#SportsReport: Celtics top Nets; Bulls beat Bucks
The Chicago Bulls have swiped home-court advantage from the defending NBA champs in the first round of the playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan scored a career playoff-high 41 points in leading the Bulls to a 114-110 win over the Bucks, tying the series at a game apiece. DeRozan scored eight points during a 13-0 run that began late in the third quarter and gave the Bulls a 96-80 lead with 9:47 remaining.
Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Zach LaVine had 20 points in Chicago’s second win over Milwaukee in their last 21 meetings.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.
Milwaukee finished without Bobby Portis, who left with a right eye abrasion after the first quarter. Khris Middleton exited with a sore left knee after slipping midway through the fourth quarter.
Game 3 is Friday.
The Boston Celtics will head to New York with a two-games-to-none lead in their NBA first-round series.
The Celtics erased a 17-point deficit and silenced Brooklyn’s top two scorers in a 114-107 victory over the Nets. Jaylen Brown scored 10 of his 22 points in the final period, when Boston reeled off a 23-4 run to go ahead, 108-96.
Jayson Tatum added 19 points for the Celtics, who held Kevin Durant without a basket in the second half.
Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 37 points on 8 of 30 shooting. They were a combined 1 for 17 in the second half before Durant finished with 27 points and Irving had 10
Game 3 is Saturday in Brooklyn.
Philadelphia is one win away from advancing.
Joel Embiid drained a 3-point with eight-tenths of a second remaining, giving the 76ers a 104-101 triumph and a three-games-to-none lead over the Raptors.
Embiid had 33 points and 13 rebounds, helping the Sixers rally from a 17-point deficit. James Harden had 19 points and 10 assists before fouling out in the closing seconds of regulation.
Tyrese Maxey chipped in 19 points for the 76ers, who can wrap up the series on Saturday.
OG Anunoby scored 26 points, Gary Trent Jr. had a playoff-high 24, and Precious Achiuwa added 20 for the Raptors.
Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker has a right hamstring strain, clouding his status for the remainder of the team’s first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Suns said Booker’s MRI on Wednesday confirmed a “mild” hamstring strain.
Booker was hurt in Tuesday’s Game 2 loss during the third quarter when he tried to defend a New Orleans shot on a fast break. The 25-year-old was sprinting downcourt, jumped and then grabbed at his right hamstring after he landed.
Game 3 is on Friday in New Orleans.
Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright has stepped down after 21 seasons and two national championships.
Wright was 520-197 after taking over the Wildcats program in 2001, leading them to four Final Fours. They won the NCAA title in 2016 and 2018, and reached the national semifinals in 2009 and this year.
He is a six-time Big East Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, 2021.
Kyle Neptune, who served on the Villanova coaching staff before accepting the head coaching position at Fordham University in 2021, replaces Wright.
In other college basketball news:
Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe says he will return for his senior year with the Wildcats after a breakout season in which he swept national player of the year awards. Tshiebwe led the nation with 15.1 rebounds per game and averaged 17.4 points. He also had 60 steals and 55 blocks.
Duke’s Paolo Banchero is leaping to the NBA after one season as a candidate to be the No. 1 overall draft pick. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound freshman announced his decision Wednesday, with the school saying he planned to hire an agent. The Associated Press third-team all-American averaged 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Blue Devils.
All-America center Kofi Cockburn of Illinois has declared for the NBA draft and hired an agent. The 7-foot Jamaican was an Associated Press All-America first-team pick. He was the only player in the nation to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds last season.
UCLA’s Johnny Juzang is entering the NBA draft. He was one of the stars of the 2021 NCAA Tournament during the Bruins’ run to the Final Four. Juzang averaged 15.6 points and 4.7 rebounds last season.
Shohei Ohtani struggled in his first two starts this season, but the Los Angeles Angels hurler was sharp on Wednesday.
Ohtani starred on the mound and at the plate in the Angels’ 6-0 shutout of the Astros. He pitched perfect ball into the sixth inning, tied a career-best with 12 strikeouts and also had two hits and two RBIs. Ohtani didn’t allow a baserunner until Jason Castro lined a single to center field with one out in the sixth for his first hit of the season.
The reigning AL Most Valuable Player was 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA entering the game.
In other MLB action:
Raimel Tapia’s first home run and RBIs of the season gave the Blue Jays the lead for good in a 6-1 win at Boston. Toronto scored five times in the second off Nick Pivetta, beginning with Tapia’s two-run shot. Bo Bichette also had two RBIs in the inning.
