The Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs by winning four straight since a series-opening loss. In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid gave himself a few days to rest his sore left knee by contributing 23 points and 13 rebounds in the 76ers' 122-100 throttling of the Nets.
Embiid buried a 3 from the top of the arc that made it 41-17 and about blew the roof off the arena. Ben Simmons had 13 points and no Sixers starter played more than 27 minutes in a game that was decided by the opening period. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored a team-high 21 points for Brooklyn.
Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points and Pascal Siakam added 24 as the Raptors coasted to a 115-96 win over the Magic to take the series in five games. Leonard made 8 of 11 shots, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range before leaving the game for good with 8:05 left and Toronto up 105-75. Kyle Lowry had 14 points and helped the Raptors lead by as many as 37 in the clincher, their biggest-ever margin in a playoff game. D.J. Augustin scored 15 points to lead the Magic.
The only close game of the night had the Trail Blazers pulling out a 118-115 win over the Thunder on Damian Lillard's 3-pointer at the buzzer. Lillard's 37-footer capped a career playoff-high 50-point performance that included a team-record 10 3-pointers. Oklahoma City went up 105-90 with 7:45 left before Portland closed on a 28-10 run. CJ McCollum finished with 17 for the Blazers and Enes Kanter had 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Thunder absorbed their 12th consecutive playoff road loss despite Russell Westbrook's 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists.
In Tuesday's other NBA playoff action, Denver has a 3-2 series lead after Jamal Murray's 23 points led six Nuggets in double figures for a 108-90 rout of the Spurs. Nikola Jokic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Denver, which led by as many 30 at 99-69. Paul Millsap chipped in 14 points as the Nuggets climbed within one victory of their first playoff series victory in a decade. DeMar DeRozen and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 17 for San Antonio, which hosts Game 6 on Thursday.
It will be the Boston Bruins facing the Columbus Blue Jackets and the San Jose Sharks versus the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Tuukka Rask made 32 saves and the Bruins advanced with the most lopsided game of their first-round series, 5-1 over the Leafs. Joakim Nordstrom and Marcus Johansson scored 3:17 apart late in the first period to put Boston in control. John Tavares got the Maple Leafs within 2-1 early in the second period, but Sean Kuraly restored the Bruins' two-goal advantage early in the third before Charlie Coyle and Patrice Bergeron added empty-netters.
The Sharks captured Game 7 of their first-round series by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights, 5-4 on Barclay Goodrow's goal at 18:19 of overtime. Logan Couture scored twice while the Sharks were netting four straight goals in a 4:01 span of the third period to take a 4-3 lead. Kevin LeBanc had a goal and three assists for the Sharks, who will take on the Colorado Avalanche in the second round. Jonathan Marchessault gave the Knights new life by tallying with 47 seconds left in regulation before Goodrow provided his second game-winning goal of the series.
In NHL news, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian will miss five to six months after his second hip operation in a little more than a year. Bogosian missed the final eight games with what the team referred to only as a lower-body injury. The surgery is the latest setback for the 28-year-old hard-hitting defenseman, who has only played 70 games just twice in his 11 NHL seasons.
It was quite a night for New York Mets starter Zack Wheeler, who worked seven shutout innings and slammed his first major league home run in a 9-0 romp over the Phillies. Wheeler smacked a solo shot and added a two-run double to finish with three RBIs. He also fanned 11 while limiting Philadelphia to five hits. Wheeler makes the Mets the first NL team in more than 110 years to have three pitchers homer in the first 25 games of a season. His blast followed homers by Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Todd Frazier's grand slam put the Mets ahead 8-0 in the fifth. The Phils have dropped five of six to fall one game behind the NL East-leading Mets.
Victor Robles hit a three-run double to back Patrick Corbin in the Nationals' 6-3 win over the Rockies. Corbin owned a 6.55 ERA lifetime at Coors Field before holding Colorado to two earned runs and five hits over six innings. Washington led just 4-3 in the ninth until Rockies reliever DJ Johnson walked Juan Soto with the bases loaded before hitting Howie Kendrick with a pitch.
Luke Voit homered twice and Mike Ford smacked his first big-league blast as the Yankees topped the Angels, 7-5 for their fifth straight win. Domingo Germán allowed an unearned run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings to move to 4-1. Justin Bour hit a grand slam off Chad Green in the eighth, but Zack Britton pitched the ninth for his first save.
Josh Harrison hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth and scored an insurance run later in the inning to help the Tigers knock off the Red Sox, 7-4 in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. Matthew Boyd combined with three relievers on a five-hitter as the Tigers kept Red Sox ace Chris Sale winless this season.
Spencer Turnbull pitched five shutout innings for his first major league win as the Tigers beat the Red Sox, 4-2 to complete a sweep of the twinbill. Brandon Dixon greeted Marcus Walden with a three-run double in the third inning after Detroit loaded the bases against Hector Velázquez. Dixon and Jeimer Candelario each had three hits for the Tigers, who are the first team to sweep a doubleheader from Boston since 2015.
Elsewhere around the majors, Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer and Jose Peraza delivered a go-ahead, two-run double as the Reds won for the fourth time in five games, 7-6 over the Braves. Puig also lifted a sacrifice fly to cap a four-run sixth that put Cincinnati ahead, 7-4. Tucker Barnhart homered and Joey Votto reached base four times in his first game since missing two straight with back tightness.
Paul DeJong hit a tiebreaking, leadoff homer in the eighth inning to push the Cardinals past the Brewers, 4-3. Yadier Molina had three hits and two RBIs to help St. Louis overcome Travis Shaw's two home runs. Orlando Arcia also homered for Milwaukee, which has dropped six of its last seven.
