Sports Headlines - May 1



Spurs take 3-2 series lead over Mavs

The Spurs took a 3-2 series lead last night in San Antonio over the Dallas Mavericks who lost 109-103 in game 5 of the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Tony Parker was nursing a sprained left ankle and played the critical game of the Spurs on almost no sleep only hours after the birth of his first child. It didn’t seem to affect his play much, putting up 23 points and five assists in a game that San Antonio never trailed in.

Vince Carter scored 28 points for the Mavericks on 10-of-16 shooting. His 3-pointer with three minutes left pulled Dallas within 4, but Parker followed a minute later with his only 3-pointer in the game, essentially sealing the deal.

Dirk Nowitzki had only been averaging 16 points in the series with the Spurs, but seemed to find his stroke last night, scoring 26 points on a 10-for-20 shooting night. He had an opportunity to put Dallas closer in the final minutes of the game, but upfaked Tiago Splitter and dribbled out of a clean look at a 3-point attempt, only to miss a 17-foot jumper.

Game 6 will be Friday night in Dallas.


Rangers lose big in sloppy series finale against A's

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Shortstop Elvis Andrus and left-hander Robbie Ross were gone by the sixth inning on a tough night for them and the Texas Rangers.

Yoenis Cespedes and Eric Sogard had two-run hits off Ross in a big third inning fueled by Andrus' second error, Oakland's Jesse Chavez allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings Wednesday night and the A's completed a sweep with a 12-1 rout of the sloppy Rangers.

The Rangers matched a season high with four errors, including Andrus' flub on what could have been an inning-ending double play and a 3-0 deficit but instead turned into a seven-run third as Oakland answered a three-game sweep by Texas on the West Coast last week.

"He's only human," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That ground ball, I've seen him 99 times turn that ground ball. It just got under him."

Sogard matched his season total with three RBIs and Cespedes had two doubles and scored twice for the A's, who scored 10 runs combined in the third and fourth innings to complete the sweep in a series that started with the teams tied atop the AL West.

"We didn't enjoy them coming in sweeping us and then losing the last two in Houston," Sogard said. "It kind of really made us wake up a little bit. Our pitching was fantastic and we were able to put some runs on the board."

Chavez (2-0) walked one and struck out eight, allowing only Prince Fielder's soft line-drive single to right-center field in the first inning. The A's improved to 6-0 in his starts.

"We've seen that game a few times already this year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Quality stuff all the time. Mechanics are terrific. Keeps guys off balance."

Ross (1-2) gave up 11 hits and 10 runs in 3 1-3 innings, the shortest outing of his first season as a starter. Six runs were earned because of Andrus' big error in Texas' fourth straight loss.

"It snowballed on me quick," Ross said. "This is one of those games you want to forget about and move on. That's what everyone tells me."

Alberto Callaspo and Derek Norris had three hits each among a season-high 17 for Oakland. Two of Norris' hits were infield singles on choppers to third baseman Adrian Beltre and played big roles in Oakland building a quick 10-0 lead.

The burly catcher hustled to beat Beltre's throw for the fifth straight Oakland hit in the third. Two runs scored on the next one an inning later. Craig Gentry came home as Beltre's throw skipped past Fielder at base, and right fielder Alex Rios got the second error on the play when his throw to try to get Cespedes at home went to the backstop.

Andrus, who went 0 for 2 before coming out after five innings and has one hit in his past 28 at-bats, had his other error in the first inning when Josh Donaldson's routine grounder jumped up and hit his hand and the throw went several feet over Fielder's head.

"There's going to be times either defense or offense are not on the same level," Andrus said. "Today was both."

Cespedes had a two-run double for a 3-0 lead in the third before the first of Norris' infield hits. Callaspo followed with an easy grounder to Andrus, but the ball went between his legs into center field.

Sogard later made it 7-0 with a two-run single and added an RBI single in the fourth as Oakland outscored Texas 25-4 in the three games.

"When you don't play well enough to win, you've just got to keep going," Washington said. "We'll get back to where we were. But tonight we just didn't do it."

Coco Crisp hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot to right in the sixth for a 12-0 lead. It was the only homer of the series in a ballpark that's never had a three-game set without at least one home run.

Texas scored in the eighth on Josh Wilson's RBI double off Luke Gregerson.


Thunder in Win or Go Home situation

The Thunder are on the brink of being eliminated in the first round for the first time since 2010 when a young Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook lost to the Lakers. Now Oklahoma City had the NBA's second-best record in the regular season and Durant and Westbrook both are All-Stars, yet both struggling to shoot against Memphis.

The Grizzlies have held Oklahoma City below 40 percent shooting for four straight games, the longest such streak in franchise history. Durant is averaging 28 points a game but was 10 of 24 for 26 points in Game 5. He also didn't shoot even once during a 6-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.

"The great ones just continue to focus on the next game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Durant. "He's a great one. He's one of the greatest players in the world. He has to be able to continue to step up and take those shots, and he will. I have the utmost respect for his game."

Durant has been playing more minutes every game, including all but 75 seconds Tuesday night. Westbrook had a triple-double playing 48 minutes, while Marc Gasol was on the court a team-high 46 minutes for Memphis.

Brooks is trying to rally his Thunder for a trip back to Memphis where they won Game 4 to take back home-court advantage.

"We have a great opportunity to go in there and give ourselves a chance to win," Brooks said. "We've done that in every game in this series."

Oklahoma City tried to sign Mike Miller last summer only to lose him to Memphis, and the veteran has some unfinished business here after being on the Grizzlies' first three playoff teams that lost an NBA-worst 12 straight. He had his best game in this series scoring 21 off the bench in Game 6, including two 3s in overtime.

Tonight’s game will be at 7 o’clock tonight on TNT.

 

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