|19 hours ago|| MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl|
NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday's brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado was suspended five games while outfielder Carlos Gomez was suspended three games. Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider received a two-game penalty, with catcher Russell Martin also missing one game.
Maldonado began his suspension with Tuesday's game against the San Diego Padres. Gomez decided to appeal and was in his usual leadoff position. Manager Ron Roenicke said he thought a decision could take a couple weeks.
"I'm appealing because it's not fair and I'm not the one that started the fight and I'm not the one that started throwing punches first," Gomez said Tuesday in the dugout. "I'll appeal it and wait for the result."
Gomez said he did not throw the first punch during the fracas, and that umpires know "who started everything."
Gomez would be biggest loss among the four players disciplined. The surprising Brewers entered Tuesday with the best record in baseball at 15-5, four games up on the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Gold Glove-winning center fielder is hitting .313 with five homers and 12 RBIs after being moved to the leadoff position this season.
Snider and Martin plan to appeal the suspension and were penciled into the lineup for Tuesday night's game against Cincinnati. Martin said he was surprised at being disciplined.
Martin has a scheduled off day on Thursday in favor of backup Chris Stewart. It's possible he could sit out then to serve the suspension.
Benches cleared after Gomez and Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole exchanged words after Gomez's triple in the third inning. Snider came onto the field and tackled Gomez, getting a minor assist from Martin in the process.
Snider was then punched in the face by Maldonado, receiving a small gash under his left eye.
Roenicke and general manager Doug Melvin
|19 hours ago|| 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
|19 hours ago|| 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 l
|19 hours ago|| 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 ove
|19 hours ago|| 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.
|19 hours ago|| 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.
|19 hours ago|| 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.
|19 hours ago|| 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.
|19 hours ago|| 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.
|19 hours ago|| 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 ha
|Yesterday|| Davis' historic slam leads Pirates over Reds 6-5|
PITTSBURGH (AP) Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis' fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake. Davis hit a game-winning slam off the Reds' J.J. Hoover on April 5 for the New York Mets, who traded him to the Pirates on Friday.
According to STATS, no player previously hit slams for different teams in the same April. Davis became just the third to hit slams for different teams against the same opponent in the same year, following Ray Boone in 1953 and Mike Piazza in 1998.
The Pirates were behind 5-4 before Andrew McCutchen's leadoff homer in the eighth against Manny Parra.
Walker got the winning hit off Hoover (1-2) after consecutive one-out walks to Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen followed by Pedro Alvarez's popout.
|Yesterday|| NBA fines Raptors GM for profanity at rally|
NEW YORK (AP) The NBA has fined Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri $25,000 for using profanity in a public place.
Ujiri was speaking at a public rally Saturday before the Raptors hosted the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their first round playoff series when he used an expletive. He later apologized.
The NBA announced the penalty Monday night, a day before the Raptors host the Nets in Game 2.
|Yesterday|| Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor|
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders have traded away the final player drafted by late owner Al Davis.
Oakland dealt quarterback Terrelle Pryor to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday for a seventh-round pick in next month's draft.
The Raiders fulfilled Pryor's wish to be traded a day before the start of their offseason program. Pryor had asked to be dealt after the season when he lost his starting job to undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, and the Raiders made the move after acquiring Matt Schaub from Houston to be the starter.
Pryor said on Twitter: "Thank you Mr Davis and Raidernation for the unbelievable support!! I will miss the Fans and all of the teammates I have met over the years with the Raiders organization!!"
The Raiders took Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft in 2011, less than two months before Davis died. Pryor was suspended for the first five games by Commissioner Roger Goodell, who ruled he must miss the time he would have served under a suspension had he stayed at Ohio State.
Pryor got on the field only once as a rookie, committing a false start before his first play. He then played sparingly late in his second season before beating out general manager Reggie McKenzie's hand-picked starter, Matt Flynn, in training camp last summer.
Pryor showed flashes of what he could do early in the season, completing 68.1 percent of his passes for 845 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions and a 97.6 passer rating in his first four starts. He also brought the running element to Oakland's offense and set an NFL record for quarterbacks with a 93-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage against Pittsburgh on Oct. 27.
