National Sports

Quietly, the Raptors closing in on East No. 1 seed

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer They do things differently in Toronto. When it's time for NBA public-address announcers to introduce the starting lineup before games, the Raptors don't wait to hear their names called. The starters simply huddle up for a quick chat while their backups ...

Vegas clinches playoff spot with 4-1 win over Avalanche

By W.G. RAMIREZ, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights chose to celebrate a monumental moment for the franchise by thinking back to how its inaugural season began — hoping the new hockey team could bring smiles to a city reeling from tragedy. Shortly after Vegas ...

TIPPING OFF: Wild March stabilizes a bit with Final Four set

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Welcome to a Final Four filled with past national champions — just the way the NCAA selection committee drew it up, right? OK, maybe not. Sure, there's plenty of the expected with 1-seed Villanova making it to San Antonio in ...

No Opening Day: Ex-major leaguers struggle with retirement

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Baseball Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Todd Helton now regularly drives his two daughters to school or other activities back home in Tennessee, a huge life change for Colorado's former All-Star first baseman. He had no idea retirement would be such a daunting and ...

Jets clinch playoff spot with shootout win over Nashville

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Captain Blake Wheeler wasn't certain at the beginning of the season if his Winnipeg Jets would contend for a playoff spot. Now he has his answer. Mark Scheifele scored the only goal in a shootout and the Winnipeg Jets clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 win over the ...

Williams scores 26, Clippers beat Raptors 117-106

By IAN HARRISON, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Lou Williams got going in the fourth quarter —and carried the Los Angeles Clippers to a much-needed victory. Williams scored 26 points against his former team, 18 in the final quarter, and the Clippers overcame an 18-point first-quarter ...

Jazz use big third quarter, pull away from injured Warriors

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Utah Jazz know they might have to contend with the Golden State Warriors again on the big playoff stage. A different version of the defending champions by then, most certainly — a far healthier version. Rudy Gobert had 17 ...

Rockets beat Hawks 118-99 for 60th win

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — In a season where Houston is singularly focused on winning its first championship since taking two straight in 1994 and 1995, the Rockets paused for a moment to savor the accomplishment of reaching 60 wins for the first time in franchise ...

Shot that wouldn’t fall leads to end of Allen’s crazy career

By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Grayson Allen curled to the left side of the lane, jumped and kicked out his left leg a bit as he let fly the shot that would send Duke to the Final Four over two Kansas defenders. With the clock showing less than a second left in ...

Cueto pitches Giants past A’s 5-1 in Bay Bridge game

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Considering the state of the San Francisco rotation, the Giants were hoping to see something positive from Johnny Cueto. And Cueto delivered in his final start of spring training. Cueto pitched into the sixth inning, Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run this spring ...

Bubba Watson wins Match Play title in blowout

By The Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Bubba Watson made the final of the Dell Technologies Match Play look as though he were on vacation all along. Watson won his second World Golf Championships title Sunday with the biggest blowout since the championship matched switched to 18 holes ...

Steve Kerr rules out Stephen Curry for playoffs’ first round

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Optimistic as always, Stephen Curry is ready to prove Steve Kerr wrong and return from a left knee injury for the first round of the playoffs. Not that it's entirely up to him. Kerr on Sunday ruled out the two-time MVP for the ...

Newman leads Kansas past Duke 85-81 in OT for Final Four bid

By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Kansas is going back to the Final Four. It's hard to argue that Duke shouldn't be headed there as well after the most riveting show of the NCAA tournament. Malik Newman and the top-seeded Jayhawks got past their Elite Eight road block ...

Final Four spot secured, Loyola gets warm welcome home

By ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt and Loyola-Chicago got quite a reception as they returned to campus on Sunday. Fans serenaded the 98-year-old team chaplain and newfound celebrity with chants of "Sister Jean! Sister Jean!" as she was wheeled ...

Press Virginia faces future challenge without Carter, Miles

By JOHN RABY, AP Sports Writer Press Virginia may never look the same. Jevon Carter turned defense into a personal mission at West Virginia, and he helped transform the Mountaineers into a team that suffocated opponents and used its stifling defense for scoring opportunities. Carter took ...

TIPPING OFF: Fittingly, low seed to get 1st Final Four spot

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In a wild NCAA Tournament full of upsets, it's somehow appropriate that the first ticket to the Final Four will go to a No. 9 or No. 11 seed. And the second could go to another 9-seed. Welcome to the madder half of the March Madness ...

Chalk time: Blue bloods Kansas, ‘Nova, Duke interrupt upsets

By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer We interrupt this March for underdogs with a reality check from some of college basketball's blue bloods. Kansas, Villanova and Duke are still alive in the NCAA Tournament, ready to tilt the bracket back toward the favorites. Call Friday the exception to ...

Bumgarner breaks hand when hit by line drive, needs surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — For the second consecutive season, the San Francisco Giants will be without injured ace Madison Bumgarner for a while. Bumgarner broke a bone in his pitching hand Friday when it was hit by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Whit Merrifield during a spring ...

Wayne Huizenga, who built his fortune from trash, dies at 80

By STEVEN WINE and TERRY SPENCER, Associated Press Writer MIAMI (AP) — H. Wayne Huizenga, a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, has died. He was 80. Huizenga (HY'-zing-ah) died Thursday ...

BASEBALL 2018: Beastly teams, Ohtani and make way for MVs

By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer Just the thought of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup sent fans into a frenzy. Come opening day, all of baseball will see which teams really have the muscle. A season of haves and have-nots begins March 29 with Derek Jeter's pared-down ...