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June 20

Auburn Tigers, battling stomach bug, rally to eliminate No. 2 Stanford Cardinal at Men's College World Series

OMAHA, Neb. -- With a stomach bug and nearly seven decades of history working against them, the Auburn Tigers were down to two options Monday when they fell behind to No. 2 Stanford at the Men's College World Series. Attack or go home. "My job is to [help] a group of players and coaches to leave with no regrets," Tigers coach Butch Thompson said after his team rallied for a 6-2 win, its first MCWS victory in 25 years. "Just let it hang out. What are we going to do, screw something up or make a mistake? I want them to attack as much as they can." Stanford was the highest seed in the MCWS field, and had never, in 17 previous trips to the MCWS dating back to 1953, left Omaha without a victory. But it was sent home 0-2 Monday after Cole Foster smacked a three-run double in the sixth inning to put Auburn into Tuesday's elimination game against Arkansas. After possibly the biggest hit of his life, Foster, according to Thompson, barely pulled into second base because he was so ill....
June 20
June 20

'We're back': Golden State Warriors revel in 4th title amid raucous parade

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's been three years since the Bay Area hosted a championship parade, but neither the city, nor the Warriors, forgot how to take in the moment. Stephen Curry hopped on top of a banister at a Muni train station stop and started hitting the sign that was next to him. "M-V-P!" chants echoed from every direction, as blue and gold confetti rained down from the sky. Ayesha Curry pointed at a sign that read "Ayesha can cook," before popping a bottle of champagne and spraying it down on her husband. That inspired Curry and Damion Lee to clear out a space in the crowd and pop their own bottle, showering the fans that stood in their path. "We represent you guys," Curry told the small crowd made up of team and arena employees at the pre-parade rally. "The life that you give us, the inspiration, all those things matter. That's what it's all about. Entertaining you guys, giving you something to cheer for, be passionate about. It's giving us the platform to go do...
June 20
June 20

Rueben Owens II, No. 2 RB recruit in class of 2023, commits to Louisville Cardinals football

Scott Satterfield secured one of the biggest wins of his Louisville football coaching tenure on Monday when top running back recruit Rueben Owens II committed to the Cardinals. "I have always been a trailblazer, and aimed to create my own legacy on the road less traveled in hopes of inspiring others to believe in themselves," Owens wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "It was the driving force in me making this life changing decision on where to spend the next 3-4 years of my life." Owens, the No. 29 overall prospect in the 2023 ESPN 300, was an early commit to Texas, but decommitted last June. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound back from El Campo, Texas, had offers from nearly every major program in the country and is ESPN's No. 2-ranked running back recruit. In 24 career games at El Campo, Owens has rushed for 4,500 yards and 68 touchdowns, including 2,989 yards and 46 scores last year, an average of 12.1 yards per carry. Owens joins No. 2 overall...
June 20
June 20

Katie Ledecky wins fourth 1,500-meter freestyle title, record-extending 17th overall

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Katie Ledecky led an American one-two and won her fourth 1,500-meter freestyle title at the world swimming championships Monday. Ledecky never looked threatened and clocked 15:30.15 -- just under 10 seconds more than her world record from 2018 -- to finish 14.74 seconds ahead of Katie Grimes. Ledecky punched the water in delight before waiting to embrace her teammate. "To share this moment with her is really special,'' Ledecky said. Grimes, 16, is the second-youngest medalist in the 1,500 at a worlds since Ledecky won it for the first time in 2013. "I was really nervous leading up to it because it's my first world championships and Team USA has been doing a great job, so I wanted to keep that going,'' Grimes said. Italy's Thomas Ceccon, meanwhile, set a world record in the men's 100 backstroke with a time of 51.60 seconds, shaving 0.15 seconds off the previous best mark set by American Ryan Murphy at the 2016 Olympics. "Yesterday I swam 52.1, very easy,''...
June 20
June 20

Emergency protective order filed against NBA veteran Rajon Rondo dismissed

An emergency protective order filed last month against veteran NBA point guard Rajon Rondo in Louisville, Kentucky, has been dismissed. The protective order, which was filed against Rondo by a woman on May 13, was dismissed on Thursday after the "parties reached an agreement," according to the document, which was obtained by ESPN's Baxter Holmes. In the request for the protective order, the woman alleged Rondo threatened her with a gun and said that she feared for the safety of her children and that Rondo has a history of "volatile, erratic [and] explosive behavior." Rondo, 36, is from Louisville and played collegiately at Kentucky. The 2021-22 season was his 16th in the NBA. The four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion played 18 games for the Los Angeles Lakers before a January trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 21 games for the Cavs, he averaged 6.2 points and 4.9 assists.
June 20
June 20

Emergency protective order filed against Rajon Rondo dismissed

An emergency protective order filed last month against veteran point guard Rajon Rondo in Louisville, Kentucky, has been dismissed. The protective order, which was filed against Rondo by a woman on May 13, was dismissed last Thursday after the "parties reached an agreement," according to the document, which was obtained by ESPN's Baxter Holmes. In the request for the protective order, the woman alleged Rondo threatened her with a gun and said she feared for the safety of her children and that Rondo has a history of "volatile, erratic [and] explosive behavior." The 36-year-old Rondo is from Louisville and played collegiately at Kentucky. The 2021-22 season was his 16th in the NBA. The four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion played 18 games for the Los Angeles Lakers before a January trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 21 games for the Cavs, he averaged 6.2 points and 4.9 assists.
June 20
June 20

