Nov 21, 2020 11:38 AM

Sports Headlines for Saturday

Posted Nov 21, 2020 11:38 AM

Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) — The Las Vegas Raiders needed to alter their style when they finally broke through last month with their first win in Kansas City in eight years. Derek Carr delivered the most prolific deep passing game of his career, coach Jon Gruden called for two successful fourth-down gambles and a much-maligned defense came up with a couple of key defensive stops to outpace Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Pulling off the season sweep against the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs will be even a taller task for the Raiders.

UNDATED (AP) — No. 17 Iowa State leads the Big 12 going into its home game against Kansas State on Saturday. It's the first time the Cyclones have been in first place this late in a season since they were tied at the top of the old North Division in 2004. Iowa State has been poised to make late-season runs in recent seasons under coach Matt Campbell but have been unable to finish the job. Kansas State began the week with 12 active COVID-19 cases. Wildcats coach Chris Klieman says he's been on edge waiting for players' test results this week. 

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State backup quarterback Will Levis could make the second start of his career when the winless Nittany Lions host Iowa. Penn State head coach James Franklin said Levis provided "a spark" after replacing Sean Clifford in last week's loss to Nebraska. Levis ran for 61 yards and added 219 yards through the air for the Nittany Lions, who are 0-4 after starting the season ranked in the Top 10. Iowa has won two straight following an 0-2 start, including a 35-7 romp over Minnesota last week.

UNDATED (AP) — The No. 4 Baylor Lady Bears are the preseason favorite again in the Big 12 Conference. They won their 10th regular season title in a row last season, but didn't get a chance to defend their 2019 national championship when the season was ended abruptly by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is lingering at the start of a new season. Iowa State is No. 15. The Cyclones go into coach Bill Fennelly's 26th season returning Big 12 scoring leader Ashley Joens. Baylor has preseason player of the year NaLyssa Smith and top newcomer DiJonai Carrington, the former All-Pac 12 guard at Stanford.

Update on the latest sports

NBA-FREE AGENCY

Free agency opens: Fox and Kings agree on $163 million deal

UNDATED (AP) — Free agency in the NBA has started. De'Aaron Fox was the first huge winner, agreeing to a deal with the Sacramento Kings that will pay him at least $163 million over five years. No deals can be signed until 12:01 p.m. Sunday.

— Danilo Gallinari — one of the top wings on the free-agent market — agreed to a three-year contract worth $61.5 million, a person with knowledge told AP. ESPN and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the agreement. Gallinari averaged 18.7 points for Oklahoma City last season and is a 38% career shooter from 3-point range.

— Joe Harris has agreed to re-sign with the Nets, keeping one of the NBA's best shooters in Brooklyn. The Nets checked off what general manager Sean Marks called their biggest priority in free agency by agreeing to a deal with the swingman. Priority Sports, which represents Harris, announced the deal on Twitter. ESPN reported that Harris would get $75 million over four years. Harris finished his fourth season in Brooklyn by averaging a career-best 14.5 points in 69 games in 2019-20.

— The Timberwolves reached a $60 million agreement with restricted free agent shooting guard Malik Beasley that's for three years plus a team option for a fourth year, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to AP.

— Jordan Clarkson is staying and Derrick Favors is coming back, according to people with direct knowledge of the transactions. Clarkson agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal; he averaged 15.6 points in 42 games after getting traded to Utah last December.

— Derrick Jones Jr., the league's reigning Slam Dunk champion, agreed to a two-year deal with the Trail Blazers. The Athletic first reported the agreement, which a person with knowledge later confirmed to AP.

— The Pistons received commitments Friday night from centers Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor, people familiar with those deals told AP. ESPN, which first reported the Plumlee agreement, said he would sign a three-year deal for $25 million.

—The Mavericks and Trey Burke have agreed on a $10 million, three-year contract to bring the guard back after he played well in the NBA bubble. Burke originally joined Dallas in the trade with New York headlined by Kristaps Porzingis in early 2019. The Mavericks didn't re-sign Burke before last season, and he ended up in Philadelphia.

— The Heat got quick agreements from point guard Goran Dragic and center Meyers Leonard on two-year deals, the second year in both cases being team options. Dragic will make about $18 million next season, Leonard about $9 million.

— The last time Facundo Campazzo and Nikola Jokic shared a court in a real game together was during last year's Basketball World Cup in China. Campazzo agreed to a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets on Friday's opening day of free agency, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

Meanwhile, the NBA is investigating whether one — a widely reported sign-and-trade move that would have sent Bogdan Bogdanovic from Sacramento to Milwaukee — happened earlier than league rules allow. A person with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press on Thursday that the league is probing whether such an agreement existed, because if it did free-agent negotiations with Bogdanovic would have clearly started earlier than permissible.

Training camps open in about a week and a half.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NBA

AP source: NBA, Raptors denied permission to play in Canada

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government has denied a request by the NBA and the Raptors to play in Toronto amid the pandemic, and the team says it will start the season next month in Tampa, Florida.

The official says there's a chance that at some point next year the decision could be reviewed.

The Raptors and the NBA needed an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NFL

Brees on IR

UNDATED (AP) — The Saints have placed quarterback Drew Brees on injured reserve, meaning he'll miss at least three games with rib injuries.

Brees was unable to finish last Sunday's game after absorbing a heavy hit on a sack attempt by 287-pound San Francisco defensive tackle Kentavius Street, who was penalized for roughing on the play. Street landed on the right side of Brees' torso as the two went to the ground.

Brees was diagnosed on Monday with rib fractures and a collapsed lung. The Saints remaining healthy QBs are Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston.