That was the final real highlight of his first year as a starter. He lost his job to McGloin a few weeks later after struggling through a knee injury in a loss to the New York Giants. Pryor had completed 50.1 percent of his passes for 714 yards with one touchdown, eight intercep
|Yesterday|| Portland's Aldridge will be ready for Game 2|
HOUSTON (AP) A day after etching his name in Portland's record books with a franchise playoff-record 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge was already looking forward.
"It was a true blessing to play on that level and to be in that select company and I'm happy about it and it's time to move on," Aldridge said.
The Trail Blazers rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and got a 122-120 overtime win on Sunday night.
Aldridge's big night got off to a slow start and he said Monday that he felt bad before the game and was worried he might have a fever.
"When the game started I still kind of felt junky my first few shots and I was kind of like: `Oh man,"' he said. "And the second half I just kind of found it."
Did he ever. Aldridge made almost 55 percent of his shots including both of his 3-point attempts in a night where he scored the most points of his career. He also dominated on the glass, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking two shots.
Houston coach Kevin McHale was left shaking his head at what the 28-year-old did to his team. Aldridge is known by the nickname "L-Train" and McHale and the Rockets did not have an answer for him on Sunday.
"We've got to slow him down," McHale said. "He was just a runaway train last night."
Dwight Howard said the Rockets will try to throw some different matchups at Aldridge in Game 2 on Wednesday night to try and keep him in check. But, he said the key to containing him might come on the other end of the court.
"We've got to go right back at him," Howard said. "He got a rest on defense. We've got to make him play defense - make him use his energy on the defensive end instead of just trying to get rebounds. We need to attack."
James Harden hated how easy the Rockets made things for Aldridge in Game 1.
"He was just too comfortable out there offensively," Harden said. "He got the ball where he wanted to an
|Yesterday|| Bengals exercise WR A.J. Green's option for 2015|
CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals exercised a 2015 contract option for receiver A.J. Green on Monday, letting them turn their focus to an extension for quarterback Andy Dalton.
Green was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft and was entering the final season on his deal. The collective bargaining agreement allows teams to exercise a fifth-year option on players drafted in the top 10. The Bengals will have to pay him the average of the top 10 receivers in the NFL.
Green has 3,833 yards receiving in his first three seasons, trailing only Randy Moss' 4,163 yards in his first three seasons. He set club records with six 100-yard receiving games and five straight 100-yard games last season. He finished with 1,426 yards, trailing only Chad Johnson's club record of 1,440 yards.
Bengals owner Mike Brown said at the NFL's annual meeting last month that he planned to exercise the fifth-year option on Green, which had to be done by the first week in May.
"It's what is in the new CBA," Green said on Monday morning. "There's nothing I can do about it."
By exercising the option, Bengals can wait until after next season to talk to Green about a long-term deal.
"That's one thing I don't ever worry about, that business side," Green said. "I feel like my body of work speaks for itself. So whenever the time is right, it happens."
Dalton was taken in the second round in 2011, so he's not subject to an option year. His deal expires after this season. Dalton said on Monday that the Bengals have talked to him about an extension, but nothing appears to be imminent.
|Yesterday|| NYCFC to play 2015 home games at Yankee Stadium|
NEW YORK (AP) New York City FC will play homes games at Yankee Stadium during its first season in 2015.
Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said at a news conference Monday he anticipated the upper deck would be closed off, leaving capacity at 33,444, down from the ballpark's baseball capacity of 49,642.
Trost said it will take three days to convert field from baseball to soccer, although in a rush it could be cut to 2 1/2, and the same amount of time to switch it back. The pitcher's mound will be removed each time with a clawlike structure, stored and replaced.
The soccer field, which runs from the first-base dugout to left field, will be 110 by 70 yards, slightly shorter and narrower than the preferred 115-by-74 yards. NYCFC is working on plans to build a permanent soccer-specific home in New York City and hasn't given a timetable for how long it will play at Yankee Stadium.
Retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera attended the news conference in his role as NYCFC's first season-ticket holder.
NYCFC, co-owned by Manchester City and the Yankees, joins MLS next year along with Orlando as the league expands to 21 teams. Atlanta joins the league in 2017 and David Beckham has been given a Miami team that starts play at an unspecified date.
|Yesterday|| Timberwolves' Rick Adelman retiring after 23 years|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) As his 23rd season as an NBA coach entered the home stretch, Rick Adelman looked tired.
