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Sports

#SportsReport: Jags Take Lawrence At No. 1; Orioles Edge Yankees

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The worst-kept secret in the NFL is now public. The Jacksonville Jaguars have used the first overall pick in the draft to select Trevor Lawrence. The Clemson quarterback was outstanding in his three college seasons, completing 67% of his passes for 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns and just 17 interceptions while also rushing for 943 yards. Lawrence is widely considered the best college QB prospect since Andrew Luck nearly a decade ago and will pair with new head coach Urban Meyer as the faces of the franchise. Lawrence won a national championship as a freshman, taking game MVP honors as the Tigers hammered Alabama, 44-16. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting as a junior last season before entering the draft.

Quarterbacks also were taken with the next two picks as BYU's Zach Wilson went second to the Jets and North Dakota State's Trey Lance headed to the 49ers at No. 3. It marks just the third time quarterbacks were taken with each of the first three picks in a draft.

Rounding out Thursday's top 10 picks: 

  • The Falcons used the fourth choice to land Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, and LSU wideout Ja'Marr Chase went fifth to the Bengals.
  • Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle was taken by the Dolphins with the sixth selection, reuniting him with former Crimson Tide QB Tua Tagovailoa.
  • The first offensive lineman to be chosen was tackle Penei Sewell of Oregon, taken seventh by the Lions.
  • The Panthers got secondary help by choosing South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn with the eighth pick.
  • Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II went ninth to the Broncos.
  • Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith became the sixth SEC player and third from Alabama, to be taken, going to the Eagles at No. 10.

In other NFL news: 
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has reiterated that the team remains committed to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. ESPN reported Thursday in the hours leading up to the NFL draft that Rodgers doesn't want to return to the Packers. Gutekunst said in a statement released by the team that "we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond." Gutekunst's statement hasn't stopped reports that have the Packers shopping the QB.

The Steelers have signed backup quarterback Mason Rudolph to a one-year contract extension through the 2022 season. Rudolph has played in 15 games for the Steelers, most of them in 2019 when Roethlisberger went down with a right elbow injury at halftime of Week 2. Rudolph is 5-3 as a starter, completing 176 of 283 passes for 1,765 yards and 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The Panthers are picking up the fifth-year option on wide receiver D.J. Moore's contract, according to a person familiar with the situation. Moore has developed into the team's No. 1 receiver in his three years with the team, grabbing 208 passes for 3,156 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for Carolina, including a career-high 1,193 yards last season.

The Seahawks have signed former first-round defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (kihm-DEE'-chay). He was a top prospect coming out of Mississippi, but his NFL career has been mostly a flop. His best season came in 2018 when he had a career-high 32 tackles and 4½ sacks, before a knee injury cut short his season.

NBA

The Brooklyn Nets had just one of their top-3 players available against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, but he had his most productive game of the season. Kevin Durant poured in 22 of his season-high 42 points in the third quarter to help the Eastern Conference leaders post a 130-113 win over the Pacers. Durant hit 16 of 24 shots and had 10 assists in his eighth start since being sidelined for nearly two months with a hamstring injury. Alize Johnson had 20 points and 21 rebounds for the Nets, who are an NBA-best 29-8 since Feb. 10. Brooklyn leads the conference by 1 1/2 games over the 76ers following its fourth straight win.

In other NBA action: 

Nikola Jokic delivered 19 points and 11 rebounds in just three quarters to lead the Nuggets to a 121-111 downing of the Raptors. Michael Porter Jr. scored 23 points for the Nuggets, who had seven players score in double figures and used a 31-8 run in the second half to win their fourth straight. Denver improved to 8-1 since Jamal Murray went down with a torn ACL in his left knee on April 12.

The Bucks' shot at the No. 1 seed in the East continues to fade after a 143-136 loss to the NBA-worst Rockets. Kevin Porter torched Milwaukee for 50 points and Houston took control by outscoring the Bucks, 39-25 in the third quarter. Khris Middleton had a team-high 33 points for the Bucks, who played all but one minute without forward Giannis Antetokounmpo because of a sprained ankle. The two-time reigning MVP will be re-evaluated on Friday. The Bucks' loss drops them 4 1/2 games behind the Nets.

