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

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...

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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 MLB.com.

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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