SPORTS ITEMS

Parkey's missed field goal ruled a block

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PHILADELPHIA - Cody Parkey got an excuse he probably won't use.

Parkey's missed 43-yard field goal in the final seconds that gave the Philadelphia Eagles a 16-15 upset win over the Chicago Bears in Sunday's wild-card playoff game was officially ruled a block by the NFL.

Video showed Philadelphia's Treyvon Hester tipped the ball, which bounced off the upright and hit the crossbar.

Parkey was booed by Bears fans as he ran off the field after kneeling down with teammates and opponents for a postgame prayer. He accepted responsibility for the loss afterward.

"There's really no answer to it," Parkey said. "I thought I hit a good ball. Unfortunately, I didn't make it. I feel terrible, 100 percent take that loss on me. It is what it is. Sun is going to shine tomorrow. Life is going to go on. Unfortunately, it's going to sting for a while."

Eagles coach Doug Pederson on Monday praised Hester, who began the season on the practice squad, for having "a big hand in the game" and the team posted on Twitter it was the first blocked field goal in the franchise's postseason history.

Timberwolves fire Thibodeau

MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves had just posted their fourth-largest margin of victory of the season, and Tom Thibodeau looked and sounded satisfied Sunday as the demanding and intense coach used his postgame news conference to praise the attitude and energy with which his team had just played.

Minutes later, Thibodeau was fired.

Halfway into his third season with Minnesota that began in turmoil surrounding the eventual trade of All-Star Jimmy Butler, Thibodeau's final game was a 108-86 victory over the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers .

Assistant coach Ryan Saunders, who is 32, was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Scott Layden will stay as the general manager, assuming oversight of the roster. Thibodeau was also the president of basketball operations, with full authority over personnel decisions.

"We would like to thank Tom for his efforts and wish him all the best," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement released by the team. "These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt them necessary to move our organization forward."

Kansas loses Azubuike for season

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Fifth-ranked Kansas will be without center Udoka Azubuike for the remainder of the season after an MRI exam Sunday revealed the 7-footer tore ligaments in his right hand during practice.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self said in a statement that X-rays taken after Friday's practice did not show the severity of the injury. The MRI exam revealed the tendon tear, which is similar to a torn tendon Azubuike had in his opposite hand in December 2016 that sidelined him the remainder of his freshman season.

The injury is a significant blow to the Jayhawks' interior depth, not to mention their national title aspirations. The nation's preseason No. 1 already has been playing without sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa, whose eligibility remains in question after his name surfaced in the FBI probe into apparel company adidas.

Indians acquire Plawecki from Mets

CLEVELAND - The Indians have replenished their bare catching cupboard.

After trading top prospect Francisco Mejia and All-Star catcher Yan Gomes last year, the Indians had a void behind the plate and filled it Sunday by acquiring catcher Kevin Plawecki in a trade with the New York Mets.

The three-time defending AL champions sent right-hander Walker Lockett and infielder Sam Haggerty to New York for Plawecki, who played in 78 games - 64 starts - for the Mets last season. Plawecki batted .201 with seven homers and a career-high 30 RBIs.

The Indians were in the market for a catcher after dealing Gomes to the Washington Nationals in December.

Astros trade Davis to Mets for prospects

HOUSTON - The Houston Astros have traded infielder J.D. Davis and a prospect to the New York Mets for three minor leaguers.

The teams announced the trade Sunday. The 25-year-old Davis played 42 games for the Astros last season, when he hit .175 with a homer and five RBIs. In Triple-A Fresno, he hit .342 with 17 homers and 81 RBIs in 85 games.

The Astros received outfielder Ross Adolph, catcher Scott Manea and infielder Luis Santana in the deal that also sent infielder Cody Bohanek to New York. Adolph hit .276 with nine doubles, 12 triples, seven homers, 14 steals and 35 RBIs in 61 games with the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones.

Manea batted .261 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs in 100 games for Class A Columbia last season. The 19-year-old Santana led the rookie-level Kingsport Mets with a .348 average and hit 13 doubles, four homers and 35 RBIs in 53 games.

The 22-year-old Bohanek hit .214 in 120 games at three minor league levels last season.