Houston Baptist men's basketball star Darius Lee killed, 8 others shot at Harlem gathering

NEW YORK -- A college basketball player was killed and eight other people were wounded Monday in an early-morning shooting at a gathering in Harlem, New York City police said. Officers responded around 12:40 a.m. to reports of a shooting on a footpath along FDR Drive and found several people wounded. Other victims went to hospitals on their own, officials said. Darius Lee, a senior at Houston Baptist University in Texas, was killed, the university said. He was 21. He grew up in Harlem, attended St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Bronx and was home for summer break. The wounded included six other males and two females, police said. "This Father's Day weekend is a weekend where people were supposed to be able to enjoy themselves with their families," NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news conference. The investigation was ongoing Monday and police didn't immediately have details about the gathering, possible suspects or what might have led to the...
June 20
June 20

Source: Dallas Stars closing in on deal to hire Peter DeBoer as coach

The Dallas Stars are closing in on a contract with Peter DeBoer to make him their next coach, a source told ESPN on Monday, confirming multiple reports. The news was first reported by TSN. DeBoer, 54, fired by the Vegas Golden Knights at the end of the regular season, will inherit a young team that advanced to the Western Conference playoffs as the first wild-card entry before losing to the Calgary Flames in seven games. The Stars will be the fifth NHL franchise to employ DeBoer as coach, and he led two of them -- the New Jersey Devils (2012) and the San Jose Sharks (2016) -- to the Stanley Cup Final. He has 513 career regular-season wins behind NHL benches and has led teams to the postseason seven times. But his tenure in Vegas was rocky, and the injury-riddled Golden Knights failed to make the postseason this year despite having several high-priced forwards -- including star center Jack Eichel, acquired from the Buffalo...
June 20
June 20

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder again rebuffs House Oversight Committee's invitation to testify in workplace culture investigation of franchise

The attorney for Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder reiterated Monday that Snyder would not testify before Congress on June 22, despite a request from the committee to reconsider. Karen Patton Seymour declined the initial invitation from the House Oversight Committee investigating the Commanders' alleged "toxic workplace culture," saying that Snyder had a "longstanding Commanders-related business conflict" and is out of the country at the end of June. Seymour had also requested copies of documents that committee members intend to use in their questioning. On Friday, chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., had sent Snyder's attorney a six-page letter stating Snyder could testify virtually at the June 22 hearing, similar to what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to do that day. The chairwoman also said the committee was under no obligation to provide documents, but would do so if Snyder agreed to testify. On Monday, Seymour wrote the committee that, "Mr. Snyder's...
June 20
June 20

Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point game-time decision for Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point is a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, coach Jon Cooper announced Monday. Point did not take part in the team's morning skate. He returned to the Lightning lineup in Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche after missing the previous two rounds, having suffered a lower-body injury on May 14 in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Point skated 16:40 with one shot on goal in Game 2. He didn't have a shot in Game 1 in 17:59 of ice time but registered an assist. He skated both with Ross Colton and Nick Paul as well as with Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov in Game 2 when Cooper scrambled his lines in the 7-0 loss. Point has five points in nine games in the playoffs, skating to a minus-7. No player has scored more goals (30) than Point has over the past three NHL postseasons. If Point can't go, it's expected forward Riley Nash would draw...
June 20
June 20

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, again, rebuffs House Oversight Committee's invitation to testify in workplace culture investigation of franchise

The attorney for Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder reiterated Monday that Snyder would not testify before Congress on June 22, despite a request from the committee to reconsider. Karen Patton Seymour declined the initial invitation from the House Oversight Committee investigating the Commanders' alleged "toxic workplace culture," saying that Snyder had a "longstanding Commanders-related business conflict" and is out of the country at the end of June. Seymour had also requested copies of documents that committee members intend to use in their questioning. On Friday, chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., had sent Snyder's attorney a six-page letter stating Snyder could testify virtually at the June 22 hearing, similar to what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to do that day. The chairwoman also said the committee was under no obligation to provide documents, but would do so if Snyder agreed to testify. On Monday, Seymour wrote the committee that, "Mr. Snyder's...
June 20
June 19

Texas A&M Aggies cruise, 'use that energy from the crowd' to eliminate rival Texas Longhorns at Men's College World Series

OMAHA, Neb. -- In the maddening wait before Micah Dallas took the mound in Sunday's rivalry showdown against Texas, the Texas A&M right-hander deeply contemplated one piece of advice: It's just another game. But it was the Men's College World Series, and Dallas couldn't help himself. He charged onto the field after the Aggies' 10-2 rout and flashed a double Horns down sign. "It's kinda something that's just like breathing: death, taxes and Horns down," Dallas said. "I mean, there's no hate toward them at all. They're a great ballclub. "If you looked at social media before the game, you'd think it's life or death. And the fans were just incredible today. Both sides made it fun. You can either let it affect you in a positive or negative way. The older you get and the more experience you have, you can use that energy from the crowd." Texas and Texas A&M have been playing baseball against each other since 1904, but the stakes had never been higher than on Saturday. It was the...
June 19
June 19

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado leaves loss with left ankle sprain in first inning

