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PGA, La Liga, U.S. baseball sluggers in Korea lead live sports weekend

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June 12 (UPI) — The PGA Tour and La Liga highlight this weekend’s live sports schedule as the leagues return from coronavirus suspensions. Several American sluggers also will take the field in South Korea in the KBO baseball league.

The NASCAR Cup Series season continues with the Dixie Vodka 400 Sunday in Homestead, Fla. UFC has another full card for Fight Night Saturday in Las Vegas. Germany’s Bundesliga continues with matchday 31 from Friday through Sunday.

Ticket-buying fans are not allowed to attend any of the live events due to COVID-19 safety precautions, but NASCAR will invite up to 1,000 service members from south Florida to Sunday’s event.

PGA Tour return

Golfers filled the field for the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on Thursday at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The tournament is the first for the PGA Tour since the golf league suspended its 2019-2020 season in mid-March.

Justin Rose of England and Harold Varner III of the United States were tied for the lead after the first round at 63, seven shots under-par.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, No. 2 Jon Rahm and No. 3 Brooks Koepka headline the featured groups for the four-day tournament. Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay and Tommy Fleetwood are among the top golfers who chose not to compete.

McIlroy — the tournament favorite — will tee off with Rahm and Koepka at 8:56 a.m. EDT Friday. Play will air through the weekend on CBS, Golf Channel and PGA Tour Live.

The champion will claim $1.314 million of the $7.3 million purse.

The 148-player field will shrink after the second round, when about half of the players miss the cut for Saturday’s third round.

La Liga and Bundesliga soccer

Spain’s La Liga soccer schedule resumed Thursday after another season hiatus since mid-March.

Four teams will play Friday in Spain before a full slate of weekend clashes. Lionel Messi‘s Barcelona squad battles Mallorca at 4 p.m. EDT Saturday in Mallorca. Barcelona rival Real Madrid faces Eibar at 1:30 p.m. EDT Sunday in Madrid.

Barcelona has a narrow two-point lead over Madrid atop the La Liga standings. Mallorca ranks 18th and is in danger of La Liga relegation.

The matches will air on beIN Sports USA and stream at beINSports.com/us.

Bundesliga matchday 31 includes nine games from Friday through Sunday. Those matches will air on Fox Sports. Defending champion Bayern Munich has a seven-point lead over Borussia Dortmund atop the Bundesliga standings. The German league champions battle fourth-place Borussia Monchengladbach at 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on FS1.

Dortmund battles 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf at 9:30 a.m. EDT Saturday on FS1. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig kick off the Bundesliga schedule on Friday before six games on Saturday. Sunday’s slate pits FSV Mainz 05 against FC Augsburg and FC Schalke 04 against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

KBO sluggers

Baseball fans still are waiting for a conclusion to negotiations between MLB team owners and the players’ union so they can watch an abbreviated 2020 season. But some former American MLB and minor league players have been playing in South Korea during the hiatus.

The NC Dinos have a five-game lead over the second-place LG Twins in the KBO standings after they won two of three games this week against the Doosan Bears. The Dinos now have a three-game weekend series against the fourth-place Kiwoom Heroes.

Just two KBO games will air on ESPN this weekend, but each will feature an American player who ranks among the league leaders in home runs.

Former Colorado Rockies prospect Roberto Ramos leads the KBO with 12 home runs this season. Former Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguer Mel Rojas Jr. ranks third with nine homers for the KT Wiz. Former Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Preston Tucker is tied for fifth in the league with eight homers this season.

Tucker’s Kia Tigers face the SK Wyverns at 3:55 a.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN. Rojas’ Wiz battle the Samsung Lions at 3:55 a.m. EDT Sunday on ESPN.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks utility player Jamie Romak also plays for the Wyverns and has five homers this season.

Saturday

KBO Baseball

Kia Tigers vs. SK Wyverns at 3:55 a.m. EDT on ESPN

PGA Tour — Charles Schwab Challenge

Featured groups and holes from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on PGA Tour Live

Third round from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel; 3 to 6 p.m. EDT on CBS

Bundesliga and La Liga

Dusseldorf vs. Dortmund at 9:30 a.m. EDT on FS1

Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach at 12:30 p.m. EDT on FS1

FC Barcelona vs. Mallorca at 4 p.m. EDT on beIN Sports USA

NASCAR

Xfinity Series Hooters 250 at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Fox

UFC Fight Night on ESPN/ESPN+

Jordan Espinosa vs. Mark De La Rosa at 9 p.m. EDT

Andre Fili vs. Charles Jourdain after first fight

Merab Dvalishvili vs. Ray Borg after second fight

Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori after third fight

Jessica Eye vs. Cynthia Calvillo after fourth fight

Sunday

KBO Baseball

KT Wiz vs. Samsung Lions at 3:55 a.m. EDT on ESPN

PGA Tour — Charles Schwab Challenge

Featured groups and holes from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on PGA Tour Live

Third round from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel; 3 to 6 p.m. EDT on CBS

Bundesliga and La Liga

FSV Mainz 05 vs. FC Augsburg at 9:30 a.m. EDT on FS1

FC Schalke 04 vs. Leverkusen at noon EDT on FS2

Real Madrid vs. Eibar at 1:30 p.m. EDT on beIN Sports USA

NASCAR

Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Fox



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Washington owner Dan Snyder in quarantine after friend tests positive for COVID-19

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Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (L) celebrates with Logan Thomas after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17, in Landover, Md., on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo



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Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis channels Kobe with game-winner vs. Denver Nuggets

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Sept. 21 (UPI) — Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis channeled the late Kobe Bryant with a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer against the Denver Nuggets Sunday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers now lead the series 2-0 after the 105-103 triumph in Orlando, Fla. Davis scored a game-high 31 points and had nine rebounds.

