Update on the latest sports
Virus postpones opening of Japanese pro baseball season
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials postponed the start of the 12-team professional baseball league season on Monday because of the spread of the coronavirus.
The season was to open on March 20. Japan’s professional league had been playing its preseason games without fans because of the virus.
Baseball officials said they were unsure when the season might start, but mentioned sometime in April.
Japan’s baseball league last suspended play in 2011 after an earthquake, tsunami and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors in Fukushima prefecture, located 250 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Tokyo.
The head of the soccer J-League said it was also extending its suspension of play. That league had suspended play until March 18.
Baseball and soccer are among many sports that have been shut down in Japan by the spreading virus, or taking place without fans.
Lakers snap Clippers’ winning streak
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers have padded their lead in the NBA’s Western Conference by ending the Clippers’ six-game winning streak.
Anthony Davis pumped in 30 points and LeBron James added 28 in leading the Lakers to a 112-103 win over their co-tenants. Avery Bradley added 24 points to help the Lakers win their fourth in a row and 11th in 12 games.
Paul George scored 31 points for the Clippers, who won their first two meetings with the Lakers before falling 6 ½ games behind their city rivals.
Checking out Sunday’s other NBA action:
— The Bucks suffered their second straight loss as Devin Booker scored 20 of his 36 points in the first quarter of the Suns’ 140-131 verdict over Milwaukee. Phoenix took early control by outscoring the Bucks, 47-28 in the opening period. Ricky Rubio had a triple-double for Phoenix with 25 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds. Khris Middleton’s 39 points couldn’t stop the NBA leaders from falling to 53-11.
— Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) provided 11 of his 23 points in the final 2½ minutes of the Raptors’ 118-113 downing of the Kings. Lowry scored 13 of his 30 points in the final quarter after picking up his fifth foul early in the period. Norman Powell’s 31 points helped Toronto win its third straight to open a three-game lead over Boston atop the Atlantic Division.
— Dennis Schroder (SHROO’-dur) stripped the ball from Kemba Walker and scored on a layup with 8.5 seconds to complete the Thunder’s rally in a 105-104 victory at Boston. Schroder added 27 points and six assists for Oklahoma City, which trailed by 18 in the first half before winning its third in a row. Chris Paul furnished 28 points and seven assists as the Thunder handed the Celtics their fourth consecutive home loss.
— D.J. Augustin scored 24 points off the bench and Aaron Gordon added 19 as the Magic dealt the Rockets their fourth consecutive loss, 126-106. Nikola Vucevic (NEE’-koh-lah VOOCH’-uh-vihch) added 16 points with 16 rebounds for Orlando, which led by 25 at half. Russell Westbrook hit the 20-point plateau for a career-high 33rd straight game, finishing with 24 but also committing eight turnovers.
— Bam Adebayo’s (ad-ah-BY’-ohz) 27 points and 14 rebounds carried the Heat past the Wizards, 100-89. Duncan Robinson furnished 23 points, including a pair of 3-pointers late in a 25-3 run that gave Miami a 100-86 lead. Heat season scoring leader Jimmy Butler left the game with 4½ minutes remaining in the third quarter and did not return.
— Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) scored the game’s final six points to guide the Pacers past the Mavericks, 112-99. Domantas Sabonis had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Pacers, who held Dallas scoreless for the final 3:14. Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) scored 36 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 20 of his 30 in the second half for the Mavs.
— The Nets won their first game under interim coach Jacque Vaughn as Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 24 points in a 110-107 decision over the Bulls. Caris LeVert and Joe Harris each added 23 for Brooklyn, which has won two straight as it tries to reach the playoffs for the second year in a row. DeAndre Jordan added 11 points and 11 boards to the win.
— Jrue (jroo) Holiday carried the Pelicans to a 120-107 win over the Timberwolves by delivering a season-high 37 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Zion Williamson scored 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, and Lonzo Ball had 18 points and eight assists to help New Orleans pull within four games of a Western Conference playoff slot. Brandon Ingram pitched in 15 points and 12 rebounds in the opener of the Pelicans’ four-game road trip.
— Andre Drummond’s 28 points and 17 rebounds carried the Cavaliers past the Spurs, 132-129 in overtime. Collin Sexton finished with 26 points, while Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi (CHEH’-dee) Osman each contributed 19 points.
