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WAMC Sports Report 5/3/23: Brunson, Randle help Knicks beat Heat 111-105 to even series



Jalen Brunson scored 30 points and keyed the run the New York Knicks needed just in time to get by a Miami Heat team playing without Jimmy Butler, eveneing the Eastern Conference semifinals at a game apiece with a 111-105 victory over the Miami Heat. Julius Randle returned from a sprained left ankle that sidelined him in Game 1 with 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and RJ Barrett scored 24 points for the No. 5-seeded Knicks. Josh Hart finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Caleb Martin scored 22 points in place of Butler for the Heat, who host Game 3 on Saturday afternoon.

Anthony Davis had 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots, LeBron James added 22 points and 11 rebounds dueling with Stephen Curry in their latest postseason showdown, and the Los Angeles Lakers held off a late flurry by the Golden State Warriors to win an entertaining Game 1 in the Western Conference semifinals 117-112. Jordan Poole missed a 3-pointer to tie it with 9.7 seconds left as the Warriors’ rally in the closing minutes fell short. Curry’s 3 with 1:38 left tied the game, then D’Angelo Russell answered right back before Davis blocked a shot by Curry moments later. James missed the first of two free throws with 1:05 to go. Golden State hosts Game 2 Thursday night at 9.

Philadelphia 76ers center and league scoring champion Joel Embiid earned his first NBA Most Valuable Player trophy Tuesday, topping two-time winner Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Embiid averaged 33.1 points to win his second straight scoring title, averaged 10.2 rebounds and tied a career high with 4.2 assists per game. Embiid played in 66 games, the second-highest total of his career.

The Memphis Grizzlies have no plans to bring Dillon Brooks back to the team when he hits free agency this summer. Brooks was offered an extension last year but turned it down. Now the Grizzlies are ready to move on without him according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor Brooks released details publicly. The Athletic first reported the Grizzlies’ decision. It was subsequently confirmed by ESPN. Brooks led the NBA in technicals this season. He also called LeBron James old before the Lakers ousted Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is  at Boston to take on the Celtics in game two tonight at 8. The 76ers lead the series 1-0.


Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves, Matthew Tkachuk had three assists and the Florida Panthers survived a squandered two-goal lead to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 last night in the opening game of their second-round playoff series.

Sam Bennett had a goal and an assist and Carter Verhaeghe and Nick Cousins also scored for Florida. Aleksander Barkov had two assists. Matthew Knies had his first NHL goal and Michael Bunting also scored for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov stopped 24 shots.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday.

Joe Pavelski became the oldest player ever with a four-goal game in the NHL playoffs, and did it in his return two weeks after going into concussion protocol. That still wasn’t enough for the Dallas Stars. The 38-year-old Pavelski scored all four of their goals, including two in the third period to force overtime. But the Stars lost 5-4 to Seattle in Game 1 of their second-round series on Tuesday night. Stars coach Pete DeBoer says he's ashamed that the team wasted such an epic performance. He says Pavelski tried to drag them to a win. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night at 9:30 in Dallas.

The New Jersey Devils begin their series against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 7 in Raleigh.

Edmonton at Vegas 9:30 p.m.


Willie Calhoun snapped a seventh-inning tie with his first home run for the New York Yankees, who beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-2 to stop a four-game slide. Gerrit Cole settled down after a rocky start and rookie Anthony Volpe homered in the sixth to begin New York’s comeback from a two-run deficit. Gleyber Torres followed with a double that chased impressive Cleveland rookie Tanner Bibee, and Anthony Rizzo’s single off reliever James Karinchak tied it. With one out in the seventh, Calhoun lined an 0-2 curveball from Karinchak to right field for his first major league home run since April 11, 2022, with Texas. New York, which is last in the AL East, had dropped seven of nine.

Connor Wong hit two homers, including a tie-breaking solo shot in the eighth, to help the Boston Red Sox rally past the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6. Masataka Yoshida and Christian Arroyo also homered for Boston and the Red Sox tied a season-high for hits with 14, including four by Wong. The Boston catcher led off the eighth needing a triple to complete the cycle, drove a 2-1 fastball from Erik Swanson to the Green Monster seats for his second of the night and third in three days. Reliever Richard Bleier (1-0) got the win and Josh Winckowski picked up his first save. Swanson (1-1) took the loss.

The Mets will Detroit  will play a double-header against Detroit today beginning at 1:40 p.m.

New York Mets star pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are returning to the mound in Detroit against a team both of them played for. The 38-year-old Scherzer is due to pitch tonight at 6:40 for the first time since April 19, when he was ejected for violating MLB’s foreign substance policy. He was suspended for 10 games. The 40-year-old Verlander is scheduled to make his Mets debut Thursday against the Tigers, who drafted the right-hander No. 2 overall in 2004 and traded him to Houston in 2017. Verlander’s season-opening start was delayed due to a back injury.

Harold Ramírez homered and drove in two runs to lead the Tampa Bay Rays over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 in a matchup of teams with the top records in the major leagues. Ramírez drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single in the fourth and boosted the lead to 4-1 with a solo homer in the sixth. The Rays, who drew just 10,325 to Tropicana Field, lead the big leagues with 62 home runs and have outscored opponents 199-93. Pittsburgh (20-10) lost back-to-back games for the first time since the last two games of opening series at Cincinnati.

Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his return to the Phillies just 160 days after Tommy John surgery, and Philadelphia lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-1 as Julio Urías allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven innings. Harper, a two-time NL MVP, was activated from the injured list and was the designated hitter. Miguel Vargas had four hits as the Dodgers scored 13 runs for the second straight night and set a season high with 17 hits.

Bryce Harper defied the odds and returned 160 days after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The Philadelphia Phillies slugger is trying to stress something else now that he is back in the lineup — patience. Harper went 0 for 4 and struck out three times in the Phillies’ 13-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night. While the two-time NL MVP was pleased to be back in what many consider to be a miraculous turnaround, there were positives and negatives to take from the first night back.


Rory McIlroy says he needed “a reset” after missing the cut at the Masters. That’s why the world’s third-ranked player didn’t touch his golf clubs for more than two weeks. Instead, McIlroy went on vacation with his wife, Erica, to celebrate their anniversary and withdrew from the PGA Tour event at Hilton Head. That move may cost him $3 million because he skipped a second of the tour's new designated events. But McIlroy says he needed to reassess his life after it had become “consumed” by golf, including the conflict between the PGA Tour and Saudi-funded LIV Golf.


Preparations in France for the 2024 Olympic Games had been going largely smoothly. That is starting to change. Olympic contestation is picking up online and starting to spill onto streets, because protesters are linking the Paris Games to unpopular pension reforms pushed through by French President Emmanuel Macron. A band of Olympic opponents who call themselves “un-volunteers" are surreptitiously working to infiltrate and disrupt next year’s Games by signing up as would-be Olympic volunteers. There also are small and sporadic protests targeting Olympic preparations. Olympic organizers say polling shows enduring strong support for the Paris Games. But critics of Macron want to disrupt the show to retaliate for his raising of France’s retirement age from 62 to 64.

© 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.