#SportBits … Weekend Recap

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It is with a heavy heart I write my recap today, after the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida. These tragic and senseless shootings continue to happen at an alarming rate. It’s sad, confusing, and maddening that we cannot figure out a way to battle this epidemic. Watching sports is a way for me to step out of the insanity for a little while. I’m reminded that these games are just that…GAMES…and they offer joy and reprieve during times where joy is hard to find…and I am thankful for that. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families today.

#SportBits

NBA:

The Golden State Warriors are 1 game away from winning their second consecutive NBA title. The can take it tonight at home – but they’ll have to do it without forward Draymond Green. Green was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul and suspended for 1 game for what the NBA said was a “retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin” of LeBron James on Friday. The flagrant 1 gave Green his fourth flagrant foul point of the playoffs, which carries an automatic suspension. He will be allowed to participate in postgame celebrations if the Warriors win (they will). Draymond has been caught swiping the groinage before…kinda weird.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden have removed their names from consideration for USA Basketball’s 2016 Rio Olympics team. They are the latest star athletes to opt out of the games this summer. While neither mentioned the Zika virus as the reason – that’s the reason. I don’t care what anyone says.

The LA Lakers announced that Magic Johnson is no longer a ceremonial (i.e. non paid) Vice President of the organization. Why? Because he’s often critical of the team on social media – sounding somewhat teenagery at times – and the Lakers want all to know that “his opinions, comments and social media posts are solely his, and do not represent or reflect those of Lakers ownership of management. Hopefully this will eliminate any confusion over this issue in the future.”

This was one of my favs:

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#teenagery

NHL:

The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Stanley Cup with a 3-1 Game 6 win over the San Jose Sharks. This is their 4th title in franchise history. Team Captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

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Gordy Howe, the Hall of Fame forward, also known as “Mr. Hockey” died on Friday. He was 88 yrs. old. Howe scored 975 goals in 2,186 games for four teams in two leagues—during a professional career that spanned 32 seasons from 1946 to 1980. In his final season, he scored 15 goals in 80 games for the Hartford Whalers.

MLB:

The 2016 MLB draft is over…. and here is what should know about that.

Here are the weekend scores and highlights.

In a TOTALLY DRAMATIC FINISH, UC Santa Barbara stunned Louisville with a walk-off home run to earn their first trip to the College World Series. FYI: Louisville was 47-0 this season when leading after 8 innings…and the FRESHMAN pinch hitter (Sam Cohen) had hit only 1 home run all year. I LOVE SPORTS!!!!

 

USCB will be playing Coastal Carolina, who clinched its first-ever trip to the College World Series Sunday night as the Chanticleers were able to earn a walk-off win over LSU in Baton Rouge. Can’t wait for the CWS – and here is what you need to know about it.

 

HORSE RACING:

There was no Triple Crown on the line; but the finish was still dramatic at the $1.5million Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Three-year-old gray colt, Creator, closed the race with a mad rush and caught Destin at the wire in the photo finish. Heavily favored Preakness winner Exaggerator wound up in 11th place. Creator co-owner and celebrity chef Bobby Flay is certainly cooking up celebratory feast for friends today.

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SOCCER/FOOTBALL:

Big sigh of relief for the #USMNT. After a 2-0 loss in their opener v Colombia, a 4-0 rout of Costa Rica put them back on track. On Saturday, the USA team beat Paraguay 1-0 on a Cliff Dempsey goal, which puts them in the Copa America quarterfinals.

#DUMBASSfanalert: English and Russian soccer fans hurled bottles and chairs, clashing with each other and French riot police in Marseille on Saturday ahead of their teams’ opening Euro 2016 match. One person suffered a heart attack while another England fan was knocked unconscious. There were also clashes in the stadium following England’s 1-1 draw with Russia, after Russia fans appeared to rush at England supporters. My suggestion would be to move the 9pm start to earlier in the day…leaving less time for fans to get hammered and act like IDIOTS before, during and after the game. #forfucksake

GOLF:

Canada’s Brooke Henderson claimed her first major title yesterday, beating world number one Lydia Ko in a sudden-death play-off at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

 

That’s its for now folks… enjoy the game tonight (9pm ET on ABC)…lots of drama surrounding it…should be a great one. Follow me on social media, HerDaily.com and right back here for daily sports news, scores and highlights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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Vintage Television

 

Fifteen thousand people are expected to attend an interfaith service that will be held at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 p.m. today for boxing great Muhammad Ali. Former President Bill ClintonBilly CrystalBryant Gumbel, and Ali’s wife, Lonnie, will give eulogies. Also expected to speak is Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. The service is open to the public.

