Jimmy Butler lived up to his Jimmy Buckets nickname to help Philadelphia force a seventh game against Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals, hitting them in bunches and scoring 25 points in the 76ers' 112-101 victory over the Raptors on Thursday night. Game 7 is Sunday night in Toronto.
Damian Lillard had 32 points, including 17 in the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers staved off elimination to force a decisive Game 7 in their series with Denver with a 119-108 victory on Thursday night. The Nuggets head home with a chance to make it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009. Denver has been to the conference finals three times in franchise history. The winner of Sunday’s game will face the winner of the series between the Golden State and the Houston Rockets. The defending NBA champion Warriors have a 3-2 advantage in the series after a 104-99 victory on Wednesday night. Game 6 is set for Friday in Houston.
In NBA news, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants half of all new referees joining the league to be women — and he would like to see teams hire female coaches, too. Silver spoke Thursday at The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., There are now three female officials. There’s never been a female head coach.
Kevin Durant will miss the remainder of Golden State's Western Conference semifinal against the Houston Rockets with a strained right calf. He’s to be re-evaluated next week.
Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron scored power-play goals 28 seconds apart, and Boston scored four times in the third period to rally from a one-goal deficit and beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Tuukka Rask stopped 29 shots for Boston, which trailed 2-1 before capitalizing on back-to-back power plays.
In NHL news, Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares injured his side while practicing with the Canadian team and will miss the upcoming world championships in Slovakia. Such oblique injuries usually require at least a few weeks of recovery.
J.A. Happ and four relievers combined on a two-hitter, Cameron Maybin contributed with his bat and glove, and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 3-1. The Yankees won for the fourth time in five games and headed to Tampa Bay to play the AL East-leading Rays for the first time this year.
Patrick Corbin shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers' powerful lineup again, pitching the Washington Nationals to a 6-0 victory Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series. Corbin fired seven smooth innings and Howie Kendrick homered in the first as the Nationals ended a four-game slide and stopped the Dodgers' 10-game home winning streak.
Elsewhere in the majors, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered and the Chicago Cubs won for the 10th time in 11 games, beating the Miami Marlins 4-1. The Cubs have homered in 15 straight games, matching their best run since the 2002 season. Bryant sparked a two-run first with his sixth homer in 12 games. Rizzo connected for the sixth time in 11 games with a two-run drive in the fifth against Trevor Richards.
Nolan Arenado homered and Chris Iannetta hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning to lead the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants 12-11. Ian Desmond and Mark Reynolds also homered on a cold, sometimes wintry day at Coors Field.
Albert Pujols became the third player with 2,000 career RBIs, hitting a solo homer in the third inning to help the Los Angeles Angels rout the Detroit Tigers 13-0. The three-time MVP joined Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez as the three players to reach the milestone since 1920.
Derek Dietrich continued his power surge with another home run, his fifth in six games, and the Cincinnati Reds blanked the Oakland Athletics 3-0 to snap a 10-game interleague losing streak. Tanner Roark and three relievers combined on a six-hitter to help the Reds avoid being swept by the A's for the first time since 2004.
Carlos Carrasco held Chicago to two hits, Jordan Luplow hit his first two home runs of the season and the Cleveland Indians defeated the White Sox 5-0 in a game that was called after five innings following a rain delay of 2 hours, 34 minutes.
Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs and Dexter Fowler had three RBIs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 17-4 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Paul Goldschmidt reached base four times and had three hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals, who managed just one run in their previous 21 innings but bounced back with 16 hits and recorded a season high in runs.
Josh Reddick hit the tiebreaking RBI single and preserved Houston's lead with a leaping grab over the wall in right field, and Wade Miley struck out seven in six solid innings as the Astros beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 Thursday for their fifth victory in six games. Reddick's single with two outs in the sixth scored Yuli Gurriel and gave the Astros a 3-2 lead.