Anthony Edwards furnished 18 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves surprised the Warriors, 126-114. Ricky Rubio scored 26 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 22 with 11 rebounds for the Wolves. Stephen Curry overcame early shooting struggles to finish with 37 points for Golden State.

Tim Hardaway Jr. provided a career-high 42 points and the Mavericks overcame the absence of Luka Doncic in a 115-105 victory over the Pistons. Hardaway scored 17 points in a row during a fourth-quarter stretch, capping that run with a 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining that put the Mavericks up 109-105. Trey Burke added 15 points for Dallas, which moved a game ahead of Portland for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference.

The Pelicans earned a 109-95 win over the Thunder behind Zion Williamson's 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Brandon Ingram added 24 points for New Orleans. Oklahoma City has dropped 15 of its last 16.

MLB

The Orioles were 4-3 winners over the Yankees as Cedric Mullins delivered a winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning. Trey Mancini had his first three-hit game since returning from colon cancer surgery, including an RBI single that helped Baltimore gain a split of the four-game series.

Elsewhere in MLB: 

The Cardinals were able to celebrate a 4-3 win over the Phillies once Tyler O'Neill scored on David Hale's game-ending wild pitch in the 10th inning. Matt Carpenter put the Cardinals ahead in the sixth with a three-run homer off Aaron Nola.

Jose Trevino hit a tiebreaking two-run homer soon after his battery mate's final pitch, helping push Kyle Gibson and the Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox. The Red Sox had only three hits, their fourth game in a row with five or less.

Matt Chapman has helped the Oakland Athletics leave St. Petersburg with a split of their four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Chapman belted a solo homer and added a tiebreaking, RBI double with two out in the ninth to lead the A's past the Rays, 3-2. Ramón Laureano also doubled home a run as the Athletics won for the second time in five games since winning 13 in a row. Rays starter Shane McClanahan became the fourth player to make his regular-season debut after appearing in a playoff game, allowing two runs over five innings while hitting over 100 mph on the radar.

Carlos Rodón struck out a career-high 12 in six innings as the White Sox handled the Tigers, 3-1 in the opener of a doubleheader. Rodón allowed two hits in his first home start since tossing a no-hitter against Cleveland on April 14. Dylan Cease struck out a season-best nine in his first career shutout to help the White Sox complete the sweep and win for the sixth time in seven games, 11-0. Yoán Moncada and Yermín Mercedes homered, as Chicago sent the AL-worst Tigers to their 12th loss in 14 games.

The Mariners' four-game skid is over after Yusei Kikuchi flirted with a no-hitter and Taylor Trammell homered in a 1-0 shutout of the Astros. Kikuchi did not allow a hit until Carlos Correa doubled to deep right-center field with one out in the seventh.

Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Trevor Bauer before the Brewers finished off the Dodgers, 2-1. Eric Lauer won in his first start of the season, yielding four hits over five shutout innings.

The Cubs emerged from their hitting streak as Jason Heyward drove in two runs with two hits in a 9-3 pounding of the Braves. Jake Marisnick homered in the seventh and every Chicago starter had at least one hit in ending a five-game losing streak.

The Diamondbacks climbed out of an early three-run hole to beat the Rockies, 5-3. Eduardo Escobar hit a go-ahead triple and Josh Rojas launched a solo homer in Arizona's eighth win in 11 games.

In MLB news, Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes is going on the injured list after a remarkable April run. The Brewers announced the move without specifying his issue, although GM David Stearns says they are following Major League Baseball health and safety protocols. Burnes is 2-2 with a 1.53 ERA and has recorded 49 strikeouts and no walks through 29 1/3 innings.

NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins have clinched their 15th consecutive Stanley Cup playoff berth while grabbing a piece of the East Division lead. Jake Guentzel scored his 22nd goal at 2:11 of overtime to send the Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals, leaving the two teams in a first-place tie. Kasperi Kapanen scored his ninth and 10th goals of the year as the Pens beat the Caps for the fifth time in seven meetings. The Penguins were in line for a regulation win and a one-point lead in the division until Tom Wilson tallied with 14.3 seconds left in regulation. Wilson's goal also allowed the Capitals to wrap up a playoff spot.

