AP Sports

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March 23, 2022
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March 23, 2022
AP Sports


Update on the latest sports


Trae Young lights up MSG
UNDATED (AP) – Trae Young had 45 points and eight assists in his first game at Madison Square Garden since last season’s playoffs, leading a late surge that gave the Atlanta Hawks a 117-111 victory over the New York Knicks. Picking up right where he left off last spring, Young made seven 3-pointers, including one that tied the game at 105 with 2:54 to play.


In other NBA action:
-Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) bounced back from a rare bad shooting performance, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 127-115 win over the fading Los Angeles Clippers. Jokic scored 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting 48 hours after he missed 15 shots in a home loss to the Boston Celtics. The Nuggets snapped a two-game skid and sent the Clippers to their fourth consecutive loss. The Clippers have lost seven of their last nine games.


-Franz Wagner made three free throws with 12.2 seconds remaining and dunked on an inbounds play for the final points, leading the Orlando Magic to a 94-90 win over the Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors’ loss, the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns (58-14) clinched first place in the Pacific Division. The Warriors shot 40% for the game and had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter on the way to their third straight loss.


-Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) had 25 points and 17 rebounds in his return to action and the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 126-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Antetokounmpo missed the Bucks’ 138-119 loss at Minnesota on Saturday due to a sore right knee. Milwaukee played without All-Star forward Khris Middleton because of a sore left wrist. Jrue Holiday had 27 points. Brook Lopez made his first start for Milwaukee since the season opener. The 7-footer had come off the bench for the Bucks’ last three games after missing 67 due to a back injury.


NBA fines Nurkic, Beverly, Hill, and Randle
UNDATED (AP) – Four NBA players are a lot lighter in the wallet following a series of fines by the league for various infractions.
Jusuf Nurkic (YOO’-suhf NUR’-kihch) of the Portland Trail Blazers was fined $40,000 for confronting a fan at a game in Indiana and throwing the person’s cellphone. The incident happened shortly after Sunday’s game between the Blazers and the Pacers. The league also fined Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley $20,000 and Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill $15,000 for their roles in an on-court altercation during a matchup between the teams over the weekend. And Julius Randle has been penalized $40,000 for directing hostile language at a referee, bringing his total to $130,000 in fines this season.


Nick Castellanos, Phillies finalize a $100 million deal
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Nick Castellanos (kas-tee-AH’-nohs) and the Philadelphia Phillies have finalized a $100 million, five-year contract.
The All-Star outfielder agreed to the deal last week after the Phillies added slugger Kyle Schwarber. He’ll be introduced at the team’s spring training complex on Wednesday. Castellanos batted .309 with 34 homers, 100 RBIs and a .939 OPS last year for the Cincinnati Reds, making his first All-Star team and winning a Silver Slugger Award. He is a .278 career hitter with 168 home runs, 594 RBIs and an .814 OPS in nine major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Reds.


In other MLB news:
– Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber avoided salary arbitration when he agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract. Bieber’s deal completed a day in which Cleveland signed all seven of its arbitration-eligible players. Bieber made $679,700 last season, when he was sidelined for three months with a strained shoulder muscle. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner has said he’s open to signing a long-term deal with the Guardians.


-The Baltimore Orioles have reached a $1.05 million deal with left-hander Tanner Scott, avoiding arbitration. First baseman Trey Mancini and left-hander John Means were also eligible for arbitration.


-The New York Yankees reached agreements on one-year contracts with 10 of their 11 players eligible for arbitration and exchanged proposed salaries with slugger Aaron Judge, who asked for a raise from $10,175,000 to $21 million and was offered $17 million. New York reached agreements with outfielder Joey Gallo, second baseman Gleyber Torres, left-hander Jordan Montgomery,, right-hander Jameson Taillon, infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa, right-hander Chad Green, left-hander Wandy Peralta, right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga, infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar, right-hander Clay Holmes and catcher Kyle Higashioka.


-The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a $3 million contract with shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and five other players for the upcoming season, avoiding arbitration before Tuesday’s deadline for teams and players to submit numbers. The Royals also agreed to terms with right-hander Brad Keller on a $4.825 million contract, reliever Scott Barlow on a $2.4 million deal, newly acquired pitcher Amir Garrett for $2.025 million, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn at $1.3 million and backup catcher Cam Gallagher for $885,000.


