The Sports Section

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NBA Playoffs

For Cleveland- it’s two playoff series, two sweeps. The “Big Three” for the Cavaliers are definitely on a roll, and after finishing off the Hawks by one point in game four, they will have plenty of time to rest. Kevin Love scored 27, Kyrie Irving scored 21 and Lebron James 21 with 10 rebounds & nine assists) hit a clutch bucket with 39.2 seconds left on the clock to secure the 100-99 victory. A huge defensive play by James led to a jump ball and after James won the tip, Cleveland is on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals next week.

When James returned to Cleveland after winning it all in Miami with a cast of stars, he was hoping to duplicate the feat back in the city where his career started. His goal was to bring a championship to Cleveland, and with the acquisition of Love from Minnesota, things seemed to be set in the right direction. Injuries to Love and Irving however, put things on hold in the year 1 attempt. Now with a healthy cast of characters, the Cavs are steamrolling their way through the competition.

The series was a rematch of last year’s conference finals, and although this year the Cavs were the #1 seed instead of the Atlanta Hawks, the results were no different. These weren’t sure wins for Cleveland either. The Hawks played great for three and a half quarters, leading in three of the four games. The Hawks weren’t able to hold onto leads late in games and are now 0-12 in the post season versus the Cavs.

The Toronto Raptors are making things difficult for the much-anticipated matchup of Cavs vs. Heat to happen. On Wednesday night, the Miami Heat lost game 5 to the Raptors, 99-91. Miami faces elimination on Friday when they host Toronto at 8pm.

NHL Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. After dropping the series opener at home, the Lightning came back and won four straight, topped off with a 4-0 shutout over the NY Islanders. The loss ended the Isles deepest playoff run since 1993. Tampa also eliminated Detroit in five games in the first round of the playoffs.

The Lightning will face Pittsburgh on Friday at 8pm ET. 

            The Pittsburgh Penguins edged out the Washington Capitals 4-3 in overtime in game 6 to win the series 4-2. In the long rivalry between the two teams, out of the nine postseason series, the Penguins have come out on top eight times.

NASCAR

Before last weekend, Kyle Busch had won at every Sprint Cup track except for Pocono, Charlotte and Kansas. He can scratch Kansas, a track where he has had terrible luck, off the list. After having rough times at the Kansas Speedway, including two crashes out of Chase races and many more misfortunes, Busch finally won in Kansas City.

Kyle gave owner Joe Gibbs his sixth victory of the season with Busch’s third win of the season. He pulled away from Kevin Harvick after a late wreck knocked out a few of the leaders Saturday night. Harvick was second after making some big changes to his car after a sub par qualifying effort. Kurt Busch came in third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Ryan Blaney.

After winning his first pole in two years, Martin Truex Jr. had a comfortable lead entering the final round of scheduled stops with 54 laps to go, but had to come down pit road with a loose wheel, costing him a chance for the win. He led 95 laps at Kansas last season, but finished ninth after fuel and tire issues.

In contrast to last week’s crash-fest at Talladega, this week’s Go Bowling 400 only had one major crash, but it knocked several of the top drivers out of the race. Tony Stewart had a brief lead in his return to the #14, but things went bad quick when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. smacked into the wall. The incident bunched up the field and led to Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin going sideways through the corner, forcing Kyle Larson into the wall. Joey Logano then slammed into Hamlin.

The AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway is Sunday at 1:15pm ET.

 

Mike Yost

 

NASCAR SPRINT CUP

  1. Kevin Harvick (4) 390
  2. Kyle Busch (18) 386
  3. Carl Edwards (19) 367
  4. Jimmie Johnson (48) 353
  5. Kurt Busch (41) 350
  6. Brad Keselowski (2) 332
  7. Joey Logano (22) 320
  8. Austin Dillon (3) 307
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) 305
  10. Martin Truex Jr. (78) 303