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Thursday Sports in Brief

May 24, 2019

NBA

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant won’t be ready to play in time for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 30.

The two-time reigning finals MVP has yet to return to on-court work while recovering from a strained right calf.

Big man DeMarcus Cousins might be healthy for Golden State’s series opener against either Milwaukee or Toronto.

The team re-evaluated both players Thursday and they are expected to be ready at some point during Golden State’s fifth straight finals.

Cousins is working back from a torn left quadriceps muscle sustained in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers. He practiced for the first time Thursday since getting hurt April 16 in just his second career playoff game.

NEW YORK (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden were unanimous selections to an All-NBA team that could mean big payoffs for Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker.

Both of those guards were voted to one of the three teams announced Thursday, making them eligible for supermax contract extensions from their teams.

LeBron James also was voted to the third team, tying the NBA record with his 15th All-NBA selection.

Rounding out the first team were Stephen Curry, Paul George and Nikola Jokic.

MIAMI (AP) — Phoenix Suns big man Richaun Holmes was arrested for misdemeanor possession of cannabis after a Miami-area traffic stop.

Twenty-five-year-old Holmes was arrested Tuesday night along with former Brooklyn Nets forward James Webb III after authorities say the found a recently used marijuana joint inside their vehicle.

Both men posted bond soon after being booked into a Miami jail.

WNBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Breanna Stewart will act as an ambassador for the WNBA this season and be paid by the league after the reigning MVP tore her Achilles tendon over the winter and is out for the year, a person familiar with the details said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because no official announcement has been made.

The league has no injury list for teams, so Seattle suspended Stewart without pay to free up a roster spot. The WNBA will pay Stewart in excess of the roughly $65,000 base salary she would have made with the Storm.

It is not known if any active players have previously been paid by the league as ambassadors.

—By AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg.

AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte native William Byron became the youngest driver ever to capture the pole for the Coca-Cola 600.

The 21-year-old Byron, who grew up a short drive from Charlotte Motor Speedway, turned a lap of 183.424 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet on Thursday night to start out front Sunday in NASCAR’s longest race.

Aric Almirola will start alongside Byron on the front row in his No. 10 Ford. It is one of six Fords starting in the top 10.

Byron called it a “dream come true” having attended so many events at this track as a youth.

Byron has six top 10 finishes in 49 career Cup Series starts, but is still looking for his first win. He’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of Kyle Busch, who won the Coca-Cola 600 last year starting from the pole.

SOCCER

PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is under investigation for corruption related to Qatar’s bids to host the 2017 and 2019 track world championships, a judicial official said Thursday.

The official told The Associated Press the preliminary charge of “active corruption” was filed against the beIN media group chairman in mid-May in a case focusing on the payment of $3.5 million to an IAAF official.

The judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation publicly, said Al-Khelaifi is suspected of corruption “in regards with Qatar’s track and field worlds.”

Al-Khelaifi, who is from Qatar, denies any wrongdoing. His lawyer, Francis Szpiner, said the payments made in 2011 were “perfectly tracked” and added his client was not involved in the money transfer.

—By AP Sports Writers Samuel Petrequin and John Leicester.

BASEBALL

BALTIMORE (AP) — New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right knee inflammation.

The team announced it Thursday before the finale of the four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Sabathia pitched five innings against on Wednesday night and complained about knee soreness afterward.

He earned the victory despite allowing five runs and six hits. After the game, the 38-year-old Sabathia described it as “a shooting pain goes through every time that I land.”

Sabathia has started eight games, going 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA, striking out 34 in 41 1/3 innings.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has suspended Cincinnati Bengals guard Alex Redmond for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Redmond is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games before sitting out the first month of the regular-season schedule.

Redmond started 15 games last season, his second in the NFL, at right guard. He played in five games, with no starts, the previous year.

HOCKEY

The National Women’s Hockey League is increasing salaries, offering a 50-50 split of sponsor-related revenues and improved benefits in an agreement reached with its players’ association.

The union did not release any specific monetary figures in announcing the agreement Thursday. It’s a one-year deal with the five-team NWHL holding the option to renew it the following season.

The NWHL Players’ Association calls the agreement a “breakthrough” because it provides “substantial gains” for the first time since the league was founded in 2015.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An arbitrator has upheld Slava Voynov’s one-season NHL suspension but is giving him credit for serving half of it in 2018-19.

Commissioner Gary Bettman suspended the former Los Angeles Kings defenseman for the upcoming season and the 2020 playoffs after determining he committed acts of domestic violence. The NHL Players Association appealed the ruling.

Arbitrator Shyam Das upheld Bettman’s decision that Voynov should be suspended for the equivalent of one NHL season but found he should be credited with having already served 41 games of the suspension last season. So Voynov will now be eligible to return midway through next season.

The 29-year-old Russian last played an NHL game on Oct. 19, 2014. He won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with the Kings in 2012 and 2014.

COLLEGE TENNIS

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has promoted interim men’s tennis coach Bruce Berque to permanent status after the Longhorns won the team national championship.

Berque took over the program in February when former coach Michael Center was arrested in the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. Center later pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and faces between 15 and 21 months in prison.

The Longhorns rallied behind Berque, who led the team to its first national championship. Berque is a former head coach at Michigan. He’d been a Texas assistant the previous four seasons.

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