#SportsReport: WTA suspends games in China amid safety concerns for tennis player Peng Shuai
Jayson Tatum scored 26 points with a career-high 16 rebounds, shaking off a hard fourth-quarter fall to lead the Boston Celtics to a 88-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Tatum scored 11 points in the fourth. Robert Williams III blocked Georges Niang’s shot at the buzzer to give the Celtics the victory.
It was their first game this season against their longtime Eastern Conference rivals and former coach Doc Rivers.
Joel Embiid had 18 rebounds for Philadelphia, adding 13 points on 3 for 17 shooting. Seth Curry had 17 points and Shake Milton came off the bench to score 16.
Elsewhere around the NBA:
De’Aaron Fox scored 24 points and Terence Davis added 23 in the Sacramento Kings’ 124-115 victory over the shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Richaun Holmes had 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Kings snapped a two-game skid and improved to 3-3 under interim coach Alvin Gentry. Paul George sat out to rest for the Clippers, while Luke Kennard and Terance Mann both scored 19 points and Ivica Zubac added 17 points and seven rebounds. Rookie Davion Mitchell scored 20 points for Sacramento, while Tyrese Haliburton had 12 points and 11 assists.
Montrezl Harrell scored 27 points and Bradley Beal added 19 to lift the Washington Wizards to a 115-107 victory over Minnesota. Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns left the game with 2:14 remaining after injuring himself on a dunk. Towns scored only two of his 34 points in the final period — and that was when he got free along the baseline for a dunk. After slamming the ball through, his momentum caused his body to fall horizontally and he appeared to land on his tailbone. Minnesota lost for just the second time in nine games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored on a driving layup with two seconds left to give Milwaukee a 127-125 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. It was the Bucks’ eighth consecutive victory. Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 12 rebounds and Khris Middleton added 21 points. LaMelo Ball had a career-high 36 points for the Hornets, followed by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 25 and Miles Bridges with 22 points. Ball made a fadeaway 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left to pull the Hornets even at 125. After a timeout, Jru Holliday fed Antetokounmpo near the top of the lane for the layup.
Luka Doncic scored 18 of his team-high 28 points in the first quarter and dished out 14 assists in 27 minutes to power the Dallas Mavericks to a 139-107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. Doncic went 7 of 8 from the floor in the Mavericks’ 41-point first quarter — their highest-scoring period of the season. Dallas set a franchise record by shooting 57 of 83 from the floor or 68.7%, beating the previous high of 67.7% from March 24, 1983.
Cole Anthony scored 24 points, Wendell Carter Jr. added 18 points and the Orlando Magic rallied from an early 16-point deficit to defeat the Denver Nuggets 108-103 ending their seven-game losing streak. The Magic took their first lead of the night at 106-103 when rookie Franz Wagner drilled a step-back 3-pointer with 1:45 to play. The Magic’s rally ruined the return of Nuggets’ forward Aaron Gordon, who played at the Amway Center for the first time since Orlando traded him to Denver on March 28. Gordon scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three thunderous dunks.
Jae’Sean Tate scored a career-high 32 points and added 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots, sparking a fourth-quarter rally to lead the short-handed Houston Rockets to a 114-110 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets won their fourth straight and the Thunder dropped their seventh in a row. After Tate’s bucket gave the Rockets a 111-108 lead with 26 seconds left, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (shay GIHL’-juhs) had his potential game-tying 3-pointer rim out.
Trae Young made two crucial free throws in the final seconds of the game to help the Atlanta Hawks fend off the Indiana Pacers 114-111 on Wednesday night. Pacers rookie Chris Duarte came up with a steal late in the game, but was unable to convert a contested layup. Young was fouled and made the final two of his 33 points.
Kevin Love scored 22 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a 20-game losing streak in Miami, beating the Heat 111-85 on Wednesday night. Jarrett Allen added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Darius Garland finished with 16 points for the Cavaliers, who had not won on the Heat’s home court since Jan. 25, 2010. The Cavaliers also got a double-double from Evan Mobley with his 17-point, 11-rebound outing. Tyler Herro scored 21 points for Miami.
Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is likely out until at least mid-January.
It’s the first major injury of Adebayo’s five pro seasons. He’s averaging a career-best 18.7 points for Miami this season, along with 10.2 rebounds per game.
Fardaws Aimaq had 24 points and 22 rebounds, Justin Harmon also scored 24 points and Utah Valley stunned No. 12 BYU 72-65 in overtime.
Connor Harding added 10 points for the Wolverines, who beat the Cougars for the second time in school history. Alex Barcello led BYU with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Spencer Johnson added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Seneca Knight and Te’Jon Lucas scored 10 points apiece.
After Johnson sent the game to overtime with a layup just before the buzzer, Utah Valley took control in the extra period.
Another upset saw Jabri Abdur-Rahim’s 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes remaining gave Georgia the lead, and the Bulldogs snapped their four-game losing streak by beating No. 18 Memphis 82-79. T
he 3-pointer by Abdur-Rahim, who scored 15 points, gave the Bulldogs a 78-77 lead over the Tigers, who led most of the second half.
Kario Oquendo, who scored a game-high 24 points, followed with a steal and jam that extended the lead to three points.
Memphis suffered its second consecutive defeat, following Friday’s 78-59 loss to Iowa State that caused the Tigers to drop from No. 9 in the AP Top 25.
Elsewhere in college hoop action:
Isaiah Mobley scored 21 points and tied a career high with 13 rebounds, Boogie Ellis added 19 points, and No. 20 Southern California opened Pac-12 play by rolling to a 93-73 victory over Utah. It is the second straight game that Mobley has had a double-double. He had 18 points and 12 rebounds in Friday’s win over San Diego State in the final of the Wooden Legacy. Utah’s Both Gach tied a career high with 28 points and David Jenkins Jr. added 21.
Caleb Love scored 22 points to help North Carolina take control after halftime, and the Tar Heels handled No. 24 Michigan 72-51 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. North Carolina led 29-27 at the half but shot 58% after the break to turn the game into a surprising rout. Dawson Garcia added 14 points while Armando Bacot had 11 points and 14 rebounds. Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson fouled Bacot twice in a span of 12 seconds early in the second half and headed to the bench with four fouls. UNC took advantage while Dickinson sat for more than 10 minutes.
Tanner Groves scored 20 points, and Oklahoma beat No. 14 Florida 74-67. Groves shot 8 of 11 and had eight rebounds. Jalen Hill scored 18 points and Umoja Gibson added 15 for Oklahoma. It was the Sooners’ biggest win yet under new coach Porter Moser. He earned his 300th career coaching win after previous stops at Arkansas-Little Rock, Illinois State and Loyola Chicago. Phlandrous Fleming Jr. scored 17 points and Colin Castleton added 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for Florida.
Tyger Campbell scored 21 points and No. 5 UCLA recovered after blowing most of a 17-point, first-half lead to beat Colorado 73-61 in the Bruins’ Pac-12 opener. Johnny Juzang added 15 points and Myles Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins. UCLA improved to 7-1 overall and 1-0 in the Pac-12. Jaime Jaquez Jr. was lost to UCLA midway through the first half when he went down hard on his back. Jabari Walker had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Buffaloes. Colorado fell to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the league. Evan Battey was held to four points before fouling out.
Collin Gillespie scored 26 points, Brandon Slater had 16 and No. 6 Villanova avoided a second straight court-storming at Penn with a 71-56 win. Jordan Dingle led the Quakers with 21 points. Penn did make 13 3-pointers. Gillespie hit four 3-pointers and went 9 for 15 overall from the floor.
Stanley Umude scored 17 points off the bench and No. 10 Arkansas won its seventh straight game to start the season, beating Central Arkansas 97-60. Central Arkansas made nine 3-pointers, including 7 of 10 in the first half, and trailed by six at halftime. The Razorbacks outscored the Bears 56-25 in the second half.
