The Milwaukee Bucks are a step closer to their first trip to the NBA Finals since their memorable seven-game series with the Boston Celtics in 1974. Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Toronto Raptors, 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good. He added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to make it a four-point edge. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points for the Bucks, who are trying to reach the Finals for the third time in team history, and the first without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run. The Raptors led by as many as 13 early and took an 83-76 lead into the final quarter. Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30 for Toronto. Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee.
In NBA news, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The league and Turner Sports have announced that the Hall of Famers and 1992 U.S. Olympic teammates will receive the award on June 24 at the NBA Awards. The honor comes on the 40th anniversary of their meeting in the 1979 NCAA championship game, when Johnson's Michigan State team beat Bird's Indiana State squad. That is still the highest-rated game on television in college basketball history.
The San Jose Sharks have a two-games-to-one lead in the NHL’s Western Conference final, thanks to a little help from the officials. Erik Karlsson scored 5:23 into overtime to complete the Sharks’ 5-4 victory over the Blues in St. Louis. The goal occurred after officials missed a hand pass by Timo Meier moments earlier. Meier knocked a loose puck toward the net, and Gustav Nyquist retrieved it before sending it over to Karlsson for his second goal of the night. The officials huddled following complaints by the Blues, but the play wasn't reviewable and the goal stood. The Blues trailed 2-0 and 3-1, but they owned a 4-3 lead until Logan Couture tied it with 61 seconds left in regulation. Joe Thornton scored twice and Martin Jones made 28 saves for San Jose. David Perron had two goals for the Blues, who will host Game 4 on Friday.
In NHL news, Ralph Krueger has officially been named the new coach of the Buffalo Sabres as the franchise seeks to end an eight-year playoff drought. The 59-year-old Krueger previously coached the Edmonton Oilers during the NHL's lockout-shortened season in 2012-13. Krueger also coached Switzerland's national team to Olympic appearances in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He's spent the past five years as chairman of soccer's Southampton FC of the English Premier League.
The New York Yankees’ patchwork lineup came through again in a doubleheader sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. Gleyber Torres led the way with three home runs and Domingo Germán became the majors' first eight-game winner. Torres belted two of the Yankees’ four homers in their Game 1 victory over the Birds, 5-3. Six of his eight home runs have come against Baltimore. Gary Sánchez and Cameron Maybin also went deep for the Yankees, who entered the twinbill with 57 homers in 40 games after belting a record 266 last year. Winning pitcher J.A. Happ gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings, including home runs by Trey Mancini and Renato Nuñez.
In the nightcap, German struck out eight over seven innings of one-run ball as the Bombers earned a 3-1 victory. Luke Voit had three hits and two RBIs to support German. Aroldis Chapman picked up saves in each game, giving him 11 on the season. New York has won 20 of 27 its last games despite currently having 13 players on the injured list.
Patrick Corbin struck out 11 while limiting the Mets to a run and four hits over eight innings of the Nationals’ 5-1 victory. Anthony Rendon was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in Washington’s fourth win in 11 games. Victor Robles homered off starter Wilmer Font, who was tagged for five runs in just 2 1/3 innings.
Gio Gonzalez was reached for just one run while pitching into the sixth inning of the Brewers’ 5-2 victory at Philadelphia. Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts since signing with Milwaukee following his requested release from the Yankees in April. Jesus Aguilar ripped a two-run single off Jake Arrieta in the third to give the Brewers a 4-1 lead.
The Red Sox blew a 5-0 lead before rookie Michael Chavis laced an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to give Boston a 6-5 win over the Rockies. J.D. Martinez homered for the third straight game, a two-run shot off German Márquez while the Bosox were building a 5-0 lead by the third inning. Eduardo Rodriguez struck out 10 over six innings, but Trevor Story poked a two-run single while Colorado scored three in the seventh to tie it.
Elsewhere around the majors, seven pitchers combined on a seven-hitter in the Rays’ 1-0 shutout of the Marlins. Anthony Bemboom produced his first major league hit and RBI with a second-inning double. The Marlins lost their seventh consecutive game and are on pace for 122 losses.
The Astros made it eight straight wins as Justin Verlander tossed two-hit ball over seven innings of a 5-1 verdict over the Tigers. Verlander struck out nine in his second start at Comerica Park since his 2017 trade from Detroit to Houston. Alex Bregman hit his 14th homer and Jake Marisnick added an RBI triple to help Verlander improve to 7-1.
Byron Buxton and Jason Castro each hit two-run homers and Ehire Adrianza added a two-run double while the Twins were building an 8-3 lead in an 8-7 victory over the Angels. Winning pitcher Jake Odorizzi had his scoreless streak stopped at 22 innings when Tommy La Stella homered in the third, and he allowed a two-run blast to Jonathan Lucroy in the sixth before improving to 6-2. Mike Morin retired Shohei Ohtani to end the game after the Angels scored three times in the ninth.
