Update on the latest sports


Raptors to call Tampa home for rest of season

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Toronto Raptors aren’t going back to Toronto this season. The team said Thursday it will stay in its adopted home of Tampa, Florida, because of ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic and how that affects the process of crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada.

The Raptors are 6-5 in their “home” building this season, Amalie Arena, which they’re sharing with the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Toronto made the move south last fall, knowing Thursday’s decision was a real possibility. The land border with Canada remains closed to nonessential travelers who are not Canadian citizens. And Canada requires those entering the country to isolate for 14 days, which wouldn’t be feasible for NBA teams. The Canadian government has also strongly discouraged nonessential travel for any reason.

Tampa also has the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, and the Tampa Bay Rays played in the World Series last season.


Buehler, Dodgers avoid arbitration with $8M, 2-year deal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Walker Buehler (BYOO’-lur) and the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers have avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday. They’ve agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract that would escalate to more than $12 million if he starts regularly this year and wins a Cy Young Award.

Buehler had been eligible for arbitration for the first time. The 26-year-old right-hander was the Dodgers’ ace in helping them win their first World Series title since 1988.

In other MLB news:

— The Chicago Cubs have added another outfielder, agreeing to a $1.5 million, one-year contract with Jake Marisnick. A person familiar with the situation confirmed the deal for The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move is pending a physical. Marisnick will make $1 million this season. There is a $4 million mutual option for 2022 with a $500,000 buyout. The 29-year-old Marisnick hit .333 with two homers and five RBIs in 16 games with the New York Mets last year. But he is known more for his defense in center field.

— The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed veteran catcher Tony Wolters to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Wolters will compete for a backup job behind Jacob Stallings. Wolters is 28 and spent the first five seasons of his big-league career in Colorado. He hit .238 with seven home runs and 123 RBIs in 391 games with the Rockies. Pittsburgh opens spring training when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 17, with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 22.


A look ahead at Day 5

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) will take on American Taylor Fritz in one of the high-intensity matches on Day 5 of the Australian Open. Play resumes Thursday evening, U.S. time.

In what should be an entertaining encounter between two young Canadians, No. 11 Denis Shapovalov plays 20th seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime.

U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem (teem) will face fan favorite Nick Kyrgios (KEER’-ee-ohs). The often-fiery Australian saved two match points in his five-set second-rounder against Frenchman Ugo Humbert. Organizers have scheduled him for the first night match at the same venue against Thiem, last year’s Australian Open runner-up.

In women’s play, Serena Williams takes on Anastasia Potapova and Naomi Osaka is against Ons Jabeur. Jabeur, a 26-year-old Tunisian, became the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a major when she made the last eight at Melbourne Park in 2020.

On Thursday, Sofia Kenin’s bid to repeat as champion ended when she lost in the second round to big-serving Kaia Kanepi, who hit 10 aces and had 22 winners. The American became the third top-nine woman to make an early exit from the tournament. Top-ranked Ash Barty blew a big lead in the second set but survived a shaky tiebreaker to get past Daria Gavrilova. Fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina beat 16-year-old American Coco Gauff. Other women’s winners included former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, Shelby Rogers and Jennifer Brady.

Rafael Nadal was among the men advancing to the third round. The 20-time major champion shrugged off some heckling from a spectator and beat American qualifier Michael Mmoh. Russia’s ATP Cup-winning teammates Daniil Medevev and Andrey Rublev continued their unbeaten starts to the year with straight-set wins. The fourth-seeded Medevev extended his winning streak to 16 by beating Roberto Carballes Baena. Others advancing included fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 9 Matteo Berrettini and 16th-seeded Fabio Fognini in a sometimes heated contest with fellow Italian Salvatore Caruso that lasted almost four hours.


Gut-Behrami wins elusive gold in worlds opener, Shiffrin 3rd

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Lara Gut-Behrami has dashed to gold in the women’s super-G at the world championships, winning the only medal missing from her storied career.

The 2016 overall World Cup champion beat Swiss teammate Corinne Suter by 0.34 seconds, living up to her billing as the main favorite after winning the last four super-Gs on the World Cup circuit.

Mikaela Shiffrin took bronze in her first speed race in more than a year. The American missed a chance to win gold as she had the fastest split times but lost balance and got twisted around near the bottom of the course.

Thursday’s super-G was the first race at the worlds after three days of postponements.