AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Warriors win to set up finals matchup against Cavaliers
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Hey, what's four decades between NBA Finals appearances?
The Golden State Warriors are in the finals for the first time since 1975 after closing out the Western Conference finals in five games. The league MVP badly outplayed the runner-up as Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 104-90 triumph over the Houston Rockets.
Curry never found his shooting touch, yet he still finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He shot 33 percent in each half, but he helped the Warriors close out the victory and the series by hitting five free throws in the final minute.
Curry was one of three Warriors with at least 20 points. Harrison Barnes scored 13 of his 24 points in the final period, and Klay Thompson delivered 20 points to help Golden State earn a meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
MVP runner-up James Harden had a miserable season finale, scoring 14 points on 2 of 11 shooting and amassing a playoff-record 13 turnovers.
Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals won't be played until June 4 in Oakland, although Warriors fans probably won't mind the eight-day wait after the team went 40 years between finals appearances.
Blackhawks stretch series to limit
CHICAGO (AP) — There will be a Game 7 in each of the NHL's conference finals.
The Chicago Blackhawks are heading back to Anaheim after scoring three times in the second period of a 5-2 victory over the Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. The game was scoreless until Duncan Keith assisted on goals by Brandon Saad (sahd), Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane during a 3:45 span of the middle stanza.
Andrew Shaw added a pair of third-period goals in the final 3:32 to cap the scoring, sealing the Ducks' first regulation loss of the postseason.
Corey Crawford turned back 30 shots and blanked the Ducks after Clayton Stoner pulled Anaheim within a goal two minutes into the third period.
Frederik Andersen made 18 saves for the Ducks, who host the deciding game on Saturday.
The New York Rangers will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday.
Sharks have a new coach
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks have settled on a new coach.
A person familiar with the search says the team will introduce former Florida and New Jersey bench boss Peter DeBoer later this week.
DeBoer guided the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup finals but was fired last December after going 205-183-70 with the team. He would replace Todd McLellan, who was let go after compiling 311-163-66 mark with three division titles and six playoff appearances in seven seasons with San Jose.
Soccer's governing body raided
ZURICH (AP) — Soccer's governing body received plenty of red cards on Wednesday.
Law enforcement officials pulled FIFA executives from a luxury Swiss hotel to face racketeering charges, while regional offices in Miami were raided. Swiss officials also invaded FIFA headquarters, seizing records and computers to investigate whether the decisions to award World Cups to Russia and Qatar were rigged.
The raids and charges are part of an attack spearheaded by the U.S. government, which accuses FIFA of deep-seated and brazen corruption in soccer's global governing body.
Scandals and rumors of corruption have dogged FIFA throughout the 17-year reign of its President Sepp Blatter, although he was not named in either investigation. He is scheduled to stand Friday for re-election to a fifth, four-year term, and the organization said the vote would go ahead as planned, despite the latest turmoil.
In Miami, FBI and IRS agents carried computers and boxes out of the headquarters of CONCACAF, the governing body of North and Central America and the Caribbean, whose past and current presidents are among 14 defendants under indictment for corruption.
Swiss police arrested seven soccer officials at the request of American prosecutors and threatened them with extradition to the United States. Four other soccer and marketing officials agreed to plead guilty.
Meanwhile, Blatter has canceled another speaking engagement as he avoids appearing in public for a second day.
FIFA says Blatter will not give a scheduled speech to open today's session of a soccer medical conference in a Zurich hotel.
Blatter skipped two meetings of continental soccer organizations on Wednesday. He typically would attend those ahead of Friday's meeting.
King Felix, Cruz lift M's
UNDATED (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have baseball's winningest pitcher, they own the American League's top home run hitter and yet they possess a .500 record for the first time since April 12.
Felix Hernandez improved to 8-1 with a 1.91 ERA by firing a four-hitter with eight strikeouts in the Mariners' 3-0 shutout of Tampa Bay. King Felix took advantage of four double plays in posting his second shutout of the season.
But Hernandez was in danger of settling for a no-decision until Nelson Cruz belted his 18th homer of the season, a three-run blast with two out in the ninth.
The M's picked up their third straight win and sent the Rays to their fifth consecutive loss.
Also in the majors:
— Bryce Harper is tied with Nelson Cruz for the major league home run lead after smacking his 18th in Washington's 3-0 shutout of the Cubs in Chicago. Winning pitcher Max Scherzer struck out 13 while giving up just five hits in seven innings.
— A throwing error by catcher Jordan Pacheco allowed Matt Carpenter to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Cardinals past Arizona 4-3 in St. Louis. Jason Heyward tied the game with a solo shot in the ninth and Kolten Wong went deep in the Redbirds' fourth consecutive win.
