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#SportsReport: Boston Celtics clobber Miami Heat

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NBA:

Marcus Smart was a gametime decision after missing the opener of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals with a sprained foot. He was a major contributor on Thursday as the Boston Celtics clobbered the Heat, 127-102 in Miami to tie the series at a game apiece.

Smart was a rebound shy of a triple-double, finishing with 24 points on 8 of 22 shooting and dishing out 12 assists. He also was 5 of 12 from downtown as the Celtics drained 20 of their 40 3-point attempts.

Jayson Tatum had a team-high 27 points for Boston, which led by 25 at halftime. Jaylen Brown finished with 24 points and Grant Williams had 19.

Heat forward Jimmy followed his 41-point performance in the opener by scoring 29 on Thursday, but the rest of Miami's starters added just 31.

The series shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Saturday.

Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak has signed a multiyear contract extension about six weeks before his contract was set to expire. Kupchak will continue to lead the team’s search for a coach, saying the team already has interviewed eight to 10 candidates and could speak with a few more over the next week or so.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS:

The Tampa Bay Lightning needed almost all of regulation to win on Thursday.

Ross Colton scored with just 3.8 seconds left in regulation, giving the Lightning a 2-1 victory and a two-games-to-none lead in their second-round series with the Panthers. Tampa Bay had just killed off a penalty to Steven Stamkos when Colton scored right in front of Sergei Bobrovsky. The penalty kill also left Florida 0-for-25 on the power play this postseason.

The Bolts scored on their first power play chance as Corey Perry deflected a shot past Bobrovsky 12:06 into the game. It remained 1-0 until Eetu Luostarinen beat Andrei Vasilevskiy with 1:53 remaining in the second period.

Game 3 is Saturday in Tampa.

The Blues have also knotted their second-round series at a game apiece as David Perron scored twice, including the game-winner in a 4-1 victory at Colorado.

Perron's power-play goal put St. Louis ahead, 2-0 with 34 seconds remaining in the second period. He also delivered the insurance goal midway through the third period after Gabriel Landeskog netted a power-play goal to draw the Avalanche within 2-1.

Jordan Kyrou also scored on Darcy Kuemper, Brandon Saad added an empty-netter and Pavel Buchnevich had two assists for St. Louis. Kuemper turned back 28 shots.

Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for the Blues, who host Game 3 on Saturday.

GOLF:

Rory McIlroy blasted his driver over trees and into fairways, setting up some of his seven birdies that carried him to a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead through one round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa.

This was McIlroy’s lowest start to par since a 5-under 66 when he won the PGA at Valhalla in 2014, the last of his four majors.

Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge are at 4 under, one shot ahead of Matt Kuchar, Justin Thomas and Abraham Ancer.

Tiger Woods struggled with his irons while carding a 4-over 74.

MLB:

The Baltimore Orioles finally cooled off the New York Yankees, thanks to a walk-off blast.

Anthony Santander launched a three-run homer off Lucas Luetge in the ninth inning to give the Birds a 9-6 win over the Yanks. The Orioles trailed 5-3 before scoring three times in the sixth inning, capped by an RBI single by former Yankee Rougned Odor. DJ LeMahieu’s RBI single in the ninth tied it before the Bombers lost for the first time in 19 games when scoring at least five runs.

New York lost for just the fourth time in its last 23 games and fell to 28-10, still tops in the majors.

Baltimore avoided a four-game sweep.

Elsewhere on major league diamonds:

Travor Story had a huge night in the Red Sox's 12-6 win against the Mariners, going 4-for-4 with three home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored. Story slugged a pair of two-run homers and a three-run shot in the eighth, and he also singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in a pair for the Red Sox, who trailed 4-0 in the second inning.

The Astros made it 11 straight home wins versus the Rangers as Martín Maldonado hit a three-run double to break open their 5-1 victory against Texas. Houston went ahead to stay on Kyle Tucker's RBI single in the first inning, making it 2-1. Jose Altuve was 4-for-5 with two doubles to back Framber Valdez, who struck out seven and allowed six hits over seven frames.

Luis Robert delivered a two-run homer and a pair of RBI singles as the White Sox outscored the Royals, 7-4 in the rubber match of the five-game series. Pinch-hitter Adam Engel gave Chicago its first lead with an RBI single in the seventh off Gabe Speier that broke a 4-all tie. Tim Anderson had two hits, two walks and two RBIs, recording his 10th multi-hit outing in his last 18 games for the White Sox.

Tyler Naquin homered in the fifth inning and scored on Kyle Farmer’s go-ahead single in the eighth to lead the Reds’ 4-2 win over the Guardians. Cincinnati snapped a 1-1 tie by scoring three runs in the eighth off Trevor Stephan. The Reds swept the two-game series and are 8-5 since a 3-21 start.

Pete Alonso crushed a two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Mets a 7-6 win over the Cardinals. Jeff McNeil had a tiebreaking, two-run single and three RBIs for the Mets, who took three of four in the series to move a season-high 12 games over .500. Paul Goldschmidt drove in four and Albert Pujols laced an RBI double that put the Redbirds ahead, 6-5 in the 10th.

The Padres were 2-0 winners over the Phillies behind Yu Darvish, who limited the home team to six hits over seven innings. Darvish kept the shutout intact by retiring Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos with runners on first and third to end the sixth inning. San Diego scored twice in the fourth inning on Robinson Cano’s RBI single and Ha-Seong Kim’s sacrifice fly, giving the Padres the series.

The Diamondbacks' six-game losing streak is over after Zac Gallen allowed a run and just two hits over five innings of a 3-1 verdict over the Cubs. Gallen has permitted two or fewer runs in each of his first seven starts this year. Marcus Stroman came off the COVID list and retired his first nine batters before Daulton Varsho put Arizona ahead with a solo homer.

The Mets have experienced a major pothole on their drive toward a division title.

The NL East leaders say Max Scherzer will be out six to eight weeks with a strained oblique muscle in his left side. Scherzer left Wednesday’s start with two out in the sixth following 87 pitches, signaling to the dugout that he was done for the night. An MRI revealed the injury, which leaves the Mets without their two best starters.

Jacob DeGrom has been out since spring training because of a right scapula stress reaction. He’s not likely to pitch until late June or July at the earliest, and Opening Day starter Tylor Megill is on the injured list with right biceps inflammation..

Scherzer is 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA this season.

Also around the majors:

Guardians third baseman José Ramírez will undergo X-rays and other imaging tests on his right shin after being injured in Thursday’s loss to the Reds. Ramírez collapsed in pain after fouling a ball off his shin in the eighth inning.

The Diamondbacks have placed catcher Jose Herrera on the injured list without a designation, indicating a potential COVID-19 issue with the team. The move with Herrera comes one day after left-hander Kyle Nelson and outfielder Cooper Hummel were placed on the IL without any injury designation.

Three-time All-Star infielder Matt Carpenter is a free agent after being released by the Rangers from their Triple-A team. The 36-year-old Carpenter went to spring training on a minor league deal, then hit .275 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 21 Triple-A games.

The Braves have won their salary arbitration hearing with Luke Jackson, who is missing the season due to Tommy John surgery. He was awarded the team’s $3.6 million offer rather than his $4 million request, leaving owners 3-2 in arbitration this season.

NFL:

Longtime Ravens punter Sam Koch has retired and will join the Baltimore coaching staff as a special teams consultant.

The 16-year veteran owns franchise records with 239 consecutive games played and 256 regular-season games overall. He was a member of Baltimore’s 2012 Super Bowl championship team and appeared in 20 postseason games.

Koch’s 1,168 career punts are the most by a punter with a single team in NFL history.

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