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#SportsReport: Mets beat Nationals in season opener

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PGA:

Tiger Woods played pretty well at the Masters on Thursday. Sungjae Im was a little better.

Im opened with a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke lead over Cameron Smith at Augusta National. He recovered from a pair of bogeys with a 12-foot eagle putt on the 13th and added a late birdie. Smith opened and closed with double bogeys, but he also had eight birdies.

Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson are two shots back, as are Danny Willett and Joaquin Niemann.

Woods had three birdies and two bogeys in a 1-under 71 that leaves him tied for 10th. It was his first competitive round since shattering a leg in a car accident 14 months ago.

NBA:

The Milwaukee Bucks have moved into second place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference with a 127-121 win over the No. 3 Celtics.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday each scored 29 points for the Bucks, who closed on a 9-0 run to pull a half-game ahead of Boston. Khris Middleton had 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo also had 11 rebounds and five assists.

Milwaukee withstood a triple-double from Jaylen Brown, who had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Marcus Smart paced the Celtics with a season-high 29 points, shooting 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:

The Warriors earned their third straight win since a four-game skid as Klay Thompson scored 33 points with six 3-pointers in a 128-112 decision over the Lakers. Jordan Poole added 19 points and a career-high 11 assists for Golden State. Talen Horton-Tucker scored a career-high 40 points on 15-for-28 shooting to lead a Lakers team missing LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook.

Pascal Siakam recorded his third career triple-double and Gary Trent Jr. scored 30 points as the Raptors won for the seventh time in eight games, 119-114 over the 76ers. Siakam had 37 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, shooting 14 of 28 from the field. Precious Achiuwa scored 20 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers to help Toronto win without the injured Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby.

The Nuggets clinched a playoff berth with a 122-109 win over the Memphis Grizzlies behind 35 points from Nikola Jokic and 22 from Aaron Gordon. Jokic’s 13-foot spinner jumper sparked a 20-3 run that he capped with a layup, turning an early 10-point deficit into a 34-28 lead. Gordon had 20 points by the time the Nuggets took a 70-53 cushion into halftime.

Anthony Edwards poured in a career-high 49 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 21 with 13 rebounds as the Timberwolves tripped the Spurs, 127-121. Edwards’ big output came on 16-of-28 shooting and 6 of 14 from 3-point range. The second-year guard took over in the second half, making big shot after big shot to fend off the Spurs.

The Hornets stopped a two-game skid as LaMelo Ball had 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a 128-101 thrashing of the Magic. Terry Rozier added 22 points as Charlotte pulled within one game of the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets, who are tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings with two games remaining. The win assures Charlotte its first non-losing season since 2015-16.

The Pelicans blew past the Trail Blazers, 127-94 as CJ McCollum scored 23 points in 29 minutes against his former team. Jonas Valanciunas returned from a sore right ankle to score 14 points in 21 minutes for the Pelicans, who were without leading scorer Brandon Ingram (right hamstring). None of the Pelicans’ starters played 30 minutes as they handed Portland its ninth straight loss.

The Brooklyn Nets have waived veteran forward James Johnson, opening a roster spot ahead of the postseason.

The move would allow the Nets to convert Kessler Edwards’ two-way contract to a standard NBA deal, making him eligible for the postseason. The second-round pick has become a regular part of the rotation.

MLB:

The defending World Series champs have stumbled out of the gate.

Tyler Mahle (MA’-lee) allowed only an unearned run in five innings to outpitch Max Fried (freed) in Cincinnati’s 6-3 downing of the Braves in Atlanta. Mahle was sharp in his first opening day start, allowing only three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Brandon Drury hit a three-run homer off Collin McHugh in the reliever’s first appearance for the Braves.

Fried was reached for five runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Austin Riley hit a two-run homer for Atlanta off right-hander Dauri Moreta in the eighth.

