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Golden State was too disjointed to finish Denver


Warriors coach Steve Kerr has eight NBA championship rings — five as a player and three in his current role.

There might be a few people who know how to win in the playoffs as well as Kerr, but no one knows more than him.

Keep that in mind when I tell you that the Warriors will beat the Denver Nuggets in the team’s first-round playoff series.

But on Sunday, Golden State missed its chance to take care of business and end the series in the minimum four games. Denver beat the Warriors 126-121, forcing a Game 5 Wednesday in San Francisco.

Kerr saw the loss coming. He warned his team in the first quarter.

They didn’t heed the lesson until it was too late.

With the Warriors trailing the Nuggets early, Kerr called a timeout and called out his team. ESPN cameras picked it all up:

“It feels to me like we smell blood and we’re trying too hard,” Kerr said. “We’re going for the kill. It doesn’t work that way. You get the kill by executing to death — just executing over and over again.”

The Warriors had their moments in Game 4, Sunday, but they were simply too infrequent and ultimately insufficient. The execution was, indeed, not up to par over the course of 48 minutes.

The Warriors were too eager and too disjointed to close out the Nuggets.

“It took us a long time to get going,” Kerr said after the game. “We didn’t play our game tonight.”

Perhaps that’s an important lesson learned for this team. I think that’s ascribing too much meaning to the moment. Sunday was nothing more than a missed opportunity for the Dubs.

The true meaning of Sunday’s game will be defined on Wednesday.

DENVER, COLORADO – APRIL 24: Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) loses the ball against Denver Nuggets’ JaMychal Green (0) and Denver Nuggets’ Bryn Forbes (6) in the second quarter of Game 4 of the team’s NBA basketball first -round playoff series at Ball Arena in Denver, Colo., on Sunday, April 24, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Ukraine leader pushes for more arms; US officials to visit



KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The US secretaries of state and defense met Sunday night with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the highest-level visit to the country’s capital by an American delegation since the start of Russia’s invasion.

The meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, which was confirmed by a senior Ukrainian official, came as Ukraine pressed the West for more powerful weapons against Russia’s campaign in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where Moscow’s forces sought to dislodge the last Ukrainian troops in the battered port of Mariupol.

“Yes, they’re meeting with the president. Let’s hope something will be decided on further help,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told Russian lawyer and activist Mark Feygin on his YouTube show “Feygin Live.” The United States has not yet commented.

Before the session with Blinken and Austin, Zelenskyy said he was looking for the Americans to produce results, both in arms and security guarantees.

“You can’t come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons,” he said.

Zelenskyy’s last face-to-face meeting with a top US official was Feb. 19 in Munich with Vice President Kamala Harris, five days before Russia’s invasion. While the West has funneled military equipment to Ukraine, Zelenskyy has stressed repeatedly that his country needs more heavy weapons, including long-range air defense systems and warplanes.

In an apparent boost for Ukraine, polling agencies said French President Emmanuel Macron would win reelection over far right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has faced questions about her ties to Moscow. The result was hailed by France’s allies in the European Union as a reassuring sign of stability and continued support for Ukraine. France has played a leading role in international efforts to punish Russia with sanctions and is supplying weapons systems to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s meeting with US officials took place as Ukrainians and Russians observed Orthodox Easter. Speaking from Kyiv’s ancient St. Sophia Cathedral, Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, highlighted its significance his to a nation wracked by nearly two months of war.

“The great holiday today gives us great hope and unwavering faith that light will overcome darkness, good will overcome evil, life will overcome death, and therefore Ukraine will surely win!” he said.

Still, the war cast a shadow over celebrations. In the northern village of Ivanivka, where Russian tanks still littered the roads, Olena Koptyl said “the Easter holiday doesn’t bring any joy. I’m crying a lot. We cannot forget how we lived.”

The Russian military reported hitting 423 Ukrainian targets overnight, including fortified positions and troop concentrations, while its warplanes destroyed 26 Ukrainian military sites, including an explosives factory and several artillery depots.

Since failing to capture Kyiv, the Russians have aimed to gain full control over the eastern industrial heartland, where Moscow-backed separatists controlled some territory before the war.