-Pete Alonso and 11 other New York Mets agreed to one-year contracts Tuesday that avoided arbitration, leaving only right-hander Chris Bassitt without a deal before the deadline to exchange proposed salaries. Alonso signed a $7.4 million, one-year deal, a significant raise in his first season of arbitration eligibility. All-Star closer Edwin Diaz got $10.2 million, outfielder Brandon Nimmo settled at $7 million, and slugger Dominic Smith agreed to $3.95 million. The 33-year-old Bassitt was acquired from Oakland this month. He was 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 27 starts last season.


Canes edge Lightning
UNDATED (AP) – Martin Necas and Tony DeAngelo scored to break a power-play drought for the Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, snapping a season-worst four-game winless streak. Sebastian Aho also scored and Seth Jarvis assisted on two goals for the Hurricanes. Goalie Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for just his second win this month.


Elsewhere in the NHL:
-Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov scored in a 28-second span in the third period, rallying the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose (28-27-8). Johnny Gaudreau, Dillon Dube, and Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary (38-17-8), which lost at home in regulation for just the second time in 19 games (15-2-2). Matthew Tkachuk had a pair of assists.


-Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov scored 24 seconds apart late in the third period and the Dallas Stars rallied to beat Edmonton 5-3, handing the Oilers their first loss this season after scoring first. The Oilers are 21-1-0 when scoring first this season. The NHL record to begin a season is 22-0-0 by the 1944-45 Montreal Canadiens.


-Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves in his first shutout of the season, leading the New York Islanders to a 3-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Scott Mayfield, Anders Lee and Zach Parise scored in the third period. Brock Nelson finished with three assists as the Islanders won for the sixth time in eight games.


-Connor Hellebuyck made 42 saves, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0. Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Neal Pionk also scored, and Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had two assists. It was Hellebuyck’s fourth shutout of the season.


-Jack Hughes scored twice and the New Jersey Devils broke loose for five second-period goals – four in a six-minute span – to erase an early deficit and defeat the New York Rangers 7-4. Nico Daws made 31 saves for the Devils, who snapped an eight-game losing streak to the rival Rangers.


– Jakub Vrana scored twice and the Detroit Red Wings won for the second time in nine games, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists and Oskar Sundqvist, acquired from St. Louis on Monday, contributed an empty-netter and an assist in his Detroit debut.


-Nathan Walker scored the go-ahead goal hours after being called up to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 and snap a three-game skid. Brandon Saad and Brayden Schenn each had a goal and an assist and captain Ryan O’Reilly scored on the power play for St. Louis. David Perron added an empty-netter to extend his goal-scoring streak to seven games.


Vikings agree to 3-year, $42M deal with OLB Za’Darius Smith
UNDATED (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings and free agent outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith have agreed to contract terms.
Smith gets a three-year deal worth $42 million with incentives that can push the value to $47 million. He gives the Vikings a pass-rushing boost after being released by the rival Packers last week. Smith was a Pro Bowl pick in 2019 and 2020 with a combined 26 sacks in 32 games. He played in only one game last season because of a back injury.


In other NFL news:
-The Buffalo Bills have signed receiver Jamison Crowder and running back Duke Johnson to one-year contracts. Crowder joins the Bills after spending the past three seasons with the AFC East rival New York Jets. Johnson also has seven seasons of NFL experience, and closed last season with another divisional rival, Miami.


– The price for Deshaun Watson went up for the Browns in 24 hours. Cleveland’s trade for the legally entangled quarterback became official Sunday when the Browns released statements explaining their decision to add him following an extensive investigation. Watson has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment by 22 women.


– The Buffalo Bills have restocked their veteran depth at receiver by signing Jamison Crowder to a one-year contract. The seventh-year player joins the Bills after spending the past three seasons with the AFC East rival New York Jets. At 5-foot-9, Crowder primarily has been used as a slot receiver and will be given the opportunity to replace Cole Beasley.


– Former Georgia football star Lorenzo Carter is returning home to play for the Atlanta Falcons. Looking to bolster its pass rush, the Falcons announced they have signed the outside linebacker to a one-year contract. Carter had a career-best five sacks for the Giants in 2021. He joins a Falcons team that had an NFL-low 18 sacks in 2021.


Ash Barty retires
UNDATED (AP) – Top-ranked Ash Barty has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 25.
Barty says in an emotional video on social media: “I’m so happy and I’m so ready. I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person this is right.” The announcement, later confirmed by the women’s tennis tour, comes less than two months after Barty won her home Australian Open to claim her third Grand Slam singles title.