© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Longtime Burlington, Vt. Mayor Miro Weinberger will not seek re-election

WAMC Sports Report 5/22/23: Heat roll past Celtics 128-102, take 3-0 lead in Eastern Conference finals



Gabe Vincent scored a career-high 29 points, Duncan Robinson added 22 and the eighth-seeded Miami Heat are now just one win from the NBA Finals after rolling past the Boston Celtics 128-102 on Sunday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference title series. Caleb Martin scored 18, Jimmy Butler finished with 16, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Max Strus added 10 for Miami, which leads the series 3-0. Jayson Tatum scored 14 and Jaylen Brown added 12 for the Celtics, who won three times on Miami’s floor on the way to winning last season’s Eastern Conference finals. Game 4 is Tuesday night at 8:30 in Miami.

Elsewhere, the Denver Nuggets look to clinch the Western Conference finals over the Los Angeles Lakers in game four tonight at 8:30. Denver has a 3-0 lead

The Denver Nuggets are on the brink of the first NBA Finals trip in franchise history after winning the first three games of the Western Conference finals over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets can also make another bit of history with a win in Game 4. Although this franchise has won 15 playoff series, Denver has never swept an opponent. It’s increasingly clear that this current version of the Nuggets is the best team in franchise history precisely because these players care only about team success.

Chandler Stephenson jumped on a rebound 1:12 into overtime and hit the back of the net to complete a rally and give the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Dallas Stars in overtime  3-2 and now hold a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Final. Jonathan Marchessault forced overtime with a shot from the slot with just 2:22 left in the third period. Stephenson, Marchessault and Mark Stone each had a goal and an assist for Vegas, and Adin Hill saved 26 shots. Miro Heiskanen and Jason Robertson each scored for the Stars, and Ryan Suter had two assists. Jake Oettinger made 21 saves. Game 3 is Tuesday night at 8 in Dallas.

Elsewhere, the Florida Panthers host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 8 in the third round of the NHL Playoffs with a 2-0 lead in the series.

Wayne Gretzky says Matthew Tkachuk has become the face of the Florida Panthers. The Great One seems to be right. Tkachuk has scored in overtime in each of the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final. The Panthers are now coming home for Game 3 of that series against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Tkachuk is the 12th player in NHL history to have an overtime goal in back-to-back playoff games.


Aaron Judge had a go-ahead single in the 10th inning for his fourth hit of the game, and the New York Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 after cutting Aaron Hicks with $27.6 million on the outfielder’s contract. New York overcame a 4-1 deficit in a three-run fifth inning against Luke Weaver on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s homer, Judge’s RBI double off the left-field wall and Anthony Rizzo’s run-scoring single. Judge is hitting .378 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and a 1.402 OPS in 11 games since returning from the injured list on May 9.

Justin Verlander outpitched Shane Bieber in a marquee matchup of Cy Young Award winners that lived up to its billing, and the resurgent New York Mets edged the Cleveland Guardians 2-1 for a doubleheader sweep. Francisco Lindor homered against his former team and Jeff McNeil knocked in the tiebreaking run with a sacrifice fly off Bieber in the eighth inning. Brooks Raley closed out New York’s fifth consecutive comeback victory — all by one run — since a 6-16 slide. In the opener, Starling Marte ended a long power drought by hitting a go-ahead homer in the eighth that sent the Mets to a 5-4 win. In the second matchup of Cy Young Award winners this season, Verlander allowed three hits and struck out five in eight innings.

Rougned Odor hit a desperately needed bases-clearing double off struggling Corey Kluber in the first inning, Matt Carpenter homered and the San Diego Padres beat the Boston Red Sox 7-0 for just their third win in 14 games. Odor finished with two doubles and four RBIs and Michael Wacha, who pitched for Boston last year, threw six strong innings. The Padres snapped a four-game losing streak and gave their fans something to cheer about after being booed several times during the last three games.

Bryson Stott hit his first career pinch home run, a two-run drive in the seventh inning that led the Philadelphia Phillies over the Chicago Cubs 2-1. After extending their losing streak to five in the series opener, the defending NL champions won the final two games of the set. Taijuan Walker pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings on three days’ rest and Craig Kimbrel got his 399th save, moving within one of becoming the eighth pitcher with 400. Chicago headed to a nine-game homestand after a 2-7 trip.

Pavin Smith hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Smith’s third homer of the season came off Robert Stephenson and helped the Diamondbacks overcome a 3-2 deficit after Pirates ace Mitch Keller was pulled following six strong innings. Ketel Marte also homered for Arizona, which won for the sixth time in its last eight games. Ke’Bryan Hayes accounted for all the Pirates’ scoring with a bases-loaded triple. Reliever Kyle Nelson got the win. Miguel Castro earned his fourth save.

