Magic open arena with blowout victory

Rashard Lewis had 23 points, Dwight Howard had 12 points and 11 rebounds and the Orlando Magic opened their new arena in style with a 135-81 rout of the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night.

Orlando built a big lead from the start to kick off an early celebration that was more than a decade in the making. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy even wore a suit and tie for the first time in years, played his starters big minutes and did everything possible to treat a capacity crowd to a blowout victory.

The downtown arena is quite a change from the bland facility the Magic vacated a few blocks away.

The new arena -- with 18,500 seats and almost three times the square footage of the old -- also houses the teams practices facilities, two levels of luxury suites, wine bars, beer bars, indoor restaurants, outdoor cafes and even a nightclub. There's a play area for kids, retail outlets, food courts and the NBA's largest video screen.

Auto Racing

Dixon captures win No. 12 in Top Fuel

In Mohnton, Pa., Larry Dixon raced to his 12th Top Fuel victory in 12 final-round appearances this year, beating championship rival Cory McClenathan in the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

In the final, both dragsters lost traction at points down the track, with Dixon managing to cross the finish line first with a 4.906-second run at 295.34 mph. McClenathan had a 5.103 at 199.70.

With the win, which also included round victories over Terry McMillen , Doug Foley and David Grubnic , Dixon increased his series lead to 89 points over McClenathan with two races remaining.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the fourth of six playoff races in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

Horse Racing

Victory's 'Pleasant' in Oklahoma Derby

In Oklahoma City, favored Pleasant Prince took the lead in the stretch and pulled away for a decisive win in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

Pleasant Prince, ridden by top California jockey Joel Rosario , stayed back in the nine-horse field before making a move on the turn, then passing horses in the stretch to beat long shot Timely Pursuit by four lengths.

Stachys finished third, another 21/4 lengths back.

- In New York, Little Nick rallied for a 13/4-length victory over Super Chunky in the $70,000 Basket Weave Stakes on the turf at Belmont Park.

Mike Luzzi guided the 5-year-old gelding to his third win in the last four races.

- In Lexington, Ky., long shot Acoma closed out her 18-race career with a victory in Sunday's Grade I $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland.

It was the first Grade I victory for the Empire Maker mare and her trainer David Carroll .


Serena says she is 'likely out' for year

Serena Williams says on her Web site she is "likely out for the year" because her injured right foot hasn't healed properly.

In a posting Sunday, Williams says she "re-strained" her foot by overtraining.

Williams pulled out of the Generali Ladies Linz tournament in Austria that begins today, saying she felt pain while training in Florida on Saturday, and a scan showed her injury hadn't healed properly.

Williams has been sidelined since July after cutting her foot on broken glass at a restaurant, shortly after winning Wimbledon. She had surgery that month.

She returned to practice in September but already put off her comeback by withdrawing from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and the China Open in Beijing.

- In Tokyo, top-ranked Rafael Nadal overpowered fifth-seeded Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5 to win his first Japan Open title and rebound from a surprise semifinal loss in Bangkok last week.



Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:27

Friday’s prep box scores

Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:03

Aiken thrives with team-first mentality