National Sports

AUSTRALIAN OPEN ’19: So many Slam champs over past 2 years

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer When Serena Williams was at her best, there was never much doubt that she'd be the favorite at pretty much any tournament she entered. While she was off the tour becoming a mom, women's tennis was as wide open as ever. Could the Australian Open, where play ...

Aldridge scores 56, Spurs outlast Thunder 154-147 in 2OT

By RAUL DOMINGUEZ, Associated Press SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Spurs started hotter than ever from 3-point range Thursday night. When that wasn't enough to put away the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio got the extra push it needed from its big man in the middle. LaMarcus Aldridge scored a ...

Antetokounmpo scores 27 to lead Bucks over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points and grabbed a season-high 21 rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks withstand a 42-point performance from James Harden and get a 116-109 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. In a matchup of the two early front-runners for MVP, ...

Kings of the Road: Chargers have thrived in games out East

By Joe Reedy AP Sports Writer COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers have already played in most of the toughest road environments in the NFL this season. So a trip to New England for Sunday's AFC divisional-round game isn't anything out of the ...

Orange Crush: Clemson topples No. 1 ‘Bama for national title

By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Dabo Swinney kissed the championship trophy and proclaimed this Clemson team the greatest of all time. He's got a case. With stunning ease — and a freshman quarterback — Clemson toppled college football's greatest ...

Clemson uses big moments to topple Tide for title

By PETE IACOBELLI, AP Sports Writer SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Clemson needed a big performance to unseat defending champion Alabama. The Tigers got plenty of them from start to finish. From freshman Justyn Ross and Trevor Lawrence on offense to an experienced defensive front and turnover ...

Column: Saban endures most humiliating loss of Bama career

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Columnist SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Nick Saban knew his seventh national title would not come on this night. He stalked the Alabama sideline as he always does, barking into his headset and at anyone within ...

Ingram, Ball lead Lakers to 107-97 win over Mavericks

By DAVE JACKSON, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — A challenge from their head coach gave Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball motivation. All they needed was an opening. The cold-shooting Dallas Mavericks provided it. Ingram scored 29 points and Ball added 21 as the Los Angeles Lakers handed the ...

Irving scores 17 in return as Celtics top sloppy Nets 116-95

By KEN POWTAK, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics shared the ball extremely well. The sloppy Brooklyn Nets helped them out a lot, too. Kyrie Irving returned after missing two games with an eye injury and scored 17 points to lead eight players in double figures as Boston beat ...

Clemson makes bid to be considered best team ever

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — There will never be a definitive answer to the greatest team in college football history. That didn't stop Clemson coach Dabo Swinney from lobbying for his squad. The Tigers wrapped up the first 15-0 season by a major college ...

Irish narrowly hold top spot in AP women’s basketball poll

By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in a long time, a handful of teams could make an argument to be No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll. Over the past decade there really hasn't been too much debate each week over who should hold the ...

Clemson is No. 1 for 3rd time in AP poll, ‘Bama 2, Ohio St 3

By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Clemson finished No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for the third time after routing Alabama in the national championship game. The Tigers received all 61 first-place votes. The Crimson Tide, which was trying to become ...

Even in era of offense, playoffs come down to defense

By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer The NFL's wild weekend of wild-card games demonstrated that even in this age of explosive offenses, defense still dominates in the playoffs and it often comes down to a toe, a few fingers or even a 40-year-old hamstring. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski's ...

Snow cancels downhill training, delays Vonn’s return

ST. ANTON, Austria (AP) — Lindsey Vonn's return to the World Cup slopes has been delayed by a day after organizers called off Thursday's first downhill training because of weather conditions. The international ski federation says it canceled the session "due to heavy snowfall." Another ...

Blackhawks end Penguins’ winning streak at 8 games

By DAN SCIFO, Associated Press PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks gave Pittsburgh a head start — and still grounded the surging Penguins. Again. Dylan Strome broke a tie 1:48 into the third period and the Blackhawks beat Pittsburgh 5-3 on Sunday night to end the Penguins' winning ...

No. 2 Michigan beats No. 21 Indiana to improve to 15-0

By The Associated Press ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Charles Matthews scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half to help No. 2 Michigan build a double-digit lead and the undefeated Wolverines held on for a 74-63 victory over No. 21 Indiana on Sunday. Jordan Poole also finished with 18 points ...

No. 19 Houston beats Memphis to improve to 15-0

HOUSTON (AP) — When Houston needed a spark Sunday night, Armoni Brooks came through for the Cougars. Brooks scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and hit four of his six 3-pointers and No. 19 Houston remained undefeated with a 90-77 victory over Memphis. Nate Hinton added 19 points ...

Happ leads No. 22 Wisconsin to 71-52 win over Penn State

By TRAVIS JOHNSON, Associated Press STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — After two straight defeats, the Wisconsin Badgers got back to what's made them successful in the past. Stingy defense. Ethan Happ had 22 points and eight rebounds as No. 22 Wisconsin stopped a midseason slide by routing Penn ...

Beal scores 25; Wizards top Thunder 116-98

By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Washington coach Scott Brooks thinks his team delivered one of its best performances of the season on Sunday night. That's what it took for the Wizards to finally win in Oklahoma City. Bradley Beal scored 25 points and Washington won ...

After further review, the NBA needs to change its policy

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer Imagine this: Kevin Durant is out of bounds by an enormous margin, all three referees somehow miss the obvious infraction and Golden State winds up getting a basket that it didn't deserve to take the lead with a few seconds remaining. It seemed ...