The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Grizzlies’ Morant to miss 2 games after video showing gun
Ja Morant will be away from the Memphis Grizzlies for at least their next two games, the team said Saturday not long after the NBA opened an investigation into a social media post by the guard after he livestreamed himself holding what appeared to be a gun at a nightclub.
The video was streamed by Morant to his Instagram page, and it was not archived once he stopped the stream. The Grizzlies played in Denver on Friday night; they fly to Los Angeles on Saturday for games against the Clippers on Sunday and the Lakers on Tuesday.
Morant will miss those two games, at minimum, the Grizzlies said, without any further comment.
“We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said earlier Saturday.
The league, if it finds wrongdoing, could fine or suspend Morant. Based on the Grizzlies’ statement, the earliest Morant could play again is Thursday at home against Golden State. It was not immediately clear if he was going to accompany the Grizzlies on their trip to Los Angeles.
FELLOW AMERICAN FRITZ,
REACHES MEXICAN FINAL >> Tommy Paul defeated fellow American and longtime rival Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (2) in a three-hour marathon match Friday night and secured a spot in the Mexican Open final.
The pair of 25-year-olds have squared off since they were teenagers. The Americans faced each other for the first time — when Fritz was 13 and Paul was 14 — at the 2011 USTA Boys’ 14s National Championships in San Antonio, Texas.
On Friday, Paul need nearly 3 ½ hours to beat the third-seeded Fritz in the semifinal round and became the third American to reach the final in Acapulco. Fritz accomplished the feat in 2020, and Sam Querrey won the tournament in 2017.
MEDVEDEV TOPS RUBLEV
IN DUBAI FINAL FOR THIRD STRAIGTHT TITLE >> Daniil Medvedev won his 18th tour-level title and third in a row by beating Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-2 in an allRussian final at the Dubai Championships on Saturday.
The former No. 1 extended his winning streak to 14 matches in a run that started on Valentine’s Day and included back-to-back trophies in Rotterdam and Doha.
Medvedev, on the second longest winning streak of his career, broke Rublev twice in each set and won the last five games on the hard court.
Rublev was the defending champion but quickly fell behind as he couldn’t hold his serve in the opening game.
“It’s amazing because the start of the year was not perfect,” Medvedev said on court after defeating his good friend. “So I was doubting a lot, and now it just feels better.”
Medvedev gave topranked Novak Djokovic his first defeat of the year in the semifinals.
The 2021 U.S. Open champion defeated Andy Murray to win the Qatar Open last week after rallying past Jannik Sinner in the final of the Rotterdam Open.
SKIER SHIFFRIN’S QUEST
FOR 86TH WIN EXTENDED AFTER DOWNHIL >> American skier Mikaela Shiffrin finished tied for fifth in a World Cup downhill Saturday and had her quest for a record-tying 86th career victory extended by at least another day.
The race was won by home favorite Kajsa Vickhoff Lie, who became the first Norwegian woman to win a downhill in the 56year history of World Cup skiing.
The result, however, was enough for Shiffrin to lock up her fifth overall World Cup title. She leads former overall champion Lara GutBehrami by 795 points with seven races left.
“It’s pretty wild, actually. The overall, or any season title, is always strange to explain how it feels on the day you win it when you don’t win the race,” Shiffrin said.
“The whole season the work has been amazing and it’s quite special to, before the final races, have that secure.”
Sofia Goggia finished 0.29 behind in second as the Italian secured the season-long downhill title again.
Baseball LEFTY WILL SMITH AGREES
TO $1.5M, 1-YEAR DEAL WITH RANGERS >> Left-handed reliever Will Smith agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract with the Texas Rangers on Saturday and will report to spring training.
The 33-year-old was 0-3 with a 3.97 ERA and five saves in 65 relief appearances last year for Atlanta and Houston, which acquired him on Aug. 2 for current Ranger Jake Odorizzi. The Astros declined a $13 million option on Nov. 9, allowing Smith to become a free agent as he completed a $40 million, three-year contract.
He was an All-Star with San Francisco in 2019, the final season with the Giants for current Rangers manager Bruce Bochy. Smith had a career-high 37 saves for Atlanta in 2021.
He has a 31-34 career record with 91 saves in 513 appearances over 10 seasons for Kansas City (201213), Milwaukee (2014-16), San Francisco (2016, 201819), Atlanta (2020-22), and Houston (2022).
Infielder Mark Mathias was designated for assignment to open a roster spot. He was 3 for 10 with three RBIs and three walks in five spring training games.
CHASE ELLIOTT OUT OF NASCAR
INDEFINITELY AFTER TIBIA SURGERY >> Chase Elliott is out indefinitely after undergoing a successful three-hour surgery to repair a fractured tibia, Hendrick Motorsports general manager Jeff Andrews said Saturday.
Andrews said there was no timeline on when the star NASCAR driver would return.
Elliott injured his left leg Friday while snowboarding in Colorado. Josh Berry will drive the No. 9 Chevrolet in place of Elliott in Sunday’s Cup race in Las Vegas.
Andrews said the process has begun to attain a waiver from NASCAR for Elliott to be eligible for this year’s playoffs. Waivers have been granted to other drivers for various circumstances.
Soccer WEST HAM FANS TURN ON
MOYES AFTER 4-0 LOSS >> West Ham fans turned on manager David Moyes after an alarming 4-0 loss at Brighton in the English Premier League on Saturday.
The away supporters chanted, “You don’t know what you’re doing” and “Sacked in the morning” to Moyes in the second half as West Ham extended its winless away run in the league to 11 matches with a feeble display.
The team is in 16th place in the 20-team league, two points above the relegation zone.
It was another case of the curse of Brighton for West Ham, with Moyes’ team still to beat the Seagulls in the league and leaving Amex Stadium empty-handed for the 12th time.
A penalty from Alexis Mac Allister, tap-ins for Joel Veltman and Kaoru Mitoma, and a late strike from Danny Welbeck did the damage.