LeBron James wasn’t the only Los Angeles Laker injured in the team’s Christmas Day win at Golden State. Point guard Rajon Rondo will be sidelined for at least a month after undergoing ligament surgery Friday on his right ring finger, which he sprained during the 127-101 rout of the two-time defending NBA champions on Tuesday. The team said he is expected to make a full recovery in four to five weeks. Rondo is averaging 8.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in his first season with the Lakers. But the former Celtic has played only 14 games because of a three-game suspension for fighting and a 17-game absence after surgery for a broken bone in his right hand, which he had just returned from Dec. 21. James strained his groin against the Warriors but the Lakers haven’t speculated on how long the four-time league MVP will be sidelined.
Wizards Wall to see heel specialist
John Wall sat out the Washington Wizards’ game against Chicago due to a left heel injury Friday night, and coach Scott Brooks says the point guard will see a specialist. Brooks would not speculate on the severity of the injury. He says Wall has managed an issue with his heel for years and "it comes and goes." Wall missed a game with an injury to his heel Dec. 10 . . . Guard Patrick McCaw has signed a two-year, $6 million offer sheet with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. Golden State now must decide whether to match the terms, which could cost substantially more than just McCaw’s salary figure because of luxury-tax ramifications . . . Dion Waiters, who hasn't appeared in an NBA game since Dec. 22, 2017 because of ankle issues and recovery from surgery, is being sent to the Miami Heat’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D., a big step in the guard’s return to the NBA . . . Former Celtics coach Rick Pitino, fired by Louisville over a year ago amid an NCAA corruption investigation, won his first game in Greece, coaching troubled Panathinaikos to a 96-84 Euroleague victory over CSKA Moscow at Athens.
Dallas brass slams team’s stars
Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites ripped captain Jamie Benn and fellow high-priced forward Tyler Seguin, telling reporters their play has been ‘‘terrible’’ and saying owner Tom Gaglardi was frustrated as well. Lites requested the interviews, saying he believed Seguin, acquired from the Bruins in 2013, and Benn deserved more public criticism with a team Lites says is underachieving. Dallas started the day holding the final playoff spot in the Western Conference but has expectations of a higher finish. The longtime Stars executive told The Athletic that the Stars would be in danger of missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons without better play from Benn and Seguin. Lites told The Dallas Morning News both players ‘‘think it’s easy, and that’s what bothers me.’’ Benn signed an eight-year, $76 million contract in July 2016, and Seguin signed an eight-year, $79 million extension before this season that kicks in next year. Seguin and Benn are the team’s top two scorers with 32 and 30 points respectively in 38 games. Seguin leads with 21 assists, Benn with 15 goals. But neither is in the top 50 in the NHL in points . . . Artyom Galimov and Nikolai Kovalenko scored and Russia beat the Czech Republic, 2-1, to improve to 2-0 in Group A of the world junior hockey championship at Vancouver. Pyotr Kochetkov made 24 saves for Russia, allowing only Jachym Kondelik's second period goal.
Northeastern nips RPI in OT
Ryan Ruck made 31 saves and Zach Solow notched his 10th goal of the season at 4:21 of overtime to lift No. 11 Northeastern (11-3-1) to a 3-2 men’s hockey victory over Rensselaer (4-12-0) in the Catamount Cup at Burlington, Vt. . . . In men’s basketball, Vasa Pusic poured in 29 points while Anthony Green and Jordan Roland had 21 apiece as Northeastern (7-6) opened Colonial Athletic Association play with a 93-83 victory over Drexel (6-8) at Matthews Arena . . . In women’s basketball, Jeannie Boehm had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead Harvard (6-6) to a 80-47 rout at Rhode Island (5-7). Katie Benzan (13 points), Madeline Raster (12), Rachel Levy (10), and Sydney Skinner (10) chipped in for the Crimson . . . Jarrett Stidham threw for 373 yards and five touchdowns in his final college game as Auburn (8-5) turned in a 63-14 pounding of Purdue (6-7) in the Music City Bowl at Nashville. Auburn scored the most points by a Southeastern Conference team in a bowl, topping Alabama's 61-6 win over Syracuse in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1953. The Tigers had a chance to match the most points ever in a bowl at 70 but took a knee at the Purdue 1 after a replay review overturned a very late TD run by Joey Gatewood . . . Eric Dungey threw for 303 yards, Abdul Adams rushed for two touchdowns in his Syracuse debut, the No. 17 Orange (10-3) capped their first 10-win season since 2001 with a 34-18 win over West Virginia (8-4) in the Camping World Bowl at Orlando, Fla.
UConn seeks Ollie complaint dismissal
The University of Connecticut asked a judge to dismiss a complaint filed by former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who contends his firing in March was in part racially motivated. Ollie, who is black, argues in his complaint, he was treated differently than former coach Jim Calhoun, who is white. Calhoun wasn’t fired after being penalized for recruiting violations. The school argues that the federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction and Ollie doesn’t make a specific claim under federal law in his complaint, which was filed this month. UConn also says the former coach’s lawyer never notified the school that he planned to bring the complaint despite a conference call between the sides minutes before the motion was filed. US District Court Judge Kari Dooley set another hearing for Jan. 25.
Shiffrin falters in Austria
Petra Vlhova became the first Slovakian winner of a women’s World Cup giant slalom, benefiting from first-run leader Mikaela Shiffrin’s uncharacteristic second run which saw the Olympic champion drop to fifth at Semmering, Austria. Vlhova was fourth after the opening run, trailing Shiffrin by 0.06 seconds, but posted the second-fastest time in the final leg to land her first victory in the discipline. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was the fastest in the final run as she climbed from 10th to second place, 0.45 behind Vlhova, and Tessa Worley of France trailed by 0.60 for third. Shiffrin missed an outright record 15th World Cup victory in this calendar year, but she can still set the record if she wins a slalom on the same course Saturday, the last women’s race of 2018 . . . A person with knowledge of the agreement, speaking on condition of anonymity, says catcher Jonathan Lucroy has agreed to join the Los Angeles Angels on a one-year, $3.35 million deal. Lucroy batted .241 with 51 RBIs last season for Oakland . . . The Cleveland Browns owners, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, have agreed to buy the Columbus Crew, guaranteeing the MLS team will not move from Ohio.