The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association said Rule 14-1b will take effect in 2016.
"We recognize this has been a divisive issue, but after thorough consideration, we remain convinced that this is the right decision for golf," R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said.
The new rule does not ban the long putters, only the way they commonly are used. Golfers no longer will be able to anchor the club against their bodies to create the effect of a hinge. Masters champion Adam Scott used a long putter he pressed against his chest. British Open champion Ernie Els and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson used a belly putter, as did Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship.
"We strongly believe that this rule is for the betterment of the game," USGA President Glen Nager said. "Rule 14-1b protects one of the important challenges in the game - the free swing of the entire club."
The announcement followed six months of contentious debate, and it might not be over.
The next step is for the PGA Tour to follow the new rule or decide to establish its own condition of competition that would allow players to anchor the long putters. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in February the USGA and R&A would be "making a mistake" to adopt the rule, though he also has stressed the importance of golf playing under one set of rules.
"I think it's really important that the PGA Tour - and all the professional tours - continue to follow one set of rules," USGA executive director Mike Davis said. "We have gotten very positive feedback from the tours around the world saying that they like one set of rules, they like the R&A and USGA governing those. So if there was some type of schism, we don't think that would be good for golf.
"And we are doing what we think is right for the long-term benefit of the game for all golfers, and we just can't write them for one group of elite players."
The tour said in a statement it would consult with its Player Advisory Council and policy board to determine "whether various provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions, and if so, examine the process for implementation."
PGA of America President Ted Bishop, who had some of the sharpest comments over the last few months, also said his group would discuss the new rule - and confer with the PGA Tour - before deciding how to proceed.
"We are disappointed with this outcome," Bishop said. "As we have said publicly and repeatedly during the comment period, we do not believe 14-1b is in the best interest of recreational golfers and we are concerned about the negative impact it may have on both the enjoyment and growth of the game."
Some forms of anchoring have been around at least 40 years, and old photographs suggest it has been used even longer. It wasn't until after Bradley became the first major champion to use a belly putter that the USGA and R&A said it would take a new look at the putting style.
"It can never be too late to do the right thing," Nager said.
Those in favor of anchored putting argued that none of the top 20 players in the PGA Tour's most reliable putting statistic used a long putter, and if it was such an advantage, why wasn't everyone using it?
"Intentionally securing one end of the club against the body, and creating a point of physical attachment around which the club is swung, is a substantial departure from that traditional free swing," Nager said. "Anchoring creates potential advantages, such as making the stroke simpler and more repeatable, restricting the movement and rotation of the hands, arms and clubface, creating a fixed pivot point, and creating extra support and stability that may diminish the effects of nerves and pressure."
The governing bodies announced the proposed rule on Nov. 28, even though they had no data to show an advantage. What concerned them more was a spike in usage on the PGA Tour, more junior golfers using the long putters and comments from instructors that it was a better way to putt. There was concern the conventional putter would become obsolete over time.
The purpose of the new rule was simply to define what a putting stroke should be.
"The playing rules are not based on statistical studies," Nager said. "They are based on judgments that define the game and its intended challenge. One of those challenges is to control the entire club, and anchoring alters that challenge."
The topic was so sensitive that the USGA and R&A allowed for a 90-day comment period, an unprecedented move for the groups that set the rules of golf. The USGA said about 2,200 people offered feedback through its website, while the R&A said it had about 450 people from 17 countries go through its website.
Among those who spoke in favor of the ban were Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker and Steve Stricker.
"I've always felt that in golf you should have to swing the club, control your nerves and swing all 14 clubs, not just 13," Woods said Monday.
Tim Clark and Carl Pettersson have used the long putter as long as they have been on the PGA Tour. Scott switched to the broom-handle putter only in 2011, and he began contending in majors for the first time - tied for third in 2011 Masters, runner-up at the 2012 British Open, his first major victory in the Masters last month.
"It was inevitable that big tournaments would be won with this equipment because these are the best players in the world, and they practice thousands of hours," Scott said after winning the Masters. "They are going to get good with whatever they are using."
