#SportsReport: Yankees continue winning streak; Braves cool off Mets
The Phoenix Suns team that bulldozed through the regular-season schedule reappeared in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Deandre Ayton scored 25 points, Devin Booker added 23 and the top-seeded Suns rolled to a 121-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
The Suns never trailed, jumping to a 9-0 lead in the opening minutes and staying on the gas until the final minutes. They shot 50.5% from the field, won the rebounding edge 51-36 and beat the Mavericks for the 10th straight time, counting regular season games.
In the night's other games, Tyler Herro scored 25 points, Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the Miami Heat topped the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers 106-92 in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The 76ers were without Joel Embiid, the MVP finalist who isn’t even in Miami while recovering from an orbital fracture and concussion — injuries suffered in Philadelphia’s first-round-clinching win at Toronto. He’s not expected to play in Game 2.
Three-point nights from Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-0 winning over the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 in Game 1 of their first-round playoffs series.
Matthews had two goals and an assist and Marner had a goal and two assists. Jack Campbell made 23 saves in the second playoff shutout of his career.
In other NHL playoff action:
Seth Jarvis and Nino Niederreiter scored second-period goals while Antti Raanta was strong in net to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Raanta had 35 saves in his first career postseason start with No. 1 goaltender Frederik Andersen sidelined by injury.
David Perron had a hat trick and an assist to lead the St. Louis Blues past the Minnesota Wild 4-0 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Ville Husso made 37 saves for the shutout in his postseason debut for the Blues.
Phillip Danault capitalized on a miscue by Edmonton goalie Mike Smith late in the third period and scored the tiebreaking goal, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 win over the Oilers in Game 1 of the teams’ opening-round playoff series. Smith tried to clear the puck from behind his net and instead put it on the stick of a Kings player in front. Smith made a diving save, but couldn’t corral the puck. Seconds later, Danault sent a long shot from the boards that beat Smith for the deciding goal.
Nashville will be without its All-Star goaltender Juuse Saros for the first two games of its series against high-scoring Colorado thanks to a leg injury.
The Avalanche also will see the return of captain Gabriel Landeskog. He’s been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery on March 14.
The Yankees' winning streak is now at 10 games.
Gleyber Torres homered early, then hit a go-ahead single in the ninth inning as New York Yankees beat the Blue Jays in Toronto 3-2.
Giancarlo Stanton singled off Yimi Garcia to begin the New York ninth, ending a streak of four perfect innings by Blue Jays relievers. Pinch-runner Tim Locastro stole second, but Josh Donaldson grounded out and Aaron Hicks struck out before Torres lined a single to center field.
Elsewhere in the majors:
The Atlanta Braves cooled off the New York Mets with a 5-2 victory in the first of 19 meetings between the NL East rivals this season. Austin Riley homered, while Travis d’Arnaud had three hits and three RBIs against his former team. Max Fried settled in after a rocky start, outpitching Chris Bassitt as the defending World Series champions took the opener of a four-game series.
Paul Goldschmidt hit an early home run and Steven Matz and the St. Louis bullpen made it stand up, leading the Cardinals over the Kansas City Royals 1-0. Goldschmidt got his first day off of the season Sunday and then connected with one out in the first inning against Zack Greinke. Matz scattered four hits, including a pair of doubles, in six innings. Greinke allowed only three hits in six innings but took the loss.
Dylan Cease struck out 11 to match a career best and gave up just one hit in seven sparkling innings, propelling the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout struck out in all four at-bats, three against Cease.
Yordan Alvarez hit a solo homer and rookie Jeremy Peña added a two-run shot to back up another solid start from Jake Odorizzi and help the Houston Astros to a 3-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. The victory snaps a two-game skid for the Astros. Manager Dusty Baker is within one win of becoming the 12th manager in MLB history to reach 2,000.
The Tampa Bay Rays used a balanced offense to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-1. Yandy Díaz led off the game with a home run to back right-hander Drew Rassmussen’s second straight winning start.
Zac Gallen outpitched Pablo López as the Arizona Diamondbacks built a lead and held on to beat the Miami Marlins 5-4. David Peralta homered, singled twice and drove in three runs, and Daulton Varsho hit two doubles for the Diamondbacks.
Chris Paddack pitched effectively into the sixth, and the Minnesota Twins got their 10th win in 11 games with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander allowed a run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Robinson Canó has been cut by the New York Mets with nearly $45 million remaining on his contract, ending an ill-fated marriage and perhaps signaling the end of his decorated major league career.
