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Update October 2017


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WORLD SPORTS
 

Update October 27 - 31, 2017

Koepka opens with a 64 to lead HSBC Champions

Brooks Koepka of the United States tees off during the first round of the 2017 WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China Thursday, Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Doug Ferguson

Shanghai (AP) — The HSBC Champions is the first stop for Brooks Koepka on his four-week Asian adventure that will include two weeks on the beaches of Vietnam and Thailand and a title defense in Japan.

Splotches of mud on his shirt were evidence that it started with a wild ride at Sheshan International.

"Yeah, I had some fun in the water," he said.

Koepka played so beautifully on Thursday that the U.S. Open champion had reason to believe his 8-under 64 for a one-shot lead could have been much lower. He burned the edge of cup on a few birdie putts, missed one birdie attempt from 4 feet and turned a certain birdie into an aggravating bogey when he three-putted from 4 feet on No. 3.

But he got away with his worst swing of the day.

Wanting to play conservatively on the par-5 eighth, Koepka hit 3-iron off the tee and pulled it so badly that he disappeared down the banks of a winding stream along the entire left side of the fairway. Enough of the golf ball was showing from the shallow stream that he removed his shoes and tried to whack it out. He did well enough to advance it some 50 yards, leaving him 275 yards remaining over a pond that guards the front of the green.

Koepka hammered a 3-wood right at the flag, and the ball settled about 20 feet behind the cup. He made it for birdie and a wry smile.

"It was an interesting hole to say the least," Koepka said. "I hit an awful 3-iron, hit it in the water and was lucky enough to at least hit it and advance it and hit a great 3-wood in there just past the pin. We were laughing. It was almost kind of destiny to make that putt."

Along the way, he ticked off another goal for 2017 — the lead to himself after the opening round.

It wasn't much — just one shot over Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Gavin Green of Malaysia — but it was where he wanted to be.

"Any time you can get off to a good start and be close to the lead or have the lead, that's what you want," Koepka said.

Kiradech dressed in black out of respect to the five days of funeral ceremonies back home for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died last October. This week ends a year of mourning, and Thais throughout the country were clad in back in honor of the late king.

Kiradech made 10 birdies, including seven in a row around the turn.

"I wore all black today as my own tribute," Kiradech said. "It is a special day as the final day of official mourning. It would be a great honor if I could win and take this trophy back to Thailand and dedicate it to our late king."

Patrick Reed and Haydn Porteous of South Africa were at 66, while the group at 67 included Matt Kuchar and Justin Rose.

"Drove it well. Found a lot of fairways," Kuchar said. "If you're not playing in fairways, you're just hoping for pars."

Koepka would have taken one on No. 8, and instead he did one better.

The rest of the round — except for that three-putt bogey from 4 feet — was crisp for Koepka considering he had not played since the Presidents Cup.

Starting on the 10th hole under abundant sunshine at Sheshan International, he capped off the back nine with a 7-iron into 20 feet on the 17th for birdie and then a massive drive on the par-5 18th that left him only a 6-iron to 20 feet, which he holed for an eagle.

He already was 6 under for the round and looked to go even lower with a shot into 4 feet at No. 3, only to walk away with bogey.

"I felt like I played really well," he said. "I drove it pretty well and putted extremely well except for litlte hiccup."

Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson were among those at 68. Johnson, who won this World Golf Championship in 2013, was moving closer to the lead until his wedge into No. 8 went just over the green, his chip ran 6 feet by and he took a bogey. It was on this hole two years ago that Johnson's shot hit the pin and caromed back into the water, which he says is the most irritated he's ever been on the golf course.

Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama opened with a 74.

Kiradech didn't feel his game was sharp except for the putter, which can atone for a lot. He mainly was happy with his start, and his ambitious goal to honor the king the best way he can by bringing home the trophy.

"It's not an easy situation because it's hard to explain how deeply our king was loved, and how sadly he is missed," Kiradech said. "He will always hold a special place in my heart, but he loved sport and he would have been the first to stay the show must go on."


Explosive Joshua values entertainment as much as wins

Britain's Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua, left, and challenger Carlos Takam face-off during the press conference at the National Museum in Cardiff Wales on Thursday Oct. 26. Joshua will take on Takam in a world title fight in Cardiff on Saturday. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

Cardiff, Wales (AP) - Anthony Joshua's goal in boxing extends beyond the ambitious task of unifying the world heavyweight titles.

He wants to put on a show while doing so.

Joshua is leading the resurgence of a heavyweight division that suffered for at least a decade amid the dominance and cautious style of the Klitschko brothers.

The IBF and WBA champion is as popular for his explosive fighting style as his looks and easy-going character, and is seeking a 20th straight professional win when he fights Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Saturday.

His 19 victories have all come by knockout and only one of those fights — against Wladimir Klitschko in April — went beyond seven rounds.

"Right now, we are in the division and the business of providing really good fights," Joshua said Thursday in the fighters' final head-to-head news conference. "We are not here to tip and tap and run for 12 rounds."

"I think the fans are always going to be the winners in this division," the British fighter added, "because you have hungry guys that are coming."

The late change of opponent for Joshua — Takam was announced just two weeks ago as the replacement for the injured Kubrat Pulev — should make the fight more entertaining in front of an estimated crowd of 78,000 people at Principality Stadium.

Joshua is coming in lighter for his first defense of the WBA belt and the fourth defense of the IBF strap because he wanted to counter the speed of Pulev, who he described as a "real amateur-style boxer."

Takam, though, is a different kind of fighter, someone who will get in close, work the body and slug it out. The Cameroon-born French boxer took Joseph Parker, the current WBO champion, to 12 rounds last year in the last of his three career losses.

"With his style and his strength, I wish I'd have come in heavier," Joshua said, "so we can stand there and slug it out. His punches are going to be ricocheting through my whole body. So the bigger you are, the stronger you are."

Joshua called the fight a "potential banana skin" after training for more than two months in the expectation of taking on Pulev.

"Who knows what's going to happen. You saw I got tired against Klitschko — am I going to find out I'm only a five-round fighter?" Joshua said. "This is someone who is tough, can go the distance. He's definitely going to take me into late waters."

Takam, a mandatory challenger, said it would be the biggest night of his 39-fight professional career that "will change my sporting life, but not my personal life."

"Sometimes late notice means less pressure," said Christian Cherchi, Takam's promoter.


Venus Williams reaches semifinals at WTA Finals

 

Venus Williams. (AP Photo)

Singapore (AP) — Venus Williams reached the semifinals at the WTA Finals by beating Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday.

The 37-year-old Williams advanced from the White Group along with Karolina Pliskova, who lost to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-1. Both Williams and Pliskova finished with 2-1 records.

Williams, who first reached the No. 1 ranking in February 2002, was asked how she has managed to have such a long career.

"I use a lot of sun protection, sunscreen. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables," Williams said. "That's been the key to my success."

Williams won the WTA Finals in 2008 and reached the final in 2009, which was the last time she appeared in the year-end tournament.

On Thursday, Muguruza made 32 unforced errors to 26 for Williams.

"I'm very proud of this year." said Muguruza, who reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time this season. "I knew here that it's going to be tough, the best eight players are playing."

Pliskova led 3-2 in the first set of the early match, but the already-eliminated Ostapenko won the next seven games for a 6-3, 3-0 lead.

"Really tough to push myself into it and to play the best tennis if you know you're qualified," Pliskova said. "Wasn't being ever in this situation, so I felt weird today."

Pliskova, who earned the No. 1 ranking for the first time in her career after Wimbledon, remains in contention to finish the season at the top. Muguruza, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki also have a chance to become the year-end No. 1.


No sweat, no sport: EU says bridge card game is not a sport

In this Sept. 22, 2015 file photo, competitors play bridge at the Acol Bridge Club in West Hampstead, London. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Raf Casert

Brussels (AP) — The European Union's top court ruled Thursday on a topic that vexes sports fans and card players alike: Is a game like bridge a sport?

The answer: When it comes to taxes, no sweat, no sport.

The European Court of Justice announced in its ruling that "bridge, which is characterized by a physical element that appears to be negligible, is not covered by the concept of 'sport.'"

