WAMC Sports News - Clippers Stave Off Elimination
The Los Angeles Clippers were able to stave off elimination in the NBA's Western Conference Finals by defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 5.
Paul George poured in 41 points and Reggie Jackson added 23 as the short-handed Clippers downed the Suns, 116-102.
George delivered 20 points in the third quarter and finished 15 of 20 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range. He also added 13 rebounds and six assists.
The Clippers played inspired basketball in the first half, jumping out to a 20-5 lead on 9 of 11 shooting by the midway mark of the first quarter.
Marcus Morris Sr. added 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting for the Clippers, who continue to play without Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard because of a knee injury.
Los Angeles also was without center Ivica Zubac (ih-VEET'-sah ZOO'-bahts), who missed his first game of the season with an sprained MCL in his right knee.
Devin Booker paced Phoenix with 31 points and Chris Paul added 22 with eight assists.
Game 5 is Wednesday in LA.
The Atlanta Hawks are listing guard Trae Young as questionable for Game 4 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday against Milwaukee.
An MRI revealed that Young suffered a bone bruise when he twisted his right ankle in a freak encounter with an official’s foot late in the third quarter of Game 3 on Sunday. The injury appeared to hamper Young’s explosiveness the rest of the game as the Hawks wasted a seven-point lead in the final period of a 113-102 loss to the Bucks.
Hawks coach Nate McMillan said he won’t make a call on Young’s availability until shortly before Game 4.
USA Basketball has announced its men’s roster for the Tokyo Olympics, with five of the 12 players already in their 30s.
Thirty-somethings Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Jrue Holiday, Damian Lillard and Draymond Green make it the oldest roster in team history.
The U.S. also has gotten commitments from Bam Adebayo, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jerami Grant, Zach LaVine, Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum to play on the team.
Booker, Middleton and Holiday are the only players currently in the NBA’s conference finals.
HALL OF FAME HAS NEW LEADER
Longtime West Coast baseball front office figure Josh Rawitch has been named the new President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Rawitch, who is 44, will begin September 9th as the museum’s eighth president. He replaces Tim Mead. Rawitch has spent the past decade with the Arizona Diamondbacks after 15 years in the Dodgers’ front office. Mead stepped down in April after two years. Former president Jeff Idleson has been running the Hall as interim president since.
STANLEY CUP FINAL-LIGHTNING/CANADIENS
The Tampa Bay Lightning are three wins away from joining the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers as the only expansion teams to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Nikita Kucherov (KOO'-cheh-rahv) provided a pair of third-period goals and registered an assist as the Lightning whipped the Montreal Canadiens, 5-1 in Tampa. Kucherov put the Bolts up 3-1 early in the third period with a fluky goal that Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot (shah-RAHT') tried to bat down with his hand before it wound up in the net. He scored again at 11:25 of the third, then assisted on Steven Stamkos’ power-play goal that made it 5-1 with just over a minute to go.
Kucherov leads all playoff scorers with 23 assists and 30 points.
Eric Cernak Yanni Gourde also scored, and Brayden Point had three assists.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots and blanked the Canadiens until Chiarot scored on a deflection off Sergei Sergachev late in the second period.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Tampa.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said time is running out to reach a deal to send players to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The league, players’ union, International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation continue to negotiate with the Olympics seven months away. The league didn’t send players to the 2018 Olympics.
Also, the NHL announced the 2022 All-Star game will be held in Las Vegas, the January 1 Winter Classic will be in Minnesota and the NHL Stadium Series will be in Nashville. The Wild will host St. Louis and the Predators will play Tampa Bay.
The Chicago Blackhawks have hired former federal prosecutor Reid Schar to conduct an independent review of allegations that a former player was sexually assaulted by a then-assistant coach in 2010.
The investigation into one of the NHL’s most high-profile franchises comes after the filing of two lawsuits against the team. The first alleges sexual assault by former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich during the team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup title, and the second was filed by a former student whom Aldrich was convicted of assaulting in Michigan.
There was a return to normalcy at Wimbledon on Monday, 102 weeks since a meaningful match was last played there.
Fans were back in the stands at Old England Club following the cancellation of last year’s tournament due to the pandemic.
The first winner on Centre Court was top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch), who fired 25 aces in a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over 19-year-old wild-card entry Jack Draper.
Fans also were accompanied by plenty of rain that led to a more than 4 1/2-hour delay to the start of play on the outdoor courts. Eleven matches were suspended in progress because of darkness and more than 20 others were postponed until Tuesday. However, local favorite Andy Murray was able to complete his first Wimbledon match in four years, winning in four sets.
The session included a pair of upsets, both authored by Americans.
Frances Tiafoe eliminated French Open runner-up and No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. Tiafoe had been 0-11 against opponents ranked in the Top 5.
Former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens beat two-time Wimbledon winner and No. 10 seed Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-4.
Others advancing included qualifier Denis Kudla, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Lauren Davis. Kudla knocked off No. 30 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in five sets after dropping the first two.
Hunter Renfroe continues to be a great pickup since signing with the Red Sox last winter.
Renfroe homered twice, the second a 434-foot solo shot over the Green Monster to break a sixth-inning tie in the Red Sox’s 6-5 victory over the Royals. Bobby Dalbec also homered and Renfroe had a two-run shot in the fourth as Boston came back after falling behind 5-1.
Renfroe is hitting .272 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 68 games.
Kiké Hernández led off the bottom of the first with a home run for the second straight game, helping the Red Sox earn their fourth straight win.
The Red Sox are a season-high 17 games above .500, and lead the AL East by one game over Tampa Bay.
