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#SportsReport: Bucks Beat Celtics; Phillies Top Cardinals

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The Milwaukee Bucks have moved into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 18 years by slamming the Boston Celtics. Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in just 31 minutes as the Bucks rolled to a 116-91 victory over the Celtics.

Antetokounmpo closed out the third quarter with consecutive baskets, including a finger-roll layup that gave Milwaukee an 80-62 lead. Khris Middleton was among seven Bucks to score in double-figures, finishing with 19 while grabbing eight boards. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 18 points and George Hill came off the bench to add 16 for Milwaukee. The Bucks dropped the opener by 22 points before sweeping the next four. Kyrie Irving led Boston with just 15 points and shot just 6-for-21 in what might have been his final game with the Celtics. The Bucks will take on either Toronto or Philadelphia in the next round.

The Golden State Warriors have built a 3-2 lead in the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but Wednesday’s victory could be costly. The Warriors finished without All-Star forward Kevin Durant in a 104-99 triumph over the Houston Rockets. Durant had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists before he was knocked out of the game with a strained right calf in the third quarter. Durant is scheduled for an MRI exam today, and his status for Game 6 is undetermined. Klay Thompson scored 27 points for Golden State, including a game-clinching layup with 4.1 seconds to play as the Warriors improved to 3-0 at home in the series. James Harden scored 31 points for the Rockets, who will try to stave off elimination back home in Houston on Friday night.


It will be the San Jose Sharks taking on the St. Louis Blues in the NHL’s Western Conference final. Captain Joe Pavelski returned from a gruesome head injury to deliver a goal and an assist as the Sharks ousted the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2 in Game 7. Pavelski hadn’t played since being leveled to the ice after taking a faceoff in Game 7 of the first-round series against Vegas. He opened the scoring and assisted on Tomas Hertl's goal as the Sharks advanced to their fourth conference final this decade. Pavelski took less than six minutes to provide more than just inspiration, deflecting Brent Burns' point shot past Philipp Grubauer. Joonas Donskoi ended a 39-game goal drought and Martin Jones made 14 of his 27 saves in the third period to help the Sharks seal the victory. Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost scored for the Avalanche, who were trying to make their first conference final since 2002. Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves.


Jerad Eickhoff and Cesar Hernandez helped the Philadelphia Phillies take the rubber match of their three-game set with the Cardinals in St. Louis. Eickhoff allowed three hits in eight innings before Seranthony Dominguez worked the ninth to close out the Phillies’ 5-0 shutout of the Redbirds. Louis. Hernández smacked a solo homer and capped the Phillies’ four-run fifth with a two-run double. Jack Flaherty faced just one batter over the minimum in his first four innings before getting derailed by a 43-pitch fifth. The Phils have won five of their last seven to strengthen their hold on first place in the NL East. The Cardinals have dropped six of seven since a 20-10 start to fall behind the Cubs in the NL Central.

Seattle crushed the Yankees, 10-1 as Ryon Healy homered and hit three doubles to help the Mariners win for only the second time in 10 games. Mitch Haniger and Edwin Encarnación also went deep as Seattle snapped a seven-game losing streak in the Bronx and avoided dropping below .500 for the first time since the end of the 2017 season. Yusei Kikuchi pitched three-hit ball over 7 2/3 innings to get a victory in his Yankee Stadium debut.

Hunter Renfroe snapped a 2-2 deadlock with a solo homer in the seventh inning to lift the Padres past the Mets, 3-2. Eric Hosmer also homered and Matt Strahm scattered six hits while striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision. Strahm was bailed out when when Manuel Margot robbed Pete Alonso of a potential tiebreaking homer in the sixth.

Christian Yelich bashed his major league-leading 16th home run and the Brewers earned their sixth consecutive win by downing the Nationals, 7-3. Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer in the second inning to put the Brewers ahead 6-0, three innings before Manny Pina’s blast made it 7-0. Brandon Woodruff struck out nine while limiting the Nationals to one run and four hits over six innings.

Andrew Benintendi homered in the 12th inning to send the Red Sox to their fifth win in six games, 2-1 at Baltimore. The tiebreaking blast came after Chris Sale struck out 14 and allowed one run, three hits and no walks over eight brilliant innings for Boston. Heath Hembree struck out the side in the 12th for his first save, putting the Bosox at .500 for the first time since the second game of the season.

Elsewhere around the majors, Jason Heyward homered leading off the 11th inning to lift the surging Cubs over the Marlins, 3-2. Anthony Rizzo had two hits and sparkling fielding plays on two bunts as Chicago won for the ninth time in 10 games. Cubs infielder Addison Russell went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game since serving a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

Homers by Kiké Hernández, Max Muncy and Justin Turner powered the Dodgers to their 10th straight home win, 9-4 against the Braves. Clayton Kershaw remains unbeaten in 11 career starts against Atlanta despite yielding four runs and a season-high nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. Corey Seager and Alex Verdugo provided RBI singles in the seventh after the Braves got within 5-4.

