Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season. The move takes effect immediately and with no guarantee he will be back with the franchise. The Celtics said Thursday night that Udoka was suspended for “violations of team policies.” Earlier Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said Udoka was being sanctioned because of an improper relationship with a member of the organization. Those people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal that detail publicly.

Brissett, Browns rebound from collapse, beat Steelers 29-17

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for a score and the Cleveland Browns bounced back from their epic meltdown four days earlier to beat the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17. The Browns built a nine-point lead early in the fourth on Chubb’s 1-yard run and then held on for dear life. On Sunday, Cleveland blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes and lost by a point to the New York Jets. The Steelers pulled within 23-17 on Chris Boswell’s 34-yard field goal with 1:48 left but couldn't recover an onside kick. The Browns concluded the game with a meaningless defensive touchdown.

Judge falls just short of 61, Yanks clinch playoff berth

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge fell a few feet short of a record-tying 61st homer, hitting a 404-foot drive caught just in front of the center field wall, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Josh Donaldson’s 10th-inning single to clinch their sixth straight playoff berth. Judge had walked three times and struck out once before he came to the plate with the score tied 4-4 in the ninth. He drove a fastball from Matt Barnes just to the right of straightaway center. The ball left the bat at 113 mph, and fans waited in anticipation as Judge jogged toward first base. But they groaned in unison as Kiké Hernández made the catch a step in front of the fence.

US builds 4-1 lead over Internationals in Presidents Cup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Americans have the stronger team and they looked the part at the Presidents Cup. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay improved to 5-0 in foursomes. They won the opening match and set the tone. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth won the next match, and the Americans were on their way. They wound up with a 4-1 lead over an outmanned International team. The lone point for the visitors came from Si Woo Kim and Cameron Davis. Max Homa and Tony Finau won the final hole in the final match to add to the American lead at Quail Hollow.

Milestone balls leave fans with a choice: Return it or sell?

Sal Durante was 19 when he caught Roger Maris’ record-breaking 61st home run in 1961. He sold the ball for $5,000, and it was returned to Maris as part of the deal. That story sounds downright quaint by today’s standards. But it’s a reminder that even six decades ago, fans who caught famous souvenirs faced a tricky choice. Should they keep the ball, sell it, or give it back to the player who hit it? Now Aaron Judge is one home run shy of tying Maris for the American League record.

Federer to AP: Tennis will withstand big-name retirements

LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer says he was paying attention along with everybody else when Serena Williams played what is expected to be her last match three weeks ago at the U.S. Open. He wasn't surprised she is moving on from her playing career, just as he is after one last match at the Laver Cup on Friday. He recognizes that their back-to-back exits after about a quarter-century each in tennis will spur some fans to move on from the sport. Federer insists in an interview with The Associated Press that plenty will stick around. That's because he thinks new superstars will emerge to keep folks interested.

Rodgers admires Brady, doesn't expect to play until he's 45

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — While Aaron Rodgers has a deep appreciation for what Tom Brady has accomplished during an unparalleled NFL career, he doesn’t see himself following the seven-time Super Bowl champion’s lead of playing well into his 40s. The 38-year-old Rodgers explains that he has interests outside football and thinks he'll be ready to move on before he's 45. Brady turned 45 during training camp is back for a 23rd season, pursuing what he called “unfinished business” with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs host Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers Sunday, the first meeting between the teams since the NFC championship game two seasons ago. The Bucs won that one on the way to winning the Super Bowl.

Czech government: NHL Russian players unwanted in Prague

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Foreign Ministry has told the NHL that Russian players are not welcome for season-opening games because of the invasion of Ukraine. The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are set to play regular-season games Oct. 7 and 8 in Prague’. Each team has just one Russian player who is expected to make the roster. The NHL is coming back to Europe for its first games outside of North America since the start of the pandemic. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the league is not concerned about Russian players traveling to the games or suiting up to play.

Suárez, Eflin, Alvarado help Phillies shut out Braves

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ranger Suárez pitched six sparkling innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their push toward the club’s first playoff berth in a decade with a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. Matt Vierling knocked in the only run in the game with a second-inning sacrifice fly to center that scored J.T. Realmuto. Suárez allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two. Zach Eflin got five outs before José Alvarado finished the six-hitter for his second save. Philadelphia moved within a half-game of San Diego for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Donovan's grand slam carries Cardinals over Padres 5-4

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Brendan Donovan hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory against the San Diego Padres, snapping a three-game losing streak. Pujols remained at 698 career homers, although he did drive two balls to deep left field, one for a single and one for an out on the warning track. The next stop in his pursuit of the 700-homer club is Dodger Stadium, where the NL Central-leading Cardinals open a three-game series on Friday. Manny Machado hit his 30th homer for the Padres, who had won five in a row.

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