The Philadelphia 76ers were able to beat the Brooklyn Nets without the services of All-Star center Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons scored a career playoff-high 31 points as the Sixers downed the Nets, 131-115 to take a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA first-round series.
Tobias Harris added 29 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and led the 76ers' 3-point assault by going 6-for-6 from downtown. J.J. Redick was 5-for-9 from beyond the arc in scoring 26 points. Greg Monroe chipped in nine points and 13 rebounds while starting in place of Embiid, who was held out of the game due to a sore knee. D'Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert each scored 26 points for the Nets, who host Game 4 on Saturday.
Checking out Thursday's other NBA first-round action, Kevin Durant scored 38 points and the Warriors took a 2-1 series lead by blowing out the Clippers, 132-105 in Los Angeles. Stephen Curry added 21 points despite foul trouble to help the Warriors bounce back after blowing a 31-point lead in their Game 2 loss. The Warriors began the game on a 22-9 tear and scored 14 straight in the third quarter to go up by 35 in the period. The Clippers' only starter in double figures was rookie Ivica Zubac, who finished with 18 points after playing most of the fourth quarter.
Derrick White had a career-high 36 points and the Spurs took a two-games-to-one lead by defeating the Nuggets, 118-108. White poured in 26 points by intermission before DeMar DeRozan took over after that, scoring 21 of his 25 points in the second half. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who host Game 4 Saturday in San Antonio. Nikola Jokic had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Denver.
In NBA news, Memphis Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson has undergone surgery on his right shoulder. Grizzlies officials say the 6-foot-9 forward should be ready to return to full basketball activities in advance of training camp. The 25-year-old Anderson played just 43 games this season after signing with the Grizzlies last summer as a restricted free agent.
The Carolina Hurricanes have evened their Stanley Cup first-round series with the defending champs at two games apiece. Petr Mrazek stopped 30 shots and the Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals for the second straight game, 2-1 in Raleigh. Warren Foegele put Carolina ahead just 17 seconds after the opening faceoff, and the Canes took the lead for good when Teuvo Teravainen beat Braden Holtby with 28 seconds left in the second period. Mrazek was perfect after Alex Ovechkin notched a power-play goal midway through the second period. Holtby stopped 22 shots for the Capitals, who host Game 5 Saturday.
In Thursday's other Stanley Cup first-round action, the Sharks forced a sixth game in their series as Tomas Hertl and Martin Jones led a 5-2 win over the Golden Knights. Hertl scored just 76 seconds into the game and finished with two goals to back Jones, who handled 30 shots. Logan Couture, Barclay Goodrow and Joe Pavelski also scored to cut the Golden Knights' lead in the series to 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Vegas on Sunday night.
Jaden Schwartz scored with 15 seconds left in regulation to complete the Blues' remarkable comeback in a 3-2 win over the Jets in Winnipeg. St. Louis trailed 2-0 early in the third period until Brayden Schenn set up Ryan O'Reilly's goal before scoring the equalizer with 6:08 remaining. Jordan Binnington shook off Adam Lowry's goal just 12 seconds into the game, finishing with 29 saves to help the Blues take a 3-2 lead in the series.
Homer Bailey has won consecutive starts for the first time in 21 months after holding the Yankees to three hits over six innings of the Royals' 6-1 victory. Jorge Soler and Ryan O'Hearn hit solo home runs off Domingo Germán as Kansas City won its second straight since a 5-12 start.
It took four tries, but Patrick Corbin finally has his first win as a Washington National. Corbin was terrific while working into the eighth inning of the Nats' 4-2 win over the Giants. He gave up just two hits and a walk while striking out nine, leaving the game following Erik Kratz's RBI double with two out in the eighth. The Nationals signed Corbin to a six-year, $140 million package last offseason to join a staff that includes Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. He received little run support while picking up no-decisions in his first three starts. Wilmer Difo belted a solo homer and Anthony Rendon extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games with a third-inning double, helping Washington take the rubber match of the three-game set.
Ryan McMahon homered twice and had five RBIs in his return to the lineup to send the Rockies to their first win in six home games, 6-2 against the Phillies. Kyle Freeland allowed just two hits and no walks over six scoreless innings to pitch Colorado to its fourth straight win since an eight-game losing streak. J.T. Realmuto homered and Cesar Hernandez had three hits for Philadelphia.
Elsewhere around the majors, Baltimore handed Tampa Bay just its second loss in 10 games as Joey Rickard doubled home the winning run in the 11th inning of the Orioles' 6-5 triumph over the Rays. Trey Mancini had three hits and Pedro Severino homered to help the Orioles win for the first time in the last seven meetings with the Rays. Tamp Bay's Tommy Pham homered among his four hits, but he was picked off while trying to steal third base with the score tied in the ninth after Avisaíl Garcia homered.
