Update on the latest sports
Lakers crush Heat in Game 1
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – The Miami Heat had another fourth-quarter comeback in them during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but it came after the Los Angeles Lakers emptied their bench.
The Lakers have the edge in the series after dominating the second and third periods of a 116-98 win over the Heat. Los Angeles outscored Miami 62-39 in those two periods to take a 28-point lead into the fourth.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis led all scorers with 34 points while grabbing nine rebounds. LeBron James fell one assist shy of a triple-double, delivering 25 points and 13 boards.
The Heat lost point guard Goran Dragic (DRAH’-gihch) at halftime to a left foot injury. Miami also saw All-Star center Bam Adebayo (ad-eh-BY’-oh) leave in the third quarter with a strained left shoulder.
Jimmy Butler had a team-high 23 points for the Heat, who will try to bounce back in Game 2 on Friday. Butler turned his left ankle on a drive to the basket just before halftime.
Steelers-Titans date TBA
UNDATED (AP) – The NFL says the Pittsburgh-Tennessee game originally scheduled for Sunday will be played either Monday or Tuesday, giving the Titans at least one more day to see if the team’s coronavirus outbreak is under control.
One new positive test result came back Wednesday, a day after the Titans had three players and five team personnel test positive for COVID-19.
Coach Mike Vrabel says the Titans are preparing to play as early as Monday. He’s confident the NFL will allow some time to practice before the game. The Titans hope to be allowed back inside their facility Saturday.
In other NFL news:
– Raiders coach Jon Gruden said several of his players made a mistake when they didn’t wear masks or practice social distancing during a charity event that violated league and local COVID-19 rules. About 10 players attended the fundraising event held Monday night by teammate Darren Waller’s foundation to raise money intended to help young people overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Players were seen on video without masks during the indoor event while talking and mingling with guests, who also weren’t wearing masks.
– The league is threatening teams with possible suspensions for sideline personnel, including coaches, who don’t properly wear face coverings during the pandemic. Forfeiting draft picks also could be among disciplinary measures for failing to comply with league/players’ union protocols.
– The NFL Players Association is asking that the 32 league teams change all field surfaces to natural grass because of injury concerns. Union president JC Tretter said in a statement on Wednesday that artificial turf is significantly harder on the body than grass. He cited the NFL’s injury data from 2012-18 that the contact injury rate for lower extremities was higher during practices and games held on turf.
Williams pulls out, Azarenka loses, Nadal and Korda win
PARIS (AP) – Serena Williams’ bid for a record 24th Grand Slam title will spill into next year as she approaches a milestone birthday.
The 39-year-old Williams has pulled out of the French Open because of an Achilles injury that cropped up during the U.S. Open semifinals. She doesn’t expect to play again this year.
U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka is also out after two rounds. The 10th-seeded Azarenka lost to 161st-ranked Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in straight sets.
Coco Gauff’s French Open debut has ended in the second round thanks in part to her 19 double-faults.
Women’s top seed Simona Halep (HA’-lehp) dropped just seven games in her second-round match.
Those advancing from the women’s side include third seed Elina Svitolina (svih-tah-LEE’-lah), fifth seed Kiki Bertens and Elise Mertens.
Meanwhile, men’s defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the third round by beating American player Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3. Nadal is joined in Round 3 by third seed Dominic Thiem (teem) and No. 6 Alexander Zverev (ZVEHR’-ehv), who needed five sets to advance.
Taylor Fritz won its second-round match, but fellow American John Isner lost to qualifier Sebastian Korda in an all-US matchup.
Rangers buy out Lundqvist’s contract
NEW YORK (AP) – The “King” of Madison Square Garden has been deposed.
The New York Rangers have bought out star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with one year remaining on his contract. Lundqvist joined the Rangers during the 2005-06 and emerged as one of the finest netminders in franchise history.
The five-time All-Star won one Vezina (VEH’-zih-nuh) Trophy and led the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup final. The 38-year-old Lundqvist played in 887 games, posting a 459-310-96 record with a 2.43 goals-against average.
Marathon day of postseason baseball opens with marathon game
UNDATED (AP) – The Atlanta Braves opened Wednesday’s MLB schedule with the longest 1-0 game in postseason history before the Minnesota Twins were the first team to be eliminated.
Freddie Freeman delivered a walk-off single in the 13th inning to complete Atlanta’s victory over Cincinnati in the opener of the NL Wild Card Series. It was the first time a playoff game had been scoreless through 11 innings.
