Update on the latest in sports:
Sixers whip Raptors to take 2-1 lead
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) and the Philadelphia 76ers have taken a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals by beating the Toronto Raptors for the second straight game.
Embiid was serenaded with chants of “MVP!” while scoring 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the Sixers’ 116-95 win over the Raptors. He went 9 of 18 from the floor and made 12 of 13 free throws following two passive games in Toronto. Embiid averaged only 14 points and shot 28 percent from the floor in the first two games.
Jimmy Butler added 22 points for the 76ers, who opened the fourth quarter on an 11-1 run to go ahead by 22.
Kawhi (kah-WY’) Leonard scored 33 points for the Raptors, and Pascal Siakam (see-A’-kam) had 20.
The Sixers host Game 4 on Sunday.
Harden will play in Game 3 despite eye injury
UNDATED (AP) — Houston Rockets guard James Harden will play in Game 3 of the NBA’s Western Conference semifinal series against Golden State on Saturday despite injuries to both eyes.
It was clear that last year’s MVP was still struggling as he squinted under the light while answering questions about it. The entire left side of his left eye remained bloody, as did the left corner of his right eye. The injury occurred when he was hit by Draymond Green during the first quarter Game 2, but he finished the Rockets’ 104-100 loss to the Warriors.
Also in the series, Warriors forward Draymond Green and Houston big man Nene had their double technical fouls rescinded by the NBA from Game 2. Golden State had approached the league asking for the consideration, and the NBA said on Twitter that the technicals had been dropped “upon league office review.”
Elsewhere in the NBA:
— Celtics President Danny Ainge (aynj) has had a mild heart attack and is expected to make a full recovery. The team says the 60-year-old executive received immediate medical attention in Milwaukee, where the Celtics were facing the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. Ainge also had a mild heart attack in 2009.
— Nets All-Star D’Angelo Russell was detained at LaGuardia Airport Wednesday night after a small amount of marijuana was found in his luggage by TSA personnel. A spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Russell was issued a summons for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and released.
— The league has reacted in support of Portland’s Enes Kanter after the league’s Turkish-centric Twitter account failed to mention his 15-point, nine-rebound performance in Wednesday’s win at Denver. The league also fired the Turkish company in charge of operating that account. Kanter has been estranged from his native Turkey for at least two years and is a longtime critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Bruins, Avalanche even series
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche have evened their respective second-round series at two games apiece in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) scored two power-play goals, including the game-winner as the Bruins knocked off the Blue Jackets, 4-1 in Columbus. Bergeron put the B’s ahead 2-0 7:18 into the game, less than four minutes after David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) opened the scoring. Sean Kuraly provided an insurance goal 8:40 into the third before Pastrnak set up Bergeron’s final goal of the game.
Tuukka (TOO’-kah) Rask stopped 39 shots and blanked the Blue Jackets after Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) beat him at 8:46 of the opening period.
Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHV’-skee) stopped 40 shots for Columbus.
Game 5 is Saturday in Boston.
In Denver, Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots for his first career playoff shutout as the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-0. Grubauer and the Avs defense found a way to corral Logan Couture, the leading goal scorer in the postseason who was coming off a hat trick in Game 3.
Nathan MacKinnon ran his point straight to eight games with a second-period goal that opened the scoring. Colin Wilson gave Colorado a two-goal cushion with a power-play goal early in the third period, and Erik Johnson added an empty-netter with 1:09 remaining.
Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche, who head back to San Jose for Game 5 on Saturday.
Martin Jones stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Sharks.
Golden Knights promote McCrimmon to GM, retain McPhee
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights have promoted Kelly McCrimmon to general manager and kept George McPhee as president of hockey operations.
McPhee and owner Bill Foley announced the unexpected move amid speculation about other NHL teams being interested in McCrimmon, who had served as McPhee’s top assistant since August 2016. Under McPhee and McCrimmon’s direction, Vegas made NHL history by reaching the Stanley Cup Final in its first season and made the playoffs in its second.
Strasburg fastest to 1,500 Ks
UNDATED (AP) — Steven Strasburg cooled off the St. Louis Cardinals while becoming the fastest pitcher to 1,500 strikeouts.
Strasburg fanned nine while allowing a run and six hits over 6 2/3 innings to pitch the Washington Nationals past the Redbirds, 2-1. The right-hander got opposing pitcher Dakota Hudson looking in the fifth inning for his eighth strikeout of the day and the 1,500th of his career. He reached the milestone 17 2/3 innings faster than Chris Sale in 2017.
Washington’s runs came in the fourth inning on an error and a double-play grounder.
Sean Doolittle struck out pinch hitter Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning and finished the game for his fourth save, ending the Cardinals’ five-game winning streak.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd) went the distance on a four-hitter and belted his second home run of the season as the Mets beat the Reds, 1-0. His third-inning blast was the fourth home run belted by Mets pitching and one of just four hits by New York on the afternoon. He also struck out 10 while becoming the first pitcher since Bob Welch in 1983 to homer in a 1-0 complete game.
