CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Nobody in baseball likes to use injuries as an excuse, including Bryan Price. That being said (one of Prices favourite phrases), the first-year Cincinnati Reds manager almost cant wait until Saturday. That is when he plans to write pitcher Mat Latos name into the starting lineup, all but giving Price his first look at the team he hoped to be managing when he took the job last October. Latos and first baseman Joey Votto of Toronto completed rehab assignments with Triple-A Louisville on Monday. Votto, sidelined since May 16 with a quadriceps strain in his left knee, was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday nights game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Latos, who hasnt pitched all year after having surgery on his right elbow last October and his left knee on Valentines Day, is tentatively scheduled to start Saturday in Milwaukee. "This is as close to being whole as weve been all year," Price said Tuesday. Votto was the 12th player placed on the disabled list by the Reds this season. Catcher Devin Mesoracos two trips meant those 12 players had made a total of 13 appearances on the DL. Last season, 11 Reds players made a total of 15 appearances. Votto was set to bat third Tuesday night. He hadnt played since going on the disabled list May 21, retroactive to May 16, with an injury to the same knee that required two operations in 2012. The Reds went 11-12 without the 2010 NL MVP, who was hitting .257 with six home runs and 12 RBIs in 39 games. Votto spent Sunday and Monday with Louisville, going 2 for 6 with two strikeouts and grounding into a double play in two games at Pawtucket. "I feel good," Votto said. "Im looking forward to playing. I hold myself to a high standard. I wouldnt come back unless I felt like I could play to that high standard, so Im not really concerned about what percentage people think Im at. Im going to come back and play well." Latos, who has won 14 games in each of the past two seasons -- his first two with the Reds -- made his fourth rehab start Monday and lasted 5 2-3 innings in a game shortened by rain. He then continued to throw in an indoor batting cage to get his pitch count up to 100, the goal Price wanted the right-hander to reach before pitching for the Reds. "I was ready five or six days ago," said Latos, who chafed at being forced to make a fourth rehab start. "The stuffs there. My velocity is there. Throwing sliders at 90 mph puts a lot of stress on your arm, so that should tell you something." First baseman Donald Lutz was optioned to Louisville to make room on the roster for Votto. Lutz hit .154 (2 for 13) in seven games after being recalled from Louisville on May 23. Custom Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys .com) - Lloyd Sam struck in stoppage time on Wednesday as Red Bull New York hung on for a crucial 1-0 win over Atlantic Cup rivals D. Arizona Diamondbacks Gear . Now, the hottest team on the ATP are pointing their sights on qualifying for the eight-team season finals in London next November. Pospisil has now established the year-end World Tour Finals as the benchmark for a breakthrough season, with Pospisil and Sock provisionally standing ninth. https://www.cheapdiamondbacksjerseys.us/ . Quarterback Drew Willy appeared to injure his throwing hand on the third last play of practice Thursday. Arizona Diamondbacks Shirts . UCI President Brian Cookson said Wednesday the commission will investigate allegations "that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past -- allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport. Arizona Diamondbacks Store . -- The Denver Broncos retired John Elways No.LOS ANGELES, Calif. - When the Oklahoma City Thunder were down by 16 points and struggling to make any shot early in Game 6, they looked all but ready to fold up and head home for a series-deciding finale. Instead, Kevin Durant shouldered the Thunder and carried them into the fourth quarter, where they demonstrated the poise of a championship contender. Durant had 39 points and 16 rebounds, and Oklahoma City advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 104-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 on Thursday night. Russell Westbrook overcame a slow start to finish with 19 points and 12 assists as the Thunder reached the conference finals for the third time in four years, closing out Los Angeles with two straight wins. Two days after the Thunder erased a late 13-point deficit to win Game 5, the Thunder rallied from that early deficit and maintained their lead throughout the fourth quarter, shaking off any memories of their Game 4 collapse on the same Staples Center court. "Experience has helped us out a lot, just being with each other for so long," Durant said. "Weve got a long ways to go. We definitely can get better. This is definitely a series that pushed us to the brink. We were in a tough spot. We stayed together and persevered." The league MVP hit five 3-pointers and Reggie Jackson added 14 points for Oklahoma City, which will face the Spurs in a rematch of the Wests last two champions. The series begins Monday night in San Antonio. Chris Paul had 25 points and 11 assists, and Blake Griffin had 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists before fouling out as the Clippers exhausting post-season ended in disappointment. Perhaps the cumulative pressure of two playoff series amid the distractions of owner Donald Sterlings lifetime ban finally cost the two-time Pacific Division champion Clippers, who couldnt keep up late. Or perhaps Durant is just that good. "We did a great job of sticking together," Westbrook said. "Kevin did a great job of setting his guys up, getting the ball in spots that were effective." J.J. Redick scored 16 points for the Clippers, who followed their epic collapse in Game 5 with a disappointing second half at home. Despite a raucous home crowd, Los Angeles wont make its first trip to the conference finals after the best regular season in franchise history. "Oklahoma City absolutely deserves it," said Paul, whose final-minute mistakes hurt the Clippers dearly in Game 5. "We have a really good team, a great team. Its crazy. You play all season llong, and the last few games, we really started to figure out who our team was and how to play.dddddddddddd And its crazy that its over." The Clippers led for almost every minute of the first three quarters, but Durant kept the Thunder close and eventually ignited a 30-10 run stretching across the final two quarters. Westbrook, who didnt have a field goal until late in the third quarter, contributed 10 points in the fourth as the Thunder comfortably maintained their lead. The fans frustration boiled over after an offensive foul call against Griffin with 3:11 to play. During the ensuing timeout, fans threw at least two drinks at referee Ed Malloy, causing a slight delay while the floor was cleaned. Griffin fouled out with 2:27 left, but the Clippers got within four points in the final minute before Westbrook and Durant hit free throws to close it out. The loss ended a tumultuous post-season for the Clippers, who managed to win a seven-game series with Golden State in the first round even while Sterling was banned from the NBA for life for racist comments exposed during that series. "Weve gone through a lot of stuff over the last three or four weeks," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I dont think that was why we didnt win. I dont think we should use that as an excuse. Were a team in process. I believe we were good enough to win it this year. Oklahoma City told us we were not." Oklahoma City smoothly secured its spot in the conference finals after these teams traded spectacular collapses in the last two games. The Thunder blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 4 at Staples Center, but the Clippers responded by blowing a 13-point lead in the final four minutes in Oklahoma City. The Clippers showed little carry-over from their collapse early in Game 6, while the Thunder appeared a step slow and disorganized, falling behind by 16 points in the first half. Durant and Westbrook combined to miss their first nine shots, but Durant quickly got going. NOTES: Serge Ibaka scored six points before going to the locker room in the third quarter with an injured left calf. ... The NBA fined Rivers $25,000 on Thursday for his criticism of the officiating in Game 5. "I thought it was deserved," Rivers said. ... Matt Damon, Rihanna, Tony Romo, Oscar De La Hoya, UFC President Dana White, former Clippers guard Eric Gordon and Masters champion Bubba Watson attended the game. Jack Nicholson watched from a seat near the Clippers bench. The archetypal Lakers fan also has occasionally attended Clippers games over the years. ' ' '