AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Rockets advance, Spurs take edge
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Rockets have advanced to the NBA's Western Conference semifinals for the first time in six years.
James Harden scored 28 points and Terrence Jones had a strong fourth quarter to lead the Rockets to a 103-94 triumph over Dallas in Game 5 of their first-round series. Jones scored 10 of his 15 points in the final period and helped the Rockets stay ahead after the Mavericks got within three with five minutes remaining.
Dwight Howard had 18 points and 19 rebounds for Houston, while Josh Smith delivered 20 points.
Monta Ellis scored 25 points for the Mavericks, who missed 21 of their 26 3-point attempts.
The Rockets next face either San Antonio or the Los Angeles Clippers.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers hit a game-winning basket and still lost to the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have a three-games-to-two lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals after an offensive goaltending call helped them defeat the Clippers 111-107.
Blake Griffin hit a short basket to put L.A. ahead 108-107 with 4.3 seconds remaining, but it was waved off after DeAndre Jordan touched the ball as it rattled around the rim. Kawhi Leonard later hit two free throws to clinch it for the Spurs.
Tim Duncan had team highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio, while Leonard finished with 18 points and nine boards.
Griffin finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Clippers, who will try to stave off elimination when they visit the Spurs on Thursday.
Love's season probably over
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — It looks like the season is over for Cleveland Cavaliers' forward Kevin Love. Cavs GM David Griffin says it is likely the power forward will miss the remainder of the postseason with "extensive" damage to his left shoulder.
Love was injured in Sunday's series-sweeping win over Boston when he got tangled up with and manhandled by Celtics center Kelly Olynyk while chasing a loose ball. Love may need surgery and Griffin said he is still getting medical opinions.
Olynyk was suspended one game by the NBA. Griffin said he was sickened that "a non-basketball play resulted in what it did."
The Cavaliers also will be without J.R. Smith for the start of their next series. Smith was hit with a two-game suspension by the league for striking Boston's Jae Crowder in the face after the two were shoving each other for position under the basket on Sunday.
Orioles to host White Sox with no fans
UNDATED (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles had a game postponed for the second straight night due to safety concerns following Monday's rioting northeast of Camden Yards. And Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox has been moved to the afternoon and will be played without any fans in attendance.
It is believed to be the first game without fans in Major League Baseball's 145-season history.
As far as the first two games of the series with Chicago, Major League Baseball has announced that those games will be made up as part of a doubleheader in Baltimore on May 28th.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter tells The Associated Press: "It's all about what's best for the city and the safety of our people. The last thing you want to do is put the fans in harm's way. You have to err on the side of safety."
MLB has also announced that this weekend's scheduled games between the Orioles and Tampa Bay will now be played in Tropicana Field instead of Oriole Park. Despite the fact the games will be held in Florida the Orioles will serve as the home team.
Nats win after trailing by eight
UNDATED (AP) — The Nationals were two outs away from absorbing their seventh consecutive loss until a former Brave allowed Washington to complete a sensational comeback in Atlanta.
Dan Uggla launched a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to lift the Nats past the Braves 13-12. Uggla was 3-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored for the Nationals, who trailed 9-1 after two innings.
Jose Lobaton also smacked a three-run homer and Denard Span hit a solo shot after Nats starter A.J. Cole was pounded in his major league debut. Span was 5-for-6 with four runs scored.
Also in the majors:
— Kendrys Morales belted a three-run homer to cap a six-run seventh that led the Royals past the Indians 11-5 in Cleveland. The Royals trailed 5-3 until Alcides Escobar hit a two-run double and scored on an infield single by Mike Moustakas.
— Minnesota beat Detroit 3-2 behind Mike Pelfrey, who struck out seven and allowed one earned run and three hits over seven innings. Kurt Suzuki provided the tiebreaking single in the Twins' two-run seventh.
— Michael Wacha had two RBIs and gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings to help St. Louis whip Philadelphia 11-5. Jon Jay, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina also drove in two runs apiece as the Cardinals improved to 13-6.
— Johnny Cueto gave up three hits over eight innings to pitch Cincinnati past Milwaukee 4-2. Brandon Phillips smacked a two-run homer, and Joey Votto and Marlon Byrd added solo shots to help the Reds drop the Brewers to 4-17, the worst 21-game start by an NL team since 1997.
— Miami blew a 3-0 lead before Michael Morse hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to give the Marlins their sixth victory in seven games, 4-3 over the New York Mets. Juan Lagares hit a three-run double in the seventh for the Mets, who lost for the third time in five games since an 11-game winning streak.
— Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista combined for two homers, five hits, five runs and five RBIs as Toronto outscored Boston 11-8. Donaldson was 3-for-5 with a solo blast, three runs scored and two RBIs, while Bautista delivered a solo shot and three ribbies.