Izaiah Brockington had 23 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, and No. 19 Iowa State overcame a slow start and beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 83-64. The Cyclones improved to 7-0, extending their best start since 2015-16. Tre Jackson scored 12 points and George Conditt added 11 points and seven rebounds for Iowa State.
Walker Kessler had 17 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and six blocks to lead No. 21 Auburn to an 85-68 victory over UCF. The Tigers held the Knights without a field goal for nearly nine minutes to take control in the second half. Freshman Jabari Smith scored 20 points for Auburn. Darius Perry led UCF with 18 points but also committed eight turnovers.
Malik Hall scored eight of his 15 points in a 1:34 stretch early in the second half, helping No. 22 Michigan State build a big lead it needed to hold off Louisville 73-64 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Spartans overcame 19 turnovers by playing well in spurts and making 10 of 18 3-pointers.
Brad Davison scored nine straight points midway through the second half and finished with 27, leading No. 23 Wisconsin to a 70-66 win over Georgia Tech. The Badgers carried a one-point lead into halftime before building a 10-point advantage in the second half behind the play of Davison. Michael DeVoe scored 33 points for Georgia Tech, which had its five-game winning streak halted. The Yellow Jackets forced a tie at 61-all on a three-point play by DeVoe with 5:27 remaining. DeVoe scored 17 of his points in the first half.
Jared Rhoden had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Kadary Richmond added 10 points, leading No. 25 Seton Hall to an 85-63 victory over Wagner. Richmond also added nine assists, six rebounds, four steals, and a blocked shot as Seton Hall won its third straight game.
The Kansas State Wildcats dominated UAlbany, 71-43, Iona squeaked by Marist, 78-71, Vermont bested Dartmouth, 83-65 and Winthrop defeated Hartford, 82-75. On the women’s side, UMass bested Fairfield, 74-61, Providence outscored Hartford, 73-62, Lafayette held off Marist, 53-50, Syracuse held off Ohio, 97-91 and UAlbany outscored Bryant, 60-34.
Auston Matthews scored three goals for his fourth career hat trick and the streaking Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the Colorado Avalanche 8-3. John Tavares had a goal and two assists for Toronto, while William Nylander scored one and set up another. Jack Campbell made 28 saves.
Jason Spezza, Travis Dermott and Pierre Engvall had the other goals for the Maple Leafs, who have won five straight games and are 15-2-0 over their last 17. Michael Bunting added three assists, while Mitch Marner and Alexander Kerfoot had two each. Nazem Kadri had two goals and Samuel Girard also scored for Colorado.
Jonas Johansson stopped 33 shots as the Avalanche lost for the second time in three games after winning six in a row.
In other ice action:
Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists, Zach Hyman scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Kailer Yamamoto and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers, who won their third game in a row and improved to 9-1-0 on home ice despite getting outshot 34-22. Jake Guentzel and Teddy Blueger each had a goal for the Penguins, who have lost three straight. Pittsburgh was 15-0-4 in its previous 19 games against the Oilers.
Troy Terry scored his 15th goal during Anaheim’s four-goal second period, and Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano had three assists apiece in the Ducks’ 6-5 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Rickard Rakell, Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm also scored in the second period for the Ducks, who have won 11 of 15 after back-to-back victories over Pacific Division rivals Los Angeles and Vegas. Max Pacioretty and Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist apiece for the Golden Knights, who have lost three of four. Zach Whitecloud and Janmark scored shorthanded goals for Vegas after the Ducks had taken a three-goal lead.
Chris Kreider scored again and Igor Shesterkin stopped 33 shots to help the New York Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 for their fourth straight win. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, Jacob Trouba and Dryden Hunt also scored and Kaapo Kakko had two assists as the Rangers won for the eighth time in nine games. New York has won six in a row at home.
