Few things have gone right this season for the Raptors, who must balance playoff aspirations with long-term strategy.
Few things have gone right this season for the Raptors, who must balance playoff aspirations with long-term strategy.
Steph has averaged 44.8 points in his last five games.
Robin Lehner is furious the NHL 'lied' about lifting COVID restrictions and for prioritizing competitive balance over the mental health of players.
Chris Boucher is playing some of the best basketball of his career and it would be crushing if he's forced to miss significant time.
Philonise Floyd thanked Mark Davis for the Raiders' support and called for unity in the fight for social and racial justice.
How did this not go in?
The championship, scheduled for May 6-16 in Halifax and Truro, N.S., was called off Wednesday, a day before participating countries were to arrive to begin their quarantines.
Davis said he was worried that he tore his Achilles tendon when he suffered a calf strain in February.
Joel Glazer and John Henry, of Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, became scourges of European soccer this week – if they weren't already.
For Stephen Curry, his recent hot streak is the culmination of a journey that began even before he was born. It starts with a simple hoop on a farm outside of tiny Grottoes, Virginia.
The stakes of every pitch are closer to the surface with Shohei Ohtani's two-way greatness hanging in the balance.
The league announced Wednesday it plans to kick off the '21 campaign Aug. 5, nearly two months later than originally planned.
Patrick Marleau broke Gordie Howe's record for most games played in the NHL but what is the legacy of someone who may not make the Hockey Hall of Fame and which long-standing record could fall next?
A battle between two London rivals, and two Serie A powers fighting for European qualification highlight this week's slate.
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PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid grabbed a two-handed rebound, turned and heaved an 85-foot, right-handed strike with a throw ripped from Bryce Harper's playbook that banked off the glass and rattled off the front and back of the rim and out. The Philadelphia centre was flat on his back in disbelief over the near-make that would have sent the game to overtime. “It would have made for a long flight, long night and not a lot of sleep," Suns coach Monty Williams said. Rest easy, Phoenix. Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and the Suns walked off winners on the road for the second time this week against one of the top teams in the East. Paul scored 28 points, Booker had 19 and Bridges 18 to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 116-113 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night. Embiid had 38 points and 17 rebounds and one oh-so close shot. ‘When I threw it, it looked good," Embiid said. Paul, a 93% free-throw shooter, missed one from the line that would have sealed the win instead of giving Embiid a glimmer of highlight-reel hope. “If you’re up three, I always want to make the free throw to go up four,” Paul said. “That shot was in-and-out. I ain’t never seen anything like it.” Neither had the rest of the Suns. “That was a heck of a display of a throw right there,” Suns forward Cameron Johnson said. Said Bridges: “I don't know how I would have reacted. That was crazy.” The Suns improved their NBA-best road record to 19-7 and are second overall at 42-16 — 1 1/2 games behind Utah for the league lead. Paul hit five 3s and Bridges, a former Villanova standout, continued to haunt the Sixers three years after an ill-fated draft-night deal. The Sixers selected Bridges with the 10th overall pick in 2018 — a feel-good story because of the Nova connection and his mother worked for the 76ers’ parent company. Zhaire played only 13 NBA games and is out of the league while Bridges turned into a breakout star for the blossoming Suns. The Sixers again played without starters Ben Simmons (unspecified illness) and Tobias Harris (right knee). Simmons missed his second straight game and Harris his third, the Sixers certainly secure enough in playoff spot to the point they don’t have to rush either one back. Seth Curry also missed the game with a left hip flexor -- three starters down certainly one reason why FanDuel had the Suns as three-point favourite. The Sixers would certainly like all three back in time for this week’s two-game set in Milwaukee. Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, and Matisse Thybulle joined Embiid and Danny Green (18 points) in the lineup. "I know we got a lot of guys out, but we still want to win the game," 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. Embiid left in the third when slammed his left knee on the court and sat behind the basket with a towel around his leg. He rested on his back and stretched his knee as the teams went basket-for-basket. Embiid jogged in place on the baseline and played cheerleader as the short-handed Sixers tried to hang with the Suns. Embiid has missed 18 games this season with injuries, notably a bone bruise on his right knee that cost him 11 games after the All-Star break. Rivers said he did not know who would be available for both games against the Bucks. Paul buried consecutive 3s for an 85-81 lead in Embiid’s absence and the All-Star centre did not check back in until a shade over 6 minutes left the game and the Sixers down seven. Embiid buried a 3 in a late-game lineup where he was the only regular starter. The Suns, coming off an overtime win in Milwaukee, got big baskets down the stretch from Booker -- including a nice bank off the glass and he swished a fallaway jumper for the dagger with 13 seconds left in the game. TIP-INS 76ers: Rivers, who stumped for Joe Biden during his campaign President, welcomed the guilty verdict of the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. “The fact that we celebrated a man who committed murder is going to jail, I thought about that last night and I’m not so sure if we’ve come a long way or we have a long way to go,” Rivers said. Rivers said he talked to the team about the verdict and felt “it was my responsibility” as coach to discuss current events with his players. Suns: Count Rivers among the fans of Williams. “Monty is a terrific coach. When you talk to other coaches and who you have to prepare for, who runs good stuff, Monty’s name always comes up. Now he has the talent,” Rivers said. The Suns will make the playoffs for the first time sine 2010. ... Jae Crowder left the game with a sprained right ankle. UP NEXT Suns: At Boston on Friday night. 76ers: At Milwaukee on Thursday night and Saturday. __ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Dan Gelston, The Associated Press
