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Gonzaga’s Domantas Sabonis declares for NBA draft

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Gonzaga sophomore Domantas Sabonis has decided to skip the rest of his college career and declare for the NBA draft.

Sabonis said Thursday he is exploring his future options without hiring an agent at this time.

Sabonis says it was a difficult decision because of the amazing two years he’s had at Gonzaga.

The son of former NBA star Arvydas Sabonis, Domantas is Gonzaga’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage at .632.

The forward was an AP Honorable Mention All-American this season after averaging 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.


Mikael Backlund has first hat trick, Flames beat Canucks 7-3

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Mikael Backlund had his first NHL hat trick to help the Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 7-3 on Thursday night.

Backlund scored on a power play, at even strength and short-handed. The 27-year-old Swede has a career-high 21 goals after scoring only five goals through his first 50 games.

Dougie Hamilton, Joe Colborne, Deryk Engelland and Sam Bennett also scored for Calgary.

Nikita Tryamkin scored his first NHL goal, and Bo Horvat and Emerson Etem also scored for Vancouver.


Oilers sign Caleb Jones to 3-year entry level contract

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Caleb Jones to a three-year entry level contract Thursday.

The 18-year-old Jones had 10 goals and 45 assists in 72 games this season for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. He also had two assists in four playoff games.

From Frisco, Texas, Jones was selected by the Oilers in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. He had two goals and 13 assists in 58 games in 2013-15 for the U.S. National Development Team.


Mat Latos sharp as White Sox beat Athletics 6-1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Mat Latos is still working to get full strength in his legs. That’s to be expected after he dealt with left knee issues the past two seasons.

All the other signs are encouraging for Chicago’s right-hander — and that’s a bonus for manager Robin Ventura’s ballclub.

Latos gave up one hit over six shutout innings for his first win since last July, Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer and the White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-1 on Thursday to give Ventura his 300th career win.

“He was spinning it good, control-wise,” Ventura said. “I started to get a little concerned just endurance-wise because even in spring training he didn’t make it quite as far as he would like. It being for real and being out there, the competitive part came out of him.”

A free agent who struggled this spring after signing with Chicago in the offseason, Latos (1-0) was stellar in his White Sox debut while striking out two and walking one.

He retired 13 of the first 14 batters and didn’t allow a baserunner until Chris Coghlan’s one-out single in the fifth — one pitch after left fielder J.B. Shuck dropped Coghlan’s foul ball.


White Sox: LHP John Danks, who starts Friday’s home opener against Cleveland, needs 14 strikeouts to reach 1,100 with Chicago.

Athletics: LHP Eric Surkamp will be called up from the minors to start in Seattle on Friday.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.