Also on the major league schedule:
Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) pounded his hardest-hit home run of the season in the Angels’ 5-3 win against the Yankees. Ohtani’s blast was a 117.2 mph drive to right off Michael King in a two-run first that also included Jared Walsh’s RBI double. José Suarez pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run relief after Dylan Bundy threw up on the mound because of heat exhaustion.
Austin Hays blasted a tiebreaking, two-run homer in a five-run ninth that sent the Orioles past the Astros, 9-7. Rookie Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run homer and a two-run single while Baltimore was taking a 4-2 lead before Houston rallied. The Birds won despite 10 walks, three coming with the bases loaded.
Jose Ramirez slammed a three-run homer and had five RBIs as the Indians turned a 19-hit attack into a 13-3 pounding of the Tigers. Austin Hedges had a two-run shot for Cleveland, which set season highs for runs and hits. Hedges added three RBIs and Amed Rosario had three hits for the Indians.
Willy Adames (ah-DAH'-mehs) and Keston Hiura (HEER'-uh) each hit a three-run homer while the Brewers erupted for 10 runs in the eighth inning to hammer the Cubs, 14-4. Avisaíl García homered and drove in three runs for the NL Central leaders, who have won six straight to move four games ahead of Chicago. Jace (jays) Peterson went 3 for 4 and scored three runs to help Milwaukee withstand two-run homers by Patrick Wisdom and Ian Happ.
Paul DeJong (deh-YUHNG') homered to cap a six-run burst in the seventh in the Cardinals' 7-1 downing of the Diamondbacks. Dylan Carlson supplied the tiebreaking single and Yadier Molina added a two-run double before DeJong's blast. Carlson also hit an RBI triple in the third as St. Louis won for just the second time in eight games.
The Nationals doubled up the Mets, 8-4 as Kyle Schwarber homered twice off Jared Eickhoff. Schwarber is the first player in major league history to hit 15 home runs in a 17-day span. Ryan Zimmerman had a pinch-hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning for the Nationals after New York had cut the lead to 5-4.
Nick Castellano (kas-tee-AH’-nohs) launched a grand slam in the seventh inning and drove in a career-high seven runs as the Reds clobbered the Phillies, 12-4. Cincinnati trailed 4-2 before Castellanos connected for his sixth career grand slam, driving a 1-1 fastball from Neftali Feliz deep to center for his 15th homer. Cincinnati’s seventh-inning rally was sparked by Alejo Lopez, who hit a pinch-single after being recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Louisville.
Kyle Freeland scattered three hits while striking out seven over five innings before leaving with a leg injury in the Rockies’ 2-0 shutout of Pittsburgh. Four relievers finished up the combined six-hitter to help Colorado win the opener of a seven-game homestand that followed another disastrous road trip. Yonathan Daza opened the scoring with a third-inning triple, two innings before Elias Diaz homered.
The White Sox and Twins were supposed to open a four-game series tonight in Chicago, but the game has been rained out. The game has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on July 19.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout has been transferred to the 60-day injured list, ruling out his return until after the All-Star break.
Trout swung a bat Monday in a batting cage for the first time since he strained his right calf on May 17. Manager Joe Maddon says Trout’s injury is more than 50% healed.
Trout will go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment, probably after the All-Star break. He is eligible to return July 17, when the Angels host Seattle in their second game after the break.
Also around baseball:
Indians outfielder Josh Naylor will need surgery after breaking his right ankle in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota. Naylor was sprinting toward the infield to try and catch a ball when he slammed into second baseman Ernie Clement in the fourth inning. The Indians said Naylor has a “closed” fracture and dislocation. He’ll be out indefinitely.
Rockies shortstop Trevor Story says he will compete in this year’s Home Run Derby at Coors Field. Story became the fourth player to confirm his participation in the event, joining Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, Trey Mancini of the Orioles and Pete Alonso of the Mets.
The Pirates have optioned right-hander Max Kranick (KRAN’-ihk) to Triple-A Indianapolis, a day after he pitched five perfect innings against the Cardinals to win his major league debut. He was lifted following a lengthy rain delay before the Pirates completed a 7-2 win. The Elias Sports Bureau says Kranick became the first pitcher since 1893 to leave after at least five innings with a perfect game intact in his MLB debut.
— Josh Rawitch will become president of baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sept. 9 after spending 27 years with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. The 44-year-old Rawitch was hired by the Dodgers in 1995, worked in the marketing department for five years and switched to the public relations department. He is in his 10th season with the Diamondbacks, his sixth as senior vice president of content and communications.
Vanderbilt has taken the opener of the College World Series title round as the Commodores try to repeat as NCAA champions.
Vandy exploded for seven runs in the first inning, giving Jack Leiter more than enough breathing room in an 8-2 rout of Mississippi State. Jayson Gonzalez capped the fireworks with a three-run homer that put the Commodores ahead, 7-1.
Leiter allowed two runs and three hits and fanned eight in six innings, including a first-inning blast by Kamren James. The son of All-Star pitcher Al Leiter is the national strikeouts leader and a projected top-five pick in the Major League Baseball draft next month.
Game 2 is tomorrow in Omaha.
Five-time Pro Bowl receiver Demaryius Thomas has announced his retirement following a decade-long career.
Thomas was part of the winningest four-year period in team history from 2012-15 with Peyton Manning at quarterback. The Denver Broncos went 55-17 during that span, winning two AFC titles and Super Bowl 50 as Thomas caught 445 passes for 6,249 yards and 46 touchdowns.
Thomas spent nine seasons with the Broncos before playing for the Texans and Jets in 2019.