Weekend Sports in Brief

National Sports

OLYMPICS

SAITAMA, Japan (AP)The U.S. has won its fourth straight Olympic men’s basketball gold medal, holding off France 87-82.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Americans and joined Carmelo Anthony as the only three-time gold medalists in men’s basketball.

Durant already became the leading scorer in U.S. men’s history in this tournament. He scored 30 points in the gold-medal games in 2012 and 2016, and nearly got there again this time.

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) – Sue Bird capped off her unblemished 17-year Olympics run with a record fifth gold medal.

All she and longtime U.S. teammate Diana Taurasi have done on the international stage is win and now stand alone with five gold medals – the first basketball players ever to accomplish that feat – after a 90-75 win over Japan on Sunday at the Tokyo Games.

The U.S. has now won the last seven Olympic gold medals matching the country’s men’s program for the most ever in a row. The men did it from 1936-68.

TOKYO (AP) – Allyson Felix won her 11th Olympic medal, combining with her American teammates to finish the 4×400-meter relay in 3 minutes, 16.85 seconds for a runaway victory.

The team of Felix, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu was never in jeopardy in this one.

Poland finished second, 3.68 seconds behind, and Jamaica finished third.

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) – A Japanese team of All-Stars won the Olympic baseball gold medal for the first time, beating the United States 2-0 behind Munetaka Murakami’s third-inning home run.

Masato Morishita and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Japanese men (5-0) matched the accomplishment of the women’s softball team, which upended the Americans for their second straight gold medal.

America, the nation that introduced baseball to Japan in 1872, finished 4-2.

TOKYO (AP) – The U.S. men won their first gold medal in a track race at the Tokyo Games with a victory in the 4×400-meter relay.

The U.S. men didn’t reach the final of the 4×100-meter relay, but the 4×400 team of Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Rai Benjamin completed four laps of the Olympic oval in 2 minutes, 55.70 seconds. It was a fifth gold for the U.S. men in the 4×400 since 1996.

The Netherlands took silver in a national record 2:57.18 and Botswana won bronze in 2:57.27.

TOKYO (AP) – The U.S. has won its third consecutive gold medal in women’s water polo, pounding Spain 14-5 in the final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Maddie Musselman scored three times and Ashleigh Johnson made 11 saves as the U.S. improved to 134-4 since it won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

The U.S. joins the men’s teams from Britain (1908-1920) and Hungary (2000-2008) as the only countries to win at least three straight water polo titles at the Olympics.

KAWAGOE, Japan (AP) – Nelly Korda has given the Americans a sweep of gold medals in golf, holding on for a one-shot victory in a thrill-a-minute finish to the Olympic women’s golf competition.

Korda led by as many as three shots on the back nine. In the end, she needed two putts from just inside 30 feet on the 18th hole for par and a 2-under 69.

Mone Inami of Japan made bogey from a plugged lie in the bunker on the 18th hole and faced a playoff against Lydia Ko of New Zealand for the silver medal.

TOKYO (AP) – The United States won its first Olympic gold medal ever in women’s volleyball by beating Brazil in straight sets.

The U.S. had won silver three times and bronze twice previously for the most medals by any country that hadn’t won gold. But the Americans finally completed that quest by beating the country that denied them gold in the final match in both 2008 and 2012.

The victory allowed U.S. coach Karch Kiraly to join China’s Lang Ping as the second person to win gold as a player in volleyball and then lead a country to gold as coach. Kiraly won gold indoor as a player in 1984 and ’88. He also won gold in beach volleyball in 1996.

IZU, Japan (AP) – Jennifer Valente got up from a crash in the omnium-ending points race to hang on for the gold medal, capping what had been an otherwise frustrating and disappointing Olympics for American cycling.

Valente won the opening scratch race, picked up three sprints in the points race and performed well in the elimination race to take an eight-point lead into the points race, where points are awarded for sprints every 10 laps.

OBITUARY

Bobby Bowden, the folksy Hall of Fame coach who won more than 350 games and built Florida State into one of college football’s great dynasties with two national championships has died. He was 91.

Bobby’s son, Terry, confirmed to The Associated Press that his father died at home surrounded by his family early Sunday morning. Florida State also announced the news on social media.

Bobby Bowden announced on July 21 he had a terminal illness that his family later said was pancreatic cancer. He had been treated for prostate cancer more than a decade ago.

Bowden piled up 357 wins during his 40 years as a major college coach, from tiny Samford – his alma mater, then known as Howard College – to West Virginia and finally at Florida State, where he went 315-98-4. The Seminoles were a force during his 34 seasons as coach, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999.

NFL

CANTON, Ohio (AP) – Peyton Manning the only five-time NFL MVP and a two-time Super Bowl winner who left the game five years ago with a slew of passing records, was enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame with other members of the class of 2021.

Joining Manning in this year’s class were two other first-time eligibles, defensive back Charles Woodson – who beat out Manning for the 1997 Heisman Trophy – and receiver Calvin Johnson.

From bone-rattling tacklers Troy Polamalu, Steve Atwater and Cliff Harris to hard-charging runner Edgerrin James to the pass-catching brilliance of Isaac Bruce and Harold Carmichael, the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020 has something for everyone.

