Amy Chiles
Amy Chiles
Amy in the Morning
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National Sports

Matta Out As Ohio State Hoops Coach

Ohio State has announced that Thad Matta is out as head coach of the men's basketball team.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the announcement was made this afternoon at a press conference with Matta and Athletic Director Gene Smith.


In 13 seasons, Matta had a record of 336-122. Ohio State reached two Final Fours and one national championship game under Matta.


Matta's contract was scheduled to run through the 2019-20 season.



Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott Injured in Weekend Car Crash, Misses Team Activities

Former Ohio State and current Dallas Cowboys Running back Ezekiel Elliott is missing his second straight day of team activities after being involved in a car accident on Sunday. ESPN reports that the cowboys said Elliott sustained head injuries in that minor automobile accident. According to the team, he is being evaluated and is completing conditioning work on the side.


Always Dreaming remains 4-5 favorite for Preakness Stakes

According to Fox Sports, The money is starting to fill into the win pool for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. Post time for the second jewel of the Triple Crown is 6:48 p.m. EDT.


To absolutely no surprise, Always Dreaming remains odds-on, at 4-5.

Classic Empire is the second choice at 3-1, still. His odds dropped a bit to 5-2 but moved up to 3-1, which was where he was tabbed on the morning line.


The third choice at 10-1 is Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee.


The remainder of the odds:

Cloud Computing: 14-1

Gunnevera: 16-1

Conquest Mo Money is 18-1.

Hence: 20-1

Term of Art, Senior Investment: 33-1

Multiplier 40-1.


Predators Reach Conference Finals

According to ESPN: A long slump without a Conference Finals appearance has ended ... but it's not by Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.


Nope. It's the Nashville Predators.


The Predators came into existence during the 1998-99 season and things didn't start out so great. During the Predators' first five seasons, they finished each year with a points percentage below .500. Among teams that played in each of that five-season span, the only ones that had worse records than the Predators (.434) were the Lightning (.393) and the Islanders (.423).


In fact, the Predators’ playoff struggles included …

• Not winning a playoff series until 2011, their 12th season in the NHL.

• Posting five 100-point seasons and losing in the opening round in four of those years.

• Not winning a home playoff OT game until 2016.

This was the Predators' fourth chance at trying to get to the Conference Finals. In each of the previous three instances in the second round, the Predators lost in 5 (in 2012 to the Coyotes), 6 (in 2011 to the Canucks) and in 7 games (in 2016 to the Sharks) respectively.


Entering this season, only the Islanders (1993) and Panthers (1996) had completed more seasons since their last Conference Finals appearance.


According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, the 18 completed seasons before the Predators’ first Conference Finals appearance ranks as the third-most before a franchise's first visit to the round before the Stanley Cup Final. The Arizona Coyotes had 32 seasons before the team reached the 2012 Western Conference Finals and the Carolina Hurricanes had 23 seasons before they got to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals.

The Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets) and Hurricanes (formerly the Hartford Whalers) each moved once before making that Conference Finals appearance.


Since the NHL returned from the season-long lockout during the 2005-06 season, the Predators are the fourth team to reach the Conference Finals after having the fewest points in that conference during the regular season. The others are the 2006 Oilers, 2010 Canadiens and 2012 Kings.


Thrice is nice


Predators coach Peter Laviolette is the second-winningest U.S.-born head coach in NHL history behind John Tortorella. Laviolette and Tortorella have each won a Stanley Cup in their careers. But Laviolette has done something no American-born head coach has ever done – take three different teams to the Conference Finals since the advent of the round in 1982.

Laviolette previously made it with the Hurricanes when they won it all in 2006 and then again in 2010 when he led the surprising Flyers from the 7 seed all the way to the Cup Final where they lost to the Blackhawks.

Since 1982, Laviolette is one of seven coaches to take three different teams to the Conference Finals. The others are:

Mike Keenan: Flyers, Blackhawks and Rangers

Darryl Sutter: Blackhawks, Flames and Kings

Ken Hitchcock: Stars, Flyers and Blues

Jacques Lemaire: Canadiens, Devils and Wild

Jacques Demers: Blues, Red Wings and Canadiens

Pat Burns: Canadiens, Maple Leafs and Devils


Perfect Tenn


It’s been a mixed bag in the “Conference Finals” for the other pro teams in the state of Tennessee.

The Tennessee Titans have played twice on the road in the AFC Championship Game since moving from Houston in 1997. The Titans won at the Jaguars in 1999 but then lost on the road to the Raiders in 2002.

Much like the Predators, the Memphis Grizzlies have only been in one Conference Finals in their history, but they didn’t even win a game as they were swept in 2013 by the Spurs. And much like the Predators, the Grizzlies didn’t win their first playoff series until 2011, when they knocked out the Spurs.


ESPN: Browns' Joe Thomas: 'Willing to accept' the risks of playing in NFL

According to ESPN: Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas is experiencing memory loss, he said in an interview released Wednesday.
Thomas could not say, though, whether playing in the NFL has caused the problem.
"I definitely expect memory loss," Thomas said on "In Depth With Graham Bensinger." "I'm already seeing memory loss, and maybe that's just because of my old age or maybe it's football, it's hard to tell.
"I mean, there's no double-blind studies when it comes to people's life. It's just a part, I think, of sometimes getting older. And it's hard to tell it's because of football or because you're 32 and you're not 21 anymore and you have a lot of stuff going in your life."
What kind of memory loss? Bensinger asked.
"Short-term memory loss -- hard times remembering things that have happened recently," he said. "Like, you walk to the grocery store and you're like, 'Huh, I can't remember what I needed to get.'
"Just little stuff like that, and I think if you let it really bug you, I think it can make you depressed and feel sad. Like, 'Wow, I don't have the memory I used to have.' But, you know, I try to be relatively good-natured about it at this point."
Thomas, 32, is entering his 11th season with the Browns. He has not missed a snap since being drafted third overall in 2007. He said he is well aware of the risks of playing in terms of long-term brain damage, but they are risks he's willing to accept.
"There's definitely a concern," Thomas said. "But the way I look at it is just about every profession in our society: There's some lasting effects. It's just the way that our society is set up. People have to work. If I was a stone mason or if I was a painter or building bridges or whatever, there's going to be some wear and tear on your body and your brain. And that's just the way it is.
"To be able to live the lifestyle and provide for my family the way that football has been able to do, to me it's a trade-off that I'm willing to accept."
The NFL has agreed to a settlement of a lawsuit filed by 5,000 former players citing the damage to their brains caused by the constant trauma of NFL play. Thomas mentioned other long-term issues believed to be linked to brain trauma.
"You look at guys with significant Alzheimer's and dementia and the mood swings and the suicides that unfortunately NFL players have been faced with," Thomas said. "And depression. Lou Gehrig's disease. These are all things that have kind of been linked to the brain damage from football.
"Those are obviously scary and frightening things, but I think from my perspective, I can't do anything about it. This was the profession that I have already chosen, and most of the damage has probably been done already. So what are the things that I can do to try to minimize my chances of having those negative effects down the line, and then do everything I possibly can. Then I can't worry about it. I have to accept it.
"But I do hope that medicine continues to improve and, in 10 years maybe, they'll be able to fix my body better than they did for the poor guys who are crippled up from playing in the NFL in the '60s and the '70s."


ESPN: Reasons the Browns should draft Mitchell Trubisky with No. 1 pick

ESPN is reporting that one of the most important questions in the 2017 NFL draft is whether the Cleveland Browns should pick quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 1 overall selection.

The consensus around the league and among draft experts is that Trubisky is not worth taking at the very top of the draft and that the Browns should instead select Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.

Those opinions make it seem like Trubisky won't be drafted at No. 1.

But let's take a look at a multitude of reasons why the Browns could easily justify selecting the North Carolina quarterback with their first selection.

(Note: Unless otherwise noted, the collegiate metrics and associated rankings detailed below are from contests between Power 5 teams.)

Trubisky was one of the most accurate passers in college football last season. He ranked fifth in percentage of off-target passes (7.9), per ESPN Stats & Information data. This trait showed up on both dink-and-dunk tosses and downfield throws, as Trubisky ranked seventh in short pass off-target percentage (3.3 on aerials thrown 10 or fewer yards downfield) and sixth in vertical off-target percentage (15.3 on targets traveling 11 or more yards downfield).

These traits were key in Trubisky setting North Carolina records for most consecutive completions in a single game (18) and over a multigame stretch (30).


Pirates OF Starling Marte gets 80-game ban after positive PED test

Accoriding to ESPN, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, it was announced Tuesday.

Marte tested positive for nandrolone, which violated MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately, and Marte is eligible to return in mid-July.

"I have been informed that I have tested positive in one of the tests that are regularly done in my job," Marte said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. "In this very difficult moment, I apologize to my family, the Pittsburgh Pirates, my teammates, my fans, and baseball in general.

"Neglect and lack of knowledge have led me to this mistake with the high price to pay of being away from the field that I enjoy and love so much. With much embarrassment and helplessness, I ask for forgiveness for unintentionally disrespecting so many people who have trusted in my work and have supported me so much. I promise to learn the lesson that this ordeal has left me. God bless you."

