Update on the latest sports
76ers extend win streak
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are another step closer to claiming the No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoffs.
Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ehm-BEED’) scored 29 points and the Sixers earned their eighth straight win by defeating the Pistons, 118-104. Embiid hit a 3 for a 69-52 lead in the third quarter, which gave him 23 points. At that point, Pistons backup big man Jahlil Okafor (jah-LIHL’OH’-kah-fohr) had scored only four.
Tyrese Maxey added 22 and Tobias Harris had 18 for the 76ers, who played without All-Star Ben Simmons and starting guard Seth Curry due to injuries.
Checking out Saturday’s other NBA action:
— Kevin Durant capped his 33-point performance by draining five free throws in the final 21 seconds of the Nets’ 125-119 victory at Denver. Kyrie Irving added 31 as Brooklyn snapped a four-game skid and moved a half-game ahead of the Bucks for second in the East. The Nets trailed by 21 in the first half but took the lead for good at 111-110 on a 3-pointer by Joe Harris with 6:12 remaining.
— Georges Niang (johrj nee-ANG’) tied a career high with 24 points and the NBA-leading Jazz beat the short-handed Rockets, 124-116. Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points and Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic added 20, his seventh straight game with at least 20. Utah finished 5-0 on its homestand despite missing All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley again.
— Damian Lillard scored 30 points and the Trail Blazers ripped the Spurs, 124-102 to move closer to an outright playoff spot. CJ McCollum added 27 points and Jusuf Nurkic (YOO’-suhf NUR’-kihch) had 17 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which has won seven of its last eight games. Lillard hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blazers a 90-75 lead going into the fourth quarter.
— Stephen Curry poured in 49 points in just 29 minutes and matched his season best with 11 3-pointers as the Warriors clobbered the Thunder, 136-97. Curry shot 14 of 26 overall and 11 of 21 beyond the arc, the fifth time in 15 games he’s had at least 10 treys. Draymond Green had 15 points and 13 assists to help Golden State stay a half-game ahead of Memphis for eighth in the West.
— Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robertson’s NBA record for triple-doubles with 181 and hit a pair of free throws with a second left to give the Wizards a 133-132 overtime win at Indiana. Westbrook finished with 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists for his league-leading 35th triple-double of the season. Bradley Beal scored 50 points to help the Wizards move into the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Indiana.
— Jonas Valanciunas (YOH’-nuhs val-an-CHOO’-nuhs) had 18 points and 21 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ 109-99 victory over the Raptors. De’Anthony Melton hit four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as Memphis moved closer to clinching a playoff berth. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 20 points and Ja (jah) Morant added 12 with seven rebounds and six assists for the Grizzlies.
Carter, Lagace help Pens win division crown
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins are the NHL’s East Division champs.
The Penguins capped their regular season with a 1-0 win over the Sabres as Maxime Lagace (mak-SEEM’ LA’-gah-see) stopped 28 shots in his first career shutout. Lagace was in goal after Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith were sidelined.
Jeff Carter scored his 17th goal and fifth in two games to help the Penguins finish 13-2-1 over their final 16 games. Carter scored nine times in 14 games after coming over from the Kings.
The Penguins clinched when the Capitals were unable to beat the Flyers in regulation.
Conor Sheary scored a short-handed goal in overtime to give the Caps a 2-1 win over Philadelphia. The Flyers were in line for a regulation victory until Lars Eller scored with 39.8 seconds left.
Washington finished the game without TJ Oshie (OH’-shee) because of a lower-body injury suffered in the second period.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— The Rangers’ season and their five-game losing streak are over after Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kah zih-BAN’-eh-jad) scored two of New York’s four third-period goal in a 5-4 comeback over the Bruins. Alexis Lafrenière (lah-frehn-YEHR’) and Vitali Kravtsov (vih-TA’-lee KRAVT’-sahv) also scored in a wild third when the Rangers turned a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 edge. David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) scored his 200th career goal and Brad Marchand had his team-leading 28th for Boston.
— Brock Nelson scored twice in the second period of the Islanders’ 5-1 victory over the Devils, ending New York’s three-game losing streak. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist as the Isles won what is expected to be the final regular-season game at Nassau Coliseum. Ilya Sorokin (sah-ROH’-kihn) stopped 23 shots to help the Islanders win in regulation for just the sixth time in their last 23 games.
— Reilly Smith recorded his first career hat trick and the Golden Knights pulled into a tie with the Hurricanes for the Presidents’ Trophy by defeating the Blues, 4-1. Chandler Stephenson also scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 shots as the Knights extended their home winning streak to a season-high seven games. The Golden Knights have a four-point lead over the Avalanche in the West Division heading into their showdown with Colorado on Monday.
— The Avalanche kept past with a 3-2 win over the Kings as Devon Toews (deh-VAHN’ tayvz) scored twice for his first multigoal game. Cale Makar (mah-KAHR’) had a goal and an assist for the second straight game, and Jonas Johansson made 16 saves in Colorado’s fourth win in five games. The Avs remain one point ahead of Minnesota for third in the West.
