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#SportsReport: Celtics Top Raptors; Flyers Best Islanders

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The Celtics are 6-0 in this postseason and owners of a two-games-to-none lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals after rallying for a 102-99 win over the Toronto Raptors. 

Boston carried an eight-point deficit into the final period before outscoring the defending champs, 32-21. Jayson Tatum poured in 34 points and Marcus Smart added 19 for the Celts, who hit 15 of their 38 3-point attempts and were 23 of 25 from the line. Smart nailed five 3-pointers in the final period. Smart made 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions in a 73-second span early in the fourth. He added another 3 about a minute later and a four-point play a minute after that, putting Boston up 86-85 with 7:55 left. It was part of a 29-9 run that put Boston up, 95-87 with 4:18 left. OG Anunoby had 20 points and Fred VanVleet added 19 to lead Toronto.

The Nuggets have advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by becoming the 12th team in league history to win a series after trailing 3-1. Nikola Jokic made the tiebreaking basket with 27 seconds left before Denver held off the Jazz, 80-78. Jokic had 30 points and 14 rebounds and Jamal Murray scored 17 points to help Denver earn a meeting with the Clippers. The Jazz almost pulled out the victory, but Mike Conley's 3-pointer spun out at the buzzer. Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points and Rudy Gobert added 19 with 18 rebounds for Utah.

In NBA news, Milwaukee Bucks players and the team's coach said Tuesday they were disappointed that the Wisconsin Legislature didn't take action on policing reform bills during a special session Monday called by Gov. Tony Evers. In a Zoom session on Tuesday, Bucks guard Kyle Korver called the Legislature's inaction "disappointing." Democrats urged Republicans who control the Legislature to take up the bills, but both the state Senate and Assembly met for less than 30 seconds each before ending the session. Republican leaders gave no indication when they may reconvene.


The Philadelphia Flyers are still alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after beating the Islanders in overtime for the second time in the series. Scott Laughton scored 12:20 into the extra session to give the Flyers a 4-3 victory, cutting New York's series lead to three games to two. Laughton was the hero after the Isles scored twice late in the third period to tie it. Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk and Matt Niskanen each scored their first goals of the playoffs to stake the Flyers to a 3-1 lead after Josh Bailey put New York ahead with a power-play goal early in the second period. Brock Nelson got the Islanders within 3-2 at the 15:46 mark of the third period, 1:33 before Derrick Brassard tied it. Carter Hart finished with 29 saves for the Flyers, one more than Isles netminder Semyon Varlamov. Game 6 is Thursday in Toronto.

Like the Flyers, the Canucks forced a sixth game by escaping with a 2-1 win over the dominant Golden Knights. Elias Pettersson scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to back Thatcher Demko, who made 42 saves in his first NHL playoff start. Vegas outshot Vancouver 43-17 yet scored just once, on a highlight reel goal by defenseman Shea Theodore in the second. Brock Boeser also scored for the Canucks and got the primary assist on Pettersson's goal by taking the shot the 21-year-old Swede deflected past Robin Lehner. Game 6 is Thursday at Edmonton.


The New York Yankees had dropped six straight to Tampa Bay before finally solving the Rays on Tuesday. Gio Urshela hit a tiebreaking, two-run double and came around to score on the play to lift the Yankees past the Rays, 5-3. Urshela plated an insurance run on an error by Willy Adames, beating the tag at the plate. The game ended with empty benches after Tampa Bay pinch-hitter Michael Brosseau took exception to being buzzed near the head by Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees closer struck out Brosseau to end it, and Brosseau began walking toward the visiting dugout before turning back to exchange words with someone on the Yankees. DJ LeMahieu hit a pair of solo homers for the Bombers, who are 2-7 versus Tampa Bay this season. The Rays now lead the AL East by 3 1/2 games over New York.

Elsewhere around in the majors:

Renato Núñez hit two home runs, including a three-run blast that helped the Orioles deal the Mets their fifth straight loss, 9-5. Anthony Santander also slammed a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth.

Marcell Ozuna produced his first three-homer game and finished with six RBIs in leading the Atlanta Braves to a 10-3 rout of the Red Sox. Ozuna was 3 for 5 with a two-run homer in the first inning, a solo shot in the seventh and a three-run blast in the eighth.

Starling Marte lifted a tiebreaking, solo homer in the eighth inning to give the Marlins a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays. Jon Berti also homered and Marte scored the tying run on Garrett Cooper's sixth-inning double.

Aaron Nola struck out nine while tossing two-hit ball for eight innings of the Phillies' 6-0 shutout of the Nationals. Andrew McCutchen crushed a three-run homer and Alec Bohm supplied a solo shot and an RBI double.

Byron Buxton came off the injured list and had two hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh inning to push the Twins past the White Sox, 3-2. Michael Pineda pitched six strong innings, giving up two runs and six hits in his first outing after being suspended 60 games last year for using a banned diuretic.

The Indians blew out the Royals, 10-1 as Franmil Reyes went 5 for 5 with two doubles and a homer. Zach Plesac allowed a run and four hits over six innings in his first start since being demoted for violating coronavirus protocols on August 8.

Elvis Andrus hit a tying solo homer in the ninth inning and the Rangers scored twice in the 10th on a balk and two errors to beat the Astros, 6-5. The Rangers trailed by one entering the ninth after the Astros took the lead on a three-run homer by Michael Brantley in the seventh.

