Update on the latest in sports:
NBA PLAYOFFS-NUGGETS/TRAIL BLAZERS
Blazers beat Nuggets, knot series
DENVER (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers are leaving Denver after splitting the first two games of the NBA Western Conference semifinal series against the Nuggets.
CJ McCollum scored 20 points and the Blazers grabbed home-court advantage by holding off the Nuggets, 97-90. McCollum picked up the offensive slack for backcourt mate Damian Lillard, who added 14 points but was just 5 of 17 from the floor and 1 of 7 from 3-point range.
The Trail Blazers led by 17 in the third quarter and carried a 14-point advantage into the final period, but the Nuggets used a 19-9 run to get within 95-90 in the final minute. Rodney Hood iced the victory by hitting two free throws with 17 seconds to play.
Nikola Jokic (nee-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) had 16 points and 14 boards but got off to a slow start and wasn’t nearly the take-control force he was in Game 1, when he scored 37 points.
Game 3 is Friday night in Portland.
Canes go 3-up, Stars even series
UNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes are one victory away from a four-game sweep and their first berth in the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals in a decade.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 28 shots in his first Stanley Cup playoffs start and Justin Williams snapped a 2-2 tie midway through the third period of the Hurricanes’ 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. The 35-year-old McElhinney picked up his second straight win since replacing injured netminder Petr Mrazek (muh-RA’-zehk) in the second period of Game 2.
Carolina wasted a pair of one-goal leads before Williams beat Robin Lehner off a bad clear with 9:46 remaining. Lehner made a clearing attempt that went straight to Sebastian Aho (AH’-hoh), who fed Williams in the slot.
Teuvo Teravainen (TOO’-voh tehr-ah-VY’-nehn) scored twice, including the first of the Hurricanes’ two empty-netters.
Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who will be playing for their postseason lives on Friday in Raleigh.
On the other end of the Stanley Cup playoffs spectrum, Dallas and St. Louis are now tied at two games apiece following the Stars’ 4-2 win over the Blues.
The Stars were in realignment after head coach Jim Montgomery switched up his top two lines with excellent results. Rookie Roope Hintz notched his fifth goal of the postseason after being put on a line with Alexander Radulov (RAD’-yoo-lahf) and captain Jamie Benn. Radulov finished with two assists, and Tyler Seguin (SAY’-gihn) also set up two goals after trading places with Hintz.
Jason Dickinson, Jason Spezza (SPEHT’-suh) and John Klingberg also scored, while Mats Zuccarello set up two scores.
Vladimir Tarasenko had a power-play goal for the Blues, who lost for the first time in their five road games this postseason.
The series returns to St. Louis for Game 5 on Friday night.
Kluber breaks arm in Indians’ loss
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have lost another major piece of their starting rotation as they try to capture their fourth straight American League Central title.
Corey Kluber broke his right forearm when he was hit by a comebacker during a 4-2 loss to the Marlins. The two-time American League Cy Young Award winner was struck by Brian Anderson’s liner in the fifth inning before his arm was placed in a cast. The Indians will have a better idea tomorrow of how long he might be out.
The Indians are already without starter Mike Clevinger, who is sidelined until at least June by a back injury.
Kluber allowed three runs and eight hits before leaving the game.
Miami center fielder Rosell Herrera entered the night batting .148 before collecting a career-high three RBIs to double his season total.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Martin (mahr-TEEN’) Perez had his longest outing in two seasons, allowing four hits over eight scoreless innings of the Twins’ 6-2 victory against the Astros. Perez sailed after putting the first two runners on base in the opening inning. Jonathan Schoop (skohp) crushed a towering two-run homer and Nelson Cruz Jr. drove in a pair for Minnesota.
— Ketel Marte (keh-TEHL’ mahr-TAY’) was 2-for-2 with a solo homer and two runs scored as the DBacks completed a two-game sweep of the Yankees, 3-2. Marte’s fourth-inning blast off loser Masahiro Tanaka (mah-sah-HEE’-roh tah-NAH’-kah) gave Arizona a 3-0 lead and helped Merrill Kelly improve to 3-2. Kelly allowed one run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings as Arizona won for the seventh time in nine games.
