Update on the latest sportsAP
Warriors take 4th crown since 2015
BOSTON (AP) — The Golden State Warriors are NBA champions once again, topping the Boston Celtics 103-90 for their fourth title in the last eight seasons. Stephen Curry scored 34 points for the Warriors, who claimed the franchise’s seventh championship overall. And this one completed a journey like none other, after a run of five consecutive finals, then a plummet to the bottom of the NBA, and now a return to greatness just two seasons after having the league’s worst record. For Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, it’s a fourth championship. The first three rings came in 2015, 2017 and 2018, when Golden State was dynastic and made five consecutive trips to the finals.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 34 points. Al Horford added 19. Jayson Tatum finished with 13 points, but shot just 6 of 18 from the field. Boston also committed 22 turnovers, dropping to 1-8 this postseason when committing 16 or more.
McIllroy shares early lead; Michelson has rough start
BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Adam Hadwin of Canada is the leader after one round of the U.S. Open.
Hadwin ran off three straight birdies at the end of the front nine and only dropped one shot on the back nine of The Country Club for a 66. He leads by one shot over five players, including Rory McIlroy.
Of the players who were in the first Saudi-backed event last week, Dustin Johnson had the best score at 68. Phil Mickelson ended his rough day with a 78. It’s the sixth straight time he hasn’t broken par in the first round of the U.S. Open.
Kupcho leads LPGA event
BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Jennifer Kupcho shot a 9-under 63 on Thursday at windy Blythefield Country Club to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Meijer Classic. Kupcho eagled the par-5 14th and had seven birdies in the bogey-free round. She won the major tournament at Mission Hills in the California desert in early April for her first LPGA Tour victory. Gerina Mendoza was second. She closed birdie-eagle. Lexi Thompson, the 2015 winner, was another stroke back at 65 with Swedes Anna Nordqvist and Madelene Sagstrom. Andrea Lee shot 66. Defending champion Nelly Korda opened with a 67. She’s making her second start since returning from a four-month break because of a blood clot in her left arm.
Yanks have their longest home win streak since M&M Boys
UNDATED (AP) — Anthony Rizzo hit a solo home run with one out in the ninth inning and the streaking New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 for their 14th straight home win.
The Yankees have their longest home winning streak since taking 15 in a row at the original Yankee Stadium on Aug. 16-Sept. 26, 1961, when Roger Maris was chasing Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record.
Rizzo’s 16th homer gave the Yankees their seventh straight win overall and eighth series sweep this year. New York became the sixth team since 1930 and the first since the 2001 Seattle Mariners to win at least 47 of its first 63 games.
In other MLB action:
— Mark Canha hit a two-run homer and the New York Mets threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth inning to preserve a 5-4 comeback victory over the scuffling Milwaukee Brewers. After both starting pitchers exited with injuries in the middle innings, the Mets took advantage of a costly throwing error by first baseman Rowdy Tellez to score the go-ahead run in the eighth. Christian Yelich homered for the Brewers, who lost two of three in the series and have dropped 10 of 12 overall.
— Kyle Schwarber homered twice, Zack Wheeler won his third consecutive start, and the Philadelphia Phillies routed the Washington Nationals 10-1 in the opener of a five-game series. Philadelphia scored seven runs in the third inning. The Phillies have won 12 of their last 14 games and improved to 11-2 under interim manager Rob Thomson. The last-place Nationals have lost five in a row and eight of 10. They have dropped nine in a row to the Phillies dating to last season. Nationals starter Patrick Corbin gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings, although only two were earned.
— Joe Musgrove pitched seven effective innings to improve to 8-0 and the San Diego Padres handed the Chicago Cubs their 10th consecutive loss with a 6-4 victory. Musgrove permitted two runs and five hits, struck out a season-high nine and walked one. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his 12 starts this year. San Diego improved to 7-2 in its last nine games with its first four-game series sweep of Chicago since Aug. 16-19, 2010, at Wrigley Field. The Padres’ 41-24 record matches their best 65-game start since 1998, when the club won the NL West and advanced to the World Series.
