AP Sports SummaryBrief at 7:36 p.m. EDT | Sports

Heat’s Herro overwhelming pick as NBA’s Sixth Man of Year

MIAMI (AP) — Tyler Herro was told before the season began that he wouldn’t be in the Miami Heat starting lineup. To his credit, he saw that as an opportunity. “I said, ‘Let’s go for Sixth Man of the Year,’” Herro said. And that’s what he got. Herro was announced Tuesday as the NBA’s top sixth man this season, the first player to ever win the award as a member of the Heat. He averaged 20.7 points, nearly four more per game than any other reserve in the league, plus had a huge role in Miami securing the No. 1 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs.

State Dept.: Brittney Griner considered wrongfully detained

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says it has determined WNBA star Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia. That means the U.S. will more aggressively work to secure her release while the legal case against her plays out. Griner was detained at an airport in February after Russian authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing traces of cannabis oil. U.S. officials previously stopped short of classifying the Phoenix Mercury player as wrongfully detained. The president of the WNBA players’ union says it’s time for Griner to “come home.”

AP source: Saints agree with Mathieu on 3-year, $33M deal

The New Orleans Saints and Tyrann Mathieu have agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract, reuniting the All-Pro safety with his hometown team, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person confirmed the contract, first reported by ESPN.com, on condition of anonymity because it was not yet signed. It includes $18 million guaranteed, a sizeable investment for a safety who turns 30 next week. The Saints had been searching for help at the position after Marcus Williams signed with the Ravens in free agency and Malcom Jenkins announced his retirement.

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Abundance of goals on opening night of Stanley Cup playoffs

So much for the notion that goals are hard to come by in the playoffs. The NHL is in for another wildly unpredictable postseason if the opening night of the chase for the Stanley Cup is an indication of what’s to come. It’s a small sample size. But Game 1 losers were outscored 18-4 on Monday night, with three teams losing by four or more goals while the Kings and Oilers combined to score seven times in the only opener decided by a single goal. Even reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy posted ugly numbers after going 16-7 with a 1.90 goals against average and .937 save percentage in helping Tampa Bay win the second of back-to-back Stanley Cup titles a year ago.

Reds put slumping Votto on COVID-19 injured list

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds have put slumping first baseman Joey Votto on the COVID-19 injured list. Manager David Bell said Votto hasn’t tested positive for the virus. Votto was in the original starting lineup to face the Brewers, but showed symptoms. The six-time All-Star is hitting just .122 with no home runs and three RBIs, and had played in all 22 Cincinnati games this season. He has struck out 29 times in 74 at-bats. Cincinnati is struggling with the worst record in the major leagues at 3-19. The Reds had lost six in a row and 17 of 18 going into the series opener against the Brewers. The 38-year-old Votto tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2021.

Who? Fates of some NHL teams in hands of role players

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The fates of some NHL playoff teams will be in the hands of players light on postseason experience. In Pittsburgh, goaltender Casey DeSmith will make the first NHL playoff start of his career when the Penguins open their series against the New York Rangers. DeSmith is filling in for injured All-Star goaltender Tristan Jarry. DeSmith says he is going to treat the playoffs like any other game, saying mental mistakes pop up when a player puts too much emphasis on the stakes. There are goaltending questions in places like Washington and Nashville too as the postseason gets underway.

Leonard Ignelzi, renowned AP photographer, dies at 74

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Leonard Ignelzi, who produced breathtaking images of Hall of Fame careers, wildfires and major news events over 37 years as an Associated Press photographer in San Diego, has died. He was 74. Ignelzi was a gifted storyteller and a highly versatile photojournalist, but his biggest passions were sports and breaking news. His memorable images include Tiger Woods’ tying putt in the 2008 U.S. Open that led to his epic win, and Magic Johnson celebrating with the original “Dream Team” at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Ignelzi’s wife, Bobbi, says he died Friday in Las Vegas of a condition associated with neurological issues and frequent strokes.

Top-seeded Suns, Heat playing like the favorites in playoffs

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are the top seeds in the playoffs and at the moment, they look like it coming off impressive performances. Both have a chance to take 2-0 leads in their respective playoff series on Wednesday and are strong favorites to get it done, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. In the Western Conference, the Suns have a 10-game winning streak against the Dallas Mavericks, counting regular season games, going into Game 2. In the Eastern Conference, the 76ers continue to search for the right mix without injured NBA MVP finalist Joel Embiid. Miami won Game 1 against Philadelphia 106-92.

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Baseball signed by Zelenskyy to be sold for Ukraine relief

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy autographed a baseball for an American collector in 2019, he probably had no idea it would one day be used to help his nation during a time of need. Auctioneer RR Auction of Boston said Tuesday that the official Rawlings Major League baseball is being sold by Randy Kaplan. He’s a renowned collector of more than 500 balls that have been signed by world leaders. A portion of the proceeds will go to war relief efforts in Ukraine. The ball was expected to sell for at least $15,000 but the leading bid as of Tuesday had already exceeded that amount.

LEADING OFF: Reds’ Votto on COVID list, Windy City rivalry

A rough year for Joey Votto and the Reds got worse when the slumping first baseman was put on the COVID-19 injured list. Cincinnati owned the worst record in the majors at 3-19 when it made the move before Tuesday night’s game at Milwaukee. The six-time All-Star is hitting just .122 with no home runs and three RBIs, and had played in all 22 Cincinnati games this season. He has struck out 29 times in 74 at-bats. Manager David Bell said Votto hadn’t tested positive for the virus, but had shown symptoms. The 38-year-old Votto tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2021.

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