Marte, a first-time All-Star selection last season, was hitting .241 this season with two home runs and seven RBIs through 13 games. He moved from left field to center field in the offseason after winning his second Gold Glove. The 28-year-old has a .288 career batting average with 60 homers and 242 RBIs in his five-plus seasons with the Pirates.

"We are disappointed that Starling put himself, his teammates and the organization in this position," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. "We will continue to fight for the division title with the men who are here and will look forward to getting Starling back after the All-Star break."

It is Marte's first positive test. Under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, he has the option to appeal, in which additional testing will be conducted to prove validity of the original test. If he were to appeal, Marte would be restricted from participation in all baseball activity. If an appeal is granted, the suspension could be reduced by 40 games.

Under a provision added in 2013, a suspended player is not allowed to participate in that year's postseason even if his suspension ends before then -- unless a suspension is reduced on appeal.

All suspensions are without pay. In addition, a suspended player can be replaced on the active roster by another player.


Gonzaga, UNC, Oregon, USC to hold open Final Four practices


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — It's going to be a busy Friday at University of Phoenix Stadium ahead of Saturday's Final Four games.

Gonzaga, North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina will all hold practices that are open to the public ahead of the national semifinals. Those teams will also spend much of the day bouncing between media sessions.

South Carolina has the first 50-minute practice session on the court nestled in the middle of a cavernous stadium with capacity for more than 63,000 fans. Gonzaga is next. Those teams play Saturday's first national semifinal.

Oregon and North Carolina have the last two practices. They play in Saturday's second semifinal.


Reds release of Ryan Raburn, who competed for bench role


GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds have released outfielder Ryan Raburn after he struggled in a bid to win a bench role.



Raburn signed a minor league deal last month. He hit .219 during spring training with seven hits, three home runs and seven strikeouts in 32 at-bats.

Raburn played seven years for Detroit and three for Cleveland before moving to the National League last season. He batted only .220 with Colorado last year, when he made $1.6 million. He played in left field, right field and first base for the Rockies. Raburn turns 36 next month.

The Reds still have competition for the final spots on the bench with opening day a week away. They host the Philadelphia Phillies next Monday.



Cleveland Indians not responsible for fan hurt by ball


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A jury says the Cleveland Indians aren't responsible for injuries to a New York man hit by a foul ball and blinded in one eye at a baseball game in July 2012.

Cleveland.com reports the decision late last week in a Cleveland-area county court means Keith Rawlins, of Rochester, gets no money from his lawsuit against the team.

The attorney representing the Indians, Todd Hicks, says he's pleased with the decision. The team had argued the case could have wide-ranging implications for ballparks and teams around the nation.

Cleveland.com says Rawlins' lawyers couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

He claimed he turned away from the field because he was distracted by stadium personnel forcing him to relocate for a postgame fireworks show. The team has said Rawlins moved voluntarily.


Barry Bonds joins Giants at camp to coach minor leaguers


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Barry Bonds is back in spring training camp with the San Francisco Giants, set to spend a week working on hitting with the team's minor leaguers.

The 52-year-old home run champion reported Wednesday at the Giants' complex. After his time in Arizona, Bonds will be a special adviser to Giants CEO Larry Baer.

Bonds spent last season as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins and was fired.

The seven-time MVP played 15 seasons with the Giants, finishing in 2007 with 762 career homers.

Bonds said, "All I've ever wanted to be is a Giant."


Blue Jackets have share of conference lead for the moment

UNDATED (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets held a piece of the NHL's Metropolitan Division lead for a few hours on Saturday, only to fall back to second place with Washington's win at Tampa Bay.

Cam Atkinson scored 79 seconds into overtime to complete the Jackets' 3-2 win over the New York Islanders in Brooklyn. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Josh Anderson had second-period goals to give Columbus a 2-1 lead, but the Isles earned a point by getting a John Tavares goal 8:48 into the third.

New York fell one point behind Toronto for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

The Capitals had dropped five of six before T.J. Oshie (OH'-shee) recorded a hat trick and had an assist in a 5-3 win at Tampa Bay. Justin Williams and John Carlson supplied goals early in the third period as the Caps became the first team to clinch a Stanley Cup playoff berth.

Nicklas Backstrom collected four assists against the Lightning, who are two points out of an Eastern Conference playoff slot.


US women's hockey players threaten boycott over wages


UNDATED (AP) — The U.S. women's hockey team is threatening to boycott the world championships because of a wage dispute.


Woman's Hockey


The team announced Wednesday that they will not participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation tournament that begins March 31 in Plymouth, Michigan.


A spokesman for USA Hockey did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.


Players say they informed USA Hockey that they would not report to training camp March 21 unless meaningful progress is made. The U.S. is the defending champion after winning the gold medal last.


The players are seeking a contract with USA Hockey that they say "includes appropriate compensation."



NCAA men's First Four start off tonight in Dayton, Ohio


DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — New Orleans (20-11) is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996, when it opens the tournament this evening in Dayton, Ohio, facing Mount St. Mary's (19-15), beginning at 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time.


New Orleans guard Christavious Gill says, "It's for everybody in New Orleans who has been in New Orleans since the devastation of Katrina." Mount St. Mary's Junior Robinson is the shortest player in Division I this season at 5-foot-5. He averages 14 points and 33 minutes per game. Coach Jamion Christian says. "You look at him, he's 5-foot-5, 165 pounds. He's worked really hard to get up to 165 pounds, really. He's a special player because he's got enormous heart."

The winner faces No. 1 Villanova on Thursday in Buffalo.


Kansas State (20-13) takes on comeback kids Wake Forest (19-13) with a scheduled start time of 9:10 p.m. EST in Dayton. Wake Forest overcame deficits of 19, 14 and 13 points to win its last three games in the regular season. The only other Division I team to win three straight games while overcoming double-digit deficits this season is Kentucky. And the term "kids" applies: eight of its 13 scholarship players are underclassmen.



Gibbs, Penske, Allison among NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Championship team owners Joe Gibbs and Roger Penske as well as the late Davey Allison are among five new nominees for the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.


NASCAR announced the additions Wednesday. Three-time Late Model Sportsman and 1956 Modified champion Red Farmer and 2000 NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte also are new to the 20-person nomination class. They join 15 holdovers from last year.


Gibbs has nine car owner championships in NASCAR'S top two series. Penske has four car owner titles in the top two series. Allison won 19 times in NASCAR's premier series, including the 1992 Daytona 500.


The returning nominees are Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Ron Hornaday Jr., Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Larry Phillips, Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik, Ken Squier, Waddell Wilson and Robert Yates.


Five nominees will be elected May 24.


Rutgers beats Ohio State, gets first Big 10 Tournament win


WASHINGTON (AP) — Nigel Johnson scored 21 points and made all eight free throws to lead Rutgers to a 66-57 over Ohio State Wednesday night in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.


Rutgers (15-17) now has won back-to-back games after a six-game skid. Now in its third season in the Big Ten, it's the first time the Scarlet Knights have won consecutive conference games.


Despite shooting 37.1 percent — and 30.4 from 3-point range and going about 3 ½ minutes without a point in the second half — 14th-seeded Rutgers also won its first Big Ten Tournament game after being bounced as the No. 14 seed the past two tries.


Rutgers outrebounded Ohio State 47-31 to overcome its shooting woes.


Jae'Sean Tate scored 18 points for 11th-seed Ohio State (17-15), which will miss the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Buckeyes did not make a field goal in the final 5:43.



Browns place second-round tender on RB Isaiah Crowell


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have placed a second-round free-agent tender on running back Isaiah Crowell.




The tender — worth $2.8 million — would allow the Browns to match any contract offer Crowell might get from another team. If the Browns decided not to match an outside offer, they would receive a compensatory second-round draft pick for Crowell.


The 24-year-old rushed for 952 yards and scored seven touchdowns last season, and was one of the few bright spots as Cleveland went 1-15.


Coach Hue Jackson identified Crowell as one of the core players and the Browns would like to sign him to a long-term contract extension.


Crowell has run for 2,265 yards with Cleveland, which signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Crowell averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season while falling just short of his goal of 1,000 yards.


TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer

TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer


Cavs lose again...FSU crushes BC


UNDATED (AP) â€Â" The 12th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers improved to 22-6 on Monday, but not before they received a huge scare.


Head coach Bob Huggins dropped to his knees and clutched his chest during a timeout just before halftime of the Mountaineers' 77-62 win against visiting Texas. Huggins' players quickly surrounded him as he stood up and briefly massaged his chest before staying on the sideline. Huggins said after the game that his defibrillator had gone off and that he experienced light-headedness from standing up too fast.


The 63-year-old Huggins had a heart attack at the Pittsburgh airport in 2002 when he was the coach at Cincinnati.

Jevon Carter had team highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds for West Virginia, which improved to 10-5 in the Big 12. Lamont West added a career-high 23 points to pad the victory.