— Cedric Mullins had three hits, Tyler Wells pitched six innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-2. The Orioles pounded former Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gausman, who faced the team that drafted him for the first time. Wells allowed one run and five hits, completing six innings in consecutive starts for the first time in his career. The Orioles split the four-game series and have won four of six. Austin Hays hit his ninth home run, a solo shot off Matt Gage in the eighth, and Rougned Odor had two hits and two RBIs.
— Paul Blackburn continued his road success by pitching sharply into the sixth inning, Christian Bethancourt hit a two-run single and the Oakland Athletics held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 for just their second victory in 15 games. Chad Pinder added an RBI single for Oakland, which closed its nine-game road trip at 2-7 and avoided being swept in a three-game series by Boston for the second time this month. Boston star Rafael Devers went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks and was hit by a pitch, ending his streak of four straight games with a home run.
— José Ramírez doubled for his eighth straight game with an extra-base hit and the Cleveland Guardians matched a season high with their fourth win in a row, 4-2 over the sloppy Colorado Rockies. Ramírez is the first major leaguer with extra-base hits in eight consecutive games since Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in 2020. Triston McKenzie gave up one run in six innings. Emmanuel Clase earned his third save of the series, with all three came on game-ending double plays. Brian Serven and Connor Joe each had a career-high four hits for Colorado, which has lost 10 of 14. The Rockies committed two errors that led to a pair of unearned runs. They have made at least one error in their last 13 home games and led the majors with 54 errors.
— Ezequiel Duran hit a three-run triple with two out in the ninth inning to give the Texas Rangers a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. Tigers closer Gregory Soto loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter before Duran hit a ball just inside first base and into the right-field corner. All three runners scored, giving Soto his second blown save of the season. Dennis Santana picked up the win with a scoreless eighth inning, and Joe Barlow pitched the ninth for his 12th save. Soto’s collapse, which led to Detroit’s fifth straight loss, wasted seven scoreless innings from Detroit starter Beau Brieske.
Scherzer making progress
UNDATED (AP) — Max Scherzer might be back in the New York Mets’ rotation before long. The three-time Cy Young Award winner threw 50 pitches in a simulated game Thursday at Citi Field as he recovers from a left oblique strain. If he keeps feeling good, the right-hander plans to make a minor league rehab start next Tuesday. It’s at least possible he could return to the Mets after that on June 26.
Scherzer got injured May 18 and was expected to miss six to eight weeks. A second rehab start in the minors would likely push his return back to the weekend of July 1-3 at home against Texas.
In other MLB news:
— Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Aaron Ashby exited his start against the New York Mets with left forearm tightness. The team said he was removed as a precaution. Ashby gave up Mark Canha’s two-run homer that tied the score at 4 in the fifth inning, then retired Brandon Nimmo on a grounder. That’s when manager Craig Counsell, pitching coach Chris Hook and an athletic trainer went to the mound. Following a discussion, Ashby walked off the field with the trainer and was replaced by Hoby Milner.
— Mets right-hander Tylor Megill left his start against Milwaukee with shoulder discomfort, the latest setback in a promising season for the second-year pitcher. Megill came off the injured list last week after missing a month with right biceps inflammation. He will have an MRI on Friday, the Mets said. Megill entered 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He started for New York on opening day and pitched five scoreless innings in a win at Washington.
— Luis Severino was scratched from his start for the New York Yankees against Tampa Bay and placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Right-hander Clarke Schmidt will replace Severino. Severino is 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA. The 28-year-old right-hander was to have made his 100th career start in the series finale.
— Two people familiar with the deal tell The Associated Press that Major League Baseball has approved the sale of a minority stake in the Cleveland Guardians to David Blitzer, who also has ownership shares in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. One of the sources says Blitzer will initially have 25% to 30% of the team and will have rights to increase his stake to a controlling interest in several years.
— Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to reach new ballpark deals soon and left open the possibility of considering relocation if agreements are not struck. Tampa Bay’s lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, expires after the 2027 season. The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968, and their lease expires after the 2024 season. The A’s have proposed a new ballpark and are working with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to gain the necessary approvals.
