Thursday’s Sports in Brief
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
UFC star Conor McGregor has turned himself into police in the wake of a backstage melee he instigated that has forced the removal of three fights off UFC’s biggest card of the year.
Video footage appears to show the promotion’s most bankable star throwing a hand truck at a bus full of fighters , after a press conference for UFC 223 at Barclays Center.
McGregor was being processed and no charges had been filed as of Thursday night.
Video showed McGregor with a group of people causing chaos Thursday as they took an elevator to the loading dock at Barclays Center. He can be seen tossing trash cans and being prevented from throwing a barricade at a bus during his unannounced appearance in New York.
The New York Police Department said McGregor threw a hand truck at a bus causing minor injury to an individual on the bus. UFC said three fights on Saturday’s UFC 223 card have been scrapped as a result of the incident.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) Tiger Woods attracted most of the attention. Jordan Spieth caused the most concern.
Opening day at the Masters had a wide-open feel until Spieth hit his stride. He saved three straight pars with that superb short game. He ran off three straight birdies to take the lead. And then he fired an 8-iron at the pin on the par-3 16th, letting the club twirl through his hands as he walked away, knowing only that it was another good one. It plopped down 5 feet away.
Spieth took only 10 putts on the back nine. He made five straight birdies, a career best for him in the majors. Even a bogey on the final hole felt like a par the way he navigated out of the trees and limited the damage with a pitch that stopped inches from going in.
That gave him a 6-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.
Woods has some catching up to do. He failed to birdie any of the par 5s. He was under par one only one hole. He hit a 9-iron into Rae’s Creek. And only a pair of birdies over the last five holes enabled him to scratch out a 73 and at least stay in range, seven shots behind.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) – Tyronn Lue returned to work humbled, changed and with a new perspective.
Cleveland’s coach has been rewired by a serious health scare.
Lue was back on the sidelines Thursday night and had his blood pressure tested as the Cavaliers rallied to win in his first game following a medical absence that became necessary after he experienced ”piercing” chest pains during two games this season.
Now that he’s feeling better, Lue even joked about his heart after the Cavs overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to stun the Washington Wizards 119-115.
”I told the guys after the game, `Good job of bailing me out.’ It was tough,” Lue said. ”First game back and not having a point guard and not knowing what sets to call and what to run because you haven’t worked on it. Our rotations were a little off tonight so, I mean, I was rusty.”
Earlier in the day, Lue, who guided the Cavs to an NBA title in 2016, described his ordeal in some detail for the first time. Lue said he had been bothered by chest pains for more than a year, but when they worsened during a March 17 game in Chicago, he realized it was time to step away and get help.
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Blackhawks are not making changes behind the bench after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Team President John McDonough told reporters Thursday that he plans to bring back both coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman after a dismal season for a team that has won three Stanley Cup championships since 2010 but stumbled to a last-place finish in the Central Division this season.
”I believe in continuity, they’ve had an incredible body of success,” McDonough told reporters. ”We’re not tethered to the past. This has been a very disappointing year and our expectations are incredibly high. We’re not going to deviate from those expectations. But I believe both Stan and Joel are the guys that are going to bring this back.”
Chicago had reached the playoffs every year since Quenneville took over four games into the 2008-09 season, winning it all in 2010, 2013 and 2015. But the Blackhawks lost in the first round each of the past two years and this year was a nightmare.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) – Tim Tebow sure knows how to make an entrance.
Playing his first game in Double-A ball, Tebow hit a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw. The New York Mets minor leaguer connected on a frigid night at home for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in the Eastern League, facing Portland.
Last April, Tebow homered in his first at-bat with the Class A Columbia Fireflies of the South Atlantic League.
This time, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback sent a liner far over the fence down the right-field line as the crowd at NYSEG Stadium stood and cheered the 30-year-old outfielder.
The lefty-swinging Tebow capped a five-run first inning against righty Teddy Stankiewicz, a second-round draft pick by Boston in 2013. The Sea Dogs are a Red Sox affiliate.