Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State University agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in sports history.
The deal surpasses the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, though the Nassar agreement involves far more victims.
Michigan State was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints about Nassar, some as far back as the 1990s. The school had insisted that no one covered up assaults, although Nassar’s boss was later charged with failing to properly supervise him and committing his own sexual misconduct.
HOUSTON (AP) – James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points to lead a balanced attack and the Houston Rockets routed the Golden State Warriors 127-105 to even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.
The Rockets didn’t trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night. They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the series opener.
P.J. Tucker added a playoff career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after struggling in Game 1. Tucker had just one point in that game and Ariza scored eight, but was limited on defense after collecting his fifth foul early in the third quarter.
MILWAUKEE (AP) – A person familiar with the search tells The Associated Press that the Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement with Mike Budenholzer to become the team’s next coach.
The 2015 NBA Coach of the Year will replace Joe Prunty, the former assistant who went 21-16 in the regular season after replacing the fired Jason Kidd in late January.
The person confirmed the agreement with the former Atlanta Hawks coach on Wednesday. The person requested anonymity because the team has not made an official announcement.
The deal was first reported by ESPN.
Harden, who led the league in scoring, has twice been a runner-up for the award, including last year when Russell Westbrook won. James has won the MVP award four times.
The winners will be announced on June 25 in Santa Monica, California during the NBA Awards show.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals – including an empty-netter in the closing seconds – to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference final.
Vegas took a 2-1 series lead and is now two wins from advancing to the Stanley Cup final. The Golden Knights improved to 5-1 at home in the playoffs, and host Game 4 on Friday night.
James Neal and Alex Tuch also scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots.
Mark Scheifele scored both of Winnipeg’s goals and has a playoff-leading 14 goals in 15 postseason games. Connor Hellebuyck had 26 saves for the Jets, who arrived in Las Vegas having outscored their opposition 23-15 in road games during the playoffs.
BALTIMORE (AP) – Having the Preakness favorite has never bothered Bob Baffert before and it doesn’t bother him with Justify.
Coming off an impressive victory in the Kentucky Derby, Justify is the 1-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s second race in a field of eight horses. Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1, but Justify is the horse to beat with the chance to give Baffert his seventh Preakness winner and a shot at a second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah did it in 2015.
Baffert is 4-0 in the Preakness with the Derby winner and doesn’t see any reason Justify doesn’t have another big run in him.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Carolina Panthers are off the market.
The Panthers announced they have signed a ”definitive agreement” to sell the team to David Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management.
The deal is subject to NFL approval.
League owners will meet next week in Atlanta, where they are expected to vote on the purchase. Since Tepper already has been vetted by the league as a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the approval process is not expected to run into any snags.
The transaction is expected to close in July, the team announced.
With bold vision, keen intellect and a gentle manner, Mike Slive guided the Southeastern Conference to unprecedented success and prosperity in 13 years as commissioner. He pushed for a college football playoff years before others embraced it and was a steadying force during a time of enormous growth and volatility throughout college athletics.
Slive died at the age of 77 in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lived with his wife, Liz, three years after retiring to battle prostate cancer. The Southeastern Conference did not provide the cause of death.
Slive replaced Roy Kramer as SEC commissioner in 2002, coming from Conference USA to help clean up an SEC that was beset by NCAA compliance issues. Soon after the SEC became the most powerful conference in college football, winning seven straight national championships and landing television contracts with the ESPN and CBS worth billions.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Katie Ledecky looked as dominant as ever in her pro debut.
She set another world record in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, shattering her previous mark by exactly five seconds and pulling away from everyone else in the IUPUI Natatorium pool.
The six-time Olympic gold medalist finished in 15 minutes, 20.48 seconds, breaking her previous mark from August 2015 at the TYR Pro Series stop in Indianapolis. After winning the heat by more than 49 seconds, Ledecky had to wait another two hours to officially be crowned event champion as the remaining timed heats continued.