Thursday Sports in Brief
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 23 points for Golden State in his anticipated return after missing more than four months with a broken left hand, but the Toronto Raptors beat the Warriors 121-113 Thursday night to clinch a playoff spot.
After being sidelined 58 games, Curry led Golden State out of the tunnel to a big ovation — as loud as his neon sneakers, one pink and one yellow. He missed his first two shots but had three quick assists, including a no-look, behind-the-back dish to Andrew Wiggins. He finished with seven assists in 27 minutes.
The two-time MVP hit a 17-footer for his first basket early in the second quarter, then got a huge reaction for a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc shortly before halftime. He was 3 of 12 from 3-point range for the game.
The NFL Players Association sent ballots to members Thursday for voting on the proposed collective bargaining agreement, giving the union a week to either ensure another 11 years of labor peace or send the matter back to the drawing board.
The NFLPA announced that votes would be accepted through March 12 at one minute before midnight. The more than 2,000 members will have a window of about 7 1/2 days to examine the 439-page document and cast a yes or no vote. Ratification requires a simple majority. So if only 1,000 ballots were returned, the union would need 501 yes votes to approve.
Every player who was a dues-paying member during the 2019 season received a ballot, the NFLPA said. Votes will be confidential and received by an independent auditor.
New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police said Williams, the team’s first-round draft pick last season, was arrested at LaGuardia Airport around 9:15 p.m. and charged. Police said Williams has a permit in his home state of Alabama — but not in New York — for the Glock 19 pistol he was carrying onto the flight. It was not immediately known whether the gun was loaded.
The 22-year-old Williams was being processed by Port Authority Police late Thursday night. Police said the matter will be handled by the Queens district attorney’s office after Williams is released.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have fired longtime visiting clubhouse manager Brian “Bubba” Harkins for allegedly aiding opposing pitchers in obtaining illegal substances to put on baseballs, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Angels don’t publicly discuss the details of internal personnel matters.
The Angels confirmed Harkins’ dismissal Thursday night to The Associated Press.
Harkins was fired Tuesday while the Angels are in Arizona for spring training. He has worked at Angel Stadium for most of the past four decades.
—By AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham.
A hotel in a Baltimore suburb on Thursday canceled the reservation of the Yeshiva University men’s basketball team over fears of novel coronavirus, the coach of the Maccabees told The Associated Press.
Later Thursday, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said the games on campus involving Yeshiva and other teams in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament would be played without fans in the stands because of three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland.
Yeshiva coach Elliot Steinmetz said the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Pikesville canceled the reservation, forcing the team to book rooms at a different hotel. A student at the Orthodox Jewish university has tested positive for the virus.
Hilton spokeswoman Laura Ford said the hotel in Pikesville is an independently owned and operated property. Hotel management did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The team is scheduled to play Worcester Polytechnic Institute Friday in the first round of the tournament.
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The Northwest Athletic Conference community college women’s basketball tournament was suspended Thursday after the host school was shut down because of coronavirus concerns.
The tournament was in its third game of the day between North Idaho College and Lower Columbia when it was announced that Everett Community College, the host school, was being closed through the weekend.
The school later released a statement saying a student at the college had tested positive for coronavirus.
The 16-team women’s tournament started Thursday and the men’s tournament was scheduled to begin Saturday. Tournament officials said it would have details later on rescheduling the tournament.
LONDON (AP) — The Premier League is scrapping pregame handshakes between players and officials as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The league said Thursday that the traditional handshakes will not take place “until further notice based on medical advice.”
“Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake,” the league said in a statement.
The French league adopted a similar measure on Wednesday.
Premier League leader Liverpool also said it will not use any child mascots on game days. The children normally walk out onto the field holding hands with the players before the game.
MILAN (AP) — The Italian soccer league will resume in full this weekend in empty stadiums, starting with the matches that were postponed last round because of the virus outbreak in Italy — including the potential title decider between Juventus and Inter Milan.
The revised Serie A calendar was announced on Thursday and followed the previous day’s decree from the Italian government that all sporting events in Italy must take place without spectators until April 3.
Six matches were postponed last week, including the Juventus-Inter game — one of the biggest matches of the season known as the “Derby d’Italia,” or Italy’s derby.
MILAN (AP) — Italy’s Six Nations rugby match against England next week was postponed on Thursday because of the virus outbreak in the country.
Italy’s visit to Ireland in Dublin scheduled for this Saturday was already postponed, but tournament organizers insisted all of the remaining matches in the last two rounds were going ahead as scheduled.
The decision to put off the Italy-England men’s, women’s and under-20 matches in Italy over March 14-15 followed the decree from the Italian government on Wednesday that all sporting events in Italy must take place without spectators until April 3. Schools and universities throughout the country have been shut until March 15.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The cycling season was plunged further into disarray after the Strade Bianche men’s and women’s races in Italy were canceled on Thursday because of the virus outbreak.
The races were to be held on Saturday, but following a meeting in the Tuscan city of Siena between the city’s prefect and mayor the decision was taken to cancel Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite, race organizer RCS Sport said in a statement.
“RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate a new date on the international cycling calendar,” the statement added.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Four-time PGA Tour winner Scott Piercy lost two endorsement deals Thursday for sharing a homophobic meme poking fun at Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and referencing far-right conspiracy theory QAnon.
Piercy this week shared a meme on Instagram on the news Buttigieg has suspended his campaign that included a reference to his sexuality as a gay man.
He doesn’t have a large following on Instagram — just under 17,000 followers — but posted an apology Tuesday “if any of my recent story posts have been offensive. I will do better!”
That wasn’t enough for Titleist, which confirmed it terminated his contract on Tuesday. Piercy had a full deal with Titleist and FootJoy products.
According to Golf Digest, clothing maker J. Linebergh issued a statement Thursday that it ended its contract with Piercy.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — More men came forward Thursday with allegations of sexual abuse by a late doctor at the University of Michigan, as the state’s attorney general insisted that the school must commit to cooperating with her office before she would move to begin an independent investigation.
The new allegations include four men who filed lawsuits against the school saying that Dr. Robert Anderson sexually assaulted them while they were members of the football, hockey and wrestling teams in the 1980s. At a news conference, two others said Anderson molested them during medical exams.
The university, located in Ann Arbor, revealed last month that it was investigating multiple allegations of abuse against Anderson, who died in 2008. Last week, it said it had received more than 100 complaints.
The lawsuits accuse the university of failing to remove Anderson despite multiple complaints about him. All identify the accusers only as John Doe.