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Morris brothers get court date for assault charges

Markieff Morris (left) and Marcus Morris could face jail time if convicted of assault charges.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Celtics forward Marcus Morris and his brother Markieff, each facing aggravated assault charges stemming from an incident in 2015, will get their day in court on Aug. 28 in Arizona. Marcus, who was obtained this offseason from the Pistons, and twin brother Markieff, who plays for the Wizards, were allegedly involved in an incident in Phoenix in January 2015 that left Erik Hood with a broken nose, abrasions and a large bump on his head. The Morris twins have said they had nothing to do with the incident. A conviction could potentially result in jail time in addition to a 10-game suspension from the league, which under the collective bargaining aggrement must suspend a player for a minimum of 10 games if convictoed of a violent felony . . . The Mavericks signed free-agent center Jeff Withey, who spent the past two seasons with the Jazz. The 7-foot Withey averaged 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 51 games last season . . . Dallas Wings forward Glory Johnson has been suspended by the WNBA for one game for throwing a punch at Atlanta Dream guard Matee Ajavon during their game Saturday. Johnson will serve her suspension Wednesday against the Connecticut Sun.


Alabama tops AP preseason poll again

No need to overthink it: Alabama is No. 1 in the AP preseason Top 25. The Crimson Tide became the first program in 12 years to take the top spot in the Associated Press preseason media poll two straight years, and will start the season ranked in the top five for the ninth consecutive time. Coach Nick Saban’s program has become the surest thing in sports these days. Since 2008, only once has Alabama lost more than one game before bowl season. The Crimson Tide received 52 of 61 first-place votes from media members in the poll released Monday. Ohio State was No. 2, edging No. 3 Florida State and preventing the first 1 vs. 2 opening game since the preseason poll began in 1950. Alabama opens the season against the Seminoles in Atlanta on Sept. 2. Southern California, which finished last season on a nine-game winning streak and No. 3 in the country, starts at No. 4. Defending national champion Clemson begins the post-Deshaun Watson era at No. 5 . . . A woman who reported that she’d been sexually assaulted is suing Baylor University, alleging questions she faced from the university shifted blame away from her attacker toward her. The lawsuit filed in a Waco federal court alleges Baylor’s response to the attack violated federal Title IX laws. This is the eighth such lawsuit filed against the university and the fifth still active.



Mets’ Matz need another elbow surgery

Mets pitcher Steven Matz needs another elbow operation, almost certainly ending a miserable 2017 season for the lefthander. The team said Matz was diagnosed with irritation of the ulnar nerve in his left elbow. Surgery was recommended to reposition the nerve and relieve the irritation, a similar procedure to the one teammate Jacob deGrom had last year. The oft-injured lefty is 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA in 13 starts covering only 66⅔ innings. Matz, 26, had Tommy John surgery early in his pro career . . . The Twins placed All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his left shin bone. First baseman Kennys Vargas was recalled Monday from Triple A Rochester for the fifth time this season to fill Sano’s spot . . . The Rangers placed pitcher Matt Bush on the disabled list with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Bush and third baseman Joey Gallo collided chasing a popup during Sunday’s game against the White Sox. Both remain in concussion protocol.



Defenseman Beauchemin rejoins Ducks

Francois Beauchemin keeps coming back to the Anaheim Ducks, and his third stint probably will be his final NHL season. The defenseman agreed to an incentive-laden one-year contract to return to the Stanley Cup contenders. Beauchemin, 37, won the Cup in 2007 during his first tenure with Anaheim from 2005-09. After leaving for Toronto as a free agent, he returned to Anaheim in a trade in February 2011. He was a mainstay on the Ducks’ blue line until 2015, when he left for Colorado.



Kvitova upset by Zhang in New Haven

Petra Kvitova’s final tuneup for the US Open ended with a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Shuai Zhang of China in the first round of the Connecticut Open in New Haven. Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and a three-time champion in New Haven, is just 4-4 on hard courts this season. The Czech player returned to the tour at the French Open in May after she was stabbed during a home invasion in December, leaving her dominant left hand seriously injured. Earlier, Eugenie Bouchard breezed past higher-ranked Lauren Davis, 6-3, 6-1. Bouchard, a wild-card entry, next faces top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska . . . Two-time Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the US Open because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father . . . Vincenzo Nibali of Italy won the third stage of the Spanish Vuelta and Tour de France champion Chris Froome took the overall lead after a strong run in the first mountain stage . . . Life bans for Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, and Russia’s former top athletics official Valentin Balakhnichev were upheld in a doping and bribery case.