— The Knicks earned a 96-84 win over the Pistons as Julius Randle had 22 points and 12 rebounds. Elfrid Payton had 16 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Knicks, who allowed just 13 points in the final period to finish 3-2 on their homestand.
Antetokounmpo sidelined by knee injury
Greek Freak shelved
PHOENIX (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) will miss at least one more game after suffering a minor knee sprain during Friday’s loss to the Lakers.
The NBA’s reigning MVP fell hard on his left knee but remained in the game before undergoing an MRI. He missed Sunday’s loss to the Suns.
Antetokounmpo ranks third in the NBA in scoring with 29.6 points per game and fourth in rebounding with 13.7. He also averages 5.8 assists.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Terps, Spartans take share of Big Ten regular-season crown
UNDATED (AP) — The Big Ten men’s basketball regular season has ended in a three-way tie for first place, with ninth-ranked Maryland and No. 16 Michigan State joining Wisconsin.
Anthony Cowan Jr. had 20 points and eight assists in his final home game at Maryland, an 83-70 downing of No. 25 Michigan. Cowan went 7-for-11 from the field and hit six free throws in the final minute to help the Terrapins secure the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.
Jalen Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Terps, while Eric Ayala added 19 points.
Michigan State came away with the second seed in the conference tourney by knocking off No. 19 Ohio State, 80-69. Cassius Winston scored 27 and the Spartans took control with a 16-4 run late in the game.
Rocket Watts scored 19 points for the Spartans, who held Kaleb Wesson to eight points on 1 of 8 shooting.
In other top-25 games Sunday:
— Ayo Dosunmu scored 17 points and No. 23 Illinois wrapped up the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament by holding off eighth-ranked Iowa, 78-76. Luka Garza scored a game-high 28 points for the Hawkeyes, who came away with the fifth seed in the tournament.
— Fabian White Jr. had 18 points and 14 rebounds as No. 21 Houston downed Memphis, 64-57. Quentin Grimes contributed 15 of his 17 points in the second half and fueled a 17-2 run for the Cougars.
Blues blank Blackhawks, Avs keep pace
UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Blues have maintained their two-point lead over Colorado atop the NHL’s Western Conference by bouncing back from a surprising loss to the Devils.
Jake Allen turned back 29 shots and Jaden Schwartz assisted on the only goals in the Blues’ ninth win in 10 games, 2-0 over the Blackhawks. Roberto Bortuzzo broke a scoreless deadlock 6:41 into the second period. Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) added the insurance tally in the third as St. Louis improved to 41-18-10.
The Avalanche kept pace as Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog (LAN’-dehs-kahg) each collected a goal and two assists in a 4-3 victory at San Jose. Vladimir Namestnikov (nah-MEHS’-nih-kahv) broke a 2-2 tie in the second period to help the Avs end a two-game skid that followed a seven-game winning streak. Pavel Francouz (FRAN’-sohz) stopped 22 shots for the Avs.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Morgan Geekie had two goals and an assist in his NHL debut as the Hurricanes ripped the Penguins, 6-2 in Pittsburgh. Justin Williams contributed a pair of third-period goals for the Hurricanes, who have won two straight since a four-game skid. The Penguins have dropped eight of their last 10 and were outscored, 11-4 in losing weekend games to the Capitals and Carolina.
— Shea Theodore’s goal with 70 seconds left broke a 3-3 tie in the Golden Knights’ 5-3 victory at Calgary. Nick Holden had a goal and an assist for Vegas, which wasted a 3-0 lead before moving two points ahead of the Oilers for the Pacific Division lead. Robin Lehner (LEH’-nur) stopped 19 shots to improve to 3-0 since joining the Knights at the trade deadline.
— Second-period goals by Eric Bemstrom and Eric Robinson pushed the Blue Jackets past the Canucks, 2-1. Elvis Merzlikins (murz-LEE’-kihnz) returned to the Columbus nets and turned back 26 shots, blanking Vancouver until Elias (eh-LEE’-uhs) Petterson beat him with 11:41 to play. The win pushes the Jackets two points ahead of the Hurricanes and Islanders for the first Eastern Conference wild card, although Carolina and New York have three games in hand.
— Kevin Fiala’s (fee-AH’-lahz) second goal of the night sent the Wild to their eighth win in 11 games, 5-4 against the Ducks in overtime. Alex Galchenyuk (gal-CHEHN’-yuhk), Victor Rask and Mats Zuccarello (zoo-kah-REH’-loh) also scored as Minnesota reclaimed the first wild card in the West. Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) made 22 saves in his first start Feb. 23.
