Antetokounmpo argues with arena worker, flings away ladder
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo argued with an arena worker and flung a ladder away from a basket, sending it toppling over as he tried to shoot practice free throws after the Bucks’ 110-102 loss to Philadelphia on Friday night. After going 4 for 15 from the line, Antetokounmpo returned to the floor several minutes after the game ended to shoot free throws. Antetokounmpo proceeded to miss his first five foul shots in the postgame practice. One of the workers set up a 12-foot ladder next to the basket where Antetokounmpo was shooting. Antetokounmpo and moved it out of the way and the employee moved it back. Antetokounmpo had a quick, heated verbal exchange, then moved the ladder away again, sending it crashing down.
Joel Embiid, short-handed 76ers rally to beat Bucks 110-102
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 32 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers overcame a 13-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-102 on Friday night. Embiid had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the second half after 76ers star guard Tyrese Maxey left just before halftime with a left foot injury. Maxey had 24 points, five assists and four rebounds before rolling his ankle while driving to the basket against Jevon Carter. Philadelphia said he will have an MRI Saturday. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 25 points and 14 rebounds, however, his struggles from the free-throw line — he went 4 of 15 — were amplified with each attempt in the second half by a raucous Philadelphia crowd.
Infantino says double standard behind World Cup critics
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA president Gianni Infantino targets European critics of World Cup host Qatar and suggests a moral double standard in his home continent. Infantino listed Europe’s problems on the eve of Qatar kicking off its home tournament that has been dogged for years by criticism of the emirate’s record on human rights and treatment of migrant workers who built stadiums and infrastructure. He says European nations now closed its borders to immigrants who wanted to work there while Qatar had offered opportunities to workers from India, Bangladesh and other southeast Asian nations through legal channels.
Virginia basketball back on court, honors shooting victims
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Virginia’s basketball players wore sweatshirts in warmups for Friday’s game against Baylor that honored three Cavaliers football players who were fatally shot nearly a week ago. The names of those players were on the backs of the shirts, and their jersey numbers and the words “UVA Strong” were on the front. The game in the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas was Virginia’s first basketball game since the campus shooting Sunday in which the three football players were killed. The Cavaliers canceled Monday’s home game against Northern Iowa. No. 16 Virginia beat No. 5 Baylor 86-79.
Dodgers cut 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, could re-sign him
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cody Bellinger has been cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers, making the 2019 NL MVP a free agent. Rather than offer him arbitration, the Dodgers decided not to tender a 2023 contract to Bellinger. The 27-year-old outfielder earned $17 million this season, when he batted .210 with 19 homers, 150 strikeouts and a .654 OPS in 144 games. Bellinger likely would have received a slight raise in arbitration, but the NL West champions chose to let him go instead. While prized for his defensive prowess, Bellinger has endured a stunning regression on offense over the last three seasons.
Titans offensive coordinator arrested for speeding, DUI
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing is free on bond after being arrested on charges of speeding and driving under the influence early Friday morning. Downing was released from the Williamson County Jail just before 7 a.m. CST on $2,500 bond after being booked in about two hours earlier. The Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over Downing. The arrest came just hours after the Titans beat the Packers 27-17 in Green Bay on Thursday night. Downing’s offense turned in its best performance this season as Tennessee won for the seventh time in eight games. The Titans say in a statement they are gathering information.
Lamar Jackson misses practice, but Harbaugh says he’ll play
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson missed practice because of an illness, but Baltimore coach John Harbaugh says the Ravens’ star quarterback will be fine for Sunday’s game against Carolina. Jackson has yet to miss a game this season. The Ravens listed him as questionable for Sunday on their injury report. Baltimore did not rule anyone out on that injury report. Tight end Mark Andrews and running back Gus Edwards are questionable as well. Andrews was a full participant at Friday’s practice. Cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis is doubtful after missing two straight practices.
Bills’ McDermott keeps things light amid heavy snow fall
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Bills coach Sean McDermott is trying to keep things light as a major snowstorm hits Buffalo and disrupts the team’s schedule. He says the lake-effect storm that’s already dumped more than a foot of snow in some places can be a bonding experience for his team. The Bills are preparing to dig themselves out and travel on Saturday to Detroit. That’s where they will be the “home” team for a game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Buffalo is 6-3 and coming off two consecutive losses.
Suggs nails 3, Magic beat Bulls 108-107 after blowing lead
CHICAGO (AP) — Jalen Suggs nailed a wild 3-pointer in the closing seconds and the Orlando Magic beat the Chicago Bulls 108-107 after blowing a 19-point lead. The Magic led by 19 in the third quarter, only to see the Bulls tie it early in the fourth. The Bulls’ Nikola Vucevic had a chance to seal a win against his former team, but he missed two free throws with Chicago up 107-105 with 12.2 seconds remaining. The Magic got the rebound. Suggs dribbled up the right side, spun, stepped back and nailed a 3 over Ayo Dosunmu. DeMar DeRozan then missed a heave at the buzzer, giving the Magic their first win in seven road games this season. Wendell Carter Jr. led Orlando with 21 points. DeRozan scored 41.
World Cup fans ready to celebrate despite stadium beer ban
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Fans are pouring into Qatar to watch and be part of the first World Cup in the Middle East. A last-minute decision to not serve beer with alcohol at stadiums was largely welcomed by the country’s conservative Muslims and shrugged off by giddy fans. Meanwhile, the country’s vast Asian labor force also enjoyed the celebrations as the end of the tournament likely will see an economic slowdown. Qatar has faced criticism over its treatment of laborers, though Doha has made changes to its employment laws.