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Dallas goes into the offseason looking to improve the roster around Doncic, with Hardaway Jr., Marjanovic and J.J. Redick (who didn't play at all this series due to injury) all being unrestricted free agents. Jalen Brunson's contract for next season isn't fully guaranteed, Willie Cauley-Stein has a team option worth $4.1 million, and Nicolo Melli will be a restricted free agent. Of these names Hardaway Jr. is the most important, given his perimeter shooting ability and improved production this season.

''That's insane. That's the MVP,'' Ayton said after the Phoenix Suns overcame the Joker's historic triple-double to thump Denver 116-102 Friday night, putting the Nuggets on the brink of elimination.Phoenix Suns

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But this team exorcised some serious demons by coming back from that 3-2 deficit against Luka’s Mavs, and although they still have some work to do on that front before earning the franchise’s first-ever conference finals, Kawhi Leonard is already proving he’s still an NBA superstar worth talking about. The Jazz present a much bigger challenge on the defensive end, but don’t be surprised if the Klaw rises to the occasion once again.Sacramento Kings

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The good news for Knicks fans is that their favorite franchise is armed with over $59 million in practical cap space heading into the offseason. Some of that should be eaten up by retaining key free agents from this year’s squad, but New York should still be able to carve out the cap space required to chase any potential max free agent this summer.San Antonio Spurs

Stevens stepped down as Celtics coach to replace Danny Ainge running the Celtics' front office and spent the first several days of his coaching search interviewing members of his former coaching staff, including Jay Larranaga, Jerome Allen, Scott Morrison and Joe Mazzulla, sources said.Washington Wizards

Lin gave up all that last year to make one more run at the NBA, trying to earn his way back through playing in the G-League for the Santa Cruz Warriors. Lin made headlines standing up against racism against Asians, and he put up decent numbers, but in the end, Lin did not get a call up to the NBA.

Mike Brown: It’s almost astounding the amount of talent that Brown has been around during his NBA coaching career. From his roots as a San Antonio assistant, to the multiple stints in Cleveland, to succeeding Phil Jackson in Los Angeles, to his current gig with the Warriors, Brown has routinely been around high-level talent. He’s still only 51. He’d be a surprise only in the sense that we don’t understand why his name doesn’t come up more often given his resume.
In the latest "Simulation Station", our partners at Strat-O-Matic examined the alternate reality of the Bruins selecting Taylor Hall, instead of Tyler Seguin, in the 2010 NHL Draft. Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Bruins must show massive improvement on the penalty kill or this series could easily end Wednesday night.Pittsburgh Penguins

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Even still, the Islanders’ offense has been far better than it was in 2020 playoffs when they finished with a still strong 3.00 goals-per-game. More than that, the Islanders have been out scoring the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have averaged 3.45 goals-per-game in the 2021 postseason.

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Tuesday’s Game 5 matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights. Avalanche-Golden Knights stream coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.Buffalo Sabres

The Islanders on the other hand are a win away from knocking off the top-seeded Penguins and a Bruins team who began the series with home ice. Say what you will about officiating and off-ice antics, but the Islanders are exploiting the Bruins where it’s hurt them the most, and it’s not the first time.

Hall has been openly campaigning for the team to re-sign him ever since he arrived. Given his success with Boston -- and appreciation for not having to be "the guy" -- it makes sense on all sides. After the first round, Hall told ESPN he wasn't even sure what his value is at this point, but he's looking for some stability -- as in, more than a bridge deal.Vegas Golden Knights

• Whatever the LA Kings do this summer, it won’t include bringing Jack Eichel to town. [Mayor’s Manor]
Woodruff’s fastball is spinning less this season, while his curveball is spinning just a bit more. Otherwise, his strikeout and walk rates are almost identical to what they were a year ago. The biggest difference between last year’s 3.05 ERA and this year’s 1.42? A 59-point drop in opponents’ batting average on balls in play.

"I haven't been playing the way that I want to at the plate and that happens -- that's why you play 162 games," Tauchman said. "I was trying to have a good at-bat for the boys there and got a good pitch to hit. I was fortunate to put a good swing on it and come through. It's never easy when you're not performing the way you want to, but it felt good."Detroit Tigers

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The seven humidors installed since the end of 2019 are notable for appearing in cities where they will usually provide lower-humidity storage, the opposite effect from Colorado and Arizona. But that does not necessarily translate to opposite on-field results.Tampa Bay Rays

"For me, whether they are using pine tar, rosin, sunscreen or bullfrog or whatever they want to use to control the ball, let them use it because for me I go into the box and see guys throwing harder every day," Alonso said. "And I don't want 99 mph slipping out of someone's hand because they didn't have enough feel for it."Philadelphia Phillies

The Padres scored far more runs Monday (nine) than they did in their entire three-game series at Wrigley Field last week (six).Cleveland Indians

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The Mets bats were on fire Wednesday night with Kevin Pillar and Billy McKinney homering twice each, accompanied by bombs from Pete Alonso and Mason Williams and resulting in a 14-1 win for New York.