— The Red Wings squandered a 4-2 lead in the third period before Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri (FA’-bree) supplied shootout goals to complete Detroit’s 5-4 stunner against the Lightning. Larkin and Fabbri also tallied in regulation before Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi scored in the first 4 21/2 minutes of the third period to give the Wings a two-goal cushion. Mantha and Bertuzzi also had three assists in the Red Wings’ first win over the Lightning in 16 meetings since February 2016.
Coyotes’ Garland week to week with lower-body injury
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Coyotes leading scorer Conor Garland has returned to Arizona after suffering a lower-body injury in Friday’s 3-2 loss at Calgary.
Garland is listed as week to week and is expected to miss the remainder of the Coyotes’ road trip.
The 23-year-old right wing leads the Coyotes with 22 goals and is third with 39 points in 68 games.
Arizona currently is two points out of a playoff berth and takes on the Jets in Winnipeg on Monday.
Paribas Open postponed by coronovirus
UNDATED (AP) — The BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament has been postponed after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in the Coachella Valley.
The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the desert cities located 110 miles east of Los Angeles. That area includes Indian Wells, where the combined ATP and WTA tours were to play the two-week tournament starting Wednesday.
Tournament director Tommy Haas said organizers are prepared to play the event on different dates and will explore options.
Logano cruises to another win
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joey Logano is enjoying a strong start to the NASCAR Cup season.
Logano won for the second time in three weeks by holding off Kevin Harvick over the final two laps after an overtime restart at Phoenix Raceway. Logano overcame several tough moments, including a pit-road penalty for an uncontrolled tire and a broken jack during another stop.
Kyle Busch was third, followed by Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer.
The race was the first under NASCAR’s new rules package for short tracks, which included a significantly smaller rear spoiler.
Hatton gets first PGA win
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tyrell Hatton overcame high winds and jittery nerves to capture his first PGA title and fifth worldwide.
Hatton kept it together down the stretch Sunday by playing bogey-free over the last seven holes for a 2-over 74 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He had a three-shot lead when he drove into the water on the par-4 11th into the wind. Hatton went well over the green with his third shot, chipped short of the putting surface and had to make a 6-footer for a double bogey.
But his challengers also faltered. Marc Leishman (LEESH’-man) avoided major disaster and still closed with a 73 to end up one shot behind Hatton. Rory McIlroy began the day one shot back before carding a 76, his highest closing round in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event since a 76 in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. McIlroy still tied for fifth, his eighth consecutive finish in the top 5 worldwide dating to September.
Third-place finisher Sungjae Im was in serious contention until he came up shockingly short and into the water on the 13th for a double bogey.
Hatton’s 4-under total made him one of only four players who beat par for the week, the fewest at Bay Hill since 1980.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Els gets first Tour Champions win
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Ernie Els has won the Hoag Classic for his first PGA Tour Champions title in three career starts, birdieing par-5 15th and 18th holes for a two-stroke victory at Newport Beach Country Club.
Els closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 16-under 197.
Fellow Hall of Famer Fred Couples finished with a 66 to tie for second with Glen Day and Robert Karlsson.
Rangers’ Calhoun hit in mouth by fastball, taken to hospital
UNDATED (AP) — Texas Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun was hospitalized with a broken jaw Sunday after taking a fastball in the mouth.
The left-handed hitting Calhoun crumbled after being struck in the jaw by Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias in the first inning. He fell on his back, put his hands over his face and was eventually carried off on a cart.
The 25-year-old set career bests with 21 homers, a .269 average and an .848 OPS in 83 games.
In other MLB news:
— Astros ace Justin Verlander made an early exit from his exhibition start Sunday after feeling soreness in his right triceps. Verlander was pulled after two scoreless innings and will undergo more tests after his velocity dropped from his previous start. He pitched the most innings in baseball and struck out a career-high 300.
— The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Hector Velazquez on waivers from the Red Sox. The 31-year-old was 11-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 89 games in the last three seasons with Boston, including 19 starts.
— Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez says his sore back is improving, but he’s still out of the lineup. Sanchez didn’t take batting practice Saturday or Sunday. He isn’t on the travel roster for Monday’s road game against the Phillies in Clearwater.