Update on the latest sports
VanVleet scores career-best 36, Raptors top Heat 107-103
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 36 points and made seven 3-pointers, and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors added to their strong restart with a 107-103 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday.
VanVleet finished 7 of 12 from beyond the 3-point arc and was a perfect 13 of 13 from the foul line, besting his 34-point total against the Pelicans last December.
Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) added 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who are 2-0 since play resumed last week. Toronto resumed its season by beating the Lakers and remains in second place in the Eastern Conference.
Goran Dragic had 25 points for the Heat.
More Cardinals test positive, games against Tigers postponed
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, causing Major League Baseball to postpone the team’s four-game series at Detroit. The series was to have been played at Comerica Park from Tuesday through Thursday.
St. Louis has been in quarantine since Thursday in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals’ series last weekend was postponed, and the team is being tested daily.
The Cardinals are the second team sidelined by the novel coronavirus since the season started July 23. The Miami Marlins are set to resume play Tuesday in Baltimore.
In other MLB news:
—Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter blames the team’s coronavirus outbreak on a collective false sense of security that made players lax about social distancing and wearing masks. Infected were 21 members of the team’s traveling party, including at least 18 players. Jeter says none is seriously ill, and he expects all to return this season. With more than half of the team sidelined, Jeter said the Marlins still can be competitive when their season resumes Tuesday at Baltimore.
— Results of Covid-19 testing conducted Sunday show there were no new positive results for the Philadelphia Phillies. The team was traveling to New York to resume its schedule against the Yankees in a Monday night game. The Phillies have not played since July 26. Their opponent in that opening series, the Miami Marlins, had at least 18 players test positive for the coronavirus.
— The Milwaukee Brewers are finally playing their home opener a few days later than expected. Milwaukee planned to open its Miller Park schedule Friday against St. Louis, but the Brewers’ entire three-game weekend series got scrapped after multiple Cardinals tested positive for coronavirus.
— Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona will not be with the club for its series opener in Cincinnati as he deals with a gastrointestinal issue. Francona was scheduled for an exam at the Cleveland Clinic to address his condition. He was forced to return to the team’s hotel Sunday in Minneapolis as the Indians completed a four-game series with the Twins.
—Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant is following through on his own words when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Bryant is back in the starting lineup against Kansas City after missing two games with a stomach ailment.
No fans for Raiders’ first season in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Raiders will play their first season in Las Vegas without any fans at their home games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team sent a letter to season ticket holders saying that after discussions with health care officials and local leaders, the decision was made not to allow fans.
Officials last week declared “substantial completion” of 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium after nearly 1,000 days were spent building the $2 billion home for the Raiders.
Both the New York Jets and Giants previously announced they would play without fans this season. Most other teams are hoping to be able to have at least limited crowds.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— Denver Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James has decided to skip the 2020 season over concerns about the coronavirus. James says he already has one family member who was infected by the virus and he doesn’t want to risk bringing the virus home to his wife and newborn son.
— Panthers linebacker Christian Miller has informed the team he has opted out of the 2020 season. Miller, a fourth-round pick in 2019 out of Alabama, played in seven games last year. He had two sacks in the victory over the Cardinals in Week 3 but injured his ankle two weeks later and played just 25 snaps the rest of the season.
—Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham has fully participated in the early stages of Cleveland’s training camp after expressing reservations whether the NFL should forge ahead and have a season with the coronavirus still spreading. Beckham reported to camp last week, passed the COVID-19 testing and has taken part in all team activities.
— The Atlanta Falcons have signed former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard. A first-round pick by the Bengals in 2014, Dennard has made 24 starts in 77 games. He has three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 22 passes defensed in his six seasons and started five games in 2019.
— Eagles coach Doug Pederson says he feels great and has no symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus. Pederson is quarantining at home away from family members and plans to run the team virtually while assistant head coach Duce Staley handles leadership duties during training camp. Pederson didn’t want to comment on how he contracted the virus but is comfortable with the safety measures at the team’s practice facility.
Svechnikov’s hat trick leads Hurricanes past Rangers 4-1
TORONTO (AP) — Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov (SVEHCH’-nih-kahv) scored three times for the first postseason hat trick in franchise history and the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-1 on Monday for a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup qualifier series.
The 20-year-old Svechnikov beat Henrik Lundqvist for the game’s first goal less than 5 minutes into the game. He followed with a power-play one-timer early in the second off a feed from Sami Vatanen, then buried a third at 14:02 of the third off a feed from Sebastian Aho — who assisted on all three of Svechnikov’s goals.
The Rangers had swept the regular-season series, and the Hurricanes rarely led in any of those four meetings. But the Hurricanes have yet to trail in two games in Toronto and now have a chance to sweep the best-of-5 series. Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in a best-of-5 are 55-1 in those series, though the NHL hasn’t had one since 1986.
In other NHL action:
— Nikolaj Ehlers scored a third-period power-play goal to give the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday and draw even in their qualifying-round series. Adam Lowry led the Jets with a goal and an assist in Game 2 of the best-of-five series. Rookie Jansen Harkins also scored for Winnipeg. Vezina Trophy finalist Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the win. Elias Lindholm and Sam Bennett scored for the Flames. The teams have 24 hours to recover for Tuesday’s Game 3 at Rogers Place.
The Rock acquires XFL
UNDATED (AP) — Former wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said he has acquired the XFL. The 48-year-old actor made the announcement on Twitter. Reportedly the price is $15 million. The XFL had eight franchises and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule before canceling the remainder of its season in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.