USA

Tennis: Miami Open
Mar 19, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Fans walk outside stadium court at Hard Rock Stadium during a rain delay in the first round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – Rain again spoiled the Miami Open party wiping out the evening session on Wednesday and adding to what has been a soggy and dejecting kickoff to a tournament looking for a new start.

A move from the cramped Crandon Park on picturesque Key Biscayne to the wide open spaces at Hard Rock Stadium was hoped to provide the Miami Open with a bright future.

But so far dark storm clouds have cast a wet shadow over proceedings.

Prior to the start of the tournament, officials had boasted a 25 percent jump in ticket sales but the stands have been mostly empty through two days with only one of four sessions completed.

Organisers have now been left with a backlog of matches to schedule and sending out refunds.

Canadian teen sensation Bianca Andreescu, who claimed a stunning victory at Indian Wells on Sunday, was to be the headliner on the opening day but never made it onto the 13,800-seat stadium court to face Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.

Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting earlier in the day under sunny skies involving Serena Williams, Roger Federer and world number ones Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic, action got underway with three-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka defeating Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 3-6 6-4 to christen the venue.

All of the 29-year-old Belarusian’s titles were celebrated at Crandon Park but the move to Miami suburbs did not have any affect on Azarenka as the twice Australian Open champion pounded 41 winners past her Slovak opponent.

“I think the stadium is beautiful. I think the logistics here work out pretty well,” said Azarenka, a former world number one. “I feel the expansion of the tournament was, first of all, really necessary.

“There is a lot more room. There is a lot better facilities. So I’m pretty happy.”

Before the rain began 17-year-old American hope Amanda Anisimova gave the small crowd something to cheer about as she romped into the second round with 6-4 6-3 decision over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

Before Andreescu grabbed the spotlight Anisimova had appeared to be the teenager to watch after she started 2019 with a run to the quarter-finals in Auckland and a fourth round appearance at the Australian Open.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

Tennis: Miami Open
Mar 19, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Fans walk outside stadium court at Hard Rock Stadium during a rain delay in the first round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – Rain again spoiled the Miami Open party wiping out the evening session on Wednesday and adding to what has been a soggy and dejecting kickoff to a tournament looking for a new start.

A move from the cramped Crandon Park on picturesque Key Biscayne to the wide open spaces at Hard Rock Stadium was hoped to provide the Miami Open with a bright future.

But so far dark storm clouds have cast a wet shadow over proceedings.

Prior to the start of the tournament, officials had boasted a 25 percent jump in ticket sales but the stands have been mostly empty through two days with only one of four sessions completed.

Organisers have now been left with a backlog of matches to schedule and sending out refunds.

Canadian teen sensation Bianca Andreescu, who claimed a stunning victory at Indian Wells on Sunday, was to be the headliner on the opening day but never made it onto the 13,800-seat stadium court to face Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.

Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting earlier in the day under sunny skies involving Serena Williams, Roger Federer and world number ones Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic, action got underway with three-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka defeating Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 3-6 6-4 to christen the venue.

All of the 29-year-old Belarusian’s titles were celebrated at Crandon Park but the move to Miami suburbs did not have any affect on Azarenka as the twice Australian Open champion pounded 41 winners past her Slovak opponent.

“I think the stadium is beautiful. I think the logistics here work out pretty well,” said Azarenka, a former world number one. “I feel the expansion of the tournament was, first of all, really necessary.

“There is a lot more room. There is a lot better facilities. So I’m pretty happy.”

Before the rain began 17-year-old American hope Amanda Anisimova gave the small crowd something to cheer about as she romped into the second round with 6-4 6-3 decision over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

Before Andreescu grabbed the spotlight Anisimova had appeared to be the teenager to watch after she started 2019 with a run to the quarter-finals in Auckland and a fourth round appearance at the Australian Open.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

Tennis: Miami Open
Mar 19, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Fans walk outside stadium court at Hard Rock Stadium during a rain delay in the first round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – Rain again spoiled the Miami Open party wiping out the evening session on Wednesday and adding to what has been a soggy and dejecting kickoff to a tournament looking for a new start.

A move from the cramped Crandon Park on picturesque Key Biscayne to the wide open spaces at Hard Rock Stadium was hoped to provide the Miami Open with a bright future.

But so far dark storm clouds have cast a wet shadow over proceedings.

Prior to the start of the tournament, officials had boasted a 25 percent jump in ticket sales but the stands have been mostly empty through two days with only one of four sessions completed.

Organisers have now been left with a backlog of matches to schedule and sending out refunds.

Canadian teen sensation Bianca Andreescu, who claimed a stunning victory at Indian Wells on Sunday, was to be the headliner on the opening day but never made it onto the 13,800-seat stadium court to face Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.

Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting earlier in the day under sunny skies involving Serena Williams, Roger Federer and world number ones Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic, action got underway with three-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka defeating Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 3-6 6-4 to christen the venue.

All of the 29-year-old Belarusian’s titles were celebrated at Crandon Park but the move to Miami suburbs did not have any affect on Azarenka as the twice Australian Open champion pounded 41 winners past her Slovak opponent.

“I think the stadium is beautiful. I think the logistics here work out pretty well,” said Azarenka, a former world number one. “I feel the expansion of the tournament was, first of all, really necessary.

“There is a lot more room. There is a lot better facilities. So I’m pretty happy.”

Before the rain began 17-year-old American hope Amanda Anisimova gave the small crowd something to cheer about as she romped into the second round with 6-4 6-3 decision over Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

Before Andreescu grabbed the spotlight Anisimova had appeared to be the teenager to watch after she started 2019 with a run to the quarter-finals in Auckland and a fourth round appearance at the Australian Open.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers
Mar 20, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

The Milwaukee Bucks played without All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo for a second consecutive game Wednesday night as he continues to nurse a sprained right ankle.

Antetokounmpo, a candidate for MVP, did not play in the Bucks’ road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. He also missed Tuesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were without their own superstar, LeBron James (sore left groin).

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo before Wednesday’s game, “He’s making progress, he just can’t go tonight. It’s us hopefully being smart and being somewhat cautious, but it’s more than that. He can’t play. We’ll see how the next 24-48 hours go, and I’m hopeful he’ll be in a good place as we move forward.”

The NBA-best Bucks (53-19) fell 107-102 to the Cavaliers, who own the third-worst record in the league at 19-53. Milwaukee returns home Friday for a game against the Miami Heat.

–Bucks power forward Nikola Mirotic will miss two-to-four weeks with a “slight fracture” of his left thumb, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported.

The Bucks acquired Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans at the trade deadline to provide depth off the bench. The team confirmed the injury but did not update his status.

Since the trade, Mirotic has played in 14 games (three starts), averaging 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 22.9 minutes per game. Mirotic sustained the injury in the Bucks’ 115-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The injury likely will keep him out the rest of the regular season.

–The NBA Summer League will have an international flavor in 2019, as the Chinese and Croatian national teams will join all 30 NBA teams in participating in the league, which will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas, the NBA announced.

Team China played in Las Vegas at the 2007 NBA Summer League, but Team Croatia is making its debut at the event, marking the first time the league will have two international teams.

Each of the 32 teams will play four preliminary games, with the top eight teams seeded into a tournament to determine the champion. Those that don’t make the championship bracket will play a consolation game.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) grounds out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, instead planning to enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal before becoming a free agent next offseason.

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels, 12 years/reportedly $430 million) — Betts, 26, will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, with a career-high 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

–Without yet playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez, 22, has played in the White Sox organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. He is expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup.

–Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. He faced batters in the batter’s box, though none of them took any swings.

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

–Chuck Harmon, the Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player, who has already been honored with a plaque outside Great American Ball Park, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94. Seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harmon took the field for the Reds in 1954. He played in 289 career games, 203 of those in three seasons with the Reds, batting .238 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs.

–New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli, who turns 64 next Monday, was scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice at Tampa, Fla., according to published reports. Mazzilli played 14 big league seasons and batted .259 with 93 homers and 460 RBIs, and played for the Yankees for 37 games in 1982.

–Right-hander Ryan Pressly signed a two-year extension reportedly worth $17.5 million with the Houston Astros that takes him through the 2021 season, the team announced. The deal also reportedly has a $10 million vesting option for the 2022 season. … The Tampa Bay Rays and prospect Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. Lowe, 24, is No. 93 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects and can play both infield and outfield.

–Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, who turned 26 last week, has decided to proceed with Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. … The Baltimore Orioles decided to part ways with shortstop Alcides Escobar, granting the veteran his unconditional release. … The San Francisco Giants agreed on a minor league contract with Matt Joyce one day after the veteran outfielder was released by the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) grounds out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, instead planning to enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal before becoming a free agent next offseason.

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels, 12 years/reportedly $430 million) — Betts, 26, will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, with a career-high 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

–Without yet playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez, 22, has played in the White Sox organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. He is expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup.

–Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. He faced batters in the batter’s box, though none of them took any swings.

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

–Chuck Harmon, the Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player, who has already been honored with a plaque outside Great American Ball Park, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94. Seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harmon took the field for the Reds in 1954. He played in 289 career games, 203 of those in three seasons with the Reds, batting .238 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs.

–New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli, who turns 64 next Monday, was scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice at Tampa, Fla., according to published reports. Mazzilli played 14 big league seasons and batted .259 with 93 homers and 460 RBIs, and played for the Yankees for 37 games in 1982.

–Right-hander Ryan Pressly signed a two-year extension reportedly worth $17.5 million with the Houston Astros that takes him through the 2021 season, the team announced. The deal also reportedly has a $10 million vesting option for the 2022 season. … The Tampa Bay Rays and prospect Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. Lowe, 24, is No. 93 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects and can play both infield and outfield.

–Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, who turned 26 last week, has decided to proceed with Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. … The Baltimore Orioles decided to part ways with shortstop Alcides Escobar, granting the veteran his unconditional release. … The San Francisco Giants agreed on a minor league contract with Matt Joyce one day after the veteran outfielder was released by the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
FILE PHOTO: Feb 25, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) looks on prior to facing the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning Wednesday as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He has pitched into October each of the past two seasons, as the Dodgers lost in the World Series both times, and he has dealt with injuries, mostly to his back, each of the past three years.

Kershaw threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. Teammates Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and David Freese all stepped into the batter’s box with Kershaw pitching, but none of them took swings.

“Health-wise, felt good,” Kershaw said afterward, according to MLB.com. “You just have to start the build-up process. That’s the bummer to being a starter. Can’t skip innings, got to go an inning at a time. One inning down and go to two innings and work your way up to 100 pitches. I don’t know the exact math, but you go up an inning a start and there’s days in between. It’s probably 20 days or something.”

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

There has been speculation Kershaw could pitch in a game in Arizona on Saturday, just before the Dodgers break camp.

The Dodgers still have not decided on an Opening Day pitcher. That assignment had belonged Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, for a team-record eight consecutive seasons.

“Better to miss a little at the beginning than any time at all the rest of it,” Kershaw said. “Being out there Opening Day is special. I don’t take that for granted. I love being out there and what it signifies and being part of the Dodger history and all that stuff. It’s not lost on me. I love doing that. But when you get super realistic about it, it is just one game.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 2
FILE PHOTO: Mar 5, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Novak Djokovic (SRB) works on the practice court in preparation for the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic on Wednesday dismissed any suggestion of friction with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal as tennis politics spilled over to the Miami Open.

Tension between the three biggest names in men’s tennis appeared on the rise after Djokovic, president of the ATP Player Council, rebuffed a request by Federer to meet during the BNP Paribas in Indian Wells earlier this month to discuss the future of ATP chairman Chris Kermode.

Despite a tenure which brought record prize money and growth, Kermode was ousted as ATP chief when players’ representatives on the ATP Board failed to endorse an extension of the Englishman’s contract.

