AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Spurs silence Grizzlies...Hawks stymie Celtics
UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs put together another lopsided win over the Memphis Grizzlies to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA's Western Conference quarterfinals.
Patty Mills led a balanced attack with 16 points off the bench as the Spurs rolled to a 94-68 pounding of the Grizzlies. Mills was 4-for-6 from 3-point range while playing just over 19 minutes. He was one of nine Spurs to score at least six points.
San Antonio's bench accounted for 56 of the team's points with the Spurs in control throughout most of the game. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs' starters with just 13 points.
Tony Allen had a team-high 12 points off the bench for the Grizzlies, who host Game 3 on Friday.
The Atlanta Hawks have a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals following an ugly victory against the cold-shooting Boston Celtics.
Al Horford and Kyle Korver scored 17 points apiece as the Hawks silenced the Celts 89-72. The Celtics shot just 3-for-23 in scoring seven points during the opening period, the fewest in the first quarter of a playoff game since the shot clock was instituted in 1954. The Hawks knocked down six 3-pointers while hitting nine of their first 13 shots. Atlanta led 24-7 before failing to score over the final 5:28 of the first period.
Isiaiah Thomas missed 11 of his 15 shots and still paced the Celtics with 16 points.
Game 3 is Friday in Boston.
Curry undergoes MRI on ankle
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry's troublesome right ankle has no serious structural damage.
The reigning NBA MVP underwent an MRI exam on his injured right ankle Tuesday in the Bay Area. The Golden State Warriors said nothing of concern came up on the test. Curry remained questionable for Game 3 of his team's playoff series on Thursday in Houston.
Curry missed Monday night's 115-106 victory against the Rockets at Oracle Arena. Coach Steve Kerr mentioned there is ample time for Curry to try to get healthy and stay off his feet.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks' coach Rick Carlisle says Dirk Nowitzki has a bruised right knee and might have to miss Game 3 of the Mavs playoff series with Oklahoma City. Nowitzki bruised the knee when he fell early in the Mavericks' 85-84 Game 2 win over the Thunder.
No longer the interim coach
PHOENIX (AP) — Earl Watson has a lot more job security in Phoenix. The Suns have announced that he has been named head coach for next season after guiding the team to a 9-24 record following the dismissal of Jeff Hornacek on Feb. 1. The former 13-year NBA veteran is the league's youngest coach at 36.
NBA-SIXTH MAN AWARD
Crawford of L.A. honored
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford has won the NBA's Sixth Man Award for the a record third time, two years after he was the oldest player to receive the honor.
The 36-year-old Crawford claimed 51 first-place votes and 341 points from a panel of 130 sports writers and broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada. NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala of Golden State finished second with 288 points.
Crawford came off the bench in 74 of his 79 appearances and averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists a game.
Blues on verge of ousting Cup champs
UNDATED (AP) — St. Louis needs one more win to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champs in the first round.
Brian Elliott stopped 39 shots and Vladimir Tarasenko had three points as the Blues downed Chicago 4-3. The game was tied 2-2 until Tarasenko set up a power-play goal by Jaden Schwartz 1:36 into the third period to put St. Louis ahead to stay.
Alex Steen added the eventual game-winner, just over three minutes after Schwartz scored.
Duncan Keith's second goal of the night got the Blackhawks within 4-3 before they moved within one game of elimination.
Game 5 is slated for Thursday in St. Louis.
Anaheim finally put one in the win column after dropping two straight at home, earning a 3-0 shutout of the Predators in Nashville. Frederik Andersen handled 27 shots in his second career playoff shutout. Andersen was named the starter after John Gibson dropped the first two games.
Jamie McGinn put the Ducks ahead midway through the first period nefore Rickard Rakell and Christ Stewart tallied in the final 8:27.
The series stays in Nashville for Game 4 on Thursday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins had Matt Murray back in goal for Game 3 of their first-round series, but they didn't give him much to do.
