Can OG Anunoby continue his growth, will Stanley Johnson continue to impress and what kind of Pascal Siakam will we see over the next couple of months of NBA play?
Can OG Anunoby continue his growth, will Stanley Johnson continue to impress and what kind of Pascal Siakam will we see over the next couple of months of NBA play?
The daily grind under Darryl Sutter is hard, Milan Lucic said. And the expectations? They're as high as the peaks of the nearby Rocky Mountains.
Mark Pavelich had been committed to a mental health treatment center after assaulting a friend in 2019.
Jake Odorizzi is coming off an injury-riddled 2020 season.
After 14 years in the NBA, Mike Conley is an All-Star.
Jimmy Graham swerved to avoid a disabled car on a Miami highway on Thursday, though both he and his dog were safe after the accident.
Brad Gushue picked up where he left off at the Canadian men's curling championship on Friday night.
Kevyn Adams called his underperforming team’s play “flat-out not good enough” during a wide-ranging conference call on Friday.
It is the longest suspension handed down to a player under the domestic violence policy.
It’s an exciting week ahead in the Premier League as the battle for Champions League qualification spots heats up.
Kevin De Bruyne has won every domestic honour on offer with Manchester City but Europe's biggest prize still eludes the Belgian midfielder maestro.
Watching Rasmus Ristolainen race Mat Barzal to a loose puck and then try to defend him 1-on-1 must be pure nightmare fuel for Sabres fans.
Adam Silver is playing the strict dean in Atlanta this weekend.
BRIGHTON, England — Leicester ignited its push for Champions League qualification by coming from behind to beat relegation-threatened Brighton 2-1 and climb into second place in the Premier League on Saturday. A header from Daniel Amartey at an 87th-minute corner completed Leicester’s comeback after Kelechi Iheanacho began the recovery with an equalizer in the 62nd. Adam Lallana’s well-worked goal in the 10th minute put Brighton ahead at Amex Stadium. Leicester moved above Manchester United and has a seven-point buffer to fifth-place Everton in the race to finish in the top four. The team hasn’t played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 campaign, missing out last season after a late collapse. Injuries sustained by Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, James Justin and Jonny Evans over the past month have hit Leicester hard but it is showing resolve, coming from behind to draw at Burnley in midweek after also falling behind early. Before that, Leicester had lost 3-1 at home to Arsenal. With United playing Manchester City in the derby on Sunday, there’s a decent chance Leicester will be staying in second place at least until next week. Amartey made amends after being at fault for the opener when he sloppily conceded possession from a throw-in deep in Leicester territory. After being slipped in by Neal Maupay, Lallana coolly slotted past Kasper Schmeichel to claim his first Premier League goal since earning former club Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in October 2019. The goal would have been welcome relief for Brighton manager Graham Potter, who had seen his struggling side register 66 shots in its last three games but score only once and collect just a solitary point to leave the club perilously placed three points above the relegation zone in 16th place. Leicester improved after the restart and equalized after Lallana gave away possession in Brighton’s half. Youri Tielemans’ clever pass caught out Brighton captain Lewis Dunk, and the unmarked Iheanacho, who scored the late winner when the clubs met in the fifth round of the FA Cup a month ago, confidently lifted the ball over Robert Sanchez and into the top-right corner. The winner arrived when Sanchez flapped at Marc Albrighton’s corner from the left, allowing the stooping Amartey a simple close-range finish. Leicester is 12 points behind Man City, which has a game in hand. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Arsenal’s bold approach of playing the ball out from the back since the arrival of Mikel Arteta in December 2019 has drawn plenty of praise and led to a number of wonderfully constructed goals. It comes with obvious risks, however, and that was highlighted in the equalizer the team conceded in a 1-1 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday that left Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for European competitions even more unlikely. Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka received a short pass from goalkeeper Bernd Leno, took a slightly heavy touch onto his weaker right foot, then attempted a dangerous pass across the face of goal around Burnley striker Chris Wood. The ball ended up striking Wood on his hip and careering into the net, the unwitting scorer looking slightly sheepish as he celebrated his goal. “It’s the way we play and the way we want to play,” said Arteta, whose side had gone ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. “We have to know the risk and the rules for the way we want to play. It is what it is.” Things often seem to go wrong for Xhaka when he plays Burnley. He was sent off in the teams’ meeting at Emirates Stadium in December and also in their game in January 2017. His eight errors leading directly to goals since the start of the 2016-17 season is the most of any outfield player in the Premier League in that period. Arsenal is nine points off the Champions League places with 11 games remaining. Its