Update on the latest sports
Bucks win in Antetokounmpo’s return
UNDATED (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) returned to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday and helped them earn their eighth consecutive victory.
Antetokounmpo didn’t seem too bothered by the sprained knee that forced him to miss Monday’s game, contributing 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 33 minutes of the Bucks’ 121-119 downing of the Celtics.
Khris Middleton poured in 27 points and grabbed 13 boards for the Bucks, who led 90-65 midway through the third quarter before hanging on.
Jaylen Brown led Boston with 24 points, Kemba Walker had 23 and Jayson Tatum had 18. Tatum was back after missing one game due to illness.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— Donovan Mitchell provided five 3-pointers and 27 points in just three quarters of action as the Jazz ripped the Nets, 118-88. Bojan Bogdanovic was mired in a 3-for-25 shooting slump from 3-point range before making 4 of 6 3-point attempts and scoring 18 in Utah’s fourth win in five games. James Harden was scratched by Brooklyn due to a sore neck, joining teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the sideline.
— Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and the Clippers never trailed in clobbering the Spurs, 134-101. Marcus Morris Sr. added 20 points, Paul George had 17 points and Lou Williams had 16 for Los Angeles. The Clippers won their third straight and captured their 11th victory by 20 points or more this season.
— Evan Fournier scored the last of his 21 points on a driving layup over Deandre Ayton with 6.4 seconds left, pushing the Magic past the Suns, 112-111. Nikola Vucevic (nih-KOH’-lah VOO’-cheh-vihch) scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his 30th double-double. Orlando trailed by 13 in the early going and by five in the fourth period before rallying behind Vucevic’s 32nd 20-point performance of the season.
— The Raptors’ nine-game losing streak has ended as Kyle Lowry had nine assists, eight points, and five rebounds in what may have been his final game for Toronto, a 135-111 rout of the Nuggets. The victory came on the eve of the NBA’s trade deadline, and with Lowry and Norman Powell front and center of numerous trade rumors. Pascal Siakam led all scorers with 27 points, while OG Anunoby had 23 and Powell 22.
— Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) furnished 29 points and seven Mavericks scored at least 10 in a 128-108 dismantling of the Timberwolves. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points off the bench for Dallas, and Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) finished with 15. Rookie Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 29 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter.
— De’Aaron Fox scored 37 points and Tyrese Haliburton made a pair of free throws with 36.6 seconds remaining to guide the Kings past the Hawks, 110-108. Haliburton finished with 17 points and seven assists, while Richaun Holmes contributed 16 points and eight rebounds. Clint Capella had 25 points and 17 rebounds for Atlanta, which has lost back-to-back games after winning its first eight under coach Nate McMillan.
— Dillon Brooks matched a season high with 25 points in the Grizzlies’ fourth win in five games, 116-107 versus the Thunder. Grayson Allen scored 20 points and Jonas Valanciunas (YOH’-nuhs val-ehn-CHOO’-nuhs) added 16 with 15 rebounds for Memphis, which moved a game over .500. Moses Brown had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Al Horford added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Thunder.
— Terry Rozier dropped in 25 points and Devonte’ Graham added 21 for the Hornets in a 122-97 romp over the Rockets. Houston quickly returned to the loss column after snapping a 20-game losing streak Monday night. Charlotte opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run and entered the fourth with a 93-70 lead after outscoring the Rockets 35-15 in the third.
— Caris LeVert (leh-VURT’) scored 28 points and the Pacers snapped a six-game home losing streak with a 116-111 victory over the Pistons. LeVert’s fourth 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds remaining clinched the victory. Edmond Sumner scored 18 points off the bench and Malcolm Brogden chipped in 16 for Indiana.
— The Cavaliers earned a 103-94 win over the Bulls as Darius Garland had 22 points and nine assists. Jarrett Allen added 19 points and nine rebounds for Cleveland, which played without leading scorer Collin Sexton. Larry Nance, Jr. had 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds as the Cavs limited Chicago’s top scorers Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen in the second half.
Sabres slide reaches 15 games
UNDATED (AP) — There’s still no end to the Buffalo Sabres’ winless streak.
The Sabres are 0-13-2 in their last 15 games following a 5-2 loss to the Penguins. Sidney Crosby netted his 13th goal of the season and Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots as Pittsburgh climbed within four points of the NHL’s East Division-leading Islanders.
Evan Rodrigues, Kris Letang (leh-TANG’), John Marino and Zach Aston-Reese also tallied for the Penguins, who recovered from a sluggish three-game set against New Jersey in which they managed just one victory.
Buffalo’s winless streak is a record for futility since the shootout was introduced during the 2005-06 season. It’s also the league’s longest stretch without a victory since Arizona went 15 games between wins from Feb. 21-March 21, 2004.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Jared Spurgeon scored twice and Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots as the Wild won for the seventh time in nine games, 3-2 over the Ducks. Nico Sturm snapped a 2-2 tie seven minutes into the second period, minutes after Max Comtois (KAHM’-twah) knotted the score. Ryan Suter collected two assists to help Minnesota sweep a two-game set with Anaheim.