Letting him walk without getting valuable assets in return via trade would be a bad move.

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"We're going to potentially have some help from our own guys internally who are going to get additional opportunities," Hahn said. "We're going to potentially have help from some injured players returning. And obviously, we could well have an interesting next few months leading up to the trade deadline based on where our needs fit at that time."

Of course, if the Giants build some momentum off Tauchman's grand slam and carry it through their six-game road trip, his catch might have some competition.Texas Rangers

In other moves Monday, the Mariners reinstated infielder Shed Long Jr. (right shin fracture) from the 60-day injured list and transferred infielder/outfielder Sam Haggerty (right shoulder inflammation) to the 60-day IL.Kansas City Royals

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While game-time temperatures in Baltimore are flirting with 80 degrees, it is going to be very humid; that combination is a boon for offenses. Another bonus is having southpaw Bruce Zimmermann on the mound in these conditions. Tonight marks Zimmerman’s 11th career start, and he has a grand total of 59 innings in the majors under his belt. In this time, he has allowed 2.22 home runs per nine innings to opposite-handed batsmen and 1.59 to lefties.New York Yankees

"He just doesn't believe in it right now, and we respect his decision. ... The vaccine was made pretty fast, and a lot of people don't believe in it. I got vaccinated because I have kids and want to protect them."

Despite plenty of success on the field, the Cubs’ bottom line, similar to the rest of baseball, is still catching up to the pace of play in a full season due to the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. No matter how many fans flock to Wrigley Field to see a winning ball-club, odds are the Cubs are taking on losses in 2021.Minnesota Twins

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A bit of the rust wasn't surprising, considering Urena hadn't pitched since late May. He exited his previous start May 26 against Cleveland in the sixth inning with a right forearm strain, which sent him to the 10-day injured list until he was activated for Sunday's series finale with the Chicago White Sox.
The Tigers also love what they're seeing from Dingler, who has contributed offensively and defensively for West Michigan. The 22-year-old came from Ohio State and was the No. 38 pick in last year's draft.

Alex Verdugo gives the Red Sox an early lead with a solo home run to right field, making it 1-0 in the top of the 1st inningSt. Louis Cardinals

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Ross said Báez can handle playing in the field and running the bases, but he was awaiting word from the trainers how how Báez felt taking swings in the cage before considering his starting status.New York Yankees

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The lawsuit had sought $100 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages. The lawyer said he represented the Washington-based Job Creators Network, described in the lawsuit as a nonpartisan organization supporting over 30 million businesses nationwide, including over 10,000 Georgia businesses.Chicago Cubs

In Game 2 of the Twins-Astros series, an elimination game for the Twins, Byron Buxton was sent in to pinch run in the eighth inning with the Twins behind 2-1. He was picked off at first base for the third out of the inning. The Astros won 3-1 and advanced. The Twins went home.New York Mets

The Chicago Cubs did not have the greatest start to their road trip after they lost three-of-four games against the San Francisco Giants this past weekend. Now, the Cubs were looking to get a series win against the San Diego Padres, whom they swept in Chicago last week. On Monday, their chances did not get off to the greatest of starts.

The class of 2020 -- Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker -- will have to wait a little bit longer to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, it was announced Wednesday.

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After a season which saw them reach the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks possess the No. 19 pick in this year’s draft, along with the Mavericks’ pick at No. 21.

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The Suns made the Finals in 1976 for the first time with a Colangelo-built team, losing to the Boston Celtics in an unexpected six-game series. Three players—Alvan Adams, Dick Van Arsdale and the Paul Westphal—and coach John McLeod from that team are in the Ring of Honor. Walter Davis, another Ring honoree, joined the team a season later. Adams still works in a front office capacity as a Suns vice president.Washington Wizards

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When Walker was available this season, he wasn’t that far from his best. Over 43 regular season games he averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. A typical offseason to rest his knee will only help looking to next season.Utah Jazz

