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.

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.


Essential Quality crosses finish line first in Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK (AP) — Essential Quality crosses finish line first in Belmont Stakes. Essential Quality remained a 2-1 favorite in the Belmont Stakes roughly 90 minutes away from the start of the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Brad Cox’s gray colt finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after going off as the favorite and enduring a rough trip.


Nadal, Djokovic in 4th round, as usual

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 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.

— Matteo Berrettini made it a trio of Italian men who are moving into in Week 2 of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, joining teenagers Musetti and Sinner. The No. 9-seeded Berrettini beat Kwon Soon-woo 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.

— 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.


Guerrero hits 18th homer as Blue Jays beat Astros 6-2

UNDATED (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero (guh-REHR’-oh) Jr. and Joe Panik homered, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 6-2. Panik’s tiebreaking three-run shot off José Urquidy (ur-KWEE’-dee) gave Toronto a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning.

Guerrero connected in the fifth, sending a two-run drive deep to left for his 18th homer.

Ross Stripling pitched five innings of one-run ball for the Blue Jays, who improved to 3-1 at their temporary home in Buffalo.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Yadier Molina left the game in the fourth inning with a bruised knee, and the St. Louis Cardinals extended a losing streak to four for the first time this year with a 5-2 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds. The 38-year-old Molina, a nine-time All-Star catcher, and nine-time Gold Glove winner, took a foul tip off the bat of Kyle Farmer off his left knee in the fourth inning. Andrew Knizner pinch hit in the bottom half for Molina, who is batting .277 with seven homers and 27 RBIs.

— Tarik Skubal struck out a career-high 11 to win consecutive starts for the first time in his major league career, Eric Haase (hahs) homered twice and the Detroit Tigers beat the White Sox 4-3. Chicago manager Tony La Russa remained tied with John McGraw on the career manager wins list at 2,763, behind only Connie Mack at 3,731. Miguel Cabrera also homered for the Tigers, who had lost 13 of their previous 14 games against the White Sox. José Cisnero pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save, helping Detroit improve to 11-19 in road games.


Phillies’ Harper returns to lineup

UNDATED (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper returned to the lineup on against the Washington Nationals, starting in right field and batting third, after missing 11 games with a left wrist injury.

Harper was hurt on April 28 when a 97 mph fastball from St. Louis’ Genesis Cabrera hit him in the face and then the left wrist.

He returned to the lineup after three days off but struggled.

The six-time All-Star and former NL MVP had just one homer and three RBIs in 15 games in May while slashing just .211/.318/.316 with 26 strikeouts in 57 at-bats.

In other baseball news:

— The Yankees have promoted slugging prospect Chris Gittens from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hoping the hulking 27-year-old can provide a jolt at first base in his first turn in the majors. Luke Voit led the majors as the Yankees’ first baseman in 2020 but has played in just 12 games this season.

— Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez was scratched from Boston’s lineup at Yankee Stadium after jamming his left wrist sliding into a base a night earlier. Martinez was initially set to bat third and be the designated hitter, but he was removed from the lineup about 2 1/2 hours before first pitch. He’s considered day to day.

— Right-hander Jon Gray has been placed on the 10-day injured list by the Colorado Rockies with a right flexor strain as part of a series of roster moves Saturday. Right-hander Jordan Sheffield also went on the 10-day injured list and the team recalled left-handed pitchers Ben Bowden and Lucas Gilbreath from Triple-A Albuquerque.

— The Detroit Tigers have placed right-hander Spencer Turnbull on the 10-day injured list with a strained right forearm. Right-hander Bryan Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Toledo.

— Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher John Means left a game against the Cleveland Indians after two outs because of left shoulder fatigue. He was replaced by Adam Plutko.


Packers CEO says team’s fans divided on Rodgers situation

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy says he believes the uncertainty surrounding MVP Aaron Rodgers’ future has divided the team’s fan base.

Murphy said in a monthly column on the Packers’ website that emails and letters he’s received regarding Rodgers reflect this division. Murphy added that “we remain committed to resolving things with Aaron and want him to be our quarterback in 2021 and beyond.” ESPN reported in late April that Rodgers doesn’t want to return to Green Bay.

Rodgers hasn’t participated in the Packers’ voluntary organized training activities. That’s a change from his usual offseason routine.


Canada beats US 4-2 in world hockey semifinals

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Andrew Mangiapane scored two goals to help Canada beat the United States 4-2 in the semifinals of hockey’s world championship.

With Saturday’s win, Canada heads to the final for the fifth time in the past six tournaments. Canada will face Finland in Sunday’s gold-medal match. It’s a rematch of the 2019 final, which Finland won 3-1. The 2020 tournament was canceled because of COVID-19.


Coronavirus knocks Rahm out of Memorial after 6-shot lead

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — One minute, Jon Rahm was headed for a blowout victory in the Memorial. The next minute, he was out of the tournament with a positive test for the coronavirus. It was a shocking turn of events.

Rahm was subject to daily testing this week because he had been in close contact with a person who was COVID-19 positive. He passed every test until Saturday morning when the second round of the rain-delayed tournament ended.

The final result was returned as he was on the 18th green capping off a 64 to tie the 54-hole record and lead by six.


Tim Herron shoots 9-under 63 to take 4-shot lead in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Tim Herron shot a 9-under 63 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Principal Charity Classic. Trying to win for the first time on the 50-and-over tour, Herron birdied the par-4 18th for a back-nine 30 and 14-under 130 total at Wakonda Club.

The 51-year-old from Minnesota, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied three of the first five holes, then birdied Nos. 10-12, 15, 16 and 18 to pull away.

Shane Bertsch and Rod Pampling were second after 67s. Doug Barron was 9 under after a 69.


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.

Hamilton was second and Verstappen third.