BC-AP Sports Digest
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Bob Baffert parlayed a win by Justify in last year’s Kentucky Derby into his second Triple Crown. The trainer has three horses going in Saturday’s race and discusses a wide open field with co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now.
HKW--WOMEN’S HOCKEY-WHAT’S NEXT?
After pledging not to play in North America this year to try to establish a viable professional league, women’s hockey players hope the NHL eventually steps in to fill the void. The pledge sent shockwaves through the sport with a major equipment company advocating for NHL ownership and men’s players and agents voicing their support. Now comes the big question: Will it work? By Hockey Writers Stephen Whyno and John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 875 words, photos by 3 a.m.
_ HKW--WOMEN’S PRO HOCKEY-FUTURE. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
Olympic sensation Caster Semenya has been dealt another setback. Track and field’s governing body says it plans to enforce its new rules on testosterone levels in female runners more widely than sports’ highest court is recommending. It says the rules will apply not only to Semenya’s favorite event, the 800 meters, but also to the 1,500 meters, in which she has also competed. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 430 words, photos.
RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-VIEWER’S GUIDE
NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby will include a couple of new technological features. The biggest one is a super slow-motion camera on the pole of the finish line on the main track. The camera can provide a reverse angle for the Derby finish. There’s also a 360-degree “glam cam” on the red carpet that will capture fans and celebrities’ Derby outfits. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 710 words, photos by 3 a.m.
BOSTON _ Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge had a mild heart attack and is expected to fully recover. The 60-year-old executive received immediate medical attention Tuesday night in Milwaukee, the team said in a statement Thursday. The Celtics were facing the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. Ainge, who also had a mild heart attack in 2009, was scheduled to return to Boston. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 490 words, photos.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The attorney for Tyreek Hill sent a letter to the NFL on Thursday disputing child-abuse claims made by the wide receiver’s fiancee, offering a point-by-point response to a secret recording of the couple that was made public last week. In the four-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, attorney N. Trey Pettlon also said Hill was willing to cooperate with the league’s investigation. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 750 words, photos
HKN--STEVENS AND DANEYKO
SECAUCUS, N.J. _ After teaming up to help the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup three times, retired defensemen Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko are back together on the other side of the camera doing TV at NHL Network. After developing on-ice chemistry over 12 years, doing it on the air is a new challenge. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video by 3 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA _ Joel Embiid had knocked the air out of Toronto by the time he punctuated a Game 3 victory with a windmill dunk. Embiid sprinted down the court with his arms stretched out like airplane wings, and the Philadelphia 76ers flying high in the postseason. Embiid refused to get tripped up back in Philly, scoring 33 points and playing to the “MVP!” chants to lead the Sixers to a 116-95 victory over Toronto Raptors on Thursday night. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 750 words, photos.
HOUSTON _ James Harden squinted under the bright lights of the Toyota Center court on Thursday and parts of both eyes remained a garish, bloody red. It was clear Houston’s superstar was still dealing with injuries to his eyes after being hit by Golden State’s Draymond Green in Game 2. Harden insisted the problem wouldn’t keep him out of Game 3 on Saturday as the Rockets try to climb out of an 0-2 hole against the two-time defending champions. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 600 words, photos.
After splitting the first two games of its second-round series with Milwaukee, Boston returns to TD Garden for Game 3 looking to keep home-court advantage. The Celtics will be playing with team president Danny Ainge on their minds after he suffered a mild heart attack in Milwaukee earlier this week. Out West, the third-seeded Trail Blazers also return home for Game 3 against the second-seeded Nuggets having stolen home-court in their series. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 860 words, photos.
_ BKN--WARRIORS-ROCKETS TECHNICALS RESCINDED. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 280 words, photos.
_ BKN--CAVALIERS-COACHING STAFF. By Tom Withers. SENT: 150 words.
_ BKN--NETS-RUSSELL-MARIJUANA. SENT: 130 words.
DENVER _ Nathan MacKinnon kept up his scoring spree with a second-period goal, Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots for his first career playoff shutout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0 Thursday night to tie the Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece. By Pat Graham. SENT: 700 words, photos.
COLUMBUS, Ohio _ Boston’s top-liners finally contributed as the Bruins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games each. Patrice Bergeron had two goals, David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist and Brad Marchand added an assist for Boston. The best-of-seven series now moves back to Boston for Game 5 on Saturday night. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 770 words, photos.
The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs often. When they do, they stick around for a while. This is just their fourth postseason appearance since 2002, but they reached at least the Eastern Conference final in each of their last three appearances and are one victory against the Islanders from a fourth. For a franchise that has changed owners, GMs, coaches and players, the one constant during those 17 years has been Rod Brind’Amour. He’s leading this run as their first-year coach. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 860 words, photos.
_ HKN--OBIT-KELLY. SENT: 840 words, photos.
_ HKN--GOLDEN KNIGHTS-MCCRIMMON. By W.G. Ramirez. SENT: 580 words, photos.
RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-BAFFERT’S FAVORITES
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ The surprising scratch of Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach leaves trainer Bob Baffert with the top three betting choices in pursuit of a record-tying sixth victory. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 600 words, photos.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-HORSES TO WATCH. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 700 words, photos.
