Sports

AP Sports SummaryBrief at 10:31 p.m. EDT | NFL

Heat still leads Eastern Final, but Celtics return with eye to history

MIAMI (AP) — The Boston Celtics are halfway through history, and that alone got them into a very small club. Of the first 150 teams to follow a 3-0 best-of-seven streak in NBA history, only 14 of them have found a way to extend the game to Game 6. Most are usually eliminated nowadays. Not the Celtics. They cut the Eastern Conference Finals deficit against the Miami Heat to 3-2. They’re following the series but seem to have all the momentum for Game 6 in Miami on Saturday night.

The Golden Knights aim for a final victory; The return of the stars in Game 5 of the Western Finals

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Alec Martinez was part of the 2014 Los Angeles Kings team that erased a 3-0 first-round deficit and defeated Joe Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks in Game 7. Pavelski and coach Pete DeBoer were the centerpiece of a 3-1 Sharks comeback in the first round of the 2019 playoffs to eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights. And now the Dallas Stars are trying to repeat history behind 3-1 going into Game 5 of the West Finals on Saturday in Vegas.

DeAndre Hopkins released by Arizona Cardinals, team suffers big salary cap hit

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals released three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins as part of a salary cap change made after failing to find a business partner during the offseason. The Cardinals made the move three seasons after acquiring Hopkins in a trade from Houston and signing him to a $54.5 million contract extension. Hopkins, soon to be 31, would have gone nearly $31 million off the cap this season. His cap reached in dead money is $22.6 million. Hopkins had 221 catches for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in 35 games for Arizona.

Analysis: NFL can’t shake perception, it doesn’t care what players and coaches think

Even when the NFL institutes a rule designed to reduce concussions, it can’t shake the perception that it doesn’t care what players and coaches think. The league took a step toward eliminating kickoffs this week by improving the touchback rule to a one-year trial with a priority on player safety. The receiving team will now receive the ball at their own 25 with a good hold of a kickoff anywhere behind that yard line. Some of the league’s most prominent coaches criticized the decision.

Indiana man centers gambling investigations involving Alabama and Cincinnati baseball, AP sources say

An Indiana man whose son is a member of the University of Cincinnati baseball team is the bettor at the center of separate college sports betting investigations, according to two people familiar with the investigations. An investigation led to the firing of Alabama coach Brad Bohannon earlier this month. The other resulted in the firing of two Cincinnati baseball staffers this week. The people who identified Bert Neff of Mooresville, Indiana, as being connected to both the Alabama and Cincinnati cases spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to speak about the investigations in course.

‘Block’ party at Colonial for PGA Championship sensation club pro

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — There will be no weekend party at the Colonial for Michael Block. The California pro club that finished tied for 15th in the PGA Championship was 15 over par over a grueling 36 holes at Colonial. He was exhausted but grateful after last week’s wild ride. His 4 of 74 on Friday was seven strokes better than his first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he earned a late sponsor exemption after Oak Hill. He also has a bye to compete in the RBC Canadian Open in two weeks. The Block party is therefore not yet completely over.

Kimbrel 8th pitcher in MLB history to make 400 saves, Phillies beat Braves 6-4

ATLANTA (AP) — Craig Kimbrel became the eighth pitcher in major league history to make 400 saves, Brandon Marsh hit a two-run single in the sixth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6- 4. Making his 730th career appearance, Kimbrel, 34, worked a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save in six opportunities this season. Facing reliever Joe Jiménez with the bases loaded in the sixth, Marsh made it 4-3 with a single that scored Nick Castellanos and JT Realmuto. The Phillies scored twice in the seventh against Lucas Luetge on Trea Turner’s RBI double and Bryce Harper’s sacrifice fly.

Yankees’ Aaron Boone suspended 1 game by MLB for conduct towards umpires

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended for one game and fined by Major League Baseball “for his recent conduct toward major league umpires.” MLB senior vice president for field operations Michael Hill made the announcement and said Boone’s actions after his ejection from Thursday night’s game against Baltimore were among the factors in the discipline. Boone was ejected for the fourth time this season, a major league record, the most among major league managers, while angry at the strike zone. He appeared to get spat on a referee screaming after being thrown.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden called for more support for female athletes at a White House event celebrating the Louisiana State Championship women’s basketball team. The event once appeared in jeopardy after Biden’s wife Jill suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited as well. Friday’s ceremony was briefly interrupted when forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse on stage. The Bidens praised the LSU Tigers for their performance and how they helped advance women’s sports. Neither mentioned the uproar caused by Jill Biden’s previous comments. Biden also hosted the UConn men’s championship basketball team at a celebration at the White House later Friday.

Varner leads LIV event as Koepka struggles in return for 5th major win

STERLING, Va. (AP) — Brooks Koepka returned after winning the PGA Championship just five days ago. It was a rusty return to LIV Golf DC. Harold Varner III leads the way with a 64. He leads by two over James Piot. Koepka had a flat round of two birdies, two bogeys and the rest of the pars. That gives him a 72 and eight stroke deficit with two days remaining. Varner made two eagles at the Trump National. The tie for third place at 68 includes Cameron Smith and Andy Ogletree. Ogletree is a LIV sub. He replaces Paul Casey this week.

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