Sports Update for Wednesday, Dec. 4

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BASEBALL

Angels to buy Angel Stadium, stay in Anaheim through 2050

ANAHEIM (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have reached a proposed agreement to stay in Anaheim through 2050 as part of a deal in which they will pay $325 million to buy Angel Stadium and its surrounding parking lots from the city.
The Angels and the city government announced the deal Wednesday likely securing the franchise’s long-term future in Orange County.
The team had a deadline of Dec. 31 to opt out of its lease or to stay committed until 2029. Instead, the sides reached a deal that allows the Angels to control the property and its plans for the surrounding acres while relieving the city of its costly maintenance obligations on the 53-year-old stadium.
The proposal will be considered by Anaheim’s City Council in stages later this month and in 2020, but it is expected to be approved.
“After years of uncertainty, we have a path forward for baseball in Anaheim,” Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu said. “This proposal reflects what we’ve heard from our community by keeping the Angels in Anaheim, bringing money for our neighborhoods and the prospect of more affordable housing, parks and jobs for Anaheim.”

BASKETBALL

Harrell, George lead Clippers past Blazers, 117-97

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Clippers are still figuring things out even while they’re piling up wins.
Their latest came with the bench outscoring the starters, 66-51.
Montrezl Harrell scored 26 points, Paul George added 25 and Los Angeles pulled away in the second half to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 117-97 on Tuesday night.
“The best thing about this team is we’re not near where we’re going to be,” coach Doc Rivers said.
Kawhi Leonard had an off-night offensively, scoring 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting, but still helped extend the Clippers’ franchise-best start at home to 13-1.
“He set the tone with his passing,” Rivers said. “Early he tried to get everybody else going and then he tried to get himself going.”
CJ McCollum scored 20 points, Hassan Whiteside had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Damian Lillard added 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting for the Blazers, whose three-game winning streak ended.
Carmelo Anthony had nine points and six rebounds two weeks after signing with the Blazers in his return to the NBA. Lillard and Anthony were held under their scoring averages.
The game was tied 10 times in the first half before the Clippers eked out a 62-59 lead at halftime. The Blazers shot 52% in the first half; the Clippers shot 50%.
“At halftime we didn’t make any adjustments,” Rivers said. “We said something’s going to give. We either start defending or we’re really going to have a tough night.”
The Clippers outscored the Blazers 27-17 in the third. Portland’s shooting dipped to 26% while McCollum had five points and Lillard two in the period.
“Just imposing our will on the defensive end of the floor, causing havoc that led to us scoring a lot of points,” Harrell said.

James, Davis each score 25, Lakers beat Nuggets 105-96

DENVER (AP) — LeBron James has been compared to Michael Jordan for his entire career, though on Tuesday night it was Anthony Davis who emulated the Hall of Famer.
Davis, ailing from flu-like symptoms, took an IV at halftime and then scored 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 105-96 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
James also had 25 points, nine assists and a crucial dunk off a miss late in the fourth quarter to clinch a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Jordan’s legend grew when he played through the flu in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, leading the Chicago Bulls to the win and eventually their fifth title in seven years. Tuesday’s game was just the 20th of the season for the Lakers but Davis’ effort still impressed his coach.
“For him to play through illness and have that kind of performance was something special,” coach Frank Vogel said.
Davis missed the morning film session and his status for the game was questionable until before tip. He showed no effects of the illness, scoring most of the Lakers 24 points in the third quarter. He also had 10 rebounds and helped to hold Nuggets center Nikola Jokic to 13 points.
He played nearly 37 minutes after trying to recover for most of the day.
“Sleep. That’s really it. Sleep and a couple of medicine things here and there,” he said of the treatment he took. “The IV at halftime was trying a way to keep going.”

FOOTBALL

Carolina Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers owner David Tepper said he would have preferred to wait until after the season to make a coaching change.
Tepper ultimately decided he wanted to get a jumpstart on his search for a new coach, so he fired Ron Rivera, the franchise’s winningest coach, on Tuesday with the Panthers (5-7) all but out of playoff contention following a four-game skid.
“I was informed of other teams doing different types of searches out there and I’m not going to start a search and not tell Ron Rivera,” Tepper said Tuesday. “(He’s) too good of a man, and I have great respect for Ron. He’s a great human being and I’m not going to disrespect anybody like that, especially Ron Rivera.”
Tepper said by moving on from Rivera now he can begin a coaching search immediately so that it won’t put the team at a competitive disadvantage.
Secondary coach Perry Fewell was been named interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will transition to special assistant to the head coach, and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will serve as offensive coordinator.
Rivera was hired in 2011 and was 76-63-1 in the regular season and 3-4 in the postseason. In nine seasons Rivera guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC championship and three NFC South titles.
But the Panthers have fallen on hard times lately following injuries to quarterback Cam Newton the past two seasons.
The Panthers started this season 5-3 before dropping four straight games, including a 29-21 loss to the Redskins on Sunday. Last year, the team was 6-2 but lost seven straight games and finished 7-9.

Surging Ravens are unanimous top team in AP Pro32 poll

NEW YORK (AP) — Lamar Jackson and the surging Baltimore Ravens passed their latest test.
The Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 Sunday on Justin Tucker’s field goal as time expired for their eighth consecutive victory.
The Ravens, one of five teams with a 10-2 record, are the unanimous choice as the top team in the latest AP Pro32 poll.
The Ravens earned all 12 first-place votes for 384 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
“In a potential Super Bowl preview, the Ravens won a slugfest over the 49ers, showing they’re equally adept at grinding it out against elite teams as they are at dominating weaker opponents,” said Newsday’s Bob Glauber.
Despite the loss, the 49ers remained third in the poll.
“Even in defeat, the 49ers showed every indication they are capable of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl,” said Ira Kaufman of Fox 13 in Tampa, Florida.

NCAA

Stanford says college scam mastermind approached 7 coaches

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A review found that the mastermind behind the college admissions bribery scandal had approached seven coaches at Stanford University about potential sports recruits over the past decade, the school president said Tuesday.
Only one coach, the former head of the sailing program who pleaded guilty earlier this year, went along with the scheme proposed by college consultant Rick Singer, according to an independent investigation the university funded.
“Singer directly or indirectly approached seven Stanford coaches about potential recruits between 2009 and 2019” but found no evidence that any athletic department employee aside from the sailing coach “agreed to support a Singer client in exchange for a financial consideration,” according to the statement by university President Mark Tessier-Lavigne.
His statement did not identify the six other coaches or name their sports, nor did it say if those other coaches raised concerns with administrators. It also did not give details of Singer’s communications with the coaches.
University spokesman E.J. Miranda said Stanford had no further comment about the investigation.

GOLF

Woods defends Mickelson’s choice to play in Saudi Arabia

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods is defending Phil Mickelson and other top players who have signed up for the second edition of the Saudi International.
The European Tour, and the players who took part, came under scrutiny last year for staging an event in Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record, especially with the tournament taking place three months after the killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi.
Dustin Johnson won the inaugural event and returns this year along with Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, and European stars Henrik Stenson, Shane Lowry and Sergio Garcia.
Woods and Rory McIlroy are among those not playing.
“I understand the politics behind it,” Woods said Tuesday. “But the game of golf can actually help heal all that, too. It can help grow that. There are also a lot of other top players that are going to be playing that particular week. It’s traditionally not a golf hotbed in the Middle East, but it has grown quite a bit.”
Mickelson said in a statement released by tournament organizers that he watched Johnson win last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge, along with mentioning how it could help grow golf in the region.