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Bruins beat Red Wings 3-0 in Game 3, take 2-1 lead
DETROIT (AP) Tuukka Rask finished with a 23-save shutout to give the Boston Bruins a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night for a 2-1 playoff series lead. Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron scored in the first period, and Patrice Bergeron added an empty-net goal late in the game. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Bruins are ahead for the first time in the opening-round series. And, it seems like a commanding lead the way Boston has played the past two games. Detroit has to win Game 4 on Thursday night to avoid facing elimination when the series shifts back to Boston. Jimmy Howard made 31 saves for the Red Wings, who needed him to make what appeared to be a routine stop midway through the first period on the first goal. He couldn't. Hamilton's wrist shot from the top of the right circle beat Howard's glove on a power play after Detroit had too many men on the ice. The Red Wings didn't have enough players in position to stop the second goal. After a poorly timed line change, Caron was all alone in front of the net and scored off a rebound. Detroit had a 5-on-3 power play for 35 seconds midway through the second period and could not take advantage. The Red Wings had perhaps their best chance early in the third period, but Rask made a sprawling stop to get his glove on Justin Abdelkader's shot. Detroit did not have many other opportunities against Rask, who ended up with his fourth career playoff shutout. Detroit had a power play midway through the third period and got only one shot to Rask, whose teammates prevented the puck from getting to him by putting their bodies and sticks in the way all night. The Red Wings pulled Howard but failed to dump the puck deep into the Boston end. Bergeron made a long shot into an empty net with 1:59 left to make it 3-0. Since the Red Wings won Game 1 on Pavel Datsyuk's goal late in the third period, they have been outscored 7-1. Detroit did not have one of its top forwards, Daniel Alfredsson, because of a back ailment and is still without two key players, captain Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, because of injuries. Even with all three of those players, Boston simply might be too tough to beat. The defending Eastern Conference and 2011 Stanley Cup champions are big, strong, fast and talented. Boston proved that during the regular season, leading the NHL with 117 points, and has shown how dominant it can be after losing the closely contested Game 1. NOTES: Boston had D Matt Bartkowski in the lineup after the flu led to him missing both games in Boston. He replaced Andrej Meszaros, who appeared to be a healthy scratch. ... Former Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov attended the game. ... Hamilton, drafted No. 9 overall three years ago, scored his first playoff goal and Caron, a first-round pick in 2009, had his first postseason point. ... Detroit's fans jeered and booed Boston F Milan Lucic, who was fined $5,000 by the NHL for spearing Detroit D Danny DeKeyser in Game 1. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:19:00 +0000
Canadiens sweep Lightning after 4-3 win
MONTREAL (AP) Max Pacioretty lifted the Montreal Canadiens into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday night with a power-play goal with 43 seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory and a four-game sweep of Tampa Bay. The first team to advance this year, the Canadiens also got goals from Daniel Briere, Brendan Gallagher and Lars Eller. Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Victor Hedman pulled the Lightning within one goal three minutes into the third period, and Tyler Johnson tied the game three minutes later. Lightning backup goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis replaced Anders Lindback after Gallagher's goal 5:42 into the second period. Lindback gave up three goals on 20 shots, while Gudlevskis stopped 16 of 17 shots in relief. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:57:00 +0000
Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. The Pacers and Hawks are tied at a game apiece heading into Game 3 in Atlanta on Thursday. George was especially effective even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points. Paul Millsap finished with 19 for Atlanta. The first 24 minutes looked like an exact duplicate of Game 1, but the Pacers pulled away with a 31-13 third quarter. Top-seeded Indiana took its first lead since the first quarter on Lance Stephenson's three-point play and closed the quarter on an 11-0 run to make it 79-65. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:57:00 +0000
DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors beat Nets 100-95
TORONTO (AP) DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight playoff double-double and the Toronto Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 as the Raptors rebounded from a 94-87 loss in Game 1. Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Deron Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night. Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn's Paul Pierce went 2 for 11 from the field, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. He finished with seven points. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:24:00 +0000
Pujols' 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2
WASHINGTON (AP) Albert Pujols became the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, driving in five runs to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 Tuesday night. The first baseman connected twice off Taylor Jordan (0-3) - a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run drive in the fifth - to become the 26th player in major league history to reach the milestone. Pujols is the first player to collect Nos. 499 and 500 in the same game, according to STATS. About three months past his 34th birthday, he's also the third-youngest to get to 500. He has eight homers this season, all in the past 13 games. Tyler Skaggs (2-0) gave up two runs in seven innings for the win. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:52:00 +0000
