Update on the latest in sports:
Bucks clinch top seed
UNDATED (AP) – The Milwaukee Bucks have clinched the NBA’s top record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with three games left in the regular season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) outdueled Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) by scoring 45 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Bucks’ 128-122 victory over the 76ers. Milwaukee trailed by seven in the fourth quarter before chipping away, taking a 121-119 lead on George Hill’s basket with 1:02 to play. Hill finished with 20 points and Khris Middleton added 22 in the Bucks’ 59th win.
Embiid returned from a three-game absence and had 34 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists and three blocks.
Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action:
– DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors rolled past the Lakers, 108-90. Kevin Durant added 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Golden State, which leads the NBA’s Western Conference by two games over Denver and owns the tiebreaker with four games remaining.
– De’Aaron Fox had 16 points and 10 assists, while Buddy Hield (heeld) contributed 23 points to the Kings’ 117-104 win against the Cavaliers.
Near no-no in Cleveland
UNDATED (AP) – The Cleveland Indians almost became the authors of the first no-hitter of the season.
The Indians didn’t allow a hit Thursday until Freddy Galvis led off the ninth with a single off closer Brad Hand, who managed to finish up a 4-1 win over the Blue Jays. Hand worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and surrendered a run and three hits in the ninth before notching his third save.
Trevor Bauer worked the first seven innings and was lifted after 117 pitches, eight strikeouts and six walks.
The Indians scored on an RBI grounder, a pair of sacrifice flies and a bases-loaded walk.
The Indians haven’t pitched a no-hitter since Len Barker threw a perfect game in 1981, also against the Blue Jays.
In other major league finals:
– The Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs as Max Fried retired his first 17 hitters in Atlanta’s 9-3 blowout. Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY’-kihs) drove in five runs with five hits as the Braves handed the Cubs their fifth straight loss.
– Stephen Strasburg outdueled Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) in the Washington Nationals’ 4-0 victory at Citi Field. Strasburg struck out nine while limiting the Mets to three hits over 6 2/3 innings. Syndergaard surrendered just one hit over six innings, but the hit was Victor Robles’ solo homer in the sixth.
– The Athletics turned an early 3-0 deficit into a 7-3 win over the Red Sox as Stephen Piscotty went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and five RBIs. Winning pitcher Brett Anderson overcame a shaky start and worked 5 1/3 innings, blanking Boston after J.D. Martinez slammed a solo homer in the top of the third.
– Gleyber (GLAY-bur) Torres collected four RBIs by belting two of the Yankees’ four home runs in an 8-4 win over the Orioles. Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit (voyt) also went deep for New York after Baltimore carried a 4-1 lead into the sixth, allowing James Paxton to pick up his first win as a Yankee.
– The Pirates scratched out two runs and four pitchers combined to shut out the Reds, 2-0. Jordan Lyles was nearly flawless in his Pittsburgh debut, allowing just three hits while striking out three over five frames.
– The Tigers drew for straight walks in the bottom of the seventh to bring home the tiebreaking run in a 5-4 victory over the Royals. Josh Harrison stole two bases and scored three times for the Tigers in their home opener.
– Joey Gallo and Ronald Guzman homered off Matt Harvey while the Rangers scored five times in the first inning of an 11-4 thrashing of the Angels. Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and three RBIs for Texas.
– The White Sox and Mariners were postponed in Chicago, as were the Cardinals and Padres in St. Louis. Both games will be made up on Friday.
UNDATED (AP) – The Yankees now have a major league-leading 11 players on the injured list after putting shortstop Troy Tulowitski (too-loh-IHTS’-kee) on the shelf with a left calf strain.
The five-time All-Star left prior to the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game against Detroit. Tulowitzki is hitting .182 in five games after missing all of last season following surgery on both heels.
Infielder Thairo Estrada was recalled Thursday from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to fill out an infield already without Didi Gregorius (greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) and Miguel Andujar (an-DOO’-hahr).
Elsewhere in MLB news:
– Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw gave up two runs and struck out six in 4 1/3 innings during his rehab assignment for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Dodgers said earlier this week that Kershaw would likely need at least one more rehab outing after this before returning to the NL champions.
– Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (fohl-tih-NAY’-vihch) showed no issues with his right elbow, allowing no hits and two baserunners in five scoreless innings of a rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday. Foltynewicz will give manager Brian Snitker and the medical staff an update Friday on how he feels.
– The White Sox have reinstated shortstop Tim Anderson from the paternity list and optioned right-hander Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte. Chicago also reinstated right-hander Ian Hamilton from the 10-day injured list and optioned him to the minors.
– The Pirates have put outfielder Corey Dickerson on the 10-day injured list because of a strained right shoulder. Pittsburgh also reinstated right-hander Jordan Lyles from the injured list.
– Los Angeles police say believe they know what caused a Dodger Stadium parking lot altercation that left a baseball fan with a fractured skull last week. However, police are not saying more until they find two people believed to have been involved. Police say the injured man is recovering consciousness, but investigators have not been able to interview him because his family has retained a lawyer.
Caps take division crown
UNDATED (AP) – The Washington Capitals have wrapped up the NHL’s Metropolitan Division crown, leaving just one division up for grabs.
Nic Dowd scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Braden Holtby stopped 33 shots as the Caps downed the Canadiens, 2-1. Lars Eller also scored against his old team to help Washington wrap up a fourth consecutive division crown with one game remaining.
The outcome puts the Canadiens in danger of missing the playoffs. The Habs are tied with Columbus for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth, but the Blue Jackets own the tiebreaker and a game in hand.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– The Predators’ hopes for a second straight Central Division title were bolstered after Ryan Johansen scored with 19.5 seconds remaining in their 3-2 comeback over the Canucks. Vancouver led 2-1 until Nick Bonino scored with 4:20 left in the third period.
