AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Thunder rally to beat Spurs
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder are one victory away from advancing to the NBA's Western Conference finals and ending the San Antonio Spurs' season.
Russell Westbrook scored five points in the final minute of the Thunder's 95-91 triumph at San Antonio. The Spurs led 88-82 with four minutes left before the Thunder closed on a 13-3 run to take a three-games-to-two lead in the conference semifinals. Westbrook iced the victory by converting a three-point play with 6.2 seconds left.
Westbrook finished with a game-high 35 points and had 11 rebounds and nine assists. Kevin Durant delivered 23 points for the Thunder, who have won two straight in San Antonio after the Spurs suffered just one home loss the entire regular season.
Kawhi Leonard paced the Spurs with 26 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green each added 20.
The Thunder can wrap up the series at home on Thursday.
Curry a unanimous choice
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — It's been an eventful 24 hours for Stephen Curry.
The Golden State Warriors guard is the first unanimous selection as the NBA's Most Valuable Player, receiving first-place nods from all 130 voters. Curry also is the 11th player in league history to win the award in consecutive years. The honor was announced hours after he set an NBA record with 17 overtime points while scoring 40 in Golden State's win at Portland.
Curry had another outstanding season while leading the Warriors to a league-record 73 wins. He led the NBA in scoring at 30.1 points a game and broke his own league mark by hitting 402 3-pointers. Curry also led the NBA in free throw percentage and steals.
San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard finished second in the balloting, followed by LeBron James of Cleveland.
Whiteside stays home
MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say injured center Hassan Whiteside did not accompany the team to Toronto for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series, which tips off tomorrow night.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Whiteside remained home to continue getting therapy on his injured right knee. He was injured in Game 3 of the series and didn't play Monday night as Miami knotted the series at two games apiece.
DALLAS (AP) — Mavericks guard Devin Harris has undergone surgeries to repair his left big toe and left thumb. Harris was bothered by a toe injury much of the season, and he played with his thumb heavily taped during the playoffs.
The 12-year veteran averaged 7.6 points and 1.8 assists for the Mavs this season.
Pens send Caps packing
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Washington Capitals will have to settle for being the NHL's best team during the regular season. The Caps have made an early postseason exit after finishing with a league-best 120 points, 11 more than the next-best club.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a 4-3 overtime win over the Capitals in Game 6 of the second round. Nick Bonino ended it at 6:32 of OT, scoring on a rebound of Carl Hagelin's shot after Braden Holtby made a sprawling save.
The Pens were enjoying a 3-0 lead late in the second period until their undisciplined play helped the Capitals tie it. Alex Ovechkin assisted on goals by T.J. Oshie and John Carlson, the last one coming after the Penguins took three delay of game penalties for sending the puck over the glass. Bonino was in the box for one of the penalties when Carlson tied the game with 6:59 left in regulation.
Phil Kessel set up the game-winner after scoring Pittsburgh's first two goals. Hagelin provided the Penguins' third goal and rookie Matt Murray finished with 36 saves.
Pittsburgh now prepares for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are 8-2 in the postseason following five-game series wins over the Red Wings and Islanders.
Cubs hold off Padres for eighth straight win
UNDATED (AP) — A one-day layoff did nothing to kill the momentum of the Chicago Cubs.
One day after a rainout, the Cubs grabbed an early 5-0 lead before holding off the San Diego Padres 8-7 at Wrigley Field. Addison Russell provided two doubles, a triple and three RBIs in the Cubs' eighth consecutive win, which leaves them a major league-best 25-6. Ben Zobrist had four hits, two RBIs and three runs scored while helping Chicago build an 8-3 lead.
Hector Rondon picked up the save after pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson belted a grand slam off Adam Warren in the eighth inning. Jon Lester improved to 4-1, allowing three runs and four hits in six innings.
The Cubs now enjoy an 8 ½-game lead in the NL Central.
Chicago's American League team absorbed a tough loss. Texas erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the White Sox 13-11. Ryan Rua smacked a go-ahead, three-run homer after Ian Desmond prolonged the rally with a two-out, two-run triple. Rua had four RBIs, one more than Desmond.
Avisail Garcia and Todd Frazier drove in three apiece for the White Sox, who ended a four-game winning streak and dropped to an AL-best 23-11.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Didi Gregorius had three RBIs and the New York Yankees overcame Lorenzo Cain's three homers and five RBIs in a 10-7 victory against Kansas City. Cain hit all three of his home runs off Masahiro Tanaka, including a three-run blast that put the Royals ahead 6-5 in the fifth inning.
— Boston clobbered Oakland for the second straight night as Travis Shaw unloaded a three-run homer and had five ribbies in the Red Sox's 13-5 laugher over the Athletics. Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the first with a homer before Hanley Ramirez added a 468-foot blast later in the inning
— Adam Jones hit a solo homer and added a tiebreaking, two-run single in the ninth inning to lead Baltimore past Minnesota 5-3. Manny Machado was 3-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored in the Orioles' third consecutive win.
