BC-AP Sports Digest
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SPORTS BETTING-MARKET SCRAMBLE
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Businesses are scrambling to position themselves for a share of the market now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. By Wayne Parry. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals take a 2-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final. Washington is only 3-4 at home this postseason but 7-1 on the road. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom could return to the lineup. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.
BKN--CAVALIERS-TOO MUCH LEBRON
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The three-day break in the Eastern Conference finals gives the Cavaliers time to rest, work on defense and prepare for a Boston Celtics team that is up 2-0. But nothing will matter if the Cavs don’t give LeBron James more help. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
BALTIMORE — Half the horses in the eight-horse Preakness field have yet to experience the sensation of chasing Justify to the finish line. Perhaps one of the new shooters Saturday can find a way to force the Kentucky Derby winner to play catch-up in the middle leg of the Triple Crown. By David Ginsburg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— RAC--PREAKNESS-JUSTIFY — Justify works out on soggy Pimlico track. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 170 words, photos.
STEPANAKERT, Azerbaijan — With the World Cup less than a month away, there is a budding national team in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. One problem: It has no one to play because of politics. The ethnic Armenian team has the shirts and shoes, and practices five days each week, but that’s about it. By David Keyton. SENT: 650 words, photos.
BBC--COLLEGE BASEBALL ANALYTICS
College teams are taking a cue from the major leagues, buying into analytics and the study of launch angles, exit velocity and spin rates. Illinois relied on a sophomore computer science major to compile its data, and now he’s interning in the Baltimore Orioles’ analytics department. By Eric Olson. SENT: 900 words, photos.
HKN--TIM DAHLBERG-NHL PLAYOFFS
LAS VEGAS — A year ago at this time the Vegas Golden Knights had one minor league player on an otherwise empty roster. Now, these so-called Golden Misfits, once 500-1 shots to win the title, are two wins from playing for the Stanley Cup. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 800 words, photos.
RAC--HORSE RACING-SPORTS BETTING
Horse racing sees an opportunity to capitalize on the Supreme Court’s decision. Tracks in many states — already equipped to handle casino gambling — will be among the first to allow sports betting. By Gary Graves. SENT: 900 words, photos.
The NCAA opens a door for states with legalized sports gambling to host NCAA championships, like college basketball’s March tournament. The governing body says that all athletes, coaches and athletic department employees remain barred from gambling. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 5 p.m.
HKN--BUILDING THE KNIGHTS
Bill Foley paid $500 million for his franchise and has been rewarded with a season like no other. The success has been built on the expansion draft’s generous terms, and now the Vegas Golden Knights closer by the day to the Stanley Cup. They play Winnipeg on Friday night, leading 2-1 in the conference final. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— HKN — GOLDEN KNIGHTS-TICKLING GOALIE — Vegas goalie tickles ear of Jets player. SENT: 200 words, photos.
MIAMI — Losers of six straight and off to their worst start in 60 years, the Dodgers send Kenta Maeda to mound and try to avoid a sweep by Miami. Los Angeles is the defending NL champion and tied for last in the NL West. It is 16-26, the same record as the rebuilding Marlins. By Steven Wine. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game started 12:10 p.m.
ST. LOUIS — Odubel Herrera looks to extend his on-base streak to 43 games for the Phillies when they play the St. Louis Cardinals. Philadelphia has won six of seven and is eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7:15 p.m.
ATLANTA — Led by youngsters Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr., the surprising Braves bring the NL’s best record into their series finale against the Cubs. Chicago starter Jon Lester (3-1) is usually strong in Atlanta, with a 1.83 ERA for his career when pitching there. By George Henry. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7:35 p.m.
CHICAGO — Players take the floor for the first time at the NBA draft combine, with Michael Porter Jr. among those looking to show teams why they merit a pick next month. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
DALLAS — Jordan Spieth headlines the start of the AT&T Byron Nelson, his hometown tournament now at the new links-style Trinity Forest course in Dallas. Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama are the only players ranked in the top 10 in the field. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Bernhard Langer seeks his third straight win at the Regions Tradition, the first of the five PGA Tour Champions majors. Langer has won a record 10 senior majors. Heavy rain delays play. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— GLF--LPGA TOUR — Lexi Thompson opens title defense at Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va. UPCOMING: 400 words by 7:30 p.m.
— GLF--BELGIAN KNOCKOUT — Opening round of inaugural European Tour event in Antwerp that combines stroke play and head-to-head. By Raf Casert. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 5 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS — Josef Newgarden, the defending IndyCar champion, has been pushed aside. Teammate Will Power won his second straight IndyCar Grand Prix, and teammate Helio Castroneves is making another go at a record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500. But Newgarden seems fine with where he fits in. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— CAR--INDYCAR-CONCUSSION TESTING — Eye-tracking test added to concussion protocol for drivers after crash. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 200 words. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 5 p.m.
HERNING, Denmark — The U.S., behind two goals by Patrick Kane, defeats the Czech Republic 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the hockey world championship. The U.S. is looking for its first medal since its bronze in 2015. Also, Canada beats Russia 5-4 in overtime. By Karel Janicek. SENT: 350 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.
WNBA POWER POLL
With the WNBA season opening Friday, the defending champion Minnesota Lynx are No. 1 in the AP’s preseason poll. Minnesota’s Maya Moore is the AP’s preseason player of the year. A’ja Wilson, the top pick in draft last month, is the preseason rookie of the year. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 300 words, photos.
ROME — Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal beats Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals. On the women’s side, Simona Halep’s hold on the No. 1 ranking is boosted when injured Madison Keys withdraws from their third-round match. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 450 words, photos.
CLEVELAND — Ready or not, the Browns are getting their close-up. Coming off a 0-16 season, Cleveland will appear on HBO’s popular “Hard Knocks,” the series giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at training camp. Certain to get much attention is Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield. By Tom Withers. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— SOC--SPAIN SPOTLIGHT-ATLETICO’S REVIVAL — After poor start to season, Atletico Madrid celebrates Europa League title. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 500 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-MOMENTS-US vs IRAN — In one of the World Cup’s big political clashes, Iran beats the U.S. 2-1 in 1998 in France. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 200 words, photos.
— SOC--JUVENTUS-BUFFON — Gianluigi Buffon to play last match for Juventus on Saturday; goalkeeper mulls overseas offers. By Daniella Matar. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— BOX--DIAZ-RUSSELL — Gary Russell Jr. defends WBC featherweight title against Joseph Diaz on Saturday in Maryland. UPCOMING: 350 words by 6 p.m.
— CYC--GIRO D’ITALIA — Overall leader Simon Yates wins 12th stage of Giro d’Italia ending at Imola auto racing tack. SENT: 500 words, photos.
Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
NHL Playoffs (Conference Final)
Tampa Bay at Washington, 8 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at Miami, 12:10 p.m.
San Diego at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
Oakland at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.
Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.
Texas at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.
Detroit at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
Colorado at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.