Update on the latest sports
Nets top Spurs in Harden’s return
UNDATED (AP) — James Harden returned to the court and helped the Brooklyn Nets stay in the hunt for a possible No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoffs.
Harden provided 18 points and 11 assists as the Nets earned a 128-116 win over the Spurs. He came off the bench in an NBA game for the first time since winning the league’s Sixth Man award for Oklahoma City in 2011-12. He also had seven rebounds after the longest layoff of his career, missing more than a month with a strained right hamstring.
Landry Shamet scored 21 points and Nicolas Claxton had a career-high 18 for the Nets, who have won three straight since a four-game skid to pull within 1 1/2 games of the 76ers for the Eastern Conference lead.
Checking out Wednesday’s other NBA action:
— Damian Lillard scored 30 points and CJ McCollum added 26 to lead the Trail Blazers to their fifth consecutive win, 105-98 over the Jazz. Carmelo Anthony added 18 points as Portland remained in a fifth-place tie with Dallas in the West. Jordan Clarkson scored 29 points for Utah, which dropped its second straight and saw its lead in the West trimmed to 1 1/2 games over Phoenix.
— The Hawks clinched their first playoff berth since 2017 and took over the fourth seed in the East with a 120-116 win over the Wizards. Trae Young scored 33 points and John Collins hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24.4 seconds remaining. Russell Westbrook scored 34 points and dished out 15 assists for the Wizards, who were up 100-87.
— Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) scored 33 points and the Mavericks took a major step toward avoiding the play-in tournament by whipping the Pelicans, 125-107. Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) added 19 points in his return from injury, helping Dallas eliminate New Orleans from postseason contention.
— Kyle Kuzma’s (KOOZ’-mahz) driving layup with 6.9 seconds remaining gave the Lakers a 124-122 victory over the Rockets. Los Angeles had a 121-113 lead with 2:57 remaining, but Houston scored nine straight points to go up by one in the final minute. Talen Horton-Tucker had 23 points for the defending champs, who have slim hopes of avoiding the play-in tournament.
— Kevin Love nailed six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 30 points as the Cavaliers topped the Celtics, 102-94 to end an 11-game losing streak. Collin Sexton added 28 points and Love grabbed 14 boards in the win. Jayson Tatum had a team-high 29 points in Boston’s eighth loss in 11 games.
Pistons extend Casey’s deal
UNDATED (AP) — The Pistons have agreed to a contract extension with coach Dwane Casey through the 2023-24 season.
Casey is wrapping up his third season with the rebuilding Pistons, who at 20-50 have the second-worst record in the NBA. He has managed to cultivate young talent, including rookies Saddiq Bey (sah-DEEK’ bay) and Isaiah Stewart.
In other NBA news:
— Victor Oladipo’s (oh-lah-DEE’-pohz) season is over, and the two-time All-Star and former All-NBA selection may be looking at another long rehabilitation before he can return to the court. The Heat say Oladipo has elected to have surgery on his right quadriceps tendon. There is no timetable for recovery, but such a surgery typically comes with a rehab time of several months.
— Court documents say two Los Angeles County firefighters could be fired and a third suspended after some first responders took and shared graphic photos from the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and seven others. Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys allege two firefighters had taken photos of the bodies that “served no business necessity.” They sent them to a third firefighter, who showed them to others.
Dark Knight returns: Harvey, Orioles lose to Mets 7-1
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets made it seven straight wins by roughing up an ex-Met in a 7-1 thumping of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.
Matt Harvey gave up the seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, giving up hits to the first four batters in the second inning to fall behind 3-0. Fans were more polite to Harvey than the Mets as he received three standing ovations.
Kevin Pillar (pih-LAHR’) laced a two-run triple and Dominic Smith went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Winning pitcher Taijuan (TY’-wahn) Walker lowered his ERA to 2.20 by limiting Baltimore to a run and four hits over seven innings.
The NL East leaders are on their longest winning streak since an eight-game run in August 2019.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Teoscar (tay-AHS’-kur) Hernández homered twice and drove in three runs as the Blue Jays downed the Braves, 4-1. Hyun-Jin Ryu (hyuhn-jihn ree-OO’) gave up five hits, struck out six and walked one over seven innings to help Toronto improve to 5-0 versus Atlanta this season.
