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Players' union to appeal Cousins' suspension

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Players' union to appeal Cousins' suspension

The NBA players' association is continuing its appeal on behalf of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins even after he has served his suspension.

The league suspended Cousins two games for confronting San Antonio announcer Sean Elliott in a ``hostile manner.'' The exchange followed the Spurs' 97-86 victory in Sacramento on Friday night.

Cousins sat out losses at the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and at home against Portland on Tuesday. He can't get the games back but is hoping to recoup his pay for each game missed. He lost about $70,500 of his $3.9 million salary.

``Based on the accounts we have heard to date of the incident, we believe that a two-game suspension is excessive and unwarranted,'' NBA players' association executive director Billy Hunter said in a statement Wednesday. ``We recognize the Commissioner's desire to discourage confrontations between players and members of the media, but he needs to exercise more subtlety and discretion in ascertaining and examining the specific facts and circumstances before handing down such heavy-handed discipline.''

In a statement through his agent, John Greig, Cousins expressed remorse for his role in the incident.

``Despite believing the penalty (is) unwarranted, I want to apologize to the Sacramento Kings, our fans and especially to my coaches and teammates for this distraction of our goals,'' Cousins said. ``As a leader of the team, I have to make the best decisions so my teammates can count on me. I am committed to continued growth and being the best player I can be.''

Cousins' behavior has been well documented going back to high school and his one season at Kentucky.

He has mixed in dramatic and astonishing plays with outbursts against players, coaches, trainers and referees. Cousins clashed often last season with Kings coach Paul Westphal, who was fired after a 2-5 start, which also came after he released a statement criticizing Cousins' commitment to the team and excusing him for a game.

After Cousins' workout over the summer in Las Vegas with the U.S. select team, which helped Team USA prepare for the London Olympics, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Cousins ``has some growing up to do.'' Cousins has since said he was just playing hard and that rubbed some the wrong way.

The 22-year-old Cousins is averaging 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season. Sacramento is 2-6, the worst record in the Western Conference.

Cousins, drafted fifth overall in 2010, will return when the Kings host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship for first career major title

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USA TODAY Sports

Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship for first career major title

It was only a mere three weeks ago that Francesco Molinari closed with a final round 62 en route to a dominant eight-shot victory at the 2018 Quicken Loans National. 

On Sunday, his eight-under total was good enough for a two-shot win over Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

The 35-year-old played his final round alongside Tiger Woods, who shot a 5-under-par 66 in Saturday's third round that left him at 5 under through 54 holes and four shots back of the leaders. His 66 was his first weekend round in the 60s in the Open since 2007.

The 14-time major winner had to settle for a closing round of 71 on Sunday. It was his first Open since missing the cut at St. Andrews in 2015.

Molinari continues to be one of the world's hottest golfers, notching his third win in the last five starts. 

Some of golf's best weighed in on Sunday: 

When it was all said and done, on a day that featured difficult Carnoustie wind conditions, Francesco Molinari emerged victorious hoisting the Claret Jug. 

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

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