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#SportsReport: Crouser Wins Gold; Kemba Walker Headed Home To Play For Knicks

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Ryan Crouser has broken his own Olympic record on his way to defending his shot put title. On his last attempt, Crouser went 23.30 meters to earn the first track and field gold for the American men at the Tokyo Games. U.S. teammate Joe Kovacs finished second. Crouser is already the world-record holder after breaking a 31-year-old mark on June 18 at the U.S. Olympic trials. In the heat at Olympic Stadium, Crouser took the lead on his first attempt and saved his best for his final one.In other Olympic news: 

Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd each scored a pair of goals and the United States won the bronze medal in women’s soccer at the Tokyo Olympics with a 4-3 victory over Australia. It was arguably the best the Americans had looked during the course of a rocky tournament that opened with an uncharacteristic 3-0 loss to Sweden. Rapinoe set the tone early with a goal scored directly from a corner kick. The loss spoiled the Australians’ first-ever trip to the medal round at the Olympics. No Australian soccer team, men or women, has ever won a medal.

The American "A-Team" has advanced to the gold medal match of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament. April Ross and Alix Klineman beat Switzerland at Shiokaze Park to clinch at least a silver medal. It will be the third medal for Ross, who won silver in London and bronze in Rio de Janeiro. Klineman is a first-time Olympian.

A slow exchange left the American 4x100-meter relay team out of medal contention at the Olympics. The team of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in their qualifying heat to extend a quarter-century of misery for the country that brings the deepest track team to the Games. The United States hasn't won the Olympic 4x100 since 2000 and hasn't made it cleanly to the finish line in a final since taking a silver medal in 2012. But they gave that one back because of a doping ban against Tyson Gay. The U.S. got DQ'd for another bad pass in the medal race in 2016.

BMX rider Connor Fields was released from St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo on Thursday. That's five days after a horrific crash in his semifinal race at the Tokyo Olympics left him with a brain bleed and other injuries. He will be able to return to his home in Henderson, Nevada, in the coming days to begin his rehabilitation.

Marcell Jacobs will carry Italy's flag at Sunday's closing ceremony after succeeding Usain Bolt as 100-meter champion at the Olympics. Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò made the announcement shortly after Jacobs helped the Azzurri qualify for the final of the 4x100 relay. The Texas-born sprinter was the surprise winner of the biggest race of the Olympics last weekend.

The International Olympic Committee says it's not aware of any plans to change the schedule for the women's soccer final between Canada and Sweden. Both teams asked to avoid kicking off in the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo's heat and humidity at 11 a.m. Friday. That's an almost unprecedented early start for soccer at any time of year. The forecast temperature at kickoff is around 91 degrees (31 Celsius). IOC spokesman Mark Adams says he "can't shed any more light" on the process of moving the game. Changes to the Olympic schedule involve the IOC, Tokyo officials, sports bodies like soccer's FIFA and broadcasters.

IOC investigators are "setting up the interviews" with the Belarus team suspected of trying to forcibly remove one of its sprinters from the Olympics. IOC spokesman Mark Adams says the disciplinary process that formally opened Tuesday is "determining who needs to be heard." Two Belarus officials have been linked by the IOC to taking Krystsina Tsimanouskaya in a car to the airport Sunday to put her on a plane to Belarus. It is unclear if the two officials retain Olympic accreditation and can contact other Belarus athletes.

MLB

Javier Báez hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning after scoring on a nifty slide in the second, and the New York Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins. The Mets, who had lost five of six, let an early 3-0 lead slip away but recovered to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead in the NL East over surging Philadelphia. Báez, acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Chicago Cubs last Friday, put New York back in front 4-3 with an opposite-field drive off Anthony Bass. It was his 24th home run this season and second with his new team — Báez has homered in both Mets wins since the trade.

The Philadelphia Phillies extended their winning streak to four games with a 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals. Philadelphia is 55-53 and two games over .500 for the first time since July 18, when it was 47-45. Rhys Hoskins also homered and drove in three runs, Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer and the Phillies turned an early 3-0 deficit into an easy win. Luis García homered twice for the Nationals. Philadelphia goes for a four-game sweep Thursday.

