BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Bob Lentz until 4 a.m. The day supervisor is Fred Lief at 8:30 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 email@example.com or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.
PodcastOne Sports Now hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg talk with artist Valentino Dixon and how an inmate’s drawing of Augusta’s 12th hole wound up overturning his wrongful conviction after 27 years in Attica. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
Ohio State is ready to unveil new quarterback Justin Fields at the Buckeyes’ spring game. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Bill Bender of the Sporting News joins AP’s Ralph Russo to chat about the new-look Buckeyes.
AUGUSTA, Ga. _The top of the Masters leaderboard is a crowded place after two rounds, with Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen in a five-way tie for the lead. Then there’s the man lurking one shot behind: four-time tournament winner Tiger Woods. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 4 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Ga. _ Dave Loggins had a prolific songwriting career in the 1970s and ’80s but his most enduring song might be “Augusta,” which has been featured in the CBS Masters promos and broadcast for nearly 40 years. Loggins wrote the song in 1981 after being inspired by while attending the Masters. He pitched it to the CBS, and it quickly became a fixture in the broadcast starting in 1982. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 a.m.
BKN--PLAYOFFS-10 THINGS TO KNOW
Golden State is eyeing its fifth straight NBA Finals. Milwaukee’s penchant for blowouts bodes well for the Bucks. James Harden can become the 10th player with 3,000 points in a season. Stephen Curry nears a 3-point record. And playoff teams are vying for a share of nearly $22 million. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
_ BKN--NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW CAPSULES _ Capsules for all first-round series. By Brian Mahoney and Tim Reynolds.
TAMPA, Fla. _The Columbus Blue Jackets are making a serious bid to knock the team with the best regular-season record out of the playoffs. Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists, Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves, and the Blue Jackets stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 to take a 2-0 first-round series lead. Two down. Two more to go. SENT: 810 words, photos.
AUGUSTA, Ga. _ Phil Mickelson flashed the faraway look of a man approaching a half-century of life, clearly pondering where the time went. Then, just like that, Lefty snapped out of it. He’s got his sights on a fourth green jacket. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
AUGUSTA, Ga. _ Adam Scott had a choice to make, and some time to do it. Then he came out of a storm delay to hit the shot of his day. And just like that Scott is in the mix on a star-studded leaderboard as he tries to end a long victory drought and win his second Masters title. By Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 670 words, photos.
AUGUSTA, Ga. _ Charles Howell III waited a long time to get back to the Masters and wanted his return to last through the weekend. So he entered Friday’s second round with a safe approach mindset, hoping to just make the cut. Then came a chip-in for birdie on No. 5 to get a little momentum. Later, he made a 36-foot putt for eagle on No. 13. Suddenly, making the cut wasn’t a concern; he could focus on contending. By David Brandt. SENT: 530 words, photos.
_ GLF--MASTERS NOTEBOOK _ SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
BKN--BOARD OF GOVERNORS
NEW YORK _ The future of NBA basketball could look like European soccer. Tournaments that take place during the season along with league games intrigue Commissioner Adam Silver as a way to change the format of the NBA’s 82-game season. If it even keeps an 82-game season. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 610 words, photos.
OAKLAND, Calif. _ This is such a different time for the Clippers and Warriors from their days as fierce rivals who swung elbows, tussled and trash-talked at every chance. Both franchises were finding themselves then. Now, they each are more established. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 820 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES — Luke Walton is out as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after three losing seasons. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced Walton’s departure Friday, three days after the abrupt resignation of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson. Pelinka called Walton leaving a mutual decision. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 920 words, photos.
_ Other Saturday previews: Magic-Raptors; Nets-76ers; Spurs-Nuggets.
_ BKN--CAVALIERS-COACHING SEARCH _ The Cavaliers aren’t chasing a championship this spring. They’re pursuing a coach. This time, methodically. By Tom Withers. SENT: 840 words, photos.
For all the value of postseason experience, youth is off to a nice start in the Stanley Cup playoffs. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 870 words, photos.
_ Other Friday Games:
UNIONDALE, N.Y. _ After falling behind in the second period, the New York Islanders didn’t get discouraged. They maintained their focus, tied it minutes later and then pulled away in the third period. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT:930 750 words, photos.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Sure, the Blues have a 2-0 series lead after road victories against the Jets. Pat Maroon and his St. Louis teammates refuse to feel anything close to satisfied. Not yet. SENT: 620 words, photos.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Shark Tank was rocking after San Jose erased a three-goal deficit in the closing minutes of the first period and appeared to score again in the opening minute of the second. Then, the referee waved it off for goalie interference and gave Vegas a power play that changed the momentum of the game and possibly the series. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 900 words, photos.
SEATTLE _Jose Altuve is as baffled as everyone else about his recent power surge. Altuve and Yuli Gurriel hit grand slams as the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 10-6 Friday night for their major league-leading seventh straight victory. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
ARLINGTON, Texas _ Oakland slugger Khris Davis keeps going deep in Texas, and just about everywhere else he plays. Davis’ major league-best 10th homer, his fifth in three games, was a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning for the A’s, who rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Rangers 8-6. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 740 words, photos.
_ BBA--ANGELS-TROUT _ Mike Trout to see doctor about strained groin. SENT: 200 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES _Vasyl Lomachenko wanted a bigger challenge and a more prominent opponent than Anthony Crolla for this Hollywood showcase. When he couldn’t get one, the lightweight kingpin took it out on his overmatched foe. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 690 words, photos.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields gets set for the fight of her career when she takes on Christina Hammer on Saturday in New Jersey. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 800 words, photos.
_ MMA--UFC 236 _Max Holloway believes the path to recognition as the best pound-for-pound fighter in UFC goes through the lightweight division. By Charles Odum. SENT: 650 words, photos.
