Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press


Draft continues today

NEW YORK (AP) -- The second and third rounds of the NFL draft are being conducted today. In last night's first round the selection of linemen dominated the news. That and the fact that only one quarterback was taken. The lone signal-caller chosen was Florida State's EJ Manuel, by Buffalo with the 16th pick.

Three of the biggest names not chosen on day one were USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (MAN'-ty TAY'-oh) and West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.


Three playoff games on tap tonight in hoops

UNDATED (AP) -- The Knicks and Spurs can take commanding leads in their NBA playoffs tonight. The Knicks top the Celtics 2-0 and Game 3 of that best-of-seven series is this evening in Boston. In Los Angeles the Lakers are fighting for their playoff lives as they trail the Spurs 2-0 in that first-round series. Steve Blake won't play for the Lakers because of a strained right hamstring, while fellow guards Steve Nash and Jodie Meeks are doubtful. Nash got two epidural injections in his back and a cortisone injection in his right hip in an attempt to fight off his nagging pain. Coach Mike D'Antoni says Nash is more likely to play than Meeks, who has a sprained left ankle.

The final playoff game of the night is being played in Oakland as the Golden State Warriors are facing Denver. The series is knotted up at one win apiece.


Surgery for Westbrook

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook will have surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee and be out indefinitely. The team says it won't have an accurate timeline for his return until after the procedure is done. The Thunder have not ruled out the possibility that Westbrook could return if the team keeps advancing in the playoffs.

The three-time All-Star was hurt in Game 2 of the Thunder's playoff series against Houston on Wednesday night.


Wade continues to get treatment

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Miami's Dwyane (dwayn) Wade has received more treatment for his injured right knee. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra (SPOHL'-struh) hasn't made a decision about Wade's playing status, preferring to wait and see how his guard feels. Miami leads Milwaukee 3-0 in their best of seven NBA playoff series.


New deal for GM King

NEW YORK (AP) -- Billy King has a new contract to serve as general manager of the Brooklyn Nets. Playing in Brooklyn for the first year, the Nets ended a six-year playoff drought. King, hired by the Nets in 2010, put together a team that went 49-33 in its first season after moving from New Jersey, matching the second-best record in franchise history.

The Nets trail the Bulls 2-1 in their best of seven first round playoff series.


Western Conference berths still up for grabs

UNDATED (AP) -- In the key NHL game tonight Minnesota is hosting Edmonton. The Wild currently share the final playoff berth in the Western Conference with idle Columbus with 53 points apiece and a win would put Minnesota in the playoffs. Detroit, which is also off this evening, holds down the sixth spot with 54. Overall there are two playoff spots still up for grabs, both in the West.

That said, playoff positioning continues and will do so until the regular season ends Sunday night.

The only division still not claimed is the Northeast, where Boston and Montreal share first place with 61 points. Both teams have a game tomorrow while the Bruins close out the season on Sunday in the final game of the day and the season at home against Ottawa.

The rest of tonight's schedule has Buffalo at home to the Islanders, Calgary at Chicago and Colorado playing at Phoenix.


Full schedule of play

UNDATED (AP) -- As you would expect on a Friday night, there is a full schedule of 15 games in Major League Baseball. In Washington two division winners from last year are squaring off as the Nationals entertain the Reds. Homer Bailey toes the rubber for the visitors while 3-1 Jordan Zimmerman goes for the Nationals.

Josh Beckett of the Dodgers is off to a rough start with three losses against. Tonight he looks to get in the win column with a game against the Brewers in Los Angeles.

The inter-league game of the night is a good one as the 15-6 Braves play host to the 10-10 Tigers.


Crosby's return remains uncertain

CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Sidney Crosby of the Penguins has returned to practice, but his status for next week's playoff opener remains uncertain. Crosby hasn't played since breaking his jaw last month. He took part in non-contact drills today, wearing a protective facemask that he'll likely keep on for the duration of the postseason.


Has the lockout hurt the NHL

NEW YORK (AP) -- What's been the effect of the lockout on the NHL season? Apparently, there hasn't been one. At least not a negative one.

Commissioner Gary Bettman told Associated Press sports editors that teams are filling up their buildings to 97.4 percent of capacity and TV ratings on both the local and national level are up considerably.

The season was shortened to just 48 games because of the labor dispute.


Qualifying on tap today

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Practice and qualifying are on tap today at the Richmond International Raceway for tomorrow night's Sprint Cup race. A year ago Kyle Busch won the event for the fourth straight year.

The results of last week's race are still being discussed as winner Matt Kenseth was stripped of 50 driver points in the standings as well as his pole award. NASCAR took the action because his engine failed a post-race inspection. NASCAR also suspended crew chief Jason Ratcliff for six races fined him $200,000 and placed him on probation until the end of the year. Car owner Joe Gibbs had his owner's license suspended for the next six races and won't earn car owner points during that time. He was also docked 50 car owner points. Gibbs Racing says it will appeal the penalty.


Glover grabs lead

AVONDALE, La. (AP) -- Lucas Glover has the early clubhouse lead in the second round of the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic. He shot a 5-under-67 and stands 12-under par, one shot in front of Boo Weekley.


Second round today

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Carlota Ciganda (SHAR'-lahta SUH'-gahnda) has the early second round clubhouse lead during the LPGA's North Texas Shootout. She followed up her opening round 66 with a 1-under-70 to finish play 6-under par.

LPGA Tour rookie Caroline Masson was the leader after the first round and stands 8-under after nine holes.


Faxon and Sluman lay claim to lead

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- The team of Brad Faxon and Jeff Sluman has the clubhouse lead during the opening round of the Champions Tour Legends of Golf tournament in Savannah, Ga. They stand 10-under par, one shot in front of Tom Lehman (LAY'-muhn) and Bernhard Langer (LAHN'-gur). The duo of Lehman and Langer has dominated Champions Tour play of late, having won six of the last 20 events. Langer has won two of the six events played this year.


Louisville coach gets a tat

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino (pih-TEE'-noh) is a man of his word. He has followed through on his promise to players to get a tattoo if the Cardinals won the NCAA championship. The tattoo, which is on his left shoulder blade. Features the school's old-English `L' emblem in red. It's perpendicularly surrounded by the words `2013 NCAA champions, 35-5.


Napier to stay put

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier is staying for his senior season and will not enter the NBA draft. He led the Huskies in scoring last season with more than 17 points a game. UConn went 20-10 this season but was barred from the Big East and NCAA tournaments after failing to qualify academically.


Pro boxing comes to island

HAVANA (AP) -- Cuba is breaking a five-decade ban on professional boxing and joining an international semi-pro league. Fighters will compete for sponsored teams, box without protective headgear and earn $1,000 to $3,000 a month.

This is a big step for the island's Communist authorities, who long ago decided professional sports were not in keeping with Marxist social ideals.

For years Cuba was a boxing powerhouse in the Olympics.

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