#SportsReport: Raptors Top Bucks; Blues Shut Out Sharks
The Toronto Raptors have guaranteed themselves a trip back to Milwaukee after taking Game 3 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals. Kawhi Leonard scored eight of his game-high 36 points in double-overtime to lead the Raptors to a 118-112 victory over the Bucks.
Pascal Siakam delivered 25 points and 11 rebounds as Toronto pulled within two games to one in the series. Siakam also missed a pair of free throws with 7.4 seconds left in regulation that could have iced the game for the Raptors. The Raptors led by double-digits in the first half, but the Bucks pulled even by allowing just 38 points in the second half. Norman Powell scored 19 points before fouling out, and Marc Gasol had 16 points and 12 rebounds Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points and 23 rebounds for the Bucks, but he shot just 5-for-16 before fouling out 36 seconds into the second OT. Game 4 is Tuesday in Toronto.
In NBA news, a person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Pelicans have hired Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon to serve as GM under new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin. The former Duke and NBA player also competed professionally in Europe. The 43-year-old has served as Nets assistant GM since 2016 and has helped rebuild Brooklyn into a squad that qualified for the Eastern Conference playoffs as a sixth seed this season after finishing last in the East two seasons earlier. Langdon interviewed with New Orleans for the top basketball operations job that went to Griffin in mid-April.
It’s been 49 years since the St. Louis Blues last appeared in a Stanley Cup final, a series that ended with Boston defenseman Bobby Orr flying over the stick of Noel Picard after scoring the winning goal 40 seconds into overtime. The Blues are one win away from a finals rematch with the Bruins after taking a three-games-to-two lead in the Western Conference final. Jaden Schwartz registered a hat trick and Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a penalty shot as the Blues punished the Sharks, 5-0 at San Jose. St. Louis held a 1-0 lead before Schwartz and Tarasenko scored during the first seven minutes of the second period. The Blues dominated the middle period by outshooting San Jose, 20-6. Schwartz also tallied twice in the third period to become the first player since Detroit’s Johan Franzen in 2008 to register two hat tricks in the same postseason. Oskar Sundqvist provided the eventual game-winner in the opening stanza, and rookie Jordan Binnington needed to make just 21 saves for his first career playoff shutout. Martin Jones stopped 35 shots for the Sharks, who will try to stave off elimination when they visit St. Louis for Game 6 on Tuesday.
In NHL news, three days after he had to miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final because of an undisclosed injury, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated before practice on Sunday. Chara did not participate in the team’s full practice, three days after the Bruins completed a four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL’s Eastern Conference final. He missed Game 4 after playing in the first three games. Center David Krejci did not practice because of a “maintenance day.”
HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dylan Larkin scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the third period before the United States completed a 3-1 win over Germany at the world championships. Jack Eichel put the Americans ahead by two goals late in the third. Cory Schneider was strong in net, helping U.S. win a fifth straight game in Group A since opening the tournament with a 4-1 loss to the host Slovaks.
It was a tough afternoon for the Houston Astros, who lost their hottest hitter while watching their 10-game winning streak come to an end. Michael Chavis homered and Xander Bogaerts supplied a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning as the Red Sox downed the Astros, 4-3 to avoid a three-game sweep. Mookie Betts scored three runs for Boston, which lost the first two games in the first meeting with the Astros since beating them in the 2018 ALCS. Chris Sale followed his career-high 17-strikeout performance on Tuesday by fanning 10 while yielding three runs, four hits and five walks over 5 1/3 frames. Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer off Sale for Houston, which slipped 13-4 this month. The Astros finished the game without George Springer, who came out in the fifth inning due to lower back stiffness. Springer appeared to reach briefly for the lower right side of his back while striking out against Chris Sale in the first inning. The American League home run leader fanned in his next two at-bats before being replaced in the lineup.
The Yankees are back atop the AL East after putting together a seven-run sixth in a 13-5 rout of the second-place Rays. Brett Gardner homered early and later got two hits during the seven-run onslaught that was prolonged by five walks. Aaron Hicks homered for the first time since returning from a back injury, and DJ LeMahieu also connected to help the Yankees win for the 10th time in 13 games.
The Marlins completed a three-game sweep of the Mets as Sandy Alcantara went the distance on a two-hitter in Miami’s 3-0 victory. Alcantara struck out eight, walked one and needed only 89 pitches to get his first career victory. New York managed just three hits in back-to-back shutout losses that drop the ballclub five games under .500 for the first time this season.
Bryce Harper homered for the second straight day and pinch-hitter J.T. Realmuto added a game-tying, two-run shot to help the Phillies earn a 7-5 victory and complete a three-game sweep of the Rockies. Harper collected three RBIs, two coming on his tiebreaking, two-run blast in the sixth. Ryan McMahon hit two homers, and Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story also went deep for Colorado.