It was Clark's dignified speech to a players-only meeting - with Davis from the USGA in the room - that helped sway the tour's opinion to oppose the ban.
Davis and Dawson said their research indicated the opposition to the new rule was mainly in America. The European Tour and other tours around the world all backed the ban.
Players can still use the putter, but it would have to be held away from the body to allow free swing. Mark Newell, head of the USGA's rules committee, said the rule would be enforced like so many others in golf - players would have to call the penalty on themselves.
The rookie right-hander had just walked his second batter of the inning, with two outs, on his 107th pitch. The Padres scored twice to take the lead, sticking Miller with the loss in a 4-2 defeat.
"He hit some real good spots," Matheny said. "But it was one of those games where they fouled off a lot of pitches to get his pitch count up. It was too high to really get himself out of trouble late in the game."
Jason Marquis combined with four relievers on a four-hitter to win his fifth straight start and Will Venable homered to lead the San Padres.
Marquis (6-2) has won five consecutive starts for the first time since 2007 with the Chicago Cubs. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in six innings while striking out three and walking four.
Chris Denorfia went 3 for 3 with an RBI for the Padres, who have won three straight and five of seven. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.
Venable homered into the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Deck atop the right-field fence leading off the seventh, his seventh. It came on the second pitch from Mitchell Boggs, who just returned from a demotion to Triple-A Memphis.
Miller (5-3) allowed three runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked three.
"It was more just missing my spots and them not swinging," Miller said. "When you face a good-hitting offense, it's not going to be easy to throw it and have them swing at it every single time. It's something I have to realize just to get the ball around the zone."
The Padres scored two runs in the sixth on three walks, one hit and a hit batter.
After Miller was pulled, Denorfia greeted Fernando Salas with an RBI single. John Baker walked to load the bases and Salas hit pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman with a pitch to bring in another run.
"It seems like 20 pitches every single inning, every single outing, back-to-back starts," Miller said. "Throwing so many pitches in back-to-back games is not good. It accumulates with a little bit of everything. My curveball wasn't really good tonight. Neither was my changeup. My fastball wasn't really there. Multiple things were off."
Miller entered with a 1.40 ERA, tied with Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lowest in the majors. It went up to 1.74. Two starts earlier, Miller allowed a single to start the game and then retired the next 27 batters in a 3-0 home win against Colorado.
Miller's scoreless streak of 14 2-3 innings ended in the first when Everth Cabrera hit a leadoff single and scored on Chase Headley's one-out single.
The Cardinals tied it in the second when Headley, San Diego's Gold Glove third baseman, booted Miller's bases-loaded grounder for an error, allowing Yadier Molina to score. The Cardinals added a run in the third when Carlos Beltran hit a leadoff double, advanced on Matt Holliday's single and scored on Allen Craig's double-play grounder.
San Diego had a prime opportunity to score in its half when Cabrera hit a leadoff triple to right-center. But he was stranded when Miller struck out Will Venable and Headley before Carlos Quentin popped up.
NOTES: Cardinals 3B David Freese was a late scratch due to getting three stitches in the base of his right thumb after getting spiked by Milwaukee's Norichika Aoki while tagging him out during a rundown Sunday. Freese was replaced by Ty Wigginton, who grew up in suburban Chula Vista. ... Marquis has a 2.27 ERA during his five-game winning streak. ... The series continues Tuesday night when St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (5-3, 2.51 ERA) faces RHP Edinson Volquez (3-4, 5.55).
Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through a previously scoreless game, helping the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-1 on Monday night for a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference second-round series.
The top-seeded Blackhawks refused to roll over, pulling to 2-1 on Patrick Kane's goal 4:35 into the third period, and were a judgment call away from tying it about a minute later. Andrew Shaw's goal, however, was waved off because he was in the crease, the officials ruling he interfered with Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville disagreed.
"He didn't touch the goalie," Quenneville said simply.
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford couldn't touch Pavel Datsyuk's shot 6:46 into the final period, which had already come back out of the net before Crawford saw it.
