BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Saturday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EDT.
– WASHINGTON – General manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates lost their jobs with the Washington Capitals on Saturday after the team failed to make playoffs for the first time since 2007.
– MESA, Ariz. – Michael Phelps posted the fourth-fastest time in the world this year swimming the 100-meter butterfly in his first competition in nearly two years. His comeback has gotten off to a strong start albeit with a much different approach than he took in winning 22 medals over three Olympics.
– ATLANTA – The surprising Atlanta Hawks look to take a commanding 3-1 lead on the Indiana Pacers and move closer to becoming just the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a top seed in the NBA playoffs.
– MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis Grizzlies can take a commanding 3-1 lead Saturday night if they can continue protecting their home court. The Thunder believe their shots will start falling, giving them the chance to tie this first-round series up with two of the final three back in Oklahoma City.
– DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks weren’t very good in Dallas late in the season. They’ll try to change that in Game 3 of a first-round series against the Spurs after grabbing home-court advantage with a split in San Antonio.
– CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Miami Heat look to take a commanding 3-0 lead against the Bobcats when they meet in Charlotte on Saturday night. It’s the first time the Bobcats will host a playoff game in four years. Al Jefferson remains hobbled by a left foot injury.
– DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche try to get their high-powered offense back on track in Game 5 against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. The Wild have outshot the Avs 78-34 the past two games of the first-round series.
– BOSTON – The Boston Bruins can wrap up their first-round playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5. Boston has won the last three games after losing the opener 1-0 at home.
– PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Columbus Blue Jackets meet in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Saturday night with the series tied at 2 games each. Columbus rallied from a three-goal deficit to win Game 4 on Wednesday.
– PHILADELPHIA – Six ”USA vs. The World” relays highlight the Penn Relays on Saturday. Among the runners set to compete for Team USA are Olympic medalists Justin Gatlin, Leo Manzano, Walter Dix, DeeDee Trotter and Francena McCorory.
– SAN JOSE, Calif. – Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks try to close out the rival Los Angeles Kings by winning Gam3 5 of their first-round series at home.
– AVONDALE, La. – Ben Martin is in search of his first PGA Tour victory and entered Saturday’s third round of the Zurich Classic atop the leaderboard at 15 under, three strokes ahead of Andrew Svoboda. Also in contention were Sueng-Yan Noh, Robert Streb, Erik Compton and Peter Hanson.
– RICHMOND, Va. – Rookie Kyle Larson starts from the pole positions while non-winners like Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Virginia native Denny Hamlin try to crack the coveted victory column in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bob Baffert-trained Bayern and Chitu are co-favorites in the $150,000 Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, a race that could which horse makes the Kentucky Derby field. By Gary B. Graves.
– Todd Pletcher is taking aim at winning his second Kentucky Derby with four horses this year. Bob Baffert, a three-time Derby winner, will saddle three. And then there’s 77-year-old Art Sherman, who has the early favorite in California Chrome, easily the best horse he’s ever trained.
– VAN METER, Iowa – In this tiny town west of Des Moines, things have slowed down considerably at the Bob Feller Museum, a shrine to the Cleveland Indians star who died three years ago. Visitors are rare, the schedule is shorter and there is growing concern that the museum will be shuttered.