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After the Damian Jones Experiment failed miserably to start Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr turned to Jordan Bell to start the second half. After taking an outlet pass from Draymond Green, Bell went in for an uncontested dunk, but he completely blew it. Bell took Green's words to heart and made up for his missed dunk with a huge dunk two minutes later.
Rafael dos Anjos showed once again why he is one of the top welterweights in the sport with a fourth round submission win in the UFC Fight Night main event from Rochester, N.Y. After a pair of tough losses to current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former interim champion Colby Covington in his past two fights, dos Anjos needed a strong performance on Saturday night and that is exactly what he delivered against Kevin Lee, was moving up to 170 pounds for the first time in his UFC career. As many expected, the fight really played out in two parts with Lee storming out to a strong start and dos Anjos biding his time to then attack his opponent once his conditioning started to fail him.
NASCAR says that damage to the right front of Kyle Larson's car contributed to it getting airborne on the final lap of last month's Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR does not plan to make any changes to the cars based on this incident. Larson was uninjured in the incident that saw his No. 42 Chevrolet roll multiple times after contact from William Byron's car.
LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the three basketball-playing Ball brothers, likely will play professionally in China or Australia before entering his name in the 2020 NBA Draft. That's according to a SLAM Magazine feature story on Ball, who played his senior season at the Spire Institute in Ohio. That could change if the NCAA gives the OK to allow him to play in college, but he already has played professionally -- even though his family contends he wasn't paid.
Kyrie Irving remains one of the absolute lynchpins of summer free agency, and his decision may have the most ripple effects. Kevin Durant may leave Golden State for New York, maybe Kawhi Leonard bolts the Raptors for the Clippers, but the choices there tend to be more binary. One or the other. Irving, whatever he decides, will impact the fates of a lot of teams, including the looming Anthony Davis trade (which, despite David Griffin's protestations, is still going to happen).
For the better half of this season, the first overall NHL Draft choice was widely believed to be Jack Hughes. But Kaapo Kakko is doing his best to change that narrative, storming into his senior Team Finland debut with six goals at the World Championships. When asked about how his play in Slovakia could affect the upcoming draft, Kakko didn't mince words.
Decision of free agent Tobias Harris toughest Elton Brand will face but may define offseason originally appeared on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com Everyone was in shock when Elton Brand was able to acquire Tobias Harris before the trade deadline. Harris was having an All-Star-caliber season, flirting with the elite 50/40/90 shooting line and on his way to a big payday this offseason. When the move was made, and after Harris' red-hot start with the Sixers, bringing him back seemed like a no-brainer.
The Milwaukee Bucks cruised to a dominant 125-103 win against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night, easily picking up a 2-0 series lead behind a 30-point night from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Shortly after the dominant win at Fiserv Forum, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon joined TNT's NBA crew to talk about the game. After discussing the win, Brogdon — who finished with 14 points off the bench for the Bucks, shooting 5-of-10 from the field — was asked about his Hoops2O charity, which “recruits players from across the NBA to raise funds and awareness for clean water initiatives in East Africa.
Ex-Warriors forward Matt Barnes doesn't refer to himself as NBA champion originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Saturday afternoon at 4:30, streaming live on the MyTeams app. In February 2017, Matt Barnes was waived by the Kings. Less than two weeks later -- shortly after Golden State star Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury -- Barnes signed with the Warriors.
The St. Louis Blues' 2-1 victory in Game 4 wasn't marred by controversy or unwanted involvement from the officials. But if fortunes favoured the San Jose Sharks to this point in the series, they may have swung in the opposition direction as St. Louis evened the Western Conference Final at two games apiece. Erik Karlsson sat on the end of the bench for a seven-minute stretch in the latter half of the third period before returning for the final two minutes to assist the last-minute push as the Sharks pressured with an extra attacker.
It's pretty well-established at this point that Bryce Harper is having a rough start to his Philadelphia Phillies career. As far his OBP goes, he's still a well-above average player, but the Phillies paid their $330 million with the idea he'd be an anchor in the middle of their lineup for a decade and beyond. Of course, the Phillies are also now saying they knew that they'd be seeing this slumping side of Harper as well.