Howard stopped 39 shots, while Crawford finished with 27 saves.
As good as seventh-seeded Detroit looked - scoring six straight goals to earn momentum in the series - its hard-driving coach isn't ready to celebrate.
"We haven't done anything yet," Mike Babcock said.
If the Red Wings keep playing this way, though, the Blackhawks will have a long offseason to wonder what went wrong in a season that looked as though it was going to be special.
On Thursday night at home in Game 4, Detroit has a shot to put Chicago on the brink of elimination.
"A lot of guys in this room have been in tough positions before in the playoffs and that's never stopped us," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We know this is a long series and we're going to be fighting until the end."
Chicago's chances will improve if Toews can end his goal-scoring drought. Toews doesn't have a goal in nine playoff games, dating to last year, despite matching Patrick Kane with a team-high 23 goals in the 48-game, lockout-shortened season.
Toews did have a game-high seven shots in Game 3, but Howard and his back-checking, shot-blocking teammates wouldn't let him end his drought.
"If he keeps playing like that, it'll find a way to get in," Quenneville said.
Chicago has lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly two months. The Blackhawks began the season by setting an NHL record with at least a point in their first 24 games, ended it with a league-high 77 points and avoided any three-game losing streaks.
"The team is facing a little adversity and I am on a personal basis," Toews said. "Not going to let that stop us or me."
After a scoreless first period in a hot and steamy Joe Louis Arena, Detroit took a 2-0 lead with a pretty goal and a gritty one.
Nyquist patiently carried the puck from right to left and waited for defenseman Brent Seabrook and Crawford to sprawl out before shooting the puck into the open net.
"He's real good at hanging onto the puck," Babcock said.
Miller crashed the net to stuff the puck in after Patrick Eaves got to his own rebound to keep pressure on Crawford. Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival started the sequence with a turnover in the Chicago zone.
It was a sixth straight unanswered goal in the series for the Red Wings, who lost the series opener 4-1 and gave up the first goal of Game 2 before going on to even the series with a 4-1 victory.
"They're a real good team and they're going to carry the play at times," Babcock said. "We're a good team and we're going to carry the play at times."
NOTES: Chicago hasn't given up a power-play goal in its first eight playoff games, matching the 2001 St. Louis Blues for the longest such streak since 1988, according to STATS. ... Babcock won his 77th postseason game, matching Quenneville for the most among active coaches. They both trail Pat Burns by one for eighth place on the NHL's all-time list. ... The Blackhawks put Viktor Stalberg back in the lineup and scratched Daniel Carcillo. Stalberg got shook up early in the game, missing a check and going head first into the boards.
Lynn (6-1) allowed three runs on three hits and four walks the first two innings. He only gave up one hit and one walk in his last five innings. He is 4-0 at home this season. It was the Cardinals' 10th win in the past 12 games.
Rick Ankiel, signed by the Mets earlier in the day after clearing waivers and playing against the team that revived his career as a position player, just missed a diving catch on Ty Wigginton's pinch-hit bloop double to shallow center off Scott Rice (1-3) to open the seventh.
Matt Carpenter followed Wigginton's hit with a sharp grounder off Rice's leg and the ball rolled into foul territory down the first-base line. Wigginton never stopped running and his head-first slide barely beat the tag to snap a 3-3 tie. Matt Holliday homered with one out and Yadier Molina had an RBI double with two outs, both off Scott Atchison for the three-run cushion.
Daniel Murphy had three hits with a two-run double for the Mets, busting out of a 7-for-54 slump with one RBI the previous 14 games. The Mets have dropped four straight.
Lynn threw a career-high 125 pitches, four more than the previous high exactly one year ago in a loss to the Braves. Three relievers worked the last two innings with Edward Mujica earning his 10th save in 10 chances.
Lynn threw 54 pitches and Mets starter Jeremy Hefner needed 46 the first two innings in a game tied at 3, a distinct change after three straight days of pitching brilliance. Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa carried a no-hitter into the seventh Sunday, the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright went 7 2-3 innings before his no-hit bid ended Saturday and St. Louis rookie Shelby Miller retired the final 27 hitters after allowing a leadoff hit on Friday.
