By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – LeBron James and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat have rolled through the first two rounds of the playoffs and now face the familiar, but unpredictable, Indiana Pacers as the last hurdle to another NBA Finals.
Miami, who have lost one game this postseason, are looking to become the first team to win three straight NBA titles since the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, but the brawny Pacers could present a challenge.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – LeBron James dominated the game with 49 points, but the pass he made to key the Miami Heat’s playoff win over the Brooklyn Nets revealed a hidden dimension – a chess master’s genius for seeing several moves ahead in an instant.
The muscular forward, whose skills, athleticism and versatility have brought him acclaim as the best basketball player in the world, was praised after Monday’s game for his basketball “IQ” by Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – LeBron James poured in 49 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, putting the two-time defending champions one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference finals.
A three-point shot from the corner by Chris Bosh, set up by a pass from James to Mario Chalmers, snapped a 94-94 tie with 57 seconds to go in a see-saw struggle of a fourth quarter and Ray Allen made four critical free throws to ice the win.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Defensive end Michael Sam of the University of Missouri became the first openly gay player to be selected in a National Football League Draft when he was taken in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.
Sam, the co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference who announced he was gay in February, would become the first openly gay player in the NFL should he make the team’s 53-man regular season roster this summer.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Houston Texans beefed up their stout defensive line by taking extraordinary pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney from the University of South Carolina with the first pick of the 2014 National Football League Draft on Thursday.
The Texans, picking first after a league-worst 2-14 season, kicked off the annual selection party at Radio City Music Hall by taking defensive end Clowney to partner with two-time All-Pro DE J.J. Watt.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the game for life on Tuesday and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments that drew outrage from players, fans, commercial sponsors and even President Barack Obama.
Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will be barred from any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league’s governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told a news conference in New York.
NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) – Less than three months into
his job as the new commissioner of the National Basketball
Association (NBA), Adam Silver has already left an indelible
impression on the game.
In his first big test since taking over from David Stern,
who had served for three decades before stepping down earlier
this year, Silver emerged as a strong leader prepared to take a
firm stance against racial intolerance.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments made public over the weekend, the league’s commissioner said on Tuesday.
Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will not be allowed any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league’s governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a news conference in New York.
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – A pitcher using pine tar to improve his grip in cold weather appears to be a common practice in Major League Baseball, but smearing it on your neck for easy access is a no-no, as New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda found out.
Pineda was ejected from a game against the arch-rival Red Sox in Boston on Wednesday after contravening one of baseball’s arcane unwritten rules and faces a likely suspension.
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Bubba Watson had just won his second Masters in three years, by the comfortable margin of three strokes, and the long-hitting lefty sounded like he needed to pinch himself to believe it.
“A guy named Bubba from a small town, born in Pensacola, Florida, raised in Bagdad (Florida), it’s crazy to think that you’ve won,” Watson said at the champion’s news conference on Sunday.