BC-AP Sports Preview Digest,1st Ld-Writethru
Ed: Updates with Spurs/Parker item.
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:
– Two second-round NBA games: Boston (up 2-0) at Washington, 8 p.m.; Utah (down 1-0) at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
– San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker will miss the rest of the playoffs after rupturing the quadriceps tendon in his left leg in Game 2 against the Houston Rockets.
– CLEVELAND – Passport in hand, LeBron James is back on the road, headed to Canada for Games 3 and 4. Unlike others, James embraces playing away from home.
– NEW YORK – In the NHL’s lone playoff game, the Rangers play Ottawa in Game 4 of the second round. For the second straight series, New York is home and trailing 2-1. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
– Shot-blocking was once essential to winning the Stanley Cup. But analytics are changing that approach in an era where puck possession is more important.
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Joe Sharp is saddling his first Kentucky Derby horse. If he needs some advice he can turn to wife Rosie Napravnik, the only woman to ride in all three Triple Crown races.
– BOSTON – The Red Sox and Orioles complete their heated series. MLB executive Joe Torre essentially told both team that ”enough is enough.” It didn’t do much good. Game starts 7 p.m.
– WASHINGTON – The Nationals, with baseball’s best record, send Max Scherzer to the mound against the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks. Game starts 1:05 p.m.
– LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Ryan Howard is an MVP, a World Series champion and once one of baseball’s most feared sluggers. So what’s he doing in the minor leagues at age 37?
– Hijabs, turbans and yarmulkes are now acceptable for international basketball, allowing players to abide by their faith. The decision might encourage more people to play the game.
– An adviser to European soccer’s governing body says discrimination is ”endemic” across the continent. The latest instance came at an Italian league game on Sardinia.
– A look at European soccer this weekend: Tottenham chases 10th straight Premier League win; Juventus tries to wrap up Italian title; Barcelona, Real Madrid are even in Spanish league.
– LAS VEGAS – Political overtones heighten the intensity of Saturday’s bout between Mexican fighters Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
– DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, wearing a traditional Muslim cap and robes and carrying a Quran, speaks with the AP about his first trip to Dubai.
– LONDON – The head of the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Olympics talks with the AP about the September vote in which Paris is the only other candidate.
– WILMINGTON, N.C. – Dustin Johnson leads the field at the Wells Fargo Championship, the first tournament for the No. 1 player since his fall down a staircase knocked him out of the Masters.
– MEXICO CITY – Top-ranked Lydia Ko faces Mexico’s Ana Menendez in first round of Lorena Ochoa Match Play. The tournament has been switched from May and a stroke-play format.