The English Bridge Union, which has some 55,000 members, wanted a tax exemption linked to sports so that entrance fees to tournaments can become more affordable. British courts and officials have already refused, claiming a sport must have a significant element of physical activity.

The European court agreed, saying that when considering value-added tax exemptions, sports should be "characterized by a not negligible physical element."

The court's ruling disregarded the initial advice of its advocate general — an exceptional but not unique occurrence at the highest court in the 28-nation bloc.

It left the English Bridge Union distraught.

"That bridge incorporated many of the attributes of more recognized 'sports', such as organized competition, training, and exertion, was not deemed sufficient," it said.

The body said the ruling would hit poorer players especially hard.

"A large percentage of bridge players are from groups with limited disposable income — the retired, and those in full-time education. Making the game cheaper for them to play would increase their levels of participation," it said.

Britain's tax office said it welcomed the European court's ruling, which it said confirmed its views about bridge.

EU nations have different tax rules related to whether or not bridge is recognized as a sport. Thursday's decision could now negatively affect bridge organizations in countries apart from Britain.


Springer's HR in 11th gives Astros 7-6 win, ties Series 1-1

Houston Astros' Marwin Gonzalez celebrates his home run with Carlos Correa during the ninth inning of Game 2 of baseball's World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Ronald Blum

Los Angeles (AP) — George Springer screamed with joy as he circled the bases after hitting a two-run homer in the 11th inning.

Would it be enough? Was this the final plot twist on one of the wildest nights in postseason history?

Yes, it was — barely — and the Houston Astros won a World Series game for the first time in their 56 seasons.

Charlie Culberson hit a two-out homer in the bottom half off Chris Devenski, who then struck out Yasiel Puig in a tense, nine-pitch at-bat for the win. The Astros outlasted the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6 in a Hollywood thriller Wednesday to tie the Series at one game apiece.

"Wasn't that the best game ever!?" Alex Bregman proclaimed to no one in particular in the Astros clubhouse.

On a night of dramatic swings and a World Series-record eight home runs, Marwin Gonzalez stunned the Dodger Stadium crowd with a solo shot off dominant Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen on an 0-2 pitch in the ninth that made it 3-all.

Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa hit consecutive home runs against Josh Fields in the 10th to build a 5-3 Astros lead, with Correa flipping his bat to celebrate.

But there was more. Much, much more.

"This is an instant classic and to be part of it is pretty special," Astros starter Justin Verlander said.

Puig homered off Ken Giles starting the bottom of the 10th and Enrique Hernandez knotted the score 5-5 with a two-out RBI single .

Devenski entered and, with Hernandez at second, made a wild pickoff throw that appeared headed toward left-center field before it struck second base umpire Laz Diaz. An incredulous Hernandez put both hands on his helmet, unable to advance, and was stranded when Chris Taylor flied out.

"We were pretty unlucky at the beginning of the game when Taylor dove in center field and (the ball) hit him in the face or head," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I felt like the baseball gods were returning the favor, by having an umpire standing in the way there."

Cameron Maybin, who had entered in the 10th, singled leading off the 11th against losing pitcher Brandon McCarthy, a surprise addition to the Dodgers' World Series roster who was pitching for the first time since Oct. 1. Maybin stole second and Springer hit a drive to right-center for a 7-5 lead, just the third 11th-inning home run in the Series after shots by Kirby Puckett in 1991 and David Freese in 2011.

Springer, an All-Star leadoff man, broke out of his slump with three hits and a walk after going 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in the Series opener Tuesday. His decisive drive made the Astros the first team to hit three extra-inning home runs in a postseason game.

Devenski retired Corey Seager and Justin Turner on lineouts in the bottom half. Puig checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch — the Astros jumped when first base umpire Gerry Davis signaled no swing — and Puig fouled off two more. Devenski threw his fifth straight changeup, and Puig swung over it as the Astros ran onto the field to celebrate after finally closing out a back-and-forth game that lasted 4 hours, 19 minutes.

"It was an emotional roller coaster," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who removed starter Rich Hill after he threw only 60 pitches in four solid innings and struck out seven.

After another steamy night in a Santa Ana heat wave, the series shifts to Texas and resumes Friday night at Houston's Minute Maid Park, where the retractable roof has not been open for a game since June 9. Lance McCullers Jr. starts for the Astros and Yu Darvish for the Dodgers, who acquired him from Texas at the July 31 trade deadline.

Houston is 2-5 on the road in the postseason but 6-0 at home, where the Astros have outscored the Red Sox and Yankees by a combined 31-7.

"We didn't expect these guys to lay down. It's a very good ballclub over there," Roberts said. "We'll be ready to go."

Before Gonzalez's home run, the Dodgers had an 85 percent chance of winning, according to Fangraphs. After Correa's long ball, the Astros were a 93 percent favorite.

Verlander, wearing an undershirt, entered the dugout at one point and screamed at his teammates that the game was not over.

"All of a sudden, two runs seemed like it was the Grand Canyon," he said. "I was just trying to remind these guys two runs is nothing."

Bregman's RBI single in the third gave Houston its first lead of the Series, a hit that might have turned into a three-run, inside-the-park homer had the ball not caromed off the bill of Taylor's cap directly to left fielder Joc Pederson.

Los Angeles had just two hits through seven innings but led 3-1 behind Pederson's fifth-inning solo homer and Seager's tiebreaking, two-run drive in the sixth against Verlander. It was Pederson's first home run since July 26.

Jansen entered with a 3-1 lead trying for his first six-out save in a year after Bregman doubled leading off the eighth against Brandon Morrow, a ball that ticked off the glove of a diving Puig in the right-field corner. Furious that he didn't make what would have been a sensational catch, Puig slammed his mitt to the ground.

Correa's RBI single off Jansen ended a record 28-inning postseason scoreless streak by the Dodgers' bullpen.

Gonzalez, choking up on the bat, seemed an unlikely candidate for a tying homer. He had not driven in a run in his 45 plate appearances since Houston's playoff opener, and the blown save was just the second for Jansen this year. The Dodgers had been 98-0 in 2017 when leading after eight innings, including the postseason.

"I didn't make my pitch," Jansen said. "You can't beat yourself up about that."

As the slanting sun illuminated the green hills of Elysian Park behind center field and the ochre-tinted San Gabriel Mountains beyond, retired Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully took the mound for the ceremonial first pitch . The 89-year-old, who left the booth in 2016 after his 67th season, charmed the crowd when he began "somewhere up in heaven, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges are laughing their heads off" at his presence on the mound. He feigned an arm injury and turned the ritual over to Fernando Valenzuela, who helped the Dodgers win their 1981 title.

The game-time temperature was 93 degrees — down 10 degrees from the opener. Celebrities in the sellout crowd of 54,293 included golfers Tiger Woods and Fred Couples, and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Houston improved to 10-0 in nine starts and one relief appearance by Verlander, the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner obtained in a trade from Detroit at the Aug. 31 deadline to be eligible for the Astros' postseason roster.

Afterward, players were exhausted.

"When that last out is made, you finally breathe," Springer said. "That's an emotional high — emotional high to low to high again. But that's why we play the game. And that's the craziest game that I've ever played in. And it's only Game 2."


Update October 25 - 26 , 2017

Venus beats Ostapenko, Pliskova reaches semis at WTA Finals

Venus Williams needed three match points and more than three hours to defeat Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5 at the WTA Finals in Singapore on Tuesday, Oct. 24. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Sandra Harwitt

Singapore (AP) — Venus Williams needed three match points and more than three hours to defeat Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 6-7 (3), 7-5 at the WTA Finals on Tuesday.

The match, lasting 3 hours, 13 minutes, featured 20 service breaks, with neither player finding much confidence on their service games.

The 37-year-old Williams dropped her serve nine times, while the 20-year-old French Open champion conceded serve 11 times.

"I don't know if there was any luck for me tonight, I just had to work for every point," the fifth-seeded Williams said. "It's not easy to lose the first match, and both of us were in the same situation. What else can you do but fight to live another day?"

By contrast, Karolina Pliskova capitalized on a fourth match point to easily beat Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-2. Pliskova, at 2-0 in the round-robin, is guaranteed a place in the semifinals.

"I'm just happy that I don't have to play the next match (against Ostapenko) for qualifying, because last year it was pretty stressful to do that," Pliskova said. "If I win a few matches in a row it gives me confidence."

