Warriors Win At Wire, NBA First Team Announced, Bumgarner Hits HR Off Kershaw

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Steph CurryIn the NBA, it was Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.  Dwight Howard was a game time decision, and it turned out that he WOULD play.   Howard actually had a fantastic game.  This game, however,  was a battle of the MVP, Step Curry, and the MVP runner up, James Harden.  As they were trading baskets, there were at least 10 ‘Oh-My!’ highlights.  The game actually came down to the wire, with the Rockets having a chance to win on the last possession. A stellar defensive effort by the Warriors caused Harden to turn it over, and the Warriors snag a 2-0 lead.  Golden State 99, Houston 98.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the “NBA First Team” was announced.  The “First Team” is a make up of the ideal best starting line-up this year. It consisted of Stephen Curry and James Harden in the backcourt, LeBron James at small forward, Anthony Davis at power forward, and Marc Gasol at center.  It would be fun to see this team play!

BASEBALL

Madison BumgarnerAnd in some crazy baseball news, the top two pitchers in the League are arguably the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner.  You typically see pitching duels between these players, but it’s rare that one of them hits a homerun off the other, but that’s exactly what happened on Thursday. Bumgarner smashed one off of Kershaw.  Bumgarner likely studied Kershaw’s  pitching style and knew exactly what was coming, but pitchers are typically not the best hitters, so this was quite rare. Even more rare was that it was a homer off of Kershaw.   Now Bumgarner has extreme bragging rights over Kershaw.   San Francisco 4, LA Dodgers 0.

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Cavs Win Game 1, #1 Draft Pick Doesn’t Want Minnesota, Rangers Lose Game 3, Hershey Syrup To Endorse Nationals,

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In the NBA, it was Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks.  The Hawks were out to prove that they’re the Spurs 2.0, but they still had to take on LeBron and the Cavs.  That’s anything but easy in the playoffs.  While LeBron did play well, the real hero for the Cavs was J.R. Smith who caught fire from behind the arc.  Smith hit a whopping eight 3-pointers, and proved that he is still a super valuable commodity. The Cavs win Game 1 and steal home court advantage.  Cleveland 97, Atlanta 89.

Every NBA draft prospect typically wants to go #1 overall — it shows that you were the most coveted player and it’s an honor.  But this year, a very likely #1 pick, Karl-Anthony Towns MAY have said to some friends that he would prefer to go #2 just so he gets to play in Los Angeles for the Lakers and have a more glamorous career.  There is nothing wrong with Minnesota, but they don’t play on TV as much, they don’t have as strong of a fan base, and it’s freezing.  The exact oppossite is true in LA.  It would be interesting if the top projected picks faked injuries or something to that effect to fall to #2.

HOCKEY

The New York Rangers are now down 2-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightening in the Eastern Conference Finals. It is the second consecutive game in which the Rangers and their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist gave up 6 goals. Game 4 of the best of seven series is Friday night.

BASEBALL

Hershey SyrupFinally, in baseball, the Washington Nationals have a very strange new tradition.  Instead of dumping Gatorade on each other’s head during a celebration, they pour chocolate syrup.  They said the reason is that “Syrup makes ice cream better — it’s the syrup on top that makes it that much sweeter”.  So that’s their rationale.  The Hershey chocolate company was so enamored by the use of their product, they decided to give the Nationals free chocolate syrup.  It’s a great endorsement opportunity for Hershey.

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Warriors Win Game 1, NBA Lottery, American Pharoah Worth $20Mill For Breeding, PAT Changes

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Dwight HowardIn the NBA, it was Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.  Houston was coming into the game playing their best basketball of the season.  The Rockets started slowly then got some bad news when Dwight Howard struggled to play due to a sore knee.  Houston muscled back to close the gap, but the Warriors 3-point shooting was simply too great and the Warriors grabbed Game 1.  Golden State 110, Houston 106.

Also in the NBA, the NBA Draft Lottery took place.  This year, two major market teams, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers, had good odds for getting the top 1 or 2 picks and reviving their franchises.  When the ping pong balls were drawn, however, the #1 pick went to the worst team in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the Lakers getting the second pick. The Philadelphia 76ers drew the 3rd pick and the Knicks finished 4th.

