Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NBA roundup: Paul, Rockets halt losing skid
Chris Paul scored a season-high 32 points, and the Houston Rockets opened a five-game road trip by rallying from a 14-point deficit to record a 119-111 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. Paul helped the Rockets snap a four-game skid and avoid their first 1-6 start since 2010-11 by shooting 13-for-27 from the field. Paul also made five 3-pointers, including two that beat the buzzer in the second and third quarters. Carmelo Anthony drained six threes and scored 28 points in 31 minutes off the bench.
Tennis-Under the weather Djokovic staves off Cilic challenge
Novak Djokovic overcame nagging flu and a formidable examination from Marin Cilic, having to come from a set down to forge into the Paris Masters semi-finals with racket-smashing intensity and extend his winning streak to 21 matches on Friday. Djokovic, who will return to world number one next week, faces Roger Federer in Saturday's last four in Bercy after the great Swiss defeated Kei Nishikori comfortably 6-4 6-4 to move a step nearer to winning his 100th career title.
Lightning F Gourde signs five-year, $31 million extension
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde signed a six-year, $31 million extensions with the team on Friday, the club announced. Gourde is signed through the 2024-25 season.
Pitt runs past No. 25 Virginia behind Hall's haul
Senior running back Darrin Hall rushed for 229 yards and three touchdowns to lead visiting Pittsburgh to a 23-13 victory over No. 25 Virginia in ACC play on Friday night at Charlottesville, Va. Hall, who had 19 carries, scored on runs of 41, 2 and 75 yards while topping the 200-yard mark for the second time in his career. The Panthers (5-4, 4-1 ACC) totalled 256 yards on the ground and recorded five sacks while moving into first place in the ACC Coastal Division.
NFL notebook: Jackson calls Browns' firing prematurely
Hue Jackson won three times in 40 games as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, but he claims he was fired prematurely Monday when general manager John Dorsey and owner Jimmy Haslam announced that they were moving on from him and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. "The fact that we played four overtime games (this season) says that we were a better football team. In my mind, if we fix the offence -- it's a totally different story," Jackson said in an interview with Cleveland.com on Friday. "So I do believe the move (to fire Jackson) was premature. But I think a part of the problem again went back to the first two years (when the Browns went a combined 1-31)."
NFL injury notebook: Good news for Chiefs, Rams at WR
After a week of some worry, it appears two of the NFL's most explosive offences will have their full complement of weapons ready come Sunday. Wide receiver/return specialist Tyreek Hill was a full participant at Kansas City practice on Friday and the team plans for him to start at Cleveland.
Gymnastics: Biles sets record for world championship gold medals
Olympic champion Simone Biles became the all-time leading world gymnastics championship gold medal winner when the American claimed her third gold at the Doha championships on Friday. Biles's victory in the individual vault gave her 13 career gold medals, surpassing the record of Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo.
NHL roundup: Pouliot leads Canucks past Avs in OT thriller
Derrick Pouliot's goal with 22 seconds left in overtime gave the host Vancouver Canucks a wild 7-6 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night. The winning goal was set up by 19-year-old rookie Elias Pettersson, who led the Canucks with two goals and three assists. Pettersson's second goal came in the final minute of regulation and forced overtime. The two-goal effort was his second of the week and third in nine career NHL contests.
NBA notebook: Lakers' Walton reportedly on the hot seat
Luke Walton is already coaching for his job. Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson informed Walton of this reality in a meeting Tuesday, ESPN reported. Walton said Friday that closed-door discussions are not for public consumption, but he denied anything has changed this week.
MLB notebook: Kershaw signs a three-year deal with Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers and pitcher Clayton Kershaw agreed Friday to terms on a three-year contract extension, meaning Kershaw will not become a free agent. The deal with the left-hander, a seven-time All-Star and a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, reportedly doesn't have an opt-out clause and will make $93 million plus incentives over the life of the deal, according to multiple reports. The details first were reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.
(With inputs from agencies.)