As head of the 10 member Player Council Djokovic had been pushing for change while Federer and Nadal backed Kermode or at the least felt the issue needed more discussion.

“I saw Roger today, we were in the opening ceremony cutting the ribbon on center court,” said Djokovic during his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday. “We had a small chat there was no time to talk about the political stuff.

“That is hopefully something we will have time in the next few days to go through.

“It’s not necessary for you guys to create any tensions between us. In contrary I have a very good relations with both of them.”

With Kermode’s status decided Federer said on Wednesday that he is still willing to talk to Djokovic but with the decision made saw no urgency to meet.

“A lot of stuff has been decided already so we’ll see if this week is going to happen or not but we are not chasing each other at this point,” said Federer. “If it happens, it happens.”

For his part Djokovic appeared eager to wash his hands of the entire affair reminding everyone that it was the three players representatives on the ATP board that voted not to renew Kermode’s contract and not the Player Council, which was only part of the discussion.

The Serb added that if Federer and Nadal have opinions they were welcome to share them with the Player Council at any time.

“The player council is only part of the structure,” said Djokovic. “We are not part of the board or deciding anything that is voted on later on.

“We are in consultation and collaboration with our player board representatives.

“Board members are the ones voting on what they think is appropriate for the players side.

“Federer and Nadal have been icons of our sport for so many years and their opinions are extremely important to everyone.

“If they want to be active and part of it, either officially or unofficially, I think it’s only positive news for us.”

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Houston Astros
FILE PHOTO: Mar 20, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) prior to a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports – 12384288

March 20, 2019

Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and the Houston Astros went on to a 2-1 spring training victory over the New York Yankees at Kissimmee, Fla.

Astros starter Wade Miley gave up one run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings as five Astros pitchers held the Yankees to four hits on the day.

Gary Sanchez drove in the only run for the Yankees on a double in the first inning.

Braves 8, Blue Jays 7

Andy Wilkins hit a home run and drove in two runs while Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna Jr. each also drove in two as Atlanta won at Dunedin, Fla. Kevin Pillar and Teoscar Hernandez each hit a home run for Toronto.

Tigers 3, Phillies 1

Josh Harrison hit a home run and Spencer Turnbull pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts as Detroit won at Clearwater, Fla. Bryce Harper had a single and scored the only run for Philadelphia on an Odubel Herrera ground ball.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 0

Neil Walker hit a home run and Pablo Lopez gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings as Florida won at Jupiter, Fla. Drew Robinson had two of the three St. Louis hits.

Pirates 6, Twins 5

Colin Moran had a pair of RBI singles as Pittsburgh scored all six runs over the final two innings for the victory at Fort Myers, Fla. Jonathan Schoop hit a home run for Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Houston Astros
FILE PHOTO: Mar 20, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) prior to a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports – 12384288

March 20, 2019

Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and the Houston Astros went on to a 2-1 spring training victory over the New York Yankees at Kissimmee, Fla.

Astros starter Wade Miley gave up one run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings as five Astros pitchers held the Yankees to four hits on the day.

Gary Sanchez drove in the only run for the Yankees on a double in the first inning.

Braves 8, Blue Jays 7

Andy Wilkins hit a home run and drove in two runs while Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna Jr. each also drove in two as Atlanta won at Dunedin, Fla. Kevin Pillar and Teoscar Hernandez each hit a home run for Toronto.

Tigers 3, Phillies 1

Josh Harrison hit a home run and Spencer Turnbull pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts as Detroit won at Clearwater, Fla. Bryce Harper had a single and scored the only run for Philadelphia on an Odubel Herrera ground ball.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 0

Neil Walker hit a home run and Pablo Lopez gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings as Florida won at Jupiter, Fla. Drew Robinson had two of the three St. Louis hits.

Pirates 6, Twins 5

Colin Moran had a pair of RBI singles as Pittsburgh scored all six runs over the final two innings for the victory at Fort Myers, Fla. Jonathan Schoop hit a home run for Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 9
FILE PHOTO: Mar 12, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts after being defeated in her fourth round match against Belinda Bencic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – Serena and Venus Williams usually get top billing at the Miami Open but this year there is another sister act vying for the spotlight with world number one Naomi Osaka showing older sibling Mari the ropes.

The Williams sisters have hoisted the Miami trophy 11 times between them and all those victories were celebrated at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne.

But this year the tournament has moved to the suburbs and Hard Rock Stadium is Osaka country with Naomi and Mari growing up three miles away and learning to play tennis almost in the shadow of the Hard Rock home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, who are part-owned by the Williams sisters.

Naomi will be joined in the draw by her 338th-ranked sibling who needed a wildcard to get a place in the tournament.

“It is a bit weird that I have to give her advice and she is my older sister,” Naomi told reporters on Wednesday. “But she has been doing like newbie mistakes.

“Yesterday it rained out all day but she came here at 11 o’clock and her match was the fourth on.

“I mean, like, what are you doing? Stuff like that I have to talk to her about.”

The 21-year-old U.S.-based Japanese player has taken the tennis world by storm, winning the last two Grand Slams and amassing $10.8 million in prize money while Mari, one year older, tries to claw her way up the rankings with $58,000 in career earnings.

While Naomi now holds sway over her older sister, that was not always the case.

“Up until I was 15 she was 6-0ing me, it was ridiculous,” the Australian and U.S. Open champion said. “In the win-loss record she is up by a million or something.”

Naomi gets a first-round bye while Mari starts her campaign on Thursday against another wildcard in American Whitney Osuigwe.

On opposite sides of the draw, the only way the sisters could meet in Miami would be in an all-Osaka final.

Even if Mari’s stay ends up being short, however, Naomi is enjoying having her sister by her side.

“It’s nice because you can give each other advice especially if you have played the opponent,” Naomi said. “I really enjoy having her around, most of the time we don’t play the same tournaments.

“For me I don’t really talk to that many people and she is sort of the nicer one in this relationship.”

Mari Osaka’s focus will be getting past the first round and advancing any further would be considered a wild success but Naomi will have loftier objectives.

“I actually drove past this (stadium) a lot when I was a kid,” she said. “I grew up watching all these great players winning it so just to come from being a kid in the audience to being the one holding the trophy would mean a lot.”

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
FILE PHOTO: Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Without playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez has played in the White Sox’s organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Including the options, Jimenez’s contract would be worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Jimenez, the White Sox’s top prospect, had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he is now expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. If he played three weeks in the minor leagues to start this season, it would have delayed his move into free agency by one year. The new contract eliminates that scenario.

Jimenez, 22, batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to with Scott Kingery last March. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
FILE PHOTO: Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Without playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez has played in the White Sox’s organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Including the options, Jimenez’s contract would be worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Jimenez, the White Sox’s top prospect, had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he is now expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. If he played three weeks in the minor leagues to start this season, it would have delayed his move into free agency by one year. The new contract eliminates that scenario.

Jimenez, 22, batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to with Scott Kingery last March. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 9
FILE PHOTO: Mar 12, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts after being defeated in her fourth round match against Belinda Bencic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – World number one Naomi Osaka arrived at the Miami Open on Wednesday to face questions about a multi-million dollar lawsuit for allegedly failing to honor a contract with a former coach.

According to the lawsuit filed in Florida’s state court on Feb. 7 and seen by Reuters, Christophe Jean says he began coaching Osaka and older sister Mari in 2011.

Jean says he entered into a services contract with their father Francois in March 2012 that would pay him 20 percent of Osaka’s future earnings.

Osaka’s attorney Alex Spiro described the lawsuit as a “false claim” that has no merit.

Osaka, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise and won the last two grand slams to reach number one in the world, has career earnings of $10.8 million and has made millions more in endorsements.

Jean says that he signed a contract that would pay him a share of Osaka’s future earnings as her family were unable to pay the going rate for coaching.

Asked about the lawsuit during her pre-tournament news conference Osaka, who grew up less than three miles from Hard Rock Stadium, the new home of the Miami Open, said: “I’m not allowed to say anything. I am unable to make a comment.”

Spiro, however, said Jean was an opportunist looking to cash in.

“While it comes as no surprise that Naomi’s meteoric rise as an international icon and inspiration would lead to some false claim, this silly “contract” that Naomi never saw or signed — which purports to give away part of herself at the age of 14 — is particularly absurd,” Spiro told Reuters in an email. “This case has no merit and we will move past it.”

The 21-year-old U.S.-based Japanese player raised eyebrows last month when she announced she was parting with coach Sascha Bajin, who guided her to the Australian and U.S. Open titles.

That split, however, appeared amicable with both Osaka and Bajin wishing each other the best for the future.

(Additional reporting by Jack Tarrant in Tokyo and Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
FILE PHOTO: Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) takes the field prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox.

He told Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald he’s firm that he will enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal.

“That’s exactly what I expect,” the outfielder said. “Didn’t expect anything to happen until I’m a free agent.”

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Betts can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million) Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (finalizing a reported 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels) — Betts will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

And he knows it.

“I love it here in Boston. It’s a great spot. I’ve definitely grown to love going up north in the cold,” Betts, a 26-year-old Tennessee native, told reporters. .”.. That doesn’t mean I want to sell myself short of my value.”

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, hitting 32 home runs and stealing 30 bases.

In 644 career games over four-plus seasons with the Red Sox, Betts has a .303 career batting average, 110 home runs, 110 stolen bases and 390 RBIs.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks
Mar 18, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the arena during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

The NBA Summer League will have an international flavor in 2019.

The Chinese and Croatian national teams will join all 30 NBA teams in participating in the league, which will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas, the NBA announced Wednesday.

Team China played in Las Vegas at the 2007 NBA Summer League, but Team Croatia is making its debut at the event, marking the first time the league will have two international teams.

Each of the 32 teams will play four preliminary games, with the top eight teams seeded into a tournament to determine the champion. Those that don’t make the championship bracket will play a consolation game.

Every NBA team will participate in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year. The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2018 title.

China will host and participate in the 32-team FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 31. Croatia did not make the field.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MMA: UFC 173-Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw
FILE PHOTO: May 24, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; TJ Dillashaw (blue) pins down Renan Barao (red) during their UFC 173 bantamweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Dillashaw won the bout by way of TKO. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

TJ Dillashaw surrendered the UFC bantamweight belt Wednesday, announcing he was informed by the New York State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency of an “adverse finding in a test taken for my last fight.”

The New York governing body also suspended him for one year and issued a $10,000 fine, citing “violations relating to use of a prohibited substance.” The suspension is retroactive to Jan. 19, the date of the fight.

Dillashaw (16-4) said “while words can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at this time, please know that I’m working with my team to understand what has occurred and how to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Out of fairness and respect to the rest of my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter.”

The 33-year-old had held the title since November 2017, his second title reign, claiming the belt in a knockout of Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Memphis Express quarterback Johnny Manziel seems like he’s done a lot of reflection over the past few years.

The Texas A&M Heisman winner held his first press conference since joining the AAF, and seemed very aware of the importance of football in his life.

“I’ve done a lot of soul searching and a lot of looking at myself in the mirror and coming to the realization that when I’m on a football field and on a team, my life is substantially better,” Manziel told the media Monday afternoon. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Signs With The Memphis Express In The AAF)

He also added that “life isn’t all about football.” You can watch his comments below.

It’s wild how much it seems like Manziel has grown and matured over the past couple years. There was one point where it looked like he was on a path with a tragic end.

Now, he seems to have grown up, learned the mistakes of his past and is ready to get to work in the AAF(RELATED: Johnny Manziel Shows Off Arm Strength)

The addition of the college football legend really is a great sign for the Alliance of American Football. He adds instant name credibility, and will draw plenty of eyeballs for games on TV.

