Monday Sports in Brief
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns fired coach Igor Kokoskov after one season.
The team announced Kokoskov’s firing in a statement Monday night.
A longtime NBA assistant, Kokoskov was the first European-born head coach in NBA history when Phoenix hired him to replace interim coach Jay Triano in 2018.
The Suns, despite adding No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Deandre Ayton, went 19-63 in Kokoskov’s only season in the desert, worst in the Western Conference.
Phoenix had a franchise-worst 17-game losing streak in 2018-19 and became the first team in the shot-clock era (1954-55) to be held under 10 points in the first quarter of consecutive games.
Kokoskov’s firing leaves Phoenix searching for its fifth head coach in five seasons.
Antetokounmpo scored 41 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Detroit 127-104 Monday night, completing a four-game sweep of the Pistons and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
The Bucks will face Boston in the second round. The Celtics are coming off a sweep of their own against Indiana.
Detroit set an NBA record with its 14th consecutive playoff loss, a skid that began in 2008.
NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn minority owner Joe Tsai was fined $35,000 by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Monday for public statements detrimental to the league, becoming the latest member of the Nets organization to be penalized for actions during their playoff series against Philadelphia.
Tsai tweeted support Sunday for general manager Sean Marks, who was suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 for entering the referees’ locker room following the Nets’ Game 4 loss.
The Nets also fined Jared Dudley $25,000 for escalating an altercation during the game, which the Nets lost 112-108 to fall into a 3-1 hole.
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars clinched a playoff series at home for the first time in 11 years, beating the Nashville Predators 2-1 in overtime to wrap the first-round Western Conference series in six games.
John Klingberg scored his first goal of the playoffs at 17:02 into overtime for the win.
The Stars will play St. Louis in the second round of these playoffs.
The last time the Stars clinched a playoff series on home ice was in 2008, when they needed four overtimes for a 2-1 win over San Jose in a second-round series.
DETROIT (AP) — Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, says she is home after surgery to remove a brain tumor.
She says the surgery lasted 12 hours and shared other details Sunday on her Instagram account. Earlier this month, she shared that an MRI showed the tumor after she had vertigo spells within the last year.
NEW YORK (AP) — CBS Sports has signed a multiyear deal with the WNBA to broadcast 40 games per season beginning next month.
The games will be in primetime and on weekends and will be shown on the CBS Sports Network. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The league, which will begin its 23rd season on May 24, also has a deal with ESPN to show 16 regular season telecasts, including three on ABC. Last year, the WNBA had a strong regular season with combined average viewership across ESPN2 and NBA TV up 31% over 2018.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Sparks have acquired guard Alexis Jones from the Minnesota Lynx in exchange for guard Odyssey Sims.
Jones shot 38% from 3-point range and 86% from the free throw line in a limited role during her rookie season last year. She was drafted 12th overall by the Lynx in 2017 after playing collegiately at Duke and then Baylor.
Sims was acquired before the 2017 season in a trade with the Dallas Wings. She started 24 of 34 games for the Sparks last year, averaging 8.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
NEW YORK (AP) — Cappie Pondexter knew it was time to retire from basketball and move on to other things.
The two-time WNBA champion announced her retirement earlier this week on Instagram.
Pondexter had a great basketball career, averaging 16.4 points, 3.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds over 13 years in the WNBA. She was drafted second by Phoenix in 2006 after starring at Rutgers. She averaged 23.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists in the 2007 WNBA Finals, when Phoenix beat Detroit in five games. The 5-foot-9 guard was big for the 2009 Mercury championship team when they beat the Fever in five games also.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban has undergone hip replacement surgery.
Dr. Lyle Cain said Monday the 67-year-old Saban is expected to make a full recovery and “should be able to return to work in the very new future.” Cain says the right hip replacement was “robotic assisted” at Andrews Sports Medicine, with hip specialist Benton Emblom.
Cain says Saban could now have “a few more yards off the tee” in his golf game.
Saban said after Alabama’s spring game that his hip problems would be evaluated and that he could need six to eight weeks of recovery.
NEW YORK (AP) — A jury was selected Monday to hear evidence in the trial of an aspiring agent and a former amateur coach charged with bribing big-school coaches to boost their business prospects with amateur basketball players.
Opening statements by lawyers were scheduled to occur Tuesday morning in Manhattan federal court in the trial of business manager Christian Dawkins and ex-amateur league director Merl Code.
The trial is the second of three resulting from arrests made 19 months ago, when prosecutors described a widespread bribery scheme in which financial advisers and business managers allegedly paid assistant coaches and athletes’ families to steer players to big-program schools.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tennis broadcaster and coach Justin Gimelstob pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault for attacking a former friend in Los Angeles on Halloween 2017.
The district attorney’s office says the 42-year-old former pro player was sentenced Monday to three years of probation, 60 days of community service and a year’s worth of anger management classes.
Prosecutors said Gimelstob attacked Randall Kaplan from behind as they trick-or-treated with their kids on Oct. 31, 2017. The motive is unknown.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Nearly three dozen men and women have filed a federal class-action lawsuit accusing Florida authorities of unlawfully videotaping them as they received legal massages at a parlor where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others allegedly paid for sex.
The lawsuit by 31 John and Jane Does alleges that Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the Jupiter Police Department and the case’s lead detective violated their rights to privacy when they were videotaped in January receiving massages at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.
The lawsuit was originally filed Friday with 17 accusers. It alleges that Jupiter police unlawfully obtained the warrants allowing them to install cameras. None of the 31 has been charged with a crime, according to the lawsuit. It seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages and to have the video recordings blocked from public release and ultimately destroyed.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey gambling regulators have fined PokerStars $10,000 for taking bets on New Jersey college basketball teams in violation of the state’s sports betting law.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement issued the fine on April 12, and posted it on its website last week.
Documents filed by the state indicate that PokerStars accepted 216 wagers on a game involving Rutgers and Eastern Michigan University totaling more than $2,700.
The company also took a single bet on a game involving Monmouth University and the University of Pennsylvania, whose value was not disclosed on the division’s website.
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) — Brenda Jackson, mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a longtime employee at JR Motorsports alongside her daughter Kelley Earnhardt Miller, has died following a battle with cancer. She was 65.
The team announced her death Monday.
Jackson was the daughter of NASCAR fabricator Robert Gee, who built cars for various racers including the late Dale Earnhardt. She married Earnhardt in 1972, had two children, and Dale Jr. and Kelley remained with their mother when the couple separated and Earnhardt chased a career in NASCAR.