Weekend Sports in Brief
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — There were eight NBA playoff games this weekend, and all eight were won by the road team. It’s the first time in NBA history there were eight road playoff wins in a two-day span.
“Road wins are the best, especially in the playoffs,” Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard said.
The Raptors were one of the eight road winners this weekend, prevailing at Orlando on Sunday. Other Sunday road winners included Boston over Indiana, Golden State over the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland over Oklahoma City.
On Saturday, it was Philadelphia over Brooklyn, Denver over San Antonio, Houston over Utah and Milwaukee over Detroit.
Through 30 games of this year’s playoffs, road teams are 16-14. Home teams went 3-0 on Wednesday, and went 2-12 in the four days that followed. Since the NBA went to the 16-team playoff format in 1984, there has never been a first round where road teams won more than home teams.
Home teams won 71 percent of playoff games last season, the NBA’s highest such clip since 2008.
NEW YORK (AP) — Nets general manager Sean Marks was suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 by the NBA on Sunday for entering the referees’ locker room after Brooklyn’s loss to Philadelphia in Game 4 of their playoff series.
The Nets lost 112-108 on Saturday in a game in which Brooklyn’s Jared Dudley and Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler were ejected after a scuffle broke out following Joel Embiid’s flagrant foul against Jarrett Allen in the third quarter.
The Nets were already angry about a flagrant foul Embiid committed against Allen in Game 2, believing it should have warranted an ejection, and coach Kenny Atkinson complained that the 76ers held Allen before he turned the ball over on the Nets’ last chance to tie Saturday’s game. Atkinson said coaches were told that wrapping players as they tried to roll to the basket would be a point of emphasis this season.
The NBA agreed with Atkinson on Sunday in its Last 2 Minutes report, determining that Tobias Harris should have been called for a foul for wrapping his arm around Allen and restricting his movement with 12 seconds remaining.
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge won’t be back with the New York Yankees anytime soon, a further blow to an injury-decimated team with a mediocre record 3½ weeks into the season.
New York’s biggest offensive threat and the heart of its clubhouse went on the injured list for the third time in four seasons Sunday, a day after straining the oblique muscle on the left side of his abdomen while hitting a sixth-inning single against Kansas City.
“Especially tough times like this, when a lot of guys are beat up, I wanted to be out there in the trenches with the guys every single day,” Judge said after Sunday’s 7-6, 10-inning win over Kansas City.
Manager Aaron Boone called it a “pretty significant strain in there” and would not estimate a return date. Judge broke his right wrist when hit by a pitch by the Royals’ Jakob Junis last July 26, and while Boone originally projected a return in three weeks, Judge did not rejoin the Yankees until Sept. 14.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols has tied Babe Ruth for fifth place in baseball history with his 1,992nd career RBI.
Pujols drove home Andrelton Simmons with a double off Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi in the third inning Saturday night.
The Angel Stadium crowd gave a standing ovation to Pujols, who acknowledged the cheers on second base with a wave of his helmet.
Pujols only tied Ruth according to baseball’s official starting point for the mark. RBIs weren’t an official statistic until 1920, and Ruth’s career began in 1914 with the Boston Red Sox.
Pujols is also closing in on Lou Gehrig (1,994) and Barry Bonds (1,996) on the career RBI chart. Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) lead the list.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers removed a statue of late singer Kate Smith outside NHL team’s arena Sunday, two days after covering it amid allegations of racism against the 1930s star with a popular recording of “God Bless America.”
“The NHL principle ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a statement. “As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today.”
On Friday, the Flyers said Smith’s “God Bless America” recording had been removed from their library, following baseball’s New York Yankees.
The Yankees suspended use of Smith’s recording during the seventh-inning stretch amid conflicting claims about several of her songs, including a 1939 song “That’s Why the Darkies Were Born.” The tune originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals,” and was considered satire at the time. Smith’s likeness also appears in a 1939 ad that heavily uses the mammy caricature, one of the most well-known racist depictions of black women.