• HOUSTON, TX - MAY 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets has his layup attempt blocked by Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals at Toyota Center on May 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dowloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TX - MAY 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets has his layup attempt blocked by Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals at Toyota Center on May 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dowloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)The Houston Rockets needed a terrific performance to bounce back from a Game 3 blowout loss and extend their season. A 45-point first quarter certainly qualified as a pretty good foundation for their eventual 128-115 win.

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

    In tying a playoff record for first-quarter points, the Rockets put forward their highest-scoring period of the season and finished the opening 12 minutes with a 23-point lead. The Warriors made a valiant effort to come back and had to deal with a scary fall and lengthy absence for MVP Stephen Curry, but James Harden scored 33 of his 45 points in the second half to answer every Golden State run and seal the win. The bad news for Houston is that they still have to win three straight, including two in Oakland, to move on to the NBA Finals.

    While this game featured many notable storylines and incidents that will affect the rest of the series, it was essentially won in the first quarter. The Rockets

    Read More »from Rockets use incredible 1st quarter, Harden's 45 to avoid Warriors sweep
  • The Golden State Warriors came into Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals looking to finish off a sweep over the Houston Rockets. A scary incident in the second quarter brought much greater concerns to the franchise and the NBA as a whole.

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

    With 5:52 remaining in the second quarter, Warriors superstar and NBA MVP Stephen Curry jumped to challenge a forthcoming lay-up attempt from Rockets wing Trevor Ariza. However, Ariza stayed on the floor, causing Curry to fall on his back and then to the floor at an odd angle. Curry could not get his hands out to break his fall and appeared to hit his head on the hardwood.

    He stayed down for several minutes as medical staff brought out a stretcher, but Curry was thankfully able to walk off under his own power despite appearing quite dazed.

    You can watch video of the incident here:

    ESPN's Doris Burke later reported that Curry had been diagnosed with a head contusion and

    Read More »from Stephen Curry falls to floor, leaves Warriors-Rockets Game 4 with head contusion
  • LAS VEGAS – For being a former UFC heavyweight champion in the midst of an unlikely career resurgence, Andrei Arlovski's nonchalant approach toward redemption is kind of refreshing.

    "One step at a time," said the 36-year-old after a rousing first-round knockout of former teammate Travis Browne at UFC 187. "Obviously, in the future I want to be a champion. But sooner or later, it doesn't really matter. I can be in line like the other heavyweights, so I'm good. I still have few more years in the UFC."

    Andrei Arlovski (R) and Travis Browne trade blows during their heavyweight fight. (AP)Andrei Arlovski (R) and Travis Browne trade blows during their heavyweight fight. (AP)

    Grinning from ear to ear after the fight, the victorious Belarusian was understandably pleased with his performance against Browne. It was not only one of the greatest rounds in heavyweight history – it the early frontrunner for Fight of the Year, and it marked his third consecutive victory since returning to the UFC in June 2014 after nearly six years away from the place where he first became a world champion.

    Arlovski reigned as UFC heavyweight champion from Feb. 2005 to April 2006. With

    Read More »from Why former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski isn't pining for a title shot
  • Daniel Cormier celebrates in the post-fight press conference after winning the UFC light heavyweight title. (Getty)Daniel Cormier celebrates in the post-fight press conference after winning the UFC light heavyweight title. (Getty)LAS VEGAS - Arnold Schwarzenegger knows a thing or two about what it takes to become a champion. The seven-time Mr. Olympia, Austrian-born immigrant used his ridiculous size to muscle one of the most successful careers in Hollywood history.

    And he governed a state in America for a little while, too – a pretty big one too from our recollection.

    The Hollywood legend was on hand Saturday for UFC 187 to witness one of the best fight cards in recent memory, and to congratulate the various athletes on their performances.

    The highlight of the night came when Schwarzenegger interrupted a backstage interview with newly minted light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier fresh off his third-round submission victory over Anthony Johnson.

    Cormier has made it no secret he loves his post-fight Popeye's and his downhome Louisiana soul food. So, consequently, he carries a reputation for being a thicker-than-average light heavyweight. Schwarzenegger, being a vocal fan of the sport, showered "DC" with

    Read More »from Arnold Schwarzenegger teases Daniel Cormier about belly after his UFC title win
  • The golf world has been pulling for Aussie Jarrod Lyle to make a successful return to the PGA Tour after overcoming leukemia for a second time.

    However, since Lyle has come back, he's been unable to find the form he needs to regain full status. That's why Lyle has decided to sit out the remainder of the PGA Tour season with the hopes of getting his game in good enough shape to resume his career next season.

    Lyle stressed this decision has nothing to do with his health.

    "I need to stress that this decision has nothing to do with my recent illness - I am still healthy and cancer-free," Lyle said to the Australian Associated Press.

