Cavs, Heat to travel with 2-0 leads

UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat have retained home-court advantage in the NBA's Eastern Conference quarterfinals by sweeping the first two games at home.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat - Game Two
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The Cavs tied an NBA record by hitting 20 3-pointers in a 107-90 thumping of Detroit. J.R. Smith led the long-range assault by going 7-for-11 and scoring 21 points. LeBron James scored a game-high 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting, while Kyrie Irving added 22 points.

Andre Drummond scored 20 for the Pistons, who have dropped 10 straight playoff games to the Cavs.

The Pistons host Game 3 on Friday.

The Clippers rode Chris Paul's 25 points to a 102-81 win over Portland. DeAndre Jordan had 18 rebounds for the Los Angeles, which led by just six before outscoring the Trail Blazers by 15 in the fourth quarter.

J.J. Redick hit three of the Clippers' eight 3-pointers and finished with 17 points, while Blake Griffin added 12 points and nine boards.

Mason Plumlee and Damian Lillard had 17 points apiece for the Blazers, who host Game 3 on Saturday.

Dwyane Wade poured in 28 points and had eight assists as the Heat downed the Charlotte Hornets 115-103. Hassan Whiteside shot 8-for-8 from the field and finished with 17 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

Goran Dragic added 18 points and Luol Deng had 16 for the Heat, who sent the Hornets to their 12th consecutive postseason loss.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 29 points, while Al Jefferson added 25 on 12 of 17 shooting off the bench.

Game 3 is Saturday in Charlotte.


Wolves hire Thibodeau, Layden

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves are under new management as the team tries to turn a roster of talented youngsters into a championship club.

The Wolves have hired Tom Thibodeau as head coach and president of basketball operations. Thibodeau compiled a .647 winning percentage in five seasons with the Chicago Bulls before he was dismissed last spring. He reached the playoffs each of his five years with the Bulls.

Minnesota also brought in San Antonio Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden to serve as the team's new GM.

The Wolves went 29-53 under coach Sam Mitchell, a 13-win improvement over last season. The roster includes youngsters Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach Lavine, each of whom is 21 or under and combined for 53 points a game this season.


Curry not sure he can play Thursday

HOUSTON (AP) — Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry says his sprained right ankle is feeling better, though he isn't sure if he will be able to play in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against Houston on Thursday.

The NBA's reigning MVP sat out Game 2 after tweaking the ankle in the series opener. The Warriors managed to win without him to take a 2-0 lead.


Flyers avoid elimination...Panthers even series...Stars in command

UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have extended their season by at least one game.

Michal Neuvirth turned back 31 shots and the Flyers forced a Game 5 in their NHL first-round series by downing Washington 2-1. He was put in the nets after Steve Mason surrendered 12 goals over the first three games.

Neuvirth blanked the Capitals until T.J. Oshie scored 2:38 into the third period to cut the Flyers' lead to 2-1.

Shayne Gostisbehere put the Flyers ahead to stay 5:51 into the game, and Andrew MacDonald made it 2-0 early in the second period. Wayne Simmonds assisted on both goals for the Flyers, who will travel to Washington for Game 5 on Friday.

The Caps went 0-for-2 on the power play after scoring five times with the man advantage in Game 3.

Florida has squared its series with the New York Islanders at a game apiece.

Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots and Alex Petrovic scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period of the Panthers' 2-1 triumph over the Isles in Brooklyn. Teddy Purcell and John Tavares traded power-play goals in the second period before Petrovic notched his first career playoff tally.

Game 5 is Friday in Florida.

Dallas can clinch its opening-round series on home ice Friday. The Stars own a three-games-to-one lead after Jason Spezza furnished a goal and an assist in a 3-2 triumph at Minnesota. Spezza snapped a 2-2 deadlock with 1:09 left in the second period, 5 ½ minutes after he set up Patrick Eaves' tying goal.

Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots and was perfect after Charlie Coyle beat him midway through the second period.

San Jose is in the same situation as Dallas, taking a 3-1 series lead by downing Los Angeles 3-2. The Sharks went ahead 3-0 on power-play goals by Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau during the first 22 minutes. Martin Jones turned back 26 shots against his former team and blanked the Kings until Trevor Lewis and Luke Schenn scored four minutes apart early in the final period.

The Kings will try to stave off elimination at home on Friday.


Anti-gay slur costs Shaw 1 game suspension

CHICAGO (AP) — The NHL has suspended Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw for Game 5 of the team's opening-round series for yelling an anti-gay slur from the penalty box. The league also fined him $5,000 for an inappropriate gesture toward the officials during Chicago's Game 4 loss at home to the St. Louis Blues.

Shaw will also undergo sensitivity training, according to the league.


Victory a relief to Nats

UNDATED (AP) — The Washington Nationals are a major league-best 11-3 after getting seven outstanding innings from their bullpen.

Yusmeiro Petit worked four innings of one-run relief as the Nats downed the Marlins 3-1 in Miami. Petit was pressed into service during the third inning after starter Joe Ross had to leave with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

Bryce Harper tops the majors with 21 RBIs after hitting a run-scoring double in the third. Michael Taylor homered and Ryan Zimmerman hit an RBI double to help the Nationals improve to 6-2 on the road.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Peter Bourjos supplied the tying and game-winning RBI singles as Philadelphia downed the Mets 5-4 to avoid a three-game sweep. Yoenis and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back solo shots in the fifth inning, giving the Mets 12 home runs in the series.

