Jayson Tatum caught a pass underneath the basket, shook off a hit and went up for the go-ahead layup with 23 seconds left and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-112 on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Tatum scored 25 points, Jaylen Brown had 24 and Terry Rozier 17, sunk a pair of free throws after forcing Joel Embiid's turnover in the final seconds. Al Horford added 15 points and eight rebounds for Boston, which will play Cleveland for the second straight year for a spot in the NBA finals.
Embiid had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers, who won 20 out of 21 games before Boston beat them three straight times to open the East semifinals. Dario Saric had 27 points.
Game 1 is Sunday in Boston.
In other NBA news:
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George has had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The procedure was performed Wednesday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. George is expected to return to normal offseason activities in six to eight weeks. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.04 steals and 36.6 minutes in 79 games this season, his first with the Thunder.
The Sacramento Kings have promoted Peja Stojakovic to assistant general manager. General manager Vlade Divac announced the move to put Stojakovic in a role where he will assist in management of player development, talent evaluation and oversight of the team's G League affiliate.
Brett Gardner capped a slump-busting performance with a go-ahead two-run triple off Craig Kimbrel in the eighth inning, Aaron Judge followed with a homer and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 9-6 for their 17th victory in 18 games. Kimbrel entered with two on and one out to face Gardner seeking his first ever five-out save. Gardner drilled a ball into left-center field, well over the head of center fielder Mookie Betts, who was playing shallow. The Red Sox will try and avoid a three game sweep as the series comes to a close tonight in New York at 7:05 p.m.
Elsewhere in the majors:
Yangervis Solarte hit a game-tying double in the eighth inning and Justin Smoak followed with a go-ahead double as Toronto rallied to beat Seattle, 5-2. Toronto started the eighth with five straight hits off Mariners reliever Juan Nicasio (1-1), turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
Carlos Santana had three hits and five RBIs, Nick Pivetta struck out seven in five scoreless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants, 11-3. The Phillies will try to sweep the four-game series Thursday afternoon.
Kyle Farmer's sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning that included mistakes by Arizona's bullpen and helped the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the NL West-leading Diamondbacks 6-3. The scuffling Dodgers improved to 4-8 against their division rivals this season.
Matt Szczur hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning and San Diego's bullpen pitched four scoreless innings to lift the Padres past the Washington Nationals 2-1. Manuel Margot opened the seventh with a single — his third hit of the game — and stole second before advancing to third on catcher Matt Wieters' throwing error. Szczur doubled off reliever Trevor Gott to score Margot with the go-ahead run.
Nick Markakis hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves set a franchise record for consecutive shutout innings on the road Wednesday night in a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Wilson Ramos' two-run single with two outs in the eighth ended a string of 34 straight shutout innings for the Braves, who won for the seventh straight time on the road.
Mark Trumbo delivered a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning, Chris Davis homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 to end a seven-game losing streak. Jonathan Schoop had two hits and scored twice for the Orioles, who had lost 18 of their previous 21 games. Lucas Duda homered and drove in three runs for the Royals.
The New York Mets wasted a first-inning rally by batting out of turn, at the start of a 2-1 afternoon loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Wilmer Flores batted second and struck out against Sal Romano for the second out of the inning. Asdrubal Cabrera came up next, and doubled to left. When cleanup hitter Jay Bruce came to the plate, umpire Gabe Morales took out the lineup card the Mets had turned in and called an out for batting out of turn. The Mets have the night off as they head to Philadelphia to begin a 3 game series Friday.
Gerrit Cole struck out nine to raise his major league-leading total to 86, and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 to complete a three-game sweep. Max Stassi and Derek Fisher hit consecutive home runs with two outs in the seventh off Daniel Mengden for a 2-1 lead, and Yuli Gurriel added a two-run double against Yusmiero Petit that extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Jaime Barria threw efficiently into the sixth and the Los Angeles Angels beat Colorado 8-0 to end the Rockies' six-game winning streak. Zack Cozart and Justin Upton both homered in the third. Rene Rivera added a solo homer in the seventh with a sore right hand.
Carlos Carrasco struck out 14 in a complete game, Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor homered, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2. Carrasco gave up five hits, walked one and threw 117 pitches. It was his 10th complete game in 149 big league starts.
Colin Moran hit a two-run homer that capped a four-run rally against Nate Jones in the ninth inning, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over Chicago 6-5 and sending the last-place White Sox to their ninth loss in 10 games. Chicago took a 5-2 lead into the ninth but lost its fifth in a row and fell to 9-25. Chicago is off to its second-worst 34-game start behind an 8-26 opening in 1948.
Kris Bryant hit his 100th career homer, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell connected in an eight-run third inning, and the Chicago Cubs pounded the Miami Marlins 13-4. The Cubs outscored the Marlins 31-9 in a three-game sweep after dropping a season-high five in a row.
Nomar Mazara led off the 10th inning with his second homer of the game to give the Texas Rangers a 5-4 victory over Detroit. The Rangers took two of three to win their first home series this season. It was the first career game-ending homer for Mazara. He has 10 homers this season.
In other MLB news:
Boston Red Sox left-hander David Price was diagnosed Wednesday with carpal tunnel syndrome after twice experiencing numbness in his pitching hand this season. Red Sox manager Alex Cora confirmed the diagnosis prior to a game at Yankee Stadium, which Price was supposed to start. Price was sent back to Boston on Tuesday for tests after experiencing numbness in his pitching hand during a bullpen session Sunday. He was forced from a game April 11 with the same symptoms after allowing four runs in the first inning — the shortest start of his career. Cora described it as a "mild case of carpal tunnel" and said Price will rejoin the team Thursday. He'll throw at Yankee Stadium, and then the team will re-evaluate his status.
