Thursday's Sports in Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama saluted the Cleveland Cavaliers for rallying to beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, giving the city its first pro sports title since 1964.
Obama hosted the Cavs on the South Lawn of the White House, squeezing in another sports champion before he leaves office.
Obama singled out several players for praise, but particularly focused on LeBron James, who won the Most Valuable Player award during the championship series.
DENVER (AP) – The Denver Nuggets filed a protest with the NBA over a call in the final second of a 108-107 loss in Memphis on Tuesday.
The ball appeared to go off a Grizzlies player with 0.7 seconds remaining, but the ruling on the floor and a video review awarded possession to Memphis. Marc Gasol hit the game-winning shot on a tip-in.
The Nuggets said the NBA released its final 2-minute officiating report and acknowledged an incorrect possession call. Denver coach Michael Malone says the best-case scenario would be to ''replay the last seven-tenths.''
The odds of that, though, are ''slim and none,'' Malone said.
But it's not without precedent. Atlanta and Miami replayed the final 51.9 seconds of their disputed game during the 2007-08 season.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) – Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman confirmed he was fined by the NFL for his hit on Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter in Monday's game against the Bills.
Sherman said he will not appeal the $9,115 fine. He was not penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play.
ATLANTA (AP) – Former NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey and the Atlanta Braves agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract, adding a 42-year-old knuckleballer to a thin rotation as the team moves into a new ballpark.
Dickey's agreement is subject to a successful physical. He would become the first of the 158 major league free agents to switch teams this offseason.
Dickey had a career-high 20 wins in 2012, his final season with the New York Mets. He won the Cy Young Award and then was traded. The right-hander spent the last four years with the Toronto Blue Jays, going 10-15 with a 4.46 ERA in 2016.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Matt Holliday became baseball's final free agent this offseason, formally leaving the St. Louis Cardinals when he and the team agreed to waive a provision in his contract that would have guaranteed his 2017 salary if he finishes among the top 10 in NL MVP voting.
The 36-year-old outfielder certainly will not finish among the top 10 when voting is announced Nov. 17, so the move makes him a free agent one week earlier. He hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.
At the start of the season's last weekend, the Cardinals said they planned to decline Holliday's $17 million option for 2017. The seven-time All-Star still gets a $2 million buyout.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Christen Press had her fourth career hat trick by the 38th minute, Alex Morgan added two goals, and the U.S. women's national team routed Romania 8-1.
NEW YORK (AP) – Seattle forward Jordan Morris was voted Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year after scoring 12 goals in his first professional season.
The 21-year-old made his national team debut two years ago while still at Stanford.
Morris received an average of 45 percent of the vote in balloting by players, media and club management.
He will miss Friday's World Cup qualifier against Mexico because of a hamstring injury.
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) – Memories of the biggest humiliation in Brazilian football and the return of Lionel Messi to Argentina were not enough to stop the five-time World Cup champions from beating their archrivals 3-0 in South American qualifying for the World Cup.
There were no Brazilians in tears this time, unlike at the World Cup in 2014.
The victory over Argentina extended Brazil's successful streak under new coach Tite to five matches, giving the qualification leaders 24 points from 11 matches. Argentina has 16.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) – Chris Kirk shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Kirk had four birdies on each nine in his bogey-free round on Mayakoba's Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. Ben Crane, Camilo Villegas and Gary Woodland were tied for second.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Carlota Ciganda birdied three of the last six holes for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with Sarah Jane Smith in the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Ciganda had a bogey-free opening round at Club de Golf Mexico. The Spaniard won last month in South Korea for her first LPGA Tour title.
SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) – Henrik Stenson shot a 3-under 69 in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, leaving the Swede a stroke back in his bid to wrap up the Race to Dubai title with a victory Sunday.
England's Ross Fisher, Chile's Felipe Aguilar and South Korea's Jeunghun Wang shot 68 at Gary Player Country Club.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – NASCAR driver Brian Scott plans to retire after next week's season finale to spend more time with his family.
Scott is 28 and has been racing at NASCAR's national level since 2007. He has two young children.
Albertsons Companies, Scott's longtime sponsor, said it would terminate its NASCAR program after the season. However, Richard Petty Motorsports plans to field the No. 44 that Scott drove with a new sponsor and another driver.