Russian forces launched fresh airstrikes on a Mariupol steel plant where an estimated 1,000 civilians are sheltering along with about 2,000 Ukrainian fighters. The Azovstal steel mill where the defenders are holed up is the last corner of resistance in the city, otherwise occupied by the Russians.

Zelenskyy said he stressed the need to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, including from the steel plant, in a Sunday call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is scheduled to speak later with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Arestovych, the Zelenskyy adviser, said Ukraine has proposed holding talks with Russia next to the sprawling steel mill. Arestovych said on the Telegram messaging app that Russia has not responded to the proposal that would include establishing humanitarian corridors and the exchange of Russian war prisoners for the fighters still in the plant.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to travel to Turkey on Monday and then Moscow and Kyiv. Zelenskyy said it was a mistake for Guterres to visit Russia before Ukraine.

“Why? To hand over signals from Russia? What should we look for?” Zelenskyy said Saturday. “There are no corpses scattered on the Kutuzovsky Prospect,” he said, referring to one of Moscow’s main avenues.

Mariupol has endured fierce fighting since the start of the war because of its location on the Sea of ​​Azov. Its capture would deprive Ukraine of a vital port, free up Russian troops to fight elsewhere, and allow Moscow to establish a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

More than 100,000 people — down from a prewar population of about 430,000 — are believed to remain in Mariupol with scant food, water or heat. Ukrainian authorities estimate over 20,000 civilians have been killed. Recent satellite images showed what appeared to be mass graves to the west and east of Mariupol.

Children in an underground bunker were seen receiving Easter presents in a video released Sunday by the far-right Azov Battalion, which is among the Ukrainian forces at the steel plant in Mariupol. The group’s deputy commander, Sviatoslav Palamar, said the video was shot at the plant.

One toddler is seen wearing homemade diapers made of cellophane and people are seen hanging laundry on makeshift hangers.

“Please help us,” one woman in the video said through tears, appealing to world leaders. “We want to live in our city, in our country. We are tired of these bombings, constant air strikes on our land. How much longer will this continue?”

Mykhailo Podolyak, another presidential adviser, tweeted that the Russian military was attacking the plant with heavy bombs and artillery while accumulating forces and equipment for a direct assault.

Zelenskyy on Saturday accused Russians of committing war crimes by killing civilians and of setting up “filtration camps” near Mariupol for people trying to leave the city. He said the Ukrainians — many of them children — are then sent to areas under Russian occupation or to Russia itself, often as far as Siberia or the Far East.

The claims could not be independently verified. But they were repeated by Ukrainian lawmaker Yevheniya Kravchuk on ABC’s “This Week.”

“They have pulled these people from Mariupol — they are put to filtration camps … it’s sort of something that can’t be happening in the 21st century,” Kravchuk said.

Zelenskyy also claimed that intercepted communications recorded Russian troops discussing “how they conceal the traces of their crimes” in Mariupol.

And he highlighted the death of a 3-month old girl in a Russian missile strike Saturday on the Black Sea port of Odesa. The baby was among eight people killed when Russia fired cruise missiles at Odesa, Ukrainian officials said.

Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, citing social media, reported that the infant’s mother, Valeria Glodan, and grandmother also died when a missile hit a residential area. Zelenskyy promised to find and punish those responsible.

“The war started when this baby was 1 month old,” Zelenskyy said. “Can you imagine what is happening? They are filthy scum; there are no other words for it.”

For the Donbas offensive, Russia has reassembled troops who fought around Kyiv and in northern Ukraine. The British Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces had repelled numerous assaults in the past week and “inflicted significant cost on Russian forces.”

The spiritual leaders of the world’s Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics appealed for relief for Ukraine’s suffering population.

From Istanbul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I said a “human tragedy” was unfolding. Bartholomew, considered the first among his Eastern Orthodox patriarch equals, cited in particular “the thousands of people surrounded in Mariupol, civilians, among them the wounded, the elderly, women and many children.”

Pope Francis, speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, renewed his call for an Easter truce, calling it “a minimal and tangible sign of a desire for peace.”


