AP Sports

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March 8, 2022
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March 8, 2022
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Update on the latest sports


Matthews scores 40th goal as Toronto beats Blue Jackets 5-4
UNDATED (AP) – Auston Matthews became the first player to score 40 goals this season, Peter Mrazek made 31 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4. Matthews and linemates Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting each had a goal and an assist, and llya Mikheyev (mih-KY’-ehv) and Alexander Kerfoot also scored as Toronto snapped a two-game skid. T.J. Brodie had two assists.
Elvis Merzlikins (murz-LEE’-kihnz), starting his third game in four days for Columbus, made 28 saves but it wasn’t enough to prevent a third straight loss for the Blue Jackets, who dropped a back-to-back over the weekend.


In other ice action:
– Tyler Toffoli had two goals to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers Monday night. Johnny Gaudreau added a goal and an assist for the Flames (34-14-7), who remained atop the Pacific Division with their 14th win in 16 games. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 28 shots. Devin Shore scored for Edmonton, and Mikko Koskinen had 26 saves.


– Trevor Moore tied the game with 26 seconds left in regulation and Andreas Athanasiou scored on a breakaway in overtime to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Boston never trailed in regulation and took a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to a goal and an assist from Craig Smith. But with the goalie pulled in the final minute, the Kings won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Moore slid home a rebound to tie it. Cal Petersen stopped 30 shots for the Kings. Blake Lizotte also scored for the Kings. They have won eight of their last 10 games.


– Aleksander Barkov had a goal and two assists, and the Florida Panthers won their third straight game, beating the Buffalo Sabres 6-1. Anthony Duclair added a goal and an assist. Noel Acciari, Carter Verhaeghe, and Patric Hornqvist also scored during a four-goal second period. Brandon Montour also scored, and Spencer Knight made 28 saves. John Hayden tipped in Rasmus Asplund’s shot for Buffalo’s lone goal. Craig Anderson stopped 25 shots for the Sabres.


– Cale Makar had two goals and an assist, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, and the Colorado Avalanche held off the New York Islanders 5-4 to snap a two-game skid. J.T. Compher and Devon Toews also scored for the Avalanche, who led 5-1 midway through the third and ran out the clock on New York’s rally. Colorado ended its longest losing streak since also dropping consecutive games Nov. 3 and 6.


NHL suspends agreement with Russia-based KHL
UNDATED (AP) – The NHL has suspended its dealings with the Russia-based KHL. The NHL told its teams to cease contact with KHL counterparts and Russia-based agents as part of the suspension of the memorandum of understanding between the leagues. The move could make it more difficult for NHL teams to sign players from the KHL. They can continue to communicate with North American agents certified by the NHL Players’ Association.
It’s the league’s latest move to sever ties with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.


In other NHL news:
– The NHL has unveiled a new logo for the Stanley Cup playoffs and Final that replaces the one used for the last 13 years. League officials say the process of designing the new logo and word mark began more than two years ago, before the start of the pandemic. The design features a realistic rendering of the Stanley Cup set against a championship banner. The fonts used were derived from a nearly 100-year-old etching on the trophy and the sign outside the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, where the NHL was formed in 1917.


Spurs’ Popovich ties Nelson for NBA career wins record
UNDATED (AP) – Gregg Popovich tied Don Nelson’s NBA record with his 1,335th career victory as a coach in the San Antonio Spurs’ 117-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Popovich, in his 26th season, will try to pass Nelson when San Antonio hosts the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
The Spurs had lost four straight with Popovich on the precipice of matching the record, and they were in danger of extendign that skid with a late collapse against the struggling Lakers, who were without star LeBron James due to a sore left knee.
Dejounte Murray had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson each had 18 points.


In other NBA action:
– Julius Randle hit eight 3-pointers and scored 17 of his career-high 46 points in the third quarter as the New York Knicks rallied from a 20-point deficit and beat the Sacramento Kings 131-115. One night after beating the Clippers in a win fueled mostly by New York’s younger players, Randle rallied the Knicks with a phenomenal shooting display in the second half. He made 12 of 17 shots after halftime, going seven of 11 from beyond the arc, and finished with 10 rebounds. RJ Barrett had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help the Knicks to their second straight win after seven consecutive losses. Immanuel Quickley added 27 points. Domantas Sabonis had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings before being ejected in the fourth quarter.


– Nikola Jokic had his second triple-double in as many nights with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 131-124 win over the short-handed Golden State Warriors. Monte Morris and Jeff Green added 18 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have won 11 of 13 and moved to 13 games over .500 for the first time this season. The Warriors were playing with a depleted lineup after coach Steve Kerr announced Saturday that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins would miss the game to rest. Jordan Poole had 32 points and Moses Moody 30 for the Warriors, who lost their fifth in a row.


– Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chich) had 35 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks held on for a 111-103 victory over the Utah Jazz in a matchup of possible first-round playoff opponents. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 21 for the Mavericks. Dallas won a fifth consecutive game and pulled within a half-game of the Jazz for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic scored 21 points and Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz, who finished a five-game road trip.


– Victor Oladipo scored 11 points in in his first game in nearly a year, Tyler Herro scored 21 of his 31 points in the second quarter and the Miami Heat beat the Houston Rockets 123-106. Oladipo was playing his first game since April 8 following a second surgery to repair a right quadriceps tendon. He took a charge on his first defensive possession, hitting the deck without any signs of problems, then took another later in the game and had a dunk near the end of his 15-minute stint. Jimmy Butler scored 21 points for Miami. Kevin Porter Jr. scored 22 points for Houston.


– Joel Embiid had 43 points and 14 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 121-106 in a showdown between two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams headed in opposite directions. James Harden added 16 points and 14 assists, and Tyrese Maxey added 17 points for the 76ers, who have won six of seven and stayed perfect with Harden in the lineup. Embiid, the league’s leading scorer, made 15 of 27 field goals and 12 of 16 free throws. The MVP front-runner scored at least 40 points for the 10th time this season while upping his season average to 29.7 points per contest.


– Cade Cunningham had 28 points and 10 assists, lifting the Detroit Pistons to a 113-110 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks. Jerami Grant scored 23 and reserve Marvin Bagley had 19 points for the Pistons, who have won a season-high three straight and six of their last eight games. Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic had 22 points before fouling out late in regulation and Trae Young had 14 points and 12 assists. The playoff-hopeful Hawks had chances to win late in regulation and to extend the game to another overtime.


– Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 13 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Portland Trail Blazers by double digits for the second time in three days, 124-81. Malik Beasley added 19 points, and Naz Reid had 18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota. Portland has dropped five straight after winning four in a row.


Cavs’ Allen sidelined,
CLEVELAND (AP) – Cavaliers All-Star center Jarrett Allen will be sidelined indefinitely after breaking his left middle finger in Sunday’s win over the Toronto Raptors.
Allen got hurt in the first quarter, when he also sustained a bruised quadriceps while driving to the basket.
The team did not provide a timetable for Allen’s return.


MORAGA, Calif. (AP) – Tommy Kuhse had 14 points and six rebounds and No. 23 Saint Mary’s beat No. 1 Gonzaga 67-57 to prevent the Bulldogs from completing another undefeated run in the West Coast Conference.
The top six teams in the AP poll all lost and seven of the top nine fell on Saturday.
Fans poured onto the court in a wild celebration of the Gaels’ 18th consecutive win at McKeon Pavilion. Saint Mary’s ended Gonzaga’s 17-game winning streak, beating a No. 1 team for the first time since knocking off the Bulldogs in the 2019 conference tournament title game. Matthias Tass added 13 points for the Gaels. Rasir Bolton scored 16 points for Gonzaga.


Also, in T-25 action:
– Tommy Kuhse scored 27 points, Logan Johnson hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left after blocking a shot and No. 17 Saint Mary’s held off a late rally to beat Santa Clara 75-72 in the West Coast Conference tournament semifinals. The Gaels shut down one of the nation’s best-shooting teams for most of the night, building a 15-point lead. The Broncos came charging back, pulling within 73-71 on Keshawn Justice’s 3-pointer with 42 seconds left and got the ball back after Jalen Williams blocked Kuhse’s layup attempt. Williams then drove the lane in an attempt to give the Broncos the lead, but was blocked by Johnson.


Gonzaga, Arizona still on top
UNDATED (AP) – Gonzaga, Arizona and reigning national champion Baylor remained atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll. Monday’s poll also saw Tennessee crack the top 10 and North Carolina return to the poll at No. 25.
Tennessee jumped into a tie for No. 9 for its first top-10 appearance this year. Colorado State joined UNC as the week’s new additions. Ohio State and Alabama fell out from last week’s poll.


Lewis most improved in Big East; Kalkbrenner defensive POY
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Marquette forward Justin Lewis has won the Big East’s most improved player award and Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner was voted the conference’s defensive player of the year. Providence Point guard Jared Bynum took the top sixth man prize, and Georgetown captain Donald Carey was honored with the league’s sportsmanship award. Lewis, rated the Big East’s best NBA prospect. The 6-foot-7 sophomore earned a spot on the all-Big East first team and won the league scoring title with an average of 18.2 points in conference games. Kalkbrenner, a 7-foot-1 sophomore, led the Big East with 80 blocked shots.


