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#SportsReport: Celtics complete four-game sweep of Nets, become first team to reach second round of playoffs



Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown had 22 and the Boston Celtics completed a four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first team to reach the second round of the playoffs with a 116-112 victory.

Marcus Smart added 20 points and 11 assists for the No. 2-seeded Celtics, who made easy work of what was thought could be a tough series. Kevin Durant had 39 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Boston will await the winner of the series between Milwaukee and Chicago. The defending champion Bucks hold a 3-1 lead in that series.

In other Monday playoff action:

Pascal Siakam scored 23 points, Precious Achiuwa had 17 and the Toronto Raptors forced a return home for Game 6 in their Eastern Conference first-round series against Philadelphia, beating the 76ers 103-88. The Raptors have won two straight in the series and jumped all over injured Sixers center Joel Embiid and ineffective James Harden. Embiid had 20 points and 11 rebounds playing with a thumb injury. Harden scored 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Sixers fans booed the performance at point.

In Dallas, Luka Doncic had 33 points and 13 rebounds in his first home playoff game coming off a calf injury and the Mavericks routed the Utah Jazz 102-77 Monday night for a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series. Doncic made his series debut in Game 4 at Utah, when the Jazz scored the last five points in the final 31 seconds for a one-point win that evened the series. Game 6 is Thursday night in Salt Lake City.

Ja Morant has been named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. The Memphis Grizzlies guard was rookie of the year in 2020 and now adds his second major award in three seasons. Morant is the first Grizzlies player to receive the award. He scored a career-best 27.4 points per game and also set career highs in rebounds, steals and field-goal percentage. Morant was an All-Star this season for the first time. San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray was second in voting from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league.

In other NBA news:

Philadelphia center Joel Embiid has been fined $15,000 for criticizing the officiating in Game 4 of the 76ers’ first-round playoff series against Toronto. Embiid made his remarks to reporters after a 110-102 loss on Saturday at Scotiabank Arena.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins has been fined $15,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating in Game 4 of the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jenkins said he had never seen “a more inconsistent, arrogant officiated game.”


Bo Bichette broke an eighth-inning tie with his first career grand slam and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the slumping Boston Red Sox 6-2. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Matt Chapman also homered for the Blue Jays. José Berríos allowed two runs in a season-high seven-plus innings and Adam Cimber got three outs for his major league-leading fourth win as Toronto won for the fifth time in six games. Boston has lost three straight and five of six.

Checking out other MLB action:

Bryce Harper homered and drove in two runs, Rhys Hoskins had three hits and the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of several defensive miscues by the Colorado Rockies in an 8-2 victory. Kyle Schwarber added two RBIs for the Phillies. Kyle Gibson lasted 5 2/3 innings for the win, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Connor Joe and Randal Grichuk homered for Colorado. Four of Philadelphia’s runs were unearned as the Rockies committed three errors and made several other defensive mistakes that resulted in hits.

Walker Buehler tossed a three-hitter for his first career shutout, Will Smith launched a solo homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0. Buehler was superb, retiring 15 straight batters from the fourth inning to the ninth. He struck out 10, leaving the field to a standing ovation from the sizable contingent of Dodgers fans at Chase Field. He threw 108 pitches, retiring Christian Walker on a fly ball to center field for the final out. Los Angeles has won 11 of 13.

Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith hustled for an infield single that drove in two pivotal runs, and the New York Mets capitalized on an uncharacteristic error by Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to rally for five unearned runs with two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Max Scherzer struck out 10 over seven innings of two-hit ball in a scoreless duel with Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas.

Marcus Semien and Corey Seager had RBI singles in the decisive seventh, and Adolis Garcia added a three-run double an inning later as the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 6-2 in the opener of a four-game series. It was only the second win for Texas in seven home games this season.

Taylor Ward homered twice and drove in all three runs, and Michael Lorenzen pitched six innings of three-hit ball in the Los Angeles Angels’ 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians. Ward delivered a solo homer in the fifth and a two-run shot in the seventh, both off Cleveland ace Shane Bieber. Lorenzen won the pitching matchup between two Orange County natives, combining with three relievers on a three-hit shutout.

Luis González hit his first major league homer, a two-run drive with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the San Francisco Giants over the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2. Brewers Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings, giving up two hits while striking out 11.

Bryce Harper homered and drove in two runs, Rhys Hoskins had three hits and the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of several defensive miscues by the Colorado Rockies in an 8-2 victory. Kyle Schwarber added two RBIs for the Phillies. Kyle Gibson lasted 5 2/3 innings for the win.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has sued the woman who accused him of sexual assault in federal court in a move that came less than three months after prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against the athlete.

The woman, whom the pitcher had met through social media, had alleged that Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. She later sought — but was denied — a restraining order. LA prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to win a conviction.

In other MLB news:

The Boston Red Sox have put pitchers Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford on the restricted list for the opener of a four-game series in Toronto against the Bleu Jays. To enter Canada, the Canadian government requires a person must have received a second vaccine dose — or one dose of Johnson & Johnson — at least 14 days prior to entry.


Alex DeBrincat scored his 41st goal in the third period and Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves, helping the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in a matchup of disappointing teams. Philadelphia lost for the 12th time in its last 16 games.


Virginia’s attorney general has launched an inquiry into the Washington Commanders following allegations of financial improprieties raised by a congressional committee.

Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares disclosed his office’s investigation in a letter to a team lawyer. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform disclosed earlier this month that it found evidence the team engaged in deceptive business practices for more than a decade. The Commanders have been in talks with Virginia lawmakers about a deal to build a new stadium.

In other NFL news:

The Pittsburgh Steelers are bringing back safety Terrell Edmunds on a one-year deal. The deal will pay Edmunds $2.5 million. Pittsburgh drafted Edmunds in the first round in 2018, but declined to exercise his fifth-year option last spring.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch says he “can’t ever imagine” trading All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel and remains confident the two sides can still work out a long-term contract. The star receiver told ESPN last week that he has requested a trade from the 49ers but didn’t specify his reasons for wanting out.

A judge has postponed until Aug. 1 a hearing in a felony assault case involving two NFL players and two other men accused of severely beating a man at a Las Vegas nightclub the weekend of the Pro Bowl. Attorneys for New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Lammons and two other defendants have asked for more time to review evidence in the case.

A businessman who was one of the early investors in a failed professional football league called the Alliance of American Football has pleaded guilty to charges accusing him in $600 million cryptocurrency scheme.

Reginald Fowler was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and other offenses that prosecutors say contributed to the AAF’s quick demise. The guilty plea on Monday comes at a time when other fledgling leagues are competing to loosen the NFL’s grip on pro football. Fowler’s lawyer credited him for taking “full responsibility” for the fraud.


Bethany College officials are investigating an allegation that someone associated with its baseball program intentionally contaminated the water cooler used by the opposing team.

Kansas Wesleyan athletic director Steve Wilson said a foreign substance was discovered in the cooler during a doubleheader Sunday. He said it is common practice for the home team, Bethany in this case, to provide water for the visitor. Wilson declined further comment, including whether any players, coaches or support staff drank the water or became ill.


Phil Mickelson has signed up for the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. His manager also asked the PGA Tour for permission to play in a Saudi-funded golf tournament outside London.

It was the first word from the Mickelson camp since Feb. 22, when Mickelson apologized for explosive remarks in a book excerpt by Alan Shipnuck in which he disparaged the Saudis behind Greg Norman’s attempt at a rival league and said he wanted leverage against the “obnoxious greed” of the PGA Tour.

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