Tired of trying to wring a few more wins out of a talented, defensively deficient roster. Tired of getting on an airplane at midnight after a game and landing somewhere across the country at 3 a.m. Tired, most of all, of putting his wife Mary Kay and her lingering health issues second to a job that, when done right, is all-consuming.
So when he finally decided to step away, announcing his retirement from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, he did so with mixed feelings about the pressure-cooker life he is leaving behind and the one that awaits him.
"It becomes your life, your family's life, an everyday routine," Adelman said of the NBA. "It's a real grind. You get some time off in the summer but it's pretty much on your mind all the time, so there's some sadness but there's also a relief. I'm ready and my wife's ready to move on to another phase. We're looking forward to that."
Adelman and the Timberwolves had a mutual option in place in the four-year contract he signed in 2011. His announcement did not come as a surprise after the Wolves finished a disappointing 40-42, but it nevertheless marked an unceremonious end to a career that includes 1,042 victories, putting him eighth on the NBA's career list. He coached Western Conference powers in Portland and Sacramento and also had stops in Golden State and Houston.
Adelman said the time is right for him to step aside and spend more time with Mary Kay, who has been treated for seizures over the last two years. He also thinks the Wolves need a fresh voice to help them try to persuade star power forward Kevin Love to remain in Minnesota.
"If anything, I felt if I coached another year and then his future comes up and my future is gone, that makes it even harder," Adelman said. "I think it's best for the organization to have somebody else coaching the team, give them a year
|Yesterday|| Bobcats C Jefferson: I'll play in Game 2 vs. Heat|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Bobcats center Al Jefferson said that while his left foot remains extremely sore, he plans to play in Game 2 of the best-of-seven playoff series Wednesday night against Miami Heat.
"I'm suiting up," Jefferson said Monday. "It's going to take more than that to make me sit out. We have worked too hard to get to this point."
Jefferson injured his foot in the first quarter of Sunday's 99-88 loss to the two-time defending NBA champions.
Charlotte's leading scorer skipped a light team workout Monday and said he doesn't plan to practice Tuesday. That means he won't test out the foot until the shoot around period on Wednesday morning.
His left foot remains in a walking boot and he'll continue to receive treatment for the next two days.
First-year coach Steve Clifford said the medical staff informed him Jefferson doesn't run the risk of serious injury if he continues to play on the injured foot.
Clifford also said the injury won't require surgery this offseason.
"There would be no long term effects, nothing that could be permanent going forward. So that part we're not worried about," Clifford said.
In essence, the injury is all about the 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jefferson managing the pain, something the 10-year NBA veteran said he didn't do well in Game 1 even though he finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
"I have to adjust to the pain," Jefferson said. "I have to go out there and know that it's going to be there and have that mindset. To me that will make me handle it a lot better. Last game it came out of nowhere and I didn't know what I was limited to and what I could and couldn't do. Now I know."
Jefferson received two pain killer injections during Sunday's game after injuring the foot in the first quarter while coming off a double screen.
He said he will continue to receive injections to handle the pain throughout the series.
"They are going to be my
|Yesterday|| Jazz don't keep Corbin, begin search for new coach|
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Tyrone Corbin oversaw Utah's transition from Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams to a youth movement, one he won't get to see to fruition.
The Jazz are in the market for a new coach after deciding not to offer Corbin a new contract Monday.
Corbin went 112-146 in three-plus seasons in Salt Lake City. He took over on Feb. 10, 2011, following the resignation of Sloan, for whom he played three seasons and served as a longtime assistant.
Corbin reached the playoffs in the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, but his team was swept by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz went 43-39 the next season and dumped a number of veterans. This year, they went 25-57, the worst season by the Jazz since 1979-80, when Utah was 24-58 following the franchise's relocation from New Orleans.
Still, it wasn't easy to cut ties with a classy man who steered the franchise through the difficult stretch and who's worked for the organization for more than a dozen years.
"Ty's a man of dignity, class, integrity and we'll do nothing now in this press conference or moving forward that will disparage him or his coaches in any way," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "Today, we're grateful for a period that they saw us through and following coach Sloan in many ways ... is like following John Wooden."
