Thursday Sports Wrap – Miguel Cabrera Wins AL MVP, Mike Trout Still a Better Baseball Player

MVP awards handed out

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967 has been named American League MVP while National League honors go to the 2010 NL rookie of the year.

Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera hit .333 with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs while helping the Tigers to the AL title. The veteran third baseman was listed first on 22 of 28 ballots, beating out rookie of the year Mike Trout of the L.A. Angels.

San Francisco’s Buster Posey picked up 27 of 32 first-place votes after batting an NL-best .336. His 24 home runs and 103 RBIs were also career highs. Posey missed most of the 2011 season with a fractured bone in his lower left leg and three torn ankle ligaments suffered in a home-plate collision. He is the first catcher in four decades to win the NL award.

Last year’s winner, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, is this year’s runner-up.

Knicks are 6-0…Heat win in Denver for first time since ’02

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Knicks remain the only unbeaten team in the young NBA season, off to a fast start with six wins in a row. They went on the road Thursday night and beat the high-riding San Antonio Spurs 104-100 behind Raymond Felton’s 25 points.

J.R. Smith added 17 points for the Knicks. Jason Kidd had 14 and Tyson Chandler 13 for the Knicks, who closed on a 22-11 run.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 19 points and 12 assists. The Spurs are 7-2.

New York trailed by 12 points with 7 minutes left in the game, but then closed on a 22-11 run.

Coach Mike Woodson said, “It shows me that this team is for real.”

In other NBA action:

— The Miami Heat opened a 19-point lead and then held off a furious Denver Nuggets rally to win 98-93 for the Heat’s first win in the Mile High City in 10 years. LeBron James led the way with 27 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. Andre Miller had 19 off the bench for the Nuggets.

— Brooklyn beat the Boston Celtics 102-97. Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each scored 24. Williams also dished out eight assists. Joe Johnson made the tiebreaking basket with 3:03 left and finished with 19 before a sold-out crowd of 17,732 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

D’Antoni in charge…T-wolves adding veteran to banged-up roster

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — The Mike D’Antoni era in Los Angeles has begun on crutches.

The new L.A. Lakers coach moved smoothly on crutches while his Lakers went through drills orchestrated by his assistant coach and brother, Dan.

Although D’Antoni’s surgically replaced knee is slowing him down a bit, he couldn’t wait any longer to get the Lakers rolling.

D’Antoni says he’s “very happy to be here — excited.” He echoed Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, saying the Lakers are built to win now, adding: “This is not a five-year project. We have a window, and we’re going to try and get through it.”

D’Antoni formally took over the Lakers four days after the slow-starting club hired him to replace Mike Brown. Brown was fired after a 1-4 start. The Lakers are now 3-5 after going 2-1 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff.

D’Antoni is expected to make his sideline debut with the Lakers Sunday night against Houston.

In other NBA news:

— The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with 32-year-old free agent Josh Howard, pending a physical. The announcement came one day after the Wolves lost at home to Charlotte with six of their top seven players out.

Bills finally ready for prime time

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have won their first prime time home game since the opener of the 2000 season by holding off the Miami Dolphins 19-14. Both AFC East teams are 4-6.

Leodis McKelvin scored on a 79-yard punt return and the Bills oft-maligned defense finally flexed its muscles. Safety Jairus Byrd recovered a fumble and made a diving interception. Bryan Scott sealed the win with an interception to end the Dolphins’ final drive. Mario Williams had one of three sacks for a Buffalo defense that limited the Ryan Tannehill-led Dolphins to 184 yards.

That was enough to make up for a Buffalo offense that settled for Rian Lindell’s four field goals on four drives into the red zone. That ends the Bills’ three-game losing streak.

Harbaugh in hospital…Browns could be without Haden

UNDATED (AP) — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to the hospital for a “minor procedure” after doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat.

The 49ers anticipate Harbaugh will be back at the team’s facility today, though it’s unclear in what capacity.

Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely oversaw team meetings and the afternoon practice on Thursday.

In other NFL news:

— Cleveland may be missing its top cornerback Joe Haden Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. He missed practice because of an oblique strain.

— Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler missed practice and his playing status remains in question because of a concussion. If he can’t go against San Francisco, backup Jason Campbell likely gets the start.

— New York Jets owner Woody Johnson is disappointed by his team’s performance, saying he “didn’t sign up for a 3-6 season,” and insists he didn’t bring in quarterback Tim Tebow just to sell tickets. Johnson would not comment on the immediate futures of coach Rex Ryan or general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

— The Washington Redskins say coach Mike Shanahan had money and a passport stolen from the locker room during the road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last month.