Update on the latest sports
76ers pad streak, conference lead
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers have extended their winning streak and expanded their lead in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) had 34 points in just 25 minutes as the Sixers whipped the Rockets, 135-115. Embiid also had 12 rebounds and made 14 of 16 free throws to help the 76ers move two games ahead of second-place Brooklyn in the conference race.
Shake Milton provided 19 points off the bench, helping Philadelphia win the season series from Houston for the first time in 10 years.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) pumped in 24 of his 32 points in a dominant first quarter and finished with 12 rebounds in the Nuggets’ 10th victory in 12 games, 113-97. Denver led by as much as 31 and moved back into a tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in the West. Austin Rivers scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter against his former team.
— Clint Capela scored 18 points and the Hawks pulled away in the fourth quarter of a 135-103 pounding of the Suns. Atlanta led 97-88 before scoring the first 14 points of the final period. Devin Booker dropped in 30 points for Phoenix, which fell one game behind West-leading Utah.
— Jordan Clarkson furnished 30 points and Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic added 24 as the Jazz clobbered the Spurs, 126-94. Bogdanovic is averaging 25.8 points over his last five games after shooting 10 of 13 versus San Antonio, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. The Jazz shot 55.7% and led by as many as 41 points before improving to 3-0 on their five-game road trip.
— Jrue (jroo) Holiday scored 29 points and the Bucks withstood a triple-double from Russell Westbrook in defeating the Wizards, 135-134. Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) scored 23 before fouling out with 1:54 left in the Bucks’ fourth straight win. Westbrook had 29 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 179th career triple-double, two shy of Oscar Robertson’s all-time record.
— The Celtics rolled to a 132-96 win over the Magic as Kemba Walker tied a season high with 32 points in his return from a four-game injury absence. Jayson Tatum shook off a slow start and finished with 27 points for Boston, which beat Orlando for a sixth straight time over the past two seasons. Evan Fournier (FOHRN’-yay) had 18 points in his first game back in Orlando since being traded by the Magic.
— The Trail Blazers posted their highest point total of the season in a 141-105 thumping of the Cavaliers. Damian Lillard scored 16 points in the first quarter and 14 points in the third before finishing with 32 and nine assists. Enes Kanter had 18 points and 13 rebounds as Portland finished 5-1 on its six-game road trip.
— Ja (jah) Morant contributed 37 points and 10 assists for the Grizzlies in a 139-135 win over the Timberwolves. Desmond Bane scored 22 points off the bench, including a few key 3-pointers late. Kyle Anderson added 20 points for Memphis.
— Marvin Bagley III kept the Kings’ slim playoff hopes alive with a breakthrough game by scoring a season-high 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the a 104-93 decision over the Pacers. Delon Wright added 23 points as Sacramento won its fourth straight, all on the road.
Capitals win battle with Rangers
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Rangers weren’t too happy when Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson avoided a suspension for his role in Monday’s brawl at Madison Square Garden. They demonstrated their displeasure by engaging Wilson in a couple of melees, but the Caps rode TJ Oshie’s (OH’-sheez) hat trick to a 4-2 victory over the Blueshirts.
Oshie’s first two goals came with Pavel Buchnevich (booch-NEH’-vihch) in the penalty box, two days after Buchnevich was crosschecked in the back by Wilson.
Wednesday’s game had six fights in the first period, commencing with a center-ice brawl right off the opening faceoff. Wilson was involved in a fight in the opening minute and received a 10-minute misconduct later in the period.
The outcome puts the Capitals in a first-place tie with Pittsburgh in the East Division. The Caps have three games remaining, one more than the Penguins.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) scored 1:53 into overtime to send the Golden Knights past the Wild, 3-2. Reilly Smith furnished the tying score late in the third after Kirill Kaprizov (kih-REEL kah-PREE’-zahv) scored two goals in a 2:10 span midway through the period for the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots for the West-leading Knights, who are five points ahead of the third-place Wild.
— The Avalanche are four points off the West Division lead after wasting a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 loss to the Sharks. Tomas Hertl (HUR’-tul) had two goals and an assist in his 500th career NHL game. Erik Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal and Evander Kane added three assists.
— Troy Terry provided the shootout winner in the Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Blues. Haydn Fleury and Max Jones scored in regulation for Anaheim, and Anthony Stolarz STOH’-lahrz) made 25 saves before stopping all three St. Louis shootout attempts. Mike Hoffman and Kyle Clifford tallied for the Blues.
— Defenseman Erik Cernak (CHUR’-nak) had a goal and two assists in the Lightning’s sixth win in seven games, 6-2 over the Stars. Brayden Point and Alex Killorn (kih-LOHRN’) each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which pulled into a tie with the Panthers for second place in the Central Division. The Stars remained alive for the fourth and final spot in the Central Division after Nashville’s loss in Columbus.