— The Wild beat the Ducks, 4-3 on Victor Rask’s goal 2:46 into overtime. Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Hartman and Nick Bonino also scored to help the Wild finish 4-1-2 on a season-high seven-game homestand. Kirill Kaprizov (kih-REEL’ kah-PREE’-zahf) added two assists and Cam Talbot stopped 19 shots.
— Alex Wennberg’s second career hat trick carried the Panthers to a 5-1 win over the Lightning, giving Florida the edge over Tampa Bay for home-ice advantage in their upcoming first-round series. Jonathan Huberdeau (HOO’-bur-doh) and Sam Bennett each had a goal and an assist for the Cats, who are two points ahead of the Bolts heading into the regular-season finale between the two teams. The Lightning have dropped two straight in regulation after a 6-0-1 hot streak.
— The Predators have secured the fourth and final Central Division playoff berth with a 3-1 win over the division-winning Hurricanes. Luke Kunin (KUH’-nihn) scored twice and Juuse Saros (YOO’-see SAH’-rohs) made 21 saves as Nashville handed Carolina its first regulation loss since April 12. Erik Haula (HAW’-lah) also scored and Mikael Granlund had two assists in the Predators’ third win in four games.
— The Maple Leafs wrapped up the North Division title with a 3-2 win against the Canadiens. Mitch Marner’s 20th goal of the season helped the Leafs finish 7-2-1 against their top rivals. William Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur) and Pierre Engvall also scored, and Jack Campbell made 21 saves.
— Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists to reach 100 points this season, sending the Oilers to a 4-3 decision over the Canucks. The 24-year-old became the ninth NHL player to get to 100 points in 53 games or fewer. Leon Draisaitl (DRY’-sy-tul) scored twice and Jesse Puljujarvi (pool-YAHR’-vee) also tallied for Edmonton.
— The Senators were 4-2 winners over the Jets behind rookie Tim Stutzle’s first NHL hat trick. Connor Brown scored and added two assists as Ottawa moved to 8-1-1 in its last 10 games.
— Max Domi (DOH’-mee) scored 4:39 into overtime to lift the Blue Jackets over the Red Wings, 5-4. Eric Robinson had a goal and an assist as Columbus won for just the third time in its last 15 games.
— Phil Kessel’s goal 2 1/2 minutes into overtime completed the Coyotes’ 5-4 win over the Sharks. It was Kessel’s 20th goal and 10th against San Jose this season.
NHL easing virus restrictions
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL is relaxing virus protocols for teams that reach a vaccination threshold.
The changes take effect once 85% or more of the traveling party has been fully vaccinated. For a team with 56 members in its traveling party, 48 would need to be fully vaccinated.
The changes include loosened restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, testing frequency and mask-wearing and quarantine requirements.
Brown lifts A’s for second straight day
UNDATED (AP) — Oakland Athletics outfielder Seth Brown is having a pretty good weekend.
One day after delivering a two-run, walk-off homer, Brown added another two-run blast and an RBI single to help the A’s beat the Rays, 6-3. He went deep in the first inning and singled home an insurance run in the seventh after Tampa Bay cut its 3-0 deficit to 3-2.
Austin Allen also homered for Oakland to back Frankie Montas, whose day ended one batter after Brandon Lowe’s two-run homer in the sixth. Montas allowed two runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and two walks.
In other major league action:
— Danny Mendick smacked a two-run homer during an eight-run first that jumpstarted the White Sox’s 9-1 pounding of the Royals. Yoan Moncada (yoh-AHN mahn-KAH’-dah) drove in three runs on two hits in the opening inning.
— César Hernández laced a three-run triple and José Ramírez had two RBIs as the Indians mowed down the Reds, 9-2. Adam Civale (sih-VA’-lee) moved to 5-0 by holding Cincinnati to a run and five hits over seven innings.
— Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking single to key a five-run seventh that sent the Tigers past the Twins, 7-3. Cabrera had two hits, raising his batting average to .149.
— Joey Gallo homered twice and rookie Adolis Garcia also went deep before Jonah Heim doubled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 9-7 victory against the Mariners. Luis Torrens’ second homer of the season put the Mariners up, 7-6 in the top of the eighth.
— Xander Bogaerts (BOH’-gahrts) had three hits, including a two-run shot in the Red Sox’ 11-6 romp over the Orioles. Michael Chavis homered in his first start of the season after being recalled from the minors to replace injured utilityman Kiké Hernández on the Boston roster.
— Gleyber Torres supplied the tying and winning singles as the Yankees downed the Nationals, 4-3 in 11 innings. Washington wasted a great performance by Max Scherzer, who allowed just two hits while striking out 14 over 7 1/3 innings.
— Cavan Biggio (BIH’-zhee-oh) belted an early two-run homer and Marcus Semien added a three-run shot late to help the Blue Jays secure a win over the Astros, 8-4. Danny Jansen homered for the second straight game when he opened the third inning with a shot to left field to extend the lead to 3-0.
