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WAMC Sports Report 6/7/24: Celtics rout Mavs 107-89 in Game 1 of NBA Finals behind Brown, Porzingis

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis dunks next to Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II, foreground, during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/AP
Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis dunks next to Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II, foreground, during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 20 in his first game in more than a month and the Boston Celtics powered past the Dallas Mavericks 107-89 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Derrick White finished with 15 points for Boston, which led by 29 points in the first half and connected on 16 3-pointers in a powerful start to its quest for an 18th NBA title. Porzingis, who had been sidelined since April 29 with a strained right calf, came off the bench and provided an immediate spark, adding six rebounds and three blocks in 21 minutes. Six Celtics finished in double figures.

Game 2 is Sunday night at 8 in Boston.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ reported plan to offer a massive contract to UConn coach Dan Hurley is the latest twist in the monthlong race to replace Darvin Ham. Former NBA player J.J. Redick and ex-Charlotte coach James Borrego are also reported candidates. The 17-time NBA champion franchise was knocked out of the first round of the current playoffs, but the Lakers have nicely filled the void of hoops drama during the week before the NBA Finals with steady leaks about the progress of their quest for a coach who can entice LeBron James to finish his career in purple and gold.

Getting the NBA’s next round of media rights deals completed is an extremely complex proposition, Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday, especially because nobody can say with any certainty what the viewing landscape will look like in the future. Silver, speaking in his annual pre-NBA Finals news conference, did not offer any hints on when the next series of deals will be completed, other than saying “in the relative near term.” The current deals with ABC-ESPN and Turner Sports expire after next season and the NBA has been talking with NBC, ESPN and Amazon, among other networks and platforms, about what comes next.

If Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving was hoping to quiet the Boston fans with a big game in the opener of the NBA Finals, it didn’t quite go that way. Irving scored 12 points on 6 for 19 shooting and missed all five 3-point attempts. He turned the ball over three times as Boston beat Dallas 107-89 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. Irving had two assists, and Dallas had just nine in all. Boston fans booed Irving at every opportunity. They haven't forgiven him for opting out of his Celtics contract after the 2019 season.


The Florida Panthers host the Edmonton Oilers in game one of the Stanley Cup Final. The teams meet Saturday for the third time this season. The Panthers went 2-0 against the Oilers in the regular season. In their last regular season matchup on Dec. 16, the Panthers won 5-1.

For the first time in his nine-year NHL career, Connor McDavid is playing for the biggest prize in hockey with the chance to lift the Stanley Cup for the first time. He and the Edmonton Oilers are facing the Florida Panthers in the final starting Saturday. It’s a chance for hockey’s biggest star to finally win a championship. The spotlight is on the face of the sport to get the job done as an underdog against an opponent at this stage for a second consecutive season and is seeking the first title in franchise history.


Trent Grisham homered and had three RBIs, doubling his totals in both categories, and the New York Yankees completed a season sweep of the Minnesota Twins with an 8-5 victory for their eighth straight win. New York slugger Juan Soto was removed with left forearm discomfort following a 56-minute rain delay before the sixth inning. Gleyber Torres had a two-run double for the Yankees, who broke a tie with Philadelphia for the best record in the majors. They moved to 25-6 in the last 31 games and extended their longest winning streak since a nine-game run in June 2022. On deck this weekend, the Yankees renew an old October rivalry when they welcome Shohei Ohtani and the NL West-leading Dodgers to the Bronx for a highly anticipated series.

Jarren Duran and Enmanuel Valdez homered, Tanner Houck pitched seven solid innings and the Boston Red Sox handed the White Sox their franchise-record 14th straight loss, pounding Chicago 14-2. The White Sox surpassed a mark set by the 1924 team while extending baseball’s longest slide this season. They are a major league-worst 15-48. Duran and Ceddanne Rafaela each had four of Boston’s season-high 24 hits. Duran got the rout started with his third career leadoff homer. Valdez added a three-run drive against White Sox starter Jake Woodford (0-2) in the fourth and Boston scored four in the inning to go up 7-0. Pinch hitter Jamie Westbrook hit his first major league homer in the seventh, and the Red Sox rolled to another easy win after beating Atlanta 9-0 on Wednesday.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run, Yusei Kikuchi pitched six innings to snap a seven-start winless streak and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 to split their four-game series. Adley Rutschman homered from both sides of the plate, but the Orioles lost their second straight game. Baltimore scored 19 runs in the first 20 innings of this series but only three runs over the final 16 innings. Kikuchi allowed one run and four hits and improved his record to 3-5. He walked one and struck out six. Making his major league debut, Baltimore’s Cade Povich allowed six runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Kyle Isbel hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning to score Adam Frazier and the Kansas City Royals beat the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians 4-3. Frazier doubled off Hunter Gaddis (3-2) with two outs and Isbel followed with a liner to right, giving Kansas City a split of the two-game series. The clubs were rained out on Wednesday. The Royals pulled within four games of Cleveland in the division, winning for the third time in 10 games since May 25. Sam Long (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh and James McArthur picked up his 12th save in 16 chances. José Ramírez hit a solo homer and drove in two runs for the Guardians.

Bryan Woo and three relievers combined on a two-hit shutout, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0. Woo, who grew up 10 minutes away from the Coliseum in Alameda, California, allowed two hits and struck out six in six innings. The 24-year-old threw a season-high 85 pitches and didn’t walk a batter while being cheered by friends and family in the stands. Mitch Garver homered and had an RBI single for the AL West-leading Mariners, who have won nine of 11. The A’s (25-39) were shut out for the fifth time this season in their sixth loss in eight games.