Add in blocking dynamos Steve Hutchinson and Jim Covert, Steel Curtain stalwart safety Donnie Shell and such as leaders as former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson.

They all entered the hall Saturday night, a year late due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NBA

ATLANTA (AP) – The Sacramento Kings acquired 10-year veteran center Tristan Thompson from the Boston Celtics on Saturday as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Atlanta Hawks.

The Kings traded guard Delon Wright to Atlanta. The Hawks sent guard Kris Dunn, forward-center Bruno Fernando and a 2023 second-round draft pick to Boston.

Thompson averaged 7.6 points and 81 rebounds with Boston in 54 games, including 43 starts, last season.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired guard Grayson Allen from the Memphis Grizzlies for guard Sam Merrill and two future second-round picks.

Allen, 25, averaged 10.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 25.2 minutes for the Grizzlies this past season. He played 50 games and made 38 starts.

His 2020-21 season included a 26-point performance in a 128-115 victory over the Bucks.

SOCCER

MADRID (AP) – An emotional Lionel Messi said in his farewell to Barcelona that he wasn’t adequately prepared to leave the club.

Messi began crying even before he started speaking in his farewell ceremony at the Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday.

He said ”this is very hard for me after so many years, after being here my entire life.”

Messi called his unexpected departure from the club ”the most difficult” moment of his career.

Messi’s family and some of his teammates were at the Camp Nou for the player’s farewell. Messi avoided talking specifically about his future. He says he received offers from several clubs.

GOLF

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Abraham Ancer of Mexico won the FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, beating Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns with a 6-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole of a playoff.

Ancer won the World Golf Championships event at TPC Southland after Burns’ 5 1/2-foot putt – on the same line as Ancer – lipped out.

The 30-year-old Ancer closed with a 2-under 68 to match Matsuyama and Burns at 16-under 264. Matsuyama shot a 63, and Burns had a 64.

TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) – Erik van Rooyen won the Barracuda Championship for his first PGA Tour title, finishing with 50 points in the modified Stableford scoring system.

Van Rooyen, the 31-year-old former University of Minnesota player from South Africa, eagled the par-4 eighth and closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th for a five-point victory over Andrew Putnam at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Scotland’s Grant Forrest held off England’s James Morrison in the Hero Open for his first European Tour title.

Forrest birdied the last two holes at Fairmont St Andrews for a 6-under 66 and 24-under 264 total. Morrison was a stroke back after a 63.

HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) – Kentucky junior Jensen Castle won the U.S. Women’s Amateur, beating Arizona junior Hou Yu-chiang of Taiwan 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final at Westchester Country Club.

AUTO RACING

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) – Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, building a big lead in the final stage and keeping Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott at bay over the final laps.

Elliott was seeking his third straight victory at The Glen but was relegated to the back of the field before the race when his No. 9 Chevrolet failed inspection twice. He made a gallant charge in the final segment but couldn’t overcome Larson’s big lead and crossed the finish line 2.45 seconds behind.

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) – Ty Gibbs passed road race ace AJ Allmendinger after a restart with four laps to go and won the Xfinity race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday.

It was the third win in 10 Xfinity races this season for the 18-year-old grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs. Points leader Austin Cindric was third, Pole-sitter Justin Allgaier fourth, and Harrison Burton fifth.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) – Pole-sitter Austin Hill won the NASCAR Truck Series race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, taking the victory when lightning struck nearby and rain halted the race with 11 laps to go.

Hill held off John Hunter Nemechek on a restart with 15 laps left as thunderstorms neared, with Sheldon Creed, Todd Gilliland and Parker Kligerman in close pursuit. The race was red-flagged because of a lightning strike and with an Xfinity Series race on deck.

It was Hill’s second win of the season and eighth of his career. Nemechek was second, followed by Creed, Gilliland and Kligerman.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Marcus Ericsson soared over a car early, overcame hard-charging runs from Colton Herta and Scott Dixon late, and survived the perilous city streets of Nashville on Sunday to win inaugural Music City Grand Prix.

Ericsson made the IndyCar highlight reel long before the checkered flag when he jumped the backside of Sebastien Bourdais’ Chevrolet and knocked the Frenchman out of the race. Ericsson’s airborne Honda needed a new front wing only five laps into the race and he made it the rest of the way unscathed for his second victory of the season.

HORSE RACING

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Captain Corey took the lead early, held off one challenge and then drew off in the stretch to give trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt his second win in the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands.

Svanstedt didn’t need any help from the judges this time. He was awarded trotting’s most prestigious race in 2017 when What The Hill, who was first across the finish line, was disqualified for interfering with another 3-year-old. That promoted Svanstedt’s Perfect Spirit from second to first.

Svanstedt, who drove Captain Corey to a win in his elimination division last weekend, covered the mile in 1:51.1 on Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) – Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen broke the North American record for victories by a trainer Saturday when Stellar Tap won the fifth race on Whitney Day at Saratoga Race Course.

Asmussen has 9,446 victories to break the mark of set by the late Dale Baird during his 46-year career that ended when he was killed in a car crash in 2007 at age 72.

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