Manziel and the Express play Sunday night against the Birmingham Iron on the NFL Network. I have a feeling that plenty of people will be watching.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Hornets
Mar 19, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) argues a foul call in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

(Reuters) – The Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons displayed a message of support for an Australian teenager who smashed an egg on a right-wing lawmaker’s head, wearing shoes with the words “Egg Boy” written on them during Tuesday’s game against Charlotte.

Senator Fraser Anning was approached from behind at a political event on Saturday before the 17-year-old cracked the egg on the back of his head.

The teenager was dubbed “Egg Boy” on social media and Australian Simmons showed his support by writing the nickname on his bright yellow shoes.

Anning had received widespread condemnation following his comments that the cause of last week’s shootings at two New Zealand mosques that left 50 dead was letting “Muslim fanatics” migrate to the country.

Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

NHL: Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils
Mar 19, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Brett Connolly (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Brett Connolly had a goal and an assist, and the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Tuesday night in Newark, N.J., to move into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson also scored for Washington. Nicklas Backstrom collected his 50th assist of the season, and Pheonix Copley made 20 saves.

Kenny Agostino scored, and Mackenzie Blackwood made 18 saves for the Devils, who have lost two straight.

Blues 7, Oilers 2

Jaden Schwartz capped his hat trick with a power-play goal at 18:48 of the third period as St. Louis defeated visiting Edmonton.

David Perron added two goals and an assist, and Alex Pietrangelo and Pat Maroon also scored for the Blues. Jordan Binnington made 15 saves to improve to 14-3-0 in his past 17 starts.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian scored for the Oilers. Mikko Koskinen stopped 17 of 20 shots before being pulled 5:42 into the second period after the Blues took a three-goal lead. Connor McDavid failed to tally a point, ending his 12-game scoring streak.

Flames 4, Blue Jackets 2

Michael Frolik scored the winning goal in a two-point night, and David Rittich was sensational while making 31 saves as host Calgary defeated Columbus. The Flames moved three points ahead of the San Jose Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference.

While Rittich had incredible fortune on his side with the Blue Jackets ringing four pucks off iron, he was outstanding all game, including a one-sided third period in which he stopped 11 shots.

Andrew Mangiapane, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk added goals for Calgary, which has won four of its past five games. Zach Werenski and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for the Blue Jackets.

Stars 4, Panthers 2

Alexander Radulov scored two goals, including the winner with 9:28 to play in the third period, and Tyler Seguin had four assists to lift host Dallas to a victory over Florida.

Dallas is now four points ahead of idle Arizona for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Florida lost its second straight and is now 4-2-0 in its past six games.

Jamie Benn and John Klingberg collected the Stars’ other goals. Aleksander Barkov tallied twice for the Panthers.

Avalanche 3, Wild 1

Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves, Tyson Barrie, Tyson Jost and Ian Cole scored, and Colorado won at Saint Paul, Minn.

The Avalanche won their second in a row to tighten the Western Conference wild-card race. Colorado moved within a point of the Wild and within two points of Arizona. The Coyotes currently hold the second wild-card spot.

Zach Parise had a goal, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 35 shots for Minnesota. The Wild have lost two in a row, and they fell to 2-7-3 in their past 12 home games.

Predators 3, Maple Leafs 0

Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds and Filip Forsberg scored goals, Pekka Rinne stopped 22 shots, and Nashville defeated visiting Toronto.

Rinne has four shutouts this season, and the past two have been against the Maple Leafs. He has 55 career shutouts.

Ryan Johansen had two assists for the Predators, who managed only 20 shots on goal but won their third in a row. Frederik Andersen finished with 17 saves for the Maple Leafs.

Bruins 5, Islanders 0

Sean Kuraly scored two goals in a regular-season game for the first time in his career, and Tuukka Rask stopped all 13 shots he faced as Boston cruised to a win at Uniondale, N.Y.

The Bruins have won two straight following a three-game losing streak. Boston allowed 15 goals in the skid but has given up just one goal in its last two games. Jake DeBrusk, Patrice Bergeron and Noel Acciari also scored for the Bruins.

The Islanders lost for the second time in three games (1-2-0). New York goalie Robin Lehner, who played for the first time since sustaining what was believed to be a concussion on March 5, made 34 saves.

Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2 (SO)

Dougie Hamilton scored on the first attempt of a shootout, and that was enough for Carolina in a victory against Pittsburgh at Raleigh, N.C.

The Hurricanes made it past regulation when Justin Williams scored the tying goal with 1:56 left in the third period after the Hurricanes opted to go with an extra skater.

Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang scored with 4:37 remaining, but the Penguins couldn’t hold on.

Red Wings 3, Rangers 2

Jimmy Howard made 41 saves, and Andreas Athanasiou scored twice as Detroit opened a five-game road trip by holding on for a victory over New York.

Howard helped the Red Wings sweep the three-game season series with the Rangers by making at least 40 saves for the fifth time this season and 21st time in his career.

Detroit’s Frans Nielsen scored in the first period, and Athanasiou tallied in the second before adding an empty-net goal in the final minute. Ryan Strome and Brendan Smith were the Rangers’ goal-scorers.

Canadiens 3, Flyers 1

Goals from Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber and Max Domi carried Montreal to a win at Philadelphia.

Andrew Shaw tallied two assists and Carey Price stopped 32 shots for the Canadiens.

Sean Couturier scored and Carter Hart made 33 saves for the Flyers, who took a second straight home loss for the first time since early January.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Sacramento Kings
Mar 19, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell (1) defends Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) during the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored the winning layup with 0.8 seconds remaining as the Brooklyn Nets overcame a 25-point, fourth-quarter deficit to post a stunning 123-121 victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

D’Angelo Russell scored 27 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets outscored the Kings 45-18 to improve to 1-3 on a seven-game road trip.

Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and drove through the lane to convert the winning basket. Jarrett Allen scored 13 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 for Brooklyn.

Marvin Bagley III scored 28 points, and De’Aaron Fox had 27 points and nine assists for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, Nemanja Bjelica had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 10 points for the Kings.

Rockets 121, Hawks 105

Clint Capela posted his sixth straight double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds, and visiting Houston topped Atlanta to extend its winning streak to three games.

James Harden added 31 points, sinking 11 of 12 from the line, and had 10 assists and eight rebounds. Danuel House Jr. came off the bench to score 19, including six 3-pointers. Chris Paul scored 13 and had 11 assists.

Atlanta got 21 points and 12 assists from Trae Young, plus 20 points and 10 rebounds from John Collins. Taurean Prince added 16 points, and Vince Carter hit five 3-pointers and scored 15.

Warriors 117, Timberwolves 107

Stephen Curry scored 22 of his 36 points in the third quarter, and Klay Thompson added 28 points to lead Golden State past Minnesota at Minneapolis.

Minnesota trailed 59-47 entering the third quarter before going on a 14-2 run, tying the game at 61-all. That’s when Curry took over, scoring eight points in a 94-second span as the Warriors wrested control of the game.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who saw their six-game home win streak end.

Bucks 115, Lakers 101

Khris Middleton matched his season high with 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Milwaukee padded its lead atop the Eastern Conference with a win over visiting Los Angeles.

Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (foot), the Bucks extended their lead over the second-place Toronto Raptors to three games with 11 left for both teams. Brook Lopez matched his season high with 28 points, and Nikola Mirotic scored 23 while starting in place of Brogdon.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 8-for-14 from 3-point range and scored a season-high 35 points off the bench for Los Angeles. The Lakers, who played without leading scorer LeBron James (groin), lost their fourth straight game and ninth in the past 10.

76ers 118, Hornets 114

Ben Simmons scored 28 points, and JJ Redick had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Philadelphia earned its fifth straight victory, beating host Charlotte.

Tobias Harris hit three free throws in the final 8.2 seconds, and the Hornets missed a chance to tie the game when Jeremy Lamb was off target on a drive in the lane with two seconds remaining.

Jimmy Butler added 23 points for the Sixers, who completed a four-game season sweep of the Hornets. Their five-game winning streak is a season high. Charlotte has lost nine of its past 12.

Clippers 115, Pacers 109

Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, and Montrezl Harrell added 20 as host Los Angeles improved its playoff prospects with a win over Indiana.

Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 17 points as the Clippers moved into a tie with the Utah Jazz for seventh place in the Western Conference. The Clippers and Jazz are just 2 1/2 games out of third place in a crowded Western Conference field.

After scoring just two points in the first half, Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 19 as the Pacers lost their third consecutive game, keeping their playoff-clinching celebration on hold. Tyreke Evans also scored 19.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A Target logo is seen during the going-out-of-business sale at Target Canada in Toronto
A Target logo is seen during the going-out-of-business sale at Target Canada in Toronto, February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

March 20, 2019

By Ayenat Mersie

NEW YORK (Reuters) – All of Target Corp’s flagship coffee brand Archer Farms will be certified fair trade by 2022, the company and Fair Trade USA told Reuters on Wednesday, a victory for that movement, which seeks to make sure producers are adequately compensated for their labor.

Coffee futures are currently trading near 13-year lows, weighed down by a record-large Brazilian crop. Prices are below the cost of production in most countries, forcing some farmers out of business and prompting concern from the industry on its long-term ability to source good coffee.

Archer Farms, Target’s flagship-owned coffee brand, sells about six million pounds of coffee each year. Currently, about 20 percent of Archer Farms coffee is fair trade certified.

The United States imported about 3.5 billion pounds of coffee in the 2018/2019 season, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of such products in North America, works to institute a floor price for farmers; for coffee, that minimum price is $1.40 per pound and farmers receive an additional 20 cents per pound sold.

“The current market is nothing short of a disaster for coffee farmers,” said Paul Rice, founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA.

The most active coffee futures contract fell last week to 94.65 cents per pound, the lowest since 2005. Farmers have been searching for ways to find pricing alternatives, including separate pricing mechanisms for high-grade specialty beans.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands in court during his sentencing hearing in the Eaton County Court in Charlotte
FILE PHOTO: Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands in court during his sentencing hearing in the Eaton County Court in Charlotte, Michigan, U.S., February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

March 20, 2019

By Steve Keating

(Reuters) – Being told by a close friend that she had been one of disgraced doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse victims has spurred former United States gymnast Alicia Sacramone Quinn to begin working with the Athletes Assistance Fund (AAF).

Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics doctor, was sentenced to 300 years in prison after more than 350 women, including Olympic champions Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber, testified in court about being abused by him.

Sacramone, who won 10 world championship medals and an Olympic silver in her career, did not have any contact with Nassar during her career, but decided after talking to a friend who had been abused by him that she wanted to help the victims.

“One of the victims told me, she is not involved in any of the lawsuits or anything, but she told me it had happened to her and she did not want it to be public,” Sacramone told Reuters. “She confided in me. It had happened to her and she was trying to pick herself up and move on from it.

“That was heartbreaking for me because I have known her since she was little and for her to come to me it spoke a lot about our friendship and the trust she had in me.”

Sacramone now serves as a representative on the board of the directors of the AAF, which has partnered with the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to provide financial assistance and counseling for any gymnast who has been sexually abused.

Sacramone acknowledged she was not a qualified counsellor but was more than willing to listen and offer support.

“If they are not ready to talk to a medical provider just yet hopefully if they talk to me I could point them in the direction to finding help using our fund to get them the medical advice and attention they need,” said Sacramone.

“I felt this was a good spot to help athletes who have been victims.”

The Nassar scandal, however, could just be the tip of the iceberg with many victims of sexual abuse by coaches and doctors remaining silent, according to AAF board chair Tina Ferriola.

“I believe there are far more out there,” said Ferriola, who is unable to divulge how many athletes they work with for confidentiality reasons.

“The mission of the Athletes Assistance Fund is to connect any survivors that suffered sexual assault within the sport of gymnastics with qualified healthcare providers.”

