Update on the latest sports:
Rockets hold off Warriors for 3-2 lead
HOUSTON (AP) – In a series full of superstars, it was a bench player who led the Houston Rockets to victory in Game 5 of the NBA’s Western Conference finals.
The Rockets have a three-games-to-two lead after Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and provide a big steal in a 98-94 triumph over the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors had a chance to win it or force overtime until Gordon stole the ball from Draymond Green in the closing moments. Gordon added a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left to clinch the win.
Chris Paul finished with 20 points after shooting 0-for-7 in the first half. However, Paul had to leave the game in the final minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who have dropped back-to-back games to fall behind in the series. Klay Thompson had 23 points despite a knee injury that had his status in doubt for the game.
Stephen Curry added 22 points for the Warriors, who will try to stave off elimination when they host Game 6 on Saturday.
NBA-ALL LEAGUE TEAM
James, Harden lead All-Stars
NEW YORK (AP) – LeBron James has been unanimously selected to the All-NBA first team for a record 12th time, while Houston’s James Harden also appeared on all 100 first-team ballots.
They were joined on the first team by New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Portland’s Damian Lillard.
James passed Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone with the 12th first-team selection of his 15-year career. He also was a second-team selection twice.
Astros pad division lead
UNDATED (AP) – The Houston Astros now enjoy a three-game lead in the American League West following their win at Cleveland and the Mariners’ loss at Oakland.
Charlie Morton is 7-0 after throwing six innings of the Astros’ 8-2 trouncing of the Indians. Morton allowed two runs and five hits while extending his career-best winning streak to 10 games. He also moved into a tie for the league lead in victories.
Alex Bregman and Jake Marisnick hit three-run homers after Morton fell behind, 2-0. Marisnick was hitting .141 and had just returned from the minors before going 2-for-4 on Thursday.
Indians starter Mike Clevenger shut out Houston through four innings before he was charged with five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3.
The loss cuts Cleveland’s lead in the AL Central to 1 1/2 games over Minnesota.
Seattle’s five-game winning streak is over after Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run double while the A’s did all their scoring in the first inning of a 4-3 win over the Mariners. The rally came off Felix Hernandez, who eventually settled down and retired 16 of his final 17 batters.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin used nothing but relievers, with Josh Lucas working the first two innings. Yusmeiro Petit (yoos-MEHR’-oh peh-TEET’) tossed three scoreless innings for the win.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– The Rays took advantage of errors by catcher Sandy Leon and outfielder Mookie Betts while building a 5-0 lead by the second inning of a 6-3 win over the Red Sox. Wilson Ramos (RAH’-mohs) had three hits and two RBIs, while Denard Span went 2-for-3 with three runs scored to help Tampa Bay cut Boston’s lead in the AL East to one game over the Yankees. Blake Snell struck out eight while limiting the Bosox to three hits over six shutout innings.
– Mike Trout and Albert Pujols (POO’-hohlz) each hit solo home runs and Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) reached base four times as the Angels thumped the Blue Jays, 8-1. Ohtani doubled twice, walked twice and scored twice to help Nick Tropeano get his first win since April 12. Martin Maldonado (mahr-TEEN’ mal-doh-NAH’-doh) had two hits and three RBIs to back Tropeano, who allowed one run and four hits over a season-high 7 1/3 innings.
– Salvador Perez hit a pair of two-run singles and Whit Merrifield doubled home a pair as the Royals hammered the Rangers, 8-2. Danny Duffy entered the game with a 6.88 ERA before holding Texas to a run and four hits over 7 2/3 innings. The Royals’ third straight win moves them out of the AL Central cellar, a half-game ahead of the White Sox.
– Dylan Bundy was outstanding in the Orioles’ 9-3 rout of the White Sox, striking out a career-high 14 in a two-hitter. Adam Jones and Trey Mancini hit solo home runs while the Birds took a 9-0 lead by the third inning. Jones and Manny Machado each had three hits, and Chance Sisco drove in three runs as the Orioles won for just the third time in nine games and improved to 6-21 on the road.