Associated Press journalists Yesica Fisch in Sloviansk, Ukraine, Mstyslav Chernov and Felipe Dana in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Cara Anna, Inna Varenytsia and Oleksandr Stashevskyi in Kviv and AP staff around the world contributed.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Golden State leads series 3-1


DENVER — Coach Steve Kerr stressed the importance of bringing an edge to Game 4, knowing the Nuggets, facing elimination, were going to leave everything one the court.

But that message must’ve gotten lost in translation.

Despite a valiant fourth-quarter effort, sloppy play and shoddy shooting plagued the Warriors, whom the Nuggets beat 126-121 Sunday afternoon in Denver to force a Game 5 in San Francisco. The Warriors still lead the series 3-1, and no team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit.

But with Denver facing the possibility of getting swept in the playoffs for the second straight postseason, the Nuggets played with total desperation and maintained control for most of the game, but the Warriors played their best basketball in the game’s final minutes, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson putting on vintage performances.

Stephen Curry scored five straight points for the Warriors to give Golden State a 121-119 lead with 1:21 remaining in the game. The Nuggets answered, scoring seven unanswered points.

Ottor Porter Jr. had a bad turnover to give the Nuggets the ball with about 30 seconds left. Will Barton hit a dagger 3-pointer with eight seconds left to further cement the Nuggets’ victory.

After a slow start, Curry, who came off the bench for the fourth consecutive game, finished with 33 points in 37 minutes, the most of any Warriors, and Thompson added 32.

Emotions ran high early in the game, with Draymond Green and Aaron Gordon both receiving technicals for chirping one another after Green fouled Nikola Jokic. Green, who 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, ultimately fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Thompson caught fire early in the first quarter, scoring a quick eight points with a layup and back-to-back 3-pointers. But the veteran’s pilot light was dimmed after he ran into foul trouble early. He ultimately played only 10 minutes of the first half after racking up four fouls, including one late in the second quarter.

Curry, whom Kerr said is “very close” to being able to play without restrictions, replaced Thompson in the first. Curry missed his first five shots of the game, including three from behind the arc. He finally got on the board with a mid-range shot with under four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Jokic scored 18 of the Nuggets’ 26 first-quarter points, shooting 6-of-9 from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Jokic bullied the Warriors in the paint, finishing with a game-high 37 points. It worth noting the Warriors limited the Joker to just four points in the fourth quarter.

Jonathan Kuminga, who has been patiently waiting to play meaningful minutes in a playoff game, heard his number called early in the second quarter. He missed his 3-point attempt and two free throws before scoring a high-fly dunk to pull the Warriors within 12.

The Nuggets led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter.

With the Warriors trailing by 11 at the half, Thompson started the third quarter and scored 13 points. He finished with a team-high 32 points, going 7-for-11 from 3-point range. The last time Thompson scored 30 points in a playoff game was Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals when he collapsed on the court with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Jordan Poole played more of the part of facilitator rather than scorer in Game 4. Poole had nine assists and 11 points after scoring a combined 86 points on an efficient 66.7% shooting in his first three playoff games.

The Warriors also had some uncharacteristic misses at the free-throw line, with Curry, the second best free-throw shooter in the league this season, going 10 of 11 from the charity stripe. Curry has missed eight free throws in this series.

The Nuggets’ win sends the series back to San Francisco, where the Warriors will host Game 5 at Chase Center on Thursday. If the Warriors win, they’ll advance to the next round and will play the winner of the matchup between the second-seeded Grizzlies and seventh-seeded Timberwolves. Minnesota tied that series at two wins apiece Saturday night, guaranteeing a Game 6 Friday. That means the Warriors will play no earlier than Sunday.

Gerrit Cole, Joey Gallo show signs of promise as Yankees sweep Guardians – The Mercury News


Like so many people strive to do, the Yankees used their Sunday afternoon to get back on track.

The Bombers’ 10-2 rout of the Cleveland Guardians completed their sweep of the series at the Stadium. But they didn’t quite look like the Yankees yet, as the team skittered through extended stretches of dormancy at the plate — scoring in the first, second, third, sixth and eighth innings.

