NFL

Thursday's Sports In Brief

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 4-6 - FILE - In this June 15, 2010, file photo, Barbara Castelein, left, and Mierte, both from the Netherlands, walk after an interview outside Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Soccer's governing body says the outfit Photo:

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JULY 4-6 - FILE - In this June 15, 2010, file photo, Barbara Castelein, left, and Mierte, both from the Netherlands, walk after an interview outside Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. Soccer's governing body says the outfit

NFL

In NFL limbo for the last five-plus months, Adrian Peterson's future with the Minnesota Vikings is still in question.

The path toward resolution of his status has been cleared. The league-union clash over the personal conduct policy, though, has only cranked up.

U.S. District Judge David Doty overruled league arbitrator Harold Henderson's December denial of the six-time Pro Bowl running back's appeal. Doty ruled that Henderson ''failed to meet his duty'' in considering Peterson's punishment, for the child abuse charge that brought national backlash for the league on the heels of the bungled handling of the assault case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Doty said the league cannot retroactively apply the standards of its new, tougher personal conduct policy to an action by Peterson that occurred before the policy was in place.

The NFL promptly filed its protest to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Matt Hasselbeck wanted one more shot at a Super Bowl ring.

The Colts are giving him a chance.

One month after losing in the AFC championship game, the 39-year-old quarterback signed a one-year contract extension with the Colts. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The signing allows Indianapolis to keep the AFC South's best quarterback tandem intact. Over the past two seasons, Hasselbeck has provided his wisdom and perspective for the much younger Andrew Luck. Hasselbeck also played in seven games during that time, completing 37 of 56 passes for 431 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a 93.7 passer rating.

NBA

CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James says he isn't about personal statements. He made one anyway Thursday night.

James scored a season-high 42 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 110-99 for their 18th victory in 20 games.

James added 11 rebounds, outplaying fellow MVP candidate Stephen Curry and leading Cleveland past the team with the NBA's best record for its 11th straight home victory.

The Cavaliers did get a bit of bad news. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 24 points, injured his left shoulder and didn't travel with the team to Indiana for Friday night's game. A team spokesman said Irving will have an MRI on Friday and is doubtful against the Pacers.

Irving left the game in the third quarter and went to the locker room, but returned early in the fourth.

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Bulls are optimistic Derrick Rose will suit up again this season and that surgery Friday on his right knee won't sideline him the rest of the way.

The organization sounded upbeat that the procedure to repair a medial meniscus tear won't prevent the star point guard from suiting up again this season.

The timeline for the 2011 MVP's return will be determined after the operation.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul George put himself on the clock Thursday.

Almost seven months after a gruesome leg injury seemingly ended his season, the Pacers' star finished his first full practice - three days ahead of schedule. Now, the next countdown can begin: When will he play?

''I've got LeBron tomorrow night,'' George joked, referring to Indiana's game Friday night against Cleveland.

While there's no established timetable for his comeback, one thing is certain: The two-time All-Star has progressed faster than anybody expected when his right leg gruesomely snapped last summer after hitting a basketball stanchion. Doctors operated on the leg later that night in Las Vegas, where George was working out with the U.S. national team.

Even George knows he's not ready yet.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Former University of Louisville basketball player Chris Jones pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and sodomy, days after being dismissed from the team.

Jones, 23, appeared in Jefferson District Court before Judge Sheila Collins immediately after turning himself in to authorities. He was released to home incarceration. He did not speak during the brief hearing.

His attorney, Scott Cox, said Jones is cooperating with the police investigation.

GOLF

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Playing in America for the first time this year, Rory McIlroy's first shot was a 2-iron out of play.

A relentless wind with gusts that approached 35 mph provided a rude welcome to just about everyone at the Honda Classic except for Jim Herman, who somehow made it around PGA National without a bogey for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot lead.

McIlroy managed to salvage a tough day with by holing a 30-foot birdie putt and two-putting for birdie on the 18th hole for a 3-over 73. It was his highest opening-round score to par since a 3-over 74 at The Barclays seven months ago.

Only 19 players managed to break par. Only three holes - both par 5s and the downwind ninth - played under par. Seventeen players had a front-nine score of 40 or higher.

SPORTS & GAMBLING

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Come summer 2016, when the best of the best athletes climb podiums wearing gold, silver and bronze medals, Las Vegas gamblers could very well be counting their green.

Nevada gambling regulators voted to allow the state's sports books to offer bets on the Olympics for the first time in years.

It was a move unopposed by anyone in the industry and cheered by the regulators themselves. International sports books in Great Britain, Ireland and Australia and offshore Internet sites already allow such bets.

HOCKEY

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Chasing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Florida Panthers acquired Jaromir Jagr - who turned 43 earlier this month - from the New Jersey Devils for two draft picks, a second-rounder this year and either Florida or Minnesota's third-round selection in 2016.

In Florida, Jagr will find a dressing room with a mix of veterans and up-and-comers. Goaltender Roberto Luongo turns 36 in April, defenseman Willie Mitchell is 37 - but none of the team's top three scorers so far this season (Nick Bjugstad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad) is older than 22.

Jagr had 11 goals and 18 assists in 57 games this season for New Jersey. His playing time has been cut recently and he has gone eight games without a point, the longest such drought of his NHL career.

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