AP Sports SummaryBrief at 11:48 p.m. EDT

Suns match Pacers’ offer for Ayton, keeping nucleus intact

PHOENIX (AP) — Deandre Ayton finally has his new deal from the Phoenix Suns, who simply weren’t willing to let him get away for nothing. A person with knowledge of the situation said the Suns quickly decided to match a $133 million, four-year offer sheet that Ayton agreed to earlier Thursday with the Indiana Pacers. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity...

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Suns match Pacers’ offer for Ayton, keeping nucleus intact

PHOENIX (AP) — Deandre Ayton finally has his new deal from the Phoenix Suns, who simply weren’t willing to let him get away for nothing. A person with knowledge of the situation said the Suns quickly decided to match a $133 million, four-year offer sheet that Ayton agreed to earlier Thursday with the Indiana Pacers. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Suns had not publicly announced the decision. The move means the Suns keep their nucleus of Ayton and the All-Star backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. The trio pushed Phoenix to the NBA Finals in 2021.

A rookie rises and Tiger crashes in slow-moving British Open

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — The Old Course at St. Andrews was fast as ever. The same couldn’t be said for the pace of play at the British Open. The heralded start of the 150th Open featured Cameron Young making his debut with a 64. He had a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy. And the long day could make for a short week for Tiger Woods. The two-time winner at St. Andrews had two double bogeys on his way to a 78. That’s his second-highest score ever in the Open and leaves him six shots out of the cut line.

Tiger Woods toils to 6-over 78 in British Open grind

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — The one major Tiger Woods just couldn’t miss started with a grind. The 15-time major champion dropped six strokes in his first seven holes at St. Andrews and wound up shooting 6-over 78 in the first round of the British Open. Woods’ tough-to-watch start saw him chunk his second shot into the Swilcan Burn before missing a short putt to run up a double-bogey. Woods is playing with a pieced-together right leg from a car crash in February 2021 and he walked gingerly along St. Andrews’ uneven terrain throughout a painfully slow round. Woods said he had to play this week at the home of golf because he didn’t know if he’d be back.

Royals beat Jays 3-1 with 10 unvaccinated players absent

TORONTO (AP) — The Kansas City Royals overcame the absence of 10 unvaccinated players to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1. Double-A callup Angel Zerpa pitched five solid innings in his first major league start and Bobby Witt Jr. hit a tiebreaking home run for Kansas City. Nate Eaton homered in his major league debut as the Royals won for the fifth time in six games. Players who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 aren’t allowed to enter Canada. Among the Royals who stayed home were All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi, two-time All-Star Whit Merrifield, future cornerstones Kyle Isbel and MJ Melendez and outfielder Michael A. Taylor.

WNBA’s Griner gets support at trial from character witnesses

KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — The drug possession trial of WNBA star Brittney Griner has resumed, with the head of the Russian club she plays for in the offseason and a teammate from that squad testifying in support of her character and what she has meant for women’s basketball in the country. Griner, who pleaded guilty last week, did not testify as expected at the third day of the trial. She has been detained in Russia since February, and the U.S. government is under pressure at home to do more to secure her freedom. Her guilty plea could be an effort to expedite the court proceedings so any negotiations about a prisoner exchange could move forward.

Coe: ‘Inconceivable’ Russians would be allowed at worlds

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The leader of global track and field said it would have been “inconceivable” to have allowed Russians into this week’s world championships given the country’s war against Ukraine. At his news conference on the eve of the championships, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said there was no budging from the position the federation took shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Belarus, an ally of Russia in the war, is also banned from the worlds. Coe noted that World Athletics was one of the first federations to reach a position and that it won’t change “for the foreseeable future.” He says that’s because of the challenges involved in getting the 22 Ukrainian athletes who qualified for worlds safely to the championships.

Mariners rally past Rangers 6-5 for 11th consecutive victory

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ty France hit a two-run single in the eighth inning as the Seattle Mariners rallied from four runs down to beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 and extended their winning streak to 11 games. The win streak is the second-longest in club history and second-longest in the majors this season. The Mariners won 15 straight in 2001, the last time they qualified for the postseason. Corey Seager, added to the AL All-Star team earlier in the day, had a double and two RBI for Texas.

Oregon tight end, social media star, dies of head injury

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Ducks tight end Spencer Webb has died after falling and striking his head on rock slides at a popular swimming lake near Eugene, Oregon. Authorities say the 22-year-old was unresponsive when they arrived at Triangle Lake on Wednesday afternoon and found him about 100 yards (91 meters)  down a steep trail. Lane County Sheriff’s Office says the death appears to be accidental. Webb was to play his fifth football season with the Ducks this fall and expected to compete for the starting tight end spot. During his four seasons at Oregon, Webb recorded 31 receptions, 296 yards, and four touchdowns.

Big 12 changes coming after one last season with 10 schools

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Big 12 is going into its final season as a 10-team league. Oklahoma and Texas are still in the conference before eventually leaving for the Southeastern Conference. The Big 12’s four new additions won’t join the league until next summer. New Sooners coach Brent Venables says he wants to keep the focus on the 2022 season, and not what will happen after that. Oklahoma will try to bounce back after having its record streak of six consecutive Big 12 titles snapped last season. Texas is coming off a 5-7 record in coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season.

US advances to W Championship final 3-0 over Costa Rica

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Emily Sonnett, Mallory Pugh and Ashley Sanchez all scored to send the U.S. national team to the final of the CONCACAF W Championships with a 3-0 semifinal victory over Costa Rica on Thursday night. Costa Rica and the United States both finished among the top four teams in the group stage to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The winner of the W Championship additionally earns one of the region’s spots in the Olympics. The U.S. team extended its shutout streak in World Cup or Olympic qualifying matches to 32 games. Jamaica and Canada, which also qualified for the World Cup, met in the second semifinal later Thursday at Estadio Universitario.

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