In the WNBA, DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points, Alyssa Thomas had 14 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and three steals to help the Connecticut Sun rally from a 12-point deficit to beat the Washington Mystics 80-74. Brionna Jones added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut. Tyasha Harris hit a 3-pointer to close the third quarter and pull the Sun within a point and Jones made a putback to give the Sun their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter before Rebecca Allen hit a 3 to cap a 13-2 run and make it 67-60 with 5:59 remaining. Connecticut never again trailed. Shakira Austin scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Elena Delle Donne had 19 points and also had 11 boards for the Mystics.

Breanna Stewart scored a franchise record 45 points and New York beat Indiana 90-73, handing the Fever a 20th consecutive loss that matched the WNBA record for futility. The Fever equaled the Tulsa Shock, who lost 20 straight games in 2011. Indiana lost 18 consecutive games to close out last season before falling to the Connecticut Sun on Friday in their opener. Indiana plays at Atlanta next Sunday. Stewart broke Cappie Pondexter's record of 40 points with a three-point play late in the third quarter. NaLyssa Smith had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana. No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston added 15 points.


Brooks Koepka is a major champion again. Gone are those injuries that led to doubt whether he was still part of golf's elite. Koepka won the PGA Championship at Oak Hill by closing with a 67 and winning by two shots over Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland. He now has won the PGA Championship three times. And it was his fifth major title. Only 14 players have won more. It was the first major by a LIV Golf player since the Saudi-funded league began nearly a year ago. California club pro Michael Block made an ace and tied for 15th.

Meanwhile, Michael Block is not the little-known club pro from Southern California anymore. During a four-day stretch at the PGA Championship Block held his own against the world’s best, became a gallery favorite, made a hole in one and finished tied for 15th with a score of 1-over 281. And the 46-year-old’s star continues to rise. His finish ensures a spot in next year’s PGA, and Block is already generating more attention for his common man approach. Rather than head home, Block has changed his travel plans after receiving an invite to compete at the Colonial next weekend


NFL legend, actor and social activist Jim Brown has died at the age of 87. Brown shattered records during a relatively short NFL career, leading the Cleveland Browns to their last championship in 1964 — and retired in his prime to become an actor. Brown’s family said he died peacefully in his Los Angeles home on Thursday night with his wife, Monique, by his side. Brown appeared in more than 30 films, including “The Dirty Dozen” and “Any Given Sunday.” Brown was also a prominent leader in the Black power movement of the 1960s and dedicated much of his life to social causes. He also had notable off-the-field transgressions, including allegations of violence against women.


Bob Baffert’s National Treasure has won the Preakness Stakes, hours after another of the Hall of Famer's horses was euthanized on the track with a racing injury. The sport was already facing questions after a tumultuous leadup to the Kentucky Derby that included seven horses dying of various causes over a 10-day span at Churchill Downs. Derby winner Mage finished third in the Preakness. His defeat means there will not be a Triple Crown winner for a fifth consecutive year. Blazing Sevens finished second by a head. Baffert won the Preakness for a record eighth time.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control program, which is overseen by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, is set to go back into enforcement today. All horses covered under HISA regulations will be subject to compliance with the Authority’s Banned and Controlled Medication list.


Alex Palou will lead the field to green in the Indianapolis 500 after the young Spaniard put together the fastest four-lap pole run in history Sunday. He edged Rinus VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist and gave Chip Ganassi Racing its third pole in a row. Palou whipped four laps around the historic 2.5-mile speedway at an average of 234.217 mph. That was a mere 0.007 mph faster than VeeKay, who still gave Ed Carpenter Racing a front-row starting spot for the ninth time in the last 11 years. Palou surpassed the record pole run of 234.046 mph that Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon put up last year. It also was the second-fastest qualifying effort, trailing only Arie Luyendyk’s 236.986, which he set the day after pole qualifying in 1996.

Kyle Larson turned in a dominating effort to win his third All-Star race and earn $1 million in the Cup Series’ return to North Wilkesboro Speedway following a 27-year absence. Larson became only the fourth driver to win the All-Star race at least three times. Jimmie Johnson has the most with four victories, while Larson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt have three. Larson is the first to win the All-Star race at three different tracks. He has won in Charlotte in 2019 and Texas in 2021. Bubba Wallace finished second in the 200-lap non-points exhibition race, followed by Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe and Chase Elliott.


Officials and witnesses say that fans angry at being blocked from entering a Salvadoran soccer league match knocked down an entrance gate to the stadium, leading to a crush that killed 12 people and injured dozens. The stampede happened Saturday night during a quarterfinals match between clubs Alianza and Fas at Monumental Stadium in Cuscatlan in southern San Salvador. One fan said that “the game was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. but they closed the gate at 7 p.m. and left us outside with our tickets in our hands." He said people got angry, adding: "We asked them to let us in, but no. So they knocked the gate down.”

© 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.