Sports briefs: Froome keeps lead as teammate crashes

Cycling: Froome keeps lead as teammate crashes Chris Froome was reminded just how quickly the Tour de France title could slip from his grip as his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas suffered a freak crash in Monday's 16th stage. The day's laurels went t...

Cycling: Froome keeps lead as teammate crashes

Chris Froome was reminded just how quickly the Tour de France title could slip from his grip as his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas suffered a freak crash in Monday’s 16th stage.
The day’s laurels went to Spaniard Ruben Plaza Molina although the action was well behind the leaders as Thomas, Froome’s key lieutenant, was sent flying off the road.
Thomas bumped into Frenchman Warren Barguil during a tricky descent and collided head first into a telegraph pole, disappearing over the road into the vegetation.
“Everyone was anticipating that descent as a critical moment of the race,” Froome said.
Welshman Thomas, who is sixth overall, was back on his bike quickly and reached the finish incurring only minor losses.
Among his main rivals, only Alberto Contador attacked Froome in the climb up the Col de Mense but the Spaniard could not open up a telling gap.
Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali, who fell out of contention in the Pyrenees, also attacked to pull away but Froome did not bother chasing the Italian on another hot day on the Tour.
Froome still leads Colombian Nairo Quintana by 3 minutes and 10 seconds and third-place Van Garderen is 3:32 off the pace going into today’s rest day.

NBA: Nuggets trade Lawson to Rockets

While he was at an alcohol treatment center, point guard Ty Lawson was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Houston Rockets, multiple media outlets reported.
Lawson is “excited” about the trade, his agent told KRIV-TV in Houston.
“He’s close with James (Harden), tight with Corey (Brewer), knows Trevor (Ariza) and Dwight (Howard) and is real excited,” agent Happy Walters said. “It’s an opportunity for him. He’s been deep in the playoffs before, but this is something he feels really good about.”
The Rockets reportedly sent forward Kostas Papanikolaou, guard Pablo Prigioni, center Joey Dorsey, guard Nick Johnson and a protected 2016 first-round pick to the Nuggets. Denver sent Houston a 2017 second-round draft pick.
Last Tuesday, Lawson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence for the second time in the past six months. Lawson attended a pretrial hearing Friday in Denver after his Tuesday arrest in Los Angeles. He was arrested on the same charge in Denver in January.
Lawson entered the Cliffside Malibu treatment facility, a celebrity rehabilitation center in California for patients with addiction and psychiatric issues, for a 30-day stay starting Saturday.

  • The Detroit Pistons signed rookie guard Darrun Hilliard to a contract Monday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the deal is reportedly for three years.

The Pistons also announced that they have re-signed guard Reggie Jackson and center Joel Anthony. Earlier this month, Jackson agreed to terms on a five-year, $80 million contract and Anthony agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal.
College basketball: NCAA tourney receives tweaks


The NCAA men’s basketball tournament selection committee has been given more flexibility to create the best matchups for the first weekend of the event.
In a minor tweak to the seeding rules for the tournament, the NCAA announced Monday that the selection committee will be allowed to place the final four at-large teams according to overall seeding.
Since the First Four round was instituted in 2011, the final four teams voted into the tournament had been locked into the opening round. They always had played the bottom four conference tournament winners.
Now, the last four at-large teams in the committee’s overall seeding will play in the First Four.
The NCAA also will allow the committee to move the fifth overall seed out of its natural geographic area to avoid meeting the top overall seed.

NHL: Quebec eyes expansion team

Canadian telecom and media conglomerate Quebecor Inc. submitted a formal expansion application to the NHL on Monday in an effort to return a team to Quebec City.
The Montreal-based company had been widely expected to make a bid as part of its efforts to bring the NHL back to a city that has not had a team since the Nordiques left for Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995.
The NHL set Monday as the deadline for potential expansion team owners to submit their bids which, according to multiple reports, must include a $10 million down payment.
Interested parties also face an Aug. 10 deadline for forwarding financial and arena details.
The NHL has not expanded since adding its 29th and 30th teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, in 2000.
According to a survey released by Forbes last November, the average NHL team was worth an all-time high of $490 million, an 18.6 percent increase from the previous year.

  • The Nashville Predators re-signed forward Craig Smith to a five-year, $21.25 million contract on Monday. The sides agreed to the deal after a salary arbitration hearing Monday, Sportsnet reported. Smith, 25, had 23 goals and 21 assists last season and added two goals and three assists in six Stanley Cup playoff games.


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