NEW YORK — We could soon learn what the NBA plans to do with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The league has called a news conference for this afternoon to make an announcement about the investigation involving Sterling and those racially charged comments attributed to him. And the controversy is now hitting the Clippers in the pocket book as several corporations have pulled their advertising.
Sterling is being investigated over allegations he made racially charged comments in a recorded conversation with a woman. Portions of that conversation were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin.
The players' union has asked Commissioner Adam Silver to rule quickly, preferably before the Clippers play host to Golden State in the fifth game of their playoff series tonight.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said in a conference call Monday that he opted out of a chance to speak with Sterling. Rivers also said that he believes Sterling made the comments.
Rivers says he believes "a very strong message" is coming from the NBA in response to the scandal, adding that "I can't tell you how upset I am."
The Miami Heat showed support for the Clippers' players and coaching staff before Monday's game in Charlotte.
Like the Clippers did on Sunday, the Heat ran out of the tunnel wearing their warmups, huddled at center court and tossed their white shooting T-shirts to the ground. They then went through their pregame routine with their red Heat warmup jerseys inside out, hiding the team's logo.
Hawks whip Pacers...Heat sweep out Bobcats
UNDATED (AP) — The top-seeded Indiana Pacers are in serious danger of becoming a first-round casualty in the NBA playoffs.
The Atlanta Hawks own a three-games-to-two lead after six of their players scored in double-figures during a 107-97 win over the Pacers in Indiana. Mike Scott made five 3-pointers during a 30-6 second-quarter run and ended up with 17 points. Shelvin Mack came off the bench to contribute team highs of 20 points and five assists. Paul Millsap finished with 18 points, and Kyle Korver shot 5-for-10 from 3-point range in scoring 16 points.
The Pacers outscored the Hawks in three of four quarters, but Atlanta took control by outscoring Indiana 41-19 in the second period to take a 21-point lead into intermission.
Paul George had a game-high 26 points for the Pacers, who will try to stave off elimination Thursday in Atlanta.
The Miami Heat have completed a four-game sweep to advance to the NBA's Eastern Conference semifinals.
LeBron James scored 31 points and had nine assists as the two-time defending champions ousted the Bobcats 109-98 in Charlotte. James scored 19 points after injuring his thigh in the third quarter.
Chris Bosh finished with 17 points and Dwyane (dwayn) Wade added 15 in the Heat's 20th consecutive win over Charlotte.
Miami is 16-2 in first-round games since James' arrival four years ago.
San Antonio has squared its series with Dallas at two games apiece by knocking off the Mavericks 92-88. The game was tied at 87 until Boris Diaw (DEE'-ow) hit a 3-pointer with 32.9 seconds remaining. Manu Ginobili (MAN'-oo jih-NOH'-blee) iced the victory by hitting three of four free throws in the final 10.4 seconds.
Ginobili finished with a team-high 23 points, Diaw had 17 and Tim Duncan added 14 and 10 rebounds.
Monta (MAHN'-tay) Ellis had 20 points for the Mavs, who never recovered after getting outscored 32-13 in the second quarter.
Game 5 is Wednesday at San Antonio.
Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay dies
MIAMI (AP) — Hall of Fame basketball coach Jack Ramsay has died. His death, at 89, was announced by ESPN, where he worked as a broadcaster until last season. No cause of death was immediately given, though Ramsay had battled cancer for many years and was placed in hospice care late last week.
Ramsay, known as "Dr. Jack" throughout the league, coached in the NBA for parts of 21 seasons, including leading Portland to the 1977 NBA title. He then began a long career as one of the league's most revered radio and television analysts.
Ramsay also was an accomplished college coach at Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia, taking the Hawks to the 1961 Final Four.
Kings, Wild force Game 7s...Penguins advance
UNDATED (AP) — Just three teams in NHL history have won a playoff series after dropping the first three games. The Los Angeles Kings have put themselves in position to become the fourth after evening their conference quarterfinal series against the San Jose Sharks at three games apiece.
Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar (AHN'-zhay KOH'-pih-tahr) each scored twice and Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots as the Kings topped San Jose 4-1. Williams scored 5:39 into the game, but the score was tied 1-1 until the Kings tallied three times in a 2:46 span of the third period. The goals came against Alex Stalock, who made his first NHL playoff start after relieving Antti Niemi (AN'-tee nee-EH'-mee) the previous two games.
Quick blanked the Sharks after James Sheppard beat him midway through the second period.
Game 7 is Wednesday in San Jose.
Minnesota has forced a seventh game in its series with Colorado. Zach Parise (puh-REE'-see) scored twice on tip-ins, including the game-winner with 6:29 remaining in the Wild's 5-2 triumph over the Avalanche. The Avs erased a 2-0 deficit before Parise helped Minnesota send the series back to Denver. Parise also had two assists and Darcy Kuemper (KEHM'-pur) finished with 21 saves.
Game 7 is Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to close out the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games.
