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April 16, 2018
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Update on the latest in sports:

 

NBA PLAYOFFS:

Top-seeded Rockets escape with opening win

UNDATED (AP) – The Houston Rockets carried the top overall seed into the NBA playoffs Sunday, but they had their hands full against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

James Harden hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 44 points as the Rockets pulled out a 104-101 victory over the Wolves. Harden scored the last seven points in a 9-0 run that erased a one-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The league scoring leader provided 11 straight Houston points in the final period.

 

The Timberwolves stayed in the game despite a quiet performance by Karl-Anthony Towns, who had just eight points after averaging 21.3 during the regular season.

 

Andrew Wiggins had a team-high 18 points for Minnesota.

 

Game 2 is Wednesday in Houston.

 

Checking out Sunday’s other playoff openers:

 

– Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) poured in 32 points and the Pacers overcame LeBron James’ triple-double in a 98-80 victory at Cleveland. Myles Turner had 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds for Indiana, which led 33-12 in the first quarter and handed the Cavs their postseason-opening loss in eight years. James finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career playoff triple-double, but the rest of Cleveland’s starters accounted for just 25 points. Game 2 is Wednesday in Cleveland.

 

– Al Horford delivered 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Celtics outlasted the Bucks, 113-107 in overtime. Terry Rozier had 23 points for Boston, which led 99-96 until Khris Middleton nailed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to force OT. Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOOM’-poh) led the Bucks with 35 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out in overtime. Middleton had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Milwaukee, which stays in Boston for Game 2 on Tuesday.

 

– Paul George shot 8-for-11 from 3-point range and lit up the Jazz for 36 points in the Thunder’s 116-108 win over Utah. George had 20 points by halftime and set an Oklahoma City playoff record for 3-pointers in a game. Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Thunder, who host Game 2 on Wednesday. Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell had 27 points and 10 rebounds but was limping in the fourth quarter because of a sore left foot.

 

NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE:

 

Crosby gets 4 points as Pens roll

 

UNDATED (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins have regained home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by rebounding from Friday’s 5-1 loss in the Steel City.

 

Sidney Crosby scored once and had three assists as the Pens thumped the Flyers, 5-1 in Philadelphia. Crosby scored his fourth goal of the series midway through the first period. Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin (DOO’-muh-lihn) tallied five seconds apart to put Pittsburgh ahead 4-0 seven minutes into the second period.

 

Derick Brassard and Justin Schultz also scored, and Matt Murray turned back 26 shots to help the Penguins take a 2-1 series lead.

 

Game 4 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.

 

Elsewhere in the Stanley Cup playoffs:

 

– The Golden Knights are up 3-0 in their first-round series after Cody Eakin, James Neal and William Karlsson scored in an 8:34 span of the third period to lead a 3-2 comeback over the Kings. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 37 shots and held off Los Angeles after Anze Kopitar (AHN’-zhay KOH’-pih-tahr) scored to make it a one-goal game with 2:04 remaining. Kopitar also had an assist for the Kings, who will try to stave off elimination at home on Tuesday.

 

– Matt Calvert scored 12:22 into overtime and the Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead in the first round by downing the Capitals, 5-4 in Washington. Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHF’-skee) stopped 54 shots and Cam Atkinson scored twice in the Jackets’ second straight overtime win against the Caps. Josh Anderson also tallied and set up Calvert’s game-winner on a play that was reviewed by the NHL situation room for a possible offside. Alex Ovechkin notched a pair of power-play goals for the Capitals, who blew a 3-1 lead and risk falling behind three-games-to-none on Tuesday.

 

 

– The Wild bounced back from consecutive losses at Winnipeg by whipping the Jets, 6-2. Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise (pah-REE’-say) scored power-play goals in the first period to put Minnesota ahead to stay. Jordan Greenway scored his first NHL goal just 20 seconds after Eric Staal beat Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk), who was pulled after two periods. Devan Dubnyk (DOOB’-nihk) stopped 29 shots for the Wild, who can even the series by winning Game 4 Tuesday at Minnesota.

 

MLB SCHEDULE:

 

 

Red Sox beat Birds, 3-1 improve to 13-2

 

UNDATED (AP) – The Boston Red Sox have extended the best start in their 118-year history by completing what has become a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.

 

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland each had three hits and the Red Sox received four shutout innings from their bullpen in a 3-1 victory over the Birds. Benintendi tied the game with an RBI triple in the fifth, one inning before J.D. Martinez scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

 

Boston improved to a major league-best 13-2 under new manager Alex Cora.

 

The Red Sox were supposed to complete a four-game series with their annual Patriots’ Day game. But the game has been postponed with heavy rain in Monday’s forecast, leading to a May 17 makeup date.

 

In other MLB games:

 

– The Mets improved to a National League-best 12-2 by beating the Brewers, 3-2 on a walk-off, solo homer by Wilmer Flores with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Brandon Nimmo (NIH’-moh) tied the game with a solo blast in the sixth and finished a double shy of the cycle as New York won for the 10th time in 11 games. Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) struck out eight straight batters and left after fanning 11 while allowing no earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.

