NFL suspends Brady, fines Patriots

NEW YORK (AP) — New England Patriots fans can expect to see plenty of Jimmy Garoppolo in September.

The NFL has slapped Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady with a four-game suspension and fined the Patriots $1 million as punishment for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game against Indianapolis. The Pats also lose next year's first-round pick and a fourth-rounder in 2017.

The penalty likely will turn Garoppolo into New England's starting quarterback while Brady sits. Ironically, Brady's suspension will end when the Patriots take on the Colts at Indianapolis.

The NFL also indefinitely suspended the two equipment staffers who carried out the plan, including one who called himself "The Deflator."

The league cited the integrity of the game in handing down the punishment. It comes five days after a report said Brady "was at least generally aware" of plans by two Patriots employees to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch.

The Patriots say they stand by their star player, and Brady's agent says they will appeal. The team issued a statement saying it felt the punishment far exceeded any reasonable expectation.


More trouble for ex-Pat

BOSTON (AP) — Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been charged with witness intimidation, a month after he was convicted of killing Odin Lloyd in 2013.

Prosecutors say Hernandez is accused of trying to silence a witness in a 2012 double murder case against him by shooting him in the face and leaving him for dead. He is accused of gunning down two men in Boston after one caused him to spill his drink at a nightclub.


Warriors, Hawks square series

UNDATED (AP) — The Golden State Warriors never lost three straight games during the regular season, a streak that continues into the NBA playoffs.

Stephen Curry scored 21 of his 33 points while the Warriors built a 61-44 halftime lead in a convincing 101-84 triumph over the Grizzlies in Memphis. Curry hadn't scored more than 23 points in the first three games of the Western Conference semifinals before helping the Warriors even the series at two games apiece. The league MVP shot 11-for-22 from the field, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.

Draymond Green had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors, while Klay Thompson delivered 15 points.

The Grizzlies shot under 38 percent and had 16 turnovers that led to 18 Golden State points. Mike Conley finished with 10 points and seven assists but was 4 of 15 from the floor before the Grizzlies starters were lifted with about three minutes remaining.

Marc Gasol had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who head back to Oakland for Game 5 on Wednesday.

The NBA's other No. 1 seed also won on Monday. The Atlanta Hawks have regained home-court advantage from the Washington Wizards in the NBA's Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Hawks received major contributions from All-Stars Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap in a 106-101 victory in Washington, tying the series at two games apiece. Teague contributed a team-high 26 points, including a huge 3-pointer down the stretch. Horford finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Millsap added 19 points, six assists and five boards.

But Atlanta was never able to truly shake the Wizards. The Hawks led by 10 heading into the third and fourth quarters, but the Wizards were within 104-101 in the waning seconds before Paul Pierce missed on a 3-point attempt. Pierce hit the game-winning jumper in Game 3.

Bradley Beal delivered a game-high 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Wizards, who played their third straight game without All-Star John Wall because of broken bones in his hand and wrist. Pierce drained five of his seven 3-point attempts and finished with 22 points.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Atlanta.


Blatt admits mistakes...James, Irving recovering

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt admits to making a couple of mistakes in the waning moments of Sunday's 86-84 win at Chicago. Blatt acknowledged he tried to call a timeout he didn't have, which would have led to a technical foul if the officials had seen him.

He also confirmed that he initially designed an inbounds play that had LeBron James passing the ball in with 1.5 seconds left, a notion that was scrapped in favor of James taking what was the game-winning shot that tied the series at two games apiece.

Meanwhile, James and Kyrie Irving both are undergoing treatment for injuries as they prepare for Tuesday's Game 5 against Chicago. James rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Sunday's Game 4 win, while Irving is suffering from tendinitis in his left knee as well as a sprained right foot.


Rookies and Rizzo shine for Cubs

UNDATED (AP) — Long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans had to like what they saw from their team in the first inning on Monday.

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers off Jacob deGrom to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead in the opening inning of a 4-3 triumph over the New York Mets. Bryant put the Cubs ahead to stay with a two-run shot, two games after the rookie socked his first major league home run. Fellow rookie Addison Russell added an RBI single on the fourth to restore Chicago's three-run cushion.

