#SportsReport: Raptors Beat Bucks; Mets Down Nationals
The Toronto Raptors are within one victory of advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and the Raptors rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Bucks, 105-99 in Milwaukee to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him the previous two games, hitting five 3-pointers and finishing with seven rebounds and nine assists. The Raptors chipped away after the Bucks carried a 10-point lead in the second quarter. The deficit was down to three by intermission, but Toronto still trailed before outscoring Milwaukee 33-24 in the final period. Leonard provided 15 points in the fourth quarter. Fred VanVleet scored all 21 of his points from downtown, going 7-9 while Toronto was hitting 18 treys. Kyle Lowry added 17 for the Raptors, who have handed the Bucks their first three-game losing streak of the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points for Milwaukee. Game 6 is Saturday in Toronto.
In NBA news, Kevin Durant is yet to progress to on-court work in his recovery from a strained right calf. That means he won't be ready to return for Golden State in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 30. Durant was injured during Game 5 of the conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets. However, big man DeMarcus Cousins might be healthy for the series opener against either Milwaukee or Toronto as he works his way back from a torn left quadriceps muscle.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden were unanimous selections to an All-NBA team that could mean big payoffs for Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker. Both of those guards were voted to one of the three squads announced Thursday, making them eligible for supermax contract extensions from their teams. Rounding out the first team were Stephen Curry, Paul George and Nikola Jokic. LeBron James also was voted to the third team, tying the NBA record with his 15th All-NBA selection.
Suns big man Richaun Holmes has been arrested for misdemeanor possession of cannabis after a Miami-area traffic stop. The 25-year-old was arrested Tuesday night along with former Brooklyn Nets forward James Webb III after authorities say the found a recently used marijuana joint inside their vehicle.
The Yankees blew a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning before Aaron Hicks walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to complete the Bombers’ four-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore, 6-5. Clint Frazier and Luke Voit went deep to give the Yankees 13 home runs in the series and 35 in 12 games versus the Birds this season. The Yanks won for the 14th time in 17 games despite Renato Nunez, who tied it with a three-run drive in the eighth.
The Mets completed a four-game sweep as Carlos Gomez smacked a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning of a 6-4 victory against the Nationals. The blast came a half-inning after Robert Gsellman surrendered three runs to put the Nats in front. Steven Matz left with a 3-1 lead despite allowing 10 hits over six innings.
The Phillies earned a four-game split at Wrigley Field as Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto homered off Jon Lester in a 9-7 win over the Chicago Cubs. Andrew McCutchen added two hits and two RBIs as Philadelphia won for the fifth time in seven games. Aaron Nola pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball to improve to 5-0.
Steve Pearce was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBIs against his ex-team as the Red Sox whipped the Blue Jays, 8-2 in Toronto. Ryan Weber was reached for just one run on three hits over six innings of his first big league start since in two years. Rafael Devers had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice to help Boston improve to 11-3 in its past 14 road games.
Elsewhere in the majors, the Minnesota Twins continue to own the best record in the major leagues after tying a team record for home runs in a game. Jonathan Schoop and Miguel Sano each belted two of the Twins’ eight home runs in a 16-7 dismantling of the Los Angeles Angels. The Twins also received longballs from ex-Angel CJ Cron, Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler while completing their first sweep in Anaheim since 1996. Minnesota crushed 22 home runs while going 6-1 on their road trip through Seattle and Anaheim. Martin Perez allowed two runs over five innings to help Minnesota improve to a major league-best 33-16. Tommy La Stella belted a grand slam in the ninth for the Angels, his 12th home run of the year.
An outfield collision allowed Kevin Kiermaier to leg out a three-run, inside-the-park homer in the Rays’ 7-2 victory at Cleveland. Tommy Pham, Avisail García and Willy Adames hit solo homers off Adam Plutko as Tampa Bay improved baseball's best road record to 16-7. Ryan Yarbrough allowed two runs and four hits in a career-high 7 1/3 innings after being recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Durham.
Lucas Giolito scattered four hits and struck out a season-high nine in his first major league shutout as the White Sox downed the Astros, 4-0. Rookie Eloy Jiménez hit his third homer in two games to cap the scoring in the fourth inning. Yoán Moncada had an RBI double and Tim Anderson added a run-scoring single to help Chicago gain a four-game split with the AL West leaders.
Austin Riley supplied the tying and winning hits as the Braves outlasted the Giants, 5-4 in 13 innings. Riley singled home the go-ahead run after delivering a tying, two-run blast in the eighth. Tyler Flowers also homered and Riley finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs in Atlanta’s third win in San Francisco in four days.
Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds and Starling Marte all homered in the seventh inning to help the Pirates set a season high for runs in a 14-6 assault on the Rockies. Bell finished with three hits, including a double, a walk and two RBIs in addition to his 10th homer this month. Gregory Polanco also homered for the Pirates, who scored just three times in the first two games of the series.
