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Update on the latest in sports:

May 24, 2017

NBA PLAYOFFS

Cavaliers overtake Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the verge of their third consecutive NBA Finals meeting with the Golden State Warriors.

The Cavaliers own a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals after Kyrie (KY’-ree) Irving and LeBron James combined for 76 points in a 112-99 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics.

Irving scored 19 of his game-high 42 points in a five-minute stretch of the third quarter. He stayed in the game after rolling his left ankle in the period.

James shot 15-for-27 in scoring 34 points, one game after he missed none of 13 shots in an 11-point performance.

Kevin Love had 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who bounced back from their only postseason loss.

The Celtics led by 10 before being outscored 40-23 in the third period. They managed just 42 points in the second half after carrying a 57-47 lead into intermission.

Marcus Smart shot just 1-for-9 from the floor, two days after hitting seven of his 10 3-point attempts. Avery Bradley finished with 10 points and Jae Crowder had 18 for the Celtics.

Game 5 is Thursday in Boston.

NBA NEWS

Magic hire Hammond as new general manager

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic have hired Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond as their new GM.

He replaces Rob Hennigan, who was fired last month after the franchise missed the postseason for the fifth straight season. Hammond had been with the Bucks the past nine seasons and is reunited with Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman, whose was Hammond’s assistant GM from 2008-13.

NHL PLAYOFFS

Desperate Ottawa tries to avoid elimination by Penguins

OTTAWA, Ontario — There will be a Game 7 in the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals.

Craig Anderson stopped 45 shots and the Ottawa Senators stretched the series to the limit by nipping the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1. Anderson was credited with 22 saves in the second period of his turnaround performance. He was yanked after one period of the Senators’ 7-0 loss in Game 5, surrendering four goals on 14 shots.

Mike Hoffman snapped a 1-1 deadlock 1:34 into the third period. Bobby Ryan notched a power-play goal late in the second period, about 8 ½ minutes after Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins.

Game 7 is Thursday in Pittsburgh.

The series winner will take on the Nashville Predators, who advanced to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time by downing Anaheim 6-3 on Monday.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Rockies rip Phils

UNDATED (AP) — The Colorado Rockies have added another win to their National League-leading road total.

Charlie Blackmon belted a pair of two-run homers and German Marquez worked six winnings as the Rockies thumped the Phillies, 8-2. Marquez allowed a run and seven hits while striking out six in his second consecutive impressive start.

Gerardo Parra also went deep to help the Rockies improve to 17-7 away from Coors Field. Their road mark also has them atop the league overall at 30-17.

Zach Eflin was rocked for eight runs and 10 hits in six innings as the Phillies lost for the 19th time in 23 games since an encouraging 11-9 start.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Homers by Jake Lamb and Chris Herrmann powered the Diamondbacks to their seventh win in eight games, 5-4 against the White Sox. J.J. Hoover worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth before Fernando Rodney tossed a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.

— The Dodgers pulled out a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Logan Forsythe’s game-ending double in the bottom of the 13th. Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw struck out 10 and was two outs from a complete-game three-hitter until he uncorked a wild pitch to bring home the tying run.

— Anthony Rendon (rehn-DOHN’) homered twice and had five RBIs as the Nationals pounded the Mariners, 10-1 in Washington. Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth also went deep to back Joe Ross, who allowed one run over eight innings after being recalled from the minors.

— Danny Duffy beat the Yankees for the second time in a week by holding them to two runs and six hits over seven innings of Kansas City’s 6-2 victory in the Bronx. The Royals were one-hit by Jordan Montgomery over the first six innings before rookie Jorge Bonifacio (boh-nih-FAH’-see-oh), Lorenzo Cain, Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas (moos-TAH’-kahs) homered.

— The Twins were 2-0 winners at Baltimore as Ervin Santana tossed a two-hitter for his 10th career shutout. Brian Dozier homered and Byron Buxton hit an RBI single for Minnesota, which is the first road team to win a series in Baltimore this year.

— Edwin Encarnacion (ehn-kahr-nah-see-OHN’) hit two of Cleveland’s four homers off rookie Amir Garrett and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in leading an 8-7 triumph over the Reds in Cincinnati. Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR’) and Yan Gomes (yahn gohmz) also had solo homers off Garrett, who gave up seven hits in five innings.

— Juan Centeno smacked a solo homer in his Astros debut and Lance McCullers allowed just one hit over five shutout innings of Houston’s 6-2 verdict over Detroit. Yuli Gurriel (YOO’-lee GUR’-ee-ehl) added a round-tripper as the Astros improved to a major league-best 31-15.

— The Rangers had won 11 of 12 until Xander Bogaerts (ZAN’-dur BOH’-gahrts) had three hits and three RBIs for the Red Sox in an 11-6 drubbing of Texas in Boston. Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY’-uh) doubled home a pair during a four-run sixth to back a shaky Rick Porcello, who was reached for five runs and 11 hits over 6 2/3s.

— Kendrys (KEHN’-drees) Morales hit a two-run homer that put the Blue Jays ahead 4-0 in a 4-3 decision over the Brewers in Milwaukee. Toronto’s bullpen came through with 4 2/3 scoreless innings after Jonathan Villar’s (vee-AHRZ’) two-run single got the Brewers within a run.

