Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The PGA Tour tees off at Colonial, the Red Sox play host to the Royals, and the Lakers and Suns play in Game 5 of the Western Finals.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
It’ll be Game 5 in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals in Los Angeles on Thursday night, with the series knotted at two games apiece after the Suns took Game 4 by a score of 115-106 at home on Tuesday. Amare Stoudemire tossed in 21 points for the Suns in that victory, while Channing Frye and Leandro Barbosa each picked up 14 points off the bench. Steve Nash was good for 15 points and eight assists on the night. Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 38 points in Tuesday’s losing cause for the Lakers, while Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom each contributed 15 points in the matchup.
Meeting up on the diamond . . .
There are just four games on the American League’s schedule for Thursday, with Oakland at Baltimore, the White Sox at Tampa Bay, the Yankees at Minnesota, and Kansas City at Boston. The Royals are slated to send Brian Bannister (3-3, 4.72 ERA) to the mound in that last matchup against Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-1, 5.76 ERA). Righthander Bannister has picked up the win in each of his past two starts, holding the Rockies and White Sox to a combined five earned runs over 13 1-3 innings pitched. Righthander Matsuzaka turned in a stellar outing against the Phillies in his last trip to the mound, tossing eight scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
Over in the National League on Thursday it’ll be Houston at Milwaukee, the Dodgers at the Cubs, Arizona at Colorado, Washington at San Francisco, St. Louis at San Diego, and Atlanta at Florida. The Braves will go with Tim Hudson (5-1, 2.09 ERA) on Thursday night, while the Marlins counter with Ricky Nolasco (4-3, 4.50 ERA). Righthander Hudson has won each of his last three starts, and he shut out the Pirates on three hits over eight innings in his most recent outing. Righthander Nolasco was bombed by the White Sox in his last start, surrendering eight runs in just 5 1-3 innings.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
The PGA Tour will begin the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday, with Phil Mickelson pegged as the 7/1 Vegas favorite to win the tournament. Jim Furyk is next on that odds list at 15/1, followed by Paul Casey at 20/1, Tim Clark at 22/1, and Steve Stricker at 25/1. Ben Crane is set at 28/1 odds to win at Colonial this week, with Hunter Mahan and Ian Poulter listed at 30/1 to claim that title.
Finally, there are two games on the WNBA’s schedule for Thursday, with Minnesota at Connecticut and Seattle at Chicago. The Storm (4-0 straight-up, 2-2 against-the-spread) remained undefeated on the season by getting past Washington 82-76 in their last contest; Sue Bird and Tanisha Wright each picked up 16 points for Seattle in that victory. The Sky (0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS) fell 69-61 to Indiana last time out and remain winless in 2010. Cathrine Kraayeveld tossed in 11 points for the Sky in that road loss.