Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:45 AM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
Celtics top Heat to get within 2-1
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Celtics managed to hang onto a lead on Saturday after blowing double-digit advantages in each of the first two games in the NBA's Eastern Conference finals.
This time, the Celtics went up by 20 before holding off the Miami Heat, 117-106 to get within two games to one in the series. Jaylen Brown scored 26 points and Jayson Tatum added 25 while Boston was avoiding an 0-3 deficit.
Marcus Smart scored 20 points for Boston, going 9 for 9 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. The Celtics also got 14 rebounds and eight assists from Tatum, who helped Boston outscore Miami, 60-36 in the paint.
Celtics guard Gordon Hayward played 30 minutes in his first action since suffering a Grade III ankle sprain in Boston's playoff opener against the 76ers 4 1/2 weeks ago. Hayward finished with six points and four rebounds.
Bam Adebayo (ad-eh-BY'-oh) had 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat, who shot just 39% in falling for just the second time in 12 games in these playoffs. Tyler Herro scored 22 points in the loss.
NHL-STANLEY CUP FINAL
Stars open with win over Bolts
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Dallas Stars have opened the Stanley Cup final with a 4-1 victory over the Lightning, thanks to their goaltender.
Anton Khudobin (hoo-DOH’-bihn) made 22 of his 35 saves in the third period to protect the lead. Khudobin blanked the Lightning after Yanni Gourde (YAH’-nee gohrd) tied the game 12:32 into the contest.
The Stars took just four shots over the final 28 minutes, yet scored on three as Jamie Oleskiak (oh-LEK’-see-ak) untied the game with 7 ½ minutes left in the second period. Joel Kiviranta (yool kih-vih-RAHN’-tah) made it 3-1 with 28 seconds remaining in the second.
Jason Dickinson’s empty-netter iced the victory for the Stars, who take on Tampa Bay Monday night.
Bettman eyes December or January start for NHL
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Commissioner Gary Bettman says he wouldn’t be surprised if the next NHL season begins after the tentatively planned Dec. 1 start date.
Bettman said Saturday in his annual pre-Stanley Cup Final news conference there is still too much uncertainty to know what that season will look like. He refused to speculate on the possibility of an all-Canadian division given the closure of the U.S.-Canada border.
Clemson’s Lawrence makes quick work of Citadel
UNDATED (AP) — There was no man-bites-dog scenario as top-ranked Clemson hosted The Citadel Saturday afternoon.
Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns in just nine passing attempts before the Tigers completed a 49-0 trouncing of The Citadel. Lawrence also rushed for his third TD already this season, leading the way as the Tigers improved to 35-0 against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Lawrence was 8 for 9 for 168 yards, including scoring passes of 54 and 17 yards to Frank Ladson Jr. and 44 yards to Amari Rodgers.
The Heisman Trophy favorite was largely done when Clemson went up 28-0 in the first quarter.
In other top-25 action:
— Ian Book ran for three first-half touchdowns as No. 7 Notre Dame earned its 20th straight home win, 52-0 against South Florida. The Fighting Irish led 35-0 at halftime and posted a 52-point shutout for the second consecutive year.
— Chuba Hubbard was limited to 35 yards in the first half but scored on a 3-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to lift No. 11 Oklahoma State to a 16-7 victory over Tulsa. Freshman Alex Hale made two of his three field goals in the final quarter.
— Gerrid Doaks scored four touchdowns, including a career-high three rushing TDs in 13th-ranked Cincinnati’s 55-20 pounding of Austin Peay (pee). Desmond Ridder passed for 196 yards and two TDs for the Bearcats in a game that originally was scheduled for Sept. 3.
— Dillon Gabriel threw for a career-best 417 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 14 Central Florida to a 49-21 rout of Georgia Tech. Tre Nixon and Marlon Williams each hauled in a pair of TD passes for the Knights.
— D’Eriq King threw three touchdown passes and No. 17 Miami used big plays to beat No. 18 Louisville, 47-34. King threw a 75-yarder touchdown pass to Jaylon Knighton in the third quarter, one series after Cam’ron Harris ran 75 yards for a score.
— Elijah Mitchell rushed for 164 yards, including the winning touchdown in overtime to complete No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette’s comeback in a 34-31 triumph over Georgia State. The Ragin’ Cajuns couldn’t seal the victory until Mitchell scampered 12 yards around right end for the final score.
— Marshall pulled off a mild surprise as Brenden Knox rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown in a 17-7 triumph over No. 23 Appalachian State. Quarterback Grant Wells came up with back-to-back big plays to help the Thundering Herd beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2003 at No. 6 Kansas State.
— Kenny Pickett threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as No. 25 Pittsburgh’ stifled Syracuse, 21-10. Pitt limited the Orange to 171 total yards, 69 of them coming on backup quarterback Rex Culpepper’s second-quarter touchdown strike to a streaking Taj Harris.
Big Ten releases its football schedule
UNDATED (AP) — The Big Ten has released the schedule for its eight-week football season that will start the weekend of Oct. 24.
The Big Ten championship game will be played Dec. 19 in Indianapolis, matching the two division champions. The tentative plan is to match teams with similar finishes in the respective division standings.
Last month the Big Ten decided against playing football in the fall because of concerns about COVID-19. It reversed that decision this week.
In other college football news:
— Florida State coach Mike Norvell has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach the Seminoles in-person this week as they prepare for Miami. Norvell released a statement Saturday saying he tested positive a day earlier but is feeling fine. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen is taking over Norvell’s duties, but the first-year head coach said he still intends to remain involved.
Wolff attacks Winged Foot, leads by 2
MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) — A 21-year-old will carry the lead into the final day of the U.S. Open.
