Update on the latest sports
Nets finally get Big 3 back together, beat Bulls 105-91
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 22 points while playing with Kevin Durant and James Harden for the first time in three months, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 105-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
The eighth appearance of the season for Brooklyn’s Big Three wasn’t particularly pretty, with the Nets falling quickly into a 12-0 hole. But they had some sharp stretches and won their fourth straight, improving to 6-2 with their three All-Stars in the same game.
Durant shot just 4 for 17 but finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Harden had seven assists, five points and five rebounds while playing 25 minutes in his second game back from a hamstring injury. But Brooklyn got 19 points and five 3-pointers from Jeff Green, while Bruce Brown had 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Nets ensured they would remain second in the Eastern Conference heading into the final day of the regular season.
Patrick Williams scored 24 points for the Bulls, the highest total of his rookie season.
Durant, Irving and Harden hadn’t played together since Feb. 13, in a victory at Golden State. Durant began a 23-game absence with a left hamstring injury in the next game, and Harden just returned earlier this week from his own right hamstring injury that sidelined him 18 games.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Saturday’s Preakness offers another step toward normalcy, with fans returning to Pimlico Race Course and, for the first time since 2018, a Triple Crown on the line. Trainer Bob Baffert is trying for a record-breaking eighth victory.
Baffert’s Medina (meh-DEE’-nah) Spirit has been cleared to run after passing three rounds of pre-race drug testing. The colt tested positive for the steroid betamethasone after winning the Kentucky Derby.
Attendance is limited to 10,000 — a fraction of the typical 100,000 that packs Pimlico Race Course for the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. The usually packed infield has been replaced by a smaller, socially distanced gathering with musical acts.
With just over three hours until post time, Midnight Bourbon was the 5-2 favorite, with Medina Spirit the 3-1 second choice and fellow Bob Baffert-trained Concert Tour next at 4-1.
One-of-a-kind NHL playoffs set to begin
UNDATED (AP) — A strange NHL regular season has given way to a one-of-a-kind playoff tournament for the Stanley Cup that starts Saturday night with the Washington Capitals hosting Boston.
For the first time in almost 30 years, the league’s four divisions will play it out for two rounds before four teams reach the semifinals. It’s a return to the divisional playoff format the NHL used from 1982-93.
But these four divisions were realigned only for 2021 in a way that meant teams never played anyone in the other three divisions. And for the first time in NHL history, the four champions that emerge will be reseeded for the next round.
After a 56-game regular season with fits and stops because of the pandemic and weather postponements, the playoffs will be another unique chapter. So unique that by the time Calgary and Vancouver finish their regular seasons, some first-round playoff series will be two games old.
The game that will kick off the playoffs Saturday will follow a regular-season game between Vancouver and Edmonton in the afternoon.