The second semifinalist from the White Group will be decided by Thursday's match between Williams and Muguruza, who both are at 1-1 in their group.

Williams and Muguruza met in this year's Wimbledon final with the Spaniard winning the title.

Williams's first match point came on Ostapenko's serve in the 10th game of the second set, but she squandered the opportunity by netting a forehand.

Ostapenko kept the pressure on to force a tiebreaker and levelled the match. Prior to this match, Williams had only lost two tiebreakers in 12 played this season.

But Williams, the runner-up at the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, then started taking Ostapenko's second serve from well within the baseline. She broke her Latvian opponent in the 11th game by forcing her into a backhand error.

Williams, the only player in the field to have won the WTA Finals — back in 2008 — sealed victory with a backhand crosscourt winner.

Seventh-seeded Ostapenko — who is making her WTA Finals debut — fell to 0-2 in round-robin play.


Man City win League Cup shootout, Arsenal rescued by teen

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores the winning penalty during the English League Cup match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Tim Goode/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

London (AP) - Claudio Bravo was a forgotten man at Manchester City. Even the most loyal Arsenal fan probably knew little about Eddie Nketiah.

On Tuesday, both players were showered with praise after match-winning performances in the English League Cup.

Bravo, now the second-choice goalkeeper at City after an underwhelming first season at the club, made crucial saves in normal time and in the penalty shootout as Manchester City ousted Wolverhampton Wanderers in a grueling last-16 match.

City won the shootout 4-1 — with Sergio Aguero deftly chipping the clinching penalty high into the net — after Bravo made flying saves from Wolves' second and third kicks. The match was 0-0 after extra time, but only after the Chile goalkeeper came to City's rescue in repelling a series of shots from counter-attacks by the second-tier leaders.

Nketiah, an 18-year-old striker making only his second appearance for Arsenal, entered as a substitute against Norwich and scored the equalizer within 15 seconds. His first touch of the ball took the game against another second-tier team to extra time, where Nketiah then grabbed a 96th-minute winner as Arsenal edged through 2-1 at home.

There were wins for Manchester United, Leicester and Bournemouth, but fellow Premier League team Crystal Palace came unstuck in losing 4-1 at second-tier Bristol City.

Here's a look at Tuesday's games:

___

THANKS TO BRAVO

Sergio Aguero might have scored the winning penalty in the shootout, but he still requires one goal to break City's all-time scoring record, which he shares with Eric Brook on 177 goals.

Instead, this was a night to savor for Bravo, who was acclaimed by all four corners of Etihad Stadium as City's players saluted the crowd after the match. Last season, City fans were heard sarcastically cheering the rare saves made by Bravo, who had the lowest save percentage in the Premier League and let in too many easy shots.

He is second choice, behind summer signing Ederson, but showed he can be called upon this season if required.

"I'm so happy for him," City manager Pep Guardiola said. "Last season was not easy for him, but he is a goalkeeper of a high level. He deserved that performance."

___

NKETIAH TO THE RESCUE

The home fans were chanting "Eddie, Eddie, Eddie" during extra time as Arsenal unearthed a potential new star.

"To hear the fans singing my name was an amazing thing for me," said Nketiah, an England under-19 player who was released by Chelsea at under-15 level and has scored 48 goals in the last two seasons for Arsenal's youth sides.

His only other senior appearance was as an 89th-minute substitute in a Europa League game at BATE Borisov last month.

Both of his goals came off corners as Arsenal struggled after making 11 changes.

___

LINGARD STARS FOR UNITED

Jesse Lingard is saving his best for the League Cup these days.

Four of the midfielder's last five goals for Manchester United have been in this competition after he scored in each half of a 2-0 win over Swansea at Liberty Stadium — one a coolly taken, sidefoot finish and the other a header from just inside the area.

It was comfortable for the titleholders, who made seven changes from Saturday's 2-1 loss at Huddersfield in the Premier League — the team's first defeat of the season.

___

PALACE THRASHED

In what is already a tough season for Palace, there was further humiliation for the Premier League's last-place side.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson made 10 changes from his last league lineup and it showed as Bristol City came from behind by scoring four times between the 34th and 66th minutes.

Palace have lost eight of their nine league games, scoring only two goals.

___

WINS FOR BOURNEMOUTH, LEICESTER

Callum Wilson converted a penalty in his first match in nine months to help Bournemouth clinch a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough. The striker has been out since February because of a second cruciate knee-ligament injury in the space of three years.

Leicester also won 3-1 against a second-tier team, Leeds, thanks to goals by Algeria teammates Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez after a first strike for the club by summer signing Kelechi Iheanacho.

___

WRAPPING UP

The last 16 is wrapped up on Wednesday when Chelsea host Everton and Tottenham are at home to West Ham.

The draw for the quarterfinals is on Thursday.


Oladipo, Pacers scorch Timberwolves 130-107

Indiana Pacers' Darren Collison, left, beats Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns to the loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Patrick Donnelly

Minneapolis (AP) — Victor Oladipo scored 28 points and Cory Joseph added 21 to lead the hot-shooting Indiana Pacers past the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-107 on Tuesday night.

Darren Collison had 15 points and 16 assists, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 67 percent from the floor.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who came out flat after a thrilling last-second win at Oklahoma City on Sunday.

Minnesota was missing forward Jimmy Butler, who sat out with an upper respiratory infection. Shabazz Muhammad took Butler's spot in the starting lineup, and he contributed to Minnesota's slow start, going 1-for-5 from the floor and missing two free throws in the first quarter.

Oladipo scored eight points and Indiana made 15 of 22 shots (68 percent) in the first quarter to take a 33-20 lead.

Muhammad and the Wolves bounced back in the second quarter. After Nemanja Bjelica hit a pair of 3-pointers, Muhammad slammed home alley-oop dunks on consecutive fast breaks to tie the game at 42.

That momentum didn't last long. Coming out of a timeout, Joseph hit a 3-pointer and Oladipo knocked down back-to-back jumpers, the second one from behind the arc, as Indiana surged ahead 50-42.

Towns then scored nine points in an 11-2 Minnesota run and the teams entered halftime tied at 61.

The Pacers ended the third quarter on a 24-5 run to pull ahead 98-84. Then they buried Minnesota with a 14-2 run early in the fourth.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Indiana played without C Myles Turner, who missed his third straight game with a sore neck and concussion-like symptoms. ... Sabonis hit all seven of his field goal attempts, while Oladipo began the game 6-for-6 from the floor. ... The Pacers had lost two straight after opening the season with a win over Brooklyn.

Timberwolves: PG Jeff Teague spent the 2016-17 season with the Pacers. He played all 82 games and averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 assists per game. Teague had two points and seven assists on Tuesday. ... Wiggins, a career 75 percent free throw shooter, was just 1-for-6 from the line and finished with seven points. It was his lowest output since he scored seven points at Memphis last November 19.

UP NEXT:

Pacers: At Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

Timberwolves: At Detroit on Wednesday night.


Gordon, Fournier rally Magic to 125-121 win over Nets

Orlando Magic's Evan Fournier, left, makes a shot against Brooklyn Nets' DeMarre Carroll (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Terrance Harris

Orlando, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Gordon scored a career-high 41 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining, and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 125-121 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

Evan Fournier added 28 points in game that went back and forth late in the fourth quarter. He finished the scoring with two free throws with 15.5 seconds to play.

D'Angelo Russell scored 27 points for the Nets, while DeMarre Carroll had 19 and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 18.

The Magic trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, but Gordon and Fournier led Orlando on an impressive comeback down the stretch to follow their win over Cleveland with another victory. Orlando fought through a six-point deficit during the final five minutes as Gordon, Fournier and Nikola Vucevic began to attack the paint.

The Nets broke away from a 61-all tie at halftime, with Carroll hitting a couple of 3-pointers to help Brooklyn extend its lead to 12 points. But Gordon, who sat out with an injury when the Nets beat Orlando in Brooklyn last week, and Fournier responded in the final three minutes of the third quarter to pull the Magic to 96-87 going into the fourth quarter.

