National Sports

Valdez digs deep to defend title in decision over Marriaga

By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Although Oscar Valdez won a world championship belt last year, he still wondered whether he could go 12 full rounds with an elite fighter. Not only did the WBO featherweight champion have the physical stamina, he also had the mental ...

LEADING OFF: Twins-Tigers scrap; Scherzer on Sunday night

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening all around the majors today: ___ BAD BLOOD The Tigers and Twins close out a three-game series a day after benches cleared and punches were thrown. Detroit's JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by a pitch, and two innings later, Minnesota ...

Raptors beat Bucks 87-76, tie series at 2-2

MILWAUKEE (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 87-76 in a defensive slugfest on Saturday to tie their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at two games apiece. Kyle Lowry had 14 of his 18 points in the second half for the Raptors, ...

Tigers edge Twins in scrappy game

By Patrick Donnelly Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Not long after Detroit outfielder JaCoby Jones got hit in the face by a pitch , the Tigers and Minnesota Twins were nose-to-nose on the field. Twins slugger Miguel Sano punched Tigers catcher James McCann in the chest protector and ...

Paajarvi’s OT goal gives Blues 4-3 win to oust Wild in 5

By Dave Campbell AP Sports Writer ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota had the upper hand on St. Louis for most of this series, controlling the play for periods at a time. With goalie Jake Allen as their guide and coach Mike Yeo on their side, though, the Blues sure had the right formula for ...

Verlander falters, Cabrera hurt as Twins top Tigers 6-3

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Justin Verlander stumbled again, Miguel Cabrera left after straining his right groin and the Detroit Tigers wasted a three-run lead Friday night against the Minnesota Twins, who burst ahead when Eddie Rosario hit a three-run homer that capped a six-run sixth ...

Muslim teen wins right to box competitively in hijab

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Muslim teen boxer from Minnesota who hopes to one day compete in the Olympics has won a fight to wear a hijab during matches in the U.S. Amaiya Zafar will also be allowed to cover her arms and legs in accordance with her religious beliefs while competing in her first ...

James, Nelson hope to be next impact transfers at Wisconsin

By Genaro C. Armas AP Sports Writer MADISON, Wis. (AP) — From Russell Wilson to J.J. Watt, Wisconsin has become a home for transfers who have blossomed into impact players. The Badgers have a good track record, and offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk could be taken in the first round in the ...

Wild aim to keep pressure on Blues with 3-1 deficit

By Dave Campbell AP Sports Writer ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Charlie Coyle has that enviable blend of size and skills, a 25-year-old forward on the verge of realizing the potential of a former first-round draft pick. Without Coyle’s clutch contributions, the Minnesota Wild would have been ...

How to stop a superstar is biggest challenge in NHL playoffs

By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer Any time Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby goes over the boards, everyone in the arena is watching and waiting for something special to happen. From the opposing bench, tireless efforts have gone into preventing that. Nothing gets more ...

Bulls guard Rajon Rondo out indefinitely with broken thumb

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a broken right thumb. The team announced the injury on Friday, hours before the Bulls host the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. Chicago won the first two games in Boston. Chicago says Rondo ...

Ronaldo and Messi face off to decide Spanish league title

By TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer MADRID (AP) — The two best players in the world will face off again, this time with the Spanish league title on the line. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi meet on Sunday when Real Madrid and Barcelona play their latest clasico. The outcome at Santiago ...

After lengthy layoffs, Porter and Berto get it on Saturday

By BARRY WILNER, AP Sports Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Both Shawn Porter and Andre Berto once owned welterweight titles. The winner of Saturday night's fight at Barclays Center figures to be in position for another shot at a belt. In his last try for a championship — indeed, in his most recent ...

Flower Power: Fleury thriving in familiar spot for Penguins

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury is doing his best to stay in the present. Who knows how much longer he'll play for the Pittsburgh Penguins? The winningest goaltender in franchise history certainly has no clue. Heck, 10 days ago he was the backup to Matt ...

Durant optimistic of playing in Warriors’ Game 3 at Portland

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant said he felt ready to play in Golden State's Game 2 playoff win a day earlier yet the Warriors opted to be cautious with their superstar as he nurses a strained left calf. Durant posted an update about his injury during ...

LEADING OFF: Keuchel in ace form, M’s give Ichiro bobblehead

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening all around the majors today: ___ BIG D IS BACK After struggling to defend his 2015 AL Cy Young Award last season, Dallas Keuchel is back in ace form for Houston. Keuchel (2-0, 0.86 ERA) has allowed just eight hits in 21 innings this season ...

Klitschko admits what boxing fans always knew: he was boring

By TIM DAHLBERG, AP Boxing Writer Wladimir Klitschko was never really embraced by the average boxing fan, despite dominating a lackluster heavyweight division for the better part of a decade. He understands why, even as he looks to change his ways in what could be his last hurrah next week ...

Lob City smash: Clippers beat Jazz 99-91, even series at 1-1

By BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Buoyed by a newfound sense of urgency, the Clippers took it to the Utah Jazz from the opening tip. The patch of real estate under the basket was all theirs, all game. Blake Griffin led a smash-mouth revival of Lob City with 24 points and ...

Scherzer pitches 7 scoreless innings, Nats beat Braves 3-1

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer ATLANTA (AP) — Max Scherzer turned in another dominant performance, only to be overshadowed by a bizarre ending. After Scherzer pitched two-hit ball over seven scoreless innings, the Washington Nationals had to strike out Chase d'Arnaud with the bases ...

Schwarber, Cubs rally past Brewers to snap 4-game skid

By JOHN JACKSON, Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — Despite a large early deficit against a surging offense, Kyle Schwarber had little doubt the Chicago Cubs would rally. "Crazier things have happened," he said. "I just think it shows the character of our team. We're not gonna give up just ...