Update on the latest in sports:
Emmert: Court ruling reinforces NCAA athletes not employees
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – NCAA President Mark Emmert (EM’-urt) says a judge’s recent ruling in a federal antitrust lawsuit again reinforced that college athletes should be treated as students not employees.
Emmert spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, making his first public comments since last month’s decision in the so-called Alston case.
The Judge ruled last month the NCAA did violate antitrust laws and cannot prohibit schools from providing more benefits to athletes as long as they are tethered to education. Plaintiffs had sought to have all NCAA rules capping compensation be struck down.
The NCAA is still appealing the ruling, in part, Emmert says, because the association does not believe courts should decide what qualifies as a benefit tethered to education.
Nuggets hammer Spurs
UNDATED (AP) – The Denver Nuggets put together a lopsided victory as they try to catch Golden State for the top seed in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Nikola Jokic (nee-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out nine of Denver’s season-high 41 assists in a 113-85 thrashing of the Spurs. Jamal Murray added 14 points and 11 assists for the Nuggets, who are within 1 1/2 games of the conference lead after bouncing back from Tuesday’s loss to the Warriors.
San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich became the first NBA coach in seven years to be ejected two minutes into a game when he received two technical fouls 63 seconds after the opening tip.
Meanwhile, the Magic gave their NBA playoff hopes a big boost while taking advantage of the stumbling Knicks.
Nikola Vucevic (nee-KOH’-lah VOO’-cheh-vihch) had 29 points and 13 rebounds in the Magic’s 114-100 win at New York. Terrence Ross finished with 23 points off the bench, while Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon had 19 points apiece for Orlando.
New York cut a 13-point deficit to three before Ross nailed three straight 3-pointers that gave the Magic an 85-74 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
The outcome puts the Magic in a tie with Brooklyn for the last two Eastern Conference playoff berths, a half-game behind Detroit and a half-game ahead of Miami.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
– Toronto won its fifth in a row as Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) had 28 points and 10 rebounds in the Raptors’ 115-105 downing of the Nets. Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard added 26 points and nine boards for the Atlantic Division champs.
– The Rockets rolled to a 135-103 pounding of the Clippers as James Harden scored 31 points and Chris Paul finished with 29. Clint Capela had 24 points and 15 rebounds to help Houston win its fourth in a row.
– Evan Turner registered his second straight triple-double by furnishing 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists off the bench in the Trail Blazers’ 116-89 romp over the Grizzlies. Damian Lillard came close to a triple-double, too, with 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds before sitting out the final period.
– Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points and Joe Ingles contributed 15 of his 27 points in the second quarter of Utah’s 11th victory in 12 games, 118-97 over the Suns. Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Jazz, who remained in fifth place in the Western Conference.
– Thaddeus Young scored 21 points and the Pacers ended a 10-game road losing streak by dumping the Pistons, 108-89. Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic and Myles Turner scored 17 points apiece as Indiana stayed in a virtual tie with Boston for fourth in the East and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
– Gordon Hayward contributed 25 points and Kyrie Irving added 23 to send the Celtics to a 112-102 victory at Miami. Al Horford finished with 21 and Jayson Tatum scored nine of his 16 in the fourth quarter as Boston completed a home-and-home sweep of the Heat.
– Atlanta prevented Philadelphia from clinching the third seed in the East as Trae Young provided 33 points and 12 assists for the Hawks in a 130-122 victory over the 76ers. John Collins chipped in 25 points as the Hawks dealt the Sixers their fourth loss in six games.
– Kemba Walker scored 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter of the Hornets’ 115-109 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
– Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 13 rebounds as Timberwolves turned back a fourth-quarter rally by Dallas to earn a 110-108 victory.
– Walt Lemon Jr. scored a career-high 24 points, including two free throws with 1.8 seconds to play, to lead the Bulls to their first win in six games, 115-114 against the Wizards.
Nationals hand Phillies first loss
UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies have become the last major league team to lose a game this season, doing so by blowing a two-run lead in the eighth inning.
An error and a bases-loaded walk pushed the Washington Nationals past the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-8. Rookie Jake Noll ended the game by working out a bases-loaded walk against Dave Robertson in the ninth, one inning after the Nats tied the game on a two-out error by first baseman Rhys Hoskins.
Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) and Ryan Zimmerman homered off Aaron Nola before the Phillies stormed back from a 6-2 deficit to take an 8-6 lead.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Johan Camargo poked a go-ahead, three-run double while the Braves took advantage of five walks by Cubs relievers in the eighth inning on a 6-4 triumph over Chicago. The rally came after Willson Contreras gave the Cubs the lead with a long, two-run homer in the sixth.
– The Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Marlins as Jacob deGrom homered and tossed three-hit ball while striking out a career-high 14 over seven shutout innings of a 6-4 victory against the Marlins. DeGrom extended the NL’s longest active scoreless streak to 26 innings and allowed less than four runs for the 31st consecutive start, extending his big league record.
– The Brewers earned a 1-0 win over Cincinnati behind Freddy Peralta, who tossed two-hit ball over a career-high eight innings. Manny Pina singled home a run and Milwaukee improved to 6-1 by beating the Reds for the 16th time in their last 22 meetings, including six shutouts.
– David Freese’s (FREE’-zehz) two-run double in the seventh inning allowed the Dodgers to slip past the Giants, 5-3. Enrique Hernandez’s home run in the first gave Los Angeles a round-tripper in its first seven games, a team record to start the season.
– Manny Machado’s first homer as a Padre was a two-run shot in the seventh inning of a 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Joey Lucchesi held Arizona to four hits in five innings, struck out six and walked one to help San Diego avoid a three-game sweep.
