Update on the latest in sports:
Sixers advance by whipping Heat…Celts get Smart, beat Bucks
UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers have advanced to the NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinals just two years after a 10-72 season.
The 76ers wrapped up their quarterfinal series in five games as Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 104-91 win over the Miami Heat. Ben Simmons added 14 points and 10 boards amid a raucous crowd that included rapper Meek Hill, who sat courtside just hours after being released from prison.
JJ Redick led Philadelphia’s offense by shooting 5-for-10 from 3-point range and finishing with 27 points.
The game was tied until the Sixers outscored the Heat by 14 in the third quarter. Miami scored just 45 points in the second half and shot 39 percent for the game.
The 76ers will take on either Boston or Milwaukee in the next round.
The defending champs also moved into the conference semifinals.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points and Klay Thompson added 24 as the Warriors held off the Spurs in Game 5 of their first-round series, 99-91. Draymond Green had a great all-around game with 17 points and team highs of 19 boards and seven assists.
The Spurs closed to within two points before Green nailed a long jumper and a pair of free throws with 9.1 seconds left to close out the win.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a game-high 30 points and Patty Mills added 18 for San Antonio, which failed to get past the opening round for the first time since 2015.
The Pelicans will be Golden State’s second-round opponent.
In Boston, Marcus Smart played for the first time since mid-March and provided a big spark in the Celtics’ 92-87 win over the Bucks.
Smart came off the bench to provide nine points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks in his first game since undergoing right thumb surgery. He played 25 minutes in helping the Celts take a three-games-to-two lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Al Horford finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who blew most of a 16-point, second-half lead before winning. Terry Rozier added 16 points and five assists to the victory.
Bucks big man Giannis Antekokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-the-toh-KOOM’-poh) fell one assist shy of a triple-double, but he finished with a series-low 16 points.
Khris Middleton had a game-high 23 points for the Bucks, who host Game 6 on Thursday.
Cavs’ Hill iffy for Game 5
UNDATED (AP) – Cavaliers point guard George Hill is questionable for Wednesday’s crucial Game 5 against Indiana because of back spasms.
Hill has been dealing with back problems since being flattened by an illegal screen by Pacers forward Trevor Booker in the series opener. Cavs coach Tryonn Lue says Hill was limited to some shooting drills during Tuesday’s practice and will start if he can play.
Also in the NBA:
– Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has been fined $10,000 and assessed a postgame technical foul for initiating a confrontation with Jazz center Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’). The incident occurred with about eight minutes remaining in Oklahoma City’s loss to Utah on Monday.
Cubs pound Indians
UNDATED (AP) – The Chicago Cubs had an easy time winning a rematch of the 2016 World Series.
Kyle Schwarber belted two of the Cubbies’ four home runs off Josh Tomlin in a 10-3 rout of the Indians at Cleveland. Willson Contreras and Ian Happ also went deep off Tomlin, who saw his ERA balloon to 9.24 after surrendering five runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Schwarber, Happ and Tommy La Stella drove in two runs apiece for Chicago.
Tyler Chatwood picked up his first win as a Cub by holding the Indians to one run and four hits over six innings.
Elsewhere on the major league schedule:
– The Red Sox’s season-worst losing streak has reached three games after Curtis Granderson hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning to lift the Blue Jays past Boston, 4-3. Granderson also contributed a two-run single before Toronto coughed up a 3-1 lead in the ninth.
– Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 10th home run and Andrelton Simmons went deep twice while tying a career high with five RBIs in the Angels’ 8-7 win at Houston. Los Angeles prevailed despite a shaky outing from Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee), who hit 101 mph on the radar gun but was reached for four runs on six hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings.
– Gary Sanchez banged out two of the Yankees’ four home runs, Aaron Judge smacked his seventh homer of the season and CC Sabathia (sah-BATH’-ee-uh) allowed only an unearned run and two hits in six innings of a 8-3 pounding of the Twins. Didi Gregorius (DEE’-dee greh-GOHR’-ee-uhs) added a two-run homer and three RBIs, while Gleyber Torres had a pair of hits and his first RBI in the Yanks’ fourth consecutive win.
