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#SportsReport: Celtics Blast Raptors; Lightning Down Islanders

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The Boston Celtics are one victory away from knocking off the defending NBA Champions. The Celts own a 3-2 series lead after Jaylen Brown scored 27 points in a 111-89 blowout over the Raptors. 

Kemba Walker scored 21 for the Celtics, whose starters outscored Toronto's top five by a whopping 93-45. The Raptors shot 2-for-15 during its first 15 possessions to fall behind 18-5. A 23-7 Boston run put the Celtics up by 28 late in the first half. Fred VanVleet scored 18 for Toronto, which trailed by as many as 30. Norman Powell scored 16 for the Raptors, but Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry managed 10 points apiece. Game 6 is Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Clippers staged a fourth-quarter rally to take a two-tames-to-one lead in the Western Conference semifinals against Denver. The Nuggets led 97-90 until the Clippers reeled off a 14-4 run in a 113-107 triumph over Denver. Kawhi Leonard had a huge block down the stretch and finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Paul George had a team-high 32 points for the Clippers, who are two wins away from their first conference finals berth since the franchise began play 50 years ago. Nikola Jokic had 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Denver despite a sore right wrist that had him questionable before the game.

In NBA news, the league has fined Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley $25,000 for verbally abusing a game official in Game 2 of his team's Western Conference semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets. Beverley was demonstrably upset with a foul call against him four seconds earlier, then unsuccessfully tried to take a charge when play resumed and got called for a blocking foul. He then got two technical fouls as he argued to no avail.


The Tampa Bay Lightning overwhelmed the New York Islanders in Game 1 of the NHL's Eastern Conference final. Brayden Point and linemate Nikita Kucherov each collected five points as the Lightning clobbered the Isles, 8-2. Point delivered two goals and three assists for the Lightning, who showed no rust after defeating the Bruins in five games. Kucherov had four assists and scored a goal that put Tampa Bay ahead, 6-1 six minutes into the third period. The Islanders hadn't allowed more than four goals in the postseason and owned the best goals-against average before getting blitzed. Thomas Greiss was pulled after surrendering three goals in the first 11 minutes. Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who will try to regroup before Game 2 on Wednesday.


The New York Yankees enjoyed a 6-2 lead against Toronto on Monday before falling further behind the second-place Blue Jays in the American League East. The Jays erupted for 10 runs in the sixth inning of a 12-7 rout of the Bombers. Danny Jansen capped the fireworks with a grand slam after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Travis Shaw delivered two-run singles. The big rally puts Toronto two games ahead of the Yanks and 4 1/2 games behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

Elsewhere in baseball: 

The Phillies coughed up a 6-0 lead before Jean Segura blasted a two-out, two-run homer in the 10th to lead a 9-8 triumph over the Mets. Segura had four hits and a career-high five RBIs, including a three-run double.

The Rays dropped a 6-1 decision to the last-place Nationals as Max Scherzer scattered six hits over seven scoreless innings. Kurt Suzuki was 3-for-4 with an RBI double, and Michael A. Taylor drove in two runs.

Chris Bassitt held the Astros to seven hits and no walks over seven shutout innings to highlight Oakland's 6-0 victory. Sean Murphy furnished a solo homer and a two-run single as the Athletics handed the Astros their fifth loss in a row, giving the A's a 4 1/2-game lead over Houston in the AL West.

Zach Plesac gave up a hit in each of his seven innings but stayed out of trouble in the Indians' 5-2 win over the Royals. Tyler Naquin had two RBIs as Cleveland dealt Kansas City its seventh consecutive loss.

The Cubs earned a 5-1 win over the Cardinals behind Kyle Hendricks, who gave up a run and seven hits over eight innings. Javier Báez had three singles and scored a run for the Cubs, who took a 5-0 lead on a two-run single by Johan Oviedo in the fifth.

Miguel Rojas had four hits, including a go-ahead double in the 10th inning of the Marlins' 5-4 win over the Braves. Miami's José Ureña allowed three runs in five innings in a season debut delayed after he contracted COVID-19.

The Padres walked off with a 1-0 win over the Rockies on Jurickson Profar's RBI double in the bottom of the ninth. Padres starter Dinelson Lamet had to settle for a no-decision despite striking out 11 and allowing six hits over 7 2/3s.

Kevin Gausman and three relievers combined on a three-hitter as the Giants doubled up the Diamondbacks, 4-2. Darin Ruf hit a two-run single in the sixth off Zac Gallen, who had just set a major league record last week by not allowing more than three earned runs in his first 23 major league starts.

Ryan Jeffers hit his first major league homer to spark a four-run third in the Twins' 6-2 victory against the Tigers. Michael Pineda allowed only three hits and two runs with eight strikeouts for his first victory since returning from a 60-game drug suspension.

