WAMC Sports Report 6/5/23: Series tied: Heat rally late, top Nuggets 111-108 in NBA Finals Game 2
Gabe Vincent scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each scored 21 and the Miami Heat evened up the NBA Finals by overcoming a monster effort from Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in Game 2 last night. Max Strus scored 14 and Duncan Robinson had 10 for the Heat, who had a big early lead, then got down by as many as 15 — before reclaiming the lead in the fourth. And even then, they had to dig deep to finish it off. Jokic was 16 of 28 from the floor, the last of those shots a 4-footer with 36 seconds left to get the Nuggets within three.
The Vegas Golden Knights were flying high after Game 1 in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. They just beat Washington and believed they were en route to the championship. Then reality hit in a big way. The Capitals won the next four games. It’s a memory that has stuck with the six original Knights and Chandler Stephenson, who was on the Capitals at the time. That experience could be vital after the Knights opened this year’s Stanley Cup Final with a 5-2 Game 1 victory on Saturday over the Florida Panthers. Game 2 is tonight at 8 in Las Vegas.
Paul Maurice walked away from coaching in the middle of last season. Bruce Cassidy was fired from his previous job despite making the playoffs six years in a row. Now Maurice’s Florida Panthers and Cassidy’s Vegas Golden Knights are in the final, with one of the veteran coaches set to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. Their presence in the final is more evidence of why NHL teams looking to win cherish coaches who aren’t recycled or retreads but rather have crucial experience navigating situations.
Anthony Rizzo scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a grounder and the New York Yankees edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 in what was a pitchers' duel for six innings between Domingo Germán and Bobby Miller. Anthony Volpe provided some insurance with a two-run homer in the ninth for the Yankees, who were without AL MVP Aaron Judge, after he injured his right foot after crashing into the right-field bullpen door while making a running catch on Saturday. J.D. Martinez homered for the Dodgers, who dropped the final two games in the series.
Brandon Belt broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Mets 6-4 for a three-game sweep. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, who blew a four-run lead but quickly recovered. Toronto has won four straight and six of seven. Tommy Pham hit two of New York’s four solo homers. Pete Alonso and Starling Marte also connected for the Mets, who fell back to .500. They completed a 3-3 homestand that started with a three-game sweep of Philadelphia. Nate Pearson gave up Alonso’s major league-leading 21st homer and Marte’s tying drive in the sixth before Toronto regained the lead against Dominic Leone.Yandy Díaz’s sixth-inning RBI single turned into a two-run Little League homer, and the major league-best Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2. Josh Lowe, Luke Raley and Díaz each had two hits for the Rays, who are 6-1 against AL East rival Boston this season. Alex Verdugo had two doubles, a triple and scored twice for the last-place Red Sox. Rays rookie starter Taj Bradley gave up two runs and six hits with six strikeouts in five innings.
Kyle Schwarber hit a pair of three run homers, Drew Ellis hit his first two home runs of the season, and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals 11-3 to take the rubber game of the series. J.T. Realmuto went deep for the second day in a row for the Phillies, who finished a 4-6 road trip. Schwarber broke open a 2-1 game with his first homer, in the sixth, and closed the scoring in the ninth. Ellis, who began the day with one Major League home run, hit a solo shot in the fifth and a two-run homer in the seventh.
Roger Craig, who pitched for three championship teams during his major league career and then managed the San Francisco Giants to the 1989 World Series that was interrupted by a massive earthquake, has died. He was 93. A spokesperson for the Giants says the team was informed by a family member that Craig died Sunday in San Diego following a short illness. Craig won World Series titles with the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers and 1964 St. Louis Cardinals. The 6-foot-4 right-hander also pitched for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies during his 12-year career, finishing 74-98 with a 3.83 ERA and 19 saves.
DeWanna Bonner scored 22 points, Brionna Jones added 21, and the Connecticut Sun held off a second-half rally by Dallas, defeating the Wings 80-74. Leading 63-52 heading to the fourth quarter, the Sun held on although their lead was down to seven with seven minutes to go after Arike Ogunbowale hit a jumper for the Wings. Jones hit a jumper to give the Sun a 74-65 lead at the two-minute mark and a jumper by the Wings’ Awak Kuier was the only made basket before the final minute in which the Sun went 6-for-6 at the foul line. Satou Sabally had 26 points and 14 rebounds — both game highs — for Dallas.
