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.

The NBA’s leading scorer appeared rejuvenated as he hit 10 of 18 from the field, converted four 3-pointers and made all 11 of his free throws.

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.

Westbrook had 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.


Rust scores twice, Penguins pull away from Capitals 6-3

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bryan Rust scored two goals and added an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins remained unbeaten at home with a 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Brandon Tanev, Jake Guentzel, Zach Aston-Reese and Sidney Crosby also scored for Pittsburgh.

Nicklas Backstrom collected his 250th career goal for Washington. Jakub Vrana and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored, but the Capitals couldn’t rally back while playing for the first time in a week following a series of COVID-19 related postponements.


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

UNDATED (AP) — Isaiah Livers scored 20 points as No. 3 Michigan returned from a three-week layoff and rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 21 Wisconsin 67-59. Michigan scored the game’s final eight points and pulled ahead for good with 1:46 left on Hunter Dickinson’s tiebreaking putback.

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

Meanwhile in DES MOINES, Iowa, Tremell Murphy scored 17 points, including the go-ahead basket in overtime, and Drake rallied past No. 22 Loyola Chicago 51-50. Murphy’s layup with 2:50 remaining put the Bulldogs ahead for good, 49-48, in the defensive struggle between Missouri Valley Conference powers. Loyola had two shots blocked in the final 15 seconds before Murphy made the clinching steal and was fouled.

Drake won despite shooting 33.3%. Loyola shot 35.1%. Cameron Krutwig and Aher Uguak scored 11 points apiece for the Ramblers.


Mets sign veteran pitchers Mike Montgomery, Tommy Hunter

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets have signed left-hander Mike Montgomery and righty Tommy Hunter to minor league contracts. The Mets said both pitchers have been invited to big league camp. The 34-year-old Hunter went 0-1 with one save and a 4.01 ERA in 24 games for Philadelphia last season.

The 31-year-old Montgomery pitched three games for Kansas City last year. Montgomery earned a save in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series for the Cubs. He relieved with two outs in the 10th inning and a runner on first base and got a groundout to preserve an 8-7 win at Cleveland.


Nadal, Barty among those in action on Day 8

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — 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.

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.

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.


Like a legend: Kriechmayr wins 2 speed golds at ski worlds

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — A feat previously achieved only by two legends of men’s Alpine skiing has been matched by Austrian skier Vincent Kriechmayr at the world championships. Kriechmayr added downhill gold to the super-G title he won three days ago to complete the so-called speed double.

Fellow Austrian Maier had done the same in 1999 and American standout Miller six years later.

Andreas Sander trailed Kriechmayr by one-hundredth of a second to give Germany its third surprise silver medal. 2017 world champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland was 0.18 behind to win bronze.


Double gold: Humphries finishes off historic bobsled sweep

ALTENBERG, Germany (AP) — Kaillie 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.

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.