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#SportsReport: The Rockets Make Playoff History



The Houston Rockets have command of their Western Conference quarterfinal series following one of the greatest quarters in NBA playoff history.

The Rockets exploded for 50 points in the third quarter to cruise past the Timberwolves, 119-100. James Harden scored 22 of his 36 points in the quarter, while Chris Paul contributed 15 of his 25. The 12-minute assault allowed Houston to turn a one-point lead into a 31-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

The only team in league playoff history with more points in a quarter was the Los Angeles Lakers, who scored 51 in the fourth quarter before losing to the Pistons on March 31, 1962.

Clint Capela had 14 points and 17 rebounds for the Rockets, who can wrap up the series when they host Game 5 on Wednesday.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Like the Rockets, the Jazz are up 3-1 in the conference quarters after rookie Donovan Mitchell poured in 33 points to lead Utah's 113-96 victory over the Thunder. Joe Ingles provided 20 points for the Jazz, who went on a 20-3 run bridging the two halves to take a 67-52 lead.

Rudy Gobert chipped in 16 points and 10 boards for the Jazz, while Ricky Rubio furnished 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Paul George had a team-high 32 points for the Thunder, who shot just 39 percent in losing their third in a row.

The series moves to Oklahoma City for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the NBA:

A person familiar with the situation says the Pelicans are picking up head coach Alvin Gentry's contract option for next season.

Gentry is 116-134 in three seasons with New Orleans, including the team's four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference quarterfinals. The Pelicans missed the playoffs in their first two seasons under Gentry.


The Washington Capitals have wrapped up their Stanley Cup first-round series with Columbus, while the Toronto Maple Leafs have forced a Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Braden Holtby handled 35 shots as the Capitals doubled up the Blue Jackets, 6-3 in Columbus to end the series in six games. The game was tied 1-1 until Ovechkin scored consecutive goals in a 5:33 span, including a power-play tally with 1:37 left in the second period.

Devante Smith-Pelly provided the eventual game-winner with an unassisted goal before Chandler Stephenson's short-handed tally put Washington ahead 5-2 with 14 ½ minutes to play. The Caps took the last four games after dropping two straight at home.

The Capitals' reward for advancing? The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won nine of their 10 playoff series with Washington.

Mitch Marner scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and added an assist as the Leafs downed the B's, 3-1 in Toronto. William Nylander notched the tying goal 1:37 into the middle period, 35 seconds after Jake DeBrusk gave Boston a very brief lead.

Tomas Plekanec added an empty-net goal and Frederik Andersen stopped 32 shots in the Leafs' third win in four games.

Game 7 is Wednesday in Boston, with the winner taking on Tampa Bay in the next round.

Elsewhere in the NHL:

The Calgary Flames found a head coach and the Minnesota Wild dropped their general manager.

The Flames have hired Bill Peters, three days after he stepped down as head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was 137-138-53 in four seasons behind the Canes' bench without a playoff appearance.

Peters replaces Glen Gulutzan, who was dismissed following a 37-35-10 season.

Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is being let go following nine seasons and six straight playoff appearances.

Wild owner Craig Leipold said the team would not renew Fletcher's contract, making the announcement days after the team was ousted by Winnipeg in the first round.

The club missed the playoffs in its first three seasons under Fletcher and never advanced past the second round. The Wild set team records with 49 wins and 106 points last season.


Giancarlo Stanton gave Yankees fans reason to cheer in the Bronx after receiving some rough treatment in his first 12 games there this season.

Stanton was hitting just .100 in 56 plate appearances at home before going 4-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBIs and three runs scored in a 14-1 pounding of the Twins. The four-hit game allowed him to raise his season batting average from .185 to .224.

Rookie Miguel Andujar homered and doubled, while Didi Gregorius (DEE'-dee greh-GOHR'-ee-uhs) and Tyler Austin each had four RBIs. Andujar is 15 for 29 with eight doubles, three homers and a triple during a seven-game, extra-base hit streak.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up a run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings to improve to 5-0 in five starts lifetime against the Twins.

The Yankees continue with game two in a four game series against Minnesota tonight at 6:35 p.m. in New York.

In other major league action:

The Angels were 2-0 winners over the Astros behind Tyler Skaggs, who limited the defending champs to four hits over seven innings. Kole Calhoun had an RBI single in the fifth and Justin Upton added run-scoring double in the sixth as Los Angeles halted Houston's six-game winning streak.

Carlos Carrasco has won 10 straight decisions since Aug. 27 after allowing a run and six hits over 7 1/3 innings of Cleveland's 2-1 win over the Birds. He improved to 4-0 this season and received support from Yonder Alonso's two-run homer in the second inning.

The White Sox's seven-game losing streak is over after Jose Abreu went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers and three RBIs in a 10-4 rout of the Mariners. Yoan Moncada was a single shy of the cycle, starting with a leadoff triple while Chicago was becoming the first team since September 2014 to open a game with seven straight hits.

Marcus Semien led off the ninth with a tiebreaking homer to spark the Athletics' six-run rally in a 9-4 victory at Texas. Jake Smolinski supplied a two-run triple and Khris Davis had a two-run double in Oakland's seventh win in eight games.

