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WAMC Sports Report 6/13/24: Celtics hold off Dallas rally for 106-99 win, 3-0 lead in NBA Finals

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jrue Holiday react as Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) and forward P.J. Washington walk off away after the Celtics won 109-66 in Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)
Sam Hodde/AP
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FR171607 AP
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jrue Holiday react as Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) and forward P.J. Washington walk off away after the Celtics won 109-66 in Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

NBA       

Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and the Boston Celtics held off a furious Dallas rally to reach the brink of a record 18th championship with a 106-99 victory over the Mavericks for a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals. No team has rallied from 3-0 down in an NBA playoff series. Jaylen Brown had 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Celtics extended their franchise record with a 10th consecutive playoff victory. The Mavs almost pulled off a crazy comeback to avoid the big hole. Boston led 91-70 at the end of a 20-5 run early in the fourth quarter before Dallas answered with a 22-2 spurt to get within a point. Game 4 is Friday night at 8:30 in Dallas.

Jerry West, who was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame three times in a storied career as a player and executive and whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, has died. The Los Angeles Clippers say West died Wednesday morning with his wife, Karen, by his side. He was 86. West was nicknamed “Mr. Clutch” for his late-game exploits as a player, and he won both NBA and Olympic titles. He was an All-Star in all 14 of his NBA seasons and won the 1972 championship with the Lakers. West was later the general manger of eight Lakers championship teams.

Luka Doncic fouled at when the Dallas Mavericks were making a furious comeback attempt in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. With their superstar on the bench for the final 4:12 Wednesday night, they came up short. Doncic's sixth foul of the game came while on defense, after setting his feet and taking contact from Boston guard Jaylen Brown. It was also fourth foul in the fourth quarter, and his night was done after coach Jason Kidd’s unsuccessful challenge of the call. The Celtics went on to a 106-99 win for a 3-0 series lead. Doncic's final foul came during a 22-2 run that got Dallas within one point.

NHL

Florida captain Aleksander Barkov practiced again after being knocked out of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final in the third period after Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl launched toward him and hit him in the head. Head coach Paul Maurice said the team will make a final decision about Barkov’s Game 3 status on Thursday, but the star “felt better” Wednesday. Barkov has two assists but hasn’t scored yet in the series. Neither has Matthew Tkachuk. That hasn’t been a problem for the Panthers, who control the series thanks to the scoring of other contributors like Evan Rodrigues and Niko Mikkola.

In the NHL Finals, Game 3 is tonight at 8 in Edmonton. Florida leads the series 2-0.

WNBA

Alyssa Thomas scored 10 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter, Brionna Jones scored 14 of her 18 in the first half and the Connecticut Sun beat the Chicago Sky 83-75. Connecticut opened the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run, started by Tiffany Mitchell’s steal and fast-break layup. DeWanna Bonner sealed it with two free throws at the other end. Bonner finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Tyasha Harris had 13 points and seven assists for Connecticut. Rookie Angel Reese had a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth straight game with a double-double.

MLB

Jose Trevino capped a six-run first inning with a three-run homer, Gleyber Torres added a three-run drive in the seventh and the New York Yankees romped over the Kansas City Royals 11-5 for their third straight win in the four-game series. Giancarlo Stanton hit a 449-foot, two-run homer into shrubbery next to a waterfall beyond left-center, a night after hitting a 446-foot home run. The major league-best Yankees are 49-21, have won 12 of their last 15 games and have outscored the Royals 25-8 in the series. New York is 17-1 against the AL Central.

Harrison Bader hit an early two-run homer, Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor also went deep, and the New York Mets took advantage of shoddy defense by the last-place Miami Marlins in a 10-4 victory. Tyrone Taylor went 4 for 5 for his second career four-hit game and Francisco Alvarez had two RBIs in his second game back from the injured list as the Mets won for the seventh time in 11 games following a 4-15 skid. Marte and Bader both knocked in two runs and scored twice. Alvarez and J.D. Martinez each delivered an RBI single as New York took a 5-2 lead in a three-run second inning aided by two errors on the infield and a wild pitch from Braxton Garrett.

Enmanuel Valdez hit a tiebreaking two-run double in Boston’s five-run fifth inning, and the Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6. Jarren Duran had three of Boston’s 13 hits. David Hamilton had two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs. The Red Sox, who trailed 4-0 after three innings, had dropped three of four. With the win, they returned to .500 at 34-34. Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos each had two hits for NL East-leading Philadelphia, which had won five of six. Bryson Stott had two RBIs.

