Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich scored in the third period as the St. Louis Blues came back to beat the Seattle Kraken 2-1. Ville Husso made 31 saves and the Blues extended their home point streak to 13 games, dating to Nov. 18. It is the third-longest stretch in franchise history. Alex Wennberg scored and Chris Driedger made 25 saves for the expansion Kraken, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Buchnevich's power-play goal off a slick no-look pass from Ivan Barbashev at 5:30 of the third period gave St. Louis the lead.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The last time the Chiefs played the Steelers, record-setting wide receiver Tyreek Hill had just recovered from COVID-19 and star tight end Travis Kelce was sitting at home and still dealing with the virus. Kansas City still rolled to a 36-10 victory at Arrowhead Stadium. That should give the Chiefs a lot of confidence for the rematch in the wild-card round of the playoffs Sunday night. Kelce and Hill should be healthy and available for Patrick Mahomes, who still threw for 258 yards and three scores without them in that December win over the Steelers.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — On a night when his heralded twin struggled with fouls, Kris Murray came through with career highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds, leading Iowa to an 83-74 win over Indiana. Keegan Murray, coming in as the nation's leading scorer at 24.7 points per game, finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and foul fouls in 22 minutes. Jordan Bohannon added 11 points including his 400th career 3-pointer, the 20th Division I player to reach the mark. Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 18 points and 11 rebounds for his 29th double-double. Race Thompson added 13 points, Parker Stewart 11 and Trey Galloway 10.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — No. 6 Indiana survived a late push from Nebraska to stay undefeated in conference play, winning 72-65 Thursday. Grace Berger led Indiana (13-2) in scoring with 22 points, Aleksa Gulbe added 17 points and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary scored 13. Alexis Markowski led Nebraska (13-3) in scoring with 17 points and Jaz Shelley added 15. Forward Kiandra Browne had her first career start in Mackenzie Holmes' place, scoring 2 points and secured five rebounds in 25 minutes.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska has hired former TCU assistant Bryan Applewhite to coach running backs. Applewhite spent the past two years coaching running backs at TCU, where the Horned Frogs ranked in the top 30 nationally in rushing both seasons. Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Applewhite has proved himself as an outstanding running backs coach during two decades in college football. Applewhite's hiring filled the final opening on the staff. The Huskers previously brought in Mark Whipple as offensive coordinator, Mickey Joseph as receivers coach and Donovan Raiola as offensive line coach.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden is hoping to extend his stay in the Steel City at least one more week. Haden will play in the second playoff game of his 12-year career when the Steelers visit Kansas City in the opening round of the postseason. The 32-year-old was forced to sit out last year's playoff loss to Cleveland because he was in the NFL's COVID-19 protocols. Haden is in the final year of his contract and is unlikely to re-sign with the Steelers.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have interviewed Quentin Harris of the Arizona Cardinals and Ryan Poles of the Kansas City Chiefs for their vacant general manager's job. Co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara met with Harris and Poles on Thursday by videoconference. The Giants have now spoken with four men over the past two days. They interviewed Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen and Cardinals vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson on Wednesday. GM Dave Gettleman retired Monday, and the team fired coach Joe Judge the following day.
Update on the latest sports
Djokovic faces deportation after Australia revokes visa
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) faces deportation again after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says he used his ministerial discretion to revoke the 34-year-old Serb's visa on public interest grounds three days before the Australian Open begins.
His lawyers are expected to appeal in a federal court as they successfully did last week on procedural grounds.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomes Djokovic's pending deportation, saying Australia has achieved one of the lowest pandemic death rates, strongest economies and highest vaccination rates in the world.
Everyone at the Australian Open is required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Djokovic is not and sought an exemption because he had COVID-19 in December.
Bucks rip Warriors
UNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks had a surprisingly easy time defeating the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH'-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON'-poh) posted his third triple-double of the season and the Bucks led 77-38 at halftime en route to a 118-99 rout of the Warriors. Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in his 28th career triple-double.
Khris Middleton chipped in 23 points, Bobby Portis had 15 and Grayson Allen had 15 for the Bucks, who welcomed back coach Mike Budenholzer. Milwaukee had gone 1-3 while Budenholzer was in COVID-19 protocols.
Andrew Wiggins had a team-high 16 points for the Warriors, while teammate Stephen Curry had just 12.
Checking out Thursday's other NBA action:
— The Grizzlies' team-record winning streak is now at 11 games following a 116-108 decision over the Timberwolves. Desmond Bane scored 21 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 20 to help Memphis avenge their 43-point loss to Minnesota on Nov. 20. Ja Morant had 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and John Konchar added 15 points and a career-best 17 rebounds.
— The Nets lost for the sixth time in their last seven home games, absorbing a 130-109 defeat against the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander delivered 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder, who are 14-27 at the midway mark. Rookie Josh Giddey provided 19 points to the Thunder's first win in six games.
