#SportsReport: Hawks Oust 76ers; Rahm Wins U.S. Open
Neither of the NBA's No. 1 seeds are still alive in the playoffs. The Hawks made sure of that by downing the 76ers to earn the right to take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks advanced with a 103-96 win over the 76ers in Philadelphia, putting Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in six years.Kevin Huerter delivered 27 points and seven rebounds for Atlanta, while Trae Young added 21 points and 10 assists. John Collins had a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds in the Hawks' fifth road win of the postseason. Atlanta is a Final Four team despite opening the season 14-20 under former coach Lloyd Pierce. The 76ers were booed off the court following their latest playoff disappointment. Joel Embiid contributed 31 points and 11 rebounds, while Tobias Harris added 24 points and 14 boards. Seth Curry was the only other Sixer to score more than eight points, finishing with 16.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns didn't have Chris Paul available for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, so they let fellow guard Devin Booker lead them to victory. Booker had 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double as the Suns earned their seventh consecutive win, 120-114 over the Clippers. He shot 15 of 29 from the field, carving apart a defense that had to play just 36 hours after closing out the Jazz in the conference semis. Paul sat out because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Clippers star Kawhi Leonard missed his third straight game because of a sprained right knee. Deandre Ayton provided 20 points and nine rebounds to the victory. Cameron Payne started for Paul and had 11 points with nine assists. Paul George pumped in 34 points for the Clippers. Game 2 is Tuesday in Phoenix.
In the WNBA, Rebecca Allen scored a season-high 19 points, Sami Whitcomb added 17 and the New York Liberty held on for a 76-73 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday in what was billed as “The ’97 Game." The league, which is celebrating its 25th season this year, held the matchup nearly 24 years to the day of the first game, which was also won by the Liberty on June 21, 1997, at the Great Western Forum. Erica Wheeler had 20 points and 10 assists for the Sparks while Nia Coffey and Kristi Toliver scored 15 apiece.
Jon Rahm made an early move as the final group teed off at the U.S. Open, giving him the momentum he needed to capture his first major championship. Rahm closed with a 4-under 67 to finish 6 under at Torrey Pines, one stroke ahead of Louis Oosthuizen. Rahm got up and down from a greenside bunker on the par-5 18th hole, sinking an 18-foot birdie putt to pull away. That followed a 24-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th, which put him even with Oosthuizen. Oosthuizen birdied his final hole for an even-par 71. Harris English finished alone in third at minus-3, one ahead of Guido Migliozzi and Brooks Koepka. Oosthuizen was the only one of the three co-leaders entering the final round to shoot well. Russell Henley closed with a 76 to finish in a tie for 13th. Mackenzie Hughes gave up six strokes with a 77.
Also, Nelly Korda earned her sixth LPGA title by taking the Meijer Championship in Michigan. Korda followed Saturday's career-best 62 with a 5-under 67 that included a tournament-clinching birdie on 18. She finished a tournament-record 25-under and two shots ahead of Leona Maguire, who was seeking her first tour victory. Korda is the first two-time winner on the tour this season.
The Vegas Golden Knights have evened their Stanley Cup semifinal series at two games apiece by outlasting the Canadiens in Montreal. Nicolas Roy converted his own rebound 1:18 into overtime to give the Knights a 2-1 win over the Habs. Vegas was staring and a 3-1 series deficit until Brayden McNabb beat Carey Price midway through the third period. Robin Lehner got the start in place of Marc-Andre Fleury and stopped 27 shots. Lehner blanked the Canadiens after Paul Byron scored on a breakaway with 1:05 left in the second period. Carey Price stopped 17 shots for the Canadiens, who had won its previous four overtime games this postseason. Game 5 is Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, Canadiens interim head coach Dominique Ducharme remains isolated following a positive test for COVID-19. Ducharme said Sunday that he is fully vaccinated and symptom-free, two days after his positive test forced him into isolation. He will clear the two-week waiting period following his second shot on Wednesday.
The Yankees turned their third triple play of the season to strand the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, bailing out closer Aroldis Chapman in a 2-1 win over the Athletics. Gary Sánchez spoiled Sean Manaea's gem with a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning. Chapman walked Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder on nine pitches but got a hard grounder to third from Sean Murphy for the 5-4-3 triple play.
Elsewhere in MLB:
Kyle Schwarber homered three times to power the Nationals to their third win in a four-game series with the Mets, 5-2. Schwarber tied a big league record with five home runs in a two-game span, and set a franchise record with nine homers in his last 10 games. Winning pitcher Patrick Corbin allowed two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts over six innings.
Jarrod Dyson capped a 10-pitch at-bat with a tiebreaking, two-run double in a three-run third that helped the Royals win the rubber match of their set with the Red Sox, 7-3. Mike Minor allowed two runs and nine hits over 6 2/3 innings of Kansas City's third win in 15 games. Whit Merrifield got his 800th major league hit in the first and hit a two-run homer in the sixth for the winners.
Reese McGuire had three doubles during a four-hit performance, leading Hyun Jin Ryu and the Blue Jays to a 7-4 win versus the Orioles. Ryu breezed through seven innings aside from Trey Mancini's solo shot in the first, holding the Birds to four hits and retiring 18 of his last 18 batters. Mancini homered twice for Baltimore, which has dropped 10 of its last 11 and is an American League-worst 23-48.