DENVER -- San Diego Padres star third baseman Manny Machado left Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left ankle while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder. Machado's leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado was later diagnosed with an ankle sprain after X-rays came back negative. After the loss, there was cautious optimism in the team's media availabilities regarding Machado's status. "Fortunately, when he felt himself slip, he was able to shift his weight to the right and probably avoid more serious damage,'' Padres acting manager Ryan Flaherty said. "All in all, it's as good as it could be.'' "We have to wait for some of the swelling to go down and he gets treated,'' he added. "We'll probably have a better idea of that (Monday).'' First baseman ...
June 19
June 19

Will Zalatoris after third second-place finish at major: 'This one hurts'

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Will Zalatoris came up short again, and this time, he thought he had it. After missing a 14-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have put him in a playoff with winner Matt Fitzpatrick, Zalatoris couldn't help but sigh as he was given the silver medal for runner-up at the U.S. Open on Sunday. He spoke to the media while screens showed Fitzpatrick hoisting the trophy, and then Zalatoris walked off with a forced smile. He had to exit the stage to let the champion come through. "This one, in particular, hurts pretty hard," said Zalatoris, who now has six top-10 finishes in nine major starts, including three second-place finishes. "I'm three shots away from practically being a -- having a chance of being a three-time major champion. A bounce here or there." The 25-year-old went into Sunday's action without a major win or a PGA Tour victory, yet with a lot of confidence. He had said Saturday that his recent second-place finish in a playoff to...
June 19
June 19

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado leaves game because of left ankle sprain in first inning

DENVER -- San Diego Padres star third baseman Manny Machado left Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left ankle while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder. Machado's leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado was later diagnosed with an ankle sprain after X-rays came back negative. After the loss, there was cautious optimism in the team's media availabilities regarding Machado's status. Interim manager Ryan Flaherty said Machado was feeling "OK," and that "all in all, as good as it could be." First baseman Eric Hosmer concurred, saying "just kind of talking to him and hearing the news from all the trainers and stuff, I think it's a win, if that makes any sense." Machado stretched his left leg toward the base trying to beat the throw from pitcher ...
June 19
June 19

England's Matt Fitzpatrick wins 2022 U.S. Open by 1 stroke for first major title

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- A playoff was looming Sunday in the U.S. Open, just like it always does at The Country Club, when Matt Fitzpatrick sized up his shot from a bunker left of the 18th fairway. He had a 1-shot lead over Will Zalatoris and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler. He had a big patch of rough-filled turf in front of him, along with a gaping bunker protecting the green and a flag 156 yards away. Nothing less than a U.S. Open title was on the line. On a back nine filled with clutch moments, Fitzpatrick delivered the biggest of them all. "One of the best shots I ever hit,'' he said. Fitzpatrick hit 9-iron that started around the steep lip -- a "squeezy fade,'' he called it -- carried the front bunker and settled 18 feet away, setting up a par for a 2-under 68 that made the Englishman a major champion for his first professional win in America. He won the U.S. Amateur at Brookline in 2013, making him the 13th man to win both the U.S. Amateur and the...
June 19
June 19

Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Suwinski becomes 1st rookie in MLB history with 3-homer game that includes walk-off blast

PITTSBURGH -- Jack Suwinski hit his third homer of the game in the ninth inning, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-3, walk-off victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep. The rookie drove a slider from sidearming Tyler Rogers (0-3) to right for his second game-ending home run of the season after connecting for one June 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Suwinski became the first rookie in major league history to have a three-homer game that included a walk-off home run, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He also became the first Pirates player with multiple walk-off home runs in a single month since Wally Westlake in September of 1947, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. "I was just like, 'No way, man. No way that's going,'" Suwinski said. "That guy is hard to hit off of. Coming from that low under there, it's not an easy at-bat." Pirates manager Derek Shelton spoke with Suwinski in the...
June 19
June 19

Chicago Sky clinch spot in WNBA Commissioner's Cup finals, to face Las Vegas Aces

The Chicago Sky have clinched the second and final spot in next month's WNBA Commissioner's Cup, where they will take on the WNBA-best Las Vegas Aces. The Sky secured their berth as the Eastern Conference representative with the Connecticut Sun's loss to the Washington Mystics Sunday afternoon. earned its spot out of the Western Conference thanks to a 92-84 win over Dallas Wednesday. The Sky are now 8-1 in Commissioner's Cup play following Sunday's 89-87 loss to the Fever. The Aces are 8-0 in Cup play.  "It's tough after you drop one like tonight," Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot said. "This was a big one where we could've stayed undefeated. We're talking hosting, those type of things, and those were the things that we were trying to strive for, and we let one get away tonight. But we are still clinched and we're looking forward to that. But we've got to get a lot better if we want to compete in that game." In its second year, the Commissioner's Cup is an...
June 19
June 19

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado leaves game with left ankle sprain in first inning

DENVER -- San Diego Padres star third baseman Manny Machado left Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left ankle while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder. Machado's leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado was later diagnosed with an ankle sprain after X-rays came back negative. Machado stretched his left leg toward the base trying to beat the throw from pitcher Antonio Senzatela. Machado's cleat appeared to slip across the top of the bag and he fell to the ground, his left leg buckling beneath him. The All-Star third baseman clearly was in pain, grimacing and clasping his hands around his lower left leg. Machado was out on the play, the throw beating him by a half-step. Sergio Alcantara replaced Machado at third base when the Padres took the field...
June 19
June 19

