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.
Jrue Holiday named teammate of the year
UNDATED (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has been named the NBA’s teammate of the year for the second time in three seasons.
A panel of league executives selected 12 finalists for the honor, which is officially named the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. More than 300 current NBA players voted on the winner from that list of 12 finalists. Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic finished second in the voting and Chicago Bulls guard/forward DeMar DeRozan was third.
In other NBA news:
— Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has been fined $15,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating in Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans. Williams made his comments to the media following the Suns’ 118-103 road loss Sunday. He was upset by the disparity in foul shots — 42-15.
In other NBA matters of interest:
— The Chicago Bulls might have to get by without Zach LaVine when they try to avoid playoff elimination by the Milwaukee Bucks. The two-time All-Star is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Coach Billy Donovan says LaVine wasn’t feeling great. He is in the health and safety protocols for the third time in a year. He tested positive for the coronavirus last April and again in December.
MLB teams allowed to carry 14 pitchers through May 29
UNDATED (AP) — Major League Baseball and the players’ association are allowing teams to have an additional pitcher for most of May. MLB and the union says teams may carry as many as 14 pitchers from May 2 through May 29, a change the league said was “for player health purposes.” The sides had said March 31 that a 13-pitcher limit would be enforced starting May 2. Teams and the union announced then that the active roster limit would be 28 from opening day on April 7 through May 1, then revert to 26 on May 2.
Ovechkin injury clouds Capitals outlook week from playoffs
UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Capitals are listing Alex Ovechkin as day to day with an upper-body injury. But there’s legitimate concern about the longtime captain’s health moving forward. Ovechkin slammed into the boards left shoulder first in the Capitals game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night and did not return. The 36-year-old Russian winger did not take part in Washington’s morning skate before facing the New York Islanders.
Also happening in the NHL:
—U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized 10 counterfeit Stanley Cup rings for the 1936 Detroit Red Wings championship team due to trademark violations. Customs officers at the Port of Champlain facility in New York found the rings valued at $15,000 earlier this month after examining a shipment. CBP said the shipment violated the intellectual property rights of the Red Wings’ trademark. The 1936 Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Cup Final.
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.
In other pro tennis developments:
— 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 40-year-old Swiss star has not played a competitive match since losing in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on July 7. Federer had right knee surgery soon after.
— Rafael Nadal says he will play the Madrid Open after recovering from a rib injury that sidelined him for a month. Nadal had been recovering from a stress fracture he sustained while playing at Indian Wells in March. Nadal missed tournaments in Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona because of the injury.
— 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.
Bills pick up defensive tackle Ed Oliver’s 5th-year option
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have picked up the fifth-year option of Ed Oliver’s rookie contract in a decision which locks up the defensive tackle through the 2023 season.
The move represents a big boost in pay for Oliver, who is playing under a four-year, $19.6 million contract. He’s now guaranteed to make $10.7 million next year, though the two sides can negotiate a longer-term contract.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
—The Cleveland Browns are going all in on sports betting. The team announced a long-term partnership with Bally’s that will make the gaming leader the official sports betting partner of the NFL team. As part of the agreement, Bally’s will have a branded lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Putin backs skater Valieva
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed support for figure skater Kamila Valieva. He says she did not compete “dishonestly” after her doping case dominated this year’s Winter Olympics.
Valieva was on the gold-medal winning Russian squad for the figure skating team event at the Beijing Olympics but no medal ceremony has been held because she is facing an unresolved doping case resulting from a positive test at the Russian national championships in late December.
Putin gave Valieva a state award as part of a televised ceremony celebrating Russian medalists and congratulated her on her 16th birthday.