NHL:

After wild first period goal-fest in Game 5 in the #StanleyCupFinals, the San Jose Sharks held on to win in Pittsburgh, 4-2, to force a Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday.

Hockey legend Gordie Howe died this morning, the Detroit Red Wings have confirmed. He was 88. The Hall of Famer played on four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit during a 25-year stint that began in 1946. He retired from hockey for good when he was 52.

NBA:

After winning Game 3 on Wednesday by 30 pts. without Kevin Love, a game which they were going to win NO MATTER WHAT, word has it the Cavaliers are wondering if they even need the injured star forward in the lineup for Game 4, tonight. He’s got to pass the concussion test before he’s cleared, which will probably be something like riding a unicycle while explaining the Theory of Relativity. …in Mandarin.

MLB:

The Philadelphia Phillies had the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft yesterday and took this guy. Here is more draft news from Day 1.

Manny Muchado was suspended 4 games for taking a swing and a miss at pitcher Yordano Ventura , who got 9 games for nailing Muchado with a fastball.

NFL:

Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Von Miller could sit out the entire 2016 season. His contract negotiations with the Denver Broncos have hit a snag over what part of the 6yr, $114million will be guaranteed.

#RIPdabbing … Cam Newton announced yesterday the dab is done. We can all go back to living our lives now.

TENNIS:

Rafa Nadal will skip Wimbledon this year because of his recurring wrist injury.

Finally…

Loving the spirit of 7 yr old cancer survivor and Cub fan Beckham Zobrist. Retinoblastoma took his eye, but it couldn’t take his Cub spirit. Check out his prosthetic:

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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NHL:

The Pittsburgh Penguins moved within a game of winning the Stanley Cup yesterday by defeating the San Jose Sharks, 3-1, in San Jose. They now lead the series 3-1. There have been 4 games so far, and the Sharks have not held the lead in regulation in one of them. Not good…because you definitely play differently when you have the lead. Game 5 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

COPA AMERICA:

The #USMNT take on Costa Rica today…and it’s an effin must-win for the men’s team.

NBA:

In the NBA Finals, The Golden State Warriors have won both games at Oracle, effectively keeping home court advantage. They now lead the series 2-0 heading to Cleveland for Game 3 Wednesday night. I’m a little worried for #KingJames… it’s looking and feeling like #TeamUnderArmour might be taking his crown, again.

Yesterday Steph Curry announced he would NOT play for the Olympic team this summer so he can rest his knee and ankle for the 2016-17 NBA season. He and Ayesha seem to be in baby making mode, so I’m thinking Zika played a role in this decision. #justsayin

MMA:

Professional mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice died Monday at age 42 of undisclosed causes. Slice, (AKA Kevin Ferguson) was never really embraced by the MMA world as it went mainstream, but due to his immense popularity, his third professional fight in May 2008, aired on CBS, making it the first MMA fight on prime-time network television. #RIPSlice

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The MMA reporter that was banned on Sunday from covering the MMA  has now been reinstated … but not before spilling some juicy beans on his employers. #oopsiedaisy. Ariel Helwani was banned for scooping the UFC on a story, and the UFC didn’t like it…so they kicked him out. Not too smart for a sport that is working hard to become more mainstream. My fav ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols put it best:

“Those of you spending your dollars on UFC should be concerned. I’m not pretending sportswriters are producing the Pentagon Papers here. But sport is a central part of American life … if you create a system where the only people who are allowed to cover a sport are people who do or say exactly what the league wants them to, then you don’t have a media who can question things when they go off the rails. And as we’ve seen … they do sometimes.”

