Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — After a season marred by narrow defeats, Jacob deGrom became a runaway winner.
The New York Mets ace easily won the National League Cy Young Award, a reward for a historically fruitless season in Flushing. The right-hander had just 10 victories, the fewest ever by a Cy Young-winning starter.
The AL prize also reflected a change in voters’ values, with Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays narrowly beating out past winners Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber for his first Cy Young. Snell pitched just 180 2/3 innings, fewest ever by a Cy Young-winning starter. Over full seasons, Snell is the second starter to win the award with fewer than 200 innings after Clayton Kershaw logged 198 1/3 in 2014.
DeGrom easily beat out Washington’s Max Scherzer, who was seeking a third straight Cy Young and fourth overall. DeGrom got 29 first-place votes and 207 points from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Scherzer had the other first-place vote.
Snell got 17 first-place votes and 169 points to 13 first-place votes and 154 points for Verlander. Kluber had 71 points, followed by Boston’s Chris Sale and Houston’s Gerrit Cole.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The NFL’s decision to move the regular-season game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams due to the poor condition of the turf at Azteca Stadium has left many Mexicans disappointed, angered and wondering how it will affect the relationship with the league for the future.
After consulting with the players association and local officials, the NFL determined the conditions of the historic venue did not meet the standards for playability and moved the game back to the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Rams (9-1) and the Chiefs (9-1) will face off Monday night in a much-anticipated game between the top two teams in each conference.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James had a season-high 44 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, passing Wilt Chamberlain for fifth place on the NBA’s career scoring list and leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 126-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
James scored 28 points in the second half and vaulted past Chamberlain on a three-point play with 3:55 to go, finishing the night with 31,425 points. James also fell just short of the 75th triple-double of his career during his most impressive performance since joining the Lakers in the offseason.
James has moved from seventh to fifth on the career scoring list during his debut season with Los Angeles, passing Dirk Nowitzki and Chamberlain. Five of the top six scorers in NBA history suited up for the Lakers, and James reached his latest milestone during a dominant performance that had chants of “M-V-P!” raining down from the Staples Center crowd.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 14 points in his Philadelphia debut, but the 76ers collapsed late and lost to Orlando 111-106 after Terrence Ross hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds left that helped the Magic finish off a big comeback.
Orlando scored 21 straight points in the fourth quarter, then held the 76ers without a field goal over the final 3 1/2 minutes.
Butler played 33 minutes and shot 6 for 12 from the field. The four-time All-Star was acquired Monday from Minnesota in a five-player trade.
LONDON (AP) — Novak Djokovic overcame an illness — and Alexander Zverev — to advance to the last four of the ATP Finals.
Using a tissue to blow his nose between points, Djokovic was able to beat Zverev 6-4, 6-1 for his second straight victory of the tournament.
Djokovic’s passage to an eighth semifinal at the season-ending tournament was confirmed when Marin Cilic beat John Isner 6-7 (2), 6-3 6-4 in the late match.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jim Rutherford celebrated a new contract in the most expected of ways: by putting together a trade he hopes will jump-start his struggling team.
The Pittsburgh Penguins general manager signed a contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2021-22 season. Moments later he dealt forward Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Tanner Pearson.
All of it unfolded as Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skipped practice while being evaluated for an upper-body injury. Just another busy day for the 69-year-old Rutherford.
The only general manager to win Stanley Cups with multiple teams in the expansion era remains fervently committed to his job, which is why he didn’t hesitate to make a trade that sent the speedy but slumping Hagelin to the Kings for the younger Pearson, the first of what could be several moves as Pittsburgh tries to shake itself out of a 7-6-3 start.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cody Eakin scored twice, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for his third shutout of the season, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-0.
Alex Tuch and Nick Holden each had a goal and an assist, Tomas Hyka also scored and Max Pacioretty added two assists to help the Golden Knights matched their season-high scoring total. Fleury got his 412th career victory and 51st career shutout, moving into a tie with four others for 24th all-time.