Update on the latest in sports:
Rockets sew up series win; Clippers still kicking
UNDATED (AP) – The Houston Rockets have advanced to the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals for the third straight year by disposing of the Utah Jazz in five games.
James Harden scored 26 points and hit two big free throws in the final minute to lead the Rockets past the Jazz, 100-93. Harden blocked a shot and followed with two free throws to put Houston ahead, 98-93 with 38 seconds to play.
Ricky Rubio cut Houston’s lead to 94-93 on a jump shot with about a minute left. Rockets guard P.J. Tucker missed two free throws on the next possession, but he grabbed a loose ball seconds later and was fouled again before going 2-for-2 from the line.
Clint Capela had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who will take on either Golden State or the Los Angeles Clippers in the next round.
The Clippers stayed alive in their first-round series by taking Game 5 at Oakland, a 129-121 victory against the Warriors.
Lou Williams hit a huge fadeaway jumper with 1:29 left and finished with 33 points and 10 assists to help the Clippers send the series back to Los Angeles. Danilo Gallinari added 26 points and seven rebounds, while Montrezl (MAHN’-trehz) Harrell had 24 for the eighth-seeded Clippers.
Kevin Durant poured in a playoff career-high 45 points, including a driving dunk that tied the game at 116. Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Thompson 22 for Golden State.
Game 6 is Friday.
Canes end Caps’ reign
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Stanley Cup playoffs will continue without any of the four division leaders, including the defending champions.
Brock McGinn scored 11:05 into double-overtime to complete the Carolina Hurricanes’ comeback within a comeback in a 4-3 victory in Washington. McGinn sent the Canes into the second round against the New York Islanders after his team trailed three games to two and 3-1 in Game 7.
Evgeni Kuznetsov (kooz-NEHT’-sahv) scored 13:22 into the second period to give the Capitals their second two-goal advantage of the night, but Teuvo Teravainen (TAY’-voh tehr-ah-VY’-nehn) tallied just over three minutes later before Jordan Staal tied it three minutes into the third.
Carolina outshot Washington 18-6 in OT despite killing off the only power play opportunity of the extra session.
Petr Mrazek (muh-RA’-zehk) turned back 34 shots and settled down after Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson scored to put the Capitals ahead, 2-0 just 6 1/2 minutes into the game.
It’s the first time in NHL history that all four division champions have been knocked out in the first round.
Royals rip Rays
UNDATED (AP) – Blake Snell was pinned with a loss in his return from a broken right toe.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed three runs and five hits over 3 1/3 innings, throwing 65 pitches in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 10-2 loss to the Royals. The Rays decided that Snell was ready to return despite throwing just an 18-pitch bullpen session Saturday and eight pitches off a mound Monday.
Adalberto Mondesi (ad-ul-BEHR’-toh MAHN’-deh-see) hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs as the Royals ended a five-game losing streak. Billy Hamilton had two hits and two RBIs to support Jakob Junis who limited the Rays to one run and four hits over five innings.
Elsewhere around the majors:
– The Yankees erased a 5-0 deficit before DJ LeMahieu (leh-MAY’-hyoo) singled home Tyler Wade with the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning of a 6-5 victory against the Angels. LeMahieu had three RBIs in sending New York to its sixth consecutive win. Andrelton Simmons hit two homers off Yanks starter CC Sabathia (sah-BATH’-ee-uh), and Kole Calhoun added a three-run homer during the Angels’ four-run fourth inning.
– Adam Wainwright notched his 150th career victory by allowing one run over six innings of the Cardinals’ 5-2 win over the Brewers. Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nah) and Yadier Molina (YAH’-dee-ehr moh-LEE’-nah) homered as part of a four-run fourth that allowed St. Louis to complete a three-game sweep. Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) came up as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, but Jordan Hicks struck him out to pick up his seventh save in eight chances.
– Raimel Tapia doubled twice and drove in three to back a solid outing from German (hehr-MAHN’) Marquez in the Rockies’ eighth win in 10 games, 9-5 over the Nationals. Charlie Blackmon homered and Trevor Story extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double and a triple. Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH’-doh) had three RBIs and Marquez allowed three runs over seven innings.