Jon Lester earned a victory for the third consecutive start, allowing three runs in six innings. Lester was removed shortly after Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores hit consecutive homers in the sixth.

Also in the majors:

— Denard Span and Ryan Zimmerman homered while the Washington Nationals were building a 10-0 lead by the second inning of an 11-1 drubbing of Arizona. Wilson Ramos added a three-run double and Yunel Escobar went 5-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored to help the Nats coast to their fifth straight victory and 11th in 14 games.

— Delino DeShields lined a two-run double while the Texas Rangers put together a four-run second in an 8-2 rout of Kansas City. Adrian Beltre cracked a two-run homer in the fourth to chase Danny Duffy, who was tagged for six runs on five hits and a season-high six walks.

— Chase Headley had four RBIs, Brett Gardner drove in three and the New York Yankees banged out five homers in an 11-5 pounding of Tampa Bay. Headley and Gardner hit three-run shots, Mark Teixeira smacked a two-run homer and Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran added solo blasts to help CC Sabathia pick up his first victory since April 2014.

— Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit first-inning homers before Adam Jones capped the scoring with a seventh-inning blast in Baltimore's 5-2 triumph over Toronto. Ubaldo Jimenez helped the Orioles win for just the second time in seven games, striking out nine and limiting the Blue Jays to two runs and six hits in seven innings.

— The Dodgers blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth before beating Miami 5-3 on Scott Van Slyke's three-run homer with the bottom half. Zack Greinke was in line to become the majors' third six-game winner of the season until Christian Yelich hit a two-run shot off Yimi Garcia.

— Aroldis Chapman uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Phil Gosselin to score the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning of Atlanta's 2-1 verdict over Cincinnati. Andrelton  Simmons homered and Shelby Miller settled for a no-decision after limiting the Reds to a run and three hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

— Starling Marte belted a three-run homer and Pittsburgh earned its third straight win by downing the Phillies 4-3 in Philadelphia. Winning pitcher Gerrit Cole held the Phils to two runs and six hits in seven innings.

— Milwaukee coughed up a 6-0 lead and was tied 7-7 until Elian Herrera and Khris Davis homered in the eighth inning to push the Brewers past the Chicago White Sox 10-7. Carlos Gomez smacked a two-run shot in the Brewers' third straight win.

— Former Giant Pablo Sandoval returned to the Bay Area and slammed a home run in the 11th inning to give Boston a 5-4 win over the Athletics. Mookie Betts supplied a pair of RBI singles for the Red Sox, who have back-to-back wins for the first time since April 20 and 21.


Carpenter to return to Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Carpenter will rejoin the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday after missing a weekend series in Pittsburgh because of dehydration and fatigue. It's not known yet if Carpenter will start the series opener at Cleveland.

Carpenter is among the National League leaders with a .333 average and tied for the league lead with 14 doubles.


Gregg heads to the minors

CINCINNATI (AP) — Struggling relief pitcher Kevin Gregg has been sent to the minors by the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati had the NL's worst bullpen in the second half of last season and signed Gregg to a minor league deal in the offseason. Gregg was 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in 11 relief appearances, giving up 12 earned runs and three homers in 10 2/3 innings.


Smart deal detailed

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The University of Texas System regents are set to approve new basketball coach Shaka Smart's nearly $22 million contract, with most of that money guaranteed. Smart left Virginia Commonwealth University for the Longhorns and is set to get a 7-year contract. The package includes six years of guaranteed salary starting at $2.8 million in the first year and rising to $3.3 million by year 6. The contract includes an optional seventh year at $3.4 million.

The deal also includes a $500,000 payment to VCU and a two-game series starting next season.


Nadal drops from top 5

PARIS (AP) — For the first time in 10 years Rafael Nadal is not among the top 5 in the men's world rankings.

The 28-year-old Nadal has fallen to seventh a day after dropping the title match at the Madrid Open on Sunday, his fourth loss on clay this season.

Novak Djokovic remains No. 1 in the world, followed by Roger Federer and Andy Murray.