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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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LB Za'Darius Smith among those not playing Saturday

LB Za'Darius Smith among those not playing Saturday

OWINGS MILLS – Add outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith to the list of Ravens not expected to play Saturday night. Head coach John Harbaugh said Smith had an ankle issue that would keep him out against the Lions. Smith was not at practice Thursday.

Others not expected to play against the Lions include outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, left guard John Urschel, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, safety Kendrick Lewis, cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Jerraud Powers, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. All of them are at various stages of dealing with injuries.

RELATED: FLACCO LOOKS FORWARD TO PLAYING, BUT NOT GETTING HIT

Perriman returned to practice this week, but head coach John Harbaugh did not commit to playing Perriman after Thursday’s walkthrough practice.

“We’ll see, it’s up to the doctors,” Harbaugh said of Perriman. “He hasn’t gone full speed in practice yet. Today was not a full speed practice for anybody.”

Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is not expected to play either, because he just returned to practice this week after offseason foot surgery. With Suggs, Dumervil, and Smith out of the lineup, Saturday should present an opportunity for pass rushers like Matt Judon, Chris Carter, and Victor Ochi to get extra reps.

MORE RAVENS: PERRIMAN HOPES TO IMPRESS WITH SPEED AND HANDS

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Flacco looks forward to playing. Getting hit? Not so much

Flacco looks forward to playing. Getting hit? Not so much

OWINGS MILLS – Joe Flacco is looking forward to playing Saturday night, but not looking forward to getting hit.

That’s always the case, but Flacco will be watched closely than usual when he plays for the first time since his knee injury last November. Will he stand calmly in the pocket against the Lions’ pass rush? Will he step into his throws with confidence? Will he look rusty, or in sync? If Flacco’s left knee is hit, how will it react?

Flacco has felt good about the answers to all of those questions for months, and he has looked terrific in practice. But returning to game action was the last hurdle Flacco wanted to clear before the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the Bills.

“I really don’t feel like I need to play in games to be ready to play Game 1, but I want to put myself through that whole process,” Flacco said following Thursday’s practice. “I don’t need to, but I want to. I think I’ll be better for it.”

RELATED: PERRIMAN HOPES TO IMPRESS WITH SPEED AND HANDS

Flacco said it was hard for him to sit out the first two preseason games, but he understood the logic.

“I could’ve played the first two games,” Flacco said. “Was it really worth it? Probably not. You’re (only) going to get a couple of series anyway.”

Flacco said he expected to play about a half Saturday night, which might give him a chance to build chemistry with new targets like tight end Ben Watson, and wide receivers Mike Wallace and Chris Moore, who are all expected to play.

Asked if he wanted to get hit, Flacco smiled and said, “It’d be great not to get hit. I don’t need to get hit, no.”

But at some point, Flacco wanted to test his knee in live action before the regular season began. Flacco is not expected to play the preseason finale, Sept. 1 against the Saints.

MORE RAVENS: WHO WILL GRAB HOLD OF RAVENS KICK RETURN JOB

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WR Perriman hopes to impress not only with speed, but with hands

WR Perriman hopes to impress not only with speed, but with hands

OWINGS MILLS - People often call Breshad Perriman fast. They don’t always call Perriman sure-handed.

However, criticism of Perriman’s hands may be a thing of the past, according to Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. One of the few knocks on Perriman entering the 2015 draft was that he sometimes dropped catchable balls due to a lack of concentration. However, the Ravens’ second-year wide receiver has worked hard on catching the ball consistently, even when he wasn’t able to run during his recovery from two knee injuries.

Now Perriman finally seems close to making his Ravens debut. When that happens, Trestman said he expected to see a receiver not only with impressive speed, but reliable hands.

“I think his hands and concentration have even got better since he first got here,” Trestman said. “He is much more sure-handed – not that he wasn’t – but he has become even more sure-handed. I think that goes with confidence. He just needs to get out and play and run routes and do it consistently and get some reps. He just needs reps. He has go-to speed, and he has size to go with it. It is a unique package.”

A package the Ravens are eager to unwrap.

RELATED: WHO WILL GRAB HOLD OF RAVENS KICK RETURN JOB