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Philadelphia won that game, 107-101. It was the only game they would win all series — the only game the Lakers would lose that entire playoff run (15-1).Utah Jazz

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Offense likely will be plentiful on Saturday when Brooklyn hosts Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in a series many figure will be a slugfest.
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WASHINGTON -- Katherine Evans is joining the Wizards as the first woman to head the research or analytics department of an NBA franchise.

“If you were born in the 70s or 80s and you collected cards — obviously, a lot of people did at that time — every kid wanted a Jordan rookie,” Ivy said.Washington Wizards

It was quite the bounce-back outing for Lillard, who scored just 10 points on 1-of-10 shooting in Game 4; but the Blazers blew Denver out behind a strong defensive performance and balanced scoring.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hawks co-owner wrote Knicks anthem. His NBA worlds collide again.Phoenix Suns

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Davis was ruled as questionable to return by the Lakers, but it was pretty clear he needed to sit the rest of Game 6 out, even as Booker and the Suns stormed out to a commanding 36-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.Portland Trail Blazers
Hiura, 24, is hitting .125/.216/.212 in 104 at-bats this season. He is 2 for 29 with 16 strikeouts since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville and was held out of the lineup for four consecutive games before starting the series finale Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.Chicago White Sox

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The Mets still have their flaws, and considering their soft schedule – playing just 12 games against teams with a winning record, and going 2-10 in those – it’s difficult to gauge how good they really are two months into the season.

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- In the bottom of the 10th, Odor moved LeMahieu to third base with a groundout, and after Judge was intentionally walked to put two runners on, Boone called on Gleyber Torres to pinch-hit with two outs. Torres worked a walk to load the bases for Sanchez, but he whiffed on a breaking ball to keep the game going.Cleveland Indians

Wood gave up just four hits, but he was charged with seven earned runs after throwing just 3 2/3 innings in what was easily his wildest start of the season. Wood never had command of the back-foot slider that has been so effective this season, throwing 27 of them and landing just nine for strikes. He didn't get a single swing-and-miss on his out pitch.
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Michael King threw Rafael Devers one too many fastballs, and the young right-hander paid the price dearly. The Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead.Atlanta Braves

The Cubs have a good bullpen, but didn't expect to use it as much as the Giants on this night. Gabe Kapler's lineup left them no choice. Kazmir trailed 2-0 after just three pitches but in the second inning, the Giants put six runs on Arrieta's line with a series of scorched hits. 

Haase blasted lead-off home runs in the second and third innings. Schoop pelted his home runs in the second and sixth innings. Miguel Cabrera made an impact in the second inning, as well, driving in three runs on a double to the gap in right-center field.Minnesota Twins
The second-ranked North American skater is center Mason McTavish of Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League. He’s followed by Michigan center Kent Johnson, defenseman Luke Hughes of the U.S. National Team Development Team program, and right wing Dylan Guenther of Edmonton of the Western Hockey League.Buffalo Sabres

Burakovsky ended the 2020-21 regular season on a hot streak, scoring five goals and seven assists in the last eight games, but he has only recorded two assists so far in the playoffs.

“I can handle it, I’m a grown man. I’ve accepted that and I can be held accountable for that. But for my family to get that, it hurts me a lot.”

The other question is Mike Smith, who is also a UFA. Mikko Koskinen -- signed for another season at $4.5 million with trade protection! -- was a sub-replacement-level goalie. Smith turns 40 next March. They could get another defiantly effective regular season from him, but he hasn't won a playoff series since 2012. The Oil have some decisions to make in goal.Pittsburgh Penguins

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Halak, 36, arrived in DC at the trade deadline in 2014 after being dealt by the Buffalo Sabres along with a third-round draft pick for Michal Neuvirth and Rostislav Klesla. Halak was in the goal for 12 games with the Caps that year, posting a 5-4-3 record with a 0.933 save percentage. Vegas Golden Knights

Wilson publicly identified third-line center as one of the Sharks' biggest needs, and Eller would fit the bill. Although he's 32, he has consistently thrived for the Washington Capitals as a shutdown center. He's no slouch offensively, either, scoring 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 44 games this season.