Evgeni Malkin registered a hat trick and Matt Niskanen (NIHS'-kah-nehn) had two assists as the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Columbus. Malkin's third goal of the night put the Pens ahead 4-0 with 4:38 remaining in the second period, and the four-goal edge held up until Fedor Tyutin (FEH'-dur TOO'-tihn), Artem Anisimov (ah-NEE'-see-mahv) and Nick Foligno (foh-LEE'-noh) scored less than five minutes apart in the third. Marc-Andre Fleury blanked the Jackets over the final 4:47 to help Pittsburgh close out the series.
The Penguins will face either the Rangers or Flyers in the next round.
Front office shakeup
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jim Rutherford has stepped down as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes and been replaced by Hall of Fame player Ron Francis. Rutherford spent two decades as the club's GM, and helped orchestrate its move from Hartford to North Carolina.
Francis holds team records with 382 goals, 793 assists and 1,186 games played. He's been the team's vice president of hockey operations since June 2012.
NEW YORK (AP) — Boston's Zdeno Chara (zuh-DAY'-noh CHAH'-rah), Chicago's Duncan Keith and Nashville's Shea Weber are finalists for the Norris Trophy, given annually to the NHL's best defenseman.
Chara won the award in 2009, one year before it was given to Keith. Weber is hoping to win it for the first time after leading all blueliners with 23 goals this season.
Gray day for A's
UNDATED (AP) — Sonny Gray had the longest outing of his major league career Monday in Texas, while Yu Darvish made his earliest trip to the showers.
Gray tossed a three-hitter in his first complete game as the Oakland Athletics blanked the Rangers 4-0. Texas got only one runner to third base against the right-hander, who improved to 1-1.
Darvish was lifted after just 3 1/3 innings and ran his home winless streak to nine starts, allowing four runs and six hits.
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run single for the A's, who took over first place in the AL West.
Also in the majors:
— Alejandro De Aza (ah-lah-HAHN'-droh day AH'-zah) hit a two-run homer, Alexei Ramirez lined a two-run triple and Marcus Semien added a two-run double in the Chicago White Sox's 7-3 win over Tampa Bay. Rookie Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) collected his major league-leading 32nd RBI while going 2-for-4.
— Mike Trout had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning and Raul Ibanez (ih-BAHN'-yehz) added a two-run triple to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-3 victory over Cleveland. Losing pitcher Justin Masterson is still seeking his first win since last Aug. 21.
— Milwaukee erased a 3-0 deficit before Khris Davis hit an RBI triple and scored an insurance run in the 12th inning of the Brewers' 5-3 win at St. Louis. Matt Holliday and Allen Craig hit solo homers in the sixth to give the Cardinals a three-run cushion, but the Brewers still improved to a major league-best 19-7.
— Troy Tulowitzki was the hitting star in Colorado's 8-5 win over Arizona, going 3-for-3 with two walks, a homer, two doubles and three RBIs. Justin Morneau added a two-run shot to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
— Rene Rivera supplied a three-run homer and a two-run double in San Diego's 6-4 triumph in San Francisco. Tyson Ross was able to even his record at 3-3 after the Padres' bullpen held the Giants to one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
— The Chicago Cubs were rained out in Cincinnati. No makeup date was announced, but Reds manager Bryan Price says the game will not be made up during this series.
Harper reportedly slated for surgery
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals have played most of this season without third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, catcher Wilson Ramos (RAH'-mohs) and pitcher Doug Fister. They'll also be without another huge piece of their lineup for a while.
ESPN reports that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is going to be sidelined at least until July because of surgery on his left thumb. The network says Harper will have the operation Tuesday, four days after injuring the thumb on a headfirst slide into third base. The two-time All-Star is hitting .289 with one homer and nine RBIs this season.
DBacks get Harrell
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell from the Houston Astros for a player to be named.
The 28-year-old Harrell went 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA in three starts with Houston this season after going 6-17 with a 5.86 earned run average last year.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said Monday that Harrell will join Triple-A Reno for now.
Thomas OKs extension
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seahawks and free safety Earl Thomas have reached agreement on a four-year, $40 million contract extension, with nearly $28 million guaranteed. That's according to two people with knowledge of the agreement, which was first reported by NFL.com.
Thomas is a two-time First Team All-Pro and was the Seahawks' second-leading tackler last season while intercepting five passes.
Rams pick up All-Pro Quinn's option
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams have exercised the fifth-year contract option on All-Pro defensive end Robert Quinn, keeping one of the NFL's top pass-rushers in the fold through 2015.
Quinn set a franchise record with 19 sacks last season, second most in the NFL. He has 29 1/2 sacks the last two seasons, also the second-highest total in the league in that span.
Quinn was a first-round pick in 2011 out of North Carolina and was also a first-time Pro Bowl selection last year.
New coach for the Tigers
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has hired Kim Anderson as its new men's basketball coach. The 58-year-old Anderson is a former star player for the Tigers and was a longtime aide to former Missouri coach Norm Stewart before winning a Division II championship at Central Missouri this season. He replaces Frank Haith, who left for Tulsa earlier this month.