Today in the Daily Sports Roundup: The conference finals get underway in both the NBA and the NHL, while the drivers take to the track in the Sprint Cup Series.
Tipping off on the hardwood . . .
The NBA's Eastern Conference Finals begins on Sunday afternoon with Boston at Orlando. The Celtics completed their upset victory over LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Thursday night, winning Game 6 by a score of 94-85 at TD Garden. Kevin Garnett poured in a team-high 22 points for Boston in that contest to go along with 12 rebounds, with Rajon Rondo added 21 points on the night. Rasheed Wallace and Paul Pierce each scored 13 points. The Magic swept the Hawks in the second round of the playoffs, and they have yet to be tagged with a loss during the postseason. The oddsmakers have listed Orlando as the 6.5-point home favorite for Sunday's matchup, with the total for the game at 189.5 points.
Meeting up on the diamond . . .
The American League schedule for Sunday has Boston at Detroit, Minnesota at the Yankees, Texas at Toronto, Cleveland at Baltimore, the White Sox at Kansas City, Oakland at the Angels, and Seattle at Tampa Bay. The Mariners' Cliff Lee (1-1, 2.01 ERA) will take on the Rays' Matt Garza (5-1, 2.49 ERA) in that last matchup. Lefthander Lee was beaten by the Rays in his May 5 outing, as he gave up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits over his eight innings of work. Righthander Garza grabbed the win for Tampa Bay in that contest, surrendering just two earned runs on five hits over his eight innings of work, and fanning five.
Over in the National League on Sunday it'll be the Mets at Florida, St. Louis at the Cincinnati, Pittsburgh at the Cubs, Washington at Colorado, the Dodgers at San Diego, Houston at San Francisco, Philadelphia at Milwaukee, and Arizona at Atlanta. Dan Haren (4-2, 4.23 ERA) will take on Tim Hudson (3-1, 2.64 ERA) in that last matchup. Righthander Haren was tagged with a loss by the Dodgers in his last trip to the mound, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits over his 6 1-3 innings of work. Righthander Hudson is coming off a win over the Brewers in his last start in which he surrendered just one earned run over his six innings of work.
Taking a trip around the rink . . .
The NHL also begins its conference finals on Sunday, with Chicago at San Jose in the west, and Montreal at Philadelphia in the east. The Blackhawks dispatched the Canucks in the second round of the playoffs, winning the Game 6 clincher 5-1 in Vancouver on Tuesday night. The Sharks, meanwhile, completed their five-game series win over the Red Wings last Saturday night. The Canadiens needed all seven games to get past the defending-champion Penguins in the Eastern semis, locking up that set with a 5-2 road win on Wednesday night. And the Flyers came back from an 0-3 deficit in both the series and Game 7 on Friday night to eliminate the Bruins, getting a game-winning marker from Simon Gagne.
Roaring around the track . . .
The Sprint Cup Series takes the track at Dover International Speedway on Sunday afternoon for the Autism Speaks 400, with Jimmie Johnson looking to pick up his third consecutive win on the track. Johnson visited victory lane at Dover twice last season, claiming both the AAA 400 in September and the Autism Speaks 400 in May. Those results have made Johnson a +500 favorite to win on Sunday along with teammate Jeff Gordon. Kyle Busch, who won at Dover in 2008, is sitting at +600 for Sunday, with Denny Hamlin just back of him on that list at +800. Hamlin has grabbed the win in three of the past six Sprint Cup races.
As well, the drivers of Formula 1 will continue their latest European swing on Sunday with the Monaco Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel is pegged as the 9/4 oddsmakers' favorite to take the checkered flag in Monaco on Sunday, with Fernando Alonso listed at 10/3 odds to get the win. Mark Webber, who won the Spanish Grand Prix last time out, is at 9/2 odds, followed by Lewis Hamilton at 11/2. Jenson Button, the current leader in the drivers championship, is sitting at 12/1 odds to win in Monaco, with Michael Schumacher farther back at 15/1 odds.
Rounding out the Roundup . . .
Finally, the WNBA offers up four games on Sunday, with Chicago at New York, Indiana at Atlanta, Los Angeles at Seattle, and Washington at Minnesota. Star guard Seimone Augustus won't be in the lineup for Minnesota on Sunday night; she'll miss the next few weeks as she recovers from having abdominal surgery.