Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Former Angel pitcher Harvey suspended for 60 days after admitting taking pills with Skaggs; Tiger and McIlroy regret Mickelson out for Championship; plus more

Los Angeles Angels Matt Harvey shown pitching against the Houston Astros on Jul 18, 2019 at the Big A in Anaheim the same year he was to have taken oxycodone pills with the late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs (AP file photo)

On Headline Sports with Jessica:

#1 Former New York Met and Los Angeles Angel and current Baltimore Oriole pitcher Matt Harvey has been suspended 60 days stemming from his taking oxycodone pills with former and late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

#2 Skaggs died from  asphyxiating on his own vomit and had oxycodone and cocaine in his system. Eric Kay the Angels former Communications director was convicted for distributing the drugs as five former Angels players testified. Kay is looking at 20 years in jail.

#3 Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods said it was “unfortunate” and “sad” that Phil Mickelson is not attending the 2022 PGA Championship. Mickelson is taking some time away from golf. Mickelson said that he was going to join the Saudi Super Golf League and had said even with the knowledge that the Saudi King was alleged to have ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi Mickelson said he would still be interested in joining the Saudi Super League and got a lot of criticism for that decision and has been quite since.

#4 Jessica, the NBA is working with the WNBA on Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian prison. Griner had been imprisoned since February and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert are working side by side. Silver said that he’s been working with the White House, State Department, and hostage negotiators for Griner’s release. The Russian Government has offered to release Griner for the Merchant of Death Viktor Bout.

#5 Jessica, the Boston Celtics played last night against the Miami Heat in game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Miami. The Celtics were without Al Horford health and safety issues and Marcus Smart is out with a foot injury both are day to day and could return Thursday night.

Join Jessica for Headline Sports podcasts every other Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Will US exchange Griner for Russia’s Merchant of Death? Plus NBA Conference Final predictions

WNBA and Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner is led away in handcuffs by Russian authorities as seen here Fri May 13th is up for prisoner exchange for The Merchant of Death Viktor Bout. The deal is up for consideration between the Russian and US governments. (photo from the Toronto Globe and Mail)

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony R:

#1 Tony, could you talk about the chances that you see in a prisoner swap Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner for Russia’s The Merchant of Death Viktor Bout?

#2 Griner no doubt is the face of basketball was stopped at the Moscow Airport for alleged drug possession of vape cartridges that contained hashish oil. Griner has been detained in Russia since February. Talk a little about her mental state and how she’s holding up through this process?

#3 Tony NBA playoffs Western Conference Finals are about to tip off starting on Wednesday night at Golden State with the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors. All the talk has been about the Mavericks Luka Doncic. Will he be and the Mavericks be enough to get by Golden State in this third round?

#4 The Mavericks had a rather close series against the Phoenix Suns who had the best record in the NBA regular season and overcame adversity with a 4-3 series win. How much of a force would you say Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jalen Brunson have been for the Dallas offense?

#5 Turning to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals the Boston Celtics are coming off a best of seven series win over the Milwaukee Bucks and tip off against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in game 1 tonight in Miami.

Join Tony for Headline Sports each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Aces blow out Mercury in season opener 106-88

Phoenix Mercury’s Shey Peddy, front right, drives around Las Vegas Aces’ Dearica Hamby (5) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Friday, May 6, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

By Shawn McCullough

Three Aces scored 20 or more points as Las Vegas routed the Mercury, 106-88, at Footprint Center in Phoenix.

“We will take 1-0,” said head coach Becky Hammon on the win. “The girls came out locked and loaded and ready to play.  We played well and I know we can still play better.”

Hammon coached her first game as the head coach of the Aces.

“It was super fun,” said Hammon. “I could feel how bad they wanted it for me.  That was the most special thing about it.”

Dearica Hamby led the Aces with 24 points, going 11 for 14 from the field, while A’ja Wilson dropped 15 and pulled down 11 rebounds.

“We are playing hard and tonight was a lot of fun,” said Hamby. “It [the win over Phoenix] was a good measuring stick to see where we are.”

“It is pretty encouraging that I can have a light day with ‘the gun’,” said Wilson about only taking eight shots and still winning by 18.

Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum each added 20 points.

“I just tried to come out and be aggressive,” said Young.

Guard Chelsea Gray dished out her 1,000th career assist in the third quarter.

