Update on the latest sports
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS
Big Ten, Pac-12 won’t play football this fall
UNDATED (AP) — A crumbling college football season took a massive hit Tuesday when the Big Ten and Pac-12, two historic and powerful conferences, succumbed to the pandemic and canceled their fall football seasons.
Five months almost to the day after the first spikes in coronavirus cases in the U.S. led to the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments, the still raging pandemic is tearing down another American sports institution: fall Saturdays filled with college football.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott called the decision “extremely difficult and painful.” Despite pleas from players, coaches and President Donald Trump in recent days to play on, 40% of major college football teams have now decided to punt on a fall season, a decision that will cost schools tens of millions of dollars and upends traditions dating back a century.
Both conferences cited the risk of trying to keep players from contracting and spreading the coronavirus when the programs are not operating in a bubble like the NBA and NHL are doing. They also cited the broader state of the pandemic in the United States, which has had more than 5 million cases of COVID-19.
All fall sports in the Big Ten have been called off and a spring season will be explored.
Two smaller conferences, the Mid-American and Mountain West, had already announced the uncertain move to spring football. The decisions by the deep-pocketed Big Ten and Pac-12, with hundred million-dollar television contracts and historic programs, shook the foundation of college sports.
Ruling keeps NCAA from limiting some athlete compensation
WASHINGTON (AP) — A court decision the NCAA says will hurt college sports by allowing certain student-athletes to be paid “vast sums” of money as “educational expenses” will go into effect after the Supreme Court declined Tuesday to intervene at this point.
Justice Elena Kagan denied the NCAA’s request to put a lower court ruling on hold at least temporarily while the NCAA asks the Supreme Court to take up the case. It plans to do so by mid-October.
Kagan declined to put on hold a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In May it upheld a lower-court ruling prohibiting the NCAA from limiting compensation for education-related expenses for student-athletes. The ruling applies to athletes in Division I football and basketball programs.
The NCAA said the ruling “effectively created a pay-for-play system for all student-athletes, allowing them to be paid both ‘unlimited’ amounts for participating in ‘internships’” and an additional $5,600 or more each year they remain eligible to play their sport.
Lillard pours in 61 to lift Blazers past Mavs, 134-131
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Damian Lillard tied his career high with 61 points, willing Portland to a 134-131 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night that moved the Trail Blazers into eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Blazers will clinch a spot in the play-in series with a win Thursday against Brooklyn.
Lillard made nine 3-pointers in his sixth 50-point game of the season. He’s the 12th player in NBA history to score 50 points in back-to-back games after dropping 51 on the 76ers on Sunday.
He scored in every way imaginable, from well beyond the 3-point line, on blow-by drives, short jumpers and at the foul line. Lillard finished 17 of 32 from the floor and 9 of 17 from beyond the arc while making all 18 free throw attempts. Carmelo Anthony added 26 points on 10-of 17 shooting for Portland.Kristaps Porzingis scored 36 points and Luka Doncic had 25 points.
In other Tuesday hoop action:
—Devin Booker scored 35 points and the Phoenix Suns protected their playoff hopes by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 130-117 to remain undefeated in the NBA restart. Booker became the Suns’ career leader with his 91st 30-point game, breaking a tie with Walter Davis. Phoenix is 7-0 as the only undefeated team in the restart and an unlikely factor in the tight race for a spot in this weekend’s play-for the final playoff spot.
—Brook Lopez scored 24 points on five 3-pointers and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Washington Wizards 126-113 despite NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo getting ejected in the second quarter for headbutting Moritz Wagner. Wagner took a charge from Antetokounmpo, who didn’t like the call in what had become a physical game early on. Rui Hachimura led the Wizards with 20 points and Ish Smith added 19.
—Jeremiah Martin and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot each scored 24 points, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 108-96 on Tuesday as both teams looked ahead to the playoffs. Dzanan Musa added 17 points and Tyler Johnson had 14 for the Nets, who improved to 5-2 in the restart with their third straight victory.
—Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, including 12 in the third quarter, and the Kings beat the New Orleans Pelicans 112-106. The Kings earned only their second win in the NBA restart — each over the Pelicans.
—Jayson Tatum scored 29 points and the Boston Celtics ran past the Memphis Grizzlies, 122-107. The Grizzlies missed another chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the Western Conference play-in series. Boston, which has already locked up the Eastern Conference’s third seed, won its fourth straight. Gordon Hayward added 19 points and five assists. Ja Morant led Memphis with 26 points and 13 assists.
—Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds and San Antonio kept alive its chances of becoming the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances with a 123-105 win over the Houston Rockets. San Antonio has won three straight and five out of seven inside the bubble. DeMar DeRozan added 23 points. Jakob Poeltl finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Russell Westbrook had 20 points and seven turnovers in his first game back in the lineup for Houston after missing two games with a bruised right quadriceps.
Antetokounmpo ejected for headbutting Wizards player
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) was ejected from Milwaukee’s game against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night after the NBA MVP headbutted Moritz Wagner. Wagner took a charge from Antetokounmpo, who didn’t like the call in what had become a physical game.
During a break in the action with Milwaukee challenging the call, Antetokounmpo approached Wagner and started jabbering at him before headbutting him and drawing the ejection in the second quarter.
He had 12 points and nine rebounds in 10 minutes before exiting the floor.
White Sox break through early, beat Tigers 8-4
DETROIT (AP) — Eloy Jimenez hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and the Chicago White Sox snapped Detroit’s four-game wining streak with an 8-4 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night.
Edwin Encarnacion also went deep for the White Sox, who won for only the second time in seven games. Austin Romine hit a two-run shot for Detroit. Jose Abreu had three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles. Gio Gonzalez was pulled one out shy of the win. He allowed two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Matt Foster was credited with the win after striking out four in two perfect innings.
In other Tuesday action:
—Manny Machado slugged a grand slam after two consecutive errors by the Dodgers in the third inning, Garrett Richards won for the first time in two years, and the San Diego Padres defeated Los Angeles 6-2. The Padres have taken the first two games of the series after dropping two of three to the Dodgers last week in San Diego, and have won a season-best three in a row overall.
— Nick Solak singled three times and drove in three runs, leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Solak had a two-run single in the first and an RBI hit in third, when Willie Calhoun added another run-scoring single. Left-hander Mike Minor allowed an infield single and three walks with four strikeouts in four scoreless innings. He was pulled after 76 pitches.
—In the first major league game in Buffalo since 1915, Travis Shaw hit an RBI single in the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays settled into their new nest with a 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins. Barred from playing in Toronto by the Canadian government over concerns about the coronavirus, the wandering Blue Jays spent nearly three weeks on the road before moving into the ballpark of their Triple-A affiliate as their temporary home this year.
—Mike Brosseau led off the game with a home run, Yandy Díaz and Hunter Renfroe each had two RBIs and the Tampa Bay Rays continued their offensive onslaught against the Boston Red Sox in an 8-2 win Tuesday night. Brosseau, Diaz and Manuel Margot had multi-hit games as Tampa Bay won its fourth straight game. The Rays had a season-high 16 hits in an 8-7 win Monday. Boston has lost seven of its last 10 games.
—Joey Votto doubled home the winning run in the 10th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds blew another late lead before rallying for a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals. The Royals tied it 5-5 in the eighth on Ryan McBroom’s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Amir Garrett, but they couldn’t keep their four-game winning streak going.
—Jon Lester pitched six strong innings and Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 7-1 win over Cleveland. The Indians welcomed back manager Terry Francona after he missed eight games with a medical issue. Lester allowed one run and three hits as the Cubs, who hadn’t played in four days, moved to 11-3 for the first time since 2016. The Indians put pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac on the restricted list after they broke team rules and went out in Chicago, exposing themselves to COVID-19.
—Austin Hays hit a two-run, inside-the-park homer in the 10th inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a 10-9 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Harper hit a tying, two-run homer in the eighth and Jean Segura gave the Phillies a 6-5 lead with a solo shot two outs later.
— Aaron Judge dented an advertisement with a scorching home run before making an unusual early exit, Jordan Montgomery pitched efficiently against a lineup missing its brightest star and the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 9-6. Atlanta scratched Ronald Acuña Jr. about 90 minutes before first pitch with a sore left wrist. The 2018 NL Rookie of the Year homered three times during a doubleheader Sunday against Philadelphia but was pulled early in a blowout loss Monday.
__Max Scherzer showed no effects of hamstring trouble, navigating heavy traffic early for his first win this season. And Trea Turner hit a record-breaking leadoff homer to help the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 2-1. Victor Robles blooped an RBI single for the Nationals, who took the first two in a four-game series between NL East rivals. New York dropped to 3-7 at home this season.