Kawhi Leonard's future after the 2018-19 playoffs conclude is subject to league-wide interest and many believe that the Toronto Raptors standout will be joining the Los Angeles Clippers this summer. It appears that Milwaukee Bucks fans are trying to will this idea into existence. During the third quarter of Friday's Game 2 between the Bucks and Raptors, the Fiserv Forum couldn't help but troll Leonard with an “LA's calling” chant while he was at the free-throw line.
The Denver Nuggets surprisingly finished second in the Western Conference this season, but fell to the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round of the NBA playoffs. Denver's young team accomplished more than what most expected them to, and there is still room for growth. Here are three reasons the Nuggets can be even more dangerous in 2019-20.
Toronto Blue Jays phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been absolutely smacking the baseball lately, and owns two of the top 12 hardest-hit balls in MLB in 2019 through his first 17 games. Despite the high exit velocities, the 20-year-old carried a disappointing .207 batting average and .648 OPS into Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox. It seems like the Baseball Gods finally decided to bestow some good fortune on the third baseman, as Guerrero victimized Chicago starter Ivan Nova for a two-run shot to centre field.
Steve Kerr struck a more optimistic tone on Friday about Kevin Durant's status after admitting Thursday night that his calf injury “was a little more serious than we thought. The Warriors announced Thursday ahead of their Game 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers that Durant would not return before Game 5. That declaration came prior to the Golden State coach's postgame statement on the seriousness of his injury.
The Astros All-Star raised eyebrows this winter when he declared he's sick of watching Boston teams win championships. "After watching the Patriots win and with the Red Sox beating us last year, there's no other city that I would like to beat more this year than Boston," Bregman told the "Going Deep with Chad and JT" podcast in February. Speaking to NBC Sports Boston before the series opener Friday night vs. the Red Sox, Bregman struck a more complimentary tone.
There's an interesting story in the Los Angeles Times today about a neat idea the Dodgers had a couple of years ago. The plan would cost taxpayers nothing as the Dodgers and the existing landowners would foot the entire bill. It would not add to traffic, parking or zoning problems in the area — L.A.'s mayor said it would have less impact than if a Costco opened on the same property.
After abruptly losing Magic Johnson last month, the Los Angeles Lakers are not planning to hire a replacement. The Lakers will not hire a new president of basketball operations, and instead will keep general manager Rob Pelinka in his role while reporting directly to team owner Jeanie Buss, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Buss had considered replacing Johnson and hiring a new president, among other options, according to Shelburne, though eventually landed on sticking with Pelinka.
The coach of the defending national champions has staunchly been against the idea of college football players getting paid. Now that Swinney has gotten paid more than any coach in college football history, his opinion on players getting a piece of the college football revenue pie apparently hasn't changed either. In an interview with ESPN.com, Swinney discussed and downplayed the idea that he could go back to Alabama, where he played and was an assistant, whenever Alabama coach Nick Saban hangs it up.
DeMarcus Cousins closer to making Warriors return than Kevin Durant originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com OAKLAND – It took nine seasons for DeMarcus Cousins to participate in an NBA playoff game, and he lasted all of 25 minutes before limping off the floor with a torn quadriceps muscle. Less than five weeks later, he's inching his way back to the Warriors. There is no timetable for his return, but coach Steve Kerr acknowledged Friday that the 6-foot-11, 265-pound center likely will return to the starting lineup before Kevin Durant.
Patriots give team plane a makeover to reflect sixth championship originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com First, the Boston Bruins introduced "Bear Force One." Now, the New England Patriots have given their team plane a makeover. The Patriots knocked off the Los Angeles Rams back in February to capture their sixth Super Bowl title in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era.
Today we're going to focus on the Detroit Red Wings, who missed the playoffs for the third straight season as they transition from an era of consistent success to what they hope will be another great and lengthy period of triumph. Not much was expected of the Red Wings this year. In fact, the biggest change was the absence of Henrik Zetterberg, who had to end his career prior to the start of the 2018-19 campaign because of a back condition.
