#SportsReport: Durant Carries Nets Over Bucks; Mets Down Cubs
James Harden was back in the Brooklyn Nets' lineup, but it was Kevin Durant's triple-double that led them to a 114-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Durant carried the Nets on his back, delivering 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. Jeff Green also had a big night off the bench, scoring 27 points as Brooklyn took a three-games-to-two lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Harden played all but two minutes, providing five points, eight assists and six assists in his first game since coming out of the series opener in the first minute because of a hamstring injury. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 12 boards for the Bucks, who led by 16 at halftime before allowing 71 points over the last two quarters. Game 6 is Thursday in Milwaukee, where the Bucks are 4-0 against the Nets this season.
In NBA news, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic is among the list of players named to the All-NBA First Team. The Denver Nuggets center averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 72 games during the regular season. He also averaged 29.8 points as Denver advanced to the Western Conference semifinals before getting swept by Phoenix. Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was a unanimous First Team selection. He and Jokic are joined on the First Team by Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard. Second Team selections were Lakers forward LeBron James, 76ers center Joel Embiid, Suns guard Chris Paul, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Knicks forward Julius Randle.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had been waiting all postseason to get a goal from their defensemen. They got a pair on Tuesday to even their Stanley Cup semifinal series with the New York Islanders at a game apiece. Blueliners Jan Rutta and Victor Hedman scored seven minutes apart in the third period to give the Bolts a 4-1 lead in a 4-2 win over the Isles. Rutta scored for the first time in December 2019, which proved to be the game-winner. Nikita Kucherov set up goals by Hedman, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat, one game after Tampa Bay waited until the final minute to beat Semyon Varlamov. Brock Nelson and Mat Barzal had the Islanders goals against Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 24 shots. Game 3 is Thursday at Nassau Coliseum.
In NHL news:
Philadelphia Flyers left wing Oskar Lindblom has captured the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey." Lindblom was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer in December 2019, causing him to miss the remainder of the regular season. He returned to the Flyers' lineup for two games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in September and regained his regular place in the lineup this season. Lindblom had eight goals and 14 points in 50 games this year. He was declared cancer-free in March.
The Devils have re-signed right wing Nathan Bastian to a two-year deal worth $1.65 million. Bastian completed his first full NHL season with the Devils, leading the club with 136 hits and collecting 10 points in 41 games.
The New York Mets must be imagining how good they'll be when a few of their position players come off the injured list. The patchwork Mets are a season-high nine games over .500 at 34-25 after beating the NL Central-leading Cubs for the second straight night, 3-2. Taijuan Walker struck out a career-high 12 while limiting Chicago to two runs and five hits with no walks. Pete Alonso hit a game-tying, two-run single and snapped a 2-2 tie with a sacrifice fly as the Mets won for the seventh time in nine games. Seth Lugo got six outs for his first save since returning on June 2 from elbow surgery. Lugo avoided a blown save when Jake Marisnick was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the ninth. Javier Báez hit his 15th home run for the Cubs, a two-run shot that opened the scoring in the third inning. The Mets continue to play without Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis, each of whom were in the starting lineup on opening day.
In other major league action:
The Yankees erased a 5-2 deficit before Clint Frazier snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit double to give New York a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays. Chris Gittens homered for his first major league hit, Gary Sanchez went deep and Brett Gardner added a blast in the Yanks' third win in 10 games.
Alex Verdugo slammed a tiebreaking, three-run homer off Chris Martin in the eighth inning to send the Red Sox past the Braves, 10-8. Rafael Devers added a three-run homer and drove in four runs to help Boston improve to a major league-best 36-4 when scoring at least four times.
Mookie Betts hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of the Dodgers' 5-3 win over the Phillies. Betts also provided an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth as the Dodgers won in front of 52,078, the largest crowd to attend a professional sports league game in the U.S. since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Yan Gomes launched a grand slam and Trea Turner got four hits in the Nationals' third straight win, 8-1 over the Pirates. Patrick Corbin gave up one run and eight hits over 8 1/3 innings as Washington dealt Pittsburgh its ninth consecutive loss.
The Reds broke open a scoreless game in the 10th inning without the benefit of a hit and held on to beat the Brewers 2-1. Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Kyle Farmer added a sacrifice fly in Cincinnati's fifth straight win.
The Cardinals pulled out a 2-1 win over the Marlins on Paul Goldschmidt's game-ending homer in the ninth. Goldschmidt also had a tying RBI single in the sixth to help St. Louis win its second straight since dropping nine of 10.
Mike Yastrzemski crushed a grand slam in the eighth inning to complete the Giants' wild comeback in a 9-8 thriller over the Diamondbacks. Arizona was ahead 7-0 in the second inning before absorbing its 21st consecutive road loss, one shy of the major league record set by the 1963 Mets.