“It’s nice,” Aaron Boone said of managing a laugher. “But I’m sitting over there going, ‘Who do we have to get up?’ Every out is another level of exhale. But it is nice to have one of those, for sure.”

More importantly, at least as it pertains to the team’s long-term outlook, was the return of Gerrit Cole’s right arm. Cole had a slow start to the season, logging just 11.1 innings over his first three starts with an uncharacteristically high number of walks.

While any pragmatist could acknowledge that his ERA would not remain above 6.00 all season, Cole still had to eventually start pitching well enough to actually make that happen. Sunday’s 6.2 shutout innings with just four hits and nine strikeouts came at a perfect time for the Yankees. Now, rather than wondering when Cole will start looking like himself again, the question becomes whether he can keep up the good work.

“I had better self talk out there,” Cole said. “Just a little more aware of the situations. There’s a balance between overdoing it and not doing it enough. We put a game plan forward. The last (start) was out of sight, out of mind.”

Another person who desperately needed to do something good: the horrendously slumping Joey Gallo, who got his long-awaited first RBI and extra base hit of the season on one swing, a third inning double that helped break the game open. After sending the sharp line drive into right field, Gallo sprinted into second base like a 500-pound silverback gorilla had been lifted off his back.

The left-handed hitter also struck out three times, but an RBI double mixed in with three strikeouts is basically par for the course for Gallo. So long as his glove his remains golden in the outfield, the Yankees will take that kind of game from him in the batter ‘s box. Like Cole, the lingering question is if he can parlay Sunday’s success into something more meaningful.

Cleveland starting pitcher Aaron Civale handed the Yankees a broom very early in the game, and the Bombers wasted no time getting the sweep going. The Yankees had a six-run lead after just three turns at bat. Anthony Rizzo, who has been one of the league’s best hitters of the first three weeks, got things going with a two-run porch shot in the first inning. DJ LeMahieu followed that with an RBI double in the second, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, and a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly around Gallo’s slump-busting double made it 6-0 in the third.

Coming on the heels of Saturday’s action-packed win, in which Gleyber Torres’ walk-off hit caused a hurricane of garbage to hit the field, a game that allowed the Yankees to down shift and coast into victory was a welcome sight. Cole found his fastball again, maxing out at 99 miles per hour and getting either a called strike or a whiff on 20 of the 47 heaters (43%) he threw. Gallo got off the schneid, at least temporarily, and they opened up a comfortable enough margin to let some of the bench guys loose.

For their final trick of the night, the Yankees subbed out LeMahieu and Aaron Judge in favor of Marwin Gonzalez and Tim Locastro. Gonzalez served a single into right field for his first Yankee hit, and Locastro one upped him by slapping his first home run of 2022.

On a sunny, breezy day in the Bronx, the fans’ good behavior was rewarded with the Yankees’ first ten-run game of the season. With a ten-run gulf between them and the Guardians, the Yankees were even able to use human victory cigar Ron Marinaccio for the ninth inning. Marinaccio struck out Jose Ramirez to begin his outing, and after ruining the goose egg by allowing two runs, he ended it with a can of corn to left field.

The Yankees have ten wins in their first 16 games, and the next obstacles in front of them are the very movable Orioles and Royals. By this time next week, the major question around this team may no longer be when they will get back to being themselves.

“I think the confidence that we gained from coming back like that (on Saturday) carried over,” LeMahieu said. “We were due for a breakout.”

It could be who will possibly slow them down.


Top Orioles prospect Adley Rutschman heading to High-A Aberdeen for rehab assignment, along with DL Hall, Rico Garcia – The Mercury News


Catcher Adley Rutschman’s major league debut is now a step closer, with the Orioles’ top prospect reporting to High-A Aberdeen to complete a rehab assignment this week.

Rutschman missed a place on the Opening Day roster when he was sidelined with a right tricep strain as major league spring training began. But the 24-year-old has steadily progressed from the injury over the past month following a multiweek shutdown from baseball activities. Manager Brandon Hyde said April 13 that Rutschman had begun to take batting practice.

