Wednesday’s Sports Briefs

NBA

CLEVELAND (AP) Kevin Durant scored 43 points, draining a long 3-pointer for emphasis in the final minute, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-102 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night to move within a victory of a sweep and their third title in four years.

Durant stood motionless after dropping his 33-footer, which gave the Warriors a 106-100 lead and effectively ended the fourth straight finals matchup between the rivals.

Golden State will have four chances to wrap up its championship starting with Game 4 on Friday night.

LeBron James scored 33 points and Kevin Love 20 for the Cavs, who have fallen into a hole in which no team has ever emerged. In NBA playoff history, teams down 3-0 are 0-131.

The Warriors won despite a 3-of-16 shooting performance from Stephen Curry.

BASEBALL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Shohei Ohtani has been removed from his start for the Los Angeles Angels against the Kansas City Royals after four innings because of a blister on his pitching hand.

It was the second time this season Ohtani left a game due to a blister on his right middle finger. He gave up three runs in two innings before exiting against Boston on April 17, but did not miss his next turn.

The two-way rookie star from Japan warmed up to start the fifth Wednesday night, but catcher Martin Maldonado called for a trainer. Angels manager Mike Scioscia also went to the mound to check on Ohtani, who eventually walked back to the dugout.

Ohtani gave up one run on four hits and three walks, striking out four. He did not get a decision.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Red Schoendienst, the Hall of Fame second baseman who managed the St. Louis Cardinals to two pennants and a World Series championship in the 1960s, died Wednesday. He was 95.

The Cardinals announced Schoendienst’s death before the top of the third inning during their game against the Miami Marlins. A photo was shown on the video board with ”1923-2018” written along the bottom. Fans gave him a standing ovation and players stood and applauded.

”Red Schoendienst has passed away today surrounded by his family,” Schoendienst’s family said in a statement. ”He had a life full of happiness for 95 years. He inspired all that knew him to always do their best. Red was a great ball player, but his legacy is that of a great gentleman who had respect for all. He loved his family, friends, teammates, the community and his country. He will be greatly missed.”

HORSE RACING

NEW YORK (AP) – Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify arrived in New York on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Belmont Stakes, in which the colt will try to sweep the Triple Crown.

Justify traveled smoothly to Belmont Park via a flight from Louisville, Kentucky, and a van ride from an airport on Long Island. He was greeted by a throng of media recording every step as he walked into Barn 1, the same place American Pharoah stayed before ending the sport’s 37-year drought with a Triple Crown sweep in 2015 and becoming the 12th horse to achieve the feat.

Justify will face nine rivals on Saturday in the 1 -mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three-race series. He brings a 5-0 career record to the race in which the colt is the morning-line favorite at 4-5 odds.

Justify was greeted with squeals from horses already in the barn of trainer John Terranova, who hosts Baffert’s out-of-town runners.

Baffert was the victim of a bite on his hand from Justify the other day while walking the horse.

Justify will step onto Belmont Park’s deep, sandy surface for the first time on Thursday. Baffert had yet to decide exactly what the colt will do the next two days, although it won’t be anything of consequence; his major training has been completed.