The Mariners coughed up a late eight-run lead before knocking off the Angels, 11-10 on a pinch-hit RBI single by Jay Bruce in the ninth. Ryon Healy homered twice and drove in five runs, and Omar Narvaez added a three-run shot while the Mariners were building a 10-2 lead. David Fletcher hit a tying homer leading off the eighth after the Angels put up seven runs in the seventh.
Joey Votto hit his first career leadoff homer and the Reds ended a four-game skid by downing the Padres, 4-1. Tucker Barnhart and Jesse Winker also connected as Cincinnati handed San Diego its fourth consecutive loss. Tanner Roark held the Padres to one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings for his first win as a Red.
Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy homered in the sixth inning of the Dodgers' fifth consecutive victory, 3-1 at Milwaukee. Bellinger extended the Dodgers' home run streak to 36 games before Muncy added a two-run blast that put Los Angeles ahead 3-0. Julio Urias struck out a career-high nine and allowed one hit in six strong innings.
Christian Walker slammed a two-run double and the Diamondbacks completed a three-game sweep with a 4-1 victory against the Braves. Walker struck out in his first three at-bats before going deep in the seventh inning. Luke Weaver struck out nine while scattering four hits over five scoreless innings, fanning the last five batters he faced.
The Tigers ended a five-game skid with a 14-hit attack as Nicholas Castellanos went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in a 9-7 win over the White Sox. Grayson Greiner had a career-high three hits, drove in two and scored the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning. Miguel Cabrera drove in a pair of runs on his 36th birthday as Detroit set season highs for runs and hits.
Homers by Randal Grichuk, Justin Smoak and Teoscar Hernandez powered the Blue Jays past the Twins, 7-4. Eric Sogard added a three-run double while the Blue Jays scored five times in the fourth to take a 6-3 lead. Toronto beat Minnesota for the third time in four days despite Eddie Rosario's two home runs.
In MLB news, the Red Sox have placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day injured list with left knee irritation. The 35-year-old Pedroia started the season on the injured list with inflammation in his left knee. He was reinstated April 9 and appeared in six games, going 2-for-20 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
Athletics slugger Khris Davis has received a new contract that runs through 2021. A person familiar with the agreement says the new deal adds $33.75 million, which brings him to $50.25 million over three years. Davis hit a major league-leading 48 home runs last season while setting a career high with 123 RBIs. He currently leads the majors with 10 homers and has 20 RBIs.
Shane Lowry has opened with a 6-under 65 to take the lead through one round of the PGA's RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island. Lowry had not broken 70 in a stroke-play event since a 67 in the third round at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am in early February. But on Thursday, he birdied three of his first six holes and carded three more birdies on the back nine. Trey Mullinax, Daniel Berger, Luke List, Ryan Moore and Ryan Palmer are one shot back. Top-ranked Dustin Johnson rallied with two birdies in his final seven holes for a 68, leaving him three shots back after finishing one stroke behind Masters champion Tiger Woods last week.
Iona Coach Tim Cluess has pulled himself out of the running for the vacant head coaching position at St. John's. Cluess was widely rumored to have spoken with St. John's about the position. In a statement to ESPN, Cluess admitted the opportunity was "hard to walk away from," but "I love my players at Iona and being a coach there."
Big 12 men's basketball player of the year Jarrett Culver has declared for the NBA draft after helping lead Texas Tech to the two deepest NCAA Tournament runs in school history. The announcement comes 10 days after the Red Raiders finished their season with an overtime loss to Virginia in the national championship game. Culver led Texas Tech with 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists a game this past season while the Red Raiders set a school record with 31 wins.
Kansas has officially appealed the NCAA's two-year suspension of forward Silvio De Sousa that resulted from an FBI probe into corruption in college basketball. The university said Thursday that De Sousa was suspended for most of the 2018-19 basketball season and all of next season "for alleged violations that he was unaware of and from which he did not benefit." The Kansas City Star reports the appeal now goes to the NCAA's Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for a final ruling.
Lehigh's Pat Andree is headed to North Carolina State as a graduate transfer for next season. Andree averaged 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 42% from 3-point range over the past two seasons.
Kentucky has signed former Bucknell forward Nate Sestina as a graduate transfer for next season. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Sestina will receive an undergraduate degree next month and be eligible to play this fall for the Wildcats.
Jay Ladner is the new coach at Southern Mississippi after five years at Southern Louisiana. The Lions won 22 games in 2017-18 and were 17-16 in his final season, including 12-6 in the Southland Conference.
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