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Sports briefs

TENNISSerena wins No. 700 in Miami

Seven-time champion Serena Williams overcame some shaky play yesterday for her 700th career victory, beating Sabine Lisicki, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3. to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open. Williams won despite an unreliable serve, a poor second set and 51 unforced errors. The victory was her 16th in a row in Key Biscayne, where she's the two-time defending champion. She will play Simona Halep in a semifinal. Halep defeated Sloane Stephens, 6-1, 7-5. Two-time champion Andy Murray advanced to the men's semifinals by rallying past unseeded Dominic Thiem, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.


Woman recants abuse claims

The woman who said former Alabama football player Jonathan Taylor assaulted her has recanted the allegations and was arrested. The 24-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was charged with False Reporting to Law Enforcement, Tuscaloosa police said yesterday in a release. Taylor was arrested on Saturday and coach Nick Saban dismissed the defensive lineman the following day. In interviews on Tuesday the woman said she had lied about the incident.

NFL to see photos in Hardy case

Prosecutors in North Carolina have agreed to let the NFL see photographs that were presented in Greg Hardy's domestic violence trial as the league considers whether to suspend the defensive end who signed with Dallas last month. A court order grants limited access to the NFL, the players association and attorneys for Hardy. The NFL sued for access to them.


Coaches back NCAA on new law

The four coaches in the NCAA Final Four, which begins Saturday in Indianapolis, released a joint statement supporting the NCAA in its stance on Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The statement released through the National Association of Basketball Coaches condemns every form of discrimination. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan, Kentucky's John Calipari, Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski discussed concerns about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act on a conference call yesterday morning, according to Yahoo Sports.

New NIT deal for Garden

The NIT and Madison Square Garden have agreed to a three-year contract extension to keep the tournament at the arena through 2018. The NIT has been played at the Garden since its inception in 1938. The deal announced yesterday ensures that the 80th anniversary of the event will take place at the arena. Miami faces Stanford tonight at the Garden for the NIT championship.


Kings to sign first Indian player

Sim Bhullar and the Sacramento Kings are about to make NBA history. The Kings are signing Bhullar to a 10-day contract that will make him the league's first player of Indian descent, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The Kings are not expected to announce Bhullar's deal until today. The 7-5, 360-pound Bhullar is being called up from their D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.

Harden scores 51 in Rockets win

James Harden strengthened his case for the MVP award with a career-high 51 points, and the host Houston Rockets squandered a huge early lead but held on for a 115-111 win over the Sacramento Kings last night. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings getting his second career triple-double with 24 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists. He also had six blocks . . . Monta Ellis scored 26 points, and Dallas withstood a triple-double from Russell Westbrook to beat host Oklahoma City, 135-131. Westbrook finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. It was his 10th triple-double of the season. Anthony Morrow scored 32 points and Enes Kanter added 30 points and 16 rebounds for the Thunder. According to STATS, it was the first time a team had three players score at least 30 points in a game since Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden did it for Oklahoma City on March 7, 2012. -- AP


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