Friday, April 23, 2021 3:45 AM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
Bucks beat 76ers
UNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks solidified their hold on third place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, while dropping the Philadelphia 76ers into a first-place tie with Brooklyn.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-niuhs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) dropped in 27 points and Khris Middleton had 24 as the Bucks downed the Sixers, 124-117. Bobby Portis added a season-high 23 points as the Bucks ended a five-game home losing streak.
Milwaukee never trailed and led by as many as 21 to defeat Philadelphia for the fourth consecutive time.
Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) scored 24 points for the Sixers, who also received 20 points from Shake Milton off the bench.
Checking out Thursday’s NBA action:
— Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) scored 30 points and the Mavericks spoiled Anthony Davis’ return from a 30-game injury absence by topping the Lakers, 115-110. Davis was rusty in his first game since Feb. 14 because of right calf and heel issues, scoring four points on 2-of-10 shooting while limited to 17 minutes in the first half only.
— Kemba Walker matched his season high with 32 points and the Celtics led by 21 in the second half of their ninth win in 11 games, 99-86 against the Suns. Walker was 11 of 17 from the field, hitting five 3-pointers. Jayson Tatum struggled shooting for the second straight game, going 3 of 17 and finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
— The Bulls handled the Hornets, 108-91 as Nikola Vucevic (nih-KOH’-lah VOO’-cheh-vihch) scored 18 points and matched a season high with 16 rebounds. Coby White and Thaddeus Young scored 18 apiece for the Bulls, who built a 14-point halftime lead and put this one out of reach in the third quarter of their third win in four games. Chicago is 6-10 since landing Vucevic from Orlando.
— Zion Williamson scored 23 points in 23 minutes as the Pelicans clobbered the Magic, 135-100 to end a four-game losing streak. Brandon Ingram added 29 points and New Orleans got double-figure scoring from six players. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 15 points by hitting five 3-pointers.
— Derrick White had 26 points and Jakob Poeltl (YAH’-kahb PUR’-tul) added 17 with 11 rebounds as the Spurs beat the Pistons, 106-91 to snap a five-game home losing streak. Lonnie Walker added 18 points and Rudy Gay had 14 for San Antonio. Josh Jackson had 29 points to lead Detroit.
Hawks’ Young sidelined by injury
UNDATED (AP) — Atlanta point guard Trae Young will miss the Hawks’ next two games because of a sprained left ankle suffered in Wednesday’s 137-127 overtime loss at the New York Knicks. X-rays in New York were negative, but an MRI revealed the sprain.
Young leads Atlanta with 25.3 points per game and ranks third in the NBA at 9.6 assists.
In other NBA injury news:
— Wizards rookie forward Deni Avdija will miss the rest of the season after breaking his right leg in Wednesday’s game against Golden State. The team said the 20-year-old from Israel does not need surgery and is expected to make a full recovery in about three months.
Caps beat Isles in SO, move back into first
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Capitals are back in sole possession of first place in the NHL’s East Division, one point ahead of the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Boston Bruins remain four points behind the Capitals.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) scored the deciding goal of the shootout to give the Caps a 1-0 triumph over the Islanders. Ilya Samsonov (sam-SOH’-nahv) stopped 26 shots through overtime for his second shutout of the season and third of his career, leading Washington to its seventh victory in 11 games.
Semyon Varlamov (SEHM’-yahn vahr-LAH’-mahv) made 28 saves through overtime before surrendering two goals on three shootout attempts.
Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust each scored their 19th goals of the season as the Penguins whipped the Devils, 5-1. Kasperi Kapanen (kas-PEHR’-ee KAP’-ah-nehn) added a goal and an assist in his first game since missing 13 straight with a left foot injury. Teddy Blueger (BLOO’-gur) scored a short-handed goal, and Cody Ceci (SEE’-see) also scored for the Penguins.
The Bruins own a season-high, six-game winning streak after David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nak) had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 victory over the Sabres. Matt Grzelcyk (GRIHZ’-lihk) scored the go-ahead goal 12:50 into the second period, and rookie Jeremy Swayman stopped 29 shots. Brad Marchand, with his team-leading 25th for Boston, which also received goals from Nick Ritchie and David Krejci (KRAY’-chee).