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado leaves game after injuring left leg in first inning

DENVER -- San Diego Padres star third baseman Manny Machado has left Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left leg while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder. Machado's leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado stretched his left leg toward the base trying to beat the throw from pitcher Antonio Senzatela in the first inning. Machado's cleat appeared to slip across the top of the bag and he fell to the ground, his left leg buckling beneath him. There was no immediate word from the team on Machado's injury. The All-Star third baseman clearly was in pain, grimacing and clasping his hands around his lower left leg. Machado was out on the play, the throw beating him by a half-step. Sergio Alcantara replaced Machado at third base when the Padres took the field in...
June 19
June 19

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado leaves game after injuring his left leg in first inning

DENVER -- San Diego Padres star third baseman Manny Machado has left Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies after injuring his left leg while taking a tumble at first base trying to beat out an infield grounder. Machado's leg appeared to turn awkwardly while he was running to first base in the top of the first inning. He struggled to put weight on the ankle as he was helped off the field. Machado, in the midst of a stellar season, stretched his left leg toward the base trying to beat the throw from pitcher Antonio Senzatela in the first inning. Machado's cleat appeared to slip across the top of the bag and he fell to the ground, his left leg buckling beneath him. There was no immediate word from the team on Machado's injury. The All-Star third baseman clearly was in pain, grimacing and clasping his hands around his lower left leg. Machado was out on the play, the throw beating him by a half-step. Sergio Alcantara replaced Machado at third base...
June 19
June 19

LIV Golf Invitational Series will apply for OWGR consideration, CEO Greg Norman says

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said the new circuit will apply for Official World Golf Ranking points consideration Monday. Norman said the LIV Golf Invitational Series has a "very compelling" application after working closely with the OWGR technical committee to understand the process. During an interview with Fox News on Saturday night, Norman also asked whether PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, one of eight members of the OWGR board of governors, would recuse himself from voting on LIV Golf's application. "It'll be interesting to see if Jay Monahan recuses himself from that vote because of what he said on television with [CBS Sports announcer] Jim Nantz the other day," Norman said. "So, it's very interesting and it's sad to be, you know, putting that additional exerting pressure on it because our tour is a good tour. It's supported, it's got an incredible field. Our point should be that if we get the OWGR points, then everything else takes care of...
June 19
June 19

Los Angeles Dodgers send Mookie Betts, 'one of the best players in baseball,' to injured list

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts was placed on the injured list Sunday with a cracked rib. Roberts scratched Betts from the lineup for the second consecutive game Saturday but said previously that he didn't expect the injury to be serious and that the star center fielder was in line for an MRI. After Los Angeles' 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians, however, Roberts said that the MRI revealed a cracked rib and that a return date was to be determined.  Roberts was not sure yet whether the injury is a hairline fracture or a larger break, but the loss will be significant regardless. Betts is batting .273 this season with 17 home runs, 40 RBIs and 6 stolen bases for a team that is battling for first place in the National League West with the San Diego Padres. "You're taking one of the best players in baseball out of the lineup," Roberts said. "It's a big blow, but at least we know what we're dealing with and...
June 19
June 19

Colorado Avalanche travel without injured Andre Burakovsky ahead of Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final

DENVER -- Colorado's  Andre Burakovsky will not travel with the team to Tampa on Sunday after suffering an injury in the Avalanche's 7-0 drubbing of the Lightning in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Coach Jared Bednar said Burakovsky is still being evaluated and would join the Avalanche in Tampa on Monday. His availability for Game 3 remains unknown. Burakovsky left Saturday's tilt early in the second period after taking a Victor Hedman shot off the hand. It's the second injury Burakovsky has suffered in the postseason, after he was forced to miss two games in the Western Conference final against Edmonton with a leg injury. Burakovsky said last week he'd only recently felt close to recovered from that issue, but he still was taking regular maintenance days from practices and morning skates. The Avalanche are already playing short-handed in their top-six as Nazem Kadri remains out following thumb surgery. He last played...
June 19
June 19

FINA votes to restrict transgender women from elite swimming competition

Swimming's world governing body, FINA, on Sunday voted to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in elite women's competitions and create a working group to establish an "open" category for them in some events as part of its new policy. The new policy, which takes effect Monday, will require transgender competitors to have completed their transition by age 12 to be able to compete in women's competitions. The working group will spend the next six months to determine how to set up the new open category, FINA said. "This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It's what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair," James Pearce, the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press. "They're not saying everyone should transition by age 11; that's ridiculous. You can't transition by that age in most countries, and hopefully you wouldn't be...
June 19
June 19

FINA votes to restrict transgender women from elite swimming competition

Swimming's world governing body, FINA, on Sunday voted to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in elite women's competitions and create a working group to establish an "open" category for them in some events as part of its new policy. The new policy will require transgender competitors to have completed their transition by the age of 12 to be able to compete in women's competitions. The regulations would have a major impact on the career of Lia Thomas, who earlier this year became the first openly transgender woman to win a NCAA Division I women's swimming title. Thomas declined to comment on the new policy to ESPN. The decision was made during FINA's extraordinary general congress on the sideline of the world championships in Budapest, Hungary, after members heard a report from a transgender task force made up by leading medical, legal and sports figures. The policy was passed with a roughly 71% majority after it was put to the members of 152 national federations...
June 19
June 19

