Update on the latest sports
No. 2 Nets open second-round series vs No. 3 Bucks
NEW YORK (AP) — The two highest-scoring teams in the NBA meet Saturday night in New York when the Brooklyn Nets open their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The two teams played three thrillers during the regular season and Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said the potential is there for this Eastern Conference semifinal between the No. 2-seeded Nets and No. 3 Bucks to be a classic.
The series will be the biggest test yet for Brooklyn’s Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The trio was never together for any of the three meetings with Milwaukee this season, two of which were won by the Bucks. Milwaukee’s own leading trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh), Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday all played in those three games and combined to average 85.3 points against the Nets.
Both teams head into Game 1 rested after cruising through the first round.
Clifford won’t return as Magic coach…Embiid status still uncertain
UNDATED (AP) — Steve Clifford won’t be back as coach of the Orlando Magic next season.
The team said Saturday that it was a mutual decision. Orlando was 21-51 this season, and Magic President Jeff Weltman indicated that Clifford might not have wanted to be part of a long rebuild around young players and draft picks.
Clifford was 96-131 in his three seasons, though that record is a bit misleading given how many injuries the team dealt with this season. Orlando went to the playoffs in 2019 and 2020 under Clifford, its first postseason trips since a run of six straight ended in 2012.
Orlando’s is the third coaching opening in the NBA, following Boston and Portland.
In other NBA news:
— Joel Embiid’s (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEEDZ’) status for Game 1 of Philadelphia’s playoff series against Atlanta is still unknown. The Sixers are set to open their playoff series with the Hawks at home Sunday. The All-Star has a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and coach Doc Rivers says no decision has been made on his availability. The Sixers went 2-1 against Atlanta this season. Both wins were in April. The home team won every game.
Game 4s for Bruins-Islanders, Hurricanes-Lightning
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Islanders find themselves in a familiar situation heading into Game 4 of their second-round series against Boston down two games to one. They trailed 2-1 against Pittsburgh in the first round before winning three straight to take the series. Now they’ll try to do it again after losing Game 3 in overtime at home.
Carolina is at Tampa Bay in Saturday’s other second-round playoff game. The Hurricanes are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 3 that cut the Lightning’s series lead to 2-1.
Belmont could be most competitive Triple Crown race
NEW YORK (AP) — Saturday’s Belmont Stakes doesn’t have the buzz of a Triple Crown on the line or drama surrounding Bob Baffert. But it’s shaping up to be the most competitive race of the three and one of the best of the entire year.
Preakness winner Rombauer, Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality and third-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie are among the top contenders with the bragging rights for best 3-year-old horse still up for grabs.
The $1.5 million Belmont is the main event for a day of racing that feels like a heavyweight fight at the end of a stellar undercard. The eight other graded stakes races Saturday at Belmont Park combine to be worth just under $4.5 million. Trainer Todd Pletcher called it a preview of the Breeders’ Cup.
Jose Ortiz will replace his injured brother riding Known Agenda. Irad Ortiz Jr. was injured in a nasty fall during a race Thursday when he was thrown off his horse in the stretch. He seemed to escape serious injury but is expected to miss some time after getting stitches on his left arm and head.
FRENCH OPEN-DAY 7
Djokovic and defending champs Nadal and Swiatek reach 4th round
PARIS (AP) — Rafael Nadal has advanced to the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the 50th time by beating Cameron Norrie in the French Open, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. The defending champion won easily despite losing serve twice in a row in the second set. Nadal is trying to add to his record 13 French Open championships and seeks his 21st major title, which would break the men’s record he shares with Roger Federer. Federer and Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) are the only other men to have reached the fourth round at 50 major events.
Earlier Saturday, the No. 1-seeded Djokovic reached the fourth round for a record 12th consecutive year with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 win over 93rd-ranked Ricardas Berankis.
Djokovic’s streak of appearances in the round of 16 in Paris is now one longer than the previous professional era mark for men that was shared by Nadal and Roger Federer. They each got that far every year from 2005-15. Djokovic is seeking a second French Open championship and 19th Grand Slam title overall.
Also on Saturday:
— Defending women’s champion Iga Swiatek (shvee-AHN’-tehk) rallied from a slow start to beat Anett Kontaveit 7-6, 6-0. The eighth-seeded Swiatek has won 20 consecutive sets at Roland Garros and that streak was in jeopardy when she trailed 4-2. She dominated from there and lost only 12 points in the second set.
— Fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin remains the highest seed in the women’s draw at the French Open after rallying to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 against American countrywoman Jessica Pegula (peh-GOO’-luh). Kenin clinched victory on her third match point against the 28th-seeded Pegula. She is chasing her first title at Roland Garros after losing last year’s final. The 22-year-old Kenin won the Australian Open last year for her first and only major title so far.
— Former French Open doubles champion Barbora Krejcikova upset fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina (svih-toh-LEE’-nah) of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2.
— American teenager Coco Gauff is into the fourth round for the first time after her opponent Jennifer Brady stopped playing because of an injured left foot. The 24th-seeded Gauff took the opening set 6-1 before the 13th-seeded Brady retired from the match.
— Former runner-up Sloane Stephens advanced to the fourth round by beating 18th-seeded Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5.
— Lorenzo Musetti rallied to win an all-Italian matchup against Marco Cecchinato, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
— Jannik Sinner, seeded 18th, beat Mikael Ymer 6-1, 7-5, 6-3.
— Jan-Lennard Struff, a 31-year-old German, beat 18-year-old qualifier Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.
— No. 10 Diego Schwartzman eliminated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
Tigers place RHP Spencer Turnbull on IL with forearm injury
CHICAGO (AP) — The Detroit Tigers placed right-hander Spencer Turnbull on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a strained right forearm.
Turnbull left Friday night’s 9-8 loss to the White Sox after working four innings of one-run ball. He threw 56 pitches, 39 for strikes. The 28-year-old Turnbull is 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in nine starts. He pitched a no-hitter May 18 at Seattle.
The Tigers recalled right-hander Bryan Garcia from Triple-A Toledo.
Leclerc on pole for Azerbaijan after crashes halt qualifying
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Charles Leclerc will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the pole position after a crash halted qualifying early and stopped rivals from challenging his time.
Leclerc set a time of 1 minute, 41.218 seconds early in Saturday’s third session. Championship leader Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were among the drivers trying to start flying laps late when Yuki Tsunoda hit the wall and Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz crashed crashed his Ferrari right behind Tsunoda. That brought an immediate end to the session and put Leclerc on the pole for the second consecutive grand prix. He hasn’t won a race since September 2019.
Hamilton was second and Verstappen third.