NFL:

Aaron Rogers, QB for the Green Bay Packers, is cuttin’ the cheese. In an attempt to get healthier with the hopes of extending his career, the Wisconsin team leader will be going  vegan …eliminating all dairy and crappy food from his diet. #goudaluck

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#SportBits … Monday recap

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As I’m sure you know by now, Muhammad Ali, the silver-tongued legendary boxer, who proclaimed himself “The Greatest,” died Friday, June 3rd after being admitted to a Phoenix-area medical facility for respiratory complications. He was 74 years old. Ali battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, which had slowly robbed him of both his verbal artistry and physical aptitude. I could spend the whole article writing about the Louisville Lip, and what his legacy means, but I already did that over on HerDaily.com … Instead, I’ll let Ali speak for himself. Here is an except from his 2013 autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey:

 “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

 

#SportBits …

NBA: In the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors C R U S H E D the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-77, in Game 2 in Oakland last night. The Warriors lead the series 2-0 heading to Cleveland for Game 3, Wednesday. Warriors’ Draymond Green scored 28 points and Cleveland lost star forward Kevin Love to “concussion protocol.” Here’s hoping LeBron and Co. can GET IT TOGETHER and take care of business at home. I’m not counting him out yet…but … #laststand

TENNIS: I bet Andy Murray is feeling a bit like the Cavs because no matter what he does, he can not beat Novak Djokovic at the Slams. World No. 1 Djokovic beat Murray in four sets at the French Open and became the first man in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive Grand Slam Tournaments. In his 12th appearance and fourth final, the Joker finally captured the one title that has eluded him. Next up: Wimbledon.

On the women’s side, World No. 1 Serena Williams was upset by Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final on Saturday. Muguruza won her first career Grand Slam while denying Williams the opportunity of tying Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight in San Jose. The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the series 2-1. In a nutshell, the Penguins need to capitalize on their speed, and the Sharks need to take more shots! All the while, the beards keep growing…

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.37.21 AMJoe Thornton

MLB: Check here for weekend scores and highlights. In the meantime:

  • Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner REALLY wants to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All Star game. After watching the show he put on at battling practice Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, I can see why. But it ain’t gonna happen…Giant manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t want ANYTHING happening to that arm…or legs…or hands..or … #riskybusiness
  • The LA Dodgers cut ties with  Carl Crawford and must eat the remaining $34.6 million left on the under-achieving outfielder’s contract. That is one expensive meal. #stomachache
  • Those sneaky Dodgers…after being accused last week of using lasers to mark spots on the outfield for defensive purposes, they hoped to supply some sweet music to umpire Joe West’s ears on Sunday. West, the longtime umpire who has two country albums to his credit, was behind the plate for Sunday’s game between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. Dodger players used his songs as walk-up music for their first at-bats. Hilarious…and what’s even better? It was Chase Utley’s idea. #sneakiest

MMA: I had a ticket dropped in my lap last night to see the Zac Brown Band at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. Didn’t know one song, but man, he was good. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Forum hosted UFC 199 where 37-year-old Michael “The Count” Bisping shocked the MMA world by knocking out defending champ Luke Rockhold in the first round. Even more exciting was the announcement that a welterweight rematch between UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will headline UFC 202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Aug. 20. #BookItDano

Copa America: After losing their opening match, 2-0, to Columbia, the #USMST travels to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on Costa Rica on Tuesday. Check here for all results, matchups, and upcoming schedule.

In other soccer news, a federal district court in Chicago ruled in favor of the U.S. Soccer Federation, saying the women’s national team is subject to a contract that prevents players from striking. The previous agreement expired in 2012,but, according to U.S. Soccer, it was modified and extended to last from 2013 to 2016. The modification included a no-strike clause. U.S. Soccer brought a lawsuit against the players’ union after the union’s lawyer denied that there was a valid contract and the federation saw that as a threat to strike.  Basically, now that they can’t strike, their bargaining chip is gone in their battle for equal pay.

I’m going to end with more Muhammad Ali. One of the things I remember most as a kid watching Ali was his wacky and unlikely friendship with sportscaster Howard Cosell. To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen another relationship like it in the world of sports and sports media. Take a look:

 

Have a great week everyone. Remember to check in with me on social media for scores and highlights during the week, and with #SportBitsDaily for daily news, scores and TV schedules.

 

 

 

 

 

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#SportBits … Memorial Day

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Happy Memorial Day #SportBits readers! I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. Today I am very thankful for all the women and men in the military who bravely serve this country. Their commitment affords my kids and me the freedoms we experience every day – and often take for granted. Thank you.

You know what else I’m thankful for? Sports! Following my teams and chatting about it on Twitter, at work, or with my family is fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a great museum, or hitting up that killer Memorial Day Sale at Nordstrom’s, but knowing that I get to watch Game 7 tonight between #OKC and #GSW really makes my day. What about you? What’s making YOUR Memorial Day?

There were so many games, tournaments, and races to keep up with this weekend…I gave it my best-shot people….here we go.