— The Predators failed to wrap up a playoff berth as Mikhail Grigorenko scored the go-ahead goal in the third period of the Blue Jackets’ 4-2 victory against Nashville. Oliver Bjorkstrand (BYOHRK’-strand) had two goals, including an empty-netter with less than a second remaining, and Jack Roslovic (RAHS’-lioh-vihch) also scored for the Blue Jackets, who stopped a two-game skid and won for just the second time in 12 games.
— Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler each scored twice and the Jets claimed their fourth straight playoff berth with a 4-0 shutout of the Flames. Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk) made 32 saves for his third shutout of the season, helping Winnipeg stop a seven-game losing streak. Wheeler collected his 800th career point, Mark Scheifele (SHY’-flee) reached the 500-point plateau and Paul Maurice picked up his 300th win as Jets coach.
— Erik Brannstrom had three assists, Shane Pinto scored his first NHL goal and the Senators stalled the Canadiens’ playoff charge with a 5-1 win. The Canadiens entered the game looking for their first four-game winning streak of the season after reeling off three straight come-from-behind victories. Brady Tkachuk (kah-CHUHK’), Nick Paul, Connor Brown and Alex Formenton also scored for the Senators, who improved to 8-2-1 over their past 11 games.
— Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) collected his 1,000th career point by getting an assist in the Kings’ 4-2 victory against the Coyotes. Gabriel Vilardi scored twice to help Los Angeles eliminate Arizona from playoff contention.
Rangers dump Davidson, Gorton
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Rangers have stunningly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton with three games left in the season. The dismissals come after Davidson and Gorton assembled an excellent collection of young talent that makes the team’s future look very promising.
The news also comes less than 24 hours after the team ripped the league for fining but not suspending Washington’s Tom Wilson for his role in a scrum Monday night that injured Rangers star Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn).
It was not immediately clear if the front office shakeup had any connection to the criticism of the league.
In other NHL news:
— Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (GAHS’-tihs-behr) has received a two-game suspension for boarding Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman during Pittsburgh’s 7-3 victory on Tuesday.
— The Devils have signed goaltender Nico Daws to a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season. He was the team’s third-round pick in the 2020 draft.
Birds’ Means no-hits M’s
UNDATED (AP) — The Major League Baseball season is barely a month old, and there already have been three no-hitters thrown, four if you include Madison Bumgarner’s seven-inning gem.
Baltimore Orioles ace John Means has authored the third while facing the minimum 27 batters in a 6-0 shutout of the Mariners in Seattle. The Mariners’ only baserunner reached first by striking out on a wild pitch that got away from catcher Pedro Severino, but the runner was thrown out at second.
Means struck out 12 and threw 79 of his 113 pitches for strikes.
Means lowered his ERA to 1.37 and became the first individual Orioles pitcher to toss a no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969.
Trey Mancini provided the big blow with a three-run shot off reliever Aaron Fletcher in the eighth inning.
Also on Wednesday’s major league schedule:
— The Yankees picked up their fifth straight win as Giancarlo Stanton homered and collected four RBIs in a 6-3 downing of the Astros. Stanton finished 3-for-4 with a walk and has 17 hits in his last six games, raising his batting average from .205 to .314.
— Teoscar (tay-AHS’-kur) Hernández hit a tiebreaking RBI single while the Blue Jays scored five in the eighth to beat the Athletics, 9-4. Hernández and Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) each delivered a pair of RBI singles.
— Brandon Lowe (low) cracked a three-run homer and the Rays were able to overcome five scoreless innings from Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee by rallying for a 3-1 victory over the Angels. Lowe went deep to center off Junior Guerra (GEHR’-uh) in the seventh after Brett Phillips led off the inning with a walk and Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs) flared a single to left.
— Jeimer (JAY’-mur) Candelario belted a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the 10th inning before the Tigers hung on for a 6-5 win over the Red Sox. Jonathan Schoop (skohp) led off the 10th with a single and scored on Canderio’s third homer of the season.
— The Indians pulled out a 5-4 win over the Royals on Josh Naylor’s leadoff homer in the ninth. Kansas City led 4-0 in the sixth until Eddie Rosario laced a two-run double to left-center.
— Hyeon-Jong Yang made his first major league start after 14 years in the Korea Baseball Organization, getting the Rangers off to a strong start in an eventual 3-1 win against the Twins. Yang struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced and eight overall in 3 1/3 innings.
— Jesse Winker’s walk-off single in the 10th inning gave the Reds a 1-0 victory over the White Sox. Starters Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kul) each allowed just two hits over seven scoreless innings.
— Anthony Rizzo capped a two-run 11th inning with an RBI single that allowed the Cubs to complete a three-game sweep of the Dodgers, 6-5. Max Muncy (MUHN’-see) homered in the fourth inning, hit an RBI double in the 10th and scored in the 11th before Los Angeles lost for the 11th time in 14 games.
