Update on the latest sports
Clippers advance…Sixers force Game 7
UNDATED (AP) — They were the Buffalo Braves and San Diego Clippers before becoming the Los Angeles Clippers. Whatever you called them, they never advanced to the NBA’s conference finals in their 51-year history until Friday.
The Clippers have earned a Western Conference finals meeting with the Suns by ousting the Jazz, 131-119 in Game 6. Terance Mann scored a career-high 39 points, Paul George scored 28 and Reggie Jackson added 27.
The Clippers trailed by 25 points early in the third quarter before rallying back. It is the third time in franchise history the Clippers have trailed by at least 22 points in a postseason game and come back to win.
Mann helped fuel the rally with 20 points in the third quarter.
Donovan Mitchell delivered 39 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a losing effort. Jordan Clarkson had 21 points for the Jazz, who led the series 2-0 before dropping the last four.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers have forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Hawks.
Seth Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points as the top-seeded Sixers downed Atlanta, 104-99 to avoid elimination.
Tobias Harris also had 24 points, including four free throws in the final 13 seconds to protect the lead. Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) added 22 points and 13 rebounds for the 76ers, who will host Game 7 on Sunday.
The Hawks led by 12 points in the first period and never trailed until the Sixers opened the second half on a 12-0 run.
Hawks guard Trae Young scored a game-high 34 points, including a 3-pointer that pulled Atlanta with 94-93.
Celtics’ send Walker to Thunder, get Horford
UNDATED (AP) — The Celtics have reacquired Al Horford in a deal that sends point guard Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City, Brad Stevens’ first major move since he moved from the Boston bench to the front office.
Boston will also send the No. 16 overall draft pick and a 2025 second-rounder to the Thunder and receive 7-footer Moses Brown plus a 2023 second-round pick.
Horford returns to Boston and gives the Celtics the frontcourt presence they’ve lacked since he left two seasons ago.
Walker is guaranteed more than $73 million over the next two seasons after missing 29 games with knee injuries this year.
In other NBA news:
— Dirk Nowitzki is rejoining the Mavericks, this time as an adviser in the wake of the abrupt departures of general manager Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle. The franchise leader in nearly every category says he considered Nelson and Carlisle mentors and wanted to do what he could to help the Mavericks find their replacements and build for the future. Nowitzki retired two years ago after playing one season with young superstar Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch).
NHL PLAYOFFS-CANADIENS/GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Price steals win for Habs
MONTREAL (AP) — It would be generous to say the Montreal Canadiens beat the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. It would be more accurate to say Carey Price bailed them out.
The Canadiens’ goaltender turned back 43 shots in a 3-2 overtime win that gives Montreal a two-game-to-one lead in the Stanley Cup semifinals. Price was at his best while the Habs were being outshot, 25-5 over the first 30 minutes. He also helped the Canadiens kill off the Golden Knights’ four power-play chances before Josh Anderson scored his second goal of the night at 12:53 of OT.
Anderson also provided the tying goal with 1:55 left in regulation after Marc-Andre Fleury mishandled the puck behind his net.
Cole Caufield also scored to help Montreal win without interim head coach Dominique Ducharme (doo-SHAHRM’), who tested positive for COVID-19 before the game.
Nicolas Roy and Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) scored for Vegas, and Fleury stopped 24 shots.
Game 5 is Sunday in Montreal.
Barkov wins Selke
UNDATED (AP) — Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward. It was the first time the eight-year veteran has captured the honor, beating out Boston’s Patrice Bergeron (pah-trees’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) and Mark Stone of Vegas. He ranked ninth among forward in ice time and 10th in faceoff winning percentage.
Brand shoots 67 to take U.S. Open clubhouse lead
SAN DIEGO (AP) — It took Richard Bland 478 starts before earning his first European Tour victory last month. He now finds himself sharing the lead in a major he usually watches only on television.
The 48-year-old Bland carded a 4-under 67 that leaves him minus-5 through two rounds of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, tying him with Russell Henley. The oldest first-time winner on the European Tour has compensated for his short drives with deadly accuracy as he navigates the long course.