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The end of the Colorado Avalanche’s 7-1 undressing of the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday night turned ugly, with Golden Knights’ “enforcer” Ryan Reaves cross-checking a goalie and proceeding to attack Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves in a bout of retribution.Toronto Maple Leafs
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The museum's exhibit does an excellent job of exploring yet another avenue of not only how slaves escaped a cruel life in the United States, but contributed to adding new ways to how the game is played today. Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds and Los Angeles Kings forward Quinton Byfield -- who became the highest-drafted Black player in NHL history in 2020 -- are among those who've followed in his footsteps.Buffalo Sabres

“He usually doesn’t get his accolades from game-winning goals, he’s usually the guy stopping game-tying goals from happening,” Cooper said. “So you’re really happy for guys that are team-first players that have an opportunity to bask in a little bit of the limelight, which he deserves.”Vegas Golden Knights

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General manager Ron Hextall indicated this week he has no plans to move on from the core of Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang.Columbus Blue Jackets

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3. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers. An identical salary cap hit to Barkov, only his contract runs for another season beyond. Getting these two players, with this level of production, for less than $12 million combined should give the Panthers a massive advantage over most other teams in the league when it comes to roster construction. No reason for them to not be a contender with this duo at that price.Toronto Maple Leafs
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"Graves is down in a vulnerable position, and he just stays on top of him and obviously hits him," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "So I didn't like the play. But [DeBoer] knows his player. I guess I don't think that [Reaves] is out there trying to injure people on purpose. He's just got a ruggedness to his game.

“We looked at it and what didn’t work for us, and there were a lot of things that didn’t work for us,” said DeBoer. “As a group, we didn’t do enough things well enough for long enough in order to deserve to win. It’s pretty easy to recognize that. We got what we deserved. I know we’ll bounce back.”

So if you’re inclined to say “Chara wouldn’t have made a difference out there,” consider that he wouldn’t have been nearly as costly as Lauzon’s been. He wouldn’t be a difference-maker, but Lauzon’s been a difference-maker in a negative way. 
"Oh-for-40? Is that what it was? I wasn't trying to count!" he said when the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser informed him of his slump at the plate.Atlanta Braves

May 14 The Rockies' Daulton Varsho played center field, right field and catcher in a 17-2 loss to the Nationals. He became the first player to catch and play center field in the same game since Andrew Romine on Sept. 30, 2017. But Romine played all positions that day as a stunt, a tribute to his versatility. The last player before then to catch and play center field in the same game was Brandon Inge in 2008.

Heading into the season, the team had to fill the void of losing Marcus Semien. Canha liked the idea of being the first guy the opposing starter faced and attacking him right away.Toronto Blue Jays

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The Nationals won't know how long Strasburg will be sidelined until they get the MRI results, but Rizzo is confident the team will be able to handle it regardless of what the diagnosis is.
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Back-to-back games against the Dodgers at home and then on the road saw the wheels come off of the wagon for Anthony DeSclafani. Across 7.1 innings in these games, DeSclafani allowed 21 baserunners and 12 earned runs, ceding two home runs and recording just six strikeouts. Traditionally, lefties have given DeSclafani fits.Colorado Rockies

That possibility doesn’t trouble Team USA manager Mike Scioscia as much as simply qualifying for the event. The U.S. has failed twice to do so in this cycle, but has another shot at it in the eight-nation Americas Qualification Event beginning Monday night against Nicaragua at Clover Park, the spring home of the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.Oakland Athletics

On Wednesday, MLB suspended four minor league pitchers for 10 games over the use of foreign substances to doctor baseballs. Two of the four, Marcus Every of Low-A Kannapolis and Sal Biasi of High-A Winston Salem, are in the White Sox system. Kai-Wei Teng and Mason Englert, minor leaguers with the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, were also suspended.

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The Mavericks are obviously Doncic's franchise. But one of the biggest questions for the Mavs moving forward is how Porzingis fits into the picture.Portland Trail Blazers

"The one thing that bothers me more than anything is we never really got an opportunity to see our full team at full strength," said James, who missed 26 games himself because of a high right ankle sprain that still limited him in the playoffs. "Either because of injury or COVID or something going on with our ballclub this year, we could never fully get into a rhythm. And never really kind of see the full potential of what we could be capable of."

