National Sports

Turn it up to 11? Pens, Caps have a lot to live up to

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sidney Crosby doesn't think the Pittsburgh Penguins have some sort of mystical edge over the Washington Capitals. That all those series and all those years and all that dominance will not mean a thing when the two longtime rivals meet in the ...

Penn State’s Barkley is best talent, but QBs to lead draft

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Saquon Barkley is the best player in this year's draft. Yet he might not go in the first handful of picks Thursday night. Huh? Blame the desperation to find quarterbacks in great part for the possibility that the Penn State ...

Florida State’s Martin closes in on NCAA baseball win record

By JOE REEDY, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Mike Martin has seen college baseball grow on and off the diamond during his 39 seasons roaming Florida State's dugout. And the Seminoles coach has won along the way — a lot. Martin, who has 1,973 wins, needs three more to pass ...

LEADING OFF: Indians’ Miller out, Cubs’ Bryant could return

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening around the majors today: AILING Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller could miss a few days because of a hamstring injury. The left-hander grabbed the back of his leg after throwing two pitches to the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo on Wednesday night. The ...

Bruins advance with 7-4 win over Maple Leafs in Game 7

By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins didn't need overtime this time, and they didn't even need all four third-period goals to send the Toronto Maple Leafs home for the summer again. Five years after an unprecedented rally from a three-goal, third-period deficit ...

Three of a grind: Playoff rematches crank up the hatred

By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer When the Washington Capitals faced the New York Islanders in the playoffs five years in a row in the 1980s, players knew everything. They knew where Mike Bossy loved to shoot from, that Bob Nystrom was going to run them over and that they'd better watch out ...

Westbrook scores 45; Thunder beat Jazz to avoid elimination

By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook unleashed the same fury he had in Game 4, just a little more efficiently this time. Westbrook was controlled, and he was too much for Utah. Silent and serious, the reigning league MVP scored 33 of his 45 points in the ...

Rockets advance to 2nd round with eyes on bigger goals

By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets spent almost no time celebrating their first-round playoff series win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. For the top-seeded Rockets, it simply moved them a little closer toward their goal of bringing the ...

UEFA charges Bayern for 2 fan incidents at Real Madrid game

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has charged Bayern Munich for two fan incidents during the team's Champions League loss to Real Madrid. UEFA says its disciplinary panel will study an "illicit" anti-UEFA banner displayed at Wednesday's game in Munich, and a "field invasion" by fans after ...

Ricky Rubio’s play points to winning ways in NBA postseason

By Cliff Brunt AP Sports Writer OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A poised and productive Ricky Rubio has been smiling and laughing, masterfully running Utah’s offense in his matchup with Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. Meanwhile, the reigning league MVP has been scowling, shoving, fouling, ...

Maple Leafs hope for new ending in Game 7 against Bruins

By Jimmy Golen AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — This is where the Toronto Maple Leafs try to change the ending. After beating the Bruins in back-to-back elimination games to force their first-round playoff series to the limit — just like they did in 2013 — the Maple Leafs are hoping to ...

Horford, Smart lift Celtics over Bucks 92-87 for 3-2 lead

By Kyle Hightower AP Sports Writer BOSTON (AP) — Al Horford had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Marcus Smart made an impact in his first game since mid-March and the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 92-87 on Tuesday night for a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series. Smart came ...

Cavs guard Hill questionable for Game 5

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Cavaliers point guard George Hill is questionable for Wednesday's crucial Game 5 against Indiana because of back spasms. Hill has been dealing with back problems since the series opener when he was flattened by an illegal screen by Pacers forward Trevor ...

A tale of 2 bats, and Babe Ruth’s 60th home run in 1927

By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer NEW YORK (AP) — As part of its collection of Babe Ruth items, the Baseball Hall of Fame says it has the bat the slugger used to hit his then-record 60th home run in 1927. A private collector also claims to own the bat, and he's selling it at auction. ...

Caps roll over Blue Jackets, look to nemesis Pittsburgh

By MITCH STACY, AP Sports Writer COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After dropping the first two playoff games at home in overtime, the Washington Capitals picked up momentum that only got stronger as they took down the Columbus Blue Jackets in four straight. Now they'll strive to keep the intensity ...

LEADING OFF: Ohtani faces champs; Cubs-Indians rematch

By The Associated Press A look at what's happening around the majors today: ___ TOUGH TEST Shohei Ohtani (2-1, 3.60 ERA) makes his fourth major league start for the Los Angeles Angels, this one against Charlie Morton (3-0, 0.72) and the World Series champion Houston Astros. Ohtani, the ...

Mitchell scores 33, Jazz rout Thunder 113-96

By JOHN COON, Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Shutting down the Utah Jazz offense is proving easier said than done for the Oklahoma City Thunder. For a second straight game, a late second-quarter surge by Utah carried over into the second half and it allowed the Jazz to pull away for ...

Bucks’ Maker, other reserves step into NBA playoff spotlight

By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer MILWAUKEE (AP) — Thon Maker is having his biggest games at the biggest time of the year. Not bad for a bench guy and someone who, as recently as last week, was a roster afterthought. Maker had never blocked five shots in any NBA game before this ...

Rockets use 50-point 3rd quarter to blow out Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden gave Houston quite the jump-start with 22 of the team's 50 points in the third quarter, as the Rockets cruised past the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series. Chris Paul scored 15 of his 25 points ...

Unaccustomed to 1st-round holes, LeBron needs win at Pacers

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer LeBron James is keeping his thoughts to himself. Whatever concerns — or confidence — he might harbor about his Cleveland Cavaliers facing a 2-1 first-round Eastern Conference series hole heading into Game 4 at the Indiana Pacers on Sunday were not ...