Anaheim Ducks hold off Stars 4-3 in series opener
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to win his NHL playoff debut, and the Anaheim Ducks opened the postseason with a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Getzlaf and Mathieu Perreault scored in a dominant first period for the top-seeded Ducks, who began their playoff run on a dead sprint. Anaheim led 4-0 midway through the second period before Dallas got rolling in its first playoff game since 2008.
Captain Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour had power-play goals, and Tyler Seguin scored with 6:07 left to trim the Ducks' lead to one. Anaheim hung on with a handful of big saves from Andersen, a 24-year-old Danish rookie.
Game 2 is Friday.
Grizzlies grab 7th seed, beat Dallas 106-105 in OT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies grabbed the Western Conference's No. 7 seed away from Dallas by edging the Mavericks 106-105 on Wednesday night in the regular season finale.
Monta Ellis missed a 17-footer before Conley drew the foul driving to the basket. Dallas had one last shot, but Ellis missed from the top of the key.
Memphis became the seventh team in the West with 50 wins this season. The Grizzlies, who set a franchise record with a 14th straight home win in a single season, will open the postseason Saturday at Oklahoma City.
Avoiding No. 1 seed San Antonio in the first round was the only thing on the line, and Memphis has lost 14 of its last 16 against the Spurs with the Mavericks losing nine straight.
Hill leads Lakers over Spurs in finale, 113-100
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Jordan Hill had 18 points and 14 rebounds and the Lakers closed their worst season since they moved to Los Angeles with a 113-100 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.
Nick Young scored 16 points and Kendall Marshall added 15 points to help Los Angeles close the season with a two-game winning streak.
The Lakers are expected to look dramatically different next season after finishing with their worst record since moving to Los Angeles.
Kawhi Leonard had 14 points to lead San Antonio, which did not have anyone play more than 27 minutes. The Spurs (62-19) had an opportunity to match their best record, but opted to rest in preparation for defense of their conference title.
Evans leads Pelicans past Rockets, 105-100
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tyreke Evans had 25 points and 10 assists, and the New Orleans Pelicans closed out a difficult season with a crowd pleasing 105-100 victory over the playoff-bound Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
It was the second straight victory for the Pelicans, both starring Evans' relentless hustle and forceful dribble-drives, despite nearly being held out of the low-stakes contests with a bruised right knee. He scored twice in the final minutes as New Orleans took the lead for good in a game that was close throughout.
Austin Rivers added 18 points and Anthony Morrow 15 for the Pelicans, who shot 52.4 percent.
Troy Daniels hit 6 3s and finished with 22 points for Houston, which rested James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin.
Rangers rally for 2 in 9th to beat Mariners 3-2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Leonys Martin had a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning as the Texas Rangers scored two unearned runs in a two-out rally against Fernando Rodney, beating the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Wednesday night in a game that started as a battle of aces.
Rodney retired the first two in the ninth before Kevin Kouzmanoff's single that ricocheted off the glove of sliding shortstop Brad Miller and dribbled into the outfield. Mitch Moreland drew a walk before pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy's grounder was fielded by Miller, whose toss to second base was high and allowed Moreland to slide in safely.
Martin had the winner after Rodney's wild pitch allowed the tying run to score.
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez struck out nine and had retired 10 in a row before Martin's leadoff triple in the eighth ended the big right-hander's night. Yu Darvish struck out eight in seven innings for the Rangers.
Homer by Moustakas lifts Royals over Astros 6-4
HOUSTON (AP) - Mike Moustakas homered in the 11th inning to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
Moustakas has been off to a tough start this season and was hitting .098 before his solo shot to the seats in right field off Jerome Williams (0-1) to lead off the 11th.
A small group of Royals fans stood and yelled 'Moooooose' as he rounded the bases after his first homer this year.
Jarrod Dyson singled and added an insurance run on a fielder's choice.
Danny Duffy (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Greg Holland allowed a hit and a walk in a scoreless 11th for his fifth save.
Jason Castro and Marc Krauss both had two-run home runs for the Astros. Heralded Houston prospect George Springer made his major league debut, batting second and playing right field.
The 24-year-old, who hit 37 homers combined in Double-A and Triple-A last season, singled and walked, but struck out with one out and a runner on first in the 11th.
Astros' Springer to make debut
HOUSTON (AP) - Highly touted prospect George Springer is making his major league debut on Wednesday night, batting second and playing right field for the Houston Astros.
He's the first of a group of top prospects expected to help the Astros back to respectability after three straight 100-loss seasons.
Springer says: "I have to understand who I am as a player and I understand what I can do, and just go out there and treat this like it's any other game ... and try to help the Houston Astros win."
The 24-year-old outfielder had 37 homers and 108 RBIs with 45 stolen bases combined in Double-A and Triple-A last year. He was off to a strong start in Triple-A this season, too, hitting .353 with three homers and nine RBIs.
Rangers' Saunders cuts short bullpen session
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Texas Rangers left-hander Joe Saunders cut short a bullpen session Wednesday because of pain in his left ankle.
Saunders has been on the disabled list since getting hit by a line drive in his only start, April 4 at Tampa Bay. An MRI showed only a bone bruise.
The Rangers said Saunders had persistent pain after "he started to ramp it up" during his session Wednesday. He will try another bullpen session in a few days.
Right-hander Daniel McCutchen, designated for assignment Monday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock.
Texas also agreed to a minor league contract with Scott Cousins, a left-handed throwing outfielder they will try to convert to a pitcher. He played in 135 games for Miami and the Los Angeles Angels from 2010-13.
Texas A&M QB Joeckel to transfer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel will leave the school to try and use his final year of eligibility elsewhere.
Joeckel has graduated from A&M and won't have to sit out before playing elsewhere.
He appeared in five games last season and started A&M's opener when Johnny Manziel was suspended for the first half against Rice.
Joeckel threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns in 2013.
The move leaves the Aggies with freshman Kyle Allen, who was rated the top quarterback prospect in the nation, and sophomore Kenny Hill to compete for the job left open when Manziel declared for the NFL draft.
IndyCar drivers calmer after Long Beach tempers
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Tony Kanaan got a text of apology from Ryan Hunter-Reay and is ready to move forward, just like most of the IndyCar drivers after a wild weekend in Long Beach.
Kanaan and IndyCar points leader Will Power were among 18 drivers taking part in an open Firestone tire test Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway, only three days after tempers flared and so many drivers were mad at each other after the race.
Power says he hasn't spoken to Simon Pagenaud since trying to apologize after the contact between the two Sunday. Power says drivers just need to forget it and move on, and that what happened is just part of racing.
Kanaan was among seven cars involved in the wreck triggered by race leader Hunter-Reay.
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