Elsewhere in the majors:

Recently acquired Anthony Rizzo homered again, DJ LeMahieu drove in four runs and the New York Yankees cruised to a 10-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Rizzo's solo homer in the fourth inning made him the first player in Yankees history with at least one RBI in each of his first six games with the club. LeMahieu had three hits and Giancarlo Stanton drove in three runs for the Yankees.

George Springer had four hits, including the 42nd leadoff home run of his career, and Steven Matz pitched six shutout innings as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 8-6. Springer homered on J.C. Mejia's first pitch. He singled and scored in the second, hit a two-run double in the third and singled again in the fifth. Needing a triple to complete the cycle, Springer flied out in the eighth. The Blue Jays have hit 163 home runs this season. Toronto began the day tied with San Francisco for the major league lead.

Eduardo Rodriguez struck out 10 in five shutout innings and the Boston Red Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. Rodriguez allowed two hits and four walks in helping Boston end its longest losing streak of the season. J.D. Martinez, Enrique Hernandez and Jarren Duran homered for the Red Sox. Boston pitchers struck out 18 batters, with Matt Barnes getting two as he pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances. Casey Mize gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out three and allowed all three Boston homers.

Kevin Gausman threw six stellar innings, Alex Dickerson added a three-run homer and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 on Wednesday night. Gausman gave up five hits, walked none and struck out eight. He cruised through the first five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. Asdrúbal Cabrera tagged Gausman for an RBI single, but then the hard-throwing right-hander retired Drew Ellis and Daulton Varsho to end the threat.

Max Scherzer struck out 10 in his Dodgers debut and got plenty of offensive support as Los Angeles hit four home runs to defeat the Houston Astros 7-5, capping a contentious two-game series at Dodger Stadium. Mookie Betts homered twice, while Will Smith and AJ Pollock also went deep off Houston starter Jake Odorizzi. Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker connected for Houston.

Patrick Wisdom hit a three-run double to back a solid outing from Alec Mills and lead the Chicago Cubs past the Colorado Rockies 3-2. Mills overcame a rocky start to pitch six innings and earn his first win since July 7, and Wisdom finished with three hits. Manuel Rodriguez gave up a two-out single in the ninth but got Sam Hilliard on a comebacker to pick up his first career save. Raimel Tapia had two doubles and nearly made a run-saving catch in the sixth for Colorado.

Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler homered and Stephen Vogt drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly, helping the Atlanta Braves to a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Dansby Swanson went 4 for 4 with three runs scored for the Braves, who moved to .500 at 54-54. Will Smith, the sixth Braves' pitcher, picked up his 22nd save with a 1-2-3 ninth. The win helped Atlanta post its first two-game winning streak since the All-Star break. The Braves have won eight of their last nine games at Busch Stadium. Giovanny Gallegos (5-4) allowed three runs in the eighth inning as the Cardinals lost for the sixth time in 10 games.

Salvador Pérez hit a two-run homer and the Kansas City Royals went deep four times to beat the Chicago White Sox 9-1. Kansas City ended a four-game losing streak, while the AL Central-leading White Sox lost for the eighth time in 13 games. Royals starter Carlos Hernández yielded only two hits over five innings in beating the White Sox for the second time in seven days. Hernández has allowed six hits while striking out 10 in his last 11 innings against Chicago. Pérez launched his 27th homer in the third, tying his career high.

Shohei Ohtani pitched six solid innings, Juan Lagares raced home from second base on a wild pitch for the lead with the two-way standout at the plate, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 2-1. Jack Mayfield went 3 for 3 while homering from the No. 9 spot for the second consecutive night. Ohtani allowed four hits and struck out six for the Japanese star's third win in four outings.

Matt Olson hit a two-run, walk-off double in the 10th inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied past the San Diego Padres 5-4. The A's scored twice in the ninth with two outs off closer Mark Melancon to tie it at 3. After San Diego scored a run in the top of the 10th off Lou Trivino to take a 4-3 lead, Olson came to the plate with runners on the corners and no outs. Olson laced the first pitch he saw from Tim Hill off the right field wall, scoring Mark Canha and Starling Marte, and sending the Oakland Coliseum into a frenzy. The A's posted their AL-leading ninth walk-off win of the season.

