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James Leads Cavaliers in Rout of Wizards

The Cleveland Cavaliers launched their push to the NBA post-season on Friday with a 127-89 pummeling of the Washington Wizards.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James scored 28 points and Kyrie Irving added 25 with seven assists for the Cavaliers, who have now won 15 of their last 17 games.

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NASCAR Suspends Kurt Busch over Assault

NASCAR, America's hugely popular stock car racing series, suspended driver Kurt Busch indefinitely on Friday after a court commissioner found he smashed a former girlfriend's head into a wall.

In a decision released by Kent County Commissioner David Jones in Delaware, the court found by a "preponderance of the evidence" of domestic violence by Busch against Patricia Driscoll.

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Rodgers Backs Balotelli over Penalty Storm

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on Friday backed striker Mario Balotelli over the penalty controversy which marred his side's 1-0 Europa League win against Besiktas.

Reds captain Steven Gerrard was angry that Balotelli overruled Jordan Henderson when the stand-in Reds skipper tried to take an 85th-minute penalty in the last 32, first leg at Anfield on Thursday.

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Bielsa Remains Enigmatic over Marseille Future

Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa refused to comment Friday on reports suggesting he may quit the French giants for Saudi Arabia at the end of the season.

"Such rumors are common during this time of the year", the 59-year-old replied when journalists asked him if there was any truth linking him to the Saudi national team.

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Barcelona Honor Vilanova with Training Pitch Memorial

Barcelona have paid tribute to former coach Tito Vilanova by naming the principal pitch at the club's training ground after him.

Vilanova died in April last year at the age of 45 after a long battle with throat cancer.

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Report: Bosh Undergoes Tests at Hospital

Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat underwent testing at a hospital Thursday to assess a medical issue related to the area around his lungs, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

Bosh and the team were expecting to have a better grasp of the situation Friday, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor the team had disclosed any specifics publicly.

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Balotelli Causes Fuss with Liverpool Winner in Europa League

Maverick striker Mario Balotelli managed to upset his Liverpool teammates despite scoring a late penalty in a 1-0 win over Besiktas in the last 32 of the Europa League, one of several first-leg victories for expected title contenders on Thursday.

Liverpool's stand-in captain, Jordan Henderson, was preparing to take the 85th-minute spot kick at Anfield when Balotelli — a penalty specialist — took the ball off him. Henderson momentarily appeared unhappy, as did Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, but they were soon congratulating Balotelli after he converted for the winning goal.

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Messi Had 'Problems on and Off the Pitch' Last Season

Lionel Messi says both he and his Barcelona teammates have learned from mistakes that left them without a major title for the first time in six seasons last year.

Messi admitted Thursday that he had "many problems on and off the pitch" last season. He did not elaborate.

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Modric Returns to Training after Leg Injury

Midfielder Luka Modric has returned to training with Real Madrid for the first time since injuring his left leg three months ago.

The Spanish league leader says Modric rejoined his teammates during Thursday's practice session.

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Chelsea Bans 3 People from its Stadium after Racist Incident

Chelsea has suspended three people from its Stamford Bridge stadium following an investigation into an incident in which a black man was blocked from boarding a Paris metro train by a group of Chelsea fans.

The London club says Thursday that "if it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life."

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