BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:

– BOSTON – Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez hangs himself in the prison cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, taking his life on the same day his ex-teammates on the New England Patriots are set to visit the White House to mark their Super Bowl victory.

– WASHINGTON – Star quarterback Tom Brady will not join his New England Patriots teammates when the Super Bowl champions visit the White House to accept congratulations from President Donald Trump for another NFL title. Public ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

– Three first-round NBA playoff games: Atlanta (down 1-0) at Washington, 7 p.m.; Oklahoma City (down 1-0) at Houston, 8 p.m.; Portland (down 1-0) at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

– Pau and Marc Gasol have been battling each other on a basketball court since they were children, with the older brother always finding ways to win. Now little brother Marc is doing his best to rally the Memphis Grizzlies to avoid being swept in their first playoff meeting.

– CHICAGO – Hard to believe, but the Chicago Bulls return home with a 2-0 lead in their first-round series with the Celtics after taking the first two games in Boston. They have their sights set on becoming a rare eighth seed to knock off a top seed.

– MILWAUKEE – The building of a new arena isn’t the only sign of progress around the Milwaukee Bucks. From the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo as an All-Star to a return to the playoffs, this has been an important season for Milwaukee.

– INDIANAPOLIS – Paul George isn’t happy. He’s upset that the Pacers have to fight their way back from a 2-0 deficit against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. And he’s upset about what put the Pacers in this hole – the play of his teammates.

– MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers can take very big steps Thursday night toward wrapping up their first-round series with sweeps if they can play as well on the road as they have at home.

– Four first-round NHL games: Washington (down 2-1) at Toronto, 7 p.m.; Ottawa (up 2-1) at Boston, 7:30 p.m.; Minnesota (down 3-0) at St. Louis, 9:30 p.m.; Anaheim (up 3-0) at Calgary, 10 p.m.

– Vladimir Sobotka of St. Louis is one of a handful of late-season surprise additions making an impact for his team in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Late March recall Kasperi Kapanen scored twice for the Toronto Maple Leafs and college star Charlie McAvoy is earning every bit of the 25 minutes a game he’s playing on defense for the Boston Bruins.

– SAN JOSE, Calif. – For Columbus and Chicago, the task is to stave off elimination on the road. For the other two series being played Thursday night, it’s all about taking control after the teams split the first four games.

– FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Time for the Atlanta Falcons to move on. The team begins offseason workouts with an eye toward getting over a stunning Super Bowl loss. It won’t be easy.

– MONACO – Top-ranked Andy Murray makes his return from an elbow injury as he faces Gilles Muller in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters. Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal is also in second-round action as the defending champion takes on Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

– Two Champions League quarterfinals, second leg: Monaco at Borussia Dortmund; Barcelona at Juventus. Both games start 2:45 p.m.

– Kenneth Jones is the oldest runner in this year’s London Marathon. The 83-year-old Jones, who has run every single London Marathon since the first in 1981, puts his longevity and enthusiasm for running down to his love of the fresh air and nature, his longstanding passion for Tai Chi and his wife’s vegetable stews.