Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka believes his side responded well to being "punked" by the Miami Heat, claiming a 127-102 win in Game 2 of their playoff series on Thursday.

A 39-14 third quarter in the Heat's favour effectively decided Game 1 as the Celtics collapsed on the road, but bounced back, cutting down turnovers and putting four quarters together to split the first two games in Miami.

Marcus Smart and Al Horford's returns to the line-up were critical for the Celtics as they claimed home-court advantage against the Eastern Conference's first seed, but it was a collective effort with 28 assists off 43 made field goals.

Udoka praised his side's mental toughness in responding against a side that came at them in the opening game of the series.

"I think we were upset with how that third quarter went, specifically how we got out-toughed," Udoka said post-match. "Wasn't a lot of schemes or defensive or offensive changes, they just came at us and kind of punked us in that third quarter.

"We looked the other three quarters and how well we had done in winning those quarters, and knew if we just matched their physicality, we could be better. It kind of reminded us of Milwaukee a little bit – the first game – and didn't want to get caught off-guard again.

"I think our guys have bounced back really well all year, especially the second half of the year. Haven't lost two games in a row in a while, and obviously having Marcus and Al back gave us a little boost as well."

Smart was an important figure in his return from a foot injury, filling the stats sheet and finishing with 24 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and three steals.

Horford provided a little bit of everything meanwhile, ending the game with 10 points, three assists and rebounds as well as a steal and a block.

Udoka commended the returning duo, allowing the team to capitalise on positive aspects from the first game.

"It was great to have the vets back, obviously," he said. "A calming presence there. We didn't get off to our best start, we were a little slow to start but we fought right back into it.

"After, I guess, the first five or six minutes we held them down scoring-wise, but it was a good overall effort. I felt we didn't play as poorly as the last game showed.

"Like I said, we won three quarters and had a very bad third quarter, it was hard to overcome but we saw a lot of positives and areas we could attack."

The Boston Celtics rebounded from a disappointing Game 1 to thrash the Miami Heat 127-102 in Game 2 on Thursday.

With the win, the Celtics have tied the series at 1-1 and snatched home-court advantage, with Game 3 and Game 4 to take place in Boston.

In arguably their best half of the season, the Celtics were nearly flawless to open the game, shooting nine-of-11 from three-point range in the first quarter on the way to putting up two consecutive 35-point frames, leading 70-45 at half-time.

The Heat threatened to make things interesting in the third period as Jimmy Butler piled on 16 of his game-high 29 points but the Celtics had an answer every time, shooting 20-of-40 from three for the contest, including 17-of-29 from the five Boston players to play more than 30 minutes each.

Jayson Tatum finished with a team-high 27 points on eight-of-13 shooting with five rebounds and five assists, while Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart had 24 on eight-of-22 shooting with nine rebounds, 12 assists and three steals.

Jaylen Brown chipped in an efficient 24 points on nine-of-17 shooting, and Grant Williams was excellent once again for the Celtics with 19 points off the bench, shooting five-of-seven from the field, and was +37 in plus/minus over his 32 minutes. Only Payton Pritchard finished with a higher plus/minus, finishing plus +39 in his 23 minutes, scoring 10 points with two assists in Derrick White's absence.

After dominating the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics, averaging over 20 points per game on 60 per cent shooting, Bam Adebayo had his second straight disappointing showing. After posting 10 points and four rebounds in Game 1, he followed it up with just six points and nine rebounds. 

Adebayo is averaging 14 points and seven rebounds in the playoffs thus far, significantly down from his season averages of 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The New York Mets treated their home crowd to a thrilling extra-innings walk-off victory, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Thursday.

With their top-three pitchers – Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill – all out injured, the Mets gave starter Chris Bassitt some early run-support as a Pete Alonso base hit and a Jeff McNeil fielder's choice made it 2-0 in the opening frame.

St. Louis fought back with a towering 414-foot solo home run to Juan Yepez in the second inning, and then tied it up with another solo shot from Paul Goldschmidt an inning later, before Goldschmidt made it 3-2 with a RBI double in the fifth frame.

McNiel drove in another two Mets runs in the bottom of the fifth, opening up a 5-3 lead, but Goldschmidt would again come through for the Cardinals, grounding out to drive in one in the seventh, before tying the game at 5-5 with an infield single in the ninth to force extra innings.

