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Giannis MVP…US reaches World Cup quarters…Italy gets another Winter Games

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) – Milwaukee Bucks forward GIannis Antetokounmpo¬† has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. The 24-year-old forward from Greece beat out Paul George of Oklahoma City and Houston’s James Harden, who won last year. Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 60-22 record..

REIMS, France (AP) – The U.S. women’s soccer team survived its stiffest test at World Cup before advancing to the quarterfinals. The Americans allowed a goal for the first time in their four tournament games, but Megan Rapinoe¬† converted a pair of penalty kicks to lead a 2-1 victory over Spain and set up a meeting with host country France on Friday. The tense match was knotted at 1 until Rapinoe’s second penalty put the defending champions ahead in the 75th minute.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. The IOC selected Italy over Stockholm, giving the Italians the Winter Games just 20 years after they were held in Turin. Both candidates would likely have failed to get this far in previous Olympic bidding contests, but the IOC has relaxed previously strict rules that demanded financial guarantees and government support earlier in the process.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks has a torn elbow ligament, an injury that usually leads to Tommy John surgery. The team says it’s determining what to do with Hicks, who has hit 105 mph with fastballs this season and routinely reaches triple digits with his heater. Hicks left Saturday’s game against the Angels in the ninth inning after retiring four batters.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal judge has approved a settlement calling for the NFL’s Rams to pay up to $24 million to personal seat license holders in St. Louis. Several St. Louis PSL holders filed a class-action lawsuit after the team moved to Los Angeles in January 2016. The lawsuit calls for PSL holders to get 30% of the original purchase price, a refund for the nine unused years of the seat license fee, plus damages.

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