Sports News Roundup: Most Australian athletes against protest in Olympic competition; World Rugby introduces joint men's and more
NBA roundup: Lillard, Blazers claim final play-in berth Damian Lillard scored 42 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers escaped with a 134-133 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night near Orlando to clinch the eighth seed in the Western Conference and a berth in the play-in series against the Memphis Grizzlies.Devdiscourse News Desk | Melbourne | Updated: 14-08-2020 13:40 IST | Created: 14-08-2020 13:27 IST
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NHL roundup: Jackets rebound, even series with Lightning
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Toronto. Defenseman Ryan Murray and Alexander Wennberg also scored, and Pierre-Luc Dubois had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who evened the series at one victory apiece after a crushing five-overtime defeat in Game 1 on Tuesday.
Most Australian athletes against protest in Olympic competition
A vast majority of Australian athletes believe messages of personal or political protest should not be delivered in Olympic competition or on the medallists' podium, a survey conducted by the country's athletes' commission said on Friday. More than 80% of 496 respondents said protesting on the field of play would "detract from the performance or experience of athletes", according to the survey by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Athletes' Commission.
NBA roundup: Lillard, Blazers claim final play-in berth
Damian Lillard scored 42 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers escaped with a 134-133 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night near Orlando to clinch the eighth seed in the Western Conference and a berth in the play-in series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Following games of 51 and 61 points, Lillard helped Portland (35-39) clinch by scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer from the edge of the NBA logo at halfcourt. He produced his 11th game of at least 40 points this season by shooting 13 of 22, including 8 of 14 on 3-point attempts.
World Rugby introduces joint men's, women's World Cup host selection
World Rugby will award hosting rights for the next two men's and women's Rugby World Cups in the same dual process, the sport's global body announced on Thursday. Bids for the 2027 and 2031 men's Rugby World Cups, as well as the women's tournaments in 2025 and 2029, will be conducted as part of a joint exercise, World Rugby said, possibly boosting the chances of non-traditional rugby nations making a successful bid.
MLS condemns 'appalling' abuse against Dallas' Cannon
Major League Soccer (MLS) on Thursday condemned fan abuse against FC Dallas and Nashville SC players who kneeled during the national anthem and reiterated their support for those that opt to peacefully protest against social injustice. Players from both teams took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement before Wednesday's game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, but their gesture was overshadowed by booing from a small section of fans.
Sister Act: Serena beats Venus to reach Lexington quarter-final
Serena Williams survived another scare to beat older sister Venus 3-6 6-3 6-4 on Thursday in the latest instalment of their reluctant on-court sibling rivalry to reach the quarter-finals of the inaugural Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. Serena, who in her first-round match of the spectator-free tournament was five points from defeat against world number 60 Bernarda Pera, had to rally back from a set down and 4-2 final set deficit to prevail in a thrilling battle.
Sputtering Blues brace for Game 2 versus Canucks
Losing the first game of their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series doesn't put the defending champion St. Louis Blues on the ropes. However, another defeat at the hands of the upstart Vancouver Canucks in Friday's Game 2 in Edmonton would have the Blues in a rough spot.
WTA roundup: Serena rallies past Venus in Lexington
Serena Williams overcame a shaky opening set on Thursday to rally past her sister, Venus Williams, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the quarterfinals at The Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky. Serena Williams, the top seed in the event, improved to 19-12 in the all-time series between the sisters, winning the first meeting since the third round of the 2018 U.S. Open.
MLB roundup: Darvish dominates as Cubs edge Brewers
Yu Darvish carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs held on for a 4-2 win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night. Brewers slugger Justin Smoak broke up Darvish's no-hit effort with one out in the seventh when he ripped a solo home run down the right-field line. The blast marked the only hit of the night against Darvish (3-1), who walked two and struck out 11 before yielding to the bullpen to start the eighth.
Andreescu will not defend U.S. Open title
Bianca Andreescu said on Thursday she will not defend her title at the U.S. Open in New York as the COVID-19 pandemic has compromised her ability to reach her highest level of form. The 20-year-old Canadian, who has not competed since she suffered a knee injury last October at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, joins a growing list of high-profile players to pull out of the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 event.