Friday Sports in Brief | Olympian

BASEBALL

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Baseball players and owners have taken the first step toward Opening Day recovery, nearing an agreement on a proposed amateur lottery during lockdown negotiations that included a surprise one-on-one meeting between commissioner Rob Manfred and union leader Tony Clark.

Although a deal on the draft has not been reached, talks gained momentum for the first time as Major League Baseball neared Monday’s deadline for a deal that would preserve the opening day on March 31 and a schedule of 162 games.

Talks will continue on Saturday, the 87th day of baseball’s first work stoppage since 1995. The parties remain far apart on important issues of thresholds and tax rates of competitive balance, eligibility for arbitration salary, the size of a bonus pool for pre-arbitration. -eligible players and minimum wage.

In another sign of the disruption caused by baseball’s ninth work stoppage, MLB canceled three more days of spring training games through March 7. Exhibition games were scheduled to start on Saturday.

But for the first time this week, both sides expressed a sense of having moved in a positive direction.

NBA

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden had 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in his 76ers debut, Joel Embiid added 34 points and 10 rebounds, and Philadelphia routed the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-102.

Philadelphia finally got to see how their star duo worked together after Harden missed his first two games after the Brooklyn trade with a hamstring injury. The results were promising, especially where Embiid and Harden thrive – at the free throw line.

Embiid, who made 21 free throws in a double-overtime loss to Minnesota in November, was 11 of 13 from the line. Harden was 8 of 9 as the 76ers went 30 of 36 overall.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Terance Mann had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Amir Coffey added 12 of 14 in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers returned from the All-Star break with a 105-102 win over the Lakers from Los Angeles.

Luke Kennard scored 18 points for the Clippers. They earned their sixth straight victory over the Lakers in the latest meeting between the two underperforming and injury-plagued Los Angeles NBA franchises.

The Clippers also edged the Lakers by one game in the loss column while claiming the win of the season in this local derby. Both advantages could be significant come playoff time for two teams that appear to be heading into the qualifying tournament if they make the playoffs.

Carmelo Anthony missed a long jumper with 4 seconds left and LeBron James missed a tied 3-point attempt at the buzzer for the Lakers, who lost five games under .500 with their fourth loss in five games.

GOLF

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Berger had a three-stroke lead over two rounds of the Honda Classic, coming off a second straight 5 under 65 run.

First-round leader Kurt Kitayama hit the par-5 18th as darkness closed in, finishing a round of 69 and ending the day tied for second at 7 under with Chris Kirk (68). Mark Hubbard (64) was another back shot at 6 under, as was Adam Svensson – who hit all 18 greens on his way to a 65 and finished with a par.

Berger’s 130 under-10 tied for the third-lowest 36-hole score since the Honda moved to PGA National in 2007; Aaron Wise had 12 under in two rounds last year, Rory McIlroy had 11 under halfway through 2014 and Brendon De Jonge had 10 under the same year. None of them won.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Miguel Angel Jimenez hit a hole-in-one on a 6-under 66 in windy conditions to tie Jeff Sluman for the first-round lead at the Cologuard Classic.

Jimenez won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric PGA Tour Champions Championship in Hawaii and started his round at Tucson National by hitting the 193-yard par-3 seventh hole. The 58-year-old Spaniard overcame a bogey on the par-5 eighth with three birdies on the back nine to tie Sluman.

Tom Lehman tied the lead at 6 under with a birdie on the par-5 17th but failed to get up and down at No. 18 for a bogey to shoot 67. Woody Austin birdied seven and Rod Pampling went bogey free both shooting 67. Chris DiMarco and Jerry Kelly were among the six players at 68.

Defending Charles Schwab Cup season champion Bernhard Langer had three birdies but bugged the No. 18 after hitting the water on the par 4 to shoot 2 under 70.

HOCKEY

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jonathan Quick became the fourth American-born goaltender to reach 350 NHL wins, Adrian Kempe scored twice and the Los Angeles Kings extended their winning streak to four with a victory of 4-1 over the Anaheim Ducks.

Quick stopped 24 shots and improved to 25-13-9 against the Kings. He is the 24th overall goaltender in league history to reach the 350-win milestone. Ryan Miller is the top American-born goaltender with 391 wins, followed by John Vanbiesbrouck (374) and Tom Barrasso (369).

Kempe, who also had an assist, posted his fifth multi-goal game of the season – three times in the last four games – and scored seven goals in six February games.

Carl Grundstrom scored and Anze Kopitar added a goal and an assist for the Kings, who tied the Freeway Faceoff series this season at one game apiece. It was Kopitar’s first goal in seven games.

INVASION AND SPORTS IN UKRAINE

The invasion of Ukraine led to more punitive measures in the sports world when Russia was stripped of the Champions League final in St Petersburg and Formula 1 abandoned the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi .

The International Olympic Committee has also urged sports federations to move their events out of Russia or Belarus, which Moscow uses as a staging ground for its troops moving into Ukraine from the north.

The IOC statement pointed to the ostracism of President Vladimir Putin, who generously funded sporting events and was still courted by IOC President Thomas Bach and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, despite the fact that the country has corrupted sport with state-sponsored doping programs over the past decade.

But the backlash against the adoption of Russian state-owned companies as sponsors in the sport has seen Manchester United abandon the Aeroflot trade deal. The English Premier League giants cited “events in Ukraine” after the airline was banned in Britain as part of sanctions against the Putin regime.

Naomi C. Amerson