TIP-INS

Nets: Russell made his first four 3-pointers in the opening five minutes of the opening quarter. Russell finished the first half with 15 points after cooling off the remainder of the half. ... The Nets outscored Orlando 9-4 on second-chance points and 12-6 on fast-break points during the first two quarters.

Magic: Point guard Elfrid Payton missed his second straight game with a hamstring strain. Coach Frank Vogel said he is unsure when Payton will be ready to go. ... Vucevic, who had been the Magic's most consistent player in their first three games, got off to a slow start. He was 3 for 10 from the field and 0 for 3 from 3-point range to finish the first half with just six points. ... Gordon scored a game-high 24 points in the first half on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-for-3 beyond the 3-point arc. Gordon also had seven rebounds during the first two quarters.

UP NEXT

Nets: Host Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Magic: Hosts San Antonio on Friday night.


Federer beats Tiafoe in 1st round at hometown Basel event

Switzerland's Roger Federer returns a ball to USA's Frances Tiafoe during their first round match at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Christian Merz/Keystone via AP)

Basel, Switzerland (AP) — Top-seeded Roger Federer eased past United States teenager Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3 in the first round of the Swiss Indoors on Tuesday.

Federer never faced a break point in the 61-minute match and won every point when his first service landed safely.

A seven-time champion at his hometown event in Basel, Federer clinched the victory when the 76th-ranked American put a backhand volley into the net.

Federer improved to 3-0 against the 19-year-old Tiafoe, whom he beat in five sets in the U.S. Open first round two months ago.

Federer next plays Benoit Paire of France. Earlier Tuesday, Paire beat the 43rd-ranked American Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Second-seeded Marin Cilic also advanced to the second round, winning the first set 6-3 before opponent Florian Mayer of Germany retired injured.

David Goffin, the third-seeded Belgian, beat qualifier Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-2, 7-5, and fifth-seeded Jack Sock of the U.S. rallied for a 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 victory against Vasek Pospisil of Canada.

The only seeded player to lose Tuesday was Mischa Zverev of Germany. The eighth-seeded Zverev went down 7-5, 7-5 to Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.


Update October 24 , 2017

South Korean Olympic organizers downplay concern over NKorea

Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, passes the Olympic Flame onto a Pyeongchang torch bearer after it was lit from the sun's rays, during the final dress rehearsal for the lighting of the Olympic flame at Ancient Olympia, southwestern Greece on Monday, Oct. 23. The flame will be transported by torch relay to Pyeongchang, South Korea, which will host the Feb. 9-25, 2018 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Nicholas Paphitis

Ancient Olympia, Greece (AP) — South Korea's Olympic organizers played down concern over ongoing tensions with North Korea on Monday and also said that work has been completed on all venues for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the Pyeongchang organizing committee, said the International Olympic Committee has made it very clear that the Feb. 9-25 games will go ahead as scheduled.

"There is no Plan B," Lee said, speaking at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics shortly after the last rehearsal for Tuesday's official flame-lighting ceremony.

"We know that the world is watching the current geopolitical situation on the Korean peninsula," he said. "We continue to work very closely with all the relevant authorities and stakeholders to ensure we can deliver a safe and secure games for everyone involved."

Lee said that all competition and non-competition venues are complete. He said infrastructure works, including high-speed rail and highways, are already done and will be fully operational by December.

Lee added that his main concern for the games is the weather, and told The Associated Press that artificial snow will be provided if needed.

In the rehearsal among the ruined temples and sports facilities of Ancient Olympia in southern Greece, a Greek actress playing the part of an ancient priestess offered a token prayer to the old pagan gods of the site.

It was the traditional appeal for fire from heaven to light the Olympic flame, using a bowl-shaped mirror to focus the sun's rays on her torch.

For a few fraught minutes, it looked as if Apollo and Zeus would not oblige. The priestess shifted position, walked around the mirror and tried again. On the third attempt, the sun slipped out from behind clouds for long enough to light the torch, which will serve as a back-up if Tuesday's ceremony is overcast, as forecast.

Lee was delighted, saying that Pyeongchang also won the games on its third bid, and said he isn't really concerned whether it rains Tuesday.

"Lighting the torch is important, the date is not so much important," he said.

Tuesday's first torchbearer will be Greek skier Apostolos Aggelis. He will then pass the torch to former Manchester United soccer player Park Ji-sung, a South Korean. The flame will be carried around Greece before reaching South Korea on Nov. 1.

The South Korean leg of the relay will involve 7,500 torch-bearers, who will cover a total 2,018 kilometers.

Lee said that the torch relay and accompanying events should help boost ticket sales. He said that about 30 percent of tickets have been sold domestically, and international sales are at about 50 percent of the target.

"We will be able to achieve full stadia," Lee said. "Koreans are late decision-makers."


Everton fire manager Ronald Koeman with team in drop zone

Everton manager Ronald Koeman is shown prior to the English Premier League match against Arsenal at the Goodison Park in Liverpool, Sunday Oct. 22. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Liverpool, England (AP) — Ronald Koeman paid the price for Everton's poor start to the season, losing his job Monday with the team in the Premier League relegation zone despite huge summer spending on new players.

The Dutchman was dismissed two months into his second season in charge following a 5-2 loss to Arsenal on Sunday. That left Everton without a win in their last five matches in all competitions.

The Toffees have eight points so far in the league and are faring no better in Europe, sitting last in their Europa League group with one point from three games.

Everton returned to continental competition by finishing seventh in the Premier League last season and Koeman benefited from about 150 million pounds in spending to strengthen the squad in the offseason to take the club to new highs.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen cost almost 70 million pounds between them and striker Wayne Rooney was brought back from Old Trafford on a high-profile free transfer. But Everton didn't adequately replace Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Manchester United for 75 million pounds, and have struggled for goals this season, netting only six in the league.

Another 55 million pounds was spent on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and defender Michael Keane, yet Everton have conceded 18 goals in nine league games and only last-place Crystal Palace have a worse goal difference. Now Everton are searching for a new manager to steer the club out of the drop zone.

"Chairman Bill Kenwright, the board of directors and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given to the club over the past 16 months and for guiding the club to seventh place in last season's Premier League campaign," Everton said in a statement.

Koeman, a former Barcelona player who joined Everton after impressing as Southampton manager, is the third Premier League coach to lose his job this season after Frank de Boer at Palace and Craig Shakespeare at Leicester.


Pakistan whitewash Sri Lanka 5-0 in ODI series

Pakistan players celebrate the dismissal of Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera during their fifth ODI cricket match in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Sharjah, UAE (AP) — Fast bowler Usman Shinwari dominated Sri Lanka's top order with 5-34 as Pakistan whitewashed the tourists 5-0 for another convincing nine-wicket victory in the fifth and final one-day international on Monday.

Shinwari claimed all his wickets in a 21-ball spell to dismiss Sri Lanka for 103 in only 26.2 overs.

Fakhar Zaman (48) and Imam-ul-Haq (45 no) then eased to 105-1 in 20.2 overs to cap Pakistan's string run in the ODIs in 2017 that began in June when they won the Champions Trophy.

Sri Lanka's poor run in limited-overs continued this year under captain Upul Tharanga. South Africa and India had earlier routed Sri Lanka 5-0 and the country has now lost 12 ODIs in a row.

Shinwari, playing in only his second ODI, claimed four of his wickets in his first two overs before adding one more to make Sri Lanka 20-5.

"It wasn't easy, but the environment of the team is as such that it gives you a lot of confidence," said Shinwari, who made his ODI debut on Friday in the fourth game of the series. "It was my second game and I thought hard about it."

The last wicket pair of Dushmantha Chameera (11) and Vishwa Fernando (7) took Sri Lanka beyond the 100-run mark before No.1-ranked fast bowler Hasan Ali finished off with 2-19 by clean bowling Chameera.

"The way Shinwari bowled, I guess it's not seen quite a lot in cricket that you dismiss half the side within your first three overs," Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said. "The good thing is that (our) bench strength is getting stronger and stronger and more good players are coming."

Shinwari was on a hat trick in the first over when he had Sadeera Samarawickrama clean bowled for his second straight nought of the series and then lured Dinesh Chandimal to drive but only got a big outside edge.

Tharanga, who won the toss and opted to bat first, drove the hat-trick ball to cover boundary before Shinwari had the skipper bowled off a delivery that nipped back sharply into the left-hander.