Austin Riley hit a go-ahead RBI single and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run homer as the Atlanta Braves scored three runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 5-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. Adam Duvall homered in the seventh inning for Atlanta, which has won three of four. Aaron Bummer pitched a scoreless seventh for the win and Raisel Iglesias handled the ninth for his 16th save in 18 opportunities. Rookie Mitchell Parker took a no-hitter into the sixth for Washington, which has dropped four in a row. CJ Abrams and Lane Thomas hit back-to-back homers for Washington in the sixth.

Elly De La Cruz hit a three-run homer on the anniversary of his major league debut and the Cincinnati Reds won a season-high fifth straight game, 8-4 over the Chicago Cubs. TJ Friedl, Jonathan India and Will Benson also drove in runs as the Reds followed a three-game sweep in Colorado with a win over the NL Central rival Cubs in the first of a four-game series. Hunter Greene (4-2) struck out eight while allowing four runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernandez homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-7 to avoid a three-game sweep. Freeman hit a three-run shot in the first for his eighth home run of the season. Betts added a three-run shot of his own during a six-run fifth inning as Los Angeles beat the Pirates for just the sixth time in their last 16 meetings despite a relatively quiet night from Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese superstar went 1 for 5 with a run scored. Nick Gonzales and Oneil Cruz homered for Pittsburgh.

Michael Toglia and Charlie Blackmon each drove in a run and the Colorado Rockies snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Cal Quantrill (5-4) did not give up a run despite walking four and allowing three hits in five innings. Tyler Kinley allowed a single but struck out Nolan Gorman to end the game and pick up his third save this season. Sonny Gray (7-4) lasted 4 2/3 innings for the Cardinals, who stranded 10 runners and have dropped five of their past seven games. He allowed just two hits but he walked four and threw two wild pitches.

Eugenio Suárez and Gabriel Moreno hit consecutive home runs in the second inning, Ketel Marte singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Thursday night for their fifth victory in six games. The Padres lost their fifth straight, tying their longest losing streak of the season. They were coming off being swept in a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels, who have the AL’s second-worst record. Fernando Tatis Jr. singled, doubled and singled in his first three at-bats to tie the Padres’ record with hits in eight straight at-bats. Kevin Ginkel (5-1) got the win and Jeremiah Estrada (2-1) took the loss. Paul Sewald pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Yankees slugger Juan Soto was removed from a game against the Minnesota Twins with left forearm discomfort. Soto will undergo imaging today. New York manager Aaron Boone said it’s too early to tell if the right fielder will need to miss time. Soto was lifted to start the top of the sixth inning when play resumed following a 56-minute rain delay. Soto, who throws and bats left-handed, was 0 for 1 with two walks. He has started all 64 games in his first season with New York after being acquired from the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster trade last December. The three-time All-Star is batting .318 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs, a big reason the Yankees have the best record in baseball.


Breanna Stewart had 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, Betnijah Laney-Hamilton added 15 points and the short-handed New York Liberty beat the Atlanta Dream 78-61 for their fifth straight victory. New York looks to extend its winning streak on Saturday against undefeated Connecticut. Laney-Hamilton and Leonie Fiebich made 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 61-51 lead early in the fourth quarter. Stewart and Jonquel Jones followed with baskets to make it four successful possessions for a 13-point lead. Allisha Gray scored 16 points and Aerial Powers added 13 for Atlanta.

Chennedy Carter scored a season-high 25 points off the bench, rookie Angel Reese had 16 points, 11 rebounds and five steals, and the Chicago Sky beat the winless Washington Mystics 79-71. Chicago handed Washington its 10th straight loss, tied for the fourth longest losing streak to start a season in WNBA history. The Mystics scored just 27 points in the second half and finished with 24 turnovers. Rookie Aaliyah Edwards set season highs with 23 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks for Washington.


The Paris Olympics organizers have unveiled a display of the five Olympic rings mounted on the Eiffel Tower as the French capital marks 50 days until the start of the Summer Games. The structure of rings, made of recycled French steel, will be displayed on the south side of the 135-year-old landmark in central Paris, overlooking the Seine River. The hugely popular tower in central Paris has seen soaring visitor numbers in the leadup to the Games in the French capital.


Oklahoma slugged its way to a record fourth straight NCAA softball title, getting a go-ahead, bases-clearing double from Cydney Sanders and beating Texas 8-4 for a two-game sweep of the Women’s College World Series championship. The Sooners won their eighth title overall, all under coach Patty Gasso, and moved into a tie with Arizona for the second-most national championships behind UCLA’s 12. Second-seeded Oklahoma scored eight runs in each of the two games and pounded 21 hits total against a top-seeded Texas team that came in having thrown three consecutive one-hit shutouts in the World Series.


Iga Swiatek has eliminated Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4 in the French Open semifinals and will face Jasmine Paolini for the championship. The top-ranked Swiatek stretched her winning streak at Roland Garros to 20 matches with Thursday's victory as she tries to become the first woman with three consecutive titles in Paris since Justine Henin from 2005 to 2007. Paolini reached her first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against unseeded 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva. Swiatek improved to 11-1 against Gauff overall and has defeated her at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament three years in a row. That includes in the 2022 final and last year's quarterfinals. in Saturday's title match. Swiatek is 4-0 in major finals so far.


Adam Hadwin shot 66 and is leading the Memorial by one shot over Scottie Scheffler. The timing couldn't be better. The 60-man field in the Olympics will be determined in two weeks after the U.S. Open. Hadwin has dropped from No. 44 in the world to No. 59 since late March. And now he's in the third spot for Canada. For this year's major champions Scheffler and Xander Schauffele, it was more of the same. Scheffler was slowed by mud on his golf ball that led to his lone bogey in a round of 67. Schauffele scrambled his way to a bogey-free 68.

© 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.