• SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 24: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs goes up for a shot against the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at the AT&T Center on April 24, 2015 in San Antonio, TexasSAN ANTONIO - APRIL 24: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs goes up for a shot against the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at the AT&T Center on April 24, 2015 in San Antonio, TexasThe first-round matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs is still the only series in the NBA playoffs in which both teams have wins. But it looked a whole lot less competitive in Friday night's Game 3 at the AT&T Center.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    After topping the Clippers in an overtime thriller to even the series in Game 2, the Spurs returned home and completely dominated the visitors in a wire-to-wire 100-73 win. San Antonio led by double digits for the final 22:30 and held a vaunted Clippers offense to several season and franchise playoff lows. Kawhi Leonard, who received his Defensive Player of the Year trophy in a pregame ceremony, scored a career playoff-high 32 points to lead the defending champs.

    The game started well for the Spurs, who scored 25 points in the opening 10 minutes behind a strong start from Leonard. However, that stretch was rare for a relatively low-scoring first half in which both teams

    Read More »from Kawhi, Spurs throttle Clippers in Game 3, take 2-1 series lead
  • The Toronto Raptors entered Friday's Game 3 of their first-round series with the Washington Wizards down 2-0 and in clear desperation mode. For much of the game, they looked like the team that wanted it more. But that's often not enough when the opponent has nearly every playmaker on the floor.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Despite a late effort from the Raptors, the Wizards held on for a 106-99 win to move within one win of a four-game sweep. The dagger came from a familiar source — veteran forward Paul Pierce, hero of Game 1 and established Toronto antagonist. A Kyle Lowry three-pointer with 40 seconds left drew the Raptors to within 102-99, giving the Wizards one possession to put the game away or to allow the visitors a chance at sending it to overtime. With the shot clock winding down, Washington star John Wall found Pierce on the perimeter for a look at a three-pointer. The attempt was a bit awkward, but the result was just fine:

    After

    Read More »from Paul Pierce buries Raptors again, Wizards hold on for 3-0 lead
  • The Dallas Mavericks emptied both barrels on Friday night, throwing every ounce of offensive firepower they had at the Houston Rockets in an attempt to overwhelm Kevin McHale's favored crew and fight their way back into their opening-round series. Unfortunately for Rick Carlisle and company, in this matchup, Houston's got the deadliest weapon.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    James Harden set a new career playoff high with 42 points (15-for-24 shooting, 5-for-7 from 3-point range, 7-for-7 from the foul line) to lead Houston to a 130-128 win over the Mavericks in Game 3 on Friday. The MVP candidate delivered the final two in the form of this step-back dagger from the left elbow over the outstretched arm of Dallas center Tyson Chandler to give Houston a three-point lead with 12 seconds left in a furious offensive affair:

    After a tough running bank shot by Mavericks guard Monta Ellis over the defense of Houston big man Josh Smith drew Dallas

    Read More »from Harden's playoff-career-high 42 leads Rockets past Mavs to 3-0 lead
  • Tee box, fairway, then green. That's usually the ideal way to play a golf hole. Not for Ben Crane, though, at least on one hole on Friday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

    In Round 1, Crane played the 476-yard, par-4 sixth at TPC Louisiana as designer Pete Dye intended, and it left him some 250 yards to the hole for his second shot. He made par, yes, but, in Round 2, he wanted an easier way to make 4.

    So Crane decided he would aim not down the fairway, but over some trees to the left of the tee box. His ball landed on the 12th hole, leaving Crane a better angle and just 163 yards into the hole. From there, Crane hit the green and two-putted for an easy par.

    Just remember: Where there's a will -- and a line -- there's a way.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from Ben Crane made a creative par at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • World No. 1 Lydia Ko, who turned 18 on Friday, made last year's Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic site of her first LPGA win as a pro. 

    Now Canadian prodigy Brooke Henderson is hoping to enjoy her own pro breakthrough at 17 in just her 10th LPGA start.

    Henderson, who has no status on the LPGA Tour and was denied the right to play in Q-school last year because of her age, shot 7-under 65 on Friday in Round 2 at Lake Merced Golf Club. It was good enough to give her a two-shot lead over Na Yeon Choi at 9 under par halfway through the tournament.

    An eagle at the short par-4 14th coupled with six birdies led to a tournament-record score. The question, however, is if Henderson is ready to parlay that into a win.

    "I think I'm ready. Yeah, 17 is young," Henderson said. "As you've seen with Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson and even Jessica Korda, there are a lot of great names that have been able to do it. I'm hoping that I'm one of them."