— Homers by Nolan Arenado (ar-eh-NAH’-doh), David Dahl and Raimel Tapia powered the Rockies past the Brewers, 11-6. Arenado had three hits, including his ninth home run this season. Dahl finished a triple short of the cycle for the Rockies, who outscored the Brewers 22-10 in the final two games of the series.
— The Padres gained a split of their four-game set in Atlanta as Ian Kinsler and Wil Meyers homered in an 11-2 rout of the Braves. Matt Strahm worked six innings and San Diego broke the game open with a five-run fifth, helped by an errant throw from Atlanta pitcher Mike Foltynewicz (fohl-tih-NAY’-vihch) that allowed four unearned runs to score. Kinsler and Eric Hosmer each had three hits and two RBIs, while Myers went 3-for-4 with three ribbies.
— The Rays gained a four-game split in Kansas City by downing the Royals, 3-1 on Brandon Lowe’s two-run homer off Wily Peralta with two out in the ninth. Whit Merrifield drove in Kansas City’s lone run while becoming the third player with a two-triple game this season for the Royals. Tampa Bay tied the score in the fifth on consecutive singles by Willy Adames (ah-DAH’-mehs), Nate Lowe and Guillermo Heredia (heh-RAY’-dee-uh).
— The White Sox notched their second straight walk-off win as Nicky Delmonico hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give them a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. James McCann homered and had two hits in Chicago’s fifth win in six games. Andrew Benintendi homered and Rafael Devers (DEH’-vurz) drove in two runs as Boston had its three-game winning streak snapped.
— Jose Berrios (beh-REE’-ohs) won his fourth straight start by limiting the Astros to a pair of runs and seven hits over seven innings of the Twins’ 8-2 victory. Jason Castro homered off former battery mate Brad Peacock and drove in four runs to help the AL Central leaders improve to a league-best 19-10. The game was tied 1-1 until Minnesota scored six times in the fourth to chase Peacock.
— The Angels completed a three-game sweep as Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun homered in a 6-2 verdict over the Blue Jays. Tyler Skaggs pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, allowing two runs with five strikeouts. Albert Pujols (POO’hohlz) had two doubles for Los Angeles, which has won six of seven after losing nine of 10.
Russell to begin ML stint
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have optioned shortstop Addison Russell to Triple-A Iowa after he completed his 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Russell was eligible to rejoin the Cubs on Friday, but manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday the team wanted to give him more time at Triple-A to get ready.
Russell was suspended last fall after a series of allegations made by his ex-wife.
Checking out other major league news:
— The Indians are reviewing medical results of Corey Kluber’s broken right arm and will place him on the 10-day injured list while providing an update Friday before the opener of a three-game series against the Mariners. Based on the initial diagnosis, and assuming there’s no other damage, Kluber will likely miss more than one month to allow his ulna bone to heal.
— The White Sox placed left-hander Carlos Rodón on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation. Although the extent of the injury has yet to be determined, general manager Rick Hahn said Rodón will be sidelined “a little while” and Tommy John surgery is a possibility. Bothered by tightness since the opener, the problem worsened on Wednesday when he allowed three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings against Baltimore.
Hill attorney disputes claims
The attorney for Tyreek Hill has sent a letter to the NFL disputing child-abuse claims made by the wide receiver’s fiancée.
Attorney N. Trey Pettlon offered a point-by-point response to a secret recording of the couple that was made public last week. Pettlon says the Kansas City Chiefs wideout is willing to cooperate with the league’s investigation.
The Chiefs suspended Hill indefinitely last Thursday, shortly after KCTV aired the recording in which the couple discusses injuries to their 3-year-old son.
Pierce to play for UNC
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — William & Mary’s Justin Pierce says he will play his final season at North Carolina as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-6 wing has averaged 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 48% from the floor and nearly 37% from 3-point range over the past two seasons.
Pierce is the second graduate transfer to pick UNC in the past week, joining guard Christian Keeling of Charleston Southern. Keeling averaged 17.9 points over three seasons for the Buccaneers.
PGA-WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP
McIlroy has share of Wells Fargo lead
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rory McIlroy fired a 5-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Joel Dahmen after the opening round of the PGA’s the Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy 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. He’s a two-time winner at the course.
Dahmen holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish a bogey-free round.
Patrick Reed was among those at 67, while defending champion Jason Day had a 68.
Trump to present Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods next week
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods Monday in the Rose Garden according to the White House communications department.
Woods overcame personal and professional adversity to win his fifth Masters title last month. Trump tweeted after the tournament that he had congratulated Woods and informed him that he would be receiving the medal because of his “incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE.”
It’s the nation’s highest honor for a civilian and presidents have wide discretion over to whom to award it.
NHL great Red Kelly dies
TORONTO (AP) — Another Hall of Fame member of the Detroit Red Wings’ great teams of the 1950s has died.
Red Kelly has died at age 91, according to his family. Kelly spent nearly 13 seasons with Detroit, helping the Red Wings win four championships from 1950-55. In 1954, he was the first winner of the James Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman.
Kelly went from the blue line to center and helped the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup four times from 1962-67. He later coached the Leafs in the 1970s and was also a member of Parliament during his playing career, elected as the Liberal MP for York-West in 1962 and again in ’63.
Former Red Wings teammate Ted Lindsay died two months ago.