— Jon Lester pitched a four-hitter and Anthony Rizzo slammed a two-run homer in leading the Cubs over the Giants, 4-1. Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward also connected as Chicago improved to 5-2 on its nine-game homestand.

— Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout opened the Angels’ seventh win in nine games by slamming back-to-back homers in a 4-0 shutout of the Rays. Matt Shoemaker gave up three hits over 6 1/3 innings to win his third consecutive start.

— The Mets clobbered the Padres, 9-3 as Michael Conforto homered twice and had four RBIs. Lucas Duda had three hits and three ribbies to back Matt Harvey, who gave up two runs over five innings of New York’s third win in four games since a seven-game losing streak.

— Justin Bour (bohr) was 4-for-5 with a solo homer, two RBIs and four runs scored to highlight the Marlins’ 19-hit attack in an 11-9 win at Oakland. Dee Gordon, Derek Dietrich and Ichiro Suzuki also drove in two runs apiece as Miami won for the second time in three games since a 4-19 skid.

— Matt Adams hit a solo homer and added a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Braves past the Pirates, 6-5. Pittsburgh led 5-4 until Nick Markakis (mahr-KAY’-kihs) hit an RBI double and scored the winning run.

NFL MEETINGS

NFL alters OT, end zone fun

CHICAGO (AP) — Shorter overtimes and more end zone celebrations. That’s what NFL owners have decided to offer fans next season.

Owners have cut the overtime period from 15 to 10 minutes for all games following concerns from coaches who felt too many players were exhausted and risking injuries at the end of the extra period. The change will include all preseason, regular season and playoff games, although postseason contests cannot end in ties. Research suggests the number of tie games will rise from one to three per season due to the change, but Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL’) says the league doesn’t think it will.

The NFL also wants to put some flair back into celebrations, allowing players to use the football as a prop, celebrate as a group and roll around on the ground again if they choose. Goodell says the new guidelines are intended to deliver “a more exciting game experience.” The league will continue to penalize any celebration deemed offensive, including those that embarrass opponents or mimic the use of weapons.

Meanwhile, the league has altered its upcoming Super Bowl hosting schedule by giving Tampa Bay the 2021 game. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Los Angeles, but construction delays with the new football stadium in Inglewood, California, have prompted the league to push back L.A.’s hosting duties one year to 2022. Because of the construction delays, the NFL would have needed to waive a rule that prohibits a Super Bowl being played at a stadium before it has hosted two full regular seasons.

NFL: OBIT-CORTEZ KENNEDY

Police: Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy found dead

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy has died in Orlando.

The Orlando Police Department confirms that the 48-year-old Kennedy was found dead Tuesday morning. Police public information officer Wanda Miglio says the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown, but there is nothing suspicious about his death. An investigation is being conducted.

Kennedy was an eight-time Pro Bowler during his 11 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1992, 20 years before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-XAVIER

Bluiett staying in school

CINCINNATI (AP) — Xavier basketball fans got good news Tuesday as Trevon Bluiett decided to stay in school for his senior season instead of entering the NBA draft.

Bluiett was second in the Big East in scoring at 18.5 points per game last season. He was even better in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 21.3 points in leading the Musketeers to the Elite Eight.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

3 Michigan State players accused of assault violated policy

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer says three Michigan State University football players have been found in violation of campus policy after a sexual assault investigation.

Michigan State says federal law bars it from releasing the report or discussing the findings. But the report was shared with attorney Karen Truszkowski, who represents the alleged victim.

RIO OLYMPICS-FAULTY MEDALS

Faster, higher, rustier: Medals from Rio Olympics damaged

UNDATED. (AP) — More than 100 medals winners from the Rio Olympics say those medals are damaged.

Beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings says her bronze medal from last summer is flaking and rusting.

A spokesman for the Rio Games says officials have noted problems with the covering on 6 to 7 percent of the medals.

The IOC and Rio organizers plan to replace them with new medals.

TENNIS-FRENCH OPEN-HALEP

Halep has torn ankle ligament, could miss French Open

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Simona Halep could miss the French Open because of a torn ankle ligament.

The fourth-ranked Romanian hurt her right ankle in the Italian Open final. She tripped while leading 5-2 in the first set and eventually lost to Elina Svitolina 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

On Wednesday, Halep wrote on Instagram that she was “keeping my fingers crossed for” Roland Garros.

Haelp says an MRI scan “shows a torn ligament from the fall in Roma,” and adds that doctors say “it’s 50/50 at the moment but it’s made good improvement since Sunday.”

SERENA WILLIAMS-SILICON VALLEY

Serena Williams accepts a new challenge - in Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tennis star Serena Williams wants to help diversify the tech industry now that she is joining a Silicon Valley boardroom for the first time. Online poll taking service SurveyMonkey announced Williams’ appointment to its board on Wednesday.

Like many other African-Americans, Williams has been disappointed with the Silicon Valley hiring practices that have resulted in the vast majority of high-paying technology jobs being filled by white and Asian men.

She says she hopes to be at the forefront of changing things in her new role at SurveyMonkey. But Williams didn’t offer specifics about her plans.

The 35-year-old Williams already has been hanging out in Silicon Valley more frequently now that she is engaged to high-tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder and of online forum Reddit.

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