Chicago White Sox third base prospect Jake Burger has torn his left Achilles tendon again and will be sidelined for an additional year. Burger first tore the tendon Feb. 26 while running out a ground ball during an exhibition game against Oakland. The 22-year-old re-injured the tendon last week while walking in his backyard and had surgery Tuesday.
The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired infielder Gio Urshela from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named or cash. Urshela hit .224 with one home run and 15 RBIs in 67 games with the Indians last season. He was batting .324 in 11 games at Triple-A Columbus this season.
The Baltimore Orioles have placed right-handed reliever Darren O'Day on the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended elbow. The move is retroactive to May 6. O'Day is 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA and two saves. To fill out the bullpen, Baltimore recalled lefty Tanner Scott from Triple-A Norfolk.
Rafael Palmeiro has signed to play in Texas for the independent Cleburne Railroaders at age 53, nearly 13 years after his last major league game. The second-year American Association team also signed Palmeiro's 28-year-old son, Patrick, who has played for other independent teams the past three seasons.
Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia maintained his innocence and his new team said it supported him after a 1996 sexual assault allegation resurfaced Wednesday night.
The Detroit News reported that Patricia and a friend of his were indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury, Patricia and a friend were two football players and Theta Chi fraternity brothers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy at the time. The two were indicted on one count each of aggravated sexual assault for an alleged incident involving a woman on South Padre Island. The accuser did not testify and the case was dismissed 10 months later.
"As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation," Patricia said in a statement issued by the Lions. "I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done."
The Lions hired Patricia after last season to replace Jim Caldwell as coach. He had previously been an assistant with the New England Patriots.
The Lions said a "standard pre-employment background check" did not turn up the incident. But the team said it was standing by Patricia.
"We have spoken to Coach Patricia about this at length as well as the attorney who represented him at the time," the Lions said in a statement attributed to owner Martha Firestone Ford, general manager Bob Quinn and president Rod Wood. "Based upon everything we have learned, we believe and have accepted Coach Patricia's explanation and we will continue to support him."
Patricia maintains his innocence.
In other NFL News:
Derrick Johnson has been the enemy in Oakland for 13 years, tormenting the Raiders while wearing red for the Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson has now traded sides in the fierce AFC West rivalry, joining the Raiders as the veteran anchor at middle linebacker in a defense that is being rebuilt this offseason. Johnson has been one of the better linebackers in the league during his career but was allowed to leave Kansas City earlier this offseason as the team tried to get younger.
The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with four of their six draft picks, including cornerback Isaiah Oliver, a second-round pick from Colorado. The Falcons also announced they have agreed to terms with running back Ito Smith, a fourth-round pick, and their two sixth-round picks, wide receiver Russell Gage and linebacker Foye Oluokun.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed rookie running back Jaylen Samuels to a four-year contract. The team announced the deal less than two weeks after the AFC North champions selected Samuels in the fifth round.
The San Francisco 49ers have signed offensive lineman Mike Person to a one-year deal. The team is bringing back a player originally drafted by San Francisco in 2011. Person was inactive his entire rookie season for the 49ers after being drafted in the seventh round before going on to play 43 games the past six seasons.
The Philadelphia Eagles have signed running back Matt Jones to a two-year contract and also agreed to terms on four-year deals with all five of their draft picks. Jones was a third-round pick by the Washington Redskins in 2015.
Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Donald Penn won't be charged with a crime stemming from an alleged domestic-violence incident last month in Los Angeles. The city attorney's spokesman says there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges against the 35-year-old Penn. He says the case was based on an alleged incident in April between Penn and his wife.
Novak Djokovic added another early elimination to his disappointing season, losing to Kyle Edmund 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 on Wednesday in the second round of the Madrid Open.
It's the sixth straight tournament in which Djokovic has failed to reach the quarterfinals. The 12-time Grand Slam champion has struggled this year after saying he returned to action too quickly following a lingering right elbow injury.
Also, top-ranked Simona Halep beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 to stay on track for a third straight title in Madrid, while Caroline Wozniacki's bid to return to the top of the rankings ended with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to 20th-ranked Kiki Bertens.
Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week's Italian Open, saying she needs more time to be "100 percent ready to compete."
Williams returned to the tour briefly this year after a 14-month absence to give birth to her daughter.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion also withdrew from this week's Madrid Open and sitting out Rome puts her status for the French Open, which starts May 27, in doubt.
Williams, a four-time Italian Open champion, has not played since her a first-round loss to Naomi Osaka in March at the Miami Open.
The teams for drivers Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez have been penalized by NASCAR after the race at Dover.
Bowyer and Suarez were each hit with $50,000 fines for their crew chiefs and both teams lost their car chiefs for the next two races for rear window violations.
Each team lost 20 drivers and owner points. Bowyer was second and Suarez third on Sunday at Dover.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lilly King has been chosen as this year's IndyCar Grand Prix pace car driver.
King grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and has been a star swimmer at Indiana University. She won the 100-meter breaststroke and was part of the winning 400-meter medley relay team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
She will lead the field down the front straightaway for Saturday's race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course.
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