Field Level Media
In the hours leading up to Thursday's NFL draft, Baker Mayfield is gaining buzz as the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Browns. Head coaches and general managers around the league believe that Cleveland will tab the Oklahoma quarterback with its first pick, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. Earlier this week, Schefter reported the Browns wouldn't rule out taking Mayfield No. 1. Browns general manager John Dorsey hasn't tipped his hand in recent weeks, telling reporters last Thursday that he remains open to "all options" with the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks.
HOUSTON—James Harden and Clint Capela recorded double-doubles, and the Houston Rockets used another third-quarter blitz to top the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-104 on Wednesday at Toyota Center to complete a 4-1 victory in a Western Conference first-round playoff series. Harden scored 15 of his 24 points in the third quarter and added 12 assists on the night. Capela capped a strong series with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
NEW YORK—Rookie first baseman Tyler Austin launched a three-run home run in the third inning to give the Yankees a three-run lead, and then made a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch in foul territory to preserve the lead in the top of the seventh inning during a 7-4 win over the visiting Twins on Wednesday night. Red-hot Didi Gregorius homered for the fourth straight game and drove in two runs, extending his major league-leading RBI total to 29, as the Yankees won their fifth straight game and ninth in their last 12.
An audio tape of a confidential meeting last October reveals that NFL owners were highly concerned about President Donald Trump's comments that were critical of players kneeling during the national anthem. The New York Times reports that it obtained the audio recording of the three-hour session in which owners, players and executives discussed the comments and felt Trump's words were fueling an unprecedented amount of backlash against the league.
An independent panel led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested sweeping reforms for NCAA basketball, most notably calling for an end to the one-and-done rule and harsh penalties for rule-breakers. The Commission for College Basketball, chaired by Rice, released its recommendations in a 60-page report on Wednesday. "We need to put the college back in college basketball," Rice said of the commission's outlook, per ESPN. "Our focus has been to strengthen the collegiate model—not to move toward one that brings aspects of professionalism into the game."
A rough night for the Minnesota bullpen led to a demotion for one of the Twins' relievers. Alan Busenitz, who gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning Monday against the New York Yankees, was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after Minnesota's 14-1 defeat. Four Twins relievers allowed a total of nine runs in 3 1/3 innings during the blowout loss. Busenitz, 27, was called up from Rochester on April 15. He made four appearances for the Twins, going 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in four innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
NEW YORK—Giancarlo Stanton homered and collected four hits while Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam as the New York Yankees rolled to a 14-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Stanton recorded his fifth career game with at least four hits and first since July 23, 2016, against the New York Mets. He hit his fifth homer of the season with two outs in the fifth off Jake Odorizzi, and he added three singles and a walk. Stanton's big night raised his average from .185 to .224.
MINNEAPOLIS—James Harden scored a franchise playoff-record 22 points in the third quarter to ignite a sudden offensive eruption as the Houston Rockets seized control of their Western Conference first-round playoff series with a 119-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 4 on Monday, April 23, in Minneapolis. Harden poured in a game-high 36 points, authoring a remarkable in-game turnaround after his 0-for-7 start. He shot 7-for-10 in the third as the Rockets matched their first-half scoring output with 50 points.
SEATTLE—Gustav Svensson and Will Bruin scored midway through the first half as the Seattle Sounders earned their first victory of the season by defeating visiting Minnesota United 3-1 on Sunday afternoon, April 22, at CenturyLink Field. Jordy Delem added an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time for the Sounders (1-3-1), who failed to score in their first three matches before earning a 2-2 tie last weekend in Kansas City.
RICHMOND, Va.—Kyle Busch made it three in a row Saturday night, April 21, winning his third race in as many weeks at the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway When Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s car slammed the wall with four laps to go, the race set up for an overtime finish—also knows a green-white-checkered.