BC-AP Sports Preview Digest
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bob Baffert began his Triple Crown journey with American Pharoah last year at the Kentucky Derby. The trainer returns this time with Mo Spirit and considerably less buzz.
– TORONTO – In Thursday's only NBA playoff game, the Heat take a 1-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors entering Game 2. Miami is riding the flourishing play of Goran Dragic. Game starts 8 p.m.
– INDIANAPOLIS – Frank Vogel will not return as Indiana Pacers coach next season. He led the team to the playoffs five times, including a first-round loss to Toronto this season.
– Two second-round NHL playoff games: San Jose (up 2-1) at Nashville (9 p.m.); Dallas (down 2-1) at St. Louis (9:30 p.m.).
– The NHL coaching carousel is in full swing with four vacancies soon to be filled in Ottawa, Calgary, Minnesota and Anaheim.
– CHICAGO – Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals play the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a four-game series between the NL's top two teams. Game starts 8:05 p.m.
– KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Royals have lost seven of their last nine games. They aren't hitting or pitching. And that splendid defense that carried them to the World Series title is nowhere to be found.
– DALLAS – Johnny Manziel is ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim in his domestic violence case. The quarterback is in court less than 15 minutes. No plea is entered but he plans to plead not guilty.
– CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rory McIlroy, yet to win on the PGA Tour this season, begins his title defense at the Wells Fargo Championship. Six of the top 10 golfers are playing at Quail Hollow.
– PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Kris Tamulis, whose only LPGA Tour title came at this tournament, starts play at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
– KANSAS CITY, Kan. – This was supposed to be a smooth season for Clint Bowyer in which takes over Tony Stewart's ride. So far it's been more like a run down a gravel road.
– Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze is expected to address the turmoil surrounding his program since tackle Laremy Tunsil said last week he took money while playing at Ole Miss.
– MADRID – For the second time in three seasons, crosstown rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet in the Champions League final.
– ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The hockey world championship begins Friday, and for many players it's a chance to earn a spot at the World Cup of Hockey or to make a good impression before the NHL draft.