By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – Smart, sharing, versatile, deep and most of all consistent are the San Antonio Spurs, who hunger for revenge against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Leading by five points with 30 seconds to go in a potential Game Six clincher in Miami last year, the Heat rose up to send the game to overtime, force a Game Seven and prevail to dash San Antonio’s hopes for a fifth NBA crown.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Twenty years ago, the New York Rangers found inspiration in their fiercely determined captain Mark Messier to end a 54-year wait for a Stanley Cup title.
Now an emotional lift from Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore, who set aside personal tragedies to join their team mates on a championship quest, may help the Rangers reclaim the NHL’s cherished silver in the Stanley Cup Finals starting on Wednesday.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – For the Montreal Canadiens, hockey’s most successful team, the 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday meant another year added to their title drought.
But the ramifications of Montreal’s loss will spread so much further than Quebec’s largest city.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The LPGA and PGA of America said on Thursday they have joined forces to revamp one of the women’s tour’s major events in a move that will help give more exposure to women’s golf.
Starting in 2015, the LPGA Championship, which is one of five majors on the women’s tour, will be rebranded as the Women’s PGA Championship and run by the PGA of America.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk stuffed in a rebound 72 seconds into overtime to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Thursday and reduce the Eastern Conference finals series deficit to 2-1.
Galchenyuk ended the pulsating game when he cleaned up after a strong shot from Tomas Plekanec bounced off New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – The San Antonio Spurs lost all four of their regular season games to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder but a suspenseful, hard-fought series would be no surprise in their clash for the Western Conference title.
While Oklahoma City owns bragging rights from those head-to-head meetings, San Antonio owns the rings, having won four NBA titles in the glorious career of forward Tim Duncan and fallen just shy in last year’s seven-game NBA Finals to the Miami Heat.
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.