A look at what’s happening around the majors today: ___ ACE FOR STARTERS Los Angeles ace Walker Buehler (1-0, 2.00 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series against the NL rival San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, and will be followed by LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.19) and RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 2.42), with Dustin May (1-1, 2.93) scheduled for Sunday’s series finale. The Dodgers won two of three last weekend in San Diego. ___ BACK AGAIN Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán (0-2, 9.00 ERA) will rejoin the club from the alternate site to make his third start after missing all of 2020 serving a ban for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Germán struggled in outings against Toronto and Tampa Bay before being sent down, surrendering seven runs and four homers over seven innings. He’ll face the Indians and righty Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18) in the opener of a four-game series at Cleveland. ___ Alex Cobb (1-0, 4.63 ERA) makes his third start for his new team Thursday when the Los Angeles Angels open a four-game series at the slumping Houston Astros, who have lost nine of their last 10 games. Houston also was 7-10 last year before winning eight in a row. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The NFL is exploring changes to the annual NFL scouting combine to improve the professional and medical experience for draft prospects, a person familiar with those discussions told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The combine in Indianapolis was cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, so prospects displayed their talents for scouts, coaches and general managers at their college pro days instead. Teams interviewed players virtually and most medical and psychological testing was done by video. About 150 draft prospects did in-person medical evaluations in Indianapolis earlier this month. The league is seeking input from players who attended the combine previously and rookies who went through this year’s version. Teams and their medical staffs also will provide their assessment. The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the conversations are ongoing, said the league is evaluating all aspects of the combine, including the player experience. Calling players by their name instead of a number, limiting the number of medical personnel who examine guys and ensuring prospects aren’t asked humiliating questions are a point of emphasis. In 2010, then-Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland apologized to Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick Dez Bryant for asking during a pre-draft visit whether his mother was a prostitute. In 2016, then-Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn apologized to Eli Apple because one of his coaches asked the cornerback his sexual preference. In 2018, former LSU running back Derrius Guice said one team at the combine asked about his sexuality and another inquired if his mother was a prostitute. Former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson, who played 16 seasons between 2004-20, compared the interview process to an interrogation. “I can remember sitting in a dark room with a huge spotlight,” Watson told the AP. “There’s a seat there like you’re being interrogated for a crime and all the front office staff is in the back in the shadows and you can’t see them. The guy grabbed my wrist and he’s like: ‘I can feel your pulse, so I know if you’re lying to me. Have you ever smoked marijuana?’ I said: ‘No.’ I really hadn’t. I’ve never smoked. He said: ‘I think you’re lying. I can feel your pulse. Are you lying to us?’ I said: ‘No, I’m not.’ "So for a minute, I thought I actually did smoke marijuana and maybe I need to confess to a crime that I didn’t commit. But these sorts of tactics that are happening at the combine and that are not being monitored definitely need to be done away with.” New Eagles coach Nick Sirianni had a playful way to test the competitiveness of draft prospects. He played rock, paper, scissors virtually with a couple guys and one of his assistant coaches played Jeopardy with them. “When you compete with somebody that’s competitive, they’re going to go at you no matter what game you’re playing,” Sirianni said. Sirianni appreciated the virtual interview process. “At the combine, you’re limited to how many times you can talk to them, how long you can talk to them for,” he said. “We were able to get meaningful conversations not under a time limit. It was just great work by the scouts and by the assistant coaches to get that work done on the players and really get to know the players. In a lot of aspects, I think we got way more out of those meetings than we do out of Indy.” Count Miami Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett among those who prefer pro days over the combine. “I’m not a fan of the combine,” he said. “I think it’s very unnecessary. You’re going to do the same thing