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Heat center Bam Adebayo needs thumb surgery, will miss several weeks

Heat center Bam Adebayo will undergo surgery on a torn thumb ligament.Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is likely out until at least mid-January. It’s the first major injury of Adebayo’s five pro seasons. He’s averaging a career-best 18.7 points for Miami this season, along with 10.2 rebounds per game. Adebayo, an Olympic gold medalist this summer, was injured in Monday’s loss to Denver. He underwent tests Tuesday and Wednesday to determine the full scope of the injury, and it was determined that he tore the ulnar collateral ligament. He shrugged off the injury after the game, insisting it was nothing. “I’m all right,” he said. Turns out, he was anything but. The timetable for his return isn’t expected to be finalized until after surgery, which has been scheduled for Sunday. The initial prognosis from the team calls for him to miss around six weeks. Such a timeframe would have Adebayo missing somewhere between 20 and 25 games. It is a huge blow for Miami, which already is dealing with a depleted frontcourt because of Markieff Morris’s neck injury. Wednesday’s game against Cleveland will be the 12th that Morris misses since he was injured in a dustup with Nikola Jokic in Denver last month, and there remains no timetable for his return.

Lillard out at least 10 days with abdominal pain

Damian Lillard is averaging 21.5 points and 7.8 assists through 20 games this season.Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is out for at least 10 days because of lower abdominal tendinopathy. Lillard missed Tuesday night’s victory over the Detroit Pistons with the condition. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis, the Blazers announced. Lillard will be evaluated again in 10 days. He will miss at least four upcoming games. The six-time All-Star is averaging 21.5 points and 7.8 assists through 20 games this season. Portland forward Nassir Little is also out for at least one week with a left ankle sprain. Little was injured Monday against Utah. Little has played in 21 games, including two starts this season, and has averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell retires

Sean McDonnell has retired after 23 years at the helm of UNH football.Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell announced his retirement after leading the Wildcats for 23 years. “It’s time for a new face, new ideas and a new way of doing things around here,” McDonnell said in a statement. “I can’t begin to say thank you enough for the opportunities the University of New Hampshire has given to me: as a student, as an assistant coach and then as its head football coach. This has been the honor of a lifetime.” McDonnell’s 157 career wins rank second in UNH history behind Bill Bowes at 175, his former head coach. The Wildcats had a 14-year run of NCAA playoff berths and 14 playoff victories from 2004-2017, including three conference championships. McDonnell was a defensive back for the Wildcats from 1975-1978 and served eight seasons as an assistant coach at UNH, including five years as offensive coordinator.

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TENNIS

Women’s tennis tour suspends China events over Peng concerns

In the strongest public stand against China taken by a sports body, the head of the women’s professional tennis tour announced Wednesday that all WTA tournaments there would be suspended because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official of sexual assault. Peng dropped out of public view after raising the allegations about former vice premier Zhang Gaoli in a Nov. 2 social media posting that was quickly taken down by Chinese authorities. “Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way,” WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon wrote in a statement distributed by the tour. “While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation.” Simon has made repeated calls for what he termed Wednesday a “full and transparent investigation — without censorship” into Peng’s accusations. He said the move to put a halt to his tour’s play in China, including Hong Kong, came “with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors.”

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Djokovic wins to keep Serbia alive in Davis Cup Finals

Novak Djokovic kept Serbia alive in the Davis Cup Finals by beating Alexander Bublik in straight sets to even the quarterfinal against Kazakhstan. The top-ranked Djokovic had to win his match after Mikhail Kukushkin defeated Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening singles match. The decisive doubles match later Wednesday will pit Djokovic and Nikola Cacic against Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. “Obviously, job not done,” Djokovic said. “I won my singles but it’s 1-1. The Davis Cup is a team competition. It’s completely different than any other tournament. Hopefully we can get a win in the doubles. It’s not going to be easy.” Djokovic broke serve once in each set against the 36th-ranked Bublik to win 6-3, 6-4 and extend his singles winning streak in the Davis Cup to 17 matches. He comfortably won his first two matches in this year’s edition of the revamped team competition. Djokovic had 11 break points in total in the match that lasted 1 hour, 18 minutes at the Madrid Arena.

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