The San Francisco Giants continue to use the longball in their bid for an NL West title. Wilmer Flores had four hits, including two of the Giants' four home runs in an 11-2 dismantling of the Phillies. Brandon Crawford hit his 16th homer and Mike Yastrzemski combined with Flores for consecutive homers in the first off Zach Eflin. The Giants and Blue Jays are tied for the major league lead with 107 round-trippers.
Adam Wainwright tossed a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts as the Cardinals blew out the Braves, 9-1 in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt homered for the Cardinals in the seven-inning game. St. Louis had scored only 10 runs in its last seven games and was held to six hits and one run in the first two games of this four-game series. In the nightcap, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 100th career homer and the Braves earned a split with a 1-0 victory over the Redbirds. Acuña became the sixth-quickest to reach the milestone, doing it in his 378th game.
The Diamondbacks' losing streak has grown to 17 games with a 9-8 setback against the Dodgers. Albert Pujols cracked a three-run homer and passed Mel Ott for 14th on the career runs list. Arizona trailed 9-2 before closing with six runs in the eighth, but Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth to close out the Dodgers' sixth consecutive win.
Wil Myers hit a two-run triple and scored on Joey Votto's errant throw as the Padres topped the Reds, 3-2 Sunday for a four-game sweep. It was San Diego's first-ever four-game sweep of Cincinnati and their first of any team since August 2011 against the Marlins. Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. sat out a day after reinjuring his left shoulder in a 7-5 win.
Milwaukee coughed up a 6-0 lead before beating the Rockies, 7-6 on Daniel Vogelbach's tiebreaking single in the ninth. Kolten Wong's two-run homer and two singles helped the Brewers build a six-run cushion. Colorado tied it with a six-run fourth on homers by Yonathan Daza, Trevor Story, C.J. Cron and Joshua Fuentes.
Alec Mills and three relievers combined on a six-hitter as the Cubs, blanked the Marlins, 2-0 to avoid a three-game sweep. Chicago's pen tossed four no-hit innings to secure the team's second win in seven games. Rookie Zach Thompson took the hard-luck loss after holding the Cubs to one unearned run over four no-hit innings.
Shed Long Jr. crushed a grand slam with two outs in the 10th inning to give the Mariners a 6-2 victory and a four-game sweep of the Rays. Ty France and Luis Torrens also homered in Seattle's seventh win in eight games. The Rays owned the best record in the majors before their current six-game losing streak.
Abraham Toro had a career-high four hits to lead the Astros to their seventh win in a row, an 8-2 thumping of the White Sox. Toro is 7 for 11 since he was brought up from the minors last week. Dallas Keuchel, was tagged for a season-high six runs and seven hits over 2 2/3 innings, his first appearance against his former team.
The Tigers avoided a four-game sweep when Daz Cameron poked a two-run single in the 10th inning to give them a 5-3 decision over the Angels. Miguel Cabrera had a two-run single in the fifth for the Tigers, who finished their road trip at 4-3 despite getting outscored 26-11 in the first three games in Anaheim. Shohei Ohtani smacked his sixth homer in as many games for Los Angeles, a two-run shot that ties him with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead with 23.
The Indians avoided a three-game sweep as Josh Naylor singled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning of their 2-1 win over the Pirates. The hit came after Pirates manager Derek Shelton pulled right-handed starter JT Brubaker, who limited Cleveland to three hits over 6 2/3 innings. James Karinchak struck out Colin Moran with a runner on second to end the game and pick up his eighth save.
The Twins earned their fourth straight win as Byron Buxton launched an early two-run homer into the second deck to ignite a 4-3 victory at Texas. Kenta Maeda cruised to his first win since May 3, scattering five hits and blanking the Rangers until Adolis Garcia and Joey Gallo hit back-to-back homers with one out in the sixth to end his day.
In MLB news, the Nationals have selected the contract of outfielder Gerardo Parra from Triple-A Rochester. The two-time Gold Glove winner signed with Washington in May 2019 and hit .250 with eight homers and 42 RBIs. He spent last season with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan's Central League.
Kyle Larson's winning streak has continued in NASCAR's Cup debut at Nashville Superspeedway. Larson led 264 of 300 laps for his third consecutive win in a points race, not including last weekend's All-Star race. Rick Hendrick's cars have been to victory lane six consecutive weeks dating to Alex Bowman's May 9 win at Dover. Ross Chastain finished second for Chip Ganassi Racing and Hendrick driver William Byron was third in a Chevrolet podium sweep. Aric Almirola finished fourth after starting from the pole.
Alex Palou sailed past Josef Newgarden with two laps remaining to win at Road America and reclaim the IndyCar points lead. Newgarden started from the pole and led 32 of the 55 laps until Palou passed him on the restart. Team Penske lost its third consecutive race because of a late caution.
The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month. This goes against the country's top medical adviser who has recommended the safest way during the COVID-19 pandemic is without any fans. Fans from abroad were banned several months ago. Japanese organizers have set a limit of 50% of capacity up to a maximum of 10,000 fans for all Olympic venues. Officials says fans will be under strict rules. They will not be allowed to cheer, must wear masks, and are being told to go straight home after the event. Tokyo and other area are under “quasi-emergency” status until July 11. The Olympics are set to open July 23.
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