Update on the latest sports
Paul carries Suns past Giannis, Bucks in NBA Finals opener
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul had 32 points and nine assists, Devin Booker scored 27 points and the Phoenix Suns beat the returning Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) and his Milwaukee Bucks 118-105 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Paul scored 16 points during a sensational third quarter that had Phoenix fans who waited 28 years to see the NBA Finals again screaming in delight. Finally playing for the title in his 16th season, the star point guard has the Suns in the NBA Finals for only the third time, and it sure looked as if they could make this one different than the other two. Antetokounmpo finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds and four assists.
Silver says NBA may have weathered pandemic well financially
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA may emerge from the pandemic on better financial footing than it first anticipated, though Commissioner Adam Silver is warning that it’s too early to declare things fully back to normal.
Silver, at his annual pre-NBA Finals news conference, says he believes the league weathered the pandemic and all that came with it — including much less revenue from the lack of fans in arenas for much of the last 15 months. Silver says he was surprised to see many teams were able to have full buildings during the playoffs.
In other NBA news:
— ESPN has replaced Rachel Nichols as its sideline reporter for the NBA Finals following a report detailing critical comments she made about Black colleague Maria Taylor. The network said that Malika Andrews would handle that role for the series between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks. Nichols has been the sideline reporter for its top national games this season and for last year’s NBA Finals. But the switch was made after The New York Times reported Sunday on her comments last year, when she learned Taylor would lead the network’s studio show instead of her during the league’s restart at Walt Disney World.
— Versatile forward Ochai Agbaji and high-scoring point guard Remy Martin have withdrawn from the NBA draft, opting instead to help Kansas chase a sixth national championship. Agbaji announced his decision to return to the Jayhawks, whom he helped reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament, about two hours before Martin withdrew from the draft. Martin starred for Arizona State last season but announced he was transferring to Kansas if he withdrew from the draft.
No relay: Banned sprinter Richardson left off Olympic team
UNDATED (AP) — USA Track and Field says it’s “incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances” but the banned sprinter won’t be given a spot on the 4X100 relay team in the Olympics.
Richardson had already been banned from the 100 following a positive test for marijuana. Richardson says she used the drug following the death of her mother. Her 30-day suspension was set to end before the start of the relays in Tokyo. That left open the possibility she could run on the relay team. But her name was missing from the roster USATF sent out Tuesday.
The ban has been criticized. USATF says it “fully agrees” that international rules regarding marijuana should be reevaluated.
DeGrom likely loses start before break as Mets rained out
UNDATED (AP) — Mets ace Jacob deGrom likely lost one of his last two starts planned heading into the All-Star break when a game against the Milwaukee Brewers was rained out. The game was called after a wait of nearly 2 1/2 hours and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader Wednesday.
DeGrom, 7-2 with a record-low 0.95 ERA, had been scheduled to start against left-hander Brett Anderson. New York planned to have deGrom start the final game before the break on Sunday. DeGrom was rescheduled to start Wednesday’s opener against Milwaukee All-Star Corbin Burnes.
In other Tuesday action:
— Shohei Ohtani pitched seven innings of five-hit ball and hit an early RBI double, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox. In his final mound start before the All-Star Game, Ohtani struck out four and didn’t walk a batter while bouncing back from a terrible outing at Yankee Stadium last week. Max Stassi hit a two-run homer and David Fletcher had four hits for the Angels. J.D. Martinez drove in both of Boston’s runs against Ohtani, but the Red Sox lost for just the second time in 12 games.
— Nolan Arenado and Edmundo Sosa homered to back Adam Wainwright’s fourth straight winning decision, Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run single in the fourth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5. St. Louis left fielder Dylan Carlson made a tremendous game-ending catch at the wall with runners on first and third. Yadier Molina added a run-scoring single in the seventh before Sosa connected in the eighth. The Giants scored twice in the bottom half, getting Mike Yastrzemski’s RBI single and a double by Wilmer Flores.
— Giancarlo Stanton clubbed a three-run homer off the railing of the second deck in the first inning, Luke Voit had a career-high five hits and three RBIs, and the New York Yankees thumped the Seattle Mariners 12-1. The Yankees seemed to release nearly a week worth of frustration with an early offensive outburst against the Mariners and one-time New York prospect Justus Sheffield. DJ LeMahieu singled in each of the first three innings and the 12 runs and 18 hits were season highs for the Yankees. New York starter Jameson Taillon cruised through the Mariners lineup allowing four hits and one run.