Henley lost a chance to take sole possession of the lead when he three-putted his final hole for a closing bogey.
Louis Oosthuizen (OOST’-hay-zehn) shot an even-part 71 to remain at 4 under, tying him for third with Matthew Wolff. Bubba Watson and Jon Rahm are 3 under through 36 holes, two weeks after Rahm had to pull out of the Memorial with a six-stroke lead because of a positive COVID-19 test.
Maguire in front
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Leona Maguire shot a 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic.
It’s the second straight week the Irish rookie has topped a leaderboard. The 26-year-old former Duke player is trying to become the first Irish winner in LPGA Tour history.
Maguire had a 15-under 129 total at Blythefield Country Club.
Su Oh of Australia was second after a bogey-free 65.
A’s beat Yanks
UNDATED (AP) — The Oakland Athletics picked up their seventh straight win, thanks in part from help of a former first-round pick of the New York Yankees.
James Kaprielian (kah-PREE’-lee-an) tossed three-hit ball over 5 2/3 innings in the Athletics’ 5-3 victory over the Yankees. Kaprielian was traded to Oakland in a July 2017 deal that brought pitcher Sonny Gray to New York.
The Yanks led, 3-2 until Tony Kemp hit a three-run homer in the sixth on a hanging slider from Wandy Peralta (WAHN’-dee peh-RAHL’-tah).
In other major league action:
— Yusei Kikuchi threw four-hit ball over seven innings of the Mariners’ 5-1 win over the Rays. Luis Torrens collected two RBIs and Seattle batted around in a four-run first that sent Tampa Bay to its fourth straight loss.
— The Royals won for just the second time in 13 games as Adalberto Mondesi hit a 464 foot three-run homer and Salvador Pérez added his 18th home run in a 10-2 romp over the Red Sox. Kansas City trailed 1-0 before Mondesi’s third-inning home run off Nick Pivetta.
— Cedric Mullins homered twice and the Orioles ended their eight-game losing streak by downing the Blue Jays, 7-1. Mullins had three hits, including a homer to lead off the bottom of the first and a three-run shot that capped a five-run eighth.
— Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) blasted his 20th and 21st home runs fir the Angels in an 11-3 dismantling of the Tigers. Ohtani, Luis Rengifo and Jared Walsh each homered in the fifth inning.
— Yordan (yohr-DAHN’) Álvarez had a game-ending double in the ninth inning for his third hit in the Astros’ 2-1 win over the White Sox. Luis García allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings as Houston won its fifth in a row.
— Luis Arraez laced an RBI triple to start the 10th inning and the Twins later drew two bases-loaded walks in a 7-5 downing of the Rangers. Trevor Larnach had a no-doubt homer for Minnesota, which has won consecutive games for only the second time this month.
— The Pirates’ 10-game losing streak is over after Gregory Polanco’s two-run home run capped a five-run first in an 11-10 victory against the Indians. Pittsburgh led 11-1 following rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes’ three-run double that capped a five-run sixth.
— Brandon Belt homered and the Giants beat the Phillies, 5-3. LaMonte (lah-MAHNT’) Wade Jr. doubled, tripled and drove in two runs as the Giants won in manager Gabe Kapler’s first game against the team he skippered for two years.
— Arizona stumbled to its franchise-record 15th straight loss as former Diamondback Steven Souza Jr. slammed a go-ahead homer to lead the Dodgers to a 3-0 victory. Trevor Bauer pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, fanning eight and lowering his ERA to 2.45.
— The Padres cruised to an 8-2 win over the Reds as Wil Myers homered twice and doubled. Tommy Pham hit a leadoff homer and Chris Paddack worked five impressive innings and struck out 11 to match his career high for the San Diego.
— The Rockies pulled out their season-high fifth straight win by downing the Brewers, 6-5 on C.J. Cron’s game-ending single in the 10th inning. Pinch-hitter Yonathan Daza and Brendan Rodgers supplied RBI doubles after Milwaukee took a 4-1 lead.
