Update on the latest sports
Nick of time: Niners find a QB
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Nick Mullens was named the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback a few hours before Thursday’s game against Oakland. The undrafted free agent delivered with the most productive debut for an NFL quarterback since the 1970 merger.
Mullens completed 16 of his 22 passes for 262 yards, three touchdowns and a 151.9 passer rating as the Niners blasted the Raiders, 34-3. He threw TD passes to Pierre Garcon and Kendrick Bourne on the opening two drives and coasted to the most lopsided win in this series since San Francisco won the first meeting, 38-7 in 1970.
Mullens got the nod after C.J. Beathard (BETH’-urd) injured his right wrist last weekend. He made the most of his opportunity against one of the league’s worst defenses.
The Niners are 2-7 after ending a six-game losing streak. The Raiders are 1-7 and tied with the Giants for the NFL’s worst record.
UNDATED (AP) – The Denver Nuggets continue to roll through the early portion of their schedule as they try to make the NBA playoffs for the first time in six years.
The Nuggets are 7-1 and owners of a three-game winning streak following a 110-91 rout of the Cavaliers in Cleveland. Juancho Hernangomez scored 23 points, one day after Denver picked up the option on his rookie contract. Paul Millsap added 16 points in light duty, one night after his put-back with 0.1 seconds left gave the Nuggets a one-point victory at Chicago.
Jordan Clarkson had a team-high 17 points for the Cavaliers, who are 1-7 overall and 1-1 under acting coach Larry Drew.
In Thursday’s other NBA action:
– The Bucks suffered their first loss as Kyrie Irving drained six of the Celtics’ team-record 24 3-pointers while scoring 28 points in a 117-113 victory against Milwaukee. Gordon Hayward added a season-high 18 points, Al Horford finished with 18 and Marcus Morris had 17 points against the league’s last unbeaten team. Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-the-toh-KOOM’-poh) had 33 points and 11 rebounds in his return to the lineup after missing one game while in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
– Damian Lillard dropped in 26 points and the Trail Blazers nailed 18 3-pointers in their third straight win, 132-119 versus the Pelicans. Jusuf Nurkic (YOO’-suhf NUR’-kihch) added 20 points and nine rebounds for Portland.
– The 76ers were 122-113 winners over the Clippers behind Joel Embiid’s (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEEDZ’) 41 points and 13 rebounds. Ben Simmons added 14 points and 11 assists to help Philadelphia improve to 5-0 at home.
– Alex Abrines hit five three-pointers and scored 25 points while Russell Westbrook fell two rebounds shy of a triple-double in the Thunder’s third straight win, 111-107 at Charlotte. Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City, which overcame a 19-point, third-quarter deficit to stay unbeaten since an 0-4 start.
– The Kings have a five-game winning streak after De’Aaron Fox set career highs with 31 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in a 146-115 thrashing of the Hawks. Buddy Hield (heeld) scored 27 points and Nemanja Bjelica (neh-MAHN’-jah BYEL’-eet-sah) had 19 for Sacramento.
JR Smith wants trade
UNDATED (AP) – Unhappy with his new role, J.R. Smith says he hopes the Cleveland Cavaliers trade him.
The 33-year-old guard didn’t play in Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta, the Cavs’ first game since coach Tyronn Lue was fired. The Cavs are rebuilding with a young roster, and Smith is one of just three players left from Cleveland’s 2016 title team.
Smith has had a rocky relationship with Cleveland fans. Some love his care-free spirit while others still blame him for losing track of the score in the closing seconds of Game 1 in last year’s NBA Finals.
In other NBA news:
– Dwight Howard is scheduled to make his Wizards debut Friday at home against the Thunder. Howard missed all of training camp, the preseason and the first seven games of the regular season because of a sore backside. Power forward Markieff Morris is also expected to play against the Thunder after coming out of the concussion protocol.
– The Grizzlies have waived Andrew Harrison after playing the guard only once this season. The 6-foot-6 Harrison started 64 of 129 games since being drafted out of Kentucky in the 2016 draft, averaging 7.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 21.7 minutes.
– Commissioner Adam Silver has announced that the Cavaliers have been awarded the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. Cleveland last hosted the game in 1997.