— Martin Jones turned back 42 shots to stymie the Kings for a second straight game and lead the Sharks to a 4-2 victory. After getting pulled five times in his first 15 starts this year, Jones has allowed just five goals on 147 shots in his past four. Evander Kane scored twice for San Jose.
— Andrew Copp scored four times in leading the Jets to a 5-1 win over the Canucks. Copp had a pair of power-play strikes in the second and two more goals in the third to give Winnipeg its second straight win against Vancouver. Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) also scored and Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk) stopped 38 shots for the Jets.
— Rookie Filip Gustavsson handled 28 shots and Chris Tierney scored the tiebreaking goal with 7:59 remaining in the Senators’ 3-1 win over the Flames. Rookie Josh Norris tied it with at 4:48 of the third with his third goal in four games. Ottawa is 3-0-2 in its last five games and is 5-2 against Calgary this season.
Bruins back to practice
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins are practicing again after having two games postponed resulting from five players being placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
The development comes after David Krejci (KRAY’-chee), David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) and Craig Smith were cleared after spending five days in the protocol. Jake DeBrusk and Sean Kuraly (kah-RA’-lee) remain on the list for a seventh consecutive day.
Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders remains on the NHL schedule.
Minnesota forward Zach Parise entered the protocol, becoming the Wild’s 16th player this season to be listed, and first since Feb. 20.
Parise’s addition increases the total to 162 players who have spent at least one day in the protocol since the season began on Jan. 13.
NHL ref’s career is over after hot-mic comment about penalty
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tim Peel’s career as an NHL referee is over after his voice was picked up by a TV microphone saying he wanted to call a penalty against the Nashville Predators.
The league announced Wednesday that Peel “no longer will be working NHL games now or in the future.” The 54-year-old Peel had already made plans to retire next month.
NHL vice president Colin Campbell says there was no justification for Peel’s comments. Peel could be heard saying the penalty wasn’t much, but he wanted to call one against Nashville. The microphone was then cut off as Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called for a tripping penalty early in the second period.
Bob Plager dies in car crash
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Former St. Louis Blues defenseman Bob Plager has been killed in a car crash in St. Louis.
Police said Plager was alone in his vehicle when it collided with a vehicle carrying two women on Interstate 64 in St. Louis Wednesday afternoon.
Plager was an original Blue, moving over from the New York Rangers when the NHL expanded in 1967-68. He played 11 seasons for St. Louis and teamed for a stretch with brothers Barclay and Bill.
He later worked for the organization in a variety of roles and coached the team for 11 games in 1992.
Plager was 78.
Sharpe enters NBA draft
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina freshman big man Day’Ron Sharpe is entering the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-11, 265-pound Sharpe announced his decision in a social media post. He averaged 9.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game off the bench.
Florida’s Mann turns pro
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida point guard Tre Mann is leaving school early and turning pro.
Mann is expected to hire an agent and does not intend to return to college.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore from Gainesville led the Gators with 16 points a game and 83 assists this season and was the team’s second-leader rebounder. He also shot 40.2% from 3-point range.
Georgia WR Pickens needs knee surgery after practice injury
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia receiver George Pickens will undergo knee surgery after being injured during spring practice.
The school says Pickens injured his right knee during a non-contact drill on Tuesday. An MRI confirmed damage to the anterior cruciate ligament.
Pickens is projected as one of the nation’s top receivers going into the 2021 season, He had 36 catches for 513 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns last season.
NFL-WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Snyder buying out other owners
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Dan Snyder is buying out the Washington Football Team’s minority owners and will become the sole owner of the club.
An NFL spokesman confirms that Snyder’s application for a debt waiver of $450 million was approved by the finance committee and that the deal is pending approval from team owners. Three-quarters, or 24 of 32 teams, need to sign off to make it happen.
Colts re-sign 2 receivers
UNDATED (AP) — Longtime Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton has decided to re-sign with the team on a one-year deal.
The four-time Pro Bowler will make $10 million with $8 million in guaranteed money.
Hilton caught 56 passes for 761 yards and five touchdowns last season.
The Colts also re-signed cornerback Xavier Rhodes to another one-year contract. Rhodes started all 16 games for the Colts last season, making 42 tackles, breaking up 12 passes, intercepting two and returning one for a touchdown.
In other NFL moves:
— Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAH’-mah-kahng soo) has agreed to a one-year contract worth $9 million to remain with the Buccaneers. That’s according to a person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement, as well as a salary-cap friendly extension given to offensive lineman Donovan Smith, had not been announced by the Bucs.