After future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols gave the Cardinals a lead, Pete Alonso closed the show for the Mets in the bottom of the 10th inning, crushing a 447-foot bomb into the left-field bleachers to win the game.

Bassitt pitched six-and-a-third innings for four earned runs and three strikeouts, helping the Mets move to the third-best record in the league at 26-14.

Santander delivers against Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles had a memorable 9-6 win against the New York Yankees thanks to a three-run Anthony Santander walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After a back-and-forth battle, the Yankees tied the game 6-6 at the top of the ninth inning with a D.J. LeMahieu single, but the New York bullpen could not send it to extra innings.

An error and a base hit got two Orioles on base, and with Santander just needing a single to win the game, he instead launched a shot over the left-field fence for a dramatic walk-off win.

Trevor writes his own story    

Trevor Story played his best game as a Boston Red Sox player in his side's 12-6 win against the Seattle Mariners, hitting three home runs.

Story, 29, was the Red Sox's biggest off-season acquisition, but has struggled to start the season, with only two home runs entering Thursday's game. He turned that around in a big way with a 402-foot two-run home run in the second inning, and a 403-foot two-run bomb an inning later.

After a single in the sixth inning, Story capped off his day in the eighth frame with a 358-foot three-run shot, giving him seven RBIs in the game. 

Casper Rudd set up a semi-final clash with Reilly Opelka by claiming a straight-sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Geneva Open, while Cameron Norrie made his third semi-final of 2022 at the Lyon Open.

World number eight Rudd, who claimed the title in Geneva last year with a straight-sets final win over Denis Shapovalov, overcame Kokkinakis 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday and will now face Opelka.

The American bounced back from losing the second set against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor to claim a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win as he bids for his third title of 2022, and second seed Ruud said he was excited to pit himself against Opelka after securing his spot in the semi-finals.

"I expect it to be tough," Ruud said. "But I will do my best and see how I can do. I always enjoy playing against Reilly. He is a similar age to myself, and it will be another battle against him – hopefully it will be a good one."

Elsewhere, three-time grand slam semi-finalist Richard Gasquet followed up his shock win over Daniil Medvedev with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Kamil Majchrzak, and will face Joao Sousa for a place in the final after the Portuguese beat Ilya Ivashka 7-5 7-5.

At the Lyon Open, top seed Norrie battled to a 6-4 4-6 7-5 win over Sebastian Baez, spurning three match points before finally downing the Argentinian after a marathon two hours and 40 minutes clash.

The world number 11 will face Holger Rune in his semi-final contest after the 19-year-old came from a set down to beat Manuel Guinard 3-6 6-3 6-4.

The other semi-final in France will see fourth seed Alex de Minaur take on Alex Molcan after the Australian's quarter-final opponent Yosuke Watanuki withdrew after losing the first set 6-4, citing a back issue.

Molcan, meanwhile, downed Federico Coria 6-3 6-2 to reach the final four.

Jamaica’s basketball community is mourning the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, who died early Thursday morning in Florida at the age of 64.

Suffering from late-stage cancer, Sterling-Angus was on life support in a Forida hospital up until Wednesday evening when she was taken off and transitioned mere hours later leaving a massive void in Jamaica’s basketball fraternity.

For more than three decades, Sterling-Angus gave yeoman service to the sport was introduced to by chance but which she grew to love.

“I stumbled on the sport while in high school over 30 years ago. I was hanging around the stadium courts one afternoon after playing in a netball tournament there, and a friend who was a member of the Aqua Youth Swim Club invited me to join her at the Stadium pools,” she said during an interview in 2016.

“Later that evening we went back to the netball/basketball courts where the Aqua men’s team was playing in the Berger Paint league game, which is now called the National Basketball League (NBL), and I’ve been hooked ever since then.

“Ironically, I’m still not a swimmer; in fact, I’m still petrified of large pools of water. And even though I no longer reside in Jamaica, I still support the organization because I believe in their objective, which ultimately is to empower our youngsters by providing academic and athletic opportunities through scholarship.”

And support she did. She was a past vice president of overseas operations for the Jamaica Basketball Association and worked tirelessly behind the scenes providing support for Jamaica’s men’s and women’s teams.

AS a project manager for JABA, she handled logistics and planning for national teams and identified players for all national levels. She also funded national teams and youth-team initiatives and helped create scholarship opportunities for both male and female players including players like netball turned basketball player Marvadene ‘Bubbles’ Anderson, who once held the record of being the tallest teenager in the world.