Dylan Moore hit a solo home run and added a three-run double that helped the Mariners complete a four-game sweep of the Rangers, 8-4. Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer in Seattle's sixth consecutive win.


Dustin Johnson finally has his name on the FedEx Cup trophy and a whopping $15 million that comes with it. Johnson saw his five-shot lead dwindle to two shots down the stretch in the Tour Championship. But he came up with just enough shots and a few key putts for a 2-under 68 for a three-shot victory at East Lake. He becomes the first No. 1 seed at the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup since Tiger Woods in 2009. Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele finished three shots behind and each picked up $4.5 million.


Serena Williams is into the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for a 12th consecutive appearance, but her stiffest challenger for the title has been ousted. Williams needed to come from behind in the third set before taking another step closer to Grand Slam title No. 24, edging Maria Sakkari, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. This was a rematch from less than two weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open. That one was won in three sets by Sakkari as Williams dealt with leg cramps and faded down the stretch. This time, Williams was two points from victory at 6-all in the tiebreaker but dropped the next two points and the set. Then she trailed 2-0 in the third before turning things around.

The possibility of Williams facing second seed Sofia Kenin in the semifinals is over. No. 16 Elise Mertens has knocked off Kenin, 6-3, 6-3 to earn a berth in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open for the second year in a row. Kenin won the Australian Open and was trying to become the first back-to-back Grand Slam winner since Naomi Osaka won the U.S. Open and the Australian in 2018-19. But the American had 26 unforced errors to only seven for Mertens.

Other fourth-round winners on the women's side were Victoria Azarenka and Tsvetana Pironkova. Azarenka won her ninth straight match, beating No. 20 Karolina Muchova 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 for her first quarterfinal appearance at Flushing Meadows since 2015. Azarenka considered retiring at the start of the year, when she was returning from maternity leave. Pironkova rallied for a 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 victory over Alize Cornet. It is Pironkova's first tournament since Wimbledon in 2017, when she took off to give birth and raise her son, Alexander.

On the men's side, second-seeded Dominic Thiem eased into the quarterfinals with a straight-sets win over Felix Auger-Aliassime. Thiem's 7-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory put him in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for the second time. Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev is into the quarters after taking control from the outset of a 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 victory over American Frances Tiafoe.The Russian needed only an hour and 38 minutes as he maintained his streak of winning every set so far in the tournament.

Tenth seed Andrey Rublev got the better of a U.S. Open rematch and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 6 Matteo Berrettini. They also played in the fourth round of the U.S. Open last year, with Berrettini winning in straight sets. Alex de Minaur moved into his first Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Vasek Pospisil 7-6, 6-3, 6-2. The key to the match in Louis Armstrong Stadium was the opening-set tiebreaker. Pospisil held four set points at 6-2 but failed to convert any.

In tennis news:

The total financial penalty for Novak Djokovic's U.S. Open disqualification is $267,500. Djokovic has been docked an additional $7,500 for skipping the mandatory post-match news conference after being defaulted in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball after dropping a game. Djokovic earlier was told to pay $10,000 for that violation. He also lost $250,000 in U.S. Open prize money.

Spectators will be allowed at the French Open this month despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country. Organizers unveiled the health protocols for the clay-court grand slam, which will take place at Roland Garros from Sept. 27 after being postponed from its May start due to the pandemic. Roland Garros will be divided into three zones based on the three main courts, with a limited capacity of 5,000 people each for the Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen courts.


Cam Heyward is getting his wish. The veteran All-Pro defensive tackle is set to be a Pittsburgh Steeler for life. The Steelers signed Heyward to a five-year contract worth around $75 million. The 31-year-old was entering the final season of a six-year deal he signed in 2015. Heyward is coming off a stellar 2019 season in which he had nine sacks while helping Pittsburgh's defense become one of the league's best.

The Lions have announced the signing of Adrian Peterson. The 35-year-old running back comes to Detroit after being released by Washington. He has rushed for 14,216 yards in 13 seasons, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings. He rushed for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns over two seasons with Washington.

Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead is expected to miss significant time after landing on the COVID-19 list for the second time in five weeks. Coach Doug Marrone says Armstead will be sidelined "a while."

The Jaguars have signed quarterback Mike Glennon to their practice squad. The move adds a veteran under the NFL's revamped roster rules.


Lionel Messi has returned to training with Barcelona, almost two weeks after he told the club he wanted to leave. Messi said last week he wasn't happy with Barcelona but would rather stay than get into a legal battle with the club. Messi wanted to leave for free but the club said the contract clause he invoked had expired. His current contract ends in June 2021.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.