– The Avalanche clinched a playoff berth by rallying from a two-goal deficit to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Erik Johnson’s goal at 1:49 of overtime. The Jets fell into a virtual second-place tie with St. Louis in the Central Division, one point behind the Predators.
– The Blues are still in the hunt for the Central Division championship after scoring five times in the first 9:41 of a 7-3 romp over the Flyers. Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh) had three assists during the first-period outburst as St. Louis improved to 8-1-2 since March 16.
– Derek Stepan (STEH’-pahn) scored twice and Darcy Kuemper (KEHM’-pur) made 35 saves in the Coyotes’ 4-1 win over the Golden Knights. Richard Panik and Conor Garland also scored for Arizona, which was eliminated from playoff contention when the Avalanche beat the Jets.
– Brent Burns had a goal and an assist as the Sharks recorded a 3-2 victory over the Oilers. Marcus Sorensen and Gustav Nyquist also scored and Aaron Dell finished with 26 saves as San Jose improved to 2-8-1 in its last 11 games.
– The Islanders still hold a two-point lead over Pittsburgh for second in the Metropolitan Division following a 2-1 shootout victory at Florida. Brock Nelson scored once in regulation and again in the shootout to help the Isles avoid falling to third in the division.
– The Penguins clinched a postseason berth for the 13th straight year as Phil Kessel scored twice in a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings. Sidney Crosby added a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh, which owns the league’s longest current playoff streak at 13 years.
– Justin Faulk scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Hurricanes clinched their first playoff berth in a decade by beating the Devils, 3-1. Warren Foegele (FOH’-gul) and Nino Neiderreiter (NEE’-dur-eye-tur) also scored and Petr Mrazek (mah-RAHY’-zehk) stopped 35 shots to help the Hurricanes snap the league’s longest active playoff drought.
– Steven Stamkos collected a goal and an assist, while Andrei Vasilevskiy (va-sih-LEHV’-skee) stopped 29 shots in the Lightning’s 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs. Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) and Alex Killorn also scored to help Tampa Bay join the 1996 Red Wings as the only NHL teams to win more than 60 games in a season.
– Jaroslav Halak (YAH’-roh-slahv hah-LAHK’) picked up his fifth shutout of the season and 47th of his career by turning back 26 shots in the Bruins’ 3-0 win at Minnesota. Joakim Nordstrom, David Pastrnak and Zach Senyshyn (SEH’-nih-shehn) furnished the goals, with Senyshun scoring in his NHL debut.
– The Sabres earned a 5-2 win over the Senators as Jack Eichel (EYE’-kul) provided a goal and two assists. Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist to help Buffalo win for just the fourth time in 25 games since mid-February.
Sather steps down as Rangers president
NEW YORK (AP) – Hall of Fame executive Glen Sather is stepping down as Rangers president and transitioning to a new role as senior adviser to owner James Dolan.
Sather’s move comes after 19 years with the Rangers in which he served the first 15 as New York’s president and general manager. He ceded general manager duties to longtime assistant Jeff Gorton before the 2015-16 season.
Beard is AP’s top coach
UNDATED (AP) – Texas Tech’s Chris Beard has been named The Associated Press men’s college basketball coach of the year, edging Houston’s Kelvin Sampson.
Beard earned 20 of 64 votes from AP Top 25 voters who submitted ballots before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
The Red Raiders won a share of the Big 12 regular season title for the first time, then pushed past No. 1 seed Gonzaga to win the West Region and earn a spot in the Final Four.
In other NCAA news:
– Mississippi men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis will earn an average base salary of $3 million over the next four years. The school originally announced the contract for Davis last month, but full terms were not released until Thursday. The 59-year-old led the Rebels to a 20-13 record and the first round of the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Oxford.
– Houston coach Kelvin Sampson has signed a contract extension through the 2024-25 season after helping the Cougars to their best season in 35 years. The move comes after Sampson turned around a downtrodden program and led the Cougars to their first Sweet 16 since 1984.
– Iowa State sophomore Lindell Wigginton is declaring for the NBA draft for the second year in a row “with the full intent of staying in.” Wigginton’s numbers dipped to 13.5 points and 4.1 rebounds a game this season after a foot injury cost him 10 non-conference games.
Kim leads through 18
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Si Woo Kim birdied five of his final eight holes for a 6-under 66 and the first-round lead at the Valero Texas Open.
The 2017 Players Championship winner leads by a shot over Abraham Ancer, J.T. Poston, Brian Stuard and Jhonattan Vegas. Kim is two ahead of a group that includes Ricky Fowler and Jordan Spieth at the PGA Tour’s last stop before Augusta.
Also at 4 under after 68s are Morgan Hoffmann, Danny Lee and Ryan Moore, along with Ted Potter Jr., Scott Stallings and Chris Stroud.
GYMNASTICS-DOCTOR SEXUAL ASSUALT
Michigan’s top court rejects Nassar appeal
CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former sports doctor Larry Nassar, which means a 40-year prison sentence for assaulting gymnasts will stand.
Nassar is under two identical sentences from judges in two Michigan counties. The Supreme Court’s brief order covers the sentence for molesting gymnasts at an Eaton County gym, near Lansing, Michigan.
Marlin has surgery for Parkinson’s treatment
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin has been undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery as part of his treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Marlin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012. Recovery from the surgeries is expected to take three months, but can vary depending on the patient.
Waltrip set to retire
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Darrell Waltrip says he will retire at the end of the Fox Sports portion of the NASCAR schedule following the June 23 race at Sonoma Raceway in California.
The 72-year-old Waltrip began his Fox Sports career with the 2001 Daytona 500. The Hall of Famer won 84 races and three Cup Series races over his career before moving straight into the broadcast booth.