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Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond
Marijuana charges dropped against Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount

Life is good for LeGarrette Blount.

Just two days before the New England Patriots running back takes part in Super Bowl XLIX, prosecutors dropped a marijuana charge against him Friday following his completion of 50 hours of community service.

It's as if that disastrous stint in Pittsburgh earlier this season never even happened.

Signed by the Steelers during the off-season, Blount and then-teammate Le'Veon Bell were arrested back in August after police said they found a small amount of marijuana in Bell's car.

Blount was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession but was told by a judge last month he could make it go away by completing the community service requirement by Feb. 4.

His attorney, Casey White, notified the court Friday that Blount had done so by working with a group called Urban Achievers in Boston.

Blount was cut by the Steelers in November after leaving the field early, angry over a lack of playing time, during a "Monday Night Football" game in November.

But he erased...

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Pete Carroll has perfect name for Richard Sherman's son: Little Petey

Richard Sherman's unborn son already has a name.

Little Petey.

It might not be what the Seattle Seahawks cornerback and his girlfriend planned on putting on the birth certificate when their little one arrives sometime in the very near future, but that might not matter at this point.

Speaking to reporters Friday morning from Phoenix, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll was asked if the team had a plan in place if Sherman's girlfriend, Ashley Moss, goes into labor near game time for Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.

Carroll responded that the decision on whether to play or not is completely up to Sherman and that the team's approach is "always about family first."

Then he added: "Can't wait to see little Petey," a comment that prompted laughter throughout the room -- even from the New England Patriots coach, noted grouch Bill Belichick.

Soon after, "Petey" and "Pete Carroll" were trending on Twitter.

Sherman said Wednesday that he and Moss had already chosen a name for their son but haven't revealed it...

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Joe Montana thinks Tom Brady is behind 'Deflategate'

Tom Brady can play dumb all he wants. But he can't fool Joe Montana.

Montana said Thursday all those wondering just who is responsible for "Deflategate" should look no further than the New England Patriots quarterback.

"I don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of trying to figure out who did it," Montana said on Thursday. "It’s pretty simple. If it was done, it was done for a reason. There is only one guy that does it. Nobody else cares what the ball feels like.”

Brady, who has a chance to join Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls, has repeatedly claimed that he has no idea how 11 out of the Patriots' 12 balls became underinflated for the first half of the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

But Montana isn't buying it. The legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback isn't saying that Brady physically removed the air from the balls himself. And the two-time league MVP doesn't even think it's a big deal.

He just doesn't...

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Novak Djokovic reaches Australian Open final against Andy Murray

Novak Djokovic reached his fifth Australian Open final with a five-set win over defending champion Stan Wawrinka that fell flat compared with their previous encounters at Melbourne Park.

The top-ranked Djokovic finished over the top of Wawrinka in a seesawing 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory on Friday night to set up a final against long-time friend and rival Andy Murray, a player he has beaten twice in the championship match in Australia.

Djokovic has a 100% winning record in finals at Melbourne Park, claiming his first Grand Slam title here in 2008 and winning three consecutive years from 2011 before his run was ended in the quarterfinals last year by Wawrinka.

“As it was the case last two years, we played five sets. I was ready for the battle,” Djokovic said. “We pushed each other to the limit.”

The previous three Grand Slam meetings between Djokovic and Wawrinka had gone five sets, including two at the Australian Open that lasted a combined nine hours. The Serbian player has now...

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What we learned from the Ducks' 6-3 loss in San Jose

About those defensive improvements. . . .

The Ducks turned in a road stinker Thursday, illustrating defense is a dedicated effort never to be taken for granted.

Especially on the road. Especially against a team that has its number.

Backup goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was the victim, beaten for six goals on 25 shots. It was so bad that Bryzgalov, in a postgame discussion with reporters, lost track of the variety of ways pucks were sent scooting under, soaring over and deflected past him.

“What can you do? Just go out there and practice and wait until they give me next chance,” Bryzgalov said. “I know I can do the job. Just a matter of when I get the next chance.”

That chance will come, right?

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said he did not foresee any move to retreat from the pro-rated $2-million-plus free-agent investment in Bryzgalov during the season.

The Ducks need Bryzgalov to be steadier than that. He’s now 1-3 as a starter, with two six-goals-allowed showings and last season’s playoff...

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Ryan Palmer leads at Phoenix Open; Tiger Woods struggles

Tiger Woods helped attract a record, raucous crowd to the Phoenix Open on Thursday, the first big event in a week that concludes with the Super Bowl.

They didn't see much of a game — at least not from Woods.

In his first appearance at TPC Scottsdale in 14 years — and only his second tournament in six months — Woods couldn't hit the green with three chip shots and was near the bottom of the leaderboard until two key shots on the back nine salvaged a two-over-par 73. He made eagle on the par-five 13th and a birdie on the par-four 17th when he drove the green.

It was the first time in his career that Woods shot over par in his first round of the year. And he already was nine shots behind Ryan Palmer, who opened with a 64 to build a one-shot lead when play was suspended by darkness.

“This is my second tournament in six months, so I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight through it, turn it around, grind through it and make adjustments on the fly,” Woods said.

The...

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