The AAF is providing a service that Sacramone said was not available when she was competing.

“During my athletic career I don’t believe any of this was available to athletes,” said Sacramone.

“We just want them to know this is not something they need to shoulder alone.

“If we can eliminate the cost they don’t have to worry about that and that is one inch helping them move forward.”

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
FILE PHOTO: Mar 3, 2019; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Right-hander Yu Darvish allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and struck out six in 4 2/3 innings for a Chicago Cubs split squad in a 6-4 spring training win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at Mesa, Ariz.

Darvish, making his return from a season-ending stress reaction in his throwing elbow to cap a disappointing first year with the Cubs, lowered his spring ERA to 2.25 through four starts. He has struck out 14 in 12 innings.

Jason Heyward and Javier Baez each went 2-for-3 to lead the Cubs’ offense. Top outfield prospect Kyle Lewis homered among his two hits for the Mariners, raising his spring average to .429.

Yankees 6, Rays 2

Greg Bird hit his third home run this spring, and Gary Sanchez clubbed two doubles as New York topped visiting Tampa Bay at Tampa, Fla. Right-hander Tyler Glasnow gave up five runs on four hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings for the Rays.

Pirates 3, Tigers 1

Adam Frazier, Corey Dickerson and Josh Bell each had two hits as host Pittsburgh held off Detroit in Bradenton, Fla. The Tigers scored their lone run on a Bobby Wilson single in the ninth.

Nationals 3, Braves 2

Collin Cowgill’s two-run homer in the ninth inning capped a three-run Washington rally past host Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla. Left-hander Max Fried drew the start for the Braves and struck out seven in five scoreless innings.

Rangers 3, Brewers 2

Right-hander Lance Lynn struck out nine in five innings, and Willie Calhoun drove in all three runs as visiting Texas trumped Milwaukee at Phoenix. Jesus Aguilar doubled in a run for the Brewers.

The following Florida games were canceled by rain:

–Blue Jays at Red Sox

–Mets at Marlins

–Twins at Orioles

–Phillies at Astros

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
FILE PHOTO: Mar 7, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs to third base after hitting a triple against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Mike Trout is on the verge of a 12-year, $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Trout, 27, is a two-time American League Most Valuable Player and is scheduled to become a free agent in 2020. The agreement, per ESPN, will tack on 10 years to the final two seasons remaining on Trout’s $144.5 million agreement with the Angels.

The deal would smash the massive contract signed by outfielder Bryce Harper — 13 years, $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies — on March 2.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke currently holds the record MLB annual average salary at $34.4 million. Trout would eclipse that mark with an average of approximately $36 million.

–New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances will begin the season on the injured list as he recovers from a right shoulder impingement, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed.

An MRI exam revealed the injury after the club was worried about the four-time All-Star’s velocity this spring. Although there was no timetable for the 30-year-old right-hander’s return, it is not considered a serious setback as he will be treated with anti-inflammatory medication.

“I’m just a little behind,” Betances said. “That’s how I feel right now. I’m not concerned at all.”

–Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer is being advised to undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow, although the team said he “is seeking a third opinion at this time.”

The Tigers announced that results of an MRI exam and a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews led to the recommendation of reconstructive surgery on Fulmer’s ulnar collateral ligament.

Fulmer, 23, was shut down by the Tigers earlier this spring to work on “lower-body mechanics” as he worked his way back from knee problems that cut short his 2018 season in mid-September. The Tigers said Fulmer began to experience right elbow soreness after a recent bullpen session.

–Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler has been ruled out as a replacement for Clayton Kershaw as the team’s Opening Day starter.

Buehler, 24, has been slowed by shoulder issues this spring. He went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) last season while finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda are the top candidates to take the hill when the season starts on March 28 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Tennis: Miami Open
Mar 19, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A general view outside stadium court at Hard Rock Stadium during a rain delay in the first round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – Rain wiped out the opening day play at the Miami Open on Tuesday, delaying the start of the tournament at its new Hard Rock Stadium home.

Having outgrown the cramped quarters of Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park, and unable to secure the necessary approvals to renovate and expand, the Miami Open has moved to the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins but the day-long rain spoilt the moment.

With a 25 percent jump in ticket sales, tournament director James Blake, the former world number four, had been expecting a record crowd but instead the 14,000 seat temporary show court inside the stadium stood empty and the luxury boxes were silent.

Germany’s Andrea Petkovic and 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova were scheduled to christen the action on the main show court with Mari Osaka, the sister of Japanese world number one Naomi Osaka, taking on Whitney Osuigwe in the nightcap.

Tuesday’s first round play was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s official opening, which will see Serena Williams, who is a part-owner in the Dolphins, Roger Federer and world number ones Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“When we get through the first day or two and see what we are in store for I have a feeling we will be announcing a lot of (attendance) records broken this year,” American Blake told Reuters in a pre-tournament interview.

“I don’t want to be too pie-in-the-sky but I do think we are going to break a records.”

Once the rain disappears fans can expect a wide open tournament if the season follows the current trend.

There have been 19 ATP Tour events this season and 13 WTA events each producing a different winner.

Bianca Andreescu, the 18-year-old Canadian who stunned the field in Indian Wells last week to claim her first career win, is on that list and comes to Miami looking to complete what would be an even more unlikely Sunshine Double.

Sloane Stephens, the reigning Miami champion, and Serena Williams, an eight-time winner of what she considers her home event, can count on having the American crowd in their corner as will John Isner, who is back to defend his crown.

Serena, whose name is not among the 13 women’s winners this season, has sister Venus in her quarter of the draw along with the always dangerous second-seeded Romanian Simona Halep.

The men’s draw is also thick with former champions led by six times winner and world number one Djokovic and three-time winner Federer.

The Swiss comes to Florida in superb form after collecting his 100th career win in Dubai and coming off a finals appearance in Indian Wells but will be on alert after crashing out in the first round here a year ago.

World number one Osaka will also be wary with in-form German Angelique Kerber, a losing finalist in Indian Wells, lurking in her quarter.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Tom Ford hit back Tuesday after a fake quote attributed to him resurfaced on Twitter that referred to Melania Trump as a “glorified escort.”

The comment about the first lady on social media read, “I have no interest in dressing a glorified escort who steals speeches and has bad taste in men.”

“Never! Never, ever, ever, have I said that Melania [Trump] was an escort,” the 57-year-old fashion designer told WWD. “I said on ‘The View’ years ago, before [President Donald Trump] was elected, that I would not dress her nor would I dress Hillary Clinton because the first lady and the president in the White House need to be wearing clothes made in America — mine are not — and clothes at a price point that most Americans can relate to and my clothes are too expensive.” (RELATED: Ivanka Turns Heads In Gorgeous Yellow Plaid Skirt Suit)

U.S. President Donald J. Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (C) are greeted by Reverend W. Bruce McPherson (L) as they arrive to attend services at St. John's Episcopal Church March 17, 2019 in Washington, DC, USA. The Trumps are attending church on St. Patrick's Day. (Photo by Eric Lesser - Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald J. Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (C) are greeted by Reverend W. Bruce McPherson (L) as they arrive to attend services at St. John’s Episcopal Church March 17, 2019 in Washington, DC, USA. (Photo by Eric Lesser – Pool/Getty Images)

“Now, I dressed Michelle Obama once and once only when she was in England for a white-tie dinner party with the Queen and I was living in London, and that was different,” he added. “That’s all I said. I’ve never said anything derogatory about Melania.” (RELATED: Ivanka Turns Heads In Yellow And Black Floral Dress During Munich Trip)

Ford continued and didn’t hold back, “I never would say anything derogatory. It’s so weird, isn’t it, in today’s world the way someone out of nowhere can just make up a random quote and start circulating it on the internet?” (RELATED: Tiffany Trump Stuns In Sleeveless Black Dress At WH Christmas Party)

And when asked about those social media users noting how they were having trouble finding the original quote that he allegedly said about FLOTUS, Ford was not surprised.

“They’re never going to find it because I never said it,” the film director declared.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York
FILE PHOTO: A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S. on April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 19, 2019

By Helen Coster

(Reuters) – Viacom Inc said on Tuesday it has begun warning viewers that its channels could go dark on AT&T Inc-owned DirecTV if it fails to reach a new contract by midnight March 22.

Viacom, the owner of MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and Comedy Central, accused AT&T of abusing its powers after buying Time Warner Inc, which owns the Warner Bros Hollywood studios and HBO premium cable network.

“Having recently acquired Time Warner, AT&T appears intent on using its new market power to prioritize its own content at the expense of consumers, who are growing increasingly dissatisfied with paying more for less,” Bob Bakish, chief executive officer of Viacom, said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

AT&T could not immediately be reached for comment.

Viacom said it has reached new distribution deals with Altice USA Inc, Charter Communications Inc and Comcast Corp.

(Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Kenneth Li and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

MLS: LA Galaxy Unveil David Beckham Statue
Mar 2, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; MLS commissioner Don Garber speaks during David Beckham statue at Legends Plaza at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major League Soccer said on Tuesday that Roar Digital LLC, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings PLC, would be its exclusive sports betting partner, the league’s first.

The multi-year deal also makes MGM the league’s first official gaming partner, though not an exclusive one. It also provides MGM and Roar access to league data for fans and sports bettors, according to a statement.

“Major League Soccer is proud to partner with MGM Resorts to bring existing and new fans close to our sport in innovative and immersive ways,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in the statement.

Marketing rights are also included, with the sportsbook operators allowed to post visible signs for more than 100 nationally broadcast MLS games.

The deal makes MGM a partner with yet another major sports league after it inked similar agreements with the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.

The National Football League named Caesars Entertainment Corp as its first casino partner in January, but that deal did not include sports betting.

The deals come in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 that allowed states to legalize, regulate and tax sports wagering.

Less than a year later, eight states now offer legal sports wagering, including Nevada, which was always allowed to offer such bets.

Bookmakers, casinos, leagues, teams, media companies, data providers and others are seeking to capitalize on the brand new U.S. sports betting market that is now evolving state by state.

Professional sports leagues, which previously fought legalization because of fears it could lead to match fixing, now hope that the spread of legal sports betting will help engage fans and drive up the value of their teams.

MLS’ partnership will also develop a free game that can help “drive adoption of sports betting” in states that have already legalized it and build a base of potential bettors in those that have yet to adopt it, the statement said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ, editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 14
FILE PHOTO: Mar 17, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Bianca Andreescu (CAN) with the championship trophy after defeating Angelique Kerber (not pictured) in the final match of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – Bianca Andreescu has brushed aside several big-name players during her meteoric rise in women’s tennis, but the Canadian teenager is wary for now of injuries, and not opponents, becoming the biggest obstacle in her career.

Andreescu, who has dealt with several injury setbacks in her young career, needed to overcome nerves, fatigue and arm and leg issues during her triumph over former world number one Angelique Kerber in Sunday’s Indian Wells final.

The triumph made Andreescu, 18, the youngest Indian Wells champion since Serena Williams in 1999 and the first wildcard to take home the title from one of the biggest tennis tournaments outside of the four Grand Slams.

“I’ve never been in a situation like that before. Never been in a final of a premier event playing a very high-level opponent,” Andreescu said on Tuesday during a conference call from Florida where she is competing in the Miami Open.

“So I think it was also all of the emotions and all of the tension that was going through my body that caused me to get even more tired than I usually would.”

A struggling Andreescu called for her coach after falling behind 3-2 in the decisive third set of her win over three-times Grand Slam champion Kerber and said her “feet were burning” and that she was having trouble moving on the court.

Andreescu, who as a junior in 2016 missed six months due to stress fractures in her foot and last year missed action with back issues, said she has already taken steps to try to find ways to avoid further injuries.

