#SportsReport: Celtics top Miami to even Eastern Conference finals
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and the Boston Celtics took their turn pounding the Miami Heat early.
Boston jumped out to a 26-4 lead and cruised to a 102-82 victory that evened the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece. Miami missed 15 of its first 16 shots in the second straight game that was all but over after 12 minutes. The Heat led 39-18 after the first quarter of Game 3 of this bizarre series in which no game has been close down the stretch. Game 5 is Wednesday in Miami. Victor Oladipo led the Heat with 23 points.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had 49 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning completed a four-game sweep of the Florida Panthers with a 2-0 victory that sends the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions back to the Eastern Conference final for the sixth time in eight years.
Pat Maroon and Ondrej Palat scored, and Vasilevskiy won his sixth straight playoff game, a streak that began with the Lightning facing a 3-2 series deficit to Toronto in the opening round. The high-scoring Panthers averaged a NHL-best 4.11 goals while compiling the league’s best record during the regular season, but were limited to just three goals in four games against the Lightning. Vasilevskiy got his sixth shutout in his last seven series-clinching wins.
In other action:
Nazem Kadri scored three goals, including two during a four-goal second period barrage, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 to take a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference series. Kadri’s outburst came after he received racist death threats on social media following a first-period collision with Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in Game 3. It was Kadri’s first career playoff hat trick. Erik Johnson and Devon Toews also scored and Mikko Rantanen added an empty netter for the Avalanche, while Darcy Kuemper made 17 saves. David Perron scored twice and Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist for the Blues. Ville Husso made 31 saves.
A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Denver Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly has agreed to take a similar role with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Connelly steadily built the Nuggets into a perennial playoff contender behind draft picks such as two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. Connelly will be looking to do the same with a Timberwolves team led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.
Tyler Anderson pitched eight shutout innings, Trea Turner had three RBIs in his first game against his former team and the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Washington Nationals 10-1 on Monday night. The Dodgers have won eight of nine and own the best record in the National League at 28-13. Washington fell to 5-16 at Nationals Park, the worst home record in the majors.
In other MLB action:
Pete Alonso hit an early three-run homer moments after Francisco Lindor’s tying, two-run double, and the New York Mets kept slugging all game long to rout the stumbling San Francisco Giants 13-3. Jeff McNeil added a two-run homer in the eighth inning and Mark Canha followed with a solo drive in his return to the Bay Area after playing for the Oakland Athletics. Brandon Crawford put the Giants on the board first with a two-run homer in the second off lefty David Peterson, who won while pitching in place of injured ace Max Scherzer.
Padres rookie José Azocar singled home Manny Machado with two outs and the bases loaded in the 10th inning to lift San Diego to a 3-2 win against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. Machado started the inning as the automatic runner on second base and advanced on Jurickson Profar’s groundout. Miguel Sánchez then intentionally walked Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers to load the bases before Kim Ha-seong lined out to shortstop Luis Urias, a former Padres player. Azocar then lined a single to center to bring in Machado and give San Diego its fifth straight victory.
Prized rookie Julio Rodríguez homered at home for the first time, a three-run shot to give Seattle an early lead, and the Mariners beat Oakland 7-6 for their 13th straight win over the Athletics. Cal Raleigh and Eugenio Suárez each added a two-run homer as the Mariners extended their domination of the A’s dating to last season. Seattle went 15-4 against Oakland last year and hasn’t lost to the A’s since July 22, 2021. Mariners starter Marco Gonzales pitched 5 1/3 innings to get the victory. All the Seattle home runs came off Oakland starter Zach Logue, who took the loss.
Christian Walker and Pavin Smith homered and Ketel Marte’s two-run double broke a fourth-inning tie when Arizona beat Kansas City 9-5 in Zack Greinke’s return to Chase Field. Royals right-hander Greinke (0-3) gave up seven earned runs, two homers and four walks, all single-game highs this season. Whit Merrifield, Bobby Witt Jr. and Hunter Dozier hit bases-empty homers 13 pitches into the game, and the Royals added another run in the first inning for a 4-0 lead before suffering their second demoralizing loss in as many days. J.B. Wendelken (1-1) got out of a bases-loaded situation after replacing injured starter Zach Davies in the fourth inning for the Diamondbacks, who have won four of five.
Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom hit three-run homers and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 despite two home runs by Aristides Aquino. Wisdom hit his team-leading 10th homer.
Ke’Bryan Hayes had three hits and scored the tiebreaking run on Yoshi Tsutsugo’s infield single in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 2-1.
The Milwaukee Brewers have placed right-hander Freddy Peralta on the 15-day injured list with a right lat strain and put closer Josh Hader on the family medical emergency list. Manager Craig Counsell said Hader will miss the entire three-game series at San Diego to be with his wife, who is expecting their first child.
In other MLB news:
The St. Louis Cardinals placed star catcher Yadier Molina on the bereavement list on Monday. The Cardinals also announced that right-hander Alex Reyes is going to have shoulder surgery later this month.
Former Brooklyn Dodgers catcher and New York Mets coach Joe Pignatano has died. He was 92. The Mets said Pignatano died in Naples, Florida, at a nursing home. Pignatano had been the last living coach from the 1969 Miracle Mets, who made a remarkable run to reach the World Series and then startled Baltimore and the baseball world for their first championship. Pignatano was a career .234 hitter.
An autopsy report shows that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was legally drunk when he was fatally struck by a dump truck on a Florida highway last month.
The Broward County Medical Examiner said in its report released Monday that Haskins’ blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal level for driving when he was struck April 9. The 24-year-old former Ohio State star had run out of gas on Interstate 595 near Fort Lauderdale about dawn. He told a companion he was going to find a gas station. The dump truck driver told investigators Haskins stepped in front of him as he traveled in the center lane.
In other NFL news:
Nick Foles is reuniting with Frank Reich. That combination helped the Philadelphia Eagles win the 2017 NFL title. Reich now is head coach of Indianapolis, and the Colts signed free agent quarterback Foles on Monday to back up Matt Ryan. Foles got a two-year deal after spending the past two seasons in Chicago.
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press the Washington Commanders have bought land in Virginia for what could be a potential site of the NFL team’s next stadium. The 200 acres of land purchased for approximately $100 million is in Woodbridge just over 20 miles outside the District of Columbia. The Commanders’ lease at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, expires in 2027.
Denmark beat Canada for the first time in a 3-2 upset win at the world ice hockey championship in Finland. Sebastian Dahm’s 29 saves helped Denmark to hold on to stun Canada and move into contention for a place in the quarterfinals.
Canada can no longer qualify as the top seeded team in Group A and will need to beat France on Tuesday to be sure of reaching the last eight. Denmark plays Slovakia needing to avoid a loss in regulation.
The United States must wait to qualify for the quarterfinals after a bruising 1-0 loss to the Czech Republic in both teams’ second-to-last game of group play.
The Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature is poised on Tuesday to override the GOP governor’s veto of a bill banning transgender students from competing in girls sports.
That would mean Indiana would join more than a dozen states that have adopted similar laws in the past two years. The Indiana proposal won approval by wide margins before Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in March unexpectedly vetoed the measure. He said it did not provide a consistent policy for what he called “fairness in K-12 sports.”
Novak Djokovic’s first Grand Slam match in 7 1/2 months went about as well as possible. The No. 1-seeded Djokovic opened his title defense at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory in less than two hours over Yoshihito Nishioka. He improved to 18-0 for his career in the first round at Roland Garros.
Djokovic could not compete at the Australian Open this January because he has decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. There is no vaccine requirement for the French Open.
In other action:
Naomi Osaka suffered a straight-set loss to 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova. The former No. 1 player said afterward she is leaning toward skipping Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal and all of his aches and pains reached the second round of the French Open. The 13-time champion at Roland Garros beat Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
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