Point guard Steve Nash will be out of the Lakers’ lineup for at least two weeks with nerve root irritation. Nash, 39, the oldest player in the league, played just 13 minutes in the Lakers’ loss to Minnesota on Sunday night before sitting out with pain in his back and hamstrings . . . Rockets guard James Harden was fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules for the second time this season. Harden was cited Saturday during the Rockets’ 107-94 loss to the Clippers. A first violation earns a warning . . . Bucks forward Larry Sanders will miss about six weeks after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb sustained in a Nov. 3 fight at a nightclub . . . Pacers star swingman Danny Granger, who has yet to play in a game this season because of a strained left calf, is expected to work out on Tuesday. Granger missed all but five games last season because of a tendon injury in his left knee, and hasn’t played in nearly a month after injuring his left calf.
Kentucky, Michigan St. hold top spots
Kentucky and Michigan State held the top spots in the Associated Press’s first regular-season men’s basketball poll, setting up the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in five years. The Wildcats held the same 3-point edge over the Spartans from the preseason Top 25, and they will meet Tuesday in Chicago. The last 1-2 matchup was No. 2 Tennessee’s 66-62 victory over Memphis on Feb. 24, 2008 . . . Third-ranked Louisville coach Rick Pitino reinstated junior forward ChaneBehanan, who was suspended Oct. 17 for violating school policy . . . Nebraska senior quarterback Taylor Martinez has likely played his last game for the Cornhuskers. Martinez has been limited to four games because of injuries to his shoulder, hip, abdomen, and foot. He holds career school records for total offense, passing yards, and TD passes . . . Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison is out for the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, the Gators’ 10th player to sustain a season-ending injury.
Djokovic defeats Nadal in ATP Finals
Defending champion Novak Djokovic made quick work of top-ranked Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 6-4, to win the ATP World Tour Finals in London, extending his winning streak to 22 matches and claiming the elite season-ending title for the third time. In the doubles final, David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco beat top-ranked twins Mike and Bob Bryan, 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 10-7 . . . Spanish player Nuria Llagostera Vives was suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for methamphetamine last summer . . . Lionel Messi will likely be sidelined from Spanish soccer league play for the remainder of 2013 with a torn left hamstring sustained Sunday in Barcelona’s 4-1 win at Real Betis. The four-time world player of the year from Argentina is expected to need 6-8 weeks to recover, which would rule him out until the Spanish league takes its winter break . . . Landon Donovan was left off the US national soccer team roster for exhibition games at Scotland (Friday) and Austria (Nov. 19) because of a lingering ankle injury . . . Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Geraldine Heaney, and late coach Fred Shero were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Toronto . . . X Games 17-time medal winner Travis Pastrana is leaving NASCAR after this weekend’s season-ending Nationwide Series race at Homestead, citing a lack of sponsorship, a desire to spend time with his family, and frustration over his struggles in the sport.