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WAMC Sports Report 4/30/24: White scores 38, Celtics top Heat 102-88 to take 3-1 lead

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns forward Royce O'Neale (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/AP
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns forward Royce O'Neale (00) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Derrick White scored a career-high 38 points, Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 102-88 to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series. Jaylen Brown scored 17 points and Jrue Holiday had 11 for the top-seeded Celtics, who lost Kristaps Porzingis in the first half to what the team said was a right calf injury. Bam Adebayo finished with 25 points, 17 rebounds and five assists for Miami, which had a sellout crowd but played again without injured starters Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier. Game 5 is Wednesday night at 7:30 in Boston.

Jamal Murray scored a game-high 32 points Monday night despite a strained left calf and sank the game-winning shot with 3.6 seconds remaining as the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets again bounced LeBron James from the playoffs with a 108-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5.James’ two free throws tied it at 106 with 26 seconds left and the Nuggets, just as they did in Game 2, eschewed the timeout and Murray took the ball on a high screen and roll to his left, shaking Austin Reaves and he crossed through the lane and swished the 14-footer. It was Murray’s buzzer beater that won Game 2.

Jalen Williams highlighted a 24-point performance with a back-breaking 3 with three minutes left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 97-89 to complete a four-game sweep of their first-round playoff series. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which trailed by five in the fourth quarter before suddenly seizing control with a combination of stifling defense and opportunistic shooting. Giddey and Holmgren each scored 14 points. Holmgren also had nine rebounds. CJ McCollum scored 20 for New Orleans. But the Pelicans hit just eight of 34 shots from 3-point range. New Orleans stayed close despite usual high-scoring wing Brandon Ingram missing 12 of 14 shots and finishing with just eight points.

The futures of LeBron James and Darvin Ham with the Los Angeles Lakers remain murky. One might choose to leave and the other might not have a choice. For James, the decision is his on whether he wants to wear purple and gold again in his 22nd NBA season. For Ham, it’s about whether the team brings him back for a third season as coach after back-to-back series losses to Denver. Big decisions loom after the defending champion Nuggets eliminated Los Angeles from the playoffs with a 108-106 win in Game 5 on Monday.

Boston center Kristaps Porzingis left the Celtics’ playoff game in Miami on Monday night late in the first half with what the team said was right calf tightness. The play happened with about 2:35 left in the second quarter. Porzingis took a dribble as he tried to move to his left, then pulled up — without any visible contact on the play — and immediately motioned to the Boston bench. He was subbed out eight seconds later and went directly to the Celtics’ locker room, stopping along the way to pull the top of his jersey over his face.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks meet at 7 tonight in New York in their series. New York leads three games to one.


Toronto is at Boston for game 5 tonight at 7. The Bruins lead the series 3-1.   

Meanwhile, the Islanders take on the Panthers at 7:30 tonight for game 5. Carolina leads that series 3-1.

Wyatt Johnston scored his third goal in two games, and the Dallas Stars beat the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 to even their first-round NHL playoffs series. Evgenii Dadonov, Ty Dellandrea and Roope Hintz also scored for the Stars, and Jake Oettinger made 33 saves. Michael Amadio and Jack Eichel had goals for the Golden Knights, and Logan Thompson stopped 28 shots. Eichel has scored goals in three consecutive games and has six points in this series. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Dallas. The road team has won every game.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves, Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaege each had two goals and an assist, and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 in Game 5 on Monday night to clinch their first-round series and advance in the NHL playoffs. Niko Mikkola had a goal and an assist, Evan Rodrigues also scored and Matthew Tkachuk had two assists for the Panthers, who won a playoff series against Tampa Bay for the first time in franchise history and clinched a postseason series at home for only the fourth time. Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, which was eliminated in the first round for the second straight year after reaching the Final three straight years. Andrei Vasilevsky stopped 33 shots.


Gunnar Henderson led off the first inning with a homer to become the youngest player in major league history with 10 home runs before May 1 and the Baltimore Orioles defeated the New York Yankees 2-0 in the opener of a four-game series. Grayson Rodriguez threw 5 2/3 shutout innings for Baltimore, which won the first meeting of the season between the top teams in the AL East. New York left 10 runners on base and was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Henderson's home run off Clarke Schmidt tied him with the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout for the major league lead.

Christopher Morel hit a two-run homer off Edwin Díaz to snap a ninth-inning tie and the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets 3-1 after being held hitless by Luis Severino into the eighth. Dansby Swanson singled off Severino with nobody out in the eighth for Chicago’s first hit, putting runners at first and second following a leadoff walk to Michael Busch. With runners at the corners one out later, pinch-hitter Nick Madrigal hit a broken-bat grounder to third baseman Joey Wendle, who made an ill-advised decision to try for an inning-ending double play. Madrigal beat the relay to first, and the Cubs evened it at 1. Brandon Nimmo hit his 13th career leadoff homer for the Mets.

Ehire Adrianza and Mike Trout scored on a wild pitch and throwing error in the seventh inning as the Los Angeles Angels rallied from an early three-run deficit to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 and snap a four-game losing streak. Adrianza had two hits and drove in a run, and Jo Adell homered as the Angels won on manager Ron Washington’s 72nd birthday. Alec Bohm extended his hitting streak to 13 games and drove in three runs for the Phillies. Adam Cimber (2-0) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh when he got Brandon Marsh to ground out to end the inning. Carlos Estévez picked up his fifth save in six opportunities despite allowing one run in the ninth.

