MINNEAPOLIS (AP) James Harden gave Houston quite the jump-start with 22 of the teams 50 points in the third quarter, as the Rockets cruised past the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Chris Paul scored 15 of his 25 points in the near-record third for the Rockets, who turned a 50-49 halftime edge into a 31-point advantage after the torrid 12-minute span. The only team in the history of the NBA playoffs with more points in one quarter was the Los Angeles Lakers, who scored 51 in the fourth on March 31, 1962, in a loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Clint Capela added 14 points and 17 rebounds, Eric Gordon finally got going with 18 points off the bench and the Rockets easily recovered from their rough start.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 113-96 win over the Thunder for a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Joe Ingles scored 20 points while Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio chipped in 13 points, eight assists and six boards.
Paul George scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Thunder. Oklahoma City lost its third straight in the series after shooting just 39 percent from the field.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Braden Holtby had 35 saves as the Washington Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Capitals will next face Pittsburgh in the second round of the playoffs for a third straight year. The Penguins won each of the last two years on the way to winning consecutive Stanley Cup championships..
Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist, and Dimitry Orlov, Devante Smith-Pelly and Lars Eller also tallied for Washington.
Washington won four straight games after going down 2-0 at home with both games decided in overtime.
TORONTO (AP) – Frederik Andersen stopped 32 shots to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 to force a decisive Game 7 in the first-round series.
William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Maple Leafs, who trailed the series 3-1 before winning two straight. They also trailed 1-0 early in the second period of this one. Nikita Zaitsev added two assists, and Marner and Plekanec each had one.
Game 7 is Wednesday night in Boston with the winner advancing to face Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
There was a moment of silence before the opening faceoff at Air Canada Centre to honor the 10 people killed Monday when a van mounted a sidewalk in Torontos north end and struck multiple pedestrians. Fifteen others were injured.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Wild split with general manager Chuck Fletcher after nine seasons with only two playoff series wins.
Wild owner Craig Leipold met with Fletcher to tell him the club was not renewing his contract. He then addressed the players.
The Wild have six straight postseason appearances, matching the longest-running streak in the Western Conference, but they have not reached the second round since 2015.
Leipold, who took over the organization the year before hiring Fletcher, said the move was unrelated to the Wilds early exit. They lost in five games in the first round to the Winnipeg Jets, after being ousted in five games in 2017 by the St. Louis Blues.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) – Pete Carroll said the Seattle Seahawks have not closed the door on the possibility of adding Colin Kaepernick to their roster, but how much further they pursue it may depend on the upcoming NFL draft.
Reports surfaced earlier this month that Seattle pulled out of a planned workout for Kaepernick, who has been without an NFL team since the end of the 2016 season. Seattle has been one of the few teams to show any interest in Kaepernick following his protests during the national anthem in the 2016 season with San Francisco.
Carroll said the reports of what happened with the intended workout were ”blown up.”
Whether Seattle revisits Kaepernick may be answered during this weeks draft and if the Seahawks invest a draft pick in a quarterback for the first time since selecting Russell Wilson in the 2012 draft. Seattle has signed backups Stephen Morris and Austin Davis this offseason.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) – Police in a Dallas suburb are investigating a domestic violence complaint against Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving from a woman who later recanted.
Frisco police spokesman Radd Rotello said no arrests have been made.
Rotello said a woman identified as Irvings girlfriend called police twice Sunday. After several media reports Monday, the woman wrote in a message posted on Instagram that her allegations were false. She said she was upset over an argument that led to neighbors calling 911.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will look into the incident. A spokesman for the team and Irvings agent declined comment.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – Its easy to see former Chicago Bears standouts Devin Hester and Matt Forte as players with skills in decreasing demand.
Hester and Forte both signed one-day contracts with their original team at Halas Hall so they could retire as Bears, and an emotional ceremony capped careers rich in highlight-reel material for the former second-round draft picks.
For Hester it may mean a spot someday in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Dwight Freeney mastered the art of spinning long before he reached the NFL.
He kept his body low, his head up and his eyes focused on the quarterback. It made him different, and it made him one of the NFLs great pass rushers.
After 16 seasons of chasing quarterbacks and making offensive linemen look silly, the former Indianapolis Colts star returned to his adopted hometown to sign a one-day contract to retire with the Colts.
Freeney didnt shed tears or make some long, laudatory speeches. He kept it simple and down to earth – the same way he emerged as a leader in a locker room full of offensive stars.
HOUSTON (AP) – Yuli Gurriel was thrown out at third base by catcher Martin Maldonado to end the game after an original safe call was reversed on replay, giving the Los Angeles Angels a 2-0 win that ended the Houston Astros six-game winning streak.
Gurriel singled off Keynan Middleton leading off the ninth inning. Alex Bregman then walked. After a pair of strikeouts, Middleton threw a slider in the dirt to Max Stassi that bounced off Maldonados leg toward third base. The catcher pounced on the ball and threw to third where Luis Valbuena tagged Gurriel, who slid head first. Umpire Cory Blaser signaled safe. After the replay was shown on the video board, fans started filing out even before the out call was given about 90 seconds after the tag.
On Sunday, Blaser called Colorados Nolan Arenado safe at home plate trying to advance on Brandon Morrows bases-loaded slider in the dirt at Wrigley Field. That call was then reversed on replay for the final out in the Chicago Cubs 9-7 win.