What a weekend for underdogs, plus are the NBA’s top seeds in trouble?


Joyful Monday, everybody! Hope you had an ideal weekend.

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Good morning to everybody however particularly to…

THE DALLAS MAVERICKS AND THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

4 days in the past, the No. 1 seeds in each conferences have been cruising towards the convention finals. Then the weekend got here. The Mavericks and 76ers have tied up their convention semifinal sequence towards the Suns and Warmth, respectively, at two video games apiece.

We’ll begin in Dallas, the place the Mavericks adopted up Friday’s win with a 111-101 triumph yesterday.

  • Luka Doncic had a team-high 26 factors, however the story of the sport was Dorian Finney-Smith with 24 factors on a career-high eight 3-pointers.
  • Devin Booker scored 35 factors, however Chris Paul struggled and ultimately fouled out in simply 23 minutes.
  • Paul’s groups at the moment are 0-14 in his profession when he fouls out.
  • After taking pictures 50 p.c or higher in every of their first eight playoff video games, the Suns have been beneath 50 p.c for the second straight contest.

Apparently sufficient, after scoring 80 factors mixed in Video games 1 and a pair of — each losses — Doncic scored 52 mixed in Sport 3 and 4 triumphs. The large distinction? The supporting cast stepped up, notes NBA guru James Herbert.

  • Herbert: “Jason Kidd stated that ‘all people joined the social gathering’ after Dallas’ Sport 3 win, during which Jalen Brunson led the staff in scoring and Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber all scored at the least 14 factors. In Sport 4, six Mavs scored in double figures and Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie had 4 assists apiece.”

In Philadelphia, the 76ers have been rejuvenated by the return of celebrity Joel Embiid in Sport 3 and took Game 4 yesterday as well, 116-108.

  • Embiid had 24 factors and 11 rebounds, however James Harden stole the present with 31 factors. Getting into final night time, he had averaged 18.6 PPG this postseason.
  • Six 76ers scored in double figures.
  • Jimmy Butler poured in 40 factors for Miami.

However even with Harden stealing the present, it is no promise that he’ll be capable to replicate this efficiency within the sequence, writes our NBA scribe Sam Quinn.

  • Quinn: “I can not assist however surprise what it says about Harden that that is the kind of efficiency he is getting praised for. In spite of everything, he averaged simply shy of 34 factors, eight assists and 7 rebounds two seasons in the past. This was not peak James Harden… it isn’t as if he rediscovered his previous first step. Harden had shot 28.3 p.c on his 3s in Philly’s previous eight playoff video games. That is not who he actually is. However neither is 6-of-10 and with out that scorching taking pictures, the conversations surrounding his efficiency in all probability aren’t altering a lot.”

Honorable mentions

And never such a superb morning for…


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JA MORANT AND THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Over the weekend, we added one other damage to an NBA postseason that is already been filled with them. Ja Morant is expected to miss Game 4 tonight after struggling a knee damage in controversial style Saturday night time. The Grizzlies celebrity was injured with about six minutes to go in Sport 3 after Warriors guard Jordan Poole yanked on his knee.

It is clear that Poole — who won’t face any self-discipline from the league — pulled Morant’s knee, opines our NBA skilled Brad Botkin.

  • Botkin: “Poole referred to as it a ‘basketball play.’ I guarantee you there isn’t any regular basketball play that entails grabbing maintain of an opponent’s knee and pulling it backward. I do not consider it was intentional. I do not know if it really triggered the damage or aggravated a earlier one or not one of the above. All I do know is Poole irrefutably grabbed maintain of Morant’s knee. He did not graze it. He had maintain of it, and he pulled it backward. From that time ahead, by way of intention or explanation for damage or wherever else you wish to take the dialog, that is all debatable. However in case you’re saying Poole did not do something, intentional or in any other case, you are being disingenuous.”

This can be a large bummer for Morant and the Grizzlies, who might want to flip in a terrific efficiency tonight to keep away from happening 3-1 within the sequence.

