CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The NBA has suspended Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor for 24 games without pay after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property last month.
The third-year player will get credit for the 11 games he has missed, and will sit out an additional 13 games.
The suspension means Taylor will lose about $267,00 of his $915,000 salary this season.
Taylor, 25, was sentenced to 18 months of probation. As part of his probation, he must complete 26 weeks in a domestic violence intervention program.
The NBA conducted an investigation into the Taylor's arrest in East Lansing, Michigan hotel the morning of Sept. 25 following an altercation with a woman with whom he was having a romantic relationship.
According to a release by the NBA, Taylor and the woman were drinking heavily at a hotel room and a loud argument ensued, prompting guests to call security. The argument escalated and Taylor shoved the woman violently into the hallway where she fell to the ground and struck her on an opposite door leaving a bump on her head.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings have claimed running back Ben Tate off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.
Tate was signed Wednesday, when running backs Matt Asiata (concussion) and Jerick McKinnon (lower back injury) both were held out of practice. The move also came the day after the NFL announced a suspension of running back Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Tate was the featured ball carrier for a while this season while he was healthy, but his playing time dwindled as rookies Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West emerged. Tate signed as a free agent with the Browns after four years with the Houston Texans.
To make room for Tate, the Vikings waived tight end MarQueis Gray.
NEW YORK (AP) - Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announced his retirement on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old Collins played 22 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season and was not on the roster this season.
He announced his retirement in a first-person story for Sports Illustrated, saying it has been ''been 18 exhilarating months'' since he came out as the first openly gay man in one of the four major North American professional leagues.
He started his career with the New Jersey Nets in 2001 and rejoined the franchise in Brooklyn in February. He had a number of former teammates on the Brooklyn team, including former coach Jason Kidd.
Collins thanked Kidd for his support, ''considering all the speculation about problems I might face within the locker room.'' Collins says he's ''happy to have helped put those canards to rest.''
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Defending champion Adam Scott struggled in the blustery conditions at Metropolitan Golf Club on Thursday for a 1-over 73, six strokes behind a group of four of his countrymen who led the Australian Masters by a stroke after the first round.
Scott, who won the Masters the past two years at other sand-belt courses - Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath - began play on the back nine Thursday and shot 38, including a double-bogey on the 18th after his approach found a bunker.
Australians Michael Wright, Stephen Allan, Steven Bowditch and amateur Todd Sinnott shot 67s to share the lead. Bowditch had the outright lead until making bogey on his last hole.
Geoff Ogilvy shot 69 and was in a group tied for seventh with American Kyle Stanley.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A federal judge is set to listen to arguments allowing sports betting in New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie wants to test a federal law that bans it at most places.
The hearing is scheduled before Judge Michael Shipp on Thursday in a case that pits New Jersey officials against the federal government and major sports leagues.
Last month, Shipp issued a temporary restraining order to block the opening of sports betting systems at Monmouth Park racetrack just two days before it had planned to accept its first wagers.
Gov. Chris Christie and New Jersey lawmakers hope that sports betting could help revive the state's struggling casinos and horse tracks.
New Jersey does not intend to regulate sports gambling if it's allowed.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has settled a legal battle with his family over their management of his finances and business affairs.
Court documents filed in federal court in St. Louis show that a firm set up to represent the former NL MVP's interests and Howard's twin brother, Corey Howard, agreed to voluntarily dismiss the suit late last month. No details were provided, and their attorneys didn't immediately return phone calls or emails from The Associated Press.
At issue is a consulting agreement that Corey Howard entered into with RJH Enterprises to manage his brother's affairs. When Ryan Howard moved to terminate the agreement, effective in July 2013, his brother sued.
Ryan Howard, a St. Louis native, then countersued with allegations of fraud and mismanagement.
MADRID (AP) - Rafael Nadal says he will return to playing at the start of the year.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since having his appendix removed this month, forcing him to miss the season-ending ATP finals.
Nadal says ''I will play in Abu Dhabi in January, and after that I will play my first official tournament in Doha.''
The Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament is scheduled for Jan. 1-3. The tournament in Doha, Qatar, will be played the following week.