– The Rockies ended a four-game losing streak by beating Tampa Bay, 1-0 on Chris Ianetta’s (eye-ah-NEH’-tuhz) 11th-inning homer. Ianetta’s blast was the Rockies’ first hit since Raimel Tapia’s leadoff single in the fifth and second run in 41 innings.
– Tyler O’Neill capped another St. Louis rally by driving in Kolten Wong for the go-ahead run in the 10th inning as the Cardinals surged past the Pirates, 5-4. Harrison Bader hit a two-run homer off Keone Kela in the eighth to tie the game at 3.
– The Red Sox spotted the Athletics a 3-0 lead before Blake Swihart’s solo blast ignited Boston’s comeback in a 6-3 win at Oakland. Mookie Betts broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run double in the ninth before scoring on Andrew Benintendi’s triple.
– Jose Abreu drove in three runs and Leury (lay-UR’-ee) Garcia had four hits to lead the Chicago White Sox to an 8-3 rout of the Indians at Cleveland. Abreu laced a two-run double that chased loser Cory Kluber, who was tagged for eight runs over 3 1/3 innings after winning nine straight decisions against the White Sox.
– Matthew Boyd struck out a career-high 13 while limiting the New York Yankees’ to five hits over 6 1/3 innings of Detroit’s 2-1 victory in the Bronx. Gordon Beckham won it with the Tigers’ third and final hit of the afternoon, a tiebreaking, solo homer in the eighth off Chad Green.
– Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) hit a pair of solo home runs Matt Shoemaker pitched seven shutout innings as the Blue Jays knocked off the Orioles, 5-3 to avoid a three-game sweep. Shoemaker allowed two hits while fanning eight after tossing seven scoreless innings against Detroit last Friday.
– Mike Minor tossed five-hit ball while striking out seven over seven innings of the Rangers’ 4-0 shutout of the Astros. Nomar Mazara singled home the first run and added a solo homer for Texas.
– Eddie Rosario delivered a go-ahead, RBI single in the ninth inning to complete the Minnesota Twins’ comeback in a 7-6 verdict over the Royals in Kansas City. Willians Astudillo and Mitch Garver each had three hits and scored twice for the Twins, who tied it on Max Kepler’s two-run single in the eighth.
– The White Sox and Cardinals have postponed their home openers by a day to Friday because rain is forecast.
Hall of Famer Cox hospitalized after stroke
ATLANTA (AP) – Hall of Famer manager Bobby Cox was able to accept visitors in his Atlanta-area hospital room on Wednesday, one day after the longtime Braves skipper suffered a stroke.
The 77-year-old Cox wore a Braves jersey while shouting “play ball!” before the first pitch of Monday night’s home opener against the Cubs.
Cox’s family released a statement on Wednesday which thanked fans for their support.
The Hall of Fame skipper led the Braves to 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, including the 1995 World Series title.
In other MLB news:
– The Nationals have put starting shortstop Trea Turner on the 10-day injured list by with a broken right index finger. Wilmer Difo took Turner’s spot in the infield for Washington’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
– The Indians have signed Terry Francona to a two-year contract extension through the 2022 season, giving him more security and a chance to become the longest tenured manager in team history. Francona’s deal was set to expire after 2020.
Buzz Williams taking Texas A&M job
UNDATED (AP) -Texas A&M has hired Virginia Tech basketball coach Buzz Williams, luring him back to his home state to try to turn the Aggies into a basketball power.
Williams spent five years with the Hokies, who made the last three NCAA Tournaments and finished this season in the Sweet 16. Williams was 100-69 in five seasons in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Elsewhere in college basketball:
– Rutgers assistant basketball coach Jay Young has been named head coach at Fairfield. He replaces Sydney Johnson, who was fired last month after a 9-22 season and a 116-147 record over eight seasons.
Hawks top Blues in shootout
UNDATED (AP) – The St. Louis Blues were unable to move into a virtual tie with Winnipeg and Nashville for first place in the NHL’s Central Division.
The Blues had to settle for one point after Jonathan Toews (tayvz) scored the lone shootout goal in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 triumph over St. Louis. Toews also scored in regulation while Chicago built a 3-1 lead, but David Perron (peh-RAHN’) closed the cap with a power-play goal midway through the third period before Tyler Bozak tied it with 39 seconds left in regulation.
The Blues are one point behind the Jets and Predators with two games remaining for each team. All three teams are in action on Thursday.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Rookies Sam Steel and Max Jones scored first-period goals before the Ducks polished off a 3-1 win over the Flames. Calgary rested several healthy regulars, including 82-point scorer Sean Monahan and 78-point scorer Elias Lindholm after securing the top seed in the West.
– Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist as the Senators earned a 4-1 win at Madison Square Garden. Bobby Ryan, Zack Smith and Brian Gibbons also scored to help Ottawa improve their league-worst record to 29-45-6.
Wife of Lions quarterback has brain tumor
UNDATED (AP) – The wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford plans to have surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Kelly Stafford shared the details Wednesday on her Instagram account. She says an MRI showed the tumor on cranial nerves after she had vertigo spells within the last year.
In other NFL news:
– The Bills have agreed to sign guard Quinton Spain to a one-year contract. The 27-year-old Spain spent his first four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, where he started 48 games at left guard.
– Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy says in a new interview he was “stunned” at the timing of his firing and his dismissal “couldn’t have been handled any worse.” McCarthy tells ESPN he was fired by team President Mark Murphy in a meeting with “no emotion to it.”
– Free agent wide receiver Ryan Grant has signed with the Raiders. Grant made a career-best 10 starts last season for the Colts and played in 14 games overall, finishing with 35 catches for 334 yards and a touchdown.