Anthony Rizzo homered and Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs while the Cubs were building a 6-1 lead in a 6-5 victory at Washington. Kyle Hendricks laid down a squeeze bunt and pitched into the sixth inning of Chicago’s 15th win in 17 games. Anthony Rendon belted a three-run homer and Howie Kendrick added a solo shot for the Nationals.
Elsewhere in the majors, Shane Bieber tossed his first big league complete game while fanning a career-high 15 in the Indians’ 10-0 laugher against the Orioles. Mike Freeman hit a two-run double and Carlos Santana drove in a pair with a homer and a single. Baltimore has dropped nine of its last 11 and has allowed a major league-high 94 home runs this year.
Homers by rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Danny Jansen and Billy McKinney sent the Blues Jays past the White Sox, 5-2. Guerrero has homered four times in six games since failing to hit one in his first 13 contests following his recall. Guerrero's two-run drive broke a 1-all tie in the eighth inning, one inning before Jansen added a two-run shot.
Edwin Encarnacion made several nice plays at first base before blasting a three-run homer in the seventh inning to send the Mariners past the Twins, 7-4. Mitch Haniger and Daniel Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers as Seattle ended a three-game skid while halting Minnesota’s five-game winning streak. Yusei Kukuchi gave up one earned run while striking out six over six innings to get the win.
The Athletics were in line for their 16th consecutive win over the Tigers, leading 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh before the game was suspended by rain. Stephen Piscotty hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh, but the precipitation prevented the Tigers from completing their half of the inning. The game will resume Sept. 6 before the Tigers play a series in Oakland.
Danny Duffy won his third straight start and the Royals stopped a four-game skid with a 5-1 victory over the Angels. Hunter Dozier hit a two-run double and Duffy allowed five hits in six innings. Hunter Dozier’s two-run double gave Kansas City a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
Hyun-Jin Ryu ran his major league-leading shutout streak to 31 innings by blanking the Reds on five hits over seven frames of the Dodgers’ 8-3 victory. Cody Bellinger hit his 17th homer to back Ryu, who is 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA. Alex Verdugo drove in three runs and Russell Martin added a solo shot for the NL West-leading Dodgers.
Pablo Sandoval’s second home run in two days put the Giants ahead in the 10th inning of a 3-2 verdict over the Diamondbacks. Sandoval’s blast came an inning after shortstop Brandon Crawford made a spectacular diving stop to prevent Arizona from scoring the winning run. San Francisco went 20 straight at-bats without a baserunner unti the ninth inning, but the DBacks managed just three hits the entire game.
Colin Moran contributed a three-run home run and four RBIs to the Pirates’ 6-4 win at San Diego. Joe Musgrove became the second alum of nearby Grossmont High in suburban El Cajo to beat the Padres in as many days after Steven Brault did it in relief. Musgrove took a one-hit shutout into the seventh before the Padres broke out for four runs, including a three-run blast by Hunter Renfroe.
The Brewers pulled out a 3-2 win over the Braves on Ben Gamel’s solo homer in the 10th, one day after Atlanta topped Milwaukee on a Freddie Freeman blast in the 10th. Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura also connected for the Brewers to counter round-trippers by Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freeman. Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff gave up both Atlanta home runs but just three other hits in a career-high eight innings.
Nomar Mazara lifted a sacrifice fly to cap a two-run rally in the 10th inning of the Rangers’ 5-4 walk-off win against the Cardinals. Dexter Fowler tied it for St. Louis with a ninth-inning homer, and the Redbirds went ahead on a double by Harrison Bader in the 10th before Texas won it on Willie Calhoun’s RBI single and Mazara’s fly ball. Paul DeJong drove in three runs for the Cards.
Brooks Koepka was able to win the PGA Championship for the second straight year, but he certainly made things interesting after dominating the first three rounds. Koepka carried a hefty seven-stroke advantage into the final round before completing a two-shot victory over Dustin Johnson. Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 that included four straight bogeys on the back nine. Johnson birdied No. 15 to get within one stroke of the lead, but he followed that with back-to-back bogeys to fall back. The 29-year-old Koepka will replace Johnson as the world’s top-ranked golfer after joining Tiger Woods as the only repeat winners of the PGA Championship since it became a stroke-play tournament. Koepka finished 8 under in his fourth major title. Britain’s Matt Wallace shot a 72 to finish in a third-place tie with Americans Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay.
Simon Pagenaud has won the pole for the Indianapolis 500. Pagenaud averaged 229.992 mph in four laps of qualifying to lock down the top spot for the May 26 race. The qualifying performance comes after he finally snapped a long losing streak with a victory on the road course around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot qualified second and third for a Chevrolet sweep of the front row.
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