BC-AP Sports Digest
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Just when it seemed Kawhi Leonard couldn’t get better, along come the NBA playoffs. Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse tells PodcastOne Sports Now hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg “it’s been a privilege” watching Leonard raise his game.
HOUSTON _Stephen Curry scored all 33 of his points in the second half and the Golden State Warriors overcame Kevin Durant’s absence to finish off Houston in six games, beating the Rockets 118-113 on Friday night to advance to the Western Conference finals. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 990 words, photos.
SAN JOSE, Calif. _ St. Louis’ season started to turn around as soon as goalie Jordan Binnington came up from the minors to help lead the Blues from the bottom of the standings. The key moment for their opponent in the Western Conference final came much later in the year when San Jose coach Peter DeBoer made the decision to stick with struggling Martin Jones in net midway through the first round. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
FBN--NFL AT 100-PHRASES
Like most sports, football has its own lexicon. Here’s a look at words and phrases long identified with the NFL _ from Hail Mary to Pick-6 on Any Given Sunday. Part of AP’s NFL At 100 series. By Pro Football Writers Simmi Buttar and Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,850 words, photos.
GLF--PAUL NEWBERRY-DALY’S CART
Next week, there’s a legitimate major _ the PGA at Bethpage Black. There will also be a ridiculous spectacle _ John Daly riding a cart. For some reason, the powers that be rewarded the 53-year-old who spent much of his life not taking care of himself and has no chance of winning. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
BOSTON _ There’s a dust-up in the corner, the referee raises his arm to signal a penalty, and Brad Marchand is right in the middle of it. Only this time, he’s trying to keep the peace. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 660 words, photos.
HARTFORD, Conn. _ Connecticut hockey fans are watching with mixed emotions. Twenty-two years ago, their Hartford Whalers left and became the Carolina Hurricanes. Now Carolina faces a New England team for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 760 words, photos.
HOUSTON _The Golden State Warriors still have plenty of work to do if they hope to win their third straight championship. But after fending off the Houston Rockets on Friday night without leading playoff scorer Kevin Durant to advance to the Western Conference finals they did take a moment to celebrate the accomplishment. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 690 words, photos by 4 a.m.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. _In a season full of strange twists so far, the New York Yankees turned a couple of odd hops into their latest victory. Domingo German became the majors’ first seven-game winner, Gio Urshela got a key hit set up by a pair of bizarre bounces and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3. SENT: 810 words, photos.
CHICAGO _Gio González is quite comfortable with the Milwaukee Brewers. After a strange start to the season, that’s a big deal for the veteran left-hander. González pitched two-hit ball into the sixth inning and Ryan Braun homered, helping the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 7-0 for their season-high seventh straight victory. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 790 words, photos.
_ BBN--CUBS-RUSSELL _ Addison Russell says he understands the booing he has heard since returning to the Chicago Cubs after his suspension for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 540 words, photos.
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. _ Jordan Spieth is going for the career Grand Slam. Brooks Koepka is trying to join Tiger Woods as the only repeat winners of the PGA in stroke play. They are among golf’s best, even if Koepka’s game is in better shape now. But it didn’t start that way. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
_ GLF--PGA CHAMPIONSHIP-TRIVIA QUIZ _ SENT: 550 words.
AP Sports Extra: PGA Championship: A paginated preview of the PGA Championship, which starts Thursday, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” or “SE” under the Graphics tab. The page focuses on Tiger Woods, who is playing for the first time since his comeback victory at the Masters. The bulk of the content is new but versions of the Facts & Figures and Player Capsules sections have been sent on the wire. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at email@example.com
DALLAS _ Sung Kang and his caddie did some calculations on the driving range before the second round of the Byron Nelson on an unseasonably cool day with some breezy conditions. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 860 words, photos.
GLF--PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. _ Steve Stricker completed a 4-under 68 in the delayed first round and shot a season-best 64 in the second to take a two-stroke lead in the Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors. SENT: 530 words.