Three of the first four batters reached against Hefner including Allen Craig's RBI double just inside the third-base line for the lead and Jon Jay added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly that barely counted when Matt Holliday sprinted home just ahead of third baseman David Wright's tag on Craig, attempting to advance on left fielder Lucas Duda's throw.
Murphy tied it in the second with a two-run double, a liner that right fielder Carlos Beltran appeared to lose running out of the shadows into a patch of sunlight in right. Murphy scored from second on an infield hit after shortstop Daniel Descalso could not handle Wright's slow roller and the ball rolled free.
Notes: LHP John Gast makes his major league debut for the Cardinals in place of injured Jake Westbrook on Tuesday night against Dillon Gee (2-4, 5.55). Gast was 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA at Triple-A Memphis and began the year with 32 consecutive scoreless innings. ... Chris Carpenter, all but ruled out for the season in February due to nerve issues in his shoulder, threw another bullpen session Monday and remained on track in his bid to return as a reliever, but there's no specific timetable. "When he puts his mind to something and his body cooperates, we know what kind of talent he has." ... Descalso got his third start at SS for St. Louis. ... The Mets' John Buck struck out three times for a total of 13 the last six games.
"I made a couple mistakes and paid the consequences," Garcia said after allowing two homers that accounted for five runs in an 8-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. "Those guys had been doing an unbelievable job and you want to be able to continue a good thing."
Jorge De La Rosa held the Cardinals hitless into the seventh inning and Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer ended Colorado's scoreless streak at 28 innings.
De La Rosa did not give up a hit until David Freese's two-out single in the seventh, answering a pair of outstanding performances by St. Louis starters Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright over the weekend.
"Jaime definitely had a couple of pretty tough acts to follow," manager Mike Matheny said. "We know this is a good-hitting team, we know they're capable of jumping on you and putting up a lot of runs in a hurry. It happened today."
Garcia (4-2) had won three straight starts with a 1.25 ERA and no homers allowed in that stretch of 21 2-3 innings before running into the Rockies. He gave up five runs over six innings and fell to 0-3 with a 10.53 ERA - his highest against any opponent - in four starts against Colorado.
The left-hander entered as the career ERA leader at 8-year-old Busch Stadium at 2.41 but was undone by a changeup that stayed up in the zone against Tulowitzki in the third and a hanging curveball against Charlie Blackmon, who struck out in his first two at-bats, that went for a two-run homer in the sixth.
The Rockies and Marlins are the only National League teams Garcia hasn't beaten.
"How many starts have I made against them? Today was my fourth one?" Garcia said. "Obviously, they have a really good lineup, but I don't think about those things."
Garcia gave up just two homers in his first seven starts and entered with a 2.25 ERA overall.
Jordan Pacheco doubled with one out in the first to stop a 34-inning drought since Colorado's last extra-base hit, according to STATS. The Rockies finished with five extra-base hits, including a two-run double by pinch-hitter Reid Brignac off Carlos Martinez in the eighth.
The Rockies snapped a four-game skid and finished with 11 hits after totaling three in consecutive shutout losses to Miller and Wainwright.
Nolan Arenado, who singled with one out in the eighth to break up Wainwright's no-hit bid Saturday, was among four Rockies with two hits apiece.
The Cardinals lost for just the second time in 11 games. Matt Adams' RBI single off Matt Belisle in a two-run ninth, one of three hits by pinch-hitters, ended Colorado's shutout bid.
De La Rosa (4-3) struck out seven and allowed two hits in seven innings, baffling the Cardinals until Freese singled sharply to right off the glove of a diving Pacheco at first base. Jon Jay followed with a double. De La Rosa finished his longest outing of the season, and his best showing on the road by far, by getting Pete Kozma on a lineout to first.
De La Rosa entered 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA on the road and 2-0 at home with 12 scoreless innings. This was the fourth time he worked six or more scoreless innings.