“It was a special one for me,” Davis told reporters. “Special one for my teammates. … Right before the [season] hiatus, I missed a shot against the Brooklyn Nets in the same spot [during a] slightly different play. I was upset with myself. And [LeBron James] said, ‘Man, we’re gonna live or die with you shooting that shot.’

“I got the same opportunity tonight. [I was] ready to make it.”

Davis and the Lakers trailed 103-102 after Nikola Jokic hit a hook shot for the Nuggets with 20.8 seconds remaining. Alex Caruso missed a 3-pointer with about seven seconds left in regulation, but the Lakers got an offensive rebound after the attempt.

Rajon Rondo found Davis on the right wing with the inbound bounce pass. Davis caught it and elevated before firing the 3-point shot over Jokic’s outstretched arm. The buzzer sounded just before the shot went through the net to give the Lakers a two-point win.

Davis sprinted up the sideline and yelled “Kobe” as he celebrated with teammates. The Lakers also wore special “Black Mamba” edition jerseys during the game.

“We want to embody what Kobe Bryant stood for and honor his memory,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Obviously, there are certain games where we are going to feel it a little bit more than others. When we have that uniform on, I think we feel it more than others.

“That’s a shot Kobe Bryant would hit. To me, [Davis] coming off just flying to the wing like that, catch-and-shoot with the biggest game on the line of our season, nothing but net, it’s a ‘Mamba’ shot.”

The Lakers led by as many as 16 points in the game, which featured eight lead changes and was tied four times.

James paced the Lakers with 12 points in the first quarter for an early 29-21 lead and the team outscored the Nuggets 31-29 in the second quarter to earn a 60-50 edge at halftime.

In the third, the Lakers used a 10-2 run to push the lead to 16 points with 8:12 remaining. The Nuggets chipped away at the lead, outscored the Lakers 28-22 and tied the score at 82-82 with 9:58 in the game.

Denver and Los Angeles then exchanged the lead multiple times before Jokic hit his late hook shot for a one-point edge. The Lakers fought for two key rebounds down the stretch before Rondo hit Davis for the decisive shot.

“You’re not going to make them all, but the belief to just take it and live with the results is what it’s all about,” James said.

“[Sunday] was his moment. It was his moment to find a space, hunt the ball down and one of our top 10 assists leaders, Rondo, found him and he knocked it down. A big-time play.”

James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the win. Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 11 points apiece for the Lakers and Rondo had three points and nine assists off the bench.

Jokic scored 30 points and had nine assists, six rebounds and four steals for the Nuggets. Jamal Murray had 25 points, six rebounds and four assists in the loss.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win tonight,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Obviously, Anthony Davis hits a big three to win the game at the buzzer. We’ll watch the film, see what happened on that last play.

“The message is we’re down 2-0. Let’s go out and win Game 3.”

The Nuggets, however, might have the Lakers right where they want them. Denver came back from a 3-1 series deficit in their first two playoff series against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers, the only team in NBA history to do it twice in the same postseason.

Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals is scheduled for 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

Moments from LeBron James’ career

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School senior LeBron James (L) drives around a Zanesvuille defender in Akron, Ohio, on February 14, 2003. James is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. A couple months later, the Cleveland Cavaliers coach was suspended because James worked out with the team before he graduated from high school. Photo by Tom Cammett/UPI | License Photo



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NFL legend Deion Sanders to coach football at Jackson State

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Sept. 21 (UPI) — Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has been named the head football coach at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

Sanders, 53, announced the new role Sunday on his podcast 21st & Prime. Jackson State President Thomas Hudson and athletic director Ashley Robinson appeared on the show and confirmed the hire.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” Sanders said on the podcast. “God called me to Jackson State and to these men.”

“We are just so very fortunate to be in this space and have a man like this joining us,” Hudson said.

“It’s very big for Jackson State University,” Robinson said.

The longtime Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys cornerback has never coached a college football team, but has coached at the high school level.

Jackson State is expected to make the announcement at a news conference Monday morning.

Jackson State competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which announced in August that it will play a six-game conference schedule between February 27 and late April. The season was scheduled to begin September 12, but was delayed by five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Grambling, Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Mississippi Valley State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Prairie View A&M, Southern University and Texas Southern also compete in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Sanders isn’t the first hall of famer to set foot on the Jackson, Miss., campus. Legendary Chicago Bears tailback Walter Payton spent four years at Jackson State and rushed for more than 3,500 yards before he was drafted as the fourth overall pick by the Bears in 1975. The school has also produced three others who were ultimately inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Jackson State fired coach John Hendrick in August after he posted a 4-8 record in 2019 and ended the season with three consecutive losses. The Tigers haven’t had a winning season since 2013.

Sanders, who played collegiately at Florida State, will finish his tenure as offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, before he takes over at Jackson State.



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