– Jed Lowrie hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning of the Athletics’ 3-2 verdict over the Rangers. Cole Hamels dropped to 1-4, the most losses he’s ever had before the end of April.
– Marco Gonzales struck out eight and allowed five hits over six-plus innings as the Mariners handed the White Sox their eighth loss in nine games, 1-0. Corey Seager contributed two of Seattle’s five hits and scored the game’s lone run on Mitch Haniger’s fourth-inning single.
– The Diamondbacks beat the Phillies for the eighth straight time as Alex Avila went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs in Arizona’s 8-4 victory. Robbie Ray struck out 11 but needed 107 pitches to work 4 2/3 innings, costing him the victory but helping the DBacks improve to an NL-leading 16-6.
– The Mets are 15-6 after Jay Bruce belted a 10th-inning homer to send New York past the Cardinals, 6-5. Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH’-nehs SEHS’-peh-dehs) delivered a game-tying, three-run shot for the Mets, and Matt Harvey allowed a run over two innings in his first relief outing since being jettisoned to the bullpen.
– The Rockies hammered the Padres, 8-0 as Trevor Story launched his second grand slam of the season to back Kyle Freeland’s seven innings of three-hit ball. San Diego starter and loser Eric Lauer was tagged for six earned runs over three frames in his major league debut.
– Mac Williamson homered for the second straight day to put the Giants ahead to stay in a 4-3 victory against Washington. Brandon Belt hit his fifth home run in six games, and Joe Panik added three hits while scoring trice in San Francisco’s third straight win.
– Travis Shaw crushed a three-run homer and Lorenzo Cain victimized his ex-teammates with a round-tripper as the Brewers downed the Royals, 5-2. Cain reached base four times after receiving a standing ovation from Kansas City fans in the first inning.
– Cameron Maybin’s RBI double in the ninth inning was the difference in the Marlins’ 3-2 win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles. J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh) homered in the third inning and Starlin Castro supplied the game-tying double in the eighth before Miami ended a five-game skid.
– The Reds wasted a 7-3 lead in the ninth before Scooter Gennett’s (jeh-NEHTS’) second homer of the game gave Cincinnati a 9-7, 12-inning win over the Braves. Reds starter Tyler Mahle fanned 11 and no-hit Atlanta until Freddie Freeman homered in the seventh inning.
– The Rays and Orioles were postponed by rain in Baltimore. The game will made up on May 12 as part of a single-admission doubleheader.
– Rain also postponed the Pirates-Tigers game at Pittsburgh, creating a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday. It’s the 28th postponement in the majors, the most through April since the commissioner’s office began to track those records in 1986.
Braves promoting top outfield prospect Acuna from Triple-A
UNDATED (AP) – Top outfield prospect Ronald Acuna is set to join the Atlanta Braves. The Braves planned to promote the 20-year-old from Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday to join them in Cincinnati.
Acuna rose from Class A to Triple-A in 2017, hitting a combined .325 with 21 home runs, 82 RBIs and 44 stolen bases. Then he was selected MVP of the Arizona Fall League. He began this season as MLB.com’s No. 2 overall prospect behind Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee).
In other baseball news:
– The Kansas City Royals activated catcher Salvador Perez and outfielder Alex Gordon from the disabled list in time for Tuesday’s game. Perez had been out all season after straining a ligament in his left knee, and Gordon tore the labrum in his left hip on April 9. However, their presence in the starting lineup didn’t stop the Royals from falling to an AL-worst 5-16.
– The Orioles have claimed utility infielder Jace (jays) Peterson after he was placed on waivers by the Yankees. Peterson provides depth to an infield that is without injured second baseman Jonathan Schoop (skohp) and could potentially lose Tim Beckham, who left Monday’s game against Cleveland with a groin injury.