Matthew Wolff surged to the top of the leaderboard with a 5-under 65, tying the lowest Open round ever at Winged Foot. He had six birdies and just one bogey to get to 5 under in his first U.S. Open.
Bryson DeChambeau is alone in second, two shots back. He bogeyed his final hole and settled for a 3-under 67 after coming into the round at even par.
Former British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy-zehn) is the only other player under par at minus-1. Xander Schauffele (SHOW’-flee), Harris English and Hideki Matsuyama (hih-DEH’-kee mat-soo-YAH-mah) are at even par.
A’s get second straight 6-0 win over Giants
UNDATED (AP) — The Oakland Athletics’ series against their Bay Area rivals has looked like a tennis match so far.
The A’s picked up their second consecutive 6-0 victory over the Giants as recently-acquired Jake Lamb belted a two-run homer while Oakland scored five times in the seventh to break it open.
Lefty starter Jesús Luzardo won for the first time in his last five starts, giving up five hits and no walks while striking out seven over six innings.
Kevin Gausman limited the Athletics to one run over six innings before the Giants’ bullpen experienced a meltdown.
The A’s reduced their magic number to one for clinching their first AL West title in seven years.
The Astros prevented Oakland from clinching by earning a 3-2 win versus the Diamondbacks. Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) drove in two and Kyle Tucker had a tiebreaking single to help Houston reach .500.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Tim Anderson hit two of the White Sox’s five solo homers in a 5-0 shutout of the Reds. Anderson, Yasmani Grandal (yahs-MAH’-nee grahn-DAHL’) and Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY’) belted home runs during a seven-pitch sequence against Robert Stephenson.
— Eric Haase and Daz Cameron hit RBI singles during a four-run eighth that pushed the Tigers past the Indians, 5-1. The loss snapped a streak of 12 straight victories for Cleveland at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
— The Yankees made it 10 straight wins as J.A. Happ pitched eight innings, and Clint Frazier hit a two-run home run in an 8-0 rout of the Red Sox. New York's 12th consecutive victory over Boston also reduces the Yanks' magic number to one for clinching their fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
— Tampa Bay still leads the AL East by 3 1/2 games over the Yankees after Charlie Morton gave the Rays' five strong innings in a 3-1 decision over the Orioles. Randy Arozarena (ah-roh-zah-RAY'-nah) hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the fifth after Yoshi Tsutsugo (YOH'-shee soo-SOO'-goh) went deep for the Rays.
— Shohei Ohtani (SHOH'-hay oh-TAH'-nee) homered and Mike Trout supplied a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to give the Angels a 4-3 win against the Rangers. Los Angeles rallied after Leody Tavares and Rougned Odor (ROOG-nehd oh-DOOR') homered off Andrew Heaney in the first inning.
— Clayton Kershaw held Colorado to four hits and a run over seven strong innings to lead the Dodgers to a 6-1 victory. Chris Taylor homered, tripled and drove in three runs as the NL West leaders moved five games ahead of second-place San Diego.
— The Padres were 4-1 losers to the Mariners as Justus Sheffield held them to a run and six hits over six innings. Luis Torrens broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the third, two innings before rookie Kyle Lewis homered.
— Rookie David Peterson struck out NL batting leader Freddie Freeman three times and fanned a career-high 10 in six three-hit innings to send the Mets to a 7-2 win over the Braves. Robinson Canó (kah-NOH') had three hits, including a two-run double and a solo homer that helped the Mets trim Atlanta's lead in the NL East to 2 1/2 games over Miami.
— The Marlins were 7-3 winners over the Nationals as Miguel Rojas and Garrett Cooper each had a double and a homer. Starling Marte and Brian Anderson each singled twice for the Marlins, who had 14 hits against Washington starter Patrick Corbin and stayed ahead of third-place Philadelphia in the NL East.
— Vince Velasquez was reached for just one run and two hits over six innings as the Phillies downed the Blue Jays, 3-1. Andrew Knapp and Adam Haseley each had two hits and an RBI for the Phils, who took the lead on Andrew McCutchen’s RBI single in the fifth inning.
— Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sanó (dah-NOH') and Josh Donaldson homered as the Twins flattened the Cubs, 8-1 to clinch a second straight postseason berth. Alec Mills was tagged for four runs in six-plus innings after tossing a no-hitter in his last start.
— The Cardinals trailed 4-0 before Tyler O’Neill doubled home a pair to ignite a five-run seventh in a 5-4 comeback over the Pirates. O’Neill scored the tying run on Kolten Wong’s single and Tommy Edman singled home the winning run.
— Ryan Braun crushed a three-run homer and Corbin Burnes combined with two relievers on a four-hitter in the Brewers’ 5-0 shutout of the Royals. Burnes gave up the four hits while striking out nine over six innings.
Tommy John for Verlander...Gardenhire retires
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Astros have lost their top manager, while the Detroit Tigers have lost their manager.
Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner said he felt something in his elbow during a recent simulated game. It was determined that surgery would be the best option.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire announced his immediate retirement prior to Detroit’s game against the Indians. Gardenhire turns 63 next month. He says he hasn’t been feeling well and needs to take care of himself. Bench coach Lloyd McClendon will serve as manager the rest of the season.
Harvick wins at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Kevin Harvick claimed his NASCAR Cup-leading ninth win of the series by holding off Kyle Busch at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Harvick denied the reigning Cup Series champion his first win of the season. He took the lead a little more than 100 laps from the finish and held off every challenge from Busch the rest of the way.
Only six cars finished on the lead lap in a tepid event at the 0.533-mile bullring revered for bumping and banging.
The first elimination race of the playoffs knocked William Byron, Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney and Matt DiBenedetto from title contention.