AP Sports SummaryBrief at 11:56 p.m. EDT
Tkachuk sends Panthers to Stanley Cup Final, after topping Hurricanes 4-3 for sweep
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk scored a power-play goal with 4.9 seconds left, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 36 shots to cap off a brilliant series, and the Florida Panthers earned their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 27 years by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 to win the Eastern Conference title in a sweep. Tkachuk’s goal was his second of the night — and maybe the biggest in Panthers’ history. The Panthers will play either Vegas or Dallas for the Stanley Cup starting sometime next week; Vegas currently leads the Western Conference title series 3-0.
Ja Morant is ‘fine,’ taking a social media break, police say after welfare check due to cryptic post
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Tennessee have conducted a welfare check on suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and say “he is fine” after cryptic messages appeared on his Instagram account and were later deleted. The post from Wednesday included messages and pictures saying “Love ya ma,” “Love ya pops” and “You da greatest babygirl love ya.” A fourth message simply read: “Bye.” Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Morris told The Associated Press deputies checked on Morant at his home Wednesday morning. Morris says Morant told them he was “taking a break from social media.” Morant was suspended from all team activities May 14 after a video showed him flashing a gun for a second time.
Still down 3-1 to Heat, Celtics cling to hope as East finals shift back to Boston
BOSTON (AP) — The Celtics finally found cohesion between their defense and offense in their Game 4 win, capitalizing off 16 Heat turnovers and finding their 3-point shot. Now down 3-1, the question is whether Boston can carry that energy home, a place where it is just 4-5 this postseason to keep alive its hopes of extending the series. At the very least the Celtics’ win made their hopes of becoming the first NBA team in 151 tries to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series shift from insurmountable back to possible heading into Game 5.
Frazier, Henderson power 8-run 7th, Orioles win 9-6, stop Yanks’ 5-game win streak
NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Frazier hit a three-run homer and pinch-hitter Gunnar Henderson had a go-ahead, two-run double in an eight-run seventh inning that rallied the Baltimore Orioles over the Yankees 9-6 and stopped New York’s season-high, five-game winning streak. Gleyber Torres homered twice and drove in three runs, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa tripled and homered as the Yankees built a 5-1 lead against Tyler Wells. New York’s bullpen entered with a major league-best 2.80 ERA, but Baltimore sent 12 batters to the plate in the seventh against Cortes and the Yankees bullpen, the Orioles’ highest-scoring inning this season.
Nuggets make Denver a hoops town with first trip to NBA Finals in 47 years
DENVER (AP) — It took 3,787 regular-season games and 29 trips to the playoffs, countless ripoffs of rainbow uniforms and even more ‘yeah, buts’ than any city should have to stomach. Finally, 47 seasons into an entertaining, often frustrating and almost always overlooked journey in the NBA, Denver is at the center of the basketball world. The Nuggets are in the NBA Finals. The Nuggets brushed aside their long-held irrelevance by completing their first sweep in 44 NBA playoff series. They did it against the Lakers, the team had beaten them in their seven previous playoff series. Next up, Denver will play the winner of the Miami-Boston series that the Heat lead 3-1. The first game of the NBA Finals is set for June 1.
A’s, Nevada leaders reach tentative ballpark agreement
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Republican Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo announced Wednesday a preliminary agreement between his office, legislative leaders in the state and the Oakland Athletics for a stadium funding plan. It comes after weeks of negotiations over how much public assistance the state will contribute to a $1.5 billion ballpark in Las Vegas. The preliminary agreement indicates a funding bill could come to the Nevada Legislature in the coming days. It still needs approval from both the Senate and Assembly, with less than two weeks until the session ends. The A’s have been looking for years for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season.
Where’s Diggs? Von Miller not concerned by Bills receiver skipping voluntary practices
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Von Miller knows Stefon Diggs’ competitive makeup all too well to buy into the narrative the Bills receiver wants out of Buffalo. The Bills pass rusher discounted the cryptic messages Diggs posted on social media months ago and his absence from the start of voluntary practices this week. Miller assured Bills fans, saying he expects the receiver to be back for the team’s mandatory minicamp next month. Diggs has a history of being mercurial dating to his first five seasons in Minnesota. He is entering his fourth season in Buffalo after being acquired in a trade in March 2020.
PGA Tour’s ‘Block party’ moves to Colonial along with local favs Scheffler and Spieth
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour’s “Block Party” is still going with Michael Block playing at Colonial after tying for 15th at last week’s PGA Championship. The club pro from California will tee up for the first round Thursday at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. The 120-player field also includes local favorites Scott Scheffler and Jordan Spieth. Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, was the runner-up in the major last week and at Colonial last year to Sam Burns. Block is in on a sponsor’s exemption and says he’s glad he hasn’t come to reality yet about what’s happening.
Top players Lu, Henderson win opening matches at Shadow Creek
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Lilia Vu and Brooke Henderson are the only players from the top 10 in the world at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play. Both are winners after the opening session at Shadow Creek. Vu was a semifinalist a year ago. She returns as a major champion and the No. 1 seed in the 64-player field. Shadow Creek is playing tough in hot conditions. Several holes have been won with par, and 13 of the 32 matches went to the final hole. Danielle Kang is a member at Shadow Creek. That didn’t help in her opening-round loss to Muni He.
Wake Forest wins first women’s golf title with 3-1 win over Southern California
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Lauren Walsh closed out her match against Brianna Navarrosa with a conceded par on the 16th hole and Wake Forest won its first women’s golf championship by beating Southern California 3-1. Wake Forest lost to Duke in the 2019 national final and had a school-record five tournament wins this season with a veteran-led team. The Demon Deacons had USC on the ropes early at Grayhawk Golf Club, jumping out to big early leads in two matches. Two-time ACC player of the year Rachel Kuehn beat Amari Avery 6 and 4. Emilia Migliaccio then closed out Cindy Kou 4 and 2, leaving the stage to Walsh.
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