— The Cubs won their fifth in a row as pinch-hitter Matt Duffy had a go-ahead single in the seventh inning of a 3-2 decision over the Pirates. Keegan Thompson pitched three innings of scoreless relief for his first major league victory.
— Yadier Molina (moh-LEE’-nah) drove in three runs in his return from the injured list, helping the Cardinals knock off the Rockies for the eighth straight time in St. Louis, 9-8. Paul Goldschmidt slammed a two-run homer and had three RBIs, and Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH’-doh) hit another double against his former team.
— The Brewers’ six-game losing streak is over after Adrian Houser homered and struck out 10 over six innings of a 6-2 victory over the Marlins. Avisaíl (av-ih-sah-EEL’) García added his fourth home run for Milwaukee, which is 1-5 on its seven-game road trip.
— The Mets were 4-2 winners as Jeff McNeill and Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR’) provided the runs, one day after their squabble in the dugout tunnel. McNeil hit a two-run homer in the third and Lindor had a double, drove in a run and scored on a throwing error after a stolen base.
— Ehire (AY’-ray) Adrianza capped a night full of comebacks for Atlanta with a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning of the Braves’ 8-7 thriller against the Phillies. William Contreras tied it at 7 with a three-run double off right-hander Enyel De Los Santos before scoring on Adrianza’s hit.
— Mookie Betts collected a season-high four RBIs and the Dodgers blew most of a 13-run lead before holding on for a 14-11 victory over the Angels, snapping their four-game losing streak. Clayton Kershaw pitched five innings of two-hit ball on three days’ rest for the defending World Series champions, who emerged from a three-week funk for just their fifth win in 19 games.
— Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Austin Slater homered for the Giants in a 7-1 rout of the Padres. Kevin Gausman permitted three hits and struck out seven in six innings before San Francisco’s bullpen blanked San Diego for the final three frames.
Davis making Rangers debut
UNDATED (AP) — Khris Davis has been activated by the Rangers, marking the slugger’s first time on their active roster for a game since being acquired in a February trade that sent longtime shortstop Elvis Andrus (AN’-droos) to Oakland.
Davis opened the season on the injured list because of a left quad strain suffered in a spring training game. He led the AL with 48 home runs in 2018 and had 23 the following season, but injuries limited him to 30 games last year.
In other baseball news:
— Mets acting general manager Zack Scott wasn’t thrilled by Francisco Lindor’s (lihn-DOHRZ’) fuzzy explanation for a dugout dispute Friday night. Scott said Saturday it was “unfortunate” that Lindor and teammate Jeff McNeil attempted to dismiss their dustup by bizarrely claiming they were arguing over a critter spotted in the clubhouse tunnel. The disagreement happened out of view of television cameras, but New York’s broadcast showed other players and coaches rushing into the tunnel to break up some sort of commotion.
PGA-WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP
Mitchell has lead at Quail Hollow
CHARLOTE, N.C. (AP) — Keith Mitchell fired a 6-under 66 to take a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland through three rounds of the PGA’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Mitchell is at 9 under just days after discovering that his putter was out of alignment following an 82 in the final round of the Valspar Championship last weekend. He straightened out his putter and is now in line for his second PGA victory.
Bryson DeChambeau got back to the Charlotte course from his home in Dallas in the nick of time after thinking he missed the cut on Friday. DeChambeau shot a 68 that puts him eight shots back.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS-TRADITION
Stricker maintains lead
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Defending champion Steve Stricker made a long eagle putt on the final hole for 7-under 65 and the third-round lead in the Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors.
Stricker moved a stroke ahead of Alex Cejka (CHAY’-kah) with the eagle that got him to 14-under 202 at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Cejka shot a 66 as he tries to earn a major title after making the field on Monday as the first alternate.
Robert Karlsson fired a 64 to pull into a tie with Dicky Pride at 11 under.
Hamilton tops qualifying at Spanish GP for 100th pole
MONTMELÓ, Spain (AP) — Lewis Hamilton has won his 100th career pole position by barely edging Max Verstappen in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was just 0.03 seconds ahead of Verstappen as they continue their early-season battle for the Formula One title. Hamilton is eight points ahead.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FCS SEMIFINALS
Sam Houston State, South Dakota State advance
UNDATED (AP) — It will be Sam Houston State taking on South Dakota State for the FCS championship.
Jequez Ezzard scored on a pass-and-catch and a punt return, two of the Bearkats’ three touchdowns over the last 2 1/2 minutes of the third quarter in a 38-35 comeback win over James Madison. The Dukes led 24-3 at halftime and were up 27-10 with three minutes left in the third before Ezzard struck.
Mark Gronowski passed for two touchdowns and caught a 24-yard TD pass from Pierre Strong Jr. to help top-seeded South Dakota State beat Delaware 33-3. The Jackrabbits are in the championship game for the first time in program history.