AP Sports

Update on the latest sports

NBA PLAYOFFS

Cavaliers try for 13th straight playoff win in Boston

BOSTON (AP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers try for a 13th straight playoff win when they take on the Celtics tonight in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals in Boston.

Despite Cleveland's dominating performance in Wednesday's opener, LeBron James says he wasn't at his best and he expects to play better tonight.

A loss tonight would also leave Boston with the daunting proposition of having to win four out of five games to take the series, starting with Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland.

Since James returned to Cleveland in 2014-15, the Cavaliers have a 33-4 playoff record against Eastern Conference opponents.

NHL PLAYOFFS

Penguins try to even series in Ottawa

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins enter tonight's game in Ottawa down two games to one in their Eastern Conference final series.

The Senators routed the defending Stanley Cup champions 5-1 on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan hasn't said who will be in goal tonight. Sullivan replaced Marc-Andre Fleury with Matt Murray in Game 3 after the Senators scored four goals in just over 13 minutes.

NHL PLAYOFFS-ONE-GOAL GAMES

NHL nearing record for one-goal games this postseason

UNDATED (AP) - The NHL could be headed for a record number of games decided by one goal this season.

There have been 47 through Thursday night, including 26 settled in overtime. Five more and the 2007 record of 51 one-goal games will fall.

Eleven of the Senators' 15 playoff games have been decided by a goal, with eight resulting in wins. Ottawa plays an extremely defensive brand of hockey designed by coach Guy Boucher (gee boo-SHAY'), who arrived last May.

Pittsburgh was the highest-scoring team during the regular season, but has mustered only three goals through the first three games against Ottawa. Sidney Crosby, who led the NHL with 44 goals, has one in the series.

IOC-2024 BIDS

IOC to discuss LA-Paris double Olympic host picks on June 9

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - The IOC's decision on whether to award Olympic hosting rights to both Los Angeles and Paris will be announced on June 9.

The IOC says its executive board will meet in Lausanne to discuss the 2024 and 2028 bid processes, and reforming rules for 2026 Winter Games candidates.

IOC President Thomas Bach asked the board's four vice presidents in March to advise on combining the 2024-2028 awards.

Bach often says the existing process produces "too many losers." He is expected to want to reward LA and Paris with either the 2024 or 2028 Olympics.

Leaders of both campaigns come to Lausanne for July 9-12 meetings of the IOC board and full membership.

IOC members are scheduled to choose the 2024 host on Sept. 13 in Lima, Peru.

WORLDS-FUTURE HOSTS

Belarus and Latvia to co-host 2021 hockey worlds

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) - Belarus and Latvia will co-host the 2021 world hockey championship, while Finland will stage the 2022 event.

The International Ice Hockey Federation says the Belarus-Latvia bid won "by a very tight margin" against Finland. Finland then said it was ready to host a year later and was unanimously approved.

The last time Belarus held the tournament, as sole host in 2014, it sparked protests from some European politicians and human rights activists concerned about the authoritarian rule of President Alexander Lukashenko.

An avid hockey player, Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and has often suppressed political opponents.

The 2021 tournament will be held in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, and the Latvian capital Riga. In 2022, the Finnish cities of Helsinki and Tampere will host games.

TENNIS-WIMBLEDON-SHARAPOVA

Maria Sharapova to enter Wimbledon qualifying tournament

LONDON (AP) - Maria Sharapova says she won't request a wild card into the main draw at Wimbledon and will instead enter the qualifying rounds.

The Russian, who returned last month from a 15-month doping ban, had her request for a French Open wild card rejected by Roland Garros officials earlier this week.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL-ESPN

APNewsBreak: Beach volleyball hopes ESPN draws Olympic fans

UNDATED (AP) - Beach volleyball has a new ally as it tries to grow from an Olympic phenomenon to an every-year attraction: ESPN.

The sports network will broadcast the World Series of Beach Volleyball, an international pro tour stop in California in July. Event organizers hope the exposure will help beach volleyball attract new fans and hold onto the ones who watch during the Summer Games only to drift away until the next Olympics.

Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings says the event is a game-changer that beach volleyball has never had.

Burke Magnus, ESPN's executive vice president of programming and scheduling, says beach volleyball was attractive to the network because it appeals to both men and women, is popular domestically and globally and still has room for growth.


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