Weekend Sports Reviews
NFL free agency begins on Wednesday, but one big, splashy player move occurred over the weekend. The Oakland Raiders acquired disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for the cheap price of third- and fifth-round draft picks, and then stuffed some guaranteed money into Brown’s contract. We imagine he is now completely gruntled.
Brown sat out the final game of the regular season in a dispute with the club stemming from his deteriorating relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 31-year-old has been extremely productive and gives the Raiders a replacement for Amari Cooper, traded last year to the Dallas Cowboys for a No. 1 pick.
Francisco Molinari recorded an 8-under 64 on Sunday to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. He was five shots off the lead going into the final round, which he capped with a birdie putt of nearly 44 feet on the final hole. The victory boosted the Italian to No. 7 in the world rankings. He has three PGA Tour wins in his last 12 Tour starts.
Kyle Busch took the lead from Ryan Blaney on the 296th of 312 laps and held on the rest of the way to win the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Martin Truex Jr. also passed Blaney and grabbed second place in NASCAR’s fourth race of the season.
No. 4 Duke University dropped its last regular-season game on Saturday to No. 3 North Carolina, 79-70, but likely will get freshman Zion Williamson (knee) back for the ACC Tournament. Duke plays Thursday; Williamson is supposed to practice on Monday.
No. 10 LSU clinched the SEC regular-season title by beating Vanderbilt 80-59 on Saturday. The Tigers were without suspended coach Will Wade, banned for reportedly being heard on a wiretap discussing a monetary offer for a player.
Philadelphia 76ers standout Joe Embiid, out since the All-Star Game (eight games) with a sore left knee, returned to the lineup on Sunday night against the Indiana Pacers.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who already had lost Brandon Ingram for the season, may also be without Lonzo Ball (ankle) for the duration.
NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Harry Howell, who played the most games in New York Rangers history, died Sunday. He was 86.