Weekend Sports In Brief
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Chris Paul had 27 points and 12 rebounds while James Harden scored 24 points to power the Houston Rockets to a 100-87 win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night, taking a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Paul, playing the sidekick to Harden for most of his first season in Houston, took center stage, controlling the tempo and getting to his favorite spots as the Rockets led from start to finish.
Mitchell started finding lanes to the basket late and got the Jazz within 85-80 after he fueled a 10-2 run. But Paul, who matched his scoring high for this playoff run, hit a pull-up jumper and found Trevor Ariza for a 3-pointer to put the Rockets back up by double digits and they never looked back.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Kevin Durant had 38 points and nine rebounds and Golden State soundly defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 118-92 on Sunday to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.
The Warriors responded to their 19-point loss in Game 3 with a resounding effort that produced a wire-to-wire win with leads as large as 26 points.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NBA has fined Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri $25,000 for walking onto the court at halftime of Game 3 against the Cleveland Cavaliers to verbally confront officials for reversing a call.
It stems from an incident that occurred Saturday night during the Raptors’ 105-103 loss to the Cavaliers.
Toronto had been called for 14 fouls in the first half, compared with eight for Cleveland. The Raptors were irate that what had appeared to be a Serge Ibaka basket and potential free throw was downgraded to a foul with no basket and no free throw.
CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James banked in a running one-hander at the buzzer, giving Cleveland a 105-103 win over Toronto on Saturday night in Game 3 and shoving the Raptors to the edge of their most devastating playoff exit.
After the Raptors tied it on rookie OG Anunoby’s 3-pointer with eight seconds left, James took the inbounds pass, dribbled the length of the floor and in one motion, dropped his 10-footer in front of Toronto’s stunned bench.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Al Horford scored the go-ahead basket for Boston late in overtime in a wild Game 3 where the Philadelphia 76ers gave away the basketball and the confetti, leading the Celtics to a 101-98 win on Saturday night.
The Celtics go for the sweep on Monday.
The ending to regulation was about as wild as it gets for both teams. JJ Redick threw away the basketball on an errant pass to no one that was scooped by Terry Rozier who threw to Jaylen Brown for the basket and an 89-87 lead.
Seconds later, Marco Belinelli stunned everyone with a falling 22-footer in front of the 76ers bench as time expired that sent the game into overtime – and confetti mistakenly blasted from the cannon. There was about a seven-minute delay while team employees scrambled to clean up the mess on the court.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in his fourth shutout of the playoffs and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights are headed to the Western Conference Final in their inaugural season after beating the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in Game 6 of their second-round series Sunday.
Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring, Nate Schmidt added an insurance goal that was only detectable by replay and Cody Eakin sealed it with an empty-netter to help Vegas become just the third team in NHL history to win multiple series in its first season.
The Toronto Arenas won the Stanley Cup in the first postseason in league history in 1918 and St. Louis won two rounds to win the all-expansion West Division in 1968.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Brayden Point and J.T. Miller scored second-period goals, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 Sunday and advance to the Eastern Conference final for the third time in four years.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots – 14 in the final period – for the Lightning, who rebounded from losing the series opener at home to eliminate the Bruins in five games.
David Krejci scored in the final minute of the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead that Point erased with his unassisted goal at 10:43 of the second.
Miller’s power-play goal broke the tie less than four minutes later, and Anton Stralman added an empty-netter with 1:29 remaining to end any chance for a Boston comeback.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Jakub Vrana scored the go-ahead goal with 4:38 remaining, Braden Holtby made 35 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in Game 5 Saturday night to take a 3-2 lead in the second-round series and put the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions on the brink of elimination.
Vrana made coach Barry Trotz look like a genius for moving him to the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, replacing Devante Smith-Pelly in the second period. Vrana sprung Kuznetsov for a breakaway on Washington’s tying goal 52 seconds into the third and finished off Ovechkin’s pass for the game-winner.
The Capitals are one victory from advancing to the Eastern Conference final for the first time in the Ovechkin era and overall since 1998, when they reached the Stanley Cup Final. They can move on to face the winner of the Tampa Bay-Boston series if they win Game 6 Monday in Pittsburgh.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Kyle Connor scored two goals and had an assist as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Nashville Predators 6-2 on Saturday night, pushing the Presidents’ Trophy winners to the brink of elimination with a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
Now the Jets, who just won their first playoff series in the first round, will have a chance to clinch a spot in their first Western Conference final Monday night in Game 6 back in Winnipeg.
Connor Hellebuyck made 38 saves for the Jets. Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist, and Paul Stastny and Mathieu Perrault also scored.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Justify splashed through the slop to win the Kentucky Derby by 2 lengths on Saturday, becoming the first colt in 136 years to wear the roses after not racing as a 2-year-old.
The colt that began his racing career in February improved to 4-0 and gave Bob Baffert his fifth Derby victory. That snapped a tie and left the 65-year-old trainer trailing only Ben Jones with six.
Mike Smith earned his second Derby victory. The 52-year-old jockey crossed the finish line at Churchill Downs with only a few specks of mud on his white and green silks in the rainiest Derby in the race’s 144-year history. Nearly 3 inches fell on the crowd of 157,813 throughout the day.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Jason Day birdied two of his final three holes Sunday for a 2-under 69 and a two-shot victory over Aaron Wise and Nick Watney in the Wells Fargo Championship, his second victory this year.
After squandering a three-shot lead on the back nine, Day rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and then effectively won the tournament when his tee shot on the 230-yard 17th hole crashed into the flagstick and settled 3 feet away. He was the only player to make birdie on No. 17 at Quail Hollow in the final round, and it staked him to a two-shot lead.
Wise, a PGA Tour rookie, saved par on his last two holes for a 68. Watney made a 59-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 69 and his best finish in three years.
Day finished at 12-under 272 and returns to the top 10 in the world.