“If us three are on the same page and playing well and communicate with the rest of the guys where to be on both ends of the ball,” Harden said, “I’ll take our chances against anybody.”

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"Scott did a helluva job keeping this team together during some of the most difficult dark moments probably in franchise history," Sheppard said. "... That being said, we want to get better. All of us. It starts with me. I've got to do my job better. We all have to get better at what we do, and that is what we will use these next few weeks to do."Sacramento Kings

Down 3-2 and coming off a demoralizing 115-85 loss in Game 5, Davis said it has pained him to be sidelined since halftime of Game 4 because of the groin injury.Phoenix Suns

It figures to be a wild West shootout. The Clippers led the NBA in 3-point shooting at 41% during the regular season, when they had nine players hitting 40% or better from long range. They made 94 3-pointers in the seven games against the Mavs, the most by any team in these playoffs so far. LA made 20 3s to finish off the series, the most in a Game 7 in league history. Utah was close behind, hitting 84 in five games against the Grizzlies.

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NOTE: This pick is protected if it is Nos. 1-4. Otherwise, it goes to the Oklahoma City Thunder.Toronto Raptors
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Stevens’ first task will be to find his replacement as head coach, a job that will be one of the most coveted on the planet with the opportunity to coach a young core of Tatum, Brown, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams. The Celtics may be looking to make an internal hire with Jay Larranaga being a leading candidate, but other names will no doubt start to surface soon.Washington Wizards

Even if he had been healthy, it might not have mattered with the way the Suns, led by star guard Devin Booker's 47 points, shot the ball.Sacramento Kings

The over has hit in Memphis’ last five games and in eight of Utah’s last nine games against Memphis. Quay is going to follow the trends here and roll with the over.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA playoff predictions: East picks for Nets-Bucks, 76ers-Hawks seriesPortland Trail Blazers

On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams sit down with Scott O’Neil, an executive with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and CEO of both the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.

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NEW YORK — Before most fans were in their seats at Barclays Center on Saturday night, Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash called for timeout.Toronto Raptors

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At 36-years-old, this would have been James’ last shot at playing for his country in the Summer Olympic Games. While he has already won gold for Team USA, James getting rest ahead of the Monstars is exactly what he and the Lakers will need heading into next season. With the Tokyo Games only a few weeks away, it makes all the sense in the world for James to sit this one out.
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“We all know why we’re here,” Pirates first baseman Will Craig said to start his Zoom session with reporters last Friday. I have been on a lot of Zooms with baseball players these past 14 months and I have yet to hear another one start so ominously.Toronto Blue Jays

A sore muscle in his side is the only thing that's managed to slow down deGrom this season. He leads the majors with a 0.71 ERA and 0.57 WHIP over eight starts. If he keeps pitching this well, he'll enter the MVP conversation.Chicago Cubs

David Robertson, who last pitched in the major leagues for Philadelphia in 2019, struck out two in a hitless ninth around a walk for his second save of the tournament. He retired pinch hitter Alexander Palma, a Milwaukee prospect, on a grounder to Frazier for the final out.

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CINCINNATI -- The series finale between the Phillies and the Reds scheduled for Wednesday -- billed as Cincinnati's "Second Opening Day" -- was postponed because of rain.New York Yankees

Given Yelich's struggles in 2020 when he hit .205 with a strikeout rate that skyrocketed from 20.3% to 30.8% and his health issues and lack of power in 2021, it's reasonable to ask: Will we see MVP-caliber Yelich the rest of the season?Milwaukee Brewers

In a year of depressed offense, the Red Sox have adapted to the new normal far better than their counterparts. Even including a recent slump, the Red Sox rank fifth in runs per game (4.93) and third in batting average (.257) and OPS (.755).

That would actually be the best-case scenario. If the problem isn’t health, if this is just a slump, Betts will come out of his funk. He’s too good to not.

