Twice, Serena Williams stood merely two points from a loss at Wimbledon against a British opponent buoyed by a roaring, flag-waving Centre Court crowd. Twice, Williams was oh-so-close to the end of her bid for a fourth consecutive major title - and for the third leg of a calendar-year Grand Slam. Stomping her foot after misses, alternately screaming in delight or despair, even wagging her finger at fans who booed her, the No. 1-seeded Williams overcame a surprisingly staunch challenge from 59th-ranked Heather Watson and emerged with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory in the third round Friday.
DeAndre Jordan has chosen the Mavericks over the Los Angeles Clippers in what turned into a tense boom-or-bust wait for Dallas in pursuit of the free-agent center. This is the biggest free-agent pickup in Mark Cuban's 15 years as Dallas owner. The deal comes two days after the Mavericks lost their backup plan when last season's starter, Tyson Chandler, bolted for Phoenix.
The Sacramento Kings and guard Marco Belinelli have agreed to a $19 million, three-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal said Friday. Belinelli gives the Kings the shooting guard they've been searching for to stretch the floor for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Wesley Matthews turned down Sacramento's $64 million, four-year offer Thursday to accept a deal with Dallas.
Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees settled their dispute over a marketing payment with a deal announced Friday that gives $3.5 million to charitable groups, saves the team $5.5 million and gets A-Rod the home run ball from his 3,000th hit. At the time Rodriguez and the Yankees signed their $275 million, 10-year contract in December 2007, they reached a separate marketing agreement. It called for $6 million each for up to five milestone accomplishments in exchange for marketing rights, such as using A-Rod's name and image in selling licensed goods.
Connor McDavid played 66 junior games for the Erie Otters this season and seven more at the world junior championship. McDavid went to Quebec City for the CHL awards, Buffalo for the NHL scouting combine, Edmonton for a visit and finally South Florida for the NHL draft. This week, the No. 1 pick is back in Edmonton for the Oilers development camp, his first time on the ice in orange and blue.
When Damian Lillard agreed to a new maximum contract extension with the Trail Blazers on Thursday, it may have been the beginning of a changing of the guard in Portland. Lillard agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth more than $120 million, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. ''Thank you so much to (at)PaulGAllen and the (at)trailblazers organization,'' Lillard tweeted after the news broke.
After 12 years with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade needed a reminder of how much the franchise valued him. Wade accepted a $20 million, one-year deal on Thursday to stay with the Heat next season, ending his latest foray into free agency and wrapping up a weeks-long saga that had him seriously wondering about leaving for the first time. A pair of conversations, first with Heat CEO Nick Arison and then another with managing general partner Micky Arison, reminded Wade of what he meant to the team and from there it was a matter of just making numbers work.
Antonio Gates' squeaky-clean image took a big hit Thursday when the San Diego Chargers' star tight end was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The NFL said in a statement that Gates can participate in training camp and exhibition games. One of the NFL's top tight ends for more than a decade, Gates has had a Hall of Fame-caliber career after joining the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2003 following a college basketball career.