– Milwaukee’s lead in the NL Central is down to 2 1/2 games over Pittsburgh and St. Louis after Steven Matz scattered four hits over six innings of the Mets’ 5-0 shutout of the Brewers. Leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo reached base five times while going 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Asdrubal (as-DROO’-bul) Cabrera lined a two-run double and Wilmer Flores had two RBIs as New York ended a two-game skid that followed a four-game winning streak.
– The Pirates lost for the fifth time in six games as Eugenio (ay-oo-HAY’-nee-oh) Suarez launched a grand slam and Jesse Winker added a solo shot to lead the Reds past the Bucs, 5-4. Luis Castillo (4-4) gave up four hits in six innings, including a two-run homer by David Freese. Pirates hurler Ivan Nova dropped his sixth straight start against the Reds, surrendering the two home runs and five other hits over 5 1/3 innings.
White Sox catcher suspended
UNDATED (AP) – White Sox catcher Welington Castillo has been suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.
Castillo is the eighth player suspended this year under the major league drug-testing program. He would lose more than $3.5 million of his $7.25 million salary.
The 31-year-old Castillo is hitting .267 with six home runs, 15 RBIs and a .774 OPS this season, one year after slamming a career-high 20 homers.
In other MLB news:
– Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY’-uh) is returning to the Boston Red Sox’s active roster Friday after missing the team’s first 50 games following knee surgery. The second baseman’s return to the AL East leaders will come exactly seven months after cartilage-restoration surgery on his left knee. Eduardo Nunez is expected to go back to a utility role after filling in for Pedroia.
– The Twins have reinstated third baseman Miguel Sano from the disabled list after he missed the last 24 games with a strained left hamstring. The Twins sent outfielder Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester. Sano went 6 for 16 with two homers and three walks on a five-game rehab assignment.
– The Angels are pushing back Shohei Ohtani’s (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-neez) next outing as a starting pitcher to manage the workload of the two-way rookie. Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts. He had been scheduled to pitch against fellow Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.
– Rays manager Kevin Cash says reliever Sergio Romo is scheduled to start Friday night and Sunday against Baltimore, and Ryne Stanek is set to face the Orioles on Saturday. Tampa Bay planned to begin the regular season with four starting pitchers and have one bullpen day, but the team is currently without starters Nathan Eovaldi (eh-VAHL’-dee) and Jake Faria.
– A 10-person committee of researchers hired by the commissioner’s office has been unable to determine why baseballs are traveling farther. There was no evidence of meaningful change in the bounciness of the balls or alteration in batters’ swings, such as uppercutting. Committee chairman Alan Nathan concluded that the aerodynamic properties of the ball have changed, allowing it to carry farther.
Sharks finalize Kane deal
UNDATED (AP) – The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Evander Kane to a seven-year, $49 million contract that keeps him off the free agent market.
Kane scored 29 goals this season for San Jose and Buffalo, including nine goals and 14 points in 17 games for the Sharks.
In other NHL news:
– The Avalanche have brought back forward Gabriel Bourque on a one-year deal. Bourque scored five goals in 58 games for the Avs this season.
NFL players, coaches grapple with new anthem policy
UNDATED (AP) – Doug Baldwin, Russell Wilson and other NFL players are speaking out against a rule approved by the league’s owners this week mandating players on the field stand for the national anthem.
Baldwin took his comments a step further, calling President Donald Trump “an idiot” in response to the president’s comments on “Fox & Friends” saying that “maybe you shouldn’t be in the country” if you don’t stand for the anthem.
Baldwin says the decision by the league’s owners is a step back from the progress made between players and the league regarding social issues and community initiatives. Teams are allowed to create their own policies, and those in charge are considering how the situation will be handled. Teams will be fined by the league if players on the field aren’t standing during the anthem
Seattle coach Pete Carroll says “I was kind of liking the way it was going,” and now some of the control has been taken away from the coach and players.
