Update on the latest sports
Thiem beats Zverev to reach Australian final
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Dominic Thiem (teem) will be playing for a major championship on a hard court for the first time at the Australian Open after losing the last two French Open finals to Rafael Nadal.
The fifth-seeded Thiem dropped the first set against seventh-seeded Alexander Zverev, a 22-year-old German who was playing in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time, before rallying to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).
The roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena during the first set when it started raining. The roof had been closed earlier in the day for doubles matches when the temperature hit 109 degrees at Melbourne Park.
Also Friday, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic combined to win their second Australian Open women’s doubles title in three years. The pair routed top-seeded Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-1. It was a third consecutive final at the Australian Open for Babos of Hungary and Mladenovic of France, who were champions in 2018 and runners-up last year.
They also won the 2019 French Open and were runners-up at Wimbledon in 2014 and the U.S. Open in 2018.
Raptors win 9th straight, beat Cleveland 115-109
UNDATED (AP) – Serge Ibaka scored 26 points, Kyle Lowry had 23 and the Toronto Raptors held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109 for their ninth straight win.
Norman Powell scored eight consecutive points in the final minute after Cleveland cut the lead to 105-104. Powell hit a 3-pointer, scored on a layup after making a steal and made three foul shots to seal the win. The Cavaliers have lost nine of 10 overall and dropped their ninth game in a row at home.
In other Thursday action:
– Nikola Jokic (NEE’-koh-lah YOH’-kich) had 28 points and 10 assists as the short-handed Denver Nuggets rode a big second-half run to a 106-100 win over the Utah Jazz. Trailing 70-61 with 4:13 left in the third, the Nuggets went on a 15-0 spurt to close the quarter. They continued their roll in the fourth, and in all it was a 27-1 surge. But a 17-point Denver lead was whittled to three before Jokic took over. Jordan Clarkson scored 24 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter for the Jazz on a night when leading scorer Donovan Mitchell was held to four.
– De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 34 points, Buddy Hield added 19 and Cory Joseph 16 as the Sacramento Kings used a strong second quarter to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 124-103. It was the first basketball game at Staples Center since Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash. Lou Williams scored 22 points and Montrezl Harrell had 21 for the Clippers, who were without Kawhi Leonard. The All-Star forward was scratched after pregame warmups due to a lower back strain.
– Trae Young had 39 points and a career-high 18 assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 127-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are 22-2 at home but 9-16 in away games. Ben Simmons led Philadelphia with 31 points and Shake Milton added a career-high 27. Seven Hawks finished in double figures.
-Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and the Boston Celtics earned their fifth victory in six games with a 119-104 win over the Golden State Warriors. Marcus Smart added 21 points. D’Angelo Russell led the Warriors with 22 points. They have lost five straight.
– Bradley Beal had 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists after he was snubbed for an All-Star selection, and the Washington Wizards beat the Charlotte Hornets 121-107. Miles Bridges led Charlotte with 23 points. Terry Rozier had 21. The Hornets have lost nine of 10 and 15 of 18.
NBA All-Star reserves list
UNDATED (AP) – The NBA released the list of the players voted by the league’s head coaches as reserves for the Feb. 16 game in Chicago, including six who will be All-Stars for the first time.
Kyle Lowry of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors is headed back to the game, as Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Houston’s Russell Westbrook and – for the first time since 2016 – Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul. The other reserves are all first-time selections: Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis, New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram and the Utah duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
In other NBA news:
– Kobe Bryant’s final jersey number will be something this year’s NBA All-Stars play to reach. The NBA says this year’s game will have a new format. The team that wins each quarter will receive money for charity. Scores will be reset at the start of the second and third quarters. They’ll be restored to begin the fourth quarter, which will be untimed. The winning team in the All-Star Game will be the first team to add 24 points to whatever the leading score is after three quarters. The 24 is a tribute to Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
– The Los Angeles Lakers lightened the mood before their return to the court by playing soccer and American football in a park across the street from their training complex. The Lakers are back at Staples Center on Friday to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their first game since the death of Kobe Bryant and eight others in a helicopter crash. The Lakers will hold a pregame tribute to Bryant and his daughter and the other victims.
– Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has hurt his right ankle again only weeks before the All-Star Game. Doncic will miss at least Friday’s game in Houston after spraining his right ankle in practice Thursday. He is expected to have an MRI.
– Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marko Guduric of the Memphis Grizzlies and Knicks guard Elfrid Payton were suspended one game without pay by the NBA for their roles in an altercation between the teams. New York’s Marcus Morris also was fined $35,000 not only for his role on the court but for his comments afterward about Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder. Crowder was fined $25,000 for escalating the skirmish.
Gallagher scores in return, Canadiens beat Sabres 3-1
UNDATED (AP) – Ilya Kovalchuk and Brendan Gallagher scored in a span of 2:16 early in the second period, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1.
Carey Price stopped 20 shots to improve to 5-1 in his last six starts, a stretch in which he’s allowed just 10 goals. For Gallagher, the goal came in his first game after missing six straight and 10 of 11 with headaches and concussion-related issues. Jack Eichel scored for Buffalo, becoming the team’s first player in 27 years to reach 30 goals in 50 or fewer games.
In other NHL Thursday action:
– Alex Iafallo scored 24 seconds into overtime, completing a hat trick that lifted the Los Angeles Kings over the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 and ended their five-game losing streak. Iafallo tied the game with 2:54 left in regulation, then won it moments later. Jack Campbell stopped 26 shots and Anze Kopitar assisted on two goals for the Kings, who got their second win of the month. Christian Dvorak and Nick Schmaltz scored for Arizona, but the Coyotes lost their fourth straight and are 1-5-2 in their last eight games.