Her death leaves a void within the fraternity, said JABA President Paulton Gordon.

“The Jamaica basketball community is indeed saddened by the passing of Enid Sterling Angus, a longstanding advocate and supporter of the development of basketball in Jamaica,” Gordon told Sportsmax.TV on Thursday.

“Enid was a passionate soul who loved the game and endeavoured to create platforms for our young people to access opportunities based on their God-given talent. She served as one of the overseas liaison between Jamaica basketball and key stakeholders at the FIBA and diaspora levels and was always integral in clarifying policy, rules and processes when our teams are involved in regional or international competitions.

“Enid will be sadly missed and the Jamaica basketball association uses this medium to express our deepest condolences to her immediate family and friends.”

Ajani Williams, who was JABA president between 2009 and 2014, said Enid’s impact on Jamaica’s basketball was iconic.

“Enid Angus is the definition of love of people through sport. She emptied herself in pursuit of advancing the lives of young Jamaican students and national team athletes, male and female, she squeezed every bit of the juice out of the orange for national progress through basketball,” he said.

“An African proverb says when an elder transitions a library goes with them and this is indicative of Enid’s passing. This is a big loss to basketball in Jamaica and, personally, without Enid by my side, many of the national team successes we achieved would not have happened- she is forever a teammate.”

Under Williams’ leadership, Jamaica were CARICOM Champions in 2009 and were the bronze medallists in 2011. The team won the bronze medal at the Centro Basketball Tournament in 2012, the first time Jamaica was achieving top-four, which meant they qualified for the FIBA Tournament of the Americas.

In 2013, at the FIBA Tournament of the Americas, Jamaica defeated the number nine ranked Brazil and the number-three ranked Argentina and just missed out on qualifying for the World Championships.

“The foundation of all of that was aided and supported by Enid,” Williams said.

In addition to her support of the JABA, Enid was a mentor to many Jamaican players like Kimani Ffriend, who played in the NBA and in Europe, winning the MVP title in the Serbian League in 2017. News of her passing was devastating.

“We lost a beautiful soul this morning. Enid, thank you for your warm spirit and beautiful heart,” he said in a post on social media.

“Never told me no. Always there to support me and encourage me during my toughest times. Many don’t know the sacrifices that you have made to help put Jamaica basketball on the map and the countless high school, college and pro players you have helped and identified along the way.”

Another former national representative Vashil Fernandez was in disbelief.

“Can’t believe this. Wow,” he posted while commenting on Ffriend’s post.

Meanwhile, former Women’s coach Oberon Pitterson-Nattie was saddened by the news.

“Sad to know she is no longer with it. She worked tirelessly for Jamaica basketball. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.”

Sterling Angus is survived by her three children, Martin, Terry and Donielle.

 

 

 

 

Tiger Woods says Rory McIlroy "made it look very easy" after the Northern Irishman set the early pace on day one of the US PGA Championship.

Seeking a first major in eight years, McIlroy carded five-under 65 to take a one-shot lead into the clubhouse at Southern Hills on Thursday.

The 33-year-old, who won this event in 2012 and 2014, closed with a birdie on the final hole – his seventh of the day – to put himself in strong contention for another title.

He teed off in a marquee group alongside Jordan Spieth and Woods, who carded 74 and 72 respectively, with the latter impressed by what he saw from McIlroy.

"Obviously you can shoot something in the mid-60s, Rory proved that today," Woods told Sky Sports. "He made it look very easy. 

"He had a couple of shots where he slipped away and he still shot five under and made it look very easy."

McIlroy, who finished second in last month's Masters after shooting a record-equalling eight-under 64 on the final day, is not getting carried away just yet.

"I came in here knowing that my game was in good shape," McIlroy said. "So it's just a matter of going out there and executing the shots that you know that you can.

"Today I did that very well and I just need to try to replicate that tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday and not get ahead of myself, but it was a great start."

While McIlroy is in a strong position, Woods faces an uphill battle to make the cut, as he did at the Masters last month, but he is not giving up hope of a big recovery on Friday.

"It can be done, I've witnessed it first-hand, so hopefully I can put together something similar tomorrow and get myself back in this tournament," he said.

The 15-time major winner is competing in just his second tournament since sustaining serious leg and foot injuries in a car accident 15 months ago.

