#SportsReport: FIFA declines to expel Russia from World Cup qualifying
The NBA-leading Phoenix Suns are just 1-2 since losing All-Star guard Chris Paul to a broken thumb.
Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and Rudy Gobert had a double-double as the Jazz won for the eighth time in nine games, 118-114 over the Suns. Gobert had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who used a 16-3 run late in the third quarter to take a 94-89 advantage heading into the final period.
Jordan Clarkson had 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting, part of the Utah second unit that outscored Phoenix’s bench, 43-11.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 30 points, while Cameron Johnson and Deandre Ayton each added 23.
Checking out Sunday’s other NBA action:
The Mavericks came back from 21 down in the third quarter to stun the Warriors, 107-101. Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) made two free throws with 7.9 seconds left on the way to 34 points. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 of his 24 in the final period for Dallas.
Joel Embiid and James Harden carried the 76ers to a 125-109 win over the Knicks. Embiid scored 37 points and made a career- and NBA season-high 23 free throws. Harden had 29 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds for the Sixers, who are 2-0 since he was activated.
The Nuggets pushed their winning streak to six games with a 124-92 dismantling of the Trail Blazers. JaMychal Green had 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, and Nikola Jokic contributed 18 rebounds, 11 assists and eight boards before sitting for good with 2:22 left in the third quarter. Demarcus Cousins was part of a Denver bench that combined for 76 points, finishing with 19 and eight rebounds.
Buddy Hield delivered 11 of his 21 points during the final eight minutes to help the Pacers pull away from the Celtics, 128-107. Oshae Brissett made a career-high six 3-pointers and finished with 27 points as Indiana won for just the second time in 10 games. Jayson Tatum finished with 24 points and Jaylen Brown scored 23 for Boston, which ended a seven-game road winning streak ended.
Reggie Jackson scored 26 points, including three key points down the stretch to lead the Clippers to a 99-98 victory over the Rockets. Jackson’s jumper with about 90 seconds left put the Clippers up 97-95. Los Angeles scored 13 straight points to take an 87-83 lead with about nine minutes to go.
The Pelicans administered a 123-95 thrashing of the Lakers as CJ McCollum provided 22 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Brandon Ingram and had eight assists while scoring 19 points. Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards against the Lakers, who have dropped 14 of their last 20.
Kelly Olynyk made a fadeaway 13-footer from the baseline at the overtime buzzer to give the Pistons a 127-126 win over the Hornets, Detroit’s first win over Charlotte in 4 1/2 years. Saddiq Bey had 28 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons, who had dropped 15 straight to the Hornets. Jerami Grant added 26 points and Olynyk had 20 with eight rebounds for Detroit.
Illinois still has a decent shot at grabbing the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.
Kofi Cockburn and Alfonso Plummer combined for 53 points as 15th-ranked Illinois outscored Michigan, 93-85.
Cockburn delivered 27 points in helping the Illinois get within one game of Wisconsin for the Big Ten lead. Plummer provided 23 of his 26 points by halftime for the Illini, who saw a 15-point, second-half lead cut to two in the closing minutes. Trent Frazier hit a 3-pointer with 45.3 seconds left to put Illinois up by seven.
Also in the Big Ten, Fatts Russell matched his career high with 27 points as Maryland knocked off No. 22 Ohio State, 75-60. Eric Ayala added 23 points and helped the Terrapins hold the Buckeyes to 36% shooting. The Terps had dropped six of eight before holding OSU leading scorer E.J. Liddell to 11 points.
In other top-25 men’s action:
Fabian White Jr. and Josh Carlton led 14th-ranked Houston past SMU, 75-61. White had 21 points and nine rebounds, while Carlton added 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Cougars take a two-game lead with their fourth straight win. The Cougars had a 48-30 advantage in points in the paint, shot 45% and held a 49-25 advantage in rebounds.
R.J. Cole scored 18 points and No. 21 UConn shot 11-for-20 from beyond the arc in an 86-77 win over Georgetown. The Huskies earned their fifth and extended the Hoyas’ team-record losing streak to 18 games.
Siena defeated Monmouth 70-59, Iona held off Rider, 67-61, and UConn bested Georgetown, 86-77. On the women’s side, Boston College downed Syracuse, 91-75, and UConn pummeled Providence, 88-31.
The Carolina Hurricanes have strengthened their hold on first place in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division by earning their fifth straight win.
Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and an assist as the Hurricanes stifled the Oilers, 2-1. Sebastian Aho also scored and Frederik Andersen made 29 saves for his league-leading 29th victory.
Derek Ryan had the lone tally for Edmonton, which had a goal wiped out by an offsides call in the opening minute.
Elsewhere in NHL action:
The Penguins pulled out a 3-2 win at Columbus on Sidney Crosby’s goal with 2:14 remaining. Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh won its second straight since a three-game skid. Chad Ruhwedel also scored, Bryan Rust added two assists and Casey DeSmith stopped 32 shots to improve to 3-0 against Columbus.
Thatcher Demko made 31 saves and blanked the Rangers until the third period of the Canucks’ 5-2 victory. Matthew Highmore and Tyler Myers each had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, which also received goals from Tanner Pearson, Juho Lammikko and Elias Pettersson. Alexandar Georgiev started for the first time since Jan. 27 and made 29 saves for New York.
