BC-AP Sports Preview Digest,1st Ld-Writethru
Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– WASHINGTON – Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics can close out John Wall’s Washington Wizards and advance to the Eastern Conference finals by winning Game 6. Game starts 8 p.m.
– CLEVELAND – The Cavaliers’ ”Big 3” has been reduced to two in the playoffs. Kevin Love, however, has not been complaining about his reduced role.
– HOUSTON – After obliterating the Rockets in Game 6, the San Antonio Spurs open the NBA’s Western Conference finals Sunday against the well-rested Golden State Warriors.
– ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks face P.K. Subban’s Nashville Predators in the NHL’s Western Conference finals opener. Game starts 9 p.m.
– PITTSBURGH – The Penguins don’t have much time to recharge. The Stanley Cup champions begin the Eastern Conference finals Saturday against the surprising Ottawa Senators.
– PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy try to move into position during the second round of The Players Championship. William McGirt and Mackenzie Hughes lead by a shot.
– From edible grasshoppers in Seattle to cookie dough in New York, major league teams are offering an array of exotic ballpark food.
– MILWAUKEE – Matt Harvey starts for New York following his three-day suspension, facing the Brewers. Harvey has apologized for skipping a game after a late night. Game starts 8:15 p.m.
– ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals return home in first place and on a six-game winning streak. St. Louis plays a Chicago Cubs team that has fallen to .500. Game starts 8:15 p.m.
– LOS ANGELES – The IOC wraps up four days of evaluating Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Games before heading to Paris to check the only other candidate.
– Selected team stories from NFL rookie minicamps.
– NEW YORK – The WNBA season begins Saturday, with the league looking to bring in new fans – streaming on Twitter, daily fantasy sports, more games on TV.
– KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Clint Bowyer gets to drive this weekend in his home state, and this time he’s in the thick of NASCAR’s championship chase.
– INDIANAPOLIS – IndyCar Grand Prix champion Simon Pagenaud is one of the favorites to win the pole. The French driver is trying to capture the race for the third time in four years.
– The NCAA basketball rules committee announces any proposed changes for next season. One item under consideration: men’s games played in four 10-minute quarters instead of 20-minute halves.
– WEST BROMWICH, England – Chelsea can win the English Premier League title for the second time in three years by beating West Bromwich Albion.
– MADRID – Defending champion Novak Djokovic reaches the Madrid Open semifinals when Kei Nishikori withdraws because of a wrist injury. Djokovic next plays Rafael Nadal or David Goffin.