Update on the latest sports
Suns blast Nuggets
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul continues to demonstrate why the young Phoenix Suns picked up the 36-year-old veteran after last season.
The Suns have a two-games-to-none lead in the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals after Paul provided 17 points and 15 assists without a turnover in a 123-98 rout of the Nuggets.
Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton also had double-doubles for the Suns, who shot 18 of 38 from 3-point range. Booker finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Ayton had 16 points and 10 boards.
Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Denver, a day after getting the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. But the Nuggets couldn’t find anyone else to score consistently.
Game 3 is Friday in Denver.
Pacers dismiss Bjorkgren
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nate Bjorkgren is one and done as head coach of the Indiana Pacers.
President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard has fired Bjorkgren after just one season and a 34-38 record. The Pacers struggled defensively and missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons amid reports of locker room drama.
Pritchard said players used the word “micromanaged” during interviews after their season ended.
Indiana was without leading scorer TJ Warren, NBA blocks champion Myles Turner and Caris LeVert for huge chunks of the season.
In other NBA news:
— Brooklyn’s James Harden will miss Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday at Milwaukee because of the right hamstring injury that forced him out of the series opener. Harden left 43 seconds into that game with tightness, but the Nets squeeze out the victory before blowing out the Bucks in Game 2. He missed 20 of 21 games late in the season because of the hamstring.
— The league has fined Heat President Pat Riley $25,000 for being too clear that he’d eagerly welcome a reunion with LeBron James. Riley told radio host Dan Le Batard (leh bah-TAHRD’) on Friday’s show that he would “leave the key under the doormat” if James called and said he wanted to return to Miami.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Islanders are the last team standing in the NHL’s East Division.
The Isles are heading to the Stanley Cup semifinals for the second straight year following a 6-2 win over the Boston Bruins. The Islanders took control with a three-goal second period and earned a semifinal rematch against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The game was tied 1-1 in the second until Brock Nelson scored two straight goals in a 7:19 span. Kyle Palmieri made it 4-1 with a stuff shot against Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask, who stopped 23 of 27 shots.
Brad Marchand’s second power-play goal of the night drew the Bruins within 4-2 early in the third, but the Islanders iced it on empty-netters by Cal Clutterbuck and Ryan Pulock.
Travis Zajac (ZAY’-jak) notched his first playoff goal as an Islander, and Semyon Varlamov handled 23 shots.
It’s the second straight series in which the Islanders won the last three games after trailing 2-1.
Cubs beat Darvish, Padres
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs got the better of an ex-teammate while beating the San Diego Padres for the fifth time in six games this season.
Joc Pederson homered off Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta (ar-ee-EH’-tah) allowed one run and four hits in five innings of the Cubs’ 3-1 victory over the Padres. Darvish retired his first nine hitters before Pederson went deep to tie the game.
Darvish pitched well but took the hard-luck loss when the Cubs scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on Anthony Rizzo’s double-play ball.
Sergio Alcantara (al-KAN’-tah-rah) homered off Emilio Pagán with one out in the eighth, his first of the season.
Elsewhere around the majors:
— Milwaukee’s five-game winning streak is over after Vladimir Gutierrez pitched seven effective innings and Tyler Stephenson drove in three runs to highlight the Reds’ 7-3 win against the Brewers. Gutierrez allowed two runs and six hits in the longest of his three big league starts.
— Tyler O’Neill homered twice and the Cardinals ended a six-game losing streak by ripping the Indians, 8-2. Matt Carpenter laced a three-run homer and Adam Wainwright limited Cleveland to two runs in seven innings.
— Kevin Pillar (pih-LAHR’) and Billy McKinney each homered twice as the Mets beat Matt Harvey decisively for the second time this season, a 14-1 laugher over the Orioles. Pete Alonso and Mason Williams also homered in support of Taijuan (TY’-wahn) Walker, who allowed a run and five hits over seven innings.
— The Phillies pulled out a 2-1 win over the Braves on Luke Williams’ two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies had just four hits and made 15 straight outs before Andrew McCutchen drew a one-out walk off losing pitcher Will Smith.
— Starlin Castro furnished an RBI double during a two-run 11th that lifted the Nationals to just their fourth win in 13 games, 9-7 over the Rays. Ryan Zimmerman had his 27th career multihomer game and Juan Soto also went deep for Washington.
— Justin Turner hit two home runs and the Dodgers got 7 1/3 scoreless innings from their bullpen in a 2-1 victory over the Pirates. Five relievers blanked Pittsburgh after starter Tony Gonsolin (GAHN’-sah-lihn) failed to make it through the second inning of his season debut.
— Raimel Tapia (RY’-mehl TAP’-ee-uh) hit two doubles, singled and scored twice for the Rockies in a 4-3 downing of the Marlins. Charlie Blackmon had two hits and an RBI for Colorado, which won on the road for just the fifth time in 28 games.
— Arizona absorbed its 19th straight road loss and seventh in a row overall as Sean Manaea (mah-NY’-ah) worked six innings of two-hit ball in the Athletics’ 4-0 shutout of the Diamondbacks. Mark Canha (KAN’-ah) had two hits and two RBIs for Oakland, and Jed Lowrie finished with three hits as the AL West leaders won for the sixth time in seven games.
— Brock Holt delivered a game-ending, RBI single in the 11th inning to give the Rangers just their second win in 14 games, 4-3 over the Giants. The Rangers tied the game in the ninth and 10th innings before ending a 13-game losing streak in interleague play.
— The Astros hammered the Red Sox, 8-3 as Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) and Alex Bregman homered to help Jake Odorizzi (oh-doh-RIH’-zee) pick up his first win since 2019. Cristian Javier allowed one hit and struck out three over four scoreless innings to get his first save, closing out Houston’s third straight win.