The Diamondbacks wasted a 2-0 lead before Wilmer Flores rapped an RBI single in the 13th inning to give them a 3-2 win over the Rays. Archie Bradley pitched three scoreless innings to get the win and help the DBacks avoid a sweep. Robbie Ray pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Arizona, allowing four hits and striking out a season-high 11.

Hunter Pence launched a pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth inning and Isiah Kiner-Falefa doubled home the go-ahead run in the ninth as the Rangers turned a 6-2 deficit into a 9-6 victory at Pittsburgh. Pence’s home run followed three walks by reliever Michael Feliz. Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor belted two-run homers, with Odor’s blast capping the scoring in the ninth.

Stephen Piscotty homered leading off the bottom of the 13th inning as the Athletics topped the Reds, 5-4. Piscotty also had an RBI double, Jurickson Profar homered for the second consecutive day and Ramon Laureano added three hits for the A's. Oakland’s bullpen tossed seven shutout innings of three-hit ball.

Minnesota completed a three-game sweep in Toronto as Jorge Polanco had five hits, including a two-run home run in the Twins’ 9-1 dismantling of the Blue Jays. Eddie Rosario hit his AL-leading 13th home run for the Twins, who also received two runs shots by CJ Cron and Jonathan Schoop. Kyle Gibson allowed one run on two hits while fanning a career-high 11 over six innings to win for the third time in four starts.

The Indians stopped a three-game skid when Jose Ramirez slammed a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth to send Cleveland past the Chicago White Sox, 5-3. The Indians had scored just once in 27 innings before plating three in the fourth, capped by Tyler Naquin's two-run single off starter Reynaldo López. Indians starter Shane Bieber took a 3-1 lead into the seventh but couldn't hold it.

Michael Brantley homered twice and Brad Peacock allowed three hits while striking out a career-high 12 over seven innings of the Astros’ 9-0 thumping of the Royals. George Springer and Carlos Correa also homered to give the Astros 16 in their past five games. Kansas City’s Jorge Lopez allowed six hits and six runs while walking three in 2 1/3 innings to remain winless in eight starts this season.

Ronny Rodriguez drove in a career-high four runs and Matthew Boyd limited the Angels to one run and three hits over six innings of the Tigers’ 10-3 rout. Rodriguez put Detroit ahead with a two-run triple in the first before adding an RBI double and a run-scoring single. Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a hit-by-pitch on his right elbow, one day after going 0-for-4 in his season debut.

The Rockies and Giants were rained out in Denver, creating a split doubleheader on July 15.

In MLB news, longtime Phillies executive David Montgomery has died at 72 following a five-year battle with cancer, according to the team. Montgomery started in the sales department in 1971 and rose to become chairman, spearheading the team's transition from Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park in 2004. He led the organization during its most successful period from 2007-2011 as the ballclub won the NL East each season, two pennants and the 2008 World Series.

Under President Donald Trump, White House visits by championship teams often become politicized. That's happening to the Boston Red Sox, who won a World Series crown last October and are visiting the White House on Thursday. Team manager Alex Cora says he won't attend, citing his frustration with the administration's efforts to help his native Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane. Nearly a dozen players, all people of color, have said they are skipping the ceremony, too.


It will be an all-British matchup in soccer’s Champions League final. Tottenham has advanced by rallying for a 3-2 victory over Ajax to earn a meeting with Premier League rival Liverpool. Spurs trailed 1-0 at halftime and 3-0 on aggregate until Lucas Moura completed a hat trick, the last goal coming in the sixth minute of injury time. Although the two-game semifinal ended in a 3-3 aggregate, Tottenham captured the series based on road goals. Spurs and Liverpool will square off June 1 in Madrid, the first all-English final since Manchester United beat Chelsea in 2008.


Improbable will have Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike Smith aboard if the colt runs in the Preakness on May 18. Trainer Bob Baffert says he was making the switch from Irad Ortiz Jr. because "Mike and I have a little luck together." Baffert and Smith teamed with Justify to win the Triple Crown last year. Ortiz rode Improbable to a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and the colt was moved up to fourth following Maximum Security's disqualification.


New York lawmakers are taking a closer look at proposals to authorize sports betting on smartphones and other mobile devices, and whether the change would require a change to the state Constitution. The Democrat-led state Senate held a hearing on the issue Wednesday. Lawmakers now face a choice: proceed with legislation to authorize mobile sports betting or propose a state Constitutional amendment to do the job, as Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggests.


An aspiring sports business manager and an amateur basketball coach have been convicted of bribery conspiracy at a trial that showed top college coaches were paid off to steer NBA-bound athletes to favored handlers. Wednesday’s verdict capped a two-week trial of Christian Dawkins and youth basketball coach Merl Code in a case that forced the NCAA to confront corruption affecting basketball players at elite universities. The two were convicted on a single conspiracy count, but acquitted of some other charges. Four former assistant basketball coaches have pleaded guilty in connection with the scandal and await sentencing.

© The Associated Press 2019. All Rights Reserved.