THEY CAN’T MAKE FOUL SHOTS: The 76ers had another terrible night at the foul line, making just 25 of 39 free throws. They’ve shot worse than 70 percent from the line in seven of their eight postseason games. Every other playoff team combined has shot worse than 70 percent in 15 of 104 games this postseason. The 76ers are only the sixth team in NBA history to shoot worse than 70 percent in seven of its first eight games in a single postseason and only the third since 1965 (along with the 1999 and 2004 Lakers with Shaq). Overall, the 76ers are shooting 68.6 percent from the line this postseason, their worst in any postseason since 1970, when they shot 67.9 percent.Phoenix Suns

But he rose with the Suns, from being the youngest NBA general manager in history at the team’s inception into the franchise owner. He founded Major League Baseball’s expansion Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998 and turned them into a World Series winner by 2001. He’s responsible for the NHL moving into the Valley when the Jets shifted from Winnipeg in 1996 and became the Coyotes.

"The rookie extension is the hardest contract you could negotiate," Marks said. "You're not bidding against anybody else, so it's like salary arbitration where you basically have a deadline the day before the start of the regular season. That is the only deadline at all. I was looking at numbers, there's only been seven players since 2018 who have been picked past pick No. 20 who have been extended.San Antonio Spurs

When he took the Sixers job, head coach Doc Rivers vividly remembered what Milton had done last March, scoring 39 points against the Clippers in a performance that seemed to surprise everyone but him. Rivers didn’t think Milton was a one-hit wonder. He believed he had a blossoming bench scorer, one who could fill a Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford-esque role. 

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BOSTON (AP) — Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, like just about everyone rooting for Boston, watched Patrice Bergeron coasting toward the net and pictured the potential go-ahead goal.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild hired longtime NHL general manager Ray Shero on Wednesday as a senior adviser to general manager Bill Guerin, who played for and worked under Shero with the Pittsburgh Penguins.Vegas Golden Knights

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"He's playing with a lot of confidence right now. He's working extremely hard. He's not letting down. He's not backing off," said Cizikas. "It's fun to watch. He's an elite player. Superstar skill. When he's going out there, we're following right behind him."

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Newhook and Ranta got that treatment for Colorado after coach Jared Bednar felt they deserved a spot in the lineup. Bednar said, “You never know until you try, and I don’t think you can be scared to try in a lot of situations.”Columbus Blue Jackets

Hockey Hall of Famer Clark Gillies was so pumped during Game 4 between the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins, that he smashed a beer can over his head.Pittsburgh Penguins

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RIGA, Latvia -- Nick Paul scored in overtime on a 2-on-1 break with Ottawa Senators teammate Connor Brown and Canada won its 27th world hockey title, defeating Finland 3-2 on Sunday night.Buffalo Sabres

Read on for the full playoff picture, including previews, analysis, highlights, scores and more for each team and series.
Just days after helping Team USA qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Williams received word he was being promoted to the major leagues. And then in his first MLB start on Wednesday night, he delivered a game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Phillies a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

WASHINGTON — Nationals ace Max Scherzer exited with an apparent injury after throwing just 12 pitches during his start against San Francisco.Tampa Bay Rays

The Twins certainly didn’t intend to go this route, built to win their third consecutive AL Central title.

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Our players today, for all their talent and greatness, are confused far too often on the bases. In spring training 2019, Yankees manager Aaron Boone, during infield drills, instructed his players that when the Yankees are in the field, if there's an infield fly rule, his fielders should consider intentionally letting the ball drop because it might totally confuse the runners on the other team. They might not know what to do, and they might run themselves into another out.Kansas City Royals

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7. While Pederson returned to the lineup, Javy Báez missed a second straight game after exiting Sunday vs. the Giants with a jammed thumb. Báez is likely out until this weekend vs. the Cardinals.

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After getting hit by a pitch, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips pretended to charge the mound during Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.Washington Nationals

On BNNY, Jim Duquette and Anthony Recker offer up some starting pitching options the Mets could pursue at the trade deadline, including Max Scherzer. Watch more Baseball Night in NY: https://sny.tv/shows/baseball-night-in-ny About Baseball Night in New York: On Baseball Night in New York, host Doug Williams is joined by a cast of leading New York baseball writers and other experts to discuss the latest off-season news involving the New York Mets, Yankees, and key division rivals. About SNY: SNY is an award winning, multiplatform regional sports network serving millions across the country through unparalleled coverage of all things New York sports. SNY delivers the most comprehensive access to all of the Tri-State area's professional and collegiate sports teams through nightly sports and entertainment programs. SNY.tv is the "go-to" digital communal home for New York sports fans to get succinct, easy-to-read updates, video highlights and features, recaps, news, opinion, rumors, insight and fan reaction on their favorite New York sports teams. Check out more from SNY at https://sny.tv ​ Subscribe to SNY on YouTube: https://on.sny.tv/S5RYeWN Like SNY on Facebook: https://on.sny.tv/rBYAHLi​ Follow SNY on Twitter: https://on.sny.tv/nOn1uq1 ​ Follow SNY on Instagram: https://on.sny.tv/lEArPVpArizona Diamondbacks
Young will have to regroup along with his team with Game 4 coming up on Monday. If they want to stay alive in the series, they’ll need to make Simmons free throw misses matter by keeping the game much closer than it was for most of Friday.Sacramento Kings