Tampa Bay Lightning say team 'lost game, not series' after Game 2 drubbing

DENVER -- The Tampa Bay Lightning said their confidence hasn't been shaken despite a 7-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, the most lopsided playoff defeat in franchise history. "At the end of day, we lost the game, not the series," said defenseman Victor Hedman. The Lightning's other biggest playoff blowout losses were by five goals. Colorado's 7-0 win is tied for the second largest margin of victory in a Stanley Cup Final shutout win in NHL history.   "Am I shocked that we lost seven-zip?" said center Steven Stamkos. "I mean, I don't think we saw that coming." The Lighting captain said the margin of defeat is "totally not acceptable, especially at this time of year," and acknowledged that some might have the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions counted out in the series because of it. "Listen, people are gonna be watching this game tonight and probably think the series is over," he said....
June 19
June 18

Artur Beterbiev captures third light heavyweight title with second-round TKO of Joe Smith Jr.

NEW YORK -- Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. was billed as a can't-miss action fight, and the ESPN main event delivered for as long as it lasted -- even if it was never competitive. Beterbiev scored three knockdowns of Smith en route to a second-round TKO to capture a third light heavyweight title on Saturday before 4,537 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Boxing's only champion with a 100% knockout record, Beterbiev floored Smith in the closing seconds of the opening round with a counter right hand. The 175-pounders continued to slug it out in Round 2, and Beterbiev's power and shot placement proved to be too much. The 37-year-old dropped Smith with a left hook and, moments later, the Long Island, New York, native was on the canvas again after a flurry of punches. Smith, 32, never attempted to regain his senses. Instead, he tried to punch his way out of trouble. Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) made him pay one final time with a left uppercut followed by a right uppercut as the...
June 18
June 18

Los Angeles Dodgers set to send Mookie Betts, 'one of the best players in baseball,' to injured list

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is headed to the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday night. Roberts scratched Betts from the lineup for the second consecutive game Saturday, but said previously that he didn't expect the injury to be serious and that the star centerfielder was in line for an MRI. After Los Angeles' 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians, however, Roberts said that the MRI revealed a cracked rib and that a return date was to be determined. The official team transaction will occur on Sunday. Roberts is not sure yet if the injury is a hairline fracture or a larger break, but the loss will be significant regardless. Betts is batting .273 this season with 17 home runs, 40 RBIs and 6 stolen bases for a team that is battling for first place in the National League West with the San Diego Padres. "You're taking one of the best players in baseball out of the lineup," Roberts said. "It's a big...
June 18
June 18

Los Angeles Dodgers set to send Mookie Betts, 'one of the best players in baseball, to injured list

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is headed to the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday night. Roberts scratched Betts from the lineup for the second consecutive game Saturday, but said previously that he didn't expect the injury to be serious and that the star centerfielder was in line for an MRI. After Los Angeles' 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians, however, Roberts said that the MRI revealed a cracked rib and that a return date was to be determined. The official team transaction will occur on Sunday. Roberts is not sure yet if the injury is a hairline fracture or a larger break, but the loss will be significant regardless. Betts is batting .273 this season with 17 home runs, 40 RBIs and six stolen bases for a team that is battling for first place in the National League West with the San Diego Padres. "You're taking one of the best players in baseball out of the lineup," Roberts said. "It's a big blow,...
June 18
June 18

Josh Emmett edges past Calvin Kattar, demands shot at UFC featherweight title

Josh Emmett's case for a UFC featherweight title shot got a lot stronger on Saturday, as he picked up a split decision over Calvin Kattar in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Austin, Texas. Emmett (18-2) attacked Kattar (23-6) with winging right hands and body shots over the course of a back-and-forth five-round fight. All three judges' scorecards were close. Two officials awarded the 145-pound fight 48-47 to Emmett, who went in as the betting underdog. A third saw it 48-47 for Kattar.  Although the fight was undoubtedly close, producing a wide range of fan scores on social media, Emmett said he was confident about the result. Current champion Alexander Volkanovski is scheduled to defend his belt against Max Holloway at UFC 276 on July 2 in Las Vegas, and Emmett demanded a chance to face the winner. "I thought I had it four [rounds] to one," Emmett said. "I believe [a title shot should be next]. Calvin Kattar was ranked No. 4. Look at the guys he has...
June 18
June 18

Will Zalatoris, Matt Fitzpatrick emerge with lead at U.S. Open; Jon Rahm stumbles on 18

Eight players spent time atop the leaderboard, all of them getting kicked around -- some worse than others -- on a U.S. Open course that felt every bit like the toughest test in golf on a cool, windy afternoon at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Saturday was a classic U.S. Open, all about survival. Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick kept the damage to a bare minimum, giving them another crack at a major championship that is 18 holes away and feels so much longer. Zalatoris, who lost in a playoff at the PGA Championship last month at Southern Hills, made only one bogey, a staggering feat on a beast of a Brookline course, for a 3-under 67. "Felt like I shot a 61," Zalatoris said. "Whenever I made a mistake, I was able to get away with it or pull off something miraculous." Fitzpatrick played in the final group at the PGA Championship. Now the 27-year-old from England is on familiar turf at The Country Club, where he won the U.S. Amateur in 2013. He was...
June 18
June 18

Los Angeles Lakers to hire Atlanta Hawks assistant Chris Jent as Darvin Ham's top assistant, sources say