— The Red Sox completed a three-game sweep as Mitch Moreland belted a solo homer and had two RBIs in a 7-3 win over the slumping Athletics. Christian Vázquez also homered and Marcus Walden worked three scoreless innings of one-hit relief after replacing Hector Velázquez after two innings. Mike Fiers (FY-urz) gave up three runs and five hits in five innings of Oakland’s sixth consecutive loss.
— Adalberto Mondesi hit a two-run homer and the Royals took the opener of their doubleheader with Tampa Bay by downing the Rays, 3-2. Jakub Junis beat Tampa Bay for the second time in a week, allowing two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The Rays began the day having allowed just four first-inning runs all season before the Royals nicked Ryne Stanek for three in the opening frame.
— Glenn Sparkman was recalled by the Royals for the nightcap, and he delivered by scattering three hits over seven innings of Kansas City’s 8-0 shutout of the Rays. Kelvin Gutierrez homered in the nightcap after proving an RBI in the opener, helping the Royals complete a sweep. Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell was rocked for seven runs in just three innings.
— Mike Trout provided a three-run double and Albert Pujols added his 1,998th career RBI in the Angels’ fifth victory in six games, 6-3 over the Blue Jays. Trout’s bases-clearing drive in the fourth chased Marcus Stroman, who entered the game with a 1.43 ERA. Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) and Rowdy Tellez homered for the Blue Jays, who had won nine of 12 before losing the first two in this three-game series.
— Miles Mikolas (MY’-koh-lahs) outpitched Max Scherzer and Marcell Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nah) had three hits as the Cardinals dumped the Nationals, 5-1. José Martínez drove in two runs in helping St. Louis win for the 10th time in 11 games. Washington has lost the first three games of the series and six of its last seven overall to fall to 12-17.
— The Cubs won for the 13th time in 17 games as Jon Lester combined with two relievers on a one-hitter in an 11-0 thrashing of the Mariners. Lester struck out eight and allowed only Ryon Healy’s single over seven innings. Javier Baez hit a solo homer and an RBI double while Chicago put together a six-run second.
— The Rockies coasted to an 11-4 romp over the Brewers as Nolan Arenado homered twice and drove in four runs. Trevor Story also connected and Colorado stopped a three-game skid with their highest-scoring output of the season. Tony Wolters added two RBIs on a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
— The Giants walked off with a 2-1 win over the Dodgers when Buster Posey delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Hyun-Jin Ryu had to settle for a no-decision after limiting San Francisco to a run and four hits over eight innings. Giants starter Madison Bumgarner was also sharp while yielding just a run and four hits while striking out eight over six frames.
— Pirates rookie Bryan Reynolds extended his career-opening hitting streak to nine games by lacing a three-run double in the fourth inning of a 7-5 win over the Rangers. Reynolds put the Bucs ahead to stay one day after his first career homerun gave them an 11-inning, 6-4 win that ended an eight-game losing streak. Joey Gallo, Danny Santana and Shin-Soo Choo homered for Texas.
— Maikel (MY’-kehl) Franco hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh and Rhys Hoskins homered as the Phillies whipped the Tigers, 7-3. Franco is tied with Hoskins for the team RBI lead with 25 despite primarily batting out of the eighth spot in the lineup. Aaron Nola pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in helping Philadelphia earn a split of the two-game interleague series.
— Dansby Swanson homered and drove in three to support Max Fried (freed) in the Braves’ 5-1 win over the Padres. Fried gave up one run and four hits in seven innings to outduel Cal Quantrill (KWAHN’-trihl), who overcame a shaky first inning to give up two runs on six hits and one walk in 5 2/3s. Atlanta led just 2-1 in the seventh until pinch-hitter Ronald Acuña Jr. hit an RBI single and Swanson followed with a two-run blast.
