AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Raptors rally, Hawks roll
UNDATED (AP) — The Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks have grabbed three-games-to-two leads in the NBA's Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Raptors did it with a fourth-quarter comeback over the Pacers, while the Hawks enjoyed a blowout win following a slow start against Boston.
The Raptors are within one victory of their first-ever best-of-7 series win following a 102-99 comeback victory over Indiana. The Raptors trailed by as many as 17 and were down by 13 entering the fourth quarter before opening the period on a 15-2 run. The Pacers managed just nine points over the last 12 minutes.
DeMar DeRozan poured in 34 points for the second-seeded Raptors, while Bismack Biyombo had 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Paul George had a game-high 39 points for the Pacers, who will try to stave off elimination at home on Friday.
The Hawks trailed by 10 midway through the second quarter before ripping off a 28-8 run in a 110-83 rout of the Celtics. Kent Bazemore sparked the turnaround with three straight 3-pointers in the second period before finishing with 16 points. Jeff Teague also had 16 points and Mike Scott scored a team-high 17 points for Atlanta.
Evan Turner scored 15 points for the Celtics, who need to win at home on Thursday to force a Game 7.
Clippers lose Griffin, Paul
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers' road to the NBA's Western Conference finals now has two major potholes.
Griffin is out for the remainder of the postseason after aggravating his left quadriceps tendon in Monday's Game 4 loss at Portland. The prognosis was announced a day after Clippers guard Chris Paul broke his right hand during the second half of Monday's game. Paul underwent surgery on Tuesday.
That means the Clippers are without their two best players as they try to advance to the conference semifinals. Griffin averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the first four playoff games. Paul averaged 23.8 points, 7.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds.
The Clippers and Trail Blazers are tied at two games apiece.
Nowitzki eyes return to Mavs
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has shot down any talk of retiring or playing elsewhere, saying that he's all but certain that he will spend a 19th season with the team. Nowitzki said it was "pretty much" crazy talk for coach Rick Carlisle to suggest after a first-round elimination in Oklahoma City that Nowitzki might consider playing elsewhere. The 37-year-old Nowitzki just led the Mavs in scoring for the 15th time in the last 16 seasons.
The Mavericks have not won a playoff series since taking the franchise's first title in 2011. Nowitzki still believes the team can contend.
NBA-COACH OF YEAR
Kerr takes coach's honor
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The NBA coach of the year is Golden State's Steve Kerr after the Warriors set a single-season record with 73 victories. He got 64 first-place votes from the panel of 130 media members who regularly cover the league.
Kerr received the honor despite missing the team's first 43 games due to back problems that caused Luke Walton to serve as acting coach.
Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts finished a close second in the balloting, followed by Gregg Popovich of San Antonio.
Wizards hire Brooks
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards have announced the hiring of Scott Brooks as their new head coach and will introduce him at a news conference on Wednesday.
Brooks went 338-207 in seven seasons as head coach at Oklahoma City and helped develop Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook into perennial All-Stars. He replaces Randy Wittman, who was dismissed after the Wizards went 41-41 and missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
Brooks' hiring comes as Durant is scheduled to become a free agent in July.
Sale, Chisox win again
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago White Sox continue to roll through the early portion of their schedule.
Chris Sale is the majors' first five-game winner after allowing a run and four hits in eight innings of the White Sox's 10-1 pounding of Toronto. Sale carried a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning, retiring 13 straight batters before Edwin Encarnacion homered.
Avisail Garcia, Dioner Navarro and Adam Eaton each hit solo homers to help the White Sox pick up their fifth straight win. All three players collected two RBIs, as did Austin Jackson.
The Pale Hose top the American League at 15-6.
Meanwhile, Chicago's National League representative owns baseball's best record at 15-5. Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the sixth inning to send the Cubs to a 4-3 win over Milwaukee. Anthony Rizzo added an RBI double for the Cubs, who have played just seven home games this season.
AdamWarren worked two perfect innings of relief after Kyle Hendricks held the Brewers to a run and two hits in five frames.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Andrew McCutchen produced the first three-homer performance of the season and collected five RBIs as Pittsburgh whipped the Rockies 9-4 in Colorado. David Freese and Starling Marte added solo shots in the Pirates' third consecutive victory.
— Brandon Moss crushed a three-run homer and Stephen Piscotty contributed a two-run blast and three RBIs in the Cardinals' 8-2 thumping of Arizona. Carlos Martinez was reached for just three hits in eight shutout innings to pick up the victory.
— Washington lost for just the second time in 10 home games as Maikel Franco delivered a tiebreaking, RBI double in the seventh inning of Philadelphia's 4-3 triumph against the Nationals. Andres Blanco hit a two-run homer to help the Phillies get back to .500.