— Matt Holliday belted a two-run homer and the Cardinals avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Chicago Cubs 5-3 in St. Louis. Carlos Martinez limited the Cubs to a run and three hits in seven innings.

— The Cincinnati Reds pulled out a 6-5 win over Colorado on Tucker Barnhardt's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Barnhardt finished with two RBIs, Jay Bruce belted a two-run homer and Adam Duvall added a solo shot.

— Justin Turner doubled home the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning before Yasmani Grandal added an RBI single in the Dodgers' 5-3 triumph over Atlanta. Adrian Gonzalez knotted the score with a two-run homer in the sixth.

— Zack Greinke outpitched Madison Bumgarner and Welington Castillo banged out a two-run homer in the seventh inning of Arizona's 2-1 win at San Francisco. Greinke picked up his first win for the Diamondbacks by holding the Giants to a run and six hits while recording seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings of Arizona's fourth consecutive win.

— Alexi Ramirez collected two RBIs with a triple and a single before Matt Kemp's solo blast gave San Diego an 8-0 lead by the fourth inning of an 8-2 pounding of Pittsburgh. Drew Pomeranz fanned 10 and allowed only an unearned run and four hits over 6 2/3 frames.

— Jordan Zimmermann scattered seven hits and had eight strikeouts over a scoreless 6 1/3 innings to pitch Detroit past Kansas City 3-2. Ian Kinsler had two hits and two RBIs while the Tigers were building a 3-0 lead.

—Chris Sale is the majors' first four-game winner of the season after allowing an unearned run and just two hits in seven-plus innings of a 2-1 triumph over the Angels. Sale gave up just a pair of singles by Mike Trout and left after hitting Kole Calhoun leading off the eighth.

— Cole Hamels was sharp in the Rangers' 2-1 win against Houston, limiting the Astros to a run and five hits with seven K's in 6 2/3 innings. Rougned Odor put Texas in front with a two-run homer in the second inning.

— Baltimore topped Toronto 4-3 as Josh Thole's passed ball allowed Caleb Joseph score the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. The Orioles blew a 3-0 lead before winning for just the second time in their last six games.

— Norichika Aoki tripled home Seattle's runs and Taijuan Walker baffled Cleveland in a 2-1 win over the Indians. Walker allowed just an unearned run on three hits and no walks while striking out six, lowering his ERA to 1.50 through three starts.

— Oakland was a 5-2 winner over the New York Yankees behind Kendall Graveman, who gave up a run and three hits fanning eight in 6 1/3 innings. Khris Davis hit a two-run single and Billy Burns was 3-for-5 with a run scored in the Athletics' fourth consecutive win.

— Mookie Betts launched a two-run homer and David Ortiz doubled twice while collecting three ribbies in Boston's 7-3 win against Tampa Bay. Winning pitcher Rick Porcello is 3-0 after striking out nine while allowing three runs over seven innings.


Schilling gets the boot

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN has announced that it has fired network analyst and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling following his comments on Facebook about transgender people.

Schilling reposted an item that was apparently referring to laws in several states that restrict bathroom access to transgender people. He defended the post on his blog, saying he was expressing his opinion, and that those criticizing him are frauds.


Bad marks for minority hiring

UNDATED (AP) — An annual report from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida indicates that Major League Baseball teams could do a better job of hiring minority candidates.

Baseball teams were given a grade of C-plus for racial hiring practices for managers. Three of the 30 skippers in the majors are minorities, down from 10 in 2009.


Norman suddenly free to sign elsewhere

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Josh Norman is now an unrestricted free agent after the Carolina Panthers surprisingly rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag offer to the All-Pro cornerback.

Norman did not sign the Panthers' franchise tag offer that would have paid him $13.9 million in 2016. Norman had a career-high four interceptions and also had 16 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.


Eagles obtain second pick

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In another blockbuster trade before the NFL draft the Browns have sent the second overall pick to Philadelphia. The Eagles acquired the No. 2 overall pick, along with the Browns fourth-round pick in 2017, in next week's draft in exchange for five picks. The Browns are getting Philadelphia's first-round pick this year, or the eighth overall, a third-round selection, which is the 77th pick and fourth-rounder this year along with a first-rounder in 2017 and a fourth-rounder in 2018.

The trade allows Philadelphia to select one of the top quarterback prospects, Carson Wentz of North Dakota State or Jared Goff of California at No. 2. The Los Angeles Rams already acquired the top overall pick from Tennessee for a slew of picks and have indicated they will take a quarterback.


Hearing set for Sharapova

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The president of the International Tennis Federation says a disciplinary hearing has been scheduled in Maria Sharapova's doping case and that a ruling is possible before Wimbledon.

Sharapova was provisionally suspended after announcing on March 8 that she tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. The Russian said she had been prescribed the blood-flow-boosting drug since 2006, and had been unaware the World Anti-Doping Agency had prohibited its use from Jan. 1.


Hayes of the Badgers may turn pro

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes is submitting his name for the NBA draft but will not immediately hire an agent, leaving the door open for a return to the Badgers. Hayes averaged 15.7 points and 5.9 rebounds a game in his junior season and was a key contributor in Wisconsin's runs to the Final Four in his first two seasons.


Former Syracuse star dies

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, who starred for coach Jim Boeheim at Syracuse, has died at the age of 52. The school says that Washington died of cancer. He had been coping with medical problems since a brain tumor was first diagnosed in 1995 and recently required around-the-clock medical coverage and a wheelchair to move around.

Washington had surgery last August to address the recurrence of a brain tumor. The first tumor, 21 years ago, was benign.

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