#SportsReport: Nets Down Suns; Mets Rip Nationals
The Brooklyn Nets were able to widen their lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference following the return of one of their stars. Kevin Durant poured in 33 points on 12 of 21 shooting in 28 minutes off the bench, helping the Nets earn a 128-119 win over the Suns.
Durant missed three games after bruising his left thigh early in a loss to Miami last Sunday. He has been limited to just 25 games while the Nets have played a large portion of the season without their Big 3 of Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden in the same lineup. Irving paced Brooklyn with 34 points and Blake Griffin added 15 as the Nets moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the 76ers. Devin Booker scored 36 points and Deandre Ayton added 20 with 13 rebounds for the Suns, who are tied for second with the Clippers in the West and two games behind the Jazz.
Checking out Sunday's other NBA action:
The Hornets had four players score at least 20 points in a 125-104 dismantling of the Celtics. Devonte Graham had 24 points and nine assists, while P.J. Washington chipped in with 22 points and 12 rebounds to help Charlotte pull within 1 1/2 games of Boston for the sixth seed in the East. Terry Rozier had 21 points and 11 assists and Miles Bridges stayed hot with 20 points.
Bradley Beal scored 33 points and the Wizards earned their eighth straight win by rallying past the Cavaliers, 119-110. Washington tied it at 105 on Beal's 3-pointer with 4:55 remaining and closed on a 14-5 run. Backcourt mate Russell Westbrook had 14 points, 11 assists and five rebounds, ending his triple-double streak at four.
Lou Williams sank four 3-pointers in the final seven minutes, including a jumper that gave the Hawks their first lead in the second half of a 111-104 win over the Bucks. Bogdan Bogdanovic delivered 32 points and Kevin Huerter scored 20 in Atlanta's 11th win in 14 games. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points with 14 rebounds, but the Bucks couldn't complete a season sweep.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points and set an NBA record for 3-pointers in a month at 85, leading the Warriors to a 117-113 verdict over the Kings. Curry shot 11 of 21 with seven more 3-pointers after the two-time MVP rolled his right ankle during Friday's win against Denver. Kelly Oubre Jr.'s jumper with 1:42 left put Golden State ahead 112-111 before Richaun Holmes missed a pair of free throws at the 1:25 mark.
Ja Morant had 28 points as the Grizzlies beat the Trail Blazers for the second time in three days, 120-113. Jonas Valanciunas added 21 points and 10 boards in his return after missing three games because of concussion protocol. CJ McCollum had 27 points for the Blazers, who have lost five straight and nine of its last 11 to fall to seventh in the West, a half-game ahead of Memphis.
Malcolm Brogdon contributed 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the Pacers' 131-112 pounding of the Magic. Six other Pacers scored in double-figures as Edmond Sumner furnished 21 and Justin Holiday added 20. Indiana outscored Orlando 41-20 in the third quarter of its third straight win.
The third-longest winning streak in Oakland Athletics history has come to an end. The A's had won 13 straight before Austin Hays hit a pair of home runs to back John Means in the Orioles' 8-1 rout of the AL West leaders. Means lowered his ERA to 1.50 by limiting Oakland to just one run on two hits with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Cedric Mullins had three hits for Baltimore, raising his average to .350. But the game was close until Maikel Franco homered to ignite the Birds' five-run eighth. The Athletics' win streak followed an 0-6 start.
Also around the majors:
The Mets took the rubber match of their three-game set as Taijuan Walker limited the Nationals to three hits over seven innings of a 4-0 victory. J.D. Davis hit a two-run to help Walker earn his first win as a Met.
The Indians avoided a four-game sweep as Franmil Reyes hit a three-run homer, tripled and had his first career stolen base in a 7-3 downing of the Yankees. Reyes homered in the fourth off Jameson Taillon as Cleveland overcame a 3-0 deficit and took a 4-3 lead.
J.D. Martinez had two more doubles and Eduardo Rodriguez struck out eight Mariners in six innings to help the Red Sox beat the Mariners, 5-3 for a four-game split. Martinez leads the majors with 10 two-baggers and is tied with teammate Xander Bogaerts for the major-leading lead with 30 hits.
Hyun Jin Ryu was forced to leave early with a minor strain before five relievers completed the Blue Jays' 1-0 shutout of the Rays. Ryu gave up three hits and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings but exited with right glute injury after giving up a single to Manuel Margot.
Trevor Story hit a grand slam to cap a seven-run fourth that highlighted the Rockies' 12-2 laugher over the Phillies. CJ Cron had four of Colorado's season-high, 16 hits, including a two-run homer in the eighth.
Danny Duffy pitched five scoreless innings and Hunter Dozier hit a solo homer for the Royals in their fourth straight win, 4-0 over the Tigers. Duffy has allowed one earned run in 23 innings so far this season.
Michael Kopech struck out a career-high 10 in just five innings of the White Sox's 8-4 trouncing of the Rangers. José Abreu homered and had three RBIs in Chicago's fourth straight win.
Shohei Ohtani's tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth helped the Angels beat the Astros, 4-2 and end a four-game skid. Ohtani is tied for the MLB lead with seven home runs and is scheduled to pitch on Monday.
The Diamondbacks blanked the Braves, 5-0 in Game 1 of a doubleheader as Zac Gallen tossed one-hit ball over seven innings. Stephen Vogt and Kole Calhoun homered to support Gallen, who had a no-hitter until Freddie Freeman's one-out single in the sixth.
Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning no-hitter as the Diamondbacks completed a sweep of the Braves, 7-0. Officially, Bumgarner's gem won't count on the all-time no-hit list after MLB determined in 1991 that a no-hitter was a game of nine or more innings that ended with no hits. Atlanta had just one hit during the entire twinbill.
Fernando Tatís Jr. scored on Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly in the 11th inning to give the Padres a dramatic 8-7 comeback win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Padres trailed 7-1 in the seventh before scoring twice in three straight innings, with Manny Machado delivering the tying RBI single in the ninth.
Logan Webb pitched three-hit ball over seven scoreless innings and collected his first career extra-base hit with a two-run triple as the Giants earned a 4-3 win over the Marlins. Mauricio Dubon added a pair of hits, including a squeeze-bunt single for San Francisco.
The Brewers were 6-0 winners over the Cubs behind Brandon Woodruff, who surrendered just two hits while fanning eight over six innings. Luis Urías poked a two-run single during Milwaukee's five-run ninth, helping Milwaukee close out a 5-1 road trip.
The Reds' losing streak is up to seven games after Tyler O'Neill homered twice to power the Cardinals to a 5-2 win versus Cincinnati. Jack Flaherty retired the first 10 batters and allowed just three hits over seven innings to improve to 4-0.
Gregory Polanco homered among his three hits as the Pirates whipped the Twins, 6-2 to complete a 6-3 road trip. Pittsburgh's bullpen allowed just three hits over five innings after Wil Crow needed 81 pitches to get through four innings.
In MLB news:
Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera has won a partial appeal of his suspension for throwing at Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff in a game on April 13. Tepera initially received a three-game suspension, which has been cut to two. He began serving the penalty on Sunday.
The Brewers are moving along with their plan for Christian Yelich after an MRI on the slugger's strained lower back showed no major issues. Yelich hasn't played since April 11 and was eligible to come off the injured list this weekend, but the 2018 NL MVP was sent back to Milwaukee to undergo the MRI.
The Braves have sent Sean Kazmar Jr. to their alternate training site, a week after the infielder returned to the majors for the first time since 2008. The 36-year-old Kazmar became an instant feel-good story when Atlanta brought him up to the big leagues. Pitcher Drew Smyly came off the injured list and replaced Kazmar on the roster.
The Marlins say their minor league complex in Jupiter, Florida, was shut down for the weekend after five players tested positive for COVID-19. The interruption is not expected to affect the start of the season for any of the Marlins' four full-season affiliates who begin their schedules on May 4.
There's a new team atop the NHL's East Division. The Pittsburgh Penguins slid one point ahead of Washington with a 1-0 win over Boston. Tristan Jarry made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season and fourth consecutive win. Neither team scored until Jake Guentzel beat rookie Jeremy Swayman 4:03 into the third period. Pittsburgh has 14 wins and points in 16 of its last 19 games overall. The Bruins have dropped two straight since a six-game winning streak, leaving them eight points out of first with two games in hand.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
Mika Zibanejad registered his third hat trick in 22 games and seventh of his career to help lift the Rangers past the Sabres, 6-3. Kaapo Kakko added two goals and Kevin Rooney had an empty-netter as the Blueshirts pulled within four points of Boston for the final playoff spot in the East Division. Adam Fox had three assists and Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves in New York's seventh win in 10 games.
Claude Giroux scored twice in 22 seconds to force overtime and was one of three Flyers to score in a shootout as Philadelphia beat the Devils, 4-3. Giroux scored quickly when the Flyers were in desperation mode with under 90 seconds to play and down by two goals. New Jersey is winless in its last 10 games.
The Lightning skated away with a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets on Victor Hedman's goal 10 seconds into overtime. Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists as Tampa Bay climbed within two points of Carolina for the Central Division lead. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 shots for his league-leading 28th victory of the season.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez continued his torrid start to the Major League Soccer season with a hat trick and the LA Galaxy defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-2. Chicharito has five goals in two games for the Galaxy after having only two goals in 12 games last year in an injury-plagued first season in MLS. He joins Houston’s Brian Ching (2006) as the only players in league history to have five goals in the first two games of the season. Andrew Gutman and Cristian Cásseres Jr. scored for the Red Bulls, who have dropped both of their games.
Brad Keselowski finally got that last-lap victory, winning in overtime Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski is the ninth driver to win through 10 NASCAR Cup races this season. He avenged the embarrassing Team Penske gaffe in the season-opening Daytona 500 when he and teammate Joey Logano triggered a last-lap crash. Keselowski led just one lap in a race that featured 35 lead changes among 27 drivers. William Byron was second, Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell third and Kevin Harvick a season-high fourth.
Colton Herta scored his fourth IndyCar victory to match the same total his father, Bryan, achieved over his own 12-year career. Herta started from the pole at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix and led a race-record 97 of the 100 laps to win his first race with Bryan Herta as his race strategist. Josef Newgarden finished second and was denied a third consecutive victory at St. Petersburg. He was followed by Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud.
Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman outlasted Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel to win the Zurich Classic in a playoff that capped a tight and tense final round. Smith and Leishman won with a par on their second trip up the par-5 18th after Oosthuizen pushed his tee shot into the water and narrowly missed an 11-foot putt for par. The Australians forced the playoff by shooting a 2-under 70 in alternate-shot play at the PGA Tour's lone regular-season team event. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel began the round with a one-stroke lead, but shot a 71 with three pars and two bogeys.
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