_ GLF--BRITISH MASTERS _ Matt Wallace moved into position for his fifth European Tour win in two years by shooting 5-under 67 to take the second-round lead at the British Masters. SENT: 410 words.
MADRID _ Roger Federer’s return to clay lasted only three matches. A day after saving two match points at the Madrid Open, Federer squandered two match points himself in the quarterfinals against Dominic Thiem on Friday, losing 3-6, 7-6 (11), 6-4. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 830 words, photos.
Did some helmet manufacturers design models with the purpose of testing well rather than performing properly on the field? Possibly, but the NFL accounted for such a practice in its rankings. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 620 words, photos.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. _ Quinnen Williams stepped through the doors of the New York Jets’ training facility for the first time and couldn’t help but get a bit starstruck. The No. 3 overall draft pick looked around and saw his new NFL teammates — guys he once knew only from watching TV and playing video games. By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. _ Quincy Williams forgot to take his watch off before his first workout with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He looked down and noticed it wrapped around his wrist following the first pseudo practice of a three-day rookie minicamp. There was no need to check it, though. Williams knew it was time for him to prove the Jaguars made the right call by selecting him in the third round of the NFL draft last month. By Mark Long. SENT: 710 words, photos.
_ Other rookie camp stories from Atlanta, Arizona, Carolina, Cincinnati, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. _Martin Truex Jr. should know how to get around Kansas Speedway in a hurry. But after a pair of practice sessions ahead of Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race, the driver of the No. 19 Toyota was left just as confused as everybody else. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 880 words, photos.
_ CAR--NASCAR--KANSAS-QUALIFYING _ Kevin Harvick scored his third pole of the season to lead a Stewart-Haas Racing team sweep of the top four spots in qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 630 words, photos.
_ CAR--NASCAR-TRUCKS _ Ross Chastain raced to his first NASCAR Trucks victory after leader Stewart Friesen ran out of gas with three laps to go at Kansas Speedway. SENT: 220 words, photos.
CAR--INDYCAR-RETURN TO ACTION
INDIANAPOLIS _ All Colton Herta wanted to do after crashing at Long Beach was race. All he did over the next 3½ weeks was test for two days in Indianapolis. The interminable wait finally ended Friday. By Michael Marot. SENT: 650 words, photos.
_ CAR--INDYCAR GP QUALIFYING _Felix Rosenqvist was fast enough to qualify ahead of teammate Scott Dixon at the IndyCar Grand Prix. By Michael Marot. SENT: 740 words, photos.
_ SOC--US UNDER-20 ROSTER _ Tim Weah to play for US at this month’s Under-20 World Cup in Poland. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 600 words, photos. With list.
_ SOC--PSG-NEYMAR SUSPENDED _ PSG star Neymar suspended three matches after clash with fan. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 400 words, photos.
_ SOC--FIFA-INVESTIGATION-LAUBER _ Swiss attorney general investigated over handling FIFA case. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 600 words, photos.
ARLINGTON, Va. _ If Jarrett Hurd wants to leave his desired legacy as a 154-pound champion, he can’t overlook challenger Julian Williams. There simply isn’t time. SENT: 490 words, photos.
_ HKO--WORLD CAMPIONSHIPS _ Slovakia beats the U.S. 4-1 in a stunning result on the opening day of the world hockey championship; Finland tops Canada 3-1 in opener. SENT: 330 words, photos.
_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
Saturday Time Schedule (EDT)
St. Louis at San Jose, 8 p.m.
Seattle at Boston, 1:05 p.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 2:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 2:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 2:15 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.
Cleveland at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Baltimore, 4:05 p.m.
N.Y. Yankees at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at Kansas City, 7:15 p.m.
Texas at Houston, 8:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.
San Diego at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at San Francisco, 9:05 p.m.
Washington at L.A. Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.
Montreal at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
New York at FC Dallas, 2 p.m.
Philadelphia at Toronto FC, 3 p.m.
New York City FC at LA Galaxy, 4 p.m.
Los Angeles FC at Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
San Jose at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota United at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Real Salt Lake at Colorado, 9 p.m.
Houston at Seattle, 10 p.m.