The Pens allowed just 17 shots and scored the last three goals in a 3-1 triumph over the Rangers in New York. Murray and the Penguins took a two-games-to-one lead in the series by blanking the Rangers after Rick Nash scored a short-handed goal just 39 seconds into the game.
Murray was in action after missing the first two games of the series due to an injury.
Matt Cullen scored 4:16 into the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang also scored against Henrik Lundqvist, who finished with 28 saves.
Game 4 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
The Lightning will carry a 3-1 series lead back to Tampa Bay after knocking off the Red Wings in Detroit. Nikita Kucherov scored twice and Ondrej Palat broke a 2-2 deadlock by netting a power-play goal with 2:59 remaining in the Bolts' 3-2 victory against the Wings.
Kucherov's fourth and fifth goals of the series put the Lightning ahead 2-0, but the Red Wings tied it on goals by Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist late in the second period.
Ben Bishop stopped 26 shots for the Lightning, who can wrap up the series on Thursday.
Flyers' Bellemare punished for hit
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The NHL has suspended Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for Game 4 of the team's Eastern Conference first-round series against Washington. Bellemare was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for slamming Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov head-first into the boards with about eight minutes left in the Caps' 6-1 rout of Philadelphia last night. Orlov was slow to get up but was not injured and returned to the game.
Harper's slam highlights Nats' home run barrage
UNDATED (AP) — Bryce Harper had never hit a grand slam until he smashed his 100th career home run last week. He now has two grand slams since Thursday after launching another during a seven-run, four-homer seventh inning that highlighted the Washington Nationals' 7-0 win at Miami.
Marlins starter Adam Conley was working on a four-hit shutout until Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos hit back-to-back solo homers with one out in the seventh. Harper's slam came off reliever Chris Narveson, who also served up Ryan Zimmerman's solo blast.
Stephen Strasburg allowed just three hits while striking out 10 in eight innings to help the Nats end a two-game skid and improve to 10-3.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Kansas City outscored Detroit 8-6 as Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer and had a career-high five RBIs. Perez hit a two-out, two-run double in the third before his two-out shot in the fifth gave Kansas City an 8-2 lead.
— Oakland pulled out a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees on Mank Canha's RBI single in the 11th inning. Jed Lowrie provided a run-scoring single that tied the game 2-2 in the sixth.
— Boston and Tampa Bay were scoreless until Kevin Kiermaier belted a solo homer leading off the 10th inning of the Rays' 3-0 shutout of the Red Sox. Desmond Jennings added a two-run double and Rays starter Drew Smyly struck out 11 while combining with two relievers on a one-hitter.
— Jason Hammel combined with three relievers on a six-hitter and supplied a two-run single to lead the Chicago Cubs past St. Louis 2-1. Hammel and the Cubs' bullpen blanked the Cardinals following Yadier Molina's RBI triple in the second.
— Logan Verrett tossed six shutout innings and Neil Walker smacked two of the New York Mets' six home runs in an 11-1 laugher against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run shot for the Mets, who also got homers from Michael Conforto, Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson.
— Troy Tulowitzki lined a two-run double while Toronto was building a 4-1 lead in a 4-3 victory at Baltimore. Marcus Stroman served up homers by Manny Machado and Matt Wieters but just four other hits in seven innings to move to 3-0.
— Carlos Carrasco allowed a run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings of Cleveland's 3-2 win over Seattle. Francisco Lindor had three hits and scored the go-ahead run on Mike Napoli's RBI double in the third inning.
— Mat Latos scattered two hits over 6 1/3 innings to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 5-0 shutout over the Angels. Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu hit solo home runs and Melky Cabrera laced a two-run triple to help the Pale Hose snap a three-game skid.
— Billy Hamilton poked a two-run double while Cincinnati was scoring four times and stealing five bases in the second inning of a 4-3 verdict over Colorado. The Reds got great pitching from rookie Robert Stephenson, who held the Rockies to a run and three hits in seven innings.