– Filip Forgsberg and Matt Duchene scored in a shootout, and the Nashville Predators gave coach John Hynes a win against his former team with a wild 6-5 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Nashville is 7-0-3 in its last 10 games against New Jersey.
Sharks forward Tomas Hertl out for season with knee injury
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Tomas Hertl will miss the rest of the season for the San Jose Sharks with a serious knee injury. The Sharks say Hertl tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee during the first period of a loss against the Vancouver Canucks. Hertl is the second significant Sharks player to be sidelined with a significant injury. Captain Logan Couture has a broken ankle.
The Sharks entered the day with 48 points and are nine points out of a playoff spot.
Mariners agree to $1.6 million deal with Yoshihisa Hirano
UNDATED (AP) – The Seattle Mariners added a veteran arm to their bullpen by agreeing to a $1.6 million, one-year contract with Yoshihisa Hirano.áHe has spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He appeared in 137 games with a 3.47 ERA over the two seasons.
In other MLB news:
– Infielder Matt Duffy and right-hander Derek Law have agreed to minor league contracts with the Texas Rangers and will attend major league spring training. Duffy has been primarily a third baseman in his five big league seasons. Law appeared in 58 games for Toronto last year, going 1-2 with a 4.90 ERA in a career-high 60 2-3 innings.
Pat Valaika (vuh-LAY’-kuh) is back with the Orioles, who claimed the infielder off waivers from Arizona after the Diamondbacks took him from Baltimore earlier this month. Valaika began the offseason with Colorado before being claimed off waivers by the Orioles in late October.
– Pablo Sandoval’s time with San Francisco is over. Now the popular Kung Fu Panda is returning to the Giants on a minor league contract. The 33-year-old is working back from season-ending Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.
– The Milwaukee Brewers have signed free agent pitcher David Phelps to a one-year contract with a club option for 2021. The 33-year-old right-hander was a combined 2-1 with one save and a 3.41 ERA in 41 games for Toronto and Cubs last season.
– The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Jordy Mercer. The Tigers say the 33-year-old Mercer will also receive an invite to major league spring training. Mercer was limited last season by quadriceps problems.
– Infielder Matt Duffy and right-hander Derek Law to minor league contracts have agreed to minor league contracts with the Texas Rangers and will attend major league spring training.
Saints helped shape accused clergy list, victim lawyers say
UNDATED (AP) – The New Orleans Saints maintain their PR work on the area’s Roman Catholic sexual abuse crisis was “minimal.” But attorneys suing the church allege hundreds of confidential Saints emails show the team actively helping decide “which names should or should not” be included in the archdiocese’s list of credibly accused clergy. That list has become a key point in the controversy surrounding the team since news of the Saints emails broke last week.
In other NFL news:
– Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel has hired Anthony Midget as his new secondary coach to replace Kerry Coombs, who left to become defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Midget spent the past six seasons with the Houston Texans.
– Union leaders acknowledged they are in talks with the league about a new labor agreement. The NFL Players Association says one change being talked about is the league’s drug policy regarding marijuana use for medical purposes. The Rooney Rule not achieving its goals in minority coaching hires will also be taken up.
– The Pro Football Hall of Fame has formed Hall of Fame Health to pursue healthcare for former players. The program will seek to develop services and solutions that will make an impact not only in the health and wellness of former players, but in communities across the country.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Cowan scores 31 as No. 15 Maryland beats No. 18 Iowa 82-72
UNDATED (AP) – Anthony Cowan Jr. scored a career-high 31 points, Jalen Smith had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 15 Maryland beat 18th-ranked Iowa 82-72 Thursday night to snap the Hawkeyes’ five-game winning streak.
The Terrapins never trailed after halftime in the rematch of a Jan. 10 meeting that Iowa won 67-49 to launch its five-game run. Maryland won its fourth straight and improved to 12-0 at home. Luka Garza scored 21 for the Hawkeyes and Joe Wieskamp had 17. Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, was in foul trouble throughout.
In other top-25 action Thursday:
– Andres Feliz scored 17 points while Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn added 13 points each as No. 19 Illinois held on to beat Minnesota 59-51. It was the seventh consecutive win for the Fighting Illini.
Wyndham Clark shoots 10-under 61 to lead Phoenix Open by 2
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Wyndham Clark beat darkness – and everyone else Thursday at TPC Scottsdale.
Playing in the second-to-last group off the 10th tee, Clark shot a career-best 10-under 61 to take the first-round lead in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
He had eight birdies in a 10-hole stretch from No. 12 to No. 3, added two more on Nos. 7 and 8 and putted out for par on No. 9 just after sunset. Clark was a stroke off the course record of 60 set by Grant Waite in 1996 and matched by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001 and Phil Mickelson in 2005 and 2013.
Billy Horschel was second, holing nearly 200 feet of putts in an afternoon 63. Horschel had an eagle and six birdies.
J.B. Holmes was another stroke back after a roller-coaster start, highlighted by a hole-in-one.
Tokyo Olympic organizers try to dampen cancellation rumors
TOKYO (AP) – Tokyo Olympic organizers are trying to shoot down rumors that this year’s 2020 Games might be canceled or postponed because of the spread of a new virus.
Japan so far has reported no deaths from the coronavirus that has killed more than 200 people in China.
Tokyo organizers told The Associated Press that they “have never discussed cancelling the games.” The IOC told AP that preparations “continue as planned.”
Rumors of a cancellation have spread on social media in Japan amid reports that the Swiss-based IOC had met with the World Health Organization about the outbreak.
The WHO has called the virus a global emergency.