José Quintana earned his third straight win by limiting the Dodgers to a pair of runs and four hits over seven innings of the Cubs' 7-2 victory. Willson Contreras hit a three-run double in Chicago's four-run first, and Anthony Rizzo added a two-run drive in the second. Kenta Maeda was reached for six runs over four innings as Los Angeles lost for just the second time in nine games.
Jarrod Dyson dived around catcher Francisco Cervelli to score the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning of the Diamondbacks' 2-1 victory at Pittsburgh. Plate umpire Gerry Davis originally called Dyson out, but the call was quickly overturned on review. Luke Weaver struck out seven and won his second straight start, allowing one run over 6 2/3s.
The Padres were 6-3 winners against the Mariners as Franmil Reyes homered twice and had three RBIs. Austin Hedges' two-run homer bounced out of center fielder Mallex Smith's glove and over the fence to help San Diego beat Seattle for the fifth straight time. Rookie Nick Margevicius allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to even his record at 2-2.
Joe Panik homered and drove in three runs before the Giants held off the Blue Jays, 7-6. Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria hit solo homers while San Francisco built a 7-2 lead. Rowdy Tellez hit an eighth-inning grand slam to make it a one-run game.
Jalen Beeks replaced opener Ryne Stanek in the second and struck out seven in 4 2/3 shutout innings of the Rays' 5-2 win against the Royals. Mike Zunino homered for the second straight game, provided three of Tampa Bay's seven hits and drove in two runs. The AL East leaders clinched their seventh series win in eight tries and extended their winning streak against the Royals to 10 games.
Jose Altuve smashed a three-run homer and Alex Bregman added three RBIs as the Astros rallied for a 10-4 win over the Twins. Bregman's sacrifice fly put Houston up 5-4 before the Astros stopped a three-game skid. The Astros turned a close game into a rout with a four-run eighth, highlighted by Altuve's ninth home run this season.
Matt Chapman belted his seventh home run and walked three times as the Athletics outscored the Rangers, 11-5. Marcus Semien had a two-run double as part of a six-run fourth. Stephen Piscotty matched his career high with four hits and scored three times for Oakland.
Dwight Smith Jr. hit a three-run homer and the Orioles ended a four-game slide by drubbing the White Sox, 9-1. Renanto Núñez, Chris Davis and Joey Rickard also homered off Ivan Nova, who was rocked for nine runs over four innings. Andrew Cashner gave up one run, five hits and a walk over seven innings to win his fourth straight decision and help Baltimore win for just the second time in 12 home games.
Pablo López allowed just two hits over a season-high 5 1/3 innings as the Marlins earned a 3-1 win over the Indians. Jorge Alfaro homered on reliever Neil Ramírez's first pitch, moments after Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco left with a bruised left knee. Miami ended a three-game skid and sent the Indians to their third straight loss.
In MLB news, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi has undergone surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow and is expected to return to pitching within six weeks. A 29-year-old right-hander, Eovaldi had similar surgery on March 30 last year while with Tampa Bay and made his season debut May 30. He also has had two Tommy John operations.
Major League Baseball is reviewing Bryce Harper's rant at an umpire to determine whether the Phillies outfielder should be disciplined for his ejection during the fourth inning of Monday's 5-1 loss to the Mets. Harper was ejected for the 12th time in his eight-season career while he barked from the dugout, four batters after being called out on strikes by Mark Carlson. He had to be restrained by two coaches after storming the field to confront Carlson.
Royals pitcher Brad Keller dropped his appeal and started a five-game suspension assessed by Major League Baseball after he hit Tim Anderson of the White Sox in the buttocks with a pitch last week. Anderson flipped his bat after hitting a two-run homer off Keller in the fourth inning last Wednesday. Two innings later, Keller hit Anderson.
Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is joining Triple-A Iowa to prepare for his return from a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. Russell is expected to play when Iowa begins a nine-game homestand Wednesday night against Nashville. He was suspended last fall October after a series of allegations made by his ex-wife.
Slugger Hanley Ramirez is a free agent following a short stint with the Indians. Ramirez cleared waivers and opted for free agency instead of accepting a minor-league deal with Cleveland. He played in 15 games for the Indians, batting .239 with two homers and eight RBIs.
Jets running back Le'Veon Bell was not among the players present for the start of the team's voluntary three-day minicamp. Linebacker Darron Lee was also not on the practice field. Coach Adam Gase downplayed it by stressing the session is not mandatory. He adds Bell was with the team during the first week of offseason workouts and Lee has also been present.
A Florida judge has ordered that a video which police say shows Patriots owner Robert Kraft paying for sex not be publicly released for now. Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser accepted arguments Tuesday by Kraft's attorneys that releasing the video could harm chances for a fair trial on misdemeanor prostitution charges.
The Los Angeles Rams have locked down quarterback Jared Goff through the 2020 season by exercising his fifth-year option worth $22.783 million. General manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay also affirmed the NFC champions' intention to sign their young offensive leader to a long-term deal eventually. Goff was fourth in the NFL last season with 4,688 yards passing along with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
The Chiefs are acquiring defensive end Frank Clark from the Seahawks for a first-round draft pick this year and a second-round pick in 2020. The teams are also swapping third-round picks. The Chiefs worked quickly to reach agreement on a five-year contract worth up to $105 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Running back Jonathan Stewart has announced he is retiring from the NFL. Stewart signed a one-day contract with the Panthers, where he is the franchise's career leading rusher with 7,318 yards. Stewart spent last season with the Giants, but his season was derailed by injuries.
Michigan says guard Jordan Poole is staying in the NBA draft after helping the Wolverines advance to the NCAA regional semifinals last month. Poole is the second Wolverine to announce he would definitely leave school, joining Charles Matthews. Poole was second on the team in scoring this past season at 12.8 points per game as a sophomore.
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