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to hire Atlanta Hawks assistant Chris Jent as Darvin Ham's top assistant coach on his staff, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Ham, a first-time head coach, made Jent a priority and recruited him hard after getting the Lakers job, sources told Wojnarowski. Ham and Jent coached with the Hawks together in 2017-18 and Jent -- who played collegiately at Ohio State before playing briefly in the NBA as well as overseas -- also has ties to Lakers star LeBron James, having served as an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2006 to 2011. Jent became a de facto personal shooting coach for James, with the four-time MVP once tweeting how he "loved" working with Jent. He will join a staff that already includes assistants Phil Handy and Quinton Crawford as holdovers from previous coach Frank Vogel's time on the sidelines, as well as support staff members Jon Pastorek, Dru Anthrop and Zachary...
June 18
June 18

Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors' free agents voice desire to stay

SAN FRANCISCO -- Amid the champagne showers that drenched Golden State's locker room in the TD Garden, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins hopped on Instagram Live to share the celebration with their followers. In the livestream, Poole looked at Wiggins and proclaimed, "You're going to get a bag." An uncontrollable smile cracked across Wiggins' face before he responded, "No, we're going to get a bag." Poole repeated the same words back to the camera. Wiggins, who is heading into the final season of his $147 million rookie extension from 2017 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Poole, who is entering the last year of his rookie deal, are both up for contract extensions before becoming free agents next offseason. Poole has until Oct. 17 to negotiate a new contract with the Warriors.   "I would love to stay here," Wiggins said Saturday afternoon at the Warriors' exit interviews. "Being here, this is top-notch. The way they treat the players ... we're all...
June 18
June 18

Justin Thomas denied free drop after tee shot lands near drain during third round of U.S. Open

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- As Justin Thomas prepared to hit his opening tee shot in the third round of the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club on Saturday, an announcer introduced the two-time major champion as Justin Thompson. It wasn't the last time Thomas would get a bad call from the USGA. On the par-4, 385-yard fourth hole, Thomas ripped his tee shot 320 yards down the left side of the fairway. Unfortunately for him, the ball stopped a couple of inches from a drain. He asked a USGA rules official for a ruling on a free drop. "To me it was around a drain and very clearly, in my stance and my ball was sitting differently than it would be if that drain was not there," Thomas said after the round. "I called an official to get a ruling on it, and in the spirit of the game, [I told the official] I wasn't going to hit the drain. I felt like I very easily could have told her that I was going to and gotten a free drop, but I wasn't." Since Thomas said he wasn't going to hit the...
June 18
June 18

Mexico City sets world record after 14,299 attend mass boxing class

Fifteen current and former Mexican fighters got together to teach the largest boxing class ever at the Zocalo, the main square in Mexico City on Saturday. Erik "El Terrible" Morales, Andy Ruiz Jr., Oscar Valdez, Jackie Nava, Humberto "Chiquita" González, Miguel Berchelt, Jose "Pipino" Cuevas, Alfonso Zamora, Jose Luis Bueno, Jose Antonio "Jaguar" Aguirre, Ganigan Lopez, Adrian "Confesor" Hernandez, Mariana Juarez, Ana Maria Torres and Alan David Picasso were the instructors in the mega boxing class organized by the Sports Institute (Indeporte) of Mexico City.   The event broke the Guinness World Record for the largest boxing class in the world with 14,299 attendees. The previous record was held by Moscow, Russia, as it held a mega boxing class with 3,250 participants in Red Square. The participants wore T-shirts with the Mexican flag colors to cover the entire square in green, white and red. Javier Hidalgo Ponce, director of Indeporte, presented the shirts just a couple of...
June 18
June 18

Milwaukee Brewers designate outfielder Lorenzo Cain, 36, for assignment after 'a great career'

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain was designated for assignment on Saturday, the team announced before its game against the Cincinnati Reds. Cain, 36, was hitting .179 in 145 at-bats while the Brewers' offense struggled throughout June. The veteran was 4-for-26 this month with no walks and seven strikeouts. As a team, the Brewers rank 14th in OPS in the National League in June while falling out of first place after a strong start. Cain broke in with the Brewers in 2010, then spent the next seven seasons in Kansas City before returning to Milwaukee as a free agent in 2018. He's in the final season of a five-year, $80 million deal. The move comes on the same date that Cain reached 10 years of major league service. "It just got to a point where it's probably time," Cain said in Cincinnati. "I haven't been performing like I would've liked, but the situation is what it is. I've had a great career. I can't really be upset about anything, but, yeah, it's time. I wish all...
June 18
June 18

Sources: Kenny Atkinson won't take Charlotte Hornets job, will stay with Golden State Warriors

Kenny Atkinson has informed the Charlotte Hornets that he won't become the franchise's new coach and will remain with the Golden State Warriors as the top assistant, sources told ESPN on Saturday. After accepting Charlotte's job offer during the NBA Finals last week, further conversations with the Hornets' organization led Atkinson to believe that both professionally and personally it would be best to remain with the Warriors, sources said. Atkinson and the Hornets had agreed in principle to a four-year deal, but a contract was never signed, sources said. Atkinson had already moved three times in three years -- leaving his job as head coach of the  Brooklyn Nets to become an assistant in consecutive years with the LA Clippers and then Golden State. Atkinson will be returning to the newly crowned NBA champions for a second season under Steve Kerr. Atkinson informed Charlotte and Golden State of his decision on Saturday, sources said. He will become...
June 18
June 18

