Update on the latest in sports:
Portland and Denver in NBA playoff spotlight
DENVER (AP) — Game 2 of the Portland Trail Blazers-Denver Nuggets series is the lone game on the NBA playoff schedule.
They meet in Denver tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Denver beat Portland, 121-113, in Game 1 despite being outshot and outrebounded. Portland made 18 turnovers for the third time in their six playoff games this season.
Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 60 points in the win, eclipsing the Blazers tandem of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard, who had 55 points. Jokic says he and Murray are playing well together, calling his teammate “a great competitive guy.”
Despite a sore left shoulder, Blazers center Enes Kanter had 26 points in Game 1. “Just keep playing through it,” he said after. “Pain killers, injections, anything I can do to help my teammates.” Portland starting forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Harkless, who were held to four points and were a combined minus-25.
Carolina facing goalie questions; Blues look to grab another road win
UNDATED (AP) — The first legitimate goalie dilemma of the playoffs belongs to the Carolina Hurricanes, now that starter Petr Mrazek is dealing with a lower body injury that has him day to day.
With Mrazek unlikely to start Game 3 against the New York Islanders tonight (7 p.m. EDT, NBCSN), the Hurricanes will try to take a 3-0 series lead behind what could be the first playoff start for journeyman Curtis McElhinney in his 11-year career. But coach Rod Brind’Amour says, ” it is is a luxury that we have a guy that we have equal confidence in.”
The Islanders outplayed the Hurricanes for much of the first two periods in Game 2, but two quick goals early in the third period gave Carolina the win.
Down two games to none in the best-of-seven series, Islanders captain Anders Lee says, “Now we got to go into their building and do what they did to us.”
Meanwhile, the Blues and Stars will play Game 4 of their series in Dallas tonight (9:30 p.m. EDT, NCBSN), with St. Louis up two games to one.
The Stars find themselves in the same situation they were in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. They managed to come back against Nashville with three wins in a row to wrap up that series in six games, and Dallas center Tyler Seguin says, “the team knows how to respond.”
The Stars have been good on special teams, with a power play goal and a short-hander in Game 3, but St. Louis has outscored at full strength.
Stars coach Jim Montgomery knows “5-on-5 is how you’re going to win in the playoffs, and that’s the area of the game that we need to improve upon.”
UNDATED (AP) — A pair of doubleheaders dot the schedule after rainouts in Kansas City and Chicago. Both twinbills are of the traditional variety — no splits now.
Tampa Bay, with the best record in the majors, will play two against the Royals beginning shortly after noon at Kauffman Stadium. Before Tuesday’s washout, the Rays had planned to send AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the mound in his second start since hurting his toe in a freak accident at home.
The Orioles and White Sox will begin their long day a few hours later. Chicago has won four in a row and Baltimore has lost four straight.
Elsewhere, Mariners lefty Marco Gonzales takes 5-0 record and a 2.80 ERA after seven starts into a Seattle matinee against the Cubs. In his last outing, Gonzales threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine without a walk to beat Texas. Jon Lester takes the mound for Chicago. His ERA is even lower, at 2.37, but his record is just 1-1.
Other matinees include, Oakland at Boston, Pittsburgh at Texas and the Yankees in Arizona to face the Diamondbacks.
Tonight, Philadelphia hosts Detroit, St. Louis is at Washington, the Mets host Cincinnati, Cleveland visits Miami, the Padres are in Atlanta, and Colorado is at Milwaukee. Later, the Houston are in Minnesota to face the Twins, the Giants and Dodgers meet in San Francisco, and Toronto visits the L.A. Angels.
Semenya loses appeal against IAAF testosterone rules
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s panel of three judges gave a complex verdict and “dismissed both requests for arbitration” from Semenya and the governing body of track and field.
In a landmark judgment, the court says the IAAF’s proposed rules on athletes with “differences of sex development (DSD)” are discriminatory.
However, the judges ruled 2-1 that “on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events.”
Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters, will now be forced to medicate to suppress her testosterone levels if she wants to defend her world title in September in Doha, Qatar.