The Rockets suspended first-round pick Royce White for ‘‘refusing to provide services’’ required by his contract on Sunday. General manager Daryl Morey said that the team will continue to work with White in hopes of finding a resolution. White, who will not be paid during his suspension, refused his assignment to Houston’s D-League affiliate last week. The 16th overall pick in the draft has spent most of the season on the inactive list while he and the team figure out how to handle his anxiety disorder and overall mental health. White has been vocal on Twitter during this saga, and he continued to voice his opinions after the announcement. ‘‘What’s suspending me supposed to do. I’ve been away from the team for a month 1/2. Guess we want to give it a title to shift accountability,’’ he tweeted. That was the first in a string of tweets on the subject. He then addressed Morey. ‘‘Threat, Fines, Suspension won’t deter me. I won’t accept illogical health decisions, I will keep asking for safety & health. #BeWell @dmorey,’’ he tweeted . . . Guard Daequan Cook, cut by the Rockets on Thursday, signed with the Bulls . . . The Mavericks waived guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, the D-League’s leading scorer for the Texas Legends when he signed with Dallas Dec. 23 . . . Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum, the nation’s top scorer, will be out 8-10 weeks because of a broken left foot suffered Saturday against Virginia Commonwealth.
Murray takes Brisbane International
Andy Murray kicked off 2013 with a successful defense of his Brisbane International title, holding off up-and-coming Grigor Dimitrov, 7-6 (7-0), 6-4, in Australia and then dedicating his victory to an absent friend. ‘‘Thank you very much,’’ Murray said, his voice starting to break at the end of the trophy presentation. ‘‘He’s back home watching . . . you’re going to get through.’’ He didn’t immediately reveal the name of his friend, but signed ‘‘For You Perched’’ on a small plaque. Murray began his breakthrough season in 2012 by winning in Brisbane, later earning career-changing titles at the Olympics and US Open . . . Janko Tipsarevic won the Chennai Open title in India by beating Roberto Bautista-Agut, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Tipsarevic won his fourth ATP title, against an opponent playing in his first tour final.
Hirscher wins slalom, reclaims lead
Defending champion Marcel Hirscher reclaimed the overall World Cup lead in Zagreb, Croatia, by winning a slalom for his third victory of the season. Sweden’s Andre Myhrer was second, Austria’s Mario Matt third. Hirscher overtook Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway atop the overall standings, followed by Svindal and American Ted Ligety . . . Gregor Schlierenzauer won his second straight Four Hills ski jumping tour title in Bischofshofen, Austria. Schlierenzauer, who led the standings after the first three events, beat main challenger Anders Jacobsen of Norway to win the final stop for his 45th career World Cup victory . . . Russia’s Olga Zaitseva won a women’s 10-kilometer pursuit in Oberhof, Germany, for her first biathlon World Cup win this season . . . Alexander Legkov of Russia won his first Tour de Ski cross-country title by surging away from his rivals on the final climb in Cavalese, Italy. In the women’s event, Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland secured her fourth consecutive overall win . . . David Moeller of Germany won the men’s singles race at a luge World Cup meet in Koenigssee, Germany . . . Anette Sagen of Norway set a hill record of 98 meters to win a women’s ski jump event in Schonach-Schoenwald, Germany, and claim her first World Cup victory.
QB Murray is returning to Georgia
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray announced on his Twitter account he is returning for his senior season. Murray, a fourth-year junior who has already graduated, said he wanted to return to ‘‘help lead this team to a championship.’’ He led the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record this season, and threw five of his 36 touchdown passes in a win in the Capital One Bowl . . . Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who led the SEC with a school-record 1,323 yards receiving in 2012, will return for his senior season . . . Arizona All-America running back Ka’Deem Carey had a protection order issued against him stemming from an incident Dec. 23, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press. Online searches in city and county records for Carey’s name showed no pending court dates . . . Former Michigan All-America back Pete Elliott, 86, who played or coached in three Rose Bowls, died Friday in Canton, Ohio . . . Arena Football League wide receiver Chandler Williams, 27, died while playing in a flag football tournament in South Florida. Williams had 17 touchdown receptions and led the AFL with a 23-yard kick return average for Tampa Bay last season . . . Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens finished third aboard Jebricaat Santa Anita in the first race of his comeback after a seven-year retirement.