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NBA PLAYOFFS Bucks face character test after getting embarrassed by Nets

MILWAUKEE (AP) — No second-round matchup had more advance billing than the Brooklyn Nets-Milwaukee Bucks series that featured the NBA’s two highest-scoring offenses.

So far it’s been no contest. Brooklyn has been every bit as potent as advertised in building a 2-0 lead.

But the struggling Bucks posted their lowest point total of the season in a 125-86 Game 2 loss.

Tonight’s playoff action has the Bucks hosting the Nets in Game 3 and the Utah Jazz attempting to take a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Clippers. That game will be in Salt Lake City.


Vegas looks to close out Avalanche

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche need a win tonight in Las Vegas, or their off-season will begin.

The Golden Knights hold a 3 games to 2 lead in the series after Mark Stone's breakaway goal in overtime Tuesday.

Not much separated the Avs and the Golden Knights in the regular season as they split eight head-to-head games and finished tied for the most points in the league. Colorado claimed the Presidents’ Trophy based on more regulation wins.


UNDATED (AP) — Zack Greinke goes for his third straight win when the Houston Astros close out a three-game series against the Red Sox in Boston tonight.

Greinke threw a six-hitter in a 13-1 victory at Toronto on Friday for his first complete game since 2017. He is 4-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his last five starts. Eduardo Rodríguez pitches for Boston, looking for his first win since May 7.

In other American League action, the Mariners and Tigers finish off their series in Detroit with a matinee. Tonight, the Yankees finish up with the Twins in Minnesota, the White Sox host the Blue Jays for one more, while Kansas City is at Oakland for the start of a four-game set.

In the National League, Washington ace Max Scherzer faces San Francisco for the first time in exactly three years when the Nationals get a visit from the surprising Giants. Scherzer is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 career starts against the Giants. He has 104 strikeouts in 77 innings so far this year. Anthony DeSclafani gets the start for NL West-leading San Francisco.

There are three afternoon games on the NL schedule, with the Dodgers and Pirates wrapping up their series in Pittsburgh, the Brewers in Cincinnati for one more and Atlanta at Philadelphia. Tonight, the Rockies and Marlins meet one more time in Miami.


Alonso makes big allegation

BALTIMORE (AP) — New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is accusing Major League Baseball of manipulating the baseballs to harm the earning potential for star free agents and players eligible for arbitration.

Alonso’s comments came in response to a question about the crackdown on sticky substances used by pitchers.

“I think that the biggest concern is that Major League Baseball manipulates the baseballs year in and year out depending on the free agency class — or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration,” Alonso said. “... Maybe if the league didn’t change the baseball, pitchers wouldn’t need to use as much sticky stuff.”

When asked a follow-up question about this, Alonso remained firm. His implication was that the balls are friendlier to hitters in a year when a number of top pitchers are about to hit free agency — and vice versa.

In other MLB news:

The Cleveland Indians have traded first baseman Jake Bauers to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named or cash. Bauers was named Cleveland’s starting first baseman despite being outplayed by Bobby Bradley in training camp because he was out of minor league options. Bauers batted just .190 with six RBIs in 43 games before the Indians designated him for assignment last weekend and recalled Bradley. Bauers is expected to join the Mariners for today's game in Detroit, and he’ll be back in Cleveland on Friday when Seattle opens a three-game series.


Pavlyuchenkova advances to French Open final

PARIS (AP) — Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros.

The 31st-seeded player defeated unseeded Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-3 to become the first Russian woman to reach a final at a major since Maria Sharapova at the 2015 Australian Open.

Both players struggled with their serves on Court Philippe Chatrier but Pavlyuchenkova managed to hold her nerves better on important points.

None of the four French Open women’s semifinalists had previously advanced so far at a Grand Slam tournament. Pavlyuchenkova will either face 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari or Barbora Krejcikova in Saturday’s final.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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