— Edwin Diaz surrendered a tiebreaking homer in the ninth for the second straight appearance, giving up a blast by Jose Iglesias in the ninth inning of the Reds’ 1-0 downing of the Mets. Anthony DeSclafani and four relievers combined to limit New York to five hits. The Mets wasted a strong outing by Jacob deGrom (deh-GRAHM’), who allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings.
— Richie Martin tripled in the eighth and scored the tiebreaking run on Jonathan Villar’s sacrifice fly as the Orioles beat the White Sox, 5-4 in Game 1 of a twinbill. Martin hit an RBI double as Baltimore chased Carlos Rodón with a three-run fourth before the Birds ended a four-game skid. Dwight Smith Jr. tied it at 4 with a run-scoring double in the seventh.
— The White Sox salvaged a split of their double header by downing the O’s, 7-6 on Yonder Alonso’s two-run single with two out in the ninth inning. With two down and runners on second and third, Jose Abreu was walked intentionally to get to Alonso, who lined a game-ending single into left field.
Ohtani itching to play
UNDATED (AP) — Angels star and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani (SHOH’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) said Wednesday he’s ready to play whenever the team allows it, although that won’t be this weekend in Mexico.
Ohtani had Tommy John surgery Oct. 1, and he is currently taking the final rehab steps for his return. Although he won’t travel with the Angels to Mexico City, he could be ready to play when the Angels visit Detroit on Tuesday.
In other major league news:
Mets reliever Jeurys Familia (jeh-REES’ fah-MEEL’-yuh) has been placed on the 10-day injured list because of a sore right shoulder. Manager Mickey Callaway says Familia informed the team his shoulder was bothering him Wednesday morning, one day after he coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth inning against Cincinnati.
— The Brewers have put righty Chase Anderson on the injured list after he lacerated his right middle finger while warming up for a start against Colorado. The team didn’t say how the cut occurred.
HORSE RACING-KENTUCKY DERBY
Derby favorite scratched
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach has been scratched from Saturday’s race because of a breathing problem.
The colt from Southern California was made the 4-1 early favorite for Saturday’s 145th Derby. Omaha Beach galloped Wednesday morning without any problem and trainer Richard Mandella said everything was fine, but that changed by late afternoon when Rogers said Omaha Beach has an entrapped epiglottis.
Wolves hire Rosas
UNDATED (AP) — A person with knowledge of the process tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to hire current Houston Rockets executive Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations.
Rosas has been a finalist for the top job with several other NBA teams and had a three-month stint as general manager of the Dallas Mavericks in 2013 before returning to the Rockets. He replaces Tom Thibodeau, who was fired at midseason from his dual role as president and coach.
Also in the NBA:
— Indiana Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) continues progressing from a right knee injury but remains uncertain when he can practice again. Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard told reporters that following surgery, Oladipo needed about 12 to 13 weeks before he could start physical therapy. Pritchard says Oladipo is only beginning that second phase now, more than three months after suffering a season-ending ruptured quad tendon Jan. 23.
Maryland’s Fernando stays in draft
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland forward Bruno Fernando will forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and remain in the 2019 NBA draft.
Fernando had declared for early entry, and after weighing his options announced that he will attempt to turn pro.
The 6-foot-10 Fernando led the Big Ten with 22 double-doubles and a .607 field goal percentage last season.
Bears pick up Floyd’s option
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have exercised their fifth-year option on linebacker Leonard Floyd, locking him up through the 2020 season. The move was expected after Floyd played in all 16 regular-season games last season and recorded four sacks and had a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown in Week 9 at Buffalo.
OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR
Ohio State wants Strauss info made public
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University wants to publicly share information about a confidential State Medical Board investigation involving the team doctor now accused of decades-old sexual misconduct against more than 150 former students.
A law firm investigating the men’s allegations about Richard Strauss for Ohio State is expected to finish its work soon. The school plans to release the findings and says they’ll reference information provided by former OSU employees during the 1996 medical board investigation.
Strauss worked at Ohio State from 1978 to 1998. He killed himself in 2005.