HORSE RACING

In horse racing, all the excitement is around American Pharoah in his quest to win the Triple Crown.  But how horse owners really make their money by selling breeding rights and it’s reported that they are receiving offers in the range of $20 million for American Pharoah.

FOOTBALL

The NFL added a new rule for the 2015 season. The extra point will now be kicked from the 15 yard line (previously the 2 yard line) while the two point conversion will remain on the 2 yard line. The kick will now be a 32 yard attempt. The defense will also be able to score a touchdown if they intercept or return a blocked extra point. Previously, the ball was ruled dead.

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Dolphins Sign Tannehill To $96 Mill Contract, 49ers Defense In Trouble, Mayweather Wins $500K Bet

Bit of a quiet day in the sports world with the conference finals in the NBA playoffs set to tip off Tuesday night.

FOOTBALL

Ryan TannehillIn the NFL, the Miami Dolphins quietly signed their young quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a long term contract worth roughly $96million.  Of course, these numbers are inflated and largely bonus based, but it’s still around $20million guaranteed.  Even though Tannehill has had some major shortcomings late in each of his few seasons in the NFL, the Dolphins think he has the ability to be a franchise quarterback.  They have no interest in starting from scratch with another rookie.  Plus, they added some serious receiving weapons in the draft to help Tannehill.  Could be a good move for the Dolphins.
Elsewhere in the NFL, what was once a mighty defense in San Francisco for the 49ers is quickly going soft.  Earlier this off-season, the Niners star linebacker Patrick Willis decided to retire.  And now, their star defensive lineman, Justin Smith, has decided to call it quits as well.  This leaves major holes in their defense, and that is not good news in the increasingly difficult NFC West division.   It’s going to be a rough ride in SF this fall.

BOXING

Undefeated boxing champ Floyd Mayweather went on a gambling spree this weekend, and won nearly $500,000 by going against the grain.  In one such bet, he put his money down on the Rockets to win Game 6 in Los Angeles, when everyone thought the Clippers would wrap up the series.

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Wizards And Clippers Collapse, Hawks And Rockets Move On To Eastern/Western Conf Finals, American Pharoah Wins Preakness

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This weekend saw the epic collapse of some NBA teams.  First up, the Washington Wizards were hoping to defend their home court against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 and force a Game 7.  Everyone expected them to win the game as they now have a relatively healthy team.  Unfortunately for the Wizards, however, they fell down big early, and couldn’t get their rhythm.  They stormed back late in the 4th, but some costly mistakes gave the Hawks all the advantages to snag the win and eliminate the Wizards.  The Wiz will now have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to avoid collapsing down the stretch. The Hawks go on to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.  Atlanta 94, Washington 91.

Speaking of failures, the Los Angeles Clippers had an all time epic collapse against the Houston Rockets in their Game 6.  The Clippers had a 19 point lead late in the 3rd quarter at home with a chance to win the series.  They not only blew the lead, but allowed to Rockets to crush them.  They were forced to go back to Houston to try and win Game 7 in front of a raucous Houston crowd.  Houston, however, came out strong and never let up.  The Rockets easily grabbed the win and will now take on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.  Houston 113, LA Clippers 100.

HORSE RACING

American PharoahThis weekend was the second leg of the quest for the Triple Crown in horse racing: The Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore.  The favorite was the Kentucky Derby winner, American Pharoah.  And in a big surge at the end, Pharoah took home 1st place again.  Now all the talk is , “will he be able to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes in three weeks”?   It’s not such an easy feat, however. Fourteen  horses in the last 36 years, including last year’s California Chrome won the first two races of the Triple Crown but came away defeated at the Belmont. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

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Cavs Advance To Eastern Conf Finals, Clippers Choke, Tom Brady Appeals Suspension

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In the NBA, it was Game 6 between the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Cavs led 3-2, but the Bulls had the chance to defend their home court and force a Game 7.  One would expect the Bulls to come out fiercer than ever, but they looked absolutely terrible.  LeBron and the Cavs easily dismantled the Bulls.  The Cavs grabbed an easy win, and will now await the winner of the Atlanta/Washington series to fill out the Eastern Conference Finals.  Cleveland 94, Chicago 73.