Lindsey said he doesn't have a short list of preferred coaching candidates nor does he have a deadline for hiring Corbin's replacement.
Corbin was the seventh coach in franchise history. He served as an assistant under Sloan from 2004-11. He also played for nine teams during a 16-year NBA career, including three seasons with the Jazz from 1991-94.
Lindsey left open the possibility of Corbin returning to the organization in some capacity.
"I don't want to speak for Ty and understand his range of emotions, from disappointment to anger to everything in between, but (he's) a good man who was a very good pla
|Yesterday|| Lehtonen, Stars win 3-0 in Game 3 over Ducks|
DALLAS (AP) Kari Lehtonen had 37 saves, with some tremendous stops, for his first career postseason victory, and the Dallas Stars beat Anaheim 3-0 Monday night in their first home playoff game in six years.
Dallas captain Jamie Benn skated out of the penalty box to score late in the first period, and 19-year-old rookie Valeri Nichushkin added a goal for the Stars in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series. The top-seeded Ducks won each of the first two games at home, both one-goal results.
Game 4 is Wednesday night.
Lehtonen, who held up through five Anaheim power plays, had a kick save near the end of one of those in the final minute of the first period. That came right before Benn came out of the penalty box and skated toward the other end for the winning goal.
|Yesterday|| Granlund's dive gives Wild win in Game 3 vs. Avs|
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild were denied at the net by Semyon Varlamov time after time, a 44-shot barrage in regulation that resulted in, alas, zero goals.
Coach Mike Yeo jokingly wondered aloud at the third intermission whether his team was "psychotic" to put itself through such angst. After all, the way this sport often goes, the next score in the scoreless game had the strong potential to be one of those bad-bounce goals that make a night of domination go for naught.
Mikael Granlund made sure that didn't happen.
Granlund's diving goal 5:08 into overtime gave the Wild a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 on Monday. Minnesota pulled within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after Varlamov stopped 45 of 46 shots, a franchise playoff record for shots on goal by the Wild.
"You see it so many times where teams do so well and get chance after chance after chance and then a fluky one goes in against you. Luckily. that wasn't the case," said Wild left wing Zach Parise.
Granlund, who had a career-high seven shots on goal, sliced toward the crease and moved parallel to the net with some slick stick work. Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, who saved Game 1 by racing to swat away a shot on an empty net, lost his balance and tried unsuccessfully to dive at Granlund, who then began to fall forward. Granlund extended his stick to knock the puck in, and the celebration ensued.
"We were playing really good. We were creating chances. We got rewarded. We need to just keep playing like that," Granlund said.
Game 4 is at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday, when the Avalanche will be without defenseman Tyson Barrie. He took a knee-to-knee hit in the second period that yielded a penalty for Matt Cooke and a medial collateral ligament injury for Barrie. Coach Patrick Roy said he'll be need four to six weeks to recover.
"Knee on Tyson Barrie is without a doubt the play of the game. We lost our best offensive defense
|Yesterday|| Knicks fire coach Mike Woodson after lost season|
NEW YORK (AP) Mike Woodson had the Knicks on top of their division and in the second round of the playoffs, destinations that had become unreachable and practically unimaginable in New York.
A year later, he was out of job.
Phil Jackson fired Woodson and the entire coaching staff on Monday, making his first big move since becoming team president in March and saying in a statement that "the time has come for change throughout the franchise."
The dismissal comes shortly after the Knicks completed a 37-45 season that began with their belief they were a serious contender.
Instead, they started poorly, making Woodson's job security practically a season-long distraction. A late surge wasn't good enough for a postseason spot or another year for Woodson.
It was a stunningly swift fall for Woodson, whose .580 winning percentage with the Knicks ranks behind only Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, and who finished third in the NBA's Coach of the Year voting after going 54-28 last season.
He and the staff were informed of the decision Monday morning by Jackson, the man the Knicks originally wanted to replace Woodson as coach but preferred to run the team's front office.
Jackson has won an NBA-record 11 championships as a coach. He has repeatedly said he's not interested in returning to the bench, so he will have to hire someone before he turns his attention to the roster. The team said the coaching search begins immediately.
