Sports

Thursday Sports in Brief

NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo helped Milwaukee lock up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the NBA playoffs with another MVP-worthy performance.

Antetokounmpo outdueled fellow MVP candidate Joel Embiid, finishing with 45 points and 13 rebounds and leading Milwaukee to a 128-122 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night as the Bucks clinched the top spot in the conference and the top overall top seed in the upcoming playoffs.

NEW YORK (AP) — New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Anthony Davis has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for directing an obscene gesture toward a fan.

NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, who announced the fine on Thursday, says Davis made the offending gesture as he left the court following the Pelicans 115-109 loss to the Charlotte Hornets in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

NHL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nic Dowd put Washington ahead for good early in the second period, Braden Holtby made 33 stops and the Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division title with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Lars Eller also scored as Washington wrapped up a fourth consecutive division crown with one game remaining.

After clinching their fifth consecutive playoff spot and 11th in 12 seasons last week, the defending Stanley Cup champions enter the postseason having won five of six. Theyve allowed only one goal in three of those victories.

NEW YORK (AP) — Hall of Fame executive Glen Sather is stepping down as Rangers president and transitioning to a new role as senior adviser to owner James Dolan.

Sathers move comes after 19 years with the Rangers in which he served the first 15 as New Yorks president and general manager. He ceded general manager duties to longtime assistant Jeff Gorton before the 2015-16 season.

The team will immediately begin a search for a new president

BASEBALL

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians bid to pitch a combined no-hitter has been broken up by a leadoff single in the ninth inning by Torontos Freddy Galvis.

Galvis singled cleanly up the middle Thursday against Indians closer Brad Hand.

Indians starter Trevor Bauer was pulled after seven no-hit innings and 117 pitches. Relievers Jon Edwards and Brad Hand kept the try going through the eighth.

Bauer struck out eight and walked six.

The Indians havent pitched a no-hitter since Len Barker threw a perfect game in 1981 against Toronto.

NEW YORK (AP) — The most popular players in All-Star voting will be in the money — at least enough to cover part of the seasons clubhouse tips.

The highest vote-getter in both leagues in the first round of the new fan voting system will receive a $15,000 bonus, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. That payment will go to the leading vote-getter at catcher and each infield position plus the top three among outfielders.

For all positions other than the outfield, the second-place finishers will receive $5,000 apiece and the third-place finishers $2,500 each.

—By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw gave up two runs and struck out six in 4 1/3 innings during his rehab assignment for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday night.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner threw 61 pitches against the San Antonio Missions, a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate. Oklahoma City trailed 2-0 when Kershaw was pulled in the top of the fifth. He earned a no-decision.

MENS COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Texas Techs Chris Beard has guided his team to its first Final Four appearance and now has a top coaching honor to go with it.

Beard has been named The Associated Press mens college basketball coach of the year. He earned 20 of 64 votes from AP Top 25 voters who submitted ballots before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Beards team won a share of the Big 12 regular season title for the first time, then pushed past No. 1 seed Gonzaga to win the West Region and earn a ticket to Minneapolis.

WOMENS BASKETBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Megan Gustafson rewrote the womens basketball record book at Iowa.

The 6-foot-3 center led the nation in scoring for the second straight season, averaging 27.9 points, and became the fourth player to reach 1,000 points in a year. On Thursday, she won The Associated Press womens college basketball player of the year award.

Led by Gustafson, the Hawkeyes reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993. That season, coach Kim Mulkey and Baylor ended their season.

Mulkey was also honored Thursday, taking the AP coach of the year award for the second time. She has led top-ranked Baylor to a 35-1 record and helped the Lady Bears reach the Final Four for the first time since 2012. That was when Mulkey won the coach of the year, leading Baylor to a 40-0 record and the national championship.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The attorney for North Carolina womens basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell says players misconstrued comments she made as racist and that she wouldnt try to force someone tRead More – Source