Chris Paul is finally going to Los Angeles, this time with the blessing of NBA Commissioner David Stern. The Hornets have traded Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and a first-round draft choice. Stern approved the trade on behalf of the league-owned Hornets. Last week Stern vetoed a proposed trade that would have sent Paul to the Lakers. The 26-year-old Paul is a four-time All-Star who averaged 18.7 points and 9.8 assists last season. Gordon, who turns 23 on Christmas Day, averaged 22.3 points last season. The 6-foot-9 Aminu is a second-year pro.
Also on the trade front on the NBA, don’t be surprised if Orlando superstar Dwight Howard stays with the Magic for a while. Magic GM Otis Smith says the team’s goal remains to keep Howard in a Magic uniform as long as they possibly can and that the trade talks “could go to the end of the season.”
Deshaun Thomas scored 23 points and No. 2 Ohio State welcomed back star forward Jared Sullinger in an 82-58 victory over South Carolina Upstate. The 9-1 Buckeyes were effective if not overwhelming in rebounding from a 78-67 loss at No. 13 Kansas on Saturday. Sullinger had missed Ohio State’s last two games with an injury. He received polite applause when he entered the game at the 14:37 mark of the first half. He took his time getting into the pace of the game, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
In the only other Top-25 game of the night, Pierre Jackson scored 13 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and had consecutive assists on slam dunks that put No. 6 Baylor ahead to stay in a 69-42 victory over Bethune-Cookman.
The Hamilton County prosecutor has decided against filing criminal charges in last Saturday’s on-court brawl that caused referees to stop the Xavier versus Cincinnati basketball game with just under 10 seconds left on the clock.
Joe Deters says he made the decision following an investigation that included review of films and interviews with the two teams’ coaches and some players and witnesses. He also says Xavier center Kenny Frease is satisfied with an apology from Bearcat forward Yancy Gates, who punched him in the face during the melee. Officials and players of both schools have apologized, and both schools suspended four players each.
CBS, Fox and NBC renewed their NFL contracts for nine years through the 2022 season, with average rights fees from the three networks increasing by an average of 7 percent annually. That will take the total revenue from them from the current $1.93 billion per year to $3.1 billion by 2022. Earlier this season, the NFL and ESPN reached an eight-year extension to keep “Monday Night Football” on the cable channel through the 2021 season, increasing the rights fee from $1.1 to 1.9 billion annually.
The new contracts also will allow NFL Network to expand the number of Thursday night games it airs beginning next year. The current schedule includes eight games during the second half of the season.
Upon further review, Browns president Mike Holmgren says the team did not check Colt McCoy for a concussion after the second-year quarterback came to the sideline following a helmet-to-helmet hit by Pittsburgh’s James Harrison last Thursday night. The team previously said that they had maintained proper protocol after the hit. Holmgren says trainers did not see the hit and did not realize the impact because they were treating other injured players. McCoy was sent home with a headache Wednesday and Holmgren says the team is following protocol to treat him.
In other news from around the NFL:
Two days after replacing fired Chiefs coach Todd Haley on an interim basis, Romeo Crennel is changing quarterbacks. Kyle Orton gets the nod over Tyler Palko, unless an injured finger on his throwing hand prevents him from playing against undefeated Green Bay. Palko led Kansas City to only two touchdowns in four games since taking over for the injured Matt Cassel.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger watched practice while resting the sprained ankle he sustained in last Thursday’s win over Cleveland.
Peyton Manning has started throwing the football again. Colts coach Jim Caldwell says his star quarterback is throwing the ball as part of his rehabilitation from his third neck surgery in 19 months.
Texans first-year defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is taking a medical leave. He’ll undergo a surgical procedure to resolve a kidney condition and is expected to be away from the team for a week to 10 days. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring will run the defense for Houston.
Fresno State has hired Texas A&M interim coach Tim DeRuyter to replace the fired Pat Hill as head coach. DeRuyter will start his new job after coaching the Aggies at the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 31, against Northwestern. DeRuyter had spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M before getting the interim job when Mike Sherman was fired earlier this month. And as the college coaches carosel goes on, Pittsburgh football coach Todd Graham is leaving to take the head coach position at Arizona State. He’s replacing Dennis Erickson, who was fired following a 6-6 regular season in which the Sun Devils dropped their final four games. Also, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is the new football coach at Arkansas State. Hugh Freeze left the Red Wolves last week to become the new coach at Mississippi. Arkansas State is 10-2 and will play Northern Illinois in the Godaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 8.
The NL Central champion Brewers have finalized a $36 million, three-year contract with free agent Aramis Ramirez. The 33-year-old third baseman played the past eight-plus seasons with the division-rival Cubs. He batted .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs over 149 games last season. Ramirez’s power should help the Brewers make up for the anticipated loss of first baseman Prince Fielder through free agency. Milwaukee also may be without NL MVP Ryan Braun for the first 50 games of next season if he loses his appeal for testing positive for a banned substance.
IndyCar officials plan to announce Thursday their initial findings from the investigation into Dan Wheldon’s fatal accident.
Wheldon was killed in the opening laps of the Oct. 16 season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was involved in a 15-car accident, and his car sailed into the catchfence. The report is scheduled to be presented at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday morning. It will likely show that a combination of factors led to Wheldon’s death.