Update on the latest sports
Mavs try to advance, Clippers try for another road win
DALLAS (AP) — The first-round rematch between Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) and Kawhi (kuh-WY’) Leonard has come to this: The first team to win at home takes the series. Unless the visitors sweep seven games for the first time in NBA history.
Doncic, the young Dallas sensation, has the Mavericks one victory from their first postseason series win since the 2011 NBA Finals. To get it, Dallas needs a victory in Game 6 on Friday night over Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers, who evened the series with two double-digit victories on the road before the Mavericks’ 105-100 win at LA for a 3-2 lead.
It’s the lone NBA playoff game on the Friday schedule.
Utah, the top seed in the Western Conference, awaits the series winner.
Joel Embiid’s status for Game 1 of Philadelphia’s playoff series is still unknown because of a knee injury. The 76ers center remained day to day, and coach Doc Rivers says no decision has been made on the All-Star’s availability for Game 1 against Atlanta. Embiid has a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. T
Winnipeg hosts Montreal for Game 2, Colorado visits Vegas for Game 3
UNDATED (AP) — There are two second-round playoff games on tonight’s NHL schedule. Winnipeg hosts Montreal in Game 2 of their series and Colorado visits Las Vegas for Game 3.
Montreal beat the Jets 5-3 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the second-round series.
Colorado topped the Golden Knights 3-2 on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in that series. It was the sixth straight win for the Avalanche, tying the franchise mark set in 1987 when the team was based in Quebec.
Jets’ Scheifele won’t appeal 4-game suspension
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (SHYF’-lee) won’t be appealing his four-game suspension for a crushing blow to the head and shoulder of Montreal’s Jake Evans.
Scheifele calls the NHL’s punishment “excessive” but says he doesn’t want to be a distraction for his team. He says he did not intend to injure Evans and was only trying to stop him from scoring.
The hit came in the final minute of Montreal’s 5-3 win in Game 1 of their second-round series Wednesday night. Evans’ head struck the ice and he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. He wasn’t hospitalized but the Canadiens say he has a concussion and is out indefinitely.
Game 2 is Friday night in Winnipeg.
Rays return to Texas
UNDATED (AP) — Tampa Bay, with the best record in the American League, returns to Texas for the first time since losing last year’s neutral-site World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rays will open a series against the last-place Rangers.
The Rangers are finally back home after a franchise-worst 0-9 road trip that marked their longest losing streak overall since 2003. Texas has dropped 15 in a row away from home, one shy of the club record set by the 1961 Washington Senators, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Rangers are 13-13 at home and 9-23 on the road.
Texas right-hander Kyle Gibson is expected to come off the injured list to start the opener. Tampa Bay hasn’t announced a starter.
Elsewhere on Friday night:
— After splitting a four-game set with Tampa Bay, the slumping Yankees welcome another AL East rival to the Bronx when the Boston Red Sox visit for the first game this season between the teams. New York has dropped seven of 10 and its star-studded lineup has been held to five runs or fewer in 11 straight games. Giancarlo Stanton is 1 for 16 with nine strikeouts in five games since returning from a left quadriceps strain. Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) starts for the Red Sox against Michael King.
— Dansby Swanson looks to continue his tear at the plate when the Braves host the Dodgers, their first meeting since Los Angeles rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat Atlanta in last year’s NLCS. Swanson hit a two-run homer Thursday during a 5-1 victory over Washington, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. He has five homers in that stretch, including in back-to-back games. Ian Anderson pitches for Atlanta against Julio Urías (oo-REE’-uhs), who closed out a 4-3 victory in Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS with three hitless innings of relief for his second win of the series.
— Cincinnati right-hander Luis Castillo (kas-TEE’-oh) tries for his first win in almost two months when Reds face Kwang Hyun Kim and the Cardinals in St. Louis. Castillo is 0-7 with a 7.91 ERA in his last seven starts. He hasn’t won since he tossed seven scoreless innings in an 11-4 victory over Pittsburgh on April 7. According to Elias Sports, no Reds pitcher has lost eight consecutive appearances as a starting pitcher in a single season. Kim has dropped his last three starts.
20 of 30 MLB teams reach 85% vaccinations, relax protocols
UNDATED (AP) — Two-thirds of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after four additional clubs qualified and raised the total to 20 franchises reaching 85% vaccinations for players and other on-field personnel.
Two additional teams have reached the 85% level of having received final doses and will be able to relax protocols within the next two weeks once they are fully vaccinated.
MLB said Friday that 85.2% of Tier 1 individuals such as players, managers, coaches, trainers and support personnel had been partially or fully vaccinated, up just 0.7% from the previous week, and 82.9% had been fully vaccinated.
In other MLB news:
— Wrigley Field is going to start packing the place starting next week. Following approval from the state and city, the Chicago Cubs announced today that they have received approval to host games at 100% of Wrigley Field’s capacity. The transition to full capacity will start next Friday, June 11, when the St. Louis Cardinals start a three-game series.
