CHICAGO (AP) - For purists, it'll be hockey the way it used to be played. The Blackhawks and Boston open up the Stanley Cup finals in Chicago Wednesday night in a meeting of the Original Six NHL franchises. It will make the first time since 1979 that two of the originals meet for the Cup. Chicago's run to the final began at the start of the abbreviated season when the Blackhawks put on a record run of 24 straight games in which they earned at least a point to open a season. They're back in the final since winning it all in 2010. Boston will be looking to hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years. The 2011 champs have built their postseason run this year on defense. The Bruins have allowed just 30 goals in 16 games for a 1.88 goals against average.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Danny Green scored 27 points, Gary Neal added 24 and the San Antonio Spurs set an NBA Finals record with 16 3-pointers in a 113-77 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night that gave them a 2-1 series lead. Green hit seven of nine 3s, Neal was six for 10 from deep and Tim Duncan chipped in 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs, who responded to a 19-point drubbing in Game 2 with a blowout of their own. The Spurs flummoxed four-time MVP LeBron James for a third straight game, holding him to 15 points on 7-of-21 shooting. James also had 11 rebounds and five assists, but he missed 11 of his first 14 shots and never looked comfortable against San Antonio's swarming defense. Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is on Thursday night in San Antonio.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford says it would be impossible for him to avoid hearing people point out that he took a step back last season. Stafford threw more interceptions and had less than half as many touchdown passes last year as he did in 2011. Still, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2009 NFL draft says he's trying to become a great quarterback and help his team win. Stafford vows he won't be distracted if his agent and the team don't get a deal this offseason that would keep him under contract deep into the decade. He plans to focus only on football, especially during this week's mandatory minicamp the team hopes leads to a productive training camp and a successful season.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Max Scherzer won his ninth straight decision, and the Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City 3-2 to snap the Royals' six-game winning streak on Tuesday night. Scherzer became the first Tigers starter to begin the season 9-0 since Vern Kennedy in 1938 by pitching seven sharp innings. He limited the Royals to three hits and two runs, while striking out six and walking two. Aaron Crow (2-2), who was a college teammate of Scherzer's at Missouri, took the loss after pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh. Crow hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch to start the eighth. Cabrera advanced to third on Prince Fielder's single to right on a full count and scored on Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly to left. That was the first run allowed by the Kansas City bullpen in 21 innings.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Pistons have hired former 76ers and Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks. The team announced the move Monday night. Detroit fired Lawrence Frank in April, a day after the once-proud franchise finished 29-53. Frank was 54-94 in two seasons with the Pistons. Cheeks was 284-286 in the regular season and 5-11 in the playoffs as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. He was fired by Philadelphia during the 2008-09 season with a 9-14 record. Cheeks spent the past four seasons as an Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach. The Chicago native played 15 seasons in the NBA, helping the Sixers win a championship in 1983.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Jeremy Guthrie pitched impressively into the seventh inning, Salvador Perez hit a two-run triple and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Monday night for their sixth straight victory. Guthrie (7-3) limited the Tigers to a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera in 6 1-3 innings in helping the Royals to extend their longest winning streak since they won seven straight in September 2011. He gave up six hits and walked three. Aaron Crow replaced Guthrie after he gave up a single to Avisail Garcia and he hit Andy Dirks with an 0-2 pitch. Crow retired Torii Hunter on a fly to shallow right and struck out Cabrera to end the threat. Cabrera, who tops the American League with 90 hits and 69 RBIs, hit his 18th home run in the second after Hunter doubled.
DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson will join Triple-A Toledo on Monday for a rehab assignment as part of his recovery from a pulled left hamstring. Jackson hasn't played since May 11. Avisail Garcia has done a nice job filling in for him in center field, but the Tigers are eager for their leadoff hitter to return. Jackson is hitting .272 with five stolen bases. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before Sunday's game against Cleveland that it's possible Jackson could join the major league club this week in a series at Minnesota.
DETROIT (AP) - Jose Alvarez pitched six impressive innings in his major league debut, and Don Kelly hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the sixth to help the Detroit Tigers finish a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 4-1 victory Sunday. Alvarez (1-0) was starting because of Anibal Sanchez's shoulder tightness, and he held Cleveland hitless until Ryan Raburn's fifth-inning homer. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed three hits and a walk and struck out seven. Drew Smyly pitched two innings of relief. Joaquin Benoit finished for his third save. Justin Masterson (8-5) allowed four runs in seven innings. He gave up a walk to Miguel Cabrera and a single to Prince Fielder to start the Detroit sixth. One out later, Kelly lifted a drive over the wall in right field.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The San Antonio Spurs have found a way to slow down LeBron James. That still might not be enough. James has averaged just 17.5 points and shot 41.4 percent in the first two games of the NBA Finals. Those numbers are well below his season averages of 26.8 points and 56.5 percent shooting that helped him win his fourth MVP award. But the Spurs squeaked out a win in Game 1 in Miami, then got blown out in Game 2 on Sunday night. Manu Ginobili says it's going to take even more than slowing James down if the Spurs are going to win their fifth championship. Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in San Antonio.
CHICAGO (AP) - When it comes to penalties in the Stanley Cup finals, the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins might just want to leave everyone on the ice and keep going. The last two teams in the NHL playoffs have been lousy on the power play - just seven goals apiece - and terrific on penalty killing during the postseason. Heading into Game 1 on Wednesday night, goals on special teams could be so scarce that a couple for either side could tip the series in one direction. The Blackhawks have allowed just three goals in 58 power-play opportunities during the playoffs, while the Bruins have yielded seven in 52 chances.