Update on the latest sports
Phoenix hosts Clippers in Game 2
PHOENIX (AP) – After losing the opening game of the NBA Western Conference finals to the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Clippers are looking to bounce back tonight in Game 2 in Phoenix.
Los Angeles fell behind 2-0 against both the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz in the first two rounds. The Clippers roared back to beat the Mavericks in 7 and the Jazz in 6.
The Suns will again be without 11-time All-Star Chris Paul. He’s been in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols since last Wednesday.
The Clippers are still dealing with their own injury issues. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard will miss his fourth straight game tonight.
Canadiens and Golden Knights in Game 5
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights are even at two games apiece heading into tonight’s Game 5 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series in Las Vegas.
Vegas had lost two straight before a 2-1 overtime victory Sunday night to even the series. The Golden Knights have displayed a knack for overcoming adversity. They’ve trailed in each series, have now won three times when entering the third period trailing or tied.
Montreal has matched its deepest playoff run since last winning the Cup in 1993, despite entering these playoffs with the worst record of the NHL’s 16 qualifiers.
Votto sits out to serve suspension
UNDATED (AP) – Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has served a one-game suspension from Major League Baseball. The ban comes three days after being ejected for arguing with an umpire.
Votto was already slated to rest in Tuesday’s series finale at Minnesota. It was an afternoon start following a 12-inning contest on Monday night. Shortly before first pitch, the Reds announced Votto was serving his punishment.
Votto and Reds manager David Bell were tossed in the first inning on Saturday at San Diego after a heated spat with home plate umpire Ryan Additon after Votto was called out on a checked swing.
Kershaw against Snell in matchup of Cy Young winners
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Clayton Kershaw will be facing San Diego for the third time this season when the Los Angeles Dodgers play at the Padres. Kershaw is 1-and-1 with a 2.08 ERA against the Padres this season. Blake Snell goes for the Padres in a marquee matchup of Cy Young Award winners.
Among the other games on the major league schedule:
– Wander Franco, a 20-year-old infielder considered the best prospect in the minor leagues, is set to make his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays against the visiting Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay has lost six straight, dropping a half-game back of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.
– Right-hander Kyle Hendricks has won a career-best seven straight starts for the Chicago Cubs going into an outing against the visiting Cleveland Indians, who send Eli Morgan to the mound. Hendricks is succeeding despite an average four-seam fastball velocity of 87.1 miles an hour, 183rd among 184 qualified pitchers. Only Minnesota’s Tyler Rogers, with his submarine delivery, is slower.
– Yankees ace Gerrit Cole makes his first start since Major League Baseball started mandatory checks by umpires on all pitchers for banned grip-enhancing substances. The right-hander will be pitching on five days’ rest when he faces the visiting Kansas City Royals.
– Houston’s Zack Greinke takes the mound against Baltimore’s Jorge Lopez. The Astros have won eight in a row.
– The Washington Nationals are expected to activate Max Scherzer from the 10-day injured list for a start against the Phillies. The Nationals took three out of four from the Mets over the weekend.
Creighton put on probation by NCAA amid fallout of FBI probe
UNDATED (AP) – The Creighton men’s basketball program has been placed on two years’ probation and docked scholarships each of the next two seasons by the NCAA. The organization investigated allegations that a former assistant coach accepted cash from a management agency.
The penalties are the latest in a wide-ranging FBI probe into college basketball corruption that has ensnared numerous coaches and several high-profile schools, including Kansas and North Carolina State.
The NCAA says Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen violated ethics rules after he conducted his own investigation without notifying or coordinating with the compliance office.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-PLAYOFF EXPANSION
College Football Playoff presidents OK expansion evaluation
DALLAS (AP) – The 11 university presidents and chancellors who oversee the College Football Playoff have authorized the continued evaluation of a proposed 12-team playoff. Any plan could still be another five years away.
There are many details to sort through to determine the feasibility of tripling the size of the playoff field. The presidents and chancellors say the next step is a summer review phase to hear the opinions from a wide array of people, including athletes, campus leaders and coaches.
Chinese swimmer banned, will miss Olympics
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – Chinese swimmer star Sun Yang has been banned for more than four years for breaking anti-doping rules. The verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport ends Sun’s hopes of defending his Olympic title in the 200 meters freestyle in Tokyo next month. His ban expires in May 2024.
Sun’s original 8-year ban was overturned last year on appeal to Switzerland’s supreme court, which ordered a fresh prosecution. Federal judges ruled the first guilty verdict unsafe because a CAS judge showed anti-Chinese bias in social media comments. The retrial was heard by three new judges on video link last month. The ruling was fast-tracked ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
EURO 2020-WEMBLEY ATTENDANCE
Wembley capacity increased for Euro 2020 semifinals, final
LONDON (AP) – The British government says more than 60,000 fans will be allowed into the semifinals and final of the European Championship at Wembley Stadium. No details have been provided yet on how fans from overseas can attend without having to quarantine after flying into London.
The government had already agreed to increase the current group-stage capacity of about 22,000 to at least 40,000 for one game in the round of 16 game and the final three matches of the Euro 2020 tournament at the 90,000-seat stadium. Now Wembley will be allowed to be at about 75% capacity for the semifinals and final.
Seahawks to allow full crowds at Lumen Field next season
SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Seahawks intend to have full capacity crowds at Lumen Field for the upcoming season after the team received approval from the NFL and local and state health officials to completely reopen the stadium.
Fans will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend games, but those who are not vaccinated will be required to wear masks. The team says it won’t require proof of vaccination for fans.
Washington and Washington State have announced full capacity for the upcoming college football season as well.