The Aces will return to Las Vegas for their home opener on Sunday at Michelob Ultra Arena against the Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 58.2% from the field and 52.4% from three-point range.
Las Vegas turned the ball over 16 times.
The Aces out-rebounded the Mercury, 38-26.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Riquna Williams – Out, Left Foot
Kiah Stokes – Out, Overseas

Phoenix Upsets Aces 99-90 at Mandalay Bay Events Center

The Phoenix Mercury’s Brittany Griner (41) is double teamed by the Las Vegas Aces A’ja Wilson (22) and Kiah Stokes (41) at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Wed Jul 7, 2021 (Las Vegas Review Journal photo)

 Phoenix Upsets the Aces 99-90

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday evening the dominating Last Vegas Aces (14-5) took on the Phoenix Mercury (8-9). The Aces along with the Storm have been the talk of the town with opposing teams just trying to play catch-up in the standings. The Mercury are on a two-game losing streak and the Aces on the other hand have only lost one game of their last ten played.

In last Sunday’s game Las Vegas scored a season high and francise record with 118 points. In that game six players scored in double figures. The Aces have the best offensive rating in the league 107.9. They score an average of 91.8 points per game which is the best in the league. Defensively and offensively this team is on a roll and they have to feel like the best team in the WNBA.

The first quarter would end with a 7-0 Phoenix run leading the Aces 24-20. Jackie Young had the high score in the quarter for the Aces with 8 points. Brittney Griner had the high for Phoenix scoring 10 points.

Mid-way through the second quarter the Mercury had extended their lead to seven points leading 33-26. Late in the quarter the Aces really cleaned up their offense and erased an 8 point lead by Phoenix only to let the Mercury off the hook at the half. The score was 50-43 in favor of Phoenix and Brittney Griner had the high score with 21 points. Her team was shooting over 52% and giving Las Vegas all kinds of trouble.

After three quarters the Aces turned this game around taking the lead 63-58. Las Vegas had outscored the Mercury in the quarter 20-8.

Phoenix refused to go away and with just under two minutes left in the game they led 80-76. The Aces would need to keep their composure if they were going to win this game. It was crunch time for Las Vegas.

With 38 seconds left on the clock this game was tied at 82. The game remained tied and there would be five more minutes to play in overtime. A’ja Wilson was key keeping her team in the game.

The Aces had a tough start in overtime. The Phoenix took a six point lead all of them coming from Brittney Griner. Nine consecutive points for the Mercury and they really had the Aces on the ropes. Las Vegas couldn’t buy a basket in overtime. Phoenix continued to eat up the clock and with two minutes left Las Vegas was looking at their fifth loss of the season dropping them out of first place in the Western Conference.

Everything that could go wrong for the Aces did indeed go wrong in this overtime. Nothing went right for the team. They take on the Lynx on Friday hoping to get back on track. Tipoff is scheduled for Friday at 7:30.

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria: Curry is expected back by game one of the playoffs; Kings fire Joerger, Walton most likely successor; plus more

Photo credit: @theScore

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony:

#1 The Golden State Warriors say that Stephen Curry is day to day after he rolled his ankle in New Orleans on Tuesday night. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says that Curry should be back by the first game of the NBA playoffs.

#2 Sacramento Kings fired head coach Dave Joerger Thursday after three losing seasons. The firing most likely will be an open door for Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton to take over the coaching job in Sacramento. Wednesday was the last day of the regular season for the Sacramento Kings. They grew, they had won 12 more games than last season, and they have a core of players that are much improved over last season. Tony tells us what the Kings will do to get a viable shot at the playoffs for next season.

#3 It was kind of historical in Boston on Tuesday night when members of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots made an appearance on the field before the Sox ball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Both teams were showing their Championship trophies as both teams won Championships in the first year.

#4 Two players from Bay Area schools were drafted on Wednesday by the WNBA. From Cal, Kristine Anigwe, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, and from the Stanford Cardinal, Alanna Smith. It has to be a pretty big honor for these players to get to the next level and play in the WNBA.

#5 The A’s won another series this time over the Baltimore Orioles on this current road trip after getting swept in Houston by the Astros to start the trip. The A’s defeated the O’s in the four game series and head to Texas to open a three game series with the Rangers starting on Friday night.

Tony does the Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com