A rehab assignment this week with the IronBirds is another positive development, a return to competitive baseball that signals a potential call-up could be on the horizon. Earlier this month, general manager Mike Elias hinted at Rutschman receiving a major league opportunity once healthy.

“As soon as he kind of returns to being a full-activity version of himself and we understand that his timing’s back, I think he’s gonna pick right back up where he left off, which was with a very clear shot to impact this team, ” Elias said April 7.

Rutschman, the top overall pick of the 2019 MLB draft, has backed up that lofty selection in the minors so far. Last year, the Oregon State alumnus hit .285/.397/.502 across Double-A and Triple-A. In his 43 games for Triple-A Norfolk, Rutschman’s batting average jumped to .312.

His right tricep strain during spring training happened at the “exact worst moment possible,” Elias said, and kept Rutschman from training with big leaguers. There was a chance that Rutschman proved during spring training he was worthy of being the Orioles’ starting catcher, but the injury prevented him from being ready for the season opener.

The setback cost Rutschman at least two weeks of major league service time, which could offer Baltimore another year of team control before he hits free agency. The new collective bargaining agreement that the league and players union agreed to this offseason does offer Rutschman a chance to receive a full year of service time if he finishes in the top two of American League Rookie the Year voting.

Before Rutschman arrives in Baltimore, he’ll likely spend time at Triple-A Norfolk again, ensuring his swing timing is there before he arrives in the majors.

In addition to Rutschman, right-hander Rico Garcia will join Aberdeen on a rehab assignment. And left-hander DL Hall also will report to the IronBirds, as he continues his development from last season elbow’s stress reaction in his left elbow.

Hall, whom Baseball America ranks as the No. 3 prospect in the Orioles’ pipeline, could find his way to the majors this season, as well. The 23-year-old pitched 31 2/3 innings for Double-A Bowie last year before his season was shut down, but he appeared in spring training and threw 100-mph fastballs. He remained in Florida for extended spring training time with Baltimore monitoring his health his closely.


Live updates | European leaders quick to congratulate Macron


By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Several European leaders and politicians have swiftly congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron for his reelection, as his far-right rival Marine Le Pen conceded defeat in Sunday’s presidential election.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted in French, “together we will make France and Europe advance.”

The Dutch prime minister also tweeted in French his hope to “continue our extensive and constructive cooperation in EU and NATO.”

In Germany, politicians around the political spectrum offered support, including from the pro-business Free Democrats, the environmentalist Greens and conservative Christian Social Union.

Many in Europe had worried Le Pen would undermine European unity and its post-war order.



— Macron vs Le Pen: France votes in tense presidential runoff

— France’s presidential rivals: Key moments, private lives

— EXPLAINER: How France’s old-school voting system works

— Follow all AP stories on France’s 2022 presidential election at https://apnews.com/hub/france-election-2022



PARIS — French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has conceded defeat in the presidential runoff, handing victory to incumbent Emmanuel Macron.

She said her unprecedented score in a presidential election represents “a shining victory in itself.”

“The ideas we represent are reaching summits,” she said.

French polling agencies are projecting that centrist Macron has won the runoff against Le Pen that took place Sunday.


PARIS — French polling agencies are projecting that centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron will win France’s presidential runoff Sunday, beating far right rival Marine Le Pen in a tight race that was clouded by the Ukraine war and saw a surge in support for extremist ideas.

If the projections are borne out by official results, Macron would be the first French president in a generation to win a second term, since Jacques Chirac in 2002. But he would face a divided nation and a battle to keep his parliamentary majority in legislative elections in June.

Five years ago, Macron won a sweeping victory over Le Pen to become the youngest French president. The margin is expected to be way smaller this time: Polling agencies Opinionway, Harris and Ifop-Fiducial projected that Macron would win between 57% and 58.5% of the vote, with Le Pen getting between 41.5% and 43%.


PARIS — Voter turnout is lower than usual in France’s presidential runoff Sunday, apparently reflecting voter frustration with both candidates, centrist President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen.

