Update on the latest in sports:
Game 1: Golden State at Toronto tonight
TORONTO (AP) – The Golden State Warriors will be in Canada Thursday night for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. It’s the first time a finals game will be played outside the United States.
Stephen Curry lived in Toronto when his father Dell played for the Raptors at the end of his career, but otherwise it’s a new feeling even for these Warriors, who are one of the most championship-experienced teams in NBA history. They aiming for their seventh NBA title which would make them the first team to win three consecutive titles since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000-02.
The Raptors are new to the NBA Finals, but their players aren’t. Kawhi (kuh-WY’) Leonard was MVP of the 2014 finals, when he and Danny Green won a title with San Antonio. Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH’-kah) made it to the finals with Oklahoma City in 2012. Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol have played in Olympic finals.
The Warriors have plenty of elite defenders, and they may need them in order to slow Leonard, Toronto’s leading scorer. Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala (ihg-woh-DAH’-lah) and Klay Thompson all may get turns on matching up with Leonard at some point.
Golden State has won 12 straight Game 1s, including all four in the NBA Finals since 2015.
Serena, Osaka and Djokovic advance
PARIS (AP) – Naomi Osaka survived another fraught match at the French Open to cling onto her quest for a third consecutive Grand Slam title. After losing the first set and being a break down in the second, the top-ranked Osaka rallied to beat former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN’-kuh) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Serena Williams advanced to the third round of the French Open by beating No. 238 ranked Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-2.
American teenager Amanda Anisimova, ranked No. 51, beat 11th-ranked Aryana Sabalenka 6-4, 6-2.
In the men’s competition, Dominic Thiem (teem) overcame some trickery from Kazakh opponent Alexander Bublik to advance to the third round with a 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 7-5 victory. Thiem will next face Pablo Cuevas, another master of trick shots. Cuevas was leading 7-6 (3), 6-3, 2-1 when Kyle Edmund retired from their match because of a left knee injury.
In a career already full of milestones, Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) passed another one in reaching the third round: His young son watched him play at the tournament for the first time. Luckily for Stefan Djokovic, his top-ranked father beat 104th-ranked Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday
UNDATED – Japanese stars Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) and Yusei Kikuchi (rink-oh kih-koo-chee) are set to square off for the first time in the major leagues when the Mariners host the Angels.
The players attended the same high school, though at different times, and they only faced each other twice in Japan. Kikuchi, Seattle’s rookie left-hander, struck out Ohtani twice in two at-bats in 2013, and Ohtani got two hits and whiffed once against Kikuchi during a game in 2017.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– The first-place New York Yankees have won eight straight series heading into a four-game set against American League East rival Boston. Chris Sale pitches the opener for the Red Sox, who make their second visit to Yankee Stadium this season after dropping both games in mid-April. New York left-hander J.A. Happ is 8-4 against the Red Sox in the regular season.
– The Rays begin a four-game series against major league-leading Minnesota, and Tampa Bay is hoping fans actually show up to watch. Tropicana Field hosted a franchise record-low crowd of 5,786 on Tuesday, then drew 6,166 on yesterday against Toronto. Attendance has been an issue for years, but the numbers are especially jarring with Tampa Bay among the majors’ best teams.
– Right-hander Dakota Hudson takes the mound for the Cardinals in the series finale against Phillies right hand pitcher Jerad Eickhoff, a day after Bryce Harper led the Phillies past Cardinals 11-4.
– With right hand pitcher Nick Vincent out on the 10-day injured list with a pectoral strain, the Giants are recalling Right hand pitcher Tyler Beede from Triple-A Sacramento to make his second start of the season. He’ll face the Marlins’ right hand pitcher Sandy Alcantara (ehr-iz-MEN’-dee al-KAHN’-truh).
– Diamondbacks’ right hand pitcher Taylor Clarke is set to make his third career start in tonight’s series finale against the Rockies. Clarke earned his first big league win in his last outing, allowing three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings against San Francisco. Rockies leftie Kyle Freeland is seeking his first win since April 18 against Philadelphia. Freeland has gone 1-3 with an 8.65 ERA in five starts at home this season.
– Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove faces Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson as the Pirates open a four-game series at PNC Park.
– Royals right-hander Jakob Junis pitches in the opener of a four-game series at Texas while leftey Mike Minor goes for the Rangers.
– White Sox lefty Manny Banuelos makes his seventh start of the season in the opener of a four-game series with Cleveland. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco starts for the Indians.
– Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard faces the Dodgers for the first time in three years. He’s 1-0 in three career starts against them with a 1.65 ERA and 15 strikeouts. Dodgers righty Walker Buehler faces the Mets for the first time in his career. He’s holding batters to a .228 average in 10 starts.
– The banged-up Houston Astros get a day off to rest after their latest injury. Already missing fellow stars Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) and George Springer, the AL West leaders expect to be without shortstop Carlos Correa for four to six weeks after he says he fractured a rib during a massage at home. Altuve is out indefinitely after experiencing fatigue and soreness in his surgically repaired right leg. Utility infielder Aledmys Diaz, catcher Max Stassi and right-hander Collin McHugh are also on the injured list.
MLB-CHILD HIT BY FOUL BALL
Girl hurt by foul ball, was sitting past protective netting
HOUSTON (AP) – Protective netting at ballparks is again under scrutiny after a young girl was struck in Houston by a foul ball. Albert Almora (al-MOR’-uh) Jr. of the Chicago Cubs hit a line drive into the stands down the third base line and almost immediately put his hands on his head in horror. While there is netting at Minute Maid Park, the girl was sitting in what looked to be the third or fourth row past where the netting ends. The girl was rushed up the stars and then taken to a hospital.
A photo taken by The Associated Press showed the girl apparently conscious and crying as she was whisked away and nearby fans looked on.
Like all major league stadiums, Minute Maid Park has netting to protect fans near the field from foul balls. On the third base side in Houston, it extends to the end of the visiting team’s dugout. The girl was sitting in what looked to be the third or fourth row about 10 feet past where the netting ends. Following recommendations from Major League Baseball, by the start of the 2018 season all 30 teams had expanded their protective netting to at least the far ends of the dugouts after several fans were injured by foul balls in 2017.