Tulowitzki's eighth homer stopped the Rockies' scoreless streak two innings shy of the team record. They went 30 innings without a run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2010, according to STATS.
The Rockies entered the weekend with the top offense in the National League and still led with a .266 batting average going into the finale of the three-game series. Tulowitzki was 0 for 6 in the first two games with five strikeouts and Carlos Gonzalez had been hitless in 15 at-bats before finishing with two singles and a walk.
Blackmon batted eighth after being called up earlier in the day to replace Michael Cuddyer, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a neck injury. He got unexpected cheers after hitting his fourth career homer - he was introduced in his first at-bat as a player making his major league debut.
Colorado had five hits in the first three innings after totaling three and going 40 consecutive at-bats without a hit the previous two days. The Rockies have never been shut out three straight times.
The Cardinals' streak of retiring 40 straight batters is tied for the second-longest in the majors since 1974, two shy of the record set by the Seattle Mariners from Aug. 14-17 last year, with Felix Hernandez throwing a perfect game on Aug. 15. Rangers pitchers retired 40 in a row in 1996.
NOTES: Gonzalez had two singles and a walk and is 6 for 12 against Garcia. ... Cardinals pitchers had a 2.02 ERA over the previous 10 games. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina was 0 for 3, ending an 11-game hitting streak. He had five hits in the first two games of the series.
After Wednesday night's 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings, KTRS Sports Director John Hadley reports that the Blues are having issues behind the scenes.
Obviously, there are issues for the Blues on and off the ice--down 3-2 on the ice. KTRS Sports has confirmed that goalie Jaroslav Halak and Coach Ken Hitchcock got into a very animated and loud argument prior to game 4 out in LA, with Halak shouting profanity at Hitchcock. Furthermore, there are players on the team that noted earlier in the series, when Brian Elliot was hurt and down on the ice, Halak did not even begin to stretch.
Halak now finds himself in trouble with his coach and with his teammates. If being down 3-2 and going to LA isn't enough, the team now has to deal with the fact that there is a legitimate issue in the locker room and that is the attitude of Jaroslav Halak.
KTRS has reached out to the Blues for a comment, but have not received a response.
Defenseman Slava Voynov scored on an odd-man rush 8 minutes into overtime and the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Wednesday night, winning for the third straight time after dropping the first two games.
"Starting the series 0-2 wasn't the best start," said Jeff Carter, who scored in the opening minute of the second and third periods. "It wasn't the start we were looking for, but we worked on things and we talked about things, and I think it's showing in our game now."
Game 6 is in Los Angeles on Friday night and the Kings have won nine in a row at home, where they are 21-4-1 overall counting the regular season. They're also 4-0 at home in the playoffs against the Blues the last two seasons.
"Another one-goal game, but we came out on top," goalie Jonathan Quick said. "We've got another one to win, so we're going to go home and get our rest and get ready.
"We've still got a lot of work to do, so we're going to get ready for this next one."
The Blues failed to capitalize on Alex Pietrangelo's goal with 44.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Rookie Jaden Schwartz got a piece of Voynov's stick on the winner, perhaps altering the shot a bit, and smashed his stick several times against the sideboards and glass before leaving the ice.
"I thought we played a pretty solid game for the most part," Schwartz said. "We battled back hard. It was just an unfortunate bounce in the end."
With goalie Brian Elliott off for an extra attacker, Pietrangelo's wrist shot at the end of regulation forced overtime for the second time in the series. It was the third goal in the final minute of the third period in the series.
The Kings' Justin Williams scored in the final minute of a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1, also in St. Louis. The Blues had a 2-0 series lead after Barret Jackman scored in the final minute of Game 2.
All five games have been decided by one goal, the only first-round series with that distinction.
"The momentum can swing at any moment," said Jackman, who was on the ice for the winner. "You get an odd-man rush and get a bit of a lucky goal, that happens in overtime.
"That's why you shoot the puck."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thought Game 5 was his team's best overall effort, and was optimistic that with a repeat showing they can get back home and force Game 7 on Monday night.