WVU led 46-32 at intermission despite falling behind 12-2.


Meanwhile, Virginia continues to stumble through the latter portion of its ACC schedule.


Bruce Brown capped his 14-point performance by hitting a 3-pointer with 23.8 seconds left in overtime to send Miami past the 18th-ranked Cavaliers, 54-48. The Hurricanes trailed 48-47 until Brown nailed his only 3-pointer of the game. It came 15 seconds after Marial Shayok hit a putback that put the Cavs ahead.


The Cavaliers have their first four-game losing streak since 2009-10, Tony Bennett's first season as their head coach. Virginia had been 18-5 overall and 8-3 in the conference before the skid.


Also in the ACC, Dwayne Bacon's 16 points helped Florida State improve to 10-5 in the conference by slamming Boston College, 104-72. The Seminoles got 59 points from their bench, with PJ Savoy delivering 15. Jonathan Isaac added 14 points for FSU, which led by 34 six minutes into the second half.




NC State: Gottfried won't return as men's basketball coach



RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State says men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried won't return for a seventh season but will coach the remainder of this season.




The school announced the decision Thursday, less than a day after the Wolfpack fell by 24 points to 10th-ranked rival North Carolina in the team's sixth straight loss as a once-promising season continues to unravel. N.C. State hosts No. 25 Notre Dame on Saturday.


Gottfried had a 122-82 record with the Wolfpack, including NCAA Tournament trips in his first four years that included two Sweet 16 appearances. But N.C. State has slid to 30-30 over the past two seasons, including 8-24 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and struggled to maintain continuity amid transfers, players leaving early to pursue professional playing careers, and staff turnover.


AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer


NBA Getting Ready for The All-Star Break


UNDATED (AP) — The NBA All-Star break begins at the conclusion of play this evening. Play in the regular season will not resume until a week from tonight.


The first half comes to a close this evening with two games. In the first the Pacers are playing host to the Wizards, just a day after losing to the Cavaliers in Cleveland. With the loss, Indiana is two games above .500 at 29-27, while the Wizards are in first place in the Southeast Division with a three-game winning streak, wins in nine of their last 10 games and a record of 33-21.


The final game has Boston playing in Chicago. The Celtics begin the day just 2 ½ games back of Cleveland for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Celts top the Atlantic Division by 4 ½ games over the fading Toronto Raptors.


Busy night in the NBA Leading up to All-Star Game


UNDATED (AP) — It's a basketball bonanza with 14 games on the NBA schedule on the last busy night before the All-Star game.


League-leading Golden State will be at home, where the Warriors have lost just three times, to face Sacramento.


The Kings handed Golden State one of its NBA-best nine losses the last time the two teams met earlier this month.


The Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers can put even more distance between themselves and second-place Indiana in the Central Division when they meet tonight. Cleveland heads into the game with a 9 1-2 -game lead over the Pacers, who have dropped four straight.


The Celtics try to keep their run going when they host Philadelphia. Atlantic Division-leading Boston has won ten of its last 11 games.


Atlanta will try to gain some ground on idle Washington at the top of the Southeast Division, when the Hawks visit the Clippers. Atlanta is just a game and a-half behind the Wizards. The Hawks may have Thabo Sefolosha back after he missed eight games with a groin injury.


Northwest Division-leading Utah tries to end three-game skid when the Jazz host Portland.


Southwest Division-leading San Antonio is making the sixth stop on an eight-game road trip when they visit Orlando.



Cardinals Reyes out for season


JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes needs season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right arm.




General manager John Mozeliak (moh-ZAY'-lahk) confirmed the diagnosis after an MRI. Reyes didn't throw his scheduled bullpen session Tuesday because of a sore elbow.


The 22-year-old Reyes made his major league debut Aug. 9 and was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts and seven relief appearances. His fastball averaged more than 97 mph.


Reyes was a candidate for the final spot in the starting rotation.



Browns claim defensive back Tyvis Powell from Seahawks


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have claimed former Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell off waivers from Seattle.



Powell appeared in eight games last season for the Seahawks, who signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Powell spent the entire 2016 season on Seattle's active roster. He made three tackles on special teams.


A Cleveland-area native, Powell played in 42 games for the Buckeyes and led the team in interceptions in 2015.


After signing with the Browns on Monday, Powell sent out thanks to his former Seattle teammates, including star cornerback Richard Sherman, on Twitter. He also posted a chart of the odds for teams to win next season's Super Bowl — the Browns' odds are 150 to 1 — and sent a message to Browns cornerback Joe Haden, saying "we have to make BELIEVERS."




After LBJ fouls out, Irving lifts Cavs past Wiz 140-135, OT


WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 11 of his 23 points in overtime, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 35 seconds left, and the Cleveland Cavaliers edged the Washington Wizards 140-135 in a playoff-type atmosphere Monday night.



The loud, sellout crowd was standing, and so were the players on both benches, when James somehow missed a gimme layup late in the fourth quarter. Moments later, he banked in a maximum-degree-of-difficulty, step-back 3 with 0.3 seconds left to send the game overtime, where he fouled out and Irving took over for Cleveland.


James finished 32 points and a career-high 17 assists. Kevin Love had 39 points and 12 rebounds for the Eastern Conference leaders, who ended surging Washington's winning streaks of 17 in a row at home and seven in a row overall.

Bradley Beal had 41 points and eight assists for the Wizards, but he missed a potential tying 3 with about 5 seconds left in overtime.



Warriors Rout Cavs...Celtics and Hawks Surging


UNDATED (AP) — As far as the Golden State Warriors are concerned, their 126-91 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers came about seven months too late.




The Warriors held a 3-1 lead over the Cavs last June in the NBA Finals with two chances to win the series at home. Cleveland won both those games while sweeping the last three to win their first NBA title.


Golden State enacted some revenge Monday night in the Cavs first visit back at Oracle Arena since the Finals. Stephen (STEH'-fihn) Curry hit five 3-pointers and had 20 points while matching his season best with 11 assists. Klay Thompson scored 26 points with five 3s. Draymond Green produced his third triple-double of the season with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He also equaled his career best with five blocks.


LeBron James had 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting and eight rebounds for the Cavs.



Packers, Cowboys Make TV History


NEW YORK (AP) — The Packers thrilling last second win over Dallas yesterday was a record breaker.


Packers Cowboys


The playoff game was seen by 48.5 million views on Fox, making it the most viewed NFL divisional playoff game in history.


Pittsburgh's two-point win over Kansas City Sunday night was seen by 37.4 million people on NBC and its digital platform, including 37.1 million on the network.


Bengals' Pacman Jones Jailed Over Cincinnati Confrontation


CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones is facing assault, disorderly conduct and other charges after being arrested in Cincinnati's downtown entertainment district.


Authorities say Jones is accused of pushing and poking someone in the eye, then struggling with officers during his arrest and spitting on a nurse while being booked into the Hamilton County jail early Tuesday.


He has been jailed on misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business, and a felony count of harassment with a bodily substance.


The 33-year-old Jones was being held pending an initial court appearance Tuesday morning. No attorney was listed for him.


It is the latest incident for a player who has repeatedly had legal issues after going to college at West Virginia University and making his NFL debut with Tennessee.



Clemson, Alabama Cruise to The Title Game


UNDATED (AP) — Clemson is getting another crack at Alabama in college football's national championship game, one year after the Crimson Tide earned a 45-40 win over the Tigers for the title.


DeShaun Watson ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Clemson blasted Ohio State, 31-0. Watson was 23 of 36 for 259 yards and two interceptions before taking a seat on the bench with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. He also had 57 yards rushing for the Tigers, who scored in each quarter and held the Buckeyes to 215 total yards and nine first downs.


Clemson improved to 13-1 and dropped the Buckeyes to 11-2. Ohio State was seeking its second national title in three years. It was the first time Urban Meyer has been shut out in his 194 games as head coach. OSU hadn't been blanked since a 1993 loss to Michigan.


The top-ranked and unbeaten Crimson Tide are 14-0 after scoring 10 points off turnovers in a 24-7 win over No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl. Ryan Anderson returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown to put Alabama ahead 17-7 with 1:13 left in the first half. It came after Anthony Averett forced a fumble that set up Adam Griffith's tiebreaking, 41-yard field goal.


Bo Scarborough carried the Tide's offense by running for 180 yards and two touchdowns to earn game MVP honors. He capped the scoring by rumbling 68 yards for a TD with 11:56 remaining.


Scarborough almost outgained the entire Huskies offense, which was held to 194 yards and didn't score after Jake Browning's 16-yard TD pass midway through the first quarter. Browning was 20 of 38 for just 150 yards and two interceptions for the 12-2 Huskies.


The national championship game is slated for Jan. 9 at Tampa, Fla.


In Saturday's other bowl games:


— LSU whipped Louisville, 29-9 in the Citrus Bowl as sophomore running back Derrius Guice ran for 138 yards. Guice rushed 70 yards for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass while the Tigers sacked Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson eight times. Jackson completed just 10 of 27 passes for 153 yards and led the Cardinals with just 33 yards rushing.


