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WAMC Sports Report 5/24/24: Brown's 40 points help Celtics take 2-0 East finals lead over Pacers

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) reacts on the court during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals against the Indiana Pacers, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/AP
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) reacts on the court during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals against the Indiana Pacers, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


Jaylen Brown matched his career playoff high with 40 points and the Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 126-110 to open a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Brown scored 10 to help Boston run off 20 points in a row in the first half and take the lead for good. Jayson Tatum and Derrick White scored 23 points apiece. Jrue Holiday had 15 points and 10 assists for the top-seeded Celtics. They lost Game 2 in both of their previous playoff series this postseason. Pascal Siakam scored 28 points for the Pacers. They will host Game 3 at 8:30 Saturday in Indianapolis.

Indiana All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton left in the third quarter because of left hamstring soreness and a chest injury in the Pacers’ 126-110 loss to Boston on Thursday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Haliburton winced at times when running up the court early in the third quarter. He was ruled out with just under nine minutes to play in the game. Haliburton went 4 for 8 from the field and finished with 10 points in 28 minutes. He played just eight minutes in the third quarter, scoring two points. Coach Rick Carlisle said it was the same hamstring that caused Haliburton to miss 10 games in January. He'll be evaluated today.

J.B. Bickerstaff has been fired as Cleveland’s coach despite leading the Cavaliers through a major rebuild, an injury-ravaged season and into the second round of the NBA playoffs. Bickerstaff’s dismissal came one week after the Cavs were eliminated in five games by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Cleveland played the final two games without All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Bickerstaff's team made progress in each of his four seasons with Cleveland. The 45-year-old Bickerstaff went 170-159 in the regular season and 6-11 in the playoffs. The Cavs defeated Orlando in the first round before losing to Boston.


Connor McDavid scored 32 seconds into the second overtime and the Edmonton Oilers overcame their captain’s double-minor penalty in the first extra period and beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. The Stars were 0 for 3 on power plays in regulation, then couldn’t capitalize on four minutes with a man advantage after the high-stick penalty against McDavid in the opening seconds of the first overtime. Leon Draisaitl extended his playoff-opening points streak to 13 games with a goal, while Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist for the Oilers. Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots. Tyler Seguin scored both goals for the Stars. Game 2 is Saturday night.

Elsewhere, the Panthers and Rangers play Game 2 of their finals series at 8 tonight in New York. The Rangers lead the series 1-0.



Marina Mabrey had 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds to help the Chicago Sky beat the New York Liberty 90-81. Angel Reese added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Sky, who got a win for first-year head coach Teresa Weatherspoon in her return to New York. Weatherspoon starred as a player for the Liberty in the WNBA’s early days. She helped New York reach the finals in three of the league’s first four years. Sabrina Ionescu scored 19 points while Breanna Stewart added 18 points for New York, which won its first four games and was off to its best start since the 2007 season.

DeWanna Bonner made two free throws with 7.4 seconds left in overtime and the Connecticut Sun ran their season-opening winning streak to four games, overcoming an early 13-point deficit to beat the Minnesota Lynx 83-82 on Thursday night. Bonner finished with 20 points. Brionna Jones added 19 and Alyssa Thomas had 18 for Connecticut, the only undefeated team in the WNBA. Napheesa Collier had 31 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota (2-1). Courtney Williams scored 19 points, Kayla McBride had 13 and Alanna Smith 10. After Collier fouled Bonner on a shot attempt, Bonner hit the deciding free throws with 7.4 seconds remaining. McBride then missed a potential winning shot, with Bonner grabbing the rebound to secure the victory.

Kahleah Copper and Diana Taurasi scored 20 points each and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Washington Mystics 83-80. Natasha Cloud added 14 points and 10 assists and Sophie Cunningham scored 13 for the Mercury, who have won three in a row. Ariel Atkins had 16 points to lead Washington, which has lost five consecutive games to open the season for this first time since the 2007 team started 0-8. Julie Vanloo scored 13 and Shakira Austin and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 11 points apiece.


The Mets and Red Sox were off yesterday. Meanwhile, Luis Gil allowed one hit in 6 1/3 innings, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge homered early off Luis Castillo and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 5-0 to split their four-game series. Gil retired his first nine batters before giving up an infield single to J.P. Crawford in the fourth. The right-hander struck out eight and walked three after whiffing 14 to set a Yankees rookie record Saturday against the White Sox. Gil won his fifth straight start and sixth consecutive decision. He has allowed two runs over 30 2/3 innings in his last five starts. His outing gave the Yankees a team-record 11 straight starts of at least five innings with no more than two runs allowed.

Zack Wheeler tossed seven strong innings and J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos homered to help Philadelphia complete a three-game sweep of the World Series champion Texas Rangers with a 5-2 win. It was the Phillies' seventh series sweep this season, and they improved to 22-8 at home. They have the best record in baseball at 37-14. Wheeler won his sixth straight decision and allowed five hits and two runs. Adolis García homered for the Rangers.

Prized rookie Paul Skenes allowed one run over six solid innings but the San Francisco Giants rallied against the Pittsburgh Pirates’ bullpen for a 7-6 win. Matt Chapman hit a three-run homer off Hunter Stratton in the eighth for San Francisco. Brett Wisely delivered a go-ahead single off Aroldis Chapman five batters later as the Giants overcame a big deficit for the second time in less than 24 hours. Skenes allowed one run on six hits with three strikeouts in his third career start.

