Gary Payton suspended
Miami Heat guard Gary Payton was suspended for one game without pay on Monday for talking back to the NBA official who ejected him during a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Payton will serve the suspension on Monday when Miami hosts the Charlotte Bobcats. On Saturday, Payton was ejected by official Mark Davis for arguing a call. Before leaving the floor, Payton leaned in close and said something to Davis. The Heat won the game 117-98. The 16-year veteran is averaging 5.6 points and 2.9 assists this season, both career lows.
Costa to captain Brazil
Former player Francisco Costa was named as captain of Brazil's Davis Cup team on Monday. Costa, whose highest ATP rank was No. 140 in 2000, replaced Fernando Meligeni, the Brazilian Tennis Confederation said. Meligeni resigned in December after complaining that the confederation gave low priority to the Davis Cup. The 33-year-old Costa, who quit playing professionally in 2005, had one Davis Cup appearance. "We'll always work to have Brazil in the Davis Cup's World Group, but we also need to think about revamping the team," Costa said.
Dominican Republic wins
Julian Tavarez pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning and the unbeaten Dominican Republic eliminated defending champion Venezuela from title contention in the Caribbean Series with a 7-1 win Monday. It was the second time in four days that the Dominican Republic's Cibao Eagles (4-0) defeated Venezuela's Aragua Tigers (1-3), including a 4-3 victory in 18 innings on Friday. In the late game on Monday, Armando Rios hit a two-out, two-run single in the 10th inning to send Puerto Rico to a 4-2 victory over winless Mexico. With two days of competition remaining, Puerto Rico's Carolina Giants (3-1) are the only team still capable of beating out the Dominican Republic for the crown.
Dead kicker was drunk
University of Southern California kicker Mario Danelo was drunk when he plunged over a cliff to his death, but the coroner's office on Monday was unable to say why he fell. A toxicological report accompanying Danelo's autopsy report said he had a 0.23 blood-alcohol level, nearly three times the legal limit in California. The autopsy report said the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries, but "because of the unanswered questions, we are stating the manner of death as undetermined," Deputy Medical Examiner Jeffrey Gutstadt of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office wrote in the report.
Millions watch Super Bowl
The NFL Super Bowl game between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears was watched by 93.2 million people in the US on Sunday, the third-largest television audience in US history. It was the second-most watched Super Bowl, trailing the 1996 championship game, which had 94.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday. The only other program that drew a bigger TV audience was the 1983 series finale of the Korean War-based situation comedy MASH, which was watched by nearly 106 million people -- 77 percent of the people who watched TV that night. Indianapolis won the game 29-17, which was broadcast on the CBS television network.
Coach cagey on future
With a third Asean championship title in the bag, Singapore's soccer chiefs are sure of one thing -- their heart belongs to Raddy. Inspirational coach Raddy Avramovich led his charges to a dramatic two-legged victory over Thailand at the weekend for Singapore's third regional title and the city state's soccer officials are desperate to hang on to their man. Avramovich, though, has been cagey about his plans ever since Sunday's second-leg clincher in Bangkok. "Two years is a long time and you never know," was the 57-year-old's enigmatic reply to reporters' questions on whether he would be at the helm in 2009 when Singapore defend their crown.
Hamburg goals too small
Hamburg SV have scored fewer goals than any Bundesliga club this season and the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper has discovered one possible cause -- the goals in their home stadium could be too small. The newspaper reported that the goals in the Hamburg Arena stand 2.39m high, with the crossbar 5cm lower than the prescribed 2.44m. "Obviously we're going to measure that again," HSV spokesman Joern Wolf told Germany's SID sports news agency. "If those numbers reported are correct, we will make sure we have a new goal in place that conforms with the rules by the next match against Borussia Dortmund. It's a good thing no one hit the crossbar last week in the Energie Cottbus match."
Olympians lose to Chelsea
China's 2008 Olympic team lost their first match against a Chelsea XI 1-0 on Monday while officials moved to quell complaints about the pitch at the English champions' training center. Chinese media reported complaints from the under-21 side about the state of the facilities at the London club's Cobham centre, where they are training for two weeks. "The pitch isn't as good as we imagined," Zhou Haibin, a midfielder with Chinese champions Shandong Luneng, told Titan sports newspaper.
Aggressive ball boy banned
A ball boy was banned on Monday for hitting a goalkeeper with an iron bar during a regional match at the weekend. The Paulista (Sao Paulo state) soccer federation said on its Web site that Carlos Marcio dos Reis had been suspended for 30 days over the incident during the second division match between Comercial and Botafogo-Riberao Preto. Comercial's Palma Travassos stadium was also closed until further notice and the federation will in future select the ball boys for the team's home matches. TV pictures showed the boy hiding the ball behind an advertising board instead of handing it to Botafogo goalkeeper Marcao. When Marcao tried to fetch the ball, the two argued and the boy hit the goalkeeper several times with an iron bar.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7