“Tennis Canada has a great group of doctors and I’ve been running some tests with them to see what the problem is,” said Andreescu. “But definitely after Miami I will take a good two or three weeks off just figuring out what to do better with my body and my nutrition and my mind.”

Andreescu first made waves in January when she beat former world number ones Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams on consecutive nights in a tune-up event for the Australian Open where fatigue seemed to play a factor in her second round loss.

Still, the whirlwind start to the year, a period in which Andreescu has shot to 24th in the world rankings from 152nd, has given the Canadian a sense of confidence when competing against the world’s best players.

“Now that I am gaining more and more experience and getting more and more confident playing against these top-level players I am definitely not starstruck anymore,” said Andreescu, whose run in Indian Wells included wins over five seeded players.

“But I want to just go into every match not trying to focus on who’s on the other side (of the net) and just focus on myself.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
FILE PHOTO: Mar 7, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs to third base after hitting a triple against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Mike Trout is on the verge of a 12-year, $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Trout, 27, is a two-time American League Most Valuable Player and was scheduled to become a free agent in 2020. The agreement, per ESPN, tacks on 10 years to the final two seasons remaining on Trout’s $144.5 million agreement with the Angels.

The deal would smash the massive contract signed by Bryce Harper — 13 years, $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies — on March 2.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke had the MLB record annual average salary at $34.4 million. Trout would eclipse that mark with $36 million AAV.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez signed a contract with DAZN worth a minimum of $365 million.

Trout has a staggering 64.3 Wins Above Replacement through his age-26 season, which is far beyond any player at his age in Major League Baseball history.

The 24th pick in the 2009 amateur draft, Trout has made the playoffs only once with the Angels in eight seasons. Speculation built that he could bounce to the Phillies when his contract expired — Trout grew up less than an hour away in New Jersey — but the Angels declared their commitment to the superstar.

Trout, who has a career .307 batting average with 240 home runs, 648 RBIs, 793 runs and 189 stolen bases in 1,065 career games, also finished second in the MVP voting four times.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

William Davis | Contributor

A pro-life activist was punched in the face last Thursday outside a Massachusetts abortion facility, according to police.

The Brookline Police Department reported the incident that occurred Thursday morning outside Women’s Health Services on Harvard Avenue. The woman allegedly responsible for the assault was issued a summons. (RELATED: Beto On Third Trimester Abortions: ‘Should Be A Decision That The Woman Makes’)

At 9:33 a.m., according to the report, “police were dispatched to Women’s Health Services on Harvard Street for a disturbance. A woman believed a man, who was standing out front of the address, was videotaping her. The two exchanged words, the woman struck the man in the face then left the area. Police were able to identify the woman and summoned her to court for assault and battery.”

Pro-life marchers rally at the Supreme Court during the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, U.S., Jan. 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Pro-life marchers rally at the Supreme Court during the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, U.S., Jan. 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Patch.com described the suspect as a young female patient and quotes a witness who allegedly saw the incident as it occurred. The witness, Sonia Powell, expressed sympathy for the woman: “I can just imagine what she was going through, to maybe come outside for some air or something and then this man said something. I hope she’s okay, though.”

Women’s Health Services performs first- and second-trimester abortions.

The alleged incident continues a trend of alleged violence toward conservative activists in recent weeks. Conservative activist Hayden Williams was punched in the face while tabling for Turning Point USA at the University of California Berkely. (RELATED: Supreme Court Legalized Abortion 46 Years Ago. Here’s A Look At Abortion Across The US)

In January, a pro-life sidewalk counselor was brutally beaten outside of an abortion facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning
Mar 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Tampa Bay earned its first-ever Presidents’ Trophy, and Steven Stamkos set a franchise record for the most goals as the Lightning beat the visiting Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Monday night.

Victor Hedman’s goal in the first minute of the third period broke a 1-1 tie, and Tampa Bay’s top-ranked penalty-kill held Arizona scoreless with the man advantage in the game’s last 1:39. Anthony Cirelli, who also had an assist, and Yanni Gourde each produced short-handed, empty-net goals in the final minute.

Stamkos, 29, scored the game’s second goal of the first period. His 384th career tally broke the franchise record for goals previously held by Vincent Lecavalier, who was a member of the Lightning for 14 seasons. Stamkos is in his 11th season.

The Lightning, who improved to 31-6-2 on home ice secured the No. 1 seed for the postseason. They became the second-fastest ever to notch the Presidents’ Trophy, doing it in their 73rd game. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings did it in 71 games.

Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

Bo Horvat scored 16 seconds into overtime to lift Vancouver to a victory at Chicago. Horvat buried his 25th goal of the season with a shot from point-blank range on the Canucks’ first chance of the extra session.

Alexander Edler and Markus Granlund also scored for Vancouver, which won its second game in as many nights. Thatcher Demko earned his third career victory by stopping 29 of 31 shots.

Jonathan Toews and Erik Gustafsson scored for the Blackhawks, whose five-game winning streak came to an end. Patrick Kane tallied assists on both Blackhawks goals, giving him 101 points (41 goals, 60 assists) on the season. Chicago’s Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots.

Jets 3, Kings 2

Kyle Connor had a goal and an assist, and Winnipeg won at Los Angeles to extend its lead in the Central Division.

Kevin Hayes and Tyler Myers also scored, and Laurent Brossoit made 15 saves for the Jets, who moved three points in front of the Nashville Predators with 10 games left.

Sean Walker and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, and Jack Campbell stopped 25 shots.

Golden Knights 7, Sharks 3

Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and two assists, and Reilly Smith had a goal and three assists to lead visiting Vegas past San Jose. The Golden Knights won for the ninth time in 10 games.

William Karlsson added a goal and an assist, and Mark Stone, Paul Stastny and Cody Eakin also scored goals for Vegas. Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban, playing in back-to-back games for the first time in his career with Marc-Andre Fleury sidelined due to a lower-body injury, made 36 saves.

Logan Couture scored two goals and Joe Thornton also scored for San Jose, which remained one point short of becoming the second team in the Western Conference to clinch a playoff berth.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics
Mar 18, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives between Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton (5) and center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and the Denver Nuggets beat the host Boston Celtics 114-105 on Monday night to clinch a playoff berth.

Will Barton had 20 points, Gary Harris added 16 and Paul Millsap had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013.

The Nuggets (47-22) swept the season series from Boston and surpassed their win total from last season with 13 games to go. Denver needs just 10 wins to match the franchise record for a season set in 2012-13.

Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with a game-high 30 points, and Al Horford scored 20. Boston played without Gordon Hayward, who left the Saturday game against the Atlanta Hawks with a neck strain.

Spurs 111, Warriors 105

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio beat visiting Golden State for its ninth win in a row.

The victory was the Spurs’ 11th straight at home and guaranteed San Antonio (42-29) its NBA-record 22nd consecutive winning season.

Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points, and Kevin Durant tallied 24 in his return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.

Pelicans 129, Mavericks 124 (OT)

Dirk Nowitzki reached a milestone, but his Dallas teammates failed to make it a celebratory evening, blowing a four-point lead in the final 19.1 seconds of regulation as visiting New Orleans pulled out the overtime victory.

Nowitzki made his first two shots, both trademark jumpers, in the opening four minutes to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer.

Julius Randle finished with a game-high 30 points for New Orleans, and Elfrid Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double with 19 points (11 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime), 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Luka Doncic notched a triple-double for the Mavericks with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Heat 116, Thunder 107

Goran Dragic hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points off the bench to lead visiting Miami, and Dwyane Wade scored 25 in his final game at Oklahoma City.

James Johnson also added 14 points as Miami’s reserves outscored Oklahoma City’s 67-10. Dragic had 11 assists. Kelly Olynyk contributed 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Heat win for the seventh time in nine games.

Oklahoma City was playing without Russell Westbrook, who was suspended after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season in a Saturday loss to the Golden State Warriors. Paul George led the Thunder with 31 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds.

Jazz 116, Wizards 95

Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and visiting Utah beat Washington. Gobert, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was 6 of 6 from the field and made 2 of 3 free throws.

Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and Jae Crowder added 18 for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio had 10 assists.

Jabari Parker led Washington with 19 points, and Bradley Beal, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, added 15 on 4-of-12 shooting.

Raptors 128, Knicks 92

Jeremy Lin scored 20 points off the bench, Pascal Siakam added 19 points and eight rebounds, and Toronto hammered visiting New York.

Kyle Lowry added 15 points and eight assists for the Raptors before leaving the game with an ankle injury during the third quarter. He did not return to action. Fred VanVleet scored 13 points and handed out 12 assists for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Knicks so far this season.

Allonzo Trier scored 22 points for the Knicks while Kevin Knox added 12 points and Damyean Dotson added 11. New York lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Cavaliers 126, Pistons 119

Rookie Collin Sexton poured in 27 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than two minutes left, and Cleveland beat visiting Detroit. Cedi Osman supplied 21 points and six assists for the Cavaliers, who had seven players score in double figures.

Brandon Knight contributed 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Nik Stauskas led the Cleveland bench with 17 points. Marquese Chriss added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne Ellington scored 25 points to lead the Pistons, while Andre Drummond had 21 points and 21 rebounds. Pistons All-Star Blake Griffin sat out for just the third time this season.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
FILE PHOTO: Feb 25, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) looks on prior to facing the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

For the first time since 2010, Clayton Kershaw won’t be the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The left-hander, who has started a club-record eight straight openers, was ruled out of the March 28 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the persistent shoulder inflammation he has dealt with all spring. He has yet to pitch in a spring training game.

“When he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’s going to pitch for us,” said manager Dave Roberts, adding that it was unlikely Kershaw will begin the season on the active roster.

Roberts didn’t announce an Opening Day starter on Monday, but right-hander Walker Buehler is definitely in the mix. The last Opening Day starter for the Dodgers not named Kershaw was Vicente Padilla in 2010.

–Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth consecutive Opening Day start, which would tie him with Hall of Famer Warren Spahn for the longest modern-day streak in franchise history.

Teheran’s Opening Day streak is now the longest current one in the majors after the Dodgers said that Kershaw’s streak will end at eight. Spahn opened six seasons in a row from 1957 to 1962, when the Braves were in Milwaukee.

Teheran, 28, has spent all eight of his major league seasons with the Braves, compiling a 67-62 record with a 3.64 ERA. Teheran went 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA, striking out 162 and walking 84 in 175 2/3 innings over 31 starts.

–A poor spring training won’t prevent Ichiro Suzuki from starting the Seattle Mariners’ opener in his native Japan.

Seattle manager Scott Servais said Ichiro will be in the starting lineup Wednesday when the Mariners face the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo.

Suzuki, 45, is just 2-for-31 this spring, but Servais has no qualms about penciling his name in the lineup.

–Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yohander Mendez will miss the first half of the season because of an elbow injury, team officials announced.

The 24-year-old exited his spring training start Sunday in the third inning after losing velocity and feeling tightness in his pitching elbow. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament. The left-hander will not need Tommy John surgery.

The plan is to give him six weeks of rest, followed by about another six weeks of a throwing program.

–Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will not break camp with the team and instead will begin the 2019 season on the injured list.

Pedroia expects to remain in Florida and play extended spring training games to build strength in his surgically repaired left knee. Manager Alex Cora said there is no reason to fear a long-term absence from Pedroia.

Utility options Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez are likely to platoon at second base with Pedroia out of the mix.

–In the midst of the Philadelphia Phillies’ late-season collapse in 2018, Carlos Santana apparently provided the biggest hit in the team’s clubhouse.

Philadelphia posted an abysmal 8-20 record in September after having the best record in baseball in late July, and the team’s then-first baseman — now with the Cleveland Indians — reportedly took his bat to the clubhouse television upon discovering his younger teammates playing the video game Fortnite during one game against rival Atlanta.

