BC-AP Sports Digest
The highlights of Friday’s AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan . You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org . For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at email@example.com or 877-836-9477.
The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by John Nicholson at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz 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.
Moe Berg was a big league catcher who became a big time spy during World War II. Filmmaker Aviva Kempner tells his story in a new documentary, and tells PodcastOne Sports Now that he was a mysterious character throughout his life. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
Coming off a surprising appearance in the Big Ten title game, Northwestern and coach Pat Fitzgerald replace a four-year starting quarterback with former five-star recruit this season. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Fitzgerald plays it coy with the Wildcats’ quarterback competition, but tackles college football’s transfer issues and talks about why the NFL couldn’t pull him away from his alma mater. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
TORONTO _ The Bucks and Raptors are heading into Saturday’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals with a sense of urgency. It’s the biggest game for Milwaukee in 45 years and the biggest ever for Toronto. The Raptors are trying to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals and the Bucks are trying to stave off elimination. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m. With BKN--BUCKS-FACING ELIMINATION. By Keith Jenkins. SENT: 625 words, photos.
BOSTON _ When the Bruins take the ice in the Stanley Cup Final, they’ll do it with a core group of veterans that know what it’s like to win it and to come up short. Apart from Zdeno Chara, who was 33 when Boston hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2011, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask were all 25 or younger. Now they all could play pivotal roles in the Bruins’ latest Stanley Cup bid. By Kyle Hightower. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 8 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS _ There was a time when “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was considered one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It’s impossible to maintain that magnitude for 103 years and the Indianapolis 500 has dipped in popularity. But IndyCar is starting a renaissance of sorts, with interest slowly returning each year. The hype is back at the speedway this year, and the field Sunday is the tightest in race history. By AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m. With CAR--INDY 500-STEINBRENNER and CAR--INDYCAR-COCKPIT PROTECTION (both sent) and CAR--INDY 500-CARB DAY (developing).
The U.S. women’s national team is well aware that the rest of the world is catching up. Long dominant on the international stage, the No. 1-ranked Americans are heading off to France for the World Cup with any number of teams in position to topple the defending champions. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 8 p.m. With SOC--WWC-US SENDOFF. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 700 words by 6 p.m.
NFL players’ chances of dying from degenerative brain diseases and other causes are higher than for MLB players, new research shows. By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner. SENT: 500 words, photo.
TEN--FRENCH OPEN-O CANADA
ROME _ It’s typically Canadian that Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu are all children of immigrants. What’s not typical is that they have all simultaneously broken into the world’s elite ranks of tennis players _ and will all be worth watching when the French Open begins Sunday. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 710 words, photos.
BKN--PAUL NEWBERRY-LEONARD’S MOMENT
This is exactly what the Toronto Raptors had in mind when they went all in on a championship this season, hoping that Kawhi Leonard would be the sort of elite player who could push them over the top even if he didn’t hang around very long. They’re one win away from playing in the NBA Finals for the first time. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m.
OAKLAND, Calif. _ The Golden State Warriors realize this team of stars won’t stick together forever. They hear all the dynasty discussions. They are well aware of the possible ramifications of free agency, which is looming on the horizon and how things could change in a hurry this summer. But now that this group has reached a fifth straight NBA Finals, it is determined to bring home a third consecutive championship and further cement this run by Golden State as one of the best ever. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 970 words, photos.
NEW YORK _ The NHL over the past year is all about comebacks, on and off the ice. After a league-record 138 multi-goal comeback victories, Steve Yzerman returned to Detroit to be the Red Wings’ general manager, John Davidson went back to his roots to become New York Rangers president and Mike Modano returned to Minnesota as the Wild’s executive adviser. This follows the lead of Martin Brodeur returning to the New Jersey Devils as more retired players-turned-executives choose to go back to places they’re synonymous with. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos, video by 5 p.m.
TEN--FRENCH OPEN FEDERER
PARIS _ Roger Federer is looking forward to returning to the French Open on Sunday after a three-year absence. “I’m very happy to be back,” he said. “Maybe a tiny bit more because I have missed the last three editions and when you miss something in life you’re happy to be back there again.” The 20-times Grand Slam champion begins his campaign against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 620 words, photos. With TEN--FRENCH OPEN-KYRGIOS WITHDRAWS, TEN--FRENCH OPEN. Both sent.
COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Clemson tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella will miss the season after an NCAA panel rejected Clemson’s appeal of a drug test taken before the Cotton Bowl. Ex-starting defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence also tested positive and missed both of Clemson’s College Football Playoff games. The players denied knowingly taking the banned substance ostarine. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 500 words, photos.
GENEVA _ The Italian bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo looked stronger than the Stockholm-Are project in an IOC analysis of the candidates published Friday. Polling by the International Olympic Committee, which typically looks to get a warm welcome from host nations, showed “83% support in Italy” and “55% in favor in Sweden.” By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 610 words, photos.
Friday Time Schedule (EDT)
Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
Miami at Washington, 7:05 p.m.
San Diego at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.
Detroit at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m.
Boston at Houston, 8:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.
Atlanta at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m.
Baltimore at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.
Seattle at Oakland, 10:07 p.m.
Texas at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.
Arizona at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.
Dallas at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Indiana at New York, 8 p.m.
LA Galaxy at Orlando City, 7 p.m.
Atlanta at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m.
Montreal at Los Angeles FC, 10:30 p.m.