Niroshan Dickwella was the third man to get dismissed for nought when Shinwari had him lbw off another sharp inswinging delivery. Milinda Siriwardana capped Sri Lanka's top order batting woes in the series when he played another lose drive to get caught at cover.

Ali then reduced Sri Lanka to 49-6 when Lahiru Thirimanne (19) was caught behind and Seekkuge Prasanna was run out.

Thisara Perera (25) was one of the four batsmen to cross the double-figure mark, hitting a six and three fours, before falling to legspinner Shadab Khan, who finished with 2-24.

Imam and Zaman then hurried the run-chase with an opening stand of 84 runs off 100 balls before Jeffery Vandersay got the consolation wicket by having Zaman caught behind. Zaman hit seven fours.

Imam raised the victory by cutting Vandersay to the boundary as Pakistan made a remarkable turnaround of form with a 5-0 victory after losing the test series 2-0.

"We are not playing to our strengths, to our capability," Tharanga said. "We are making the same mistakes again and again, (but) we can do much better than this, hopefully we will learn from our mistakes and comeback strongly."

The teams will now play a three-match Twenty20 series, starting from Thursday with the final T20 scheduled to be played at Lahore on Sunday.


Ronaldo joins Messi as five-time winner of FIFA player award

Portuguese soccer player Christiano Ronaldo, second from right, and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr., right, sit beside Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi, left, and wife Antonella during the The Best FIFA 2017 Awards at the Palladium Theatre in London, Monday, Oct. 23. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

London (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has caught up with Lionel Messi to become a five-time winner of FIFA's best player award.

The Real Madrid forward was crowned player of the year on Monday at the FIFA Best ceremony at the London Palladium theater attended by runner-up Messi and third-placed Neymar.

A second successive honor for Ronaldo was expected after a season in which the Portuguese eclipsed his award counterparts in the trophy stakes.

As well as Spanish league and Spanish Super Cup success, Ronaldo scored twice in the Champions League final against Juventus to win European soccer's elite competition for the third time in four seasons.

Ronaldo's coach at Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, was crowned coach of the year.

FIFA has shifted its award ceremony from its usual January slot to October so players are judged across a season — based on the typical European schedule — rather than the calendar year.

The women's award honored the Netherlands' success at the European Championship in August. Lieke Martens, who scored in the final win over Denmark, won the player's award and Sarina Wiegman collected the coaching accolade.

The Puskas Award for best goal went to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud for a scorpion-style kick on New Year's Day in Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.

 


4-time Iditarod winner named as musher in dog doping case

In this March 16, 2015, file photo, volunteers help raise the Iditarod finishers banner at the burled arch finish line in Nome, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Rachel D'Oro

Anchorage, Alaska (AP) — Iditarod officials on Monday identified four-time champion Dallas Seavey as the musher whose dogs tested positive for a banned substance.

The Iditarod Trail Committee met Monday in an emergency meeting and decided to release the musher's identity after initially refusing on a lawyer's advice.

"Because of the level of unhealthy speculation involved in this matter, ITC has now decided to disclose the name of the musher involved," the committee said in a statement.

Calls to Seavey's cellphone weren't immediately returned.

He will be allowed to participate in next year's race and will not face any disciplinary action.

As a result of the positive test findings, the race rule dealing with canine drug use was revised earlier this month to hold mushers liable for any positive tests in future races unless the mushers can prove the results happened because of something outside of their control.

Previously, the rule could be interpreted to require that race officials provide proof that a musher intended to administer the prohibited substance.

Officials say four dogs in Seavey's team tested positive after the finish of this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome in March. The banned substance was the opioid pain reliever, Tramadol.

Organizers relented after scores of professional mushers ay demanded that race officials identify the musher.

A statement from the Iditarod Official Finishers Club was signed by 83 current and former competitors who called for the musher to be named within 72 hours.

The demand came after the group met Sunday to discuss how organizers of the nearly 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race handled its first instance of dogs testing positive for a banned drug.

"It is unacceptable that multiple dogs tested positive for a drug in a single musher's team and that that information was only recently made public when it was known since shortly after the team finished," the club's  statement said.

The dog team was tested six hours after finishing the race in Nome, officials said. Race officials have estimated the drug could have been administered 15 hours or less before the test.

Seavey, who was not among the mushers who signed the finishers club statement, won the Iditarod in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He finished second last year to his father, Mitch, and has had nine straight top 10 finishes.

Dallas Seavey is a former Alaska high school wrestling champion and also spent a year at the U.S. Olympic Training Center before turning his attention back to dogs. He lives in Willow, a community located about 50 miles north of Anchorage and widely considered to be the dog mushing capital of the nation.

Only the first 20 teams to reach Nome are tested, leading to a feeling among mushers that any of them could be suspected because the musher whose dogs failed the test was not identified, mushers said.

Officials had initially refused to identify the musher because they said it was unlikely they could prove the musher intentionally administered the drug and because a lawyer advised them not to make the name public.

The Iditarod began testing sled dogs for prohibited substances in 1994. Dogs on all teams are subject to random testing between pre-race examinations and along the race trail. Testing in Nome for top finishing teams, however, is not random but expected.


Update October 23 , 2017

Hamilton wins US Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, comes through a turn during the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, Oct. 22, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Jim Vertuno

Austin, Texas (AP) — The fastest man on four wheels stood on the U.S. Grand Prix podium with the fastest man on two feet.

Together, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and retired sprinter Usain Bolt struck Bolt's familiar "To the World" pose, their fingers pointing to the sky and perhaps the way toward another Hamilton Formula One championship.

Hamilton tightened his control on the F1 season title by winning the U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel, who finished second in a race he said he had to win.

It was Hamilton's fourth consecutive win at the Circuit of the Americas and fifth since 2012. His ninth win of the season also opened a 66-point lead on Vettel with three races left. While mathematically still possible, Vettel's title hopes are nearly wiped out as the series heads next week to Mexico City, where Hamilton won last year.

"I think this is my favorite track now," Hamilton said after another dominant performance in Texas.

Hamilton is on a late-season charge toward a championship that would further define his legacy in the sport. Formula One's first and only black driver could join Vettel as a four-time season champion. Only Germany's Michael Schumacher (7) and Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio (5) have won more.

"I don't let my mind go there," Hamilton said. "Three races to go, three races to win.

Vettel seemed resigned to the reality that his title hopes collapsed with his second-place finish.

"It wasn't our race to win," Vettel said. "We tried to fight. We got beaten fair and square."

Vettel had pushed hard for the win and surprised Hamilton when he grabbed the lead out of a fast start, but the Mercedes reeled in the Ferrari just a few laps later.

Vettel bolted off the line and Hamilton moved left to try to squeeze Vettel into the inside of the first turn. The German held his ground, cut through the corner and tucked the nose of his Ferrari in front as the cars did the slingshot left turn back down the 130-foot elevation,

Vettel's advantage was quickly swallowed up by the power that Hamilton's Mercedes had shown all week. Hamilton caught Vettel on lap six and passed him heading into the turn at the end of the circuit's long straight. It was the same move on the same turn Hamilton used to pass Vettel to win the race in 2012.

"Sebastian had a great start. I was kind of chill about it because I knew from the past you can overtake here," Hamilton said. "I was a bit surprised Sebastian didn't defend more."

The duel was briefly engaged again on lap 20. Hamilton pitted for fresh tires and emerged only a split second ahead of Vettel, who had already stopped. Vettel missed his chance at the lead when he ran wide on a turn — the same spot where he spun into the gravel on Friday — as Hamilton was leaving his garage.

The moment missed, Hamilton gave him no chance for another one. Vettel then found himself fighting just to hold on long enough to extend the championship for another week.

Anything lower than fifth place would have handed the title to Hamilton, and Vettel dropped as low as fourth. A late charge by Red Bull's Max Verstappen forced Vettel to make a second tire change and he powered back to toward the front.

"Not the result we wanted," Vettel said. "There was no real secret other than they were quicker than us. Those who are fastest have a good chance of winning."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished third after Verstappen was penalized 5 seconds when race officials determined he left the track and gained an unfair advantage in passing Raikkonen on the final lap.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo saw his run of three straight podium finishes and four in the previous five races end when engine failure ended his race on lap 16.Carlos Sainz' finished seventh in his first race with Renault after switching from Toro Rosso.

