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Thursday Sports in Brief

May 27, 2022 GMT

NBA

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson shimmied his way to 32 points and the Golden State Warriors advanced to their sixth NBA Finals in the past eight seasons by beating the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night.

Thompson scored 19 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer that he punctuated with teammate Stephen Curry’s signature shake as the Warriors raced out to a 17-point halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way.

Andrew Wiggins added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Draymond Green scored 17 points and Curry had 15 points and nine assists for Golden State.

Luka Doncic overcame a slow start to score 28 points for the Mavericks. Spencer Dinwiddie added 26.

Golden State will host the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between Boston and Miami on June 2 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics hold a 3-2 lead heading into Game 6 at home on Friday night.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans announced that forward Zion Williamson has been cleared to play this offseason without any restrictions after recent imaging on the fifth metatarsal in his right foot showed continued improvement.

Barring any setbacks, that should pave the way for Williamson’s return next season after missing all of 2021-22.

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick out of Duke in 2019, has been limited to 85 games in three seasons due to injuries. He only played 24 games as a rookie due to a torn meniscus in his right knee.

NHL

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid scored at 5:03 of overtime and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 5-4 on Thursday to win the second-round playoff series in five games and advance to the Western Conference finals.

The Edmonton captain scored his seventh goal of the postseason, beating Jacob Markstrom off a pass from Leon Draisaitl to send the Oilers spilling over the bench in celebration.

Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists and Darnell Nurse, Jesse Puljujarvi and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers. Mike Smith made 32 saves as Edmonton claimed the first postseason Battle of Alberta in 31 years.

The Oilers will face either the Colorado Avalanche or St. Louis Blues in their first conference final appearance since 2006. Colorado leads that series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Friday in St. Louis.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball told its clubs that some are failing to provide acceptable work accommodations for female employees, calling them “embarrassingly below” standard.

The May 20 memorandum from Michael Hill, the MLB senior vice president for on-field operations, asks teams to provide documentation by June 3 of the facilities for home and visiting female coaches and staff. Hill told teams to comply with MLB regulations “as soon as possible.”

The memo was first reported by ESPN and was obtained by The Associated Press.

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball and the players’ association are allowing teams to have an additional pitcher through June 19.

MLB and the union said March 31 that a 13-pitcher limit would be enforced starting May 2, then on April 16 announced the date had been pushed back to May 30. They said Thursday that the 13-pitcher limit will be enforced starting June 20, allowing each team to have 14 pitchers until then.

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MLB and the union said the change was made as they continue to monitor player health.

NEW YORK (AP) — Josh Donaldson has apologized to the wife and family of Jackie Robinson for referencing the pioneering Black baseball player in remarks that led to a confrontation with Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.

The New York Yankees third baseman was suspended for one game and fined on Monday by Major League Baseball. The league said Donaldson’s comment on Saturday was “disrespectful and in poor judgment.” Donaldson has appealed the discipline.

Anderson did not speak with reporters before Thursday’s game against Boston. Scott Miranda, a spokesman for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, said the family had no comment.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The Sugar Bowl has been moved off its usual primetime spot to noon EST Dec. 31 to avoid a conflict with a Monday night NFL game.

The bowl schedule for the upcoming season was released Thursday.

The games begin on Dec. 16 with the Bahamas Bowl and the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida, and end with College Football Playoff championship on Jan 9 at the NFL stadium in Inglewood, California.

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The CFP semifinals will be held Dec. 31, a Saturday, at the Peach and Fiesta bowls.

GYMNASTICS

A former member of the Canadian national gymnastics team wrote a public letter accusing the country’s 2016 Olympic coach of inappropriate and unwanted touching.

The letter by Abby Pearson Spadafora, 38, revealed the latest in a long series of allegations of sexual, emotional and physical abuse by coaches Dave and Elizabeth Brubaker, who have been banned by Gymnastics Canada. Spadafora accused the coach of climbing into bed with her and of reaching his hand underneath her shirt.

“The abuse never stopped,” Spadafora wrote in her letter released Thursday. “My male coach would regularly snap the back of my sports bras when I started wearing them. I was taught that gaining weight and puberty were a bad thing. Injuries were rarely taken seriously, and I was taught to hide the pain.”

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — USA Gymnastics is turning to two of its most-decorated athletes to help guide its women’s elite program.

Alicia Sacramone Quinn and Chellsie Memmel, teammates on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that earned silver in Beijing, are part of the new leadership paradigm within the organization.

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Memmel, the 2005 world champion, will be the technical lead for the women’s program. Sacramone, a 10-time world championship medalist, will serve as the program’s strategic lead. They will be joined in the new system by Dan Baker, who will transition from the elite team women’s developmental coordinator to the developmental lead.

All three will begin their new positions on June 1.

AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, will drive the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International road course on Aug. 21 for Trackhouse Racing.

Raikkonen retired from Formula One last year after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo teams. The Finland native has won 21 races and been on 103 podiums in his F1 career.

He won the F1 World Driving title in 2007 driving for Scuderia Ferrari.

CFL

TORONTO (AP) — The CFL Players’ Association ratified a collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Football League on Thursday night.

The CFLPA made the announcement via email. The players’ vote came hours after the sides hammered out a seven-year tentative agreement — and two days after CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie unveiled the league’s final offer.

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With the players accepting the agreement, the league’s exhibition season will open on time Friday night.

SOCCER

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile hired Eduardo Berizzo as national team coach on Thursday as it seeks to recover from another disappointing performance in South American qualifying for the World Cup finals tournament.

The Chilean soccer association said the 52-year-old Berizzo’s contract will be until the end of the team’s 2026 World Cup qualifying. Its president Pablo Milad said in a video that Berizzo was picked because he has knowledge of the country’s soccer along with extensive international experience.

Uruguayan Martin Lasarte was fired in April after Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Wake Forest has hired American’s Megan Gebbia as its new women’s basketball coach.

The Demon Deacons announced Gebbia’s hiring Thursday evening, a little more than two weeks after the firing of former Demon Deacons all-conference performer Jen Hoover.

The 49-year-old Gebbia had spent the past nine seasons at American, leading the Eagles to three NCAA Tournament bids while twice being named the Patriot League coach of the year. Last year’s team won 23 games and reached the NCAAs.

OBITUARY

NEW YORK (AP) — Jack Kaiser, a former St. John’s baseball player and coach who later guided the New York City university through a changing landscape in 22 years as athletic director, has died. He was 95.

St. John’s said Thursday that Kaiser died Wednesday. The school didn’t provide a cause of death.

Considered the patriarch of the Red Storm athletic department, Kaiser dedicated parts of nine decades to his alma mater, serving as the department’s athletic director emeritus from 1995 until his death.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Reggie Warford, who was Kentucky’s second Black men’s basketball player and first Black basketball player to graduate, has died. He was 67.

Kentucky basketball spokeswoman Deb Moore said Warford’s wife, Marisa, notified coach John Calipari that Warford had died Thursday in Pittsburgh. Warford had dealt with numerous health issues the past decade and underwent a series of transplants.

Tom Payne was Kentucky’s first Black signee in 1969 under legendary coach Adolph Rupp and played the 1970-71 season. In 1972, Warford became coach Joe B. Hall’s first signee after the former assistant succeeded Rupp.

Warford went on to become the Wildcats’ first Black four-year player and graduated in 1976 with a degree in arts and sciences.

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