OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors somehow withstood
LeBron James’ latest brilliance on the NBA Finals stage.
A costly blunder by J.R. Smith and a disputed foul call involving
James himself sure helped.
Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Warriors capitalized on
Smith’s mistake that sent the game into overtime, overcoming a
51-point performance by James to beat Cleveland 124-114 in Game 1.
The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay
Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments
later and made contact. After replay review, Tristan Thompson
received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection with 2.6 seconds left.
James was in utter disbelief as regulation ended stunningly: George
Hill made the first of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left after
being fouled by Klay Thompson, but when Smith secured the rebound
of the second, he dribbled back toward halfcourt instead of
shooting, apparently thinking the Cavs had a lead.
Smith insisted he knew the score. Green figured Smith was simply
looking for James.
The Warriors then took over in overtime.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Adam Silver has encouraged the Philadelphia
76ers to both quickly and thoroughly resolve the investigation into
whether team president Bryan Colangelo used Twitter
inappropriately, a story that the NBA commissioner acknowledged was
not one he wants to be thinking about during the league’s title
Silver, speaking before Game 1 of the Cleveland-Golden State
matchup at the NBA Finals news conference, said he has talked with
76ers officials after the story about five Twitter accounts and how
they were used was broken by The Ringer earlier this week.
The 76ers retained an independent law firm to determine whether
Colangelo used the Twitter accounts. The situation could overshadow
Philadelphia’s efforts this summer to land any of the top players
who will be free agents – a list that includes LeBron James, who’s
appearing in the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Dodgers have learned how to win
for long stretches without Clayton Kershaw and might need to do so
Jorge Alfaro drove in two runs, Aaron Nola pitched seven innings of
two-hit ball and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Dodgers 2-1,
spoiling Kershaw’s first start in almost a month.
Kershaw, who returned after spending 30 days on the disabled list
for left biceps tendinitis, admitted after the game another DL trip
might be necessary – this time for a third back injury in three
seasons. He is expected to undergo an MRI and will not travel with
the team for this weekend’s series at Colorado.
Kershaw missed more than two months with a back issue in 2016, and
a separate back problem last year cost him five weeks. He called
that 2016 injury ”very, very severe” and said this one feels more
like what he dealt with last season.
The Dodgers have gone 75-46 in the past three years without
Kershaw, good for a .620 winning percentage. This year, the Dodgers
were 14-12 without their ace.
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) – Hideki Matsuyama and Tiger Woods hit their
stride at the end of their rounds at the Memorial, and it paid off
in different ways.
Matsuyama was in the middle of the pack at Muirfield Village when
he ran off four straight birdies and then holed out with a wedge
from 130 yards on the 17th hole for an eagle that sent him to a
7-under 65 and a share of the lead with 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann
of Chile and Abraham Ancer of Mexico.
Woods three-putted from 25 feet to fall to 3 over with five holes
to play. He answered with three straight birdies – two of them on
par 5s on the front nine – and got up-and-down from 62 yards on the
ninth hole for a 72.
Niemann, who won the Latin America Amateur Championship in January,
appears to be on the fast track to the PGA Tour. He turned pro
after the Masters and already has a pair of top 10s in his four
events. Another one this week might be enough to earn special
temporary membership on the PGA Tour, meaning he would have
unlimited exemptions to try to earn his card.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – The sun shone brightly at rain-soaked Shoal
Creek. So did Ariya Jutanugarn, Sarah Jane Smith and Jeongeun6 Lee.
Jutanugarn, Smith and Lee each shot a 5-under 67 to share the
first-round lead at the U.S. Women’s Open, where the course held up
better than some feared after heavy rains in recent days.
Thailand’s Jutanugarn spent hours in front before Smith and Lee
caught her in the evening.
Jutanugarn is coming off a Kingsmill Championship win and kept up
the momentum, including an eagle on No. 6. She said she started
focusing more on each shot instead of worrying about the big
Jutanugarn and the Smith each had an eagle, five birdies and two
bogeys. Lee, meanwhile, had five birdies on a course that has been
drenched in recent weeks, forcing the cancellation of Tuesday’s
practice round and limiting course time on the eve of the
Danielle Kang, 2014 winner Michelle Wie, Korean Ji-Hyun Kim and
Swedish amateur Linn Grant were 3 under.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The daughter of Denver Broncos owner Pat
Bowlen announced her desire to take over the leadership role of the
team and was informed she hasn’t met the criteria.
The Bowlen Trust issued a statement that said Beth Bowlen Wallace
”is not capable or qualified at this time.”
The team was placed in a trust when Pat Bowlen stepped down in 2014
because of Alzheimer’s. The trust is overseen by three people,
including team president and CEO Joe Ellis, who has final say on
day-to-day operations until one of Bowlen’s seven children can
succeed him as controlling owner.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Eric Wood can finally announce he’s
retiring after the Buffalo Bills released the veteran center in a
move considered a formality after he was diagnosed with a
career-ending neck injury in January.
Wood was released by the Bills, a person with direct knowledge of
the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the
condition of anonymity because the team was not planning to
announce the move.
The decision by the Bills ends a lengthy waiting period for the
team and Wood.
By waiting, the Bills limited the effect the player’s remaining
bonus money will have on their salary cap. The more than $10
million in bonus money owed to Wood will now only count against the
team’s salary cap this year rather than be spread over the two
years left on the contract.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NCAA is about two weeks away from finally
making some substantial reforms to transfer rules. The changes will
not be quite as extensive as some had hoped and the work is not
complete, but considering previous failed attempts, getting
anything accomplished on transfers can be counted as a success.
The NCAA’s transfer working group, led by South Dakota State
athletic director Justin Sell, will reconvene in Indianapolis on
June 11 and plans to present a proposal to the Division I Council
that will end the practice of schools and coaches blocking an
athlete from transferring or dictating where an athlete can go.
Currently, an athlete must ask a coach for permission to contact
other schools when choosing to transfer. A school interested in
recruiting a transferring player also must ask the athlete’s
current school for permission to recruit the athlete. Without
permission from the athlete’s original school, the athlete cannot
get financial aid from another school.
The new model would free athletes to be contacted when they notify
their current coaches. The athletes’ names would go into a database
created and managed by the NCAA, alerting schools of who can be
recruited. The changes will come with stricter tampering rules to
help appease coaches who worry illegal recruiting could rise.