 

– The Dodgers had dropped 11 straight regular-season games to the Diamondbacks before Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 while tossing two-hit ball over seven innings to lead Los Angeles to a 7-2 win against Arizona. Kershaw blanked the DBacks until Paul Goldschmidt led off the seventh with a round-tripper. Chris Taylor homered, doubled and drove in three runs to help the Dodgers stop a three-game skid.

 

– Starling Marte was 5-for-5 with a solo homer and four runs scored as the Pirates topped the Marlins, 7-3 to move to 11-4. Josh Bell had three hits and three RBIs to back Ivan Nova, who struck out nine while yielding three runs over 6 2/3 innings. Corey Dickerson ran his hitting streak to 10 games by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

 

– The Phillies ran their winning streak to six games as Aaron Altherr (AHL’-tehr) hit a three-run homer and rookie Scott Kingery laced a three-run double in a 10-4 drubbing of the Rays. Kingery has 12 RBIs in his last eight games, helping Philadelphia improve to a surprising 9-5. Reliever Yacksel Rios went 1 1/3 scoreless innings as the Phils swept a series of at least three games from an AL East team for the first time since June 2003 at Baltimore.

 

– Ian Desmond haunted his ex-team by drilling a two-out, solo homer in the ninth inning of Colorado’s fourth win in five games, 6-5 at Washington. Charlie Blackmon also went deep and poked a two-run single that tied the game 3-3 against Stephen Strasburg in the sixth. Bryce Harper slammed his major league-leading seventh homer for the Nationals, who dropped three of four in the series to fall to 7-9.

 

– The Padres beat the Giants for the third straight day as Joey Lucchesi struck out nine over six innings of San Diego’s 10-1 laugher. Fellow rookie Christian Velazquez homered, doubled and had three RBIs, while teammate Jose Pirela drove in three runs in the Padres’ fifth win in seven games. Losing pitcher Tyler Beade was chased during a three-run fourth as the Giants lost for the fourth time in five games.

 

– Carlos Martinez waited through a rain delay before fanning a season-high 11 batters in seven shutout innings of the Cardinals’ 3-2 triumph at Cincinnati. Harrison Bader’s two-run home run helped the Redbirds complete their first four-game sweep in Cincinnati since 1949. The Reds are 2-13 and off to their worst start since the 1931 squad opened 2-17.

 

– Bartolo Colon carried a perfect game into the eighth inning and Robinson Chirinos (chih-REE’-nohs) drove in the Rangers’ runs in a 3-1, 10-inning victory at Houston. The 44-year-old Colon retired 21 straight hitters until Carlos Correa led off the eighth with a walk and Josh Reddick doubled one batter later. Chirinos delivered a two-run double in the 10th after homering for the only hit against Justin Verlander, who struck out 11 over eight innings.

 

– Jed Lowrie hit an early two-run homer off Felix Hernandez to send the Athletics past the Mariners, 2-1. Sean Manaea fired two-hit ball over seven innings and blanked Seattle until Taylor Motter’s fifth-inning blast. The M’s were unable to complete a three-game sweep despite Hernandez, who allowed just two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings.

 

– Six other games were postponed by rain or snow, including the Yankees’ doubleheader with the Tigers in Detroit. The Indians and Blue Jays were rained out in Cleveland, as were the Royals and Angels at Kansas City and the Cubs-Braves clash at Wrigley Field. The Twins and White Sox were snowed out in Minnesota, wiping out the last three games of their four-game set.

 

GLF-RBC HERITAGE:

 

Kodaira rallies to win 3-hole playoff at RBC Heritage

 

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) – Satoshi Kodaira picked up his first PGA victory by storming back from a six-shot deficit in the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. Kodaira shot a 5-under 66 for a 12-under total before sinking a 25-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to beat Si Woo Kim.

 

Bryson DeChambeau and Luke List finished one shot back and one ahead of Billy Horschel and Webb Simpson.

 

Ian Poulter was in line for his second Tour victory in three starts before closing with a 75 that left him three shots off the pace.

 

NASCAR-BRISTOL:

 

Completion of Bristol race postponed to Monday

 

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) – NASCAR says the completion of the Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway has been postponed until Monday.

 

The postponement comes just 46 laps shy of the race becoming official.

 

NASCAR hopes to complete the final 296 laps of the 500-lap race today, but there is also a chance for more rain with a possibility of some snow.

 

Kyle Larson is the leader.

 

T25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOREN:

 

Oklahoma president Boren expected to recover from stroke

 

UNDATED (AP) – University of Oklahoma President David Boren is expected to make a full recovery after having a minor stroke minutes before the unveiling of a statue honoring former Sooners football coach Bob Stoops on Saturday.

 

The school sent the update saying Boren is expected to be released from the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City in the coming days.

 

The 76-year-old Boren was Oklahoma’s governor and a U.S. Senator before becoming the university’s president in 1994.

 

Eagles release cornerback Daryl Worley after his arrest

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Eagles have released cornerback Daryl Worley, hours after he was arrested.

 

NFL Network reported that Worley was arrested Sunday morning near the team’s practice facility and that police used a Taser on him after he became combative. The report also said a gun was found in Worley’s vehicle.

 

The team first issued a statement that it was investigating Worley’s arrest and later announced he was cut.