The Blues blanked the Blackhawks, 4-0 as Jordan Binnington stopped 30 shots in his second shutout of the season. Jordan Kyrou, Pavel Buchnevich and David Perron scored while St. Louis dominated the second period. Perron added a third-period goal to seal the Blues’ fourth straight win.
Michael Raffl ended his 16-game goal drought by netting a pair in the Stars’ 4-2 victory over the Sabres. Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov also scored for the Stars, who have points in seven of their last nine games. Tage Thompson and Cody Eakin scored in Buffalo’s sixth straight loss.
The Islanders were 4-0 winners over the Ducks as Ilya Sorokin stopped 34 shots in his fifth shutout of the season. Casey Cizikas had a goal and an assist to help New York improve to 2-1-1 on its five-game road trip. Noah Dobson, Andy Greene and Kieffer Bellows netted the other goals.
James Reimer turned back 36 shots to backstop the Sharks’ third win in 13 games, 3-1 versus the Kraken. Rookie Scott Reedy broke a 1-1 tie in the second period with his first NHL goal in six games. Morgan Geekie and Jona Gadjovich also tallied for San Jose.
The Jets ended a four-game skid as Kyle Connor scored twice in the third period of their 5-3 decision over the Coyotes. Adam Lowry, Evgeny Svechnikov and Blake Wheeler scored for the Jets, who rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the third period. Eric Comrie made 27 saves in his first start since Feb. 17.
Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson held off Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez in a tense finish to win at Fontana for the second time.
After starting at the rear under penalty, Larson raced to his 17th career victory and the 11th in his year-plus at Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Larson had victory in sight with eight laps to go when Chase Elliott spun and forced a race-record 12th caution. Elliott had a beef with his Hendrick teammate several laps earlier when he got pinched into the wall by Larson, who apologized for it on the radio.
Dillon came in second and Suarez slipped to fourth behind Erik Jones as Chevrolets took the top four spots.
Scott McLaughlin got his first IndyCar Series victory in the season-opening race through the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
McLaughlin led 49 of the 100 laps but had to hold off reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou over the closing laps to secure the victory. Will Power finished third to put two Team Penske drivers on the podium.
McLaughlin is the three-time Australian V8 Supercars champion but struggled as an IndyCar rookie last season.
Sepp Straka was able to capture the PGA’s Honda Classic despite trailing by five strokes entering the final round.
Straka is the first Austrian winner in PGA Tour history after firing a 4-under 66 that left him 10 under.
Shane Lowry shot a third straight 67 but fell one shot back.
First-round leader Kurt Kitayama was alone in third at 8 under.
Miguel Angel Jimenez had his second hole-in-one of the tournament and closed with a 7-under 65 to win the Cologuard Classic. Jimenez started the final round with a two-shot lead and got off to a birdie-eagle start at Tucson National.
The 58-year-old Spaniard ended any hope of a late rally with an ace on the 178-yard, par-3 14th to match the one he had at No. 7 in the opening round. Jimenez closed with four straight pars to finish at 18-under and win for the second time in three PGA Tour Champions starts this season.
Negotiators for locked-out major league players and owners recessed their talks until Monday, the day management has set as a deadline to salvage March 31 openers.
The sides held a series of short and more frequent meetings that stretched into Sunday night before saying they would resume in the morning.
MLB says that if there is not a deal by the end of Monday, there will not be enough training time to start the season as scheduled and play 162 games.
Entering the 88th day of the work stoppage they were still far apart on big issues that include luxury tax thresholds and rates, the size of the new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players and minimum salaries.
Elsewhere around the majors;
The Mets have hired Elizabeth Benn as director of major league operations, making her the franchise’s highest-ranking female baseball operations employee ever. That’s according to a person with knowledge of the hiring. Benn has worked for Major League Baseball since finishing a master’s degree in philosophy at Columbia in 2017. She’s had roles in youth programs, labor relations and baseball operations with the league.
FIFA has declined to expel Russia from World Cup qualifying but says that remains an option. International soccer’s governing body has decided instead that the squad can play using the “RFU” acronym for the country’s soccer federation, the Russian Football Union. The FIFA Bureau, featuring the six regional football confederation presidents, also ruled that the Russian flag and anthem cannot be associated with the team.
The compromise was immediately rejected by Poland, which said it would still refuse to play Russia in a World Cup playoff semifinal scheduled for March 24.
In other developments related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
The English Football Association announced that its national teams would refuse to play Russia for the “foreseeable future.” Russia has qualified for the Women’s European Championship which is being hosted by England in June.
Albania’s government has joined the wave of European opposition to playing any sports games against Russia. Albania is due to host Russia in Tirana on June 2 in the group stage of the UEFA Nations League competition. The return game is on June 13, though UEFA ruled Friday that Russian teams must find neutral venues for its home games.
Some four dozen athletes from Ukraine and elsewhere have sent an open letter to Olympic and Paralympic leaders urging them to immediately suspend the Russian and Belarussian Olympic and Paralympic Committees.
The government of Qatar paid more than $10 million to a company staffed by former CIA operatives for a multi-year covert operation aimed at silencing critics of the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to the wealthy Gulf nation. That’s according to internal company documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
The records show that the primary target of the operation was the head of the German soccer federation, Theo Zwanziger, who publicly attacked Qatar’s poor human rights record and pushed for the World Cup to be moved.
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