Knicks’ Smith hit with PED suspension
New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was suspended without pay for five regular-season games by the NBA on Friday for violating the anti-drug program. Smith, coming off offseason surgery on his left knee, will sit out the first five games for which he is eligible and physically able to play. Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season and helped shoot the Knicks into the playoffs before struggling in the postseason. He averaged 18.1 points during the regular season . . . The Minnesota Timberwolves hired former Washington Wizards executive Milt Newton as general manager . . . The Thunder waived guard DeAndre Liggins after he was charged with seven felony counts in a domestic-violence case. The 24-year-old Liggins was arrested last Saturday in Oklahoma City after his girlfriend told police he attacked her in front of their 2-year-old son . . . Reigning WNBA MVP Tina Charles will sit out the Sun’s remaining five games to rest injuries. The Sun beat the visiting Washington Mystics, 77-70, behind Tan White’s 26 points . . . Briann January scored a career-high 23 points and the Indiana Fever held off the host Chicago Sky, 82-77 . . . Candace Parker had 20 points and nine rebounds and the LA Sparks edged the host Tulsa Shock, 74-70 . . . Erika de Souza had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Atlanta cruised past host New York, 70-57 . . . Britney Griner had 12 of her 16 points in the second half to help host Phoenix beat San Antonio, 83-80, clinching the last playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Surgery ends season for Mets’ Rice
Mets lefthanded reliever Scott Rice, who leads the majors with 73 appearances, will have hernia surgery and miss the remainder of the season. The 31-year-old is 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA and has held lefthanded batters to a .174 average in 121 at-bats . . . Suspended Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun is personally calling some Brewers season ticket-holders and offering an apology for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Owen grabs lead in Web.com event
Greg Owen shot a 6-under-par 66 to take the second-round lead in the Chiquita Classic in Davidson, N.C., the second tournament in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals series with PGA Tour cards on the line. The 41-year-old Owen has an 8-under 136 total. Camilo Benedetti (67) is a stroke back along with Kris Blanks (67), Andrew Svoboda (65), and Will MacKenzie (68) . . . Dick Mast took the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Montreal Championship, shooting a 3-under 69 in Sainte-Julie, Quebec. Kenny Perry opened with a 70 on the tree-lined layout. Bernhard Langer was another stroke back along with Mark Brooks, Mike Reid, Tom Pernice Jr., and David Frost . . . Stephen Gallacher shot a 6-under 65 for a share of the lead with Thomas Bjorn after the second round of the European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland. American Brooks Koepka (66) is tied for eighth.
Ronaldo powers Portugal in qualifier
Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals in a 15-minute span to help Portugal come from 2-1 down to defeat host Northern Ireland, 4-2, and stay atop Group F ahead of Russia in World Cup play. On a busy night of qualifiers, reigning champion Spain seized the initiative in its battle with France for the top spot in Group I by beating host Finland, 2-0, on goals by Jordi Alba and Alvaro Negredo. The French drew, 0-0, at Georgia and are three points back in second with two matches left . . . Usain Bolt closed out the season with another win in the 100 meters, finishing in 9.80 seconds in the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels. American Michael Rodgers was second in 9.90, a season’s best for him.