Chris Taylor collected a season-high four RBIs and Julio Urías pitched six innings of four-hit ball in the Dodgers' 6-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. Taylor, AJ Pollock and Max Muncy had two hits apiece as Los Angeles won for the 16th time in its last 19 games.

Alex Dickerson hit three home runs and matched a career high with six RBIs as the Giants rolled to their 10th win in 13 games, a 23-5 dismantling of the Rockies. Brandon Crawford also homered among his three hits and had six RBIs, while Donovan Solano supplied four hits and six ribbies.

Ian Happ hit a solo homer and furnished the tiebreaking in the 11th inning to send the Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the Pirates. Kyle Schwarber belted a two-run homer before Chicago blew a 6-2 lead in the sixth.

Brad Miller homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs as the Cardinals battered Sonny Gray and the Reds, 16-2. Kolten Wong went 4 for 4 and scored four times as the Cardinals set season highs for runs and hits with 23.

Victor Reyes had four hits and five RBIs in the Tigers' sixth consecutive win, a 12-1 bombing of the Brewers. Surprising Detroit moved back above .500 at 17-16, but it lost starting outfielder JaCoby Jones to a fractured left hand.

In MLB news: 

Thursday's game between the Seattle Mariners and visiting Oakland Athletics has been postponed, wiping out the entire three-game series. The decision allows for additional testing and contact tracing after a member of the Athletics' organization tested positive for the coronavirus. Major League Baseball says the series will be made up with a doubleheader in Seattle on Sept. 14 and another in Oakland on Sept. 26.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has landed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring. Turner injured his hamstring while stealing second base at Texas last Friday. The major league-leading Dodgers also activated third baseman Edwin Ríos and left-hander Alex Wood from the injured list.


Andy Murray needed over 4 1/2 hours to win his first Grand Slam match in nearly 20 months, dropping the first two sets before earning a 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 triumph over Yoshihito Nishioka at the U.S. Open. The 33-year-old Murray is coming off two hiop surgeries and was treated for blisters on his two big toes by a trainer during a medical timeout during the match.

Serena Williams began her latest attempt to win a 24th Grand Slam singles trophy by beating Kristie Ahn.The two Americans split the first 10 games before Williams pulled away to win 7-5, 6-3. The victory was her 102nd at the tournament, breaking the tie she held with Chris Evert for the most by a woman in the Open era.

Venus Williams lost in the opening round at the U.S. Open for the first time in her long career. Williams had been 21-0 in first rounders before her 6-3, 7-5 loss to No. 20-seeded Karolina Muchova. Kim Clijsters couldn't win her first Grand Slam match in eight years. The four-time major champion was beaten by Ekaterina Alexandrova, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Other winners in the men's bracket include second seed Dominic Thiem, eighth seed Roberto Bautista-Agut and No. 10 Andrey Rublev. Second seed Sofia Kenin, fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka, seventh seed Madison Keys, No. 9 Johanna Konta and No. 10 Garbine Muguruza advanced on the women's side. 

It was a tough day for a few U.S. players. Sam Querrey, Denis Kudla, Bradley Klahn and Mackenzie McDonald were dispatched in Round 1. Jeffrey John Wolf advanced in four sets. Americans Christina McHale, Claire Liu and Lauren Davis were ousted in the women's bracket.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press has learned that seven entrants have been placed under stricter COVID-19 protocols after contact with the only athlete to test positive for the coronavirus at the tournament. The seven include Richard Gasquet, Grégoire Barrère and Ysaline Bonaventure, each of whom played on Tuesday. One of the seven is Kirsten Flipkens, who was scheduled to compete on Wednesday. Contact tracing determined there were seven players who potentially could have been exposed to COVID-19 by Benoit Paire who was taken out of the draw Sunday because of his test result.


William Byron now has a contract extension through 2022 at Hendrick Motorsports. The extension was finalized in early August and announced today, three days after Byron's win at Daytona International Speedway earned him a berth in NASCAR's playoffs. Byron is in his third full season driving the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick and is the first driver other than Jeff Gordon to win with that entry.


Tiz the Law is the 3-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby and will attempt to become the first winner from the No. 17 post position drawn. The best finish in 41 starts from that spot was a second place by Forty Niner in 1988 and two thirds. All the race favorites will break from the outside at Churchill Downs, including second choice Honor A.P. from the No. 16 post and third choice Authentic at No. 18. Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes earlier this summer. The Preakness in Baltimore will take place next month. The Derby is being run without any fans in attendance.


Running back Leonard Fournette is a free agent after going unclaimed 24 hours after being waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fournette's representatives responded to the waiver move by formally filing a grievance against the Jaguars in an effort to recoup the $4.17 million in base salary he was initially guaranteed for this season. Jacksonville voided all remaining guarantees in Fournette's rookie deal following his one-game suspension for fighting with Buffalo linebacker Shaq Lawson in November 2018.

In other NFL news:

Rams linebacker Travin Howard will miss the upcoming season after tearing the meniscus in a knee. His injury deprives the Rams of a probable starter at inside linebacker for the second straight season.

Browns starting linebacker Mack Wilson does not need surgery for his hyperextended left knee and is expected to play this season. Wilson had to be carted off the field after hurting his knee while breaking up a pass on Aug. 18.

The Raiders have placed receiver Tyrell Williams on season-ending injured reserve with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Williams got injured last month in practice and initially was going to try to play through the injury.

The NFL has updated its game day protocols by requiring every coach and staff member in the bench area to wear a mask and reducing the size of each team's travel party. Owners also will have to follow COVID-19 testing requirements to gain access to the locker room, field or team charter.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.