Tyler Soderstrom drew a bases-loaded walk to cap a five-run 11th inning and the Oakland Athletics stunned the Colorado Rockies 10-9 in the rubber match of a three-game series. Oakland trailed 9-5 before Max Schuemann doubled home a run to start the winning rally. Abraham Toro followed with an RBI single, and JJ Bleday tied the score with a two-run homer. J.D. Davis and Daz Cameron also homered for the A’s, who overcame a pair of four-run deficits and sent the Rockies to their fifth loss in six games following a seven-game winning streak. Colorado starter Ryan Feltner pitched six scoreless innings and the Rockies took a 4-0 lead into the seventh but couldn’t close it out.

Kevin Gausman struck out a season-best 10 in six innings, Daulton Varsho hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh and the Toronto Blue Jays pulled away for a 9-1 victory over the skidding Detroit Tigers. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Isiah Kiner-Falefa also went deep as the Blue Jays won for the fourth time in five games. Bo Bichette had three hits. Detroit has lost five straight. Gausman allowed one run and three hits as the teams played without replay review available for much of the game because of a power failure that disrupted both club broadcasts. There were no calls that appeared likely to trigger a manager’s challenge before the system was restored in the seventh.

Jorge Mateo hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and the Baltimore Orioles withstood a late Chicago comeback try and beat the White Sox 8-6 Thursday night in a game that ended on an infield fly and an interference call. Trailing 8-2 entering the bottom of the ninth , the White Sox scored four runs and closed within 8-6. With runners on first and second and one out, Andrew Benintendi hit a popup to Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson. The infield fly rule was called and umpires ruled the runner at second, Andrew Vaughn, interfered with Henderson. The runner was called out, ending the game and Chicago’s rally. Anthony Santander also homered and Adley Rutschmann added three RBIs for Baltimore, which snapped a three-game skid.

Fernando Tatis Jr. doubled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning and the San Diego Padres beat the reeling Cincinnati Reds 6-4 to secure a series win. Luis Arraez, who had 10 hits in the three-game set, reached on a bunt single leading off the 10th that sent automatic runner Luis Campasano from second base to third. Tatis ripped a double down the left-field line off Sam Moll to drive in Campusano, and Arraez scored on Jake Cronenworth’s sacrifice fly. Jeremiah Estrada struck out five in two scoreless innings for his first major league win. Nick Martini snapped an 0-for-17 slump with a two-run homer in the sixth that tied the game at 4 for Cincinnati.

Jarred Kelenic hit a solo homer, rookie AJ Smith-Shawver worked 4 1/3 three-hit innings in his first start of the season and the Atlanta Braves topped the Chicago Cubs 3-0. The Braves have won two straight games and three of four after a four-game skid. Smith-Shawver, one of Atlanta’s top pitching prospects, combined with five relievers for a four-hitter. The 21-year-old right-hander, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett for the game, struck out four and walked two. Dylan Lee (1-1) followed Smith-Shawver and struck out one in one inning for the win. Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.


The NCAA and five major college sports conferences have agreed to settle antitrust allegations for nearly $2.8 billion over the next 10 years. The deal also calls for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start steering millions of dollars directly to college athletes as soon as fall 2025. If approved by a judge, the payouts will go to thousands of former and current college athletes who were not allowed to earn money from endorsement and sponsorship deals dating to 2016. The Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 were the defendants along with the NCAA.

A proposed settlement in an antitrust lawsuit that has been approved by the NCAA and major college conferences would cost billions and pave the way for a new compensation model for college athletes. A judge must still accept the proposal. Plus, many questions remain unanswered about how this will work and whether it can withstand future legal scrutiny. But college sports is pointed toward a revolutionary path that could have some of the wealthiest schools directly paying athletes to participate.


Authorities say the Kentucky police officer who arrested top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler outside the PGA Championship is receiving “corrective action” for not having his body-worn camera activated when he approached the golfer’s vehicle and was allegedly dragged to the ground. Louisville police said Thursday that they don't have footage of the initial interaction Friday between Scheffler and Louisville Detective Bryan Gillis outside Valhalla Golf Club. The golfer was arrested on charges that he injured Gillis and disobeyed commands, but Scheffler has called the incident a misunderstanding. Officials didn't elaborate on what “corrective action” has been taken against Gillis for not having his bodycam turned on.


The Las Vegas Raiders are rewarding star pass rusher Maxx Crosby with a $6 million raise this season and another $1.2 million next year. The person with knowledge of the deal spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract details have not been announced. Three years remain on Crosby’s contract. He signed a four-year extension in March 2022 worth about $95 million. He was scheduled to approximately $19.38 million this year and $21.92 in 2025, according to Spotrac.

INDY 500

Long after Scott McLaughlin won the pole for the Indianapolis 500, he went into the grandstands to collect his thoughts. McLaughlin sat alone in the darkened Indianapolis Motor Speedway, listening to Post Malone and scrolling through his phone to answer all the well wishes he’d received for what he considers the biggest accomplishment of his career. McLaughlin led the first Team Penske lockout of the front row of Indianapolis 500 qualifying since 1988 when he won the pole for Sunday’s race. He will start alongside Penske teammates Will Power and reigning winner Josef Newgarden.

© 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.