AP Monday Sports Roundup
Rockets finish off comeback over Clippers
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets have advanced to the NBA's Western Conference finals for the first time since 1997 by becoming the ninth team in league history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit.
James Harden poured in 31 points and the Rockets never trailed in taking Game 7 of the conference semifinals, 113-100 over the Los Angeles Clippers. Dwight Howard finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, whose comeback began when they erased a 19-point, third-quarter deficit to win Game 5.
Houston led by 20 in the clincher after Howard converted a 3-point play at the start of the fourth quarter. The Clippers eventually used a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to eight with less than 2 1/2 minutes remaining before Trevor Ariza's 3-pointer secured the victory. Ariza hit six treys in scoring 22 points.
The Clippers still haven't advanced to a conference finals since the franchise began as the Buffalo Braves. Blake Griffin provided 27 points and Chris Paul had 26 and 10 assists for Los Angeles.
The Rockets now prepare for the Golden State Warriors, who just took out Memphis in six games after trailing that series 2-1. Game 1 is Tuesday in Oakland.
Ducks take opener over Blackhawks
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Frederik Andersen played a huge role in the Anaheim Ducks' ability to take Game 1 of their first Western Conference finals in eight years.
Andersen made 16 of his 32 saves in the first period, allowing his teammates to slowly take control of an eventual 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. He helped Anaheim kill off an early Chicago power play, keeping it scoreless until Hampus Lindholm beat Corey Crawford 8:48 into the game.
Lindholm, Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg each finished with a goal and an assist, with Thompson and Silfverberg scoring in the final 7:55 after Brad Richards got the Hawks within 2-1 in the last minute of the second period.
Kyle Palmieri scored the eventual game-winner for the Ducks, who host Game 2 on Tuesday.
Canada takes gold, US gets bronze
PRAGUE (AP) — Sidney Crosby got the better of Alex Ovechkin once again.
Crosby had a goal and an assist as Canada dominated Russia 6-1 to win the ice hockey world championship. It was the 25th world title for the Canadians, and their first since 2007. They scored 66 goals in winning all 10 of their tournament games.
Claude Giroux and Tyler Ennis also had a goal and an assist each. Mike Smith was only called on to make 10 saves as the Canadians outshot Russia 38-11.
Connor Hellebuyck made 39 saves to lead the United States to a 3-0 win over the host Czech Republic in the bronze medal game.
Miller loses no-hitter, Redmond fired
UNDATED (AP) — Atlanta Braves pitcher Shelby Miller lost a no-hitter in the ninth inning against Florida. Moments later, the Marlins lost a manager.
Miller is 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA after coming within one out of a no-hitter in a 6-0 win over the Marlins. The gem ended when Justin Bour hit a first-pitch single to center, preventing Miller from becoming the first Brave to toss a no-hitter since Kent Mercker in 1994.
Major League batting leader Dee Gordon followed with an infield single before Miller completed his second shutout of the season.
Jace Peterson had a two-run single in Atlanta's five-run second inning.
The outcome dropped the Marlins to a disappointing 16-22 after many baseball forecasters expected them to challenge Washington for the NL East crown. The poor start has cost Mike Redmond his job after two-plus seasons as Miami's manager.
Redmond was 166-207 at the helm, losing 100 games in his first season and going 77-85 last year.
The Marlins will unveil their new skipper on Monday.
In other major league finals:
— Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking homer and Lance Lynn pitched into the eighth as St. Louis beat Detroit 2-1 to avoid a three-game sweep. Lynn singled home the tying run and held the Tigers to a run and six hits with seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.
— Philadelphia whipped Arizona 6-0 as Sean O'Sullivan allowed five hits in six innings for his first victory in over four years. O'Sullivan stayed in the game despite being struck in the throat by a ball thrown back to him by catcher Cameron Rupp.
— A.J. Burnett worked around five walks by yielding just three hits in seven innings to help Pittsburgh end a four-game skid,3-0 over the Chicago Cubs. Francisco Cervelli had two hits and an RBI as the Pirates halted the Cubs' six-game winning streak.
— Houston has a five-game winning streak and an American League-leading 25-13 mark after Collin McHugh worked seven innings of a 4-2 triumph over Toronto. Luis Valbuena and Colby Rasmus each homered to back McHugh's 12th victory in his last 13 decisions.
— Edinson Volquez threw three-hit ball for seven innings as Kansas City dealt the New York Yankees their fifth loss in six games, 6-0. Salvador Perez homered and drove in two runs to help the Royals take the rubber game of the three-game series.