on pro day.” ___ More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Ian Anderson took a shutout into the seventh inning, Austin Riley homered and the Atlanta Braves scraped by with just four hits to beat punchless New York Yankees 4-1 Wednesday night. Corey Kluber (0-2) kept New York in it with his best start yet in pinstripes, but the Yankees lost for the sixth time in seven games due to a star-studded lineup that has almost entirely spaced out. Anderson (1-0) limited the Yankees to four hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings, striking out four against the club he also beat in his major league debut last season. The 22-year-old right-hander threw 97 pitches as temperatures dipped into the low 40s in the late innings. New York loaded the bases against Anderson with two outs in the seventh, but reliever A.J. Minter got DJ LeMahieu to hit an inning-ending grounder to third. Will Smith allowed a run in the ninth but closed out the five-hitter. The suddenly listless Bronx Bombers are hitting .163 in their past seven games, averaging 2.57 runs, with nearly half the lineup stuck in a serious slump. At 6-11, the Yankees are off to their worst start since 1991. Their 58 runs are fewest in the AL and their slugging percentage is the lowest in the major leagues. Giancarlo Stanton had a 117.3 mph lineout but went hitless, dropping to 3 for his last 34. Gleyber Torres had a hit but is just 4 for his last 32 with 1 RBI this season. Aaron Hicks is in a 1-for-17 rut, although he walked twice. Clint Frazier blooped a ninth-inning single to break a 1-for-27 slide, picking up his first RBI of the season in his 45th plate appearance. Gio Urshela — among the few Yankees swinging the bat well — was lifted in the top of the eighth with lower back tightness. He ran gingerly to first on an inning-ending double play in the sixth. Manager Aaron Boone said the injury does not appear to be serious and no tests are planned. The Yankees' pitching has been better, and Kluber (0-2) had his best start since signing an $11 million, one-year free agent deal. He was charged with two runs, two hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings, throwing 91 pitches. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner was sharp until the fifth, when he allowed a single, three walks and Ehire Adrianza’s sacrifice fly before leaving with two outs, the bases loaded and Atlanta up 1-0. Nick Nelson relieved and walked Marcell Ozuna on four pitches to make it 2-0 before striking out Travis d’Arnaud. New York’s defence faltered in the seventh, letting Atlanta go ahead 3-0. First baseman Mike Ford misjudged Riley’s popup leading off, resulting in a single, and Riley advanced when second baseman LeMahieu was charged with an error for bobbling Guillermo Heredia’s grounder. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to Freddie Freeman, Riley scored when Ozuna beat out a potential double-play despite having his bat splintered by reliever Luis Cessa. Ozuna was 0 for 4 but had two RBIs. Riley was the only player in the game with two hits — including a leadoff homer against Brooks Kriske in the ninth — and also walked twice. Riley was also hit by a ball in the mouth in the third inning but stayed in the game. Frazier made a diving catch to rob Adrianza of a hit then tried to double Riley off at first, and his throw hit Riley in the lips. Riley was visited by a trainer but stayed in the game. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: OF Ronald Acuña Jr. was held out of the lineup for a second straight day with a mild abdominal strain. He hit off a tee pregame and is progressing, but manager Brian Snitker wasn't sure if he'd be ready for the team's next game Friday. ... LHP Drew Smyly (left forearm pain) will start Saturday. Yankees: New York expects to have 85% of its players, coaches and staff with Tier 1 access fully vaccinated soon. The club reached roughly 84% Wednesday, 14 days after the bulk of the team was given its shots, but a few staff members were inoculated at a later date. Once that second batch achieves full vaccination, New York will become exempt from certain safety restrictions and protocols put in place by Major League Baseball. UP NEXT Braves: RHP Huascar Ynoa (0-1, 3.94) faces Diamondbacks RHP Luke Weaver (1-1, 3.78) to open a three-game home set Friday night. Yankees: RHP Domingo Germán (0-2, 9.00) returns from the alternate site to make his third start after missing all of 2020 serving a ban for violating MLB's domestic violence policy. He'll face the Indians and RHP Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18) in the opener of a four-game series at Cleveland. ___ Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jake Seiner, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Stephen Curry had his first rough night in a month, and Bradley Beal rallied Washington in the fourth quarter for its season-best sixth straight victory, 118-114 over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in the first Wizards home game with fans in more than a year. Coming off a historic 11-game stretch in which he made 78 3-pointers and surpassed Beal as the NBA's scoring leader, Curry scored 18 points on 7-of-25 shooting, including 2 of 14 on 3s. Beal scored 29 points as the glamorous matchup with Curry mostly fizzled until Washington's late rally. He pounded his chest after scoring on a drive with 2:44 left and drawing a sixth foul on Draymond Green. Beal converted the three-point play to bring Washington within one, and he found Davis Bertans for a 3-pointer that put the Wizards ahead for good with 2 minutes remaining. Russell Westbrook had 14 points, a season-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists for Washington. The triple-double was his 27th of the season and 173rd of his career, second to Oscar Robertson’s 181. Former Wizard Kelly Oubre Jr. led Golden State with 24 points in his second