AP source: Loyer replacing Cheeks on interim basis

NOAH TRISTER AP Sports Writer Published:

DETROIT -- A person with knowledge of Detroit's plans says assistant John Loyer will take over as interim coach after Maurice Cheeks was fired Sunday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced an interim coach yet.

Detroit fired Cheeks after less than a year as coach, with the Pistons languishing well below .500 despite offseason moves aimed at putting the struggling franchise back in contention.

Detroit is 21-29, and although the Pistons still have a decent chance to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, their new roster has performed erratically.

Detroit hosts the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

• Basketball

Irving leads Cavs: Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers won back-to-back games for the first time in a month with a 91-83 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

The Cavaliers, who broke a six-game losing streak Friday night against Washington, have won both games since general manager Chris Grant was fired last week.

Irving scored the final four points in regulation to tie it. Luol Deng's 3-pointer on the first possession of overtime put Cleveland ahead for good, 81-78.

OSU women lose: Maggie Lucas had 23 points, including 12 during a 21-3 run, to lead No. 9 Penn State past Ohio State 74-54 on Sunday.

Dara Taylor and Talia East each added 12 points for the Nittany Lions (18-5, 9-2 Big Ten), who took over the top spot in the conference a day earlier when Michigan State lost at Nebraska. They had won six in a row before a 73-70 loss to Iowa on Thursday night.

Staffers spit on: Oregon coach Dana Altman is concerned about safety at Arizona State's Wells Fargo Arena after two of his staffers claim an ASU student spit at them at halftime of Saturday's night's game.

The incident was addressed and the student had his season tickets revoked, according to an Arizona State official.

• Football

Says he's gay: Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.

In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports that were published Sunday, Sam said his teammates and coaches at Missouri have known since August.

Players arrested: Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive lineman Danny O'Brien were arrested on alcohol-related charges and resisting arrest, authorities said Sunday.

Officers received a call about a loud party at the apartment of former Tennessee linebacker Dontavis Sapp, 22, who was also taken into custody with Johnson, 22, and O'Brien, 20, the Knox County Sheriff's Office said.

• Elsewhere

Woods' niece wins: Cheyenne Woods won the Australian Ladies Masters on Sunday for her first major professional tour victory, holding off 17-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee by two strokes.

The 23-year-old Woods, Tiger Woods' niece, closed with a 4-under 69 at Royal Pines to finish at 16-under 276. Lee also shot 69 in the event sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.

Start may move: The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race's competitive starting point could move hundreds of miles north to Fairbanks because of poor trail conditions.

Race officials sent an email to mushers Friday saying the conditions in the Alaska Range may force the 1,000-mile race to start in Fairbanks instead of Willow, which is about 50 miles north of Anchorage, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Saturday.

Pestrano arbitration: Cleveland's Vinnie Pestano, among four Indians left in arbitration, asked arbitrators Matt Irvings, Matt Goldberg and Steven Wolf for a raise from $501,900 to $1.45 million and was offered $975,000.

A right-hander who turns 29 on Feb. 20, Pestano was 1-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 37 relief appearances last year.

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