In other NFL news:
– Buffalo Bills receiver Zay Jones has had knee surgery that will prevent him from participating in the team’s series of spring practices. Coach Sean McDermott wouldn’t discuss the nature of the injury and didn’t have a timetable for when Jones could resume practicing. It’s the second operation for Jones, who had surgery in January to repair a shoulder injury.
– Police took veteran NFL guard Richie Incognito to a Florida mental hospital after he allegedly threw weights and tennis balls at gym employees and another patron. Boca Raton police officers wrote that Incognito said he was involved with National Security Agency, but that he couldn’t talk about it because they didn’t have a high enough security clearance. Incognito announced earlier this year that he was retiring from football after 11 seasons. The Bills released him from their reserved/retired list Monday, leaving open the possibility he could sign with another team.
Na leads Colonial
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Kevin Na had a great finish as he took the first-round lead in the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.
Na chipped in from the rough more than 90 feet away for an incredible birdie to close out an 8-under 62. That put him one stroke ahead of Charley Hoffman, who also was bogey-free when shooting a 63 in the morning round.
Jhonattan Vegas, Emiliano Grillo, Andrew Putnam and Beau Hossler shot 64.
GOLF-SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
Club pro is 1st-round leader
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Nevada club pro Stuart Smith shot a 5-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship.
Smith closed his morning round with a double bogey on the par-4 18th. Scott McCarron, Tim Petrovic, Wes Short Jr., Barry Lane and Peter Lonard matched the 66 in the afternoon.
Smith is the director of golf at Somersett Country Club in Reno. He is one of 41 club pros in the field at Harbor Shores for the senior major.
Kyle Busch has pole; Harvick to start last
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Kyle Busch has won the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch turned a lap of 191.836 mph to take the top starting position for NASCAR’s longest race. Joey Logano will start alongside Busch on the front row.
Cup points leader Kevin Harvick never got on the track after failing pre-race inspection three times. Car chief Robert Smith was ejected, and Harvick will have to sit out the first 30 minutes of practice Saturday before starting in the rear for the race.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
Kentucky’s Walker arrested
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky junior safety Marcus Walker has been charged with trafficking cocaine and marijuana following a police search of an off-campus apartment.
Lexington police arrested Walker and 23-year-old Tavon Wells early Thursday morning after finding at least five pounds of marijuana and four grams of cocaine in a search of the residence. The arrest citation stated that a large amount of cash and a cash counter were found in the search.
Suit: Leagues’ block of sports gambling cost racetrack $139M
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – A New Jersey horse racing association has sued the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA over what it says is more than $130 million in lost sports betting revenue.
The suit filed Thursday in federal court claims the leagues acted in bad faith when they got a restraining order in 2014 to block Monmouth Park Racetrack from offering sports betting.
The suit claims Monmouth Park would’ve made $139 million in revenue between November 2014 and this month when a Supreme Court ruling allowed all states to authorize legal sports gambling.
Ilie Nastase arrested twice in a day for traffic offenses
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Romanian police have arrested former tennis player Ilie Nastase (EE’-lee nah-STA’-see) twice in the same day, first on suspicion of driving while drunk and refusing to take a breathalyzer test, and then for riding a scooter without a license.
Police initially stopped the 71-year-old early Friday while he was driving his car and said he was visibly drunk. He refused to take a breathalyzer and was detained, then later released as police opened an investigation. Police stopped him again six hours later after he allegedly went through a red light on a scooter. His driving license had been suspended after the first incident.
Nastase, once the world’s No. 1-ranked player, admitted that he had drunk beer but claimed police had manhandled him and thrown him to the ground during his first arrest. The second time he was apprehended, he was filmed mocking police officers and accusing them of acting like the communist-era militia.
Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing’s first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after what Trump said many feel was a racially motivated injustice.
Jack Johnson was convicted in 1913 by an all-white jury for violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes. Johnson died in 1946.