Sports Digest: Spurs rout Grizzles in West finals opener

2013-05-19T21:15:00Z 2013-09-16T19:06:10Z Sports Digest: Spurs rout Grizzles in West finals opener nwitimes.com
May 19, 2013 9:15 pm

Pro basketball

SPURS ROUT GRIZZLIES IN WEST FINALS OPENER: Tony Parker had 20 points and nine assists, Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points and the San Antonio Spurs struck first in the Western Conference finals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 105-83 on Sunday.

The Spurs avoided a repeat of their Game 1 loss from when the teams met two years ago in the first round. The Grizzlies went on to knock San Antonio out of the playoffs as the top seed that time.

San Antonio raced out to a 17-point lead in the first quarter, then came up with a response when Memphis rallied to get within six in the second half. Both teams pulled their starters with over 5 minutes left and the Spurs leading by 21.

Quincy Pondexter led Memphis with 17 points. Grizzlies All-Star Zach Randolph missed his first seven shots and scored his only points on a tip-in with 9:26 left in the game.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.

The NBA's stingiest defense wasn't up to its usual standards, allowing the Spurs to hit 53 percent of their shots and a franchise postseason record 14 3-pointers while Randolph struggled. Randolph was a non-factor after going for a playoff-best 28 points and 14 rebounds as Memphis eliminated defending West champ Oklahoma City in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Pondexter made a baseline cut for a layup off of a Darrell Arthur pass, then hit back-to-back 3-pointers during a 10-0 burst. Jerryd Bayless' two-handed, fast-break dunk off of a steal got the Grizzlies within 62-56 with 3:43 left in the third quarter.

 

Pro hockey

BOYCHUK HELPS BRUINS TAKE 2-0 LEAD: Johnny Boychuk broke a tie midway through the second period, and the Boston Bruins scored two goals in the third to beat the New York Rangers 5-2 and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Boychuk put a 40-foot shot from the right inside the near post for his third playoff goal to make it 3-2 at 12:08. Brad Marchand, whose overtime goal won the opener, and Milan Lucic stretched the Bruins' lead in the final period.

Boston never trailed as rookie Torey Krug scored the first goal before Ryan Callahan tied it. Gregory Campbell made it 2-1, and New York pulled even again on goal by Rick Nash.

 

Pro baseball

MOORE IMPROVES TO 8-0 FOR TAMPA BAY: Matt Moore pitched seven innings of five-hit ball to stay unbeaten, Luke Scott and Matt Joyce homered and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1  for a three-game sweep.

Moore (8-0) gave up one run, struck out three and walked one. The left-hander has won nine straight decisions, breaking the franchise record of eight set last year by David Price.

The Rays' ninth win in 11 games put them a season-high three games over .500 (23-20) and lifted Tampa Bay into a third-place tie with skidding Baltimore in the AL East. The Rays had been in fourth since April 20.

 

Hockey

U.S. THIRD AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: The United States won its first medal at the ice hockey world championships in nine years, taking the bronze by beating Finland 3-2 in a penalty shootout.

Alex Galchenyuk scored back-to-back goals in the shootout for the Americans. Teammates Craig Smith and Paul Stastny found the net in the first period. Finland tied the score with two goals in the third period.

Sweden became the first home team to win the championship in 27 years, beating Switzerland 5-1 for its ninth title.

Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin had two goals and an assist, and Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves to help Sweden become the first team to win the title on home ice since the Soviet Union in 1986. Switzerland earned its first medal in 60 years.

 

Pro tennis

NADAL, SERENA WIN AT ITALIAN OPEN: Rafel Nadal controlled the Italian Open final from start to finish, beating Roger Federer 6-1, 6-3 in the 30th meeting between the two stars.

Nadal improved to 20-10 in his career against Federer, and won the Italian Open for the seventh time. He also showed once again that he'll be the player to beat when the French Open starts Sunday.

It was Nadal's fifth title since returning earlier this year from a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury.

In the women's final, Serena Williams won her fourth consecutive title of the year in impressive fashion, defeating third-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3. The top-ranked American will enter the tournament at Roland Garros on a career-best 24-match winning run.

 

 

 

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