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BC-AP Sports Digest

May 8, 2019

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Dennis Waszak Jr. at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.

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Just when it seemed Kawhi Leonard couldn’t get better, along come the NBA playoffs. Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse tells PodcastOne Sports Now hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg “it’s been a privilege” watching Leonard raise his game.

https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

There are 27 head coaches starting new jobs in major college football this season. Which ones are most likely to have successful tenures? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, USA Today’s Paul Myerberg joins the show to pick apart the AP’s Ralph Russo’s Most Likely to Succeed rankings of new FBS coaches.

Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

TOP STORIES

HKN--AVALANCHE-SHARKS

SAN JOSE, Calif. _ The San Jose Sharks could get injured captain Joe Pavelski back for Game 7 of their second-round playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche. The winner faces the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final. By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 9 p.m.

BKN--CELTICS-BUCKS

MILWAUKEE _ The Milwaukee Bucks can clinch their first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2001 when they host Boston in Game 5 of the semifinals. The Bucks have won three straight since dropping the opener to the Celtics. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.

BBA--ATHLETICS-FIERS-NO-HITTER

OAKLAND, Calif. _ It took a second career no-hitter from Oakland Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers to raise his lifetime record to 57-58. The 33-year-old, who has been a journeyman for much of his career, began his night against the Cincinnati Reds with a 6.81 ERA this season. He ended with a 131-pitch masterpiece to become the 35th pitcher with multiple no-hitters. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 9 p.m.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-DQ REVISITED

The first disqualification in Kentucky Derby history wasn’t without controversy either. In 1968, Dancer’s Image crossed the finish line first and the result was declared official. A post-race drug test came back positive and the colt was disqualified. The owner fought the ruling in court for five years only to lose. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

SOC--LIVERPOOL-KLOPP’S MACHINE

LIVERPOOL, England _ Like the rest of the soccer world, Juergen Klopp had his doubts. Given the scenario _ the big first-leg deficit, the presence of Lionel Messi on the other side, injuries to important players _ the Liverpool manager just wasn’t sure, deep down, that his team could come back from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals. So he laid down a challenge. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 850 words, photos.

With:

_ SOC--BARCELONA-MESSI DEPENDENCY _ Barcelona’s fall highlights team’s Messi dependency. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 660 words, photos.

NBA

BKN--ROCKETS-WARRIORS

OAKLAND, Calif. _ Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors try to hold court at home when they take on James Harden and the Houston Rockets with the best-of-seven series tied at 2 games apiece. By Janie McCauley. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts at 10:30 p.m.

BKN--TIPOFF

Joel Embiid has not been himself and as result the process in Philadelphia has taken a step back. With the 76ers’ big man struggling, Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors have Philadelphia on the brink of postseason elimination. The Trail Blazers will also try to keep their playoffs hopes alive at home Friday against Denver. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 7 p.m.

NHL

HKN--HURRICANES-BRUINS PREVIEW

BOSTON _ The Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final, which begin Thursday. Boston opens the series without defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who was suspended for a hit to the head in the clincher against Columbus. By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.

HKN--BLUES ADVANCE

ST. LOUIS _ Jordan Binnington admitted he got a little tired late in in the Blues’ double-overtime win over Dallas in Game 7. He will need to shake that off soon enough: St. Louis is in the Western Conference final for the first time since 2016 behind their standout rookie goaltender. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.

HKN--STARS WRAPUP

DALLAS _ With a rookie coach, the Dallas Stars made it to double overtime in Game 7 of a second-round series. While that may have been unexpected, they now seem set up to compete again next season. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

HKN--BLUE JACKETS WRAPUP

COLUMBUS, Ohio _ The Blue Jackets’ two best players apparently don’t want to be in Columbus anymore. Their departure will ripple through just about every move the team makes in the offseason. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and winger Artemi Panarin are unrestricted free agents and almost certainly will be out the door. Retooling the roster to compensate for the loss of the Russians will mean a busy summer for general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. By Mitch Stacy. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBN--CUBS-OFFENSIVE GESTURE

CHICAGO _ The Chicago Cubs are investigating a fan’s use of a gesture associated with racism behind a black television reporter who was on the air. The fan seated near the dugout formed a circle with his thumb and ring finger as former major leaguer Doug Glanville gave his report. The once-innocuous gesture associated with the juvenile “circle game,” where someone gets punched in the shoulder, has also become associated with white supremacy. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 8 p.m.

