Update on the latest sportsAP
Lakers top Suns
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t look like a team that could be relegated to the NBA’s play-in tournament.
Anthony Davis had 42 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers won for just the third time in their last 11 games, 123-110 over the Suns. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso each had 17 points for Los Angeles, which is one game behind Portland for sixth place in the Western Conference.
Cameron Payne had 24 points in the Suns’ second loss in three contests since a five-game winning streak.
Phoenix is two games behind the West-leading Utah Jazz.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
— The Knicks had dropped eight straight at Staples Center before Derrick Rose scored 25 points off the bench in New York’s 106-100 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles. Reggie Bullock chipped in 24 points, including five 3-pointers against his former team as the Knicks stayed in sole possession of fourth place in the East. Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard provided a team-high 29 points for the Clippers, who are third in the West and a game ahead of the Nuggets.
— Jimmy Butler provided 26 points and 11 assists as the Heat beat the Celtics, 130-124 to take a two-game lead over Boston for the sixth seed in the East. The Heat led by as many as 26 in the first half before the Celtics stormed back, opening the third quarter on a 22-8 run to get within 12 points. Duncan Robinson added 22 points and Bam Adebayo (ad-eh-BY’-oh) finished with 20 as Miami took a major step toward avoiding the play-in tournament.
— Tim Hardaway Jr. poured in 25 points and Josh Richardson added 20 as the Mavericks blew by the Cavaliers, 124-97. It was an easy win for Dallas despite Luka Doncic, who received a flagrant-two foul and an automatic ejection early in the third quarter for hitting Collin Sexton in the groin area. Doncic finished with 15 points in 22 minutes and Jalen Brunson had 13 points and seven assists in the Mavs’ fourth consecutive win.
— Eric Bledsoe had 24 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans in a 112-110 comeback win over the hornets. Jaxson Hayes added 18 points and James Johnson finished with 17 points to help New Orleans pull within 1 1/2 games of the Spurs for the 10th spot in the Western Conference. Terry Rozier scored a career-high 43 points on 16-of-26 shooting, including seven 3-pointers for Charlotte.
— The Kings rolled to a 126-98 rout of the Thunder as Maurice Harkless and Terence Davis each scored 18 points to lead eight Sacramento players in double figures. Delon Wright had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Kings won for the fifth time in their last six games.
— Nikola Vucevic (nih-KOH’-lah VOO’-cheh-vihch) delivered 29 points and 16 rebounds to carry the Bulls to a 108-94 victory over the Pistons. Zach LaVine scored 30 points as Chicago moved within 2 1/2 games of the Indiana Pacers for the last Eastern Conference play-in spot.
— Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell each scored 27 points and the Timberwolves led by 43 in the third quarter of a 128-96 rout of the Magic. Rookie guard Anthony Edwards added 16 points and 10 rebounds to help Minnesota end a three-game losing streak.
NBA fines Pelicans’ Griffin $50,000 for detrimental comments
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has fined New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin $50,000 for publicly criticizing officiating and making comments the league considered detrimental.
The Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations spoke out strongly about his concerns over the amount of contact NBA referees allow New Orleans forward Zion Williamson to endure.
Williamson is out indefinitely with a broken left index finger. Griffin said Friday that the Pelicans have told league officials many times that they feared Williamson was being exposed to injury because of the way defenders are allowed to play against him.
Blackhawks top Stars
CHICAGO (AP) — Just two games were on Sunday’s schedule, neither of which involved a playoff contender.
Alex DeBrincat (deh-BRIN’-kat) scored twice and Kevin Lankinen made 37 saves as the Blackhawks doubled up the Stars, 4-2. Chicago hosted a crowd of 3,820 for its first home game with fans in almost 14 months.
Johnny Gaudreau (guh-DROH’) and Matthew Tkachuk (kah-CHUHK’) each had a goal and two assists as the Flames beat the Senators, 6-1. Mikael Backlund, Michael Stone, Dillon Dube and Mark Giordano also scored as Calgary prevented the Canadiens from clinching the final North Division playoff berth.