— The Nuggets carved up the Trail Blazers, 140-108 as Will Barton furnished 21 points and Nikola Jokic added 20. Barton had to leave the game for good with a strained neck after falling into the knee of Portland center Jusuf Nurkic on a drive.
— Brandon Ingram dropped in 24 points and Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 18 points and 16 boards in the Pelicans' 113-89 thrashing of the Clippers. Rookie Herb Jones scored 14 points and had three steals for the Pelicans, who parlayed 15 Clippers turnovers into 23 points.
Knicks buyers, Hawks sellers
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks are separated by just three games in the NBA's Eastern Conference standings, but their plans for the stretch run now appear to be divergent.
The Hawks have become sellers after falling to 17-23, sending forwards Cam Reddish and Solomon Hill to the Knicks for small forward Kevin Knox and a 2022 first-round draft pick. The Knicks also get a second-round choice in this year's draft.
Reddish received regular playing time for Atlanta this season, averaging 11.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 34 games. Reddish and Knox are recent first-round picks, but Knox started just 61 of 195 games for the Knicks after being drafted in 2018.
Reddish is reunited with former Duke teammate RJ Barrett as the Knicks try to improve on their 21-21 start.
The deal gives the Hawks additional salary cap room this summer.
In other NBA news:
— Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is out at least six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a core injury that has been causing him abdominal pain. The six-time All-Star has missed five games since the start of the year and 11 games overall this season because of the injury.
— The Bulls expect forward Derrick Jones Jr. to miss two to four weeks because of a bone bruise in his right knee. Jones was injured in the opening minute of a 138-112 home loss to the Nets on Wednesday.
— A trade between the Pistons and Nuggets has been rescinded after big man Bol Bol didn't receive medical clearance with Detroit. The Nuggets had finalized a deal to send Bol to the Pistons in exchange for guard Rodney McGruder along with a 2022 second-round pick via Brooklyn.
T25 MEN'S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Bruins fall to Ducks
UNDATED (AP) — Third-ranked UCLA can expect to take a tumble in the AP men's basketball poll on Monday.
Head coach Dana Altman earned his 700th career win as Jacob Young poured in a season-high 23 points to lead Oregon past the Bruins, 84-81 in overtime. Young provided consecutive baskets in OT to put the Ducks ahead to stay in their fourth consecutive win.
Johnny Juzang scored 23 points for the Bruins, who had won five straight.
Also on the top-25 men's schedule:
— Drew Timme scored 30 points on 13-of-14 shooting as second-ranked Gonzaga beat rival BYU 110-84 to extend the nation's longest home winning streak to 61 games. Andrew Nembhard had 22 points and 12 assists, and Julian Strawther added 20 points for the 13-2 Bulldogs, who shot 69%.
— No. 5 Southern California rallied from a 51-41 deficit to defeat Oregon State 81-71. Chavez Goodwin had 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Drew Peterson added 15 points.
— Sixth-ranked Arizona is 13-1 after Azoulas Tubelis and Justin Kier provided 14 points apiece in a 76-55 blowout over Colorado. Arizona shot 51% and had 20 assists on 29 field goals to match its best start since 2015-16.
— Brad Davison provided 23 points and Tyler Wahl added 20 in No. 13 Wisconsin's sixth straight win, 78-68 against Ohio State. Wisconsin was 10 of 23 from 3-point range in improving to 14-2 overall, 5-1 in the Big Ten.
— Kevin Obanor had 17 points and No. 19 Texas Tech backed up its consecutive wins over Top 10 teams with a 78-57 victory over Oklahoma State. Adonis Arms scored 13 points for the 13-3 Red Raiders, who were coming off Tuesday's win at top-ranked Baylor.
— Jalen Terry scored 28 points and David Jones added 24 as DePaul stunned No. 20 Seton Hall, 96-92. The Blue Demons did it while playing most of the second half without conference scoring leader Javon Freeman-Liberty because of an apparent right leg injury.
AP source: Texans fire Culley after just one season as coach
UNDATED (AP) — David Culley is one and done as head coach of the Houston Texans.
Culley has been let go following a 4-13 record in his lone season at the helm. The Texans had quarterback issues early in the season but split their last four games, finishing with a 28-25 loss to the top-seeded Titans.
Culley said Monday he expected to return, but general manager Nick Caserio was said to still be evaluating him at that time.
It's the first time the Texans have fired a coach after just one season.
The dismissals of Culley and Miami's Brian Flores leave Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin as the NFL's only Black head coach.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— Left tackle Trent Williams practiced with the 49ers on Thursday after missing the season finale with an elbow injury. Williams is on target to play Sunday against the Cowboys, saying the elbow feels good. Williams was officially limited and wore tape on the elbow instead of a brace.