    For her part, Ko is in contention to defend her title. She shot 72

    Read More »from 17-year-old Brooke Henderson takes Swinging Skirts LPGA lead
  • When Freddie Jacobson teed off in Round 2 of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, it had been 30 rounds since the Swede had three-putted a green. However, Jacobson's PGA Tour record streak didn't last long on Friday at TPC Louisiana.

    On his first hole, the 10th at the Pete Dye-designed track, Jacobson three-putted from 34 feet, leading to a bogey that ended a streak of 542 holes without a three-jack.

    Jacobson had not three-putted since the second round of the Humana Challenge on Jan. 23. At the RBC Heritage last week, he surpassed the Tour's previous three-putt avoidance record, held by Luke Donald at 483 holes. Tracking of that statistic dates back to 2003.

    In the end, he closed with 1-under 71 to get to the weekend at 5-under 139 and within striking distance of the lead heading into the weekend.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from Freddie Jacobson's record three-putt avoidance streak ends in NOLA
  • We now know when Tiger Woods will play next on the PGA Tour.

    Woods announced on Twitter on Friday that he'll compete in two weeks at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

    This will be Woods' first appearance at The Players since 2013, when he won the event for the second time (2001). Woods didn't play in the event last year as he was recovering from a microdiscectomy procedure on his back on March 31. 

    The 14-time major champion finished T-17 at the Masters two weeks ago, which marked his first tournament after taking two months off to find his game. Jack Nicklaus said he spoke with Woods at Augusta National, relaying that Woods indicated to him that he'll play in his Memorial Tournament in early June. Woods is a five-time champion of the event.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Read More »from Tiger Woods will compete in The Players Championship
  • We've got a trio of Game 3s on tap for Friday night, with two series teetering on the brink of the point of no return and one that could absolutely still go either way. Here's a look ahead at what to keep an eye on during this evening's three-game playoff slate.

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    ***

    Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks, 7 p.m. ET — Rockets lead, 2-0

    Can Dallas plug up enough holes to keep the dam from bursting? There's not a whole lot for the Mavericks to feel good about after the first two games of this series. Yes, they've held MVP candidate James Harden to 9-for-28 shooting thus far, but that's scarcely seemed to matter, as the Rockets have notched double-digit wins behind a deeper-than-many-thought bench and the best version of Dwight Howard we've seen in a long time.

    Rick Carlisle has some tough problems to solve. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)Rick Carlisle has some tough problems to solve. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)The Mavs have hung tight through three quarters in both contests, but couldn't make the final push in either, with big shots by Corey Brewer and Trevor Ariza

    Read More »from What to watch for in Friday's NBA Playoffs Game 3s
  • Michael Phelps talks with coach Bob Bowman prior to competing in the men's 100 meter butterfly preliminary, Thursday, April 16, 2015, at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)Michael Phelps talks with coach Bob Bowman prior to competing in the men's 100 meter butterfly preliminary, Thursday, April 16, 2015, at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)Michael Phelps' long-time coach, Bob Bowman, just accepted the job as head coach of the Arizona State swimming team, Swimming World reports.

    It's exciting news for the ASU swimmers, considering Bowman is the man who helped prep Phelps for his 22 Olympic-medal-winning performances, including 18 golds.

    It also means Phelps will most likely be moving to Tempe, Ariz., to train for the Rio Olympics, just as he moved to Michigan to train while Bowman was the head coach at Michigan State between the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

    For the majority of their partnership, Bowman has coached Phelps and others, including five-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt near, Phelps' hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. 

    Phelps has continued to train with Bowman throughout the swimmer's six-month suspension from USA Swimming. He was suspended in October for violating the organization's code of conduct for being pulled over while driving under the influence. At the time, he agreed to enter a six-week treatment

    Read More »from Phelps will likely head to new training facility soon
  • Irish-born UFC superstar Conor McGregor has had quite a year.

    First came a headlining performance of the night in January against Dennis Siver in Boston. Shortly thereafter the UFC announced that he would be getting his long-desired title shot against featherweight champion Jose Aldo on July 11 in Las Vegas at UFC 189.

    Just last week McGregor created a mini-media firestorm when he mentioned that he would beat Floyd Mayweather in less than 30 seconds if they fought. And get this – Mayweather actually took the time to respond, calling McGregor a ‘joke’ (for reference, “Money” was once asked about UFC star Ronda Rousey before replying, "I don’t know who he is").

    When he isn’t finishing his opponents in the Octagon or trolling future hall-of-fame boxers in the media, McGregor can be found in his signature suits, riling up fans and piling up paychecks.

    The Conor McGregor train continued to roll Thursday night when the featherweight announced another addition to his growing bank account.

    Read More »from Conor McGregor signs sponsorship deal with Bud Light

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