— Dae-Ho Lee ripped a three-run homer and Franklin Gutierrez added a two-run blast in Seattle's 6-4 verdict over Tampa Bay. The Mariners got three scoreless innings from their bullpen en route to their seventh win in nine games.
— Nick Castellanos smacked a two-run homer before Detroit scored three times in the sixth inning of a 5-4 win at Washington. Victor Martinez had four hits and scored twice as the Tigers dealt the Nationals their fifth loss in six games.
— J.A. Happ scattered six hits and came within one out of a complete-game shutout in Toronto's 4-0 win at San Francisco. Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo homer and had three RBIs to help Happ improve to 5-0.
— Trayce Thompson slammed a two-out, solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Dodgers a 3-2 triumph over the Mets in Los Angeles. Alex Wood struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter.
— Matt Carpenter homered twice and Matt Holliday was 3-for-5 with two RBIs as St. Louis ripped the Angels 8-1 in Anaheim. Holliday and Randall Grichuk also homered to back Mike Leake, who picked up his first win as a Cardinal by holding the Halos to a run and six hits in eight innings.
— Trevor Bauer combined with two relievers on a four-hitter as Cleveland blanked Houston 4-0. Bauer struck out seven while yielding three hits in seven innings.
— Jonathan Villar, Ryan Braun and Aaron Hill drove in two runs apiece in Milwaukee's 10-2 pounding of Miami. Zach Davies allowed two runs in five innings after entering the game 0-3 with a 6.98 ERA.
— Philadelphia beat Atlanta 3-2 as Adam Morgan held the Braves to a run and four hits in seven innings. Maikel Franco was 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored to help the Phillies drop the Braves to a major league-worst 7-24.
— Rubby De La Rosa was sharp in Arizona's 5-1 win at Colorado, holding the Rockies to a run and four hits with six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. Chris Owings hit an RBI double to spark the Diamondbacks' four-run sixth before Paul Goldschmidt homered in the seventh.
— The Reds and Pirates were postponed by rain in Cincinnati. No makeup date was immediately announced.
Nats announce Strasburg extension...MLB looks into Harper ejection
WASHINGTON (AP) — One high-profile member of the Washington Nationals has received a lucrative contract extension, while another could face disciplinary action by Major League Baseball.
The Nationals have formally announced their seven-year contract extension with pitcher Stephen Strasburg. A person familiar with the negotiations says the agreement calls for total payments of $175 million starting in 2017, but it includes $70 million in deferred money.
Strasburg is 59-37 with a 3.07 ERA and 959 strikeouts in 825 2/3 major league innings since breaking in with the 2010 Nats. He is off to a fine start this season, opening 5-0 with a 2.76 earned run average.
Meanwhile, MLB says it is reviewing slugger Bryce Harper's confrontation with an umpire to decide whether he should be disciplined. The outfielder and reigning National League MVP was ejected by plate umpire Brian Knight while Harper was in the dugout during the ninth inning of the Nationals' victory over Detroit on Monday night. Moments later, Harper ran onto the field following teammate Clint Robinson's game-ending homer before pointing and cursing at Knight. Players who are ejected must leave the dugout.
In other major league news:
— The Nationals have traded infielder Brendan Ryan to the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations. The deal comes after Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons tore a ligament in his left thumb on Sunday.
— Royals pitcher Chris Young said he will return to Kansas City on Wednesday to have an MRI on his right forearm. Young is 1-5 with a 6.88 ERA this season after surrendering five home runs in Monday's loss to the New York Yankees.
— Michael Bourn will now try to revive his major league career as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, signing a deal with the team after being released by Toronto on Saturday. The outfielder has a .266 batting average and 326 stolen bases over parts of 10 major league seasons with Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta and Cleveland.
— Miami Marlins right-hander Nefi Ogando has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken rib on his right side. He was injured Sunday in a collision at first base.
— The Atlanta Braves have placed right-hander Jim Johnson on the DL with a right groin strain and recalled left-hander Ian Krol from Triple-A Gwinnett. Johnson is 0-4 with a 7.90 ERA.
— The San Diego Padres have claimed left-handed reliever Keith Hessler off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hessler has an 8.22 ERA in 20 big league appearances over two seasons.
— Kansas City Royals infield prospect Raul Mondesi was suspended for 50 games following a positive test for Clenbuterol. The punishment usually comes with an 80-game ban, but the suspension was reduced after Mondesi provided evidence he ingested the drug in an over-the-counter medication.
President welcomes UConn women
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama conducted a White House celebration of the national championship won by the University of Connecticut women's basketball team. The school has won four straight national titles and 11 overall.
In the ceremony in the White House East Room, Obama said the UConn women, who finished their season undefeated, defied the old saying that you can't win all the time.