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expects to be on a minutes restriction up

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    June 16, 2019 5:28 AM PDT

    BARCELONA, Spain -- Francisco "Piti" Medina scored a double Sunday as Rayo Vallecano won 3-2 at Levante to stay in the hunt for a Europa League berth. Custom Philadelphia 76ers Jerseys . Also, Deportivo La Coruna beat visiting Espanyol 2-0 in a tense match featuring contrasting emotions. Deportivo is provisionally out of the relegation zone, while Real Zaragoza fell into the drop zone after conceding two late goals to fall 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao. Piti opened the scoring in the 20th minute by firing in a rebound. Robert Acquafresca levelled for Levante in the 52nd. Franco Vazquez finished off a Rayo counterattack four minutes later, and Piti scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 72nd to make it 3-1. Levante midfielder Vicente Iborra pulled one back in the 86th to add drama to the final minutes, but Rayo held on for victory. "Piti is spectacular. Every time he touches the ball he creates danger," said Rayo coach Paco Jemez, adding that his forward has scored more goals than Real Madrid stars Karim Benzema (10) and Gonzalo Higuain (14). Rayos first win in six rounds lifted it into eighth place in the Spanish league, which currently earns a spot in the Europa League with Malaga banned from UEFA competition next season. "We continue fighting for something that would be historic for this club," Jemez said. Espanyol made a good start at Deportivo with Christian Stuani heading Sergio Garcias cross onto the bar. But Deportivo soaked up the pressure before going ahead five minutes after halftime when Bruno Gama struck with a curling strike from the edge of the area, sending coach Fernando Vazquez charging down the sideline with fists raised to celebrate. Substitute Nelson Oliveira sealed the much-needed win in stoppage time. But he then provoked the ire of the Riazor Stadium crowd by holding his finger to his lips in an apparent response to previous criticism he had received from the home fans. After gesturing for the stands to be quiet, the young Portugal striker shook off his teammates attempts to hug him in celebration of the goal. Zaragoza bossed the match at La Romareda Stadium and went ahead thanks to Helder Postigas well-placed header in the 14th. But Bilbao finally came alive when Fernando Llorente poked in a loose ball in the 80th, and Oscar de Marcos dribbled by his marker on the end line before crossing for Ibai Gomez to score the stoppage-time winner with a deft back-heeled flick. After a disappointing season, Bilbaos comeback victory secured its place in the top flight with two rounds to go. Later, league champion Barcelona plays Valladolid without injured top scorer Lionel Messi. Barcelona can match Real Madrids record haul of 100 points from last season if it wins its remaining three matches. Last-place Mallorca hosts Real Betis on Monday. Custom Indiana Pacers Jerseys . The 25-year-old Japanese star has officially been posted by his club team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Custom Miami Heat Jerseys . Still, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought taking him out before the fifth inning was an unusual move. "Im looking up at the board and hes got two hits given up and one run, and Im taking him out after the fourth inning," Roenicke said. .J. Jefferson has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. SALT LAKE CITY -- Injured Dallas?star Dirk Nowitzki expects to play at some point in December, telling ESPN he might be a Christmas gift for the Mavericks.Nowitzki, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, has been limited to only five games this season due to persistent soreness in his strained right Achilles tendon. He has not played since a Nov. 25 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Mavs officially saying he is out indefinitely.The thing is, I think when I came back it was a little too early and I had a little setback, said Nowitzki, who sat out eight consecutive games before playing in losses to the?LA Clippers?and Cavaliers and getting shut down again. Everybodys a little worried about starting it back up too early and then starting back where we were, so were taking it slow now. But its been getting better. Ive been increasing the workload, and it hasnt been sore.Hopefully, Ill be back in action anytime soon. Maybe Im a Christmas gift.Nowitzki feels like hes readdy to return to practice after going through a strenuous workout with injured guard J. Custom New York Knicks Jerseys. J. Barea following Fridays shootaround in Utah. The workout included pick-and-rolls and full-court shooting drills.Barea, who has been out due to a strained right calf since Nov. 16, was also encouraged by the workout and said he expects to return to the Mavs rotation next week.Its feeling better every day, said Barea, who expects to be on a minutes restriction upon his return.One challenge for Nowitzki, meanwhile, is that the Mavs have precious little practice time during the season. He will get in a lot of his work during 3-on-3 games with the Mavs low-minute players.Barea said the Mavs will have one such session before Sundays home game against the Sacramento Kings.Hopefully, I can get out there pretty quick and have fun again, Nowitzki told ESPN. ' ' '