Update on the latest in sports:
Warriors earn third straight trip to NBA Finals
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 36 points and the Golden State Warriors closed out the Western Conference Final against the injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs with a 129-115 victory Monday night, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12-0.
Golden State led by as many as 22 points in cruising to its third straight NBA Finals. The Warriors await a possible third straight championship matchup with Cleveland, which leads Boston 2-1 in the East finals.
San Antonio’s only lead came on the opening possession when Manu Ginobili tossed in a left-handed scoop shot. The Spurs started Ginobili in what could be his final game with the team. The 39-year-old had maintained he will not ponder whether to retire or return until after the season.
Kyle Anderson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who were without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee.
Predators eliminate Ducks, head to first Stanley Cup
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Colton Sissons scored his third goal with 6:00 left, ensuring the Nashville Predators’ magical postseason now includes the franchise’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final after eliminating the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 win in Game 6 on Monday night.
The Predators, who’ve never won even a division title in their 19-year history, came in with the fewest points of any team in these playoffs.
Now they’ve swept the West’s No. 1 seed in Chicago, downed St. Louis in six in the second round and then the Pacific Division champ in six games. Peter Laviolette became the fourth coach to take three different teams to the Final, and the first since the playoffs split into conference play in 1994.
The Predators will play either defending champion Pittsburgh or Ottawa for the Stanley Cup. Game 1 is Monday.
Anaheim lost in the conference finals for the second time in three years.
Reds take game 1 in battle of Ohio
UNDATED (AP) — Scott Feldman struck out a season-high nine while ending Cincinnati’s long stretch of ineffective starts, and Scott Schebler homered for the third straight game, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
The Reds took the opener of the annual intrastate series. The teams play two games in Cincinnati followed by two in Cleveland. The Indians had won their last four at Great American Ball Park and six straight overall in the Ohio series.
Elsewhere in the major leagues:
— Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and Chris Carter homered, and the New York Yankees once again downed Jason Vargas by beating the Kansas City Royals 4-2. A reversed umpire’s call in the seventh inning kept the Yankees ahead and enabled Michael Pineda (5-2) to top Vargas for the second time in a week. The Royals, with the worst record in the AL, have lost five of seven.
— Jeff Hoffman struck out seven and tossed three-hit ball over seven innings to lead the Colorado Rockies to an 8-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Hoffman (2-0) also had his first big league hit and the National League-leading Rockies continued to cruise away from home. They are the best in the majors with a 16-7 road record and are 5-2 on this season-long 10-game road trip.
— Max Kepler homered and drove in four runs, Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco each had a career-high four hits and the Minnesota Twins roared back to beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-7. Minnesota trailed 5-0 in the second inning and 6-2 entering the fifth before cranking up the offense against Ubaldo Jimenez and an ineffective Baltimore bullpen.
— Jefry Marte scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning to help the Los Angeles Angels’ beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. The Angels, who have won six of eight, pushed across the run without a hit in the seventh inning against Tampa Bay relievers Jumbo Diaz (0-3) and Ryne Stanek. After walking Mike Trout intentionally to load the bases with two out, Stanek threw a ball in the dirt while facing Albert Pujols, allowing Marte to score easily.
— Brad Peacock and three relievers combined for a one-hitter and Jose Altuve (al-TOO’-vay) provided the offense with an RBI double to lead the Houston Astros to 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. Peacock was solid moving out of the bullpen to make a spot start for injured ace Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kehl). In his first start since September, Peacock allowed the lone hit and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings.
— Joe Panik hit his first career leadoff homer and doubled twice, helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4. Brandon Belt also connected and Ty Blach pitched into the eighth inning in the first meeting between the teams since San Francisco was eliminated by Chicago in the NL Division Series last year.
— Matt Adams hit a two-run homer in his second start since being traded to Atlanta, Ender Inciarte (EHN’-dur ihn-see-AHR’-tay) had a career-high five hits and the Braves beat Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night. Brandon Phillips also homered for the Braves, who have won eight of 11.
— Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 12 and came within one out of a complete game as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1 on Monday night.The ace right-hander gave up four hits and improved to 5-0 in his last six starts.
Title IX investigation into Michigan State sexual assault allegations ends
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State officials say they have concluded a Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault and haven’t taken any action to remove three football players from the university.
The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/2qaKRxT) Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody would not discuss the specifics or outcome of the investigation into the alleged January assault. The names of the suspended players haven’t been released.
The university disclosed the case in February, saying it was part of a criminal investigation that had detectives interviewing members of the coaching staff and others.
Cody said once a Title IX investigation is completed it would move into the student conduct system if a violation had been found. If no violations of policy are found, the matter is closed.
A criminal case has been under review by Ingham County prosecutor. There is no timeline for when or if charges will be filed.
Russia facing ban from Paralympics for 2018 Games
LONDON (AP) — The International Paralympic Committee says there is a “strong chance” that Russia will be banned from the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang because of the country’s doping scandal.
Russia has been suspended from the Paralympic movement since August 2016, ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Games.
The IPC says “a number of key criteria still need to be met” by Russia to “right the wrongs” reported by World Anti-Doping Agency investigators last year. The IPC says that if the Russian Paralympic Committee “does not meet its obligations in full by early September then there is a strong chance it will not be allowed to enter its athletes” into the 2018 Paralympics.
INDY 500-TOP SPEEDS
Chilton, Jones, Dixon post fastest speeds in Indy practice
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Max Chilton and rookie Ed Jones have turned the fastest laps in the second-to-last practice for this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Chilton had a top speed of 228.592 mph Monday. Jones was second at 228.118. Pole-winner Scott Dixon was third at 227.165.
Points leader Simon Pagenaud had the fastest Chevrolet on the 2.5-mile oval at 226.998 as drivers worked on race-day setups.
Australia’s James Davison also made his May debut. He turned 88 laps as the replacement driver for the injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 18 car. Davison’s fastest lap was 223.670.
Drivers will return to the track for the final practice Friday. The race is scheduled for Sunday.
The practice was stopped briefly after Oriol Servia pulled over with his car smoking.
INDY 500-DRIVERS ROBBED
Indy 500 winners Dixon, Franchitti robbed at a Taco Bell
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis police are saying Scott Dixon’s wife was not in the car when the Indianapolis 500 pole winner and three-time race winner Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint Sunday night.
The police report lists three victims: Dixon, his wife, Emma, and Franchitti. Police spokesman Aaron Hamer clarified that Dixon’s wife was not in the vehicle.
The robbery happened shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday at a Taco Bell less than a mile from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Dixon had hours earlier won the top starting position for next Sunday’s Indy 500.
Officers later arrested two boys, ages 15 and 14.
Dixon, who is from New Zealand, is the 2008 Indy 500 winner and a longtime Chip Ganassi Racing teammate of Franchitti, a Scot who retired in 2013.
DAILY FANTASY SPORTS-NJ
New Jersey Assembly votes to regulate daily fantasy sports
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Democrat-led Assembly has approved legislation to regulate and tax daily fantasy sports.
The Assembly voted 56-15 Monday on a bill that would impose a quarterly fee of 10.5 percent of gross revenues on daily fantasy sports providers. There were three abstentions.
The measure calls for the Division of Consumer Affairs to issue permits to fantasy sports operators, including casino licensees and racetracks.
The sponsors of the legislation say it doesn’t limit small-scale season-long fantasy sports activities conducted among family and friends.
A bill moving through the state Senate imposes a 9.25 percent tax rate on daily fantasy sports companies’ gross revenue.
New York enacted legislation last year to tax revenue from the games. Nearly a dozen states regulate the games.