  • The Grizzlies went 20-5 with out Morant through the common season. So, some silver lining, proper? Not fairly.
  • Within the 115 minutes Morant has performed this sequence, Memphis has outscored Golden State by six factors.
  • However within the 29 minutes Morant has sat this sequence, Golden State has outscored Memphis by 32(!) factors — a couple of level per minute.

In Sport 2, Dillon Brooks earned a one-game suspension for a Flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II, who fractured his left elbow within the course of. Now, one other clear non-basketball play has altered this sequence massively. The Grizzlies — and basketball normally — are worse off for it.

Not so honorable mentions

Wealthy Strike, an 80-1 longshot, wins Kentucky Derby ?


USATSI

On Friday morning, Wealthy Strike wasn’t even within the Kentucky Derby subject. On Saturday night time, he was the most stunning champion at Churchill Downs in recent memory.

It wasn’t simply that Wealthy Strike received because the longest of longshots, however how he received. Wealthy Strike was properly behind the leaders on the closing flip however maneuvered his method out of a pack after which chased down Epicenter and Zandon in a jaw-dropping end, which you can watch right here.

Take it from me, somebody who is aware of subsequent to nothing about horse racing however totally loved the race: You are going to wish to watch (or re-watch) it. Wealthy Strike wasn’t the one underdog who had an ideal weekend, although

Canelo Alvarez upset by Dmitry Bivol ?


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For the primary time in over eight years, Canelo Alvarez walked out of the ring defeated — and it wasn’t even all that shut. The undisputed tremendous middleweight champion struggled to get something moving into his return to the sunshine heavyweight class, losing to Dmitry Bivol by unanimous decision.

  • All three judges scored it 115-113 in favor of Bivol, however CBS Sports activities scored it 119-109 Bivol.
  • Bivol outlanded Alvarez, 152-84.
  • It is Alvarez’s second profession loss; the opposite was to Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
  • Bivol, in the meantime, strikes to an ideal 20-0 and retains his WBA mild heavyweight title.

Alvarez expressed his optimism for a rematch, however boxing skilled Brent Brookhouse wonders if that’s a good idea.

  • Brookhouse: “Provided that fixing the problems he had towards Bivol is a big process, it would not be unreasonable for Alvarez to return to tremendous middleweight, a division the place he’s nonetheless the undisputed four-belt champion. There are many huge fights ready for him south of sunshine heavyweight, together with the trilogy combat with Gennadiy Golovkin that was already being deliberate for the autumn. … A rematch with Bivol may simply come down the street and lose not one of the status.”

Max Homa wins Wells Fargo Championship ?


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After turning professional in 2013, Max Homa wanted almost eight years to choose up his first two PGA Tour wins. He is now picked up two extra the final eight months after winning the Wells Fargo Championship by two strokes.

  • Homa was in second getting into the ultimate spherical, two photographs behind Keegan Bradley.
  • He shot 2-under 68, whereas Bradley shot 2-over 72.
  • Homa finally bought a comparatively stress-free end, two strokes forward of Bradley, Cameron Younger and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Homa earned an A+ from our golf skilled Patrick McDonald.

  • McDonald:He possesses an entire sport, a killer intuition and constantly will get the job accomplished when within the warmth of a back-nine battle. The main championship résumé has but to catch as much as Homa’s expertise degree, however I’m assured it’ll.”

In the meantime, after a sluggish begin, Rory McIlroy completed fifth, his second straight top-five end. That’s encouraging ahead of the PGA Championship, notes golf reporter Kyle Porter.

  • Porter: “McIlroy is hitting the ball fairly properly. After main the Masters subject in strokes gained from tee to inexperienced (through Knowledge Golf), he once more completed within the prime 10 in that class at Wells Fargo. An method sport that has lacked at occasions this season has been stellar for 2 straight occasions, and the space that has given McIlroy probably the most matches (50-125 yards) was a spot he improved immensely over 72 holes at TPC Potomac.”

What we’re watching Monday ?


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