Update on the latest in sports:
Cavaliers win battle of division leaders
UNDATED (AP) – The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to shake their midseason malaise and demonstrate they are capable of making their fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
LeBron James delivered 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Cavs topped the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors, 112-106. Jose Calderon added 19 points and Kevin Love had 18 with 15 rebounds, helping the Cavaliers improve to 9-1 since St. Patrick’s Day.
It was Cleveland’s second win over the Raptors in two weeks. DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 19 points for Toronto, which has dropped five of its last eight.
The Cavaliers remain a half-game ahead of Philadelphia for the third seed in the East. Toronto still paces the East by two games over Boston.
The 76ers kept pace with Cleveland by notching their 11th consecutive win as J.J. Redick scored 19 points and Ben Simmons had 15 and 12 rebounds in a 121-95 blowout over the Nets. The Sixers have won three straight without All-Star center Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’), who is recovering from surgery to repair a facial fracture and is slated to return for the playoffs.
Checking out Tuesday’s other NBA action:
– James Harden’s 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists carried the Rockets past the Wizards, 120-104. Clint Capela had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, while Gerald Green had 16 points off the bench.
– The Warriors were 111-107 winners at Oklahoma City behind Kevin Durant’s 34 points against his ex-team. Klay Thompson added 20 points to help Golden State withstand Russell Westbrook’s 44 points and 16 boards.
– Nikola Jokic dropped in 30 points and the Nuggets pulled within a half-game of a playoff spot by nipping the Pacers, 107-104. Indiana ended a five-game winning streak and fell 1 1/2 games behind the 76ers for fourth in the East despite Victor Oladipo’s (oh-lah-DEE’-pohz) 25 points.
– Ricky Rubio shot 10-for-15 while producing 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds in Utah’s 117-110 verdict over the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell had 26 points and Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) chipped in 12 points, 16 rebounds and five assists to help the Jazz get their third straight win and pull into a tie with San Antonio for fourth in the West.
– Tobias Harris scored 31 points, Lou Williams added 22 and the Clippers rallied from 19 points down to beat the Spurs, 113-110. Austin Rivers scored 18 points for Los Angeles, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute.
– Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOOM’-poh) scored 29 points and Khris Middleton chipped in 20 to send the Bucks past the Celtics, 106-102. Eric Bledsoe had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting for Milwaukee which needs one more win or a Detroit loss to clinch a playoff berth.
– Dennis Smith scored 18 points and the Mavericks prevented the Trail Blazers from clinching home-court advantage in the Western Conference quarterfinals by topping Portland, 115-109. Damian Lillard scored 29 points and CJ McCollum added 16, but the pair combined to go 2-for-15 from 3-point range for the Blazers.
– The Heat wrapped up a playoff berth as Hassan Whiteside’s tip-in with a minute left put Miami up for good in a 101-98 verdict over the Hawks. Goran Dragic scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Heat, who trailed by eight with three minutes remaining before closing on an 11-0 spurt.
– The Magic coasted to a 97-73 rout of New York as Mario Hezonja dropped in 19 points and Jamel Artis added 16 off the bench. The Knicks were held to 28 points in the second half.
– Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 21 off the bench to lead the Bulls past the Hornets, 120-114.
– Josh Jackson scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half before the Suns completed a 97-94 win over the Kings to end a team-record, 15-game losing streak.
Noel, Sefolosha get 5-game drug bans
UNDATED (AP) – Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel and Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha (THAH’-boh seh-feh-LOH’-shah) have been suspended five games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program.
Noel’s ban is covering the final five games of the season for the lottery-bound Mavericks.
Sefolosha is recovering from right knee surgery and will begin his suspension in the next regular-season or playoff game when he is eligible and physically able to play.
In NBA news:
– Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler is nearing a return to action, with four critical games to go for the team in the regular season. Butler was a full participant in yesterday’s workout, and his surgically repaired right knee was expected to be evaluated again today. The Wolves are 8-8 since he was hurt and remain in a fight to reach the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
Bolts blank B’s
UNDATED (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins are deadlocked for first place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division races.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 33 shots and the Lightning scored three times in a 10-minute span of the second period to beat the Bruins 4-0. Braydon Coburn assisted on goals by Brayden Point and Victor Hedman before Chris Kunitz (KOO’-nihts) tallied to put Tampa Bay ahead, 3-0.
