Update on the latest sports
Bulls fire coach Jim Boylen after missing playoffs again
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Bulls have fired coach Jim Boylen after the team missed the playoffs again.
The Bulls were 22-43 and were one of the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World. That meant they wouldn’t make the postseason for the fourth time in five years. Chicago then hired Arturas Karnisovas as executive vice president of basketball operations, and on Friday he decided he wanted a new coach.
Boylen finished 39-84 as Bulls coach. He joined the franchise as associate head coach during the 2015-16 season and became head coach on Dec. 3, 2018.
Final day of regular season
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – The NBA’s regular season ends Friday with just four games. They have no bearing on any matchups for the first round of the playoffs that begin next week, but they will determine which teams will wear home uniforms to start the Miami-Indiana and Oklahoma City-Houston series.
The winner of the Heat-Pacers game will be seeded No. 4 in the East, the loser will be seeded No. 5. Oklahoma City would be the No. 4 seed and Houston would be the No. 5 seed in the West if the Thunder beat the Clippers. There are also ways for the Rockets to be the No. 4 seed, all of them involving a Thunder loss.
Last two Stanley Cup champs look to come back after Game 1 losses
UNDATED (AP) – The last two Stanley Cup winners will try to come back after dropping the first games of their respective playoff series.
The Washington Capitals were sunk by allowing four consecutive goals in their opener against former coach Barry Trotz’s New York Islanders, and the defending champion St. Louis Blues fell to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Arizona Coyotes face a different kind of challenge in Game 2 against the Colorado Avalanche after being outshot 40-14 in a 3-0 loss in that series opener.
The Montreal Canadiens played on their toes against the Eastern Conference top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 and came away with confidence despite a 2-1 loss. Montreal will be without 60-year-old coach Claude Julien, taken to the hospital with chest pains, for the rest of the series. Associate coach Kirk Muller takes over Julien’s responsibilities beginning in Game 2.
Two interim coaches’ teams face off when Rick Bowness’ Dallas Stars play Geoff Ward’s Calgary Flames in Game 3 Friday night.
Marlins finally get to play home opener
UNDATED (AP) – Miami finally gets to play its home opener when the Marlins host Atlanta Friday night.
The Marlins departed for a season-opening three-game trip more than three weeks ago. Their 23-day road odyssey was necessitated by a coronavirus outbreak that infected at least 18 players during the opening weekend in Philadelphia. Miami’s season was suspended for a week and the schedule scrambled, including the postponement of eight games at Marlins Park.
Marlins Park has a new look for 2020 thanks to cozier dimensions and a switch to artificial turf. The distances to the fence have been shortened from 407 to 400 feet in center field and from 399 to 387 in right-center. The Marlins installed artificial turf because grass struggled to grow under the retractable roof.
Also, there will be a first-place team in the home dugout. Miami is 8-4 for a one-game lead over second-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Elsewhere around the majors:
– The Cardinals have an extra day to recover from a COVID-19 outbreak after their series opener in Chicago against the White Sox was postponed. They were set to resume their virus-interrupted season Friday night, but the first game of the series was pushed back to a straight doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals’ season has been derailed by the coronavirus, with star catcher Yadier Molina and infielder Paul DeJong are among players who tested positive. The defending NL Central champions have played just five games, winning two.
– World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his second start of the season for the Washington Nationals at Baltimore, though he is still dealing with a nerve issue in his pitching hand. The star right-hander was ejected from the stands Thursday during Washington’s loss to the New York Mets for arguing balls and strikes in the third inning. The setup in Baltimore will be unusual. First, the clubs will complete a game suspended because the grounds crew couldn’t unfurl the tarp properly when it rained in the top of the sixth inning Sunday with the Orioles leading 5-2 at Washington. So the Nationals will be the “home” team for the resumption – and then they’ll play the day’s originally scheduled game.
– Yankees newcomer Gerrit Cole gets his first taste of an old rivalry and again goes for his 20th consecutive regular-season victory when New York hosts Boston in the opener of a four-game series. Cole, who signed a $324 million, nine-year contract in the offseason, is trying to tie Roger Clemens, Jake Arrieta and Rube Marquard for the third-longest streak ever. Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell leads the list with 24 wins in a row, followed by Roy Face with 22. Cole’s only loss since May 2019 came in Game 1 of the World Series last October, pitching for Houston against Washington. Boston’s last visit to Yankee Stadium ended in a three-game sweep New York completed on Aug. 2. The last-place Red Sox were just swept in four games at home by Tampa Bay.
– One night after Dodgers teammate Mookie Betts matched a major league record by hitting three home runs in a game for the sixth time in his career, Clayton Kershaw starts the opener of a Freeway Series against the Angels in Anaheim. Up in San Francisco, it’s the Bay Bridge rivalry as Frankie Montas pitches for Oakland against Johnny Cueto and the Giants.