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Andre Burakovsky (bur-ah-KAHV’-skee) scored twice and the Avalanche wrapped up a playoff berth with a 4-2 victory over the Blues. Brandon Saad (sahd) and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare added goals to help Colorado improve to 18-1-2 in its last 21 games. The Avs returned to the ice for the first time since April 14 after having three games postponed by COVID-19 protocols.
— Sebastian Aho (AH’-hoh) scored two short-handed goals for the Hurricanes in their sixth consecutive win over the Panthers this season, 4-2. Nino Niederreiter (NEE’-dur-eye-tur) and Jordan Martinook (MAHR’-tih-nook) also scored, Alex Nedeljkovic (neh-DEHL’-koh-vihch) made 30 saves, and Martin Necas (mahr-TEEN’ NAY’-chas) had three assists. The outcome puts the Central Division-leading Canes two ahead of the Cats and keeps them three ahead of the Lightning.
— Ondrej Palat (AHN’-dray pah-LAHT’) scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 shots in leading the Lightning past the Blue Jackets, 3-1. Blake Coleman had two goals, including an empty netter with 25 seconds left for Tampa Bay. Elvis Merzlikins (murz-LEE’-kihnz) stopped 25 shots for Columbus, which is 0-7-1 in its last eight games.
— The Flyers were 3-2 winners over the Rangers behind two power-play goals by James van Riemsdyk (REEMZ’-dyk). Jakub Voracek (JAY’-kuyhn VOHR’-ah-chehk) scored the deciding goal and Brian Elliott made 33 saves as Philadelphia ended a two-game skid.
— Jakub Vrana (JAY’-kuhb vuh-RAH’-nah) scored four goals in a game for the first time to help the Red Wings rout the Stars 7-3 and match their total number of wins from last season. Detroit picked up its 17th victory in its 49th game, a year after winning 17 of 71 games in the previous pandemic-shortened season. Anton Khudobin (hoo-DOH’-bihn) gave up three goals on nine shots in the first and was benched by the Stars.
— Mitch Marner furnished two goals and an assist as the Maple Leafs topped the Jets, 5-3. Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 34th goal for the North Division leaders, who are six points in front of Winnipeg. Wayne Simmonds and Jason Spezza (SPEHT’-suh) also scored and Jack Campbell made 34 saves for the winners.
— The Senators posted a 3-0 win over the Canucks as Matt Murray stopped 31 shots for his second shutout in six days. Drake Batherson had a goal and an assist, and rookie Tim Stutzle and Connor Brown also scored as the Senators won the first of four straight games between the teams.
Cubs sweep away Mets
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs completed a three-game sweep and beat the New York Mets for the seventh straight time since June 2019.
The Cubs pulled out a 4-3 win over the Mets on Jason Heyward’s pinch-hit, RBI single in the 10th, a half-inning after Dan Winkler stranded the bases loaded. Kris Bryant had two hits and two RBIs and Willson Contreras also drove in a run for the Cubbies, who were in a 3-8 skid before the Mets showed up at Wrigley Field.
In other major league games:
— Jurickson Profar (JUR'-ihk-suhn PROH'-fahr) scored on a double-play grounder in the eighth inning to send the Padres past the Dodgers, 3-2. Trent Grisham hit a solo shot in the sixth to give San Diego a 2-0 lead, but AJ Pollock and Sheldon Neuse (NOY'-zee) hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to tie things up after Ryan Weathers held Los Angeles to one hit over 5 2/3 innings.
— Curt Casali caught his fifth consecutive shutout, guiding Aaron Sanchez and four relievers in the Giants’ 3-0 win over the Marlins. Buster Posey’s backup is the fifth catcher since at least 1900 to backstop a shutout in five straight starts.
— David Peralta (peh-RAHL’-tah) had five hits and a career-best seven RBIs, including a three-run triple in the 10th inning of the Diamondbacks’ 14-11 win over the Reds. Arizona erupted for six runs in the 10th to complete a three-game sweep and earn their fourth straight win. Carson Kelly followed Peralta with a two-run homer as the Diamondbacks opened a 14-8 lead.
— Sam Haggerty furnished a go-ahead double in the 10th inning before scoring on Mitch Haniger’s three-run homer in the Mariners’ 7-3 downing of the Red Sox. Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz) homered for the Red Sox, who were cruising behind Nick Pivetta but couldn’t hold leads of 2-0 and 3-2.