Gary West just can't get over what happened to Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby. The horse's owner began by appealing Maximum Security's disqualification, then he sued in federal court to have the win restored, and now he's doing something even crazier. In a statement released on Friday, West issued a $20 million challenge to four Kentucky Derby rivals: if Country House, War of Will, Long Range Toddy, or Bodexpress can beat Maximum Security in any race before January 1, 2020, he'll pay the owner of that horse $5 million of his own money.
Anthony Davis reportedly still wants to get out of the New Orleans Pelicans organization, but his preferred landing spot with the Los Angeles Lakers might be a no-go. Pelicans owner Gayle Benson is reportedly against sending the superstar to team up with LeBron James and has been very clear with that. From ESPN's Jackie MacMullan on Friday: “We have been told, I think, through channels — most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt — that Gayle Benson has basically told him, 'To the Lakers, over my dead body.
Jason Witten surprised many in late February when he abruptly ended his retirement and contract with ESPN to return to the Dallas Cowboys. Happy to be back: Jason Witten says he ended his retirement because he believes this Dallas Cowboys roster has a great chance to win a Super Bowl. In his first 15 seasons with the Cowboys, Witten and Dallas went to the postseason six times - twice as the NFC's top seed - but were one-and-done four times and never made it past the Divisional round.
The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate to pair a second star alongside LeBron James, and they'll explore other options in the event that their bumbling pursuit of Anthony Davis falls through. One potential target would be trading for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who will be entering the final year of his three-year, $90-million contract next season, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Deveney notes that Lowry may become available if Kawhi Leonard were to leave in free agency, and that the Lakers could potentially secure Lowry without surrendering as many valuable assets as it would for a younger star.
It's hard to keep track of all of Antonio Brown's gripes over the offseason, but you might remember him ripping Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's leadership. “He has a owner mentality like he can call out anybody including coaches,” Brown tweeted on Feb. 16 about Roethlisberger. There have been long discussions about Roethlisberger's leadership lately, and particularly him publicly criticizing teammates on the radio last season.
Ian Kinsler was the savior of the San Diego Padres on Thursday night. With the Pittsburgh Pirates leading 2-1 in the sixth, Kinsler blasted a no-doubt three-run home run to give the Padres a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Kinsler's home run was a beauty. It was a laser to left field, and considering it gave the Padres a lead over the Pirates, he had the right to celebrate.
NFL Rumors: Jamie Collins taking massive pay cut in return to Patriots originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com Want proof Jamie Collins was a low-risk pickup for the New England Patriots? Just look at his contract. The veteran linebacker will play the 2019 season on a one-year contract worth just $1.05 million with relatively little guaranteed money and incentives, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Friday.
Running back Elijah Holyfield's decision to leave Georgia to enter the 2019 draft had at least one significant detractor. Holyfield said he weighed whether he would have “made myself better or wasted a year” by staying in school and came down on the side of going pro, which his father Evander believed was a “bad decision.” The former heavyweight champ's take got some support when his son turned in lackluster workouts before going undrafted last month. The younger Holyfield wound up signing with the Panthers and the experience of going undrafted hasn't dimmed his confidence about what he can do at the professional level.
World number one Naomi Osaka said she was "between sad and disappointed" after pulling out of the Italian Open before Thursday's quarter-finals with injury just a week before the start of the French Open. The Japanese star was due to meet Madrid Open champion and sixth seed Kiki Bertens for a place in the final four in Rome. "Ror me it was a test to play against Kiki because she's playing really well and I wanted to see how well I could do.
The Steelers traded offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert to the Cardinals in March, and that left Gilbert regretting not being able to finish his career in Pittsburgh. “I felt like I disappointed a lot of people in Steeler Nation,” Gilbert told ESPN. Gilbert was a second-round draft pick of the Steelers in 2011 and played there eight years, but his last two seasons were plagued by injuries and a PED suspension.