Jackson said he has a "tremendous amount of respect" for Woodson and his staff, which included longtime Knicks assistant Herb Williams. Jackson called this an "extremely difficult" season and said "blame should not be put on one individual."
"But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond," he added.
Jackson has said he won't insist the Knicks run the triangle, the offensive system he used in Chicago
|Yesterday|| Fleury, 3-goal flurry lead Pens past Jackets, 4-3|
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Olli Maatta scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series thanks to the goals on three consecutive shots.
Brooks Orpik added a goal in the final seconds of the second period as the Penguins stormed back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1. Marc Andre-Fleury had 27 saves.
Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson staked the Blue Jackets to an early lead in the opening 3:18, with Cam Atkinson getting credit for a goal early in the final period that stretched the lead to 3-1.
But then the Penguins found their game, dominating with a 41-20 advantage in shots on goal and controlling the pace to disappoint a raucous overflow crowd of 19,148.
Beau Bennett and Paul Martin each had two assists for the Penguins, as did Brandon Dubinsky for the Blue Jackets, who were trying for their first playoff victory at home. They were 0-5 in the postseason until pulling off a stunning 4-3 double-overtime victory Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Down 3-1 after Dubinsky's twirling backhander went in off Atkinson's glove just over a minute into the final period, the Penguins found another gear.
Martin's shot from the point was redirected by Sutter cut the lead to a goal. Stempniak took a short pass from Kris Letang and waded in from the right wing, beating goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who finished with 37 saves, 1:10 later.
Then Maatta's shot from the point glanced in off defenseman James Wisniewski, thoroughly deflating a crowd waiting to celebrate an historic win.
All three games have ended up 4-3, with one team building a 3-1 edge.
Columbus' last best chance came with 30 seconds left when Fleury made a blocker save on Ryan Johansen's hard shot.
For years, Penguins fans flooded into Nationwide Arena and had little opposition
|Yesterday|| Clippers rout Warriors 138-98, even playoff series|
LOS ANGELES (AP) Blake Griffin scored a career playoff-high 35 points without a foul and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in routing the Golden State Warriors 138-98 Monday night to even their first-round series at a game apiece.
Chris Paul added 12 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, who started the game on a 14-4 run and kept on going, maintaining a sizeable double-digit lead through the final three quarters. They finished with a franchise record points for a playoff game.
All the foul trouble that plagued Griffin and Paul in the Clippers' four-point loss in Game 1 belonged to the Warriors this time.
Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter, when the Warriors never got closer than 25 points, while playing with four fouls. Klay Thompson finished with seven points - 15 under his average - and four fouls.
|Yesterday|| Blackhawks blank Blues 2-0 in Game 3|
CHICAGO (AP) Corey Crawford made 34 saves in his third career postseason shutout, and the Chicago Blackhawks got back into their playoff series with the St. Louis Blues with a 2-0 victory in Game 3 on Monday night.
Jonathan Toews scored in the first period and Marcus Kruger added an empty-netter as Chicago bounced back after a pair of overtime losses in St. Louis. Toews' 21st postseason goal was only the second score by a Blackhawks forward in the series.
Ryan Miller shook off another slow start and made 23 saves for St. Louis.
|Yesterday|| Grizzlies beat Thunder 111-105 in OT to tie series|
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant's four-point play was magnificent, even by his lofty standards.
With his Oklahoma City Thunder trailing by five with 13.8 seconds remaining in regulation, the scoring champion hit a difficult 3-pointer from the corner as he was being pushed out of bounds by Marc Gasol. Durant converted the free throw to make it a one-point game.
The magic ran out for the Thunder, though. Zach Randolph scored 25 points to help Memphis defeat Oklahoma City 111-105 in overtime on Monday night and tie their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. The final result took nothing from perhaps the most spectacular play of his season.
"He's a great player and made a great play," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "It was tough to take that hit and go into overtime."
When asked if it was the best shot of his career, a sullen Durant said he wasn't worried about it.
"I don't know, man," he said. "We lost, so it really don't matter."
Mike Conley added 19 points and 12 assists for the Grizzlies, who executed their game plan perfectly and put themselves in position to take control of the series in Game 3 Thursday night in Memphis. Oklahoma City pushed the pace through most of its 100-86 victory in Game 1, but on Monday, the Grizzlies successfully slowed the tempo and limited Oklahoma City's fast-break opportunities.