— Wil Myers hit a three-run homer and had five RBIs, and Manny Machado celebrated his 29th birthday with three hits and three runs for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Washington Nationals 7-4. Machado singled in the go-ahead run during the three-run fifth and also had two doubles. Myers homered to right-center off Erick Fedde for a 3-0 lead with no outs in the fourth inning. It was his 10th. Machado was aboard on a leadoff double and Eric Hosmer on a single.
— Salvador Perez’s walk-off single capped Kansas City’s four-run rally as the Royals beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6. The Royals scored six runs off the Reds’ bullpen in the final two innings and Perez got his third game-ending hit this season.
— Bryce Harper homered and tied a career high with five hits, Andrew McCutchen smacked a grand slam and the Philadelphia Phillies handed Chicago its 11th straight loss, beating the Cubs 15-10. The Cubs extended their worst skid since they dropped 12 in a row in May 2012. They remained winless since Zach Davies and three relievers combined to no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 24.
— Automatic runner Starling Marte advanced to third on Blake Treinen’s wild pitch and continued home when catcher Will Smith threw wildly past third base for a game-ending error in the 10th inning, giving the Miami Marlins a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Miami went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position but got a pair of unearned runs as the Dodgers made two of the game’s four errors.
— Yordan Álvarez hit two homers and drove in five runs, José Altuve drove in the go-ahead run with a single, and the Houston Astros rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-6 for their fifth straight win. Álvarez hit a two-run homer to center in the first and had a three-run shot to left in the fifth to tie the game at 6-all and end the night for Oakland starter Chris Bassitt. Alvarez had his second multi-homer game of the season, with the last coming against the New York Yankees on May 6.
— Carlos Rodón allowed one run on seven hits, and the Chicago White Sox took advantage of sloppy play by the Minnesota Twins to win 4-1 in Minnesota on a rainy Tuesday night. Catcher Zack Collins, making the start after Yasmani Grandal went on the injured list earlier in the day with a torn tendon in his left knee, had a two-run single in the second inning after two walks and two errors by the Twins. Minnesota starter José Berríos allowed two runs.
— John Hicks became the first player to homer in his first four games with the Rangers/Washington Senators franchise and added a go-ahead single in the seventh inning to lead Texas over the Detroit Tigers 10-5. Hicks, brought up from Triple-A Round Rock on June 29 after catcher Jose Trevino got hurt, hit a two-run homer that put the Rangers ahead in a four-run inning. He became the fourth player to hit four or more homers in his first four games with a team.
— Bryan Reynolds drew a four-pitch walk from a Tyler Matzek, forcing in the winning run in the ninth inning and giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves and a three-game winning streak. Matzek threw just eight of 20 pitches for strikes.
— Pedro Severino and Cedric Mullins homered off Steven Matz, Anthony Santander also went deep and the Baltimore Orioles powered past the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5. Toronto hit three home runs, too, including No. 28 by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but all those long balls came after Baltimore had taken a 7-1 lead.
Reed could debut for Dodgers as wife preps for Olympics
UNDATED (AP) — Right-hander Jake Reed was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday and could make his major league debut as his wife Janie Reed prepares to play outfield for the U.S. at the Olympics.
The Dodgers selected the contract of the 28-year-old from Triple-A Oklahoma City and designated outfielder Steven Souza Jr. for assignment. Reed was 0-0 with a 2.61 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings over nine games with Oklahoma City. Janie Reed, the former Janie Takeda, also is 28, and went to Oregon.
In other MLB news:
— Third baseman Anthony Rendon has been placed on the Los Angeles Angels’ injured list for the third time before the All-Star break. Rendon went on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain that occurred Sunday. The Angels recalled infielder Jack Mayfield from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace him.
— The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired first baseman Rowdy Tellez from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-handed pitchers Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis. The 26-year-old Tellez had been with the Blue Jays’ Triple-A Buffalo affiliate after struggling in the majors this season with a .209 batting average, four homers and eight RBIs in 50 games.
— The Cleveland Indians have signed catcher Wilson Ramos and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. A two-time All-Star, Ramos spent the first six weeks this season with the Detroit Tigers. The 33-year-old batted .200 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 35 games before he went on the injured list twice in May with a lower back issue. The 12-year veteran was released by the Tigers in June.
