Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: Tiger Woods returns to the links at the Memorial tournament, and the Celtics and Lakers get the NBA Finals underway in Los Angeles.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
The NBA Finals tip off on Thursday, with Boston at the Lakers in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. The Celtics finished off the Magic at home in the Eastern Conference Finals, winning 96-84 in Game 6. Paul Pierce led Boston’s attack with 31 points in that contest, while Ray Allen was good for 20 points, and Rajon Rondo picked up 14 points. Los Angeles needed six games to topple Phoenix in the Western Conference Final, winning 111-103 on the road on Saturday to put an end to that series. Kobe Bryant poured in 37 points in that contest. The oddsmakers have the Lakers set as the 5.5-point home favorites for Thursday’s game, with the total for the night at 192 points.
Meeting up on the diamond . . .
There are just nine games on the MLB schedule for Thursday, with Washington at Houston, Milwaukee at Florida, Atlanta at the Dodgers, Cleveland at Detroit, Baltimore at the Yankees, Oakland at Boston, Texas at the White Sox, Minnesota at Seattle, and the Angels at Kansas City. Jered Weaver (4-2, 3.01 ERA) is expected to get the ball for Los Angeles on Thursday, with Zack Greinke (1-6, 3.39 ERA) taking the mound for the Royals. Righthander Weaver took a no-decision against the M’s last time out despite giving up just one unearned run on three hits over seven innings. Righthander Greinke was a hard-luck loser against Boston last game, giving up one run over his six innings.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
The PGA Tour hits the links at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio on Thursday morning for the start of the Memorial Tournament. Defending champion Tiger Woods has been pegged as the 6/1 Vegas favorite for this week’s event as he tries to shake off the neck injury that has been keeping him out of action. Phil Mickelson is next on that oddsmakers’ list at 8/1, with Ernie Els and Jim Furyk both at 18/1 odds to grab the trophy this week. Rory McIlroy rounds out the Memorial’s top five at 20/1 odds, with Steve Stricker and Adam Scott among a group of golfers pegged at 25/1 to get the win.
Finally, there’s one game on the WNBA schedule for Thursday, with San Antonio at Indiana. The Silver Stars (2-3 straight-up, 2-3 against-the-spread) were throttled 84-56 by Seattle in their last outing; Roneeka Hodges tossed in a team-high 12 points off the bench for San Antonio in that defeat. The Fever (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) were beaten 79-74 by Tulsa last time out, with Tamika Catchings scoring 15 points for Indiana that game.