Update on the latest sports


Quick turnaround for Lightning and Stars

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars return to the ice for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, less than 24 hours after Tampa Bay beat Dallas in overtime of Game 4. This is the first Stanley Cup Final with back-to-back games since 2009 and only the second since the mid-1950s.

Tampa Bay is on the verge of its second title in franchise history and first with this core group.

Dallas, in the Final for the first time since 2000, won the Stanley Cup in 1999.


Lakers try to oust pesky Nuggets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers can reach the NBA Finals by beating the Denver Nuggets Saturday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

Denver will try to prevent that by rallying from a 3-1 series deficit for the third time this postseason. The Nuggets were down 3-1 against both Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers, fell far behind in Game 5, and then battled back to not only win the game but eventually the series.

The Lakers have ended both their series in five games. With another win, LeBron James would tie NBA career scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for third on the career list with 10 NBA Finals appearances. Only Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Sam Jones have gone to more – 12 for Russell and 11 for Jones.

It would be James’ first with the Lakers after five appearances in Cleveland and four in Miami, and the Lakers’ first trip to the finals since winning the last of their 16 championships in 2010.


2 NL playoff slots up for grabs

UNDATED (AP) — After Don Mattingly’s Marlins and the Cincinnati Reds clinched postseason spots, two National League playoff slots are still open with two days left in the regular season. St. Louis and San Francisco lead Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

Cardinals star Adam Wainwright faces Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff on Saturday at Busch Stadium. Wainwright has dropped two of his past three decisions after starting the season 4-0. His last win came against the Brewers on Sept. 16 when he went the distance in the opener of a seven-inning doubleheader.

The eight-team American League playoff field is set after Houston sealed the last spot. The next two days will determine the pairings. The higher seed will host every game in the best-of-three series in the opening round.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Mets ace Jacob deGrom makes his final pitch for a third straight NL Cy Young Award as New York plays a doubleheader at Washington. DeGrom ranks among the NL leaders in ERA, strikeouts and Wins Above Replacement, but he has tough competition in the Cubs’ Yu Darvish, Reds’ Trevor Bauer, Padres’ Dinelson Lamet and others. DeGrom could join the late Tom Seaver as the only Mets pitchers to win a trio of Cy Youngs, and the right-hander plans to honor Seaver with his footwear. DeGrom will wear custom cleats including Seaver’s image and No. 41, and the shoes will be auctioned after the season to benefit out-of-work minor leaguers via the More Than Baseball organization.


Kentucky at Auburn highlight schedule

UNDATED (AP) — The Southeastern Conference also kicks off Saturday, with No. 23 Kentucky at No. 8 Auburn highlighting the opening slate.

The Wildcats have one of the best offensive lines in the country and could qualify as a dark horse in an East Division race that has No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Florida as favorites. Kentucky and Auburn don’t play often — just once since 2010 — and when they do the Tigers usually win. Auburn is 17-1 in the series going back to 1967.

Two other games Saturday match ranked teams: No. 21 Pittsburgh vs. No. 24 Louisville and No. 14 Cincinnati vs. No. 22 Army.

A pandemic-altered college football season has helped put Florida State-Miami in the spotlight this weekend. The 12th-ranked Hurricanes are hosting ESPN’s “College GameDay,” and for the second straight week playing in primetime. It’s a chance for Miami quarter D’Eriq King to boost his early season Heisman hopes.


Hamilton takes another pole in dramatic Russian qualifying

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Lewis Hamilton took a step closer to equaling the Formula One win record on Saturday by clinching the pole position at the Russian Grand Prix, after narrowly avoiding early elimination when Sebastian Vettel crashed.

Hamilton charged to a track-record time of 1 minute, 31.304 seconds, beating the Red Bull of Max Verstappen by .563 for his fifth straight pole position. Hamilton can achieve his 91st career win in the race on Sunday, matching the record held by Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was beaten into third by Verstappen’s fast run at the end of the session and was .652 off Hamilton’s time.

Categories: National Sports