— Dedrick Milles ran for a career-high 169 yards and a TD to lead Georgia Tech's 33-18 win over Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville. Senior P.J. Davis returned a fumble 38 yards for a touchdown, and fellow linebacker Terrell Lewis blocked a punt late in the first half to set up one of Harrison Butker's four field goals.




Columbus Blue Jackets Reach 15 in Row with 4-2 win, Stop Wild Streak at 12


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Cam Atkinson scored twice and the Columbus Blue Jackets stretched their winning streak to 15 games by stopping Minnesota's 12-game run with a 4-2 victory over the Wild on Saturday night.



Never in NHL history had two teams taken winning streaks that long into a game, and Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets made sure their party would stretch into the new year. Bobrovsky made 29 saves, yielding two or fewer goals for the 10th time during the run, and defensemen Jack Johnson and Seth Jones each had goals assisted by Brandon Saad in a frenetic second period sparked by consecutive fights.


Jason Zucker reignited the arena with his breakaway flip past Bobrovsky just 24 seconds into the third period for the Wild after he raced past Jones, but that was as close as they came. Devan Dubnyk stopped 21 shots, surrendering four goals for the second straight game after allowing three or fewer in his first 27 turns.



Cavs Announce Plans for $140 Million Renovation of Arena


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced plans for a $140 million project to renovate Quicken Loans Arena, their downtown home since 1994.




The defending NBA champions and Cuyahoga County officials believe the arena needs an exterior face-lift and massive interior upgrades to better accommodate fans and attract future events. The Q currently hosts 200-plus events annually.

The team and taxpayers would split the cost without any increase in taxes. The Q would remain open during construction, which would begin in 2017 and take approximately two years.


As part of the reconstruction, the building would be modernized with a glass front and public gathering spaces would be added.


The Cavs are extending their lease with The Q by seven years to 2034. Once the project is complete, the NBA has agreed to allow Cleveland to be a host city for the All-Star week in the near future.



Cavs Hosting Raptors Tonight


UNDATED (AP) — Two of the top teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference, who have a history of meeting in the playoffs, are squaring off tonight in Cleveland, as the NBA champion Cavaliers play host to the Raptors. This will be their second meeting of the young season as on Oct. 28 the Cavs beat the Raptors in Toronto 94-91. Toronto's DeMar DeRozan is enjoying a great start to the season as he leads the league in scoring at 34 points a game. He was named the conference player of the week on Monday after averaging 34.7 points while shooting 54 percent from the floor.

Cleveland's LeBron James had won the two previous awards.


The Hawks are right in the Eastern mix with the Cavs and Raptors as they are 7-2, just like Toronto. Cleveland starts play tonight 8-1. This evening the Hawks are in Miami facing the 2-7 Heat. Atlanta is playing some stingy defense as the Hawks lead the league in fewest points allowed in the fourth quarter, just 20.1. Newcomer Dwight Howard is off to a good start with 15.2 points and 12.4 rebounds a game.


Charlotte has won six of nine games this year and tonight is at Minnesota. The Timberwolves feature third-year swingman Andrew Wiggins who is coming off a career-best 47-point game Sunday against the Lakers. After starting the season 6-1 the Hornets have dropped two straight.

The remaining games tonight have the Bulls playing in Portland and the Lakers home to the Nets.


Manager of The Year Tonight


UNDATED (AP)— The American and National League Manager of the Year awards are being handed out this evening.


The three finalists in the American League are Cleveland's Terry Francona, Baltimore's Buck Showalter and Jeff Banister of the Rangers.




From the National league the finalists are Dusty Baker of the Nationals, Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers.


Both Maddon and Banister were winners last year.


MLB to destroy, not donate, Indians championship gear

CLEVELAND (AP) - Clothing and other items celebrating a 2016 Cleveland Indians World Series championship that never happened will be destroyed instead of donated to those in need.

Championship merchandise is produced for both teams when a major title is on the line so items can be immediately sold to the winning team's fans. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Indians in the Series last week.

ESPN and The Huffington Post report Major League Baseball is asking retailers to give back Indians championship gear so it can be destroyed. MLB had donated clothing to needy countries through the charity World Vision since 2005.

MLB says it has opted to destroy the items this year in order to "protect the team from inaccurate merchandise being available in the general marketplace."


Cubs win 1st Series title since 1908, beat Indians in Game 7


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series championship since 1908 when Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead double in the 10th inning, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a thrilling Game 7 delayed by rain early Thursday.


Cubs Win


Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too. All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a three-run lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying homer.


But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th and scored twice. Davis hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery got the final out.


Manager Joe Maddon's team halted the longest title drought in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.


Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but lost the last two games at home.


World Series favorites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season. The Cubs then ended more than a century of misery for their loyal fans.




Jake Arrieta's kids have hotel Halloween in Cleveland


CLEVELAND (AP) — Jake Arrieta wouldn't let a road trip and one of the biggest starts of his life stop him from going trick-or-treating with his family this Halloween.


The Chicago Cubs pitcher's wife, Brittany, shared Instagram photos of their two small children dressed up in their costumes a day before Tuesday's Game 6 of the World Series in Cleveland. She captioned the pictures, "Hotel trick or treating = my kind of Halloween."


Cooper Arrieta went as Spider-man, while his sister, Palmer, was a princess. The hotel Halloween experience seems to have been a successful one. Both kids hold lollipops in one of the photos.



Arrieta is the Cubs' scheduled starter in Game 6. The Cubs need to beat the Indians to force a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday.



Browns Place Safety Jordan Poyer on Injured Reserve


CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns safety Jordan Poyer has been placed on injured reserve after sustaining a lacerated kidney in Sunday's loss.



Poyer has been hospitalized in Nashville, Tennessee, since getting hurt. He was injured on a vicious blindside hit by Titans running back Antonio Andrews while covering a punt in the second quarter. The Browns expect him to be discharged on Tuesday and return to Cleveland.


Poyer's serious injury is the latest for the Browns, who have placed 12 players — including quarterback Robert Griffin III — on IR this season. The team can bring one player off IR after eight games.


Starting left guard Joel Bitonio underwent foot surgery on Monday. The Browns expect Bitonio, who got hurt in the Oct. 9 game against New England, to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2017 season.


The team also signed defensive back Ed Reynolds to the active roster from the practice squad.



3 Turnovers in Row Help Browns Cede Lead Again, Drop to 0-4


LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — His Cleveland Browns already were ahead late in the third quarter Sunday, and closing in on a score to pad that lead, when coach Hue Jackson called for a handoff to fullback Malcolm Johnson , a second-year player who had never run the ball in the NFL.



So what happened? Well, these are the Browns, so you probably could guess: Johnson fumbled, the Washington Redskins recovered at their 9, and then drove 91 yards to a go-ahead TD.


On Cleveland's next possession, Duke Johnson fumbled , also in Redskins territory. And while he stood up holding the ball, it was ruled that the Redskins grabbed that one, too.


And, yes, on Cleveland's next turn with the ball, rookie quarterback Cody Kessler — playing because of injuries to former Redskins QB Robert Griffin the Third and Josh McCown — underthrew Terrelle Pryor for an interception, which led to another touchdown for Washington.


Three consecutive second-half turnovers Sunday helped the Browns do themselves in yet again, losing 31-20 to the Redskins to drop to 0-4 in Jackson's first season in charge.



Banned Rose Appeals to Hall of Fame for Eligibility

By MITCH STACY,  AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Pete Rose is appealing directly to baseball's Hall of Fame to restore his eligibility, arguing the lifetime ban he agreed to in 1989 was never intended to keep him out of Cooperstown.


Pete Rose


A seven-page letter to Hall president Jeff Idelson on Tuesday makes the case that the settlement agreement reached by Rose and then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti didn't include a provision that he be ineligible for election to the Hall of Fame.


"At the time Pete agreed to the settlement, the consequences of being placed on the ineligible list were clear and specific — and did not include a Hall of Fame prohibition," according to the letter, signed by Rose's longtime attorney Raymond C. Genco and attorney Mark Rosenbaum.


The Hall of Fame changed its bylaws two years after Rose's banishment to make permanently banned players ineligible for the Hall, which shut out the career hits leader as long as he remained barred from baseball.


Genco is asking the Hall to amend that bylaw specifically to allow Rose to be eligible for baseball writers to elect at their discretion. He makes the point that the banishments of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays for their association with casinos didn't affect their Hall status, and even Shoeless Joe Jackson had remained eligible after he was banned from the game for accepting money to throw the 1919 World Series.


"We believe that the institution of Baseball will be strengthened by this act of grace — an act that would give Pete Rose the same treatment that every other Major League Baseball player and manager received throughout the first 55 years of the National Baseball Hall of Fame," the letter said.


In a statement, Idelson said, "Pete Rose remains ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration, based on the Hall of Fame's bylaws, which preclude any individual on baseball's ineligible list from being considered for election."


