BASKETBALL

Red Claws fall behind early, lose to Windy City

Aaron Thomas scored nine of his 20 points during the opening quarter Monday night while leading the Windy City Bulls (18-21) to a 15-point lead over the Maine Red Claws (24-17).

The Bulls stretched the lead to 27 by the half and coasted to a 103-89 NBA D-League victory in Chicago.

Jarell Eddie added 15 points for Windy City, Alec Brown 13, Wesley Saunders 12 and Will Bynum 10.

Demetrius Jackson and Marcus Georges-Hunt led the Red Claws with 17 and 16 points, and Jalen Jones and Cameron Ayers scored 11 each.

SLED DOG RACING

IDITAROD: Mushers pumped their fists and high-fived fans as they set out one-by-one from Anchorage on the world’s most famous sled dog race, a nearly 1,000-mile trek through the grueling Alaska wilderness.

The grandson of a co-founder of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was the first competitor on the trail in Fairbanks, in the heart of the state.

Ryan Redington, 33, of Wasilla led the other 70 mushers out of the chute nearly a half-century after his grandfather, Joe Redington Sr., helped stage the first race in 1973.

The contest has a staggered start so fans, including 2,600 schoolchildren, can cheer on the competitors, who leave every two minutes.

CAN-AM: A Quebec musher picked up his eighth victory in Maine’s biggest sled dog race, finishing the truncated 250-mile Irving Woodlands Can-Am Crown 28 minutes ahead of his closest competitor.

Martin Massicotte, of St. Tite, Quebec, completed the course late Sunday at Fort Kent, finishing the race in 20 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds. He was followed by two other Quebec mushers, Andre Longchamps, of Pont Rouge, and Denis Tremblay, of Saint-Michel-Des Saints.

The first U.S. finisher was Mike Hoff, of Silver Bay, Minnesota, who took fourth, followed by Ashley Patterson of Shirley, Maine.

The 25th edition of the race was shortened to 220 miles because part of the course had to be rerouted, race spokesman Beurmond Banville said.

TENNIS

BRAZIL OPEN: Pablo Cuevas won his third straight Brazil Open – but it took him two days to do it at Sao Paulo.

In the rain-delayed clay-court event, Cuevas wrapped up the title with a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

SOCCER

U.S: Megan Rapinoe said she will respect a new U.S. Soccer Federation policy that says national team players “shall stand respectfully” during national anthems.

The policy came about after Rapinoe knelt during the anthem at a pair of national team matches last year.

HOCKEY

U.S. WOMEN: Former NHL goalie Robb Stauber will coach the U.S. women’s hockey team at the world championships, which start March 31 in Plymouth, Michigan.

The U.S. is the three-time defending world champion and has played Canada for the gold medal in all 17 of the previous events. But the Americans have not won a gold medal in the Winter Games since 1998, the first year the sport was in the Olympics

CYCLING

PARIS-NICE: Bahrain-Merida rider Sonny Colbrelli sprinted to victory in the second stage at Amilly, France.

– From staff and news services