Woods felt some discomfort towards the end of an erratic opening round, which ended with him nine strokes behind McIlroy.

"Physically, I've felt better," he told Sky Sports. "Emotionally, I've actually felt better too. 

"It was frustrating. I got off to a great start today, I did exactly what I needed to do starting out the round, but I did not keep it going.

"I hit a lot of bad iron shots, put myself in a lot of bad spots and never really gave myself any birdie putts. 

"I actually felt comfortable with the driver, I hit a lot of fairways with it, but from there it wasn't very good. Most of my bunker shots I hit were long, came out hotter than I thought. 

"But predominately I just hit bad iron shots. That's not normally how I play, but today unfortunately that's kind of what it was."

The New York Mets have confirmed Max Scherzer suffered an oblique strain during Wednesday's 11-4 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, and he could be set for between six and eight weeks on the sidelines.

The 37-year-old pitched 5.2 innings after starting the game, but was forced to withdraw from the contest after feeling a sharp pain on the left side of his torso.

Scherzer, who had given up just one earned run while striking out four during the game, told the media in the aftermath he hoped to have avoided a "serious injury", saying he did not believe he had suffered a major strain.

However, the two-time world series champions have now confirmed his injury could keep him out for several weeks. 

An update provided by the team's official Twitter account on Thursday read: "Max's images showed a moderate to high grade internal oblique strain. A general timeline for an injury of this nature is six to eight weeks."

Scherzer has performed well as the Mets' interim ace in the absence of Jacob deGrom, who is expected to be out until late-June with a stress reaction.

With fellow pitcher Tylor Megill also placed on the 15-day injured list on Sunday after suffering from bicep inflammation, the injury to Scherzer is a significant blow to the Mets, who sit atop the National League East with a 25-14 record this season.

Angelique Kerber defeated Magda Linette in three sets at the Internationaux de Strasbourg to reach her first clay-court semi-final since 2016.

World number 22 Kerber rolled back the years with a battling 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory in a time of a little over two hours on Thursday.

She converted four of her nine break points and will now face the unseeded Oceane Dodin, who needed just an hour to overcome Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-0.

Top seed Karolina Pliskova continued her progression with a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over Maryna Zanevska, meanwhile, and will take on Kaja Juvan for a place in the final after she beat fourth seed Elise Mertens 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

Pliskova, who saved four set points in the tie-break, is aiming to become the fourth Czech champion in Strasbourg.

At the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem, Anna Bondar is the last seed standing after opponent Ajla Tomljanovic retired injured when 5-1 down in the opener.

Clair Liu saw off Astra Sharma 6-4 6-1 to reach the semi-finals in Morocco, while Lucia Bronzetti and Martina Trevisan will meet in the other final-four showdown.

Bronzetti outlasted third seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) while Liu beat Astra Sharma 6-4 6-1.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are all on the same half of the draw at the French Open, while women's world number one Iga Swiatek will face a qualifier in the first round at Roland Garros.

Djokovic, who will make his Grand Slam return having missed the Australian Open, opens in Paris against Yoshihito Nishioka, while record 21-time grand slam winner Nadal meets Australia's Jordan Thompson.

The veteran pair of Djokovic and Nadal could challenge each other in the quarter-finals in the top half of the draw, where Alcaraz could come across world number three Alexander Zverev.

Alcaraz faces a qualifier in the first round and has won 16 of his last 17 matches, with the one blemish on his remarkable run coming against Sebastian Korda, who the Spaniard could meet in the third round.

Daniil Medvedev will have to get past Argentine Facundo Bagnis in the first round, while Lorenzo Musetti stands in the way of last year's runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Medvedev and Tsitsipas are joined in the wide-open bottom half of the draw by Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev, who meet home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon respectively.

In the women's draw, 2020 champion Swiatek comes in as favourite and will look to continue her 28-match winning streak when she faces a qualifier in the first round, as does US Open winner Emma Raducanu.

The Brit will then take on Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Wang Xinyu before a potential last-16 meeting with Ons Jabeur, who first has to get past Poland's Magda Linette.

Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova – who has a first-round clash with France's Tessah Andrianjafitrimo – could set up a quarter-final meeting with Swiatek, but the Pole may have to get past Simona Halep in the fourth round first.

Defending champion Barbora Krejcikova starts against Diane Parry, while Naomi Osaka was drawn against the in-form Amanda Anisimova, who beat the Japanese in the third round of the Australian Open.

