Tennis star plays her final pro tournament

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Tennis star plays her final pro tournament

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Not accustomed to losing the last point at the U.S. Open, Kim Clijsters picked up her bag, waved and bid adieu to the fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium -- summoning up a melancholy smile before making her way to the tunnel.Her stay at her last professional tennis tournament ended much earlier than she'd expected. A winner of the last 22 matches she had played at the U.S. Open, Clijsters finally dropped one Wednesday, and with that loss ended a singles career that included four Grand Slam titles and thousands of good memories."It's been an incredible journey," Clijsters said, "and a lot of dreams for me have come true because of tennis."She fell 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) to 18-year-old Laura Robson of Britain to finish with a 523-127 record, 41 titles and 20 weeks ranked No. 1, most recently in February 2011.Through the starts and stops of a career that spanned 15 years, Clijsters handled all the wins and losses with class, standing out as someone who could keep up with the powerful games and personalities that took over her sport -- and get people to like her while she was doing it."She was a tremendous athlete, a really good competitor," said Maria Sharapova, who won her match, 6-1, 6-0 over Lourdes Dominguez Lino. "I think the nicest thing you saw about her was her commitment to the sport, but also wanting to have a great family life, retiring from the sport to start that, and then coming back and achieving the things that she achieved."Already with a U.S. Open title to her name, Clijsters walked away in 2007, but returned after getting married, having a baby and realizing she hadn't done everything she'd set out to do in her sport.Now, she is nearing 30, her daughter, Jada, is 4, and it really is time to move on.Earlier this year, she announced her last event would be the U.S. Open, the tournament she won in 2009 -- only months into her comeback -- and then again in 2010. Certainly, she didn't expect it to end in the second round, but knowing the end was coming one way or another, she said there were no regrets."Since I retired the first time, it's been a great adventure for my team and my family," said Clijsters, who was 28-0 against players ranked outside the top 10 at the U.S. Open before Wednesday. "It's all been worth it. But I do look forward to the next part of my life coming up."Her last defeat at Flushing Meadows came against Belgian rival Justine Henin on Sept. 6, 2003, in the tournament final.Robson was 9 at the time.When it was over, one reporter asked the young British player: "Do you feel like the girl that shot Bambi?""I wouldn't go that far. I would say that was Becker beating Agassi here a few years ago," Robson said, referring to Benjamin Becker's four-set win at the 2006 U.S. Open that ended Agassi's career.Robson knows, though, how much 23rd-seeded Clijsters means to the game, not only as a superb player but as someone who by all accounts is universally liked -- by fans, tennis officials and even opponents."She's always been someone that I've looked up to since I started on the tour. She's always been incredibly nice to be around," Robson said. "I think we're all going to miss her."Clijsters was the only seeded woman who lost during the afternoon session of Day 3, when the winners also included No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, defending champion Sam Stosur, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and 2011 French Open champion Li Na."The whole tour is certainly going to miss having her around. She's been a great player and a great person," Stosur said about Clijsters. "I guess she's ready to do other things. She's definitely one of those people that you can look up to and really admire with what she's been able to achieve."In men's play, No. 3 Andy Murray, who won Olympic gold in singles and teamed with Robson for the silver in the mixed doubles, defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 in a second-round match. No. 4 David Ferrer, No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic and No. 9 John Isner all advanced in first-round matches.The headliner on this day, though, was Clijsters.Less than an hour after her loss, she was hanging out in the players' garden alongside the stadium. She shared a laugh with some friends, hugs from others, and paused to pose for a photograph alongside 14-time major champion Serena Williams, who was headed out after partnering sister Venus for a first-round victory in doubles.Clijsters is still in the doubles draw, paired with another Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens, and they play a first-round match Thursday.Clijsters said she needed to focus on that. Clearly, though, the time to reflect has begun."It's not just the tennis side of things that you think about now, it's about life," she said. "We've had a lot of things happen in these last 15 years that I've been on tour. I'm able to look back at them, and I'm very happy with the progress that I've made."

Instant Replay: Warriors ground Rockets, run win streak to six games

Instant Replay: Warriors ground Rockets, run win streak to six games

BOX SCORE

The Warriors avenged yet another loss Friday night, rolling into Houston and laying a 125-108 beating on the Rockets at Toyota Center.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Kevin Durant totaling 32 points to lead the way. Stephen Curry finished with 24 points, Klay Thompson with 16, Draymond Green with 15 and Zaza Pachulia added 10.

