DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Avalanche has reached an affiliation agreement with Denver’s new minor league hockey team. The Denver Cutthroats, who begin play this fall in the Central Hockey League, will serve as a resource for the Avalanche and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. Three CHL teams – the Allen Americans, Arizona Sundogs and Missouri Mavericks – had ties with NHL teams last season. The Cutthroats begin their inaugural season in October, bringing pro hockey back to the Denver Coliseum after a 13-year absence.


San Diego–The last place Colorado Rockies head south to San Diego to take on the Padres tomorrow night. The Rockies are coming off a miserable homestand that included losing 2 out of 3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates and former manager Clint Hurdle.

USA Basketball

MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams responded to lineup change with 19 points apiece, and the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team beat Britain 118-78 on Thursday in an exhibition game. LeBron James added 16 points and Russell Westbrook had 15 for the Americans, who built a 40-point lead early in the fourth quarter against their inexperienced and overmatched opponent, and every basket from there seemed to be a dunk. U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski changed up his starting lineup, inserting Kevin Durant for Anthony, and Williams for Chris Paul, and both Anthony and Williams flourished in their new roles. Williams, who couldn’t scrimmage with the Americans when they opened camp because he hadn’t signed his $98 million extension with the Nets yet, made 7-of-8 shots, going 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

UNDATED (AP) – The Indianapolis Colts have signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck. The two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up at Stanford will replace Peyton Manning at quarterback this season. Terms have not been released yet. The deal comes just a day after another rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III, signed a four-year deal with the Washington Redskins.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Flyers have signed one of the NHL’s top defenseman to a massive offer sheet. A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Nashville’s Shea Weber has signed a 14-year offer deal worth $110 million. The Predators have said they would match any offer to Weber, but GM David Poile says the team will need to evaluate all the ramifications before making a final decision. Nashville has seven days to decide.

ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta is back in the win column. The Braves had only three hits, but Freddie Freeman and David Ross put two of them over the fence, powering Atlanta to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Tim Hudson scattered eight hits over 7 1-3 innings to end the NL West-leading Giants’ five-game winning streak. Atlanta moves within 3 1/2 games of first in the National League East, with the Washington Nationals dropping a 9-5 decision to the New York Mets this afternoon.

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) – Tiger Woods described the conditions during today’s opening round of the British Open as “pretty benign,” and that’s led to a lot of low scores. He’s among eight golfers who finished the round three strokes behind Adam Scott. Scott tied a course record by shooting a 6-under 64 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Paul Lawrie, Zach Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts each shot 65, while Brandt Snedeker is two shots back.

BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France (AP) – With just three more stages to go, Britain’s Bradley Wiggins says he’s beginning to sense victory in this year’s Tour de France. He mastered his last big test in the mountains today, finishing just 19 seconds begin stage winner Alejandro Valverde. Overall, Wiggins holds a 2-minute, 5-second lead as he tries to become the first Briton to win cycling’s biggest race.