Then, it was Game 6 for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets.  The Clippers had a chance to close out the series on their home floor.  They even led by 12 with roughly 6 minutes to go in the 4th.  But they just did everything wrong down the stretch, while the Rockets, with nothing to lose, played comfortably and hit every shot.  If you look at the Final score, it appears that the Rockets crushed the Clippers, but that lead was built in the final minutes of the game.   They erased the Clippers lead and did it WITHOUT James Harden, because the coach felt the group on the floor was playing so well the team didn’t need him. The Clips choked, and now we will get a Game 7 in Houston.  Houston 119, LA Clippers 107.

FOOTBALL

 

Tom BradyFinally, in the NFL, New England Patriots’ QB, Tom Brady’s wants to appeal his 4-game suspension for deflategate.  He doesn’t think he’s being treated fairly and that the report doesn’t take into account the science of balls naturally losing air.  Brady definitely wants to try and be on the field at the beginning of the season.

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Last Second Hawks Win, Warriors Dominate, Rangers Win In Overtime And Head On

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In the NBA, the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks were tied at 2 in a pivotal Game 5.  The good news for the Wizards was that they had their superstar John Wall back in the line-up.  Having him play was paramount to their success as he demonstrated by helping them build a 7-point lead in the 4th quarter. The Wizards, unfortunately, have a knack of giving up leads, and they did it again Wednesday night.  The Hawks came back, and looked like they were going to win the game, but a late 3-point shot from Paul Pierce gave the Wizards a 1-point lead.  The Hawks had one last chance.  Dennis Schroeder’s layup was blocked, but then Al Horford got the rebound and put in the winning basket at the last second for the Hawks’ win. Now we’re headed to Washington for a Game 6.  Atlanta 82, Washington 81.

Then, in Golden State, the Warriors and the Grizzlies were also tied at 2, but it is very tough to win in Golden State, specially against a Warriors team that can easily put up 15 points in just a minute or two.  No lead is safe, except for on Wednesday night when the Warriors gained control early, and never let off the gas.  The Grizzlies simply couldn’t get anything going, and will have to do some real soul searching to figure out how they are going to beat a tenacious Warriors team.  Golden State 98, Memphis 78.

HOCKEY

NY RangersIn the NHL, the Washington Capitals led their series 3-1  against the New York Rangers.  The Rangers never gave up, and evened the series at 3-3.   Capitals’ star Alex Ovechkin went to the media and guaranteed a Game 7 victory. That’s pretty gutsy.  Unfortunately for the Caps, his prediction was inaccurate, as the Rangers won the game in overtime.  New York will now face off against the Tampa Bay Lightening in the Eastern Conference Final. New York 2, Washington 1.

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Cavs Much Needed Win Agst Bulls, Rockets Avoid Elimination, Pelicans Want Calipari

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Indiana Pacers Chicago Bulls during the XXX quarter in Game 5 of a first-round NBA playoffs basketball series on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to take care of business at home against the Chicago Bulls.  They absolutely needed the win to avoid elimination when the series heads back to Chicago. These are the type of games that LeBron James takes over.  He put up 38 points to hold off the Bulls.  Tempers flared in this game, however, as the Bulls’ Taj Gibson was ejected for kicking a Cavs player. Cleveland 106, Chicago 101.
Then, the playoffs most disappointing team, the Houston Rockets, were hoping to avoid elimination taking on a red hot Clippers.  The Rockets have been looking completely disjointed this series. Tuesday night, however, the Rockets came to play.  They absolutely demolished the Clippers, and looked like their regular season selves again.  It’s unlikely that they will wrest Game 6 away from the Clippers in LA, but stranger things have happened.  Houston 124, LA Clippers 103.