“I see a couple players — I don’t want to say names — they play video games during the game,” the 32-year-old veteran told ESPN, relating how he slugged the TV the players were using. “We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren’t worried about it — weren’t respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the (front) office. It’s not my personality. But I’m angry because I want to make it good.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NFL: Pro Bowl-AFC Practice
FILE PHOTO: Jan 25, 2019; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill (10) does a backflip during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports – 12055388

March 19, 2019

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released by the Cincinnati Bengals after seven seasons, the team confirmed Monday.

“As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement.

Burfict, 28, had two seasons remaining on a $33.2 million contract extension, but releasing him results in a cap charge of only $1.8 million.

Burfict appeared in only 43 games in the past five seasons, encountering repeated head injuries — seven documented concussions — and three suspensions. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Burfict amassed more than $4 million in on-field conduct fines.

–Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata went to great lengths — rather heights — to announce his retirement.

The 13-year-NFL veteran posted a heartfelt message along with a photo on Instagram showing him standing atop Mount Kilimanjaro holding a banner that read, “I’m retiring from the NFL on top.”

“Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for letting play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years,” read the social media post by Ngata, a 35-year-old who played for the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

–New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that he traded star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. because the Cleveland Browns made an offer that was impossible to pass up.

“We didn’t sign him to trade him, but things changed,” he said. “Frankly, what changed is another team made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

The trade last Wednesday ended months of speculation that Beckham was on his way out of New York. After signing Beckham to a five-year, $95 million contract in 2018, the Giants saw their season spiral downward.

–Adrian Peterson is officially back with Washington after the Redskins announced his signing.

Multiple outlets reported last Wednesday that Peterson agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal.

Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games for the Redskins last season. He signed late in training camp after Derrius Guice sustained a torn ACL.

–Free agent wide receiver Jordy Nelson will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, ESPN reported.

The New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs reportedly are among other teams interested in Nelson. He became available last week when the Oakland Raiders released him following their trade for former Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown and the acquisition of Tyrell Williams in free agency.

–Kansas City agreed to sign cornerback Bashaud Breeland to a three-year contract, ESPN reported.

Breeland, 27, played seven games with Green Bay last season, starting five, after originally agreeing to a three-year, $24 million free agent deal with the Carolina Panthers last March. That agreement was nixed because of a failed physical (foot).

–Running back and kick returner Ameer Abdullah signed a one-year deal with Minnesota.

Abdullah, 25, was Minnesota’s primary kick returner for the final seven games of last season after he was claimed off waivers from Detroit. He returned 10 kicks for 258 yards, with a long of 33.

–Philadelphia announced a one-year deal with veteran strong safety Andrew Sendejo.

Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with Minnesota. The 31-year-old became a free agent earlier this month when the Vikings declined the $5.5 million 2019 option on his contract.

–Washington signed free agent offensive tackle Ereck Flowers to a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

Flowers was the ninth overall selection by the Giants in 2015 but didn’t pan out as an impact lineman and was released last October. He finished last season with Jacksonville, where he started the final seven games of the season.

–ESPN apparently is trying to convince Peyton Manning to join the “Monday Night Football” broadcast team.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell flew to Denver a week ago to meet with the future Hall of Fame quarterback. It’s unclear if 42-year-old Manning is interested in assuming the analyst role.

–The investigation into allegations of battery against Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill remains open.

Steve Howe, district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., acknowledged in a written statement that his office “has received numerous requests for information” about the status of the investigation into Hill but could provide no additional details.

Hill, 25, has not been charged with any crimes but is under investigation for an alleged battery incident involving a juvenile, according to multiple published reports. The Kansas City Star reported that Hill’s 3-year-old son sustained a broken arm in the incident.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NFL: NFL Honors-Red Carpet
FILE PHOTO: Feb 2, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Tyreek Hill during red carpet arrivals for the NFL Honors show at the Fox Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports – 12098140

March 19, 2019

The investigation into allegations of battery against Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill remains open.

Steve Howe, the district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., acknowledged in a written statement Monday that his office “has received numerous requests for information” about the status of the investigation into Hill but could provide no additional details.

“While we understand the public’s concern, the investigation is still ongoing. It would be irresponsible to make definitive ‘official’ statements before the investigation is complete,” according to the statement.

The 25-year-old Hill has not been charged with any crimes.

Hill is under investigation for an alleged battery incident involving a juvenile, according to multiple published reports. The Kansas City Star reported that Hill’s 3-year-old son suffered a broken arm in the incident.

The report from police in Overland Park, Kan., where Hill lives, is dated March 14. It is unclear if the incident occurred that day.

Overland Park police also responded to the same address on March 5 to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect. Hill’s name is listed on the report.

His fiancee, Crystal Espinal, is listed on the March 14 report under the category of “others involved.” The Star reported that Espinal is pregnant with twins and that she is the mother of the 3-year-old whose arm was broken.

Hill reportedly choked and punched Espinal when she was pregnant in December 2014. Hill was arrested and dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team.

Hill later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation and received three years’ probation.

The Chiefs issued the following statement last week regarding Hill:

“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs said in a statement to The Kansas City Star. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts
FILE PHOTO: Feb 15, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) looks on during a spring training workout at the Camelback Ranch practice fields. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports – 12167057

March 18, 2019

For the first time since 2010, Clayton Kershaw won’t be the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The left-handed Kershaw was ruled out of the March 28 opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday due to the persistent shoulder inflammation he has dealt with all spring. He has yet to pitch in a spring training game.

“Talking to Clayton and, obviously, looking at the schedule, he’s not going to start Opening Day,” Roberts told reporters. “To build him up and when he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’s going to pitch for us. He’s supportive and he understands he wants to put himself in the best position to help himself and the ballclub.

“When’s he’s built up to where he feels he can help us, then it’s moot. We’re all on the same page.”

Kershaw has started a club-record eight straight openers. The last Opening Day starter for the Dodgers not named Kershaw was Vicente Padilla in 2010.

Roberts said it was unlikely Kershaw will begin the season on the active roster.

Kershaw last pitched Sunday when he threw a bullpen session. He is scheduled to throw batting practice on Wednesday.

Roberts didn’t announce an Opening Day starter on Monday, but right-hander Walker Buehler is definitely in the mix.

However, Buehler also hasn’t pitched this spring due to his own shoulder issues. He is scheduled to pitch three innings on Tuesday.

Kershaw, who turns 31 on Tuesday, has pitched nearly 2,100 innings and struck out 2,275 batters in his decorated 11-year career. He is 153-69 overall with a 2.39 ERA and has won three National League Cy Young Awards.

Kershaw was 9-5 last season with a 2.73 ERA in 26 starts but has experienced back issues in each of the past three seasons. He has guided the Dodgers to two consecutive appearances in the World Series.

Buehler, 24, went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) last season while finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Veteran left-hander Rich Hill also is a candidate to start the opener. The 39-year-old Hill was 11-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 25 appearances (24 starts) last season.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: PGA: THE PLAYERS Championship - Final Round
FILE PHOTO: Mar 17, 2019; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Patrick Reed chips on the ninth hole during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY/File Photo

March 18, 2019

By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – Patrick Reed has yet to string together four solid rounds of golf this year and would like to find some consistency before setting off on his Masters title defense next month.

Reed is fresh off a share of 47th place at The Players Championship and only eight days removed from a T-50 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but for the 28-year-old American there is no need to panic ahead of the April 11-14 Masters.

“I’ve put myself in position and have put some solid rounds together, I just haven’t quite put four out there yet at the same time,” Reed told a pre-Masters conference call on Monday.

“I feel like I’m really close. I feel like I’ve got the bag where I feel really comfortable and confident with it, and now it’s just get some more reps (golf) underneath me and just kind of get ready for Augusta.”

Reed took the golf world by storm with a one-shot victory at last year’s Masters, where he spent much of the week at Augusta National Golf Club under he radar until storming into a two-shot lead after the second round.

The American led by three strokes going into the final round and turned back an early challenge from Rory McIlroy and then held off later charges from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to capture his first major title.

The Masters triumph was the most recent of Reed’s six PGA Tour victories and while he knows a win going into the year’s first major would be a welcome boost it is far from necessary.

“It definitely would help but, honestly, I feel like my mindset and state of mind that I’m in right now is better than it was last year at this point,” said Reed.

“I’ve hit golf shots and have done things on the golf course that I feel a little bit more comfortable this year doing than I did last year at this point, but I just need to go out and continue playing to put four rounds together.”

Reed will compete in the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, starting on Thursday, and then in next week’s World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin before setting his sights on Augusta.

While Reed would love to snag a victory ahead of his Masters title defense he insists his main goal is simply to find more consistency in his game before making his way to Augusta.

“The preparations have been going really well. I feel like I am in as good form, if not a better place, than I was last year at this time,” said Reed.

“The big thing is just to continue to build and grow on the things that we’ve been working on — my coach and I and my team and I — throughout the year, and just get ready and kind of get in playing shape for the tournaments coming up.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
Mar 18, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) walks into the dugout during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Paul Goldschmidt hit his first homer of the spring, a two-run blast, to help the St. Louis Cardinals post a 4-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at Jupiter, Fla.

Goldschmidt sent a low pitch from Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin over the wall in left-center in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

Tyler O’Neill also went deep for St. Louis. The Phillies had just six hits and were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Nationals (ss) 6, Mets 5

Spencer Kieboom homered and drove in three runs to help visiting Washington defeat New York at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Michael Conforto hit a two-run blast for the Mets.

Marlins 7, Nationals (ss) 1

Peter O’Brien drove in five runs to help Miami cruise past Washington at West Palm Beach, Fla. Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin was roughed up for five runs (four earned) and nine hits over five innings.

Pirates 4, Rays 2

Right-hander Nick Kingham allowed two hits over five shutout innings and JB Shuck delivered a two-run single as Pittsburgh beat host Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla. Brandon Lowe and Garrett Whitley each had a run-scoring double for the Rays.

Blue Jays 3, Tigers (ss) 2

Dalton Pompey went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Teoscar Hernandez hit a solo homer as host Toronto edged Detroit at Dunedin, Fla. Gordon Beckham homered for the Tigers.

Twins 4, Red Sox 1

Eddie Rosario clubbed a two-run homer to help Minnesota knock off visiting Boston at Fort Myers, Fla. J.D. Martinez recorded an RBI single for the Red Sox.

Orioles 14, Tigers (ss) 1

Dwight Smith Jr. went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and Jonathan Villar hit a three-run triple as Baltimore pounded host Detroit at Lakeland, Fla. Nicholas Castellanos homered for the Tigers.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A new survey found that the majority of Americans trust Congressional Democrats and special counsel Robert Mueller investigating President Donald Trump and his administration.

Key figures in the poll from The Hill and HarrisX:

  • 19 percent trust Mueller, who is leading the Department of Justice probe into Russian collusion.
  • 10 percent trust Congressional Democrats, who have launched a wide-ranging investigation into Trump's background.
  • 28 percent trust both.
  • A combined 57 percent trust either Mueller, Democrats, or both.
  • 43 percent trust neither of the aforementioned parties, including 67 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats surveyed.

"I think that a lot of Americans out there just don't care that much about these investigations," Cato Institute director of polling Emily Ekins told Hill.TV. "Now, if the investigation uncovered something real and concrete and clear, that would absolutely make a difference, including for a certain set of pivotal voters in Trump's coalition."

The findings are in contrast to another poll from USA Today and Suffolk University, which found that 50.3 percent of those polled agreed with Trump that Mueller's investigation is a "witch hunt."

Source: NewsMax

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed on Twitter that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar once voted against a bill that blocked payments to the families of terrorists.

“In 2017, @IlhanMN voted no on a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that blocked payments to the children & spouses of known terrorists,” Kirk tweeted March 5.

