Monday’s Sports In Brief

NFL

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys didn’t take long to settle on Mike McCarthy as their coach after waiting a week to announce they were moving on from Jason Garrett.

McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl at the home of the Cowboys nine years ago as Green Bay’s coach, agreed to become the ninth coach in team history, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t announced the decision.

McCarthy interviewed during the weekend, before the Cowboys made the announcement Sunday that Garrett wouldn’t return after 9½ seasons. Dallas missed the playoffs at 8-8 with high expectations in a make-or-break season for Garrett, whose contract expires next week.

Green Bay made nine trips to the postseason in his 13 years under McCarthy. The 56-year-old was out of football this season after getting fired during what ended up being a second straight losing season for the Packers in 2018. McCarthy led the Packers to at least 10 wins in eight of his first 11 seasons, including four trips to the NFC championship game.

Dallas hasn’t been that far in the playoffs since the last of the franchise’s five Super Bowl titles to finish the 1995 season. The Cowboys missed the playoffs six times in Garrett’s nine full seasons.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Veteran defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was fired by the Los Angeles Rams after three winning seasons.

Phillips announced on Twitter that the Rams are not renewing his contract, and the team later confirmed it. The 72-year-old former head coach of a record six NFL teams says he wants to stay in coaching.

The Rams finished 9-7 this season, missing the playoffs for the first time in Phillips’ three-year partnership with Sean McVay. Although Phillips’ distinctive 3-4 defense led by Aaron Donald again finished near the top of the NFL in many advanced metrics this season, McVay has decided to shake up his coaching staff for a third consecutive offseason.

The Rams also fired veteran running backs coach Skip Peete, who had been with the franchise since before McVay and Phillips arrived.

NBA

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs had a season-high 19 3-pointers to beat Milwaukee 126-104, snapping the Bucks five-game winning streak.

Patty Mills added 21 points, including 6 for 10 on 3-pointers, for San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay added 18 points each. The Spurs finished 19 for 35 on 3-pointers and shot 51 percent overall.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee and Donte DiVincenzo added 16 points.

The Bucks, whose last loss was Dec. 25 at Philadelphia, maintain the league’s best record at 32-6.

Milwaukee defeated San Antonio 127-118 on Saturday at home but could not maintain its early momentum in a rare home-and-home, back-to-back games.

NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — With the Predators struggling to keep pace in the playoff chase, Predators general manager David Poile fired coach Peter Laviolette despite winning a Presidents’ Trophy and back-to-back Central Division titles.

Assistant coach Kevin McCarthy also was dismissed. The Predators (19-15-7) have dropped four of five heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins. They are 11th in the Western Conference standings with 45 points.

There was no word on a replacement for either coach, but the Predators scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning.

The 55-year-old Laviolette went 248-143-60 in 5 1/2 seasons with Nashville, reaching the playoffs each of his first five seasons. .

Laviolette was just the second coach in Predators history. Barry Trotz was behind the bench for the organization’s first 15 seasons, with Nashville simply allowing his contract to expire. Before coming to Nashville, Laviolette coached the New York Islanders (2001-03), Carolina Hurricanes (2003-09) and Philadelphia Flyers (2009-14). He has 637 wins over 18 years as an NHL coach.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Gonzaga, Duke and Kansas remained atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll. The rest of the top 10 is a big jumble.

The Bulldogs received 54 first-place votes from a 65-member media panel in the poll. The Blue Devils had nine first-place votes and the Jayhawks two.

No. 4 Baylor moved into the top five for the first time in three years and undefeated Auburn was up to No. 5. Butler climbed five spots to No. 6 for the program’s highest ranking ever and was followed by San Diego State, Michigan State, Oregon and No. 10 Florida State.

Gonzaga is No. 1 for the third straight week, a first in a season of parity at the top of the AP poll.

NEW YORK (AP) — UConn cruised to two more conference wins and remained No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll to start off 2020.

The Huskies received 19 first-place votes from a 30-member media panel to stay ahead of second-ranked Oregon. The Ducks got seven first-place votes, picking up two from Oregon State, which got three. The Beavers stayed No. 3 and were followed again by South Carolina, Stanford and Baylor.

The Lady Bears will play at Connecticut on Thursday — the first of three marquee matchups for the Huskies over the next month.

Louisville was No. 7, with UCLA jumping two spots to No. 8. North Carolina State was No. 9 and Texas A&M moved up to No. 10.

While the top of the poll was relatively unchanged, South Dakota, Michigan and Princeton entered the rankings at Nos. 22, 23 and 25 while Miami, Minnesota and Texas fell out.

BASEBALL

TORONTO (AP) — Pitcher Shun Yamaguchi is guaranteed $6.35 million as part of his two-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, a deal that allows the 32-year-old right-hander to earn $9.15 million if he pitches at least 170 innings per season.

Yamaguchi gets salaries of $3,175,000 per season as part of the deal announced Dec. 28. He cannot be sent to the minor leagues without his consent and is eligible for free agency when the contract ends.

Toronto owes a $1.27 million posting fee to the Central League’s Yomiuri Giants under the agreement between Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball. The Blue Jays would have to pay the Giants an additional 20% of any bonuses earned.

Yamaguchi was 15-4 with a 2.61 ERA last season. He is 64-58 with a 3.35 ERA in 14 seasons in Japan.

DETROIT (AP) — The Tigers avoided arbitration with Michael Fulmer, agreeing to a $2.8 million, one-year deal with the right-hander after he missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

It’s the same amount Fulmer received last year when he lost his arbitration case with the Tigers.

Fulmer was voted AL Rookie of the Year in 2016 and won 10 games in 2017, but he struggled in 2018, and that season ended early for him because of a right knee injury.

Fulmer turns 27 on March 15.