Daily Sports Roundup: May 8th

Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The Yankees continue their set at Fenway, the Jazz play host to the Lakers, and the Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington.

Tipping off on the hardwood . . .

The NBA playoff schedule for Saturday offers up Orlando at Atlanta and the Lakers at Utah. The Magic took a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with a 112-98 home win in Game 2 on Thursday night. Dwight Howard led the way with 29 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando in that victory, while Vince Carter was good for 24 points and seven boards. Al Horford led Atlanta with 24 points. The Lakers are also up 2-0 in their Western Conference semifinal series after getting past the Jazz 111-103 at home in Game 2 on Tuesday night. Kobe Bryant poured in 30 points in that win for Los Angeles, and Pau Gasol added 22.

Meeting up on the diamond . . .

The American League schedule for Saturday has Detroit at Cleveland, Baltimore at Minnesota (in a doubleheader), Tampa Bay at Oakland, Toronto at the White Sox, Kansas City at Texas, the Angels at Seattle, and the Yankees at Boston. CC Sabathia (4-1, 2.74 ERA) will take on Clay Buchholz (3-2, 2.97 ERA) in the New York/Boston matchup. Lefthander Sabathia beat the Orioles in his last trip to the mound, holding them to one earned run on six hits over eight innings of work. Righthander Buchholz picked up the win against the Angels in his last trip to the mound, surrendering four earned runs on eight hits over his 5 2-3 innings pitched.

Over in the National League on Saturday it’ll be Florida at Washington, Atlanta at Philadelphia, St. Louis at Pittsburgh, San Diego at Houston, the Cubs at Cincinnati, Milwaukee at Arizona, Colorado at the Dodgers, and San Francisco at the Mets. Todd Wellemeyer (1-3, 5.55 ERA) will take on Johan Santana (3-2, 4.50 ERA) in that last contest. Righthander Wellemeyer last started on April 27, when he held the Phillies to two earned runs on three hits over seven innings. Lefthander Santana was thumped by the Phillies in his last start, surrendering 10 earned runs on eight hits over just 3 2-3 innings, and striking out just one batter.

Taking a trip around the rink . . .

There are two NHL playoff games on the schedule for Saturday, with Detroit at San Jose and Montreal at Pittsburgh. The Red Wings avoided elimination on Thursday night with a 7-1 home over the Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series. Johan Franzen exploded for four goals and two assists for Detroit in that victory, while Jimmy Howard stopped 28 of 29 San Jose shots to cut the series deficit to 3-1. The Canadiens tied up their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Penguins at 2-2 with a 3-2 win at home in Game 4 on Thursday. Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves for the Habs in that victory.

Roaring around the track . . .

Finally, the Sprint Cup Series takes the track at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night for the Showtime Southern 500. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Kyle Busch, all past Cup winners at the track, are listed as the 6/1 co-favorites to visit victory lane on Saturday night, with Denny Hamlin just behind that group at 9/1 to take the checkered flag in the event. Mark Martin, who won the Southern 500 at Darlington last season, is pegged at 12/1 odds for Saturday, while two-time Darlington champ Greg Biffle (2005 and 2006) is at 20/1 odds to grab the victory.

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