game at Washington, and first with the Warriors, since he was traded to Phoenix in December of 2018. Jordan Poole added 22 points and hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Warriors an 11-point lead, their largest of the game. Curry started 2 for 13 from the floor and 0 for 7 from 3-point range before he made a layup and a 3 in a 21-second span to get Golden State rolling midway through the third quarter. But he wasn't consistent enough to hold off Beal and Westbrook late. His final 3-point attempt from straight away with 1:17 left wasn't even close. The Wizards lost rookie Deni Avdija to a scary-looking lower right leg injury late in the first half. PAYING CUSTOMERS The District of Columbia agreed last week to allow 10% capacity at Capital One Arena, which equates to 2,100 per game. Half the seats in the lower bowl remained covered by blue plastic and masked fans were sprinkled throughout all levels. Among those in attendance were 100 invited front-line health workers. The game hosts and dancers entertained fans virtually, and the national anthem was prerecorded. Beal took a microphone at half court to thank the fans before tipoff. TIP-INS Warriors: F Juan Toscano-Anderson remains in the NBA's concussion protocol. He suffered the injury and a head laceration when he tumbled over the scorer's table while diving to save a loose ball in Saturday's loss at Boston. Toscano-Anderson required more than 30 stitches, coach Steve Kerr said. ... G Damion Lee sat Wednesday after Philadelphia's Joel Embiid stepped on his left foot Monday night. Lee cracked his big toenail “and he's been in a lot of pain,” Kerr said. ... Andrew Wiggins reached 10,000 points, the first player born in Canada to hit that milestone. Canada's Steve Nash, with 17,387 points, was born in South Africa. Wizards: F Rui Hachimura sat for the second consecutive game with a sore left knee. He remains day to day and hasn't had any setbacks, coach Scott Brooks said. UP NEXT Warriors: Play nine of their final 13 games at home, starting Friday night against Denver. Wizards: At Oklahoma City on Friday night. Washington beat the Thunder at home on Monday. ___ Follow Ben Nuckols at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Ben Nuckols, The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — With seven men out, the Indiana Pacers came up big by playing small ball Wednesday night, running away from the reeling Oklahoma City Thunder 122-116. Malcolm Brogdon had 29 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, and Caris LeVert scored 28 points as the severely short-handed Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak despite playing without anyone taller than 6-foot-7. Indiana was missing three starters — two-time All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis, centre Myles Turner and forward T.J. Warren — and four backups. Darius Bazley matched his career high with 26 points and Svi Mykhailiuk had 20 points to lead the Thunder. Oklahoma City has lost 12 in a row overall, seven straight on the road and is still seeking its first victory in April. Indiana took control early, finishing the first quarter on a 16-6 run to make 34-28 and extending the margin to 13 late in the second quarter. But Oklahoma City fought back in the second half. The Thunder pulled to 73-72 on Moses Brown's three-point play with 6:59 left in the third — only to watch Indiana answer with a 13-4 spurt. And when they closed to 105-104 midway through the fourth, LeVert broke the game open with a five-point flurry to make it 110-104. Oklahoma City got one more chance after Brogdon threw the ball away and Theo Maledon's 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left made got the Thunder within 118-116. But Brogdon closed it out by making four free throws. TIP-INS Thunder: Brown finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. ... Mykhailiuk also had nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. ... Kenrich Williams had 15 points off the bench. ... Oklahoma City's last win came March 31 against Toronto. Its last road win came March 21 at Minnesota. ... The Thunder has lost three straight to the Pacers and the two teams will meet again May 1. Pacers: Just hours after Indiana signed Oshae Brissett for the third time this month, he celebrated with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Both were career bests. ... T.J. McConnell had 12 points, eight assists and four rebounds. ... LeVert added five rebounds, six assists and four steals. ... The Pacers avoided their third four-game losing streak of the season, which would have been the franchise's most since 2016-17. OUT OF ACTION In addition to Sabonis (lower back), Turner (right foot), Warren (left foot), the Pacers played without Goga Bitazde (left ankle), Jeremy Lamb (left knee) and Doug McDermott (left ankle). JaKarr Sampson sat out, too, after league officials suspended him for one game for headbutting Patty Mills during Monday's loss to San Antonio. Oklahoma City also was undermanned. Guards Luguentz Dort (right hip) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right foot), forward Josh Hall (knee) and forward-centre Mike Muscala (right ankle) all missed the game. Forward Aleksej Pokusevski left in the first half with a non-COVID illness and did not return. STAYING ALIVE The victory gives Indiana a remote to extend its streak of consecutive winning seasons on its home court to 32. The Pacers are 10-17 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with nine home games left. Indiana has the longest active streak in the league and is tied for the third-longest streak in NBA history. UP NEXT Thunder: Returns home Friday to face Washington in its only home game during the current seven-game stretch. Pacers: Can complete a three-game sweep of Detroit by winning Saturday at home. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Michael Marot, The Associated Press