Blue Jackets and Coyotes part with their coaches
UNDATED (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets will have new head coaches next season. The Coyotes parted ways with Rick Tocchet (TAH’-keht) and the Blue Jackets did the same with John Tortorella.
The Coyotes were fourth in the West Division on April 5 before losing 12 of their next 15 games to miss the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.
The Jackets reached the playoffs in each of their first four full seasons under Tortorella, but they finished last in the Central Division this year at 18-26-12.
DeGrom’s injury scare continues, Mets win 5th straight
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 4-2 victory, but they finished the game without their ace.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom took himself out before the sixth inning due to tightness in his right side. He was pitching for the first time since skipping a start due to discomfort in his right lat.
DeGrom allowed just one hit over five innings, retiring the first 12 Diamondbacks. He was scheduled for an MRI on Sunday.
Michael Conforto had two hits, an RBI and a super catch against the right field wall, helping the Mets win their fifth straight and improve to 16-13.
The Diamondbacks have dropped six in a row.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Freddie Freeman was 1-for-24 this month before hitting one of the Braves’ two home runs in a 6-1 whipping of the Phillies. Dansby Swanson also went deep and Huascar Ynoa (hoo-AHS’-kur ee-NOH’-ah) won his fourth straight start, limiting Philadelphia to one run, four hits and one walk with six strikeouts in six innings.
— The Dodgers managed just three hits in losing for the 14th time in 19 games, 2-1 to the Angels. Jared Walsh hit a two-run double in the bottom of the third, a half-inning after Chris Taylor’s two-out single put the Dodgers ahead.
— Jake Cronenworth hit a splash shot and Fernando Tatis Jr. also connected off Giants starter Johnny Cueto (KWAY’-toh) before the Padres finished off an 11-1 pounding of San Francisco. Tatis, Cronenworth and Trent Grisham each had two RBIs, while Eric Hosmer produced three of San Diego’s 16 hits.
— The Yankees pulled out a 3-2 win over the Nationals on Giancarlo Stanton’s walk-off single in the ninth inning. New York built a 2-0 lead on Aaron Hicks’ RBI single in the third and Gleyber Torres’ solo homer in the sixth, but the Bombers needed Stanton’s game-ending hit to finish 7-2 on their homestand.
— The Red Sox knocked off the Orioles, 4-3 as Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz) and Hunter Renfroe homered to help Nick Pivetta win his third consecutive start. Devers, who homered off Baltimore starter Dean Kremer in the second inning, hit a two-run double off reliever Adam Plutko in the sixth to give Boston a 3-2 lead in its fifth win in six games.
— The Cubs’ five-game winning streak is over after Tyler Anderson allowed two runs over eight solid innings of the Pirates’ 6-5 victory at Wrigley Field. Wilmer Difo had three hits and drove in three runs as the Pirates won for just the third time in their last 20 games at Wrigley Field.
— The Astros earned a 7-4 win over the Blue Jays as Kyle Tucker hit a three-run homer and tied a career high with four RBIs while Houston built a 7-0 lead. Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) added a solo homer for the Astros to help them win the series, 2-1.
— Tyrone Taylor hit a two-out, tiebreaking single in the 10th inning to push the Brewers past the Marlins, 2-1. Seven Milwaukee hurlers combined on a six-hitter, with Drew Rasmussen pitched the 10th for his first career save.
— Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH’-doh) homered against his former team and Adam Wainwright pitched three-hit ball into the ninth inning of the Cardinals’ 2-0 shutout of the Rockies. Yadier Molina hit an RBI double and Ryan Helsley got Josh Fuentes to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded to complete the Redbirds’ three-game sweep.
— Adolis García belted hits team-leading nine home run and had a career-high five RBIs as the Rangers clobbered the Mariners, 10-2. Dane Dunning struck out 10 in five innings before Texas erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth, with Nick Solak supplying a tiebreaking, two-run double.
— Yermin Mercedes and Jose Abreu had three RBI’s each to help the White Sox thrash the Royals, 9-3 and finish off a three-game sweep. Lucas Giolito (jee-oh-LEE’-toh) gave up one run and four hits over five innings as Chicago dealt Kansas City its eighth loss in a row.
— Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs) crushed a three-run homer in the fifth and Mike Brosseau added a tiebreaking drive the following inning before the Rays held off the Athletics, 4-3. The A’s squandered a chance in the eighth when Matt Olson hesitated on Andrew Kittredge’s passed ball and was thrown out at third by catcher Mike Zunino.
— The Reds-Indians game in Cleveland was postponed by rain and rescheduled for August 9.
— The Twins and Tigers were rained out in Detroit, creating a July 16 twinbill.
Braves bring back Greene
UNDATED (AP) — Relief pitcher Shane Greene has signed a one-year contract to rejoin the Braves.
Greene was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett and will need some time to get ready before he returns to the majors. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings last season.
Also in the majors:
— The Pirates put infielder Colin Moran on the 10-day injured list with a strained left groin and claimed outfielder Ben Gamel (GAM’-ul) off waivers from the Indians. Bucs infielder Ke’Bryan Hayes was transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day list.
HORSE RACING-MEDINA SPIRIT-BAFFERT
Churchill Downs suspends Baffert after Derby winner tests positive
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Medina Spirit’s victory in the Kentucky Derby is in serious jeopardy because of a failed postrace drug test.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert called a news conference to announce that Medina Spirit tested positive for an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone that is sometimes used to treat pain and inflammation in horses.
Churchill Downs immediately suspended Baffert and said Medina Spirit would be disqualified if the drug findings were upheld. Baffert denied all wrongdoing and promised to be fully transparent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission during its investigation.
Medina Spirit is Baffert’s fifth horse known to have failed a drug test in just over a year.
If he is disqualified from the Derby, second-place finisher Mandaloun will be declared the winner.
Truex gets third win of year
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. powered his way around Darlington Raceway, sweeping both stages and leading the final 105 laps in Sunday’s victory.
Kyle Larson cut into Truex’s often large lead over the final 30 laps and came as close as two car-lengths down the stretch. But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver held him off for his third victory of the season.
Truex is the only multi-race winner on the Cup circuit this season.
Larson settled for second, followed by Kyle Busch, William Byron and Denny Hamlin.
Hamilton wins Spanish GP ahead of Verstappen
MONTMELÓ, Spain (AP) — Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen in a thrilling duel to win the Spanish Grand Prix and increase his championship lead over his top rival.
Hamilton’s 98th career win came a day after taking his 100th career pole. Hamilton increased his lead to 14 points over Verstappen, who grabbed a bonus point for the fastest lap. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas steered his Mercedes to a third-place finish.
McIlroy ends 18-month drought by winning at Quail Hollow
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rory McIlroy is a winner again after 18 long months. McIlroy closed with a 68 for a one-shot victory in the Wells Fargo Championship, his third win at Quail Hollow.
He had a two-shot lead going to the 18th hole when he put his tee shot in the hazard. After choosing to take a penalty drop, he hit an 8-iron to the green and two-putted for the win.
Runner-up Abraham Ancer (AN’-sur) closed with a 66.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS-TRADITION
Cejka wins major
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alex Cejka (CHAY’-kah) has won the Regions Tradition in only his third PGA Tour Champions start, beating defending champion Steve Stricker with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
The 50-year-old Cejka made a 14-foot birdie putt on 18 and Stricker missed a 9-footer with a chance to extend the playoff at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
Cejka had turned a three-stroke deficit into a two-shot lead over the final nine holes for a 5-under 67.
IOC’s Thomas Bach cancels Japan trip because of virus cases
TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has canceled a trip to Japan because of surging cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Bach was to visit Hiroshima next Monday and meet the torch relay and then probably travel to Tokyo but a state of emergency in the capital and other parts of the country has been extended until May 31. The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee says Bach’s visit would be made “as soon a possible.”
The postponement is an embarrassment to the IOC and local organizers with the Olympics opening in just over 10 weeks. They have repeatedly said the Olympics will not be canceled and will open on July 23.