Miguel Cabrera had three hits to move one shy of 3,000 in the Tigers’ 5-3 loss to the Yankees. Cabrera beat out an infield hit in the second inning and singled up the middle of the fourth against Luis Severino, then grounded a single through the shortstop hole in the sixth off Chad Green. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer, drove in two and scored twice to back Luis Severino, who allowed one run over five innings.
José Ramírez launched his second grand slam of the season while the Guardians erupted for nine runs in the second inning of a Game 1 rout of the White Sox, 11-1. The Guardians delivered eight straight hits off Dallas Keuchel, who was rocked for a career-high 10 rebounds and 10 hits before leaving with nobody out in the second inning. Former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber won for the first time since June 8, 2021, allowing one run and four hits in six innings.
Ramirez also provided an RBI double in Game 2 as the Indians came away with a 2-1 victory. He’s the second player to collect at least 20 RBIs in his team’s first 11 games, and the first since Manny Ramirez for Cleveland in 1999.
The Orioles were 1-0 winners over the Athletics as Jordan Lyles limited Oakland to five hits over five innings. Ryan McKenna scored Baltimore’s only run on a fielding error by Athletics shortstop Elvis Andrus in the fifth inning. A’s right-hander Daulton Jefferies allowed three hits and just that unearned run for innings.
Francisco Mejia homered and drove in three runs to help the Rays beat the Cubs, 8-2, a game that was called after 5 1/2 innings due to rain. Josh Lowe had a triple, double and RBI as Tampa Bay climbed back over .500 with its third win in four games. Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco and Kevin Kiermaier each doubled in runs to help the Rays finish 3-3 in Chicago.
Daniel Lynch allowed four hits while pitching into the sixth inning of the Royals’ 4-0 shutout of the Twins. Lynch never allowed a runner to reach third, getting plenty of help from one of two big league defenses that have yet to commit an error this season. Kansas City’s bullpen extended its scoreless streak to 17 1/3 innings.
Logan Gilbert pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Adam Frazier went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles as the Mariners doubled up the Rangers, 4-2. Seattle was missing manager Scott Servais, third-base coach Manny Acta and assistant coach Andy Bissell along with right fielder Mitch Haniger, catcher Luis Torrens and reliever Paul Sewald due to positive COVID-19 tests. The Rangers turned a triple play in the first inning but fell to 2-9, their worst 11-game start since opening 1-10 in 1987.
Freddie Freeman homered against his former team for the second time in three days, helping the Dodgers take a 5-1 decision over Atlanta. Freeman went 3-for-4 as the Dodgers grabbed the rubber match of the three-game set. Tony Gonsolin tossed one-hit ball over six innings, putting up zeroes in the hit column until Manny Piña’s infield single leading off the sixth.
Brandon Belt homered on his 34th birthday and Carlos Rodon blanked the Mets on three hits over five innings to lead the Giants to a 5-2 victory. Rodon has 29 strikeouts in 17 innings this season after fanning eight more at Citi Field. Chris Bassitt was tagged for five runs in six innings after yielding three hits or fewer in his previous six starts dating to last season.
The Padres handed Cincinnati its ninth straight loss as Jurickson Profar threw out Joey Votto at the plate and belted a two-run homer in a 6-0 win over the Reds. Profar’s fourth-inning gave rookie MacKenzie Gore all the backing he needed for his first major league victory in two starts. The left-hander held the Reds to four hits while striking out seven over five innings.
Seth Beer’s three hits and three RBIs propelled the dormant Diamondbacks to an 11-2 thrashing of the Nationals. Arizona carried a .156 batting average and hadn’t score more than five runs this year before torching Erick Fedde for six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings. Daulton Varsho smacked a two-run homer and had three ribbies for the DBacks.
The Cardinals came away with a 2-0 win over the Marlins on Nolan Arenado’s two-run home run in the top of the ninth. Arenado struck out in his first three at bats before smacking his fifth home run of the year. St. Louis pulled out its ninth straight win over Miami after Marlins hurler Sandy Alcantara helped the Redbirds to four hits over eight innings.
The Brewers completed a three-game sweep as Brandon Woodruff took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of their 4-2 victory against Pittsburgh. Woodruff struck out nine and allowed just one hit over six scoreless innings, one start after blanking St. Louis for five frames. Rowdy Tellez homered for the second straight day and Keston Hiura extended Milwaukee’s lead to 4-0 with a three-run shot in the seventh.
