BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:

- OAKLAND, Calif. - The Golden State Warriors play the Oklahoma City Thunder and look to tie the league record by winning their 44th straight regular-season home game. Game starts 10:30 p.m.

- NEW YORK - Deflategate returns from the sidelines. A federal appeals panel hears the NFL's appeal of a lower court ruling nullifying the four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

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- HOUSTON - Arian Foster is released by the Houston Texans after a season in which the star running back missed 12 games because of groin and Achilles tendon injuries.

- CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charles Johnson's nine-year run with the Panthers is over. By releasing the 29-year-old defensive end, Carolina will save $11 million under the salary cap.

- DORAL, Fla. - Defending champion Dustin Johnson, top-ranked Jordan Spieth and most of the other elite players begin play in the Cadillac Championship - the first World Golf Championship tournament of 2016.

- JUPITER, Fla. - New Marlins manager Don Mattingly guides his team against major league competition for the first time when Miami plays St. Louis in spring training. Game starts 1 p.m.

- TUCSON, Ariz. - In a Pac-12 game between ranked teams, No. 25 California faces No. 18 Arizona. Seeding in the upper half of the tournament is at stake. Game starts 9 p.m.

- PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers basketball hits a new low. The Scarlet Knights have lost 17 straight games, the longest skid in a program dating to 1906.

- LONDON - The head of the Rio Olympics tells the AP that the bid for the games was clean. French prosecutors have widened their investigation into track and field corruption to include Olympic bidding.

- JOHANNESBURG - Oscar Pistorius loses his appeal of his murder conviction in the 2013 shooting of his girlfriend. The ruling by South Africa's highest court clears the way for his April 18 sentencing.

- MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. - Major League Soccer begins a new season this weekend, with some European stars looking toward a better year after an uneven adjustment in 2015.

- Brandi Chastain, whose winning penalty kick gave the U.S. the 1999 Women's World Cup title, will donate her brain for concussion research. Few female athletes have made such donations.

- NEW YORK - The next stop on the road to the Kentucky Derby is New York. Valuable qualifying points are on the line in the Gotham at Aqueduct on Saturday.

- LAS VEGAS - Conor McGregor fights late replacement Nate Diaz on Saturday and has designs on multiple UFC championship belts.

- ORLANDO, Fla. - Missy Franklin, the Olympic swim champion with the perpetual smile, was frustrated during the past year by subpar performances.