#SportsReport: Celtics Advance To NBA's Eastern Conference Finals

May 16, 2017

NBA:

The Boston Celtics have advanced to the NBA's Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland as Isaiah Thomas and Kelly Olynyk led them past the Washington Wizards, 115-105 in Game 7. Thomas got hot late in the second half and finished with 29 points and 12 assists. Olynyk added a career playoff-high 26 points and helped Boston's bench outscore the Wizards' reserves 48-5.

The San Antonio Spurs will be without their leading scorer for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at Golden State Tuesday. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has ruled Kawhi Leonard will miss the game after aggravating a sprained left ankle in Sunday's 113-111 loss to the Warriors. Leonard had an MRI Monday and Popovich had no timetable on when the All-Star forward will be able to return to action.

Also in the NBA:

— The New Orleans Pelicans are keeping general manager Dell Demps and head coach Alvin Gentry at their current positions despite going 64-100 over the last two seasons. Owner Tom Benson and Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis announced their decision to stick with Demps and Gentry, who are both under contract through next season. Demps has been with New Orleans since the summer of 2010, and hired Gentry two years ago.

NHL:

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots and Phil Kessel scored with 6:55 remaining as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Ottawa, 1-0 to even the NHL's Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece. The Pens dominated for long stretches and didn't allow a shot on goal for nearly 19 minutes. Anderson stopped 28 shots for the Senators, who host Game 3 on Wednesday.

Anaheim will take on Nashville tonight at 8 p.m.

NCAA:

The American Athletic Conference has extended the contract of Commissioner Mike Aresco through June 2022. The conference announced the deal yesterday. Aresco became commissioner in 2012 and led the conference through a tumultuous transition from the Big East to the American. He helped rebuild and rebrand the conference as realignment stripped the Big East of many of its signature members.

Former Princeton forward Hans Brase will finish his career at Iowa State. The Cyclones say the 6-foot-9 Brase will join them next season as a graduate transfer. He averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds a game for the Tigers in 2014-15. Brase started 82 games for Princeton, shooting 35 percent on 3-pointers and 74.1 percent from the free throw line. He played just five games over the past two seasons because of knee injuries.

MLB:

Yasmany Tomas, Jeff Mathis and Daniel Descalso homered in a six-run eighth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks handed the struggling New York Mets their fifth straight loss, 7-3 last night. Jake Lamb also went deep for the Diamondbacks, the latest team to take advantage of a beleaguered Mets bullpen.

The Houston Astros are a major league-best 27-12 after Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam and Jose Altuve added a homer and three RBIs in a 7-2 rout of the Marlins in Miami. Joe Musgrove allowed eight hits but just one run over 5 2/3 innings to help the Astros win for the seventh time in eight games. Marlins starter Dan Straily one-hit Houston over five scoreless innings but had to leave the game after being hit on the elbow by a line drive.

The captain drew higher television ratings than his former Boss. The Yankees' ceremony to retire Derek Jeter's Number 2 jersey and dedicate his plaque in Monument Park was the most-viewed program in the New York area during its time period on Sunday night and was the most-watched non-game in the history of the YES Network, which launched in 2002.

The Yankees were off and start a three-game series with Kansas City today. Boston was off and starts a two-game series with St. Louis today.

Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz is scheduled for an MRI after leaving his start Sunday with tightness in his left triceps. Pomeranz said it felt similar to what he experienced in spring training, which caused him to open the year on the 10-day disabled list. Manager John Farrell was optimistic that Pomeranz wasn't looking at "anything long term."

In other MLB news:

— San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has landed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Giants recalled outfielder Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento to replace Pence, who is hitting .243 with three home runs and 16 RBIs this season.

— Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock has been placed on the 10-day DL with a "grade one" strain of his right groin. Pollock was hurt running out a base hit in the 10th inning of Sunday's 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh.

— Rangers center fielder Carlos Gomez is headed to the disabled list and will be sidelined 4 to 6 weeks with a right hamstring strain. Gomez got hurt trying to avoid a bat as he scored from second on an infield single.