— The Phillies have their first road winning streak of the season after Rhys (rees) Hoskins poked a go-ahead single in the 10th inning of their 5-2 win over the Nationals. Philadelphia was two out from a loss until Odúbel (oh-DOO’-bul) Herrera’s home run.
— José Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) and Yuli Gurriel (YOO’-lee gur-ee-EHL’) blasted first-inning homers before the Astros finished with five longballs in a 9-1 pounding of the Angels. Houston starter José Urquidy (ur-KEE’-dee) allowed two hits and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings before leaving with posterior shoulder discomfort.
— James Kaprielian got the victory in his first major league start with five innings of one-run ball as the Athletics beat the Red Sox, 4-1. Oakland pounded out seven hits and four runs against Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez, including Matt Olson’s homer.
— Gerrit Cole is 5-1 after striking out 12 while holding the Rays to four hits over eight stellar innings of the Yankees’ 1-0 victory. Aaron Hicks hit a sacrifice fly and Aaron Judge had three of New York’s six hits.
— Rookie Andrew Vaughn launched his first career home run and Yasmani Grandal (yahs-MAH’-nee grahn-DAHL’) connected for the second straight day as the White Sox coasted to their fifth consecutive win, 13-8 over the Twins. José Abreu (ah-BRAY’-oo) drove in three runs and Billy Hamilton matched his career high with four hits and also scored three times for the winners.
— Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs and Casey Mize gave up just three hits over six innings as the Tigers handed the Royals their 10th straight loss, 3-2. Cabrera’s two run-scoring singles give him 2,878 RBIs, one more than Omar Vizquel (vihz-KEHL’) for the most among Venezuelan players.
— The Indians pulled out a 2-1 win over the Cubs on Amed Rosario’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th. Rosario also doubled home the Indians’ first run in the sixth inning before giving Cleveland a sweep of the two-game series.
— Jesse Winker and Eugenio (ay-oo-HEH’-nee-oh) Suárez combined to drive in four runs in the 10th inning of the Reds’ 5-1 downing of the Pirates. The Cincinnati bullpen struck out nine over 5 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Sonny Gray.
— Travis Shaw furnished a tiebreaking double and Avisaíl (av-ih-sah-EEL’) García added a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Brewers defeated the Cardinals, 4-1. St. Louis was about to escape the eighth tied 1-1, but a wild pitch on an inning-ending strikeout prolonged the inning and ended the Redbirds’ four-game winning streak.
— Julio Urías (oo-REE’-uhs) pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and Matt Beaty drove in three runs as the Dodgers dumped the Mariners, 7-1. Max Muncy homered for the second straight game to help the defending World Series champs win consecutive games for the first time in 25 days.
— The Padres took the opener of their doubleheader in Colorado as Victor Caratini unloaded a grand slam in the sixth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Rockies. San Diego managed just three singles before Caratini broke a 1-1 tie.
— Josh Fuentes launched a two-run homer before supplying a walk-off single in the 10th to give the Rockies a 3-2 victory and a split of their twinbill with the Padres. San Diego had three players thrown out on the basepaths during extra innings.
— The Marlins knocked off the Diamondbacks, 3-2 as Cody Poteet won his major league debut and Jesús Aguilar homered for a third straight game. The 26-year-old Poteet gave up a first-inning run but was reached for just four hits over five innings.
Virus-depleted Padres add Myers to IL
UNDATED (AP) — The virus-depleted San Diego Padres have made a series of moves to prop up a lineup that is missing outfielder Wil Myers and shortstop Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. after they tested positive for the coronavirus.
Myers was added to the injured list Wednesday. Joining him was first baseman Eric Hosmer, who is out for contact tracing. To take their place, the Padres recalled utilityman Brian O’Grady from Triple-A El Paso and selected the contract of outfielder Patrick Kivlehan.
In other MLB news:
— The Diamondbacks have placed starting pitcher Zac Gallen and first baseman Christian Walker on the 10-day injured list. Gallen has a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, which is the ligament replaced in Tommy John surgery. Walker has a sore right oblique, an injury similar to the one that put him on the IL earlier this season.
— Yankees shortstop Gleyber (GLAY’-bur) Torres was kept out of Wednesday night’s starting lineup at Tampa Bay as a precaution as the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 tests among the team’s coaching and support staff reached seven. Manager Aaron Boone said he hoped to have an update on Torres after the game.
— Dodgers backup third baseman Edwin Ríos will miss the rest of the season after surgery on his right shoulder. Los Angeles also shut down top pitching prospect Josiah Gray due to a right shoulder impingement.
