Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin beaten in Santa Clara openers

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Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin finished third in 200m freestyle finals, their first events of a Pro Swim Series meet in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday night.

Santa Clara is the biggest meet remaining for U.S. swimmers before the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in early August.

Phelps, the 22-time Olympic medalist, was taken off the World Championships roster as part of his punishment for a September DUI arrest. He will compete at the U.S. Championships in San Antonio in August while the world’s best are in Kazan.

On Friday, Phelps finished third in the 200m free behind Connor Jaeger, who is arguably best in the 1500m free. Jaeger prevailed in 1:48.66, followed by Russian Nikita Lobintsev (1:48.86) and Phelps (1:49.03).

Phelps, who in his last meet in May finished worse than second in all of his events for the first time since the 2000 Olympics, improved from a 1:49.26 in morning heats and 1:49.12 at his last meet.

Phelps, the 2008 Olympic 200m free champion, clocked 1:48.20 in the 200m free in Santa Clara last year.

“My stroke actually kind of felt like the old stroke again,” Phelps told media in Santa Clara. “I didn’t completely die. So I think there are a lot of positives that came out of the races, but 1:49 flat isn’t something I’m excited about. It’s kind of blah.”

This year, German world-record holder Paul Biedermann is the world’s fastest in 1:45.60, followed by Chinese Olympic silver medalist Sun Yang and Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, the world’s best all-around swimmer. Biedermann, Sun and Hagino are not competing in Santa Clara.

Franklin, in her first meet since the NCAA Championships in March, finished third in her 200m freestyle. The Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk won in 1:55.68, followed by FINA Swimmer of the Year Katinka Hosszu (1:56.88) of Hungary and Franklin (1:57.02).

“It’s good to get the cobwebs out,” Franklin said.

Heemskerk is the fastest woman in the world this year, having clocked 1:54.68 on April 3. Franklin’s personal best was 1:54.81, from winning the 2013 World Championship. The top U.S. 200m free swimmer last year, Katie Ledecky (1:55.16), is not competing in Santa Clara.

The World Championships 200m free appears to be a battle among Heemskerk, Hosszu, Franklin, Ledecky, Swede Sarah Sjostrom, Australian Emma McKeon and Italian Federica Pellegrini.

Franklin later also finished eighth in the 50m backstroke, a non-Olympic event. Natalie Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist, prevailed in 27.51, an American record. Coughlin failed last year to qualify for the World Championships.

American Tom Shields touched first in the 100m butterfly in 52.22, with Phelps not in the field. Shields beat Phelps at the 2014 U.S. Championships, though Phelps was fastest in the world in the event last year at 51.17.

Hosszu captured the 400m IM by five seconds in 4:34.04, off of her 4:31.07 in the prelims, which was the fastest time ever in a U.S. pool. Hosszu is more than one second faster than anybody else in the world this year and a favorite to repeat as World champion in the event, though Chinese Olympic champion and world-record holder Ye Shiwen lurks.

Russian Yulia Efimova, the World silver medalist coming off a doping ban, took the 100m breaststroke in 1:06.13. She’s second in the world this year behind Lithuanian Olympic and World champion Ruta Meilutyte.

American Cody Miller captured the men’s 100m breast in a personal-best 59.51. That’s the fastest time by an American since Brendan Hansen‘s 59.49 to take bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty is fastest in the world this year, with a world-record 57.92 on April 17. Miller’s 59.51 ranks No. 3 in the world, making him a medal contender for Worlds.

Santa Clara competition continues Saturday (Universal Sports, 8 p.m. ET) and Sunday (USASwimming.org, 8 p.m. ET).

Michael Phelps ‘sick of getting whooped’

U.S. women win record 27th consecutive FIBA World Cup game

USA Basketball
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SYDNEY — There’s been a long legacy of success for the U.S. women’s basketball team at the World Cup.

The names change over time, but the results don’t seem to.

Kelsey Plum scored 20 points, Chelsea Gray added 16 and the United States routed Bosnia and Herzegovina 121-59 on Tuesday to break the team record for consecutive wins at the World Cup.

The victory was the 27th in a row in World Cup play for the Americans, who haven’t lost since the 2006 semifinals against Russia. The U.S. won 26 in a row from 1994-2006 leading up to that game. The Soviet Union holds the World Cup record with 56 straight wins from 1959-86.

“It’s kind of amazing,” said Breanna Stewart, who has been part of the last three World Cup teams. “Obviously, been here for some of it, but you understand the legends before that who really kind of started the streak. It goes to show that no matter who is playing on USA Basketball, we’re always trying to chase excellence.

“This streak doesn’t mean much right now because we’re going into the quarterfinals and focusing on winning a gold medal, but it’s something to kind of hang your hat on later.”

What started with Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Sylvia Fowles has now been passed on to Stewart and A’ja Wilson. A legacy of excellence that doesn’t appear it will end anytime soon.

“The players change and, you know, there was a lot of concern about who’s next,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It was a concern when Dawn Staley and Lisa Leslie were playing and who was going to be next. Then it was Sue and (Taurasi) and then other great players, too. Now with this group they are saying, hey, we’re pretty good, too.”

MORE: FIBA World Cup Schedule, Results

The U.S. last lost a group play game in 1975, according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org.

“We know the responsibility when you put on this jersey. There’s a lot more than yourself,” Plum said. “Everyone puts pride to the side. We have a common goal. We have some amazing players on this team.”

The Americans (5-0) won their pool games by an average of 46.2 points and never trailed in any of them. Now they play Serbia in the quarterfinals.

The U.S. was coming off a record rout of South Korea in which the team broke the World Cup record for points with 145. While the Americans didn’t match that number, they put the game out of reach in the first 10 minutes, going up 33-15.

The lead ballooned to 63-31 at halftime. Bosnia and Herzegovina put together a small run to start the third quarter, but the U.S. scored the final 19 points of the period.

Once again they used a dominant inside performance, outscoring Bosnia and Herzegovina 84-28 in the paint led by Wilson, Stewart and Brionna Jones.

“It’s a huge part of our identity,” Reeve said. “Ninety-whatever we had yesterday and 84 today, we just know what we’re good at and we have players that are really understanding their opportunities for that.”

The U.S. was missing Jewell Loyd, whom the team said was resting. Kahleah Copper started in her place and finished with 11 points.

Nikolina Elez scored 19 points to lead the Bosniaks (0-5), who were playing in their first World Cup.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium 85, Bosnia and Herzegovina 55 Group A
11:30 p.m. Serbia 81, Mali 68 Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA 145, South Korea 69 Group A
2 a.m. France 67, Japan 53 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 95, Puerto Rico 60 Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia 75, Canada 72 Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 92, South Korea 73 Group A
11:30 p.m. China 81, Belgium 55 Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA 121, Bosnia and Herzegovina 59 Group A
2 a.m. Canada 88, Mali 65 Group B
3:30 a.m. Serbia 68, France 62 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 71, Japan 54 Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. USA vs. Serbia
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Canada vs. Puerto Rico
4 a.m. China vs. France
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Belgium
Fri., Sept. 30 3 a.m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final