Monday’s Sports In Brief
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Stephen Curry had 37 points before sitting out the final quarter and the Golden State Warriors welcomed back teammate Kevin Durant with a 128-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to sweep their first-round playoff series.
The Warriors advanced to the conference semifinals, where they’ll face the winner of the series between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, which is tied at 2.
Golden State played for the second straight game without coach Steve Kerr, who has been experiencing a flare-up of symptoms stemming from back surgery a couple of years ago. Assistant Mike Brown has served as head coach in Kerr’s absence.
Durant hadn’t played since Game 1 because of a strained left calf. He started and the Warriors built a 72-48 lead by the end of the opening half.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Serena Williams has spoken out in response to suspended Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase’s comments speculating about the skin color of the baby the pregnant Williams is expecting.
The 23-time major champion wrote on Instagram: ”It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and (my) unborn child.”
Williams is black. Her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is white.
Williams also referred to Nastase’s ”sexist comments against my peers” – a reference to his verbal abuse directed at British player Johanna Konta, British captain Anne Keothavong and the chair umpire during Fed Cup matches over the weekend. He was ejected from the Romania vs. Britain contest and provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation.
Nastase, for his part, was unrepentant, saying that he didn’t believe his remarks at a news conference Friday about Williams’ baby were racist.
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) – It was just last month when people were wondering what was wrong with Jimmie Johnson after he got off to a slow start. How silly it was to worry.
Johnson grabbed a rare victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday, giving him consecutive wins for the 11th time in his storied career. It was just the second career win in Thunder Valley for Johnson, who considers it one of his most vexing tracks.
His Hendrick Motorsports team hit on something during Saturday’s practice for his Chevrolet, and that locked him in for the race postponed a day by rain.
”This track has been really difficult,” admitted Johnson, who last won at Bristol in 2007. But that Saturday find was ”honestly, it’s what I’ve been looking for for 16 years. We finally figured it out. So, I’m very, very happy,” he said. ”I’ve loved this racetrack from afar … and it’s been a journey since 2000 until now.”
Johnson snapped his season-starting slump on April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR’s last event prior to Monday. It ended any chatter that the seven-time and reigning champion might not be up for a record eighth title.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Madison Bumgarner had nearly finished a ride of more than two hours in the mountains outside Denver when his rented dirt bike slipped on the trail and took the pitcher to the ground directly onto his pitching shoulder.
The 2014 World Series MVP bruised ribs and sprained the AC joint in his pitching shoulder in the dirt bike accident during Thursday’s off day in Colorado. An experienced rider, Bumgarner said he was with two family members, not speeding or racing the bike, and wearing a helmet when he spun out. He doesn’t think he hit a rock or other obstruction. The ground wasn’t icy or snowy, and he said he wasn’t doing hills.
He called Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and went to the emergency room once back in Denver. Bumgarner had a protective sling over his pitching arm as he sat in the dugout and he will likely wear it for another week to 10 days, Groeschner said. Bumgarner was scheduled to have another MRI exam later in the evening and be checked by Dr. Ken Akizuki, who also examined Bumgarner on Sunday and ”was pretty happy with the structure of it.”
While the 27-year-old left-hander doesn’t believe there is structural damage in the shoulder, he didn’t want to speak prematurely about how long he might be sidelined, whether he will need surgery or on his prospects of being able to pitch again this season.
NEW YORK (AP) – Minnesota’s Miguel Sano has been suspended for one game and fined by Major League Baseball for what the sport termed ”aggressive actions” that caused benches to clear during a game against Detroit last weekend.
Detroit’s JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by a pitch from Justin Haley in the third inning of the Tigers’ 5-4 victory Saturday. Two innings later, Detroit’s Matthew Boyd threw behind Sano, who pointed his bat toward Boyd and yelled out at the mound. Tigers catcher James McCann intervened and appeared to put his mitt in the face of Sano , who reacted immediately with a right hand to McCann’s mask.
Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, announced Sano’s suspension Monday. The players’ association appealed, allowing Sano to continue playing until the appeal is heard and decided.
Boyd was fined after MLB concluded he intentionally threw a pitch at Sano.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Dovydas Neverauskas’ long journey from Lithuania to the major leagues finally ended on Monday night when the relief pitcher made his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Neverauskas was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis after Pittsburgh put utility player Adam Frazier on the 10-day disabled list with a strained hamstring. Neverauskas arrived at PNC Park in the sixth inning of Pittsburgh’s game against the Chicago Cubs. Two innings later, he was on the hill facing the defending World Series champions.
Neverauskas surrendered a run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. He picked up his first strikeout when Chicago reliever Justin Grimm whiffed in the eighth of a 14-3 romp by the Cubs.
NEW YORK (AP) – Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined for throwing a fastball past the head of Baltimore star Manny Machado.
The commissioner’s office issued the penalty. The Red Sox are off and Barnes is appealing, meaning the reliever can continue to pitch until the process is done.
Barnes was ejected Sunday after sailing a fastball past Machado’s helmet at Baltimore. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in nine games this season.