Update on the latest sports


Golden Knights host a Game 7 for 1st time against Minnesota

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The payoff for sharing the NHL’s best record comes Friday night for the Vegas Golden Knights. They’ll host a Game 7 for the first time when they take on the Minnesota Wild, who avoided elimination by winning the past two games.

The Golden Knights have held 3-1 series leads in each of the past three postseasons only to wind up in a must-win situation.

It’s the only game on Friday’s NHL schedule.

The winner of the first-round series will advance to face the Colorado Avalanche, who tied the Golden Knights for the best regular-season record. Colorado secured home-ice advantage because it had more regulation wins and swept the St. Louis Blues in the first round.


Clippers look to avoid another playoff meltdown vs Mavericks

UNDATED (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks are poised to add to the Los Angeles Clippers’ playoff misery. The Clippers find themselves in a familiar position after losing the first two games at Staples Center. Now, the best-of-seven series shifts to Dallas, where the Mavericks can deliver a potentially decisive blow in Game 3 of their first-round series.

Also Friday, the Atlanta Hawks get their first home playoff game since 2017 when they take on the Knicks after splitting the first two contests in New York, while the Brooklyn Nets look to go up 3-0 on the Celtics when the Eastern Conference series shifts to Boston.


2 former top draft picks face off in Detroit

UNDATED (AP) — A pair of No. 1 overall draft choices will share the mound Friday night when Yankees ace Gerrit Cole faces Tigers right-hander Casey Mize.

Cole was taken first overall in the 2011 draft by Pittsburgh and has since emerged as one of the game’s best. Mize is figuring things out in his second big league season after being drafted No. 1 in 2018. He had a 6.99 ERA in seven starts as a rookie in 2020 and struggled again this April, but the 24-year-old is 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in four starts this month.

The Yankees hope to get closer Aroldis Chapman back from a non-coronavirus illness that has sidelined him for two days. They’re also expecting to activate slugger Giancarlo Stanton, wh has been on the injured list with a quadriceps injury.

Elsewhere around the majors:

— Framber (FRAHM’-bur) Valdez is set to make his first start of 2021 for Houston after breaking his left ring finger during spring training. Houston initially feared the 27-year-old left-hander could miss nearly the entire season, but his injury healed surprisingly fast. Valdez made two minor league rehab starts, most recently throwing 54 pitches in four innings for Triple-A Sugar Land on Saturday. He was a breakout star with the Astros in 2020, going 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA, then had a 1.88 ERA in four games (three starts) during the postseason. Valdez will face the Padres and right-hander Dinelson Lamet (dih-NEHL’-suhn lah-MEHT’).

— The Milwaukee Brewers are set to open a three-game series in Washington, their first visit to Nationals Park since a crushing defeat in the 2019 NL wild-card game. Milwaukee led the game 3-1 before right fielder Trent Grisham misplayed Juan Soto’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth, enabling Washington to go ahead 4-3. The Nats locked up the victory and went on to win the World Series, while Milwaukee traded Grisham to San Diego that winter. He won a National League Gold Glove in 2020 in center field.

— Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) is set to pitch for the Angels in Oakland — assuming he can get to the ballpark on time. He was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday after a traffic jam kept him from making it to the ballpark in time for his regular pregame pitching routine. Because of an accident on the Bay Bridge that snarled traffic for one of the Angels’ buses, Ohtani wound up on Bay Area Rapid Transit and arrived at the Oakland Coliseum closer to 5 p.m., about an hour after his ideal time to get ready to take the mound.


Japan extends virus emergency with safe Olympics at stake

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has extended a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas for 20 more days, with infections still not slowing as it prepares to host the Olympics in just over 50 days. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says the decision was made because cases remain high and medical systems in Osaka, the hardest-hit area in western Japan, are still overburdened.

The Olympics are scheduled to start July 23 after a one-year postponement due to the pandemic, and worries about new variants and Japan’s slow vaccination rollout have triggered calls from the public, medical experts and even a sponsor to cancel the games.

The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee hinted Friday that fans may be barred from venues when the games open. Seiko Hashimoto said that “after the state of emergency is lifted we will assess.” Fans from abroad were ruled out months ago.