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Sports Briefs December 14, 2010

| December 14, 2010 8:00 PM

Baseball

Catcher Rob Johnson has been designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for new designated hitter Jack Cust.

The Mariners made the move on Monday. Seattle now has 10 days to trade, release or outright Johnson to the minors.

Johnson, 28, played in 61 games last year with Seattle, but hit just .191. He also struggled with an American League-high nine passed balls in less than a half-season.

• Former Seattle pitcher Cliff Lee is returning to the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that traded him nearly one year ago.

The free-agent pitcher reached a preliminary agreement on a $100 million, five-year contract with the Phillies, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Football

With Nebraska becoming the conference's 12th team next year, the Big Ten Conference created new divisions that it introduced in September. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin will be in the Leaders Division, with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in the Legends Division.

Top 25 Men

Duke easily handled Bradley and Saint Louis without star freshman guard Kyrie Irving, and the Blue Devils (10-0) remained a unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press college poll for a third straight week.

Ohio State (8-0) remained second, Kansas moved up one place to third and Connecticut jumped two spots to fourth.

No. 11 San Diego St 51, Cal Poly 45: Malcolm Thomas scored 18 points in the Aztecs' (5-0) win over the Mustangs (1-5).

Heat 96, Hornets 84: Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, topping 30 for the third consecutive game, and Chris Bosh added 23 points and 11 rebounds in host Miami's win over New Orleans.

Bulls 92, Pacers 73: Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead host Chicago over Indiana, the Bulls' sixth straight win.

Grizzlies 86, Trail Blazers 73: Zach Randolph had 25 points and 20 rebounds to lead host Memphis past Portland.

Bucks 103, Mavericks 99: Brandon Jennings had 23 points and 10 assists, and visiting Milwaukee beat Dallas.

Jazz 108, Warriors 95: At Salt Lake City, Deron Williams scored 30 and Utah beat Golden State.

Thrashers 4, Senators 3, OT: Bryan Little scored his second goal of the game 1:09 into overtime to give visiting Atlanta a win over Ottawa.

Kings 5, Red Wings 0: Jonathan Quick made 51 saves for his 10th NHL shutout in visiting Los Angeles' win over Detroit.

Predators 5, Islanders 0: Anders Lindback made 28 saves to lead host Nashville past New York.

Flames 3, Blue Jackets 2: Jarome Ignina scores twice in host Calgary's win over Columbus.

Avalanche 7, Blackhawks 5: At Denver, Tomas Fleischmann and Matt Duchene scored one minute apart in the third period to help Colorado over Chicago.

Stars 3, Sharks 2: Jamie Benn and Brad Richards scored in the shootout and Dallas beat San Jose.

Stuart Appleby has been voted the PGA Tour comeback player of the year after going from his worst season to a magical win.

Appleby won The Greenbrier Classic by closing with a 59, making him one of only two players to hit golf's magic number in the last round.

- The Associated Press

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