New baseball commissioner Rob Manfred in December denied the 75-year-old Rose's latest petition for reinstatement, but Genco said Manfred "opened the door" by also stating that it wasn't Manfred's responsibility to determine whether Rose should be eligible for the Hall. Petitioning the Hall to change the rule, Genco said, was the next logical step.


Genco noted that Manfred had allowed Rose to participate recently in some ceremonial activities, including the retirement of his number by the Cincinnati Reds and his induction into the Reds Hall of Fame in June.


"This play may only bring further scrutiny to Pete," Genco said. "He may not get in. It may open a magnifying glass on Pete Rose's transgressions, but if you look at it from a fundamental fairness point of view, I think we have good footing. 


We have a very reasonable argument where the board can take very reasonable action in their power to bring real closure to this."


Spokesman Michael Teevan said MLB would have no comment on Rose's latest appeal.




Marlins Say Jose Fernandez Has Been Killed in Boat Crash

MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Marlins have announced the death of ace right-hander Jose Fernandez.



The U.S. Coast Guard says Fernandez was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach early Sunday.

The Marlins did not immediately release details, other than releasing a statement confirming the death of one of the top pitchers in baseball.

In the statement, the Marlins say they are "devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

The Marlins' game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled.


Browns Sign Kicker Parkey After Murray Injured in Practice


CLEVELAND (AP) — Ravaged by injures, the Browns signed kicker Cody Parkey after Patrick Murray injured his knee in practice.




The Browns have been struck by major injuries at a disturbing rate, losing six starters before the season's third game.


Parkey, who previously kicked for Philadelphia, will make his debut for Cleveland on Sunday at Miami. He set the NFL rookie scoring record in 2014 for the Eagles with 150 points and made the Pro Bowl. He injured his groin last year and was later waived.


Murray got hurt during Friday's walkthrough. He missed last season with Tampa Bay after tearing a knee ligament. Murray beat out incumbent Travis Coons in training camp this summer.


Murray missed a 52-year-field goal and had an extra-point blocked last week in a loss to Baltimore. The Browns placed him on injured reserve.


Rookie quarterback Cody Kessler will start against the Dolphins following injuries to Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown.




Browns Rookie Wide Receiver Corey Coleman Breaks Hand


CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman broke his hand during practice Wednesday, another major blow to the struggling team.




Coleman's injury comes on the heels of the Browns losing starting quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown in the first two weeks this season.


They also lost starting center Cam Erving with a bruised lung and promising rookie defensive end Carl Nassib with a broken hand in Sunday's loss to Baltimore.


Coleman scored two touchdowns against the Ravens and was finally looking like a big-time playmaker the Browns envisioned he could be when they drafted him in the first round.


There's no immediate word from the team on how long he will be out.


The former Baylor star has seven catches for 173 yards in two games.



Kluber's strong outing knocks Royals from AL Central race


CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber allowed two runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings, and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Wednesday night, eliminating the reigning World Series champions from the AL Central race.




The Indians, who led Detroit by seven games in the division going into Wednesday, reduced their magic number for clinching the Central to five.


Carlos Santana was 4 for 5 with an RBI single in the eighth. Jose Ramirez drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth with his third double of the game.


Kluber (18-9) matched his career high in wins and is 10-1 in his last 14 starts, strengthening his case to win his second AL Cy Young Award in three years.


Cody Allen allowed Salvador Perez's leadoff homer in the ninth, but recorded his 28th save in 31 opportunities. Catcher Roberto Perez threw out pinch-runner Terrance Gore trying to steal second for the first out and Allen retired the final two batters.


Ian Kennedy (11-10) allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings and lost for the first time since July 25.



Browns Sign QB Charlie Whitehurst; Release Two

The Cleveland Browns have signed OL Austin Reiter off Washington’s practice squad and QB Charlie Whitehurst.
To make room on the roster, the team terminated the contact of DL John Hughes III and waived LB Scooby Wright III.
QB Josh McCown has a left shoulder injury and OL Cameron Erving a pulmonary contusion from last weeks game against Baltimore and are expected to miss time.


Jay Cutler Among injured Bears to have tests


CHICAGO (AP) — Not only are the Chicago Bears off to an 0-2 start this NFL season, but they're facing some injuries to key players following last night's loss to Philadelphia.


Jay Culter


Quarterback Jay Cutler is due to have tests on a right thumb injury that forced him out of the game in the third quarter.


The Bears are also hoping for some good news on injuries to linebacker Lamarr Houston (left knee), nose tackle Eddie Goldman, (ankle) and safety Adrian Amos and cornerback Bryce Callahan (concussions).



Browns' RG3 Breaks Bone in Shoulder, Will Miss Extended Time


BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III broke a bone in his left shoulder and will miss at least eight games.


RG3 Browns


Griffin was injured on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 29-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. As he tried to get out of bounds, Griffin was drilled by Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills.


The team said Griffin will be placed on injured reserve — under new rules he can brought off the list — and will be evaluated in 3 to 4 weeks.


The 26-year-old returned to the game for Cleveland's final series, but only handed the ball off while favoring his left arm.


RG3 is the 25th quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999, a roll call of rookies, veterans and free agents.


With Griffin out, Josh McCown will start this week's home opener against Baltimore.


No. 9 Tennessee Escapes with OT Win Over Appalachian State


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jalen Hurd recovered quarterback Joshua Dobbs' overtime fumble in the end zone and No. 9 Tennessee overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to escape with a 20-13 victory over Appalachian State on Thursday night.


App State


Tennessee faced third-and-goal from the 2 when Dobbs ran to his right and lost control of the ball as he tried to stretch his arms across the goal line. Hurd won the scramble for the loose ball in the end zone to give the Volunteers their only lead of the night.


Micah Abernathy ended the game by breaking up a pass into the end zone on fourth-and-5 from the 20.

"On a night where just about everything and anything went wrong, we found a way to win," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said.


Appalachian State nearly pulled off another shocker nine years to the day after the Mountaineers stunned No. 5 Michigan in one of the greatest upsets in college football history.


"It's definitely heartbreaking," said Appalachian State's Marcus Cox, who rushed for 115 yards. "I feel like we put ourselves in position to win, and we just didn't capitalize when we should have."


The Vols tied it on Dobbs' 67-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone with 10:30 left in regulation. Appalachian State's Michael Rubino, who earlier missed an extra point, was wide right on a 42-yard field goal attempt with 5:24 remaining.

Rubino's miss wasted a 57-yard punt return by Jaquil Capel that gave Appalachian State the ball at the 28.


Tennessee entered the season with its highest ranking since 2006 after winning its final six games last year, but the Volunteers looked nothing like a Top 10 team Thursday. The Volunteers committed two turnovers and lost linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a targeting penalty in the first half as Appalachian State built a 13-3 lead.


"I'm never going to apologize for a win, guys," Jones said. "I think we've learned around here wins are pretty hard to come by."


Cam Sutton fumbled on a punt return and Appalachian State's Alex Gray recovered at Tennessee's 36 to set up the first touchdown, a 5-yard keeper from Taylor Lamb barely four minutes into the game. Appalachian State's other touchdown came in the second quarter on a 33-yard completion from Lamb to Cox.



Appalachian State: The Mountaineers had lost by at least 28 points in each of their six meetings with Power Five teams since that Michigan game, but they showed Thursday that they could compete with college football's big-name programs. Appalachian State refused to get pushed around and kept Tennessee's offense out of the end zone for the first 49 1/2 minutes.


Cox, who has rushed for over 1,200 yards each of the last three years, showed he can run effectively against any team from any conference.


Tennessee: The Vols vowed they weren't overlooking Appalachian State and weren't distracted by sky-high preseason expectations, but something was clearly missing Thursday. Tennessee didn't bear any resemblance to the team that ended the 2015 season on a six-game winning streak.


The biggest question surrounding Tennessee during the offseason was whether it could add efficiency and explosiveness to its passing attack. That area remains a major concern.



Appalachian State: The Mountaineers have their home opener Sept. 10 against Old Dominion. Appalachian State must avoid looking ahead to its Sept. 17 home game with Miami.


Tennessee: The Volunteers face Virginia Tech at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The Sept. 10 "Battle at Bristol" is expected to draw over 150,000 fans, which would mark the largest recorded attendance for a college football game.




Browns Release Veteran Linebacker Paul Kruger


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns have released linebacker Paul Kruger, a startling move in another step in the team's youth movement.




Kruger started 46 games and made 18 sacks in three seasons for Cleveland and was considered one of the team's leaders. He was signed in 2013 after four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.


The 30-year-old recorded just 2.5 sacks last season as the Browns struggled to find the right role for him. Last week, the Browns traded linebacker Barkevious Mingo. Rookies Emmanuel Ogbah or Joe Schobert could take Kruger's starting spot.


Kruger posted a statement on Twitter in which he thanked the Browns but said his release was "absolutely the wrong decision."


The Browns also terminated the contracts of defensive end Nick Hayden and quarterback Austin Davis. The team waived kicker Travis Coons, giving Patrick Murray the starting job.




