Update on the latest sportsAP
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.
Padres hand Cubs 10th straight loss
UNDATED (AP) — Joe Musgrove pitched seven effective innings in his third straight win, and the San Diego Padres handed the Chicago Cubs their 10th consecutive loss with a 6-4 victory. Musgrove permitted two runs and five hits, struck out a season-high nine and walked one. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his 12 starts this year.
San Diego improved to 7-2 in its last nine games.
The Padres’ 41-24 record matches their best 65-game start since 1998, when the club won the NL West and advanced to the World Series.
In other MLB action:
— Cedric Mullins had three hits, Tyler Wells pitched six innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-2. The Orioles pounded former Baltimore pitcher Kevin Gausman, who faced the team that drafted him for the first time. Wells allowed one run and five hits, completing six innings in consecutive starts for the first time in his career. The Orioles split the four-game series and have won four of six. Austin Hays hit his ninth home run, a solo shot off Matt Gage in the eighth, and Rougned Odor had two hits and two RBIs.
— Paul Blackburn continued his road success by pitching sharply into the sixth inning, Christian Bethancourt hit a two-run single and the Oakland Athletics held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 for just their second victory in 15 games. Chad Pinder added an RBI single for Oakland, which closed its nine-game road trip at 2-7 and avoided being swept in a three-game series by Boston for the second time this month. Boston star Rafael Devers went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks and was hit by a pitch, ending his streak of four straight games with a home run.
— José Ramírez doubled for his eighth straight game with an extra-base hit and the Cleveland Guardians matched a season high with their fourth win in a row, beating the sloppy Colorado Rockies. Ramírez is the first major leaguer with extra-base hits in eight consecutive games since Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in 2020. Triston McKenzie gave up one run in six innings. Emmanuel Clase earned his third save of the series, with all three came on game-ending double plays. Brian Serven and Connor Joe each had a career-high four hits for Colorado, which has lost 10 of 14. The Rockies committed two errors that led to a pair of unearned runs. They have made at least one error in their last 13 home games and led the majors with 54 errors.
Severino scratched, put on COVID-19 list
UNDATED (AP) — Luis Severino was scratched from his start for the New York Yankees against Tampa Bay and placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Right-hander Clarke Schmidt will replace Severino. Severino is 4-1 with a 2.80 ERA. The 28-year-old right-hander was to have made his 100th career start in the series finale.
Schmidt, a 26-year-old right-hander, entered 3-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 11 relief appearances, striking out 15 and walking 10 in 19 1/3 innings.
Left-hander Jalen Beeks was to open for the Rays in place of Drew Rasmussen, who went on the 15-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring.
In other MLB news:
— Two people familiar with the deal tell The Associated Press that Major League Baseball has approved the sale of a minority stake in the Cleveland Guardians to David Blitzer, who also has ownership shares in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. One of the sources says Blitzer will initially have 25% to 30% of the team and will have rights to increase his stake to a controlling interest in several years.
— Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics need to reach new ballpark deals soon and left open the possibility of considering relocation if agreements are not struck. Tampa Bay’s lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, expires after the 2027 season. The Athletics have played at the Coliseum since 1968, and their lease expires after the 2024 season. The A’s have proposed a new ballpark and are working with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to gain the necessary approvals.
— Minor league games with a pitch clock have averaged 2 hours, 35 minutes this season, down from 3:04 through June 14 last year. It’s an experiment that Major League Baseball is preparing for possible adoption in 2023. However, robot umpires calling balls and strikes are not close to a big league promotion. MLB is considering a 14-second pitch clock with no runners, a 19-second pitch clock with runners, limits on defensive shifts and use of larger bases. A competition committee comprised of six management officials, four union representatives and one umpire was established in the new collective bargaining agreement, and it has the right to make on-field rules changes with 45 days’ notice.
— All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and the Seattle Mariners avoided a salary arbitration hearing when they agreed to a $14.5 million, two-year contract. Winker gets $6.25 million this year and $8.25 million in 2023. In the second season, he can earn $400,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances. Winker was a first-time All-Star last year for Cincinnati, setting career bests with a .305 average, 24 homers and 71 RBIs. He was traded in March.
