NBA-ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Cavs' Irving honored
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Guard Kyrie (KY'-ree) Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers has won the NBA's Rookie of the Year award. Coming out of Duke, Irving was the No. 1 overall pick of the Cavaliers. He led all rookies by averaging 18.5 points per game. He also averaged 5.4 assists, finished first among rookies in field-goal percentage and dominated several games in the fourth quarter, rallying Cleveland to wins.
Irving received 117 of 120 possible first-place votes from a nationwide media panel of 120 writers and broadcasters. He finished with 592 points, way ahead of Minnesota's Ricky Rubio (ROO'-bee-oh).
Irving is the second Cleveland player to win the award, joining LeBron James in 2004. Irving's arrival has helped the Cavaliers continue to rebuild following James' departure as a free agent two years ago.
The Cavaliers should be able to add some pieces to surround Irving in next month's draft. Cleveland has three of the top 34 picks and has a chance to win the draft lottery
Two games tonight
UNDATED (AP) — The Spurs and Clippers open up their NBA Western Conference semifinal tonight in San Antonio and visiting L.A. is a tired and banged up team. That's not the best scenario when your next opponent is well rested, has a long winning streak and home court advantage.
First off, the Clippers key player, Blake Griffin, is nursing a sprained left knee. He was limited to just two minutes in the fourth quarter of game 7 of L.A.'s win over Memphis. Coach Vinny Del Negro said on Monday that Griffin would be a game-day decision, but Griffin says there is no doubt he will be in the lineup for tonight's game.
L.A.'s All-Star Chris Paul said Monday that his bothersome right hip is OK, and forward Caron (kuh-RAHN') Butler is expected to play despite his broken left hand.
All this and the Clippers have to play the Spurs, who have won 14 straight games. San Antonio is a well-rested team, not having played in eight days.
The clubs met three times during the regular season with the Spurs winning twice.
Tonight's other game is in Miami where the Heat will attempt to take a 2-0 lead over the Pacers in their Eastern Conference semifinal. Miami won the opening game on Sunday, 95-86.
The Heat suffered a key injury in that opening game as Chris Bosh suffered a strained lower abdominal muscle. The club says he is out "indefinitely."
Bosh was hurt late in the first half as he drove for a dunk and got fouled by Indiana's Roy Hibbert. The foul almost certainly played no role in the injury, as Bosh fell forward to his hands and knees after landing and stayed down for a few seconds. He got up and made his free throw, but dropped to the court again on the ensuing possession, leaving the game for evaluation.
Busy Afternoon of action
UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals is going for his fourth win in as many decisions this afternoon. The Nats are home to San Diego. Strasburg has an earned run average of just 1.64 and has 50 strikeouts this season. In his last outing, against the Pirates, he had 13 whiffs and at one point struck out seven straight hitters.
In another National League afternoon game Kyle Lohse (lohsh) of the Cardinals is gunning for his sixth win in seven decisions. The Cards are home to the Cubs. Lohse has 27 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.08.
The final NL afternoon game has Houston playing at Philadelphia.
Tonight in the senior circuit the Braves are hosting the Reds, Milwaukee is in New York to face the Mets, Miami is entertaining Pittsburgh, Arizona plays the Dodgers in L.A. and Colorado is at San Francisco.
In the American League this afternoon, Cleveland is at Minnesota. The Indians edged the Twins last night 5-4 as Shin-Soo Choo drove in the game winning run in the top of the ninth and Chris Perez earned his Major League-leading 12th save. Derek Lowe of the Tribe is going for his sixth win in seven decisions.
The White Sox and Tigers resume their American League Central Division showdown in Chicago this afternoon. The Sox won last night. And in Boston, the Red Sox are playing host to Seattle.
In the junior circuit this evening, the Yankees are in Baltimore as CC Sabathia (suh-BATH'-ee-uh) pitches for his sixth win. He starts the day 5-0. The Angels are home to Oakland, Tampa Bay is at Toronto and Kansas City is at Texas.
Coyotes to entertain Kings
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The second game of the NHL's Western Conference final is on tap this evening in Glendale, Ariz. The visiting Los Angeles Kings won the opening game of the best of seven series, 4-2, two days ago. The Kings are a well-rested team, enjoying a week off after eliminating the Blues before starting the series with Phoenix. They outshot the Coyotes 17-4 in the opening period of the first game Sunday night.
The Kings have won six straight road playoff games, one short of the NHL record for one postseason.
Game 3 will take place in Los Angeles Thursday night.