    "As the year progressed, it has become increasingly obvious that I am simply not in a position to compete on the PGA Tour. My goal every single week out here, just like the rest of the field, is to play my best and to be competitive."

    In 10 starts this season, Lyle has won $66,145, making just three cuts. Playing under a special medical exemption, Lyle will

    Read More »from Jarrod Lyle to leave PGA Tour for rest of the year to find game
  • Previously on "The Warriors and the Rockets" ...

    I mean, what didn't happen in the Golden State Warriors' Game 3 evisceration of the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center? After two hyper-competitive games in which the Rockets may have come away with a 2-0 lead against any other team, the Warriors traveled to hostile territory and handed their opponents one of the most thorough beatdowns of the postseason so far, a 115-80 blowout in which they reestablished their status as title favorites. Houston went home with confidence that it could extend the series — it now looks likely that they will head out on summer vacation fairly soon.

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

    As usual, the star for Golden State was Stephen Curry, who has looked even more sensational in the playoffs than he did during a deserving MVP campaign. In addition to breaking Reggie Miller's record for three-pointers made in a single postseason (in nine fewer games), Curry put up 40 points

    Read More »from Looking ahead to Game 4: Warriors at Rockets
  • Game 3 of the 2015 Eastern Conference finals will not be remembered as an especially well played example of NBA basketball. Over 53 minutes, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks handed each other many opportunities to win, with either team only intermittently taking advantage. The Hawks saw their best player ejected under controversial circumstances. Each team came into the game without an All-Star. For these and many more reasons, these squads offered decidedly less than what we hope to see from title contenders.

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

    We should be thankful for LeBron James, a player so great that he can provide a handful of transcendent moments even amidst such dreck. After starting the night shooting 0-of-10 from the field, James finished with 37 points (14-of-37 FG, 8-of-10 FT), 18 rebounds, 13 assists, and three steals for his 12th career playoff triple-double (passing Jason Kidd for second on the all-time list). As usual,

    Read More »from LeBron, Cavs survive Hawks in OT, now one win away from NBA Finals
  • Already having lost both of their opening home games to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks suffered another major blow late in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

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

    With 34 seconds remaining in the first half, Hawks All-Star center Al Horford struck Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova with an elbow after the two tangled and tussled for a rebound. Replays showed that Dellavedova had fallen into Horford's leg, thereby risking injury, and Horford appears to have retaliated for what he perceived as a dirty play.

    Dellavedova was handed a technical foul (although not clearly for his fall), but Horford received a flagrant-2 foul, triggering an automatic ejection. Take a look at the incident here:

    The NBA explained the call on Twitter:

    Read More »from Horford ejected from Cavaliers-Hawks Game 3 for elbowing Dellavedova
  • LAS VEGAS – UFC flyweight Joseph Benavidez is in fighter purgatory. He is, by all accounts, one of the 125-pound division’s very best talents and is 10-2 in his last 12 fights.

    The problem is, those two losses came against champion Demetrious Johnson.Joseph Benavidez celebrates after defeating John Moraga at UFC 187. (AP)Joseph Benavidez celebrates after defeating John Moraga at UFC 187. (AP)

    After a wildly entertaining unanimous decision victory over John Moraga at UFC 187 on Saturday, Benavidez – the No. 2 ranked challenger in the division – inched that much closer to a third fight with Mighty Mouse.

    Unfortunately, given Benavidez’s two performances against the champ – the last coming in 2013 via devastating first-round knockout – there aren’t that many people banging down the doors at UFC HQ demanding to see that trilogy.

    And Joe Benavidez gets that.

    “Well, I’m a realist,” admitted Benavidez at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference, “so, I know that logically it doesn’t make sense for me to go for the title right away. I believe in my skill 100 percent, that I can go out there and beat Demetrious Johnson and give him the

    Read More »from Joseph Benavidez stuck in no man's land despite another impressive win
  • Stephen Curry stares down the crowd after drilling a corner 3. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)Stephen Curry stares down the crowd after drilling a corner 3. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)They'd have preferred winning, of course, but after losing the first two games of the Western Conference finals on the road by a combined five points, the Houston Rockets headed back home feeling like they could hang with the big, bad Golden State Warriors.

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

    "We had plenty of opportunities to win both of the games," said Rockets star James Harden after a brilliant Game 2 — 38 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a block — that ended on a sour note with a final-play turnover that sealed a 99-98 Golden State win. "So we have all the confidence in the world."

    It's difficult to imagine that still being the case after Game 3.

    The Warriors absolutely decimated Houston on Saturday night, hammering the Rockets 115-80 to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western finals. This marks the first three-game losing streak of the Rockets' season ... which makes sense, because this is the first time they've had to

    Read More »from Curry's MVP performance keys Game 3 blowout, puts Rockets on brink

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