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AP Sports SummaryBrief at 11:55 p.m. EDT

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AP source: NBA investigating 76ers for possible tampering

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are being investigated by the NBA for possible tampering in offseason free-agency moves involving James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Friday night. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the team is cooperating with the investigation. Harden signed a deal worth slightly over $68 million, paying him about $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. Harden, though, will make about $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous deal. ESPN reported Friday there are questions involving Harden and the Sixers having “a handshake agreement in place on a future contract.”

Luis Castillo traded to Mariners by Reds for 4 prospects

HOUSTON (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have acquired the top starting pitcher on the trade market, getting All-Star Luis Castillo from the payroll-paring Cincinnati Reds for four minor league prospects. Cincinnati obtained infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, and right-handers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore. Marte was the Mariners’ top-rated prospect, Arroyo was third and Stoudt fifth. Seattle has not been to the playoffs since 2001, the longest postseason drought in the four major North American pro sports.

Pac-12's Kliavkoff jabs Big 12, touts future after USC, UCLA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff says his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA. Kliavkoff confirmed the Pac-12 is actively exploring expansion during an eventful, occasionally feisty opening speech at his conference’s football media day in the nation’s second-largest media market. While painting a promising picture of the league’s future even after USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten in 2024, Kliavkoff also threw several jabs at the Big 12. The commissioner said he had spent the past month “trying to defend against grenades being lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our conference.”

Stenson shares LIV lead with Reed as Mickelson has rough day

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) — Henrik Stenson turned his focus to golf and it was good. The Swede made his debut in the LIV Golf series with a 64 to share the lead with Patrick Reed. Stenson is among the latest additions to the Saudi-funded league and it cost him the Ryder Cup captaincy for Europe. He says he was happy to be able to focus after a busy week. It wasn't a happy return for Phil Mickelson. He's very popular in the New York area. A spectator called to him on his first tee to “do it for Saudi royal family.” Mickelson shot 75.

Pendrith takes 1-shot lead over Finau at Rocket Mortgage

DETROIT (AP) — Taylor Pendrith of Canada shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Tony Finau into the weekend in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.Pendrith and Finau shared the first-round lead at 8 under and will be in the final group Saturday, pairing a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie with a 32-year-old veteran coming off his third career victory. Rookie Lee Hodges was three shots back after a 66. PGA Tour rookie of the year front-runner Cameron Young tied a Detroit Golf Club record with a 63 for a share of fourth place _ five shots back _ with Russell Henley and Stewart Cink.

Metchie addresses Texans in wake of leukemia diagnosis

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans rookie receiver John Metchie III, who announced Sunday that he’d likely miss the season after being diagnosed with leukemia, addressed the team in a video before it started preparations for the season. Coach Lovie Smith says he normally opens camp with a speech to the team. But this year he thought it was more important for the guys to hear from Metchie first. Smith didn’t provide specifics about what the second-round pick from Alabama shared with the team but said that teammates and coaches alike were moved by his words.

AP sources: No decision in Watson discipline case this week

The wait for a decision on potential discipline for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson following accusations of sexual misconduct will continue into another week. Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that retired judge Sue L. Robinson isn't issuing a ruling Friday on Watson’s disciplinary hearing that concluded a month ago. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private. Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by 24 massage therapists when he played for the Houston Texans and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits. Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints stemming from the allegations.

Judge hits grand slam for 41st HR, Yanks rally past Royals

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge became the first big leaguer with 40 homers this season, smashed a grand slam for No. 41 and robbed a home run in right field as the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 11-5. Isiah Kiner-Falefa lined a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning as New York completed its major league-leading 29th comeback victory. A free agent at the end of the season, Judge is on pace for 66 home runs, which would top Roger Maris’ club record of 61 in 1961. Judge, Maris and Babe Ruth in 1928 are the only Yankees with at least 40 homers by the end of July, per

Verlander wins MLB-leading 14th, Astros rout Mariners 11-1

HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched one-run ball into the eighth inning and won his MLB-leading 14th game, Aledmys Díaz hit two homers and Yordan Alvarez slugged his 30th home run of the season as the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 11-1. Verlander (14-3) allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings and allowed five hits with five strikeouts in outdueling Seattle’s Robbie Ray, last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner. Verlander held Seattle scoreless until Jesse Winker and Julio Rodríguez doubled in the seventh inning.  Also Friday, the Mariners acquired the top starting pitcher on the trade market, getting All-Star Luis Castillo from the payroll-paring Cincinnati Reds for four minor league prospects.

