Sports Briefs 1-21-14

HOWARD ULMAN AP Sports Writer Published:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The collision that knocked Aqib Talib out of the AFC championship game reverberated Monday when Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wes Welker tried to "take out" the star cornerback.

Belichick took the shot at his former wide receiver after viewing video of the second-quarter play in the Denver Broncos' 26-16 win on Sunday. Coming from opposite sides, the players ran into each other. No penalty was called.

It "was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib, no attempt to get open," Belichick said during his opening statement at his season-ending news conference.

"I'll let the league handle the discipline on that play. It's not for me to decide, but it's one of the worst plays I've seen. That's all I'm going to say about that."

• Football

Ward added to roster: Browns safety T.J. Ward has been added to the Pro Bowl roster, giving Cleveland six players at this year's game.

Ward joins tight end Jordan Cameron, wide receiver Josh Gordon, cornerback Joe Haden, center Alex Mack and tackle Joe Thomas in Honolulu for Sunday's game.

Ratings up: The Broncos' 26-16 win over New England for the AFC championship averaged 51.3 million viewers Sunday on CBS. That's up 22 percent from the early game a year ago between San Francisco and Atlanta.

The Seahawks' 23-17 victory over the 49ers in the NFC averaged 55.9 viewers on Fox, up 17 percent from Ravens-Patriots in the late window in 2013.

• Basketball

Dallas holds off Cavs: Monta Ellis scored 22 points, Shawn Marion added 18 and Dallas held off Cleveland's late rally for a 102-97 win.

Cleveland roared back from a 24-point deficit in the first half and trailed by three with 2.8 seconds remaining, but the Cavaliers were called for a five-second violation when Jarrett Jack failed to get the ball inbounds. Ellis put the game away with two free throws with 1.1 seconds left. Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 26 points. Luol Deng scored 20 points in his first home game with the Cavaliers while Anderson Varejao had 18 points with 21 rebounds.

Clippers beat Pistons: DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 21 rebounds, and Los Angeles breezed past Detroit, 112-103. Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points for Detroit and Josh Smith added 24, but the Pistons got almost nothing from their starting backcourt. Brandon Jennings went scoreless and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored only six points.

MSU moves up: Arizona and Syracuse are the top two teams in The Associated Press Top 25 for a seventh straight week.

Michigan State moved up one place to third while Villanova jumped two spots to fourth. Wichita State, at 19-0 the only other unbeaten in Division I, stayed fifth and was followed by Florida, San Diego State, Kansas, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Kansas jumped from 15th to No. 8. Michigan, at No. 21, and Kansas State, at 22nd, moved into the poll this week, replacing Creighton, Colorado and UCLA.

UConn stays on top: Connecticut stays No. 1 in The Associated Press poll after two more double-digit victories over ranked opponents.

Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford and Louisville followed the unbeaten Huskies, with the first five teams unchanged in Monday's vote. Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Kentucky and South Carolina round out the top 10.

• Elsewhere

Bouchard advances: Eugenie Bouchard reached the semifinals in her first trip to the Australian Open, beating 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 on Tuesday to set up a showdown with Li Na.

Tomas Berdych reached his first Australian Open semifinal -- completing a full set of major semifinals -- when he beat No. 3-seeded David Ferrer 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Red Wings fall: Magnus Paarjarvi, Barret Jackman, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Bouwmeester scored to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.

Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit.

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