WAMC Sports News: Heat Beat Celtics In OT To Take Opener
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo helped the Miami Heat take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston. Butler converted a three-point play with 12 seconds left in overtime to put the Heat ahead for good in a 117-114 triumph over the Celtics. Adebayo blocked Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt in the final seconds to seal the win.
Goran Dragic had 29 points, Jae Crowder scored 22 and Butler finished with 20 for Miami.
The Celtics outscored the Heat 27-10 over the final 8:17 of the third quarter and led by 14 early in the fourth. Tatum scored 30 points and Marcus Smart had 26 for Boston.
Game 2 is Thursday.
The Denver Nuggets have advanced to the NBA's Western Conference finals by storming back from a three-games-to-one deficit for the second straight series.
The Nuggets trailed by two before allowing just 33 points in the second half of a 104-89 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Denver's comeback follows its rally against Utah in the first round and puts the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009.
Jamal Murray poured in 40 points and Nikola Jokic had a triple-double of 22 rebounds, 16 points and 13 assists. Gary Harris and Jerami Grant each had 14 points in the win.
The Nuggets limited Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to a combined 24 points, with Leonard scoring 14. Montrezl Harrell had a team-high 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, who were trying to reach the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.
The Nuggets now prepare for the Lakers. Los Angeles comes off a five-game series win over the Rockets.
Head coach Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors have announced a multiyear extension without divulging the terms.
Nurse has won the Atlantic Division title in each of his first two seasons at the helm. The Raptors captured the NBA title last year before finishing with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference this season.
Nurse was originally signed to a three-year deal in June 2018 to lead the club.
The New York Islanders will spend at least two more days in the Edmonton bubble after extending the Eastern Conference final to a sixth game.
Jordan Eberle scored on a 2-on-1 break 12 ½ minutes into double-overtime to give the Isles a 2-1 win over the Lightning. Anders Lee lugged the puck deep into the Tampa Bay zone before sliding a pass to Eberle in the slot.
Semyon Varlamov was superb at times while stopping 36 shots, with some of his best stops coming in OT.
The Islanders ended an 0-13 skid on the power play when Ryan Pulock blasted a shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy 15:41 into the game. New York maintained the lead until Victor Hedman's goal four minutes into the second period.
Vasilevskiy finished with 22 saves for the Lightning, who are the road team for Game 6 on Thursday.
The Washington Capitals have hired a Stanley Cup-winning head coach for the first time in their history.
Veteran bench boss Peter Laviolette is replacing Todd Reirden, 14 years after winning a Cup with the Hurricanes. He also led the 2010 Flyers and 2017 Predators to the Cup final.
The 55-year-old Laviolette became an NHL head coach with the Islanders in 2001, guiding them to playoff berths in each of his two seasons at Uniondale. He spent 5 1/2 seasons with Nashville before being dismissed in January.
The Minnesota Wild have signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension.
The 27-year-old native of Sweden had a career-high 26 assists in 69 games during the virus-shortened season.
Ryan Yarbough won for the first time in 16 appearances while helping the Tampa Bay Rays stay four games ahead of the second-place Yankees in the American League East.
Yarbrough gave up one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings in the Rays’ 6-1 downing of the Nationals. It was his first win since Aug 11, 2019 at Seattle.
Nate Lowe belted a solo homer and worked out a bases-loaded walk as the Rays improved to 3-4 in a seven-game stretch against last-place opponents.
Elsewhere on the major league schedule:
— DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit drove in five runs apiece as the Yankees ripped the Blue Jays, 20-6. Voit smacked two of the Yanks’ five home runs and Gary Sanchez added a three-run blast with four ribbies in New York’s sixth straight win.
— The White Sox have a three-game lead in the AL Central after Tim Anderson and James McCann homered in Chicago's 6-2 win versus the second-place Twins. Dane Dunning limited Minnesota to one earned run and three hits while fanning seven over seven innings.
— Antonio Senzatella fired a six-hitter and Elias Diaz smacked a go-ahead, two-run homer that pushed the Rockies past the Athletics, 3-1. It was Colorado’s first complete game since German Marquez went the distance in April 2019.
— George Springer and Martín Maldonado homered for the Astros, but Alex Bregman hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh to lead Houston past the Rangers, 4-1. José Urquidy allowed three hits and a run in seven innings for his first win of the season.
— Miguel Cabrera homered and doubled as the Tigers beat the Royals, 6-0 to end a three-game skid. Matthew Boyd bounced back from a rough outing with a strong performance, throwing five-plus scoreless innings and giving up just two hits.
— Tony Gonsolin worked seven innings and Edwin Rios homered for the Dodgers in a 3-1 win over the Padres. Justin Turner had three singles in his return from the injured list, including an RBI single in the first. Los Angeles ended San Diego's eight-game winning streak and regained a 2 ½-game lead in the NL West.