Touchdown! Restaurant's Stolen Patriots Helmet Returned

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — An autographed New England Patriots football helmet stolen from a restaurant near Gillette Stadium has been returned along with an apology.


Foxborough police say the helmet signed by members of the 2014 Super Bowl championship team was delivered to Skipjack's restaurant on Wednesday, almost two weeks after it was stolen.


The package also contained a note that said "sorry for the trouble!" and $70 for the thief's unpaid tab.


Police released surveillance video from the restaurant that shows a man wearing a Tom Brady jersey climb over the bar in the empty restaurant, grab the helmet and wrap it in the jersey before walking out without settling his bill.


Chief Ed O'Leary says his detectives are still trying to track the man, although it's unclear whether he will face charges.



Olympic Results: Biles dominates in winning all-around gold


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — There was no beating Simone Biles in the women's gymnastics all-around at the Rio Games.


The 19-year-old American entered the event as the overwhelming favorite and was dominant in becoming the fourth straight American and fifth overall to win the all-around. Biles totaled 62.198 to finish well clear of silver medalist and American teammate Aly Raisman. The bronze went to Russian Aliya Mustafina.


The victory comes after Biles helped the U.S. team capture gold in the team event.


Also at Rio:


— Michael Phelps finished a full body-length ahead of the field in the 200-meter individual medley to earn his fourth gold medal of the Rio Games and 22nd overall. Phelps became the first swimmer ever to win the same event at four straight Olympics. U.S. teammate Ryan Lochte (LAHK'-tee) led at the midway point before finishing fifth.


— Ryan Murphy has completed a U.S. sweep of the men's backstroke events by taking gold in the 200. Murphy touched first again in 1 minute, 53.62 seconds, three days after winning the 100 back. Australian Mitch Larkin was second, followed by Evgeny Rylov of Russia.


— Simone Manuel of the United States and Canadian Penny Oleksiak tied for the gold medal in the women's 100-meter freestyle. Manuel is the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming. Sarah Sjostrom (SHOO'-struhm) of Sweden picked up the bronze.


— Kayla Harrison has become the first American to successfully defend her judo title, clutching gold after she forced France's Audrey Tcheumeo to tap out in the final of 78-kg competition. Harrison is the only American to win a Judo gold.


— Australia's Marcus Fraser shot an 8-under 63 to take the lead in the first Olympic golf competition since the 1904 London Games. Fraser is three shots ahead of British Open champ Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Canada's Graham DeLaet (deh-LAY'). Matt Kuchar's (KOO'-churz) 69 was the best score for the Americans.


— Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena have reached the knockout stage of the beach volleyball tournament after a three-set win over Italy. The Americans are unbeaten heading into the Round of 16.


— Madison Keys has advanced to the women's tennis semifinals with a convincing 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Russia's Daria Kasatina. The seventh-seeded Keys is joined in the Final Four by Petr Kvitova (kuh-VIH'-toh-vah), Angelique Kerber and Monica Puig (pweeg).


— Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-EHL' nah-DAHL') is into the quarterfinals at the men's tennis tournament after beating 15th-seeded Gilles Simon (see-MOHN') of France 7-6, 6-3. Also advancing to the men's quarters were Juan Martin del Potro (wahn mar-TEEN' dehl POHT'-roh), Wimbledon champ Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR'-ee) and American Steve Johnson.


— The U.S. women's field hockey team has improved to 4-0 and will play Britain on Saturday to determine who will win Pool B. Katie Bam scored twice in helping the Americans defeat India 3-0.


— Belgium's Evi Van Acker became sick after racing on polluted Guanabara Bay, the first sailor to fall ill from the waters that were heavily scrutinized leading to the Rio Games. The governing body for World Sailing said the 2012 bronze medalist reported feeling sick after Wednesday's races. Her poor performances have put her at risk of missing out on a medal in the Laser Radial class.




Team USA tested in men's hoops...Third gold medal for Ledecky...Phelps, Lochte advance


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The blowouts are over. The Olympics are underway for real in basketball.

After nothing but pushovers this summer, the U.S. men's basketball team faced someone who pushed back.



The U.S. men's basketball team is 3-0 at the Olympics after rallying to beat Australia 98-88 for its 20th straight victory in Olympic competition. Carmelo Anthony scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter and Kyrie (KY'-ree) Irving added 17 points and five assists.

In his fourth Olympics, Anthony became the most prolific scorer in U.S. men's Olympic basketball history. He passed LeBron James, who skipped a chance to play in his fourth games after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title this season. James scored 273 points during appearances in Athens, Beijing and London.

"We showed a lot of character tonight," Irving said of the come-from-behind victory.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) agreed, saying: "This is the real world now and that's good for us."

Next up for Team USA is Serbia on Friday with another group game Sunday against France before the medal round begins.

In other Olympic action:

— Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps has advanced to the final of the Olympic 200-meter individual medley as the top qualifier. Long-time rival Ryan Lochte (LAHK'-tee) will be right next to him again, ranking second. Thiago Pereira sent the Brazilian crowd into a frenzy by staying close to the two American stars, finishing third.

Phelps will be seeking his fourth straight 200 IM title at the Olympics. He's also got a chance to pull off that feat in the 100 butterfly. Phelps already has won three gold medals this week, and owns 21 gold medals in his Olympic career.

— Katie Ledecky has led the United States to a gold medal in the women's 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay. It's her third gold of this Olympics.

— A gutsy performance by Kristin Armstrong provided the American with her third consecutive gold medal in Olympic cycling time trial.

Racing through wind and rain over a demanding course, the soon-to-be 43-year-old finished just 5.55 seconds in front of a Russian. Armstrong also won in Beijing and London.

Armstrong joins speedskater Bonnie Blair as the only American women to win three gold medals in the same event at any Olympics.

— The American men will be seeking gold in the 200-meter breaststroke and the 100-meter freestyle, while the women will be competing in the 200-meter butterfly and the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

— American Sam Dorman and Mike Hixon won the silver medal in men's 3-meter synchronized springboard diving. They finished four points behind the gold medalists from Britain. Favored China took the bronze.

— Diana Taurasi drained a personal Olympic-best six 3-pointers as the Americans Serbia 110-84 in women's basketball. Taurasi wound up with 25 points to help the U.S. to its 44th straight Olympic win.

— In beach volleyball, Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross have finished the Olympic group stage unbeaten, but not before losing their first set of the Summer Games. The U.S. women beat Switzerland 21-13, 22-24, 15-12 to win their pool with a 3-0 record. The round-of-16 begins Friday.

— Nico Hernandez is assured of at least a bronze medal in boxing after beating Ecuador's Carlos Quipo to improve to 3-0. The medal will be the first in the Olympic boxing tournament for the United States since 2008.

— The United States women's field hockey team has advanced to the Olympic quarterfinals after defeating Japan 6-1.

— The American beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson has been eliminated from the Olympics on a tiebreaker. They are the first U.S men's team to fail to advance out of pool play in beach volleyball since the 2004 Games in Athens.

— Bad weather washed out 20 of the 26 tennis matches that were on today's schedule. And the rowing schedule has also been postponed due to the weather.

— Kazakhstan (kah-zahk-STAHN') has its first Olympic swimming medal -- a gold one, at that. Dmitriy Balandin pulled off a stunning upset in the men's 200-meter breaststroke. Josh Prenot of the United States claimed silver.

— Rio Olympic officials say military police are stepping up security after a bus carrying journalists had two windows broken by what it calls "unknown projectiles." Organizers say a preliminary analysis has shown that stones, not bullets, hit a bus carrying journalists, breaking two windows.




Olympic Results: Phelps, Ledecky Win Gold


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Michael Phelps now has 25 medals in all — and three more races in Rio to add to his almost unimaginable total.


On a golden night at the pool on Tuesday, Phelps earns the 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals of his staggering career.


He won the 200-meter butterfly and came back about an hour later to anchor the United States to victory in the 4x200 freestyle relay.


Phelps has four other medals — two silver and two bronze.


Katie Ledecky is on her way to an Olympic feat that's only been done one other time.


Ledecky held off Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom to win gold in the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday night at the Rio Olympics.


Ledecky is trying to become only the second female after Debbie Meyer in 1968 to capture the three longest freestyle events at a single Olympics. Ledecky now has the 200 and 400 titles, and she's an overwhelming favorite to win the 800.



Ohio State Ranked Top 100 Team of All Time According to AP Poll


The Top 100: An all-time first for venerable AP Top 25 

The Associated Press has been ranking the best teams in college football for the last 80 seasons.


For the first time since that first poll in 1936, the AP has compiled an all-time Top 100 based on a formula that counts poll appearances (one point) to mark consistency, No. 1 rankings (one bonus point) to acknowledge elite programs, and a bonus for AP championships won (10 points).


The top five teams using those criteria: Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama and Southern California.



Court Turns Down Brady's 'Deflategate' Appeal


NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected Tom Brady's attempt to get a new hearing on his "Deflategate" suspension.




The New England quarterback wanted the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case. A three-judge panel ruled in April that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') was within his powers to suspend Brady for four games for his role in the deflated football scheme in the 2015 AFC Championship game.


