NFL

Wednesday's Sports In Brief

NFL

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Lions released running back Reggie Bush halfway through the four-year deal he signed as a free agent before the 2013 season.

Bush started 23 games for the Lions. He rushed for 1,006 yards in 2013, but this past season he had only 76 carries for 297 yards while slowed by injuries. Bush, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft, turns 30 next week.

The Lions acquired Bush to provide some offensive balance for a team that had a dynamic passing game with quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson. There were times when Bush flashed some of the speed and elusiveness that made him a star at Southern California and an exciting addition to the New Orleans Saints during his first few NFL seasons. But he played in only 11 games this season, his fewest since 2010.

Bush battled ankle and back problems last season, and 28-year-old Joique Bell emerged as the team's top rusher. Bell ran for 860 yards on 223 carries, both career highs.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Linebacker A.J. Hawk had a hunch after Green Bay's season ended that he might be looking for a new team.

So he wasn't surprised after the Packers released him Wednesday following nine years with the only club he has played with in the NFL.

Hawk, a respected locker room presence, leaves Green Bay with 1,118 tackles, tops in the franchise since 1975. He appeared in 142 out of a 144 possible regular-season games with 136 starts since being drafted in the first round in 2006 out of Ohio State.

But Hawk lost playing time in the second half of this past season as Green Bay tried to shore up its run defense.

Green Bay has also released veteran inside linebacker Brad Jones this offseason. The Packers' defense improved after giving outside linebacker Clay Matthews more snaps in the middle and alongside Sam Barrington.

NBA

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - His first game in a Timberwolves uniform in nearly eight years was 30 minutes away, and Kevin Garnett was bouncing off the walls in the locker room he called home for 12 years.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor pulled him aside and tried to calm him down.

Garnett made an ear-splitting return to Minnesota and his Timberwolves overcame a jittery start to beat Washington 97-77 on Wednesday night.

Garnett, reacquired in a trade from Brooklyn last week, had five points on 2-for-7 shooting with eight rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes in his first game for Minnesota since 2007.

ATLANTA (AP) - The Dallas Mavericks suspended Rajon Rondo for their 104-87 loss at Atlanta for conduct detrimental to the team, a day after the point guard had a heated exchange on the court with coach Rick Carlisle and was benched.

Carlisle said he must communicate better with Rondo.

Rondo came out with 8:10 left in the third quarter of Dallas' 99-92 home victory over Toronto on Tuesday. He was bringing the ball up the court when Carlisle angrily shouted for a timeout and exchanged words with Rondo from several feet away as the player headed to the bench.

Carlisle said Rondo will return as a starter for the Mavericks' next game against Brooklyn on Saturday.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Top-ranked Kentucky fought off a slow start but still cruised to a 74-56 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday night to keep its undefeated season on track.

Freshman Trey Lyles scored a career-high 18 points and Aaron Harrison added 16 as Kentucky - the last remaining unbeaten team in the country - improved to 28-0 overall and 15-0 in the Southeastern Conference.

Kentucky's 28-game winning streak is the second longest in school history, trailing only a 32-game run that stretched from 1953 to 1955. It's the longest in a single season for the program.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - With his team desperate for baskets, Xavier Rathan-Mayes couldn't miss. He scored 30 points in the final 4:38, and even that wasn't enough to beat the Miami Hurricanes.

Miami built an 18-point lead and survived the late heroics by Florida State's freshman guard to win 81-77.

Rathan-Mayes scored 26 consecutive Florida State points without missing a shot. He went 8 for 10 in the final five minutes, sinking six 3-pointers, and finished with 35 points to tie his career high.

The Hurricanes made 14 of 16 free throws in the final 2:51 to hang onto their lead.

BASEBALL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is meeting with Major League Baseball officials about a disciplinary issue.

Angels spokesman Tim Mead confirmed the Los Angeles Times' initial report Wednesday that Hamilton went to New York to meet with baseball officials. The team declined to give any more specific information.

Hamilton hasn't reported to spring training in Arizona after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month. He is expected to be out until after the regular season begins.

The 2010 AL MVP is entering the third season of a five-year, $125 million contract. Hamilton has been a disappointment for the Angels, batting just .255 with 31 homers and 123 RBIs in two seasons.

NHL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade for prospect Ronald McKeown and a first-round draft pick.

The 28-year-old Sekera has two goals and 17 assists in 57 games with the Hurricanes this season after recording a career-high 44 points last season. The dependable two-way veteran will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Slovak defenseman was traded to Carolina in 2013 after playing his first seven NHL seasons in Buffalo, where he sometimes teamed with current Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr on the Sabres' blue line.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Hurricanes traded forward Jiri Tlusty to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for two draft picks.

The Hurricanes will acquire a third-round selection in the 2016 draft. The team says the other pick will be in this year's draft, a fifth-round selection if the Jets make the playoffs and a sixth-rounder if they don't.

The 26-year-old Tlusty had tallied 76 goals and 69 assists in 322 games with Carolina over parts of six seasons. His career-highs of 23 goals and 38 points came during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

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