Update on the latest sportsAP
Heat can advance with win
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat can wrap up their first-round NBA playoff series with a win tonight over the Atlanta Hawks. Miami has a 3-games-to-1 lead heading into Game 5 at home. Overall, the Heat are 5-and-2 at home against the Hawks this season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies are even at two games apiece as their first-round series moves back to Memphis tonight.
After starting their season winning just three of their first 19 games, the New Orleans Pelicans are proving to be a handful for the Phoenix Suns in their first-round series. That series is knotted at two apiece as the series heads back to Phoenix tonight for Game 5.
Braves, off to slow start, open series against Cubs
ATLANTA (AP) — As they wait for star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to return from knee surgery, the World Series champion Atlanta Braves are off to a slow start at 7-and-10. Following a day off, they send left-hander Max Fried to the mound at home in a series opener against the Chicago Cubs. Fried lost his first two outings this season — at home to punchless opponents Cincinnati and Washington, no less — before rebounding last Tuesday in a homecoming at Dodger Stadium. Fried retired his first 15 batters and threw seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball with eight strikeouts in a 3-1 win. Acuña has been hitting well in the early stages of his rehab assignment at Triple-A Gwinnett and is targeting a May 6 return to the majors.
In other games on the major league schedule:
— The New York Mets — whose 13-and-5 record is second only to the Dodgers’ 12-and-4 mark so far this season — have a 4 1/2-game lead in the NL East heading into tonight’s game against the Central Division-leading Cardinals in St. Louis. The Mets were down to their final strike before rallying for five runs last night in a 5-2 win over the Cards.
— The Dodgers — winners of 11 of their last 13 — send righthander Tony Gonsolin to the mound against righty Zach Davies of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
— After sweeping the Cleveland Guardians at home in a series marred by fan misbehavior, the New York Yankees resume their homestand against the Baltimore Orioles.
— The Guardians, who’ve lost four straight, continue their series against the Angels in Anaheim.
— The Boston Red Sox have lost three in a row, and five of six, as they continue their series in Toronto.
— Carlos Rodón gets his first taste of the Bay Bridge rivalry when he pitches for the Giants at home against the A’s. An All-Star last season with the White Sox, the 29-year-old lefty is 2-and-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts. He’s also struck out 29 in 17 innings. San Francisco returns home after going 8-3 on a four-city road trip that included a 4-2 win Monday on a one-game visit to Milwaukee for a rescheduled game.
— White Sox lefty Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kuhl) hopes to bounce back from a rugged start. Keuchel was tagged for 10 hits and 10 runs — seven earned — in an inning at Cleveland last week. The 34-year-old former Cy Young Award winner starts in Chicago against the Royals. The White Sox have lost seven straight.
— The Minnesota Twins, winners of four straight, start a three-game series at home against the Tigers.
— Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara has pitched 14 consecutive shutout innings heading into his fourth start of the season. He faces Juan Soto and the last-place Nationals, who have dropped five straight and been outscored 100-62 this season. Josiah Gray goes for Washington in the opener of a three-game series.
— Following an off day, the Pirates start Mitch Keller in the opener of a three-game series against Milwaukee. Brandon Woodruff pitches for the visiting Brewers.
— The Philadelphia Phillies play the second of four in Colorado against the Rockies.
— The Texas Rangers, who’ve won just two of seven in their home ballpark so far this season, try to take a second straight game at home from the Houston Astros.
— Seattle opens a three-game series at Tropicana Field, the first of seven games in 13 days between the Rays and Mariners.
— After ending an eleven-game losing streak on Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds open a series at home against the San Diego Padres.
Western Conference wild card berths could be decided
DALLAS (AP) — The NHL playoff race is going into its final few days with both Western Conference wild-card slots still unsettled. They could be wrapped up as early as tonight, or it could take the rest of the week.
Dallas can clinch one of the two wild-card spots with a win in regulation against Vegas. The Golden Knights are coming off a shootout loss Sunday when they gave up the tying goal with less than a second left.
A Dallas win would set up the possibility for Nashville to clinch the other wild-card slot with a win. The Predators lost with 1.6 seconds left in overtime Sunday.
The Minnesota Wild have won five straight as they battle with the St. Louis Blues for second place in the Central Division and home ice for the teams’ first-round playoff series. Minnesota is at home against Arizona tonight, while the Blues skate at Colorado.
After snapping Florida’s 13-game winning streak, the Tampa Bay Lightning remain alive in the race with Toronto for the No. 2 spot behind Florida in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay is at home against Columbus. The Maple Leafs return home to face the Detroit Red Wings in their penultimate game of the regular season.
The playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins are in third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points ahead of Washington, heading into tonight’s game at home against Edmonton. The Capitals, meanwhile, host the Islanders.
In other action involving teams preparing for the playoffs, the Boston Bruins host the Panthers, and the New York Rangers are at home against Carolina.
Djokovic can play at Wimbledon; no vaccination required
UNDATED (AP) — The All England Club says Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title at Wimbledon despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19 because the shots are not required to enter Britain.
Djokovic is a 34-year-old from Serbia who is ranked No. 1. He missed the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country because he had not received the vaccination against the illness caused by the coronavirus. Wimbledon starts on June 27.
All England Club Chief Executive Sally Bolton said during Tuesday’s annual briefing that vaccination will not be a condition of entry for players to compete at the Grand Slam tournament this year.
Federer plans tournament return at Swiss Indoors in October
UNDATED (AP) — Roger Federer intends to return to tournament tennis after what will have been more than a year away from the tour by playing at the Swiss Indoors in October. The event in Basel announced in a statement posted on its website that the 20-time Grand Slam champion officially entered the tournament. Federer’s first match is scheduled for Oct. 25, according to the website. The 40-year-old Swiss star has not played a competitive match since losing to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on July 7. Federer had right knee surgery soon after.
US Open champion Raducanu parts ways with coach
LONDON (AP) — U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu has parted ways with coach Torben Beltz six months after hiring him. The 19-year-old British player said Tuesday she’s seeking “a new training model” despite rising to a career-high ranking of No. 11 this week after reaching the quarterfinals at the Stuttgart Open.
Raducanu had split with coach Andrew Richardson after last year’s U.S. Open and later hired Beltz, former coach of three-time major champion Angelique Kerber, saying she wanted someone with tour experience.
Raducanu is scheduled to play at the Madrid Open this week.