Knights continue win streak
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The longest current winning streak in Division-1 football now stands at 21 games.
McKenzie Milton threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns as ninth-ranked UCF outscored Temple, 52-40. Milton finished 17 of 33 with one interception after missing UCF’s previous game with an undisclosed injury.
Taj McGowan scored on runs of 1 and 10 yards, the latter giving the 8-0 Knights a nine-point lead after the Owls nearly rallied to tie it.
Anthony Russo completed 31 of 52 passes for 444 yards and four touchdowns for Temple.
Sooners RB leaving early for NFL draft
NORMAN, Okla (AP) – Injured Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson has announced on social media that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second game of this season against UCLA. He didn’t start until the middle of last season, but he eventually ran for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught five touchdown passes to help the Sooners reach the College Football Playoff.
Habs outscore Caps
UNDATED (AP) – Alex Ovechkin scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough offense for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Max Domi (DOH’-mee) scored the tiebreaking goal with just 22 seconds left in regulation as the Canadiens downed the Washington Capitals, 6-4 in Montreal. Jesperi Kotkaniemi (jehs-PEHR’-ee kaht-kah-NEH-mee) and Brendan Gallagher each scored twice for the Habs, who trailed 4-3 entering the final period. Kotkaniemi tied it with 3:04 to go after Gallagher tallied twice in a 2:34 span early in the second period.
Braden Holtby made 38 saves against the Canadiens, who outshot the Caps 17-5 in the final period.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Pekka Rinne (PEH’-kuh REE’-nay) returned from injury and handled 42 shots in the Predators’ 4-1 verdict over the Lightning in Tampa. Kyle Turris and Calle Jarnkrok each had a goal and two assists for Nashville, the first team with 20 points this season at 10-3-0.
– Backup Anton Khudobin (hoo-DOh’-nihn) made 30 saves and Devin Shore notched the eventual winning goal in the third period of the Stars’ 2-1 triumph over the Maple Leafs. Jamie Benn also scored, Tyler Seguin (SAY’-gihn) had two assists and Khudobin blanked Toronto until Patrick Marleau scored on a power play with 3:09 remaining.
– Josh Bailey netted a short-handed goal in regulation and provided the lone shootout tally as the Islanders completed a home-and-home sweep of the Penguins, 3-2. Anders Lee also scored and Thomas Greiss turned back 29 shots in New York’s fourth straight win since a 3-4-1 start.
– The Jets earned a 4-2 victory over the Panthers in Finland as countryman Patrik Laine (LY’-nay) recorded his fifth career hat trick, including two power-play tallies and the game-winner. Coming off a 44-goal, 70-point campaign, Laine had just five points in the Jets’ first 12 games this season before his three-goal performance left the team 8-4-1.
– Mikko Koskinen record the first shutout of his six-game NHL career by pushing aside 40 shots in the Oilers’ 4-0 win over the Blackhawks. Drake Caggiula (ka-zhee-OO’-lah) scored twice and Tobias Rieder (REE’-dur) set up goals by Jason Garrison and Alex Chiasson (CHAY’-sahn) in Edmonton’s seventh win in 10 games.
– Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) made 25 of his 44 saves in the third period and Anthony Duclair had a goal and an assist to lead the Blue Jackets past the Sharks, 4-1. The only third-period goal was by Josh Anderson while Columbus was short-handed.
– The Flames erupted for five goals in the third period to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 6-5 win over the Avalanche. James Neal, Mark Giordano and Michael Frolik (froh-LEEK’) scored during a 4:02 span to put Calgary in front, 6-4 with about five minutes to play.
– Justin Abdelkader (AB’-dul-KAY’-dur) and Trevor Daley scored short-handed goals in the third period to send Detroit to its third straight win, 4-3 against the Devils. Jimmy Howard made 25 saves for the Red Wings, who dropped their first seven games and nine of their first 10 overall in the worst start in franchise history.
– Oskar Sundqvist doubled his career goal output by netting a pair in the Blues’ 5-3 win over the struggling Golden Knights. Vladimir Tarasenko, Tyler Bozak and Colton Parayko (pah-RAY’-koh) also scored for the Blues, who dropped the defending Western Conference champions to 5-7-1.
