The Sports Section

41

Finals MVP LeBron Plans to Stay in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a miraculous comeback after being down 0-2, defeating the defending champion Golden State Warriors. After a series of lopsided affairs in the first six games, the Cavaliers defeated Golden State in a 93-89 nail-biter in game 7. It was Cleveland’s first title in over half a century, making for a lot of happy fans waiting for something…anything to go right in Cleveland.

It seemed like the Warriors were going to repeat as NBA champs, leading at the half by seven, 42-49. In the second half James and Irving came out firing and clawed their way back in the 3rd quarter, and entered the final quarter down by one. Curry didn’t have one of his MVP type games, but Draymond Green scored the most points (32) of anyone in the game Sunday. In the end it wasn’t enough as James put up a triple-double (27 pts, 11 asst, 11 reb), Irving scored 26 points and Kevin Love pulled down 14 rebounds for the 2015-16 NBA Champion Cavaliers; and the celebrating commenced.

On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of happy fans gave their champs a hero’s welcome in downtown Cleveland. To show the team how much the city’s first major sports title in over fifty years (1964 Cleveland Browns) meant to them, fans lined the streets as the parade snaked through the city. The championship drought was the longest of any American city, and after the parade James accepted the MVP trophy from Jim Brown, the legendary running back who helped the Browns win in 1964.

When James returned to the Cavaliers, he pledged that he would bring a trophy to Cleveland. It’s a city that is home to professional basketball, football and baseball teams and their long-suffering fans, and this year James made good on that promise. Could the baseball team be next?

MLB: Baseball’s Cleveland Hot Too

The Cleveland Indians are making a push to get a trophy of their own. The Indians entered the season pretty much “under the radar,” with last year’s champs, the Kansas City Royals, getting most of the attention. The Detroit Tigers were discussed as a possible contender and even the White Sox seemed more poised for a run in October, but those three are looking up the standings to first place Cleveland, who won their seventh game in a row on Wednesday night.

The White Sox had a commanding lead a month ago, but have fallen on hard times and now find themselves in fourth. Detroit has been hovering right around .500, while KC has been streaky. Cleveland is now 10 games over .500 and as of Wednesday night are 3 games ahead of the second place Royals and 5 games ahead of Detroit and Chicago. Could this be the year Cleveland runs the board in professional sports? Well, there’s the Browns, so probably not.

In the American League the Orioles, Red Sox and Blue Jays are battling it out at the top of the East, with the Yankees only a few games behind. Tampa Bay is bringing up the rear and falling fast. The Rays lost their seventh in a row on Wednesday night. In the AL West, Texas has built a big lead over the rest of the division.

It’s another even year and lately that means a San Francisco Giants World Series Championship. The Giants won the World Series in 2010, ’12 and ’14, and they are playing like they might just do it again. S.F. has jumped out to a 5 game lead over the Dodgers, even though L.A. won their fifth in a row on Tuesday. It’s a long season, so no one is giving a championship ring to anyone yet, but odds makers are picking the Cubs to do it all.

The Cubs have the best record in baseball, but on Wednesday they were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. Even with the three game losing streak, Chicago was still 9.5 games in front of second place St. Louis. In the East, the Washington Nationals are a few games ahead of the rest of their division, even after losing their fourth in a row on Tuesday night.

NASCAR

This is the time of year when drivers on the cusp of making the Sprint Cup Chase have to buckle down and get a victory to secure their spot. There are some big names that are on the list of drivers near the cut off of the top 16 drivers.

Denny Hamlin is sitting at lucky number 13 in the standings, followed by Jamie McMurray (14th), Ryan Newman (15th), Kasey Kahne (17th), Kyle Larson (19th). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and AJ Allmendinger are tied at 20th and desperately need a win if they want to make the Chase. Winning at Sonoma would make things a lot less stressful for those “fringe drivers.”

The Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway is Sunday at 3:19pm ET

 

Mike Yost

 

NASCAR SPRINT CUP

Sprint Cup Standings

  1. Kevin Harvick (4) 526
  2. Kurt Busch (41) 496
  3. Brad Keselowski (2) 480
  4. Carl Edwards (19) 472
  5. Joey Logano (22) 455
  6. Chase Elliot (24) 453
  7. Jimmie Johnson (48) 441
  8. Martin Truex Jr. (78) 433
  9. Kyle Busch (18) 417
  10. Matt Kenseth (20) 409