Update on the latest sports


Islanders visit Lightning to battle for spot in Stanlye Cup Final

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t lost consecutive postseason games in over two years and haven’t faced a winner-take-all challenge since 2018. That may speak to how difficult they’ve been to beat in the playoffs lately. But neither streak will mean anything when the defending Stanley Cup champions face the New York Islanders Friday night in Game 7 of the NHL semifinals.

The Lightning are going for their fourth appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders are aiming for their first trip since 1984.

The winner will face the Montreal Canadiens, who finished off the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime Thursday night, 3-2, in Game 6 to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Trae Young and the inexperienced Atlanta Hawks seemingly aren’t feeling the pressure of playoff basketball as they try to give this franchise its first title in over six decades. These loose and confident Hawks have found a way to win just about every close game they’ve played. They’re 4-0 in postseason games decided by no more than three points and 6-1 when the margin is seven points or below.

The Hawks have a 1-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks heading into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night. The fifth-seeded Hawks have gone 6-2 in playoff road games as they chase the franchise’s first title since 1958, when they were based in St. Louis.

This is the fifth time the Bucks and Hawks have faced off in the playoffs and their first postseason matchup since the Hawks won 4-3 in a 2010 opening-round series. They split the four previous matchups.


Arrieta and Cubs follow up no-hitter

UNDATED (AP) — Jake Arrieta (ehr-ee-ET’-uh) takes the mound for the Cubs Friday night against the World Series champion Dodgers, a night after Zach Davies and three Cubs relievers combined for the major leagues’ seventh no-hitter this year. That’s the most in a season since 1900.

Until Thursday night, Los Angeles hadn’t been no-hit since Arrieta did it at Dodger Stadium in August 2015. Arrieta is 0-4 with an 8.20 ERA in his last five starts.

Los Angeles counters with Tony Gonsolin (GAHN’-sah-lihn), who hasn’t won since returning from the injured list earlier this month, but the Dodgers are 3-0 in his starts.

In other highlights of Friday’s schedule:

— Carlos Correa and the Astros try for their 12th consecutive victory when Framber Valdéz starts in Detroit — although the weather forecast calls for heavy rain. Houston’s streak is one shy of the team record, set in 1999 and matched in 2004 and 2018. The Astros have outscored opponents 91-24 during the winning run.

— Domingo Germán starts for the New York Yankees in their first game in front of fans at Fenway Park since 2019. Martín Pérez pitches for the rival Boston Red Sox, who will honor former second baseman and fan favorite Dustin Pedroia during pregame ceremonies. Pedroia spent his entire 17-year pro career in the Boston organization.

— After a day off, the staggering Arizona Diamondbacks visit San Diego looking to stop a 23-game road losing streak that marks the longest in modern major league history. The 21-25 Diamondbacks have dropped 19 of their last 20 games and 42 of 48. They’re on pace to lose more than 115 times this season.

— Miami right-hander Pablo López tries to slow down Kyle Schwarber and the visiting Nationals. Schwarber homered twice Thursday night against the Marlins, raising his season total to 21 by hitting 12 in his past 13 games, and the Nationals won for the 10th time in 11 games. Schwarber became the first player in big league history to homer 11 times in a 13-game span from the No. 1 slot in the batting order, according to STATS. He is the fourth player with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in a five-game stretch, joining Shawn Green, Manny Ramirez and Frank Howard. López pitched seven shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs last Saturday.

— Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, who guided the Rays to the 2008 AL pennant, will manage his second series at Tampa Bay as an opposing skipper this weekend and first since he was with the Chicago Cubs in September 2017.

— Sean Manaea is on the mound when the Oakland Athletics end the first of their three 10-game trips this season close to home. They play an interleague game against Johnny Cueto and the major league-leading Giants in San Francisco, meaning Manaea gets an opportunity to hit for the first time since 2018. The left-hander has a 1.19 ERA over his last six starts, allowing only five runs in 37 2/3 innings.

— Matt Harvey is 0-8 with an 11.49 ERA in his last nine starts for the Orioles, leaving him 2-8 with a 7.80 ERA going into his outing against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, New York. Alek Manoah pitches for Toronto while appealing a five-game suspension assessed by Major League Baseball senior vice president Michael Hill, who concluded the rookie intentionally threw at Baltimore’s Maikel Franco last weekend when he hit him on the left shoulder with a 94 mph pitch, just after allowing consecutive homers to Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart. Baltimore has lost 20 straight road games, equaling the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics for the second-longest skid in AL history, trailing only the 22 road losses in a row by the 1943 A’s.

— Royals left-hander Mike Minor is set to pitch at Texas for the first time since the Rangers traded him to Oakland late last season. The 33-year-old Minor was 26-23 with a 4.00 ERA over three seasons with Texas. He made his only All-Star team there in 2019, a career year when he struck out 200 batters and finished eighth in AL Cy Young Award balloting. Minor faced the Rangers in Kansas City in his Royals debut, pitching four-run ball over six innings on April 3 in an 11-4 win. Dane Dunning is slated to start for the Rangers.


Djokovic, Federer could meet in Wimbledon final; Halep out

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) and Roger Federer have been placed on opposite sides of the Wimbledon bracket. That means they only could meet in the final. It would be a rematch of their epic 2019 title showdown won by Djokovic.

Two years ago at Wimbledon, Djokovic edged Federer in a fifth-set tiebreaker after saving two championship points in the final. Federer, who turns 40 on Aug. 8, is coming off a pair of operations to his right knee last year and has played only eight matches in the past 16 months.

The top-seeded Djokovic will have a lot at stake when play begins at the All England Club on Monday. He seeks a 20th major title to tie the men’s record shared by Federer and Rafael Nadal.

While Djokovic pursues Slam No. 20, Serena Williams will once again take a shot at No. 24, which would tie her with Margaret Court for the most major singles titles in tennis history. Williams, seeded No. 6, will open against 100th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who reached Wimbledon’s fourth round in 2018. The 39-year-old American could meet No. 25 Angelique Kerber — who beat Williams in the 2018 final — in the third round.

The reigning women’s champion, No. 3-ranked Simona Halep (HAL’-ehp), pulled out of the field just before the draw began, citing a torn left calf that also forced her to sit out the French Open. That means two of the top three players in the WTA rankings are missing from the field. No. 2 Naomi Osaka withdrew last week.

Two of the top five men are out, too: No. 3 Rafael Nadal, a two-time champion at Wimbledon, and No. 5 Dominic Thiem (teem), the 2020 U.S. Open champ.


Organizing chief says spectators could still be banned

TOKYO (AP) — The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee says a no-spectator Olympics remains an option, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo.

That word Friday from Seiko Hashimoto comes days after she announced that up to 10,000 local fans would be allowed into venues. The move to allow fans went against many medical experts who have said the safest Olympics would be with no fans due to coronavirus.

Fans from abroad were banned months ago.

Organizers say they will take a another look at fan limits after the current “quasi-state of emergency” ends on July 11. The Olympics start July 23.