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Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

SEATTLE (AP) Nearly five years after their colors, banners and history were packed away into storage and their franchise relocated, the SuperSonics are one significant step closer to returning to Seattle.

And the Kings are on the verge of leaving Sacramento.

All that appears to stand in the way now is approval by NBA owners.

The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen, the league confirmed in a statement Monday morning. The deal is pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors.

A person familiar with the decision said that Hansen's group will buy 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million, and move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The deal will cost the Hansen group a little more than $340 million. The Maloofs will have no stake in the team.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season because of a blood clot in his lung.

The team said that he is expected to fully recover but will need to take blood thinners for about three months. Varejao has been in the hospital since Thursday and will likely remain there for several more days of treatment.

The 6-foot-11 Brazilian was averaging career highs of 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds this season

COLLEGES

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with ``unethical conduct'' when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami has announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.

Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Community residents have scheduled a vigil Tuesday to remember former Penn State coach Joe Paterno a year after his death.

A family spokesman says the family won't be involved and intends to remain in privacy. Paterno died of lung cancer on Jan. 22, 2012, at age 85, two months after being fired by the school in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

PRO FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning will get a chance to be teammates after all - at Sunday's Pro Bowl.

Luck earned his way to the game when New England's Tom Brady pulled out with an undisclosed injury.

He'll be joined by teammates Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis in Hawaii and Manning, the quarterback who preceded Luck in Indy.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Tom Brady's foot-up slide in the AFC championship game did not sit well with Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard.

During the final minute of the first half, Brady slid to the ground to end of an impromptu run. The quarterback's upraised leg hit onrushing Ravens free safety Ed Reed, who emerged from the play without injury.

But Pollard believes Brady should be disciplined by the NFL, which levies fines on defensive players for helmet-to-helmet hits.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur is joining Chip Kelly's staff with the Philadelphia Eagles, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday.

Shurmur is expected to be Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven't announced any coaching moves.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Jim Caldwell will remain the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator next season.

Caldwell moved from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Dec. 9 after coach John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron.

With Caldwell directing the offense, the Ravens have won three straight playoff games to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2000 season. This is the first time Caldwell has ever served as an offensive coordinator at any level

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Maria Sharapova continued her dominating form at the Australian Open with a straight-set win over Ekatrina Makarova on Tuesday, conceding only nine games in five matches en route to a semifinal against Li Na.

No. 2-ranked Sharapova had a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win over fellow Russian Makarova on Rod Laver Arena and has spent just 5 hours, 15 minutes on court so far in the tournament.

After opening with pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins, Sharapova trounced seven-time major winner Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in the third round and Belgian Kristen Flipkens 6-0, 6-1 in the fourth. Nobody has conceded fewer games on the way to the semifinals at the Australian Open.

The 30-year-old Li advanced to her third semifinal in four years at Melbourne Park with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Agnieszka Radwanska, ending the Pole's 13-match winning streak.

In the men's bracket, No. 4-seeded David Ferrer survived a match point the third set and two more in the fourth when No. 10 Nicolas Almagro was serving for the match, holding firm to finally advanced to his fourth semifinal in six Grand Slam events with a 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2 win Tuesday.

CYCLING

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Oprah Winfrey believes Lance Armstrong can be a hero again.

And she thinks people will be willing to forgive him.

Winfrey said that the hardest thing Armstrong has done in his life is confess in an interview with her last week that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour de France titles.

``If he is willing to do the work ... he can be a real hero,'' Winfrey said during a lecture in Edmonton, the first stop on a speaking tour through Western Canada.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball players urged that Marvin Miller be put in the Hall of Fame as they spoke during a memorial for the union leader.

In an auditorium filled with Hall of Famers, dozens of retired and current players, baseball officials, agents and labor lawyers, 13 speakers praised the former baseball union head, who helped players gain free agency in the 1970s and created the path to multimillion-dollar salaries. Miller died in November at 95.

``It is a travesty he is not in the Hall of Fame,'' former major league player and manager Buck Martinez said during the two-hour program.

SOCCER

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Landon Donovan will return to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the upcoming MLS season, but exactly when he resumes playing hasn't been decided yet.

Donovan wasn't at the team's first practice on Monday, when coach Bruce Arena said the Galaxy captain has been given more time off.

Arena says Donovan is ``definitely playing this year.''

AUTO RACING

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Texas Motor Speedway will offer some frontstretch tickets at its lowest prices in 15 years for NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the track.

The track will offer about 8,000 frontstretch seats for $49 for each of its two Cup races, and has lowered prices on about 7,400 other seats.

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Ravens already pumped for Monday night matchup against Patriots

Ravens already pumped for Monday night matchup against Patriots

The Ravens have already turned their attention to beating the Patriots.

It didn’t take long for the Ravens (7-5) to put their most impressive win of the season behind them. Minutes after whipping the Dolphins, 38-6, the Ravens were already talking about their next game, a Monday night matchup against the Patriots (10-2) in Foxborough, Mass. on Dec. 12.

Asked if the Patriots game would be a measuring stick for the Ravens, cornerback Jimmy Smith didn’t shy away.

“Definitely,” Smith said. “I would say even more than the Dallas game, especially because they (the Patriots) are in the AFC. That’s who you’ve got to go through to get where we want to go.”

RELATED: Flacco-Mornhinweg meeting helps Ravens unleash offense

There is no love between the Ravens and Patriots, but they love competing against each other. It’s a rivalry with a great history, but the Ravens and Patriots haven’t faced each other since the 2014 divisional playoffs. In that memorable game, the Ravens suffered a heartbreaking 35-31 loss, after twice leading the Patriots by 14 points.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is having another terrific season, and even without star tight end Rob Gronkowski (season-ending back injury), the Patriots have other formidable weapons like running back LeGarrette Blount (957 yards rushing), wide receiver Julian Edelman (72 catches) and tight end Martellus Bennett (four touchdown catches).

This upcoming matchup will have huge playoff implications, especially for the Ravens, who are in a far more precarious position than the Patriots. The Ravens still control their playoff destiny, but if they don’t win the AFC North, the door to the post-season could be slammed in their face.

“We don’t have any choice but to keep winning,” Smith said. “At 7-5, we have to play our best football now.”

Against the Dolphins, the Ravens played their best game of the season. But already, they are looking forward to seeing the Patriots.

“Now we have to go up into a hostile place that we really enjoy playing,” said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. “It’s going to be another important game up there on a Monday night, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it, big time.”

MORE: Dennis Pitta relieved after his two-touchdown performance against the Dolphins

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Ruth's Chris 5 Sizzling Stats: What decided Ravens-Dolphins

Ruth's Chris 5 Sizzling Stats: What decided Ravens-Dolphins

Here are 5 Sizzling Stats, brought to you by Ruth's Chris, that helped to decide Ravens-Dolphins. 

36 -- Number of completions by Joe Flacco, a franchise record. He completed 36 of 47 passes.

381 -- The number of passing yards for Flacco on the day, his highest total of the season.

6 -- The number of points scored by Miami’s offense, the lowest total to which Baltimore has held an opponent to this season. The Ravens held Cleveland to seven points on two separate occasions, both Baltimore wins.

2 -- Touchdown receptions for Dennis Pitta, marking his first score since Week 14 of 2013. It was his first multi-touchdown game since Dec. 2012.

61 -- Rushing yards by Miami’s Jay Ajayi. His rushing average was 5.1 yards per carry, but he only carried the ball 12 times because of Baltimore’s early (and large) lead.