Thursday, May 21
Smith, James lead Cavs past Hawks 97-89 in Game 1
ATLANTA (AP) — LeBron James scored 31 points and J.R. Smith made eight 3-pointers and added 28, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers past the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97-89 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.
Intent on bringing Cleveland its first NBA title, James sealed the victory with a soaring dunk in the final minute. But Smith was the one who ignited the Cavaliers, going 8 of 12 from 3-point range.
For the Hawks, it was the second straight series in which they've lost the opening game at home. Cleveland will look to take command of the series in Game 2 Friday night.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 27 points. But the night really turned sour for the Hawks when DeMarre Carroll, their leading scorer in the playoffs, went down with what appeared to be a left knee injury driving to the basket with 4:59 remaining. He was helped to the locker room, not putting any weight on his knee.
Perez impresses in 1st big league start; Braves beat Rays
ATLANTA (AP) — Williams Perez gave up one run over five innings in his first major league start and fellow rookie Todd Cunningham drove in the tiebreaking run with a groundout as the Atlanta Braves beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Wednesday night.
The Braves bullpen threw four scoreless innings to close out the win for Brandon Cunniff (2-0). Jason Grilli picked up his 12th save to ensure a split of the two-game series.
Freddie Freeman scored the go-ahead run after reaching on a ground-rule double in the sixth inning. He advanced to third on Nick Markakis' single and scored on Cunningham's grounder.
Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-4) allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. It was the eighth time this season the Rays have scored two runs or less in one of his starts.
BRAVES-RED SOX TRADE
Braves trade right-hander John Cornely to Red Sox
ATLANTA (AP) — Pitcher John Cornely has been traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Boston Red Sox.
The 26-year-old right-hander made one big league appearance this year, allowing four runs in one inning against Washington on April 29 in his major league debut.
Cornely, a 15th-round draft pick in 2011, was 2-2 with one save and a 4.42 ERA this year at Triple-A Gwinnett, striking out 24 in 18 1-3 innings over 12 relief appearances. He has averaged 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings in the minor leagues, pitching 229 1-3 innings and 158 games.
The deal was announced Wednesday.
NASCAR-HALL OF FAME
Smith, Labonte head up NASCAR Hall of Fame class
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Speedway Motorsports executive chairman Bruton Smith and two-time Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte headed up the newest group of five headed to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The others selected to the hall's seventh class were drivers NASCAR drivers Curtis Turner and Bobby Isaac. Modified series champion Jerry Cook was the final pick for the hall.
Smith's company owns eight tracks that host NASCAR events, including Charlotte Motor Speedway, site of this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. The fiery Smith forged his company in competition with International Speedway Corporation, owners of 12 tracks that host the majority of Sprint Cup races.
Labonte, known as "Texas Terry," won 22 races and NASCAR titles in 1984 and 1996.
Turner ran in NASCAR's first strictly stock race in 1949 and had 17 wins.
Baby on board: NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski a father
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski is a first-time father, welcoming a daughter this week.
Keselowski's girlfriend, Paige White, gave birth to the couple's first child. There were no other details announced Tuesday.
Keselowski, the Team Penske driver and 2012 Sprint Cup champion, tweeted his "Dad status" was two thumbs up.
He's the second NASCAR driver this week to become a first-time member of fatherhood. Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, welcomed baby boy Brexton Locke Busch on Monday night.