National Sports

Confident Pacers eager to protect home court against Cavs

By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers look loose and sound confident. They were laughing, smiling and joking around at practice Thursday as turned to a new task — protecting their home court this weekend against LeBron James. Sure, his sensational ...

Once long shot, expansion Vegas now best bet in NHL playoffs

By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer As an expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights have defied all sorts of odds. Long shots to even make the playoffs seven months ago, they are a favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup in June. Behind the stellar play of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Golden ...

Karolyis to NBC: ‘No way’ they knew about doctor’s behavior

NEW YORK (AP) — Former USA Gymnastics women's national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband Bela tell NBC they were unaware of the abusive behavior by a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison. Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring ...

What gets a manager fired? One really bad stretch

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer CINCINNATI (AP) — The line for losing a job is clear in most professional sports — cross the front office, wrangle with the star player, flame out in the playoffs, or put together one historically bad run at the start of a season. Bryan Price knows all about ...

Betts, Benintendi lead sizzling Red Sox past Angels, 8-2

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — With a homer-happy lineup and a lights-out pitching staff, the Boston Red Sox have been mowing down their opposition since the day after opening day. Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels were the latest contenders who could only ...

Players claimed off NHL waivers making most of 2nd chances

By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer DENVER (AP) — Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth set career highs this season in goals, games and perhaps even grudges. See what a little chip on the shoulder can do? Waived by Dallas in October, he was claimed by Colorado soon after and has played an ...

Youth baseball director: No player ever in danger

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire youth sports organization investigating a man's allegations that two baseball coaches talked about a plan to hurt his 11-year-old-daughter, the only girl on her team, to force her to quit says no player was ever in danger, but a coach has been ...

NBA playoff roundup: Mitchell lifts Jazz past Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to help the Utah Jazz defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-95 on Wednesday night and tie their Western Conference playoff series at one win game apiece. Derrick Favors had career playoff bests of 20 ...

Hester, Forte to sign 1-day contracts, retire with Bears

CHICAGO (AP) — Record-setting return specialist Devin Hester and running back Matt Forte will sign one-day contracts with the Chicago Bears and retire as members of the organization where they starred. The team says they will make it official at a ceremony on Monday. Forte had already ...

Column: Some changes to help make baseball great again

By Tim Dahlberg AP Sports Columnist Attendance is down in baseball, though the sample size is small because the season is still young. What caused the drop depends on who you listen to. Unusually cold weather is surely one culprit, and escalating ticket prices are likely another. Teams ...

Golden Knights playing with house money in playoff sweep

By BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Golden Knights had modest goals in their first season. Put a credible team on the ice while attracting fans unused to a major pro league in Vegas, where gambling and big-name entertainers have ruled the desert city. Nobody said ...

Betts hits 3 HR, Red Sox oust Angels’ Ohtani early, win 10-1

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani developed a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand nine days ago during his second start for the Los Angeles Angels. The rookie right-hander thought it had healed enough for him to pitch effectively when he ...

LEADING OFF: Cole chases Johnson, Ryan for Astros’ K mark

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening all around the majors today: GOOD COMPANY Gerrit Cole can become the first Astros pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to reach double-digit strikeouts in four straight games when Houston faces Seattle. Cole would tie Nolan Ryan for the ...

Lindor homers in native Puerto Rico as Indians top Twins 6-1

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Francisco Lindor homered in his native Puerto Rico, Corey Kluber allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings and the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 on Tuesday night in the first regular-season game on the island commonwealth since 2010. Michael Brantley and ...

Big fish struggling to catch on: Stanton slumping in Bronx

By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Coming up empty against his former team was hardly what Giancarlo Stanton had in mind. Same is true of the poor first impression he's made in Yankees pinstripes so far. Last year's NL MVP is off to a miserable start with New York — ...

Man City players dominate Premier League’s team of season

LONDON (AP) — Five players who helped Manchester City become English champions for the third time in seven years have been included in the Premier League's team of the season. Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Kyle Walker and Nicolas Otamendi were picked in the team, which is ...

Keenum’s drive as strong as ever

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Case Keenum couldn't wait to get out of Minnesota. No, he's not bitter over the Vikings' decision to move on to Kirk Cousins. And he isn't gloating over being "the man " for the first time in his NFL career after signing a two-year, $36 million deal last month in ...

Rodgers hopeful for contract extension as Packers retool

  GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — An offseason of change for the Green Bay Packers has been met with occasional displeasure by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. At the Super Bowl, Rodgers called it "interesting" that the Packers replaced quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt "without consulting me." Also ...

On eve of MLB games, mayor says San Juan ‘open for business’

By Tim Reynolds AP Sports Writer SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Carmen Yulin Cruz has attended only a handful of Major League Baseball games in her life, and she won't be adding to that total this week. Soon, she hopes, that will change. Cruz, San Juan's mayor, isn't attending the ...

Browns’ Jackson: team still undecided on QB for No. 1 pick

CLEVELAND (AP) — As the NFL draft nears, the Cleveland Browns are still doing their homework on quarterbacks. The final exam is quickly approaching, but the No. 1 pick remains an unknown to everyone, including coach Hue Jackson. On Tuesday, Jackson dismissed reports that general manager ...