Weekend Sports in Brief
BOSTON (AP) With another Game 7 victory at stake, LeBron James would not miss. He would not sit out. And he would not be denied an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
The four-time league MVP scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists on Sunday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 win over the Celtics and eliminating Boston from the Eastern Conference finals in the decisive seventh game.
In the first close game of the series – and the lowest-scoring – James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 24 for Boston, which was looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Al Horford scored 17 points and Marcus Morris added 14 with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who led 72-71 with six minutes remaining before the Cavaliers scored 15 of the next 17 points to pull away.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Will Power won the Indianapolis 500, giving the 37-year-old Australian his biggest victory on IndyCar’s grandest stage.
Power took the lead with four laps to go when Oriol Servia and Jack Harvey had to pit for fuel. Power then held off pole winner Ed Carpenter over the final few laps for the victory.
It gave team owner Roger Penske a 17th win in the Indy 500 and it was Power’s second straight victory this season. He won the road-course event at Indy earlier this month.
With hot weather creating a slick, 2 -mile oval, new cars with less downforce proved to be handful. And it cost a number of big-name drivers a shot at IndyCar’s most prestigious event. Defending race winner Takuma Sato, Danica Patrick, Sebastien Bourdais, three-time winner Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan lost control and wrecked.
Patrick was making the final start of her racing career, completing the ”Danica Double” at the Indy 500. Bourdais crashed a year after missing the race because of a harrowing, high-speed accident during qualifying. Castroneves was going for a record-tying fourth victory in the 500.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball attendance is headed to its lowest average in 15 years. And it’s not only because of the historically bad weather that’s plagued the first third of the season.
Strikeouts exceeded hits in a full calendar month for the first time in April and are on track to do so again in May. Five teams are on pace to lose 100 or more games in the same season for the first time.
Yet, there are trends Major League Baseball views as positive: New pace rules have cut the average time of a nine-inning game by five minutes, mound trips have dropped dramatically and home runs have receded from last year’s record level.
”We’ve got a long way to go,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. ”We’re relatively early in the season still and it has been an aberrational part of a season.”
A player for a North Carolina youth basketball team collapsed and died on the court at a tournament in Virginia.
James Hampton played for Team United out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and was at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League event in Hampton, Virginia.
Team United director Jacoby Davis told The Charlotte Observer that Hampton was running and turned to say something to a referee Saturday night when he collapsed.
Davis says paramedics did chest compressions on the court before Hampton was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The 17-year-old played went to private Liberty Heights school in Charlotte and was scheduled to graduate high school next year.
Davis says Hampton’s team wants to play their final two games Sunday in honor of their teammate.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
LAS VEGAS (AP) – UFC middleweight fighter Nick Diaz has been arrested in Las Vegas on allegations of domestic violence.
Clark County jail records indicate the 35-year-old was booked Thursday night on suspicion of domestic battery by strangulation but was no longer in custody Saturday.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Diaz was arrested after police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance involving a man and a woman.
A formal criminal complaint was not filed immediately and it’s not known if Diaz had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.
The Review-Journal reports he’s due in court June 26.
The UFC said in a statement it was aware of the arrest, does not tolerate domestic violence and will review the allegations against Diaz.
PARIS (AP) – Banned former UEFA President and FIFA vice president Michel Platini says he is planning to return to soccer after Swiss federal prosecutors confirmed he was not being charged in an investigation into possible financial wrongdoing.
Platini says in a statement it’s ”the end of a long nightmare for my family and those close to me.”
Since September 2015, the former France midfielder had the status of ”between a witness and an accused person” in criminal proceedings opened against then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter. No criminal case was ever opened against Platini.
The evidence related to Blatter authorizing FIFA to pay Platini $2 million in uncontracted back salary in 2011.