Also in the majors:

Bobby Witt Jr’s first major league hit was an RBI double that broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning of the Royals’ 3-1 win over Cleveland. He also scored the insurance run and Nick Lopez had an RBI for Kansas City. In a matchup of former Cy Young Award winners, Cleveland ace Shane Bieber and erstwhile Royals star Zach Greinke dueled to a 1-all stalemate before turning the game over to the bullpens.

Ian Happ had three hits, including a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning of the Cubs’ 5-4 win over the Brewers. Nico Hoerner hit the majors’ first homer of 2022 and Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki reached three times and scored in his first big league game.

Tyler O’Neill hit a three-run homer and drove in five to lead the St. Louis Cardinals’ 9-0 rout of Pittsburgh. Adam Wainwright allowed just five hits over six innings of his sixth opening day start and first since 2016.

The Mets are a major league-best 40-21 in season openers after Tyler Megill threw five shutout innings to lead a 5-1 win over the Nationals. New York became the first team to get scoreless outings from their starters on opening day in four consecutive seasons. Mets newcomers Starling Marte and Mark Canha each drove in a run.

Seth Beer launched a game-winning, three-run homer in the ninth inning to lift the Diamondbacks over the Padres, 4-2. Beer’s blast spoiled a stellar outing by San Diego’s Yu Darvish, who threw six no-hit innings before being pulled leading 2-0 after six innings and 92 pitches.

The Astros earned a 3-1 win over the Angels as Framber Valdez outpitched Shohei Ohtani with 6 2-3 innings of two-hit ball. Alex Bregman had an early RBI single and a late homer as the Astros won their major league record-tying 10th straight season opener.

Max Scherzer says he is “good to go” for his New York Mets debut in Friday’s second game of the season against the Washington Nationals.

This is Scherzer’s return to Nationals Park after he played 6 1/2 seasons with Washington and helped the club win the 2019 World Series. The three-time Cy Young Award winner developed a problem with his right hamstring late in spring training camp in Florida and there had been some uncertainty about when he would be able to make his first appearance of the regular season.

In other MLB news:

The Pirates and 25-year-old third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes have come to terms on a new eight-year, $70 million deal pending a physical. Hayes was limited to 96 games last year due to a left wrist injury.

The Twins have acquired right-handed pitchers Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagán from the Padres for All-Star left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers and outfielder Brent Rooker. The Twins also will receive a player to be named later and the Padres will get $6.6 million in cash under terms of the deal.

Astros All-Star closer Ryan Pressly has signed a two-year, $30 million contract through 2024, a deal that includes a one-year vested option. Pressly was named to his second All-Star Game last season and finished with a career-best 2.25 ERA in 64 appearances, recording a career-high 26 saves in 28 opportunities.

The Guardians have announced their five-year, $20 million contract with Emmanuel Clase. The 24-year-old closer was dominant in 71 appearances as a rookie last season, striking out 74 in just 69 2/3 innings while recording 24 saves with a paltry 1.29 ERA.

The White Sox expect third baseman Yoán Moncada to miss the first three weeks of the season because of a strained right oblique. The team placed Moncada on the 10-day injured list on Thursday. Moncada batted .263 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs last season.

The Cubs have placed right-hander Alec Mills, left-hander Wade Miley and shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the 10-day injured list. Mills has a low back strain, and Miley is dealing with left elbow inflammation. Simmons is working through right shoulder inflammation. Each IL stint was made retroactive to Monday.

The mother of a boy accidentally hit in the head with a baseball thrown by an Angels pitcher warming up before a game has filed a lawsuit against the team. Lawyers say the boy was walking in the stands before a game when he was struck by a ball that a pitcher threw to a teammate who missed the catch.

Winners of the Roberto Clemente Award will wear his No. 21 on the back of their caps for the rest of their major league careers. Major League Baseball called it a special tribute to Clemente’s enduring legacy. Thursday’s announcement on opening day was timed for the 50th anniversary of the year in which the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer from Puerto Rico died in a plane crash while on a humanitarian relief effort in Nicaragua.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

Gonzaga junior forward Drew Timme has announced his intention to declare for the NBA draft, but did not indicate if he would hire an agent.

Timme was the West Coast Conference player of the year this past season for the Bulldogs and a second-team AP All-America selection after averaging 18.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Timme started to emerge as a potential force late in his freshman season, but broke out during the 2020-21 season when Gonzaga reached the national championship game before losing to Baylor.

NHL:

The Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers remain separated by two points atop the NHL’s Metropolitan Division.

The Hurricanes clinched a playoff berth and stayed atop the division by downing the Sabres, 5-3. Carolina trailed 2-0 before Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal each scored twice. Aho’s tiebreaking goal came with 8:21 remaining, putting the Canes at 100 points for the second time in franchise history.

The Rangers are 6-1-1 in their last eight games following a 3-0 win over the Penguins. Frank Vatrano and Artemi Panarin scored in the second period to back Igor Shesterkin, who stopped 30 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.

Tristan Jarry had 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which has lost four of five and is eight points behind the Hurricanes.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

Auston Matthews broke the Toronto season goals record with Nos. 55 and 56, the second giving the Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Stars. Matthews had tied Rick Vaive’s 40-year-old team mark of 54 goals two games earlier. Tyler Seguin scored his 21st goal for the Stars, who remain in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot.

Connor McDavid leads the league with 109 points after netting his career-high 42nd goal and collecting an assist in the Oilers' 3-2 win over the Kings. Evan Bouchard also had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who have won six straight to take a three-point lead over the Kings for second place in the Pacific Division.

Elias Lindholm scored twice and Matthew Tkachuk added a goal and two assists as the Flames doubled up the Sharks, 4-2 to stay six points ahead of second-place Edmonton in the Pacific Division. Trevor Lewis also scored in Calgary's third straight win.

Roman Josi had a goal and two assists for the Predators in a 3-2 win over the Senators. Ottawa led, 2-1 in the third period until Josi and Ryan Johansen tallied. Matt Duchene had Nashville’s other goal and Juuse Saros made 28 saves.

Philadelphia was a 4-1 winner against the Blue Jackets as Kevin Connauton, Owen Tippett and Noah Cates scored in the Flyers’ three-goal second period. Travis Konecny added a third-period goal, Martin Jones stopped 26 shots and Kevin Hayes had a pair of assists in the victory.

Bo Horvat and Alex Chiasson each had two goals and an assist to carry the Canucks past the Coyotes, 5-1. Elias Pettersson had a goal and two assists for the Canucks, who have won two straight and earned five points in their last three games.

Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves for Seattle’s second shutout, 2-0 versus the Blackhawks. Alex Wennberg scored his 10th goal in the second period and Jordan Eberle added his 18th late in the third to seal it.

Kale Clague and Christian Dvorak each had a goal and two assists in the Canadiens’ 7-4 win over the Devils. Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki each had a goal and an assist as a part of a three-goal first period.

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is stepping down after 19 seasons on the job.

The team announced Joe Will remains interim GM until a full-time replacement can be found. Will has been running the team’s hockey operations since Wilson went on medical leave in late November.

San Jose made the playoffs 14 times with Wilson in charge and reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.

NFL:

Two Black coaches have joined Brian Flores in his lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices by the NFL toward coaches and general managers. The updated lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court adds coaches Steve Wilks and Ray Horton.

Wilks alleges he was discriminated against by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Horton claims he was subjected to discriminatory treatment when he interviewed for the Tennessee Titans head coach position in January 2016.

Elsewhere around the NFL:

Stefon Diggs officially signed a four-year, $96 million contract extension with the Bills through 2027. Diggs had 103 receptions for 1,225 yards and a career-high 10 touchdowns, one season after leading the league in catches and receiving yards.

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