— Kansas City infielder Nicky Lopez went to salary arbitration with the Royals, asking for $2.9 million instead of the team’s $2.55 million offer. A decision is expected Friday. Lopez had career bests of a .300 average and 22 stolen bases in 23 chances last season, when he had two homers and 43 RBIs. He made $597,500 and was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
All eyes on the NFL’s pending decision on Deshaun Watson
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns and football fans everywhere are waiting for the NFL to determine an appropriate penalty for star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is accused of sexual misconduct by 24 women. A person familiar with the league’s investigation told The Associated Press a decision is expected before training camp.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing. Once it concludes, former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson will review the league’s findings to decide whether Watson violated the personal conduct policy and whether to discipline him. Robinson was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association.
In other football news:
— Marv Levy is poised to join a very select pro football group. On Friday night, the former Buffalo Bills and Montreal Alouettes head coach will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. He’ll become just the third person to be in both the Canadian and Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining former Minnesota Vikings and Winnipeg head coach Bud Grant and quarterback Warren Moon, who began his illustrious career in the CFL with Edmonton. Moon played most of his NFL career with the Houston Oilers and also played with Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City.
NHL-STANLEY CUP-INJURED AVS
Kadri skates with stick for 1st time since injuring thumb
DENVER (AP) — Injured Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano skated with an assistant coach Thursday, a day after missing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Kadri skated with a stick in his hand for the first time since injuring his right thumb crashing into the boards last round. He did not take any shots in 45 minutes on the ice. Cogliano took a puck to the right hand in Colorado’s series clincher against Edmonton in the Western Conference final. He appears closer to being ready to face the Tampa Bay Lightning than Kadri.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
— The Philadelphia Flyers have hired John Tortorella as their new coach, hoping the veteran can help lead them to their first Stanley Cup since 1975. Tortorella coached Tampa Bay to a Stanley Cup title in 2004. He also coached the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He was fired in May 2021 after six seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers finished this season with a 25-46-11 record under Alain Vigneault and Mike Yeo and were last in the Metropolitan Division.
McIllroy shares early lead; Michelson has rough start
BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Rory McIlroy has made another bold statement at the U.S. Open. This time it was with his golf.
McIlroy has become a leading voice on the PGA Tour over the last few years, particularly with his rebuke of the Saudi-funded series that is disrupting golf. His opening round of the U.S. Open was a reminder he’s pretty good at his day job, too. McIlroy kept bogeys off his card until the last hole.
McIlroy made two straight birdies late in his round to become the first player to reach 4 under among early starters, only to miss the ninth green and make his only bogey for a 3-under 67 and a share of the lead with qualifiers Joel Dahmen, David Lingmerth and Callum Tarren.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson got off to a rough start on his 52nd birthday. He missed the first green from the fairway and started the U.S. Open with a bogey. It really got bad on the par-3 sixth hole when he four-putted from about 18 feet. Mickelson was 5-over par through six holes at the U.S. Open, the only major keeping him from career Grand Slam.
No. 1 Medvedev beats Ivashka to reach Halle quarterfinals
HALLE, Germany (AP) — Top-ranked Daniil Medvedev (dih-MEE’-tree med-VYEH’-dyev) defeated Ilya Ivashka for the second time in a week by beating the Belarusian 7-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals at the Halle Open. Medvedev returned to No. 1 in the rankings this week, with Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) dropping to No. 3.
SOCCER-WORLD CUP 2026
Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle among World Cup sites
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle and Kansas City, Missouri, were the newcomers among the 11 U.S. sites picked to host games at the 2026 World Cup, while Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida, were left out. Arlington, Texas; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts, and Inglewood and Santa Clara, California, were the holdovers.
WNBA star Sue Bird says 2022 will be her final season
UNDATED (AP) — Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird says the 2022 season will be her last playing in the WNBA.
Thursday’s announcement by the 41-year-old ended any speculation about her future. She acknowledged in February when she re-signed with Seattle that this would likely be her final season.
Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, 12-time All-Star and the oldest player in the league. She has spent her entire WNBA career with Seattle since becoming the No. 1 pick in 2002 following her storied college career at UConn.