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Sports news briefs — Sept. 6

Compiled from wire reports

Soccer

Ronaldo’s hat trick helps Portugal win

• Spain, Germany and Italy won Friday to move to the brink of qualification for the 2014 World Cup, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half hat trick kept Portugal on course for the tournament in Brazil. The Netherlands was slowed by a surprising 2-2 draw at Estonia, and England climbed to the top of its group with a 4-0 rout of Moldova. Spain, vying with France for the top spot in Group I, won 2-0 at Finland. The French drew 0-0 at Georgia and are three points behind in second place with two matches left. Germany beat Austria 3-0 and Italy defeated Bulgaria 1-0. Portugal won 4-2 at Northern Ireland to stay in front in Group F.

basketball

Knicks guard Smith suspended 5 games

• New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was suspended without pay for five regular-season games by the NBA for violating the anti-drug program. Smith, coming off offseason surgery on his left knee, will sit out the first five games for which he is eligible and physically able to play. Smith had patella tendon surgery and arthroscopy that will keep him from joining the Knicks when they open training camp late this month. Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season as he averaged 18.1 points and helped the Knicks make the playoffs.

• The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guard DeAndre Liggins after he was charged with seven felony counts in a domestic-violence case. The 24-year-old Liggins was arrested Saturday after his girlfriend told police he attacked her in front of their 2-year-old son.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves hired former Washington Wizards executive Milt Newton as general manager, with new president of basketball operations Flip Saunders tabbing a familiar face to help him reshape the franchise’s front office. Newton spent the previous 10 years with the Wizards.

• Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead Lithuania past Baltic neighbor Latvia 67-59 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at the European basketball championship. The Toronto Raptors center and FIBA’s young player of the year helped Lithuania dominate the boards, 48-26, to earn its second victory. In an earlier Group B game, Bosnia-Herzegovina overcame a 10-point deficit in the final quarter to beat Montenegro 76-70 for its first victory. Also, Ukraine beat Germany 88-83 to all but book a place in the second round with its third victory in three games, while Belgium beat Britain 76-71 in a later Group A game in Ljubljana.

other SPORTs

Colorado QB gets probation in fight

• University of Colorado backup quarterback Jordan Webb was sentenced in Boulder, Colo., to two years of probation for a May fight that left an Air Force Academy cadet unconscious. The 22-year-old also was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service and get alcohol treatment, The Daily Camera reported. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, last week in exchange for prosecutors dropping felony assault charges.

• Usain Bolt closed the season with another win in the 100 meters, finishing in 9.80 seconds in the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels. Michael Rodgers of the United States was second in 9.90, a season’s best for him.

• French cyclist Warren Barquil earned his first professional win in the 13th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, and Vincenzo Nibali maintained the overall lead. Barquil sprinted away from a small breakaway group over the final stretch to claim the 105-mile ride from Valls to Castelldefels on the Mediterranean coast.

• Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in the second practice for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, more than six-tenths of a second faster than teammate Mark Webber for a Red Bull 1-2.

— From wire reports



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