Update on the latest sports
NBA-EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS-HEAT/CELTICS
Celtics return home looking to close out top-seeded Heat
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics are back at home, hoping to close out the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics’ confidence is high after seizing a 3-2 lead over the top-seeded Heat. But Boston is also mindful of how fast series can change at this point, having rallied from a series deficit to eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks in the semifinal round.
Miami has struggled mightily in back-to-back losses, but says it isn’t making excuses, even with star Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry struggling to make shots and sparkplug Tyler Herro (HEER’-oh) sidelined the past two games with a groin injury.
History is on the Celtics’ side. Teams taking a 3-2 lead have gone on to win the series 83.8% of the time.
NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS-AVALANCHE/BLUES
Blues at home for Game 6 vs. Avalanche
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues host Colorado Friday night in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series.
The Blues are riding a wave of confidence after becoming the first team to score a pair of game-tying goals in the final five minutes of regulation when facing elimination. They were 56 seconds away from the curtain closing on their season in Game 5 before rallying twice and winning in overtime.
The Avalanche blew a three-goal lead and a golden chance to advance to their first Western Conference final since 2002. But they are 4-0 on the road in these playoffs and do have a safety net with Game 7 in Denver.
Djokovic, Nadal reach fourth round
PARIS (AP) — Defending champion Novak Djokovic has recorded another straight-set victory and will face Diego Schwartzman for a spot in the quarterfinals at the French Open.
The top-ranked Djokovic beat Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour, 44 minutes — the quickest of his three wins. The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t lost in the third round at Roland Garros since 2009.
In other action Friday:
— No. 5 Rafael Nadal has moved into the fourth round by beating Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The 13-time French Open champion says it was the best of his three wins this week, at least up until Zandschulp crept back into the third set. Nadal’s 301st win at Grand Slams means he will face ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Canadian advanced by beating Filip Krajinovic 7-6, 7-6, 7-5.
— Former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens beat French teenager Diane Parry 6-2, 6-3 to reach the fourth round. The American was the runner-up in 2018 after having won the title at Flushing Meadows the year before. Stephens will play No. 23 Jil Teichmann, who advanced by defeating two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 7-6.
— Coco Gauff has reached the fourth round at the French Open by beating Kaia Kanepi (KY’-uh kuh-NEH’-pee). The 18-year-old American, the youngest remaining woman in the draw, defeated the 36-year-old Kanepi, the oldest remaining woman, 6-3, 6-4. The young American is trying to improve on her quarterfinal run at Roland Garros a year ago.
— Aliaksandra Sasnovich has reached the fourth round by eliminating a Grand Slam champion for the second straight match. The 47th-ranked Belarusian beat three-time major champion Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-6.
— U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez has reached the fourth round at the French Open for the first time. The 19-year-old Canadian beat Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic (BEN’-chich) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
— Amanda Anisimova moved into the fourth round when Karolina Muchova stopped playing after hurting her right ankle. The 27th-seeded Anisimova was leading 6-7, 6-2, 3-0 when Muchova walked to the net to concede the match.
INDY 500-CARB DAY
Herta walks away from crash during Indianapolis 500 practice
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colton Herta rolled his Indianapolis 500 car end-over-end during Friday’s final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500.
The star driver for Andretti Autosport was uninjured, but the crash with 25 minutes remaining on “Carb Day” destroyed the Andretti Honda and he will need a backup for Sunday’s race.
Herta had also blown an engine in qualifying and will start 25th in whatever car Andretti can get ready for race day.
The 22-year-old Californian was speaking on his team radio as his car was still rolling. When it came to a stop, his father, Bryan, radioed for Herta to stay put and strapped in until emergency crews could free him from the car. His father is his race strategist and immediately went to the Andretti garage to oversee preparations on the backup car.