– The Diamondbacks won at Pittsburgh for the ninth straight time as Ketel Marte (keh-TEHL’ mahr-TAY’) homered twice in an 11-2 romp over the Pirates. Marte made it 5-1 with a solo shot in the fifth inning and added a three-run shot in the eighth. Josh Bell and Jung Ho Kang homered off winning pitcher Merrill Kelly, who allowed just four other hits while striking out five over seven innings.
– Ozzie Albies homered on the game’s first pitch and Ronald Acuna Jr. scored from first base on Yasiel Puig’s fifth-inning error as the Braves beat the Reds, 3-1. Josh Donaldson doubled down the left field line to drive in Albies with an insurance run in the ninth. Mike Soroka (sah-ROH’-kah) tied his career high with seven strikeouts while allowing five hits and one run with three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
– Vince Velasquez scattered six hits over five innings as the Phillies blanked the Mets, 6-0 to avoid a three-game sweep and win for the second time in seven games. Rhys Hoskins homered off reliever Jacob Rhame and taunted him with a slow jog around the bases a night after Rhame buzzed him with two fastballs. Hoskins sparked a three-run eighth with his first career triple, and then made his statement against Rhame in the ninth.
– Javier Baez and Jason Heyward each hit three-run homers in the sixth inning of the Cubs’ 7-6 comeback over the Dodgers. Cole Hamels gave up three hits, walked six and exited trailing 3-0 after Cody Bellinger hit a two-run homer. The Cubs moved two games above .500 for the first time this season, and the Dodgers lost their second in a row following a 7-1 stretch.
– Rookie Chris Paddack picked up his first big league win by holding Seattle to one hit over seven innings of the Padres’ 1-0 decision over the Mariners. Paddock struck out nine and retired his final 19 batters against baseball’s best hitting lineup. Ian Kinsler homered off Felix Hernandez and the Padres swept the two-game series while dealing the Mariners their third straight loss.
– Drew Pomeranz and two relievers combined on a two-hitter as the Giants beat the Blue Jays, 4-0 to complete a two-game sweep. Pomeranz allowed a pair of singles in a season-high six innings to help San Francisco win its second straight following a season-high four-game losing streak. Pablo Sandoval homered for the Giants, who also received RBI doubles from Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria.
– Jose Ramirez belted a solo homer and later added a two-run double while the Indians scored four times in the eighth to beat the Marlins, 6-2. Ramirez finished with four RBIs and Jake Bauers supplied the go-ahead, RBI single after Martin Prado’s two-out homer tied the game in the eighth. Ramirez came into the game batting .157 with five RBIs in 22 games before helping Cleveland end a three-game skid.
– Justin Verlander is 4-0 after allowing one run and four hits over eight innings of the Astros’ 7-1 win over the Twins. Verlander retired 11 of his last 12 hitters and blanked Minnesota after Polanco crushed a pitch into the second deck in right field in the fourth inning. Carlos Correa hit a solo homer before Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick added two-run shots.
– The Athletics celebrated a 6-5 win over the Rangers following Chad Pinder’s RBI single with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Stephen Piscotty hit a one-out single and stole second before scoring the winning run that gave Oakland a three-game sweep. Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien homered for the A’s.
– The Red Sox bounced back from their doubleheader loss to Detroit as J.D. Martinez had three hits and an RBI in Boston’s 11-4 pounding of the Tigers. Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz), Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez drove in two runs apiece to help the defending champs avoid their fourth losing streak of three games or more. Bosox starter Eduardo Rodriguez gave up a run on two hits, striking out seven and walking three over six innings.
– Stevie Wilkerson belted his first major league homer and John Means allowed one run over five innings on his birthday to lift the Orioles over the White Sox, 4-3. Baltimore won two of three to capture its first series since April 1-3 in Toronto. Mychal Givens worked the final two innings for his first save.
AP source: Gonzalez back with Brewers
UNDATED (AP) – Gio Gonzalez is back with the Brewers.
A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Gonzalez and the Brewers have agreed to a one-year contract guaranteeing the 33-year-old left-hander $2 million.
The left-hander was 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA for the Brewers after being acquired from Washington last Aug. 31. The former 21-game winner was 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA last season.
