Update on the latest sports
History hangs over Clippers as they host Suns in Game 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It’s not simply the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. The Clippers are fighting the franchise’s own fraught playoff history. For the third straight series, LA is down 0-2 as this series shifts to Staples Center. The Clippers came back to win against Dallas and Utah and reach the West Finals for the first time. LA had been close in previous years, owning 3-1 series leads while poised to reach the conference finals only to fail.
The Clippers are likely to see a familiar face Thursday night in Game 3. Chris Paul is listed as probable after missing the first two games under the league’s health and safety protocols. He’d like nothing better than to win on his former team’s home court.
NHL PLAYOFFS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS/CANADIENS
Vegas ams to avoid elimination in Montreal
MONTREAL (AP) – Montreal’s smothering defense and opportunistic offense are frustrating the Vegas Golden Knights in their Stanley Cup semifinal series. The Canadiens have a 3-2 series lead as they return home for Game 6 on Thursday night.
The Golden Knights are running out of time to find answers to address an anemic offense and power-play unit. Vegas defensemen account for seven of the team’s 11 goals, and the power play has gone 0 of 15 during the series. Montreal has won 10 of 12 and is one victory away from clinching its first Stanley Cup Final berth since winning the championship in 1993.
Steelers stay home for training camp for 2nd straight year
UNDATED (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers are staying home for training camp. The team announced Thursday it will not go to Saint Vincent College for the second straight summer after the NFL declined the organization’s plan.
Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said the club is “disappointed” it will not return to the small school in Latrobe – about an hour east of downtown Pittsburgh – that has served as the team’s camp since 1966. He said in a statement that the plan to host training camp on campus with fans wasn’t approved due to NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
The Steelers will instead split time between Heinz Field and their training complex in the city’s South Side. The team does plan to allow fans at select practices once their practice schedule is set.
In other pandemic-related news:
– The head of the Imperial Palace in Japan says Emperor Naruhito is “extremely worried” that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. The games will bring thousands of foreign athletes, officials, sponsors and journalists to Japan during a pandemic despite caution raised by experts about the risk of infections and the public’s persistent calls for cancellation or further postponement. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics despite widespread concern and opposition. The delayed games open July 23 and the Paralympics begin a month later.
– Danish health officials have urged soccer fans who attended the European Championship game between Denmark and Belgium on June 17 in Copenhagen to be checked for the coronavirus after they found at least three people who later tested positive for the delta variant. The Danish health minister says about 4,000 people sat near those who have tested positive. Denmark has reported 247 cases of the variant since April 2. All those attending the final Euro 2020 game in Copenhagen on Monday must show valid documents that they are not infected with COVID-19 before they can enter Parken Stadium.
– Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton says he is concerned about fans visiting next month’s British Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver calls the decision to allow a full capacity crowd at Silverstone “a bit premature” amid the rising number of coronavirus cases. Silverstone organizers confirmed that the British GP was included in the latest phase of the government’s “Event Research Program” and will be able to host all ticket holders to the race.
US TRACK TRIALS-TRANSGENDER
Eligibility rule keeps transgender runner out of trials
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Transgender runner CeCe Telfer will not be allowed to compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at U.S. Olympic trials because Telfer has not met the conditions World Athletics established in its eligibility regulations for certain women’s events.
Telfer was entered in this week’s trials but was ultimately not allowed to compete because of guidelines World Athletics released in 2019 that closed off international women’s events of between 400 meters and a mile to athletes who did not meet the eligibility requirements. Among those requirements was that their testosterone levels had to be below 5 nonomoles per liter for a span of 12 months.
Telfer’s manager, David McFarland, said Telfer would respect the decision.
Telfer competed for the men’s team at Division II Franklin Pierce, but took time off, then came back to compete for the women’s team. In 2019, Telfer won the NCAA title.