Hamilton's win and teammate Valtteri Bottas' fifth-place finish secured Mercedes' fourth consecutive constructor's championship.


Liverpool, Everton both fall to north London clubs

Tottenham's Harry Kane, right, and Liverpool's Dejan Lovren challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 22.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

London (AP) —Liverpool and Everton endured a miserable Sunday in the English Premier League as they were torn apart by Tottenham and Arsenal.

Arsenal had five different scorers in a 5-2 victory that further weakened Everton manager Ronald Koeman's job security. Harry Kane scored twice in front of a record Premier League record of more than 80,000 as Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley Stadium.

__

EVERTON IN RELEGATION ZONE

The statistics are bleak for Koeman in his second season in charge: Everton have no wins in their last five matches, two victories in the last 13, eight points from nine games and only six league goals.

Everton, who finished seventh in the Premier League last season, are bottom of their Europa League group with one point from three games.

"I am responsible for this team," Koeman said. "The final result is really poor but all these kind of decisions (about my future) is not in my hands."

Although Wayne Rooney put Everton in front, that was as good as it got for Everton. Nacho Monreal equalized just before the break with further goals coming from Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette — after Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was sent off — and Aaron Ramsey.

Substitute Oumar Niasse pulled one back thanks to poor defending but Alexis Sanchez had the final say with the last kick of the game as Arsenal eased to a first away win of the season.

Despite around 150 million pounds being invested in new players in the offseason, Everton are now in the relegation zone.

"The team is underperforming, it is in a difficult situation mentally and struggling for confidence. That is what we need to change," Koeman said. "I still believe I can change the whole situation but everybody knows how it works in football. That is all I answer about this situation. I told the players that I believe the players, I believe in the commitment of the players."

___

LIVERPOOL CAPITULATE

Juergen Klopp hopes to deliver Liverpool's first league title since 1990. Some chance, now, in his third season.

Liverpool have conceded 16 goals in nine league games — their worst defensive start in 53 years — to sit 12 points behind leaders Manchester City in eighth place.

Tottenham, though, are on the up after a sluggish start to the season. Mauricio Pochettino's side are only behind second-place Manchester United on goal difference and within five points of City.

Tottenham are finally looking at ease at their temporary Wembley home, but few opponents will be as easy to pick apart as Liverpool. Few Premier League players will be as brittle in defence as Dejan Lovren, who was hauled off after a half hour.

By that stage, Tottenham were already 2-1 up after going in front after only four minutes through Kane and then Son Heung-min netted in the 12th minute.

Liverpool hadn't threatened when Mohamed Salah scored in the 24th but it would only prove a consolation. Dele Alli restored Tottenham's two-goal cushion in first-half stoppage time and Kane was on target again 11 minutes into the second half.


Roethlisberger leads Steelers past Bengals, 29-14

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 22. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell added 192 total yards, and Pittsburgh's defense dominated the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half of a 29-14 victory on Sunday.

The Steelers (5-2) relied on their stars to take the lead, then on their reinvigorated defense to blunt Cincinnati and give themselves a significant cushion over the rest of the underwhelming AFC North.

The Bengals (2-4) came in looking to add some street cred to their resurgence after their 0-3 start, but instead spent the second half reverting to the kind of ineffective offense that got offense coordinator Ken Zampese fired two weeks into the season. The Steelers picked off Andy Dalton twice and sacked him three times over the final two quarters to pull away.

Chris Boswell added five field goals for Pittsburgh, which posted its highest points total and appears to be rounding into form as Halloween nears.

COWBOYS 40, 49ERS 10

Santa Clara, Calif. — Ezekiel Elliott gained 219 yards from scrimmage and tied a career high with three touchdowns just days after a legal reprieve put his suspension on hold.

Elliott was granted his second temporary restraining order on Tuesday, putting his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations on hold, and then gave the Cowboys (3-3) a big boost on the field.

Elliott matched his season total of rushing touchdowns with two in the first quarter, then took a short pass from Dak Prescott 72 yards for another touchdown on Dallas' first possession of the second half to put away the 49ers (0-7). Elliott ran for 147 yards on 26 carries to go with the big catch, setting a career high in scrimmage yards in a game.

That performance spoiled the starting debut of rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard , who was sacked five times, lost two fumbles and failed to lead the 49ers into the end zone until he scored on a run with the game out of hand in the fourth quarter.

CHARGERS 21, BRONCOS 0

Carson, Calif. — Travis Benjamin returned a first-quarter punt 65 yards for a touchdown and caught a 42-yard TD pass in the fourth, and the Chargers played a dominant defensive game in the first home victory of their relocation season.

Joey Bosa had two of the Chargers' five sacks while they sent the Broncos (3-3) to the franchise's first shutout defeat since a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders on Nov. 22, 1992.

Philip Rivers passed for 183 yards in his 100th victory, hitting Austin Ekeler for an early TD and Benjamin for the late clincher.

The Chargers (3-4) have won three straight under new coach Anthony Lynn following a winless opening month in their first season back in Los Angeles after 56 years in San Diego.

Trevor Siemian passed for 207 yards, but Denver lost to the Chargers for the third time in the AFC West rivals' past 14 meetings — and did so in historic fashion.

SEAHAWKS 24, GIANTS 7

East Rutherford, N.J. — Russell Wilson threw three second-half touchdown passes and the Seahawks limited the New York Giants' receiver-depleted offense to 177 yards.

Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. He put the game away with a 38-yard TD throw to Paul Richardson on a play that had to be reviewed because of simultaneous possession. He closed out the scoring with a 1-yard toss to Jimmy Graham with 2:14 to go.

The Seahawks (4-2) limited the Giants (1-6) to 46 yards rushing, 14 first downs and 24:34 in time of possession. The defense only forced one turnover, but the fumble by Eli Manning led to the Richardson touchdown.

The Giants, who stunned Denver on Sunday night for their first win, were only in this game because their defense made plays and limited the Seattle to a field goal in the first half despite being on the field for more than 20 minutes.

TITANS 12, BROWNS 9, OT

Cleveland — Ryan Succop's fourth field goal, a 47-yarder with 1:55 left in overtime, extended his NFL record for makes inside 50 yards to 55 straight and sent the Tennessee Titans to an ugly 12-9 win on Sunday over the winless Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland (0-7) lost durable Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas with an injury. A 10-time Pro Bowler, he missed his first play in 11 seasons. Thomas went out with a triceps injury that snapped his streak of 10,363 consecutive offensive plays. The No. 3 pick in 2007 has been the lone bright spot over the past decade for Cleveland's franchise.

Succop's clutch kick enabled the Titans (4-3) to get their second win in six days. Succop made five field goals in Monday night's win over Indianapolis.

Browns rookie Zane Gonzalez forced overtime by kicking a season-long 54-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in regulation to tie it 9-9. Gonzalez added kicks of 31 and 47 yards.

The Browns committed 12 penalties and dropped to 1-22 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, whose future is becoming less certain.

RAMS 33, CARDINALS 0

London — Jared Goff ran for a touchdown and threw for another and Greg Zuerlein made four field goals as the Rams won for the first time in three appearances in Britain.

Arizona (3-4) heads home with significant questions after quarterback Carson Palmer injured his left arm in the second quarter and did not return.

Goff completed 22 of 37 passes for 235 yards with an interception, and Todd Gurley ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the NFC West-leading Rams (5-2). Los Angeles has won five of its first seven games for the first time since 2003 — the last time the Rams finished with a winning record.

Palmer, who finished 10 for 18 for 122 yards, was hit by linebacker Alec Ogletree and intercepted with 5:48 remaining in the first half. He was replaced by longtime backup Drew Stanton, who completed 5 of 14 passes for 162 yards and an interception and was unable to close what began as a 6-0 deficit.

Gurley's 18-yard touchdown run immediately followed Palmer's interception, and Goff helped push the Rams' lead to 20-0 after he took a zone-read keeper 9 yards for a touchdown.

Zuerlein, who set a franchise record by making seven field goals in a win against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 1, connected from 23, 33, 53 and 34 yards.

