Update on the latest in sports:
NHL-STANLEY CUP FINAL
Caps have to buck history
LAS VEGAS (AP) – History is working against the Washington Capitals, after their Game 1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup final.
Since the final went to a best-of-seven format in 1939, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to hoist the Cup the last six years and 61 of the last 78 times.
Tomas Nosek scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds to help the Golden Knights beat Washington 6-4 in Game 1.
The upstart Golden Knights have spent their entire inaugural season speeding past all expectations, and their first Final game didn’t slow them down in the slightest.
Vegas will host Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Warriors move on to face Cavaliers for NBA title
HOUSTON (AP) – The Golden State Warriors are used to making things look easy — but they had to overcome one of their toughest tests to return to the NBA Finals. In the last two games of the Western Conference finals, they climbed out of huge holes to beat the Houston Rockets.
If they hope to knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to repeat as champions, they may have to play in the first half the way they have after halftime.
Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant combined to score 47 points in the second half to pull away from a Rockets team that missed 27 straight 3-pointers from the second quarter to the halfway mark of the fourth quarter.
The Warriors are now the fifth team in NBA history to advance to the finals in four straight seasons.
Nidal nearly loses a set
PARIS (AP) – Rafael Nadal narrowly avoided dropping a set at the French Open for the first time in three years and finished off his rain-interrupted 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) victory over 129th-ranked Simone Bolelli of Italy.
Beginning his bid for a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros, Nadal needed to erase four set points to close things out.
Bolelli produced a drop volley winner for a 6-3 lead in the tiebreaker, but Nadal discarded that trio of set points with an ace, a backhand volley winner and an inside-out forehand winner. Bolelli then had another set point at 7-6, but put a forehand return in the net.
From there, it took Nadal three match points to finish, reaching the second round when Bolelli missed a forehand.
In other French Open action:
– Third-seeded Marin Cilic has kicked off his Roland Garros campaign with a straight-set win over James Duckworth of Australia. Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion who reached two of the past three Grand Slam finals, was not bothered by the rain that stopped play for about an hour.
– Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza is back to winning ways at the French Open after beating Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, another former Roland Garros champion. Muguruza, who claimed the title in Paris two years ago, advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (0), 6-2 win.
– Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov’s first Grand Slam match as a seeded player went about as smoothly as could be – a straight-set victory at the French Open. The 19-year-old lefty, who is seeded 24th for his Roland Garros main-draw debut, needed just 2 hours to get past 59th-ranked John Millman of Australia 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
Pirates have a beef with Rizzo
UNDATED (AP) – The Pirates are upset with Anthony Rizzo after the Cubs star slid hard into catcher Elias Diaz while being forced out at home Monday afternoon, and tensions could spill over as the teams resume their series.
Rizzo claimed he “wasn’t trying to hurt anyone” when he went leg-first into Diaz, who had already touched home plate for the force out and was a full step in front of the base.
Diaz says when he saw the replay, he thought, “Man, this guy could have ended my career right here.” He says even though it was ruled a legal slide, he doesn’t think that’s the case, based on what he’s been told.
He says Rizzo apologized before his at-bat in the ninth inning.
Rizzo’s seventh home run of the season gave the Cubs an early lead, and his two-run single in the ninth put the finishing touches on a 7-0 Chicago win.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is hoping yesterday’s day off will get him going. Last year’s NL MVP struck out in all four at-bats Sunday at home against the Los Angeles Angels. CC Sabathia starts for New York tonight against Charlie Morton and the Astros. Morton struck out 10 in a win over the Yankees on April 30.
– Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy tries to follow up his 14-strikeout complete game against the White Sox last week when he pitches against Bryce Harper and the surging Nationals, who have won four straight and 13 of 18. Jeremy Hellickson, who pitched for the Orioles last summer, gets the ball for Washington in an interleague matchup between neighboring rivals.
– Arizona has found just the thing to jolt its slumbering offense – Cincinnati pitching. The Diamondbacks broke out with three homers in a 12-5 win over the Reds on Monday, a promising sign following a 1-8 road trip. Arizona’s Zack Godley opposes Reds righty Luis Castillo in the series’ second game.
– Milwaukee goes for a fifth straight victory when Zach Davies takes on the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha. With Jesus Aguilar hitting so well, Ryan Braun asked Brewers manager Craig Counsell on Sunday to be dropped lower in Milwaukee’s batting order, a move that worked out just fine in an 8-3 win over St. Louis on Monday.