— Minor league games with a pitch clock have averaged 2 hours, 35 minutes this season, down from 3:04 through June 14 last year. It’s an experiment that Major League Baseball is preparing for possible adoption in 2023. However, robot umpires calling balls and strikes are not close to a big league promotion. MLB is considering a 14-second pitch clock with no runners, a 19-second pitch clock with runners, limits on defensive shifts and use of larger bases. A competition committee comprised of six management officials, four union representatives and one umpire was established in the new collective bargaining agreement, and it has the right to make on-field rules changes with 45 days’ notice.
— All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and the Seattle Mariners avoided a salary arbitration hearing when they agreed to a $14.5 million, two-year contract. Winker gets $6.25 million this year and $8.25 million in 2023. In the second season, he can earn $400,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances. Winker was a first-time All-Star last year for Cincinnati, setting career bests with a .305 average, 24 homers and 71 RBIs. He was traded in March.
— Kansas City infielder Nicky Lopez went to salary arbitration with the Royals, asking for $2.9 million instead of the team’s $2.55 million offer. A decision is expected Friday. Lopez had career bests of a .300 average and 22 stolen bases in 23 chances last season, when he had two homers and 43 RBIs. He made $597,500 and was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
All eyes on the NFL’s pending decision on Deshaun Watson
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns and football fans everywhere are waiting for the NFL to determine an appropriate penalty for star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women. A person familiar with the league’s investigation told The Associated Press a decision is expected before training camp.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing. Once it concludes, former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson will review the league’s findings to decide whether Watson violated the personal conduct policy and whether to discipline him. Robinson was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association.
In other football news:
— Marv Levy is poised to join a very select pro football group. On Friday night, the former Buffalo Bills and Montreal Alouettes head coach will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. He’ll become just the third person to be in both the Canadian and Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining former Minnesota Vikings and Winnipeg head coach Bud Grant and quarterback Warren Moon, who began his illustrious career in the CFL with Edmonton. Moon played most of his NFL career with the Houston Oilers and also played with Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City.
NHL-STANLEY CUP-INJURED AVS
Kadri skates with stick for 1st time since injuring thumb
DENVER (AP) — Injured Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano skated with an assistant coach Thursday, a day after missing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Kadri skated with a stick in his hand for the first time since injuring his right thumb crashing into the boards last round. He did not take any shots in 45 minutes on the ice. Cogliano took a puck to the right hand in Colorado’s series clincher against Edmonton in the Western Conference final. He appears closer to being ready to face the Tampa Bay Lightning than Kadri.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
— The Philadelphia Flyers have hired John Tortorella as their new coach, hoping the veteran can help lead them to their first Stanley Cup since 1975. Tortorella coached Tampa Bay to a Stanley Cup title in 2004. He also coached the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He was fired in May 2021 after six seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers finished this season with a 25-46-11 record under Alain Vigneault and Mike Yeo and were last in the Metropolitan Division.
No. 1 Medvedev beats Ivashka to reach Halle quarterfinals
HALLE, Germany (AP) — Top-ranked Daniil Medvedev defeated Ilya Ivashka for the second time in a week by beating the Belarusian 7-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals at the Halle Open. Medvedev returned to No. 1 in the rankings this week, with Novak Djokovic dropping to No. 3.
SOCCER-WORLD CUP 2026
Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle among World Cup sites
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle and Kansas City, Missouri, were the newcomers among the 11 U.S. sites picked to host games at the 2026 World Cup, while Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida, were left out. Arlington, Texas; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts, and Inglewood and Santa Clara, California, were the holdovers.
WNBA star Sue Bird says 2022 will be her final season
UNDATED (AP) — Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird says the 2022 season will be her last playing in the WNBA.
Thursday’s announcement by the 41-year-old ended any speculation about her future. She acknowledged in February when she re-signed with Seattle that this would likely be her final season.
Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, 12-time All-Star and the oldest player in the league. She has spent her entire WNBA career with Seattle since becoming the No. 1 pick in 2002 following her storied college career at UConn.
NCAA to discuss changes to transfer rules and the infractions process
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA’s Division I transformation committee will recommend changes to transfer rules and the infractions process before the end of June. The committee wants to establish designated time periods when college athletes can declare their intent to transfer and be eligible immediately at a new school. The transfer windows would be set on a sport-by-sport basis. The intent behind the change is to provide structure and clarity for athletes and coaches. Updates to the infractions process would be made in the hopes of making investigations more timely and holding rule-breakers accountable.