SAINTS 26, PACKERS 17

Green Bay, Wis. — Drew Brees threw for a touchdown and ran for another and Mark Ingram rushed for a score.

Will Lutz kicked two second-half field goals, including a 44-yarder to put New Orleans up for good 19-17 with 10:26 left in the game. Brees' 1-yard sneak gave the Saints a two-score lead

The sloppy Saints (4-2) were fortunate to get their fourth straight victory. The Packers lost their first game with Brett Hundley starting at quarterback for injured star Aaron Rodgers.

New Orleans' defense gave up a 46-yard touchdown run to rookie Aaron Jones on the opening drive. Brees was picked off twice in the first quarter. Lutz had a blocked extra point and New Orleans was penalized seven times for 80 yards.

But the Saints pulled away late at overcast Lambeau Field, scoring on four second-half drives.

Trailing late, the Packers (4-3) couldn't muster big plays late without Rodgers. He's out indefinitely with a broken right collarbone.

BILLS 30, BUCCANEERS 27

Orchard Park, N.Y. — Rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White forced and recovered a fumble to set up Stephen Hauschka's 30-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining.

LeSean McCoy had 91 yards rushing and scored twice, including a 7-yard run to tie the score with 2:28 remaining. Tyrod Taylor went 20 of 33 for 268 yards and a touchdown, while Buffalo's defense forced three turnovers.

Coming out of its bye week, Buffalo improved to 4-2 under rookie head coach Sean McDermott. It marks just the fourth time the Bills have won at least four of their first six games during a 17-year playoff drought.

Jameis Winston showed no signs of a sprained throwing shoulder that sidelined him during the first drive of a 38-33 loss at Arizona last weekend. Winston finished 32 of 44 for 384 yards passing and three touchdowns. He threw an interception and also lost a fumble.

Rookie tight end O.J. Howard caught two touchdown passes for the Buccaneers (2-4), who have lost three straight.

Hauschka tied an NFL record by making 12 consecutive field goals from 50 yards or longer by hitting a 52-yarder that put Buffalo up 20-13 in the fourth quarter. The record is shared by Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould, Justin Tucker and Matt Prater.

DOLPHINS 31, JETS 28

Miami Gardens, Fla. — Matt Moore replaced an injured Jay Cutler and threw two touchdown passes in the final 12 minutes, and the Dolphins pulled off another comeback win by erasing a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Josh McCown threw three touchdown passes and ran for another for the Jets, but his interception in the final minute set up the winning field goal.

Bobby McCain stepped in front of a pass intended for Jermaine Kearse to give Miami the ball at the Jets 27 with 39 seconds left. Cody Parkey kicked a 39-yard field goal with 22 seconds to go for the Dolphins' first lead of the game.

It was the second consecutive comeback win by the Dolphins, who overcame a 17-point deficit in the second half a week ago for an upset victory at Atlanta. They've won 12 games in a row when the margin is seven points or less.

The Dolphins (4-2) earned their third consecutive victory and avenged a loss to the Jets (3-4) in Week 3.

Cutler left the game due to a chest injury with his team trailing 21-14. After the Jets took a two-touchdown lead, Moore threw scoring passes to Kenny Stills covering 28 and 2 yards to tie the game.

BEARS 17, PANTHERS 3

Chicago — Rookie safety Eddie Jackson became the first NFL player to score multiple defensive touchdowns of 75 yards or more in a game.  Jackson ran back a fumble recovery 75 yards on the game's opening possession and returned an interception of Cam Newton 76 yards for a score early in the second quarter to give Chicago a 14-0 lead.

He became the first Bears player since Fred Evans in 1948 — and the first NFL player since Tennessee's Zach Brown in 2012 — with two defensive TDs in a game.

Chicago also sacked Newton five times and intercepted him twice.

The big plays by Jackson and the defense lifted the Bears (3-4) to their second straight win even though they got dominated in just about every statistical category. Carolina (4-3) held huge advantages in yards (293-153), time of possession (38:35-21:25), offensive plays (69-37) and first downs (20-5).

Newton completed 21 of 34 passes for 211 yards and ran for a team-high 50. But the Panthers dropped their second straight game.

Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky was 4 of 7 for 107 yards in his third NFL start. The No. 2 overall pick threw a 70-yard pass to Tarik Cohen, but did little else.

VIKINGS 24, RAVENS 16

Minneapolis — Latavius Murray rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and Kai Forbath kicked six field goals.

Forbath made kicks of 52, 51, 43, 43, 34 and 32 yards to back another suffocating effort from the defense for the Vikings (5-2). Minnesota sacked Joe Flacco five times and allowed just 208 yards. Everson Griffen had two sacks and has nine for the season.

Murray averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for the Ravens (3-4), including a 57-yarder in the first half. Flacco completed 26 of 38 passes for 186 yards and a 13-yard touchdown to Chris Moore as time expired.

The nine combined field goals tied an NFL record for most in a game.

Former Vikings WR Mike Wallace left in the first quarter after a vicious hit from S Andrew Sendejo. Wallace appeared to be knocked out cold by the shoulder-to-head hit that knocked his helmet off.

Wallace was later ruled out, but appeared to be arguing with coaches on the sideline about wanting back in.

JAGUARS 27, COLTS 0

Indianapolis — Blake Bortles threw for a season-high 330 yards and one touchdown, and T.J. Yeldon scored on a 58-yard run. By ending a four-game losing streak at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Jaguars (4-3) remained atop the AFC South.

Indy (2-5) lost its second straight, both to division foes.

Bortles and the offense looked good on a day when they played without rookie Leonard Fournette, the NFL's second-leading rusher. Fournette was inactive because of a sprained right ankle.

The quarterback finished 18 of 26 with a 124.7 rating, the fourth-highest rating of his career.

While Jacksonville didn't add to its league-leading takeaway total, it matched the single-game franchise record for sacks (10), set in the season opener against Houston. And the Jags got their first shutout since a 41-0 victory over the New York Jets on Oct. 8, 2006.

Indy, strangely, was shut out for the first time since a 41-0 loss to the Jets in a playoff game on Jan. 4, 2003. Its only serious scoring chance was snuffed out with a fourth-down stop at the Jaguars 6-yard line.


Marc Marquez wins Australian MotoGP

Race winner Spain's Marc Marquez, centre, stands on the podium with second placed Italy's Valentino Rossi, left, and third placed Spain's Maverick Vinales, right, after winning the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island near Melbourne, Sunday, Oct. 22. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Phillip Island, Australia (AP) — Marc Marquez took a giant step toward retaining his MotoGP world title when he won the Australian Grand Prix Sunday, extending his championship lead to 33 points with just two rounds remaining.

Starting from pole position, the Spanish Honda rider took the race lead with seven laps remaining, then accelerated away from the field to win comfortably by 1.8 seconds from Italy's Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha teammate Maverick Vinales.

Marquez's only remaining rival for the world championship, Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso, finished 13th on his Ducati to see his title hopes all but evaporate.

Already a three-time MotoGP champion, Marquez, 24, has now won six races this season and can clinch his fourth world title with a top-two finish in either of the remaining two races.

"Amazing, amazing. I knew before the race that today was an important day," said Marquez, who crashed out while leading last year's Australian MotoGP.

"I was feeling really good and during the race I was just waiting, waiting, waiting and then in the last few laps I give all-in.

"I pushed really hard for three or four laps. The fight was amazing."

Rossi timed his run to perfection to finish second after a dogged battle with Vinales and Johann Zarco for the other podium positions.

"I enjoyed the race very much," Rossi said. "This track is unbelievable and it was a great, great race.

"All the riders in front are very aggressive so you needed to be more stupid than them, more aggressive.

"I wanted to try for the podium at the maximum and the end with second place I'm very happy."

Joan Mir was earlier crowned world champion in the Moto3 class when he won his rain-shortened race.

The race was stopped with seven laps remaining because of heavy rain with the 20-year-old Spaniard in the lead.

With his ninth victory of the season, Mir has an unassailable 70-point lead over his nearest rival, Italy's Romano Fenat, with a maximum 50 points available from the last two races.

"It's unbelievable ... I've dreamt about this for a lot of years," Mir said. "I've worked really hard for this and now to achieve it is amazing.