best chance of getting into the competition next season lies in winning the Europa League, where the team has reached the last-16 stage. LEICESTER FIGHTBACK One team heading for the Champions League is Leicester, even with its growing list of injuries. A header from Daniel Amartey at an 87th-minute corner completed Leicester's comeback in a 2-1 win at Brighton that lifted Brendan Rodgers' team above Manchester United and into second place. Kelechi Iheanacho began the recovery, lifting a deft finish over Robert Sanchez in the 62nd minute to cancel out Adam Lallana's goal in the 10th for relegation-threatened Brighton. Leicester has a seven-point buffer to fifth-place Everton in the race to finish in the top four. The team hasn't played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 campaign, missing out last season after a late collapse. Injuries sustained by Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, James Justin and Jonny Evans over the past month have hit Leicester hard but the team is showing resolve, coming from behind to draw at Burnley in midweek after also falling behind early. With United playing Manchester City in the derby on Sunday, there's a decent chance Leicester will be staying in second place at least until next weekend. INGS INJURY Southampton is facing a few more weeks without Danny Ings after the England striker was forced off with another injury early against last-place Sheffield United. It didn't stop Southampton winning 2-0, though, for a first victory in 10 games to halt its fall into a relegation fight. A penalty by James Ward-Prowse was followed by a fierce strike from outside the area by Che Adams, the replacement for Ings, as the Saints won for the first time in two months. Ings' groin injury took some of the gloss from the result, however. The striker, who has had dreadful luck with injuries in his career notably at Liverpool, has already had two spells out of action this season. Sheffield United stayed 12 points from safety and looks destined for relegation. NEAR MISSES Aston Villa and Wolverhampton struck the goal frame three times between them and there was also an incredible miss from barely a meter out in the teams' 0-0 draw. Wolves' crossbar shook twice in the opening 15 minutes from fierce shots by Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa, while Conor Coady headed the ball against the post in the second half. The most agonizing miss was still to come, though, with the ball rolling across the face of goal from Coady's attempt for Wolves and Romain Saiss contriving to lift the ball over the crossbar from almost right on the goal-line. Villa is really lacking a cutting edge without captain and star midfielder Jack Grealish, having also been kept scoreless in losing to Sheffield United in midweek. Villa is six points off the European positions. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
The NBA is expecting arenas to be filled again next season and a return to its normal calendar, commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday. But Silver cautioned again every plan is contingent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. There are no plans for the league to travel overseas next season for exhibitions or regular-season games, Silver said, meaning recent preseason trips to foreign markets such as China, Japan or India won’t be repeated until 2022 at the earliest. But otherwise, things may largely appear back to normal — with the NBA eyeing a return to the 82-game schedule, starting in October and ending in June. “I’m fairly optimistic, at this point, that we will be able to start on time,” Silver said from Atlanta, in his annual news conference that precedes the all-star game. “Roughly half our teams have fans in their arenas right now and, if vaccines continue on the pace they are and they continue to be as effective as they have been against the virus and its variants, we’re hopeful that we’ll have relatively full arenas next season as well.” The league had 171 games cancelled last season because of the pandemic — one of the reasons for revenue projections being missed by about US$1.5 billion — and this season will be at least 150 games below the usual total, with more significant financial losses certain. All teams are scheduled to play 72 games instead of the customary 82, with only about half the league admitting any fans and those that have opened their doors doing so for just a small percentage of normal capacity. “Last season and this season has required a significant investment on the part of the team owners," Silver said. “They accept that. "Players will end up taking a reduction in salary this season because they are partners with the league and teams on revenue. League executives, team executives have all taken haircuts on their salary. But I think when we all step back, we all feel very fortunate to be working under these circumstances and my sense is the players feel the same way." Silver’s news conference was virtual this season for the first time, done over Zoom — like virtually all other league business this year — because of the pandemic and the league’s protocols for health and safety. A year ago at all-star weekend in Chicago, about a month before the NBA’s decision March 11, 2020, to suspend the season following the news that Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, Silver warned there was “a major national, if not global, health crisis” looming with regard to the virus. What Silver said might not have sounded many alarms at that time. Less than a month later, the virus began dominating every aspect of life across the globe — and has continued to since. “One thing we've all come to understand over the last year is that the virus is firmly in charge," Silver said. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — Kyle Larson was out of NASCAR long enough to wonder if he'd still feel comfortable in a Cup car. He raced in nearly 100 events last year, just not in 3,400-pound stock cars. Would it feel the same as he remembered? Had his familiarity with the interior faded? His instincts slipped? Larson, who won 42 of 83 open-wheel races during his NASCAR suspension for using a racial slur, has fallen right back into the old routine. “I thought there would be cobwebs and rust. But maybe because I raced so much last year in sprint cars and open wheel cars ... I felt as fresh as ever," Larson said. "When I got in the car and put my head-and-neck restraint on and buckled up, everything just felt normal. It didn’t feel like I had been out of the car a long time. “Even shifting gears and coming down pit road and stopping on my pit sign and stuff like that, like it’s all come natural so far." Larson, fired by Chip Ganassi Racing after using a racial slur during an iRacing event in April, was hired by Hendrick Motorsports when his ban was lifted at the end of last season. His official return was last month at Daytona International Speedway, where he opened his second chance in NASCAR with a 10th-place finish in the Daytona 500. He was running in the top three with seven laps remaining a week later on the Daytona road course when Larson, in a moment of admitted over-aggressiveness, spun his Chevrolet and fell to a 30th-place finish. Last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larson led five laps and finished fourth, marking back-to-back weeks he believed he had a shot to win. Next up is Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's the fourth race of the season and falls one day short of his fourth and final Cup race a year ago. The season was paused for the pandemic, Larson was suspended during the shutdown and missed the final 32 races of the year. Despite his layoff and the move to a new organization, he's already fitting in well at Hendrick Motorsports. The team got its first win of the season last week from William Byron, a playoff driver who typically hovers around the cutoff mark but is now automatically qualified. Alex Bowman had one of the fastest cars at the Daytona 500, and reigning series champion Chase Elliott could have won both the Daytona 500 and the road course race a week later. Chad Knaus, vice-president of competition, believes Hendrick drivers could have swept the first three races of the season and Larson could get a victory soon. Coming off the suspension, Larson has made a strong off-track impression on Hendrick, too. He has been a welcome addition to the driver debriefs, which no longer include seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson downloading information for the first time in nearly two decades. “I've been really impressed with Kyle. Having him here, he's been very open, very forthcoming with information from what he's feeling,” Knaus said. “He's an open book. He's been great and we could not be more pleased with his performance.” He's also noticed a patience in Larson, particularly at Homestead last week when Larson could have been too aggressive with his preferred style of riding up against the wall. “Everybody also had the thought of Kyle, fast but he crashes. Or fast but he hits the wall, fast but does a lot of those things,” Knaus said. "Homestead would have been a great opportunity to compromise the car and he didn't do it. He ran top-five all day long, didn't think he had more than that and didn't want to push it. “That's a high level of maturity that I did not know he had.” NEW WINNERS Las Vegas should be the track that returns some normalcy to victory lane after three surprise winners through the first three races. Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell scored the first wins of their careers to open the season and Byron earned his second-ever Cup victory. But the 1.5-mile traditional intermediate Las Vegas track represents the type of track the Cup cars frequent most and the top teams really pull away from the pack. Six of the drivers in Sunday's field are previous Las Vegas winners, including two-time defending race winner Joey Logano. Denny Hamlin, the current Cup points leader, has never won in 18 starts at Las Vegas. ODDS AND ENDS Harvick is the 5-1 favourite to win Las Vegas, where he won in 2016 and 2018. Martin Truex Jr. is 13-2, while Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin are both 8-1. Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are 9-1 and Logano is the defending race winner. ... Chase Briscoe is leading the rookie of the year standings by nine points over Anthony Alfredo. Briscoe last season was the first Xfinity Series driver in history to sweep the Las Vegas races. ... Raiders quarterback David Carr is the grand marshal. ... Spectators returned to the speedway for the first time since last February's race. The speedway was permitted to host approximately 12,500 fans and tickets sold out for all three days of racing. Infield camping was not permitted. "This is the first time I can ever remember being disappointed to announce a sellout,” said Chris Powell, track president. Jenna Fryer, The Associated Press
Follow all the action from UFC 259 as three title fights headline the 15-fight card at Apex in Las Vegas.
BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi set up two goals to help Barcelona win 2-0 at Osasuna and close the gap with Spanish league leader Atlético Madrid to two points on Saturday. Jordi Alba drilled a shot from a tight angle past goalkeeper Sergio Herrera in the 30th minute after Messi played him clear down the left flank with a chipped pass behind the defensive line. It was the defender’s fifth goal of the season. Substitute Ilaix Moriba put the result beyond doubt with seven minutes left. The 18-year-old midfielder, who debuted two weeks ago, scored his first goal for the team when he took a pass from Messi and drilled the ball into the corner of the net. Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two saves for Barcelona in the first half when Osasuna threatened on the counterattack. Barcelona extended its undefeated run to 16 league matches to keep the pressure on Atlético a day before it hosts third-place Real Madrid in a Spanish capital derby. Atlético will also have one more game to play after this round. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. — Ryan Strome scored twice and streaking New York Rangers beat the Devils 6-3 Saturday, sending New Jersey to its fifth straight loss and eighth in nine games. Adam Fox, Ryan Strome, Kevin Rooney Libor Hajek and Filip Chytil also scored as the Rangers won their third straight and sixth in eight games. Alexandar Georgiev had 24 saves while filling in for the injured Igor Shesterkin, who sustained a groin injury in a 6-1 win over New Jersey Thursday night. P.K. Subban and Mikhail Maltsev scored in a 17-second first-period span to give the slumping Devils some hope after falling behind 2-0. The hope lasted less than two minutes. Rooney, a former Devil who signed with New York this season, capped a 2-on-1 with Chytil flipping a cross-ice pass over Mackenzie Blackwood for a 3-2 lead. Hajek stretched the lead to two goals 65 seconds in the second period with a short that deflected off Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen. It was his first point of the season and first goal since getting his first in the NHL against New Jersey on Mar. 9, 2019. Chytil scored in close in the third period as the Rangers scored 12 goals in sweeping the two games against their Hudson River rivals. Nathan Bastian closed the gap to 5-3, but Strome iced the game with an empty net goal. The Rangers caught a break early when Devils defenceman Sami Vatanen was called for a double minor for high sticking 1:33 into the contest. Fox gave New York the lead 33 second later scoring on a length of the ice rush. Strome got his seventh of the year in close after a turnover in the Devils' end. Subban closed the gap to 2-1 with a point shot at 14:54 and Maltsev tied the game in close at 15:11. HORRIBLE HOME The Devils are 2-9-1 at home after losing all five games on the stand that ended Saturday. The last time they lost five straight at home was 2000-01 when they dropped six in a row early. Remarkably, they went to the Cup Final that year and lost to Colorado in seven games. NOTES: F Kaako Kappo returned to the Rangers' lineup after missing the last six games because of COVID-19. He had an assist on the Strome's first goal. ... With Shesterkin sidelined, former Devil Keith Kinkaid was the Rangers backup. ... Devils C Michael McLeod did not play for the first time this season. ... Georgiev picked up an assist on the Fox goal. ... The Devils signed F Graeme Clarke signed a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season. The 19-year-old was a third-round pick in the 2019 draft. UP NEXT Rangers: At Pittsburgh Sunday and Tuesday for the second stop in six-game road trip that ends with two in Boston. Devils: Travel to Boston to face the Bruins in the opener of the three-game road trip that includes stops in Washington and in New York against the Islanders. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Mathew Barzal and Scott Mayfield each had a goal and an assist, and the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Saturday for their fourth straight win. Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves as the Islanders improved to 9-0-2 at Nassau Coliseum this season and 14-6-4 overall. Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee also scored. New York beat Buffalo for the fifth straight time this season, outscoring the Islanders 19-7 in those five meetings. The teams meet again Sunday for their third game in four days in the same venue. Buffalo dropped its sixth straight game. Sam Reinhart and Jacob Bryson scored for the Sabres, and Carter Hutton made 24 saves. Bryson put Buffalo in front when he scored his first career goal 33 seconds into his sixth game. The 23-year-old Bryson was selected by the Sabres in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. But the Islanders responded with four goals in the second, including a memorable play by the speedy Barzal. The 23-year-old Barzal tied it at 3:51 with his ninth of the season. After outmuscling Sabres defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen for the puck, Barzal hesitated in front of the net and then backhanded the puck between his legs to himself before sliding it past Hutton. Barzal has three goals and four assists in the last six games. Brock Nelson made it 2-1 at 5:16, taking a cross-ice pass from Anthony Beauvillier and firing a high shot past Hutton for his seventh goal. Cal Clutterbuck extended the lead at 8:45, sending a wrist shot past Hutton for his second goal this season. Mayfield made it 4-1 with his second goal of the season at 15:29, firing another high shot past Hutton. Reinhart scored his team-best ninth goal 52 seconds into the third on the power play before Lee added his team-leading 11th goal at 2:15. BUSY ISLANDERS The Islanders are in a stretch in which they are scheduled to play 19 games in 33 days for the first time in franchise history. The Islanders are 5-0-1 thus far in this stretch. IRON MEN The Islanders have three players with consecutive game streaks of last 250 games: Lee 292, Brock Nelson 269 and Barzal 256. Lee is nine games from tying Bob Nystrom for the second-longest such streak in Islanders history. Allan Kreda, The Associated Press