Turnout at 5 pm Paris time (1500 GMT) stood at 63%, the Interior Ministry said. That was below the 65% at the same time in the last presidential runoff in 2017, when Macron overwhelmingly beat Le Pen, and the 72% in when Socialist Francois Hollande won the presidency in 2012.

Polls before Sunday’s election gave Macron a solid lead over Le Pen, but to keep it he needs the support of many left-wing voters who shunned both him and Le Pen in the first-round election on April 10. Many of those voters may choose to stay home this time instead.

Polling agency projections and early official results are expected after final voting stations close in France at 8 pm (1800 GMT).


LE TOUQUET, France — The two candidates for France’s presidential runoff have cast their ballots — and basked in adoring crowds outside their polling stations.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen went first, cheerily greeting election workers in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, in France’s struggling former industrial heartland. She emerged from the ballot booth beaming to drop it in a transparent box. Outside, she took selfies with supporters.

Then came incumbent Emmanuel Macron, who shook dozens of hands — and was handed a small child to hold up — on his journey from his family home in the resort town of Le Touquet on the English Channel to his voting station.

Inside, he greeted yet more people, posed for photographs with his wife Brigitte, and cast his ballot with a wink for the cameras. The voting booths were shielded by curtains in the red-white-and-blue of the French flag.

About 48.8 million voters are eligible to take part in the runoff, which is being watched around Europe. Early results are expected Sunday night.


PARIS — France began voting in a presidential runoff election Sunday with repercussions for Europe’s future.

Centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron is the front-runner, but he’s fighting a tough challenge from far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

The centrist Macron is asking voters to trust him for a second five-year term despite a presidency troubled by protests, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. A Macron victory in this vote would make him the first French president in 20 years to win a second term.

The result of voting in France, a nuclear-armed nation with one of the world’s biggest economies, could also impact the conflict in Ukraine, as France has played a key role in diplomatic efforts and support for sanctions against Russia.

Who and when the Warriors play next if they sweep Nuggets


The Warriors are on the verge of sweeping the Nuggets and advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Who they’ll meet there — provided they don’t become the first NBA team to blow a 3-0 series lead — is not yet clear, but it’s between Minnesota and Memphis.

The Timberwolves evened their series against the Grizzlies last night with a tense 119-118 win in Minneapolis. Karl-Anthony Towns’ 33 points helped Minnesota bounce back from a Game 3 loss in which it blew a 26-point lead at home.

The teams are tied 2-2 as the series shifts back to Memphis for Game 5 Tuesday night.

Minnesota’s win guaranteed at least a Game 6, which will be played Friday night in Minneapolis.

With that game written in ink, the soonest the Warriors could play Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series against either team would be next Sunday, May 1. A win today would earn them at least a week off — even more if the Grizzlies and Wolves split the next two games, forcing Game 1 back at least two days to next Tuesday, May 3.

Golden State split its season series with Minnesota, winning both home games. The Grizzlies won three of four matchups with the Warriors in the regular season, including a blowout late last month in Andre Iguodala ‘s return from injury, which doubled as his return his to Memphis. He got a hearty boo from the crowd, which didn’t forget that he sat out in 2019-20 after the Warriors traded him to the Grizzlies.

‘Heat don’t have a polite way of playing basketball’ – The Mercury News


John Collins entered this Eastern Conference opening-round playoff series against the Miami Heat hurting, as he dealt with finger and foot injuries. The Atlanta Hawks forward said he continues to find the experience painful.

“The first three games, I’ve been in a lot of pain, man,” he said ahead of Sunday night’s Game 4 at State Farm Arena. “I guess, to be frank, the Heat don’t have a polite way of playing basketball.

“So I’ve seriously been having to try to take a little bit extra measure to just try to take care of my body. Be that as it is, it’s the playoffs. So not complaining, but it’s real. So, got to get ready to do it again.”

The West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman High product said the Heat’s tactics also had him coming to the aid of second-year Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu in Friday night’s Atlanta Game 3 victory.

During the break between the third and fourth quarters, as Hawks coach Nate McMillan handled his televised interview, Collins and Atlanta assistant Chris Jent addresses the referees on behalf of Okongwu.