— Braves right-hander Mike Soroka has experienced a setback in his recovery from surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon. He will have a follow-up procedure next week.
— Brewers ace Corbin Burnes says he tested positive for the coronavirus last month but remained asymptomatic throughout his stint on the injured list. Burnes is expected to start Thursday against the Cardinals in his first appearance since April 26.
Knights, Avs win
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL’s West Division title is going down to the wire. The Vegas Golden Knights lead the division by two points over Colorado, but the Avalanche own the tiebreaker and have a game in hand.
Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 67th career shutout and the Golden Knights finished the regular season with a 6-0 rout of the Sharks. Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) and Keegan Kolesar (KOHL’-uh-sahr) scored in the first period and Dylan Sikura (sih-KUR’-uh) added a pair of third-period goals.
Fleury faced just 17 shots as the Knights completed a sweep of the eight-game season series.
The Avs also rolled to a 6-0 romp over the Kings as J.T. Compher recorded his first career hat trick. Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and 18th of his career.
Mikko Rantanen (MEE’-koh RAN’-tah-nehn) collected three assists for the Avalanche, who will win the division if they beat the Kings again on Thursday.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Ville Husso (VIH’-lee HOO’-soh) stopped 31 shots for his first career shutout and David Perron had a goal and two assists in the Blues’ 4-0 victory over the Wild on Wednesday night. Torey Krug (kroog), Ivan Barbashev (BAHR’-bah-shehv) and Jaden Schwartz also scored as St. Louis won for the seventh time in its last 11 games. Cam Talbot absorbed the first regulation loss in his last eight road decisions.
— Josh Norris scored just nine seconds into overtime to lift the Senators past the Maple Leafs, 4-3. Parker Kelly scored in his NHL debut for Ottawa, and Connor Brown netted his league-leading fifth short-handed goal. Auston Matthews notched his league-best 41st goal for the North Division champs, and Frederik Andersen made 24 saves in his return following an eight-week injury absence.
— Dominik Kahun (kah-HOON’) scored 27 seconds into overtime, giving the Oilers a 4-3 win over the Habs in Montreal. Leon Draisaitl (DRAY’-sy-tul), Alex Chaisson (CHAY’-sahn) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored to support Mike Smith’s 26-save performance. Connor McDavid had two assists to push his NHL-leading points total to 104 in 55 games.
Rangers fire Quinn, 3 assistants
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Rangers’ house cleaning has continued with the firing of head coach David Quinn and three assistants.
The move is the first major one from new general manager Chris Drury, who took over last week after the organization fired popular president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton.
In three years, Quinn posted a 96-87-25 record in rebuilding the Rangers with a much younger team that included No. 1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere (lah-frehn-YEHR’) this past season. The Blueshirts remained in the postseason picture this year until back-to-back losses to the Islanders ignited a five-game skid.
In other NHL news:
— Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams disputes there is a disconnect between the team and Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul) on how to treat a herniated disk that has sidelined the captain since March. Adams says both sides have been in constant communication in regard to the injury and had agreed to wait until early June to determine how to proceed. Adams says Eichel has not requested a trade.
— The expansion Seattle Kraken signed the first player in franchise history today after agreeing to terms with free agent center Luke Henman on a three-year entry level contract. The 21-year-old currently plays for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Québec Major Junior Hockey League.
Bucs to kick off season vs Cowboys
UNDATED (AP) — Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin their Super Bowl title defense when they kick off the 2021 season against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 9.
The game could see the return of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 of last season. The Cowboys have missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
Other highlights from opening weekend include Matthew Stafford playing his first game for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night against the Chicago Bears with SoFi Stadium welcoming fans for the first time.
Most teams are expected to be at full capacity following a season played before limited crowds because of COVID-19.
The Las Vegas Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens in the first Monday night game.
The NFL also announced it will return to London in October for its first games in the city since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The Atlanta Falcons will play the New York Jets on Oct. 10, and the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Miami Dolphins a week later. The NFL says it is ready to return to London following a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Britain.
Also in the NFL:
— Former Vikings head coach Jerry Burns has died at 94, according to the team. Burns became Minnesota’s head coach in 1986 and compiled a 55-46 record, including 3-3 in the postseason. He helped the Packers win the first two Super Bowls as defensive backs coach, then joined iconic Vikings coach Bud Grant as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator in 1968.