In other college basketball news:
– Wake Forest says second-year coach Steve Forbes has signed a “long-term” contract extension as he leads a rapid rise for the long-struggling Demon Deacons program Monday, the same day the Atlantic Coast Conference picked Forbes as coach of the year. The Demon Deacons have 23 wins and own the No. 5 seed for this week’s ACC Tournament.


– Juwan Howard has resumed his role as Michigan’s basketball coach after serving a five-game suspension for hitting a Wisconsin assistant in the head. Howard met individually with each player Monday. The Wolverines are on the NCAA Tournament bubble with a 17-13 record overall and 11-9 mark in the Big Ten. Howard will be back on the sideline Thursday in Indianapolis, leading the eighth-seeded Wolverines against ninth-seeded Indiana in the conference tournament quarterfinals.


Despite vitriol, MLB owners, locked-out players closing gap
NEW YORK (AP) – For all the vitriol, Major League Baseball owners and locked-out players have closed the gap in recent weeks and are negotiating on similar frameworks for a new collective bargaining agreement.
With the lockout in its 96th day Monday, the sides remained apart to various degrees on three of the most significant items: the luxury tax, pre-arbitration bonus pool and minimum salary.
MLB told the union on Monday that Tuesday was the last possible day to reach an agreement that would allow a 162-game schedule, along with full salary and service time, a deadline first reported by The Athletic.
Openers on March 31 were among 91 games already canceled, and Commissioner Rob Manfred appeared to be on the verge of calling off more.


Elsewhere around the majors:
– Kim Kwang-hyun has left the St. Louis Cardinals and will return to South Korea on a record four-year contract. The left-handed pitcher will rejoin his old club, now known as the SSG Landers, in the Korean Baseball Organization. The club issued a statement saying the deal is worth up to $12.3 million) over four seasons and is the largest contract in the league’s history.


Falcons WR Ridley suspended for ’22 for bets on NFL games
ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the 2022 season for betting on NFL games in the 2021 season.
The suspension announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is for activity that took place while Ridley was away from the team while addressing mental health concerns. The NFL says the betting took place during a five-day period in late November 2021.
Ridley wrote on his Twitter account on Monday “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem.”


Elsewhere around the NFL:
– Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Richard Sherman has pleaded guilty in Seattle to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a drunken driving and domestic disturbance last summer. Sherman was arrested last July after police said he crashed his SUV in a construction zone and tried to break into his in-laws’ suburban Seattle home. He has said he was “deeply remorseful.”


– The Las Vegas Raiders have announced new coach Josh McDaniels’ staff. It includes former Giants coordinator Patrick Graham running the defense and former Patriots assistant Mick Lombardi coordinating the offense. Also on the staff are former Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan returning as a senior defensive assistant, Tom McMahon as special teams coordinator and former NFL star Antonio Pierce as linebackers coach.


– The Chiefs have placed the franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. The non-exclusive tag means Brown is free to negotiate with other teams but Kansas City has the option of matching any offer. If the Chiefs let Brown go, they would receive two first-round draft picks in compensation. Brown started every game in his first season in Kansas City.


– Longtime Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle has decided to retire. Doyle played in 131 games over nine seasons and caught 295 passes for 2,729 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was selected to two Pro Bowls. Doyle played his entire career in his hometown.


– The San Francisco 49ers have announced several changes to coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff, with Brian Schneider being hired as special teams coordinator and Bobby Slowik and Chris Foerster sharing the offensive coordinator duties. The moves come after the Niners lost several assistants this offseason to other jobs.


– Safety Jessie Bates III will be with the Cincinnati Bengals at least one more season. The Bengals placed the franchise tag on Bates after ongoing negotiations failed to produce a new contract. He’ll be under contract through the 2022 season for roughly $13 million as the team continues to negotiate a long-term deal with him.


– Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has paused construction on the team’s $800 million practice facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina citing concerns over a lack of funding from the city needed to complete the project’s infrastructure. The practice facility was set to open in 2023.


– The Cleveland Browns have used a franchise tag for next season on tight end David Njoku, preventing him from hitting the free agent market. The Browns believe the first-round pick in 2017 can produce even more and have spoken to his agent about a long-term contract.


Zverev put on 1-year probation for outburst in Acapulco
UNDATED (AP) – Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev has been put on probation for one year by the ATP for violently hitting the chair umpire’s stand repeatedly with his racket following a loss in doubles at the Mexico Open. If Zverev receives a code violation that results in a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct or for verbal or physical abuse at a tournament, he will be suspended for eight weeks from ATP events and fined an additional $25,000.
Zverev has until Friday to appeal the ruling. The 24-year-old German was kicked out of last month’s tournament in Acapulco, where he was the defending champion.