RICHMOND, Va. _ Denny Hamlin would love to think he has an advantage when it comes to racing at Richmond Raceway. The Joe Gibbs Racing star has won three times on the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval and has been coming to the track for much of his life, even long before the Virginia racer became a driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. By Hank Kurz Jr. SENT: 740 words, photos.
_ CAR--SADLER RETURNS _ Virginia native Elliott Sadler retired after last season, but returned to NASCAR’s Xfinity Series on Friday. SENT: 250 words.
_ CAR--NASCAR-XFINITY _ Cole Custer passed Austin Cindric with 20 laps to go and won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway. By Hank Kurz Jr. SENT: 500 words, photos.
LONG BEACH, Calif. _ Alexander Rossi has been quietly “collecting points” through the first three races of the IndyCar season. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ CAR--F1-CHINESE GP _ Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are expected to dominate in qualifying Saturday. By Stephen Wade. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos.
BKC--COLLEGE BASKETBALL AWARDS
LOS ANGELES _Zion Williamson of Duke and Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon won the John R. Wooden Awards as the nation’s top men’s and women’s players of the year at the College Basketball Awards. By Beth Harris. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ BKC--NEVADA-ALFORD _ Former UCLA coach Steve Alford is introduced as Nevada’s coach. By Scott Sonner. SENT: 560 words, photos.
BUFFALO, N.Y. _ College hockey’s championship game will be decided between defending champion Minnesota Duluth and Massachusetts, which is making its first appearance in the Frozen Four final. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 850 words, photos.
_ HKC--HOBEY BAKER _ Massachusetts defenseman Cale Makar has won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player. SENT: 400 words, photos.
Alabama’s Nick Saban isn’t likely to get much sympathy from his coaching peers regarding his offseason challenges. But even the Crimson Tide faces some, especially on a defense that was uncharacteristically vulnerable late last season. Such challenges are inevitable when seven underclassmen declare for the NFL draft, even more than the usual exodus. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 590 words, photos by 4 a.m.
NORMAN, Okla. _ New Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts learned at a basketball game just how much Sooners fans already had embraced him. The week Oklahoma announced that Hurts was transferring from Alabama, he was watching halftime festivities during the Sooners’ game against Vanderbilt. Seemingly out of nowhere, a long line of admirers developed. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 680 words, photos.
_ Other spring stories from Army, Houston, Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas.
NEW YORK _ The NFL and its players’ union officials are encouraged by the improvements in helmet safety. Six of 11 helmets tested this year as part of an annual study have moved into the top-10 rated models. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 800 words, photos.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Forrest Gregg, the great Hall of Fame lineman for the mighty Green Bay Packers of the 1960s that Vince Lombardi called the “finest player I ever coached,” died Friday at age 85. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
_ FBN--REDSKINS-FOSTER _ Reuben Foster has been fined two game checks and reinstated to the Washington Redskins’ active roster after an NFL investigation into an incident of domestic violence. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 540 words, photos.
_ FBN--OBIT-CHIEFS-WALTER WHITE _ The Kansas City Chiefs say former tight end Walter White has died. He was 67. SENT: 130 words.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. _ Heavy action on college basketball helped New Jersey to its second-highest sports betting total, as March Madness morphed into March Gladness for sports books. The extra revenue gave a big boost to Atlantic City’s nine casinos. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 690 words, photos.
BKW--WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SUMMIT
More than 60 stakeholders from across women’s basketball met before the WNBA draft to discuss an array of subjects critical to the game: viewership, attendance, coaching, player perspective, international trends. The goal: keeping the sport at a high level. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 400 words, photos.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The NWSL opens its seventh season this weekend with some lingering questions about its health, but also the encouraging possibility of a World Cup “bump.” By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 800 words, photos.
NEW YORK _ Chelsea’s chairman thinks American midfielder Christian Pulisic will help expand the team’s U.S. fan base and assist its campaign to combat anti-Semitism. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 700 words, photos.
_ SOC--MLS-MINNESOTA UNITED-HOME OF THEIR OWN _ MLS club gets soccer-specific stadium. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 800 words, photos.
_ PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE _ Robert Kraft’s lawyer says video of sex act invades privacy. SENT: 130 words, photos.
_ FIG--WORLD TEAM TROPHY _ Competition at the World Team Trophy in Japan concludes with the pairs and women’s free skate. UPCOMING: 250 words, photos.
_ Tennis tournaments in Houston; Lugano, Switzerland.
_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
_ HKN--NHL PLAYOFF CAPSULES
Saturday Time Schedule (EDT)
Chicago White Sox at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Boston, 1:05 p.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 2:10 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.
Colorado at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Washington, 4:05 p.m.
Philadelphia at Miami, 6:10 p.m.
St. Louis vs. Cincinnati at Monterrey, Mexico, 7:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Kansas City, 7:15 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.
Oakland at Texas, 8:05 p.m.
San Diego at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.
Houston at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at L.A. Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.
NCAA Frozen Four
At Buffalo, N.Y.
Minnesota Duluth vs. UMass, 8 p.m.
Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m.
Orlando at Toronto, 5 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Golden State, 8 p.m.
San Antonio at Denver, 10:30 p.m.
Carolina at Washington, 3 p.m.
Dallas at Nashville, 6 p.m.
Toronto at Boston, 8 p.m.
Colorado at Calgary, 10:30 p.m.
Columbus at Montreal, 1 p.m.
San Jose at Houston, 3 p.m.
Toronto FC at Seattle, 4 p.m.
New York City FC at Minnesota United, 5 p.m.
Atlanta at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Portland at FC Dallas, 8 p.m.
D.C. United at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Orlando City at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m.
Cincinnati at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.