Also:

_ BBN--OBIT-MONTGOMERY _ Phillies Chairman David Montgomery dies at 72. SENT: 170 words, photos. UPCOMING: 350 words by 5 p.m.

SOCCER

SOC--AJAX-TOTTENHAM

AMSTERDAM _ Ajax holds a 1-0 lead over Tottenham heading into the second leg of the Champions League semifinals. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts at 3 p.m.

SOC--FIFA-CHELSEA TRANSFER BAN

ZURICH _ Chelsea’s appeal against a one-year transfer ban is rejected, leaving the London club to prepare for its return to the Champions League without being able to make any signings. SENT: 600 words, photos.

SOC--MLS-MIAMI

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. _ David Beckham’s planned MLS team says it will start signing players this summer and should hire a coach by the fall, all with anticipation of joining the league and playing in a yet-to-be-built home in 2020. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 260 words, photos.

TENNIS

TEN--MADRID OPEN

MADRID _ Overcoming lack of practice because of a stomach virus, Rafael Nadal cruises to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime in Nadal’s debut at the Madrid Open. Nadal lost only four points on his serve in the first set and broke Auger-Aliassime three times in the second to reach the third round. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 600 words, photos.

OLYMPICS

OLY--TOKYO-BUDGET SQUEEZE

TOKYO _ The Tokyo Olympics are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. Tokyo organizers are trying to cut spending, under pressure from the International Olympic Committee, which has been widely criticized for pushing host cities to build “white elephant” venues _ often at the taxpayer’s expense. Some of Tokyo’s cuts are aimed at the international sports federations that put on the Olympic show. And they don’t like it with the games opening in 15 months. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 680 words, photos.

Also:

_ OLY--BACH-BOXING SPAT _ Head of international boxing federation criticizes IOC President Thomas Bach’s comments that Olympic officials could organize Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament if sport’s federation can’t get its affairs in order. By Steve Moore. SENT: 450 words, photos.

OTHER

_ FBN--PACKERS-THOMPSON _ Ex-Packers GM details health issues that led him to step down. SENT: 170 words.

_ NCAA-APR SCORES _ NCAA’s new APR report shows athletes’ scores remain steady. By Michael Marot. SENT: 550 words, photos.

_ FBH--MICHIGAN-LIMITED CONTACT _ Michigan high schools to limit contact in football practice. SENT: 240 words.

_ HKW--NWHL-BUFFALO _ AP source: Owner Kim Pegula relinquishes control of NWHL Buffalo team. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 650 words, photos. UPCOMING: 750 words by 7 p.m.

_ GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS _ Scott McCarron enters Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors, having won two of the last three events. UPCOMING: 400 words by 6 p.m.

_ F1--CAR-SPANISH GP _ Spanish Grand Prix is only the fifth race of the Formula One season, but Ferrari knows it’s already running out of time to catch up to Mercedes in the title race. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.

CAPSULES

_ BKN--NBA PLAYOFF CAPSULES

_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES

_ SOC--MLS CAPSULES

___

Wednesday Time Schedule (EDT)

NBA Playoffs

Boston at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Houston at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

NHL Playoffs

Colorado at San Jose, 9 p.m.

Baseball

Texas at Pittsburgh, 12:35 p.m.

Arizona at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m.

Washington at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at San Diego, 3:40 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.

Seattle at N.Y. Yankees, 6:35 p.m.

Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Minnesota at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.

Miami at Chicago Cubs, 7:35 p.m.

Kansas City at Houston, 8:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.

Cincinnati at Oakland, 10:07 p.m.

Atlanta at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

MLS

Toronto FC at Atlanta, 7 p.m.

LA Galaxy at Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

Montreal at New York, 8 p.m.

New England at Chicago, 8 p.m.