• It almost seemed impossible to imagine Game 7 between the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs actually living up to the hype. I mean, how do you write an ending worthy of six games that featured so much drama, such intensity and so much excellent play by both sides?

    Forty-eight minutes, 31 lead changes, 16 ties and one unforgettable performance later, I think it's safe to say we found a fitting conclusion.

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    The Clippers beat the Spurs, 111-109, at Staples Center on Saturday, with point guard Chris Paul hitting an absurdly tough game-winning runner over the outstretched arm of the great Tim Duncan with one second remaining:

    Paul made that drive, and that shot, on one leg.

    Hell, he played the last three quarters on one leg, after pulling up lame late in the first quarter with what the Clippers would call a strained left hamstring.

    After he left the game and headed to the locker room with a member of the

    Read More »from CP3's game-winning, series-ending shot pushes Clips past Spurs in Game 7 classic
  • Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul left Game 7 of his team's opening-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs late in the first quarter after suffering a left hamstring injury.

    With L.A. trailing by one point in the do-or-die Game 7 and just under 2 1/2 minutes remaining, Paul stole the ball from Spurs big man Boris Diaw and began dribbling up the court. As he moved to his right, he reached back and grabbed the back of his left leg, but continued to push the ball. He stopped short at the 3-point arc to create space from San Antonio defender Patty Mills, pulled up and hit a 3-pointer to put the Clippers up 23-22.

    After DeAndre Jordan tied up Tim Duncan to force a jump ball on the ensuing possession, Paul left the game with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter. TNT's cameras showed him sitting with his head in his hands on the bench before heading back to the locker room with a trainer.

    He returned to the bench with 7:21 remaining in the second quarter, with

    Read More »from Chris Paul returns after leaving Clippers-Spurs Game 7 with left hamstring strain
  • Nene and Paul Millsap meet at the basket. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)Nene and Paul Millsap meet at the basket. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)How They Got Here

    Atlanta: After rolling to the East's No. 1 seed, many of us (present company included) expected the Hawks to make short work of the Brooklyn Nets. Instead, they looked like a team that hadn't played many meaningful games over the season's final month and needed some time to rev up.

    They struggled to put Brooklyn away in Game 1, and needed late miscues by Deron Williams to hold onto Game 2. They managed just 83 points in a Game 3 loss and couldn't control a vintage Williams in Game 4, leaving Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer searching for answers to the tactical adjustments Brooklyn made to throw Atlanta off its game.

    The Hawks responded, getting big games from center Al Horford, point guard Jeff Teague and Swiss Army knife swingman DeMarre Carroll to take Game 5 before stomping the Nets in Game 6. A Sunday afternoon tip in Atlanta after closing out in Brooklyn Friday night represents a quick turnaround, but given how comfortable the Hawks seemed to feel after Game

    Read More »from BDL's 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards
  • The struggle is real for Rory McIlroy.

    The Ulsterman advanced through group play into the knockout stage of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship, coming back from 2 down with two holes to play on Friday to beat Billy Horschel in sudden-death extra holes. Next up is Hideki Matsuyama in the Round of 16. If McIlroy wins that match, then he has a conflict of interest on his hands.

    Certainly he'll want to compete in the quarterfinal round at TPC Harding Park. However, he also has tickets to the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight in Vegas, which starts around 8:30 p.m. PT. He'd be cutting it close to make it to ringside on time.

    McIlroy, who would tee off in the quarterfinals between 2:50 and 3:35 p.m., has a plan.

    “Get to the afternoon and try and win that match. Bring a change of clothes here, try and avoid [the media], go straight to the airport,” he said.

     

    However, if his plan doesn't work out and he clearly can't make the fight, then McIlroy will play scalper and make some nice

    Read More »from Will Rory McIlroy make it to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?
  • Lydia Ko found a way to make her 51st consecutive LPGA cut on Friday at the Volunteers of America North Texas LPGA Shootout.

    More importantly, she'll be able to make some money that, at the start of the week, she pledged would all go to help children in Nepal as the country tries to recover from a recent 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

    “All day I was thinking, make some birdies for the kids in Nepal, that's my big goal,” Ko said. “I think if I was just missing the cut, yes, I would be disappointed.”

    Ko made her rally on her back nine, the front side at host Las Colinas C.C., making three birdies in the first six holes to get inside the cut line. She then faced a 6-footer for par that would get her to the weekend on the number. She sank it, carding 3-under 68.

    “I was going to cry after my putt,” Ko said.

