- Associated Press - Monday, April 17, 2017

BASKETBALL

BOSTON (AP) - Isaiah Thomas took the floor to a deafening cheer for the Boston Celtics’ playoff opener against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night, just a day after his sister was killed in a car accident.

It was part of an emotional night for All-Star point guard who had 33-point, six assists and five rebounds in a 106-102 Game 1 loss to the Bulls.

The Celtics held a pregame moment of silence for Chyna Thomas, who died early Saturday in a one-car interstate accident in their home state of Washington. She was 22. Thomas was informed of her death following the team’s practice Saturday afternoon.

It was unclear if he’d play Sunday, and TNT’s cameras captured teammate Avery Bradley comforting Thomas on the bench during the pregame shootaround. But Thomas led the team out of the tunnel when Boston took the floor for warmups. He looked toward the rafters just before the tip-off.



On his shoes were written several messages, including “Chyna,” ”RIP Lil Sis” and “I love you.”

PRO FOOTBALL

PHOENIX (AP) - Condolences poured in for retired NFL player Todd Heap and his family on Saturday, a day after police say the former Pro Bowl tight end accidentally ran over his 3-year-old daughter with a truck, killing her.

Heap was moving the truck at his home in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb, on Friday when he struck the girl, police said. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Baltimore Ravens, Heap’s longtime former team, called the accident “knee-buckling news and an overwhelming tragedy.”

Jay Feely, who played with Heap on the Arizona Cardinals, wrote on Twitter : “My heart is broken for Todd Heap and his family. One of the kindest persons I’ve ever met and a man who lives for his family.”

Heap spent 10 seasons with the Ravens, who selected him in the first round out of Arizona State in 2001. He spent two seasons with the Cardinals before retiring with 42 career touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl after the 2002 and ‘03 seasons and was a second-team All-Pro in 2003.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Talk about some serious sticker shock!

The baseball that curiously stuck to Yadier Molina’s chest protector during a game this month was sold for $2,015 in a St. Louis Cardinals online auction. There were 58 bids for the ball, and the winner was declared when the auction closed Sunday night.

By now, most fans are familiar with the bizarre play: Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil struck out pinch-hitter Matt Szczur of the Chicago Cubs on a pitch in the dirt April 6. The ball bounced up and somehow stuck to Molina’s chest protector as the Gold Glove catcher looked around trying to find it. By the time he did, Szczur was safe at first base.

Major League Baseball looked into the play and determined there was no rules violation. Molina said he had no idea how Cecil’s pitch clung to his equipment. He was asked after the game if he put something sticky there and dismissed it as a “dumb question.”

SOCCER

PANAMA CITY (AP) - Police in Panama say national team soccer player Amilcar Henriquez has been shot dead while leaving his home.

The press chief for Panama’s National Police says the killing happened Saturday in the country’s Colon province. Authorities say a gunman shot the 33-year-old midfielder several times. Another two people were wounded. Henriquez died at a nearby hospital.

President Juan Carlos Varela has condemned the killing on his Twitter account. He is calling for authorities in Colon to find those responsible.

Henriquez was part of the Panama team that is trying to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He played in the last 20 minutes of Panama’s 1-1 tie with the United States last month and has appeared 75 times for his country.

UNDATED (AP) - A day after Major League Soccer suspended Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard for an altercation with a fan, the MLS Players Union questioned security at Sporting Kansas City’s stadium.

On Friday night the league suspended Howard for three games for profane language directed toward a fan during a Rapids’ game at Kansas City last Sunday, as well as an altercation with a fan following the match. The Rapids lost 3-1. .

The longtime U.S. national team star, who formerly played with Manchester United and Everton in the English Premier League, also was fined by MLS.

On Saturday the players’ union said it was disappointed at how the situation was handled by MLS and suggested security at Children’s Mercy park was not adequate.

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