Friday’s Sports In Brief
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson knocked down eight 3-pointers on the way to 30 points, Stephen Curry scored 29 with six 3s, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-96 in Game 6.
Curry found his shooting touch late and made two straight baskets late in the third for a 78-77 lead entering the final 12 minutes. Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Kevon Looney grabbed 22 rebounds and Andrew Wiggins scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth with a pair of timely 3s.
Golden State — eliminated by Memphis in the play-in tournament last year — withstood a testy series to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2019, when the franchise reached its fifth straight NBA Finals before losing to Toronto in the deciding Game 6.
The third-seeded Warriors will face the Phoenix-Dallas winner in the conference finals. Game 7 of that series is Sunday in Phoenix.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 46 points, outdueling Giannis Antetokounmpo and making sure there wouldn’t be another Milwaukee fourth-quarter comeback, and the Boston Celtics beat the defending champions 108-95 to force a seventh game in their Eastern Conference semifinal.
The third straight victory for a road team sets up a winner-take-all game Sunday in Boston. The victor heads to Miami to begin an East finals matchup with the top-seeded Heat on Tuesday.
Boston showed its grit by bouncing back two nights after blowing a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 110-107 Game 5 home loss. The Bucks tried to rally again after trailing by 14 points in the final period, but this time Tatum kept the Celtics on top and kept their season alive.
Antetokounmpo had 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. His 20 rebounds were one off his career high.
Jaylen Brown scored 22 and Marcus Smart had 21 for the Celtics, who capitalized on their superiority from 3-point range. The Celtics were 17 of 43 and the Bucks 7 of 27 from beyond the arc.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Kreider’s long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 to push their thrilling first-round series to a deciding Game 7.
Kreider’s second of the game and fourth of the playoffs sent the series back to New York. Andrew Copp added an empty netter for good measure in the waning seconds. Game 7 is Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Zibanejad had two goals and two assists and Adam Fox had four assists. Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 shots to win at PPG Paints Arena for the first time this series after getting chased by Pittsburgh in Games 3 and 4.
Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter scored for Pittsburgh. Domingue, who has become a local folk hero while filling in for injured Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, made 33 saves.
Pittsburgh played without captain Sidney Crosby, who sat out while dealing with an upper-body injury. His status going forward is uncertain.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Carter Verhaeghe scored 2:46 into overtime to send the Florida Panthers to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since they reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1996, as they beat the Washington Capitals 4-3.
The Panthers will have home-ice advantage for their next series against either the cross-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning or the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Florida looked to be on the verge of a regulation victory when Gustav Forsling tripped Nicklas Backstrom with 1:09 left. T.J. Oshie scored 6 seconds into the Washington power play to send the sellout crowd of over 18,000 into a frenzy.
Trade-deadline acquisition Claude Giroux and captain Aleksander Barkov scored in the third period to put the Panthers ahead. Ryan Lomberg scored Florida’s first goal, tying it 2:29 after Nic Dowd got the Capitals on the board. Nicklas Backstrom gave Washington a 2-1 lead early in the third period.
DALLAS (AP) — Miro Heiskanen scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period for and Dallas recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead to beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 and force a deciding Game 7 in their first-round Western Conference series.
Roope Hintz and Michael Raffl also scored for the wild-card Stars, and Tyler Seguin added an empty-netter in the final minute. Jake Oettinger stopped 36 shots.
Mikael Backlund and Michael Stone scored for Calgary, which tied the score 2-2 with 8:01 left in the second. Jacob Markstrom also had 36 saves.
The series wraps up Sunday night in Calgary, where the Flames last hosted a Game 7 in 2006 and lost their first-round series to Anaheim.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement.
Speaking Friday after completing a “rough round” of golf, the 67-year-old Boudreau said “we have some unfinished business in Vancouver and I want to complete the task.”
Boudreau took over behind the bench on Dec. 5, after the Canucks cleaned house following a disastrous 8-15-2 start, resulting in the dismissal of head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning.
Boudreau’s hiring made an immediate impact as he became just the third coach in NHL history to win his first seven games with a new team. The Canucks went 32-15-10 the remainder of the season and went from last place in the Pacific Division to finish five points out of a playoff berth.
Boudreau coached his 1,000th regular-season game on Jan. 23, and is one victory shy of the 600-win milestone.
Boudreau has a career coaching record of 599-317-125 in 1,024 regular-season games with the Canucks, Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks. He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2008.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, and Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Houston manager Dusty Baker, who led Washington to consecutive NL East titles in 2016 and ’17, won in his first game back at Nationals Park since he was fired after two seasons.
Framber Valdez (2-2) allowed one run over 7 2/3 innings to earn his first victory since April 7 and help extend the Astros’ pitching dominance. Houston has allowed just 12 runs during its streak with an 0.91 ERA in that stretch.
Houston staked Valdez to a 5-0 lead before he threw a pitch, its largest first-inning outburst since scoring six times at Seattle last July 26.
Washington has lost seven of its last nine and is 4-14 at home. Its 11-23 record after 34 games is its worst since opening 9-25 in 2007.
McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — Ryan Palmer, one of the Dallas-area players in the shadow of Jordan Spieth and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, shot a 10-under 62 and was tied at 15 under with Sebastián Muñoz and 40-year-old tour rookie David Skinns.
Muñoz, a Colombian who lives in the Dallas area and went to college at North Texas, was even through 13 holes coming off his second 60 of the season — a first on the PGA Tour — before birdies on three of four holes for a 69. Skinns shot 63.
Justin Lower, another older tour rookie at 33, was alone in fourth, a shot behind the leaders after a 66.
CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) — Minjee Lee flirted with posting the best round of the year on the LPGA Tour before settling for a 9-under-par 63 and took a three-shot lead halfway through the second round in the $3 million Cognizant Founders Cup.
Lee, who has six career wins, was 10 under after a birdie at No. 15 on the Upper Montclair Country Club. However, the Australian bogeyed the 16th and parred in to finish with a 36-hole total of 14-under 130, one shot off the tournament record.
First-round leader Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden and Lexi Thompson shared second. Sagstrom, who had a late 63 Thursday, posted a 70 in failing to build off her momentum. Thompson, who has not won since 2019, had a 66 to finish at 11 under.
Sanna Nuutinen, a 31-year-old Finnish veteran playing her first season on the LPGA Tour, had a 68 and was alone in fourth at 135. Carlota Ciganda of Spain and Megan Khang, who was a shot behind Sagstrom after the opening round, were tied for fifth at 136.