AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Thunder have Warriors on ropes
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Golden State Warriors put together winning streaks of at least three games on eight occasions during the regular season en route to an NBA-record 73 victories. They will need one more three-game win streak to advance to the Finals for the second straight year.
The Oklahoma Thunder lead the Western Conference finals three games to one after their second straight blowout win over the Warriors. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double of 36 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as the Thunder rolled to a 118-94 rout of Golden State. Kevin Durant finished with 26 points and 11 boards, while Andre Roberson delivered 17 points and 12 boards.
Oklahoma City torched the Warriors for 72 points by halftime for the second consecutive game. The Warriors opened the third quarter on a 17-6 run to cut a 19-point, halftime deficit to 78-70 midway through the period, but the Thunder never led by fewer than seven the rest of the way. Oklahoma City dominated the final period, outscoring the Warriors 24-12 to get within one victory of their second trip to the Finals, and their first since 2012.
Klay Thompson was high man for the Warriors with 26 points. Stephen Curry added 19 points but shot just 6-for-20, including 2-for-10 from 3-point range.
The Thunder can close out the series Thursday in Oakland.
Pens stretch series to limit
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The NHL's Eastern Conference finals are heading back to Pittsburgh.
Matt Murray stopped 28 shots and the Penguins forced a seventh game by defeating the Lightning 5-2 in Tampa. Murray was back in goal after Marc-Andre Fleury's struggled in the Pens' loss in Game 5.
Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby scored to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead through two periods. Brian Boyle beat Murray twice in a 7:13 span of the third period to whittle the Lightning's deficit to 3-2, but the Pens iced the victory on Bryan Rust's goal with 2:08 remaining. Nick Bonino added an empty-netter.
Game 7 is Thursday night, when the Penguins will try to secure their first Stanley Cup finals appearance in seven years. The Lightning are trying to reach the finals for the second straight season.
Goalie change for Blues
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Brian Elliott will be back between the pipes for St. Louis in Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference finals against San Jose on Wednesday night.
He replaces Jake Allen who started the last two games and made 21 saves in a Game 5 loss.
The Sharks have a 3-2 series lead and are seeking their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
Sale finally loses
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Indians are the first team to beat Chris Sale this season.
Sale is 9-1 following his shortest outing of the season, surrendering six runs on seven hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings of the White Sox's 6-2 loss to the Indians in Chicago. Mike Napoli lined a two-run triple in the third to put Cleveland ahead to stay before Chris Gimenez hit a solo homer to spark a three-run fourth.
Josh Tomlin improved to 7-0 by holding the Pale Hose to two runs in eight innings. The White Sox collected just four hits off Tomlin following Mark Eaton's leadoff homer in the bottom of the first.
Chicago's other team was a winner in St. Louis. The Cubs had dropped a season-high three straight games before Jorge Soler hit a two-run homer and had three RBIs in a 12-3 crushing of the Cardinals in St. Louis. David Ross and pitcher Jason Hammel provided two-run doubles while the Cubs scored six times in the first inning. Pinch-hitter Matt Szczur added a two-run triple for Chicago, which collected 15 hits and improved to a major league-best 30-14.
Hammel is 7-1 after giving up just one run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. He blanked the Redbirds until Brandon Moss hit an RBI double in the eighth.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Salvador Perez launched a two-run homer and Lorenzo Cain was 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles as Kansas City dumped Minnesota 7-4. The defending champs pulled within three games of the AL Central-leading White Sox and dropped the Twins to a major league-worst 11-33.
— Leonys Martin ripped a two-run, walk-off homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth to complete Seattle's comeback 6-5 comeback win against Oakland. Robinson Cano had three RBIs, including a two-run homer that pushed the Mariners within 5-4 in the eighth.
— Martin Perez threw six shutout innings and Nomar Mazara smacked a two-run homer that put the Rangers ahead 3-0 in a 4-1 win over the Angels in Texas. Mazara had three hits, reached base all four times up and scored the game's first run on a double by Elvis Andrus.
— David Ortiz provided a two-run single and a two-run double in Boston's fourth win in five games, 8-3 over Colorado. Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting .346 after going 2-for-4 to run his major league season-high hitting streak to 28 games, six off the team record set by Dom DiMaggio in 1949.
— Tony Kemp led off the bottom of the 13th with a triple and Jose Altuve delivered the game-winning single in Houston's 3-2 win against Baltimore. Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer to help the Astros end a four-game skid.
— The New York Yankees picked up their sixth consecutive win as Nathan Eovaldi held Toronto to two hits in six innings of a 6-0 shutout of the Blue Jays. Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer and had two RBIs for the Yanks, who are 14-6 since an 8-16 start.
— The Giants won for the 12th time in 13 games as Brandon Crawford laced a two-run triple and had three RBIs in an 8-2 pounding of San Diego. Jarrett Parker added a two-run homer and Jeff Samardzija improved to 7-2 by limiting the Padres to one run over 6 2/3 innings.