Verdict: True

According to state records, Omar was one of two members in the Minnesota legislature who voted against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to block life insurance payouts to the families of terrorists. It’s unclear why Omar voted against this bill.

Fact Check:

Omar, the freshman lawmaker from Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, is the first Somali American elected to Congress and one of three Muslims currently serving. Prior to her election, Omar served one term in Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

Voting records show that as a state representative, Omar was one of two members to vote against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to allow life insurance companies the ability to deny payouts to beneficiaries “if the insured’s death occurs directly or indirectly as a result of the insured’s furtherance of terrorism.”

The bill was in response to the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. Syed Rizwan Farook, a California man who, with his wife Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people, had previously taken out two life insurance policies worth a combined total of $275,000. After Farook was killed in a shootout with law enforcement, his mother was to be the primary beneficiary of the policies.

However, the federal government filed a lawsuit to seize the money, saying it planned to disperse the funds among the surviving victims and the families of those killed in the attack.

“Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes,” said then- U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker in a statement. “My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims.”

A federal judge ruled in August 2016 that the government could seize the funds, The San Bernardino Sun reported.

The Minnesota bill passed the House in a 127-2 vote. Omar and fellow state Rep. John Lesch were the only members to vote against the bill. Lesch voiced concern that the wording of the bill might give insurance companies too much discretion over what constitutes terrorism.

“[The bill] allows an insurance company, not a court, to decide what constitutes an act of terrorism under the cited statute, and it lowers the burden on that call to preponderance of the evidence,” Lesch told Alpha News, a Minnesota-based news outlet.

He expressed that he was not opposed to the idea behind the bill: “Terrorists should not be able to send life insurance benefits to beneficiaries based on bad faith recent policy purchases. I think we can all agree on that.”

It’s unclear why Omar voted against the bill. Her office did not respond to a request for comment. (RELATED: Did Ilhan Omar Vote Against A Bill Making Female Genital Mutilation A Felony?)

Omar has been criticized by some on the political right for a letter she sent a judge back in 2016 asking for leniency to be shown to nine Minnesota men charged with planning to join ISIS. “The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” reads one portion of the letter. “We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”

Minneapolis, a city within Omar’s congressional district, has witnessed some of its young male residents join, or attempt to join, terror groups such as ISIS and Somalia-based al-Shabab, according to one Fox News story.

Omar has faced calls to be removed from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over comments she made that were perceived by some to be anti-Semitic.

Follow Brad on Twitter

Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected]

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Source: The Daily Caller

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed on Twitter that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar once voted against a bill that blocked payments to the families of terrorists.

“In 2017, @IlhanMN voted no on a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that blocked payments to the children & spouses of known terrorists,” Kirk tweeted March 5.

Verdict: True

According to state records, Omar was one of two members in the Minnesota legislature who voted against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to block life insurance payouts to the families of terrorists. It’s unclear why Omar voted against this bill.

Fact Check:

Omar, the freshman lawmaker from Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, is the first Somali American elected to Congress and one of three Muslims currently serving. Prior to her election, Omar served one term in Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

Voting records show that as a state representative, Omar was one of two members to vote against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to allow life insurance companies the ability to deny payouts to beneficiaries “if the insured’s death occurs directly or indirectly as a result of the insured’s furtherance of terrorism.”

The bill was in response to the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. Syed Rizwan Farook, a California man who, with his wife Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people, had previously taken out two life insurance policies worth a combined total of $275,000. After Farook was killed in a shootout with law enforcement, his mother was to be the primary beneficiary of the policies.

However, the federal government filed a lawsuit to seize the money, saying it planned to disperse the funds among the surviving victims and the families of those killed in the attack.

“Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes,” said then- U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker in a statement. “My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims.”

A federal judge ruled in August 2016 that the government could seize the funds, The San Bernardino Sun reported.

The Minnesota bill passed the House in a 127-2 vote. Omar and fellow state Rep. John Lesch were the only members to vote against the bill. Lesch voiced concern that the wording of the bill might give insurance companies too much discretion over what constitutes terrorism.

“[The bill] allows an insurance company, not a court, to decide what constitutes an act of terrorism under the cited statute, and it lowers the burden on that call to preponderance of the evidence,” Lesch told Alpha News, a Minnesota-based news outlet.

He expressed that he was not opposed to the idea behind the bill: “Terrorists should not be able to send life insurance benefits to beneficiaries based on bad faith recent policy purchases. I think we can all agree on that.”

It’s unclear why Omar voted against the bill. Her office did not respond to a request for comment. (RELATED: Did Ilhan Omar Vote Against A Bill Making Female Genital Mutilation A Felony?)

Omar has been criticized by some on the political right for a letter she sent a judge back in 2016 asking for leniency to be shown to nine Minnesota men charged with planning to join ISIS. “The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” reads one portion of the letter. “We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”

Minneapolis, a city within Omar’s congressional district, has witnessed some of its young male residents join, or attempt to join, terror groups such as ISIS and Somalia-based al-Shabab, according to one Fox News story.

Omar has faced calls to be removed from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over comments she made that were perceived by some to be anti-Semitic.

Follow Brad on Twitter

Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected]

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

PGA: THE PLAYERS Championship - Final Round
Mar 17, 2019; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Rory McIlroy celebrates winning THE PLAYERS Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy jumped two spots to No. 4 in the official world rankings on Monday, a day after claiming his first win in more than a year at The Players Championship.

Dustin Johnson tied for fifth at TPC Sawgrass to maintain his slim margin at the top over England’s Justin Rose, who managed to tie for eighth after rallying to make the cut. Brooks Koepka is No. 3, followed by McIlroy, who has steadily moved up since entering the year ranked eighth. He has yet to finish worse than a tie for sixth place in six events in 2019.

No. 5 Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau both moved down a spot, and were followed by Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and Spain’s Jon Rahm in the top 10.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Australia’s Jason Day moved past Tiger Woods, who dropped to No. 13 following his T30 at The Players.

Former No. 1 Jordan Spieth missed the cut and continued his slide, falling another five spots to No. 30. He has three missed cuts and has not finished better than T35 in nine events since the second leg of last season’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The top 50 features 23 Americans and eight Englishmen.

–Phil Mickelson, who dropped a spot to No. 21 with his missed cut, has committed to the PGA Tour’s new stop in at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn., this summer. The July 4-7 event outside of Minneapolis takes place three weeks after the U.S. Open and two weekends before the British Open.

In a statement, Mickelson said the event was a “perfect slot” for his schedule.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in briefing on southern U.S. border in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a briefing on “drug trafficking on the southern border” in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

March 18, 2019

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An intriguing area of focus in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Kremlin’s role in the 2016 U.S. election is a proposed Moscow real estate deal that Donald Trump pursued while running for president despite denying at the time any links to Russia.

The special counsel has revealed in court filings numerous details about the project, which never came to fruition. Further information has come from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer who was instrumental in the negotiations, in congressional testimony and in his guilty plea to a charge of lying to Congress about the project.

Mueller’s team said in a December 2018 court filing that “the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government. If the project was completed, the Company (the Trump Organization) could have received hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues.”

The project is significant because it shows Trump was chasing a lucrative business deal in Russia at the same time that President Vladimir Putin’s government, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, was conducting a hacking and propaganda campaign to boost his candidacy. The project also coincided with Trump’s positive comments as a candidate about Putin and his questioning of U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Mueller is preparing to submit to U.S. Attorney General William Barr the report on his investigation into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia and whether the Republican president has unlawfully tried to obstruct the probe. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction. Russia has denied election interference.

Here is an explanation of the Trump Moscow tower project and what the president has said about it.

WHAT IS TRUMP’S HISTORY IN MOSCOW?

Trump, a wealthy New York real estate developer, had discussed expanding his business empire into Russia for more than three decades. In 2013, after visiting Russia and hosting his Miss Universe pageant there, he wrote on Twitter: “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.” The Trump Organization’s longtime partner in the project was Felix Sater, a Russian-born, Brooklyn-raised real estate developer, according to company emails released to congressional investigators.

WHAT WAS THE TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW PROJECT?

Trump in October 2015 signed a non-binding letter of intent to move forward with a Moscow tower project with a Russian development firm. The firm, I.C. Expert Investment Co, agreed to construct the skyscraper, and the Trump Organization agreed to license its name and manage the building’s operations. The letter of intent described a building in a Moscow business district with 250 luxury residential condominiums, at least 150 hotel rooms and a luxury spa.

Sater, who has served prison time in the United States for assault and later became an FBI informant on organized crime, assured Cohen in a November 2015 email he could get the Russian government to support a Trump property in Moscow.

“I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this,” Sater told Cohen in that email.

Trump had announced his presidential candidacy in June 2015.

In testimony last month to the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee, Cohen said Sater came up with a “marketing stunt” of offering Putin a free penthouse in the tower to drive up unit prices, “no different than in any condo where they start listing celebrities that live in the property.”

Cohen’s House testimony portrayed Trump as keenly interested in completing the deal even as he campaigned for president. “Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project,” Cohen testified.

In his guilty plea, Cohen admitted he had lied to Congress in a 2017 letter that claimed he had only discussed the negotiations with Trump three times and that the project talks ended in January 2016. Cohen said he lied to Congress to minimize links between Trump and the project and give the false impression that the proposal had ended before key early milestones in the 2016 race to determine the Republican presidential nominee.

Cohen in his guilty plea said the project was discussed within the Trump Organization multiple times and that he spoke with Sater about obtaining Russian governmental approval as late as June 2016, after Trump had clinched the Republican nomination.

WHY DID THE NEGOTIATIONS END?

Legal filings in Cohen’s plea deal did not make clear why the negotiations ended. But June 2016 was the month when the Washington Post first reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the Democratic National Committee’s computers, a cyber operation that was a key part of Moscow’s interference in the presidential race, as described by U.S. intelligence.

One of Trump’s lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, indicated in January 2019 that the Moscow tower discussions had continued through the November 2016 election, though he later backtracked.

WHAT HAS TRUMP SAID?

Trump’s public statements about business dealings in Russia have evolved over time. In July 2016, Trump told a news conference: “I have nothing to do with Russia.” Nine days before becoming president, Trump wrote on Twitter, “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”

In November 2018, after Cohen’s guilty plea, Trump told reporters that in 2016 he was in a position “to possibly do a deal to build a building of some kind in Moscow.” Trump added, “There would be nothing wrong if I did do it. I was running my business while I was campaigning. There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business. And why should I lose lots of opportunities?” Cohen told the House panel Trump made clear to him that he should lie about when the negotiations ended.

Trump and his allies have called Cohen a liar trying to reduce his prison time after pleading guilty to a series of federal criminal charges.

WHAT ROLE DID TRUMP’S CHILDREN PLAY?

Cohen told the House panel that he briefed the president’s son and daughter, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, about the tower negotiations. Donald Trump Jr., an executive at the Trump Organization, told Congress in September 2017 he was only “peripherally aware” of the talks during the campaign. Ivanka Trump, a former Trump Organization executive, told ABC News last month she knew “literally almost nothing” about the project, saying there were “40 or 50 deals like that were floating around, that somebody was looking at.”

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Tennessee vs Auburn
Mar 17, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; General view of pyrotechnics in the arena prior to the championship game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Auburn Tigers in the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – About 47 million people – one in five American adults – are expected to bet a combined $8.5 billion on “March Madness,” the annual men’s college basketball tournament, a new report said on Monday.

A plurality of bettors – 29 percent – favor Duke University’s Blue Devils to win, according to a report from the American Gaming Association (AGA), a casino industry group.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s tournament to determine the Division I men’s basketball champions begins on Tuesday and ends April 8 in Minneapolis.

This year is the first time the tournament will be held since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 allowed states to legalize, regulate and tax sports betting.

Eight states now offer legal sports wagers, including Nevada, which was never subject to a ban.