Colorado Avalanche D Jack Johnson earns degree from Michigan after 18 years

DENVER -- Jack Johnson is having the spring of his life -- on and off the ice. Colorado's veteran defenseman waited 16 years to finally be playing in the Stanley Cup Final, which the Avalanche lead 1-0 over Tampa Bay heading into Saturday's Game 2. At the same time, Johnson realized another childhood dream -- graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in general studies. It was a long -- and somewhat ironic -- road to both achievements. Johnson was drawn toward an education thinking he'd never make it in pro hockey. Turns out, he would reach the pinnacle of both personal and professional success at the same time. "What did it take me, 18 years [to finish]? Most people are at least a doctor at that point," Johnson joked. "As a little kid, I never really thought I'd be good enough to play in the NHL. I grew up dreaming of playing college hockey at Michigan, I wanted to graduate from there. It meant a lot to me. [To] graduate, [I'm] pretty proud of...
June 18
June 18

Shane Wright on possibility of being first overall draft pick by Montreal Canadiens: 'Not my decision'

DENVER -- Shane Wright wants to be the first overall pick taken by the Montreal Canadiens in next month's NHL draft. He also knows it's not his call. "I have my own opinion on where I believe I should go, but at the end of the day, it's out of my control now. What my opinion is, what I say, what I think, it doesn't matter now. It's in the hands of Montreal and their management," Wright said in a meeting with media before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. "Obviously, I'd like to be the first overall pick. But at the end of the day, it's not my decision." The Canadiens hold the first overall pick, having won last month's draft lottery. Whoever goes first overall, it'll be an extraordinary moment in Montreal, as the draft is scheduled on July 7 at Bell Centre -- the first time since 1985 that the host city also holds the top pick. Wright has been considered the top prospect in this draft class for several years. He was granted exceptional player status for the...
June 18
June 18

Pete Nance, best available player in basketball portal, transferring to North Carolina from Northwestern

Potential preseason No. 1 team North Carolina has landed Northwestern transfer Pete Nance, the best available player in the men's basketball portal. Nance visited Chapel Hill earlier this week and announced his decision via Twitter on Saturday afternoon. Nance initially entered the NBA draft -- also putting his name in the transfer portal -- but opted to withdraw before the early-entry deadline to play one more year of college basketball. A 6-foot-10 forward, he earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media last season after averaging 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game and shooting 45.2% from 3-point range. He had six 20-point outings, including a 28-point, 14-rebound, 4-assist effort against Maryland in January. With Brady Manek leaving, Nance should fit seamlessly into North Carolina's starting lineup next season. Manek provided energy next to Armando Bacot in the Tar Heels' frontcourt while...
June 18
June 18

UFC fight between lightweights Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon canceled again

The fight between a pair of UFC lightweight luminaries seems to be cursed. For the second time, Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon has been canceled the day of the planned bout,. Lauzon had to withdraw because of a non-weight-cut-related medical issue, the promotion said. The contest was scheduled as the UFC Austin co-main event Saturday night. "So I'm not fighting Cowboy Cerrone tonight," Lauzon said on Instagram. "The freakiest weirdest thing ever: I weigh-in officially, I got sit down, and I got to put my socks on, I turn my knee out, and my knee locks out. "I've dealt with meniscus injuries on both knees, but this knee in particular, had it cleaned out a bunch of times, but when it does lock up, I can usually straighten out, it unlocks, totally fine, 100 percent, immediately. This time, I'm now surrounded by all the fighters, commission, Cowboy's in the room, I'm trying not to make a scene and let people know there's not a problem with my knee. Eventually, I...
June 18
June 18

Pete Nance transferring to North Carolina from Northwestern

Potential preseason No. 1 team North Carolina has landed Northwestern transfer Pete Nance, the best available player in the portal. Nance visited Chapel Hill earlier this week and announced his decision via Twitter on Saturday afternoon. Nance initially entered the NBA draft while also putting his name in the portal but opted to withdraw before the early-entry deadline to play one more year of college basketball. A 6-foot-10 forward, he earned honorable mention all-Big Ten honors by the media last season after averaging 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.2% from 3-point range. He had six 20-point outings, including a 28-point, 14-rebound, four-assist effort against Maryland in January. With Brady Manek leaving, Nance should fit seamlessly into North Carolina's starting lineup next season. Manek provided energy next to Armando Bacot in the Tar Heels' frontcourt while shooting better than 40%...
June 18
June 18

Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon with Achilles injury, had expressed doubt about playing

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, citing a lingering problem with her left Achilles tendon and marking the second consecutive year she has decided to sit out the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. Osaka's name was included on the list of withdrawals Saturday, with a leg injury noted as the reason for her dropping out. Osaka played through a left Achilles injury and had tape on her foot during a first-round loss at the French Open last month. She confirmed her withdrawal on social media Saturday, tweeting, "my Achilles still isn't right so I'll see you next time," and writing, "there goes my grass dreams," in an Instagram post. Osaka has not played since losing 7-5, 6-4 to Amanda Anisimova at the French Open. During that match, for which she said she took a painkiller, Osaka tried to stretch her tendon by tugging on the toe of her shoe at changeovers and squatting to flex her lower leg between points. She initially suffered the injury in Madrid in May,...
June 18
June 18

Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon, had expressed doubt about playing

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon. Osaka's name was included on the list of withdrawals Saturday, with a leg injury noted as the reason for her dropping out. Osaka had been playing through a left Achilles injury and had tape on her foot during a first-round loss at the French Open last month. She confirmed her withdrawal on social media Saturday, tweeting, "my Achilles still isn't right so I'll see you next time," and writing, "there goes my grass dreams," in an Instagram post. Osaka suffered the injury in Madrid, forcing her to miss the WTA 1000 event in Rome ahead of the French Open. She had also expressed doubt about playing at the All England Club after her loss at Roland Garros. The former world No. 1 said the removal of ranking points at Wimbledon this year after its ban of Russian and Belarusian players would be a factor in her decision, saying the Grand Slam event was now "more like an exhibition." "I would love to...
June 18
June 18

After expressing doubt about playing, Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon. Osaka's name was included on the list of withdrawals Saturday, with a leg injury noted as the reason for her dropping out. Osaka had been playing through a left Achilles injury and had tape on her foot during a first-round loss at the French Open last month. She confirmed her withdrawal on social media Saturday, tweeting, "my Achilles still isn't right so I'll see you next time," and writing, "there goes my grass dreams," in an Instagram post. Osaka suffered the injury in Madrid, forcing her to miss the WTA 1000 event in Rome ahead of the French Open. She had also expressed doubt about playing at the All England Club following her loss at Roland Garros. The former world No. 1 said the removal of ranking points at Wimbledon this year following its ban of Russian and Belarusian players would be a factor in her decision, saying the Grand Slam was now "more like an exhibition." "I would love to...
June 18
June 18

Parents of Texas teenager who left Dallas Mavericks game speak out on human trafficking case

DALLAS -- The parents of a 15-year-old Texas girl who in April left a Mavericks game with an unidentified man, ultimately prompting a human trafficking investigation, are speaking out to raise awareness about human trafficking. Kyle and Brooke Morris, in an interview with ESPN and "Good Morning America," said they want their daughter's story to be a cautionary one about the dangers of human sex trafficking and how laws governing the crime are applied. "We just want to make sure people understand ... that something like this can happen to anyone anywhere," Kyle Morris said. "Even if you don't think it's possible, there's people out there that they want to make it happen." Police found the girl as she walked on the side of a road in Oklahoma City 10 days after Morris, her stepfather, reported her missing from American Airlines Center in Dallas. She had been taken to an Oklahoma City hotel, where she was sexually assaulted multiple times, starved and not allowed to bathe,...
June 18
June 17

Collin Morikawa soars to top of U.S. Open leaderboard with 4-under 66; tied with Joel Dahmen after 2 rounds

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- For every Collin Morikawa and his back-to-back years winning a major is a Joel Dahmen, who only four years ago would have been thrilled to even play in one. Jon Rahm is the defending U.S. Open champion, one shot out of the lead. He will be playing on the weekend at The Country Club with Hayden Buckley, who studied while playing at Missouri because he figured he'd need to find a job after college. The dozen players separated by two shots going into the weekend include the top three players in the world ranking and four of the top seven: Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Morikawa. "I think it's great for the game of golf that the highest-ranked players and the best players are up there, especially in the tournament where truly the best player ends up winning," Rahm said. It also includes two PGA Tour rookies and two players who have never won on tour. Indeed, this U.S. Open has something for...
June 17
June 17

Rory McIlroy saves double bogey, keeps himself in mix at U.S. Open

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- After pushing his approach shot right of the green on the third hole at the 122nd U.S. Open on Friday, Rory McIlroy's ball was buried in thick heather as high as his knees. He swung his wedge violently, but the ball moved only about a yard. McIlroy looked down and wiped his face before swinging again. The ball popped about six inches into the air and fell back to the ground. McIlroy backed away from his ball, composed himself while playing partner Xander Schauffele took his next shot, and then swung again. This time, on McIlroy's fifth shot on the 496-yard, par-4 hole, McIlroy's ball landed about 23 feet past the hole. He made the putt for a double-bogey 6. Just like that, McIlroy went from 3-under to 1-under in the second round The Country Club. It seemed like his chances of ending an eight-year drought without a major championship victory were slipping away again. "I mean, you're only 2-over for the day," McIlroy said. "It wasn't disastrous....
June 17
June 17

Chicago Cubs end 10-game skid while halting Atlanta Braves' 14-game win streak

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs became the first team in 23 years to stop a losing streak of 10 or more games while ending an opponent's winning streak of at least 10 games, beating the  Braves 1-0 Friday to halt Atlanta's majors-best 14-game run. Rookie  Christopher Morel hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, helping the Cubs stop a 10-game slide, the longest losing streak in the majors this season, and Chicago's longest since 12 straight losses from last Aug. 5-16. The Braves are the first team to have a 14-plus-game win streak snapped by a 1-0 loss since 2013 -- when Atlanta also saw a 14-game win streak halted by a 1-0 loss to the Marlins.  Morel drove in the game's only run against reliever  A.J. Minter after striking out in his first three at-bats, then getting some advice from catcher Willson Contreras. "It helped me concentrate on what I needed to do, what to focus on with that tough lefty,'' Morel, who has 15 RBIs since making his...
June 17

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