AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Grizzlies advance, Hawks hold off Nets
UNDATED (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have advanced to the NBA's Western Conference semifinals for the third time in five years.
Marc Gasol had 26 points and 14 rebounds as the Grizzlies closed out their opening-round series in five games, beating Portland 99-93. Courtney Lee finished with 20 points for the Grizzlies, who lost only Game 4 of the series to earn the right to take on top seed Golden State.
CJ McCollum had a career-high 33 points for the Trail Blazers, Damion Lillard chipped in 22 and LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 before fouling out. Lillard and Aldridge shot just 13 of 37 for the Blazers, who are done after one round for the seventh time in their last eight postseasons.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks have ended a two-game skid and grabbed a three-games-to-two lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Al Horford shook off a dislocated finger to score 20 points as the top-seeded Hawks downed the Nets 107-97 in Atlanta. Jeff Teague also had 20 points and delivered a pair of late baskets after the Hawks blew most of a 17-point lead.
DeMarre Carroll scored 19 of his 24 points in the first half and helped the Hawks carry a 33-16 advantage into the second quarter.
Alan Henderson had a team-high 23 points off the bench for the Nets, who will try to stave off elimination at home on Friday.
Gators coach interested in Thunder job
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Billy Donovan is pondering a possible move to the NBA.
A person familiar with the Oklahoma City Thunder's coaching search says Donovan could leave the University of Florida to take over for Scott Brooks, who was let go last week.
The person said Donovan spent Wednesday in talks with the Thunder about the vacancy, and that he and Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti have spoken repeatedly concerning the position.
Donovan left the Gators eight years ago to take the Orlando Magic coaching job, only to change his mind the following day.
Love needs 4-6 months to recover from surgery
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has undergone season-ending surgery on his dislocated left shoulder and is expected to need 4-6 months to recover.
Love was injured when the shoulder was pulled by Boston's Kelly Olynyk during the Cavaliers' series-sweeping win on Sunday. He averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds during the regular season, and 18 points and nine boards in the first three games of the postseason before the injury.
NBA-ROOKIE OF YEAR-WIGGINS
Wiggins reportedly to take top rookie honors
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins will be named NBA rookie of the year Thursday.
Wiggins averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds while playing all 82 games for the Timberwolves this season. He was drafted first overall by Cleveland last summer before being packaged in a deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cavaliers.
Orioles win fan-less game
UNDATED (AP) — Quiet and quick. That is the best way to describe what Major League Baseball called the first game to be played without fans in the stands.
Chris Davis belted a three-run homer while the Baltimore Orioles scored six times in the first inning of a historic 8-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. Davis heard a few distant cheers from outside Oriole Park as the game was held in an empty stadium, a safety precaution in the wake of the recent rioting in Baltimore.
Ubaldo Jimenez limited the White Sox to a pair of unearned runs and three hits in seven innings. He outdueled Jeff Samardzija, who was rocked for two homers, seven earned runs and 10 hits in just five innings.
The fan-less game was played in a snappy 2:03 despite the 10 runs, 15 hits and four pitching changes.
It was the third time in two games the Orioles had put together a six-run inning.
In other major league action:
—Joc Pederson, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier homered off Ryan Vogelsong in the first inning and Jimmy Rollins hit another one off him in the third, powering the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
—Mike Trout homered and drove in three runs, Johnny Giavotella hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning and the Los Angeles Angels held on to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3. Trout hit his fifth home run with two outs in the third then doubled in two with the bases loaded in the seventh to help the Angels pull away and end a two-game losing skid
— Carlos Martinez gave up two runs in six innings of the Cardinals' 5-2 triumph over Philadelphia at St. Louis. Peter Bourjos sparked a four-run fifth with the game-tying triple before scoring the lead run by beating the throw to the plate on an infield tapper.