Gonzalez was 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts and 15 innings with the Yankees’ Triple-A team at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In other baseball news:
– Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) faced live pitching Wednesday to begin the probable final step in his return from Tommy John surgery. Ohtani is expected to face about a week of live pitching before he returns to the lineup.
– The Rockies reinstated infielder Daniel Murphy from the 10-day injured list before Wednesday’s game against the Washington Nationals. The 34-year-old fractured his left index finger diving for a grounder in the second game of the season.
– Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco is not expected to miss any time with a left leg injury the team initially feared was serious. Carrasco was hurt Tuesday night while covering first base in the fourth inning against Miami.
– The Blue Jays will promote top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. before Friday’s game against the Athletics. The son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero hit .367 with three home runs and eight RBIs in eight games for Triple-A Buffalo, missing the start of the season with an oblique injury.
Roethlisberger to remain with Steelers through 2021
UNDATED (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers have added two more years to Ben Roethlisberger’s (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gurz) contract.
The Steelers and the two-time Super Bowl winner agreed to terms on a contract extension that runs through 2021. The 36-year-old Roethlisberger had been set to enter the final year of a contract he signed in 2015.
Roethlisberger is coming off the finest statistical season of his 15-year career, throwing for a league-best 5,129 yards and a team-record 34 touchdowns.
In other NFL news:
– The Cowboys have picked up the fifth-year option on Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie contract, keeping the star running back with the club at least through 2020. The two-time NFL rushing champion is set to make $3.9 million this season and $9.1 million in his fifth year unless Elliott and the team agree on a contract before then. Elliott had 1,434 yards for his second rushing title in three years last season as Dallas won the division again.
– Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has agreed to a four-year extension designed to keep him under contract through the 2023 season. Tucker has made 90.1% of his field goal tries since breaking into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012, the highest career percentage in NFL history.
– A Kansas district attorney has declined to charge Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill with a crime in a domestic incident that involved his fiance and their 3-year-old child. Johnson County DA Steve Howe says authorities believe a crime occurred, but evidence does not conclusively indicate who did it.
– Former Vikings defensive end Brian Robison has announced his retirement from the NFL. Robison signed a one-day contract to officially retire with the Vikings, 12 years after he was drafted by the team in the fourth round.
Witness at NCAA trial says he paid football recruits
NEW YORK (AP) – A key witness for prosecutors at a trial stemming from a crackdown on corruption in college basketball says he paid college football players to secure their business when they joined the NFL.
Louis Martin Blazer described in Manhattan federal court paying players at schools including Pittsburgh, Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Northwestern, North Carolina and Alabama. Blazer said he did it so they’d hire him as their financial adviser when they became professionals.
He says he answered the request of a Penn State coach and gave a $10,000 check to the father of a first-round draft pick in the 2009 NFL draft. The money was paid back. He says he also paid a North Carolina player who was drafted by the New York Giants.
Kansas announces Adidas extension
UNDATED (AP) – The University of Kansas and Adidas have announced an extension of their contract through 2031, despite an FBI investigation centered on the footwear and apparel company that cast a negative light on the Jayhawks’ athletic programs.
The corruption scandal focused on college basketball involved former Adidas executive James Gatto and implicated several schools.
In other college basketball news:
– Women’s national champion Baylor has accepted an invitation to visit the White House next week. The school said coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears are scheduled to be in Washington on Monday to celebrate their third national championship. They are expected to visit with President Donald Trump. Baylor beat Notre Dame 82-81 on April 7.
Penn St. ex-president’s case in US court as jail term looms
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A federal judge will consider ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier’s (SPAN’-yur) argument that his conviction should be thrown out, a week before he’s due to report to jail.
Spanier’s argument in today’s hearing is that he was wrongly convicted in Pennsylvania state court for mishandling a 2001 complaint about Jerry Sandusky under a version of the law that wasn’t in place at that time. He also argues the statute of limitations wasn’t properly applied.
The 70-year-old Spanier was forced out as president shortly after Sandusky was arrested for child molestation in 2011.
Spanier was convicted in 2017 of child endangerment. He’s scheduled to report to a county jail on Wednesday to begin serving two months.
Spanier remains a tenured faculty member on administrative leave, and the school doesn’t release his salary.