— Jedd Gyorko blasted a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers came from behind to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-4 . The Brewers started their winning rally when Christian Yelich beat the Twins’ shift with a one-out double. Eddie Rosario of the Twins and Manny Pina of the Brewers each hit two home runs. Minnesota’s Jorge Polanco and Milwaukee’s Avisail Garcia also homered.
Astros coach faces 20-game suspension
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Houston Astros hitting coach Álex Cintrón faces a 20-game suspension and a fine for his role in a benches-clearing brawl at Oakland. That word comes from a person with direct knowledge of the punishment. In addition, the person said Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano will receive a six-game suspension and a fine.
Laureano was hit by a pitch from Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 7-2 victory Sunday. He began exchanging words with a gesturing Cintrón then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward Cintrón.
In other MLB news:
—Houston Astros hitting coach Álex Cintrón has received a 20-game suspension and a fine for his role in a benches-clearing brawl at Oakland. Cintrón’s suspension is the longest for an on-field transgression in 15 years. Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was given a six-game suspension and a fine. He is appealing the punishment.
— The Cleveland Indians placed starters Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac on the restricted list after the pitchers broke team rules by leaving their hotel in Chicago and risking exposure to the coronavirus. Clevinger and Plesac went out Saturday night with a group of people following the Indians’ win over the White Sox. The team immediately sent Plesac home in a car service after learning he had violated the team’s code of conduct. The Indians were not aware Clevinger had been with him until after he flew back to Cleveland with the team and staff.
—The Minnesota Twins have acquired infielder Ildemaro Vargas from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations. The teams announced the deal on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Vargas was one of the D-backs’ primary backups last season, playing in 92 games while batting .269 with six homers and 24 RBIs. He can play all four infield positions.
— The Detroit Tigers put first baseman C.J. Cron on the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain. Cron exited Monday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning. He was hurt on a freak play in which a hard-hit ball by Danny Mendick bounced off him and was recovered by pitcher Daniel Norris, who retired Mendick with a diving tag.
—The Chicago White Sox have reinstated shortstop Tim Anderson from the injured list and put infielder Leury Garcia on the IL with a sprained left thumb. Garcia appeared to be hurt after sliding into first in Monday night’s game at Detroit. He stayed in the game as a runner but was replaced defensively.
Lightning outlast Blue Jackets 3-2 in 5 OT thriller
TORONTO (AP) — Brayden Point scored 10:27 into the fifth overtime, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday in the fourth-longest game in Stanley Cup playoff history.
Point scored from just above the left circle, beating Joonas Korpisalo after the goaltender made an NHL-record 85 saves. Point also scored way back in the first period of Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. The teams are meeting in the first round for the second straight year, with the Lightning looking to rebound from being swept 16 months ago by the underdog Blue Jackets, who became the first No. 8 seed to oust the winner of the Presidents’ Trophy in four games. Game 2 is Thursday.
— Rasmus Andersson scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, and the Calgary Flames beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in the opener of their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series. Dillon Dube scored twice in the first to put the Flames up 2-0. Dallas got even in the second when Denis Gurianov and captain Jamie Benn scored in a nine-second span. Game 2 of the series is Thursday.
—Brayden Point scored 10:27 into the fifth overtime, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in the fourth-longest game in Stanley Cup playoff history. Point scored from just above the left circle, beating Joonas Korpisalo after the goaltender made an NHL-record 85 saves.
— The playoff opener between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes was postponed on Tuesday night after the previous game in the same building went into a fifth overtime. Game 1 of the series will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday instead.
— The Seattle Kraken will allow fans who put down deposits on season tickets to begin selecting their seats later this month. The Kraken said Tuesday they will begin reaching out to fans beginning Aug. 24 so they can select seats and plans for when the team begins play for the 2021-22 season.
LPGA confirms Buick LPGA Shanghai is canceled
The LPGA Tour has confirmed the 2020 Buick LPGA Shanghai has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
China’s government last month announced all international sports events in the country would be canceled until the end of the year, and organizers of the Oct. 15-18 women’s golf tournament made the cancellation official in a statement Wednesday citing “the current health concerns and significant travel restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19.”
The LPGA plans to return next year to the Qizhong Garden Golf Club in Shanghai.
PGA events, men’s and women’s tennis tournaments, cycling and a Formula One Grand Prix are among the events that have already been canceled.