The Marlins pulled out a 5-2 win over the Tigers on Garrett Cooper’s grand slam in the ninth inning. Marlins starter Trevor Richards struck out six over 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and one run. The Tigers completed an 0-9 homestand by allowing Miami to pick up its sixth straight win and second series sweep since a seven-game losing streak.
In MLB news, the Mets have added infielders Robinson Canó and Jeff McNeil to the 10-day injured list. Canó strained his left quad running out a grounder in the third inning of a 6-1 win over Washington Wednesday night. McNeil has a tight left hamstring, which he thinks occurred while trying to steal second base in the ninth inning of a 6-5 win Tuesday. Luis Guillorme and Ryan O'Rourke were recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets also announced that slugger Yoenis Cespedes is expected to miss the entire season after having ankle surgery Thursday.
The Yankees have put CC Sabathia on the 10-day injured list with right knee inflammation. Sabathia pitched five innings against the Orioles last night and complained about knee soreness afterward. He earned the victory despite allowing five runs and six hits.
Indians ace Corey Kluber had the hard cast protecting his broken right arm removed and the two-time Cy Young winner is healing as hoped. Kluber underwent imaging texts that showed that his ulna is mending properly. Manager Terry Francona said Kluber can begin range of motion and that he will be re-examined in two weeks.
The New York Islanders have agreed to terms with center Brock Nelson on a six-year contract through the 2024-25 season. Nelson scored 25 goals and set career highs with 28 assists and 53 points last season to help the Islanders make the playoffs. He committed to the Islanders before reaching free agency, an important development considering former captain John Tavares hit the open market last summer and signed with his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Penguins have re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year deal worth about $700,000 a season. The 29-year-old Ruhwedel played in 18 games for the Penguins in 2018-19, scoring one goal and one assist while averaging more than 16 minutes of ice time.
An arbitrator has upheld Slava Voynov's one-season NHL suspension but is giving him credit for serving half of it in 2018-19. Voynov will now be eligible to return midway through next season. Commissioner Gary Bettman suspended the former Kings defenseman for the upcoming season and the 2020 playoffs after determining he committed acts of domestic violence.
Mike Modano has decided to return to his NHL roots in Minnesota. The Hall of Fame center was named on Thursday as the executive adviser to Wild owner Craig Leipold and president Matt Majka.
HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Damon Severson and Mark Stone helped Canada escape to the world hockey championship semifinals while the United States and defending champion Sweden dropped out. Canada beat Switzerland 3-2 in overtime. Severson tied it with 0.4 seconds left on a goal. Stone ended it at 5:07 of the 3-on-3 overtime. Meanwhile, Russia defeated the United States 4-3, Finland beat Sweden 5-4 and the Czech Republic topped Germany 5-1. In the semifinals Saturday, Canada will face the Czech Republic, and Russia will play Finland.
Free agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will visit the Cleveland Browns, who hope to sign the six-time Pro Bowler. General manager John Dorsey says that McCoy will be at the team's facility Friday after being released earlier this week by Tampa Bay in a cost-cutting move. The Buccaneers tried to trade McCoy, who was set to make $13 million next season.
Jaguars rookie defensive end Josh Allen sat out practice Thursday after bruising his right knee during the team's first practice of organized team activities. Coach Doug Marrone says there's "zero" concern for his long-term health.
The NFL has suspended Bengals guard Alex Redmond for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Redmond will sit out the first month of the regular-season schedule.
Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington has signed with the Dolphins, his fourth team since the start of last season. Cut by the Bills last September, he was later on the Cowboys’ practice squad and played four games for the Bengals before being slowed by a knee injury.
Charlotte native William Byron has become the youngest driver ever to capture the pole for the Coca-Cola 600. The 21-year-old Byron turned a lap of 183.424 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway to start out front Sunday in NASCAR's longest race. Aric Almirola will start alongside Byron on the front row in his No. 10 Ford. It is one of six Fords starting in the top 10. Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick round out the top five qualifiers. Byron has six top 10 finishes in 49 career Cup Series starts without a victory.
Tony Finau shot a 6-under 64 to take a one-shot lead over local favorite Jordan Spieth and Roger Sloan at Colonial in Fort Worth. Finau had five birdies over seven holes before closing with five straight pars. He hasn't finished higher than 60th in three tournaments since tying for fifth at the Masters. Spieth ended up with seven birdies in a span of 10 holes, the other highlight a 46-foot putt on No. 4.
Scott Parel took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Thursday morning to shoot a 4-under 66 and take the first-round lead in the weather-delayed Senior PGA Championship. The gusting afternoon wind hadn't yet fully arrived when Parel closed with birdies on the par-4 17th and 18th. Retief Goosen, Marco Dawson and Ken Tanigawa are a stroke back.
Tiger Woods has decided to play in the Memorial next week ahead of his next chance in a major. Woods is a five-time winner at Muirfield Village. He has never missed it when healthy, except in 2006 when he took time off after his father's death. The Memorial is two weeks before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship. Justin Thomas also has entered the Memorial, his first tournament since the Masters.
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