Redskins

Rivers hurt, Hornets top Heat 96-89

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Rivers hurt, Hornets top Heat 96-89

MIAMI (AP) Anthony Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 96-89 victory over the Miami Heat in the teams' preseason finale on Friday night, a game where LeBron James and Austin Rivers left after scary falls in the third quarter.

James appeared to escape relatively unscathed, after getting an inadvertent foot in the face from Hornets' center Robin Lopez as they jostled for a rebound.

But Rivers' issue looked far more serious, with him spraining his right ankle for the second time in four days. The No. 10 overall pick out of Duke in this year's draft did not return after seeming to twist his ankle backward. He was tended to for a couple minutes, then walked to the Hornets' locker room gingerly but without assistance.

Chris Bosh led Miami with 21 points, James scored 19 and Dwyane Wade finished with 15 for the Heat, who shot only 38 percent and were outrebounded 45-39.

Greivis Vasquez scored 18 points, Ryan Anderson added 17, Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Lopez scored 11 for the Hornets.

Both teams finished the preseason with 4-4 records.

Miami opens defense of its NBA title at home on Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics - the team the Heat needed seven games to oust in a classic Eastern Conference finals last spring. The Hornets open Wednesday, playing host to the San Antonio Spurs.

It was a strange, sloppy game in many ways, at least for the opening portion. The Heat missed 12 of their first 16 shots, many at the rim. James looked like he twisted an ankle in the opening minutes, limping for a few moments after tightening the laces on his shoe but staying in the game. He missed two dunks, and Wade missed one after an alley-oop lob from the reigning league MVP.

It was also entertaining, in the sense that neither team led by more than six points for the first 47-plus minutes - not until Anderson's 3-pointer with 45 seconds left gave the Hornets a 94-86 lead, all but sealing the outcome.

What was more paramount, at least from the New Orleans perspective, was the Rivers matter. He was cutting on the left wing and seemed to make contact with Miami guard Norris Cole, who also grimaced and fell over on the play. Rivers couldn't get up for several seconds, then initially could not put any weight on his ankle once he got to his feet.

He said earlier in the week that he intended to be ready for the season opener - and the Hornets even had him in the starting lineup Friday night, apparently satisfied that the ankle injury from an awkward landing on a layup attempt against Dallas on Monday night was sufficiently healed.

Earlier Friday, the Heat got their roster down to 16 players - one over the maximum to start the season - by waiving forwards Rodney Carney and Jarvis Varnado. Carney averaged 6.8 points in five preseason games. Varnado didn't appear in any preseason games because of injury issues.

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.

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Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

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USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.