— Nelson Cruz banged out his 10th homer of the season and Logan Morrison went 4-for-5 with a two-run double in Seattle's 5-2 verdict over Texas. Felix Hernandez is 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA after yielding two runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings.
— Jung-Ho Kang was 3-for-4 with two RBIs as Pittsburgh hammered the Chicago Cubs 8-1 to avoid a three-game sweep. Andrew McCutchen delivered a two-run triple, Starling Marte had two RBIs Gerrit Cole gave up an unearned run and three hits while striking out eight in six innings.
— Giancarlo Stanton slammed a two-run homer and had three RBIs before Ichiro Suzuki added a three-run blast to break open Miami's seventh victory in eight games, 7-3 over the New York Mets. Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon is hitting .409 after going 2-for-3 with a tiebreaking, sacrifice fly in the seventh.
— Jordan Zimmermann tossed seven innings and hit a three-run single as Washington ripped the Braves 13-4 in Atlanta. Danny Espinosa went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and Denard Span blasted a three-run homer to help the Nationals pick up their second straight victory since a six-game skid.
— Cleveland ended a four-game losing streak as Jason Kipnis socked a three-run homer and drove in four runs to help the Indians beat Kansas City 7-5. Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar suffered a bruised left cheek after being hit in the head by a pitch from winning pitcher Danny Salazar in the fifth inning.
— Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Rick Porcello held Toronto to one run over seven innings of Boston's 4-1 triumph over the Blue Jays. David Ortiz and Mookie Betts had RBI singles as the Red Sox took the rubber match of the series.
— Colby Rasmus smacked a two-run homer and Dallas Keuchel scattered three hits in eight innings of Houston's sixth consecutive win, 7-2 over the Padres. The Padres have dropped seven of eight following the Astros' first three-game sweep of San Diego in six years.
— Jordan Pacheco clubbed a three-run homer and Yasmany Tomas had three RBIs as Arizona hammered Colorado for the second straight night, this time 9-1. Josh Collmenter was terrific over eighth innings, holding the Rockies to an unearned run and five hits with six strikeouts.
— Miguel Cabrera belted two of Detroit's four home runs and rookie James McCann added his first career round-tripper with an inside-the-park drive to help the Tigers beat Minnesota 10-7. Oswaldo Arcia hit a two-run homer and Trevor Plouffe had a three-run shot while the Twins built a 7-3 lead.
— Tampa Bay avoided a three-game sweep as James Loney hit a go-ahead infield single in the 13th inning to give the Rays a 3-2 win over the Yankees in New York. Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts, leaving him one home run shy of tying Willie Mays for fourth place at 660.
— Ryan Braun was the hitting star in Milwaukee's 8-3 rout of Cincinnati, launching his fourth career grand slam and a solo shot to help the Brewers win for just the fifth time in 22 games. Despite the victory, the Brewers are off to the worst start since the 1997 Cubs opened 4-18.
Cubs cleared of tampering
UNDATED (AP) — Major League Baseball has ruled that the Chicago Cubs did not violate tampering rules when they pursued manager Joe Maddon last fall.
MLB made the announcement about six months after Tampa Bay accused Chicago of tampering with their manager before Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays.
Cubs executive Theo Epstein has said the Cubs checked with MLB to be sure Maddon was O.K. to talk with other clubs before negotiating with him.
Also in the majors:
— Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has recovered from a sprained right thumb and will make his next start on Friday against the New York Mets. Scherzer missed Tuesday's start in Atlanta after injuring his thumb while batting last week.
— The Nationals have announced that they signed Jose Valverde to a minor league contract last week. The right-hander earned two saves last year for the New York Mets but had a 5.66 ERA in 21 games.
— The Arizona Diamondbacks have placed pitcher Archie Bradley on the 15-day disabled list with a sinus fracture in the right side of his face after he was struck by a line drive in Tuesday's win over Colorado. Bradley was able to stand up and walk off the mound, and he later rejoined his teammates for the end of the game.
