-maker here,’’ said Wittman, who was given the top job through the end of the season. “We’ve got to change our outlook on how we play.’’ Saunders was in his third season with the Wizards, going 51-130. The Wizards fell to 0-7 on the road with a 20-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Monday . . . Nets forward Damion James will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to replace a screw in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. James had the screw originally inserted in 2010. He aggravated the injury in a game earlier this season . . . Bulls forward Luol Deng hopes he won’t need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist suffered Saturday against Charlotte. He sat out Monday’s win against New Jersey and coach Tom Thibodeau said he is “week to week.’’ . . . Bobcats guard D.J. Augustin is expected to miss the next four games with a right big toe injury . . . The Grizzlies picked up the third-year option on guard/forward Quincy Pondexter’s contract, guaranteeing his deal through the 2012-13 season.
Blackhawks’ Toews on injured reserve
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was placed on injured reserve because of a left wrist injury. Toews did not play in the third period of Saturday’s game at Nashville and missed last night’s rematch with the Predators. Toews, who has 27 goals and 23 assists in 49 games, will also miss the All-Star Game in Ottawa. Flyers forward Scott Hartnell will replace Toews on the roster . . . Pittsburgh will unveil a statue honoring former star and team co-owner Mario Lemieux March 7.
The Amherst women’s basketball team (17-0) remained No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN Division 3 coaches’ poll. Bentley (16-2) moved up a spot to sixth in the Division 2 poll . . . Minnesota center Trevor Mbakwe, who injured his right knee two months ago, will petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. The Gophers’ leading scorer and rebounder tore his anterior cruciate ligament Nov. 27 and needed reconstructive surgery. Early this month, the NCAA denied BC wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah’s petition for a sixth year. Momah injured his knee in the first game of the season and was out the remainder of the year . . . Boston College and Army agreed to exchange home dates for football games this season and next. The Eagles will travel to West Point, N.Y., Oct. 6 this year and the Black Knights will play at Chestnut Hill Oct. 5, 2013 . . . Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones received a three-year contract extension and a raise which will bring his annual salary to $2.05 million by 2017 for leading the Bearcats to a share of the Big East title . . Mike Stoops, who was fired as Arizona’s coach last season, received a three-year contract that will pay him $600,000 annually to be the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma . . . Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said he’s committed to keeping football coach Mack Brown for as long as Brown wants to stay. Texas regents are scheduled today to consider a four-year contract extension to keep the 60-year-old Brown at Texas at least until 2020 . . . A report from an independent panel says a student alleged University of Wisconsin athletic department official John Chadima put his hands down the student’s pants at the end of a party in Chadima’s suite at a Los Angeles hotel Dec. 31. According to the school’s report, the student - identified as John Doe - said he was “shocked and frightened’’ and slapped Chadima’s hand away. Chadima was placed on administrative leave Jan. 6 and resigned the same day . . . Former Kansas quarterback Brock Berglund has hired a lawyer to help him get released from his scholarship so he can play for another school.
Burke to be honored at Winter X Games
The Winter X Games will hold a tribute tomorrow in Aspen, Colo., to honor freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died last week from injuries suffered during a training accident. X Games spokesman Danny Chi said the memorial will include several athletes. The 29-year-old Burke was considered the foremost pioneer in her sport of superpipe skiing. Her lobbying effort helped persuade Olympic officials to add the discipline for the 2014 Winter Olympics . . . Venus Williams, set to return from illness, and her sister, Serena, will play the Fed Cup for the first time in nearly five years. The US team will meet Belarus in a Feb. 4-5 World Group II match at Worcester . . . Marcel Hirscher captured a World Cup night slalom before home fans in Schladming, Austria, his sixth victory of the season. Ted Ligety of the US was sixth, 0.96 behind . . . Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal will announce his Europe team Aug. 27 to avoid the problems of potential players learning their fate on the final day of The Barclays. The Ryder Cup starts Sept. 25 . . . Attorneys for former racecar driver Jeremy Mayfield are asking a federal appeals panel to reinstate his lawsuit against NASCAR over his suspension for failing a 2009 random drug test at Richmond International Raceway . . . The 2012 MLS All-Star Game was awarded to the Philadelphia Union, who will host the annual event July 25.