Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Six day games today
UNDATED (AP) -- Two of the American League West contenders this season start a weekend series this afternoon in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are playing host to the Angels in a game that marks the return of Josh Hamilton to Texas. He left the Rangers in the off season as a free agent, inking a big-money deal with the Angels. The game is also the home opener for the Rangers, and Hamilton says he expects a mixed-bag reaction from the local fans.
In other day games the Cardinals and Giants meet for the first time since the seventh game of last year's National League Championship Series. The Giants won that game and eventually the World Series. The Cards are still wincing when they think of having blown a three-games-to-one lead in that best of seven NLCS.
The rest of the afternoon games feature the Yankees in Detroit, Baltimore at home to Minnesota, the Padres at Colorado and in today's interleague game, Kansas City at Philadelphia.
There are nine more games on tap this evening in Major League Baseball.
Knicks look for No. 11
UNDATED (AP) -- The New York Knicks put their 10-game winning streak on the line tonight in a home game with Milwaukee. Their most recent win came two nights ago when Carmelo Anthony scored 40 points in a 95-82 win over the Hawks. At 48-26 the Knicks have wrapped up a playoff berth and have a 5 1/2 game lead over the Nets in the Atlantic Division. The Bucks are playing for the final playoff spot in the East as they currently hold a six-game lead over the 76ers, who this evening are in Atlanta.
In the Western Conference the Lakers hold the eighth and final playoff spot but by just a half-game over Utah. This evening the Lakers are home to Memphis while the Jazz are home to New Orleans. The top spot in the West is up for grabs tonight as Oklahoma City plays at Indiana. As the day begins the Thunder trail the conference-leading Spurs by just a half game and with a win would tie San Antonio for the top spot.
Tonight's remaining games have Cleveland at Boston, the Bulls at home to Orlando, Toronto at Minnesota, Miami at Charlotte, Golden State at Phoenix, the Kings at home to the Mavericks and Houston at Portland.
Six game schedule tonight
UNDATED (AP) -- Anaheim can move within a point of Chicago in the NHL Western Conference standings with a win tonight over Dallas. The Ducks start the night with 55 points while the idle Blackhawks have 58. Pittsburgh, the top team in the East, is home this evening to the Rangers. The Pens top idle Montreal by three points while the Rangers are tied with the idle Devils for the final playoff spot in the East. In the West, St. Louis starts the night with possession of the final playoff berth with 40 points. The Blues are home tonight to Columbus, which has 39.
The rest of tonight's schedule has Ottawa skating at Buffalo, Colorado home to Detroit and Calgary at San Jose.
AP source: Rutgers AD ousted
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- The controversy surrounding former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice has led to the departure of the school's athletic director. A person familiar with the decision says Tim Pernetti is out as the school's AD. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made yet. The school will hold a press conference on campus at 1 p.m.
Pernetti dismissed Rice Wednesday after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs. After being shown the tape last November Pernetti suspended Rice for three games, fined him $75,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes. Since the video was broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, criticism of the program has been strong.
Return to Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Qualifying for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville, Va., is taking place today. A check of the season standings shows Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the lead, 12 points ahead of defending series champion Brad Keselowski. The winner of this race a year ago was Ryan Newman. It was his lone victory of the 2012 season.
Second round in progress
SAN ANTONIO (AP) --At the end of the first round of the PGA's Texas Open yesterday there was a two-way tie for first involving Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasula. Bettencourt has started the new day on the right foot and now holds first place by himself at 6-under, one shot in front of Tomasula and Harris English. Bettencourt has completed seven holes and is one-under for the day.
Rory McIlroy, who entered the tournament last week as a final opportunity to prep for next week's Masters, opened with an even-par 72.
Second round underway in LPGA event
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) --The first major of the year in women's golf is being played in Rancho Mirage, Calif. It's the annual Kraft Nabisco Championship, and the lead after one round yesterday was shared by Suzann Pettersen, Na Yeon Choi and Jodi Ewart Shadoff. They each shot an opening round 4-under-68.
U.S. faces Serbia
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Davis Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. and Serbia starts today in Boise, Idaho. John Isner (IHZ'-nur) will play top-ranked Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak YOH'-koh-vihch) in the first match with Sam Querrey facing Viktor Troicki.
The top-ranked U.S. doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will play Saturday.
In reverse singles on Sunday, Querrey and Djokovic will play the first match followed by Isner and Troicki.
AP-WF-04-05-13 1504GMT

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