— The Dodgers also earned an 8-2 win as Justin Turner provided three hits and three RBIs. Mike Bolsinger pitched into the sixth inning of the Dodgers' third straight win.
— Pittsburgh clobbered Arizona 12-1 behind Gregory Polanco's three-run homer and five RBIs. Jordy Mercer drove in a pair and Francisco Liriano was reached for just one run and two hits in 5 2/3 innings.
— Stephen Strasburg improved to 8-0 and Washington hit three of its five home runs off Matt Harvey in a 7-4 win over the New York Mets. Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon hit back-to-back homers in the fourth, Daniel Murphy added a two-run blast and Ben Revere and Wilson Ramos went deep off the Mets' bullpen.
— Ryan Braun homered and Scooter Gennett snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the eighth to give Milwaukee a 2-1 triumph in Atlanta. Jimmy Nelson had to settle for a no-decision after yielding just a run and four hits with eight strikeouts in six innings.
— Jake Odorizzi tossed five shutout innings and delivered his first big league hit as the Rays beat the Marlins 4-3. The Rays' starter laced an RBI single and left after allowing just two hits.
— Justin Verlander was sharp in Detroit's 3-1 win over Philadelphia, holding the Phillies to three hits while striking out 10 in eight shutout innings. Miguel Cabrera had two RBIs, including a run-scoring double in the bottom of the first.
Vogelsong remains in hospital
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh pitcher Ryan Vogelsong remained hospitalized with swelling and multiple facial fractures, a day after he was hit in the head by a 92 mph fastball from Colorado's Jordan Lyles.
Pirates trainer Todd Tomczyk says Vogelsong is in good spirits but adds that doctors won't be able to determine the extent of the damage around the left eye until the swelling subsides.
The Pirates have placed Vogelsong on the 15-day disabled list.
Super Bowls awarded
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL has awarded the 2019 through 2021 Super Bowls to three cities that have significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one.
Atlanta will host the 2019 game in its soon-to-be completed, $1.4 billion stadium, and Miami gets the 2020 game following its $450 million stadium renovation. Los Angeles will handle the 2021 Super Bowl, to be played at a $2.6 billion facility in nearby Inglewood.
There will be more reviewable plays in the NFL this coming season. The plays include penalty enforcement, proper down, spot of the foul and status of the game clock.
In other league news:
— Raiders owner Mark Davis says the team has begun conducting market research studies to gather information about a potential move to Las Vegas and initial reports have come back positive. Davis wants to move the team to the gambling city after being unable to get a suitable stadium deal in Oakland.
— The Bills have signed their second-round draft pick, linebacker Reggie Ragland. Buffalo traded up eight spots in the draft to select the Alabama linebacker and 2015 SEC defensive player of the year with the 41st pick.
— Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey has undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The team expects him to be ready for training camp. Ramsey hurt his knee last week during an on-field workout.
Bubba Smith died from CTE
BOSTON (AP) — The Concussion Legacy Foundation says former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with the brain disease CTE by researchers after his death. Smith died in 2011 at 66. He's one of 90 former NFL players diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy since 2008 at a brain bank affiliated with Veteran Affairs, Boston University and the foundation.
Smith was the first pick in the 1967 NFL draft after a career at Michigan State, which led him to the College Football Hall of Fame. He played a total of nine seasons for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.
Day 3 play
PARIS (AP) — Second-round play begins during Day 4 of the French Open. Men's second seed Andy Murray and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka are part of Wednesday's schedule, as is women's fourth seed Garbine Muguruza.
Tuesday was uneventful for most of the prominent seeds at Roland Garros. Top-seed Novak Djokovic advanced in three sets and was followed into the second round by Murray and nine-time champ Rafael Nadal. Nadal now has a 71-2 record in the tournament.
No. 15 seed John Isner used 40 aces to move into the second round with a four-set win.
Women's top-seed Serena Williams breezed into the second round along with fellow American Madison Keys.
Australian Open champ Angelique Kerber was a first round casualty, upset by 58th-ranked Kiki Bertens, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Purdue's Edwards coming back
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Junior forward Vincent Edwards has decided to return to Purdue and take his name off the NBA draft list. He led the Boilermakers in assists and 3-pointers made last season and averaged 19 points per game during the NCAA Tournament.
Nyquist out of Belmont
NEW YORK (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will not run in the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the horse racing Triple Crown. Trainer Doug O'Neill says the horse has a fever and elevated white blood cell count.
Nyquist saw his unbeaten record come to an end in the Preakness Stakes Saturday, which was won by Exaggerator.
TOUR DE FRANCE
PARIS (AP) — Officials in France have announced increased security for this year's Tour de France. The event will be protected by an unprecedented force of 23,000, including SWAT-like intervention squads, as the government tries to ensure security amid extremist threats.
France has been in a state of emergency since attacks on Paris in November killed 130 people, with soldiers guarding landmarks and religious sites.