"I'm a world champion — it's incredible to say."

Mir's teammate Livio Loi finished second while Jorge Martin was third after starting from pole position.

Italy's Franco Morbidelli stretched his lead in the Moto2 championship to 29 points after finishing third in Sunday's Moto2 race.

Portugal's Miguel Oliveira grabbed his first win in the class, crossing the line ahead of South African rookie Brad Binder just as the weather started to turn foul.

"With three laps to go it started raining and I had a six seconds lead then I was too cautious and the gap was reduced," Oliveiri said. "I stressed a little bit. It was the longest race of my life but I'm so happy for my team."

Switzerland's Thomas Luthi, who is second in the championship standings, lost slipped even further behind Morbidelli when he finished 10th.

"I wanted to get a  podium to I was pushing really hard because I had to get this one," Morbidelli said. "It's great for the championship."


Latham helps NZ beat India by 6 wickets; Kohli hits 31st ton

New Zealand's Tom Latham plays a shot during the first one-day international cricket match against India in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Oct. 22. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Mumbai, India (AP) — Tom Latham scored his fourth ODI hundred as New Zealand pulled off a stunning six-wicket win against India with an over remaining in the first one-day international on Sunday.

Latham hit an undefeated 103 off 102 balls and added 200 runs with Ross Taylor (95) for the fourth wicket. New Zealand ended on 284-4 in 49 overs in the highest chase in ODI cricket by any team at this ground in Mumbai as the tourists took the lead in the three-match series.

"It was one of the best chases I've seen during my time with the Black Caps," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. "The way Tom and Ross controlled the innings was superb."

Earlier, Virat Kohli scored his 31st hundred as India reached 280-8 in 50 overs.

Playing in his 200th ODI, Kohli hit 121 runs off 125 balls as the Indian innings revolved around its captain thanks to a disciplined bowling effort from New Zealand.

Chasing 281, Martin Guptill (32) and Colin Munro (28) provided a solid start for New Zealand, adding 48 runs for the first wicket. Jasprit Bumrah (1-56) provided the breakthrough as Munro was caught at cover.

Kuldeep Yadav (1-64) got the big wicket as Williamson (6) was caught at extra cover. New Zealand were reduced to 80-3 in the 18th over when Hardik Pandya (1-46) got rid of Guptill, with Dinesh Karthik holding a great catch running in from deep square leg.

This brought Latham and Taylor together and their 50 partnership came off 60 balls as the duo started carefully against the Indian spinners.

Taylor scored his 39th ODI half-century off 58 balls, while Latham reached his half-century off 58 balls too, as they put on 100 off 108. Their 200 partnership came off 187 balls in the Black Caps' highest fourth-wicket stand in ODI cricket.

"Batting after keeping for 50 overs was pretty tough. It was pretty humid out there. The biggest thing is communication, and we were talking regularly between overs," Latham said after putting in a man-of-the-match performance.

Latham reached his hundred off 95 balls, becoming the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to score an ODI century against India.

Taylor just missed out on his century. Henry Nicholls (4 not out) finished up without any bother.

India won the toss and chose to bat.

Tim Southee (3-73) and Trent Boult (4-35) shared seven wickets, while Mitchell Santner (1-41) limited the hosts' scoring.

Boult struck quick double blows early on and dismissed both openers Shikhar Dhawan (9) and Rohit Sharma (20), reducing India to 29-2.

Kohli then put on 42 runs with Kedar Jadhav (12) for the third wicket. Santner had an opportunity to further punish the hosts when he dropped Kohli off Colin de Grandhomme (0-27) in the 19th over when he was on 22.

Jadhav was out against the run of play shortly afterward, with Santner making up for the lost chance and accepting a simple return catch. India crossed 100 in the 22nd over.

Kohli added 73 runs with Dinesh Karthik (37) for the fourth wicket. The skipper reached his half-century off 62 balls.

India kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Karthik holed out to long leg off Southee. It brought Kohli together with MS Dhoni (25) and the duo added 57 runs for the fifth wicket. The total crossed 200 in the 41st over.

Boult returned to account for both Dhoni and Hardik Pandya (16) as India were reduced to 238-6 in the 46th over.

However, Kohli held one end together until close to the finish. He reached his century off 111 balls, a knock that included seven fours and a six.

His ton moved Kohli past Australia's Ricky Ponting, who scored 30 ODI centuries in his career. Only India great Sachin Tendulkar with 49 is now ahead of Kohli in the list.

Kohli provided the final flourish with two more fours and a six as he added 32 runs with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (26) for the seventh wicket but the total wasn't enough.

"When you get a 200-run partnership in ODI cricket, more often than not you end up on the winning side," Kohli said. "We would have liked to have had a better batting performance."

The second ODI is in Pune on Wednesday.


Thomas birdies 2nd hole of playoff to win CJ Cup

Justin Thomas of the United States watches his shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, South Korea, Sunday, Oct. 22. (Park Ji-ho/Yonhap via AP)

Jeju, South Korea (AP) — Justin Thomas beat Australia's Marc Leishman on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the inaugural CJ Cup in South Korea and cap his breakout year on the PGA Tour.

Thomas sealed his fifth PGA title in 2017 — and his first of the new 2017-18 PGA season — when he birdied the second extra hole and Leishman made bogey after finding the water.

The pair went to a sudden-death playoff after completing the first U.S. PGA Tour regular-season event in South Korea tied at 9-under 279.

Thomas, who shared the overnight lead with Scott Brown, fell behind when he had a double bogey on the 550-yard par-5 No. 3 hole.

"I just kept telling myself it was a bad golf swing," Thomas said. "It wasn't a mental error or wasn't a wrong judgment that we made but just a bad golf swing at a pretty bad time but I knew you are going make bogeys out here today."

Thomas regained the lead and looked set for the win in regulation until he bogeyed No. 17, a 195-yard par 3 hole. But he made amends with a birdie at the last to join Leishman in the playoff.

"I really played some great golf after the third hole but it's just such a long day with these conditions," Thomas said.

Thomas said he is looking forward to some time off after his breakout season.

"I'm so excited to not do anything," Thomas said. "I officially have nothing left in the tank at this moment."

Leishman, who ended a 5-year drought on the PGA Tour when he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, then added the BMW Championship in September, looked to have slipped out of contention when he made bogeyed the 5th, 7th and 8th holes to tumble down the leaderboard. But he birdied No. 9, No. 12 and No. 14 to join Thomas at 9-under then finished bogey-birdie to get in the playoff.

Replaying the par-5 18th, the pair both made par on the first extra hole before Leishman gambled and lost on his next attempt at the 568-yard final hole, finding the water after trying to reach the green in two.

"Obviously, disappointing to finish off that way. I probably got a little bit of a lifeline on the first play-off hole and I didn't take advantage of it. You give one of the best players in the world a chance like that, he's probably going to take it. Disappointed but second is not all bad," Leishman said.

"It was a bit of a dodgy lie. I was certainly not going to lay up. I just chunked it a little bit and goes in the water. If you go down, you want to go down like that. You don't want to go down laying up and making par. I rather attack and try to take it. I would certainly sleep better at night just doing that."

Cameron Smith of Australia finished one stroke back in third place at 8-under with Whee Kim, the highest placed finisher of the 16 South Korean players in the field, finishing fourth at 7-under after closing with a 72.

Thomas' five tournament wins this calendar year included his first major, the 99th PGA Championship, which he won in August.

"I'm so pumped," Thomas added. "I probably wasn't very fun to be around those first two days. I was just glad I finally got back to myself being patient these last two days."
 


DAILY UPDATE

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South Korean Olympic organizers downplay concern over NKorea

Everton fire manager Ronald Koeman with team in drop zone

Pakistan whitewash Sri Lanka 5-0 in ODI series

Ronaldo joins Messi as five-time winner of FIFA player award

4-time Iditarod winner named as musher in dog doping case


Hamilton wins US Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead

Liverpool, Everton both fall to north London clubs

Roethlisberger leads Steelers past Bengals, 29-14

Marc Marquez wins Australian MotoGP

Latham helps NZ beat India by 6 wickets; Kohli hits 31st ton

Thomas birdies 2nd hole of playoff to win CJ Cup

 



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