NHL: The Stanley Cup Final is set. The Pittsburgh Penguins will battle the San Jose Sharks for the coveted trophy. The Sharks are in the finals for the first time in franchise history, while Sidney Crosby and the Penguins return for a 5th time. Game 1 is TONIGHT in Pittsburgh (8pm ET. on NBC) . There are many interesting storylines in this one…but I’m just excited to watch the fast and frantic pace that is expected in this series, along with the playoff beards that just keep-a-growin’.

NBA: Thank goodness for the Sharks because the Golden State Warriors have put the #NoCal fans in a tizzy. Over the weekend, the Warriors went to #OKC facing elimination in Game 6, and came out with an improbable win. Only 9 times in NBA history has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit. We’ll see if the Warriors can do it TONIGHT in Oakland for Game 7. Watch this game folks (9pm ET. TNT) – or if you have $29,000 – you can get a floor seat. If it’s anything like the last one, it might just be worth it!

Waiting in the wings from the East Conference is #KingJames and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having beaten the Toronto Raptors in 6 games, the Cavs are hoping to bring the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Cleveland, where no professional sports team has won a championship in nearly 52 years. #Ouch. James is back to the NBA Finals for a record 6th straight time. THAT’S impressive…but it won’t mean squat if he doesn’t win the title. Finals begin Thursday.

MLB: It was a great weekend for me because I was able to watch 2 Dodgers games on TV. Don’t get me started on the Dodger/TimeWarnerCable BS that we are STILL experiencing out here in Los Angeles. Just … don’t.

The Dodgers traveled to New York to take on the World Series runner-up NY Mets, and this rivalry is officially ON. It began with the Mets accusing the Dodgers of cheating with lasers. The Mets contacted Major League Baseball about the possibility of the Dodgers using lasers to gain an unfair advantage in their defensive positioning. Next there was the Dodger debut of 19-year old lefty phenom pitcher Julio Urias. The Mets didn’t appreciate all the hype surrounding the kid, and made his first outing a rough one. Over the course of 2.2 innings, Urias allowed three earned runs and five hits while walking four batters and striking out three. He’s been sent back to his room Triple-A, Oklahoma City team and can not come out to play (in the majors) for a bit…

Oh, it doesn’t end there…things got really chippy on Saturday night. Mets Thor-esque pitcher Noah Syndergaard was given the quick boot for throwing a pitch behind Dodger Chase Utley. The 99-mph fastball appeared to be in retaliation for Utley’s leg-breaking slide to former Mets infielder Ruben Tejada in the NLDS last season. Twitter went nuts and Mets fans were M A D as many felt Thor should have been given a warning first.

In other baseball news, USA softball star Jennie Finch became the first woman to manage a professional baseball team on Sunday. Finch was a guest manager for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. Her aggressive base running strategies helped lead the Bluefish to a 3-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Finch is now 1-0. #girlmode

Check here for MLB scores and highlights.

Soccer: The 100th anniversary of the oldest international soccer tournament kicks off this Friday at Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA when the U.S. meets Columbia in the first round of the Copa America Centenario. The 16-team competition will be played in 10 U.S. cities over the next month. It’s a great test for the USNMT going into the summer Olympics…and who doesn’t want to win the 100th anniversary title? Here is a complete TV guide for upcoming matches. If you’re a soccer fan, you’re in for a treat.

In NCAA news: so many tournaments… lacrosse, baseball, softball, ultimate Frisbee .. too many to cover. Sorry folks. Check here for final scores and updates on what’s happening in college sports sports.

Tennis: It’s been a nightmare year in tennis so far, and the hits just keep on coming. A match-fixing scandal began the year at the Australian Open. Maria Sharapova is out of tournament play due to a drug suspension. Roger Federer skipped the French because of an undisclosed injury. Clay King Rafa Nadal withdrew on Friday because of a wrist injury. And on Sunday, home favorite 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired after pulling his groin. Add all this to the ongoing bickering over equal pay, and the announcement by several high profile players that they are skipping the Olympics. #noreliefinsight

Speaking of the Rio Olympics, more than 100 prominent physicians, bioethicists and scientists from around the world posted a letter Friday urging World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan to exert pressure on Olympic authorities to move the Olympics from Rio de Janeiro or delay the Games because of public health concerns over the Zika virus, according to the Washington Post. In the open letter posted Friday on Twitter and Facebook, the authors said evidence shows that “Brazil’s Zika strain has more serious medical consequences than researchers previously knew, that Rio de Janeiro is one of the hardest-hit areas of the epidemic, and that Rio’s mosquito-killing efforts are not meeting expectations.” #ongoing

