AP Tuesday Sports Roundup
Rockets hold off Warriors
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets have added at least one more game to their NBA playoff schedule.
James Harden scored a playoff career-high 45 points and the Rockets avoided a four-game sweep in the Western Conference finals by downing the Golden State Warriors 128-115. Harden contributed 17 points in the fourth quarter to help Houston avoid a late collapse and extend the series to a fifth game Wednesday in Oakland.
The Rockets scored 45 points in the first period and were up by 22 in the second quarter when Warriors guard Stephen Curry landed on his head in a nasty spill, causing the league MVP to miss about 12 minutes before returning.
The Warriors closed to within 10 points by halftime and were down by just six with 8 ½ minutes remaining before Houston went on a 10-0- run. Harden scored seven straight during the late spurt.
The Rockets shot 17-for-32 from 3-point range, with Harden hitting 7 of 11. Josh Smith delivered three 3-pointers in scoring 20 points, and Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Curry hit six of his 13 3-point attempts and finished with 23 points. Klay Thompson had a team-high 24 points for the Warriors, while Draymond Green added 21.
Ducks beat Hawks
CHICAGO (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks finally managed to beat Chicago in overtime, putting them are one win away from their third appearance in the Stanley Cup finals.
The Ducks coughed up a 4-2 lead in the final 1:50 of regulation before Matt Beleskey scored just 45 seconds into OT to complete a 5-4 triumph over the Blackhawks. Beleskey's seventh goal of the postseason came after Jonathan Toews tallied twice in a 72-second span to send the game to overtime, where the Hawks had earned both of their wins in the series.
Anaheim threatened to turn the game into a rout in the first period as Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler and Sami Vatanen scored while the Ducks outshot the Hawks 11-3. Fowler and Kesler scored 32 seconds apart to put Anaheim ahead 2-0 just 5:42 into the contest.
Chicago got within a goal on Brent Seabrook's goal with 25 seconds left in a second period dominated by the Blackhawks.
Vatanen and Kesler each finished with a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who can wrap up the series by winning Game 6 Wednesday in Chicago.
Twins keep rolling
UNDATED (AP) — Not many baseball fans expected the Minnesota Twins to be playoff contenders through Memorial Day, especially after their 1-6 start. But the Twins are within two games of Kansas City for first place in the American League Central following their seventh victory in nine games.
Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run homer to cap the Twins' six-run second in a 7-2 trouncing of Boston. Eduardo Escobar was among six Twins with at least two hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
Ricky Nolasco worked a season-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits to improve to 5-1 despite a 5.12 ERA.
Minnesota is 26-18 overall this season, 25-12 since the early-season skid.
In other major league action:
— Atlanta and Los Angeles were tied 2-2 until Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins homered in the eighth inning to power the Dodgers past the Braves 6-3. Joc Pederson had three hits and scored a run as the Dodgers won for the third time in seven games.
— The Angels beat San Diego 4-3 on a walk-off single by Albert Pujols with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Joyce and Carlos Perez each had two hits and an RBI as the Angels halted a two-game skid.
— St. Louis pulled out a 3-2 victory over Arizona on Jhonny Peralta's solo homer in the bottom of the 10th. Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez tossed seven scoreless innings before Mark Trumbo tied the game with a two-run blast off Kevin Siegrist in the eighth.
— Denard Span led off the game with a home run and Wilson Ramos broke a tie with a sixth-inning blast in Washington's 2-1 win over the Cubs. The NL East-leading Nationals have won eight of their last nine games and are 20-5 since April 27.
— Charlie Morton looked good in his return from offseason hip surgery, allowing two runs in seven innings of Pittsburgh's fourth consecutive win, 4-2 over Miami. Francisco Cervelli put the Pirates ahead with a three-run homer in the second before Pedro Alvarez added a solo shot to help the Bucs reach .500 for the first time since May 11.
— Toronto was a 6-0 winner over the Chicago White Sox behind Drew Hutchison's four-hitter. Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer and had three RBIs, while Josh Donaldson added a solo blast to support Hutchison's second career shutout.
— Caleb Joseph and Steve Pearce hit two-run homers off Dallas Keuchel as Baltimore downed Houston 4-3. Keuchel entered the game 6-0 and had allowed just one home run all season.
— Bartolo Colon is 7-3 after allowing three runs and six hits in six innings of the New York Mets' 6-3 triumph over Philadelphia. Wilmer Flores hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth inning after Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer went deep.
— Roenis Elias gave up a run and six hits in six innings to pitch Seattle past Tampa Bay 4-1. Robinson Cano laced a pair of RBI singles and Mike Zunino smacked a solo homer in the Mariners' third victory in four games.
— Jesse Hahn's first complete game is a four-hitter in Oakland's 4-0 shutout of Detroit. Max Muncy and Sam Fuld hit RBI doubles in the decisive four-run sixth inning.