The Warriors (37-6) suffocated Houston’s high-powered offense, which is predicated on 3-point shooting, holding the Rockets to 20 percent (7-of-35) beyond the arc. The Warriors forced 15 turnovers, off which they scored 19 points.

Backup center Clint Capela scored 22 points to lead Houston (33-13). MVP candidate James Harden was held to 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3-point distance.

Having beaten the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the Warriors this week evened the ledger against two elite teams. They lost to Houston on Dec. 1 in Oakland, 132-127, in double overtime that accounted for one of only three losses at Oracle Arena.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

The entire starting lineup played well, but Durant proved too much for anything the Rockets threw at him.

Durant’s line: 32 points (12-of-19 shooting from the field, including 2-of-7 from deep, 6-of-7 from the line), seven assists, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-25 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After Houston trimmed their lead to five (64-59) with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 23-8 run, punctuated by a 28-foot 3-pointer by Curry to go up 87-67 with 5:58 left in the quarter.

The Warriors led by 20 entering the fourth quarter, and the Rockets got no closer than 15 over the final 12 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: C/F David West (L thumb fracture) was listed as out.

Rockets: F Ryan Anderson (flu) was listed as questionable but upgraded to available. He was in the starting lineup, but played only nine minutes before leaving for good.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Sunday in Orlando, where they face the Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for noon Pacific.

Kings' offense struggles, losing streak now at four after loss in Memphis

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USATSI

Kings' offense struggles, losing streak now at four after loss in Memphis

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Marc Gasol had 28 points and nine rebounds, Mike Conley added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies coasted to a 107-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

The Grizzlies used the 3-point shooting of Gasol and Zach Randolph to build the advantage to 19 at the end of the third quarter. At that point, Sacramento coach Dave Joerger sat his starters as Memphis eventually would build the advantage to 22 in the fourth.

Randolph finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Tony Allen also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Sacramento has lost seven of its last eight.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Garrett Temple added 14 points and Ty Lawson had 13.

Memphis finished 11 of 28 from 3-point range, with Gasol hitting 3 of 6, and Randolph going 2 of 3.

Meanwhile, the Kings struggled with 41 percent shooting overall, and 6 of 29 from outside the arc.

Gasol had 16 points in the third, including a trio of 3-pointers. Randolph's 35-footer for another 3-pointer as the quarter ended capped a 12-2 run, providing the Grizzlies with an 83-64 lead entering the fourth.

The fight was out of the Kings at that point as Joerger relied on the bench to close the game.

As has been the case in recent games, Memphis got off to a slow start, missing its first five shots and shooting 30 percent in the first quarter. That helped the Kings to a nine-point lead.

Memphis would recover in the second quarter behind a rebounding edge and points off seven Sacramento turnovers. The Grizzlies would match the Kings' nine-point lead in the half before carrying a 49-42 lead into the break. Gasol and Vince Carter had 11 apiece for Memphis, while Cousins had 16 points before intermission.

The second-quarter performance, coupled with Gasol's scoring in the third, provided Memphis with a 68-41 advantage spanning the middle two quarters.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento played its first game without starting F Rudy Gay, the team's second-leading scorer at 18.7 points a game, who sustained a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in Wednesday's loss to Houston. .Cousins received a technical foul near the end of the first half, his 14th of the season. .Cousins recorded his 21st double-double of the season.

Grizzlies: Reserve G Troy Daniels left the game in the second quarter with a right knee injury and did not return. . Memphis had 11 3-pointers. The Grizzlies have made at least 10 3-pointers in 21 games this season, including 12 of the last 16.

LONG AND WINDING ROAD:

Friday's game in Memphis was the start of an eight-game road trip for Sacramento. Next stop on the journey: Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday. This marks the second time in three years the Kings have had an eight-game trip. "You just kind of go on tour," Joerger said. "Play some games and go to the next place and play a game and 'where do I sleep tonight' and 'what hotel room number have I got.'"

UP NEXT

Kings: Continue their eight-game road trip facing the Bulls in Chicago.

Grizzlies: Memphis continues a three-game homestand with a Saturday game against the Houston Rockets — a rare back-to-back of home games. Memphis last played consecutive games at home in April, 2015.