In other virus-related NFL news:

— Cleveland Browns defensive star Myles Garrett has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday's game against the Philadephia Eagles. The NFL leader in sacks, Garrett was placed on the COVID list on Friday by the Browns, who had isolated him at home the previous two days because he was showing symptoms. It's not clear when Garrett will return, so his status for next week's game at Jacksonville is in question.

— Sam Darnold might be back leading the New York Jets' huddle as soon as next week. The quarterback will be sidelined for the second straight game with a shoulder injury but coach Adam Gase was optimistic Friday that Darnold could return for next Sunday's home game against Miami, but, he's out for the Jets play the Chargers in Los Angeles this Sunday.

— The New York Giants have had three more players test positive for COVID-19. The Giants, who have a bye this weekend, learned about the results Thursday night and told the unidentified players to self-isolate. Contract tracing has started.

— The San Francisco 49ers have waived defensive end Takkarist McKinley after he failed a physical. The Niners claimed McKinley off waivers earlier this week after he failed a physical in Cincinnati but then cut him after he failed their physical as well. The Niners also placed three more players on the COVID-19 list with receiver Brandon Aiyuk, left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Daniel Helm being added.

— The Denver Broncos have told season ticket holders that due to the increase of COVID-19 cases, Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins will be the last one played with fans in attendance at Empower Field at Mile High this season. The Broncos' final three home games, against the Saints, Bills and Raiders, will be played without any fans in the stands.

— Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams returned to practice Friday and is expected to play Sunday at Indianapolis despite dealing with an ankle injury this week.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Washington State v. Stanford canceled

UNDATED (AP) — The Pac-12 has canceled Washington State's football game at Stanford. The conference said Saturday night's game has been called off because the Cougars don't have enough scholarship players available because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. This is the first game both schools have had canceled this season because of the coronavirus.

In other college football news related to the pandemic:

— Tennessee's 70 year old athletic director Phillip Fulmer is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus. And Miami's 46 year old Manny Diaz is the latest active coach to become infected. Tennessee plays at No. 23 Auburn on Saturday. Diaz says he will work virtually with the No. 12 Hurricanes until he can return to the field. Miami is not scheduled to play again until Dec. 5 at Wake Forest.

— Washington State starting quarterback Jayden de Laura has tested positive for COVID-19 and won't play in Saturday's game at Stanford. The Spokesman-Review newspaper reported that de Laura might also miss the Nov. 27 game against Washington if he is placed in a 14-day quarantine. Redshirt sophomore Cammon Cooper and redshirt freshman Gunner Cruz are listed as backups to de Laura on the team's depth chart. Neither has ever taken a snap in a game for the Cougars.

— Seventh-ranked Cincinnati's game against No. 25 Tulsa has been moved again in a shuffling of the American Athletic Conference football schedule. The Bearcats and Golden Hurricane are now set to play Dec. 12, a week before the planned date of the conference championship game. The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 17, then moved to Dec. 4. The AAC also announced new dates for five other games postponed because of COVID-19 issues. The first is Memphis at Navy on Nov. 28.

— The University of Pittsburgh says its players will be outfitted with face coverings to use on the field and sideline during its home game against Virginia Tech on Saturday, in accordance with recent guidelines handed down by state officials in Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions host Iowa on Saturday.

MLB NEWS

Red Sox tab Will Venable as bench coach in Cora's return

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have hired Will Venable to be a bench coach on manager Alex Cora's staff.

Venable spent the last three seasons with the Cubs as a first- and third-base coach. He was a 12-year veteran as a major league outfielder, mostly with the San Diego Padres.

Venable's father, Max, also spent a dozen years in the majors.

The Red Sox also said that Jason Varitek has been named game planning coordinator, Ramón Vázquez will be the quality control coach and interpreter, and Kevin Walker has been named bullpen coach.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— The New York Mets have signed right-hander Sam McWilliams, who's spent six years in the minor leagues with three other organizations. The 25-year-old will get $750,000 in the majors and $195,000 in the minors. The 6-foot-7 McWilliams was in Tampa Bay's 60-player pool this year. He is 30-35 with a 3.85 ERA in his career, making 94 starts and 15 relief appearances. McWilliams pitched in the Philadelphia and Arizona systems before making it to Triple-A with Tampa Bay in 2019.

— The Tampa Bay Rays have designated outfielder Hunter Renfroe for assignment, helping clear room on the 40-man roster for three young prospects who were not part of the team's run to the World Series.

PGA-RSM CLASSIC

Streb shoots 63 to lead Villegas by 2 shot at Sea Island

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Robert Streb is the leader going into the weekend at the RSM Classic with history on his side. Not only is Streb's only PGA Tour victory at Sea Island, but, the last four winners had the 36-hole lead. Streb doesn't want to be the one who breaks that streak. He got in position with a 9-under 63 that matched his career low.

Two shots behind is Camilo Villegas, the sentimental favorite at Sea Island. Villegas is trying to overcome the death of 2-year-old daughter Mia this summer. She was diagnosed with tumors on her brain and spine.

LPGA TOUR

Kim leads McDonald in Pelican Women's Championship

BELLEAIR, Fla. (AP) — Breakthrough winners in their last starts, Sei Young Kim and Ally McDonald were on top again Friday in the Pelican Women's Championship. The second-ranked Kim shot a 5-under 65 at Pelican Golf Club to take a one-stroke lead over McDonald into the weekend. McDonald had a 66.

Kim had an 8-under 132 total in the first-year tournament originally set for the same week as the PGA Championship in May.