Tyler Nevin homered for the second straight game and the Oakland Athletics beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1. Nevin added a single and a sacrifice fly as the A’s won for the fourth time in their last five games. The Pirates had a season-low two hits while losing for the fifth time in six games. Pittsburgh’s first game in Oakland since 2016 was played in front of 3,528 fans. The Athletics have announced plans to play at least the next three seasons in Sacramento while their new stadium in Las Vegas is built. Oakland starter Joe Boyle (2-4) struggled with his command, throwing just 45 of his 91 pitches for strikes, but the right-hander limited Pittsburgh to one run and one hit in five innings with four strikeouts and four walks.

Ryan Pepiot and three relievers combined on a three-hit shutout and the Tampa Bay Rays withstood a ninth-inning comeback attempt to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0. Milwaukee manager Pat Murphy was ejected in the ninth inning after arguing a call that prevented the Brewers from scoring the apparent tying run. Pepiot continued his recent surge and outdueled Bryse Wilson to help Tampa Bay win for just the second time in its last eight games. The Rays staggered into Milwaukee after losing three consecutive games to the Chicago White Sox.

Mitch Garver hit a two-run game-ending home run in the ninth inning to give the Seattle Mariners a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. A game that was dominated by spectacular pitching from Atlanta starter Max Fried and Seattle starter Bryce Miller ended with Garver tossing his bat in front of home plate to celebrate the first walk-off home run of his career. Jorge Polanco led off the ninth inning with a single on the first pitch from A.J. Minter. Garver worked the count to 3-2 and hit a cutter left in the middle of the plate by Minter out to left field for his third homer of the season.

Justin Turner hit two home runs, Danny Jansen added a solo homer and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Monday night. Turner hit a two-run home run in the first inning and had a leadoff homer in the third. It was the 16th multihomer game of his career. Jansen also connected in the third, his second. The Blue Jays scored more than five runs for the first time in 21 games, ending a streak that dated back to a 9-8 loss at Yankee Stadium on April 6.

Max Kepler had a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 for their eighth straight win. Byron Buxton doubled to lead off the ninth against John Brebbia (0-1). Kepler, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, then drove him in with a line-drive single to right. Caleb Thielbar pitched out of a first-and-third jam in the ninth, striking out Korey Lee to end the game after walking Tommy Pham and giving up a two-out single to Robbie Grossman.

CJ Abrams hit a two-run homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-2, completing a four-game sweep of the NL’s worst club in front of a season-low 6,376 fans at loanDepot Park. The Marlins, who made the playoffs last season, have lost seven straight to fall to 6-24. That's their worst skid since opening the season 0-9. Jake Irvin allowed two runs on four hits in six innings, bouncing back from allowing 12 hits and six runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous start. Ildemaro Vargas had two hits and an RBI for the Nationals, who swept Miami over four games for the first time since Sept. 18-21, 2014.

Elly De La Cruz’s 443-foot home run into the bullpen sent a few Padres relievers scrambling out of the way and Nick Lodolo combined with two relievers on a four-hitter and struck out 11 as the Cincinnati Reds beat San Diego 5-2. The Reds retired 23 straight batters from the second inning into the ninth. Lodolo retired his final 18 batters after issuing consecutive walks to open the second. Reliever Fernando Cruz pitched a perfect eighth and Alex Díaz retired the first two batters of the ninth before Jake Cronenworth doubled and scored on Manny Machado’s single.

Teoscar Hernández and Andy Pages both hit two-run doubles in a big fifth inning, Will Smith added a solo homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4. Pages finished with three RBIs, the second time he had that many in 12 career games. The 23-year-old rookie pushed his hitting streak to seven games and is batting .298 with an .846 OPS since his big league debut on April 16. Shohei Ohtani had two singles, a walk and an RBI. The Dodgers have won seven of eight. The D-backs have dropped four of five.


New England Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth up to $92 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because it has not been announced. The extension reportedly contains $41.8 million in guarantees. Barmore, a second-round pick in 2021, has 133 tackles, 12 1/2 sacks and 18 tackles for loss, 32 quarterback hits and one forced fumble in 44 games over his three seasons. He twice appeared in all 17 games in 2021 and 2023.

Previously suspended receiver Quintez Cephus is back in the league after signing a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills. Cephus was one of three players suspended indefinitely last April for betting on NFL games in 2022. Two of his teammates at the time, fellow receivers Stanley Berryhill and Jameson Williams, received six-game suspensions for betting on non-NFL games at the team facility. Cephus, Lions safety C.J. Moore and Washington defensive end Shaka Toney were forced to sit out the 2023 season. All three were cut following their suspensions. The NFL reinstated them two weeks ago.

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed Travis Kelce to a new two-year, $34.25 million contract. That's according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition on anonymity because the terms of the deal had not been released. The new deal ensures Kansas City will have its star tight end as it tries to win an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach says Kelce will remain the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. The 34-year-old Kelce is already the Chiefs' career leader in receiving yards. And his relationship with pop icon Taylor Swift has taken him to a new level of celebrity.


The U.S. Soccer Federation and its Mexican counterpart dropped their joint bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup and said they instead will focus on trying to host the 2031 tournament. The decision left a proposal from Brazil and a joint Germany-Netherlands-Belgium plan competing to be picked for 2027 by the FIFA Congress that meets May 17 in Bangkok. The USSF said the 2031 bid will call for FIFA to invest equally in the men’s and women’s World Cups. FIFA said last year it planned to spend $896 million in prize money for the 2026 World Cup after devoting $110 million for last year’s women’s tournament.

© 2024 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.