— The Yankees were 9-6 winners at Minnesota as Gerrit Cole got back on track with six sharp innings amid the hubbub in the game around pitcher grip aids. Giancarlo Stanton homered twice for New York, which also got round-trippers from Aaron Judge and Miguel Andújar (an-DOO’-hahr).
— Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) hit a long homer and the Blue Jays took advantage of a season-high four errors by Chicago and a bases-loaded walk to beat the AL Central-leading White Sox, 6-2. The White Sox were sailing along with a 2-1 lead after Lance Lynn struck out nine over seven innings.
— Jake Fraley made a game-saving catch in the ninth inning, then drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th to lead the Mariners over the Tigers, 9-6. Fraley robbed Isaac Paredes of a game-ending homer with one out in the ninth, reaching well over the left-field fence to make the catch.
— Griffin Canning was sharp in the Angels’ 6-1 win over the Royals, allowing one run and five hits over 6 2/3 innings. Slumping hitters Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) and Kean Wong each had two RBIs to back Canning, who began the day with a 5.82 ERA this season.
Hall induction ceremony pushed back to September
UNDATED (AP) — Baseball’s Hall of Fame is moving this year’s induction ceremony for Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller from July 25 to Sept. 8.
The decision was made so a crowd may attend as coronavirus restrictions ease. The Hall announced that the ceremony will take place outdoors on the Hall’s lawn as a ticketed event with a limit on crowd size.
The inductions were to have taken place in July 2020 but were postponed due to the pandemic. No candidates were elected in 2021.
Also around the majors:
— Rangers closer Ian Kennedy has been placed on the 10-day injured list because of a mild left hamstring strain. Kennedy has converted 12 of his 13 save opportunities while posting a 2.53 ERA. He hasn’t pitched since Friday.
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL-ZOMBRO
Zombro out of hospital
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Minor league pitcher Tyler Zombro has been released from the hospital.
The Tampa Bay Rays prospect will transition to outpatiant occupational and speech therapy in Durham, North Carolina, after being struck in the head by a line drive last week.
Zombro was pitching for Triple-A Durham when he was hit by a sharp liner from Norfolk’s Brett Cumberland in the eighth inning on June 3. Zombro crumbled to the ground, lay motionless for a moment face down, then began to convulse uncontrollably as teammates and a trainer rushed toward the mound.
Nadal, Djokovic advance to semis
PARIS (AP) — Rafael Nadal finally lost a set at the French Open. That didn’t stop him from advancing to the semifinals for a record-extending 14th consecutive time.
Nadal was a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 winner against 10th seed Diego Schwartzman. The 13-time Roland Garros champion actually trailed 4-3 in the third set before winning the last nine games of the match.
Nadal had won 36 straight sets in Paris. He’ll next face a longtime rival in top seed Novak Djokovic, who was a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 winner against Matteo Berrettini. Djokovic is in a Grand Slam semifinal for the 40th time, six behind Roger Federer’s all-time record in men’s tennis.
The semifinal between Djokovic and Nadal on Friday will be the pair’s 58th meeting in their dazzling careers. Djokovic has a 29-28 edge overall, but Nadal leads 7-1 at the French Open.
The Djokovic match was delayed about 22 minutes while fans were escorted from the stadium because of the 11pm coronavirus curfew. Some disappointed fans jeered and even sang “We’ve paid, we’ll stay” as they refused to leave at 10:45 p.m. as curfew approached.
The women’s semifinals will be played without rising American star Coco Gauff or defending champion Iga Swiatek.
Barbora Krejcikova fought off five set points in defeating Gauff, 7-6. 6-3. The 33rd-ranked Krejcikova will play her first semifinal at a major tournament.
Maria Sakkari (SAH’-kah-ree) powered past defending champion Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semifinals for the first time. Swiatek had won 22 consecutive sets at Roland Garros before Sakkari continued her longest run in a major.
Packers get linebacker help
UNDATED (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have added a veteran presence at inside linebacker by signing De’Vondre Campbell. He comes to Green Bay after starting all 16 games for the Cardinals last season, posting 99 tackles, including 69 solos.
Campbell has 462 total tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 7½ sacks and six forced fumbles in 75 career regular-season games.
Checking out other NFL happenings:
— Washington pass rusher Montez Sweat says he doesn’t support the team’s attempt to persuade players to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Asked what was causing his hesitancy, the 24-year-old said: “I haven’t caught COVID yet. I don’t see me treating COVID until I actually get COVID.” Coach Ron Rivera said his staff and team employees were all fully vaccinated, compared with nearly half of players.
— Peyton Manning has been elected to the Broncos Ring of Fame in recognition of his record-breaking four-year run in Denver that culminated with a victory in Super Bowl 50. Manning will be honored during a game against Washington on Halloween, less than three months after his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8. The six-member selection committee unanimously selected Manning as the 35th member of the team’s Ring of Fame.
— Cleveland Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson has been suspended by the team but will not lose her job after an arrest for drunken driving. Brownson, one of just a handful of female coaches in the NFL, pleaded no contest Tuesday in a Brunswick court to charges stemming from her arrest last month.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MICHIGAN-SEXUAL ABUSE
Son of Schembechler to speak out against allegations
DETROIT (AP) — A son of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler (SHEHM’-behk-lur) was among the hundreds of men who were sexually assaulted by a campus doctor.
Lawyers say he will speak publicly about the abuse along with two players who also were victims in the 1970s and ’80s. Matt Schembechler, Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson are expected to discuss the abuse during a news conference Thursday.
Their accusations come a month after a report commissioned by the university said Bo Schembechler and other officials were aware of complaints about Dr. Robert Anderson, though he remained at the school for decades.