Willi Castro and Royce Lewis homered and Carlos Correa had a career-best five hits for the Minnesota Twins, who had a season-high 24 hits in a 17-9 victory over the Rockies. Lewis went 3 for 5 with three runs. He was one of five Twins with three or more hits. Carlos Santana started the onslaught with a three-run double in the first off Austin Gomber and hit an RBI single in a seven-run eighth. The Twins collected their most hits since setting the single-game club record of 28 on June 13, 2017.

Rookie Tobias Myers won back-to-back starts for the first time, allowing one run and three hits over six innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 for their sixth straight home series win. Myers struck out four and walked one, leaving with a 5-1 lead. Milwaukee took two of three from the Blue Jays, who announced they had traded infielder-outfielder Cavan Biggio to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league pitcher Braydon Fisher. The NL Central-leading Brewers are 20-11 at home and 20-17 on the road.

Austin Slater had three hits and drove in two runs to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Houston Astros 5-3. Slater also stole a base and scored for San Francisco, which took the rubber game of the three-game series in a speedy two hours and seven minutes. Yordan Álvarez homered for Houston, which has lost three of four overall. The Giants jumped on Framber Valdez for five runs and eight hits in four innings. San Francisco right-hander Logan Webb permitted three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Rookie Jackson Merrill’s second homer of the day was a game-ending drive off Mason Miller with one out in the ninth inning, and the San Diego Padres beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4. Merrill drove the first pitch he saw from Miller down the right field line for his fifth of the season. He was met at home plate by a wild celebration. Donovan Solano also hit two home runs, including a tying shot in the eighth. Fernando Tatis Jr.’s career-high 17-game hitting streak ended. The Padres outfielder went 0 for 3 with a walk

Colton Cowser hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles won their sixth straight game, beating the Atlanta Braves 4-2. Cade Povich pitched six scoreless innings in his second big league outing for Baltimore, but Atlanta tied it when Matt Olson hit a two-run shot off Keegan Akin in the eighth. Cowser answered with a drive to right-center off Joe Jiménez that cleared the wall despite an impressive leaping effort by center fielder Michael Harris II. Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth against the franchise he’s most associated with, earning his 16th save in 19 chances.

CJ Abrams hit a double and a home run and the Washington Nationals beat the Detroit Tigers 7-5 for their first five-game winning streak in three years. Jake Irvin gave up gave up one run on six hits in six innings to improve to 5-5. Detroit’s Reese Olson allowed five runs, four earned, on 10 hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. Olson has a 10.43 ERA in three June starts after posting a 1.92 ERA in his first 10 starts. Kyle Finnegan allowed a homer in the ninth inning before finishing the game for his 19th save. Washington last won five straight between June 19-24, 2021.

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs held off the Tampa Bay Rays for a 4-3 victory. Cubs closer Héctor Neris allowed José Caballero’s solo homer in the ninth before earning his 10th save in 13 chances. The right-hander allowed a single to Ben Rortvedt and walked Taylor Walls with one out before getting a fielder’s choice grounder from Yandy Díaz and a flyball from Brandon Lowe. Neris was tagged for a season-high four runs in the ninth in Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays, including Lowe’s game-ending homer.

Jeimer Candelario homered twice and drove in all four runs and the Cincinnati Reds rallied to beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-2 on Wednesday night to split the opening series of the Ohio Cup. Candelario had a 404-foot solo shot to center in the first inning and hit a three-run homer with one out in the sixth inning that chased Tanner Bibee (4-2) after the Cleveland right-hander had logged a career-high 11 strikeouts. Nick Lodolo (7-2) had another quality start for the Reds, allowing two Cleveland runs and seven hits with six strikeouts through six innings. Lucas Sims and Sam Moll each pitched a scoreless inning, and Alexis Diaz got Cleveland in order in the ninth for his 14th save.

José Soriano pitched effectively into the ninth inning, Jo Adell hit a three-run homer and the Los Angeles Angels rolled over the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3. The Angels bounced back from a 9-4 loss in the series opener by jumping on Arizona starter Slade Cecconi early. Zach Neto had three hits including a solo homer in the second inning and Adell launched his three-run shot during Los Angeles’ four-run fourth inning. Matt Thaiss added a run-scoring double in the sixth inning. Nolan Schanuel also had three of the Angels’ 14 hits. Ketel Marte hit a two-run homer for Arizona.