Stefano Oldani gave Italy its second winner in two days at the Giro d'Italia as the man from Milan grabbed stage 12 glory in Genova.

The 24-year-old fended off compatriot Lorenzo Rota in a mad dash for the line after they and Dutch rider Gijs Leemreize staged a three-man breakaway, riding for over 50 kilometres as a trio before it became every man for himself at the finish.

Oldani, of the Alpenin-Fenix team, followed Alberto Dainese in delivering a home victory after the Team DSM man won on Wednesday. Until that point, Italy had been waiting for its first stage winner of the 2022 race.

Leemreize made the first dart for glory as the riders wound up for a big finish, but his legs soon went and it became a duel between the Italian duo, with Oldani earning his first Grand Tour victory, remarkably also a maiden professional race win of any kind.

Oldani said of his win on Eurosport: "For sure it was not easy. I knew Rota, he is my friend, so I knew that he was also fast, so I had to watch out.

"And for sure, the other guy, it was obvious that he wanted to try to anticipate, so it was not so easy to manage it, but in the end it looks like I did it."

The stage from Parma, a 204-kilometre ride, stretched out when Leemreize, Oldani and Rota raced clear of a breakaway group with just over 50km remaining.

Four riders continued to loosely track them but sat 44 seconds back with 20km remaining and never looked like fully closing the gap, finishing 57 seconds back. The peloton, meanwhile, was eight minutes down the road as long-time leader Juan Pedro Lopez retained the Maglia Rosa – the leader's pink jersey.

Lopez said: "For sure when I arrived here my objective was to try to win some stage, but now I live one dream, nine days in Maglia Rosa, and it was amazing."

STAGE RESULT

1. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:26:47
2. Lorenzo Rota (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) same time
3. Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) +0:02 seconds
4. Bauke Mollema (Tre-Segafredo) +0:57s
5. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) +0:57s

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 51:19:07
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 185
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 99
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 96

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

Tiger Woods made a bright start to his US PGA Championship quest as he headed out in esteemed company with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.

The star trio played to a bumper early-morning gallery at Southern Hills, Tulsa, where Woods won his fourth and most recent US PGA Championship title in 2007.

Woods had a birdie at his first hole and was one under through three holes, with Spieth and McIlroy soon joining him on that mark.

Starting at the 10th hole, all three began well off the tee, with Woods receiving by far the loudest reception and hitting the longest drive of the trio at 339 yards.

"Do you mind giving me some breathing space please. Back off a little bit," Woods said towards a camera crew as he walked down the first fairway.

He fired a sweet wedge to three feet away from the hole and made no mistake from that range, holing for an immediate birdie.

Woods found the heart of the green at the short 11th, his second, and sent his putt to just six inches away, tapping in for par.

He had a birdie chance at 12 from around 20 feet away but pushed it just right of the hole. McIlroy and Spieth made their first gains at that hole.

Speaking on Tuesday, Woods said he could "definitely" be a title contender, despite this being just his second tournament back since the February 2021 car crash that saw him sustain serious leg and foot injuries. He made the cut at the Masters last month, before fading as the hilly Augusta course took a physical toll on the 46-year-old former world number one.

"My team did just an amazing job just to get me to a point where I could play the Masters and I was able to have that opportunity to play," Woods said. "Right after each round, it was like getting back to the house and we have an ice bath ready for you, and off you go, get on the treatment table and let's keep working at it, keep things going, and it was tough. It was hard. It was hard on all of us.

"But I've gotten stronger since then. But still, it's still going to be sore and walking is a challenge. I can hit golf balls, but the challenge is walking. It's going to be that way for the foreseeable future for sure."

John Daly, the 1991 US PGA champion, was two under through seven holes and held a share of the lead with Robert MacIntyre, Max Homa, Y.E. Yang, Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris early in the first round.

Fernando Alonso claims seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton now knows how the other drivers feel, as Mercedes struggle to keep up with the pace-setters this season.

Hamilton, 37, won six of the seven titles leading into the 2021 season, but he appears incapable of getting back to the mountain top just now, with Mercedes so much slower than Ferrari and Red Bull.

Alonso, 40, won back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, and after a strong run with Ferrari in the early 2010s, he struggled mightily after his move to McLaren, finishing 17th, 10th, 15th and 11th from 2015 to 2018.

