Update on the latest sports
AP source: Kawhi Leonard has knee issue, status unclear
UNDATED (AP) – All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard has a right knee injury that may keep him out of the Los Angeles Clippers’ lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Leonard’s status hinges on what he and the Clippers learn after additional examination and treatment, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not divulged the injury.
Leonard was not listed on the injury report that the Clippers filed with the league Tuesday night. That report is scheduled to be updated Wednesday.
ESPN first reported that Leonard is dealing with the knee injury.
Leonard, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, is averaging 30.4 points on 57% shooting in the playoffs.
The injury appeared to occur with about 5:20 left in Game 4 of the series against Utah on Monday night, when he was fouled on a drive by Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic (BOY’-ahn bahg-DAH’-noh-vich).
In other NBA news:
– Phoenix guard Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and it is unclear whether he’ll be available for the start of the Western Conference finals next week, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person told The Associated Press that the Suns are not certain exactly how long Paul will have to be away from the team. A second person told the AP that Paul has been vaccinated against COVID-19. That may mean that Paul, if he has tested positive, could be cleared to return more quickly than those who tested positive earlier this season before vaccines were readily available. The earliest the West finals would begin is Sunday. It depends on how long the other West semifinal series between Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers lasts.
– A person familiar with the situation says Stan Van Gundy is out as Pelicans coach following just one season at the helm. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the move has not been publicly announced. Van Gundy was hired last October about two months before the start of a pandemic-delayed and shortened season. He coached a Pelicans squad led by All-Star Zion Williamson to a 31-41 record and New Orleans missed the playoffs. The move means Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin will be hiring his second coach in as many season after firing Alvin Gentry last summer.
Two Game 5s with series tied
UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks have each won two games in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series heading into Game 5 Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Sixers have to try to win the series with Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) playing with torn cartilage in his right knee. Embiid missed all 12 shots in the second half of a Game 4 loss. Ben Simmons also continues to struggle for the 76ers. Simmons went 1-for-5 from the free-throw line in Game 4 and is just 18-for-52 in the playoffs.
The Western Conference semifinal series between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers is also tied 2-2. The Jazz return to Salt Lake City with their young star Donovan Mitchell dealing with a sore right ankle. Mitchell has hit at least five 3-pointers in five straight games. The top-seeded Jazz have lost back-to-back playoff games.
The Clippers have confidence and a winning streak, but it’s not clear if they’ll have Kawhi Leonard. He and Paul George have each scored at least 20 points in all 11 games this postseason. They are just the third duo in NBA history to do that in a team’s first 11 playoff games and the first since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers in 2003.
Canadiens try to get even in Game 2
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Montreal Canadiens head into Game 2 of their Stanley Cup semifinals series in Las Vegas after being worn down by the Golden Knights’ relentless, hard-hitting attack in a 4-1 loss in the series opener.
Vegas’ fifth straight victory in the playoffs ended Montreal’s postseason win streak at seven. Marc-Andre Fleury has now allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 13 playoff appearances this season.
Venus, Murray get Wimbledon wild cards; prize money reduced
UNDATED (AP) – Former Wimbledon champions Venus Williams and Andy Murray will receive wild cards to compete in the grass-court Grand Slam tournament when it starts in less than two weeks.
The All England Club also announced Wednesday that the men’s and women’s singles winners will each get $2.4 million, a nearly 28% decrease from 2019, although the overall reduction in prize money is 5.2%.
Organizers highlighted plans to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals next month, a year after the tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament begins June 28.
Five-time champion Williams was runner-up in 2017, when she lost to Garbine Muguruza. Williams, who has slipped out of the top 100, turns 41 on Thursday. The former world No. 1 won Wimbledon in 2000, ’01, ’05, ’07, and ’08. She lost her opening match at the French Open on June 1.
Murray, a two-time champion at Wimbledon, earned his first victory in more than a year on Tuesday at the Queen’s Club tournament. It was the 34-year-old Murray’s first grass-court match in three years. The 124th-ranked British player, a former world No. 1, won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. The often-injured Murray is trying to come back from two hip surgeries.
Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz was also given a wild card.
In other tennis news:
– Roger Federer has failed to reach the Halle Open quarterfinals for the first time. Felix Auger-Aliassime rallied from a set down to stun the former champion 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round. The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime is 19 years younger than the Swiss great. Both share the same birthday – Aug. 8. Federer had been going for his 18th quarterfinal in as many appearances at the grass-court tournament. He has won the Halle tournament a record 10 times. Auger-Aliassime next faces German Jan-Lennard Struff or American qualifier Marcos Giron.