– Mats Zuccarello (zoo-kah-REH’-loh) and Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kah zih-BAN’-ih-zhad) furnished the Rangers’ shootout goals in a 3-2 win at Anaheim. Brett Howden and Kevin Hayes scored in regulation and Alexandar Georgiev made 22 saves as New York completed a 2-2 road trip.
– The Flyers have their first winning streak of the season after Oskar Lindblom contributed a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win at Los Angeles. Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds also scored for Philadelphia, which handed the Kings their seventh loss in eight games.
– Craig Anderson stopped 46 shots and Dylan DeMelo had a goal and an assist as the Senators topped the Sabres, 4-2. Ryan Dzingel (duh-ZIHNG’-ul), Colin White and Bobby Ryan also scored to support Anderson, who blanked Buffalo over the first two periods.
Cubs’ Heyward, Giants’ Melancon keep contracts
UNDATED (AP) – Jason Heyward and Mark Melancon (meh-LAN’-suhn) know a good deal when they see one. The Cubs outfielder and the Giants reliever have let the deadline pass for exercising opt-out provisions in their contracts.
Heyward has five years and $106 million left in his eight-year deal after hitting .270 with eight home runs and 58 RBIs in 127 games for the Cubs this year. He’s been a disappointment since landing the contract, hitting .252 with 26 home runs and 165 RBIs in 395 games.
Melancon is owed $28 over the next two seasons. Originally signed to be the Giants’ closer, the three-time All-Star lost that role in 2017 and was 1-4 with three saves and a 3.23 ERA in 41 appearances last season.
Boston’s Rusney Castillo and Arizona’s Yasmany Tomas also allowed their opt-out deadline to pass after the two Cubans spent all of this year in the minors.
The opt-out deadline for all major leaguers was Wednesday night.
In other baseball news:
– The Dodgers have agreed to terms with infielder David Freese (freez) on a $4.5 million, one-year contract after declining his $6 million option for 2019. Freese was 8 for 22 with two home runs, six RBIs and a walk in 14 postseason games while platooning at first base.
– The Cubs have exercised their $6.25 million option for Pedro Strop (strohp), and fellow reliever Brandon Kintzler has picked up his $5 million player option. The 33-year-old Strop went 6-1 with 13 saves and a 2.26 ERA in 60 appearances last season.
PGA-SHRINERS HOSPITALS OPEN
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Peter Uihlein (YOO’-lyn) topped the leaderboard at 8-under 63 when the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open was suspended by darkness
Uihlein birdied six of his final nine holes in the morning round at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
Seth Reeves was 7 under with a hole left – he hit a 320-yard drove and had 245 yards left on the par-5 ninth – when play was halted.
Jordan Spieth (speeth) is two strokes back in his season debut.
UConn’s Wilson suspended
UNDATED (AP) – UConn has suspended swingman Sidney Wilson indefinitely from game activity for an unspecified violation of university policy.
The school says the violation occurred last season, when the 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman sat out after transferring from St. John’s and was denied a waiver from the NCAA.
The move comes after Wilson and senior guard Jalen Adams were held out of a scrimmage on Sunday for a separate violation involving team rules.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
First woman to score in Division I football seriously ill
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A former University of New Mexico kicker who was the first female to play and score in a Division I football game faces months of recovery after becoming seriously ill from an adverse reaction to a prescribed medicine.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the family of Katie Hnida (NY’-dah) says the 37-year-old’s condition has stabilized but that she might need a liver transplant.
Hnida played for New Mexico from 2002-04. She played her first game in 2002 and scored her first points the following season.
SI NFL writer dies at 86
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) – Longtime Sports Illustrated NFL writer Paul Zimmerman has died at 86.
NBC Sports football writer Peter King confirmed the death of Zimmerman, who was known as “Dr. Z” for his analytical approach to writing football.
He covered the Jets for the New York Post for 13 years and also wrote for the Sacramento Bee, New York Journal-American and the New York World-Telegram & Sun before joining SI in 1979.
Zimmerman had three strokes in 2008 that ended his writing career after 29 years as Sports Illustrated’s lead pro football writer.