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NBA notebook: Bucks’ co-owner fined over Davis comments

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NBA notebook: Bucks' co-owner fined over Davis comments

Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry has been fined $25,000 for his recent remarks about Anthony Davis, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Marc Lasry, CEO and Co-Founder of Avenue Capital Group, speaks during the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Lasry’s recent comments about the New Orleans Pelicans’ star, who requested a trade from the Pelicans prior to the trading deadline, violated NBA tampering rules.

There were reports that the Bucks, who enter play Monday with the league’s best record at 41-14, were among four teams that Davis would consider joining on a long-term deal, and Lasry was asked about the report when the Bucks were in New York to play the Brooklyn Nets.

“I saw that report, and I think it’s great,” Lasry told Sporting News. “It’s a little bit of what we want. We want players to come and play in Milwaukee. And part of it is, when you’re winning and you’re setting a standard for excellence, people see that. People want to win.

—Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons wanted to sit down with Magic Johnson to discuss being a big point guard in the NBA, but Sixers general manager Elton Brand said he nixed that idea. And although Brand said he considers the case closed, the NBA is investigating.

“The league office is looking into whether any contact took place between Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers that violated NBA rules,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Johnson, the Lakers team president, said Sunday that Simmons had contacted him about potentially meeting in the offseason. Johnson told reporters they could not talk “if everybody doesn’t sign off.”

—Guard Jeremy Lin and the Atlanta Hawks are finalizing a buyout of his contract, and he then expects to sign with the Toronto Raptors, according to an ESPN report.

Agents Jim Tanner and Roger Montgomery told ESPN that Lin, who is earning $12.5 million in his first season with the Hawks, could be with the Raptors by the middle of the week.

Lin, 30, became a household name in 2012, when a short but prolific run with the New York Knicks sparked what became known as “Linsanity.” But since then, he has played for Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte, and Brooklyn before arriving in Atlanta in the offseason.

—Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is sidelined with a partial ligament injury to his left thumb, the team announced.

VanVleet, who turns 25 on Feb. 25, is expected to wear a splint for approximately three weeks and his condition will then be updated. The team said he injured himself during the second quarter of the Raptors’ 104-99 victory on Saturday at the New York Knicks.

In 51 games this season (22 starts), VanVleet is averaging 10.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 30 times over the season, including a career-high 30 points in a 119-101 road win over Atlanta on Feb. 7.

—Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right knee, the team announced. Hart will be re-evaluated after the All-Star Break.

Hart, in his second season out of Villanova, is averaging 8.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists, starting 21 of his 54 games played. He has missed two of the past three games, including Sunday’s 143-120 loss at Philadelphia, because of patella tendinitis.

Hart has four double-doubles this season, including three in a 15-day span in January. His absence further thins a backcourt that is missing guard Lonzo Ball because of a sprained left ankle.

—The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Nik Stauskas, the team announced, in what has been a whirlwind week for the 25-year-old, a former lottery pick.

Stauskas was acquired by the Cavaliers last weekend from Portland, one of the players sent to Cleveland in the Rodney Hood deal. The Cavaliers then sent him to Houston as part of a three-team trade, and the Rockets shipped him to the Indiana Pacers before the NBA trading deadline last Thursday.

On Friday, Stauskas, a Michigan product, who was selected No. 8 overall by Sacramento in the 2014 NBA Draft, was waived by the Pacers.

—Field Level Media

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Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

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Reports: Bears to cut K Parkey in March

After a difficult season culminated by a crucial missed field goal on a potential game-winning field goal in the NFC playoffs, kicker Cody Parkey will be released by the Chicago Bears when the new league year begins in March.

FILE PHOTO: Sep 17, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) watches his field goal during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports on Friday, the team intends to cut ties with Parkey once the NFL free agency period begins on March 13.

Parkey, who turned 27 on Tuesday, endured an inconsistent season in Chicago after inking a four-year, $15 million contract last winter following the team’s release of Robbie Gould, the Bears’ all-time leading scorer who moved on to the San Francisco 49ers.

Parkey, a five-year veteran, not only missed a career-high seven field-goal attempts and three extra points during the regular season, but his 43-yard attempt in the final seconds of the NFC wild-card round against the Philadelphia Eagles first hit the upright then the crossbar before bouncing back on the field.

Despite the NFL later ruling that the kick was partially blocked, Parkey took much of the public blame for the Bears’ season ending.

Parkey began his career with the Eagles in 2014 when he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, scoring a franchise-record 150 points while making 32 of 36 field-goal tries. In two seasons with the Eagles, Parkey never missed an extra point.

Parkey later kicked for the Cleveland Browns in 2016 and Miami Dolphins in 2017.

In January, the Bears signed Tulsa product Redford Jones after conducting a workout that reportedly included multiple hopefuls. Jones made 50 of his 67 field-goal attempts at Tulsa from 2015-17, and he does have a kick on his resume where he hit both uprights. Unlike Parkey’s double-doink, though, that 2016 attempt against Cincinnati ended up going over the crossbar for three points.

“We need more production out of that position,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said last month after signing Jones. “We know we need to get better there, and it will be an area of focus.”

—Field Level Media

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WTA roundup: Bencic upsets Svitolina to reach Dubai final

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WTA roundup: Bencic upsets Svitolina to reach Dubai final

Belinda Bencic secured a spot in the final by stunning two-time champion Elina Svitolina 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) on Friday at the Dubai Duty Free Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Dubai Tennis Championships – Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 22, 2019 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in action during the Semi Final against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Bencic trailed 5-3 in the final set before recovering to defeat the sixth-seeded Svitolina. She will face second-seeded Petra Kvitova in the championship match after the Czech Republic star defeated Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

“I think I’m always the most proud of how I fight,” Bencic said after posting the victory. “Even when I lose, I learned myself to just look in the mirror and be proud of myself when I’m fighting, when I’m giving my all, when I’m trying to do what I have to do.”

Bencic won eight consecutive points after Svitolina was in position to close out the match. Then the Switzerland native carried the momentum into the tiebreaker to notch one of the biggest victories of her career by outdueling the Ukrainian.

“Basically, I stayed in the zone, even in (the) tiebreak,” Bencic said. “I was barely breathing, just playing automatic. You are not thinking any more. It’s where the instincts just guide you through it.”

Bencic will be seeking her third career title when she squares off with Kvitova, who will be shooting for her 27th.

Kvitova dropped the first set on Friday before recovering to win the last two.

“It was a tough one today, for sure,” Kvitova said. “She really didn’t give me anything for free. It was a tough first set. I’m glad that I was able to came back in the second. I didn’t play great at the end of the first.

“I think I’m pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set. I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow. I don’t know. It was something weird.”

Kvitova overcame eight double faults to claim the victory.

Hungarian Ladies Open

Top-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck defeated Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals in Budapest.

Van Uytvanck, of Belgium, will face fifth-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semis. The Russian dispatched third-seeded Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier 6-3, 6-2.

Eighth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic will face Russian Anastasia Potapova in the other semi. Vondrousova outlasted Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 while the 17-year-old Potapova fought past Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in 2 hours, 50 minutes.

—Field Level Media

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft facing charges of solicitation of prostitution

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft facing charges of solicitation of prostitution

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing charges of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.

The 77-year-old Kraft was one of 25 people involved in the alleged solicitation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.

Michael Edmondson, spokesman for the state attorney’s office in Palm Beach County, told ESPN that the nature of any charges that the 25 people face will not be released until next week.

Kraft has denied wrongdoing.

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