- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

PRO BASKETBALL

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Kawhi Leonard didn’t think Warriors center Zaza Pachulia intentionally tried to injure him in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Leonard left the game after re-injuring his tender left ankle in the third quarter when Pachulia’s foot slid under Leonard’s following a jumper by the All-Star forward. Now, Leonard’s status for the remainder of the best-of-seven series is in question.

“Did he step under it? Like on purpose? No,” Leonard said afterward. “He was contesting a shot. The shot clock was coming down. I’ll have to see the play.”

Leonard didn’t return, giving Golden State an opening for an 18-0 run and a 113-111 comeback Game 1 victory.

He first went down after stepping on teammate David Lee’s foot along the bench after taking a shot. Shortly after, Pachulia slid toward Leonard as he took a shot and the Spurs star fell into the Spurs bench, grabbing his ankle.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Derek Jeter held a microphone and spoke without notes to the crowd that filled sold-out Yankee Stadium. His No. 2, the last of the single digit pinstripes, had been retired, and a plaque in his honor dedicated that will be placed in Monument Park alongside tributes to Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra and the rest of the team’s greats.

“There isn’t a person or player I would trade places with that’s playing now or ever,” he told the fans.

Three years removed from a big league career that spanned 1995-2014, Jeter personally picked Mother’s Day for his tribute. His grandmother, parents, sister, nephew and pregnant wife joined him for the ceremony, and he laughed when he saw the plaque, which reads “DEREK SANDERSON JETER/’THE CAPTAIN’/’MR. NOVEMBER’” and goes on to call him “THE CORNERSTONE OF FIVE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS” and “A LEADER ON THE FIELD AND IN THE CLUBHOUSE, SETTING AN EXAMPLE FOR HIS TEAMMATES WITH HIS UNCOMPROMISING DESIRE FOR TEAM SUCCESS.”

UNDATED (AP) - Former big league umpire Steve Palermo, whose accomplished career ended when he was shot trying to break up a robbery in 1991, has died. He was 67.

Major League Baseball announced that Palermo had died, without providing details. Palermo, who lived in the Kansas City area, had been in poor health.

Palermo broke into the majors late in the 1976 season and joined the American League staff the next year. He worked the 1983 World Series, several playoff series and the All-Star Game. He consistently drew praise from players, managers and fellow umpires for his work.

In July 1991, Palermo was having a late-night meal in Dallas when two servers who just left were mugged. Palermo chased the attackers and was shot, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Palermo eventually was able to walk, with the help of cane, and continued his recovery. He later became an umpire supervisor for MLB.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - With the Negro Leagues museum as his backdrop, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said the recent racial taunting he endured in Boston shows there needs to be more dialogue about diversity.

Almost two weeks after he said he was called the N-word and had a bag of peanuts thrown in his direction at Fenway Park, the star said he still grapples with the reality that “people aren’t afraid to show ugliness and hate right now.”

“I personally don’t understand it,” Jones said at Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in announcing his $20,000 donation to the shrine - a gift he said he decided to make months ago, well before the Fenway ugliness he labeled “very unfortunate.”

“With incidents like this, it’s just a great time to talk about it,” 31-year-old Jones added, midway through his team’s weekend series against the Royals.

AUTO RACING

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - NASCAR driver Aric Almirola was released from the University of Kansas Medical Center on Sunday, a day after he fractured a vertebra during a fiery wreck at Kansas Speedway.

Almirola was trailing Joey Logano and Danica Patrick when a broken brake rotor on Logano’s car sent him and Patrick into the wall entering the first turn. Almirola had no time to check up and plowed into Logano’s car, the force of the impact lifting his No. 43 car into the air and nearly flipping it over.

Safety crews removed the top of Almirola’s car so they could pull him out, and he was placed on a backboard and taken to the infield care center. He was then airlifted to the hospital, conscious and alert, and doctors there diagnosed a compression fracture of his T5 vertebra.

Richard Petty Motorsports said in a statement Sunday that Almirola was mobile and returning to his home in North Carolina. He will be examined further by doctors in Charlotte.

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