On most nights and against most NBA teams, a 47-point performance by Steph Curry is enough to carry the Golden State Warriors to victory.
But in game three of the NBA finals, against a deep, talented squad from Toronto, it was the Raptors who overcame those 47 points from Curry and beat the two-time defending NBA champs 123-109 in Oakland to steal home court advantage back from Golden State with a two games to one lead in the best of seven final.
Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points and he got plenty of supporting help from Kyle Lowry, who added 23, and Danny Green with 18. Lowry was also on target from beyond the arc, nailing five 3-pointers while Green drained six from long distance.
And clearly injuries are playing a factor in this series. Already without the high scoring Kevin Durant, who’s yet to play in the finals, the Warriors were also without the services of Curry’s so-called Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who left game two with a hamstring injury and did not play last night. Game four is Friday night in Oakland and is as close to a must win as it gets for Golden State.
You could say the same for game five of the Stanley Cup Finals in Boston tonight, a pivotal game that will put either the St. Louis Blues or Boston Bruins on the precipice of winning the greatest trophy in sports, with the teams knotted at two games apiece.
No word yet on whether Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will play in game five, but after breaking his jaw in game four in St. Louis when a puck deflected off a stick and smacked him in the face, it is more likely than not that the Bruins will sub in another blue liner, perhaps even two to make up for the heavy workload Chara normally carries as an anchor of the Bruins defense.
In Kansas City Chris Sale put on a show for the Boston Red Sox, pitching into the 8th inning against the Royals, striking out 12 and allowing just three hits all night in the Red Sox 8-0 rout. Sale felt so strong that when manager Alex Cora asked him after the seventh if he could pitch one more inning, he not only said yes, but struck out the side in the 8th with an immaculate inning–the minimum nine pitches needed to strike out all three batters he faced.
Sale got all the offense he needed in a four run Boston fifth that featured a three run double by Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rafael Devers homered and knocked in three runs and the Red Sox picked up a game in the standings with the NY Yankees losing 11-7 to the Blue Jays in Toronto.
The big blow was a three-run homer off Yankee reliever Zach Britton in the eighth by budding young superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr., part of a five-run outburst by the Jays that broke open a tie game. Brandon Drury and Randall Grichuk also homered, hitting back to backers against Luis Cessa in the 8th as the Yankees suffered their third loss in a row.
But they’re still in first place in the A.L. east, 1 1/2 games ahead of the second place Tampa Bay Rays and 6 1/2 over the third place Red Sox.
The NY Mets snapped their own three game losing slide with a 7-0 win over the Giants in San Francisco behind a great outing from 36-year old veteran Jason Vargas, who struck out a season-best eight, allowed five hits and threw 117 pitches to get the win. Amed Rosario hit a three run homer for the Mets.
At the French Open Tennis tournament rain forced the two remaining quarterfinals in both the men’s and women’s singles to be postponed Wednesday. The four matches will be played today instead.
The women’s world cup of soccer begins play tomorrow with France as the host country and one of the favorites to win the title. But another favorite is the U.S. women’s team, who are slated for Group F in a division with Chile, Sweden, and Thailand, and should easily emerge as the top point getter in that field.
But one player who won’t be taking part in the World Cup is one considered to be the world’s best.
Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, winner of the Ballon D’Or as the top FIFA women’s player in the world, is boycotting the World Cup in a protest over un-equal conditions for women’s soccer players as compared to the men. Hegerberg has long been speaking out about inequities in the women’s game, in everything from playing and practicing conditions, to travel and promotion by the league, and pay.
And finally a belated congratulations to the UCLA Bruins softball team, who won the college world series of softball two days ago, beating Oklahoma 5-4 for the title. Bruins pitcher Rachel Garcia was named the tournament’s outstanding player in garnering UCLA’s 12th title in program history.