The Commercial Appeal

Nadal cruises in return to singles play


Rafael Nadal rebounded from a poor start to defeat Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday in the second round of the VTR Open at Vina del Mar, Chile.

It was his first singles match since losing in Wimbledon more than seven months ago.

Nadal won in doubles on Tuesday with partner Juan Monaco, but the singles debut was a bigger test for the Spaniard and his injured left knee, which had kept him away since June 28.

Nadal won only one point in the first two games but bounced back after being pushed.

“The beginning was tough and Federico played at a very high level,” Nadal said. “I ran a lot and I’m happy because the knee held up well.”


The New York Giants cut leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty. The salary cap-saving moves Wednesday came one day after New York let starting weakside linebacker Michael Boley go after four seasons. Bradshaw, who played on two Super Bowl championsh­ip teams with the Giants, led the team in rushing each of the past three seasons, gaining 1,015 yards this past season.

University of Georgia defensive coordinato­r Todd Grantham says he expects to remain with the Bulldogs but won’t address reports that he’s up for the same job with the New Orleans Saints. Grantham and former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinato­r Rob Ryan reportedly are in the running to replace Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired last month.


Colorado Rockies five-time All-Star first baseman Todd Helton was arrested early Wednesday morning in the Denver suburb of Thornton and charged with drunken driving and careless driving. In a statement, Helton said he’s embarrasse­d and apologized to his family, the team and the community. Helton is a career .320 hitter. The 39-year-old played 69 games last year before undergoing hip surgery in August.

The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a one-year, $3.06 million deal with right-hander Mike Leake, avoiding salary arbitratio­n with their fifth starter. ... Reliever Sergio Romo and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to a $9 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitratio­n. ... Free-agent designated hitter Luke Scott has agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. Scott batted .229 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs in 96 games with the Rays last season. ... Third baseman Albert Callaspo and the Los Angeles Angels have finalized a two-year contract worth $8,975,000. Callaspo hit .252 last year with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs. ... Reliever Kyle Farnsworth and second baseman-outfielder Kelly Johnson have completed one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. ... The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with pitcher-turned-first baseman Micah Owings for a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. ... The New York Mets have signed outfielder­s Corey Patterson and Mike Wilson to minor league contracts. Both players were last in the major leagues in 2011. ... Shortstop Alex Gonzalez and the Milwaukee Brewers have completed a $1.45 million, one-year contract.


The Seattle Storm will be without three-time league MVP Lauren Jackson for the 2013 season while she stays in Australia to recover from recent hamstring surgery. She is expected to play for the Storm in 2014.


Jarkko Nieminen of Finland beat fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 7- 6 (8) in the second round of the Open Sud de France in Montpellie­r, France, on Wednesday, reaching his second quarterfin­al of the season. ... Sixthseede­d Marcos Baghdatis rallied to beat Tobias Kamke in the opening round of Zagreb (Croatia) Indoors on Wednesday 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4.

From Our Press Services

Jerryd Bayless made 6 of 9 shots for 15 points off the bench. It was his eighth straight game scoring in double figures. Bayless seems comfortabl­e getting the ball on a dribble hand-off and pulling up for straightaw­ay jump shots. He added five assists and four rebounds.


Jeff Teague had 22 points and a season-high 13 assists, and the Hawks

It looked as if Memphis might pull away early in the second half after a Johnson free throw gave the Tigers their biggest lead with 15:23 left at 34-22. But SMU responded with an 8- 0 run to close the gap to four. It was down to two with less than nine minutes left when Johnson pulled down a pair of offensive rebounds that led to a pair of Thomas free throws. Antonio Barton followed with a pair of free throws, Johnson made a 3-pointer and Goodwin scored his lone field goal of the game on a dunk to push the lead back to nine (45-36).


“They just did what they wanted to do. We helped and over-helped and guys were open all over the court.” — Hollins, talking about the Grizzlies’ inability to defend the Hawks’ was Johnson, who went 6 of 13 from the field. His 19 points were just two off his season high. Jackson failed to score in double figures for the second straight game and just the fourth time this season. He went 2 of 9 from the field overall and 0 of 3 from 3-point range. Jackson entered as the nation’s second-most accurate 3-point shooter at 53.1 percent.



Thomas’ nine rebounds matched his season high. ... Junior guard Chris Crawford added eight points for Memphis, including 5 of 6 free-throw shooting down the stretch when SMU was attempting to get back in it by fouling. For the game, the Tigers shot 73.5 percent from the free-throw line (25 of 34) and needed just about every one of them. ... With Southern Miss falling Wednesday at UCF, it prevented Saturday’s game in Hattiesbur­g from becoming the first CUSA matchup between a pair of 8-0 teams in league play. ... Pastner needs six more victories to reach 100 for his career. ... Memphis improved to 9-2 in games played in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 2000-01. The Tigers are now 53-11 on the road against C-USA teams since 2005-06.

6: First-half field goals by Memphis, which shot just 26.8 percent in the half.

15: Turnovers for Memphis.

55: Percentage of the Tigers’ points scored by Johnson and Thomas.


Memphis heads to Hattiesbur­g, Miss., Saturday to play Southern Miss (185, 7-1), winner of 23 straight at home. Game time is 3 p.m.

 ??  ?? Hawks forward Ivan Johnson scores ahead of the Grizzlies’ Ed Davis in the first half of Wednesday’s game in Atlanta. Atlanta dealt the Griz their second straight loss, 103-92, leading by as many as 23 points. JOHN BAZEMORE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hawks forward Ivan Johnson scores ahead of the Grizzlies’ Ed Davis in the first half of Wednesday’s game in Atlanta. Atlanta dealt the Griz their second straight loss, 103-92, leading by as many as 23 points. JOHN BAZEMORE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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