Monday’s Sports In Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) SPORTS BETTING
The Supreme Court cleared the way for states coast to coast to legalize betting on sports, breaking a longtime ban and creating a potential financial boon for states and the gambling industry. The first bets could be placed within weeks.
Despite opposition from the major sports leagues and the Trump administration, the high court struck down a federal law that had barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. States that want to take advantage of the ruling now will generally have to pass legislation to allow sports books to open. Some, including New Jersey, which brought the case to the Supreme Court, have a head start.
Sports leagues had expressed concerns about any expansion of sports gambling. Their huge businesses could be badly harmed if people thought the outcome of games could be altered by someone who had wagered money on a certain result.
However, the ruling also could be seen as merely bringing an activity out of the shadows that many people already see as a mainstream hobby.
HOUSTON (AP) – Kevin Durant scored 37 points and Klay Thompson added 28 to lead Golden State to a 119-106 win in the long-awaited showdown with the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference final.
Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by nine early, but had evened it up by halftime and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
Eric Gordon opened the final period with a 3-pointer to get the top-seeded Rockets within 4, but Thompson scored the first eight points of a 13-4 run to make it 100-87 with about eight minutes left.
PHOENIX (AP) – Igor Kokoskov is the first NBA head coach born and raised outside North America, but he reminded everyone at his introductory news conference with the Phoenix Suns that he didn’t exactly just get off the plane.
Kokoskov, 46, just finished his 18th season as an NBA assistant coach. He’s been with six different teams. Some played slow. Some played fast. He has been on the staffs of seven squads to reach the conference finals. This game is not new to him.
Kokoskov was named head coach of the Suns last week but, as an assistant with the Utah Jazz, he had to finish his work in the playoff series against the Houston Rockets before turning his attention to the desert.
ATLANTA (AP) – At the start of his first news conference as the Atlanta Hawks coach, Lloyd Pierce looked down at a row filled with four of his new players.
His thoughts immediately turned to his passion: Defense.
Pierce, the former Philadelphia 76ers assistant whose agreement to become the Hawks coach was announced Friday, said his first priority will be assembling a staff. Pierce will be looking for assistants who share his passion for defense and his proven ability to connect with young players.
A young Atlanta roster is about to add much more youth in next month’s NBA draft.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots, lifting the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-1 series-tying win over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2 of the Western Conference final.
Kyle Connor scored midway through the third period to pull Winnipeg within a goal. Marchessault restored the two-goal lead 1:28 later.
Tomas Tatar scored 6:37 into the game for the Golden Knights.
Connor Hellebuyck had 25 saves for the Jets.
Game 3 is Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) – Three sports memorabilia collectors who accused New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning of providing bogus ”game-worn” equipment that was sold to unsuspecting fans settled their lawsuit against the Super Bowl-winning quarterback days before the case was scheduled to go to trial.
A spokesman for the defendants, a group that included Manning, the Giants, two equipment managers and Steiner Sports, the company with whom Manning is under contract to provide game-worn jerseys and helmets for sale, said Monday night a settlement had been reached to resolve the claims. Details were not given.
Plaintiffs Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown had sought triple the amount of their alleged losses – which totaled less than $20,000 combined – for buying two helmets billed as worn by Manning. They also had sought punitive damages, and claimed in court filings they would produce evidence that would ”show that Manning engaged in a pattern of knowingly providing items to Steiner Sports that he misrepresented as having been game-used when he knew they were not.”
CHICAGO (AP) – Ben Zobrist was joined by Chicago Cubs teammates Kyle Schwarber and Steve Cishek in wearing black spikes on Monday despite a warning from Major League Baseball that he was in violation of the sport’s uniform regulations.
Zobrist posted a letter from MLB on Instagram on Saturday that cited him for violating regulations requiring at least 51 percent of the exterior of a player’s shoes be the club’s designated primary shoe color. For the Cubs, that color is blue.
The letter said Zobrist will be subject to discipline, including a fine, if he continued to wear non-compliant shoes.
Zobrist said he planned to contract Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer.