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Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) looks on as Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) grabs his wrist after falling to the floor during play in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Lakers try to regain control vs confident Nuggets in Game 4

Sep. 23, 2020 5:46 PM EDT

The Denver Nuggets don't sound like an underdog. Jamal Murray believes they should be leading the Western Conference finals. They aren't, though they say there is still a long way to go in the series. If the Los Angeles Lakers don't start playing better, the Nuggets might be right. Outplayed for much of the last...

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) celebrates a basket against the Boston Celtics late in the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference final, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Heat get chance Friday to oust Celtics, reach NBA Finals

Sep. 24, 2020 5:33 PM EDT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The volume of text messages that Miami guard Tyler Herro got after Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals was overwhelming. He didn’t have time to reply to most, including close friends who reached out to celebrate the best game of his life. Among those who did get...

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2020, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the field before the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge against New England Patriots owner Kraft on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, saying they couldn't go forward after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for massage parlor sex. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Patriots owner Kraft cleared of massage parlor sex charge

Sep. 24, 2020 5:39 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thursday after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for massage parlor sex. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said during an online...

Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrate a win over the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Tampa Bay momentum over Dallas into back-to-back Cup games

Sep. 24, 2020 6:24 PM EDT

The Dallas Stars have to fix some things in a hurry, or this Stanley Cup Final could be over quickly. After consecutive games with three-goal periods, Tampa Bay has all of the momentum and a 2-1 series lead. This most unusual Stanley Cup is now headed into the first back-to-back games in a final since 2009 and...

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, file photo, The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. A year after winning the World Series thanks to a historic turnaround, the Nationals woke up Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, with a 23-33 record and no mathematical chance of returning to the playoffs. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Champs done: Time to look toward 2021 for eliminated Nats

Sep. 24, 2020 12:23 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Yan Gomes was asked about the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals essentially playing out the string over the last four games of this season, the catcher was put off by the premise. “I don’t think we’re technically out of it yet,” Gomes said. ...

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielders, from left, Jared Oliva, Bryan Reynolds and Gregory Polanco (25) celebrate the final out of a 7-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Kuhl goes 7 sharp innings, Pirates beat slumping Cubs 7-0

Sep. 24, 2020 5:15 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chad Kuhl pitched seven sharp innings and Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds each homered in three-hit games in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7-0 victory over the slumping Chicago Cubs on Thursday. Kuhl (2-3) retired the first nine batters and had a no-hitter until Anthony Rizzo doubled to...

Members of the Reds' grounds crew acknowledge Cincinnati Reds' Trevor Bauer as he stands in the dugout in the ninth inning during a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. The Reds won 6-1. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

MLB teams find creative ways to stay energized without fans

Sep. 24, 2020 1:42 PM EDT

The absence of fans didn't stop Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto from receiving an ovation after hitting a homer to put his team ahead for good. All that applause Wednesday came from the Reds grounds crew. When they haven’t been keeping Great America Ball Park in tip-top shape, the groundskeepers...

Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon bunts during the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Alex Gordon retiring after playing entire career with Royals

Sep. 24, 2020 3:59 PM EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, will retire after the season. He said during a Zoom news conference Thursday that the pandemic reinforced his feelings that he wants to spend more time...

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...

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, right, reacts before an on-line meeting focused on how to pull off the delayed Tokyo Games, in Tokyo, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. IOC President Thomas Bach delivered a pep talk to Japanese government officials and local organizers on Thursday that included suggestions that “hundreds of millions”of doses COVID-19 vaccines would be available before the postponed Olympic are to open on July 23, 2021. (Du Xiaoyi/Pool Photo via AP)

Bach offers pep session for Tokyo Games and talks up vaccine

Sep. 24, 2020 7:03 AM EDT

TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach delivered a pep talk to Japanese government officials and local organizers on Thursday that included suggestions that “hundreds of millions” of doses COVID-19 vaccines would be available before the postponed Olympics open in July. Bach was speaking from...

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FILE - In this on March 11, 2012 file photo, Dallas Seavey pulls in to the checkpoint in Unalakleet, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The world's most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021, and officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts. It's not the mushers that worry Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach; they're used to social distancing along the 1,000 mile trail. The headaches start with what to do with hundreds of volunteers needed to run the race, some scattered in villages along the trail between Anchorage and Nome, to protect them and the village populations. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)

Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

Sep. 24, 2020 6:26 PM EDT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021, and amid the ongoing pandemic, officials now are preparing for every possible contingency for what the race and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts. It’s not the mushers who worry...

Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrate a win over the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Tampa Bay momentum over Dallas into back-to-back Cup games

Sep. 24, 2020 6:24 PM EDT

The Dallas Stars have to fix some things in a hurry, or this Stanley Cup Final could be over quickly. After consecutive games with three-goal periods, Tampa Bay has all of the momentum and a 2-1 series lead. This most unusual Stanley Cup is now headed into the first back-to-back games in a final since 2009 and...

FILE- In this July 18, 2020, file photo, Oliver Askew stands in the pit area during practice for an IndyCar Series auto race, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The IndyCar rookie will not compete in next week's doubleheader at Indianapolis because of concussion-like symptoms that date to his crash in the Indianapolis 500 last month.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

IndyCar: Askew sidelined with concussion symptoms, Helio in

Sep. 24, 2020 6:22 PM EDT

Oliver Askew knew something was medically wrong in the days after “the hardest hit I've ever had” in the Indianapolis 500. He'd been evaluated and cleared to race after the crash, but he just didn't feel right. The IndyCar rookie told The Associated Press on Thursday he has been experiencing...

Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton (11) collides with FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

FC Dallas improving after rough start during strange season

Sep. 24, 2020 6:17 PM EDT

The coronavirus shutdown, positive tests and then a spate of injuries. The 2020 season has been challenging — to say the least — for FC Dallas. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, himself coming off an injury, has the perspective of a player who has seen it all. The 31-year-old's career includes a brief stop...

Louisiana running back Elijah Mitchell (15) is surrounded by teammates after he scores the winning touchdown in an overtime play against Georgia State in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

No. 19 Cajuns open home slate vs untested Georgia Southern

Sep. 24, 2020 6:14 PM EDT

Louisiana-Lafayette coach Billy Napier is about to see what his No. 19 Ragin-Cajuns learned from a nearly stumbling out of the rankings only one week after a landmark victory had earned them some long-coveted national respect. The next test for ULL (2-0, 2-0 Sun Belt) comes at home Saturday against Georgia...

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., right, celebrates with running back Kareem Hunt after Beckham's touchdown during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Browns' star Beckham finds "acceptance" on and off field

Sep. 24, 2020 6:05 PM EDT

CLEVELAND (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. felt the tug on his jersey and watched helplessly as Baker Mayfield's potential touchdown pass to him thudded to the turf. No flag for pass interference. No fight from Beckham, either. “I think a younger me would have been more upset,” the Browns star...

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass under pressure fro Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

QBs, offenses take spotlight as Cowboys visit Seahawks

Sep. 24, 2020 6:00 PM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson has made a career of coming through late in games, to the tune of 32 fourth-quarter and overtime comebacks with Seattle. Dak Prescott is trying to catch up, although few will match the outrageous comeback Prescott led a week ago that helped Dallas avoid an 0-2 start to the...

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) runs after a catch against the Chicago Bears during the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago. The 2017 first-round draft pick had shown flashes in his first three seasons, only to be slowed by injuries, again and again. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Giants tight end Evan Engram not living up to preseason hype

Sep. 24, 2020 6:00 PM EDT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — This was supposed to be the season New York Giants tight end Evan Engram lived up to the hype. The 2017 first-round draft pick had shown flashes in his first three seasons, only to be slowed by injuries — again and again. All that was forgotten in training camp. Engram...

Broncos officially sign Bortles, place Sutton on IR

Sep. 24, 2020 5:58 PM EDT

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos officially added quarterback Blake Bortles to their roster Thursday and the seventh-year veteran joined them at practice. With Drew Lock (shoulder) sidelined, Jeff Driskel will start Sunday when the Broncos (0-2) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1). Brett Rypien...

Players for Athletes Unlimited practice on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Rosemont, Ill. Elite players are living life in a bubble to prevent the spread of COVID during the inaugural Athletes Unlimited softball season. When they're not at the ballpark or an indoor facility across the parking lot, they are at their hotel or apartment. Everywhere else is off limits to them. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

For softball players, season of 'shield life' nears an end

Sep. 24, 2020 5:52 PM EDT

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Cat Osterman can only wonder what the delivery drivers think. She is not allowed to drop in or hit the drive-thru when she wants a coffee or latte, even though she can walk right over from her hotel. In a COVID-19 world, it can be a tall order. “I laugh just when we have to...