AP Sports

AP Scorecard
March 27, 2018
Betty Lou Mitchell
March 27, 2018
AP Sports

 

Update on the latest in sports:
NBA-SCHEDULE

Sixers roll in Fultz’s return

UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers welcomed back rookie Markelle Fultz while rolling to their seventh consecutive win.

Fultz had 10 points and eight rebounds as the Sixers whipped the Nuggets, 123-104. Fultz was in action 5 1/2 months after being sidelined by a shoulder injury. He checked in to a standing ovation with 2:54 left in the first quarter and drove down the baseline for a quick basket.

Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) had 20 points and 13 boards for the 76ers, who trailed by eight before outscoring Denver 72-45 in the second half.

Philadelphia moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Pacers and one game behind the Cavaliers.

Checking out the rest of Monday’s NBA action:

– The Celtics are within three games of the East-leading Raptors after Jayson Tatum scored 23 points and Marcus Morris added 20 in three quarters of Boston’s 102-94 win at Phoenix. Al Horford added 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the Celtics’ fourth straight win.

– Memphis damaged Minnesota’s playoff hopes as Wayne Seldon scored 23 points and Marc Gasol (gah-SAHL’) added 20 with 10 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ 101-93 victory over the Timberwolves. The Grizzlies were 15 of 31 from 3-point range and kept the Wolves 1 1/2 games ahead of Denver for the final Western Conference playoff seed.

– Reggie Jackson scored 20 points and Reggie Bullock had 16 as the Pistons won for the fourth time in five games, 112-106 over the Lakers. Los Angeles rookie Lonzo Ball finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double, getting 15 points and 11 assists.

– Kemba Walker provided 11 of his 31 points in overtime and finished with a team-high seven assists to help the Hornets down the Knicks, 137-128. Dwight Howard had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte, which outscored New York 20-11 in the extra session.

 

NBA-WIZARDS-WALL

Wall not sure when he’ll return

WASHINGTON (AP) – Washington Wizards point guard John Wall says he feels good after a pair of full-contact practices. However, he isn’t sure when he will return to game action for his struggling team.

Wall underwent left knee surgery on Jan. 31 and says he has last about 10 or 15 pounds during his rehab without intending to. The Wizards have gone 14-11 during his absence, but they have dropped three straight to fall to sixth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference at 40-33.

Coach Scott Brooks says Wall won’t play Tuesday against the Spurs.

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWS

Bates-Diop to NBA

UNDATED (AP) – Ohio State star forward Keita Bates-Diop is giving up his final year of eligibility to enter the NBA draft.

Bates Diop was the Big Ten Player of the Year after leading the Buckeyes to the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds this season after missing most of 2017 with a leg injury.

Bates-Diop is projected to be a first-round pick in the draft.

In other college basketball news:

– Washington State junior forward Robert Franks says he intends to declare for the draft and will hire an agent. Franks was seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring this season at 17.4 points a game, 11 points higher than his sophomore average.

– Daniel Gafford says he will return for his sophomore season at Arkansas after averaging 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Razorbacks this season. The SEC All-Freshman selection shot 60.5 percent from the field and had 2.2 blocks in 22.6 minutes per game.

– Missouri freshman forward Michael Porter Jr. says he is declaring for the NBA draft. Porter missed most of this season following lower back surgery in November, but he returned to score 12 points in the Tigers’ SEC Tournament loss to Georgia. He also scored 16 points in Missouri’s NCAA Tournament game.

– A person familiar with the situation says Tubby Smith has agreed to take over as head men’s basketball coach at High Point. Smith played for High Point from 1969-73 and was fired two weeks ago by Memphis.

– Tennessee State has hired Illinois State assistant Brian “Penny” Collins as its men’s basketball coach. The 34-year-old Collins replaces Dana Ford, who left for Missouri State after going 57-65 in four seasons.

– Texas-Arlington has fired coach Scott Cross after 12 seasons and a 225-161 mark. The Mavericks were 21-13 this season and missed a chance to get back to the NCAA Tournament after losing to Georgia State in the Sun Belt tournament final.

– Detroit Mercy has dismissed coach Bacari Alexander after the Titans went 8-24 this season. Alexander was 16-47 in two years at the school.

 

BASKETBALL PLAYER DIES

NBA G League player dies after collapsing during game

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A Detroit Pistons developmental player has died after collapsing on the court during a NBA G League game on Saturday.

The Grand Rapids Drive says 26-year-old Zeke Upshaw died at a hospital Monday. No cause was disclosed.

Upshaw had scored 11 points before collapsing in the final minute of a 101-99 victory that put the Drive in the playoffs. He was in his second season with Grand Rapids after playing college ball at Illinois State and Hofstra.

 

NHL-SCHEDULE

Coyotes top Bolts in Tampa

UNDATED (AP) – The Boston Bruins are suddenly in the driver’s seat as they try to catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.

The Bruins are just two points back with two games in hand following the Lightning’s stunning 4-1 loss to the Coyotes in Tampa. The game was scoreless until Trevor Murphy notched his first goal in his second NHL game.

Clayton Keller had an empty-net goal and an assist as the worst team in the Western Conference handed the Bolts their second straight loss.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

– Jonathan Marchessault (MAHR’-cheh-soh) scored the game-winner and had two assists as the Golden Knights beat the Avalanche, 4-1 to clinch a playoff berth in their inaugural season. William Karlsson scored his 40th goal of the season into an empty net and set up two scores to help Vegas keep their six-point lead over San Jose atop the Pacific Division.

– Shootout goals by Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks a 4-3 win at Chicago. Evander Kane scored for the eighth time in 12 games since being acquired by San Jose at the trade deadline.

