Daily Sports Roundup: April 24th

Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The Thunder rumble with the Lakers, the Cardinals take on the Giants and the Senators try to stay alive against the Penguins.

Tipping off on the hardwood…

There are four games on the NBA playoff slate today: Orlando at Charlotte, Phoenix at Portland, Atlanta at Milwaukee and the Lakers at Oklahoma City. The Thunder made it a series on Thursday night with a 101-96 win to cut the Lakers’ series lead to 2-1. Kevin Durant led the way for the Thunder with 29 points and 19 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook chipped in with 27 points and eight boards. Kobe Bryant netted 24 points for the Lakers, but he couldn’t hit his shots late after Durant took over guarding him.

Meeting up on the diamond…

In the American League today the matchups include Cleveland at Oakland, the Yankees at the Angels, Seattle at the White Sox, Minnesota at Kansas City, Baltimore at Boston and Detroit at Texas. The Blue Jays and Rays also square off with both teams sending young pitchers to the hill. Toronto gives the ball to southpaw Rickey Romero (1-1, 1.57), who’s coming off his first loss of the season despite holding the Angels to one run over eight innings. The Rays will start Jeff Niemann (1-0, 2.93). and he recorded his first win last time out after allowing only two runs in seven innings versus the Red Sox.

The National League schedule today includes the Dodgers at Washington, San Diego at Cincinnati, Atlanta at the Mets, Pittsburgh at Houston, the Cubs at Milwaukee, Florida at Colorado and Philadelphia at Arizona. The Cardinals and Giants also continue their series today with Adam Wainwright (3-0, 1.50) getting the call for St. Louis and Barry Zito (2-0, 1.86) on the bump for San Francisco. Wainwright tossed a complete-game four-hitter against the Mets in his last start. Zito has turned back the clock so far this season and allowed only one run in seven innings versus the Dodgers in his last outing.

Taking a trip around the rink…

On the ice today there are three playoff games on the schedule: San Jose at Colorado, Nashville at Chicago and Pittsburgh at Ottawa. Both the Sharks and Penguins can advance to the second round with a win tonight.

The Sharks took a 3-2 series lead on Thursday night after smoking the Avalanche 5-0. Logan Couture netted a pair of goals for San Jose, while Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves to record the shutout.

The Senators staved off elimination on Thursday night by nipping Pittsburgh 4-3 in triple overtime. Matt Carkner was a surprising scorer of the game-winner and Pascal Leclaire had a strong game in nets, making 56 saves after taking over the starting gig from Brian Elliott.

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