APTOPIX NBA Finals Lakers Heat Basketball

Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) celebrates with his teammates after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are back atop the NBA world.

The Lakers are champions again, beating the Miami Heat 106-93 on Sunday night to end the NBA Finals in six games.

It’s the 17th championship for the Lakers, tying Boston for the most in league history.

And it’s the fourth crown for James, who has now carried three teams to championships and won four NBA Finals MVP awards.

It caps a season where the league dealt with the pandemic, created a bubble and said farewell to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant — to whom this L.A. playoff run was dedicated.


ATLANTA — Dan Quinn, who guided Atlanta to the Super Bowl for only the second time in franchise history but infamously squandered a 28-3 lead to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, was fired on Sunday night in his sixth season as the Falcons coach.

The Falcons have also fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

The moves came hours after the Falcons started 0-5 for the first time since 1997, which included becoming the first team in NFL history to squander fourth-quarter leads of at least 15 points in back-to-back games.

The decisive game for Quinn was a 23-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, leaving him with an overall record of 43-42 but just 14-23 since the beginning of the 2018 season. He was 3-2 in two postseason appearances.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the third quarter against the New York Giants on Sunday and was immediately taken to a hospital, where surgery for a fracture dislocation was planned.

Prescott was hurt at the end of a run in the third quarter, his right ankle bending awkwardly as defensive back Logan Ryan’s right foot made contact with it as the two went to the turf.

After medical personnel tended to him on the field, Prescott was helped up and hopped on his left foot to get onto the cart. He buried his face in a towel as teammates came over to wish him well. He was given a standing ovation as he was taken off the field.

Prescott has never missed a start in four-plus seasons with the Cowboys and was on track to have a career year. His 1,690 yards passing in the first four games put him on pace to become the first NFL quarterback to throw for more than 6,000 in a season.

Prescott was 14 of 21 for 166 yards and a touchdown before leaving with the Cowboys ahead 24-23. Andy Dalton finished for Prescott, and the Cowboys won 37-34 on a field goal as time ran out.

NEW ORLEANS — Saints receiver Michael Thomas has been suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team after punching a teammate during practice, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the altercation have not been released.

The person said that Thomas, who has been working his way back from a Week 1 ankle sprain, was on schedule to make his return to action on Monday night against the Los Angeles Chargers until he lost his cool near the end of Saturday’s practice and punched defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, the person said.

Thomas was kicked out of practice immediately after the incident and then was informed after a video review of the incident by coaches that he would be sent home until after Monday night’s game, the person said.


NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Sei Young Kim shot the best round of the week in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, closing with a 7-under 63 at Aronimink for a five-shot victory and her first major championship.

Kim had 10 victories, the most of any player on the LPGA Tour without a major. The 27-year-old South Korean changed that Sunday in dominant fashion. She won by five over seven-time major champion Inbee Park, who closed with a 65.

Kim became the ninth first-time champion in the last 10 majors on the LPGA Tour.

LAS VEGAS — Martin Laird lost a chance to win by making bogey on the 18th hole, only to redeem himself in a three-way playoff by making a 20-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Laird ended seven years without a victory in a year filled with so much doubt, which included knee surgery right about the time golf was set to resume from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 37-year-old Scot needed a sponsor exemption to play the tournament he won in 2009. He ended it with a birdie to beat Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook.

VIRGINIA WATER, England — Tyrrell Hatton held off a final-round challenge by Victor Perez to win the BMW PGA Championship by four strokes, giving the English player a first victory on home soil at a tournament that inspired him to become a professional.

Hatton shot 5-under 67 to finish at 19-under 269, capping a week when he shot in the 60s every round around Wentworth’s storied West Course.

CARY, N.C. — Ernie Els birdied the final two holes, running in a 40-footer in the rain on the last, for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke victory over Colin Montgomerie in the SAS Championship.

Els made the long putt on the par-4 18th three weeks after missing a 2-foot putt on the final hole of the Pure Championship at Pebble Beach to finish a stroke out of a playoff.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR will crown a new champion this year following Kyle Busch’s elimination in the second round of the playoffs.

Chase Elliott won Sunday on the hybrid road course-oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where four drivers were trimmed from title contention. That included Busch, who becomes the first reigning champion eliminated in the second round since this began in 2014.

Elliott won his fourth consecutive road course race dating to last season. He advanced to the round of eight for the fourth straight year. Elliott has never raced for the championship.

CONCORD, N.C. — AJ Allmendinger splashed his way through a torrential rainstorm that turned Charlotte Motor Speedway into a slip-and-slide Saturday to win the Xfinity Series race on the hybrid road course-oval “Roval.”

Allmendinger won for the second time this season in 10 starts for Kaulig Racing.

Allmendinger’s victory in near darkness on a soaking wet track ended a sloppy race marred by multiple slides through standing water. It was an elimination race for the Xfinity Series playoffs and Harrison Burton, Brandon Brown, Michael Annett and Riley Herbst were knocked from title contention.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres are banking on Taylor Hall to turn what was a long and unsettled offseason into a far brighter immediate future.

Buffalo became the surprise team to win the Hall free-agency sweepstakes by signing the 10th-year forward and six-time 20-goal-scorer to a one-year, $8 million contract Sunday night.