Mac Williamson smacked a two-run homer and Chris Stratton worked into the seventh inning as the Giants topped the Nationals, 4-2. Stratton fanned five while holding Washington to two runs and four hits over 6 2/3s.

Walker Buehler tossed five shutout innings in his first big league start and Cody Bellinger's sacrifice fly in the eighth pushed the Dodgers past the Marlins, 2-1. Buehler yielded four hits and three walks while striking out five after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The Reds won for just the fourth time in 22 games as Scott Schebler went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, three RBIs and three runs scored in a 10-4 rout of the Braves. Scooter Gennett and Adam Duvall drove in two runs apiece to back Sal Romano, who yielding one earned run and four hits in six innings.

Carlos Asuaje belted a three-run homer in the first inning and had a career-high four RBIs in the Padres' 13-5 thrashing of the Rockies. Franchy Cordero delivered a two-run blast while the Padres scored nine times in the seventh to erase a 5-4 deficit.

Boston had the night off Monday, however the Sox start a three-game series against Toronto tonight at 7:07 p.m.

The Mets took the night off and head to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in a three-game series tonight at 8:15 p.m.

Also in the majors:

White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar is talking to his doctors and family after undergoing surgery Saturday to address a ruptured aneurysm. Farquhar remains in critical but stable condition, and the team expects him to remain hospitalized for the next few weeks. He passed out in the sixth inning Friday night after getting two outs against Houston. Additional testing revealed a brain hemorrhage caused by the aneurysm.

Free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera has agreed to a minor league contract with the Indians, pending a physical. The 33-year-old Cabrera spent last season with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, batting .285 with 17 homers and 85 RBIs in 156 games.

The Red Sox and Nationals are the only teams on track to pay baseball's luxury tax this year. That's according to opening-day payroll totals compiled by Major League Baseball and obtained by The Associated Press. The Red Sox currently are looking at a $9.4 million tax bill, while the Nationals are on pace for a $1.2 million payment.

The Yankees have acquired pitcher A.J. Cole from the Nationals in a cash deal. Cole was designated for assignment after going 1-1 with a 13.06 ERA in four games.

The Brewers say team broadcaster and former All-Star infielder Davey Nelson has died at age 73 following a long illness. Nelson played in the majors from 1968-77 and was an All-Star in 1973. He coached the Brewers and four other major league teams before becoming an analyst for Fox Sports Wisconsin in 2006 and taking a front-office role within the Brewers organization.


Colin Kaepernick remains on the Seattle Seahawks' radar.

Head coach Pete Carroll says the team hasn't closed the door on the possibility of adding Kaepernick to the roster, but how much further they pursue it may depend on the upcoming NFL draft.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that Seattle pulled out of a planned workout for Kaepernick, who has been without an NFL team since the end of the 2016 season. Carroll said the reports of what happened with the intended workout were "blown up."

Seattle has been one of the few teams to show any interest in Kaepernick following his protests during the national anthem in the 2016 season with San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Carroll and GM John Schneider provided updates on injuries to safety Kam Chancellor and defensive tackle Malik McDowell.

Schneider said Chancellor will have a "scan" of his injured neck in late June or early July to determine his status going forward. Carroll said McDowell's NFL career remains uncertain following head and facial injuries sustained in an ATV accident last summer.

In other NFL news:

Receiver Willie Snead is coming to the Ravens after the Saints declined to match Baltimore's two-year, $10.4 contract offer. Snead indicated today on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans to become another target for quarterback Joe Flacco. He grabbed 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016, but a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury helped limit him to eight receptions for 92 yards last year.

The Steelers have exercised the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who had seven of the team's franchise-record 56 sacks last season. Dupree has seen his sack total rise each season since being taken in the first round of the 2015 draft.

The Giants have acquired punter Riley Dixon from the Broncos for a conditional seventh-round draft choice in 2019. Dixon averaged 45.7 yards with a net of 40.8 yards during his two seasons with Denver.

The Raiders have signed cornerback Daryl Worley just over a week after his release by Philadelphia. The Eagles let him go following an incident with police near the team's practice facility. Police used a Taser on him after he became combative, and NFL Network reported that a gun was found in Worley's vehicle.

49ers general manager John Lynch says the team will be patient through linebacker Reuben Foster's legal issues in a domestic violence case but stressed he won't remain on the team if the team determines he hit a woman. Foster was charged with felony domestic violence on April 12 after being accused by authorities of dragging his girlfriend and punching her in the head, leaving her with a ruptured eardrum.

Former North Carolina defensive tackle and NFL veteran Dee Hardison has died at age 61 after being hospitalized for several weeks. The 1977 AP First Team All-American was taken by Buffalo in the second round of the 1978 NFL draft and also played with the Giants, Chargers and Chiefs over 11 pro seasons.

Versatile Steelers tight end Bennie Cunningham has died at age 63. Cunningham played at Clemson before grabbing 200 passes during his 10 seasons with Pittsburgh. Clemson says he died of cancer Monday at the Cleveland Clinic.

Police in a Dallas suburb are investigating a domestic violence complaint against Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving from a woman who later recanted. A Frisco, Texas, police spokesman said a woman identified as Irving's girlfriend called police twice Sunday. After several media reports Monday, the woman wrote in a message posted on Instagram that her allegations were false, saying she was upset over an argument that led to neighbors calling 911.

©  2018 Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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