— Prince Fielder ripped a two-run homer and Mitch Moreland added a solo shot as Texas knocked off Houston 7-5. Ian Desmond, Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus each had two hits and an RBI for the Rangers.
— Scooter Gennett singled home the tiebreaking run in the ninth inning to lift the Brewers past the Twins 6-5, ending Minnesota's four-game winning streak. The Brewers led 5-2 until Byung Ho Park and Eddie Rosario homered in the Twins' three-run eighth.
— The Braves have won four straight since an 0-9 start after Tyler Flowers was 4-for-4 with three RBIs to carry Atlanta's 8-1 romp over the Dodgers. Jeff Francoeur had two hits and scored twice to back reliever Ryan Weber, who gave up a run and three hits with four K's in 3 2/3 innings.
— Robbie Ray pitched well in Arizona's 3-0 shutout of San Francisco, holding the Giants to five hits and fanning eight in six innings. The game was scoreless in the fifth until Jean Segura hit an RBI single and scored on Jake Lamb's run-scoring triple.
— San Diego trailed 3-0 until Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Adam Rosales homered in the Padres' 5-4 comeback over Pittsburgh. Myers began the rally with a two-run blast in the fourth, one inning before Norris hit a two-run shot to put the Padres ahead to stay.
Twins' third baseman on DL...Olivera's paid leave extended
UNDATED (AP) — The Twins have placed third baseman Trevor Plouffe on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain. He apparently suffered the injury on Sunday in a game against the Angels.
Manager Paul Molitor says the Twins remain hopeful that Plouffe will be ready to come back to the team as soon as the 15 days are up.
Also in the majors:
— Hector Olivera's paid administrative leave has been extended through May 3 in an agreement by Major League Baseball and the players' association. The Atlanta Braves outfielder was arrested on April 13 and charged with assault and battery on a woman at a hotel outside Washington, D.C.
— The Giants have placed George Kontos on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right flexor and demoted fellow right-hander Chris Heston to Triple-A Sacramento. Kontos has complained of soreness off and on since spring training and had tests done on Monday, which revealed the problem.
News from the NFL
UNDATED (AP) — Brian Hoyer has been released by the Houston Texans, a little more than a month after the Texans signed Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million contract.
Hoyer signed a two-year contract before last season, but his five-turnover debacle in a 30-0 playoff loss to Kansas City proved to be his undoing.
Houston also cut quarterback B.J. Daniels.
In other NFL news:
— The Giants have re-signed tight end Larry Donnell. He's been cleared to play after suffering a season-ending neck injury on Nov. 1 in New Orleans. He caught 29 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, including a late game-winning one against San Francisco.
— A grand jury in Dallas is scheduled to consider this week whether to charge former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel with attacking his ex-girlfriend in a January incident. Prosecutors will present the Manziel case to a grand jury Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney. Manziel is accused of hitting his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, so hard that she temporarily lost hearing in one ear.
— Agent Drew Rosenhaus has dropped Manziel as a client, one week after telling the troubled quarterback to seek help or he would no longer represent him. This is the first time in Rosenhaus' 27 years of representing players that he has terminated a contract with a player.
UConn coach released from hospital
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — University of Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma has been released from the hospital. He had been admitted on Saturday with an undisclosed ailment. The school says the 62-year-old had boarded a plane Saturday morning, but decided to deplane because he was not feeling well.
The Hall of Fame coach guided the Huskies to an unprecedented 11th national title this month.
Pitcher Milt Pappas dead at 76
CHICAGO (AP) — Former major league pitcher Milt Pappas has died at 76. His wife said Pappas died Tuesday morning of natural causes at their Illinois home.
Pappas won 209 games during his 17-year career with the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. He threw a no-hitter for the Cubs in 1972 and won a career-high 17 games for Chicago in '72 and 1973.
Pappas also was packaged in one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, going from Baltimore to Cincinnati with two other players after the 1965 season for Frank Robinson.