— Cameron Maybin homered in the third inning before Atlanta scored twice in the eighth to beat the Dodgers 3-2 in Los Angeles. Nick Markakis doubled home the eventual winning run to make a winner of Alex Wood, who held the Dodgers to a run and seven hits in seven innings to help the Braves avoid a three-game sweep.
— Chris Davis broke a 4-4 deadlock with his second homer of the day, a solo shot in the eighth inning to carry Baltimore past Houston 5-4. Evan Gattis tied it with a two-run shot in the seventh before the Astros fell to 30-18, still tops in the American League.
— Alex Rodriguez broke Lou Gehrig's American League record for career RBIs when he smacked a three-run homer in the New York Yankees' 4-2 triumph over Kansas City. Brian McCann also homered and Michael Pineda pitched into the seventh as the Yanks completed a three-game sweep in which they outscored the Royals 23-4.
— Minnesota has a five-game winning streak after Aaron Hicks hit a two-run homer and Eddie Rosario added a solo blast in a 6-4 win against Boston. Torii Hunter added a two-run single as the Twins pulled into a tie with Kansas City for the AL Central lead at 28-18.
— Yoenis Cespedes snapped a scoreless tie with a three-run homer in the fifth inning before Detroit held off Oakland 3-2. Six Tigers pitchers combined for a six-hitter.
— Ryan Vogelsong won his third straight start by yielding just a run in six innings of San Francisco's 3-1 win at Milwaukee. Joe Panik hit a two-run homer to help the Giants complete a three-game sweep and earn the 11th victory in their last 13 games.
— Carlos Santana launched a three-run homer that capped an eight-run third in Cleveland's 12-3 rout of Texas. Lonnie Chisenhall had three hits and three RBIs to help the Indians end the Rangers' seven-game winning streak.
— Cincinnati lost for the 10th time in 11 games as Nolan Arenado socked a three-run homer in the first inning to put Colorado ahead to stay in a 6-4 decision over the Reds. Charlie Blackmon added a two-run homer to back Kyle Kendrick, who carried a 6-1 lead into the eighth before tiring.
— Jung Ho Kang delivered a two-run single while the Pirates scored five times in the seventh to earn their sixth straight win, 5-2 over Miami. Gerrit Cole surrendered homers by Justin Bour and Christian Yelich before notching his seventh win, scattering seven hits in as many innings.
— Noah Syndergaard was the star in the New York Mets' 7-0 shutout of Philadelphia, going 3-for-3 with his first major league homer while holding the Phillies to five hits over 7 1/3 innings. Lucas Duda homered twice and Michael Cuddyer added a two-run blast as the Mets completed a three-game sweep.
— The White Sox blew a 3-0 lead before Adam LaRoche singled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning to send Chicago past Toronto 5-3. Jose Abreu was 3-for-5 with a two-run double to help the White Sox win for just the second time in nine games.
— Will Middlebrooks hit a two-run homer and an RBI double to lead San Diego's offense in a 5-4 win over the Angels. Andrew Cashner gave up three runs in seven innings to win for just the second time in nine decisions.
Uribe, Callaspo move in six-player deal
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves have finally pulled off a trade that was initially nixed when infielder Alberto Callaspo exercised a provision in the collective bargaining agreement.
The Dodgers get Callaspo, lefty Eric Stults, southpaw Ian Thomas and right-hander Juan Jaime from the Braves for third baseman Juan Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow. Callaspo finally agreed to the deal after rejecting it under a clause that allows a player to veto any trade on or before June 15th if he signed a free-agent contract the previous offseason.
That didn't take long
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — NFL defensive lineman Ray McDonald has been arrested for the second time in three days, this time for violating a restraining order by being at a residence in Santa Clara.
The restraining order was issued after an earlier domestic violence incident in Santa Clara on Memorial Day. In that incident, he allegedly broke down a bedroom door to get to his ex-fiancee and their infant.
He was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and child endangerment, but was free on bail. The Chicago Bears released the lineman Monday following that arrest.
Day 4 action
PARIS (AP) — Women's third seed Simona Halep has become the biggest upset victim so far at the French Open, falling to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 7-5, 6-1 in the second round.
Winners on the women's side on Wednesday include second seed Maria Sharapova, seventh seed Ana Ivanovic, No. 8 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 9 Ekaterina Makarova. Men's second seed Roger Federer won his second-round match, as did fourth seed Tomas Berdych and No. 5 Kei Nishikori.