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BC-AP Sports Digest

By: Associated Press
April 22, 2017 Updated: April 22, 2017 at 12:59 am

The supervisor is Jake Seiner, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories and accompanying photos also can be obtained from For reruns, call the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT.



As one of best defensive players of his generation, Gary Payton knows what it takes to thrive on that end of the floor. In one of the tightest races for defensive player of the year in quite some time, the nine-time All-Star told The Associated Press that he is leaning toward Golden State's Draymond Green ever so slightly over San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard. By Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski. SENT: 1400 words, photos.


ST. PAUL, Minn. — Charlie Coyle has helped keep the Wild alive against St. Louis, with two of the team's five goals in the series. The Blues will try again to advance, with Game 5 at Minnesota. The New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers also have chances to eliminate their opponents on Saturday, up 3-2 on the Montreal Canadiens and San Jose Sharks, respectively. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 900 words, photos.


The first couple of multi-events is staying busy in retirement. Here's a sampling: Ashton Eaton appeared on American Ninja Warrior, Brianne Theisen-Eaton started a food-education website, both are supporting a 6-kilometer walk for clean water and preparing for their move to San Francisco. Ashton is even talking about going to Mars. An urge to compete? No longer present, they insist. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama's offensive backfield is sporting a new look these days, even if in some ways it's only temporary. Coaches and teammates say quarterback Jalen Hurts has improved his dropback passing during spring practices while his two backups are both freshmen. Star tailbacks Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris are sidelined from the spring game. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 3 a.m.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan football team is taking an unusual road trip. The Wolverines leave for Rome this weekend. They will spend next week sightseeing and have a few of practices at the home of the soccer club AS Roma. Plans also include a trip to the Vatican, with some players hopeful of getting an audience with Pope Francis. By Larry Lage. SENT: 750 words, photos.



The NBA Finals will be a letdown if we don't get the rubber match of a Cleveland-Golden State trilogy. But there's nothing wrong with a little drama at the start of the postseason, a bit of madness in April rather than March. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 950 words, photos.



OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant participated in a light practice with the Golden State Warriors and was still listed as questionable to play in Game 3 of the playoffs Saturday at Portland because of a strained left calf. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 550 words, photos.


PORTLAND, Ore. — It's clear to just about everyone who's watching that the Portland Trail Blazers bench needs to do more against the Golden State Warriors. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 700 words, photos.


INDIANAPOLIS — Despite pushing defending champion Cleveland to the edge in three straight playoff games, Indiana now finds itself in danger of becoming the first Pacers team to be swept in a best-of-seven series. By Michael Marot. SENT: 700 words, photos.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph has always given the Grizzlies whatever they need. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 650 words, photos.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 32 points in a triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off the Houston Rockets 115-113 on Friday night to cut their deficit to 2-1 in the first-round Western Conference playoff series. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 700 words, photos.


SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Paul scored 34 and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied for a 111-106 victory over the Utah Jazz to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series. By Kareem Copeland. SENT: 700 words, photos.


CHICAGO — Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a broken right thumb. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 650 words, photos.


CHICAGO — Al Horford had 18 points and eight rebounds, Isaiah Thomas scored 16, and the top-seeded Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 104-87 after dropping the first two games of their opening-round series at home. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 750 words, photos.

— Also:





MONTREAL — With his team facing elimination, captain Max Pacioretty says it is the perfect time for the Montreal Canadiens to show what they're made of. SENT: 500 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — Justin Williams scored the overtime winner as the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round series. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 850 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin returned for the second period of Game 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs after an apparent leg injury late in the first. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 450 words, photos.


OTTAWA, Ontario — Sean Kuraly's second goal of the game at 10:19 of the second overtime gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators in Game 5, avoiding elimination in the first-round series. SENT: 700 words, photos.



A look at what's happening all around the majors. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 3 a.m.


NEW YORK — Bryce Harper homered early, then doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the 11th inning on a bases-loaded walk by Jeurys Familia, sending the Washington Nationals over the New York Mets for their fifth straight win. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 800 words, photos.


BALTIMORE — Dylan Bundy took a five-hitter into the eighth inning, Manny Machado homered and the surging Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 2-0. Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia had to be helped from the field in the bottom of the eighth inning after hurting his knee. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 750 words, photos.


