Briefs: Down at half, U.S. beats Turkey atbasketball worlds


BILBAO, Spain— They figured it would be simple, that they would just beat up on Turkey like they did Finland a night earlier.

Instead, the Americans were the ones on the ropes for nearly three quarters.

“I guess we felt like last night’s game was pretty easy and tonight was going to be the same way, but Turkey came out and they gave us their punch from the beginning,” forward James Harden said. “We took it and we were sluggish. That second half we played a lot better.”

Kenneth Faried scored 22 points, Anthony Davis all of his 19 in the second half, and the U.S. rebounded from a rare deficit at halftime to beat Turkey 98-77 on Sunday in the Basketball World Cup.

A night after crushing Finland by 59 in its biggest rout ever while using NBA players in the former world championship, the Americans couldn’t take control against Turkey until early in the fourth quarter after compiling a 17-1 run.

Kahne holds off Kenseth

HAMPTON, Ga. — Kasey Kahne grabbed the lead on the restart following a caution with 23 laps remaining and held off Matt Kenseth in a two-lap shootout to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night.

Kahne’s first win of the season earned him a spot in the Chase for the Sprint cup. Kenseth also qualified for the Chase on points.

Denny Hamlin was third, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick.

Meanwhile, Tony Stewart’s much-anticipated return to racing ended a little more than halfway through the race.

Stewart hit the wall for the second time after his right front tire blew out on Lap 172, ending his night with a 41st-place finish.

It was Stewart’s first race since the sprint car he was driving struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. in an Aug. 9 race at a dirt track in upstate New York. The fatal wreck is still under investigation.

With only two laps remaining and Kahne holding a solid lead over Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch collided, forcing a caution flag and the first shootout. Harvick, who led 195 laps, had contact with Joey Logano in heavy traffic and hit the wall on the restart, bringing another caution flag and a second shootout.

Henley leads by 5 shots

NORTON, Mass. — Russell Henley made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch Sunday on his way to a 6-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship going into a Labor Day finish loaded with possibilities.

And that includes Rory McIlroy.

Coming off a week that was pedestrian by his standards, McIlroy got right back into the mix at the TPC Boston with his power and great iron play for a 64, leaving him just two shots behind on a crowded leaderboard.

“I’ve been in this position quite a lot recently,” McIlroy said. “So I know how it’s going to feel tomorrow.”

LPGA TOUR

PORTLAND, Ore. — Austin Ernst won the LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic with a par on the first hole of a playoff against South Korea’s I.K. Kim.

It was the first professional victory for the 22-year-old Ernst, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to get to 14 under at Columbia Edgewater. Kim, the first- and second-round leader, carded a 68.

Kim missed an eight-foot par putt in the playoff that handed the win to the American.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

CALGARY, Alberta — Fred Couples won the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic, chipping in for eagle for a course-record 9-under 61 and beating Billy Andrade with a tap-in birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

The 54-year-old Couples also eagled the par-5 11th and had five birdies in his third straight bogey-free round at Canyon Meadows. Andrade closed with a 62, making a short eagle putt on the par-5 18th to match Couples at 15-under 195.

In the playoff on No. 18, Andrade went for the green in two and pulled his approach right of the green and into the grandstand. Couples laid up and hit his third within a foot. After taking a drop, Andrade left his chip 30 feet short and missed his birdie putt.

Wozniacki outlasts Sharapova

NEW YORK — Caroline Wozniacki trusts her stamina so much that she plans to return to New York in two months to run a marathon.

Maria Sharapova, usually the one wearing down opponents in the third set, sure couldn’t keep up on a steamy Sunday at the U.S. Open. Wozniacki won 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in 2 hours, 37 minutes to get back to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in more than two years — and get back in the headlines for reasons other than her personal life.

“The season for me has been a little bit up and down,” she said in quite an understatement, “and it’s so nice to kind of start feeling like I’m playing the way I want to.”

Because of the heat, the players received a 10-minute break before the final set; Sharapova returned to the court late, arguing with the chair umpire after receiving a time violation warning. Perhaps sensing that she was fresher than the five-time major champion, Wozniacki later complained that Sharapova was dawdling between points.

Her tardiness seemed to swing the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd’s support squarely in Wozniacki’s favor. When the 10th-seeded Dane broke Sharapova at love to go up 3-1 in the final set, she got a standing ovation from the fans and waved her arms to egg them on. Sharapova had appeared to hit a winner three times on that game’s final point only for Wozniacki to somehow chase down the ball. Finally, Sharapova put a volley into the net.

Wozniacki mixed in just enough aggression with her signature defense to keep the pressure on Sharapova in the final set.

“She’s very good at getting a lot of balls back and making you hit another one,” Sharapova said. “In the end, I went for a little too much.”

She insisted the conditions didn’t bother her. Sharapova had been 17-6 in three-set matches this year, including her come-from-behind second-round victory here.

The fifth-seeded Sharapova’s loss leaves No. 1 Serena Williams as the only woman remaining of the top six. Ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic was also upset, losing 7-6 (6), 6-3 to 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic.

With mentor Martina Hingis cheering from the stands, Bencic became the youngest U.S. Open quarterfinalist since Hingis herself in 1997.

 

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