— The Chicago White Sox placed catcher Yasmani Grandal on the 10-day injured list with a torn tendon in his left knee. Grandal was injured during an at-bat in Monday’s loss in Minnesota. Chicago estimates Grandal will be out approximately four to six weeks.
— Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson is joining the All-Star Home Run Derby at Denver’s Coors Field on July 12. Olson began Tuesday with 20 home runs. He joins Kansas City catcher Salvador Pérez, Los Angeles Angels pitcher-designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Baltimore first baseman Trey Mancini, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Colorado shortstop Trevor Story in the derby. Alonso won the most recent derby in 2019.
— Tom Hallion will be the plate umpire and crew chief for baseball’s All-Star Game at Denver’s Coors Field on July 13. Hallion is a 28-year major league veteran. He was left field umpire for the 1992 All-Star Game in San Diego and second base umpire for the 2008 game at Yankee Stadium. He will be joined by CB Bucknor at first base, Chris Guccione at second base, Lance Barrett at third base, David Rackley in left field and Adam Hamari in right field. Greg Gibson will be the replay umpire in New York. Colorado-based Dave Einspahr will be the official scorer.
Pentagon chief allows Naval Academy grad to pursue NFL job
UNDATED (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the U.S. military will allow Naval Academy graduate Cameron Kinley to pursue a career in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Acting Navy Secretary Tom Harker had denied Kinley’s request to delay his commissioning. But Austin has reversed that decision, and President Joe Biden says he is “pleased” by the news. Kinley says he is “excited to represent our fine military in the National Football League.” Kinley, a cornerback, signed with Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent. He will now be able to attend the Buccaneers’ training camp later this month.
In other NFL news:
— The New England Patriots have signed quarterback Mac Jones, their first-round draft pick and the latest potential long-term replacement for Tom Brady. The No. 15 overall selection, Jones led Alabama to the 2020 national championship. The Patriots attempted to groom several players as their next quarterback, including Matt Cassel, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, but Brady outlasted them all while leading the Patriots to six Super Bowls.
NHL’s top prospect leaning to stay at Michigan next season’’
UNDATED (AP) —The NHL’s top-ranked draft prospect, defenseman Owen Power, says he is leaning toward playing his sophomore season at Michigan next year rather than turning pro.
Power says he won’t make a decision until after the draft, by noting he wants to first consult with the team that selects him. Power is from Mississauga, Ontario, and the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau’s top-ranked North American skater. The Buffalo Sabres have the No. 1 pick, followed by the expansion Seattle Kraken. The two-day draft will be held remotely starting on July 23.
In other NHL news:
— The New Jersey Devils re-signed goaltender Scott Wedgewood to a one-year, two-way contract worth $825,000 at the NHL level and $375,000 at the AHL. Wedgewood was 3-8-3 in 16 games played (15 starts) with New Jersey last season, with a 3.11 goals-against average, .900 save percentage and a career-high two shutouts.
— Defenseman Christian Wolanin has agreed to a one-year, $750,000 contract extension to return to the Los Angeles Kings. Wolanin appeared in three games with Los Angeles after the Kings acquired him from the Ottawa Senators on March 29 in a trade for Michael Amadio. The 26-year-old Wolanin recorded three assists in 15 games with Ottawa before the trade.
2018 champion Kerber vs. No. 1 Barty in Wimbledon semifinals
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Angelique Kerber has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time since winning the title there in 2018.
Kerber beat Karolina Muchova in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Kerber’s next opponent will be No. 1 Ash Barty. Kerber is a three-time Grand Slam champion who had lost in the first round at the Australian Open and French Open this year. Also reaching the semifinals at the All England Club with straight-set victories Tuesday were No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka and No. 8 Karolina Pliskova.
Rice RB tackled off bench in the 1954 Cotton Bowl has died
HOUSTON (AP) — Dicky Maegle, the Rice running back tackled in the 1954 Cotton Bowl by an Alabama player who came off the bench, has died. Rice University said Maegle passed away Sunday. He was 86.
In one of the most legendary plays in college football history, Maegle was running near midfield when Alabama co-captain Tommy Lewis came off the bench and threw a blindside block that knocked Maegle to the ground. Officials awarded Maegle a 95-yard touchdown run. He also had TD runs of 79 and 34 yards as Rice beat the Crimson Tide 28-6 on New Year’s Day.