— Huascar Ynoa combined with three relievers on a four-hitter as the Braves topped the Orioles, 5-1. Freddie Freeman laced a pair of RBI doubles and Adam Duvall smacked his 15th home run to help the NL East leaders move 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Miami.
— Boston’s Tanner Houck gave up just two singles over five innings to win his major league debut, 2-0 over the Marlins. Jackie Bradley Jr. broke up a scoreless game with an opposite-field double off Miami starter Sandy Alcantara in the sixth.
— Didi Gregorius belted a two-run homer and Adam Haseley supplied a two-run single for the Phillies in a 4-1 verdict over the Mets. Jake Arrieta worked 5 1/3 innings before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.
— Willson Contreras and Cameron Maybin were plunked by consecutive pitches from Nick Wittgren in the ninth inning, forcing home the winning run in the Cubs' 6-5 triumph over the Indians. Javier Baez homered for Chicago, which withstood a two-run homer in the ninth by Francisco Lindor to increase its lead in the NL Central to five games.
— Keston Hiura and Daniel Vogelbach each homered and drove in four runs as the Brewers destroyed the Cardinals, 18-3. Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun also provided longballs to support Brett Anderson, who allowed two runs over six frames.
— Tucker Barnhart homered and Brian Goodwin prevented one with a leaping catch as the Reds earned their season-high fourth straight win, 4-1 against the Pirates. Michael Lorenzen was sharp in a spot start for Cincinnati, allowing one run and four hits while striking out six over five innings.
— The Giants-Mariners two-game series scheduled to begin Tuesday in Seattle has been postponed due to smoky skies caused by the West Coast wildfires. The teams will now play Wednesday and Thursday at Oracle Park in San Francisco, with game times to be determined.
Major League Baseball has announced the ballparks that will serve as neutral sites for the upcoming division series, league championship series and World Series.
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, will host the World Series as part of a bubble agreement between MLB and the union. The bubble is designed to minimize exposure to the coronavirus.
The AL Championship Series will be at San Diego’s Petco Park and the NL at Globe Life, a retractable roof stadium with artificial turf that opened this year. The ALDS will be at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium, while the NLDS will play out in Arlington and Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
The wild-card round will be held in the stadium of the top-seeded teams.
The playoffs were expanded from 10 to 16 teams due to the shortened regular-season.
The New York Yankees have activated designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, third baseman Gio Urshela and right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga from the 10-day injured list.
Stanton missed 32 games with a strained left hamstring, Urshela was out with a bone spur in his right elbow and Loaisiga was sidelined with a medical condition the team did not specify.
Right fielder Aaron Judge is expected to be activated later this week. He’s been limited to one game since Aug. 11 because of a strained right calf.
Also around the majors:
— Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has been activated from the 10-day injured list after missing 13 games with a strained left hamstring. Turner entered Tuesday’s action batting .282 with two homers and 20 RBIs in 32 games during the shortened season.
The New York Jets will play at least three games without running back Le’Veon Bell after he injured a hamstring during Sunday’s loss to the Bills.
Head coach Adam Gase said Monday he didn’t want to put a timetable on Bell’s return, but said it was possible it could take some time because it’s a soft-tissue injury.
The Jets also announced they have placed rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims and second-year linebacker Blake Cashman on IR.
In other NFL news:
— Drue Tranquill has been placed on injured reserve by the Chargers . The second-year linebacker broke his left ankle during the first quarter of Sunday’s 16-13 victory at Cincinnati.
— The Bengals claimed former Browns kicker Austin Seibert off waivers but expect Randy Bullock to be ready to play in Cleveland on Thursday. Bullock missed a 31-yard field goal with 2 seconds left Sunday when his left calf cramped.
— The 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent receiver Mohamed Sanu. He had 26 catches for 207 yards in eight games with New England last season.
— The 49ers are seeking to identify the fan who sent racist messages to Arizona safety Budda Baker. The team says it will ban the person from future games and events. Baker tweeted a screenshot of the derogatory messages on Monday that came after his hit Sunday injured All-Pro tight end George Kittle.
The University of Wisconsin chancellor says Big Ten football will remain on hold until there are answers to questions about COVID-19 testing and tracing, along with possible long-term heart issues related to the coronavirus.
Big Ten leaders are reconsidering a fall season after a weekend of meetings about a plan to begin play as soon as mid-October.
Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank would not predict which way a vote to return to play would go. She says once Big Ten university leaders have their questions and concerns addressed, “we will try to plan a delayed season.”
Also around college football:
— Arkansas State’s home football game against Central Arkansas has been pushed back from Saturday to Oct. 10. Arkansas State announced Tuesday that the team cannot assemble a full two-deep depth chart at a specific position group due to player unavailability. The statement did not reveal if the postponement was COVID-19 related, but the program said the “health and safety of our student-athletes will always come first.”
— UAB quarterback Tyler Johnston III is out indefinitely with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Johnston has thrown for 293 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in the first two games against Central Arkansas and Miami.
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