Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte, the Celtics host the Magic, and the Yanks and Mets continue the Subway Series.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
The Eastern Conference Finals shift to Boston on Saturday for Game 3 of the series between the Magic and Celtics. Boston took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set on Tuesday night, knocking off the Magic in Orlando by a final score of 95-92. Paul Pierce led the way with 28 points for the Celtics in that upset win, while Rajon Rondo tossed in 25 points to go along with eight assists. Kevin Garnett added 10 points and nine rebounds. Dwight Howard had a game-high 30 points in Game 2′s losing cause for the Magic, while Vince Carter and J.J. Redick had 16 points each. The Celtics are 3-point home favorites for Saturday’s game.
Meeting up on the diamond . . .
The Yankees and Mets will continue their interleague series on Saturday night, with Phil Hughes (5-0, 2.25 ERA) slated to take on Mike Pelfrey (5-1, 3.02 ERA) in the day’s Big Apple battle. Righthander Hughes is coming off his worst performance of the season; he gave up five earned runs on six hits over just five innings of work in a no-decision against the Red Sox on Monday. Righthander Pelfrey got back into the win column in his last trip to the mound, holding the Braves to two earned runs on seven hits over 7 2-3 innings of work on Monday.
Also on the MLB schedule for Saturday: Atlanta at Pittsburgh, the Angels at St. Louis, Florida at the White Sox, San Francisco at Oakland, Baltimore at Washington, Colorado at Kansas City, Milwaukee at Minnesota, Tampa Bay at Houston, Cincinnati at Cleveland, Detroit at the Dodgers, the Cubs at Texas, Toronto at Arizona, San Diego at Seattle, and Boston at Philadelphia. Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1, 7.89 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the Red Sox on Saturday, with Kyle Kendrick (2-1, 5.24 ERA) going for the Phillies. Dice-K was ripped by the Yankees in his last outing, allowing seven runs over 4 2-3 innings.
Taking a trip around the rink . . .
The Canadiens will be looking to tie up the Eastern Conference final on Saturday afternoon when they host the Flyers in Game 4 of the set. Montreal cut the series deficit to 2-1 with a 5-1 win in Game 3 at home on Thursday night. Michael Cammalleri, Tom Pyatt, Dominic Moore, Brian Gionta, and Marc-Andre Bergeron all scored for the Habs in Thursday’s victory, while Jaroslav Halak bounced back from a rough start to the series by stopping 25 of 26 shots. Simon Gagne scored his seventh goal of the playoffs for Philly, and Michael Leighton made 33 saves.
Roaring around the track . . .
The Sprint Cup Series takes a break from its points races on Saturday to stage its annual All-Star event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson has been pegged as the 5/1 Vegas favorite to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Challenge, with Kyle Busch just behind him on that odds list at 11/2. Tony Stewart sits at 15/2 odds to grab the victory, with Jeff Gordon at 8/1, and each of Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, and Kevin Harvick back at 10/1. Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin are both at 12/1 on that Vegas chart to claim the win on Saturday.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
Finally, the WNBA offers up three games for Saturday, with Los Angeles at San Antonio, Indiana at Chicago, and Seattle at Phoenix. The Storm are 2-0 so far this season, beating Minnesota 79-76 in their last game on Wednesday night. Swin Cash had 24 points for Seattle in that contest, while Lauren Jackson was good for 18 points. The 1-0 Mercury got past Los Angeles 78-77 in their opener.
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