Ryan McMahon homered, tripled and drove in four runs as the Rockies rallied from an early deficit to beat the skidding Padres, 8-4. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his NL-leading 20th home run of the season for San Diego, which has lost 11 of 15.
Dallas Keuchel won his fifth straight decision by tossing four-hit ball over seven innings of the White Sox's 3-0 shutout of the Rays. Adam Engel hit a solo home run and Tim Anderson had three hits as the AL Central leaders bounced back from Monday's 5-2 loss to the AL East leaders.
Eddie Rosario hit a two-run double while the Indians scored five times in the fourth inning of a 7-2 win over the Orioles. Bobby Bradley delivered a solo homer and two RBIs as Cleveland handed Baltimore its team record-extending 17th straight road loss.
Casey Mize turned in his eighth quality start in his last nine games, giving up three runs over 6 2/3s to pitch the Tigers to a 4-2 win at Kansas City. Cabrera doubled and singled to drive in one run and score another, helping Detroit send the Royals to their fifth loss in a row.
The Athletics were 6-4 winners over the Angels as Sean Murphy homered for the second consecutive night and Elvis Andrus hit a two-run double. Shohei Ohtani hit his 18th home run with two outs in the eighth inning for Los Angeles before Oakland closed out its fifth straight win.
Jose Altuve belted a grand slam in the 10th inning to complete the Astros' late comeback in a 6-3 verdict over the Rangers. Texas was one out from a nine-inning win until Carlos Correa homered.
J.P. Crawford homered on starter J.A. Happ's first pitch, before Shed Long Jr. added a three-run triple an inning later, guiding the Mariners to a 10-0 thumping of the Twins. Seattle starter Chris Flexen tossed eight sharp innings while striking out a career-high eight.
In MLB news:
The Yankees will resume 100% capacity in the Bronx starting with Friday night's series opener against the Athletics. More than half the 30 teams have announced plans to resume full capacity.
Major League Baseball is cracking down on pitchers using illegal foreign substances to doctor baseballs to get a better grip. Beginning Monday, such pitchers will be ejected and receive 10-game suspensions. Suspension time will escalate for repeat offenders. Major and minor league umpires will start regular checks of all pitchers, even if opposing managers don't request inspections. The penalty comes amid record strikeouts and a league batting average at a more than half-century low. The spin rate of pitches has gone off the charts as some hurlers resort to foreign substances that provide an enhanced grip. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said use of grip substances had changed.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he doesn't expect cornerback Stephon Gilmore to participate in any of the team's remaining mandatory minicamp workouts this week. It's an indication the former defensive player of the year could be a holdout as the team prepares to open training camp next month. Gilmore also has skipped the team's voluntary workouts in recent months. He is entering the final season of a five-year, $65 million deal.
In other football news:
Tua Tagovailoa threw five interceptions in practice as the Dolphins opened mandatory minicamp. Worse, all those giveaways came with NFL interceptions leader Xavien Howard a no-show for the first day of minicamp. Head coach Brian Flores calls Howard's absence a contract issue.
The Panthers have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with first-round draft pick Jaycee Horn, a cornerback from South Carolina. The team has a fifth-year option as part of the contract.
Former University of Michigan football players and others who say they were sexually abused by a now-deceased team doctor are expected to call for action by the University of Michigan's board as the legacy of the school's gridiron coach is being questioned over what he knew. The group has planned a news conference Wednesday in Ann Arbor, a day before Michigan regents are to hold a regularly scheduled meeting. No action items involving former head coach Bo Schembechler, Dr. Robert E. Anderson or litigation against the school by abuse victims were listed on the agenda. Hundreds of men allegedly were abused by Anderson during his nearly four decades working for the university.
Anyone hopeful of a Bryson DeChambeau-Brooks Koepka pairing at the U.S. Open will have to wait. The USGA has them on opposite sides of the course at Torrey Pines, one playing in the morning and one in the afternoon. DeChambeau and Koepka have been engaged in a social media spat that began nearly two years ago and picked up steam with a leaked Golf Channel clip that was never aired. Koepka stops his interview at the PGA Championship and rolls his eyes when he sees DeChambeau walking behind him and then uses salty language to express his feelings.
American 1,500 and 5,000 meter record holder Shelby Houlihan has been banned for four years following a positive test for what she concluded was a tainted pork burrito. The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed that its panel of judges unanimously determined that Houlihan had failed to prove how the anabolic steroid nandrolone got into her system. It comes days before the start of U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, where the top three in each event earn a spot for the Tokyo Games. She finished 11th at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the 5,000 meters.
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