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Noah Gragson is interviewed before the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., on June 28, 2020. Gragson returns to home track Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race embroiled in controversy following last week’s wreck at Homestead-Miami Speedway. AP

NASCAR

Gragson under fire but defiant in return home to Las Vegas

By Jenna Fryer
| March 6, 2021

LAS VEGAS — NASCAR has a new villain and he doesn’t really care what anyone thinks about him. Noah ...

In this March 21, 1989, file photo, Atlanta Hawks Spud Webb is blocked by Detroit Pistons Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas as he drives to the basket during an NBA basketball game in Atlanta. Webb remembers getting on the bus after winning the NBA slam dunk contest 35 years ago and getting a quick piece of advice from his Atlanta teammate at the time, Doc Rivers. The message: Your life just changed forever. That’s what happens when a 5-foot-7 guy captures imaginations by winning the dunk contest, which was just in its third year then. AP

NBA BASKETBALL

Spud Webb knows a dunk contest can change someone’s life

By Tim Reynolds
| March 6, 2021

Spud Webb remembers getting on the bus after winning the NBA slam dunk contest 35 years ago and gett...

Carolina Hurricanes' Jordan Staal (11) and Brady Skjei (76) battle Detroit Red Wings' Robby Fabbri (14) for the puck during the first period of Thursday's game in Raleigh.

Hurricanes take over in 3rd period, beat Red Wings 5-2

By Aaron Beard
| March 5, 2021

RALEIGH — Jordan Staal and Jesper Fast scored a pair of goals early in the third period to help the Carolina Hurricanes take over and beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of a game Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.

Steelers, Roethlisberger agree to new deal for 2021 season

By Will Graves
| March 5, 2021

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger is returning for an 18th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is taking a pay cut to do it.

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) passes the ball around Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes (22) to teammate Bismack Biyombo during the first quarter of Sunday's game in Sacramento, Calif.

Michael Jordan: LaMelo Ball has 'exceeded our expectations'

By Steve Reed
| March 5, 2021

CHARLOTTE — Rookie LaMelo Ball has seized the attention of the NBA this season with his highlight reel passes and a surprising ability to score, including Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20) is congratulated as he leaves the ice after Tuesday’s game against the Nashville Predators in Nashville, Tenn. Aho scored twice as the Hurricanes won 4-2.

NHL HOCKEY

Aho scores 2 goals to lead Hurricanes over Predators 4-2

By Jim Diamond
| March 3, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sebastian Aho scored twice to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 victory over ...

Michael McDowell walks by the championship trophy before the NASCAR Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 14 in Daytona Beach, Fla. McDowell followed his Daytona 500 victory with a pair of top-10 finishes.

NASCAR

Daytona 500 winner McDowell takes hot streak to Las Vegas

By Jenna Fryer
| March 3, 2021

CHARLOTTE — Michael McDowell was rolling along at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he saw another drive...

Joe Kremer, right, talks to Carolina Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault, left, before a game at Five-County Stadium in 2019. Kremer has retired as the only general manager in the Mudcats’ 30-year history, the minor league team announced Tuesday.

CAROLINA MUDCATS

Longtime Mudcats GM Kremer retires

From staff reports
| March 4, 2021

ZEBULON — Joe Kremer, the only general manager in the Carolina Mudcats’ 30-year history, is stepping...

Carolina Hurricanes center Martin Necas (88) is congratulated by center Sebastian Aho (20) after Necas scored the winning goal during an overtime period of Monday’s game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

NHL HOCKEY

Necas scores in OT, Hurricanes beat Panthers 3-2

By Rick Menning
| March 2, 2021

SUNRISE, Fla.  — Martin Necas scored 1:59 into overtime and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida...

Fans are socially distanced as they watch a spring baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Angels in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Sunday as spring training games opened with fans in the stands.

MLB BASEBALL

Welcome back: Optimism abounds as MLB’s spring includes fans

By David Brandt
| March 1, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brian Delaney checked his ticket, found his seats and then sat down for a minute...

Joey Logano (22) and William Byron (24) battle for position during a NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday in Homestead, Fla. Byron won for the second time in 111 career starts.

NASCAR

Byron gives NASCAR another surprise winner at Homestead

By Mark Long
| March 1, 2021

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — William Byron gave NASCAR its third surprise winner in three weeks, this one not q...

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, left, sits in a golf cart watching pitcher Charlie Morton get in some work during a morning pitching session on the practice mounds during baseball spring training at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla., on Friday.

5-inning games, 2-out innings? Odd spring look on deck

By Stephen Hawkins
| February 27, 2021

Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon figures players can find plenty to do with any extra time th...

Christopher Bell celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series road course auto race at Daytona International Speedway last Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

NASCAR

JGR youngsters shine, validate Toyota’s development program

By Jenna Fryer
| February 27, 2021

CHARLOTTE — Two races into his return to Joe Gibbs Racing, Christopher Bell already has both a Cup S...

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney (35) makes a glove save on a shot by the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of Thursday's game in Tampa, Fla.

McElhinney leads Lightning to 3-1 win over Hurricanes

By Erik Erlendsson
| February 26, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Curtis McElhinney stopped 31 shots and picked up an assist to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Denny Hamlin, left, and Kyle Busch joke around in the garages during a Daytona 500 auto race practice session at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 10, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

NASCAR

Hamlin slaps down speculation over JGR’s youth movement

By Jenna Fryer
| February 25, 2021

CHARLOTTE — Denny Hamlin is NASCAR’s current points leader and locked in at Joe Gibbs Racing with a ...

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the PNC Championship golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., in this Dec. 19, 2020, file photo. Woods was injured Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in Los Angeles County and had to be extricated from the vehicle with the “jaws of life” tools, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

By Doug Ferguson
| February 25, 2021

The PGA Tour without Tiger Woods was always inevitable purely because of age. His shattered right le...

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott drops back to pass in the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns in Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 4, 2020. Applying franchise and even transition tags to players can have major ramifications on a team's present and future. That was never more of a consideration than this year, with the salary cap decreasing by, for now, $18 million.

NFL FOOTBALL

Playing tag is no kids’ game for NFL teams

By Barry Wilner
| February 24, 2021

NFL teams could begin playing tag on Tuesday, and it’s no kids’ game for the 32 teams. Applying fran...

Atlanta Braves third baseman Jake Lamb fields a grounder during spring baseball training Tuesday in North Port, Fla.

MLB BASEBALL

Shaw back with Brews; Kennedy, Lamb, Teheran find new teams

By The Associated Press
| February 24, 2021

With spring training in full swing, third baseman Travis Shaw returned to the Milwaukee Brewers whil...

A vehicle rests on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods along a road in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles on Tuesday. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said.

Tiger Woods seriously injured in crash on steep LA-area road

By Stefanie Dazio and Doug Ferguson
| February 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods was in the driver’s seat of a mangled SUV that rolled and ended up on its ...

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce (22) reaches as Tampa Bay Lightning center Blake Coleman (20) shoots during the first period of Monday's game in Raleigh.

Palat, Stamkos, Hedman help Lightning beat Hurricanes 4-2

By Aaron Beard
| February 23, 2021

RALEIGH — Tampa Bay was shut down by Carolina for two games, and then found itself trailing the Hurricanes again after the first period despite putting plenty of pucks on the net.


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