Greek Freak, Bucks roll past Pistons
UNDATED (AP) – The NBA’s top team and the reigning MVP showed no rust following the All-Star break.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) had 33 points and 16 rebounds as the Bucks mauled the Detroit Pistons, 126-106. Antetokounmpo was 13 of 18 from the field and played just under 32 minutes with the game well in hand by intermission.
The Bucks led 70-41 at halftime and by as many as 34 in the second half of their 15th win in 17 games. Former Piston Khris Middleton added 28 points and Eric Bledsoe chipped in 18 as Milwaukee improved to a league-best 47-8.
Checking out Thursday’s other completed NBA action:
– James Harden’s 29 points and 10 assists were among the Rockets’ highlights in a 135-105 dismantling of the Warriors. P.J. Tucker was 5-for-5 from 3-point range as Houston set a team-record with 25 buckets from beyond the arc. Russell Westbrook had 21 points and 10 assists before being ejected.
– Trae Young poured in a career-high 50 points and the Hawks closed on a 10-0 run to beat the Heat, 129-124. Young made 18 of 19 free throws and 8 of 15 3-pointers to help Atlanta overcome Bam Adebayo’s (ad-ah-BAY’-ohz) 28 points and season-high 19 rebounds for Miami.
– The 76ers are an NBA-best 26-2 at home after Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) provided 39 points and 16 rebounds in a 112-104 overtime win against the Nets. Alec Burks added 19 points, including a pair of layups in overtime that gave Philadelphia the lead for good.
– The Kings were 129-125 winners over the Grizzlies as Harrison Barnes scored a season-high 32 points and matched his career high with seven 3-pointers. De’Aaron Fox added 26 and Buddy Hield (heeld) chipped in 20, including four free throws in the final seconds.
– Malik Monk dropped in 25 points and Miles Bridges contributed 22 in the Hornets’ third straight win, 103-93 at Chicago. Charlotte let a 21-point lead in the third quarter shrink to two before hanging on.
Irving done for season
UNDATED (AP) – Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder and miss the rest of the season. The Nets made the announcement Thursday before playing the Philadelphia 76ers in their first game after the All-Star break. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said this week that Irving was still having trouble with the shoulder that sidelined him for 26 games earlier this season. Irving said pain in the shoulder initially worsened after a game on Nov. 4.áHe was limited to just 20 games after signing with the Nets in July.
Also, in the NBA:
– Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not play this season, though it has not been ruled out that he could still compete in the Olympics this summer. It was expected that Thompson would miss the entire season as he recovers from a torn knee ligament.
– Timberwolves forward Jake Layman has been cleared to return to practice, but star center Karl-Anthony Towns remains sidelined. Towns is awaiting clearance for a sprained left wrist. Layman already has missed 39 games and will miss at least four more with a sprained left toe suffered Nov. 18 at Utah. The 6-foot-8 Layman was averaging a career-best 10.5 points over the first 14 games in his first season with the Wolves.
– Dwyane Wade is about to get the highest honor the Miami Heat can bestow on a former player. Wade will become the fifth Heat player to get his number retired by the team, joining Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Bosh. A three-day celebration of Wade’s time in Miami starts on Friday, a weekend highlighted by his No. 3 formally going to the rafters on Saturday night when the Heat play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
NFL owners approve negotiated terms for new labor agreement
NEW YORK (AP) – NFL owners have voted to accept the negotiated terms for a new collective bargaining agreement, putting the onus on players who plan to hold a conference call Friday.
Team representatives were summoned to New York to discuss the proposal with the league eager to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the players in the next few weeks. The current deal runs out in March 2021.
Among the items in that proposal are a 17-game schedule, a reduction of the preseason and an increase to the current 27% share of revenues for the players.
A second bye week to go with a 17th game is also being considered, although almost certainly not for the 2020 season. The expansion of the playoffs easily could occur this year, however.
In other NFL news:
– Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry has undergone hip surgery after initially opting not to have the operation. Landry was bothered by his hip all last season, but still finished with a team-leading 83 catches for 1,1174 yards and six touchdowns.
– The Bears have signed tight end Demetrius Harris to a one-year contract. The 6-foot-7 Harris has 72 receptions for 754 and nine touchdowns over six seasons with the Chiefs and Browns. He was released by Cleveland this week.
– Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will become a free agent for the first time in his 11-year career. Griffen has chosen to exercise his option to void the remaining three years on his contract. The move will clear more than $13 million off the books for 2020 for the salary cap-strapped Vikings.