— The Chargers have agreed to terms with outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell. He had four sacks in nine starts for the Giants last season along with a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown against Dallas in a Oct. 11 loss.
— The Jaguars have signed former 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard.
— Linebacker Elandon Roberts has re-signed with the Dolphins after testing the free agent market.
— The 49ers have brought back another key piece for their roster, agreeing to a one-year deal to retain slot cornerback K’Waun Williams.
— The Vikings have re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah.
— The Bengals have agreed to a one-year deal with safety Ricardo Allen, who was released in February by the Falcons.
— The Lions have signed linebacker Alex Anzalone and receiver Damion Ratley.
— The Bills have agreed to sign Nigerian-born defensive end Efe Obada to a one-year contract.
— Davon Godchaux signs a two-year, $13 million free agent deal to join the Patriots. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy signed a two-year, $13 million deal to return to the Patriots
— The Jets have signed former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry and agreed to terms on a one-year contract with running back Tevin Coleman.
Baseball to closely monitor for foreign substances
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is increasing its monitoring of baseballs in an attempt to suppress any use of foreign substances by pitchers.
Mike Hill, newly hired as executive vice president of baseball operations and disciplinarian, wrote that team leaders may be held responsible for violations by staff.
In a two-page memo to owners, Hill outlined three new enforcement components that include gameday compliance monitors and electronics compliance officers, submission of random baseballs by umpires and equipment authenticators and a review of MLB Statcast data comparing games to pitchers’ career norms.
Padres’ shortstop Tatis feeling better
UNDATED (AP) — San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. was feeling better a day after coming out of a game due to left shoulder discomfort.
Tatis last month signed the longest deal in major league history, for 14 years and $340 million.
Tatis has played in 143 games since his recall in 2019, hitting .301 with 39 homers and 98 RBIs.
Meanwhile, pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. and the Astros have agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract covering 2022-26.
McCullers agreed to Jan. 15 to a one-year, $6.5 million contract that avoided salary arbitration. He would have been eligible for free agency after this year’s World Series.
The 27-year-old McCullers returned in 2020 after missing a season following Tommy John surgery. He was 3-3 with a 3.93 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 11 starts last season.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— White Sox left fielder Eloy (EE’-loy) Jiménez hurt his left shoulder in the second inning of Wednesday’s exhibition game against Oakland. Jiménez tried to make a leaping grab at the wall on Sean Murphy’s solo homer. His left arm barely moved as he walked off the field with a trainer. The team said Jiménez departed with left shoulder discomfort, and it would provide another update on Thursday.
— Newly-acquired Rangers slugger Khris Davis will miss the start of the season because of a quadriceps strain suffered on a bunt single. General manager Chris Young said that an MRI showed that Davis has a Grade 2 quad strain and will be out 3-4 weeks.
— The Tigers selected the contract of right-hander Julio Teheran to the major league roster, solidifying his spot on the team after the former All-Star signed a minor league deal last month. Manager AJ Hinch also said left-hander Tarik Skubal has made the team.
— Yankees left-hander Justin Wilson won’t throw for several days and will receive oral anti-inflammatory medication in an effort to alleviate tightness in his pitching shoulder. Wilson left Monday night’s exhibition against Philadelphia while facing his fourth batter.
— The Braves have optioned right-hander Kyle Wright to their alternate training site, clearing the way for Bryse Wilson to open the season as the No. 5 starter. Wright made two postseason starts in 2020 following a strong finish to the regular season but was unable to pitch with consistency this spring.
— The Pirates are shutting down starting pitcher Steven Brault for at least a month to address discomfort in his throwing shoulder. Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said it’s likely Brault will be out for a minimum of 10 weeks.
— Bryan Shaw has pitched his way back into Cleveland’s bullpen. The 33-year-old right-hander, who signed a minor league deal with the Indians this offseason, was told that he will make the club’s opening-day roster.
— Amazon Prime Video will stream 21 Yankees games to members in New York’s broadcast market, a slate that starts with an April 18 matchup against Tampa Bay. YES said Wednesday that while it announced on March 3 last year that Amazon Prime Video would stream 21 games in 2020, the streams did not take place because of the shortened season caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
PGA-DELL MATCH PLAY
Johnson advances in Match Play
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Top seed Dustin Johnson closed out a long day at the Dell Technologies Match Play by outlasting Adam Long in 18 holes.
Half of the 32 matches went 18 holes, with six ending in ties.
Second seed Justin Thomas was the only player among the top 4 to lose Wednesday on the first day of group play. Matt Kuchar (KOO’-chur) built a 5-up lead and held on to beat him on the 16th hole.
Fourth seed Collin Morikawa had to settle for a halve with J.T. Poston, while No. 3 Jon Rahm needed an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole to beat Sebastian Munoz.
The biggest stunner belonged to Frenchman Antoine Rozner, who posted a 2-up victory over U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.