— Chase Whitley pitched well in the New York Yankees' 4-2 win over Tampa Bay, holding the Rays to a run and six hits with five strikeouts in five innings. Brian McCann drove in three runs with a pair of doubles as the Yanks won for the 10th time in 12 games since a 3-6 start.
— The Cubs picked up their fourth consecutive win as Dexter Fowler had three hits and two RBIs in a 6-2 triumph over Pittsburgh in Chicago. Travis Wood limited the Pirates to two runs and five hits in seven innings.
— Brett Lawrie ripped a three-run homer while Oakland scored five times in the first inning of a 6-3 victory over the Angels. Josh Reddick also homered and had three RBIs to back Sonny Gray, who is 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA after holding Los Angeles to two runs and six hits in eight innings.
— J.A. Happ struck out nine over 6 2/3 innings to pitch Seattle past Texas 2-1. Rickie Weeks hit a solo homer and Nelson Cruz went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and a run scored.
— Madison Bumgarner struck out nine while yielding just five hits in eight innings of San Francisco's sixth victory in nine games, 2-1 over the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Buster Posey provided the Giants' runs with an RBI single and a solo homer.
— Mark Trumbo was 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and a two-run triple as Arizona pounded Colorado 12-5. Diamondbacks rookie pitcher Archie Bradley was about to walk off the mound under his own power after getting hit in the ace by a line drive in the second inning.
— George Springer belted a two-run homer and have five RBIs as Houston ripped San Diego 14-3. Evan Gattis and Chris Carter also went deep, Jose Altuve supplied four of the Astros' 17 hits and Luis Valbuena was 3-for-4 with four runs scored.
Former player, manager has Parkinson's
DETROIT (AP) — Kirk Gibson says he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The 1988 National League MVP made the announcement through Fox Sports Detroit, where he covers Tigers games. He had not been in the broadcast booth since opening day April 6. He was fired in September as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks after four-plus seasons.
The 57-year-old had one of the most memorable moments in baseball history with his limping, pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers.
He also won a championship in 1984 with the Tigers, where he played 12 of his 17 major league seasons.
NFL draft prospect cited for marijuana possession
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — NFL prospect Shane Ray has been issued a misdemeanor citation after a trooper found a small amount of marijuana in the defensive end's car.
Ray was the SEC defensive player of the year at Missouri and is expected to be an early pick this week in the NFL draft.
Team cancels function over rioting
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have canceled an NFL draft party at their stadium in the wake of rioting in the city. The event was scheduled for Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens say the decision to cancel the party for their fans came "out of respect to the curfew in Baltimore."
Baltimore's mayor imposed a 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew after riots broke out Monday following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 of spinal cord and other injuries sustained while in police custody.
League drops tax exempt status
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Football League is giving up its tax-exempt status. Some members of Congress have criticized the NFL for being tax-exempt while the league generates billions in revenue. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the status has become a "distraction."
Goodell sent a letter to team owners saying its management council will file tax returns as taxable entities for the 2015 fiscal year. Goodell says the NFL has been tax-exempt since 1942, though all 32 teams pay taxes on their income.
Goodell says the change will not alter the function or operation of the league, since all the teams already pay taxes.
Report: Jets fined
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the New York Jets have been fined $100,000 by the NFL for tampering because of owner Woody Johnson's comments in December about Darrelle Revis, then a member of the New England Patriots.
The Patriots filed a tampering charge against the Jets after Johnson said he'd "love to have Darrelle back." Revis, who spent his first six seasons with New York, helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl in February. The star cornerback re-signed with the Jets as a free agent a month later.
Bills and Titans use options
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have secured cornerback Stephon Gilmore through the 2016 season by exercising their right to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Gilmore has been a three-year starter in Buffalo since being selected with the 10th pick in the 2012 draft out of South Carolina. He had a career-best three interceptions last season.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have picked up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Kendall Wright. As the 20th pick overall out of Baylor in 2012, Wright had a team-high 94 catches for 1,079 yards in 2013 and 57 catches for 715 yards last season.
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Defensive end Dion Jordan of the Miami Dolphins will sit out the entire 2015 season. He has been suspended by the NFL for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Jordan was not at any of the team's voluntary workouts last week, raising plenty of eyebrows about his status and his future with the Dolphins.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-SETON HALL-GIBBS
Gibbs leaving Pirates
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) — Seton Hall point guard and top scorer Sterling Gibbs is leaving the Pirates after two seasons. Gibbs was third in the Big East Conference in scoring at 16.7 points a game, first in three-point accuracy and fifth in assists. Pirates coach Kevin Willard issued a statement saying Gibbs will pursue his master's degree at another school.
Wings blueliner suspended for Game 7
NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has suspended Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall for Game 7 of the Red Wings' first-round series against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night for charging Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov. Kronwall knocked off Kucherov's helmet with the high hit late in the second period of last night's 5-2 victory by the Lightning.