BASKETBALL

The Maine Celtics opened with a 13-0 run and led by as many as 36 points Friday night in a 118-91 win over the Capital City Go-Go at the Portland Expo.

Eight players scored in double figures for the Celtics (5-1), paced by Sam Hauser and Theo Pinson with 18 points apiece. Luke Kornet had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Maine led 31-17 after one quarter and 59-31 at halftime.

Former Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas was announced Friday as an injury replacement for USA Basketball’s team that will open World Cup qualifying play this month in Mexico. The two-time NBA All-Star was added to the roster, along with Justin Anderson, as replacements for DaQuan Jeffries and Frank Mason III.

The team, which includes Maine Celtics center Luke Kornet and is coached by former UMaine player Jim Boylen, begins training camp in Houston on Saturday, in advance of games in Chihuahua, Mexico, against Cuba on Nov. 28 and Mexico on Nov. 29.

HOCKEY

ECHL: Ben Hawerchuk’s goal with 40 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Jacksonville Iceman a 4-3 win over the Maine Mariners in Jacksonville, Florida.

Matthew Santos and Cameron Askew scored in a 58-second span in the first period to give Maine a 2-1 lead, and Pascal Laberge made it 3-1 with a power-play goal early in the second.

Jacksonville eventually tied it on a goal by Joey Sides with 8:38 left in regulation.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks forward Max Comtois will be out for about six weeks after surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand, the team announced.

Comtois, 22, was the Ducks’ leading scorer during the 2020-21 season, but has just one assist in 13 games this year.

• The Colorado Avalanche signed their coach, Jared Bednar, to a two-year extension that runs through the 2023-24 season.

Bednar, 49, has a 191-154-40 career mark in six seasons. He’s two wins away from matching Bob Hartley for most by a coach in Avalanche history.

GOLF

EUROPEAN TOUR: Collin Morikawa, looking to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai title, shot a second straight 4-under 68 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, leaving him three shots off the lead and in a strong position to finish the season as European’s Tour’s No. 1 player.

Shane Lowry (65), John Catlin (65) and Sam Horsfield (66) were tied for the lead at 10 under. Rory McIlroy was one shot back after a 70.

PGA: Talor Gooch shot a 5-under 65 to take a one-shot lead in the RSM Classic at St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Gooch was at 13-under 129, one shot ahead of John Huh and Sebastian Munoz. Taylor Moore and Mackenzie Hughes were two shots behind.

LPGA: Celine Boutier made seven birdies over the last 10 holes for a 7-under 65 and a four-shot lead in the CME Group Tour Championship at Naples, Florida.

Boutier was at 14-under 130, four shots ahead of Gaby Lopez (68), Minjee Lee (68) and Mina Harigae (69).

TENNIS

AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Australian Open chief Craig Tiley confirmed that everyone who attends the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2022 will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including all players.

That leaves the status of defending champion Novak Djokovic in question. Djokovic, who has refused to say if he’s vaccinated, would be attempting to win a record 21st Grand Slam singles title and his 10th title at Melbourne Park.

The tournament is scheduled for Jan. 17-30

ATP FINALS: Casper Ruud, the eighth and final qualifier for the season-ending tournament in Turin, Italy, advanced to the semifinals by defeating Andrey Rublev in the last round-robin match, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Ruud next plays No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev, the U.S. Open champion. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Alexander Zverev meet in the other semifinal.

MISSING PLAYER: China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday stuck to its line that it wasn’t aware of the controversy surrounding tennis professional Peng Shuai, who disappeared after accusing a former top official of sexually assaulting her.

Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that the matter was “not a diplomatic question and I’m not aware of the situation.”

The ministry has consistently disavowed knowledge of the issue since Peng made her accusation more than two weeks ago.

The 35-year-old former top-ranked player in women’s doubles won titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She also participated in three Olympics, making her disappearance all the more prominent with Beijing set to host the Winter Games starting Feb. 4.

SOCCER

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: FIFA changed the format for the intercontinental playoffs to be single-leg games at a neutral venue.

The winners of the matches will earn the final two spots at next year’s World Cup in Qatar.

FIFA cited “unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” when scheduling the games for June, more than two months later than the pre-pandemic schedule. A host was not announced for the two games, which will be played on June 13 and 14.

The playoffs will involve teams from Asia, South America, Oceania and the North American region.

ENGLAND: Kevin De Bruyne contracted the coronavirus while on international duty with Belgium and is isolating, Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola said.

Guardiola said De Bruyne found out on Wednesday that he had tested positive. He is back in England and is vaccinated.
The midfielder will miss a Premier League game against Everton on Sunday as well as a Champions League group game against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

BASEBALL

MLB: Clint Frazier’s tenure with the Yankees may have ended after five unfulfilling seasons when New York designated him for assignment to open a roster spot for a prospect ahead of the Rule 5 draft.

Frazier can be claimed by another major league team off waivers. If he is not, he could be assigned outright to the minors but he would have the right to reject the assignment and become a free agent because he has at least three years of major league service.

Infielders Rougned Odor and Tyler Wade also were designated for assignment.

• Texas Rangers Manager Chris Woodward got a contract extension that goes through the 2023 season and includes a club option for another year after that.

The Rangers before last season had exercised their club option for 2022. Woodward originally got a three-year contract with that option when he became the manager after the 2018 season.

• The Colorado Rockies agreed to a $14.5 million, three-year contract with catcher Elias Díaz.

Díaz, who turned 31 on Wednesday, hit .246 last season with a career-best 18 homers, tied for third-most among National League catchers. He also threw out 42.1% of base stealers, a mark only behind that of Kansas City’s Salvador Pérez.


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