Golf: Texas native Jordan Spieth won his first PGA tournament in his home state on Sunday. A sure cure for his Master’s meltdown blues, Spieth birdied the last three holes in front of family and friends to win the Dean and Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Spieth is the reigning U.S. Open champion and will try to defend that title at Oakmont in three weeks. #cantwait

The Russian doping scandal continues. According to the Associated Press, 8 more Russian athletes tested positive in the retests of doping samples from the 2012 Olympics. The IOC is using newer methods to test samples. Russia has already been banned from competing in track and field, including at the Rio Olympics, by the international track and field federation. The IOC said Friday that 23 athletes from five sports and six countries tested positive in retests of 265 samples from 2012.

A very sad story from the NFL: New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment early Saturday morning. Dejean-Jones was visiting his girlfriend for his daughter’s first birthday. According to police, the resident of the apartment, who had been asleep, retrieved a handgun and called out to Dejean-Jones but did not get an answer. Dejean-Jones kicked the bedroom door and the resident fired his gun through the door, striking and killing Dejean-Jones. It’s not clear at this time whether any substance played a part in this horrific tragedy.

Let’s end with the great underdog story from the Indianapolis 500! In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in the Formula-One sport, 24 year old California native Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” on Sunday. The 66-1 long shot used super speeds and a savvy fuel strategy to take the checkered flag, giving the Andretti family the biggest win of their storied careers. Columbian runner-up (for the 2nd time in 4 yrs) Carlos Munoz was not happy it all came down to fuel consumption – but a win is a win…#dealwithit. Rossi, on the other hand, had the best quote of the day: “The emotional roller-coaster of this race is ridiculous,” he said. “There were moments I was really stoked, really heartbroken, really stoked. I was like, ‘Wow, I’ll need to see a psychiatrist after this.” #pagingDr.Phil

That’s is for #SportBits this week. Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day. Fire up the BBQs and watch some of great games tonight. Don’t know about you…but I’m stoked! Check in with #SportBitsDaily for TV schedules and quick updates…and don’t forget twitter, Facebook and instagram. #socialmediaOVERLOAD

 

 

 

 

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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The NBA defending champs live to see another day! Last night in Game 5 of the #WCF, the Golden State Warriors, lead by MVP Steph Curry, beat the OKC Thunder 120-111, in Oakland. Curry had 31 points and Kevin Durant had 40 for the Thunder. I’m digging the rivalry between Curry and Russell Westbrook though…keep an eye on that. Game 6 is going to be goooooood, Saturday night in Oklahoma.

It will be the Pittsburgh Penguins v. the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins advanced with a thrilling Game 7 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins dominated possession on their home ice, outshooting the Bolts 30-17, but the game was filled with tension from start to finish. The best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals begins Monday night in Pittsburgh.

In an effort to keep the “dopers” away from the Rio Olympics, the IOC continues to reanalyze samples from athletes from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The latest tests have turned of 23 more athletes with doping in their samples. An earlier sweep revealed 31 doping athletes. #cheatersbeware

My Dodgers pitching rotation is in need of some HELP. And hopefully that’s what they’ll get today as 19year old Julio Urias gets his first MLB start. Dude has been ripping it up in the minors – time to see how he plays with the big boys. Heck, he’s younger than many of the players the Dodgers will be drafting in two weeks. Lord have mercy! I’ma rootin’ him on, and hoping his mom will be there incase things don’t go well.

Baylor fired football coach Art Briles yesterday amid the controversy over the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations involving players on his team. #BoutTime

Happy Memorial Day weekend folks…you’ve got all kinds of sports to watch this weekend: NBA, NCAA tourneys, MLB, French Open, Indy 500, Golf, NASCAR…fire up the DVR along with the BBQ.  Enjoy!

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#SportBitsDaily … Thursday

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NBA: The Cleveland Cavaliers lead 65-34 at halftime and went on to rout the Toronto Raptors, 116-78, to take a 3-2 lead in the #ECF. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both had 23 points in the win. Game 6 will be Friday night at Air Canada Centre. If there is a Game 7, it will be back at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday.