In other NHL action: 

Semyon Varlamov recorded his league-leading sixth shutout of the season by stopping 25 shots in the Islanders' first win in four games, 4-0 over the Rangers. Varlamov became the first goalie to shut out the Rangers three times at Madison Square Garden in one season. Leo Komarov, Oliver Wahlstrom, Anthony Beauvillier and Mathew Barzal scored, and Brock Nelson and Scott Mayfield each had two assists as the Islanders got within four points of the East Division lead.

The Bruins stayed a point behind the Isles as David Krejci and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist for Boston in a 5-2 downing of the Sabres. David Pastrnak scored his 199th career goal for Boston just 1:16 into the game. Charlie Coyle broke a 2-all tie on a breakaway midway through the third period for his first goal in two months.

Yegor Sharangovich scored twice and Mackenzie Blackwood made 21 saves as the Devils knocked off the Flyers, 5-3.Pavel Zacha chipped in a goal and an assist to help the Devils win their second in a row since an 0-9-1 skid.

Auston Matthews netted his NHL-leading 36th goal of the season as the Maple Leafs defeated the Canucks, 4-1. The 23-year-old Matthews hit the 60-point mark for a fifth straight season since getting picked first overall at the 2016 draft. Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Pierre Engvall added goals for the North Division leaders.

The Hurricanes ran their point streak to nine games as Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and assist in a 3-1 verdict over the Red Wings. Brady Skjei and Warren Foegele also scored and Sebastian Aho registered two assists for Carolina. Canes netminder James Reimer played just his fourth game in April, making 16 saves for his team-high 15th victory.

Blake Coleman converted a short-handed penalty shot and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 20 shots for his 26th career shutout to lead the Lightning to a 3-0 victory against the Stars. Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point also scored for Tampa Bay, which has won four consecutive games to stay within three points of the Central Division-leading Hurricanes. The Stars remain two points behind the Predators for fourth place in the Central Division and have one game in hand.

The Panthers recorded a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks on Sam Bennett's goal at 4:08 of OT. Alex Wennberg and Brandon Mountour each had a goal and assist for the Panthers, who improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10. The win keeps Florida two points behind first-place Carolina and one ahead of third-place Tampa Bay.

Ryan O'Reilly scored his second goal of the game at 3:43 of overtime to send the Blues past the Wild, 5-4. Ville Husso made 26 saves as the Blues won their fourth straight and seventh in the last 10. St. Louis moved five points ahead of Arizona for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division.

Elias Lindholm scored twice as the Flames beat the Oilers, 3-1. Dillon Dube also scored for Calgary and Jacob Markstrom stopped 30 shots while making his 10th straight start. The Flames pulled four points behind Montreal for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.

In hockey news, Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller will retire after this season, his 18th in the NHL. The 40-year-old Miller is the winningest American-born goaltender in professional hockey history. He has played 794 games for the Buffalo Sabres, the Vancouver Canucks, the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim, where he has spent the past four seasons primarily as John Gibson's backup. Miller won the Vezina Trophy in 2010 as the NHL's best goaltender for Buffalo. He also was named the most valuable player and best goaltender at the 2010 Winter Olympics while leading the U.S. team to silver medals in Vancouver.

PGA

Keegan Bradley missed only one green in a 7-under 64 that gives him the first-round lead at the PGA's Valspar Championship. Bradley ran off four birdies over his last five holes, finishing with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th and a two-shot lead. Riviera winner Max Homa had eight birdies and was in a large group at 66 that included Emiliano Grillo and Ryan Moore.

KENTUCKY DERBY

Long-running family turmoil and allegations of human rights abuses against Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum are threatening to overshadow the Kentucky Derby. Dubai’s hereditary ruler owns the early favorite to win the race. The sheikh has invested millions trying to win the race for years. A victory by Essential Quality on Saturday would bring extra scrutiny on the sheikh, particularly the disappearance of his daughter. A group from the University of Louisville is seeking to have his horse banned from the Derby. That is unlikely to happen. One of the sheikh's daughters says she's being held against her will, and another was abducted in England 21 years ago and hasn't been seen since.

© The Associated Press 2021. All Rights Reserved.