The 39-year-old Canó sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He was relegated to a part-time role this season, batting .195 with one homer, three RBIs and a paltry .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances.
Elsewhere in the majors:
Mets manager Buck Showalter was suspended for his team’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves after Major League Baseball determined reliever Yoan López intentionally threw at Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber Sunday night. López, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse following the victory, received a three-game ban that starts whenever he returns to the active big league roster.
The Minnesota Twins have put Miguel Sanó on the 10-day injured list and called up infield prospect Jose Miranda to make his big league debut. The 23-year-old Miranda was the Twins’ minor league player of the year in 2021.
A lawyer for an NFL coach who sued the league over alleged racist hiring practices has told a judge that arbitration is the wrong way to resolve the lawsuit in part because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be the arbitrator.
Attorney Douglas Wigdor said in Manhattan federal court Monday that the league wanted to force “behind closed doors” the claims of Brian Flores and two other Black coaches. Flores filed the lawsuit in February, claiming the league was “rife with racism” even as the NFL publicly condemns it.
In other NFL news:
An independent investigation launched by the NFL has found no evidence the Cleveland Browns purposely lost games during the 2016 and 2017 seasons as former coach Hue Jackson claimed. The league says “none of the allegations could be substantiated.” In February, Jackson said Browns owner Dee and Jimmy Haslam incentivized people in the organization to lose over a four-year period.
Arizona Cardinals three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. It’s a stunning blow for the Cardinals, who finished with an 11-6 record last season but faded down the stretch when Hopkins was out of the lineup because of injuries.
Devin Bush will be playing for his job in 2022. The Pittsburgh Steelers have declined the fifth-year option on the inside linebacker, meaning he can become a free agent next spring. Pittsburgh traded up in the first round of the 2019 draft to take Bush with the 10th overall pick.
Cade York has already kicked out his competition with the Browns. Cleveland released kickers Chase McLaughlin and Chris Blewitt two days after selecting York, one of college football’s best kickers, in the fourth round of the NFL draft to upgrade its wayward kicking game.
The Chiefs placed an unrestricted free-agent tender on defensive end Melvin Ingram in the hopes of keeping him for next season. They’ve also traded for Houston cornerback Lonnie Johnson, adding a former second-round pick to their remade secondary.
The San Francisco 49ers are bringing back oft-injured cornerback Jason Verrett on a one-year deal. Verrett played only one game last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Verrett originally joined the 49ers in 2019 and played only one game his first season because of injuries. He did play 13 games in 2020.
Scott Frost will not be allowed to perform his coaching duties for five consecutive days this football season as part of Nebraska’s negotiated settlement with the NCAA for allowing an unauthorized staff member to do hands-on special teams coaching in 2020.
The NCAA said Frost failed to monitor former special teams analyst Jonathan Rutledge’s activities. Rutledge was found to work directly with players during special teams drills and assist or make tactical decisions in games.
Elsewhere in college football:
Alabama cornerback Eli Ricks was arrested in Mississippi on charges of speeding, not having insurance and a first offense possession of marijuana. Ricks is battling for a starting spot in Alabama’s secondary after transferring from LSU. He was a five-star recruit who earned third-team Associated Press All-America honors as an LSU freshman.
Chase Elliott snapped a 26-race winless streak when the 2020 NASCAR champion pulled away down the stretch to win the rain-delayed Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway.
Elliott led the final 53 laps and won his 14th career Cup race.
He made it another win for Hendrick Motorsports on the mile concrete track. Elliott followed teammate Alex Bowman’s checkered flag a year ago, and a Hendrick driver won for the 22nd time at Dover.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second and had his first top-five finish of the season for JTG Daugherty Racing. Ross Chastain was third for Trackhouse Racing. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell finished fourth.
The race was red-flagged Sunday with teammates Kyle Larson and Elliott sitting first and second.
The WNBA will honor Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner with a floor decal, a person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press.
The decal will feature Griner’s initials “BG” as well as her No. 42. All 12 teams will have the decal on their home courts starting with the season opener Friday night.
Griner is still being detained in Russia.
The league’s Board of Governors also approved Phoenix paying Griner’s salary and not have it count against the cap, according to a different person familiar with that decision told the AP.
The Union of European Football Associations has kicked Russian soccer teams out of the Women’s European Championship, the next men’s Champions League and qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The latest round of sporting sanctions come in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden will ban from their national ice hockey teams any players who appear in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League next season.
All contents © copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved