Warriors lean on history with a chance to close out Celtics
BOSTON (AP) – Stephen Curry and the Warriors have been within a game of clinching a championship in three of Golden State’s previous five trips to the NBA Finals during his 13-year NBA career. Curry says he’ll lean on that experience when he takes the court at Boston’s TD Garden Thursday night for Game 6. The Warriors have a 3-2 lead on the Celtics.
The stakes will be equally high for the Celtics, who will try to force a Game 7. Celtics star Jayson Tatum said they’re optimistic, given how they’ve had Game 7 wins in the two prior playoff series.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr is a victory away from a ninth NBA championship. He won five titles in uniform with Chicago and San Antonio. Add in three as Golden State’s boss on the bench, and he is the first person in NBA history to win at least three championships as a player and a coach.
US Open underway; amateur Steward Hagestad shares early lead
BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) – The U.S. Open is underway at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
It’s the fourth time the toughest test in golf is being played at one of the USGA’s five founding members. And it’s the first time that 14 golfers will have to face the American public since defecting to a Saudi-backed upstart tour. The injection of international intrigue is expected to energize the traditionally raucous Boston sports fans. Phil Mickelson is the biggest name among the golfers who accepted the rich payday from LIV Golf. He says he doesn’t know if his fans will stick with him, but he expects things to be lively. He is attempting to win the U.S. Open for the first time.
Amateur Stewart Hagestad had back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes to move into a tie for the lead early in the first round. The 31-year-old Californian is playing in the U.S. Open for the fourth time. He has never made the cut. He also played in the Masters twice and was the low amateur at Augusta in 2017.
Hagestad was tied with reigning British Open champion Collin Morikawa. Matthew NeSmith was also at 3-under par. 2011 U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy was among those a stroke back at 2 under.
Severino to make 100th start as Yankees try to sweep Rays
UNDATED (AP) – Luis Severino makes his 100th career start Thursday night as Aaron Judge and the major league-leading Yankees go for a three-game sweep of AL East rival Tampa Bay.
New York has won six in a row and 13 of 14. The team’s 13-game home winning streak is its longest since taking 13 straight at the old Yankee Stadium in 1973. The last time the Yankees won 14 consecutive home games was a 15-game run in 1961.
Clay Holmes is also on an impressive roll. The Yankees reliever has matched Mariano Rivera’s club record of 28 straight scoreless appearances while shrinking his ERA to 0.29. Jalen Beeks will start for the Rays.
Elsewhere around the majors Thursday:
– Angels star Shohei Ohtani takes the mound to begin a five-game series at Seattle. The reigning AL MVP has struck out 71 in 54 1/3 innings and is coming off seven impressive innings in a win over Boston. The two-way player has been doing better at the plate in the last 10 days, raising his batting average from .240 to .260. Los Angeles was in danger of getting no-hit Wednesday night before Ohtani tripled with one out in the ninth inning against Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson. The skidding Angels lost 4-1 and have dropped 18 of 20.
– The Red Sox wrap up their season series with the Oakland Athletics on a busy sports day in the Boston area. The Red Sox hammered the A’s 10-1 Wednesday night for their 11th win in its last 13 games. The A’s have lost 13 of their last 14 and are in a 6-23 rut. Left-hander Rich Hill is scheduled to start for Boston against right-hander Paul Blackburn. Hill earned a win on June 5 against Oakland, giving up one run in six innings. Blackburn took a loss on June 8, his only career appearance against Boston, giving up four runs in four innings.
– Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove takes a 47-47 career record over seven seasons into his afternoon start at Wrigley Field. But he’s been one of the best pitchers in the majors this year, going 7-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 11 starts. The 29-year-old has allowed just one earned run in 27 innings over his last four starts. Rookie Matt Swarmer starts for the Cubs, who have lost nine straight. In his last outing, he was hammered for six home runs in five innings at Yankee Stadium.
– Rangers lefty Martin Perez looks to improve on his previous performance when he pitches at Detroit. Perez led the AL with a 1.56 ERA when he started last weekend against the White Sox. He was tagged for season highs of seven runs and 12 hits in five innings. Perez faces a Tigers team that’s been outscored 3-6 during a four-game losing streak. Detroit lost 13-0 to the White Sox on Wednesday and held a players-only meeting after the rout.
– The Atlanta Braves enjoy a day off before trying to extend their 14-game winning streak Friday in Chicago against the Cubs. Atlanta is riding its longest streak since a 14-game run in 2013 and is one victory from tying the franchise’s post-1900 record, a 15-game winning streak early in the 2000 season. The defending World Series champions have pulled within four games of the NL East-leading Mets.