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Saturday, February 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne named WNBA’s MVP

Delle Donne averaged 23.4 points per game for Chicago. (Associated Press)
Delle Donne averaged 23.4 points per game for Chicago. (Associated Press)

Elena Delle Donne has to make more room in her ever-growing trophy case.

The Chicago Sky star was announced as the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player on Wednesday for the first time in her young career.

“Sounds pretty crazy hearing that,” Delle Donne said. “It’s been an incredible season. My teammates are the ones that have the credit, the coaches as well. We had so much fun this year. Just want to keep it going.”

She averaged 23.4 points per game to lead the league this season and help Chicago secure the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

The 26-year-old forward from Delaware grabbed 8.4 rebounds – more than double her total from the previous year. She also blocked two shots a game and shot 95 percent from the free throw line.

Texans expected to start Mallett

NFL: A person with direct knowledge of the decision says that Ryan Mallett will start at quarterback for the Houston Texans on Sunday at Carolina.

Brian Hoyer started the season opener but had two turnovers early and was benched in the fourth quarter. Mallett took over and led the Texans on two scoring drives in the last 6 minutes of the 27-20 loss to Kansas City.

NFL reinstates Patriots employees: The NFL reinstated the two New England Patriots employees cited by the league for their involvement in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game.

Equipment assistant John Jastremski and officials locker room attendant Jim McNally were reinstated after the team requested they be allowed to return.

Bengals’ Jones fined for foul: Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones said he’s been fined $35,000 by the NFL for his personal foul against Raiders receiver Amari Cooper during their opener on Sunday.

Jones was on top of Cooper and slammed his head to the ground during the second quarter, drawing a penalty for unnecessary roughness.

Red Sox shut down Kelly for the season

MLB: Boston Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly has been shut down for the season with a shoulder injury.

Kelly left in the third inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Orioles with stiffness in his right shoulder.

Kelly won eight consecutive starts before a no-decision on Tuesday. He is 10-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 25 games.

Padres’ Johnson scheduled for another surgery: The San Diego Padres say right-hander Josh Johnson, who has been sidelined for two seasons, will have a third reconstructive elbow surgery.

Johnson had Tommy John surgery in 2007 and again in 2014 after straining his elbow during spring training.

Johnson hasn’t thrown a pitch in the regular season for the Padres. He made $8 million in 2014 and was brought back for $1 million this season.

Johnson was an All-Star with Miami in 2009 and 2010, when he led the NL with a 2.30 ERA. He was slowed by triceps and forearm injuries in 2013 while with Toronto.

Zito called up by Athletics: The Oakland Athletics are bringing up former Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito.

The A’s announced that they will purchase Zito’s contract from Triple-A Nashville. They cleared a roster spot by placing right-hander Jesse Chavez on the 60-day disabled list.

Zito returned to the A’s with a minor league contract this season and spent the entire year in Nashville, where he went 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 24 games.

Dinamo Zagreb knocks off Arsenal

Soccer: Dinamo Zagreb swept to a surprising 2-1 victory over 10-man Arsenal in the Champions League as the Londoners’ made a dismal start to their campaign in Group F.

A goal by Josip Pivaric in the 24th minute and a sending-off for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud after a second yellow card in the 40th swung the game Dinamo’s way.

In other Champions League games, Bayern Munich beat Olympiakos 3-0, Chelsea eased to a 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Alessandro Florenzi scored an incredible goal from more than 60 yards as Roma held defending champion Barcelona to a 1-1 draw.

U.S. men dominate World Cup volleyball

Miscellany: The United States overpowered Venezuela 25-18, 25-16, 25-20 to stay unbeaten and remain in first place at the volleyball World Cup at Osaka, Japan.

Matt Anderson scored 14 points and Taylor Sander had 12 as the U.S. dominated on serve, outscoring Venezuela 12-4.

The U.S. improved to 6-0 for 18 points, one ahead of world champion Poland, which was also unbeaten but conceded more sets.

Poland rallied from a set down to beat Canada 23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19.

Rossi signs to Formula 1 team: Formula 1 team Manor Marussia says it has signed American driver Alexander Rossi to race in five of the seven remaining events this season, starting in Singapore this weekend.

Rossi, 23, will be the first American to compete in Formula 1 since Scott Speed in 2007.

Subban’s foundation pledges $10 million: Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and his foundation have pledged at least $10 million to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The hospital is calling the donation the largest philanthropic commitment made by a professional athlete in Canada.

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