— Mike Wright earned a victory in his major league debut as Baltimore topped the Angels 3-0. Adam Jones scored on a wild pitch and had a two-run double to back Wright, who limited Los Angeles to four hits while striking out six in 7 1/3 innings.
— Noah Syndergaard picked up a win in his second big league start by holding Milwaukee to a run and three hits in six innings of the New York Mets' 5-1 triumph over the Brewers. Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer and Michael Cuddyer had two RBIs as the Mets took the rubber match. Milwaukee finished the game without Carlos Gomez after the outfielder was hit in the batting helmet by a 96 mph fastball from Syndergaard in the sixth inning.
— Brandon Belt homered for the third time in three games and Nori Aoki drove in three runs to lead San Francisco past the Reds 9-8. Hunter Pence homered in his second game back from a broken forearm to help the World Series champs win three in a row at Cincinnati for the first time since 2005.
— Evan Longoria drove in three runs and David Loney had two RBIs in Tampa Bay's 11-3 win over Minnesota. The Rays unleashed a season-high 18 hits on the way to their fourth win in six games.
— Mitch Moreland smacked a two-run homer and collected three RBIs in the Rangers' 5-1 win over Cleveland. Nick Martinez gave up a run and five hits in five innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.88 earned run average.
— Avisal Garcia hit a two-run homer and Alexei Ramirez had two RBIs in the Chicago White Sox's sixth consecutive win, 7-3 at Oakland. Jeff Samardzija allowed eight hits and three runs in eight innings as the White Sox completed their first series sweep in Oakland in 18 years.
— Mike Bolsinger pitched three-hit ball over six innings before the Los Angeles Dodgers' bullpen tossed three hitless frames to complete a 1-0 win over Colorado. The lone run came on Yasmani Grandal's fourth-inning single.
— Seattle blanked Boston 5-0 behind James Paxton, who scattered five hits in eight innings to stretch his scoreless streak to a career-best 20 frames. Brad Miller homered for the third time in two games, and Kyle Seager added a two-run blast in the eighth.
— Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa hit three-run homers and Washington won for the 15th time in 19 games by pounding the Padres 10-5 in San Diego. Stephen Strasburg beat his hometown Padres for the fourth straight time by holding them to three runs and five hits in five innings.
Dixon takes Indy pole
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Scott Dixon had a four-lap average of 226.760 mph in qualifying Sunday to claim his second Indianapolis 500 pole. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver ended Team Penske's streak of eight straight pole wins.
Defending series champion Will Power will start second in the May 24 race after going 226.350 mph. Simon Pagenaud will start on the outside of Row 1.
After Ed Carpenter's car went airborne in practice, series officials instructed teams to make adjustments that took away power to the cars. It was the third crash this week in which a car lost contact with the track.
McIlroy rolls to Wells Fargo title
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rory McIlroy is the first two-time winner of the Wells Fargo Championship following a dominating seven-shot victory over Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers.
The top-ranked McIlory followed Saturday's 61 with a 3-under 69 to finish at 21-under 267, shattering the tournament record by five strokes.
It is McIlroy's second victory in the past three weeks, and his 11th on the PGA Tour. He won the Match Play Championship this month in San Francisco.
He has six top-10 finishes in his last eight PGA Tour starts.
Rodgers finished with a 68, and Simpson shot 69.
CHAMPIONS TOUR-REGIONS TRADITION
Maggert wins a major
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Jeff Maggert has won the Regions Tradition for his first Champions Tour major title, beating Kevin Sutherland with a 3-foot par putt on the first hole of a playoff.
Maggert closed with an even-par 72 to match Sutherland at 14-under 274. Sutherland shot a 71.
Maggert's only previous Champions Tour win came in Mississippi last year in his first start on the 50-and-over tour.
Lee up by 4 when play is suspended
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Minjee Lee owned a four-stroke lead over Alison Lee when the final round of the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship was halted by darkness.
Minjee Lee played a five-hole stretch in 5 under, capping it with an easgle on 15. The 18-year-old Australian was on the par-4 16th when the horn sounded.
The final round was marred by a two-hour rain delay that will force play to resume Monday morning.
Djokovic, Sharapova claims titles
ROME (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has beaten Roger Federer 6-4, 6-3 to claim his fourth Italian Open title. Federer has never captured the tournament. Djokovic has won 22 straight matches.
Maria Sharapova rallied to beat 10th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to win her third Italian Open title.