— Josh Hamilton was 0-for-3 in his season debut, but Prince Fielder and Elvis Andrus each homered and had three RBIs to carry Texas past Cleveland 10-8. The Indians led 8-7 in the seventh until Fielder hit an RBI single and scored on a throwing error by reliever Zach McAllister.
— Chase Headley, Brian McCann and Brett Gardner homered during an eight-run first inning to spark the Yankees to 14-1 rout of the Kansas City Royals. Stephen Drew and Slade Heathcott also homered for the Yankees, who unleashed a 14-hit attack to snap a six-game losing streak.
— Hunter Pence's two-run double capped a seven-run sixth inning in the Giants' 8-4 win over Milwaukee. Nori Aoki homered and reached base in all five plate appearances to help the Giants overcome two homers by Khris Davis.
— Nolan Arenado homered, had three hits and drove in the tiebreaking run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to help Colorado beat Cincinnati 5-4. The Reds have now dropped nine straight, their longest losing streak since they dropped 11 straight in June 1998.
Orioles Matusz suspended, appeals
BALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz has appealed his eight-game suspension from Major League Baseball for having a foreign substance on his arm during Saturday's game in Miami. Matusz will continue to pitch until his appeal is heard. Marlins manager Dan Jennings asked umpire Paul Emmel to inspect Matusz's right arm, and Emmel ejected the pitcher.
Wright to see specialist
UNDATED (AP) — Mets third baseman David Wright will travel to California to work with the staff of back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins.
Wright hasn't played since pulling his right hamstring against Philadelphia on April 14. His rehabilitation was put on hold May 6 when back pain developed. While Wright resumed baseball activities on May 18, the Mets said Saturday the seven-time All-Star felt lingering back pain and was diagnosed with stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column.
— The Blue Jays have activated shortstop Jose Reyes from the 15-day disabled list. Reyes has been sidelined since April 27 with a fractured left rib sustained on a check swing. He's batting .250 with no home runs and seven RBIs.
— Tampa Bay has put first baseman James Loney on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left middle finger. He was hurt sliding while stealing third base in the eighth inning of Sunday's game against Oakland.
— The Reds put catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left hip that limited him to pinch hitting and filling in as an interleague DH for the past six weeks. Mesoraco hasn't caught in a game since April 12. In the last six weeks. Mesoraco batted .178 with no homers and two RBIs.
Brady appeal to pass deadline
UNDATED (AP) — Two people familiar with the situation tell The Associated Press that Tom Brady's appeal won't be heard by Wednesday's 10-day deadline.
The Patriots quarterback is appealing the four-game suspension he received from the NFL for his alleged role in the use of deflated footballs during the AFC championship game. Although the collective bargaining agreement calls for it to be heard within 10 days, the league and the players' union can agree on delaying the hearing.
The union asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to recuse himself from hearing the appeal because it said he lacked impartiality and would be called as a witness.
Bears cut McDonald after arrest
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have released defensive end Ray McDonald after he was accused of domestic violence and child endangerment in Northern California. It was the latest arrest for the former San Francisco 49er.
Santa Clara police Lt. Kurt Clarke tells the San Francisco Chronicle that McDonald was taken into custody at 7 a.m.
Chicago signed McDonald to a one-year contract in late March knowing it was a gamble given his history of legal issues.
He was released by the 49ers in December, just a month after the Santa Clara County district attorney's office announced it had declined to file charges against McDonald in a separate domestic violence investigation.
Murray continues top clay form
PARIS (AP) — No. 15 Venus Williams has dropped her opening-round match at the French Open, falling to fellow American Sloane Stephens, 7-6, 6-1.
It was Williams' second opening defeat in three years at Roland Garros, and the fifth time in the last 13 Grand Slam tournaments she's entered that she exited in the first round. Before that stretch, it happened once in 37 majors.
Williams can expect a fine after she failed to show up for her post-match news conference.
Second seed Maria Sharapova, eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 11 Angelique Kerber advanced to the second round in straight sets, but No. 17 Sara Errani needed three sets to knock off Alison Riske. Winners on the men's side include third seed Andy Murray and No. 4 Tomas Berdych.
Presidential hopeful blows whistle on election rigging
ZURICH (AP) — Prince Ali bin al-Hussein's FIFA election team says it rejected a potentially illegal offer to help him oust President Sepp Blatter in Friday's election and informed law enforcement agencies about the approach. The campaign said it was approached by an individual who offered details on Blatter's finances and claimed to be able to help deliver dozens of votes in the head-to-head contest for the FIFA presidency. However, the Jordanian prince and FIFA vice president did not notify the sport's governing body of the attempt to corrupt the election, saying it didn't want to do anything to corrupt the police investigation.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wesley Berg scored five times and Denver won its first NCAA men's lacrosse championship by defeating Maryland 10-5.
The victory gives head coach Bill Tierney his record seventh title, the first six coming with Princeton.
Maryland still hasn't won the crown since 1975.