By STEPHEN WHYNO EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman raised the possibility of next season beginning after the tentatively planned Dec. 1 start date, even while the plan remains for each team to play 82 games and the league hold a full playoffs. Much like its plan to resume this season, the league…Bettman: Next NHL season could start in December or January — Boston Herald
With one comeback after another in the playoffs, the Denver Nuggets showed themselves to be a team that falls down but doesn’t stay down. The Los Angeles Lakers noticed. They watched the Nuggets repeatedly rally from big deficits against Utah and then the Los Angeles Clippers — and, obviously, are aware that the Jazz and…Lakers vow not to let up against resilient Nuggets — Boston Herald
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — When Dwight Howard went to the Finals in 2009, it seemed to him like it might be the start of a run. His Orlando Magic team was one of the Eastern powers, and at 23, his potential seemed to just be blooming. That was 11 years ago. Howard hasn’t been…Dwight Howard sets energetic tone in Lakers’ Game 1 win — Daily News
By ANDREW DAMPF ROME (AP) — Less than two weeks after getting defaulted from the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic lost his cool again midway through a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over German qualifier Dominik Koepfer in the Italian Open quarterfinals Saturday. When Djokovic was broken at love to even the second set at 3-3, he…‘That’s just me’: Djokovic loses cool again, breaks racket — Boston Herald
Five days later, his parting words still scrape on the eardrum. Did Paul George really say that the Clippers’ 2019-20 season wasn’t a matter of “championship or bust?” Technically, he is correct. There is no record of either George or Kawhi Leonard promising that the Clippers would be this year’s champions. Practically, it is one…Whicker: Lakers, unlike the Clippers, don’t ask you to wait until next year — Press Telegram
PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper hit a tying, two-run double and scored the go-ahead run on an error following Alec Bohm’s infield single, helping the Philadelphia Phillies rally to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 Friday night and earn their first doubleheader sweep in eight years. Zach Eflin struck out nine in a four-hitter and Harper […]Blue Jays swept in doubleheader by Phillies after Harper leads late rally – Sportsnet.ca — PressNewsAgency
HILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper hit a tying, two-run double and scored the go-ahead run on an error following Alec Bohm’s infield single, helping the Philadelphia Phillies rally to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 Friday night and earn their first doubleheader sweep in eight years.
Zach Eflin struck out nine in a four-hitter and Harper went deep in Philadelphia’s 7-0 win in the opener.
The Phillies came back twice in the nightcap.
Rafael Marchan hit his first career homer as a professional, a three-run drive in the fourth that tied it at 5. That came after Mickey Moniak, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft, lined a single to right for his first hit in the majors.
Marchan didn’t go deep in 846 plate appearances over four seasons in the minors, but the 21-year-old Venezuelan catcher connected in just his fifth time up in the big leagues.
Randal Grichuk’s sacrifice fly gave the Jays a 6-5 lead in the fifth and Connor Brogdon walked No. 9 batter Danny Jansen on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs, forcing in another run.
Rafael Deolis (2-2) struck out Andrew McCutchen looking with runners on second and third for the second out in the sixth. With a base open, the Blue Jays went after hot-hitting Harper and he delivered.
Harper hit a drive high off the wall in left-centre, slid into the second and got up pumping his fist. Bohm followed with a grounder to second baseman Joe Panik. He beat the throw to Deolis covering first and the ball got away for an error, allowing Harper to score.
Brogdon (1-0) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings for his first career win. Hector Neris finished for his fifth save in eight chances. He retired Cavan Biggio on a liner to centre with two runners on to end it.
Jays starter Ross Stripling yielded three runs in 3 1/3 innings.
McCutchen hit a solo homer in the third.
Philadelphia’s David Hale made his first start since 2015, allowing two runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings. JoJo Romero gave up three runs on three hits, recording just one out.
Teoscar Hernandez blasted his 15th homer out to left to cut it to 2-1 in the fourth. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Santiago Espinal had RBI singles, and Biggio’s two-run single extended the lead to 5-2.
In the opener, Eflin (3-2) threw 92 pitches for his third career shutout and fifth complete game, though this one was seven innings. All of his strikeouts were swinging, including three in the first on curveballs.
“We had a game plan going in of mixing a little more offspeed so that worked out obviously in the first inning and I kind of really just carried that momentum,” Eflin said. “Had good spin on it and I knew it was going to work so I just went with that and made them respect all the pitches I was throwing.”
Harper hit 878 feet of homers in a loss Thursday night against the Mets and connected for his third shot in two games to ignite a five-run fifth against Robbie Ray (2-5).
Toronto has lost five in a row but entered with a 4 1/2-game lead over Seattle for the final wild card in the AL.
The injury-depleted Phillies, missing Nos. 2, 4 and 6 hitters Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura, are 26-25. They began the day with a half-game lead over St. Louis for the last wild card in the NL.
Philadelphia hadn’t won a doubleheader since Sept. 9, 2012 against Colorado, going 0-12-9 before rallying for the sweep.
Ray gave up five runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings in his third start for the Blue Jays after being acquired from Arizona before the trade deadline.
The Phillies sent right-handers Juan Geraldo, Brandon Ramey and Israel Puello to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the trade for right-hander David Phelps on Aug. 31.
Phillies: Segura didn’t play after he was drilled with a 98 mph fastball in the left elbow Thursday night. … Realmuto (hip) is expected to miss the weekend. … Hoskins (elbow) is uncertain to return this season. … OF Jay Bruce was reinstated from the injury list.
RHP Vince Velasquez (0-1, 6.46 ERA) starts for the Phillies on Saturday night while the Blue Jays haven’t announced a starter yet.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — If Denver coach Mike Malone and LeBron James are friends now, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, Malone said, it was probably his willingness to be hard on the budding Cleveland star that helped earn him respect. For five years as a Cavaliers assistant under Mike Brown, Malone was…Denver’s Mike Malone pushed LeBron James to be better in Cleveland — Daily News
By JOE REEDY ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas. Pujols connected for a solo homer with two outs in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin’s fastball on a 1-2 count…Pujols passes Mays for 5th on HR list with No. 661, adds 662 — Boston Herald
Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, from left, Kostas Antetokounmpo, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, right, shout at members of the Denver Nuggets on the court during the first half an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard…Lakers start strong this time, blow out Nuggets in Game 1 — Press Telegram