After trying his hand at other racing disciplines in 2019 and 2020, Alonso returned to F1 with Alpine in 2021, where he is now partnered with Esteban Ocon as the two battle it out in the midfield with a car that cannot compete for wins.

Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Alonso highlighted how often the success of a driver can be out of their hands, and expressed only limited sympathy for Hamilton's struggles this season.

"This is the nature of the sport," Alonso said. "Sometimes you have a better car, sometimes you have not such a good car and you still need to fight and make some progress.

"This year we see that the driver is very important in F1, but not crucial. Lewis is driving as good as he has been the last eight years. He was dominating the sport and breaking all the records and 100-and-something pole positions.

"Now he is doing a mega lap – as he said in Australia or somewhere like that – and he is one second behind. So, yeah – welcome."

Alonso compared his championship years to Hamilton's, saying often the true stars of the team are behind the scenes, while the drivers get to soak in all the glory.

"To have more than 100 pole positions in F1 is something unthinkable. You need to have the best car and package for many, many years," Alonso said.

"He deserves everything he's achieved in the past, but this year is a good reminder that in all those records and numbers, there is a big part on what you have in your hands as a package in the car."

In a show of respect for this generation's most successful driver, Alonso predicted Hamilton will rebound from a slow start and finish ahead of team-mate George Russell this season.

"George has been very fast in the last few years and I think everyone was expecting him to be a tough competitor for Lewis," Alonso said. "But I still believe Lewis will eventually finish the championship in front.

"This is just a five-race championship [so far], but eventually when things are more tricky or [there are] difficult situations, Lewis will still have more experience and maybe more talent."

The Dallas Mavericks have faith in Luka Doncic to put a disappointing Game 1 behind him when they meet the Golden State Warriors again on Friday.

Mavs superstar Doncic was tightly marshalled by the Warriors on Wednesday, with the Slovenian only managing 20 points on six-of-18 shooting.

Andrew Wiggins was the primary defender on Doncic, who had seven turnovers and was also limited to seven rebounds and four assists in a 112-87 defeat.

However, team-mate Spencer Dinwiddie has full confidence that one of the best players in the NBA has the ability to be back at his best in Game 2.

"He's just brilliant. I think he's seen every defense from probably playing professionally overseas when he was younger," Dinwiddie told reporters.

"If you've seen it before, you've probably developed counters for it.

"So, now, it's just about continuing to improve game by game, and he's one of the best in the business at doing that."

The sentiment was echoed by Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who said: "[Doncic] understands what [the Warriors] are trying to do, and he'll be better, we believe that in that locker room."

Doncic was still the second-highest scorer in Game 1, behind only Warriors talisman Stephen Curry, who had 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

New York Mets star pitcher Max Scherzer hopes he prevented a "major injury" when he removed himself from Wednesday's 11-4 win against the St. Louis Cardinals with what the team are calling "left side discomfort".

Scherzer, 37, started the game and pitched 5.2 innings, giving up just one earned run while striking out four, before he was forced out of the contest after feeling a sharp pain up the left side of his torso after his 87th pitch.

He was immediately removed from the game but was credited with his fifth win from his eighth start as the bullpen protected his lead.

Speaking to post-game media, the three-time Cy Young winner said he is hopeful he avoided anything that will sideline him for an extended period of time.

"I don't think this is a major strain," he said. "I was kind of tight, and then all of a sudden it went, but I don't feel like I really ripped it. 

"Just felt a zing on my left side and just knew I was done. When I felt it, I just knew there's no way you can throw another pitch, so just get out of there.

"Hopefully I got out of there quick enough to prevent a major injury here, because I know oblique, intercostal, those things can be nasty. Hopefully I avoided a serious injury."

Mets manager Buck Showalter said the lengthy discussion he had before withdrawing Scherzer from the game was not to see if he could continue, but to evaluate him properly.

"I don't rush out there, because usually it's not really good news," he said. 

"He's been a great self-evaluator. He knows when he's at a point where if he pushes more, it's going to turn into something serious.

"He's not going to put himself in harm's way – a lot of guys might have tried to continue to pitch. I'm hoping we caught whatever's in there at an earlier stage of it."

Scherzer has been serving as the ace of the Mets staff while Jacob deGrom, arguably the best pitcher in baseball, battles back from a stress reaction expected to keep him out until at least late-June. Tylor Megill was also placed on the 15-day injured list on Sunday with bicep inflammation.

