Jazz dump Rockets, even series
The Utah Jazz are heading home after evening their Western Conference semifinal series at a game apiece.
Joe Ingles set career highs with seven 3-pointers and 27 points as the Jazz surprised the top-seeded Rockets, 116-108 in Houston. Ingles nailed a pair of treys while Utah was scoring eight straight to go ahead 108-96 with 4 ½ minutes to play.
Rookie Donovan Mitchell added 17 points and 11 assists, the first playoff game in which he didn’t lead the team in scoring. Mitchell provided a 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter, giving the Jazz breathing room after the Rockets turned a 19-point, first-half deficit into a two-point lead.
James Harden had 32 points and 11 assists in the Rockets’ first loss in six games against the Jazz this season. Chris Paul added 23 points for Houston, which plays Game 3 Friday at Salt Lake City.
Thunder GM says Donovan will return
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti says coach Billy Donovan’s job is safe, despite a disappointing season.
Oklahoma City had high expectations this season after trading for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. Even with the added star power, the Thunder won just one more regular-season game than last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Utah.
Palat’s 2 goals help Lightning cruise to 2-1 series lead
The Tampa Bay Lightning now have the upper hand in their Stanley Cup second-round series against the Boston Bruins. And the San Jose Sharks have evened their second-round series with Vegas at a game apiece.
Ondrej Palatscored twice in the first 3:19 to put the Lightning ahead to stay in a 4-1 win at Boston. Anthony Cirelli completed Tampa Bay’s three-goal first period, about 2 ½ minutes after Patrice Bergeron scored on a power play for the Bruins.
Steven Stamkos added an empty-netter and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots in the Lightning’s second straight win since a 6-2 setback in the series opener.
Game 4 is Friday in Boston.
In San Jose, Martin Jones recorded his second shutout of the postseason and sixth of his playoff career by stopping 34 shots in the Sharks’ 4-0 victory over the Golden Knights.
Brenden Dillon set up goals by Marcus Sorensen and Joonas Donskoi four-17 apart late in the first period. Tomas Hertl added a second-period goal and Joe Pavelski capped the scoring midway through the third.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots for the Knights, who will host Game 5 on Friday.
Elsewhere in the league:
— A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Dallas Stars will hire the University of Denver’s Jim Montgomery to be their next head coach. The 48-year-old Montgomery has spent five seasons in charge of the Pioneers and led them to a national title in 2016-17. He would replace Ken Hitchcock, who retired last month and will become a consultant for the Stars.
Three-peats by Betts, Encarnacion
Mookie Betts and Edwin Encarnacion are the latest major leaguers to homer three times in a game this season. In Betts’ case, it’s the second time he’s done it since opening day.
Betts launched three solo blasts while going 4-for-4 to lead the Red Sox past the Royals, 5-4. It’s the fourth three-homer game for the 25-year-old Betts, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Ted Williams for the most in franchise history.
J.D. Martinez also homered and Drew Pomeranz allowed three runs over six innings as the Red Sox improved to an American League-leading 22-8.
Encarnacion tops the Indians with nine home runs after slamming three more in a 12-4 rout of the Rangers. Encarnacion launched a three-run shot in the first inning before adding a two-run blast and a solo homer in Cleveland’s highest-scoring game of the season.
Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor also homered to support Corey Kluber, who improved to 5-1 despite yielding solo homers by Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Juan Centeno.
Cleveland still leads the AL Central by three games over Detroit.
In other major league action:
— The Yankees earned their second straight 4-0 win over the Astros as Luis Severino struck out 10 while allowing five hits in his first career complete game. Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and had four RBIs in the Yankees’ 11th victory in 12 games.
— JaCoby Jones tripled and scored the winning run on John Hicks’ bunt single to send the Tigers to a 12-inning win over the Rays, 3-2. James McCann tied it with a solo shot in the seventh after Michael Fulmer tossed two-run ball over six innings for Detroit.
— Fernando Romero won his major league debut by scattering four hits over 5 2/3 innings of the Twins’ 4-0 shutout of the Blue Jays. Eddie Rosario homered in Minnesota’s second victory in 13 games.