"If we play like that again, I like our chances," Hitchcock said. "We got a heck of an effort for everybody across the board."
The Kings ended the Blues' eight-game home win streak in which Elliott allowed one goal each time. Elliott was not made available to reporters.
The Kings were the first road team to win in the series.
Voynov scored the only goal in the Kings' 1-0 Game 3 victory. That had been the defenseman's lone point of the series before he joined the attack with Williams and Anze Kopitar, with all three players handling the puck before Voynov slid the puck beneath Elliott's pads.
Alex Steen's third goal of the series tied it at 1 in the second period for St. Louis. Steen, whose short-handed overtime goal decided Game 1, twice took the puck from defenseman Jake Muzzin on the play.
Pietrangelo got the puck at the point off a clean faceoff win by David Backes and slid into the middle before threading a shot past Quick after two teammates were unsuccessful at deflection attempts.
Carter's power-play goal capitalized on a tripping penalty to Jackman at the end of the second period. Kopitar got Elliott out of position on an odd-man rush before Carter converted a one-timer to put the Kings up 2-1.
The Blues dominated much of the scoreless opening period, responding from their fadeout while blowing a pair of leads in a 4-3 loss in Game 4. The reunited CPR fourth line of Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves had a handful of nice scoring chances in addition to setting the tone physically.
It took the Kings just 14 seconds to take the lead in the second period, though, when Carter tapped a rebound past Elliott. Carter, among the NHL leaders with 26 goals, had no points in the first three games.
The Blues' No. 1 line was victimized again, with Patrik Berglund and David Perron on the ice for the fifth straight goal by the Kings.
Steen tied it a little over five minutes later. Steen knocked Muzzin's clearing effort out of the air with his stick and won a battle for the puck behind the net before wheeling around and scoring on a high shot.
NOTES: Cracknell was a healthy scratch in Game 4 in favor of rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, who made his playoff debut and was no factor. ... Kings coach Darryl Sutter made one lineup change, too, scratching D Keaton Ellerby in favor of 21-year-old rookie F Tyler Toffoli, who made his playoff debut. D Matt Greene, still getting into condition after missing virtually the entire season, has yet to appear in the series. ... Mike Richards assisted on Carter's second goal and has three assists the last two games.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The defending Stanley Cup champions looked the part while evening their series against the St. Louis Blues.
The Los Angeles Kings dominated the second half of Game 4, powering past a pair of deficits behind fore-checking that put the Blues on their heels, and have all the momentum in a series that's tied at 2.
The Kings' plan is simple for Game 5 tonight in St. Louis: Keep the pedal down and play physical but smart.
So far, the home team has won all four games, and it's the only playoff series with every game decided by a single goal.
CHICAGO (AP) - Travis Wood pitched impressively into the seventh inning to outduel Lance Lynn, Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer and the Chicago Cubs snapped the St. Louis Cardinals' six-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory last night.
The Cardinals' streak was their longest since an eight-game run July 11-21, 2010.
Wood (2-3) allowed one run and five hits while striking out eight in 6 2-3 innings for his first win since April 27 at Miami.
Carlos Marmol relieved Wood with two outs in the seventh and pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings. In the eighth he allowed a single to Yadier Molina and walked Jon Jay before getting out of the inning by picking Molina off between second and third.
Lynn (5-1) was trying to become the National League's first pitcher to win six games.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Anze Kopitar tied it with 12:46 to play, Justin Williams tipped home the go-ahead goal 76 seconds later, and the Los Angeles Kings evened their first-round series with the St. Louis Blues with a 4-3 victory Monday night.
Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions. They erased an early two-goal deficit and a third-period deficit to earn their ninth consecutive home victory since March 23. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves.
T.J. Oshie scored his first two playoff goals for the Blues, who had the champs on the brink of serious trouble before Kopitar and Williams beat Brian Elliott, who stopped 25 shots.
Game 5 is Wednesday in St. Louis, with Game 6 back at Staples Center on Friday.