Update on the latest sports


NBA tells head coaches they can go without masks in games

UNDATED (AP) — Just in time for the playoffs, the NBA told its head coaches Saturday they may work without masks during games if they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

A memo from the league obtained by The Associated Press says assistant coaches and players will still be required to wear masks in the bench area. Head coaches may choose to go without masks after pre-game introductions until halftime, then again after halftime until the game concludes. Head coaches will have to wear masks during halftime, during warmups and shootaround before the start of the third quarter and postgame. If opposing coaches choose to meet briefly on the court after a game, masks are encouraged.

Coaches will still need to participate in the NBA’s testing regimens.

Meanwhile, for the playoffs, the NBA is going to see its largest crowds of the season.

Miami announced Saturday that, starting with Game 3 of its series against Milwaukee on Thursday, it has increased capacity to 17,000 fans — basically double what it was planning to have for the start of the playoffs.

The Boston Celtics said they are increasing attendance limits for Game 3 of their series against Brooklyn on Friday, and that for Game 4 on May 30 they will be at “near full capacity.”

New York plans on welcoming up to 15,000 fans for its playoff games at Madison Square Garden against Atlanta, and Utah is prepared to host 13,000 fans to start its series against Memphis.


NHL fines Carolina forward Jordan Staal $5,000 for tripping

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Carolina forward Jordan Staal has been fined $5,000 for what the NHL called a dangerous trip on Nashville’s Luke Kunin (KUH’-nihn).

The fine is the maximum allowed under the labor agreement. It was announced hours after Nashville beat Carolina 5-4 in double overtime to pull within 2-1 of the Hurricanes in their first-round series.

Staal’s penalty put the Predators on a 5-on-3. Nashville converted by scoring its lone power-play goal of the series.


Pirates’ Cahill lands on 10-day IL with left side discomfort

UNDATED (AP) — Pittsburgh right-hander Trevor Cahill was placed on the 10-day injured list with left side discomfort. Pirates manager Derek Shelton says Cahill “hadn’t seen a ton of improvement” since suffering the injury in Wednesday’s start against St. Louis. Cahill left the game against the Cardinals in the second inning. Shelton says no decision has been made on who will fill Cahill’s next scheduled start on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. The 33-year-old Cahill is in his first season with the Pirates. Right-hander Kyle Crick was activated off the 10-day IL. Crick returns from a right triceps injury.

In other MLB news:

— There was a big number reached in Major League Baseball during the San Diego Padres’ 16-1 blowout over Seattle on Friday night. When Mariners backup catcher José Godoy made his big league debut he became the 20,000th player in MLB history. The 26-year-old from Venezuela signed with St. Louis in 2011 and joined the Seattle system last winter. He grounded out and walked in his two plate appearances.


Co-leaders on the course

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Co-leaders Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen (OOST’-hay-zehn) have begun the third round at the PGA Championship amid changing winds.

The two are tied at 5-under par and most likely won’t face the milder conditions many of the earlier competitors enjoyed at the Kiawah (KEE’-uh-wah) Island Ocean Course. But no one has been better over the first 36 holes at managing the difficult conditions as Mickelson and Oosthuizen.

The leaders were one shot ahead of Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) and two in front of four others, including Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (hih-DEH’-kee maht-soo-YAH’-mah).


Ferrari’s Leclerc takes pole for Monaco GP, Verstappen 2nd

MONACO (AP) — Charles Leclerc has won the first pole for Ferrari since 2019 despite crashing with 18 seconds remaining to end qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Leclerc held the top spot at his home track until his Ferrari grazed a barrier to break a suspension piece. He then hopped a curb and crashed into another barrier to bring the qualifying session to an abrupt end.

Leclerc could forfeit the pole if the damage to his Ferrari is too great that he receives a grid penalty. If the gear box must be changed he’d lose five positions on the starting grid.