— Jed Lowrie launched a game-tying, two-run homer in the eighth inning and Mark Canha delivered a solo blast in the ninth to lift the Athletics past the Mariners, 3-2. Seattle’s bullpen wasted a fantastic performance by starting James Paxton, who struck out a career-high 16 and held Oakland to five hits over seven shutout innings.
— Albert Pujols is two hits shy of 3,000 after furnishing a homer and a double in the Angels’ 10-7 win against the Orioles. Justin Upton hit a three-run blast and Mike Trout added his 11th homer of the year to tie for the major league lead.
— The Dodgers’ ended a four-game skid and won for the first time in nine tries at Phoenix as Alex Verdugo doubled and scored twice in a 2-1 decision over the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers received 7 2/3 strong innings from the bullpen after Hyun-Jin Ryu left the game with what the ballclub said was a left groin strain.
— Sean Newcomb tossed two-hit ball over a career-high seven innings and the Braves slammed three home runs off Mets relievers in a 7-0 romp in New York. Ender Inciarte and Johan Camargo blasted two-run shots and Ryan Flaherty added a solo shot. Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis each had three this and an RBI to help Atlanta take over first place in the NL East.
— The Phillies were 6-0 winners at Miami behind Aaron Nola, who scattered four hits over 7 1/3 innings to move to 4-1. Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a homer off Jose Urena, who fell to 0-5 and is winless in his last nine starts dating to last season.
— The Nationals earned their fourth straight win as Bryce Harper hit a leadoff homer and drove in three in a 9-3 thrashing of the Pirates. Stephen Strasburg fanned 11 and yielded two earned runs in seven innings to even his record at 3-3.
— Nolan Arenado belted two of Colorado’s four homers and collected five RBIs as the Colorado Rockies blasted the Cubs, 11-2 in Chicago. Trevor Story and Chris Ianetta went deep against Yu Darvish, who was rocked for five earned runs and seven hits over 4 1/3 innings.
— Wade Miley won his season debut by holding the Reds to a run and only three hits over six innings of the Brewers’ 3-1 victory at Cincinnati. Christian Yelich went 2-for-5 with a solo homer for Milwaukee, which leads the NL Central by a half-game over St. Louis.
— Carlos Martinez was the star in the Cardinals’ 3-2 win over the White Sox, smacking his first big league homer and limiting Chicago to a run and five hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings. Dexter Fowler added a two-run homer against the White Sox, who have dropped four straight and 13 of 17 to fall a season-low 12 games under .500.
— The Giants rolled to a 9-4 romp over the Padres as Nick Hundley homered, doubled and matched a career high with four hits. Brandon Crawford drove in three runs to help San Francisco finish 7-3 on their 10-game homestand.
Cueto may meet with Dr. Andrews
Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto may meet with specialist Dr. James Andrews on the team’s upcoming road trip to get his sore pitching elbow evaluated.
Cueto was placed on the disabled list Tuesday night with inflammation in his right elbow. Manager Bruce Bochy later acknowledged that Cueto had been pitching with soreness in his previous two starts.
Cueto leads the majors with a 0.84 ERA.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy says he is feeling discomfort when he runs as he tries to come back from right knee surgery. Murphy says he’s not running the way he would if at 100 percent, adding that it’s frustrating to be unable to play while his teammates compete so hard each night.
— Mets ace Jacob deGrom had to leave Wednesday’s start after four shutout innings because of a hyperextended pitching elbow. DeGrom has thrown 18 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings and seemed in control against the Braves, striking out four straight at one point and lowering his ERA to 1.87.
— Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery could miss up to eight weeks because of strained left flexor in his left elbow. Montgomery left Tuesday’s start with the injury after the first inning. He is 2-0 with a 3.62 ERA in six games this year.
— Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson was pulled from Wednesday’s game against the Mets for precautionary reasons in the sixth inning due to a sore left wrist. The first overall pick in 2015 is batting .289 with two homers and 13 RBIs this year.
— The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with Maricopa County that would give the franchise the immediate right to explore rebuilding Chase Field or moving to another site. The memorandum of understanding also gives the Diamondbacks complete control of Chase and stipulates the team will play there for at least five more seasons unless a new facility is ready elsewhere in the Maricopa County.