Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The Lakers and Suns continue the Western Finals in Phoenix, and the Flyers and Blackhawks begin the Stanley Cup final up in Chicago.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
The Lakers will be looking to wrap up the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night when they play in Phoenix against the Suns in Game 6 of the set. Los Angeles took a 3-2 series lead with a 103-101 last-second win as a 7.5-point home favorite in Game 5 on Thursday night. Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers with 30 points, 11 boards, and nine assists in that contest, while Derek Fisher was good for 22 points on the night. Pau Gasol chipped in with 21 points. Steve Nash picked up a team-high 29 points and 11 assists in the defeat for the Suns, and Amare Stoudemire had 19 points.
Meeting up on the diamond . . .
The American League schedule for Saturday has Cleveland at the Yankees, Baltimore at Toronto, Seattle at the Angels, Texas at Minnesota, Oakland at Detroit, the White Sox at Tampa Bay, and Kansas City at Boston. Zack Greinke (1-5, 3.57 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the Royals in that last matchup, while the Red Sox counter with Clay Buchholz (6-3, 3.07 ERA). Righthander Greinke was pounded by the Rockies in his most recent trip to the mound, surrendering seven earned runs over just 3 1-3 innings of work. Righthander Buchholz is coming off a strong outing against the Rays in which he picked up the win while allowing just one earned run over his six innings.
Meanwhile, the National League on Saturday offers up St. Louis at the Cubs, Houston at Cincinnati, Pittsburgh at Atlanta, the Mets at Milwaukee, the Dodgers at Colorado, Washington at San Diego, Arizona at San Francisco, and Philadelphia at Florida. Roy Halladay (6-3, 2.22 ERA) is slated to take on Josh Johnson (5-1, 2.43 ERA) in that Phillies/Marlins contest. Righthander Halladay was tagged with his second straight loss last time out, allowing six earned runs over 5 2-3 innings against the Red Sox. Righthander Johnson didn’t give up a run in either of his last two starts, holding the White Sox and Diamondbacks scoreless on just eight hits over his 13 innings of work.
Taking a trip around the rink . . .
The Stanley Cup final gets underway in Chicago on Saturday night, with the Hawks playing host to the Flyers in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. Chicago bounced the top-seeded Sharks out of the playoffs by wrapping up the Western Conference final with a 4-2 win last Sunday. Dustin Byfuglien had the game-winning goal for the Hawks in that game, while Antti Niemi made 16 saves. Philadelphia beat Montreal 4-2 on Monday night to take the Eastern Conference crown, with Jeff Carter scoring twice and Michael Leighton stopping 25 of 27 shots. Oddsmakers have the Blackhawks pegged as the -200 home favorites for Saturday’s game, with the total set at 5.5 goals.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
Finally, there are two games on the WNBA’s schedule for Saturday, with Chicago at Minnesota and Indiana at Tulsa. The Fever (2-2 straight-up, 2-2 against-the-spread) beat Chicago 69-61 in their last contest; Tamika Catchings scored 13 points for Indiana in that victory. The Shock (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) were beaten 110-96 by Phoenix last time out, with Amber Holt pouring in 20 points off the bench for Tulsa in the defeat.