Randy Arozarena had a two-run triple during a three-run third and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 to avoid a season series sweep. The Rays went 1-6 overall against Seattle and lost the first two games of the three-game set. Josh Fleming allowed two runs and five hits, and Mike Zunino hit his 21st homer for the Rays. Mariners rookie Logan Gilbert gave up three runs and four hits over five innings. Seattle had won 11 consecutive games, dating to May 25, when Gilbert started. The right-hander was 5-0 during the stretch.

Pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez launched a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning to put the Milwaukee Brewers ahead for good in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Devin Williams worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to earn his first career save. Pittsburgh's Bryan Reynolds went 2 of 2, walked twice and scored both of the Pirates' runs. The Brewers won two of three from the Pirates and remained 7 1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati in the NL Central.

Luis Castillo pitched six effective innings, Tyler Stephenson homered to give the Reds a cushion they ended up needing, and Cincinnati held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5. Jonathan India had three hits and Joey Votto drove in two runs for the Reds, who came in trailing first-place Milwaukee by 7 1/2 games in the NL Central. Castillo allowed Jorge Polanco's first-inning solo homer but settled in nicely from there. Stephenson went deep in the seventh to give the Reds a 6-1 lead. The Twins rallied with four runs in the eighth before Michael Lorenzen came in for a five-out save.

In MLB news:

Major League Baseball will open the 2022 season on March 31 and will try for the fourth time to have every team play its first game on the same day for the first time since 1968. The league released the full schedule on Wednesday. MLB tried to have all 30 clubs play on the same opening day for three of the past four seasons, but it never happened because of weather and other factors. Complicating matters next year is a potential work stoppage. The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players' association expires Dec. 1. Given the acrimonious relationship between the sides, a lockout or strike appears possible.

The Milwaukee Brewers' pitching staff has taken a couple more hits with John Axford now out for the season with elbow trouble and Eric Lauer joining the COVID-19 injured list. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Axford has significant elbow damage and is going over his options after an injury foiled the 38-year-old's comeback attempt.

Four-time All-Star Cole Hamels has signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers through the end of the season, adding more depth to a pitching staff that has been racked with injuries. Hamels held a tryout for teams last month. The left-hander will report to the Dodgers' spring training complex in Arizona to get further stretched out before joining the big league club. Hamels will be going into his 16th season. He has a career record of 163-122 with a 3.43 ERA and 2,560 strikeouts in 423 games.

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon will have season-ending hip surgery, finishing off an injury-plagued second season in Southern California. Rendon had been on the injured list since July 6 with a left hamstring strain. The 31-year-old also missed time with knee and groin injuries. Rendon was limited to 58 games and will finish with a career-low .240 batting average. The high-priced Rendon joins three-time AL MVP Mike Trout on the 60-day IL.

NBA

A person with knowledge of the situation says Kemba Walker and the Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to a buyout of the final two years of his contract. Once that's completed, the four-time All-Star guard will sign with the New York Knicks. Walker is owed nearly $74 million for the next two seasons, including a $37.6 million option that he held for 2022-23. Walker was born in the Bronx. He never played for the Thunder.

In other NBA news: 

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed nine-year veteran center Andre Drummond. Drummond joins Philadelphia after splitting the 2020-21 season with Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers. The 6-foot-10, 279-pound Drummond will wear No. 1 for the Sixers. He was one of just three NBA players, including new teammate Joel Embiid, to average a point-rebound double-double as well as one steal and one block.

The Washington Wizards have agreed to a $62 million, three-year deal with guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie is heading to the Wizards in a sign-and-trade. The 6-foot-5 Dinwiddie joins a backcourt that's being vacated by Russell Westbrook after Washington agreed to deal Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers.

