BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. EDT:

– SAN ANTONIO – There’s no way to forecast how the Miami Heat will react in this situation, because it’s one that this group has never faced before. Down 3-1 to San Antonio in the NBA Finals and facing just about the most unenviable comeback chances imaginable, the Heat gathered Saturday to rally and prepare for what they hope is not the final game of their season.

– SAN ANTONIO – Kawhi Leonard was almost invisible in the first two games of the NBA Finals. Boris Diaw was a guy who nobody in the league seemed to want on their team a couple years ago. Meet the two guys who might be the most responsible for the San Antonio Spurs being one win away from winning the NBA Finals.

– In the World Cup’s longest day, eight teams play their first game Saturday, including a matchup of traditional powers as England faces Italy in the Amazonian jungle city of Manaus. Japan plays Ivory Coast in a 10 p.m. local start, as the schedule was made so Japanese fans can watch the game live Sunday morning.

– SAO PAULO – The World Cup unfolding on your screens owes a debt of gratitude to a man with a very big handlebar mustache. It’s now 120 years since Charles Miller stepped off a boat from England carrying two footballs, boots and a set of rules for the game, seeds that ultimately would transform Brazil in the football behemoth it is today. This is how Brazil’s national passion was planted.

– The West is best in the NHL – again. The Los Angeles Kings eliminated the New York Rangers in Game 5, giving the Western Conference a third straight NHL champion, fourth in five years and sixth in nine years.

– NEW YORK – When the New York Rangers’ longer-than-expected season ended in double overtime in the Stanley Cup finals, the Eastern Conference champions weren’t ready to accept any accolades. They were outplayed and outlasted by the Los Angeles Kings, who captured the title in Game 5 on Friday night with their third overtime win at home in the series.

– NEW YORK – WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan ”The Siberian Rocky” Porvodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) of Beryozovo, Russia, puts his title on the line against Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 KOs) Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

– BROOKLYN, Mich. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski have finished 1-2 twice already this year, during Earnhardt’s win at Pocono last weekend and Keselowski’s victory at Las Vegas.

-TAMPA, Fla. – The U.S. women’s national soccer team meets France for the first time since the 2012 Olympics. It’s the first of two friendlies between the teams this month.