— The Mets suffered their second consecutive shutout loss as Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) laced an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Nationals a 1-0 win over New York. Erick Fedde (FEH’-dee) two-hit the Mets over seven frames and ran his scoreless straight to 20 innings.
— Ozzie Albies and William Contreras homered off Carlos Martínez in a four-run second inning that highlighted the Braves’ offense in an 9-1 rout of the Cardinals. Max Fried (freed) allowed two hits in seven innings of Atlanta’s second straight win since a 1-6 skid.
— Adam Duvall hit a grand slam and a two-run drive as the Marlins hammered the Cubs, 10-2 to end a four-game losing streak. Jon Berti added a three-run homer and Duvall finished with three hits as Miami handed Chicago its fourth loss in five games.
MLB COVID vaccinations slow
UNDATED (AP) — The pace of coronavirus vaccinations in Major League Baseball has slowed. No additional teams in the past week joined the 22 that had already reached the the 85% vaccination threshold for players and other on-field personnel.
Major League Baseball and the players’ association say 85.3% of tier 1 and 2 tier individuals had been fully vaccinated and 86.5% had received at least one dose.
In other MLB news:
— Angels star Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) will be the first Japanese-born player to compete in the Home Run Derby, held the night before the All-Star Game at Coors Field. The 26-year-old outfielder, designated hitter and pitcher has 19 home runs, three behind major league leaders Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr. of San Diego and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of Toronto. Ohtani is hitting .270 with 47 RBIs, and he is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 starts.
—The Orioles have put left-hander Bruce Zimmermann on the 10-day injured list with left bicep tendinitis, a move retroactive to Tuesday. Zimmermann was supposed to be Baltimore’s starter Friday night against Toronto. He is 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA this year.
Beasley firm on anti-vaxxer stance
UNDATED (AP) — Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley does not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and insists he will not follow rules jointly adopted by the NFL and NFLPA requiring unvaccinated players to stay clear of people. Tweeting in response to criticism over the last 24 hours of his stance on social media, Beasley confirmed Friday he is not vaccinated and will live his life like he wants. Coming off a career year, Beasley said he will go outside while unvaccinated and he will not wear masks. He advised people who see him to get out of his way.
In other NFL news:
— The Jaguars have signed receiver Laquon Treadwell, adding the 2016 first-round draft pick following a minicamp tryout. Treadwell was the 23rd overall pick that year by Minnesota, but he caught just 65 passes for 701 yards and two touchdowns in four years with the Vikings.
— The NFL is holding its inaugural General Manager Forum next week in an effort to increase minority hiring in front offices. The forum named after Ozzie Newsome will be held virtually on Monday ahead of the fourth annual Quarterback Coaching Summit. There are only four Black GMs and three Black head coaches in a 32-team league where about 70% of the players are minorities.
— The industry publication VenuesNow.com is reporting the Bills are pursuing plans to build a new stadium. The team has selected a company controlled by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the New York Yankees to represent them in negotiations.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TOKYO OLYMPICS
Top medical adviser says no fans would be safest for Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO (AP) — The top medical adviser to the Japanese government says the safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics is without any fans.
Fans from abroad have already been banned and organizers are to announce early next week if some local fans should be allowed. The Olympics open in just five weeks on July 23.
NCAA memo: Emmert tells schools to act on NIL or he will
UNDATED (AP) — NCAA President Mark Emmert has told the organization’s more than 1,100 member schools that he will seek temporary rules as early as July to ensure all athletes can be compensated for their celebrity. This comes with a host of state laws looming and congressional efforts seemingly stalled.
All three divisions of NCAA athletics have been working toward reforming NIL rules and lifting restrictions on athletes since 2019.
The NCAA Division I Council meets Tuesday and Wednesday and could act on an NIL proposal.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF-EXPANSION
Commissioners dig into CFP expansion plan
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — College Football Playoff expansion has taken another step forward.
The full group of commissioners who manage the postseason system wrapped up two days of digging into a plan for a 12-team format that would revamp the national championship. There is no announced timeline and the earliest expansion would be possible is 2023 if there are no big snags.
This week’s meeting was the first chance for the entire 11-person management committee to discuss the proposal in person.