A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that power forward John Collins has agreed to a $125 million, five-year deal to remain with the Atlanta Hawks. The deal includes a fifth-year option for Collins, who was a restricted free agent. The agreement comes one day after point guard Trae Young agreed to a five-year, $207 million rookie extension. Collins averaged 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds this season.

The Utah Jazz have agreed to acquire power forward Eric Paschall from the Warriors, sending a protected future second-round draft pick to Golden State in the swap. The Warriors will get a second-round draft pick via Memphis for 2026. Paschall posted a farewell on Twitter.

The New Orleans Pelicans say veteran former NBA coach Mike D'Antoni is joining the club as a coaching adviser and Jarron Collins has been hired as an assistant coach. The moves come on the heels of the Pelicans' decision to hire Willie Green as their third head coach in three seasons. D'Antoni was an assistant with Brooklyn last season and has compiled a 672-527 record as a head coach.

NFL

The New York Jets have signed well-traveled veteran quarterback Josh Johnson, giving them an experienced backup behind rookie Zach Wilson. Undrafted free agent linebacker Brendon White from Rutgers was waived to make room for Johnson. The 35-year-old Johnson fills a void in the Jets' quarterbacks room, which had just Wilson, Mike White and James Morgan. None of that trio has taken a regular-season snap in an NFL game. The Jets are Johnson's 14th NFL team. He was most recently with San Francisco last year where current Jets coach Robert Saleh was the defensive coordinator.

Elsewhere around the NFL:

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz dismissed speculation of the Buffalo Bills relocating if a deal can't be negotiated for public funds to pay for the construction of a new stadium. However he did issue a warning saying the state and county won't be writing what he called "a blank check," to pay for what is projected to cost at least a $1 billion.

Jadeveon Clowney is making a strong impression in his first training camp with the Cleveland Browns. The former No. 1 overall pick, whose career has been slowed by injuries, is healthy and happy with his fourth team in four years. The Browns signed him to a one-year, $8 million free agent deal in April.

The Chicago Bears have signed veteran linebacker Alec Ogletree to a one-year contract. Ogletree was signed to the Jets' practice squad in Week 1 last season, then got released after recording three tackles in two games.

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed free agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. McCoy adds pass rushing depth to the Raiders interior defensive line after sitting out all of last season with a torn quadriceps. McCoy spent his first nine seasons with the Buccaneers before playing for Carolina in 2019 and signing with Dallas last season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco says his league has never "plotted" with ESPN to undermine another conference by poaching its schools and says the league is not actively looking to add schools. Last week the Big 12 accused ESPN of encouraging at least one other conference to raid that conference as it tries find a way forward with Texas and Oklahoma on their way to the Southeastern Conference. The AAC was reported to be the conference ESPN was incentivizing to woo Big 12 teams. Aresco denied that.

Also, the former president of Penn State is out of jail after serving nearly two months for endangering the welfare of children by his response to a report that Jerry Sandusky had been seen physically abusing a boy on campus. Centre County Correctional Facility Warden Christopher Schell said Wednesday the 73-year-old Graham Spanier served 58 days. Spanier still faces two months of electronic monitoring at home and two years of probation.

NHL

The San Jose Sharks have signed goalie Adin Hill to a two-year contract that avoids salary arbitration. The Sharks acquired Hill last month in a trade from Arizona and are counting on him to team with James Reimer as their goaltending duo next season. The 25-year-old Hill appeared in 19 games last season for Arizona, going 9-9-1 record with a .913 save percentage, 2.74 goals against average and two shutouts.

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal has won his first match back after being off the tour for nearly two months. Nadal edged Jack Sock 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (1) at the Citi Open hard-court tournament in Washington on Wednesday night. Nadal is seeded No. 1 as he makes his debut at the U.S. Open tuneup. The 35-year-old Spaniard had not played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals. Nadal sat out Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. He said he had been dealing with a foot injury. Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer share the men's record of 20 Grand Slam titles.

NASCAR

Beginning this weekend at Watkins Glen International, NASCAR will require all personnel to wear a face mask in enclosed areas at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Enclosed areas include haulers and buildings, including media centers, restrooms, the infield care center, race control and suites.

© The Associated Press 2021. All Rights Reserved.