— The New York Mets picked up their fifth straight win by putting together a four-run seventh in a 4-3 victory against Cincinnati. Pinch-hitter Yoenis Cespedes tied it with a three-run homer before David Wright singled home the winning run.
— San Francisco knocked off San Diego 1-0 behind Johnny Cueto's seven-hit shutout and Denard Span's RBI double. Cueto struck out 11 and improved to 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA.
— Giancarlo Stanton's three-run homer off Clayton Kershaw capped a five-run sixth in Miami's 6-3 verdict over the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Dodgers fell apart after they took a 3-0 lead on a pair of wild pitches and Kershaw's RBI double.
— Boston hammered Atlanta 11-4 as Travis Shaw crushed a three-run homer and had five RBIs to help the Red Sox drop the Braves to 4-16. David Price struck out 14 while limiting the stumbling Braves to two runs and six hits in eight innings.
— Kevin Kiermaier belted a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning to push Tampa Bay past Baltimore 3-1. The Rays' bullpen worked four shutout innings of two-hit ball.
— Oakland was a 5-1 winner at Detroit as Rich Hill limited the Tigers to four hits while striking out eight in seven innings. Marcus Semien smacked a two-run homer to give the Athletics a five-run cushion.
— The Angels also had a five-run inning as Johnny Giavotella cracked a three-run homer in the fifth to help Los Angeles dump Kansas City 9-4. Mike Trout and Carlos Perez drove in two runs apiece for the Halos.
— Robinson Cano's grand slam and six RBIs highlighted Seattle's 11-1 laugher over Houston. Nathan Karns gave up just two hits in seven shutout innings to help the Mariners pick up their third straight win.
— Ian Desmond and Mitch Moreland each had two hits and two RBIs as Texas ripped the New York Yankees 10-1. Desmond and Rougned Odor smacked solo homers to back A.J. Griffin, who limited the Yankees to a run and four hits in eight innings.
— Miguel Sano delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to send Minnesota past Cleveland 6-5. Eddie Rosario homered to put the Twins ahead 5-4 in the sixth, but the Indians tied it with their third homer of the night as Mike Napoli went deep against Kevin Jepsen.
Three indicted in Cuban player smuggling
MIAMI (AP) — Three men have been indicted for their part in a ring that smuggled Cuban baseball players out of the communist island and charged them more than $15 million to leave.
A recently unsealed grand jury indictment against three men provides fresh details about the smuggling of 17 Cuban players, among them White Sox slugger Jose Abreu and Leonys Martin of the Seattle Mariners. The smugglers usually took a percentage of any Major League Baseball contract a player signed.
Among those indicted is Bartolo Hernandez, a Weston, Florida-based sports agent whose clients included Abreu.
D'Arnaud on DL...Twins lose 2 starting pitchers
UNDATED (AP) —Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right rotator cuff. He left Monday night's game against the Reds in the eighth inning after feeling discomfort while trying to throw out a base stealer.
New York filled his roster spot by selecting the contract of catcher Rene Rivera from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Also in the majors:
— The Minnesota Twins have placed right-handed starters Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson on the 15-day disabled list prior. Santana had been considered day to day after he was scratched from his last start with what is now being called a lower back strain. Gibson is suffering from a right shoulder strain following his outing on April 22.
Bengals release Hawk
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals have released linebacker A.J. Hawk, who signed as a free agent last spring.
The 32-year-old Hawk started 11 of his 16 games last season, logging 24 tackles and a sack. He also played in the team's wild card playoff loss to Pittsburgh.
Before that, Hawk spent nine seasons with Green Bay and left as the team's career leader in tackles.
Former quarterback indicted
DALLAS (AP) — Former Heisman Trophy winner and ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has been indicted by a grand jury in Dallas on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from a complaint by his ex-girlfriend.
Manziel is accused by Colleen Crowley of hitting her and threatening to kill her during a night out on Jan. 30. Crowley said in court documents that Manziel struck her so hard that she temporarily lost hearing in one ear.
Manziel faces up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Miami and Florida set to meet
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida and Miami will resume their football rivalry in 2019 in Orlando. The schools have not met since 2013.
The in-state rivals have a storied history that began in 1938. Miami leads the series 29-26, including wins in seven of the last eight games.
Flyers forward to sit out first 3 games next season
NEW YORK (AP) — Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn will miss the start of the next NHL season. The league has hit him with a three-game suspension for a high hit on forward T.J. Oshie during Game 6 of the Flyers' 1-0 elimination loss to the Washington Capitals.
Prize money goes up at second major
LONDON (AP) — The overall purse at Wimbledon has been increased by 5 percent this year. That means this year's men's and women's singles champions will each receive nearly $3 million. The All England Club has announced that the total prize fund is going up to $40 million for the grass-court championships.
On the other end of things, a first-round loser will take home $43,000.
Over the past five years, total prize money at Wimbledon has nearly doubled, going up by 92 percent.