Eric Gordon provided the spark and the Rockets took their first
lead of the Western Conference finals with a 98-94 victory over the
Warriors for a 3-2 lead. Gordon scored 24 points off the bench and
came up with a huge steal on Golden State’s last possession to seal
it. Houston is one win away from knocking off the defending
champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since
winning back-to-back titles in 1994-95. Chris Paul scored 20 points
and James Harden added 19 but shot 5 of 21 and missed all 11
3-point attempts. Paul had to leave the game in the final minute
with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Kevin Durant scored 29
points for the Warriors, who will try to prolong the series back
home in Game 6 on Saturday.
LeBron James was voted All-NBA first team for a record 12th time
and was one of just two players to earn a unanimous selection.
Rockets star James Harden also was named on all 100 ballots and
joined James, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Golden State’s Kevin
Durant and Portland’s Damian Lillard. The second team was comprised
of Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and San Antonio’s LaMarcus
Aldridge, 76ers center Joel Embiid and Oklahoma City’s Russell
Westbrook and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan at the guard spots. Stephen
Curry slipped to the third team after the Warriors sharpshooter was
limited to 51 games by injuries.
President Donald Trump is a fan of the league’s new policy that
requires players and league personnel on the sideline to stand for
the national anthem but gives them the option to remain in the
locker room if they desire. On an interview that aired on “Fox &
Friends,” the President even went as far as to suggest those
players who stay in the locker room for the anthem shouldn’t be in
the country. Trump’s remarks also come amid an ESPN report that the
NFL did not take a formal vote of the polarizing measure, instead
calling for a show of hands among owners to help ensure that it
would pass. The report also stated at least two owners abstained
from voting, contradicting commissioner Roger Goodell’s claim that
the policy passed unanimously.
Charlie Morton improved to 7-0 with six solid innings and Alex
Bregman and Jake Marisnick hit three-run homers in the Astros’ 8-2
victory over the Indians. Morton allowed two runs and five hits to
extend his career-best winning streak to 10 games and move into a
tie for the AL lead in wins. Houston has won four straight and
seven of eight.
White Sox catcher Welington Castillo has been suspended 80 games
following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.
The nine-year veteran tested positive for EPO, a hormone that
stimulates the red-blood cell production that was used by Lance
Armstrong and other doping cyclists.
With Castillo beginning his penalty, the White Sox managed just two
hits off Dylan Bundy as the right-hander threw his second career
complete game in the Orioles’ 9-3 win. Bundy finished with a
career-high 14 strikeouts and got plenty of support as Baltimore
jumped out to a 9-0 lead after three innings.
The Angels announced prior to their game at Toronto that they’re
pushing back Shohei Ohtani’s next outing as a starting pitcher to
help manage his workload. The team did not say when that next start
would be. Ohtani last pitched Sunday, throwing a season-high 110
pitches, and was next slated to take the ball this Sunday against
fellow Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka at Yankee Stadium. The
two-way star did double twice and score a pair of runs in the
Angels’ 8-1 rout of the Blue Jays, helping boost an offense that
also received home runs from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
The Red Sox will have Dustin Pedroia available for the first time
this season when they return home Friday to begin a series with the
Braves. Boston’s longtime second baseman has yet to play this
season as he recovered from surgery to restore cartilage in his
left knee. The 34-year-old Pedroia was limited to 105 games in 2017
due to recurring problems in the same knee.
President Donald Trump granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing’s
first black heavyweight champion more than 100 years after his
racially charged conviction. Jack Johnson, who won the 1908
heavyweight title, was convicted in 1913 by an all-white jury for
traveling with his white girlfriend across state lines, which was a
violation of the Mann Act. Trump said Johnson had served 10 months
in prison and described the pardon as an effort ”to correct a
wrong in our history.”
North Carolina’s Luke Maye has decided to return for his senior
season after testing the NBA draft waters. A third-team Associated
Press All-American last year, Maye averaged 17 points and 10
rebounds, and with his return, the Tar Heels bring back three
starters to go with Roy Williams’ best recruiting class in years.