— Jon Gray poked an RBI single while allowing two runs and four hits over six innings of the Rockies’ 6-5 win against the Giants. Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia delivered two-run singles while Colorado put together a six-run fourth to take a 6-2 lead.
— Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nah) clubbed the Braves’ third grand slam in four games to carry them to a 5-3 win over the Nationals. Max Fried (freed) allowed one run and four hits, over five innings to lower his ERA from 11.45 to 8.44.
— Jake Cronenworth provided a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth inning as the Padres won the rubber match of their series with the Pirates, 4-2. Mark Melancon (meh-LAHN’-suhn) pitched the ninth for his big league-leading 11th save in 11 chances.
— Adam Duvall crushed a three-run homer and had four RBIs while the Marlins allowed just five hits in an 8-0 rout of the Diamondbacks. Miguel Rojas was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and three runs scored for Miami.
— Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) launched his eighth career grand slam as the Phillies beat the Brewers, 5-4 for their third straight win. Enyel De Los Santos left two runners stranded to end the eighth before José Alvarado notched the save.
— The Cardinals ran their winning streak to six games as Paul DeJong (deh-YUHNG’) smacked a two-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt added a solo shot off Marcus Stroman, powering St. Louis to a 4-1 win over the Mets in Game 1 of a doubleheader. New York was held to two hits after hitting coach Chili Davis was fired and replaced by Hugh Quattlebaum.
— The Mets gained a split of the twinbill as Tomás Nido (NEE’-doh) socked a two-run homer and Jonathan Villar (vee-AHR’) added a solo shot and an RBI single in a 7-2 verdict over the Redbirds. Winning pitcher Jordan Yamamoto gave up one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings following his recall from Triple-A Syracuse.
DeGrom eyes Sunday start
UNDATED (AP) — Mets ace Jacob deGrom could return to the mound on Sunday against Arizona at Citi Field.
DeGrom first felt soreness in a back muscle after his previous outing against Boston on April 28 and was scratched from a scheduled start against St. Louis on Tuesday night.
In other major league news:
— The Indians placed catcher Roberto Pérez on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right ring finger. The two-time Gold Glove winner had been playing with the injury, which he sustained when he got crossed up on a pitch by reliever James Karinchak in Chicago on April 13.
— Yankees second baseman Rougned Odor (ROOG’-ned oh-DOHR’) has been put on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left knee. Odor was hurt Tuesday night when his knee slammed into Houston catcher Martín Maldonado’s head as he scored in the sixth inning of New York’s 7-3 win.
— Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (strohp) has opted for free agency after spending most of the season at Chicago’s alternate site. The 35-year-old Strop was a key member of the Cubs’ bullpen from 2013 to 2019 before signing with Cincinnati prior to the 2020 season.
— The Blue Jays will go back to playing home games in Buffalo next month, and they’ll have a limited number of fans in attendance. Forced from Canada by that government’s coronavirus travel restrictions, the Blue Jays will be back at Sahlen (SAY’-lehn) Field, the regular home of the Blue Jays’ Triple-A farm team.
— The Yankees and Mets can increase capacity from 20% to 100% at their ballparks for home games starting May 19 provided fans are vaccinated against COVID-19. Both teams will be giving away free tickets along with vaccinations. Sections for unvaccinated ticket holders will be capped at 33%.
Cowboys release Woods
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have released defensive tackle Antwaun Woods less than a week after drafting two potential replacements.
Dallas drafted a pair of defensive tackles in UCLA’s Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna of Kentucky.
Woods’ release won’t cost anything against the salary cap.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— The Lions have signed tight end Darren Fells, giving the team another veteran at the position to go with Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson. Fells has 123 catches with 1,483 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns in 102 NFL games.
Vaccines donated for Olympic athletes, officials
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech are donating doses to inoculate athletes and officials preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
Delivery of doses is set to begin this month to give Olympic delegations time to be fully vaccinated with a second shot before arriving in Tokyo. The games open on July 23.
It’s the second major vaccination deal for the International Olympic Committee. An agreement was announced in March between the IOC and Olympic officials in China to buy and distribute Chinese vaccines ahead of the Tokyo Games and next year’s Beijing Winter Games.
Anti-Olympic petition gains tens of thousands of signatures
TOKYO (AP) — An online petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled has gained tens of thousands of signatures since being launched in Japan only days ago.
The rollout comes with Tokyo, Osaka and several other areas under a state of emergency with coronavirus infections rising. The state of emergency is to expire on May 11 but reports in Japan say it is likely to be extended.
The Olympics are to open in just under three months on July 23. The petition is addressed to International Olympic President Thomas Bach. He has tentative plans to visit Japan later this month.