Shesterkin made 11 saves in the first period, 15 in the second and seven in the third to improve to 12-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average this season. Morgan Frost scored and Carter Hart had 24 saves for Philadelphia, which lost its seventh straight.
Auston Matthews scored three goals for his fourth career hat trick and the streaking Toronto Maple Leafs thumped the Colorado Avalanche 8-3. John Tavares had a goal and two assists for Toronto, while William Nylander scored one and set up another. Jack Campbell made 28 saves. Jason Spezza, Travis Dermott and Pierre Engvall had the other goals for the Maple Leafs, who have won five straight games and are 15-2-0 over their last 17. Michael Bunting added three assists, while Mitch Marner and Alexander Kerfoot had two each. Nazem Kadri had two goals and Samuel Girard also scored for Colorado. Jonas Johansson stopped 33 shots as the Avalanche lost for the second time in three games after winning six in a row.
J.T Miller scored and added two assists to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. Luke Schenn, Tyler Motte, Tanner Pearson, Bo Horvat, and Alex Chiasson chipped in for the Canucks, who finished their five-game road trip with a 2-3-0 record. Quinn Hughes had four assists, and Thatcher Demko made 19 saves in net. Adam Gaudette scored in his debut with the Senators after being claimed on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. Brady Tkachuk also scored for Ottawa, and Filip Gustavsson stopped 29 shots.
Adam Erne scored the decisive goal in a shootout and the Detroit Red Wings won their fourth straight game by beating the Seattle Kraken 4-3. Detroit won the shootout 2-1, with Dylan Larkin also converting. Robby Fabbri, Vladislav Namestnikov and Lucas Raymond scored in regulation for the Red Wings. Ryan Donato had two goals and Vince Dunn scored the other for the Kraken. Thomas Greiss made 21 saves for Detroit in his 150th career victory. Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots.
Major League Baseball plunged into its first work stoppage in a quarter-century when the sport’s collective bargaining agreement expired and owners immediately locked out players in a move that threatens spring training and opening day.
The strategy, management’s equivalent of a strike under federal labor law, ended the sport’s labor peace after 9,740 days over 26 1/2 years. Teams decided to force the long-anticipated confrontation during an offseason rather than risk players walking out during the summer, as they did in 1994. Players and owners had successfully reached four consecutive agreements without a stoppage.
The New York Mets and Max Scherzer have finalized a $130 million, three-year deal, a contract that shattered baseball’s record for highest average salary and forms a historically impressive 1-2 atop New York’s rotation with Jacob deGrom. The 37-year-old Scherzer will earn $43.33 million per year, 20% higher than the previous mark, the $36 million that Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole is averaging in his $324 million, nine-year contract signed prior to the 2020 season. Scherzer has the right to opt out after the 2023 season and become a free agent again.
Pitcher Kevin Gausman and the Blue Jays finalized a five-year, $110 million contract. The right-hander was 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings for San Francisco last season. He has a 64-72 record and 4.02 ERA in his career with Baltimore, Atlanta and the Giants.
The Chicago Cubs have landed one of the top remaining free agent starting pitchers. Chicago agreed to a $71 million, three-year contract with right-hander Marcus Stroman. Stroman gets $25 million in each of the next two seasons and has a $21 million player option for 2024. His option price could increase by $2 million each for 160 innings in 2022 and ’23.
Closer Raisel Iglesias agreed to a four-year, $58 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Angels. Iglesias was outstanding in his first season with the Angels after they acquired him in a trade with Cincinnati a year ago. The Cuban right-hander had 34 saves while going 7-5 with a 2.57 ERA and 103 strikeouts with only 12 walks in 65 appearances.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are bringing back versatile All-Star Chris Taylor, agreeing to a $60 million, four-year deal with a club option. The 31-year-old Taylor was an All-Star for the first time in 2021, when he hit .254 with 20 homers and set career highs with 92 runs and 73 RBIs. He hit a game-ending homer in the NL wild-card game against St. Louis, then batted .476 in the NL Championship Series against Atlanta, with three homers in Game 5. Taylor has played every position except catcher, first base and pitcher, and is a career .261 hitter with 79 homers.
