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Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Analysis: Team meeting helped Panthers bond, record 1st win

Sep. 28, 2020 1:14 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After an 0-2 start, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater began to wonder of his Carolina Panthers teammates: “Do we really know each other?” After a strange COVID-19-shortened offseason Bridgewater felt it was past due for the Panthers to form a closer bond since more than...

The Miami Heat celebrate their NBA conference final playoff basketball game win over the Boston Celtics with the Eastern Final trophy Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Back to the Finals: Heat oust Celtics, move to title series

Sep. 27, 2020 11:24 PM EDT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — It was exactly one year ago Sunday when Jimmy Butler walked into the Miami Heat practice gym, took a seat on a makeshift stage and said he wanted to be part of the team’s next title run. He’ll have that chance. The Heat are going to the NBA Finals —...

Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton lies on the ground after being hit by a pitch from Cincinnati Reds' Lucas Sims during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

LEADING OFF: Ailing players heal up, Yanks back in Cleveland

Sep. 27, 2020 10:04 PM EDT

A look at what's happening around the majors Monday: HOW DOES IT FEEL? American League playoff teams get only one day off to assess injuries and make roster decisions before the first round begins Tuesday. Minnesota has a couple of ailing hitters in third baseman Josh Donaldson (right calf) and center fielder...

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler speaks during a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020 after the long-struggling franchise finished its fifth consecutive losing season under his watch. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Angels fire GM Billy Eppler after 5 straight losing seasons

Sep. 27, 2020 9:22 PM EDT

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday after the long-struggling franchise finished its fifth consecutive losing season under his watch. Eppler was under contract for one more year with the Angels in an extension he signed in July with no public...

FILE - Boston Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke watches from the dugout during a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Fort Myers, Fla. Roenicke was told Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020 he will not return as manager of the Red Sox, ending a one-year, shotgun stopgap on the final day of a pandemic-shortened season that resulted in a last-place finish in the AL East. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, file)

Roenicke fired by Red Sox after 1 pandemic-shortened season

Sep. 27, 2020 7:54 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Ron Roenicke waited five years after his previous managerial job for another opportunity. When it finally came, it wasn't much of an opportunity at all. The Red Sox told Roenicke before the final game of the season on Sunday that he will not be back in 2021, ending his tenure as a one-year,...

Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley, right, fistbumps a player on the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Duke, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Durham, N.C. (Nell Redmond/Pool Photo via AP)

Hafley, Jurkovec to make home debuts for Boston College

Sep. 24, 2020 5:29 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Alumni Stadium will be empty when new Boston College coach Jeff Hafley and quarterback Phil Jurkovec get their first look at a game day in Chestnut Hill. But if things keep going like this, they’ll be around for a lot more. BC began the Hafley era with a 26-6 victory over Duke last...

FILE - In this March 8, 2020, file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan watches during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston. The Chicago Bulls hired Donovan as coach Tuesday, Sept. 22. The 55-year-old Donovan spent the last five seasons with the Thunder. He replaces Jim Boylen, who was fired after the Bulls finished 22-43 and were one of the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

For Donovan, job with Bulls 'came out of left field'

Sep. 24, 2020 5:17 PM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls weren't on Billy Donovan's radar when he and the Oklahoma City Thunder parted ways after five successful seasons. Things sure changed in a hurry. “I wasn’t looking at anything," Donovan said. "It was five great years in Oklahoma City. I think it’s...

FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, LSU Tigers quarterback Myles Brennan (15) passes during an NCAA football game against Georgia Southern in Baton Rouge, La. LSU enters Saturday's season opener with Myles Brennan taking over at quarterback for Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow while Mississippi State has a new coach in Mike Leach whose reputation for high-flying offenses precedes him. (AP Photo/Michael Democker, File)

No. 6 LSU and Miss. St. clash in test of new faces, systems

Sep. 24, 2020 4:05 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — No. 6 LSU begins its national title defense with a game featuring numerous new faces on both sidelines. The Tigers have Myles Brennan taking over at quarterback for Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow while Mississippi State has a new coach in Mike Leach whose reputation for...

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2020, file photo, New Mississippi State NCAA college football head coach Mike Leach speaks at a news conference in Starkville, Miss., after being officially introduced as the head coach. Mississippi State's Mike Leach and Mississippi's Lane Kiffin brought big names and offensive pedigrees to the Magnolia State. But they drew huge challenges for their debuts, with the Bulldogs visiting defending national champion and No. 6 LSU and the Rebels hosting No. 5 Florida. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

No. 6 LSU opens title defense vs. Mississippi State

Sep. 24, 2020 2:23 PM EDT

Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU, Saturday at 3:30 ET (CBS). Line: LSU by 16 1/2. Series record: LSU leads 75-35-3. WHAT’S AT STAKE? Defending national champion LSU seeks to justify the top 10 ranking it received despite seeing 14 of last season’s players selected in the 2020 NFL draft, tying a record...

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2019, file photo, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) runs into the end zone to score a touchdown as Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) and safety Pat Fields (10) defend during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Manhattan, Kan. Kansas State won 48-41. Thompson is now set to make his 29th career start when the Wildcats try to only their fifth win ever over a top-five team, this week against Oklahoma. This matchup will be in Norman. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Big 12 conference openers include 1st games for Baylor, TCU

Sep. 24, 2020 10:57 AM EDT

Some things to watch Saturday in the Big 12, when conference play starts in the league's 25th season. It will be the season openers for TCU and Baylor, who weren't able to play their scheduled non-conference games because of COVID-19: GAME OF THE WEEK Kansas State (0-1) at No. 3 Oklahoma (1-0): The Sooners had a...