AP Sports

May 15, 2023
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May 15, 2023
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Update on the latest sports 4/12/2023

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May 15, 2023

Let’s do it again: Celtics to face Heat in Eastern Conference finals rematch

BOSTON (AP) — The Celtics got a historic 51-point performance from Jayson Tatum to blow past the 76ers in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup to land back in the conference finals for the second straight season. Awaiting them is a rematch with the Miami Heat, who the Celtics bested last season in that round after Jimmy Butler missed a potential game-winning jumper late in Game 7. Boston is hoping to carry the momentum and lessons it learned in its Game 7 blowout win over Philadelphia into what the Celtics think will be another slugfest with Miami. The teams split their four regular-season matchups.

20 and up: LeBron James defies time, propels Lakers to conference finals

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — LeBron James plays almost exclusively alongside teammates who grew up watching him dominate their game after two full decades in the NBA. Signs of time’s passage are all around the 38-year-old James, yet the new top scorer in NBA history is defying all conventional wisdom about growing older in his mercilessly athletic sport. When he’s fully healthy, the third-oldest active player in the league still sprints, dunks, throws no-look passes and competes with the intensity that has kept him at the top for 20 punishing NBA seasons. He has also driven the Los Angeles Lakers to the Western Conference finals in a late-season surge that has James’ fingerprints all over it, according to coach Darvin Ham.

Minor league host families, once a pillar of pro baseball, phased out by new CBA

PHOENIX (AP) — After decades of supporting poor, young baseball players as they began their professional careers, minor league host families have officially been phased out. As part of their first collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball this spring, minor league players negotiated an end to the practice. Players are now guaranteed furnished housing, something they are celebrating as a more professional arrangement. Many players are also sorry to see host family programs end. So are the families. One former host family organizer told The Associated Press that “when you open your home, you’re opening your heart. I’m so sad it’s not continuing.”

IOC puts trust at risk by seeking ways to allow Russia to compete at Olympics, EU official tells AP

BRUSSELS (AP) — The country currently in charge of the European Union’s presidency says a boycott of next year’s Paris Olympics is not on the table. But Swedish sports minister Jakob Forssmed urged the International Olympic Committee to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Games because of the war in Ukraine. Forssmed told The Associated Press the IOC should reconsider its position to let Russians and Belarusians compete as neutral athletes in sporting events. Sweden holds the EU presidency until July. Being in office allows a member nation to help set the EU’s tone and the bloc’s agenda.

Grizzlies suspend Ja Morant after another gun video appears on social media

Memphis guard Ja Morant has been suspended by the Grizzlies after another social media video in which he appears to be holding a gun. The NBA is looking into the matter. The Grizzlies say Morant is suspended from all team activities “pending league review.” The video shows Morant in the front seat of a vehicle, appearing to hold the gun while someone filmed him and broadcast it live over Instagram. Morant was suspended by the NBA for eight games this season after the All-Star guard was seen on video holding a gun at a club in the Denver suburbs. The league said the March suspension was for “conduct detrimental to the league.”

Wembanyama about to learn his NBA destination, with the draft lottery on Tuesday

Actor Michael Douglas is a huge basketball fan. And he’s become a big fan of Victor Wembanyama. Douglas and every other basketball follower in the world is about to find out where Wembanyama’s NBA journey will begin. The NBA draft lottery is Tuesday night in Chicago. The team that wins the lottery gets the right to choose No. 1 overall in next month’s draft. And they’ll use that pick on Wembanyama, the 7-foot-3 French phenom.

Who is Victor Wembanyama? The NBA is about to get the answer to that question

The Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes is about to have a winner. The NBA draft lottery is Tuesday night in Chicago and 14 teams will hope that the ping-pong balls will bounce their way, giving them the No. 1 pick this year and the chance to draft Wembanyama. The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs all have the best chance of winning the lottery and getting the No. 1 pick, They all have a 14% chance. That’s about 7-1 odds.

Column: NASCAR is facing a tense summer of negotiations with its Cup Series teams

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR is celebrating its 75th season this year and the stock car series has a festive appearance on the surface. AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer says a dispute between NASCAR and its Cup Series teams is hanging over everything. The teams want their charters to become permanent under a new economic model. NASCAR leadership is not discussing that topic publicly. They are meeting team-by-team with its chartered organizations and formal negotiations have come to a halt.

Toronto’s sweep of Atlanta just the latest flex for dominant AL East

The AL East could be headed to a historic season. All five AL East teams are above .500. The Boston Red Sox are in last place, and they are a solid 22-19. That’s about an 87-win pace for a whole season. Right now the AL East includes baseball’s top team in Tampa Bay. It also has the top four teams in the American League wild-card race. Baltimore, Toronto and the New York Yankees would all be in the playoffs if the postseason began now. The five teams in the division have a combined winning percentage of .615.

Gundogan is Guardiola’s go-to guy again in Man City’s latest title march

Pep Guardiola’s first signing as Manchester City manager will go down as one of his best. Ilkay Gundogan is reliable, versatile and delivers when it really matters. It makes Gundogan perhaps the player who best epitomizes Guardiola’s trophy-laden era at City since they arrived at the club within weeks of each other in 2016. The Germany midfielder’s importance to City has magnified further this season as the team powers toward another Premier League title and potentially a trio of major trophies. He has taken the captain’s armband and scored four goals in his last two league games.