– Alex Ovechkin notched his league-leading 45th goal and had an assist while the Capitals scored four times in the first period of a 4-2 victory against the Rangers. T.J. Oshie (OH’-shee), Matt Niskanen and Evgeni Kuznetsov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) also scored as Washington increased its lead in the Metropolitan Division to five points over the Penguins.

– Toronto’s team-record 13-game home winning streak is over after Jack Eichel’s (EYE’-kulz) second goal of the night lifted the Sabres past the Maple Leafs, 3-2. Casey Nelson also scored and Chad Johnson stopped 39 shots as Buffalo ended a four-game skid.

– The Kings bolstered their playoff hopes as Dion Phaneuf (fah-NOOF’) and Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) each had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over the Flames. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves in his fifth shutout of the season, helping Los Angeles move into a third-place tie in the Pacific Division and pass the Avalanche for the first Western Conference wild-card berth.

– The Panthers are within one point of a playoff slot after James Reimer stopped 32 shots in a 3-0 whitewash of the Islanders. Keith Yandle scored the game-winner in the first period and had an assist as Florida won for the 13th time in 17 games.

– Warren Foegele had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut as the Hurricanes beat the Senators, 4-1. Brock McGinn and Valentin Zykov scored 98 seconds apart in the second period to help Carolina win its third in a row.

– Brendan Gallagher scored twice in a 5:05 span of the second period of the Canadiens’ 4-2 verdict over the Red Wings. Detroit has dropped 13 of its last 14 games.

 

NHL-BLUE JACKETS-ROSTER

Jackets lose Foligno

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno is expected to miss two to four weeks with a lower-body injury suffered in Saturday’s loss to the Blues.

Foligno has 15 goals and 33 points for the Blue Jackets, who have won 10 of their last 11 games to move into a third-place tie with the Flyers in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division.

 

NFL-NEWS

Rams get Suh

UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Rams hope they have created a formidable defensive front to go with coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.

The Rams have agreed to a one-year contract with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAH’-mah-kahng soo), who is slated to play alongside All-Pro Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. Suh spent the last three seasons with Miami and was released when he declined to restructure his contract.

Suh is a five-time Pro Bowl selection during his eight-year career with Detroit and the Dolphins.

In other NFL news:

– Eagles All-Pro defensive end Michael Bennett has surrendered to authorities in Houston on a charge that he injured a paraplegic woman as he tried to get onto the field after last year’s Super Bowl to celebrate with his brother. Bennett was a spectator at the game at NRG Stadium in Houston in February 2017 when he tried to get onto the field immediately afterward to see his brother, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett.

– The Redskins have signed free-agent linebacker Pernell McPhee. Knee and shoulder injuries limited McPhee to 22 games over the past two seasons with the Bears.

– The Giants have signed safety Michael Thomas, who spent the last five seasons in Miami. Thomas is the seventh defensive player added by New York in the last two weeks.

 

GYMNASTICS SCANDAL-MICHIGAN STATE

Michigan State official arrested

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan State University official who oversaw Larry Nassar has been arrested amid an investigation into the handling of complaints against the now-imprisoned former sport doctor.

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says William Strampel was in jail pending an arraignment, but declined to say what charges Strampel was facing because the probe is being led by the Michigan attorney general’s office.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette declined to comment. A news conference was scheduled for Tuesday.

Strampel is the first person to be charged in connection with the scandal besides Nassar, who is serving decades in prison for molesting patients under the guise of treatment and for possessing child pornography.

 

NASCAR-MARTINSVILLE

Bowyer ends lengthy drought

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) – Clint Bowyer had lost 190 consecutive starts before winning today’s weather-delayed NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.

Bowyer had led just 145 total laps the last four years before heading the pack for 215 laps in his first career Martinsville victory.

The win was his first driving for Stewart-Haas Racing, the team he joined as Tony Stewart’s replacement last year. He hadn’t won since October 2012 at Charlotte.

Bowyer is the first driver to notch victories driving a Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford.

Kyle Busch was second, followed by Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick. It was Busch’s third runner-up finish this season.

 

MLB-YANKEES-BIRD

Bird out again

UNDATED (AP) – Greg Bird continues to have trouble staying on the field.

The oft-injured Yankees first baseman will have surgery Tuesday to remove a small broken spur on the outside of his right ankle. The procedure will keep him sidelined until late May.

The 25-year-old Bird has been promising yet perplexing since his big league debut in 2015, when he came up from the minors and had 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 46 games. He missed 2016 after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Bird sat out 3 1/2 months last season because of an ankle injury.

In other MLB news:

– A person familiar with the deal says the Diamondbacks and infielder Ketel Marte have agreed to a $24 million, five-year contract. The 24-year-old Marte came up from Triple-A Reno last season and hit .260 in 73 games.

– Right-hander Bartolo Colon has signed another minor league contract with the Texas Rangers and is currently slated to start their fifth game of the season. The 44-year-old Colon went to spring training with a minor league contract and had a 3.00 ERA over 18 innings in his five starts before being cut on Saturday.

– The Braves have bolstered their bench by agreeing to one-year deals with outfielder Peter Bourjos and utility player Ryan Flaherty. Both were released by other teams late in spring training.

– Dusty Baker is rejoining the San Francisco Giants nearly 16 years after his departure as manager. The 68-year-old Baker will serve as a special adviser to CEO Larry Baer working in both the baseball and business operations of the club. Baker was fired as skipper of the Washington Nationals after last season.

– The Red Sox will open the season with the largest payroll in the majors at about $223 million, ending the Dodgers’ four-year run as the top spender. The Giants will be second at around $203 million, $20 million more than the Cubs. The Yankees are projected to be seventh at around $167 million, their lowest ranking since 1992.

AP-WF-03-27-18 1032GMT