Blazers: It’ll be Portland-Houston in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Blazers have won 5 of 6 in April, with one regular-season game to go, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at home against the L.A. Clippers.

Winterhawks: Going into the conference finals against No. 1 seed Kelowna, Portland forwards Oliver Bjorkstrand and Brendan Leipsic are tied for third in WHL playoff scoring with 19 points in nine games. Bjorkstrand has nine goals and 10 assists; Leipsic has eight goals and 11 assists. Defenseman Derrick Pouliot (4-12-16) is tied for sixth, and forward Taylor Leier (4-11-15) is ninth.

Goalie Brendan Burke (8-1) is second in goals allowed per game (2.01), with a .923 save percentage.

NHL: Former Winterhawks forward Ty Rattie, 21, made his NHL debut last week with St. Louis. The injury plagued Blues called him up from Amerian Hockey League Chicago. He was leading the Wolves with 46 points and ranked sixth in the AHL with 29 goals.

Timbers: Portland (0-2-4) and San Jose (0-2-2) are the only MLS Western Conference teams without a win.

The Timbers drew at home 1-1 with Chivas USA (1-2-3) on Saturday.

“We’re not where we wanted to be,” coach Caleb Porter says.

Next for Portland is a trip to 2013 nemesis Real Salt Lake, 6:30 p.m. PT Saturday. RSL (2-0-4) beat the Timbers in last year’s conference finals and tied at Philadelphia 2-2 last week.

Thorns: One goal by Allie Long was all Portland’s defending National Women’s Soccer League team needed to open the 2014 season with a 1-0 victory at the Houston Dash. Seattle and Western New York also won opening matches.

The NWSL was formed and is funded by the soccer federations of the U.S., Canada and Mexico as a way to keep their players in game form, but it was a German national team goalkeeper, Nadine Angerer, who blanked the expansion Dash. She had two saves in her Thorns debut.

Sky Blue FC, which will play host to Portland at 4 p.m. PT Saturday, drew 1-1 at FC Kansas City. Sky Blue’s lineup includes former Portland Pilots star Sophie Schmidt.

Thunder: Spokane (3-1) pulled away in the fourth quarter to win at home over Portland 55-27 in Arena Football League action last week.

The Thunder (0-4) had a 21-20 lead late in the third quarter.


Fencing: Sage Palmedo, 17, of Portland captured the silver medal in women’s saber at the 2014 Junior World Championships (age 20 and under) in Plodiv, Bulgaria. She beat Gracie Stone of the U.S. 15-10 in the semifinals, then lost 15-8 to Anna Marton of Hungary. Palmedo also helped the U.S. team earn the bronze. She is ranked third in the women among juniors and will be the No. 1 returning junior next season.


Baseball: Oregon State bounced back from a 4-1 opening loss at Washington State with 12-5 and 8-1 victories. The Beavers (11-4) trail only Washington (12-3) at their halfway point of the Pac-12 season. ... Oregon swept visiting UC Riverside (14-17) 7-2, 7-4 and 6-5 at PK Park. The Ducks (7-5 Pac-12) also beat Portland 15-10 and 3-0 in a 5-0 nonconference week. ... The Pilots (2-13 West Coast Conference) got their second league win. At home, they beat San Diego 10-9 in the middle match of a three-game series.

Softball: Oregon and UCLA were 1-2 and 1-3 in the D-I rankings last week, with ASU 6-7 and UW at No. 10 in both polls.

Portland State managed to take one of three from host Northern Colorado, winning the middle game 9-1 in five innings. But the Vikings’ young pitching staff took its lumps again in the other two Big Sky games, as PSU (2-9 in the conference) fell 17-5 and 19-2, both also in five innings. Vikings third baseman Crysta Conn stayed hot at the plate, though, extending her hitting streak to seven games. During that span, she is 9 for 20 with five runs, three doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.

Track and field: The UO men are No. 2 in the national rankings, behind Florida. Oregon’s women are ranked fourth behind Texas A&M, Florida and Texas.

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