In the NHL, the San Jose Sharks will be heading to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history after their 5-2 win in Game 6 last night in San Jose. They await the winner of tonight’s Game 7 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Baylor University is under scrutiny for how it has handled sexual assaults involving student athletes, including several members of the Baylor football team. ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported in January several examples in which school officials either failed to investigate, or failed to adequately investigate, allegations of sexual violence. In many cases, officials did not provide support to those who reported assaults, in apparent violation of Title IX federal law. A new report details that at least some Baylor officials, including coaches, knew about many of the incidents, and most players did not miss playing time for disciplinary reasons. None of the incidents has been widely reported in the media. Shocking => not. This is an ongoing story… BREAKING: According to multiple reports, Baylor has fired head coach Art Briles in wake of sexual assault scandal. Formal announcement is expected later today.

If you haven’t heard the latest about Hulk Hogan, and who actually funded his invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker…you should, because it’s pretty awesome.

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#SportBitsDaily … Wednesday

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The OKC Thunder went postal and routed the defending champs for a second consecutive time in the NBA #WCF. The 118-94 win puts Golden State on the brink of elimination heading into Game 5 in Oakland on Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Penguins came out with a 5-2 win  in their elimination Game 6 last night in Tampa.  They force  Game 7 v. the Lightning to be played on Thursday in Pittsburgh. G A M E 7  – winner goes to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Serena Williams breezed through her first round match at the French Open 6-2, 6-0, and probably had a great night sleep after her two main threats to the title were ousted from the tourney. N.3 Angelique Kerber, who beat her at the Australian in January, lost to number 58th ranked  Kiki Bertens, and No.5 Victoria Azarenka, one of only two other women to beat Williams this year, bowed out in the first round due to a knee injury. #sweetdreamsSerena

Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist won’t race at the Belmont Stakes due to illness, and the much anticipated rematch with Preakness winner Exaggerator, will not happen after all. #Dangittohell

It sounds like the Oakland Raiders are pretty serious about moving to Las Vegas. Owner Mark Davis says he’ll move his team if the city comes through with financing needed to relocate (how much is that??). Another concern is whether the city has a strong enough fan base to justify the move. The Raiders on the Strip?? I mean who’s not coming watch that!!

Well, it’s Under Armour’s world, and we’re just living in it! Yesterday, the company announced a $280million apparel deal with UCLA. This ranks as the largest shoe and apparel sponsorship in college sports history. FYI: the athletes are NOT part of the payout..in any way.  #UA wanted a bigger west coast presence…and they got it. #DressToExcess

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#SportBitsDaily … Tuesday

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Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and DeMar DeRozan had 32 as the Toronto Raptors evened the #ECF finals by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-99 in Game 4 last night. Game 5 is tomorrow in Cleveland. Don’t think it’s panic time for LeBron & Co, but things sure did get a bit more interesting.

Golden State Warrior Draymond Green avoided suspension for his “accidental” kick in the crotch to Thunder’s Steven Adams on Sunday. It’ll cost him $25grand and an upgrade to a flagrant-2 foul. Plus, it’s provided mega-motivation for all in Toronto. I’m thinking fans are going to let Green hear it tonight in Game 6.

The-Oklahoman-Front-Page-For-Monday-KickStart The Oklahoman

The San Jose Sharks are one win away from going to the Stanley Cup Finals with their 6-3 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5. Game 6 of the #WCF is tomorrow in San Jose.

At the French Open, defending men’s champ Stan Warwrinka avoided an historic first round upset, and No. 2 seed Andy Murray dropped 2 sets before taking out Stepanek in 5. Both No. 1 seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic play their first round matches today. Security is uber tight this year at Roland Garros in wake of the Paris attacks.

Deflate-gate goes on… The NFL Players Association has filed a petition with a federal appeals court asking for Tom Brady’s case to be reheard by a panel of judges. In April, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL in the Deflate-gate case, effectively reinstating the New England Patriots quarterback’s original four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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#SportBitsDaily … Friday

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In the NBA: The Toronto Raptors’ better effort still wasn’t enough against LeBron James and his undefeated Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night. James had a triple double with 23 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds to power the Cavaliers 108-89 past Toronto, sending the Raptors home trailing 2-0 in their #ECF debut. Game 3 is Saturday in Toronto.

NHL: Shark goalie Martin Jones recorded his second consecutive shutout in San Jose last night to give his team a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the #WCF. Game 4 is Saturday in San Jose.

Roger Federer pulled out of the French Open on Thursday, ending his record streak of appearing in 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments – every one since the start of 2000.

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