Lightning advance, blank Wings
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning have earned the right to take on the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the NHL's Eastern Conference playoffs.
Ben Bishop turned back 31 shots in the first Game 7 of his career to lead the Lightning's 2-0 shutout of the Detroit Red Wings. Bishop kept the Wings off the scoreless while Tampa Bay was being outshot 14-7 in the first period.
It remained scoreless until Braydon Coburn scored 3:58 into the final period. Bishop helped the Lightning clinch the victory by assisting on Anton Stralman's empty-netter with 1:18 remaining.
Tampa Bay advanced despite Steven Stamkos, who failed to score while taking 22 shots in the series. However, Stamkos was a +2 in the clincher.
Ovie, Price and Tavares are Hart finalists
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL's three finalists have been announced for the Hart Trophy, given to the league's most valuable player.
Washington forward and three-time Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin (oh-VEHCH'-kihn) is among the finalists after scoring a league-leading 53 goals and finishing with 81 points.
Ovechkin is joined on the list by Montreal netminder Carey Price, who paced the NHL with 44 points, a 1.96 save percentage and a .933 save percentage.
The third finalist is New York Islanders captain and center John Tavares, who had a career-high 38 goals and finished second in the league with a career-best 86 points.
HORSE RACING-KENTUCKY DERBY
American Pharoah is early Derby favorite
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — American Pharoah was made the early 5-2 favorite and drew the No. 18 post for the 141st Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs. American Pharoah comes into the Derby having won the Arkansas Derby by eight lengths. Undefeated Dortmund drew the No. 8 post and is 3-1 for the 1 1/4-mile race.
That gives trainer Bob Baffert the top two choices on the morning line.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF-RANKINGS
Rankings to begin in early November
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The College Football Playoff management committee approved having weekly rankings again this season. However, the CPF has put off making a decision on how to incorporate the Army-Navy game into the final rankings when the game is played after selection Sunday.
The selection committee's first top 25 will be released Nov. 3 after the ninth week of the season. The final rankings will be released Dec. 6.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BIG 12
Big 12 considering conference title game
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says he believes the conference will move toward having a championship football game because not having one puts it at a disadvantage when it comes placing teams in the College Football Playoff.
The Big 12 is the lone Big Five conference that has only 10 teams and does not have a title game. Baylor and TCU tied for the Big 12 title last season, but were both jumped by Ohio State in the final playoff committee rankings.
Another player arrest
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones has been arrested on domestic violence charges for allegedly damaging a woman's cellphone and threatening her. The converted receiver has started 19 games over the last two seasons, leading the team with three interceptions and 16 pass deflections as a junior.
Jones is the fourth member of the Crimson Tide to be arrested since March.
GOLF-WORLD MATCH PLAY
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Masters champion Jordan Spieth was a winner on the first day of the Match Play Championship.
Spieth carded six birdies and closed out Mikko Ilonen of Finland on the 16th hole at TPC Harding Park.
Players are competing in a new round-robin format that replaced single elimination. Defending champion Jason Day fell to Charley Hoffman. Justin Rose lost to Marc Leishman. Henrik Stenson and Jimmy Walker lost in extra holes. They now need help to advance from their group.
Peete passes away
ATLANTA (AP) — Calvin Peete, the most successful black player on the PGA Tour before the arrival of Tiger Woods, has died at the age of 71. Peete won 12 times on the PGA Tour and was the most accurate driver of his generation. He led the tour in driving accuracy every year from 1981 to 1990. Peete's biggest year was in 1982 when he won four times. He won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average in 1984 by edging Jack Nicklaus.
Former Louisville player cleared
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Former Louisville basketball player Chris Jones has been cleared on rape and sodomy charges by a grand jury. The decision came two months after Jones was arrested on allegations that he and two other men sexually assaulted two women, ages 19 and 20, at a party at an off-campus apartment.
The charges came days after Jones was kicked off the basketball team for violating curfew.