Update on the latest sports
Reverse deja vu as Warriors to face Rockets without Durant
HOUSTON (AP) – In the NBA Western Conference finals last season, the Houston Rockets had home-court advantage and took a 3-2 lead over the Golden State Warriors before Houston star Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury that kept him out for the rest of the series.
As these teams prepare for Game 6 of the conference semifinals Friday night, the Warriors find themselves in almost the same situation Houston was in last year.
The Warriors are just a win away from advancing to the conference finals for the fifth straight time, but will have to do it without NBA-playoffs leading scorer Kevin Durant, who will miss the rest of the series with a strained right calf.
The two-time defending champions took advantage of Paul’s injury in 2018 to win two straight after falling behind 3-2 and eliminated the Rockets on their home court to advance.
The Rockets don’t want to see Golden State celebrate a series victory on their home court again and are determined to bounce back after Wednesday night’s loss to avoid being eliminated by the Warriors for the fourth time in five seasons.
The Western Conference semifinal series between Portland and Denver will be decided in a Game 7 on Sunday. The Trail Blazers avoided elimination Thursday night with a 119-108 victory at home. Now the Nuggets head home with a chance to make it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009.
Brewers visit Cubs
UNDATED (AP) – The Milwaukee Brewers and NL MVP Christian Yelich make their first trip of the year to Wrigley Field Friday afternoon. The Brewers face Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana, who is 4-0 in his past five starts. Gio Gonzalez makes his third start of the season for second-place Milwaukee, which trails Chicago by one game in the NL Central.
The Brewers, who lead the National League with 65 home runs, took two of three from the Cubs at Miller Park in early April after beating them in a one-game tiebreaker for the NL Central title at Wrigley Field last October. Yelich leads the majors with 16 homers, and Milwaukee has won six straight. Chicago has won three in a row and 10 of 11.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– The top two teams in the AL East square off for the first time this season when the injury-depleted Yankees visit first-place Tampa Bay. Domingo German faces Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow in a matchup of pitchers who are among those tied for the major league lead in wins.
– The Giants will be without star catcher Buster Posey when they return home to face budding Cincinnati ace Luis Castillo. Posey was placed on the seven-day concussion list Thursday after a foul ball hit his helmet Sunday. He played Tuesday against Colorado.
– Jed Lowrie is expected to come off the injured list and make his Mets debut at home against Miami. The veteran infielder signed a $20 million, two-year contract with New York following an All-Star season in Oakland. But he was injured early in spring training and has been sidelined all year due to a capsule sprain in his left knee. Lowrie was 2 for 23 during a six-game rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie and Triple-A Syracuse.
Mets banning backpacks from Citi Field starting May 20
NEW YORK (AP) – The Mets are banning backpacks from Citi Field starting May 20.
The team said Friday the move is to enhance safety.
Fans still can bring purses, tote, drawstring and messenger bags, and soft-sided coolers that don’t exceed 16-by-16-by-8 inches.
The Washington Nationals banned backpacks from home games before the start of this season.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Day holds 3-stroke Regions Tradition lead after 1st round
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Glen Day birdied four of the final five holes to take a three-stroke lead over David Toms at the Regions Tradition after a weather-delayed first round completed early Friday.
Day finished with an 8-under 64 after completing the final two holes at Greystone’s Founders Course. He was scheduled to tee off for the second round a few hours after completing the first with a birdie on No. 18.
Toms had six birdies and a bogey for a 67.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez was among a group four strokes back, including Steve Stricker, Billy Andrade and Steve Jones.
Two-time winner Bernhard Langer, who has won a record 10 senior majors, finished at 69.
Day is seeking his first win on the senior tour. His only PGA Tour victory came in 1999.