— Rougned Odor’s (ROOG’-nehd oh-DOHRZ’) two-out, two-run single broke a seventh-inning tie and sent the Yankees to a 6-3 win over the Indians. Kyle Higashioka homered in the eighth for New York, which entered with its worst record to open a season since 1991 before winning for the second time in eight games.
— Alex Bregman had three hits and three RBIs as the Astros ripped the Angels, 8-2 to end a three-game losing streak. Cristian Javier struck out a career-high nine in five scoreless innings of Houston’s second win in 11 games.
— Phillip Evans made a great defensive play before Colin Moran and Erik González hit RBI singles with two out in the eighth inning of the Pirates’ 4-2 victory over the Tigers. Evans reached his glove above the fence in to keep Akil Baddoo’s drive to left field in the park in the seventh before Pittsburgh stranded Baddoo at second.
Springer nearing return
UNDATED (AP) — Blue Jays outfielder George Springer will play in an intrasquad game Friday, the next step on his return from two strained muscles that have delayed his Toronto debut.
Springer signed a team-record $150 million, six-year deal with the Blue Jays this offseason but missed time in spring training, first because of a strained oblique and later because of a right quadriceps strain.
General manager Ross Atkins says the 2017 World Series MVP could return in this weekend’s road series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Elsewhere around the majors:
— Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger is still uncertain when he will return from a hairline fracture in his left leg, saying he can’t do much until the bone heals. Bellinger is hitting in the batting cage and playing catch, but running is still not perfectly comfortable. He was injured April 5 when Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan (ray-MEEN’ goo-DWAHN’) inadvertently spiked him at first base.
— The Padres have placed right-hander Dinelson Lamet (dih-NEHL’-suhn) luh-MEHT’) on the 10-day injured list with right forearm inflammation, a day after he came out of his season debut after just two innings. The Padres also put reliever Keone Kela (KEe’-oh-nee KEHL’-uh) on the IL with right shoulder inflammation.
NCAA tweaks college football OT format to shorten games
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — College football teams will have to go for 2 after touchdowns starting with the second overtime possession, and beginning in the third round each team will get one play to score from the 3-yard line.
The NCAA playing rules oversight panel approved a proposal made last month by the playing rules committee to tweak the overtime format. The new rule will have teams run alternating 2-point plays in the third overtime instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25-yard line. The 2-point shootout currently starts in the fifth overtime.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-WEST VIRGINIA-BROWN COUNTRACT
West Virginia coach Neal Brown gets 2-year extension
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (AP) — West Virginia coach Neal Brown has received a two-year contract extension through the 2026 season despite a mediocre 11-11 record in his two years at the helm.
WVU went 6-4 last season after a 5-7 mark in 2019.
Athletic director Shane Lyons says he’s pleased with the upward trajectory of the program and its culture under Brown.
Loyola Chicago star Krutwig is turning pro
UNDATED (AP) — Loyola Chicago star Cameron Krutwig says he has decided to enter the NBA draft and forgo his final year of eligibility.
Krutwig helped the Ramblers reach the Final Four as a freshman and return to the Sweet 16 as a senior this year.
The 6-foot-9 Krutwig was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year last season, averaging a team-leading 15 points along with seven rounds and three assists.
Smith staying with Seahawks
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have brought back quarterback Geno Smith to serve as the backup to Russell Wilson.
Smith has signed a one-year deal to stay in the role he’s held for the past two seasons with the Seahawks.
Smith has appeared in just one game with Seattle, completing four of five passes for 33 yards in last year’s blowout win over the New York Jets.
Co-leading teams at Zurich Classic
AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Two teams share the lead through one round of the Zurich Classic.
Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings birdied eight of their last 11 holes for a 10-under 62 that leaves them tied with Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura. Hovland and Ventura had nine birdies on their last 12 holes.
Ventura made a 36-foot birdie putt from the fringe on 15 and a 19-footer on 16 for his seventh and final birdie of the day in the best-ball format played on the first and third rounds. Players will alternate shots in the second and final rounds.
Seven teams shot 63, including two-time Zurich champion Billy Horschel and teammate Sam Burns.