The Atlanta Braves have tendered a contract to slugger Adam Duvall, ensuring the National League RBI leader returns to the World Series-winning club for another season., and with bench players Orlando Arcia and Guillermo Heredia. Pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Johan Camargo will be free agents. Still no word on re-signing Freddie Freeman.
Left-hander Alex Wood is staying with the San Francisco Giants, reaching agreement Wednesday on a $25 million, two-year contract. He gives manager Gabe Kapler two starters named Alex in the rotation after Tuesday’s addition of right-hander Alex Cobb on a $20 million, two-year contract with a club option for 2024.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have made a move to solidify the back end of their bullpen, adding four-time All-Star Mark Melancon on a $14 million, two-year deal. He had a 4-3 record and 2.23 ERA to earn his fourth All-Star appearance and first since 2016. He’ll be 37 years old on opening day.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and the Tampa Bay Rays have finalized an $8 million, one-year free-agent contract. The deal also includes an additional $5 million in incentives. The 35-year-old Kluber went through his third consecutive injury-impacted season in 2021, going 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts for the New York Yankees.
The Minnesota Twins have signed right-hander Dylan Bundy to a $5 million, one-year contract. This was there first step toward rebuilding a depleted rotation. Bundy will make $4 million in 2022. His deal comes with a club option for 2023 or a $1 million buyout.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed right-handed reliever Corey Knebel to a $10 million, one-year contract. The 30-year-old Knebel posted a 2.45 ERA and had three saves in 27 total appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021. Knebel was named to his first National League All-Star team in 2017 and led all NL pitchers with 76 appearances.
Quarterback Kyler Murray and All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins were both at practice for the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday in a sign the team’s top two playmakers might be ready to return after a three-game absence.
Murray is dealing with a sprained ankle while Hopkins has a hamstring injury. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray and Hopkins were both “limited” during Wednesday’s workout.
In other NFL news:
The New York Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones status is iffy after sustaining a neck injury. If Jones cannot play, veteran Mike Glennon will start for New York, which signed Jake Fromm off the Bills practice squad as an insurance policy.
The Chiefs activated veteran offensive lineman Kyle Long from the physically unable to perform list this week and he could be on the field Sunday night against Denver. Long fractured what’s called the tibial plateau in his knee during a June workout. The Chiefs created space for him by putting running back Jerick McKinnon and defensive tackle Khalen Saunders on injured reserve.
While Justin Fields returned to practice for the Chicago Bears, Andy Dalton got the first-team snaps today. Whether the prized rookie or veteran will start at quarterback Sunday when the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals visit Soldier Field remains to be seen.
Jalen Hurts said he’s “ready to go” and his ankle injury won’t affect his performance. The second-year quarterback is coming off his worst game as a pro. He threw three interceptions in a 13-7 loss to the Giants. Former Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew is Hurts’ backup but hasn’t taken a snap this season.
The latest meeting on expanding the College Football Playoff has wrapped up in Dallas without any announcement. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says the CFP management committee made good progress but works remains. The next meeting could come in January.
A proposed 12-team model unveiled in June is still at the heart of the discussions. There is still hope it can be implemented for the 2024 season.
In other college football news:
Notre Dame is working on a deal to promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach to replace Brian Kelly. That’s according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing has been finalized. The 35-year-old Freeman would become the first Black head football coach at Notre Dame. Kelly left for LSU earlier this week.
The head of the women’s professional tennis tour says all WTA tournaments will be suspended in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, and, that the suspension could extend beyond 2022.
The Grand Slam doubles champion has accused a former high-ranking government official in that country of sexual assault. She posted her allegations on social media last month.
WTA President and CEO Steve Simon is repeating his call for a “full and transparent investigation” into Peng’s accusations.
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