Column: Heady times for the NFL's bottom feeders

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — These are giddy times in Atlanta and Houston. The Falcons and the Texans have yet to lose a game and can talk boldly about defying the NFL skeptics, a group comprised of pretty much everyone outside their locker rooms. That sort of bravado is a lot easier to muster in the dog days of training camp, when the actual season is still a month-and-a-half away. From this vantage point, those 17 games are a pristine canvass in which anyone can produce a Michelangelo of the gridiron. Chances are, these teams will turn out something closer to Dogs Playing Poker.

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A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow. Griner showed little emotion to the sentence but her lawyers said later she was “very upset, very stressed.” U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as “unacceptable” the verdict and sentence, which came amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine. Griner had told the court she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.

A day after Oklahoma assistant head football coach Cale Gundy announced his resignation, the school said Gundy uttered what it called a racially charged word multiple times during a film session last week. Gundy had been with the program as an assistant since 1999. He announced his resignation Sunday in a social media post, and the school confirmed it with a statement shortly thereafter. Oklahoma sent out another statement on Monday giving more details about the incident.

Joohyung Kim began the Wyndham Championship with a quadruple bogey. Now the 20-year-old South Korean who goes by “Tom” is among the leaders. Kim has made 14 birdies at Sedgefield Country Club since that 8 on his first hole. His 64 put him at 9-under 131 along with Ryan Moore and Brandon Wu. It's been a whirlwind month for Kim. He finished third at the Scottish Open. That sent him on his way to being assured of a PGA Tour card for next season. Moore has a lingering back problem and needs a solo second to regain a full card.

The Los Angeles Angels tied a major league record with seven solo home runs, including two by Shohei Ohtani, but still lost to the Oakland Athletics 8-7. The Angels are the first team in the majors to hit seven solo homers and score no other runs in a game. They’re also the sixth team to hit seven homers and lose, according to STATS. Ramon Laureano homered and drove in four runs, and Seth Brown had a two-run shot during a six-run third inning for AL-worst Oakland. Sean Murphy also drove in two runs for the Athletics, who took the final two games of the series and have won six of their last nine.

Senators Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have requested feedback from college sports leaders to be used to craft a bill to regulate how college athletes can be compensated for their names, images and likenesses. Tuberville is a Republican and a former college football coach from the state of Alabama. Manchin is a Democrat from West Virginia who is friends with Alabama football coach Nick Saban. In a letter to Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, the senators said their staffs have already begun drafting legislation. Sankey and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill during a lobbying trip in May.

A week after the Lionesses became the pride of England for winning the Women’s European Championship, their compatriots in field hockey are hoping for their own historic moment in Birmingham. England has claimed a women's hockey medal in the six previous Commonwealth Games but gold has proven elusive. A thrilling victory over New Zealand in the semifinals has given the English another chance to end the drought. They will face four-time champion Australia in Sunday’s final. Their success is a bonus for Commonwealth officials who have placed an emphasis on highlighting women’s sport, with a priority on three major team finals to be staged on what is being branded Super Sunday. Gold medals from the women’s cricket, hockey and netball finals will all be decided on the penultimate day.

Former boxing world champion Johnny Famechon has died in Melbourne after a lengthy illness. He was 77. The Sport Australia Hall of Fame announced Famechon's death in a statement. The Australian boxer was struck by a car while jogging in 1991 in Sydney which caused him to suffer a stroke and resulted in an acquired brain injury. His most memorable victory was his WBC featherweight title win against Jose Legra of Cuba at London’s Albert Hall in 1969. Famechon boxed professionally for more than 20 years and had a record of 56 wins — 20 by knockout — six draws and five losses.

A lawyer representing two dozen women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual assault or harassment says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a chance to “do the right thing” now that the league has appealed a six-game suspension for the quarterback. Attorney Tony Buzbee says “Every victim of sexual assault is watching Roger Goodell and the NFL right now.” The NFL’s appeal of an independent disciplinary officer’s decision gives Goodell or someone he designates the authority to increase Watson’s penalty. Goodell has named former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey as his designee to hear the appeal.

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