BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
JUN 05, 2014 12:05p ET
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. EDT:
- SAN ANTONIO - LeBron James and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat open their fourth straight NBA Finals, facing a Spurs team they beat in seven games for last year's title. Game starts 9 p.m.
- NEW YORK - Three races in five weeks at different distances and tracks. So tough only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown, none in 36 years. Now it's California Chrome's turn in the Belmont Stakes.
- NEW YORK - What would a Triple Crown by California Chrome be worth? Racing insiders say his owners could command a breeding value of $15 million to $20 million, though his humble bloodline could limit his value.
- RIO DE JANEIRO - World Cup visitors, welcome to Brazil, land of soccer, sun and sky-high prices. Hotel rates average $445 per night and a cheeseburger can go for $17.
- PARIS - This could be the World Cup that puts Paul Pogba's name up in bright lights. The Frenchman's potential is so clear it is only a question of when he is recognized as one of soccer's best attacking midfielders.
- PARIS - Maria Sharapova returns to the French Open final for the third straight year, beating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Simona Halep plays Andrea Petkovic in the other semifinal.
- LOS ANGELES - The Kings, on the strength of Justin Williams' winner and a blunder by the New York Rangers' Dan Girardi, take a 1-0 lead into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night.
- MINNEAPOLIS - Flip Saunders is leaving the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office to coach the team, the AP is told. Saunders coached the club from 1995-2005 and succeeds Rick Adelman, who retired.
- SECAUCUS, N.J. - Major League Baseball holds its annual draft, with the Houston Astros holding the No. 1 pick for the third straight year. Draft starts 7 p.m.
- NEW YORK - The Oakland Athletics, with the best record in the AL, get their first look at Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka (8-1) and his sharp splitter. Game starts 1:05 p.m.
- MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Harris English begins his title defense at the St. Jude Classic, the final tuneup for the U.S. Open. He won this event a year ago for his first PGA Tour victory.
- WATERLOO, Ontario - Stacy Lewis opens play in the Manulife Financial Classic, her first tournament since reclaiming the No. 1 ranking from Inbee Park.
- TOKYO - Tokyo is preparing to demolish the stadium that in 1964 hosted the first Olympics in Asia. Now there is strong debate over whether the new stadium for the 2020 Games will revitalize or mar the capital.