Sports Briefs


OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics were closing in on a deal Sunday with free-agent outfielder Coco Crisp on a one-year contract with a club option for the 2011 season.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed an impending deal on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made by the club. That could come soon.

The 30-year-old Crisp can play all three outfield positions but is primarily a center fielder. While the A's have been happy with Rajai Davis, he might wind up playing one of the corner spots to clear room for Crisp in center.

Crisp underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in June and batted .228 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in only 49 games last season for the Kansas City Royals, who last month declined their $8 million option to bring Crisp back in 2010.

Crisp, who could bat leadoff or high in the order for the A's, has said he expects to be full strength by the start of spring training in February.


NEW YORK — Knicks president Donnie Walsh says he will probably begin discussions with Nate Robinson's agent today about a request to trade the benched guard.

That's assuming Robinson really wants to be dealt.

Robinson said Sunday his preference is to stay with the Knicks, the day after his agent told Walsh he would like to look into getting his client out of New York.

The request came after Robinson was benched for eight straight games by coach Mike D'Antoni. Robinson says he is still ready to play for the Knicks, but added, "I haven't got that privilege to play the way that I like to play."

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki missed Dallas' game against Cleveland on Sunday night because of soreness in his elbow, where two teeth belonging to Houston's Carl Landry wound up following a collision a few nights before.

"I tried (shooting), but it's just too sore," said Nowitzki, his arm bandaged from his elbow to his wrist.

Nowitzki needed several stitches to repair the gash in his right elbow, which he suffered during the second quarter of an overtime loss to the Rockets on Friday night. He shot two free throws left handed, then went to the locker room and didn't return.

Coach Rick Carlisle isn't sure when his star will play again. Dallas next plays Portland at home on Tuesday night.

"We'll see where he's at each day," Carlisle said.

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban officially filed a protest with the NBA office on Sunday over what he termed "misapplication of the rules" by the officiating crew during Friday night's overtime loss to the Houston Rockets.

Cuban said the officials were wrong to eject Dallas center Erick Dampier in the overtime. Dampier was called for throwing an elbow that led to his ejection, and Cuban wants the final 1:01 of the overtime replayed with Houston in front, 110-104.

College basketball

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Micaela Cocks scored 17 points as Oregon jumped out to a big early lead and held off Wyoming 78-66 on Sunday.

The Ducks (9-2) bothered the Cowgirls with a smothering full-court press, scored the game's first 11 points and led by as much as 22 in the first half. Oregon forced 26 Wyoming turnovers, including 21 in the first half.

Aubrey Vandiver led Wyoming (9-2) with 19 points.

Oregon led 45-28 at halftime and built its lead back up to 21 in the second half. The Cowgirls cut the deficit down to nine with 11 minutes left, but the Ducks answered with a 10-0 run.

Taylor Lilley and Nia Jackson scored 14 points each for Oregon.

— The Associated Press

Hillary Carlson and Kristen Scheffler finished with 15 points apiece for Wyoming, and Emma Langford added 12.

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