The full court's decision affirms the wide-ranging powers given to the commissioner by the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. It is also a setback for organized labor groups arguing for due process in employee discipline.


Brady's remaining hope is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.



LeBron a Free Agent After Declining Option on Contract


CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James is a free agent after declining his player option for next season with the NBA champion Cavaliers.


Lebron James


The move was expected by James, who said last week he intends to remain with Cleveland. The 31-year-old star has been a free agent the past three summers, electing each time to sign one-year contracts with a player option. It's not yet known if he'll sign another short-term deal or a multiyear package.


James was scheduled to make $24 million next season.

He was named Finals MVP after he helped the Cavs overcome a 3-1 deficit and beat the Golden State Warriors. The three-time champion averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in the series. James posted a triple-double in Game 7 as the Cavs ended Cleveland's 52-year championship drought.


He's in his second stint with the Cavs after leaving as a free agent in 2010.




Reds Sent JJ Hoover Back to Minors after Rough Outing


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds optioned reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday, a few hours after his latest rough outing set a club record.


Reds JJ


Hoover gave up five runs, including Javier Baez's grand slam, in the 15th inning of a 7-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. It was the second grand slam allowed by Hoover this season and his sixth career, a club record. Hoover has allowed nine homers in 18 2/3 innings this season for a 13.50 ERA.


Keyvius Sampson was called up for his third stint in Cincinnati this season. He's 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in four games.


The Reds' bullpen is by far the worst in the majors, allowing 61 homers in 78 games with a 6.08 ERA.





Cards sweep Cubs at Wrigley


UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have cut their deficit in the National League Central to single digits. They now trail the Cubs by 9 ½ games after completing their first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field since 1988.




Michael Wacha (WAH'-kah) outpitched Jake Arrieta (ar-ee-EH'-tuh) and Aledmys (ah-LEHD-mees) Diaz hit a two-run home run in the Cards' 7-2 victory in the Friendly Confines. Wacha had dropped seven straight decisions before limiting Chicago to two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings. Wacha had a two-hit shutout until Willson Contreras chased him with a two-run homer.


Arrieta struggled with his control while dropping to 11-2, yielding one earned run on four hits and four walks in five innings. The Cardinals put together a five-run sixth after Arrieta left, highlighted by Matt Carpenter's two-run double.

The Cardinals have won eight straight road games, their longest such streak since 1982.



Joey Bosa Skipping Minicamp Due to Contract Dispute

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A person with knowledge of the situation says San Diego Chargers first-round draft pick Joey Bosa is skipping this week's minicamp after a dispute arose in contract negotiations.
Joey Bosa
The person says there are issues with the structure of the contract. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The minicamp opened Tuesday and will run through Thursday.
Bosa, the former Ohio State defensive end, was taken with the third pick overall.
The Chargers will rely on Bosa to bolster their defense as they try to rebound from a 4-12 season in which they went winless against AFC West opponents.


Florida Athletic Director Foley Retiring After 25 Years


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Longtime Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, one of the most successful college sports leaders in the country, is retiring.




The school announced the decision Monday, saying he will officially step down Oct. 1.


The 63-year-old Foley informed his staff and head coaches of the move Monday, calling it quits after 40 years at Florida. He started in the ticket office and took over as AD in 1992. Foley will remain at Florida as emeritus athletic director for the duration of his current contract.


Foley has been Florida's AD since 1992. Although he didn't hire football coach Steve Spurrier, he brought a distinguished list of coaches to Gainesville while building one of the top programs in the Southeastern Conference and the country.





McGirt, Finau Among 6 US Open Players Added to Oakmont Field


OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) — Memorial winner William McGirt and Puerto Rico Open champion Tony Finau were among six players added to the U.S. Open on Monday.


US Open


The USGA set aside six spots for anyone who made the top 60 in the world ranking Monday.


McGirt was the only one at No. 44 because of his victory two weeks ago at the Memorial. No one else played well enough to crack the top 60, so those spots went to five alternates from various sectional qualifying sites.


Finau was the first alternate from the Springfield, Ohio, sectional, while Daniel Summerhays was first alternate from the larger Ohio section. The others were Zach Edmondson (Florida sectional), Kevin Foley (New Jersey) and Mike Van Sickle (Maryland), the son of Sports Illustrated golf writer Gary Van Sickle.



Infantino Weighs Complaint Over 'Theft' of FIFA Recording


GENEVA (AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino claims he could make a criminal complaint over an unauthorized recording of a meeting that revealed comments damaging his reputation.




Infantino told Sunday's edition of Swiss daily Le Matin he had "a good idea" how details of a FIFA Council meeting in Mexico City last month had leaked.


"I reserve the right to make a complaint about theft of sensitive data," said Infantino, whose three-month-old presidency has exposed rifts at FIFA where Sepp Blatter's 17-year reign ended mired in scandal.


Leaks to German-language newspapers in recent days showed Infantino describe a $2 million salary offer as "insulting" and detailed Council talks about getting FIFA audit and compensation panels chairman Domenico Scala to leave.


"My enemies want to make me look greedy, it's stupid," said Infantino, who insists he is negotiating a salary of less than $2 million.


On Friday, FIFA revealed that Blatter and recently fired top officials Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner awarded themselves contracts paying a total of $80 million in five years.


That long-awaited release of top pay deals at FIFA was made as news emerged that Swiss police had raided FIFA headquarters on Thursday. The latest seizure of evidence seemed provoked by Kattner's firing for an ongoing investigation of suspected criminal mismanagement, including the award of World Cup broadcasting rights.

Police searched the office of former finance director Kattner but not his own, Infantino noted.


FIFA fired Kattner on May 23 for breach of trust, and suggested possible illegal clauses in his employment contract.


Ten days later, Swiss police came to FIFA to seize documents and electronic data for its case against Blatter, former secretary general Valcke — who already have criminal proceedings opened against them — and "further persons unknown."


Within 24 hours, FIFA outlined the pay raises, World Cup bonuses and other financial incentives that Blatter, Valcke and Kattner received in recent years.


FIFA suggested some clauses guaranteeing Valcke and Kattner termination pay and indemnification for future legal costs could breach Swiss law. Kattner's already-lengthy contract was extended in May last year through 2023 just four days after a sprawling American indictment of FIFA and marketing officials was revealed.


Switzerland's federal prosecution office confirmed Friday that FIFA has not yet filed criminal complaints over the contracts.


FIFA has said documents that justified firing Kattner were found only in mid-May as part of an ongoing year-long internal inquiry by its retained U.S. law firm, Quinn Emanuel.


"With all that is going on right now, we can expect anything (to emerge)," Infantino was quoted saying in the Swiss interview, his first since the latest police intervention.


In a difficult period of high-profile officials leaving and leaks to media, Infantino is reportedly the subject of a complaint to FIFA ethics prosecutors for ordering the unauthorized copy of the audio file to be deleted.


"If there is a destruction operation, it is directed against me," the FIFA head said in Sunday's interview, dismissing "carefully orchestrated hysteria" in the media to undermine him.


Infantino also aimed a barb at Scala, whose resignation from FIFA in protest against the president was announced as officials left Mexico City three weeks ago.


Scala's criticism was "childish behavior worthy of a playground," his fellow Swiss-Italian Infantino said.




Muhammad Ali services planned


UNDATED (AP) — Funeral and memorial services have been scheduled for boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at 74.




The funeral will be held in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, with eulogies given by former President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel.


Louisville mayor Greg Fischer has ordered flags lowered to half-staff to honor Ali.


The three-time heavyweight champion had been hospitalized in the Phoenix area since Monday with respiratory problems and his children had flown in from around the country. A family spokesman says Ali died of septic shock "due to unspecified natural causes."


Ali dominated not just boxing but much of contemporary culture back in the 60's as an Olympic champion, a professional heavyweight champ and a leader of the civil rights movement.


President Barack Obama says Muhammad Ali "shook up the world, and the world is better for it."


Ali's daughter, Hana, has told reporters that after his other organs had failed, his heart kept beating for another 30 minutes.



Boxing Great Muhammad Ali in Hospital with Respiratory Issue


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A spokesman for boxing great Muhammad Ali says the former heavyweight champion is being treated in a hospital for a respiratory issue.




Spokesman Bob Gunnell said Thursday that Ali is being treated by doctors as a precaution. He says that the 74-year-old is in fair condition, and that a brief hospital stay is expected.


He declined to say where Ali is hospitalized or when he was admitted.


Ali has battled Parkinson's disease for years.



Dustin Johnson off to Fast Start at Memorial with 8-under 64


DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Dustin Johnson took some attention away from the Big Three at the Memorial by opening with an 8-under 64.




Johnson is one of golf's biggest hitters. He began with three straight birdies and had two other bursts of birdies. He led by two shots over Hudson Swafford among the early starters Thursday. Johnson made 10 birdies at Muirfield Village and failed to birdie two of the par 5s.


As for the latest version of the Big Three?


