AP Sports Summary Brief at 9:22 p.m. EDT | national sport
Heat still leads the East Finals but the Celtics return with history in mind
MIAMI (AP) — The Boston Celtics are halfway into history, and that alone got them a foothold at what is a very small club. Of the first 150 teams to trail a best-of-seven series 3-0 in NBA history, only 14 found a way to extend the match to game six. Most are usually eliminated by now. Not the Celtics. They cut the deficit to 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. They’re behind in the series but appear to have the momentum ahead of Saturday night’s sixth game in Miami.
Golden Knights aim for closeout win; Stars set for comeback in Game 5 of Western finals
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Alec Martinez was part of the 2014 Los Angeles Kings team that overcame a 3-0 deficit in the first round of the series, beating Joe Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks in Game 7. Pavelski and coach Pete DeBoer were the focus of a Sharks comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the opening round of the 2019 playoffs to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights. And now the Dallas Stars are trying to repeat history when they went down 3-1 in Game 5 of the Western Finals in Las Vegas on Saturday.
DeAndre Hopkins is fired from the Arizona Cardinals as the team suffers a major pay cap slump
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – The Arizona Cardinals have fired three-time All-Pro-wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a salary cap change after failing to find a trading partner in the offseason. The Cardinals made the move three seasons after acquiring Hopkins in a deal with Houston and signing him for a $54.5 million contract extension. The soon-to-be-31-year-old would have netted nearly $31 million against the cap this season. His cap hit in Dead Money is $22.6 million. Hopkins had 221 catches for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in 35 games with Arizona.
Analysis: The NFL can’t shake perceptions, they don’t care what players and coaches think
Even if the NFL adopts a concussion reduction rule, it can’t shake the impression that it doesn’t care what players and coaches think. The league took a step towards eliminating kickoffs this week by expanding the touchback rule for a year-long trial period with a focus on player safety. The receiving team now receives the ball at their own 25-yard line with a fair catch of a kick-off anywhere past that yard-line. Some of the league’s most prominent coaches have criticized the decision.
AP sources say Indiana is the center for baseball-related gambling investigations in Alabama and Cincinnati
According to two people familiar with the investigation, an Indiana man whose son is a member of the University of Cincinnati baseball team is the focus of various investigations into collegiate gambling. An investigation led to the firing of Alabama coach Brad Bohannon earlier this month. The other resulted in two members of the Cincinnati baseball team being fired this week. The people who identified Bert Neff, of Mooresville, Indiana, as connected to the Alabama and Cincinnati cases spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because none of them were authorized to speak about ongoing investigations.
“Block” party at the Colonial for the PGA Championship Sensation Club Pro
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – There will be no weekend party at the Colonial for Michael Block. The California club pro, who finished 15th in the PGA Championship, hit 15 over par on a grueling 36 holes at the Colonial. He was exhausted but grateful after last week’s wild ride. His 4-over-74 on Friday was seven shots better than his opening round at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he received a late sponsorship waiver after Oak Hill. He also has a dispensation to compete in the RBC Canadian Open in two weeks. So the block party isn’t quite over yet.
The Yankees’ Aaron Boone has been suspended for an MLB game for dealing with referees
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended for one game and fined by Major League Baseball “for his recent behavior towards the Major League umpires.” Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of oncourt action, made the announcement and said Boone’s behavior following his suspension from Thursday night’s game against Baltimore was one of the factors in the disciplining. Boone was ejected for the fourth time this season in the major league peak, the most common among big league managers, when he fretted over the strike zone. He appeared to have been spat on to a referee while screaming after being thrown.
Biden celebrates the LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden called for more support for women athletes during a White House event celebrating the Louisiana women’s basketball championship. The event once seemed in jeopardy after Biden’s wife, Jill, suggested inviting the losing Iowa team as well. Friday’s ceremony was briefly interrupted when forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse on stage. The Bidens praised the LSU Tigers for their performance and the way they helped advance women’s sports. Neither mentioned the uproar Jill Biden’s previous comments had caused. Biden also welcomed the UConn men’s basketball championship team to a celebration at the White House later Friday.
Varner leads the LIV event while Koepka struggles after his fifth big win
STERLING, Va. (AP) — Brooks Koepka returned from winning the PGA championship just five days ago. It’s been a bumpy return at LIV Golf DC. Harold Varner III leads by a 64. He leads by two over James Piot. Koepka had a flat round with two birdies, two bogeys and the rest of the pars. That leaves him 72 down and eight shots down with two days to go. Varner made two Eagles at Trump National. Third place at 68 is shared by Cameron Smith and Andy Ogletree. Ogletree is a LIV sub. He’s standing in for Paul Casey this week.
After Serena, women’s tennis heads to the French Open, led by Big 3 Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina
PARIS (AP) – Any questions about who would come to the fore if Serena Williams leaves the tennis tour appear to be answered with three names: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. As Sunday gets closer to the start of the French Open, defending champion Swiatek is 1st, Sabalenka 2nd and Rybakina 4th. More specifically, maybe if there’s a big trophy up for grabs on the red clay of Roland Garros: this group has split the last four Grand Slam titles, the prizes that make up the greatness of their sport.
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