John CalipariDespite having a much improved season and a playoff appearance, the New Orleans Pelicans have fired head coach Monte Williams.  This is a bit odd coming so late in the season, but rumors are swirling that their star Anthony Davis may not have liked Williams.  And now, the next rumor is that the Pelicans want to become a “talked about” team in the NBA and want Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans to reach out to John Calipari, their college coach in Kentucky.   Calipari grabs headlines, and New Orleans would love those headlines.  Calipari, however,  just got a 1-year $8million extension and it’s hard to see him giving up his huge spotlight in college basketball to go to the Pelicans.

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Patriots Guilty And Tom Brady Suspended 4 Games, Hawks And Warriors Even Series

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Tom and GiseleThe major story of the day came from the NFL, where the Patriots were found guilty of Deflategate.  According to the report, the Patriots knowingly deflated balls before their game against the Indianapolis Colts, and, more importantly, QB Tom Brady was involved.  The Pats gave us some draft picks, had to pay $1 million dollars, and most importantly, Tom Brady was suspended for 4 games next season.  If the Pats lose those games, their playoff chances could be seriously hampered.  They are going to have to rely on their 2nd year QB, Jimmy Garoppolo to make some noise.

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In the NBA, it was do or die for the top seeds as they both faced the possibility of going down 3-1 in the series — not ideal when there is still one home game left for the underdog, who could potentially close it out at home.  First up, it was the top seed Atlanta Hawks against the Washington Wizards.  The Wizards led the series 2-1, but were without their superstar John Wall again (a serious setback). The Hawks capitalized by pretty much hitting every shot they took in the first half, posting an incredible 65 points by halftime.  They cooled a bit in the 2nd half, but did enough to win the game and even the series.  The wizards are hoping for a miracle that John Wall will be able to play again in this series.  They desperately need him.  Atlanta 106, Washington 101.

Then, it was the top seed Golden State Warriors taking on the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis.  Memphis won 2 straight, and it looked like they had the Warriors number, but Warriors head coach called this game the most important of the season, knowing that being down 3-1 would be a hard hole to climb out of.  The Warriors dominated the game from the opening tip off, and the Grizzlies just couldn’t get any momentum.  The Warriors grabbed the win, and the series will head back to Memphis even at 2.  Golden State 101, Memphis 84.

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Buzzer Beater Games In NBA With Bulls Then Cavs Winning And The Wizards Miraculous Win

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In the NBA, it was the weekend of the buzzer beater.

Derrick RoseIn Game 3 between the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the game was tied with just 10 seconds left.  The Bulls gave the ball to Derrick Rose.  He heaved up a shot from about 3 feet behind the 3-point land, AND BANKED IT IN.  The Bulls won, and Derrick Rose re-cements himself as a star player in the clutch.  Chicago 99, Cleveland 96.

Then, in Washington, the Wizards were absolutely clobbering the Hawks.  They had a safe 21-point lead with just 7 minutes to go in the 4th.  Then, all the sudden, the Wizards did everything wrong, and the Hawks did everything right.  And in just 3.5 minutes, the Hawks cut that deficit to 3 points.  3 POINTS!  That’s unheard of.  One thing led to another, and the Hawks actually tied the game with just 14 seconds left.  The Wizards had one last chance, but couldn’t get a good look at the basket, so Paul Pierce heaved up a desperation shot from close to the 3-point line, AND BANKED IT IN. The Wizards miraculously won, and without their best player John Wall.   Washington 103, Atlanta 101.

Then, on Sunday, the Bulls and Cavs were at it again.   The Cavs were leading late, and the Bulls made a miraculous comeback, with Derrick Rose tying it again with just 10 seconds left.  The Cavs had one last chance.  LeBron drove to the hoop, but it was knocked out of bounds, and the Cavs had just 1.5 seconds left.  LeBron reportedly said to his teammates — just give me the ball and I’ll get us a win.  LeBron got open, jumped high, got a shot off, and SWISH.  Incredible!  LeBron won it at the buzzer.  And now the series is headed back to Cleveland tied at 2.  Cleveland 86, Chicago 84.

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