— The NFL has no plans to move the Feb. 13 Super Bowl to Arlington, Texas, or anywhere else despite the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the accompanying health precautions in California. Both NFL officials and local organizers say the championship game isn't leaving the Los Angeles area.
MLB talks resume after 42-day gap, little evident progress
UNDATED (AP) — Labor talks to end the baseball lockout have resumed for the first time in 1 1/2 months.
There with little evident progress during a bargaining session that lasted about an hour on Thursday, jeopardizing a timely start to spring training. Major League Baseball imposed the lockout on Dec. 2 as soon as the five-year collective bargaining contract expired, a few hours after talks broke off.
The discussions Thursday were the first on core economic issues following a 42-day gap. MLB made proposals it hoped would at least start to generate momentum, but players did not commit to a specific date to respond.
Alabama WR Williams, offensive lineman Evans enter NFL draft
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama offensive stars Jameson Williams and Evan Neal are entering the NFL draft and skipping their senior seasons.
Williams led Crimson Tide receivers with 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in his lone season after transferring from Ohio State. Neal played left tackle last season and started 39 games on the line in three seasons.
Both are All-Americans and projected first-round picks.
Jackets dress down Canes
UNDATED (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets grabbed a 4-0 lead against the Carolina Hurricanes on New Year's Day, only to absorb a 7-4 loss. There was none of that on Thursday.
Yegor Chinakhov scored twice and Elvis Merzlikins (murz-LIH'-kihnz) turned back 31 shots as the Jackets blasted the Canes, 6-0. Amil Bemstrom and Jack Roslovic each added a goal and an assist for Columbus, which put the game away with a four-goal third period.
Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 32 shots, taking a seat on the bench after Patrik Laine and Chinakhov scored in a 32-second span early in the final period.
The Hurricanes' first shutout loss of the season drops them out of a first-place tie with the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.
Igor Shesterkin returned from COVID-19 protocol and stopped 37 shots to lead the Rangers' 3-0 shutout of the Sharks. Chris Kreider got his first career short-handed goal and an empty-netter to reach 200 goals as the Rangers blanked San Jose for the second straight meeting.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Tuukka Rask made his return to the Boston nets and David Pastrnak provided the Bruins' second hat trick in two nights, leading a 3-2 victory against the Flyers. Rask made his season debut after recovering from surgery last summer to repair a torn labrum, finishing with 27 saves in the Bruins' seventh win in eight games.
— Steven Stamkos scored his team-leading 18th goal and Anthony Cirelli put the Lightning ahead to stay in a 4-2 downing of the Canucks. Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV'-skee) made 24 saves for Tampa Bay, including a stop on Elias Petterson's breakaway in the third period.
— Third-period goals by Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich pushed the Blues past the Kraken, 2-1. Ville Husso made 31 saves as the Blues extended their home points streak to 13 games.
— Mikey Anderson, Viktor Arvidsson and Anze Kopitar scored in a span of 1:23 of the third period to secure the Kings' third straight win, 6-2 over the Penguins. Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist to reach 700 career points, and Sean Durzi had a goal and two assists to help Los Angeles finish 5-2 on its seven-game homestand.
— The Predators had won five straight before Jeff Skinner scored twice and Aaron Dell handled 29 shots in the Sabres' 4-1 victory at Nashville. Mark Jankowski and Vinnie Hinostroza also scored for Buffalo, who snapped a six-game skid.
— Connor Hellebuyck (HEH'-leh-buhk) made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season, sending the Jets to a 3-0 win at Detroit. Andrew Copp scored twice and Kyle Connor added an empty-netter in Winnipeg's first game since a 7-1 loss in Colorado a week ago.
— Philipp Kurashev scored 2:24 into overtime to send the Blackhawks to their third straight win, 3-2 against the Canadiens. Dominik Kubalik and Patrick Kane also scored for Chicago, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots as Chicago handed Montreal its fifth loss in a row.
— The Islanders pulled out a 3-2 win over the Devils on Mat Barzal's tiebreaking goal with 4:53 remaining. Josh Bailey and Adam Pelech (PEH'-lihk) scored and Zach Parise added two assists for the Islanders, who ran their point streak to five games and played for the first time since New Year's Day.
— The Senators also were in action for the first time since New Year's Day, getting two goals from Nick Paul in a 4-1 verdict over the Flames. Matt Murray made 27 saves for his first victory of the season.
NHL-ALL STAR ROSTERS
Ovechkin, McDavid, Draisaitl picked for NHL All-Star Game
NEW YORK (AP) — Washington star Alexander Ovechkin oh-VECH'-kin and high-scoring Edmonton teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl (DRY'-sy-tul) headline the rosters for the NHL All-Star Weekend.
Ovechkin led voting in the Metropolitan Division to earn the captaincy for the Feb. 4-5 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It's his eighth selection.
The event features a three-game tournament played in a 3-on-3 format, with 11-man teams from each of the league's four divisions.