The Phillies halted a three-game skid by slamming four home runs in a 9-6 decision over the Rockies in Colorado. Johan Camargo had four hits, including a three-run home run in a five-run seventh inning. Kyle Schwarber added a rare homer into the right field third deck at Coors Field, and Nick Castellanos and Alec Bohm also went deep to help the Phils win for just the second time in their last nine games.
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring suffered in Monday’s game.
The Astros hoped to avoid placing the 2017 AL MVP on the injured list but did so Wednesday after deciding that he likely will need more than a week to recover.
Manager Dusty Baker said the Astros would split time at second base between Aledmys Díaz and Niko Goodrum while Altuve is out.
In other MLB news:
Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson was placed on the seven-day concussion list a day after a home plate collision with Luke Voit of the Padres. Voit slammed into Stephenson’s head as he slid into the plate while trying to score from first on Jurickson Profar’s double.
Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle heading to the 10-day injured list with a sprained left elbow that halted his terrific start to the season.
The Guardians have placed three players on the COVID-19 injured list, including league batting leader Owen Miller. Right-handed starter Cal Quantrill and righty reliever Anthony Castro also tested positive.
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon became the first active major league player to sign a sports betting endorsement deal when he linked with MaximBet.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins apparently ran out of gas and was returning to his vehicle when he was fatally struck by a dump truck earlier this month in Florida.
The Florida Highway Patrol released a recording Wednesday of a 911 call Haskins’ wife Kalabrya made to the agency shortly after the April 9 accident. Calling from Pittsburgh and unaware of the accident, she told the dispatcher that Haskins had called her to say he had run out of gas and would call her back. When the former Ohio State star didn’t and she couldn’t reach him, she called 911.
The accident report released Wednesday says witnesses told investigators Haskins was trying to cross the highway when he went into the path of the dump truck. The truck knocked him into the path of a car, which also struck him.
In other NFL news:
Disgruntled quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t participating in the Browns’ voluntary offseason program as the team tries to work out a trade to get rid of the 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick. Last week, Mayfield said he felt disrespected by the team, which sent six draft picks to Houston for Deshaun Watson.
All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel has told ESPN that he has requested a trade from the 49ers as the two sides have been unable to negotiate a long-term deal for one of the league’s top playmakers. Samuel is entering the final year of the rookie deal he signed after being drafted in the second round in 2019. He is looking to take advantage of the exploding market of receiver contracts.
The Jets have re-signed defensive end Vinny Curry after he was diagnosed last summer with a rare blood disorder that caused him to miss last season. The 33-year-old Curry had his spleen removed last year and developed blood clots that caused him to go on blood thinners, preventing him from doing any physical activity for three to six months.
The Edmonton Oilers have solidified their hold on second place in the NHL’s Pacific Division.
Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists as the Oilers topped the Stars, 5-2. Evander Kane, Derek Ryan, Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for the Oilers, who are 11-0-1 in their last 12 home games. Evan Bouchard had two assists and Mike Smith stopped 34 shots.
Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who have lost three of their last four.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
Shea Theodore scored in overtime to lift the Golden Knights past the Capitals, 4-3. The win pulls Vegas within two points of Dallas for the second Western Conference wild-card berth.
Kole Lind, Yanni Gourde and Jordan Eberle all scored in the first period before the Kraken held on to beat the league-leading Avalanche, 3-2. Philipp Grubauer had 25 saves as Seattle won its third straight.
Alex DeBrincat scored his 40th goal of the season with 37 seconds showing on the clock in overtime, giving the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes. Jake McCabe, Dominik Kubalik and Alex Vlasic also scored for the Blackhawks, who blew a 3-1 lead in the third period before winning for the second time in 12 games.
U.S. women’s hockey star Amanda Kessel is joining the Pittsburgh Penguins for an executive management program that could put her on track to work in an NHL front office. Kessel is the first participant in the new program. She follows the lead of retired U.S. star and Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato and others.
Tennis players from Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing at this year’s Wimbledon tournament because of the war in Ukraine.
The All England Club’s move makes the grass-court Grand Slam tournament in southwest London the first top-level tennis event to bar players from Russia and Belarus.
Among those affected are reigning U.S. Open champ and second-ranked Daniil Medvedev, along with two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
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