J.T. Miller also scored to support Vasilevskiy’s eighth shutout of the season.
The Bruins and Lightning each have 110 points. Boston has a game in hand, but Tampa Bay has one more non-shootout victory.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Columbus is back in a second-place tie with Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division after Pierre-Luc Dubois’ (doo-BWAHZ’) goal at 2:55 of overtime completed the Blue Jackets’ comeback in a 5-4 triumph over the Red Wings. Cam Atkinson scored twice for the Jackets, who trailed 4-2 until Sonny Milano and Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) lit the lamp in the last 10 1/2 minutes of the third period.
– Taylor Hall’s two goals and two assists carried the Devils to their sixth victory in seven games, 5-2 over the Rangers. Will Butcher also tallied twice, Keith Kincaid stopped 22 shots and Travis Zajac (ZAY’-jak) scored 25 seconds into the game as New Jersey moved ahead of Philadelphia for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
– The Islanders blew a 4-1 lead in the third period before Mathew Barzal scored with 6:28 remaining to give New York a 5-4 decision over the Flyers. Barzal and John Tavares provided two goals apiece for the Islanders, who left Philadelphia four points ahead of the Panthers in the battle for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
– Roberto Luongo turned back 45 shots and Colton Sceviour (SEE’-vee-ur) scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third period of Florida’s 2-1 win against the Predators. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers, who have three games to catch the Flyers for the last Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Filip Forsberg’s apparent tying goal with 0.6 seconds left was disallowed due to goalie interference.
– Winnipeg’s 5-4 overtime win at Montreal prevented Nashville from clinching the Central Division title. The Jets blew leads of 3-0 and 4-3 before Kyle Connor scored three minutes into the extra session.
– Defenseman Shea Theodore scored in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Golden Knights a 5-4 win over the Canucks. William Karlsson had a goal and two assists for Vegas, which blew a 4-1 lead in the third period before winning.
– Jamie Benn’s hat trick included the go-ahead goal with 3:06 remaining in the Stars’ 4-2 win at San Jose. The Sharks dropped their fourth in a row despite Logan Couture’s (koo-TOORZ’) career-high 33rd goal.
– Antti Raanta (AN’-tee RAHN’-tah) made 42 saves and Kevin Connauton had a goal and an assist as the Coyotes downed the Flames, 4-1.
Gregorius leads Yanks’ assault on Rays
UNDATED (AP) – Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) was the hitting star in the New York Yankees’ home opener yesterday.
Gregorius crushed a pair of three-run homers and collected a career-high eight RBIs as the Yanks ripped the Rays, 11-4. He collected four hits, reached base five times and set a major league record for RBIs by a player in a home opener. Gregorius also broke a team record for RBIs in a game by a shortstop.
The Yankees’ bullpen blew a 4-1 lead before Tyler Austin scored on a throwing error in the seventh, three batters before Gregorius went deep a second time.
Meanwhile, Giancarlo Stanton heard boos by the eighth inning of his first home game as a Yankee. Stanton struck out a career-high five times, leaving him 1-for-14 since his two-homer, four-RBI performance on opening day in Toronto.
In other major league action:
– Shohei Ohtani hit his first major league home run in his first Angel Stadium at-bat, highlighting a six-run first in a 13-2 dismantling of the Indians. Mike Trout, Rene Rivera, Justin Upton and Luis Valbuena also homered as Los Angeles beat Cleveland for the first time in 13 games.
– The Diamondbacks whipped the Dodgers, 6-1 as Daniel Descalso and David Peralta became the first left-handed teammates to homer off southpaw Clayton Kershaw in the same game. John Ryan Murphy added a home run off Zach Neal as the Diamondbacks made it two in a row over the defending National League champs.
– Josh Reddick delivered the big hits in the Astros, 10-6 win over the Orioles, drilling a two-run homer in the sixth and a grand slam in a five-run seventh. George Springer put Houston ahead to stay with a one-out RBI double in the seventh.
– The Rangers beat the Athletics, 4-1 behind Cole Hamels, who struck out 11 and allowed just four hits in five innings. Joey Gallo became the 11th-fastest player to hit 50 homers, doing it in his 204th big league game.