Ronald Guzman and Willie Calhoun each hit a two-run homer as the Rangers dumped the Royals, 6-1 to end a five-game skid. Shin-Soo Choo added a solo shot and Nomar Mazara matched a career high with four hits as texas beat Kansas City for the sixth time in their last eight meetings. Mike Minor was reached for just one run despite surrendering eight hits and two walks over five innings.
Edwin Jackson became the first player in major league history to play for 14 teams when he made his Blue Jays debut in a 4-3 loss at San Francisco, four days after being acquired from Oakland. Jackson allowed two earned runs and six hits in five innings, including a two-run homer by Aramis Garcia. Brandon Crawford snapped a 3-3 deadlock with a solo blast in the sixth.
The Reds completed a 6-5 comeback win over the Cubs when Yasiel Puig hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning. The Cubs led 5-3 until Eugenio Suarez launched a two-run homer off Carl Edwards in the eighth inning. Chicago wasted a strong performance by Yu Davrish, who struck out 11 and allowed only two runs and five hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Kenta Maeda struck out 12 batters and drove in both runs as the Dodgers downed the Padres, 2-0. Maeda gave up three hits in 6 2/3 innings and came within one of his career high for strikeouts. He also helped his own cause at the plate with two hits, including a two-out, two-run bloop single to right field in the second.
The Diamondbacks rolled over the Pirates, 11-1 as Zack Greinke pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning before exiting with a trainer. There was no immediate word on Greinke, who allowed four hits in 7 2-3 innings before walking off the mound with a 2-2 count on the Pirates' Cole Tucker. Blake Swihart hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the eighth, and Eduardo Escobar and Adam Jones also homered for the Diamondbacks.
Austin Riley homered in his major league debut and Mike Soroka scattered three this over seven innings as the Braves blanked the Cardinals, 4-0. Riley was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game after Ender Inciarte went on the 10-day injured list with a sore back. Soroka lowered his ERA to 0.98 in six starts this season.
In MLB news, Yankees third baseman Miguel Andújar will have season-ending surgery to repair a small labrum tear in his right shoulder. Andujar was sidelined by the injury from April 1 to May 3 before going 6-for-47 with no extra-base hits in his return. He was last year’s AL Rookie of the Year runner-up.
The Minnesota Twins have placed catcher Mitch Garver on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left ankle and returned third baseman Miguel Sanó from his rehabilitation assignment. Garver was injured Tuesday night and has been diagnosed with a high sprain. He has had a breakout season, batting .329 with four doubles, nine home runs and 19 RBIs in 25 games. Sanó was cleared for action after suffering a severe cut on his right heel in January.
The Rangers placed shortstop Elvis Andrus on the injured list with a strained right hamstring and recalled outfielder Willie Calhoun from Triple-A Nashville amid a flurry of roster moves. Left-hander Jeffrey Springs was also recalled from Nashville and right-hander Wei-Chieh Huang was optioned to the same club before the Rangers continued their three-game set against the Royals.
The New York Jets have fired their general manager less than a month after the NFL Draft. Jets head coach Adam Gase has taken over for Mike Maccagnan, who was hired as GM in 2015. The stunning decision by team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson was announced in a statement posted Wednesday on the team's Twitter account. Johnson says he made the move after assessing what would be in the Jets' best interests. Both Macccagnan and Gase have denied that there was tension between the two.
The 49ers have signed tight end Levine Toilolo to a one-year deal and waived safety Cameron Glenn to make room on the roster. Toilolo played last season in Detroit, where he had 21 catches for 263 yards and one TD in 10 games.
New Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats' contract includes hefty buyouts if he leaves for another job or is fired. University of Alabama trustees formally approved Oats' 5-year deal worth $2.45 million annually, though the university had earlier released some of the details. Alabama would owe him nearly $9.2 million if the school fires Oats within the first year.
The owners of Maximum Security have sued the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and race stewards, seeking to reverse the horse's disqualification for interference as Kentucky Derby winner and restoration of purse money. The lawsuit filed by Gary and Mary West on Tuesday in U.S. District Court says that stewards relied on insubstantial evidence and questioned a "bizarre and unconstitutional" process before and after the disqualification. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first on May 4 before being disqualified and dropping to 17th for impeding the paths of several horses. Runner-up Country House, a 65-1 shot, was elevated to first. The KHRC last week denied an appeal of the disqualification and said that the stewards' decision was not subject to appeal.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is seeking his record-setting eighth Preakness victory with 5-2 morning line favorite Improbable, who will start from the No. 4 post in a field of 13 horses. For the first time since 1951, the Preakness will not include the four horses that crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby. Everfast was added to the Preakness field three days before the race. The Dale Romans-trained horse made it a 13-horse field, the largest for the Preakness since 2009.
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