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Here is the latest Washington, Oregon and Alaska sports news from The Associated Press

Here is the latest Washington, Oregon and Alaska sports news from The Associated Press
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 3:33 AM AKDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard struggled during the coronavirus shutdown, missing his  mom and grieving the death of his cousin. But he also found inspiration in his music and the Black Lives Matter movement. Now his focus has turned to the re-start of the NBA season later this month in Orlando. The Blazers have just eight games to climb into the playoffs. They'll get a boost by the return of big men Jusuf Nukic and Zach Collins.

HERRIMAN, Utah (AP) — Sam Staab’s header in the 77th minute pulled the Washington Spirit into a 1-1 draw with the Portland Thorns on Sunday night in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup tournament. Lindsey Horan’s diving header off a free kick from Meghan Klingenberg put the Thorns up 1-0 in the 69th minute. Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe got a hand on the ball but it bounced into the goal off the crossbar. Staab scored for the Spirit on a backheel volley from teammate Ashley Sanchez to tie the game up.

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Cy Young winner Félix Hernández has opted out of the 2020 season, at least temporarily ending his bid to revive his career with the Atlanta Braves. Braves manager Brian Snitker says the 34-year-old Hernández chose to skip the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. A six-time All-Star in 15 seasons with Seattle, the player known as King Felix needed a fresh start following 2019, his worst season. Hernández made his decision after participating in workouts Friday and Saturday at Truist Park. The Braves announced Saturday that four-time All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, reliever Will Smith and two more Atlanta players tested positive for COVID-19.