NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reached the 30,000-point plateau by scoring 29 in a 103-87 win at New Orleans. Bryant is the fifth player in NBA history to reach the milestone, and the youngest at age 34. Wilt Chamberlain was 35 when he hit the mark, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone were each 36 and Michael Jordan was 38.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah State basketball player who collapsed at practice and had to be revived after he stopped breathing remains in critical condition. However, the older brother of Danny Berger said in a statement that the junior forward is waking up and responding the way “doctors want him to.” A hospital spokesman said doctors still don’t know what caused Berger to collapse on the court during a practice Tuesday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Los Angeles Angels have grabbed pitchers Joe Blanton and Sean Burnett from the free-agent market. The Angels worked out a two-year, $15 million contract with Blanton, who was 10-13 with a 4.71 ERA last season. Burnett was 1-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 70 games for Washington this year before accepting the Angels’ two-year package, pending a physical.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A person familiar with the deal says the Chicago White Sox have reached agreement on a three-year, $12 million deal with infielder Jeff Keppinger. He hit .325 with nine homers and 40 RBIs for Tampa Bay last season. And a person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Arizona Diamondbacks and infielder Eric Chavez have agreed to terms on a $3 million, one-year contract.
UNDATED (AP) – Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gur) appears on track to return this weekend against San Diego after missing three games with a sprained shoulder and dislocated ribs. Coach Mike Tomlin was encouraged by Roethlisberger’s performance as he worked out on a limited basis on Wednesday. Tomlin called it a “positive” day for his franchise quarterback but isn’t quite ready to say Roethlisberger is ready to start against the reeling Chargers.