Kahleah Copper scored 27 points and Courtney Williams added 12, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to help the Chicago Sky rally to beat the New York Liberty 86-82 in the second meeting between the teams in three days. The Sky were down 19 early in the third quarter before rallying and taking the lead midway through the fourth. Breanna Stewart had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead New York, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped.
The vicious, relentless and high-profile racist insults directed at Brazilian soccer player Vinícius Júnior underscore an entrenched and decades-old issue that refuses to go away in the world's most popular sport. It is a deeper societal problem that is manifested in soccer matches predominantly in Europe, but also all around the world, and has been amplified by the reach of social media. Federations have been slow and, in some cases unwilling, to use powers to sanction teams for the racist behavior of their fans. Players past and present worry racism is just an accepted part of soccer. Experts say more education and stronger punishments are required to combat racism.
Novak Djokovic has broken a tie with rival Rafael Nadal by reaching the French Open quarterfinals for the record 17th time. Djokovic was never truly in trouble during a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Juan Pablo Varillas on Sunday. Djokovic is closing on bettering Nadal in a more prestigious category: Grand Slam singles championships. Both currently sit at 22. Djokovic will face No. 11 Karen Khachanov next. No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz beat Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets and now plays No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas. No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka beat Sloane Stephens at night to reach the quarterfinals. Elina Svitolina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Muchova also advanced.
Norma Hunt, the second wife of the late Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt and the only woman to attend every Super Bowl, has died. She was 85. The Hunt family, which still owns the franchise, announced the passing of the Chiefs’ matriarch in a statement released by the team Sunday night. No cause of death was given. Norma Hunt was among the few to have attended every Super Bowl when she was present for the Chiefs’ 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. Norma Hunt had two sons, Clark and Daniel, and was closely linked to the Chiefs franchise through her charitable work. The team had yet to announce memorial details.
Two-time NCAA champion Rose Zhang became the first LPGA Tour winner in her pro debut in 72 years, capturing the Mizuho Americas Open with a par on the second hole in a playoff against Jennifer Kupcho on Sunday. The last female player to win in her pro debut was Beverly Hanson, who edged Babe Zaharias to take the Eastern Open in 1951. Zhang shot a 2-over 74 Sunday and squandered a chance to win the LPGA event on the 72nd when she missed an 8-foot par saver after making at least a half dozen in a gritty final round performance.
Tre Richardson hit two grand slams among his three home runs and tied an NCAA postseason record with 11 RBIs to lead TCU to a 20-5 rout of Arkansas in a winner’s bracket game of the Fayetteville Regional. Richardson hit a grand slam in the first inning and another in the second. His third home run was a two-run shot in the sixth and he added an RBI single in the ninth. He had five hits in six at-bats. The Horned Frogs had one other home run, a three-run shot by Brayden Taylor in the third inning.
Kyle Busch held off Denny Hamlin through a series of late restarts to win the chaotic, caution-filled NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway just outside of St. Louis in overtime Sunday. Bubba Wallace brought out the 11th and final yellow when his brake rotor let go with five laps remaining. Busch won a green-white-checkered shootout to the finish. There also were two red flags to go with a two-hour weather delay that caused the mid-afternoon race to finish in the twilight. Hamlin finished second while Joey Logano, the winner a year ago in the Cup Series debut at the track, got around Kyle Larson on the final lap to finish third. Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five ahead of Ryan Blaney, last week’s winner at Charlotte.
The federal authority that oversees thoroughbred horseracing has recommended a temporary suspension of racing at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority joined Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in investigated 12 deaths since April at the track but found no “cohesive explanation for this unusually high number of fatalities.” A review by a track surface expert found no primary areas for concern. HISA says a suspension would allow for additional review. The authority restarted the nation’s first anti-doping and uniform safety regulations last month.
NewsChannel 13 reports that Albany Empire principal owner Antonio Brown has tapped Maurice Leggett as the Albany Empire’s newest head coach after Terry Foster declined the role. Leggett will become the Empire’s fourth head coach this season, replacing Pete Porcelli, who was demoted to line coach after one game leading the National Arena League team. Porcelli chose to leave the team instead of accepting the reassignment.
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