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NBA season heading to a dramatic conclusion

UNDATED (AP) — It’s the final day of the NBA regular season, with much still to be determined. LeBron James and the defending champion Lakers may be one game away from the playoffs. Or they may be one game away from the play-in tournament, and a possible high-stakes showdown against Stephen Curry. If the Lakers beat New Orleans tonight and Portland loses to Denver, the Lakers will go straight to the playoffs as a top-six seed. But if they lose to the Pelicans, or if Portland wins, they’ll be in a play-in game against Golden State or Memphis on Wednesday.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Chris Bosh, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber and Jay Wright are among 16 new members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The class of 2021 announced today also includes Paul Pierce and WNBA stars Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson, along with Bill Russell. Forty-six years after being selected to the Hall of Fame as a player, Russell enters again as a coach.

UNDATED (AP) — The second day of the NHL playoffs features three first-round series openers. The Pittsburgh Penguins are taking on the New York Islanders, hoping to avenge a first-round sweep at the hands of the Islanders two years ago. The Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild meet in the postseason for the first time on the Las Vegas Strip. And the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning visit the upstart Florida Panthers in their first postseason meeting. The Washington Capitals kicked off the playoffs last night with an overtime win over Boston.

BALTIMORE (AP) — The New York Yankees have had another positive COVID-19 test, this one involving a staff member. Manager Aaron Boone made the announcement before the Yankees’ game against the Orioles at Camden Yards. Boone didn’t identify the staff member, saying only that he was part of the team’s support staff. Another staff member was unavailable because of contact tracing. The Yankees have had nine total positives within the traveling party since Monday — three coaches, five staffers and shortstop Gleyber Torres.

ROME (AP) — Rafael Nadal has beaten a tired Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 for a record-extending 10th Italian Open title. The Spaniard recovered from a potentially dangerous fall after tripping over a raised line to take the latest installment of the most-played rivalry in modern men’s tennis. French Open champion Iga Swiatek routed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the women’s final.

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