Phil Mickelson's legacy has not been ruined by his contentious comments regarding the LIV Golf Invitational, according to Jon Rahm.

Mickelson has not played since February after he was criticised for comments about the Saudi Arabian-backed breakaway competition, which holds its first event in London next month.

The 51-year-old apologised for those comments and decided to take a break from golf, though he was one of a number of high-profile players to then request a release from the PGA Tour for the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club from June 9 to 11.

Mickelson's representatives confirmed at the time that he had not definitively decided on playing in the tournament, or indeed the US PGA Championship, which tees off on Thursday in Tulsa.

The American is the reigning champion, having become the oldest player to win a major when he triumphed at Kiawah Island in 2021, but last week the tournament organisers confirmed he had withdrawn.

While Mickelson's withdrawal may well boost the chances of Rahm winning at Southern Hills Country Club, the world number two is sad not to see one of golf's biggest stars at the event.

However, he believes six-time major winner Mickelson should be able to return to the PGA Tour when he sees fit.

Rahm told Sky Sports: "He's given his life to the sport. Nobody has been better to the fans over a 30-year span and nobody has done more for the Tour than he has, right.

"Obviously Tiger [Woods] took his game to many places, but Phil won over 40 events and six majors.

"That characteristic smile and thumbs up are synonymous with Phil Mickelson. It's a name that is known worldwide.

"I don't think that a couple comments at the wrong time should dictate the legacy of a man.

"If anything, we're in America, the land of opportunity, right? If there's a place where things can be forgiven, and you can get back to where you need to be, it's here. I think given time and the proper course of action, that can happen."

That being said, Rahm understands that Mickelson ultimately brought the criticism on himself.

"He said what he said, he brought it on himself, so it needs to come from him to take it back to where it should be," Rahm added.

The NBA All-Rookie teams were unveiled on Wednesday, headlined by Rookie of the Year finalists Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley and winner Scottie Barnes in the All-Rookie First Team.

Joining the trio – who were all unanimous selections – on the First Team were Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner and Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green.

Cunningham, Green, Mobley and Barnes were the first four picks of the 2021 NBA Draft, while Wagner was the eighth selection.

They were also the only five rookies to average at least 15 points per game this season, putting a gap between themselves and sixth-highest scorer Chris Duarte at 13.1 points per game. It is the first time since at least 1985 that all five members of the All-Rookie First Team have each averaged at least 15 points per game.

The All-Rookie Second Team was made up of first-rounders Josh Giddey (sixth selection), Duarte (13th selection) and Bones Hyland (26th), as well as a pair of second-round picks in Herb Jones (35th) and Ayo Dosunmu (38th).

Orlando will have the number one pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and then the Rockets.

The Carolina Hurricanes needed a late equaliser to send Game 1 of their playoff series against the New York Rangers to overtime, where they would score the golden goal to win 2-1 in front of their home fans.

Filip Chytil put the Rangers ahead in the first period with his goal from an Alexis Lafreniere assist as they tried to pinch Game 1 on the road.

Behind another stout goaltending performance from Rangers star Igor Shesterkin, the 1-0 scoreline would hold all the way through the second period and deep into the last, when Sebastian Aho finally found the equaliser with less than three minutes left on the clock.

After Carolina fans waited nearly an hour of game time for their first goal, they only had to wait three minutes into overtime to get their second, as Ian Cole landed an optimistic shot past Shesterkin the winner.

Just his second goal in 104 postseason games, Cole said shooting was not on his mind when he received the puck.

"I was looking to pass it to someone," he said. "No one was really kind of anywhere dangerous – so I was like, 'Well, I guess I'll throw it on net and see what happens'.

"Hockey's a game of weird bounces, and it happened to go in. Not the prettiest, but we'll take it."

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour was proud of his side pulling through the way they did, but he acknowledged it felt like they got out of jail.

"Kudos to our guys, they got it going in – it certainly was a good third period," he said.

"[But] we're not going to get away with that. Not playing two periods and expect to win a game — especially at this time of year against that team.”

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant felt his team did not get the reward for their play, going as far as saying their first two periods were as good as they had played all season.

"They put a big push on in the third period in the first 10 minutes, and we weathered that storm," he said.

"But the first two periods was perfect hockey for us... I thought it was our best game of the year, I really did."

Game 2 will remain in Carolina on Friday before heading to Madison Square Garden in New York for Game 3 and Game 4.

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