Ellsbury returns, helps Yanks beat Red Sox 9-3
BOSTON (AP) Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, tripled, drove in two runs and made a sliding catch in his return to Fenway Park, helping the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka beat the Boston Red Sox 9-3 on Tuesday night. Ellsbury received a mixed reception in his first game as a visitor after seven seasons with the Red Sox before signing a $153 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees. Tanaka (3-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. His 35 strikeouts in his first four major league starts set a team record and he's walked just two batters in 29 1-3 innings. Jon Lester (2-3) struggled after four outstanding outings, allowing seven runs in 4 2-3 innings. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:38:00 +0000
Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky forward Julius Randle took a lot of time and talked to a lot of people before deciding to leave after one season for the NBA draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections. With five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, the 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky's best recruiting class ever. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed. Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds and was voted to The Associated Press' All-American third team. With Tuesday's announcement, he joins guard James Young, who said last week that he would enter the June 26 draft. "Kentucky will always have a special place in my heart, but growing up as a kid, there's always been my dream to play in the NBA, and there's no better opportunity for me to achieve that goal than now," Randle said at a news conference attended by his mother, Carolyn Kyles, and teammates Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein, who rode in on a scooter. Decisions remain for three more freshmen - twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison and center Dakari Johnson - along with sophomore forward Poythress, who didn't talk about his future Tuesday. But Randle's announcement was the most anticipated, even though Kentucky's fan base was resigned to him becoming the latest of the program's "one and done" players. Randle's steady low-post play led to positive feedback from league executives about his NBA potential. After spending the past couple of weeks talking with his family, Kentucky coach John Calipari - who didn't attend the news conference - teammates and others, Randle made the decision many expected. His next step is hiring an agent. "It wasn't something that we said we were going to do overnight," Kyles said of the decision-making process. "We prayed about it and talked about it for a while and decided this is the best decision for him. ... "It was important to know their feedback, if they thought he was ready to go out there and contribute to a team. The positive feedback, there was enough of it coming from coach Cal that we felt this was the right thing to do." Added Randle's mentor, Jeff Webster, "I just wanted to hear him say it, that this is what he wanted to do." Considered the best player of Kentucky's much-heralded eight-man recruiting class featuring six high school All-Americans, the 250-pound Randle was initially described by Calipari as the "alpha beast" of this talented group. The Wildcats overcame a stretch-run slump to reach the NCAA championship game before they lost 60-54 to Connecticut. Randle had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in the final, but the Huskies' defense kept him from being a threat in the paint. The left-handed freshman led the Wildcats in rebounding and scoring and posted a nation-leading 24 double-doubles in spite of opponents' work in limiting his options near the basket. Calipari said in a statement that Randle "was Shaq'd all year - in every way," referring to defenses applied to former NBA great Shaquille O'Neal. "I cannot wait to watch him shine at the next level." Randle scored nearly half of his 599 points from the foul line, as he often had to muscle his way through double teams. He also provided one of Kentucky's season highlights in late February with a game-winning putback in the final seconds of a 77-76 overtime victory over LSU, one of many hard-fought games for a gifted yet inexperienced Wildcats squad that needed all season to come together. Through it all Randle remained a steady force with physical play that reinforced speculation that he would be among the top players chosen in June. "I came here to win a national championship. I came here to mature on and off the court, and I did that," Randle said. "I came (up) one game short of winning a national championship, we did as a team. But everything we went through this year was just an experience I'll never forget. That alone kept me at peace." Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:06:00 +0000
Spurs' Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year