Corey Seager returned to Dodger Stadium in a big way, hammering a go-ahead, three-run homer that reminded Los Angeles Dodgers fans what they’ve been missing. Texas’ 3-2 victory Wednesday night was Seager’s first regular-season game at Dodger Stadium since he left as a free agent in 2021 and signed a $325 million, 10-year deal with the Rangers. The homer was his 60th at Dodger Stadium, sixth-most among active players. The 422-foot shot in the fifth inning off Walker Buehler registered at 111 mph, his hardest-hit homer of the season. It also tied for the longest he’s hit this year. He’s gone deep 14 times so far. He was 2016 NL Rookie of the Year and 2020 NL and World Series MVP with the Dodgers.

Mitch Haniger capped a nine-pitch at-bat with an RBI single to score Luke Raley with the winning run and give the Seattle Mariners a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox in 10 innings. Seattle blew a chance to win the game after Luis Robert Jr’s. pinch-hit solo home run leading off the top of the ninth inning tied the game at 1-1. Chicago was unable to score in the top of the 10th and Hangier came through with the sixth walk-off of his career. Seattle won its 16th one-run game on the season, the most in baseball, and improved to 10-1 in their last 11 home games.

Nolan Arenado and Iván Herrera each had three hits, Sonny Gray pitched seven strong innings, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2. Arenado scored a run and drove in one while Herrera also scored a run. Brendan Donovan added two hits and an RBI. Gray (8-4) gave up one run and four hits while striking out nine and walking just one. Ryan Helsley gave up aa leadoff single in the ninth before finishing up for his major league-leading 22nd save. Bailey Falter (3-4) gave up three runs and eight hits in four innings to lose his second straight start.

NFL

Aaron Rodgers’ absence is no big deal as far as Robert Saleh and the New York Jets are concerned. The quarterback not being present for the team’s two-day minicamp made headlines when Saleh announced Tuesday neither Rodgers nor edge rusher Haason Reddick would attend and both were unexcused absences that were subject to fines. Saleh said Rodgers was away for a previous commitment that “is very important to him” and something he told the team about ahead of time. Saleh said there's no issue with Rodgers and more is being made of the situation outside the facility.

GOLF

Pinehurst No. 2 is the site of this year's U.S. Open that starts Thursday. Much was made about replacing rough with the original sandy areas dotted with clumps of wiregrass for the previous U.S. Open at Pinehurst. But it's all about the domed, Donald Ross greens. That much hasn't changed. They've been called turtlebacks and upside-down cereal bowls. But they are a problem. And that's probably why a total of four players have broken par for the U.S. Open the previous three times at Pinehurst. Viktor Hovland is among those who say Pinehurst will be a supreme test.

Colin Prater feels a little like Kevin Costner’s character in “Tin Cup” this week — a relative unknown who suddenly finds himself on one of golf’s biggest stages at the U.S. Open. So you can't blame him for being a little nervous. After all, his full-time job is a biology teacher and golf coach at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs. He punched his ticket to the U.S. Open by finishing second at a 36-hole qualifier in Bend, Oregon. He's had a chance to practice this week with former U.S. Open champions Wyndham Clark and Jordan Spieth, as well as Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala. And he's even gotten advice from Rory McIlroy. Now his goal is the make the cut.

Xander Schauffele may exude a California chill vibe, but don’t let that easygoing demeanor fool you into believing there isn't an intensive competitive fire that drives him. Schauffele made that perfectly clear on Tuesday, saying he’s not content with winning just one major and that last month’s win at the PGA Championship simply checked one box on his resume. He clearly wants more. The world’s No. 2-ranked player takes aim at making it two in a row at the U.S. Open this week at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club — although a power-packed field stands in his way including world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.

CRICKET

It started bad, got a little worse before it got a little better, and then finished as widely expected for the United States, losing to India in cricket at the Twenty20 World Cup. The Americans entered Wednesday’s match on a huge high after beating cricket powerhouse Pakistan in their previous game. But India made sure it avoided becoming another upset victim. India won by seven wickets and advanced to the next stage of the tournament. The Americans still have one more group match to play on Friday against Ireland. With a victory, they could still advance to next stage.

SOCCER

Lionel Messi says Inter Miami will be “my last club.” The 36-year-old World Cup champion isn’t thinking about joining an Argentine club to write the last chapter of playing career. He tells ESPN “I think Inter Miami is going to be my last club.” Messi is preparing with his national team to compete in the Copa América in the United States. Argentina is the defending champion. Messi’s contract with Inter Miami is set to expire at the end of the 2025 season.

© 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.