“The Heat were holding Onyeka as he was trying to jump in the air,” Collins said. “We were trying to explain to the official, I forgot who it was at the time, ‘that’s illegal.’

“You can’t do that, when somebody’s jumping, with two hands, and gets grabbed by the waist, that’s a foul. And again, kind of upset.”

Collins said he ultimately let it go, but then addressed it the following day at practice.

“I hate to see that type of stuff,” he said. “Somebody jumping in the air, I feel like that should be an easy one. But it is what it is.”

Missed calls

The NBA’s officiating report for Friday night’s 111-110 Heat loss cited a pair of late uncalled Hawks defensive 3-second violations, each of which should have resulted in a Heat free throw being awarded.

The first came with 56.6 seconds to play, on the sequence that featured a PJ Tucker 3-pointer that put the Heat up 110-109, with the officiating report ruling that Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, “is in the paint for longer than three seconds without imminently actively guarding an opponent.”

Even more significant was a similar non-call on Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter with that same score with 15.6 seconds to play. On that play, Heat guard Jimmy Butler missed a jump shot, with the Hawks’ Trae Young then converting in transition to close out the scoring.

Had the call been made on Huerter, the Hawks likely would have been forced to foul the Heat, potentially down two at that stage (after what should have been a technical free throw).

Optimistic outlook

Heat center Bam Adebayo said he is confident that Kyle Lowry will traverse his hamstring issue as expediently as possible.

“I feel like he’s going to bounce back,” Adebayo said. “He’s one of those dudes who knows how to take care of his body his, he knows himself and his body his. So it wouldn’t shock me if he’s back out here soon.”

Adebayo said Lowry remains a valuable influence to fill-in point guard Gabe Vincent.

“Vincent has grown throughout this whole season, especially having Kyle in his ear,” Adebayo said. “It’s made him a point guard, better player. I’m excited for Vincent. This is his moment his and he ‘ll embrace it.

“He’s become our second-best point guard on the team. In that regard, we just take K-Low’s responsibility and just hand it to Vincent. I feel like he’s very prepared for that.”


Chicago White Sox OF Eloy Jiménez will miss an estimated 6-8 weeks with a right hamstring strain – The Mercury News


Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez will be out an estimated six to eight weeks after suffering a right hamstring strain, the team announced Sunday.

The Sox placed Jiménez on the 10-day injured list.

“After returning to Chicago, Eloy will undergo further evaluation by White Sox team physicians at Rush and a treatment plan will be put in place,” the Sox said in a team statement. “The club expects to be able to provide an update prior to Tuesday’s game.”

The injury occurred in Saturday’s 9-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Jiménez hit a grounder to third in the second inning, stumbled after crossing first base and fell. He got to his feet but was taken off the field on a cart.

He is slashing .222/.256/.333 with one home run and seven RBIs in 11 games. He dealt with a bruised left ankle for a portion of this season. Jimenez played just 55 games last season after suffering a ruptured left pectoral tendon during a Cactus League game.


Ex-Met Michael Conforto to miss 2022 season with shoulder surgery rehab – The Mercury News


Michael Conforto had surgery on his injured right shoulder and will miss the rest of the 2022 season, his agent Scott Boras said Saturday night.

The ex-Met outfielder initially injured his shoulder in January, according to Boras, who also said the free agent will be ready for spring training in 2023.

“You don’t want any of your friends or teammates to go under surgery, especially as serious as a shoulder surgery, so I wish Michael all the best and a speedy, healthy, full recovery,” Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso said of Conforto Saturday.

Conforto has not signed with another team since turning down the Mets’ one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer in November to enter free agency.

His entrance into the market was highly touted by his agent, who dubbed Conforto the “King of Queens” in free agency.

Conforto spent the entirety of his career with the Mets, who drafted him in the first round of the 2014 Draft out of Oregon State University.

He made his big-league debut midway through the 2015 season.

He had a career-15.7 WAR, a .255/.356/.468 slash line and .824 OPS after seven seasons in Flushing.