"Basically it's just going to be a slugfest," Allen, who was praised by his teammates for playing solid defense against Durant, said. "We're going to pound it. They're going to run it. Whoever can come up with the most stops pretty much wins the game."
Oklahoma City's stars put up big numbers, but they worked for everything they got. Durant had 36 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just 12 of 28 shots and had just eight points at halftime and 16 through the first three quarters. Russell Westbrook scored 29 points for Oklahoma City, but he made just 11 of 28 shots. Serge Ibaka added 15 points
|Yesterday|| 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 since the 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).
|Apr 21, 2014|| Hamilton wins third straight F1 race at Chinese GP|
SHANGHAI (AP) Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix.
Mercedes showed again that it's in a different class from its rivals, with Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg taking second place - the third time in four races this season the pair have finished one-two.
"This is a team on a roll, that's for sure," Hamilton said. "I'm going to be working hard, we're going to keep working hard because obviously the others are pushing to catch us."
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso held off fast-charging Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo to finish third and give his team its first podium finish of the year, with new team principal Marco Mattiacci watching from the garage.
Ricciardo was fourth, finishing one place ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel after the four-time defending world champion was asked by his team to allow the faster Ricciardo to pass for the second race in a row.
Hamilton's win gave him his first career hat trick following his victories in Malaysia and Bahrain. The Briton may have even had a fourth win this season but was forced to retire in the season-opener in Australia after starting from pole position due to engine trouble.
With the win, he inched closer to his teammate's lead in the drivers' championship with 75 points, just four behind Rosberg.
Hamilton, who moved one ahead of Jim Clark for most poles by a British driver with the 34th of his career in Shanghai, was cruising so comfortably at the end of Sunday's race that he wasn't even rattled when the checkered flag was mistakenly shown a lap too soon, at the end of lap 55.
"That was very strange. I was thinking, `Am I seeing things?' I looked up, I was coming across the line expecting to do another lap and, all of a sudden, I looked for a split second and I saw the flag," he said.
According to F1 regulations, if the checkered flag is sh
|Apr 21, 2014|| Yankees' RHP Nova on DL due to elbow ligament tear|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that often requires Tommy John surgery.
Nova left Saturday night's game against Tampa Bay in the fifth inning. An MRI after the game revealed the injury and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"It's hard," Nova said. "I really don't know what to say. I'm sad right now."
Nova will be further examined Monday in New York by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad. He had no discomfort in the elbow until his 82nd and final pitch Saturday when he felt a pop.
If Nova needs elbow-ligament replacement surgery he could be sidelined more than a year.
"Usually when you have that (tear), it eventually leads to that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno, started and threw five shutout innings Sunday against Tampa Bay, are in the mix to replace Nova. Alfredo Aceves is starting in the minors for the Yankees at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees also, as expected, reinstated first baseman Mark Teixeira from the 15-day disabled list and he was in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Teixeira hurt an adductor muscle that runs alongside the hamstring trying to make a play on a foul grounder during an April 4 game against Toronto.
New York recalled right-hander Preston Claiborne from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and right-hander Bryan Mitchell from Double-A Trenton. Infielder Scott Sizemore was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, while reliever Matt Daley was designated for assignment.
Closer David Robertson, on the DL with a groin strain, is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday.
Robertson felt discomfort April 6 in the ninth inning of a 6-4 win over Toronto and was placed on the disabled list. He is replacing major league saves leader Mariano Rivera, who retired after last season.
|Apr 21, 2014|| Brewers win in 14th after early brawl with Pirates|
PITTSBURGH (AP) Khris Davis delivered the biggest hit in a game interrupted by a punch-filled brawl, homering in the 14th inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Sunday.
Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, Pirates outfielder Travis Snider and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected after the third-inning fracas.
The problems started when Gomez paused at the plate and flipped his bat after hitting a two-out triple. Gerrit Cole, who was near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.
Gomez took a couple steps toward Cole before players rushed the field from both dugouts. Milwaukee's Martin Maldonado threw a punch that knocked off Snider's hat.
The Brewers won their third in a row and sent Pittsburgh to its third straight loss.