– An attorney for New Orleans’ Roman Catholic archdiocese is strongly defending the Saints’ public-relations help in dealing with the clergy sex abuse crisis. He says the legal effort to unseal emails between them is aimed at trying to shame those “who had the audacity” to back the church. Thursday’s hearing comes amid claims the Saints joined the church in a pattern of concealing sexual abuse, an allegation the team denies.
– Dan Radakovich, who starred as a linebacker at Penn State in the 1950s before winning two Super Bowls as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, has died. Radakovich was 84.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Gonzaga continues winning streak
UNDATED (AP) – Second-ranked Gonzaga earned its 19th straight victory and clinched at least a share of an eighth consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season title.
Killian Tillie scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Bulldogs whipped San Francisco, 71-54. Filip Petrusev delivered 16 points and Ryan Woolridge 12 for the Zags, who squeezed out a four-point win over the Dons on Feb. 1.
Gonzaga trailed by nine at halftime before outscoring San Francisco, 49-23 the rest of the way.
In other top-25 finals:
– Alonzo Verge Jr. scored 26 points and Rob Edwards added 24 in Arizona State’s sixth straight win, 77-72 versus No. 14 Oregon. The Ducks blew an 11-point, second-half lead before Edwards drained a 3-pointer to highlight a 6-0 spurt that put Arizona State ahead for good.
– McKinley Wright IV had 15 points and Tyler Bey added 14 with 11 boards as No. 18 Colorado eked out a 70-66 win against Southern California. Shane Gatling chipped in 13 points as one of five Buffaloes to score in double-figures.
– Luka Garza scored 24 points and 20th-rated Iowa opened on a 27-8 run in an 85-76 win over No. 25 Ohio State. It was his 12th consecutive game of 20 points or more in Big Ten play, the longest streak for an Iowa player in 49 seasons and the most by any conference player in the last 20 years.
– TJ Haws had 28 points as 23rd-ranked Brigham Young won its seventh straight game, defeating Santa Clara 85-75.
– No. 24 Arizona rolled to an 89-63 rout of Oregon State behind Josh Green’s 18 points. Nico Mannion added 16 points and six assists for the Wildcats.
Caps fall despite Ovie’s 699th
UNDATED (AP) – Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH’-kihn) finally moved closer to the 700-goal plateau, but the Washington Capitals failed to regain first place in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division.
Ovechkin ended a five-game point drought by netting his 699th career goal in the Caps’ 4-3 loss to Montreal. The left wing fired up the crowd by scoring in seven minutes in and came close to reaching 700 goals on a bang-bang play in the third period. Instead, Ovechkin continues his quest to become the eighth player in NHL history to get to 700.
Ben Chiarot (sheh-RAHT’) scored his second of the game 58 seconds into OT to send the Capitals to their fifth loss in six games.
The Caps grabbed a share of the division lead with the Penguins’ 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs. Jake Muzzin (MUH’-zihn) had a goal and two assists to back Frederik Andersen, who made 24 saves in his second shutout of the season and 18th of his career.
William Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur), Kasperi Kapanen (kas-PEHR’-ee KAP’-ah-nehn) and Zach Hyman also tallied as Toronto regained third place in the Atlantic Division.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Tampa Bay’s team-record, 11-game winning streak is over after Alec Martinez had a goal and an assist in his Vegas debut to guide a 5-3 victory over the Lightning. Paul Stastny (STAS’-nee), Mark Stone, Ryan Reaves and Max Pacioretty (pash-uh-REH’-tee) also scored as Vegas won its fourth in a row and improved to 8-3-2 under coach Pete DeBoer (deh-BOHR’).
– St. Louis posted a 1-0 win over the Coyotes as Jordan Binnington needed to stop just 14 shots for his second consecutive shutout and eighth of his career. Antti Raanta stopped 45 of the Blues’ season-high 46 shots, surrendering only Ryan O’Reilly’s goal with eight minutes remaining.
– The Flyers erased a two-goal deficit before Kevin Hayes scored 3:51 into overtime to send Philadelphia past Columbus, 4-3. The Blue Jackets led 3-1 until Nicolas Aube-Kubel (oh-BAY’ koo-BEHL’) and Claude Giroux (juh-ROO’) tallied 1:26 apart to tie it.
– Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) snapped a 12-game scoring drought with three power-play goals in the Jets’ 5-1 thumping of the Senators. Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers (NIH’-koh-ly EE’-lurz) also scored for the Jets, who improved to 7-2-1 over their last 10 to move into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
– Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut to carry the Kings past the Panthers, 5-4. The 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft scored the fastest rookie debut goal in Kings history when he fired a wrist shot past Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHV’-skee) 86 seconds into the game and 10 seconds after hitting the ice.
– Mackenzie Blackwood won his fifth straight start by making 36 saves in the Devils’ 2-1 verdict over the Sharks. Defenseman P.K. Subban (SOO’-ban) scored the winner on a power play early in the third period.
Phils beat Realmuto in arbitration
UNDATED (AP) – The Phillies won their arbitration case against All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh), putting teams ahead of players 7-4 this year and ensuring clubs will finish with a winning record.
Realmuto will get a raise from $6.05 million to $10 million instead of his $12.4 million request.
Realmuto was acquired from the Marlins just before spring training last year and earned its second straight All-Star selection. He finished the season batting .275 with 25 home runs and 83 RBIs.
In other MLB news:
– Yankees right-hander Luis Severino has been shut down from throwing for the second consecutive spring training, this time because of right forearm soreness. Severino, who turned 26 on Thursday, was sidelined until the final weeks of the regular season last year.
– Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco felt discomfort in his right leg during a spring training workout and is having tests. The 32-year-old Carrasco made an inspiring comeback last season after being diagnosed with leukemia. The team plans to provide an update on his status on Friday.
McIlroy sizzles in Mexico City
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Rory McIlroy is the leader through one round of the Mexico Championship, two strokes ahead of Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.
McIlroy ripped a 4-iron from 275 yards into the thin air at Chapultepec to 15 feet for eagle on his second hole Thursday, made five more birdies and opened the Mexico Championship with a 6-under 65. This is the only World Golf Championship that McIlroy hasn’t won as he tries to join Dustin Johnson as the only players to win all four of them.
Bryson DeChambeau and Billy Horschel are tied with Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST’-hy-zehn) and Corey Connors at minus-3, while Hideki Matsuyama (maht-soo-YAH’-mah), Paul Casey, Patrick Reed and Lee Westwood are among six players at 2 under.
Pitt hoops, football placed on 3 years’ probation by NCAA
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The University of Pittsburgh football and men’s basketball programs have been placed on probation for three years by the NCAA.
The organization says both programs committed a series of violations between 2015 and 2018. The violations centered around both programs exceeding the number of allotted practices during that time.
Former men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings was given a three-year show-cause order, meaning he must sit out 30% of his new team’s games if he is hired during the three-year window of the show-cause order. Stallings is currently out of coaching. Former director of basketball operations Dan Cage also faces a three-year show-cause order.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN DOCTOR-INVESTIGATION
University of Michigan investigates doctor sex abuse claims
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – An Olympic wrestler is accusing a University of Michigan doctor of touching him inappropriately during medical exams at the school. Andy Hrovat says the physician’s reputation for such conduct was well known among his teammates in the 1990s. Hrovat competed for the U.S. in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He tells The Associated Press that the encounters with the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson happened during his freshman year in 1998. ‘
Hrovat is the first athlete to make public accusations against Anderson following complaints this week from other former students that the doctor sexually abused them decades ago.
American women seek more than $66M in damages from US Soccer
UNDATED (AP) – Players on the U.S. women’s national team are seeking more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The damages were revealed in a slew of court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ahead of a scheduled May trial.
The women’s national team sued the federation last year alleging unequal pay and treatment than players on the men’s national team. Among the dozens of documents were the separate collective bargaining agreements of the U.S. men’s and women’s teams.áThe collective bargaining agreements showed a disparity in bonuses but also highlighted the different pay structures between the two teams.
RUNNING-HALF MARATHON-WORLD RECORD
Yeshaneh sets world record in half marathon in Nike shoes
RAS AL KHAIMAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Ababel Yeshaneh set a world record in the women’s half marathon in the latest breakthrough by athletes wearing high-tech Nike shoes. The Ethiopian runner won the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 31 seconds. Her time knocked 20 seconds off the previous record set by another runner in 2017.
The men’s and women’s records in both the marathon and half marathon since 2018 have all been broken by athletes in Nike shoes. World Athletics cleared athletes to keep using Nike Vaporfly-style shoes last month. But it warned that new shoe technology could threaten the sport’s integrity.