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After strongly advocating for the Bulls to bring Rose home in January 2019, before the offseason in which the previous regime signed Tomáš Satoranský, I didn’t include Rose in the above list. He fits in the sense he’s a smart player who can find his role in any setting. But I don’t think he fills as many needs as he would have back in 2019. Like then, he would certainly sell tickets, so it makes sense for the Bulls to have interest from that standpoint.Utah Jazz

Harden had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 5, the first triple-double by a Nets player other than Jason Kidd in the postseason. Irving scored 25 points and Durant had 24.Phoenix Suns

It would be wise, though, for Ainge to get Tatum’s input on the direction of the team.

On that sequence, the Suns got the rebound and had an easy fast break score to extend their lead to 42-18.

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But what made it especially memorable was the way the Pistons left the court. During a stoppage with 7.9 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, multiple Detroit players (Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Mark Aguirre most visibly) lived up to their "Bad Boy" moniker by scurrying to the locker room without shaking hands with the victorious Bulls, whose bench they walked past as they exited.Sacramento Kings

More than anything, the Lakers will also reportedly be boosted by having Anthony Davis back in the starting lineup. He missed Game 5 with a hyperextended knee and strained groin. The latter injury he picked up while playing through the former in Game 4. With Los Angeles facing elimination, he’s going to risk worsening his situation again.Washington Wizards

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“They tried in the offseason. Had a few offers on the table and almost pulled the trigger. Kemba is very likely to be on the move this coming offseason,” one rival executive reportedly told Massey.
At the time, MLB Pipeline ranked Baty as the No. 17 best prospect in the draft in their Top 200 list. His power and approach at the plate were his lauded tools, while there were some questions defensively, and because Baty was held back in fifth grade, he was an older high school draft pick at 19 years old.

Grandal's home-run binge is good news for a lineup still without the injured Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert. Adding another productive bat to an offense that's received contributions from all over the place will only help the White Sox stay on their championship chase.Arizona Diamondbacks

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"It's not major," Means said Saturday. "It's nothing serious. It's more annoying than anything. I'm going to try and flush it out right now and try to attack some weak areas that are there."

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1. Jacob deGrom picked up where he left off, starting the game with a 1-2-3 inning on just 11 pitches and punching out two of the three batters.Texas Rangers

Here’s how Craig described the play that was, unfortunately, his introduction to the broader baseball world: “As soon as I released the ball I was like, 'Oh my gosh what am I doing?' Like, I know better than that. It's simple Baseball 101. But I guess, in my mind, when I saw him running back, I just kind of lost my mind for a second. I saw [Michael] Pérez looking at me and just released the ball and, yeah, the rest is history.”

Bryce Harper is back and in the Phillies' lineup Saturday after missing 10 games with a left forearm contusion.Cincinnati Reds

MLB instead chose to start extra innings with a runner on second base. The change was initially met with resistance, as with most changes in baseball, but it grew on people within the sport, leading to its adoption in 2021. So far, the format hasn’t helped the Dodgers.Miami Marlins
"It was a hard game. We played really well together, but there is a lot of areas we can improve. We have time to talk and get ready."Vegas Golden Knights

Wonderful and all, but he wanted to make sure the real star of the show received his fair share of the credit, too -- goaltender Philipp Grubauer.Columbus Blue Jackets

With the score tied 1-1, the Islanders took their first lead of the game when Scott Mayfield’s point shot was redirected and deflected in front, and Barzal batted the puck out of the air and past goalie Tuukka Rask with 6:57 left.Pittsburgh Penguins

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This season felt somewhat doomed from the start. It began in January, when coach John Tortorella was benching No. 1 center Pierre-Luc Dubois. Columbus has had its fair share of off-ice drama before -- and typically has handled it well, and within the locker room -- but this one hit different. The Blue Jackets engineered a flashy trade, swapping Dubois for Finnish sniper Patrik Laine and Columbus native Jack Roslovic.
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Just one minute later, Tyler Toffoli scored into an empty Toronto net to make it 3-0 and seal the win for the Habs, who set up game seven with successive overtime wins in games five and six.

The Bruins, for the first time all series, were out shot and didn't have the upper hand in scoring chances. Furthermore, the B's failed to tally a single shot on net over the final 6:18 of the third period.Toronto Maple Leafs

“They (SFA) won’t even name the problem even though it is the most obvious problem,” Scott said, adding that clubs “never had a point or a pound deducted” for sectarian abuse at their stadiums.

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