Braves starter Max Fried (freed) scattered six hits over seven innings. Reds hurler Trevor Bauer was even better, striking out 12 and holding Atlanta to two hits over 7 2/3 innings.
A.J. Minter escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the 13th for the win.
The two teams combined to strike out 37 times, 21 by the Braves.
The Twins were ousted as they extended their major league-record postseason losing streak to 18 games.
Carlos Correa slammed a two-out, tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning of the Astros’ 3-1 victory at Minnesota. Kyle Tucker hit a pair of RBI singles for Houston and made a key throw from left field for the inning-ending out in the fifth. Rookie Cristian Javier worked three hitless innings in relief for the victory in his postseason debut
The Twins’ last playoff win was Game 1 of their 2004 Division Series at Yankee Stadium.
In other Wild Card Series action:
– Gio Urshela (ur-SHEH’-luh) crushed a grand slam and scored the winning run on DJ LeMahieu’s single in the ninth inning as the Yankees closed out their series with the Indians, 10-9. Gary Sanchez hit a two-run homer and had three RBIs, while Giancarlo Stanton went deep for the second straight day. Cesar Hernandez provided an RBI single in the eighth to put Cleveland ahead to stay, but Sanchez tied it with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. The 4-hour, 50-minute game was the longest regular season or postseason nine-inning game in major league history.
– Hunter Renfroe belted a grand slam and the Rays won a postseason series for the first time in 12 years by completing a two-game sweep, 8-2 against Toronto. Renfroe’s homer was part of a six-run second inning that was capped by Mike Zunino’s two-run blast against Blue Jays ace Hyun Jin Ryu. The top-seeded Rays also got a strong pitching performance from Tyler Glasnow, who allowed two runs and six hits over six innings.
– The Marlins were winners in their first postseason game in 17 years as Corey Dickerson hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off a fading Kyle Hendricks in the seventh inning of a 5-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 1. Miami trailed 1-0 and was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position until Dickerson’ slammed his first postseason home run. Jesus Aguilar added a two-run blast and Sandy Alcantara (al-KAN’-tah-rah) pitched three-hit ball into the seventh. Aguilar’s home run gave the Marlins their first five-run inning in a postseason since the Steve Bartman game at Wrigley Field 17 years ago.
– Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run while the Cardinals scored four times in the first inning of a 7-4 victory at San Diego. Yadier (YAH’-dee-ehr) Molina had three hits and scored twice, while rookie Tyler Carlson went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. The St. Louis bullpen held strong after starter Kwang Hyun Kim was reached for three runs over 3 2/3 innings. Right-hander Chris Paddack failed to give the Padres the boost they desperately needed after Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet (dee-NEHL’-suhn luh-MET’) were left off the wild-card roster due to injuries suffered in their final regular-season starts. Paddack surrendered six runs in just 2 1/3 innings.
– Chris Bassitt took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Athletics forced a deciding Game 3 by downing the White Sox, 5-3. Bassitt was reached for one run and six hits over seven-plus innings, leaving with a runner on base before Yasmani Grandal (yahs-MAH’-nee grahn-DAHL’) homered for the second straight day. Second baseman Nick Madrigal’s throwing error brought in the game’s first two runs before Marcus Semien and Khris Davis homered. Liam Hendricks loaded the bases with two out in the ninth and Jake Diekman walked Grandal to make it 5-3 before retiring Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY’-oo) on a sharp grounder to second.
NLCS, World Series tickets to be sold
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball has announced that fans will be able to purchase a limited number of tickets to the National League Championship Series and World Series at Arlington, Texas.
MLB will make approximately 11,500 tickets available for each game with 10,550 fans spread throughout the ballpark and 950 in suites. Tickets will be sold in pods of four, with each pod at least six feet apart. Fans will be required to wear masks unless they are eating, and no ticket holder will be within 20 feet of the field, the dugouts and the bullpens.
Collins, Ostapenko reach third round
PARIS (AP) – Danish teen Clara Tauson’s surprise run is over after losing to unseeded American Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3 in the second round at the French Open. The 17-year-old Tauson upset U.S. Open semifinalist and No. 21 seed Jennifer Brady in the first round. That victory made her the first Danish woman in the second round of any major tournament since 1989 other than former Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki.
Earlier Thursday, former champion Jelena Ostapenko reached the third round by beating second-seeded Karolina Pliskova(PLIHSH’-koh-vah) 6-4, 6-2.
Ostapenko won her only major title at the French Open in 2017. Pliskova reached the semifinals that year and lost to Simona Halep.