"Ain’t no stress in that, which is why you can see guys play great on terrible teams and then they go to teams where games are meaningful and all of the sudden you don’t recognize the player.”Portland Trail Blazers

Philadelphia’s 127-111 win in Game 3 does not end the series, or even ensure that it won’t last a while longer. The Hawks still have a Game 4 back in State Farm Arena on Monday, and a win there would make it 2-2 and flip the pressure back on the 76ers to hold serve in Game 5.Phoenix Suns

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Whether it was Deandre Ayton rolling to the rim or Phoenix's shooters spotting up, Denver seemed to have few answers.

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"The difference between this year was I started this season really well," Jokic said. "I played kind of the whole season really well stat wise. I think this was the best season of my life and the cherry on the top is the trophy that I got. This is the best season of my life."

“My mindset was coming in and playing hard and doing whatever it takes to help us win,” Kennard said. “It’s not about how many points you score. It’s about what can you do to help us win?”San Antonio Spurs

"We were lucky and, at the same time, we deserved it to get an organization like USA Basketball to extend this invitation to us," Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez said. "In such a complicated context it doesn't get better than this."
Beal reportedly plans to pitch free agents on coming to the Wizards this offseason. But if Washington is unable to get Beal and Russell Westbrook help, it isn't hard to envision the 27-year-old asking for a trade and the Warriors would have one of the more attractive packages.

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The 76ers played up to their No. 1 seed, taking a lead of 22 points and keeping the advantage in double figures most of the second half. The Hawks played from behind after their last lead at 11-10.Portland Trail Blazers

"If he's part of your future and you think his upside is high, you don't need to go out and pay him $25 million, but there's got to be some kind of compromise there."Utah Jazz

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But Porzingis has been frustrated, often feeling more like an afterthought than a co-star as Doncic dominates the ball and the spotlight, sources told ESPN. Porzingis frequently made thinly veiled references during his postgame media availabilities, such as saying the "ball actually moved tonight" after high-scoring performances or stating that the offense didn't involve him on low-scoring nights.Phoenix Suns

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The one vote for Derrick Rose, whoever you are, you shall never pay for a drink in Chicago or New York. https://t.co/AdNcfAni5u

Surrounding Young with sharpshooters was a brilliant move by Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk, who deserves far more credit than he gets. Atlanta is by no means a popular free agent destination, so Schlenk was forced to build through trades and the draft. He’s done so brilliantly.San Antonio Spurs

"Magic's just a great basketball player," Bird would say to the media of his rival and friend Earvin "Magic" Johnson after the series, whose transcendent play was too much for Boston to contain. "Unbelievable. I don't know what to say." From a hyper-competitive opponent like Larry Legend, it said quite a lot. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=51870,51867,51861,51857] [listicle id=51864]
The Tampa Bay Lightning power play is the difference again as they move one win closer to advancing.Buffalo Sabres

The tally evened the score at two and came at the perfect time for the Bruins as the Islanders had taken a 2-1 lead not long before Marchand's display of skill.

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The matchup has shifted back to TD Garden after the Islanders evened the series with a 4-1 victory in Game 4 at Nassau Coliseum.Pittsburgh Penguins

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Carey Price stopped 26 shots in picking up his seventh win against three losses. He had a shutout streak of 99:33 that ended with the Lowry goal. Price has sensational peripherals as he has a 1.97 GAA and a .938 save percentage.

They win with defense, having allowed the fewest goals in the NHL over the past three seasons. Again, a night-and-day transformation for a team that was 28th in goals against over the preceding three-year stretch, including last (30th out of 30) in the season immediately before this run began. The transformation has taken place with a roster that has a lot of the same players on it.Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Bruins' latest playoff hype video will get fans excited for the pivotal Game 4. Check it out in the tweet below:Vegas Golden Knights

Price has ice in his veins. This latest save comes two games following his athletic diving stop on Maple Leafs center Jason Spezza in Game 3, many calling it the save of the entire NHL season.