More than $5.9 billion has been bet on sports in those eight states since the court decision, the AGA said in its report.

As the nascent legal U.S. sports betting industry expands, major events like the NCAA’s March Madness are providing first glimpses of how many betters may want to move from illegal to legal wagering, and how much money casinos, racetracks and bookmakers stand to make in the years to come.

Forecasts had suggested Americans would wager $325 million this year on another traditionally huge betting event, the Super Bowl.

But the two biggest state markets so far – Nevada and New Jersey – fell short. Nevada handled just $146 million of legal bets, an 8 percent drop from the previous year’s record $159 million.

A report from Eilers & Krejcik gaming analysts on Friday estimated that if all 50 U.S. states had legal online sports betting, sportsbooks would handle $15.2 billion of total wagers just for March Madness alone, grossing about $1.2 billion of revenue.

By March of 2023, as many as 39 states could have legal sports betting, Eilers & Krejcik found.

As for this year, March Madness will likely generate $4.6 billion of wagers from 40 million people betting with friends and colleagues through a total 149 million brackets, the AGA said.

The remaining $3.9 billion of wagers will come mostly by way of illegal offshore websites and bookies, though 4.1 million people will also place legal bets through licensed casinos and sportsbook operators.

“These results indicate there’s still work to do to eradicate the vast illegal sports betting market in this country,” said AGA Chief Executive Officer Bill Miller in a statement.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ, editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins
Mar 17, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) celebrates after scoring the game winning goal with defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (53) against the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime at PPG PAINTS Arena. Philadelphia won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Sean Couturier scored with 3.4 seconds left in overtime Sunday to give the visiting Philadelphia Flyers a critical 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Couturier’s 29th goal came when he blasted the puck from the right circle to the far side past goaltender Matt Murray, who also gave up James van Riemsdyk’s tying goal with 18.8 seconds left in regulation.

Flyers goalie Carter Hart, in just his second start in 11 games, made 41 saves.

The game was played 16,000 days after Philadelphia (35-29-8, 78 points) last won the Stanley Cup in 1975, and the two points helped keep the Flyers’ playoff hopes alive. They are six points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 10 games to play.

Islanders 3, Wild 2 (OT)

Brock Nelson scored at 1:04 of overtime as New York defeated host Minnesota, which had twice erased one-goal deficits.

Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee also scored, and goaltender Thomas Greiss made 32 saves as the Islanders won for the fifth time in their past seven games and bounced back from a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Red Wings on Saturday in Detroit.

Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon scored for Minnesota, which lost for the fourth time in its past five games. Goalie Alex Stalock, making just his second start in the past 14 games, stopped 17 of 20 shots.

Golden Knights 6, Oilers 3

Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals, including what proved to be the game-winner early in the third, and Malcolm Subban had 16 saves to lead Vegas over visiting Edmonton.

Mark Stone, Cody Eakin, Brayden McNabb and Alex Tuch also scored goals, and William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each had two assists for the Knights (40-27-5, 85 points), who won for the eighth time in nine games.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Kris Russell scored goals, and Connor McDavid had two assists for Edmonton (32-33-7, 71 points), which remained seven points out of the second wild card in the Western Conference. It was the eighth straight multi-point game for McDavid, who now has 105 points this season.

Sabers 4, Blues 3 (SO)

Sam Reinhart scored in the third round of the shootout as host Buffalo snapped a seven-game skid with a victory over St. Louis.

Reinhart nearly won the contest in the waning moments of overtime, but his shot caromed off the left post.

Buffalo captain Jack Eichel and St. Louis forward Tyler Bozak each scored in the first round of the shootout. Reinhart’s bid banked off Jake Allen’s glove and into the net to set the stage for former Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly, whose shot deflected off the crossbar to end the game.

Avalanche 3, Devils 0

Tyson Barrie scored two goals, Philipp Grubauer had 22 saves and Colorado kept its postseason hopes alive with a win over New Jersey in Denver.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to give him 91 points on the season. He joins Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg as the only two Avalanche players to have consecutive 90-point seasons. Colorado trails Arizona by four points in the Western Conference wild-card race. The Avalanche host the Coyotes on March 29.

Cory Schneider stopped 31 shots for the Devils, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. New Jersey has not won three straight since late December.

Canucks 3, Stars 2 (SO)

Josh Leivo’s goal in the fourth round of the shootout lifted visiting Vancouver past Dallas.

The Canucks posted their second win in three games, while the Stars took their second straight loss, which prevented Dallas from gaining ground on St. Louis for third place in the Central Division.

Tim Schaller led the Canucks with two goals, marking the first two-goal game of his NHL career. Jamie Benn and Taylor Fedun tallied for the Stars.

Ducks 3, Panthers 2

Adam Silfverberg scored with 4:43 to play as Anaheim continued to play spoiler with a victory over visiting Florida.

Devin Shore and Adam Henrique also scored goals, and Ryan Getzlaf had a pair of assists as the Ducks (30-35-9, 69 points), won for the sixth time in their past nine games, with all six of those victories coming against teams either currently in a qualifying position for the playoffs or fighting to become eligible.

The Panthers (32-28-12, 76 points) were the furthest out from eligibility in that group, but their hopes had been raised with a four-game winning streak that had them believing they could grab the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks
Mar 17, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Joel Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.

It was Embiid’s 52nd double-double and the 25th time he has scored at least 30 points and swept 10 rebounds in a game. He scored 18 points alone in the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Butler had 27 and JJ Redick 19 for the Sixers, who won their fourth in a row and officially clinched a playoff spot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific for the Bucks with a career-high 52 points to go along with 16 rebounds and seven assists. Khris Middleton added 19 points.

Rockets 117, Timberwolves 102

Chris Paul, Clint Capela and James Harden recorded double-doubles, and host Houston turned a blistering third-quarter shooting display into a victory over Minnesota.

Paul paired 25 points with 10 assists and matched his single-game high of six 3-pointers, while Capela recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds in grappling with Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns (22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists).

Rookie forward Josh Okogie scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have dropped 7 of 10. Taj Gibson chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota. Houston improved to 11-2 since the All-Star break.

Clippers 119, Nets 116

Reserve Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer as host Los Angeles pulled out a dramatic win over Brooklyn for its seven win in its last eight games.

Williams, whose game winner was the first of his career, scored 11 of his team-high 25 points in a fourth quarter that featured wild runs by both teams. The Clippers (41-30) won for the seventh time in eight games and moved into a virtual tie with Utah for seventh in the West and a half-game behind sixth-place San Antonio.

Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell added 20 points apiece for the Clippers. D’Angelo Russell scored a game-high 32 points, but the Nets (36-36) fell 1 1/2 games behind sixth-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference and lead eighth-place Miami by just 1 1/2 games.

Pistons 110, Raptors 107

Blake Griffin scored 25 points to lead host Detroit past Toronto to sweep their three-game regular-season series.

Trailing 110-107 with 2.4 seconds left, Toronto had a glimmer of hope after Griffin missed two free throws. Griffin intentionally fouled Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard on the rebound with 1.4 seconds remaining, but Leonard missed the first throw. After Leonard intentionally missed the second, Pistons center Andre Drummond gathered the rebound and the clock ran out.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points for the Pistons, and Drummond added 15 points and 17 rebounds. Leonard put up a game-high 33 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Fred VanVleet scored 17 points and Marc Gasol grabbed 11 rebounds.

Knicks 124, Lakers 123

Emmanuel Mudiay highlighted his 28-point performance with a pair of late free throws as NBA-worst New York erased an 11-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to knock off visiting Los Angeles.

Damyean Dotson scored 25 points and Kevin Knox chipped in 19 for the Knicks, who benefited from a season-high 41-point first quarter to post their first win since a 108-103 victory against Orlando on Feb. 26.

LeBron James scored 33 points after sitting out Friday’s 111-97 setback versus Detroit for what the team called “load management” connected to the groin injury that sidelined him for 17 games earlier this season.

Magic 101, Hawks 91

Nikola Vucevic scored 17 of his 27 points in the first quarter, and host Orlando remained in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by beating Atlanta.

The Magic (33-38) trail Miami (33-36) by one game for the eighth spot in the playoffs. They meet one last time this season in Miami on March 26.

Orlando also got 22 points and eight rebounds from Aaron Gordon and 14 points and seven rebounds from reserve Wes Iwundu. Trae Young led Atlanta with 20 points and five assists.

Kings 129, Bulls 102

Buddy Hield made his only 3-pointers of the game in a 14-point, second-quarter flurry that allowed host Sacramento to beat Chicago and end a three-game losing streak.

The Kings (34-35) retained a slim hope of reaching the Western Conference playoffs this season. Sacramento sits in ninth place in the West, six games behind the Jazz and Clippers, who are tied for seventh.

In just his third game back from a knee injury, Marvin Bagley III shot 9 of 14 and led Sacramento with 21 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Zach LaVine (18 points) was the top scorer for the Bulls.

Heat 93, Hornets 75

Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic came off the bench to combine for 22 points in the fourth quarter to boost host Miami to a win over Charlotte.

Dragic finished with a team-high 19 points and Wade added 17. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Dion Waiters added 12 points for the Heat, who have won eight of their past 10 against Charlotte.

Jeremy Lamb scored a game-best 21, Frank Kaminsky had 13, Nicolas Batum added 12 and Tony Parker chipped in 11, while leading scorer Kemba Walker had just 10 for Charlotte, which is 2-5 in its last seven games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

PGA: THE PLAYERS Championship - Final Round
Mar 17, 2019; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Eddie Pepperell on the 18th hole during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Another chapter to the rich history of the 17th hole at the Players Championship was written on Sunday when two players in contention sank monster birdie putts within minutes of each other during the final round in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The island-green par-three at the TPC Sawgrass course in Florida has been the scene of much high drama over the years, and the thousands who congregated around the hole on Sunday were not disappointed.

First to fire them up was Eddie Pepperell, the ever-quotable Englishman whose game is almost as impressive as his dry sense of humor.

His tee shot stopped near the front of the green, 50-foot from the hole which was cut in its traditional Sunday position on the far right.

Pepperell’s rollercoaster putt climbed a slope, broke to the left and plunged downhill. As it neared the hole the ball broke hard to the right, before toppling in.

“I just figured it was going to be a tap-in,” he told reporters.

“I was kind of relieved I didn’t have to face a three-footer in front of all those people, and then obviously when it went in, what can I say, it was pretty awesome.

The effort lifted Pepperell to 14-under-par, which at the time looked to have given him a shot at winning but ultimately was only good enough for a share of third two shots behind champion Rory McIlroy.

The drama at the 17th was not over yet, however, as Jhonattan Vegas was in the next group to approach the hole.

The Venezuelan’s tee shot barely cleared the water and his ball stopped, unpromisingly for his birdie chances, some 70 feet from the hole.

Undeterred, he banged it home to join Pepperell at 14-under with the longest putt ever made at the hole, according to the PGA Tour.

“Absolutely mind blowing,” said Vegas, who also shared third place. “I mean, it never crossed my mind that I was going to make such a long putt on such a phenomenal hole.

“That’s kind of what you play golf for, to be in those kind of situations, with that crowd, it just doesn’t get any better … something I’ll remember forever.”

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 13
FILE PHOTO: Mar 16, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Dominic Thiem (AUT) hits the ball to Milos Raonic (not pictured) in the semifinal match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Austrian Dominic Thiem came from a set down to defeat Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-5 and win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday in Indian Wells.

In the deciding set, momentum swung in Thiem’s favor when he smacked a forehand winner down the line to break Federer and take a 6-5 lead.

He fell on his back and covered his face with his hands when Federer, who had been bidding for a record sixth Indian Wells title and 101st tournament victory overall, sent a shot into the net on match point.

The 25-year-old Thiem will rise four places to a career-high world number four on Monday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN


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