NBA-PACERS/HEAT GAME 7
Upstart Pacers try to derail the champs
MIAMI (AP) — The Indiana Pacers say they've been ignored most of the season and really belong as one of the elite teams in the NBA. Tonight in Miami, the Pacers can prove that point with a victory over the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Pacers forced the showdown game with a thorough 91-77 beat-down of the Heat Saturday night in Indianapolis. Paul George poured in a career playoff-high 28 points while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists.
Roy Hibbert was a force in the middle at both ends of the court with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Afterward, Hibbert detracted from his own performance with some crude post-game comments. The NBA fined Roy Hibbert $75,000 for using a gay slur and cursing during his news conference after Game 6.
Hibbert issued a statement apologizing for his remarks, saying they were disrespectful, offensive and not a reflection of his personal views. Commissioner David Stern said that while Hibbert's apology is sincere, he fined him anyway.
If the Heat are to reach the NBA Finals for the third straight year, LeBron James will need some scoring help. He had 29 points Saturday night. But Chris Bosh added only five and Dwyane (dwayn) Wade had 10 in the loss. Bosh and Wade were a combined 6 of 19 from the field.
New coach for Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings have confirmed that Mike Malone will be their new coach and he will be introduced at a news conference today. Malone is the son of former NBA coach Brendan Malone and has been an assistant in the league for more than a decade. The younger Malone replaces Keith Smart, who was fired Friday.
NHL-EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Penguins hope to even the score
CHICAGO (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins can even their Eastern Conference finals series against Boston with a victory tonight in the Steel City -- but it's going to take a better effort than the Pens produced in a 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Saturday night's opener.
This is the first time in the postseason that the Penguins have trailed a series 1-0. Pittsburgh, a hugely talented team, got out of its normal game against the pesky, physical Bruins. Even gentlemanly Penguins captain Sidney Crosby found himself trying to fight 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (ZAY'-noh CHAH'-rah) for a spell.
Instead of fighting, the Penguins should try scoring. Tuukka Rask (TOO'-kah rask) turned back all 29 shots he faced in the opener. Meanwhile, Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun (voh-KOON') was shaky at times between the pipes for Pittsburgh.
Tonight's game is a virtual must-win for Pittsburgh. After tonight, the next two games are in Boston.
In the other series, the Chicago Blackhawks enjoy a two-games-to-none lead in the NHL's Western Conference finals after protecting home-ice advantage with a 4-2 win over the L.A. Kings. The series moves to Tinseltown for the next two where the Kings are 7-0 in the postseason. Game 3 is Tuesday night.
Masterson tries to join 9-victory club
UNDATED (AP) — Cleveland's Justin Masterson tries to join Arizona's Patrick Corbin as major league baseball's only nine-game winners when the Indians visit the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees. Masterson is 8-1 and his mound opponent will be veteran lefty Andy Pettitte (PEHT'-iht), who's sporting a 4-3 mark.
The Indians are a half-game back of AL Central-leading Detroit. The Yanks start the night three games back of Boston after dropping a rain-shortened 3-0 loss to the Red Sox last night.
The Indians-Yankees game is one of nine games on the Major League schedule, all at night.
The Chicago White Sox continue their West Coast trip with a game at Seattle. The final AL game of the night has Houston visiting the L.A. Angels.
In the National League, Miami visits Philadelphia and the Phils' red-hot right-fielder Domonic Brown. Brown came within a double of hitting for the cycle as he collected four RBIs in Philadelphia's 7-5 victory over Milwaukee yesterday. He leads the NL with 16 homers.
The Cardinals are home against the Arizona Diamondbacks in that matchup of division leaders. Lance Lynn goes for his eighth win in nine decisions for St. Louis, which faces Trevor Cahill, who's 3-5.
Colorado is at Cincinnati in a battle of two second-place teams. The Rockies are two and a-half games back of Arizona in the NL West while the Reds are two and a-half back of St. Louis.
NL East-leading Atlanta, fresh from taking two of three from Washington, opens the day with a six and a-half game bulge--the biggest lead of any division leader. The Braves send out 1-6 Kris Medlen in Pittsburgh against 3-5 A.J. Burnett. The Pirates are tied with Cincinnati for second in the NL Central with a 35-22 mark.
The bottom two teams in the NL West, San Diego and the L.A. Dodgers, tangle at Chavez Ravine.
In the interleague game, Oakland's Tommy Milone takes a 5-5 record to the mound against Milwaukee's Marco Estrada. The Athletics start the night two games back of AL West-leading Texas.
Top seed rallies in Paris...Djokovic meets 35-year-old Haas next
PARIS (AP) — Top-seed Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) overcame a slow start today at the French Open to reach his 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal by beating Philipp Kohlschreiber (FEE'-lihp KOHL'-shry-bur) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
He repeatedly escaped trouble with his serve, erasing 11 of the 13 break points he faced.
Djokovic will next play 35-year-old Tommy Haas, who became the oldest French Open men's quarterfinalist since 1971 by beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. Haas also became the oldest man to reach the quarters at any major event since Andre Agassi (AG'-uh-see) at the 2005 U.S. Open.
The French Open is the only Grand Slam that Djokovic has yet to win.
On the women's side, third-seed Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN'-kuh) swept the final nine games and advanced to the quarterfinals by beating 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone (fran-CHES'-kuh skee-ah-VOH'-nay) 6-3, 6-love.
Russia's Maria Kirilenko reached her first French Open quarterfinal by ending the surprising run of 67th-ranked American Bethanie Mattek-Sands with a 7-5, 6-4.
Hall of Fame QB
BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly says he has been diagnosed with cancer in his upper jaw bone and will have surgery on June 7. Kelly says recent tests show the cancer is isolated in his jaw and has not spread to other parts of his body.
Kelly says doctors have told him his prognosis for recovery is "very good."
Kelly spent 11 seasons with the Bills before retiring following the 1996 campaign. He still holds nearly every significant career franchise passing record — 35,467 yards, 237 touchdowns and 26 300-yard games. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.