— Major League Baseball will offer incentives to unvaccinated fans through a program called “MLB Vaccinate At The Plate,” taking place throughout June. Each of the 30 teams will host at least one event in June where unvaccinated fans will be able to receive a free ticket to a game if they get a COVID-19 vaccination shot at the event.
PITCHER HIT IN HEAD
AAA pitcher hospitalized but stable after liner to head
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Minor league pitcher Tyler Zombro was kept overnight at a hospital and remains in stable condition after being struck in the head by a line drive, a frightening scene that prompted Triple-A Durham to suspend its game.
Zombro, a right-hander in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, was hit by a sharp line drive from Norfolk’s Brett Cumberland in the eighth inning. Zombro crumbled awkwardly to the ground, lay motionless for a moment face down, then began to convulse uncontrollably as teammates and a trainer rushed toward the mound.
Zombro was taken to Duke University Hospital, where he was listed as stable. The Rays said Friday morning that they had received positive updates on his status.
FRENCH OPEN-DAY 6
Serena Williams beats Collins…Top 3 women out
PARIS (AP) — Serena Williams recovered from a 4-1 deficit in the second set of a 6-4, 6-4 win over fellow American Danielle Collins in the third round of the French Open.
Williams verbally urged herself to become more aggressive and move her feet more when she trailed in the second set.
She next faces Elena Rybakina, who defeated Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-4 to reach the fourth round for the first time at a major.
Williams is again chasing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.
In other action Friday:
— The women’s side at Roland Garros is now without its top three seeds. Third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka was upset by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-0. Top-seeded Ash Barty retired from her second-round match with an injury on Thursday. Second-seeded Naomi Osaka withdrew after the first round.
— Victoria Azarenka reached the fourth round for the first time since her semifinal run eight years ago. The 15th-seeded Azarenka beat 23rd-seeded American Madison Keys 6-2, 6-2 in 70 minutes.
— Two-time Grand Slam finalist Daniil Medvedev advanced to the fourth round after never having previously reached the second round at Roland Garros. The second-seeded Russian used 10 aces to beat American Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
— Kei Nishikori followed up two consecutive five-setters with a one-set victory. Nishikori reached the second week at Roland Garros for the seventh time after qualifier Henri Laaksonen retired while trailing 7-5. Nishikori has a 26-7 record in five-set matches.
— Paula Badosa beat Ana Bogdan of Romania, rallying to win 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 after 2 hours, 51 minutes.
Russian player arrested for match-fixing at 2020 French Open
PARIS (AP) — A Russian tennis player suspected of match-fixing last year has been arrested during this year’s French Open.
Yana Sizikova’s lawyer says she denies the allegations. He says Sizikova was “extremely shocked” by the arrest.
The prosecutor’s office says the player was arrested Thursday night on charges of “sports bribery and organized fraud for acts likely to have been committed in September 2020.” The prosecutor’s office said the probe centered on suspicions about one match at Roland Garros last year. It did not specify the match.
Sizikova is ranked 101st in doubles. She was arrested after losing in the first round of the doubles tournament.
Olympic champ Rollins-McNeal banned 5 years in doping case
MONACO (AP) — Olympic hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal was banned for five years on Friday in a doping case, ruling her out of this year’s Tokyo Games and the 2024 Paris Games.
The Athletics Integrity Unit said the American’s second career ban was for “tampering within the results management process” of doping control samples.
Rollins-McNeal’s ban runs to August 2024, days after the Paris Olympics finish. However, the 29-year-old hurdler has started an appeal which could still let her run in the 100-meter hurdles at next month’s Tokyo Olympics.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport made an interim decision to freeze her ban so she can run at this month’s U.S. Olympic trials. The full appeal will be heard before the Tokyo Olympics open on July 23.
Appeals court upholds guilty verdicts in NCAA bribes case
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of a sports business manager and an amateur basketball coach in a conspiracy to bribe top college coaches.
The ruling Friday by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan came after Christian Dawkins and youth basketball coach Merl Code were convicted in 2019 of a single conspiracy count. Dawkins was also convicted of bribery. They were acquitted of some other charges.
The case stemmed from a criminal probe that exposed how financial advisers and business managers paid tens of thousands of dollars to college coaches and athletes’ families to steer highly regarded high school players to big-program colleges.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-LOUISVILLE-PLEA DEAL
Former Louisville assistant gets plea deal in extortion case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former University of Louisville basketball assistant has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempted extortion and will avoid prison time.
Dino Gaudio was dismissed from the team along with another assistant in March after the Cardinals missed the NCAA tournament. During a meeting with coaches, Gaudio threatened to go to the media with alleged NCAA violations by the team, according to federal prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of interstate communication with intent to extort, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville. Gaudio agreed to a plea deal that will include probation and a fine.