– Dodgers rookie hurler Walker Buehler was optioned to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, one day after he tossed four shutout innings against the Marlins in his first major league start. Manager Dave Roberts said the team wanted to keep Buehler nearby so it would have the option of starting him on Saturday at San Francisco.
– The White Sox have placed outfielder Avisail Garcia on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. Garcia was hurt Monday night while running out a grounder in the second inning of a 10-4 victory over Seattle.
– Reliever Shawn Kelley has landed on the Nationals’ 10-day disabled list because of ulnar nerve irritation in his pitching elbow. Kelley has a history of elbow trouble and has twice come back from Tommy John surgery.
– Manny Pina was in Milwaukee’s lineup Tuesday after being activated from the disabled list. Pina was hitting .219 with a homer and three RBIs when he went on the DL retroactive to April 13 with a strained left calf.
– The Padres have placed first baseman Eric Hosmer on the family medical leave list. The ballclub also selected the contract of left-hander Eric Lauer from Triple-A El Paso, allowing him to start Tuesday’s game against the Rockies.
– Pitcher Tyler Duffey has been recalled by the Twins following four relief appearances for Triple-A Rochester.
Rams pick up options on Gurley, Peters
UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Rams have picked up their fifth-year contract options for 2019 on running back Todd Gurley and cornerback Marcus Peters.
Gurley led the NFL in all-purpose yards as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year last season, rushing for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 64 passes for 788 yards and six more scores.
Peters was acquired by the Rams in February after earning two Pro Bowl nods and intercepting 19 passes in three seasons with Kansas City.
In other NFL news:
– Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced he will play this year and says he is staying in shape and feels great. Gronkowski previously hinted at considering retirement following New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles in February.
– The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Shaq Thompson, putting him under contract through 2019. Thompson started 14 games and had a career-high 75 tackles with six quarterback pressures and two sacks last season.
– The Colts will induct former receiver Reggie Wayne into the team’s Ring of Honor during a Nov. 18 game against Tennessee. Wayne spent 14 seasons and played in a franchise record 211 games, finishing his career with 1,070 receptions for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns.
Sabres ink Swedish scorer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – The Buffalo Sabres have signed Victor Olofsson to a two-year contract after he scored a Swedish Hockey League-leading 27 goals last season.
The 22-year-old Olofsson has blossomed since being taken by the Sabres in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. He is coming off a career-best season in which he finished with 43 points in 50 games during his second year with Frolunda HC.
COLLEGE SPORTS-MICHIGAN STATE
More turmoil for Spartans
CHICAGO (AP) – Letters obtained by The Associated Press indicate that Michigan State University maintained ties to a prominent volleyball coach long after he was publicly accused in 1995 of sexually abusing and raping six underage girls he trained in the 1980s.
The letters from advocates for the accusers reveal the school has been under pressure for at least a year to sever its relationship with Rick Butler as Michigan State reels from the sexual abuse scandal involving team doctor Larry Nassar.
Butler’s accusers say he threatened to use his national influence to thwart their college prospects if they did not accept his advances.
APNewsBreak: Hoops panel says ban cheats, end 1-and-done
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A panel tasked with reforming college basketball says the NCAA should work to end the one-and-done era and punish coaches and programs that cheat more harshly.
The Commission on College Basketball led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is calling for sweeping reforms that include banning cheating coaches for life and certifying agents who deal with players.
The independent commission released a detailed 60-page report Wednesday, seven months after the NCAA formed the group to respond to a federal corruption investigation that rocked college basketball.
Ten people, including some assistant coaches, have been charged in a bribery and kickback scheme, and high-profile programs such as Arizona, Louisville and Kansas have been tied to possible NCAA violations.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the report ahead of Rice presenting its findings to top NCAA officials.
The commission offered harsh assessments of NCAA enforcement. It says the environment surrounding college basketball encourages people to cheat.