CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach David Blatt and replaced him with top assistant Tyronn Lue.

General Manager David Griffin said the Cavs had been taking steps back and were lacking connection.

Griffin said the team isn't in the business of being ''pretty good.''

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Blatt led Cleveland to the NBA Finals last year. He was fired one day after expressing frustration with criticism of a team that's 30-11 and the top team in the Eastern Conference.

Lue is scheduled to make his debut Saturday night when the Cavs host the Chicago Bulls.

Griffin says Lue is not an interim coach and has the ''pulse of our team.''

Blatt was 83-40 with the Cavs.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Coach Steve Kerr returned to the Golden State Warriors' bench after a leave of absence dating to the first week of training camp in October as he recovered from complications following two back surgeries.

Golden State delivered with a 122-110 win against the Pacers behind Stephen Curry's triple-double.

The defending champion Warriors announced in the morning that Kerr would coach Golden State against Indiana at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors won their 38th straight regular-season home game to tie the 1985-86 Celtics for third place on the all-time list for such unbeaten streaks.

Kerr said in mid-December that he was optimistic he would be back in the coming weeks. Kerr had been dealing with headaches and other issues after the operations - the first procedure caused him to leak spinal fluid - that followed Golden State's first championship in 40 years. He watched the Warriors' record 24-0 start behind the scenes.

NEW YORK (AP) - With Steve Kerr back on the Golden State bench, the NBA is trying to determine who will coach the Western Conference All-Stars.

Kerr returned from back surgery, but is ineligible to coach in the All-Star Game after doing so last year. The league is deciding if Warriors assistant Luke Walton would be eligible after leading Golden State to a 39-4 record.

Spokesman Tim Frank says: ''We are reviewing our rules around the West coach situation to determine what is appropriate.''

Coaches are not allowed to coach consecutive years, a rule that dates to Pat Riley's dominance of the West when he coached the Lakers in the 1980s. Had Kerr been coaching all season, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would have already secured the West spot.

The coaches for the Feb. 14 game in Toronto are determined by the teams with the best winning percentage in each conference through Jan. 31. Tyronn Lue, who replaced the fired David Blatt in Cleveland, would guide the East if the Cavs remain on top.


NEW YORK (AP) - A person familiar with the deal said free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and the New York Mets agreed to a three-year deal for $75 million.

The 30-year-old Cespedes can opt out of the contract after just one season and make it worth $27.5 million. Cespedes also got a full no-trade clause.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was still pending a physical. Other media outlets reported the terms earlier.

Cespedes was traded from Detroit to New York last July 31 and became an instant hit in his new home. He launched 17 home runs in 57 games, powering the Mets to their first World Series appearance since 2000. Kansas City won in five games.

The Washington Nationals were also said to be interested in Cespedes, especially after they finished a disappointing second to the Mets in the NL East. The Nats previously signed free agent second baseman Daniel Murphy, who starred for the Mets in last year's playoffs.


A blizzard moving into the Eastern United States disrupted the sports schedule, complicating team travel and blanketing the field where Sunday's NFC championship game will be played with a wintry mix.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, crews scrambled to keep up with the storm, clearing snow and sleet from the tarp covering the Bank of America Stadium field. The Carolina Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals there in the NFC championship game on Sunday night.

Fans from afar who planned to make the trip were forced to scramble, too. Delta was among a handful of airlines that canceled all flights to and from Charlotte because of the storm. The forecast for the game was calling for clear skies, with temperatures expected to be in the mid-20s.

Two NBA games and one in the NHL were postponed, as were several college basketball games and NASCAR's Hall of Fame induction ceremony.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Prince Ali of Jordan is confident he can win the FIFA presidential election and turn around what he says is a critical situation facing football's governing body.

Prince Ali, who is one of five candidates for the presidency vacated by Sepp Blatter, told reporters in New Zealand he believes he will win on Feb. 26 in Zurich and that he is the one person who can turn the organization around.

The 40-year-old Jordanian lost to Blatter by 133 votes to 73 in a presidential election in May, before Blatter was banned for eight years.

Prince Ali said ''I am fully confident I will win this if things are conducted properly. Across the world the weight has been lifted off of people's shoulders. People want to be proud of being part of this organization again and, without going into specifics on numbers, I'm building on what (votes) had last time around.''

Football New Zealand supported his candidacy in May and his visit on Friday was part of a worldwide tour to solicit support.