The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Some coaches would try to brush off the disappointment of letting a title slip through their fingers and refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Gregg Popovich took it head on, embraced the heartache, and in a career full of masterful coaching performances, delivered perhaps his finest effort in season No. 18. "The way we lost in the finals wasn't an ordinary loss, it was pretty devastating," Popovich said on Tuesday after being named NBA coach of the year. "We decided that we needed to just face that right off the bat at the beginning of the season and get it out of the way. Don't blame it on the basketball gods or bad fortune or anything like that, the Miami Heat beat us and won the championship and that's that." Popovich joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in league history to take home the Red Auerbach trophy three times in their career. "They're on the hood of my car," Popovich cracked. "One, two, three, right on the car, the way players do license plates. ... I've got three of those right on the hood." He's never liked the attention, never bought into the proclamations of his genius. When the accolades come his way, Popovich is quick to deflect them, giving the credit to his players, his assistant coaches, owner Peter Holt and general manager R.C. Buford. The humility in his voice on Tuesday was genuine, the challenge of putting the pieces back together after last season's finish as daunting as ever. They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta. Then he led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navigating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players. Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games. No Spur averaged 30 minutes per game and Tony Parker led the team with a modest 16.7 points per game. Despite all of that, the Spurs won at least 50 games for the 15th straight season and topped 60 for the fourth time in that span. "Day after day, year after year, the energy that Pop provides our organization is truly unique," Buford said. The Spurs lead the Dallas Mavericks 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, with Game 2 on Wednesday night in San Antonio. "He's a gentleman," Spurs swingman Marco Belinelli said. "Everybody knows that he's the best coach in the league. So to say that is not really important. But maybe some people, they don't know he's really a great guy, a great gentleman. He really helps guys, helps each other. He wants to help everybody. Great person." When Miami topped San Antonio in that classic seven-game series, Popovich's reaction resonated deeply within some members of the Heat organization. Instead of showing his disappointment at the final buzzer, Popovich lingered on the court for a few minutes, sharing heartfelt embraces and words with Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, among others - even smiling as he chatted with them and congratulated them on winning the title. And when told of Popovich's award Tuesday, James offered high praise to the Spurs' coach. "Not surprised," James said. "It's well-awarded. I have the utmost respect for Gregg Popovich, man. Not only what he's been able to do for that team, but him just being able to always keep those guys motivated and always keep their best interests. ... From the outside looking in, it seems that he has their best interests and all he cares about is the team's success and nothing else matters. That's big-time." Behind all his press conference bluster and the orneriness he directs toward the officials, there is a softer side that endears Popovich to those around him. That much was revealed during Game 1 against the Mavericks when he was interviewed by Craig Sager Jr., who was filling in for his father, a longtime sideline reporter who is being treated for leukemia. Popovich's curt demeanor and one-word answers to the elder Sager's questions have become appointment viewing, but this time the coach stopped in the middle of tense game, stared right into the camera and delivered a heart-felt message. "We miss you. You've been an important part of all of us for a long time, doing a great job," he said. "We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise I'll be nice." Popovich garnered 59 first-place votes and 380 total points in voting conducted by a panel of media members. Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek (37 first-place votes) finished second and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau (12) finished third in the voting, with Charlotte's Steve Clifford and Toronto's Dwane Casey rounding out the top five in a season so strong that Spoelstra did not make the top 10. --- AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report. --- Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:33:00 +0000
30 top prospects to attend NFL draft in New York
NEW YORK (AP) The NFL says 30 top prospects, including Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, will attend the draft next month in New York. Among other players scheduled to appear at Radio City Music Hall include Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. The prospects are expected to be selected in the first three rounds. The first round will be Thursday, May 8, with rounds 2-3 the next day. --- AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:20:00 +0000
Moyes out as Manchester United manager
Manager David Moyes has been sacked by Manchester United, the club announced via Twitter early Tuesday morning. "Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club," the club wrote. "The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role." Speculation about Moyes' job security had been rampant for months, but the fervor reached a peak Monday as multiple outlets reported his imminent dismissal. The man hand-picked by Sir Alex Ferguson to be his replacement at Old Trafford never quite delivered on his predecessor's lofty praise. In addition to a club-record 11 Premier League losses, Manchester United will finish out of the top-3 for the first time in club history. The club also failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 1994-95 season. The final straw was a 2-0 defeat to Moyes' old club Everton on Sunday, their first double over United sincethe 1969-70 season. The loss followed embarrassing defeats to Manchester City, Liverpool, in addition losses at home to Newcastle and West Brom. Manchester United will need to find someone to steer the ship in time for Saturday's match against Norwich City at Old Trafford (12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/Live Extra). Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:52:42 +0000
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