National Sports

Reed takes lead as Masters takes shape without Tiger in mix

By Doug Ferguson AP Golf Writer AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Patrick Reed is leading a major championship for the first time, and his confidence is so high that he can only see what’s ahead of him. Maybe that’s just as well at this Masters. Reed started and finished the front nine with three ...

Resilient Spieth stays in contention at Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Given Jordan Spieth’s past experiences at Augusta National, there was no reason to panic. It was the front nine. It was the second round. It was nowhere near the worst he’s been through at the Masters. So Spieth remained calm despite losing a two-shot lead on the ...

Regardless of standings, the East road goes through LeBron

MIAMI (AP) — It only looks like parity. Consider it an April tradition: The franchise that goes into the Eastern Conference playoffs as the No. 1 seed changes annually. Toronto is on the brink of clinching the top spot in the East this season — which would make the Raptors the seventh ...

Auburn guard Jared Harper enters NBA draft

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn sophomore point guard Jared Harper is entering the NBA draft. Harper announced his decision on Friday but says he’s not planning to hire an agent. Underclassmen have until June 11 to withdraw from the draft if they don’t sign with an agent. Harper averaged ...

McGregor posts $50,000 bond, released after arraignment

NEW YORK (AP) — Cocksure and uncouth, Conor McGregor was never afraid to defy authority. He dressed in fur coats and swung chairs at news conferences, reaped the riches of his dalliance with boxing, and demanded his boss cut him an ownership stake in the MMA promotion that made him one of ...

LEADING OFF: Fenway opener; Strasburg vs deGrom; Dozier hot

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening all around the majors today: ___ FENWAY FESTIVITIES David Price gets a new opportunity to win over Boston fans when the Red Sox play their home opener against Tampa Bay. The $217 million left-hander held the Rays scoreless for seven innings ...

Ian Poulter takes a harrowing path to Augusta National

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — No matter where Ian Poulter turns, there's someone with an outstretched hand and congratulatory words. Certainly, no one took a more harrowing path to the Masters. The 42-year-old Englishman was the last player to qualify for the first ...

East field is set, West race still has much to decide

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with seven days remaining in the regular season: ___ EAST UPDATE The field of eight is set. And now, it's all about the seeding. Toronto is on the brink of being No. 1, and Milwaukee cannot fall ...

Philadelphia to cheer NCAA champs Villanova with parade

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia is getting the chance to celebrate yet another sports championship with a parade, this time for Villanova University's Wildcats. Thursday's parade is taking the winners of the men's basketball tournament along a downtown thoroughfare before ending at City ...

Twins hand Pirates first loss with 7-3 victory

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brian Dozier's bat tends to warm up in step with the weather. Not this year. The Minnesota second baseman hit his fourth home run in four days and his hustle on the bases sparked a rally as the Twins handed the Pittsburgh Pirates their ...

WWE’s ‘Luscious’ Johnny Valiant killed crossing street

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Former professional wrestling champion "Luscious" Johnny Valiant has died after being struck crossing a street in a Pittsburgh suburb. The Allegheny County medical examiner says in a statement that 71-year-old Thomas Sullivan died Wednesday morning at a hospital. He was ...

Bucks’ Jabari Parker nearing 1st playoff appearance

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Four years into his injury-plagued tenure in the NBA, Jabari Parker is finally nearing an important career first. The Milwaukee Bucks are going to the playoffs for the third time in four years. But this will be the first postseason with a healthy Parker. "I'm just grateful ...

AP source: Lue expected to return Thursday for Cavaliers

CLEVELAND (AP) — Tyronn Lue is rejoining the Cavaliers’ disjointed season. Cleveland’s coach is expected to return from a medical absence and be back on the bench Thursday night against Washington, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Lue, who has ...

Blackmon agrees to 6-year deal with Rockies

DENVER (AP) — The leadoff hitter extraordinaire with the ragged beard and impressive mullet will be patrolling the Colorado Rockies outfield for quite some time. NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon made a long-term commitment Wednesday rather than test the free-agent market next offseason, ...

Stanley Cup saying goodbye to names like Richard, Hull, Howe

By Jimmy Golen AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — So long, Gordon Howe. Bye-bye, Robert Hull. Au revoir, M. Richard. Those Hockey Hall of Famers and the rest of the players who won an NHL championship from 1954-65 are being stripped off the Stanley Cup this spring to create room for a new ...

Robert Griffin III, Ravens, reach agreement on 1-year deal

By David Ginsburg AP Sports Writer OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Robert Griffin III is poised to resume his NFL career about 35 miles away from where he started it. The former Washington Redskins quarterback has reached agreement on a 1-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens, who love the ...

Column: Chaos at the Champions Dinner: Where to sit?

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jordan Spieth wants to be sure he is fully prepared at the Masters this year. That starts when he takes off his golf shoes Tuesday and puts on his green jacket. In a tradition that dates to 1952 when Ben Hogan hosted a dinner for all ...

Federal probe, Villanova’s follow-up top 2018-19 story lines

By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A year ago at this time, Villanova faced the question of whether it could keep rolling after two seasons of key player losses from its 2016 national championship team. The Wildcats offered an emphatic answer with Monday night's win ...

76ers set to unveil sculpture of Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are paying tribute to Hall of Famer Julius Erving. The NBA team will unveil a sculpture of Erving during a ceremony Tuesday at their practice facility in Camden, New Jersey. It will be the sixth sculpture installed on "76ers Legends Walk." It will ...

Bob Costas talks sports, and his answers might be surprising

By The Associated Press Bob Costas isn't backing down on his belief that the NFL faces a day of reckoning on the issue of brain injuries, and talks about the one event he wishes he had been able to broadcast on the "AP Sports Weekly" podcast. The NBC and MLB announcer joins co-hosts Jim Litke ...