– Rookie Christian Villanueva homered three times in spacious Petco Park and drove in five runs to highlight the Padres 8-4 comeback over the Rockies. The Padres trailed 3-2 before Freddy Galvis hit a two-run single in the sixth.
– The Red Sox pulled out their fifth straight win as Hanley Ramirez supplied a two-run double with two out in the 13th inning to lead a 4-2 decision over the Marlins. Boston starters have allowed fewer than two runs in each of their six games, the longest such streak in the majors to begin a season.
– Christian Yelich (YEH’-lihch) and Ryan Braun slammed back-to-back homers with two out in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Brewers past the Cardinals, 5-4. Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham opened the game with consecutive homers for St. Louis, and Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nuh) made it 4-0 with a two-run shot in the third before Milwaukee rallied.
– The Nationals suffered their first loss of the season as Freddie Freeman and Preston Tucker each hit a three-run homer to power the Braves past Washington, 13-6. The Nats scored three times in the first inning before Freeman and Tucker each delivered a big blow while Atlanta scored four times in each of its first two at-bats.
– Jake Junis carried a shutout into the eighth inning and Jorge Soler (HOHR’-hay soh-LEHR’) drove in the lone run as the Royals downed the Tigers, 1-0 in Detroit. Junis limited the Tigers to three hits and left the game after Mikie Mahtook led off the eighth with a single.
– Mitch Haniger hit a two-run single and Marco Gonzalez allowed three hits over 6 1/3 innings of the Mariners’ 6-4 win over the Giants. Evan Longoria belted his first home run since joining San Francisco last winter. Joe Panik went deep for the third time in five games.
– Matt Harvey tossed one-hit ball over five innings of the Mets’ third win in four games, 2-0 over the Phillies. The runs came in the sixth inning on Todd Frazier’s double and Travis d’Arnaud’s (dahr-NOHZ’) single.
– Josh Donaldson and Aledmys Diaz hit two-run homers as the Blue Jays blew out the White Sox, 14-5. Donaldson was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Diaz had three hits before leaving after six innings due to back spasms.
– The Reds and Cubs were postponed in Cincinnati due to stormy weather. The game will be made up as part of a May 19 doubleheader.
Cards shelve Gyorko
UNDATED (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals have placed third baseman Jedd Gyorko (JUR’-koh) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled outfield prospect Harrison Bader from Triple-A. Gyorko left Monday’s game at Milwaukee in the seventh inning with a strained right hamstring. Greg Garcia will fill in at third base.
In baseball news:
– Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb has been moved to the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder injury. Lamb sprained his left AC joint when he made a diving catch of a line drive in foul territory in the ninth inning of Monday’s game against the Dodgers.
– Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury hurt a hip in his comeback from an oblique injury, a setback that means Aaron Hicks is likely to return from the disabled list first. The 34-year-old Ellsbury did not play in any exhibition games from March 1 until March 24 and finished spring training 1 for 14.
– The Mariners have placed designated hitter Nelson Cruz on the 10-day disabled list after he suffered a sprained right ankle in the season-opening series against Cleveland. The Mariners recalled utility player Taylor Motter to take Cruz’s spot on the roster.
– Pitcher Matt Shoemaker has landed on the Angels’ 10-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. He has been replaced on the roster by Parker Bridwell, who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City.
– Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak has been placed on the 10-day disabled list after straining a muscle on his left side in his second appearance with New York. The team recalled right-hander Hansel Robles from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Rams get Cooks from Pats
UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Rams have acquired another deep threat.
The Rams have surrendered their first- and sixth-round picks in this year’s draft to the New England Patriots for receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round selection.
Cooks had 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns in his lone season with the Pats after three seasons with New Orleans. Cooks is eligible for free agency following the 2018 season.
In NFL news:
– Clark County, Nevada, officials have voted 6-1 to approve the sale of $750 million in bonds for the construction of the Raiders’ stadium in Las Vegas. The Raiders want to start the 2020 season at the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat stadium being built across the freeway from the Las Vegas Strip. Guests of hotels and other lodging in the Las Vegas area are paying a room tax that over time will contribute $750 million for the project.
– Titans offensive lineman Quinton Spain has signed his restricted free-agent tender, a move that enables the Titans to keep their starting left guard from last season. Spain has started 33 since joining the Titans as an undrafted free agent from West Virginia in 2015.