Update on the latest sports


Pileup, lightning cause early delays

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — First an accident, then lightning have caused some early delays at the Daytona 500.

Fifteen laps into the race, Aric Almirola turned into pole-winner Alex Bowman and started a 16-car pileup. Christopher Bell pushed Almirola and forced the Stewart-Haas Racing driver to bobble as he tried to correct the car. Cars driven Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch were among those sent spinning and flying through the mud.

Minutes later, the race was stopped by lightning and fans who had been socially distanced in the grandstands instead had to seek shelter in the crowded concourse.

Earlier, fans and crews saluted the late Dale Earnhardt by holding up three fingers on Lap 3. The tribute was in recognition of the 20th anniversary of his death, which came on the final lap of NASCAR’s signature event. Earnhardt drove the famed No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing. The death of the seven-time Cup Series champion forced NASCAR to make significant improvements in safety, changes that have saved many lives in the 20 years since.


Refreshed Beal scores 35, leads Wizards past Celtics 104-91

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal returned from a rare night off to score 35 points, Russell Westbrook was a rebound short of a triple-double, and the Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 104-91 on Sunday.

Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer who sat out Friday night’s loss to the New York Knicks, appeared rejuvenated as he hit 10 of 18 from the field, converted four 3-pointers and made all 11 of his free throws. Westbrook had 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Rui Hachimura added 15 points for Washington.

Kemba Walker and Jalen Brown each scored 25 points for Boston, which has lost 10 of 16.

The Wizards, who led except for the early moments, ran off 11 straight points to take a 77-53 lead midway through the third quarter. This was the first time this season Washington held an opponent to fewer than 100 points.


Back from layoff, No. 3 Michigan tops No. 21 Wisconsin 67-59

UNDATED (AP) — Isaiah Livers scored 20 points and Hunter Dickinson had a double-double as No. 3 Michigan returned from a three-week layoff and rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 21 Wisconsin 67-59 on Sunday.

Michigan scored the game’s final eight points and pulled ahead for good with 1:46 left on a tiebreaking putback from Dickinson, who had 11 points and 15 rebounds. Wisconsin missed its last seven shots.

The Wolverines hadn’t played since a 70-53 victory at Purdue on Jan. 22. Michigan announced the next day that it was pausing all athletic activities after several people linked to the athletic department tested positive for a COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate.

D’Mitrik (dah-MEE’-trihk) Trice scored 16 points to lead Wisconsin.


Nadal, Barty among those in action on Day 8

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal will play Italian veteran Fabio Fognini (FAH’-bee-oh fohn-YEE’-nee) for a place in the Australian Open quarterfinals on Day 8 at Melbourne Park. Nadal has been bothered by back stiffness but has come through three rounds without dropping a set and is starting to feel OK. He’s aiming for a men’s record 21st major title.

ATP Cup winners Daniil Medvedev (DAN’-ihl MEHD’-veh-dehv) and Andrey Rublev could set up an all-Russian quarterfinal if they advance through the fourth round. Fourth-seeded Medvedev will take a 17-match winning streak into his match against Mackenzie McDonald. Rublev is playing Casper Ruud in the subsequent match on Margaret Court Arena.

Top-ranked Ash Barty will continue her quest for a drought-breaking win for Australian women at the national championship when she takes on American Shelby Rogers in a night match. The last Australian woman to win the title was Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Two other American women are involved in the fourth-round matchups: No. 22 Jennifer Brady is playing No. 28 Donna Vekic and Jessica Pegula is against fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina. No. 18 Elise Mertens takes on Karolina Muchova in the other match.

On Sunday, eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) beat Milos Raonic (MEE’-lohsh ROW’-nihch) in four sets to advance to the quarterfinals and register his 300th win in a Grand Slam match. The top-ranked Djokovic is just the second player to reach the 300-win milestone after Roger Federer.

Whether Djokovic would be able to play Raonic had been in doubt after he hurt a stomach muscle when he fell during his third-round victory over Taylor Fritz. But the defending champion went onto Rod Laver Arena without showing any signs of trouble. He was wearing tape above his right hip.

The 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win extended Djokovic’s unbeaten streak to 12 straight against Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon finalist.

Djokovic says he’s going to prepare as best as he can for his next match against Alexander Zverev.

Also Sunday, Serena Williams returned to the quarterfinals by getting past No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets. The 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory put Williams one step closer to her record-tying 24th Grand Slam title overall and eighth championship at Melbourne Park. Her most recent major trophy came at the Australian Open in 2017.


Double gold: Humphries finishes off historic bobsled sweep

ALTENBERG, Germany (AP) — Kaillie Humphries wasn’t sure if she would get a chance to race this season. She ended up on top of the world — twice.

Humphries ended her international racing season Sunday by rallying to win the inaugural women’s monobob world championship in Altenberg, Germany, adding that gold medal to the one she and Lolo Jones combined to claim on the same track last weekend.

And now, there is no question about who the gold-medal favorite is going into the Olympic season, with two medal events awaiting women’s bobsledders at next winter’s Beijing Games for the first time.

This is her fifth world championship and her third in as many tries since getting her release from the Canadian program and beginning to slide for the United States in 2019. Humphries is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who is married to an American and now calls San Diego home. If she is going to race for the U.S. in next winter’s Beijing Games, she needs to obtain citizenship in the coming months.