    Ko is nine shot backs of leader Brooke Henderson, the 17-year-old who led after 54 holes last week in San Francisco. Henderson made it through the Monday qualifier to earn a spot in the field

    Read More »from Lydia Ko makes N. Texas Shootout cut on the number, keeps streak alive
  • A match that meant very little on Friday turned out to be the big story at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez and Keegan Bradley squared off in the third and final round-robin match in their group at TPC Harding Park, both with no chance to move onto the weekend knockout stage. However, both played the match with intensity and hoping to snag at least one win in the three days.

    The match went to No. 18, where Bradley drove his ball left and into a television compound -- considered a temporary movable obstruction under the Rules of Golf and eligible for a free drop. Bradley and caddie Steve Hale, known as Pepsi out on Tour, called in a PGA Tour rules official for the ruling and the drop. However, after Bradley made the drop, Jimenez, who was on the other side of the fairway, came over to dispute the drop with the 2011 PGA champion.

    Both Bradley and Hale were annoyed Jimenez had interjected after a rules official gave his

    Read More »from Jimenez, Bradley come nose-to-nose on last hole of Cadillac match
  • How They Got Here

    Golden State: The 67-win Warriors entered the postseason as favorites via their plus-10 average point differential and elite efficiency at both ends of the floor. They did very little in the first round that should change people's minds. Although the New Orleans Pelicans played well in bunches and were about six minutes from pulling off a blowout victory in Game 3, the Warriors controlled the series and pulled off a convincing sweep. It was impressive in large part due to the varied nature of each win — Game 1 was a pretty standard blowout until the Pelicans made a late charge behind Anthony Davis, Game 2 required them to grind out a win, Game 3 was one of the more improbable comebacks you'll ever see, and Game 4 was like a more extreme version of the opener. Through it all, the Warriors proved their shooting, defense, mental toughness — all the qualities that made them such a formidable regular season team, really — will carry over to the playoffs without too many

    Read More »from BDL's 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01:  Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks lays up a basket in the second half against the Brooklyn Nets during game six in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on May 1, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks lays up a basket in the second half against the Brooklyn Nets during game six in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on May 1, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)It took six games, but the Atlanta Hawks finally looked like the team that coasted to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. After seeing their excellent starting lineup break out in a pivotal Game 5 win, the Hawks traveled to the Barclays Center for Friday night's Game 6, got out to a hot start and bulldozed the Nets in the third quarter for an eventual 111-87 win. They will now move on to face the No. 5 seed Washington Wizards, who have been resting since sweeping the Toronto Raptors out of the first round.

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    The Hawks got out to an excellent start in the first quarter, shooting 13 of 18 from the field on their way to 36 points and a 13-point lead after one. Korver, the bellwether for the Atlanta offense throughout this series, knocked down his first three 3-point attempts. The Hawks offense has been significantly less fluid than expected vs. the Nets, with a lack of the excellent ball movement that became the

    Read More »from Hawks thump Nets in Game 6, advance to face Wizards
  • LAS VEGAS – There were three major takeaways from the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday.

    No. 1: You can sell anything to anybody if you hype it enough and only charge $10, with 11,500 showing up to watch men step on a scale.

    No. 2: The much-discussed size disparity between the fighters is still kind of a shock when you see them together live.

    No. 3: Manny Pacquiao has no problem crushing a huge candy bar at any time.Manny Pacquiao shows off his candy snack at Friday's weigh-in. (AFP)Manny Pacquiao shows off his candy snack at Friday's weigh-in. (AFP)

    As the Filipino star stepped off the scale before an adoring pro-Pacquiao crowd, he was handed what appeared to be a massive Butterfinger Cups candy bar and immediately started chowing down.

    Being the naturally smaller man, the 5-foot-6 1/2 Pacquiao had no problem making the 147-pound weight limit, hitting the scales at 145, and he must have felt the need to replace some calories.

    Broadcaster Jim Lampley said on the weigh-in telecast that it was reported to him that Pacquiao “ordered a big lunch” before weighing in, which is

    Read More »from Pacman eats 'big lunch' before weigh-in, crushes candy bar after hitting scale
  • The Portland Trail Blazers are about to enter a chaotic, potentially torturous and franchise-altering postseason. None of this was ever supposed to happen.

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    Most factored the Blazers to be just a slight skip below the litany of Western championship contenders entering 2014-15, but nobody would have been shocked had the team taken three series’ on its way toward its first Finals berth in 23 years. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge took turns dominating the Houston Rockets in a first round win last year, and the team’s ever-expanded supporting cast appeared to have enough to keep Portland in the thick of it while slogging through an 82-game turn.

    The facts check out – another Northwest Division win, a fourth seed because of that win, the sixth-best record in the West and All-Star appearances for both Aldridge and Lillard. Nobody could have guessed that heart and soul swingman Wes Matthews would tear his Achilles

    Read More »from The Portland Trail Blazers? Gone till November.

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