Thursday’s Sports Briefs
LAS VEGAS (AP) Lars Eller scored the tiebreaking goal with 7:37 to play, and the Washington Capitals raised the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history after a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5.
Devante Smith-Pelly tied it with a full-stretch goal midway through the final period of the Capitals’ fourth consecutive victory over the Golden Knights, whose incredible expansion season finally ended in the desert.
So did the Capitals’ agonizing wait for their first championship since the franchise’s debut in 1974. After so many years of postseason flops and crushing disappointment, these Capitals won their fourth consecutive closeout game with a tenacious third-period comeback.
Captain Alex Ovechkin, who scored an early power-play goal, and his teammates are Washington’s first championship hockey team – and the city’s first champion in a major pro sport since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in early 1992.
Ovechkin won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP after scoring his franchise-record 15th goal of the postseason.
Terrell Owens will not attend the induction ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, an unprecedented decision by an enshrinee.
Owens was voted into the hall in February. In a statement released by his publicist, Owens says: ”While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton.”
The hall confirmed that the former All-Pro receiver informed them he would not be on hand Aug. 4 for the enshrinements. Owens added, ”After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere. At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”
Owens heavily criticized the voting process when he failed to be elected to the hall in his first two years of eligibility.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Bryan Colangelo resigned as president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers in the wake of what an investigation found was ”careless and in some instances reckless” sharing of sensitive team information.
The independent review by a law firm did not determine that Colangelo operated or was even aware of Twitter accounts that anonymously trashed some of his own players and fellow executives, and defended him against criticism from fans and the sports media.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP said evidence supported the conclusion that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, operated the four accounts it investigated, and she admitted to doing so – though also said she deleted contents of her iPhone with a factory reset of the device prior to surrendering it for forensic review, limiting the investigation.
As for Colangelo, there was no evidence he knew of the accounts before a May 22 inquiry from the sports website The Ringer for a story it reported linking him to five Twitter accounts that took aim at Philadelphia players Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and former Sixers players Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has agreed to a two-year extension running through the 2020-21 season.
The Pelicans already had informed Gentry going into the playoffs that the club would exercise his option through next season. Now he’s under contract two additional seasons under the extension announced by the club on Thursday afternoon.
Gentry has gone 117-138 in three seasons, including this season’s playoffs, when the Pelicans swept Portland before losing a second-round season 4-1 to defending champion Golden State.
New Orleans missed the playoffs in Gentry’s first two seasons, during which the team dealt with a spate of injuries to key players.
Tiger Woods will play the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open with Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, which feels like a grouping of Nos. 1-2-3 in the world ranking. Except that Woods is No. 80.
The USGA released its tee times for the U.S. Open next week at Shinnecock Hills, and it offered two stacked groups for the morning and afternoon.
Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy tee off together in the morning of the first round. Woods, Johnson and Thomas are together in the afternoon.
This is the 10-year anniversary of the USGA first putting together the Nos. 1-2-3 players in the world at Torrey Pines – Woods, Mickelson and Adam Scott.
NEW YORK (AP) – Triple Crown contender Justify glided over the track in his first trip over the Belmont Park strip.
The strapping chestnut colt is the odds-on favorite to complete the series sweep on Saturday in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes following victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
Justify arrived here Wednesday afternoon after a flight from Kentucky. Bob Baffert, his Hall of Fame trainer, was delighted with how well the horse handled the shipping and the unfamiliar surroundings on an overcast morning. Justify went 1 3/8 miles, keen and eager as he flashed by the grandstand.