David Peralta hit a tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning and Ketel Marte singled home the winning run in the 10th to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 3-2 victory over the scuffling Atlanta Braves. Josh Donaldson put the Braves ahead 2-1 with a leadoff homer against Greg Holland in the top of the ninth. Luke Jackson retired the first two batters in the bottom half before Peralta sent a drive over the right field fence.
In MLB news, Steven Matz has been placed on the 10-day injured list by the New York Mets because of radial nerve discomfort in his pitching arm. And first baseman Dominic Smith was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse ahead of Friday night's series opener at home against Miami.
The Washington Nationals signed veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra to a one-year deal. To make room on the active roster, outfielder Andrew Stevenson was placed on the 10-day injured list with back spasms. The Nationals also designated right-hander Jimmy Cordero for assignment.
The San Francisco Giants have placed catcher Buster Posey on the seven-day concussion list after a foul ball hit his helmet in a game on Sunday. It's Posey's second time on the concussion list. He missed seven games because of a concussion in 2017. The Giants also announced that pitcher Drew Pomeranz went on the 10-day injured list with a strained shoulder.
The Buffalo Bills say veteran quarterback Derek Anderson is retiring after 14 seasons.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have released quarterback Cody Kessler. The move clears the way for rookie Gardner Minshew to become Nick Foles' backup this fall. Minshew threw for 4,776 yards and 38 touchdowns at Washington State in 2018. The Jaguars also released linebacker Blair Brown, guard Parker Ehinger, running back Dimitri Flowers, running back David Williams and linebacker Donald Payne.
Xavien Howard has agreed to terms on a $76.5 million, five-year extension with the Miami Dolphins. The cornerback made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season.
The Arizona Cardinals have signed No. 1 overall draft pick, Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, to a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth. The deal includes a signing bonus of more than $23 million.
The Falcons have agreed to terms with offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, one of their two first-round draft picks, and cornerback Kendall Sheffield, a fourth-rounder.
The Washington Redskins have signed first-round pick, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and seven others from their draft class.
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with outside linebacker D'Andre Walker and linebacker David Long, another draft pick,.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed five of the club's eight selections from last month's NFL draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, the team's leading tackler the past two seasons and a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, says he’s stepping away from football to -- quote --"give this time back to myself, my family & my health."
Veteran offensive lineman Jordan Mills has signed a $3 million, one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. The former Buffalo player is a candidate to replace right tackle Ja'Wuan James, who signed a four-year deal with Denver in March.
Denny McCarthy shot a career-low 8-under 63 for the first-round lead Thursday at the Byron Nelson, where the local spotlight is on Trinity Forest members Jordan Spieth and Tony Romo. McCarthy had 10 birdies over a 12-hole stretch after a double bogey in his morning round. The former Virginia player was a stroke ahead of Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge. Three-time major champion Brooks Koepka was among a large group at 65. Spieth shot 68 in the afternoon. Romo, the CBS NFL analyst and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption, had a 76 that included a chip-in eagle at the seventh.
Glen Day was 7 under through 16 holes to top the Regions Tradition leaderboard Thursday when bad weather halted the opening round of the first PGA Tour Champions major of the year. After a two-tee start to try to beat the weather, lightning stopped play just after noon when Day was aiming for his second straight long birdie putt on Greystone's Founders Course. Tour officials announced more than four hours later that the first round would resume early Friday. Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez and David Toms were two strokes back. Jimenez played 17 holes, and Toms finished 13.
Georgia has added Donnell Gresham, a graduate transfer from Northeastern, to its backcourt for next season. The 6-foot-2 guard started 33 games and averaged 9.7 points last season. Gresham started 59 of 67 games the last two seasons. The addition of Gresham comes one day after Georgia signed point guard Sahvir Wheeler from Houston.
Gonzaga has added former Texas A&M guard Admon Gilder as a graduate transfer and he will be eligible to play in the upcoming season. Gilder has not played since the 2017-18 season due to a blood clot in his right biceps muscle that forced him to miss all of last season. Gilder averaged 12.3 points two years ago as Texas A&M reached the Sweet 16, and averaged 13.7 points as a sophomore during the 2016-17 season.
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