Update on the latest in sports:
The Hurricanes look to sweep Islanders…St. Louis hosts Dallas in Game 5
UNDATED (AP) – The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs often. When they do, they stick around for a while. This is just their fourth postseason appearance since 2002, but they reached the Eastern Conference final – at least – in each of their last three appearances and are one victory against the New York Islanders from a fourth. For a franchise that has changed owners, GMs, coaches and players, the one constant during those 17 years has been Rod Brind’Amour (BRIHN’-dah-mohrz). Carolina will go for a second-round sweep in Game 4 when they host the Islanders Friday night.
In Friday night’s other NHL playoff game, St. Louis hosts the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series, which is tied 2-2.
UNDATED (AP) – The Celtics and Trail Blazers have stolen home-court advantage in their respective second-round playoff series. Now they’re focused on keeping it as their series shift to Boston and Portland. After splitting the first two games of its second-round series with Milwaukee, Boston returns to TD Garden for Game 3.
Boston, the East’s fourth seed, came out strong and took Game 1 against top-seeded Milwaukee before getting blown out in Game 2. The series resumes at TD Garden on Friday night, and the Celtics like their chances on a court where they’ve won 12 of their last 13 playoff games.
The Celtics will be playing with team president Danny Ainge (aynj) on their minds after he suffered a mild heart attack in Milwaukee earlier this week. The Celtics said the 60-year-old Ainge, who also had a mild heart attack in 2009, is expected to make a full recovery.
In the West, the third-seeded Trail Blazers return home for Game 3 against the second-seeded Nuggets eager to play with the same sense of urgency they displayed in their 97-90 Game 2 win.
Portland was also helped by a historically bad second-quarter effort by Denver. The Nuggets trailed 50-35 at halftime after the franchise’s worst quarter ever at home in the playoffs (12 points). They made just 5 of 23 shots and missed all 10 of their 3-pointers in the quarter.
A look at what’s happening around the majors today
UNDATED (AP) – Minnesota takes baseball’s best record into the opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium, where the Twins are 14-50 since 2002 – including the postseason. James Paxton pitches for New York against Kyle Gibson, who is 1-5 with a 6.86 ERA in eight starts against the Yankees.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– An old rivalry is renewed when the National League-leading Cardinals meet the Cubs for the first time this season at Wrigley Field. Jack Flaherty gets the ball for St. Louis, which had won five straight and nine of 10 before yesterday’s rain-delayed 2-1 loss at Washington. Flaherty hasn’t allowed a run in 12 innings this season during day games. Kyle Hendricks starts for the second-place Cubs, who are riding a four-game winning streak.
– The Indians are expected to provide an update on Corey Kluber after the right-hander broke his pitching arm when it was hit by a line drive Wednesday night against Miami. The two-time Cy Young Award winner underwent further imaging tests Thursday to determine the length of his absence. The team was reviewing those results and will place him on the 10-day injured list before the opener of a three-game series against Seattle. Cleveland is already without starter Mike Clevinger, sidelined by a strained upper back muscle.
– Still looking for his first win of the season, Boston ace Chris Sale faces his former team when the Red Sox take on the White Sox. Sale is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts against Chicago. Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez is on the mound for the White Sox after striking out a career-high 14 in his last outing.
– Tyler Glasnow tries to extend his outstanding start to the season as the 6-foot-8 righty pitches for AL East-leading Tampa Bay at last-place Baltimore. Glasnow leads the American League with a 1.75 ERA and was chosen American League pitcher of the month for April.
– Vladimir Guerrero (guh-REHR’-oh) Jr. and the Blue Jays open a weekend series at Texas, where the touted rookie’s Hall of Fame father was part of the 2010 Rangers team that won the American League championship and went to the franchise’s first World Series.
Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith will ride in the Kentucky Derby after all.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith will ride in the Kentucky Derby after all.
Race officials said Friday that Smith has picked up the mount on 30-1 shot Cutting Humor, trained by Todd Pletcher.
The 53-year-old rider had been on the early 4-1 favorite, Omaha Beach, until that colt was scratched because of a breathing problem. Smith won last year’s Derby with Justify, trained by Bob Baffert. They went on to sweep the Preakness and Belmont to capture the Triple Crown. Smith won his first Derby with 50-1 shot Giacomo in 2005.
Cutting Humor was the last Derby horse to have a rider named Monday with another jockey. But once Smith became available, owner Starlight Racing decided to go with the jockey nicknamed Big Money Mike for his ability to win some of the sport’s richest races.
And, the Derby has lost another horse when Haikal, a 30-1 shot, was scratched because of an infection in his left front foot. That leaves the field at 19. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Haikal was being treated for an abscess and didn’t train Thursday or Friday. The problem should clear shortly, but the colt ran out of time to prepare for the 1 1/4-mile Derby. That left McLaughlin no choice but to scratch the Gotham Stakes winner before the deadline Friday morning.
As a result, the rail will remain empty and Derby horses will break from posts 2 through 20.
NFL-REDSKINS PLAYER-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Ex-Redskins player found guilty of assaulting ex-girlfriend
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – Former Washington Redskins defensive back Curtis Jordan has been found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend at her Virginia Beach home.
Jordan was convicted Thursday of unlawful wounding in the 2015 assault on Jamie Alexandra Dale. He’s set to be sentenced in August.
Dale testified during the trial this week that they were both drunk early on Jan. 2, 2015, when Jordan accused her of kissing another man. She said the two physically fought and she grabbed a gun. She said he then choked her until she passed out.
Jordan testified that he broke up with Dale that night and she became angry. He said they fought while he tried to disarm her. Dale previously sued Jordan over the fight and settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017.
ITALIAN OPEN-SERENA WILLIAMS
Serena Williams set to return from injury at Italian Open
ROME (AP) – Serena Williams is set to return from injury at the upcoming Italian Open.
Tournament director Sergio Palmieri tells The Associated Press that he spoke with Williams’ agent and that Williams “has already reserved her rooms and should be here a few days early” for the May 13-19 event.
Williams hasn’t played since withdrawing from her third-round match at the Miami Open in March with a previously undisclosed left knee injury. She hasn’t played in Rome since winning her fourth title at the clay-court event in 2016.
Roger Federer’s status, meanwhile, remains a question mark.
Federer’s announced schedule has him playing the Madrid Open next week as his only warmup for the French Open, which starts May 26.