Friday, April 17
Back to work for Indians, Reds
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Both the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds had off. Cleveland opens a three-game series in Minnesota today, when AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber pitches for the Indians and Mike Pelfrey takes the mound for the Twins. The Reds start a three-game series in St. Louis today, with Johnny Cueto facing Michael Wacha again.
Warriors? Cavs? No clear NBA Finals favorite
CLEVELAND (AP) — When the NBA postseason opens this weekend, there will be plenty of championship contenders but perhaps no clear favorite.
The Golden State Warriors were the NBA's best team this season. LeBron James has been on top before, though never in Cleveland.
With LeBron James gone from Miami, so are the days of penciling in one half of the NBA Finals matchup. The Heat reached the last four finals, winning two of them, before James returned to Cleveland last July.
The Cavaliers don't even have the best record in the Eastern Conference, finishing in second place behind Atlanta. But they have rolled through the second half of the season so easily that it's hard not to consider this No. 2 as the one.
The Cavs start Sunday against Boston, a familiar foe for James and the one that ended his last postseason in a Cavaliers uniform.
NBA to start HGH testing
NEW YORK (AP) — NBA players will be blood tested for human growth hormone beginning next season. The league and the Players Association have that HGH testing will start during training camp next fall. All players will be subjected to three random, unannounced tests annually — two during the season and once in the offseason.
A positive test will result in a 20-game suspension for a first violation and a 45-game ban for a second violation. A player would be dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for his third violation.
NBA sets attendance mark
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA heads into the post-season on the heels of a record year in attendance. The league drew nearly 22 million fans during the 2014-15 regular season.
The league said Thursday that the final total of 21,926,548 fans surpassed the 21,841,480 from 2006-07. It also represented a 2.4 percent increase from last season's final attendance of 21,392,721.
There were 700 sellouts, shattering the previous best of 676 from 20 years ago. NBA arenas were filled to 94 percent capacity, another record and the 11th straight season at 90 percent or higher.
The league's average attendance of 17,826 was also its best ever, edging the 17,757 from 2006-07.