The Sports Section

28

NBA Playoffs

Things haven’t gone the way the “experts” thought they would go so far in the Conference playoffs. The Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder had plenty to say about changing things up. Last year’s NBA champion Warriors are on the brink of being knocked out of the NBA Finals. OK City is trying to shock the so-called experts by upsetting the NBA favorite Warriors. On Wednesday, the Thunder had a 3-1 lead over last year’s champions and didn’t look they were about to let up.

The Warriors had a record 73 wins in the regular season, but were on the brink of elimination going into Thursday’s game 5 matchup for the Western Conference Championship thanks to turnovers.

The Warriors shot 41 percent and committed 21 turnovers that led to 18 points by the Thunder. The Warriors have relied on Stephan Curry to carry them to the Championship, but he was 6 for 20 and missed 8 of his 10 3-point attempts to score just 19 points. He was far from MVP material. Golden State will need him to step up if they are to repeat as NBA champions.

The Cavaliers got a scare from the upstart Raptors to start the Eastern Conference finals as the Raptors tied up the series on Monday. The Cavaliers showed that they are the team to beat when they punished the Raptors on their home court. After two straight losses in Canada, Cleveland crushed the team from north of the border by opening a 34-point lead in the first half. The Cavaliers looked more like the team that people thought would win it all when they opened up the postseason with 10 straight wins. As of press time, it looked like this could still be a Raptors vs. Thunder championship.

NHL Playoffs

First Cup Finals for Sharks

It took 25 years for the San Jose Sharks to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. The scoring started early when Joe Pavelski shot one home, then Joel Ward added two as the Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Wednesday night. Game one of the Stanley Cup Finals will be Monday night. As of Wednesday night, it comes down to whether the Sharks will face Pittsburgh on the road or host the Lightning. According to the “experts” the Sharks will be the underdogs no matter who they play.

MLB

While one Chicago team kept pace with the reports of a World Series running through the “windy city” another was falling off their pedestal. The Chicago Cubs continue to dominate all of baseball with the best record in the league. The White Sox however, have faltered in the past few weeks and may be showing signs of the team that many projected.

The Chicago Cubs have posted the best record in all of baseball, and on Wednesday they escaped a Cardinals late inning rally to go to 31-14. The Cubs weren’t without their struggles as they went up against a very hot San Francisco Giants team who have won five in a row and are only one game back of the Cubs in wins and have built a substantial lead over the Dodgers.

The White Sox, who were leading the American League in wins by a substantial margin, have come back down to Earth. The White Sox are still the American League’s leading defensive team, but have fallen on hard times with their offense and pitching. Pitching had been the teams’ strength, but even FGCU phenom Chris Sale didn’t fare well this week. Sale, who led all of baseball in wins, fell to Cleveland on Tuesday. Sale started the season with an MLB best 9-0 start and an AL leading ERA, but it wasn’t to be against a team that seems to have his number. Had Sale defeated his divisional nemesis, he would have become the first White Sox pitcher to win each of his first 10 starts since 1919 back when Cicotte of the infamous Black Sox went 12-0 that included two relief appearance wins.

Boston has come on strong in May to take over the AL East, while Seattle has moved into first place in the AL West.

The Cubs know a thing or two as to why the Giants now have a substantial lead in the NL West. After winning a series against the Cubs, San Francisco has built up a 4-game lead over their rivals, the Dodgers.

NASCAR: Logano Wins a Million

The new format may have left most of the field confused, but aggressive racing was encouraged and in the end, what ultimately won the All-Star race.

The lead was snatched away from Kyle Larson with two laps remaining on Saturday night by Joey Logano. Although Larson didn’t win the $1 million, he was the star on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson had to race his way into the main event on Saturday and earned his spot in the 20-driver field by edging out Chase Elliot in a door-to-door battle for the checkered flag finish. Logano won a million dollars but no points were awarded for the victory. Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is Sunday at 6:15pm ET.

 

Mike Yost

 

 

NASCAR SPRINT CUP

 

Sprint Cup Standings

  1. Kevin Harvick (4) 418
  2. Kyle Busch (18) 397
  3. Kurt Busch (41) 386
  4. Carl Edwards (19) 381
  5. Jimmie Johnson (48) 370
  6. Brad Keselowski (2) 368
  7. Chase Elliot (24) 341
  8. Joey Logano (22) 340
  9. Martin Truex Jr. (78) 336
  10. Austin Dillon (3) 315