_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-JAPANESE HORSE. By Mike Farrell. SENT: 500 words, photos.
CLEVELAND _ The Cleveland Indians will soon find out how long they’ll be without ace Corey Kluber, whose broken right arm could alter their season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner sustained a non-displaced fracture Wednesday night when he was struck by a line drive in a start against Miami. Kluber, who has struggled through the season’s first month, underwent further tests. The Indians are counting on their pitching as they seek a fourth straight AL Central title. By Tom Withers. SENT: 580 words, photos.
A look at what’s happening around the majors Friday, including: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in Texas, The MLB-best Twins at Yankee Stadium, and the Cardinals and Cubs square off for the first time this season. UPCOMING: 350 words, photos by 3 a.m.
_ BBN--CUBS-RUSSELL. SENT: 140 words.
_ BBA--YANKEES-HICKS. SENT: 340 words.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Rory McIlroy makes the most of his game and turns it into a 5-under 66 for a share of the lead with Joel Dahmen after the opening round at the Wells Fargo Championship. McIlroy, a two-time winner at Quail Hollow, twice made birdie when he was out of position off the tee and ran off three straight birdies on the back nine for his lowest start in his 10 appearances at Quail Hollow. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 860 words, photos.
_ GLF--WELLS FARGO-CAMPUS SHOOTING. By Steve Reed. SENT: 320 words, photos.
_ TRUMP-TIGER WOODS. SENT: 140 words, photos.
_ GLF--LPGA TOUR. SENT: 675 words, photos.
_ GLF--CHINA OPEN. SENT: 120 words.
GREEN BAY, Wis. _ Offensive lineman Cole Madison is back with the Green Bay Packers, a year after he was a fifth-round draft pick. The former Washington State standout didn’t report to the team last year to deal with personal issues that were exacerbated by the suicide of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski in January 2018. He says he is ready to go now. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBN--49ERS-GOOD SAMARITAN ROOKIE
SANTA CLARA, Calif. _ San Francisco rookie Dre Greenlaw enters the NFL with a little more fanfare than most fifth-round linebackers. His role as a good Samaritan to save a high school classmate from a potential date rape encounter at a college fraternity party was publicized on social media by the woman’s father shortly after he was drafted by the 49ers last Saturday. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 670 words, photos.
_ FBN--CRASH-PIERRE-PAUL. SENT: 120 words.
_ FBN--COLTS-FREENEY. SENT: 140 words.
_ FBN--LIONS-JOHNSON. By Noah Trister. SENT: 590 words, photos.
_ FBN--RAIDERS MOVES. SENT: 170 words.
_ FBN--JETS-FALK. SENT: 170 words.
Defender Ali Krieger and midfielders Allie Long and Morgan Brian earn spots on the U.S. team that will defend its title at next month’s Women’s World Cup in France. Carli Lloyd made her fourth World Cup squad. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 450 words, photos. With list.
MADRID _ Barcelona has reinvented itself under coach Ernesto Valverde, showing it can change its style and thrive. There was no better example than the 3-0 opening victory against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 550 words, photos.
_ SOC--MLS-ALL-STAR-ATLETICO MADRID. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 250 words, photos.
_ SOC--CASILLAS-HEART ATTACK. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 450 words, photos.
_ SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE ROUNDUP. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 500 words, photos.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. _ Two University of Florida students have accused quarterback Jalon Jones of sexual battery. The university released two incident reports that stem from an April 6 incident at an on-campus residential housing complex. Jones has not been charged. The incident reports likely will be forwarded to the state attorney’s office, which will investigate the case before determining whether to charge Jones with any crimes. Jones played in Florida’s spring game a week after the alleged battery. SENT: 230 words.
NEW YORK _ A former aspiring business manager for NBA players insists he never bribed college basketball coaches to help him get future clients. The denials came Thursday when Christian Dawkins was cross-examined as the last witness at a college hoops corruption trial. Prosecutor Robert Boone confronted Dawkins with recordings in which he brags about his close relationship with several coaches. SENT: 280 words, photos.
_ FBC--GEORGIA-DOOLEY FIELD. By Charles Odum. SENT: 500 words, photos.
_ SOF--USA SOFTBALL STADIUM RENOVATION. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 200 words.
_ FIG--OSMOND RETIRES. SENT: 400 words, photos.
_ AAU COACH-PORNOGRAPHY. By Ryan J. Foley. SENT: 780 words, photos.
_ OLY--BKO-3 ON 3-QUALIFYING. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 700 words, photos.
_ SPORTS BETTING-RHODE ISLAND. By Jennifer McDermott. SENT: 400 words.
_ TEN--MUNICH OPEN. SENT: 180 words.
_ TEN--PRAGUE OPEN. SENT: 140 words.
Friday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Milwaukee at Boston, 8 p.m.
Denver at Portland, 10:30 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Dallas at St. Louis, 9:30 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.
Oakland at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
Washington at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 7:10 p.m.
San Francisco at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.
Kansas City at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.
Seattle at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m.
Toronto at Texas, 8:05 p.m.
Boston at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.
Arizona at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.
Vancouver at Colorado, 9 p.m.