NFL:

Newly hired Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane continues filling out his staff by hiring Brian Gaine to be the team's vice president of player personnel. Gaine has 18 seasons of NFL experience, including the past two as the Houston Texans player personnel director. He was also one of four candidates interviewed for the Bills' GM vacancy before Beane was hired last week.

The fiancee of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez is expected to publicly respond to rumors about his sexuality. The second part of a two-part interview with Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez is scheduled to air today on the "Dr. Phil" show. Jenkins-Hernandez told host Dr. Phillip McGraw that she doesn't think Hernandez killed himself on April 19th. Yesterday's interview ended with Dr. Phil asking Jenkins-Hernandez about rumors that Hernandez might have been gay.

Texas authorities say Kansas City Chiefs rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes escaped injury after being robbed last weekend. The Smith County Sheriff's Office says the former Texas Tech standout and three other victims were stepping from a vehicle on a driveway outside Tyler on Friday night when a suspect approached and gestured he had a handgun in his waistband. Investigators say the man took property from the victims and sped away, but deputies later arrested two suspects and recovered items taken during the holdup.

In other NFL news:

—Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says the team is considering Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III as possible backup options to starting quarterback Russell Wilson. Carroll was asked by KIRO-AM specifically about the pair of veteran quarterbacks who would seem to fit the style Seattle desires in Wilson's backup. He says, "We're looking at everybody. We really are."

Tennis:

Roger Federer says he won't play in the French Open. In a message posted on his website, Federer says he will prepare to play on grass and hard courts later this season. His agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed that the 18-time Grand Slam champion won't compete at the year's second major tournament, which starts in Paris on May 28.

Angelique Kerber is back atop the WTA rankings, replacing Serena Williams. Monday's move up from No. 2 represents Kerber's third stay to the top spot, for a total of 26 weeks. Because of a quirk in the rankings due to a slight shift in the tour calendar, Williams briefly returned to No. 1 last month, even though she has not played a match since winning the Australian Open in January. Williams is due to give birth in the fall and is taking the rest of the year off.

Maria Sharapova has earned a spot in Wimbledon by beating 58th-ranked Christina McHale, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round of the Italian Open. The win gives Sharapova enough rankings points to qualify for the third Grand Slam of the year. The Italian Open is her third tournament since returning from a 15-month doping ban. Sharapova will learn on Tuesday if she will be granted a wild card for the French Open this month.

Japanese tennis player Junn Mitsuhashi, who reached a career ranking high of No. 295 in 2009, was banned for life Tuesday for match-fixing and fined $50,000. The Tennis Integrity Unit said in a statement that Mitsuhashi was found guilty of "making corrupt approaches to other players, betting on tennis matches and refusing to co-operate" with the TIU investigation. The 27-year-old Mitsuhashi asked Joshua Chetty, a player he used to coach, to approach another player in an ITF Futures tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in November 2015. A month after approaching Chetty, Mitsuhashi asked another player to fix aspects of a match at a Futures tournament in Lagos, Nigeria.  Mitsuhashi, who was ranked 1,997th at the end of 2015, also placed 76 bets on matches in October-November of that year. Chetty was banned for life in 2016 after a separate TIU investigation.

NASCAR:

NASCAR is adding a fourth stage to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend. The series says the stages in the 400-lap race will be uniformly set at 100 laps apiece. Races this year have had three stages under a format change announced in January.

Horse Racing:

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming got a bit rambunctious while stepping onto the track at Pimlico for a gallop ahead of this weekend's Preakness. The dark bay colt tried to buck off exercise rider Nick Bush on Monday and stumbled a bit in doing so, putting a brief scare into trainer Todd Pletcher.

The trainer says Always Dreaming quickly recovered and turned in a smooth and energetic 1½-mile gallop. The colt has been at Pimlico since three days after winning the May 6 Derby so he could settle in before things get busy.

Pletcher says Always Dreaming's behavior may have been sparked by the arrival of several horses in the barn area as he went to the track. The colt is scheduled to go to the track on Tuesday and then walk around the paddock. He will be saddled indoors on Saturday, race day, while most of the other horses are saddled on the turf course.

©2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.