Jordan Spieth saved his round with his putter, opening with seven one-putt greens. He finally started hitting fairways and greens and finished with a 70. Rory McIlroy, playing in Spieth's group, had too many mistakes in his round of 71.


Jason Day played in the afternoon and was 3 under through six holes.





Covers Off Courts at Drying-Out French Open


PARIS (AP) — After two days of almost incessant rain, the covers have come off the courts at the French Open and the skies, while still thick with clouds, have stopped dropping rain.


French Open


Serena and Venus Williams play first on Court Philippe Chatrier and Court Suzanne Lenglen, respectively, in fourth-round matches carried over from Monday, when rain washed out the whole day of play for the first time in 16 years.


Defending champion Serena plays No. 18 Elina Svitolina. Venus takes on No. 8 Timea Bacsinszky.


Because of scheduling problems, after rain continued for most of Tuesday, too, matches are also spread on other courts. Kiki Bertens vs. No. 15 Madison Keys is on Court 1; No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Yulia Putintseva of Ukraine is on Court 2.




Rockies Tie Franchise Record with 7 Homers, Beat Reds 17-4


DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each hit two of Colorado's team record-tying seven homers, powering the Rockies to a 17-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.


Reds Beat


Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to hit leadoff homers in back-to-back games and added his first career grand slam in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez homered for a fourth straight game, while D.J. LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra also went deep.


It was the first time Colorado hit seven homers at Coors Field. The team also had seven on April 5, 1997, in Montreal.




Warriors Rally to Stay Alive


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have forced a Game 7 in the NBA's Western Conference finals with a fourth-quarter comeback at Oklahoma City.




Klay Thompson poured in 19 of his game-high 41 points while the Warriors outscored the Thunder 33-18 in the final period of a 108-101 victory. Thompson drained a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:35 remaining and added a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to ice the win.


Thompson set an NBA playoff record by hitting 11 3-pointers. Golden State shot 21-for-44 from beyond the arc.

The Thunder led 97-93 until Stephen (STEH'-fehn) hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it with under three minutes to play. Curry shot just 8-for-21 but finished one assist shy of a triple double, providing 29 points and 10 rebounds.


Draymond Green had 14 points and 12 boards for the Warriors who lost their previous two playoff games in Oklahoma City by a combined 52 points.


The Thunder outscored the Warriors in each of the first three quarters to take an eight-point lead before Golden State won for the second straight game. Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 28, but they shot a combined 34 percent from the field and were a miserable 1-for-13 from 3-point range.


Game 7 is Monday in Oakland, where the Warriors will attempt to become the 10th time in league playoff history to win a series after trailing 3-1.



NASCAR Tweaks Rules to Lower Downforce at 2 More Tracks


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR will make more aerodynamic changes to promote improved competition at upcoming races at Michigan and Kentucky.


Michigan Nascar


The changes to the rear spoiler, front splitter and rear deck fin will help NASCAR continue to reduce downforce and sideforce as it attempts to put the handling of the cars back in the hands of the drivers.


NASCAR has been tweaking the package at the request of the drivers, who overwhelmingly favor less downforce. NASCAR made a pair of changes before last week's All-Star race, and the on-track product was improved. The race had a pass for the win in the final segment for the first time in years.


Downforce is the pressure created across the surface of a moving car. Sideforce is generated by the flow of air along the sides.




Baylor Says 'Ken Starr is President' Amid Speculation


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Baylor University and its president are facing mounting pressure over how the school has handled reports of rape and assault by football players.




Asked about reports Tuesday that the university's board of regents had voted to fire President Ken Starr, school spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said in an email, "Ken Starr is president and chancellor of Baylor University." Fogelman did not elaborate.


In a separate statement, Baylor said the board hasn't finished reviewing the results of an internal investigated conducted by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton. The school says it expects to make an announcement "by June 3."


Starr and football coach Art Briles have faced sharp criticism on whether Baylor ignored allegations of assaults by players, two of whom were later convicted of sexual assault.




Dodgers Rout Reds 8-2, Send Cincy to 9th Straight Loss


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joc Pederson doubled in the tying run and then scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error in the fourth inning, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-2 victory over Cincinnati on Tuesday night, extending the Reds' season-high skid to nine straight.


Reds Dodgers


The Dodgers' eight-game winning streak against the Reds is their longest active run against any opponent and their most since beating the Reds nine straight times in 2008-09.


Mike Bolsinger (1-1) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings of a spot start, having been brought back from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday in place of injured Chin-hui Tsao, who went on the 15-day disabled list. Bolsinger struck out six and walked one.


Daniel Wright (0-1) made his major league debut, giving up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.





Raptors Knot Things up Against Cavs


TORONTO (AP)_The Toronto Raptors are alive and well in the NBA playoffs.


Cavs v Raptors


It's all even in the NBA Eastern Conference finals, thanks to the Raptors All-Star backcourt duo. Kyle Lowry had 35 points and backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan added 32 as the Raptors tied the series at two games apiece with a 105-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.


It was amazing the game was this close. Cleveland made just three of 22 shots in the first half, for an icy 13.6 percent shooting percentage


The Raptors led early by as many as 18 in this seesaw game. But the Cavs erased that deficit and took a brief lead before the Raptors regained their composure behind their veteran guards.


Bismack Biyombo (bee-AHM'-boh) followed up his 26-rebound performance in Game 3 Saturday night with 14 boards in this one. The Raptors are 8-2 at home and 2-6 on the road in this postseason.


Game 5 is Wednesday night in Cleveland.


Sharks Taking 3-2 Series Lead Back to San Jose


ST. LOUIS (AP) — The San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 in the Western Conference final. The Sharks take a 3-2 series lead back to San Jose for Game 6. Joe Pavelski had two goals and an assist.




Joel Ward also scored twice including one of two empty-netters in the final minute for San Jose. Joe Thornton had three assists.


Pavelski leads the playoffs with 12 goals and has three two-goal games, one in each series. The Sharks' captain added an assist and is tied with teammate Logan Couture (kuh-CHUR') for the postseason points lead, each with a franchise-record 21 points.


The Sharks can advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in team history with a victory Wednesday night at home.



LeBron, Cavs Stay Perfect, Blow out Raptors 115-84 in Game 1


CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James hardly missed and scored 24 points in three quarters, Kyrie Irving scored 27 and the Cleveland Cavaliers picked up where they left off before a long layoff by thumping the Toronto Raptors 115-84 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.




James made his first nine shots — one an arena-rattling powerhouse dunk — and the Cavs shot 67 percent from the field in the first half while improving to 9-0 this postseason. Cleveland is the first team to start the playoffs with nine straight wins since San Antonio reeled off 10 in a row in 2012.


But unlike their second-round series when they made 77 3-pointers and swept Atlanta, the Cavs did most of their damage from close range. Cleveland made just 7 of 20 3-point attempts.


DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points and Bismack Biyombo added 12 for Toronto.




Curry Unanimous Choice For NBA MVP


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — It's been an eventful 24 hours for Stephen (STEH'-fehn) Curry.


The Golden State Warriors guard is the first unanimous selection as the NBA's Most Valuable Player, receiving first-place nods from all 130 voters. Curry also is the 11th player in league history to win the award in consecutive years. The honor was announced hours after he set an NBA record with 17 overtime points while scoring 40 in Golden State's win at Portland.


Curry had another outstanding season while leading the Warriors to a league-record 73 wins. He led the NBA in scoring at 30.1 points a game and broke his own league mark by hitting 402 3-pointers. Curry also led the NBA in free throw percentage and steals.


San Antonio's Kawhi (kuh-WY') Leonard finished second in the balloting, followed by LeBron James of Cleveland.



Larry Bird Says Frank Vogel is Out in Indiana


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Vogel will not return as Indiana Pacers coach next season.




Pacers President Larry Bird says the team will not renew Vogel's contract for next season. Bird says he believes it's time for a new voice to lead the Pacers, keeping with his long-held philosophy on short shelf lives for coaches.


Vogel was 250-181 in five and a half seasons with the Pacers. He led the team to the playoffs five times, including a first-round loss to the Toronto Raptors this season.


Bird says this is one of the toughest decisions he's ever had to make in basketball. He calls Vogel "the best" but says he started thinking about making a change around the All-Star break.




LeBron, Cavs Hold off Hawks 104-93 in Game 1


CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 25 points, Kyrie Irving added 21 and the Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a strong comeback by Atlanta to maintain their chokehold on the Hawks with a 104-93 victory on Monday night in the opening game of their second-round Eastern Conference series.


James converted a critical three-point play with 2:09 left for the Cavs, who fell behind in the fourth after leading by 18. Cleveland swept Atlanta in last year's Eastern Conference finals and has won eight straight over the Hawks. Cleveland also improved to 9-0 against Atlanta in the postseason.


Dennis Schroder scored a playoff career-high 27 and rallied the Hawks before they crumbled in the closing minutes. Atlanta's offense bogged down in crunch time and the Hawks only scored two field goals in the final 4 minutes.


Paul Millsap added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta, which got just eight points from Jeff Teague.



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