DENVER — Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been put on the disabled list for the first time in his big league career after a dirt bike accident that sent him to a hospital with bruised ribs and a sprained joint in his pitching shoulder. By Pat Graham. SENT: 850 words, photos.



Mike Sanford has been encouraged by his seamless transition in his first spring as Western Kentucky's coach. The former longtime assistant has a tough act to follow with a Hilltoppers team that has won consecutive Conference USA titles and three straight bowl games. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words by 3 a.m.


Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has settled a lawsuit filed by woman he punched nearly three years ago, the parties said in a joint statement. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 300 words, photos.


ATLANTA — Georgia Tech's search to replace quarterback Justin Thomas will continue into summer practice. Matthew Jordan is first in line to replace Thomas, but the redshirt junior hurt his foot two weeks ago in practice and missed the spring game. By George Henry. SENT: 350 words, photos.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa opened spring practice hoping that quarterback Nathan Stanley would seize the starting job. The Hawkeyes will open fall camp hoping for the same thing. Stanley and Tyler Wiegers failed to clarify Iowa's vacancy during spring workouts, which concluded Friday night with a scrimmage at Kinnick Stadium. By Luke Meredith. SENT: 550 words, photos.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The American Athletic Conference announced ESPN Events has acquired the Miami Beach Bowl and the game will move out of Florida. SENT: 150 words.


EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State defensive end Auston Robertson was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and has been dismissed from the team. SENT: 450 words, photos.



Kelsey Plum was thrilled to be in San Antonio and sign her first professional contract. Plum will make roughly $50,000 in her first season with the Stars as the top pick in the WNBA draft. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 650 words, photos.



SAN ANTONIO — Tony Finau arrived at the 18th tee with a chance at a course record, but his approach splashed in the water and his bogey dropped him into a second-round tie for the lead with Bud Cauley at the Valero Texas Open. SENT: 700 words, photos.



NEW YORK — North America's soccer federation has sued two defendants in the FIFA bribery scandal. By Tom Hays. SENT: 300 words, photos.



DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa athletic director Gary Barta testifies his relationship with former administrator Jane Meyer deteriorated after Barta informed her she wouldn't be considered for a top role during a planned reorganization of the Hawkeyes' athletic department. By Luke Meredith. SENT: 550 words, photos.






Saturday's Time Schedule (EDT)


Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 1:10 p.m.

Detroit at Minnesota, 2:10 p.m.

Washington at N.Y. Mets, 4:05 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Pittsburgh, 4:05 p.m.

Seattle at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

Houston at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.

Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Atlanta at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Texas, 8:05 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.

Miami at San Diego, 8:40 p.m.

Toronto at L.A. Angels, 9:07 p.m.


First Round

Toronto at Milwaukee, 3 p.m.

Washington at Atlanta, 5:30 p.m.

San Antonio at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Golden State at Portland, 10:30 p.m.


First Round

St. Louis at Minnesota, 3 p.m.

Montreal at N.Y. Rangers, 8 p.m.

Edmonton at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.


Montreal at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

San Jose at Houston, 4 p.m.

Vancouver at Portland, 4 p.m.

Columbus at New York, 7:30 p.m.

D.C. United at New England, 7:30 p.m.

Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas, 8 p.m.

Atlanta United FC at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.


NASCAR Xfinity, Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 Qualifying, Bristol, Tenn., 9:30 a.m.

NASCAR Xfinity, Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, Bristol, Tenn., 1 p.m.

NHRA, Springnationals Qualifying, Baytown, Texas, 1:15 p.m.

IndyCar, Honda Grand Prix of Alabama Qualifying, Birmingham, 4:15 p.m.



ATP World Tour, Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Monaco

ITF, Fed Cup, WORLD GROUP, Semifinals: Czech Republic vs. United States at Wesley Chapel, Fla., Switzerland at Belarus. WORLD GROUP PLAYOFFS: Spain at France, Belgium at Russia, Ukraine at Germany, Netherlands at Slovakia. WORLD GROUP II PLAYOFFS: Taiwan at Italy, Britain at Romania, Australia at Serbia, Kazakhstan at Canada. ZONAL GROUP II, Europe/Africa at Siauliai, Lithuania.


PGA Tour, Valero Texas Open, San Antonio

European Tour, Shenzhen (China) International

PGA Tour Champions, Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, Ridgedale, Mo. Tour, United Leasing & Finance Championship, Newburgh, Ind.

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