Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The PGA Tour hits the links in Memphis, while the O's host the Yankees, and the Lakers and Celtics match up in Game 4 of their Finals.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
The Lakers will be looking to take a 3-1 stranglehold on the NBA Finals on Thursday night when they play on the road against the Celtics again in Game 4 of the set. Los Angeles took a 2-1 series lead with a 91-84 victory in Boston in Game 3 on Tuesday night. Kobe Bryant was good for a game-high 29 points for the Lakers in that contest, while Pau Gasol picked up 13 points and 10 rebounds. Derek Fisher added 16 points for Los Angeles in that win. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 25 points in Tuesday's losing cause, while Paul Pierce chipped in with 15 points. Oddsmakers had pegged the Celtics as the 2.5-point home fave for Game 3, which ended up an UNDER result.
Meeting up on the diamond . . .
On the American League schedule for Thursday it'll be Detroit at the White Sox, the Angels at Oakland, Boston at Cleveland, Toronto at Tampa Bay, Seattle at Texas, Kansas City at Minnesota, and the Yankees at Baltimore. New York's A.J. Burnett (6-3, 3.72 ERA) is slated to take on the Orioles' Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in that last matchup. Righthander Burnett was knocked around by the Blue Jays in his last trip to the mound, giving up six earned runs over his six innings of work. Burnett, though, has beaten the O's twice this season. Righthander Arrieta will be making his big-league debut Thursday night after going 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA for Triple-A Norfolk this season.
The National League on Thursday offers up San Francisco at Cincinnati, San Diego at the Mets (in a doubleheader), the Cubs at Milwaukee, Atlanta at Arizona, Florida at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh at Washington, and Houston at Colorado. The Astros' Roy Oswalt (3-8, 3.22 ERA) will take on the Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin (3-4, 3.77 ERA). Righthander Oswalt had a rough outing in his last start, giving up six earned runs on nine hits over seven innings vs. the Cubs. Righthander Chacin fell to the Diamondbacks in his last start, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits over 5 2-3 innings despite striking out nine batters in the loss.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
The PGA Tour tunes up for the U.S. Open with the St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis starting on Thursday. Both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be skipping this week's tournament, leaving Lee Westwood as the 12/1 Vegas favorite to pick up the victory. Rory McIlroy is next on that odds list at 15/1, followed by both Robert Allenby and Padraig Harrington at 18/1. Zach Johnson is back at 22/1 to win this week, with defending champion Brian Gay getting 25/1 odds to score the repeat.
Finally, there's just one game on the WNBA schedule for Thursday, with Minnesota (2-7 straight-up, 3-6 against-the-spread) at Phoenix (3-5 SU, 2-6 ATS). The Lynx were blasted 89-51 at home by Indiana in their last game, with Candice Wiggins scoring a team-high 11 points for Minnesota in that defeat. Seimone Augustus (abdominal surgery) and Lindsay Whalen (illness) both sat out for the Lynx. The Mercury fell 92-91 on the road to Los Angeles in their last game, with Diana Taurasi pouring in 21 points.