Warriors, Celtics finish strong, and yes, Nikola Jokic deserves to win MVP

Happy Tuesday there.

Let’s cut to the chase.

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the Warriors drove for exactly 45.7 seconds last night. The good news for them: it was the last 45.7 seconds of the game. Golden State used a late push to rally Memphis 101-98 and take a 3-1 series lead.

After an offensive masterpiece in Game 3, the Warriors had to win lousy in Game 4. Even Curry looked a little off, despite his last line of stats, writes NBA reporter Brad Botkin.

  • Botkin: “Stephen Curry led the Warriors with a season-high 32 points, but it took him 25 shots to get there. He made just four of his 14 3-pointers, but finished the game with eight free throws and 18 in the fourth quarter. Curry, who has been fantastic throughout the playoffs in the paint and on the rim, is behind on his 3-point shot and misses wide-open looks quite regularly.


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It’s not how you start, it’s how you end. Last night the Celtics finished as strong as any team you’ll ever see, beating Milwaukee 43-28 in the fourth quarter to beat the Bucks 116-108 and even the series at 2-2.

  • Al Horfordplaying in his 132nd playoff game, scored a playoff career-high 30 points. Jayson Tatum also had 30, along with 13 rebounds and five assists.
  • Horford and Tatum are the first Celtics duo to score 30+ points in the same playoff game from Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in 2011.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, but shot less than 50 percent (14 for 32) for the third time in four games in this series.

Horford’s impact was vital throughout the game, but especially in the fourth quarter, when his dunk over Antetokounmpo spurred the Celtics’ final run, notes NBA pundit Jack Maloney.

  • Maloney:When Horford put Giannis on a poster, it wasn’t just an amazing moment; it was an emotional lift for a team that had struggled to get things done for nearly two full games in Milwaukee. … While the Celtics had already fought back – once the free throws were settled, this game tied the game at 81-81 – they now had the energy to close the show. From that point on, the Celtics outscored the Bucks 35-27 and seemed like the fresher team.

honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

  • the giants could not find a business partner for the cornerback James Bradberry and freed him.
  • Atlanta United and USMNT defend standout Miles Robinson suffered an Achilles tear and will likely miss the World Cup.
  • Denis Shapovalov had a little temporary temper tantrum.

Jokic will win second consecutive MVP, compared; Williams named coach of the year 🏀

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Nikola Jockic it’s here NBA Most Valuable Player again, according to reports. the Nuggets‘ center superstar beaten Joel Embid and Giannis Antetokounmpo to become the 15th player to win multiple NBA MVPs and the 13th to win in a row. Although we won’t know the exact vote total until the official announcement in the coming days, it was a intensely debated race. Here’s why it went Jokic’s way:

  • jokic led the league in win shares, player efficiency rating (his PER of 32.8 this year was the highest in NBA history), Over/Under Box and Value vs. Substitute Player.
  • Not a fan of advanced metrics? How about this: Jokic was the first player already with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season.
  • I also have increased his points, rebounds, field goal percentage, steals and blocks from last seasonwhen he, you know, won MVP.
  • I have led the league in triple-doubles (19) and double-double (66).
  • The Nuggets outscored their opponents by 444 points when he was on the floor. They have been upgraded by 225 points when he was not.

It pretty much covers everything.

To also obtain an honor which he fully deserves is Monty Williamswas Named coach of the year after leading the sun to an NBA-best record and a franchise record of 64-18 in the regular season. Williams won the award Taylor Jenkins Grizzlies and Erik Spoelstra (Heat).

  • This is the first time Williams has won the award.
  • He is the third Suns coach to win it, joining Mike D’Antoni (2005) and Cotton Fitzsimmons (1989).
  • During the regular season, Phoenix went 18-6 without Deandre Ayton11-6 without Chris Paul and 8-6 without Devin Booker.

NCAA issues NIL guidelines to schools 💰

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The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has announced new name, image and likeness guidelines. College football specialist Shehan Jeyarajah explains:

  • Jeyarajah: “The guidelines clarify existing rules that explicitly prohibit boosters from recruiting through interaction or by providing direct help to recruits. The new clarification specifically targets so-called “collectives” created by booster factions to recruit potential student-athletes from high school or the transfer portal to contracts…. By definition, a booster is referred to as “any third-party entity that promotes an athletics program, assists in recruiting, or assists in providing benefits to recruits, registered student-athletes, or their family members.”

Examples of collectives include…

  • Miami publicly sign leads for NIL deals, including a two-year, $800,000 deal with Life Wallet
  • Texas‘charity’ – Horns with Heart – which provides at least $50,000 to each scholarship offensive lineman

The NCAA may prosecute previous “serious” violations, but it will primarily focus on the future. Our college sportswriter Dennis Dodd spoke to coaches and other college sports leaders about the NIL, and they had a lot to say.

MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles and New York teams still on the rise ⚾

We’re just over a month into the MLB season, and major market teams are booming: Los Angeles teams and New York teams combined 42 games above .500, and all four lead their respective divisions. These four teams also hold the top four spots in Matt Snyder’s final game MLB Power Rankings:

  • 1. Dodgers (last week: 4) — “They have always been the best team. »
  • 2. Yankees (last week: 3) — “Yes, I considered them for the top spot. There is no wrong answer. »
  • 3. Dish (last week: 1) — “Loop the Mets with the Yankees response above … There are three elite teams right now, then a split. »
  • 4. Angels (last week: 4) — “As much as I hated Mike Trout’s strikeout in the ninth on Sunday, I loved Shohei Ohtani’s brace and Anthony Rendon’s single as a good reminder to the masses that this can be a well-rounded team where Trout do not need to do everything. »

Meanwhile, the Astros, owners of the longest active winning streak in MLB (seven in a row), were the biggest jumpers, rising from 14th to sixth.

  • Snyder: “The most remarkable thing about their seven-game winning streak? Points allowed per game: 0, 0, 2, 2, 2, 2, 0.

Rest in Peace, Adrian Payne

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Adreian Payne, former Michigan State star died yesterday at 31 after being shot. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department arrested Lawrence Dority on a first degree murder warrant in connection with Payne’s fatal shooting.

Payne was twice selected to the All-Big Ten with the Spartans, and he made national headlines after befriending Lacey Holsworth, a young Michigan State fan who had a terminal cancer and died in April 2014. After his time at East Lansing, Payne was selected. 15th overall by the Hawks in the 2014 NBA draft. He also played for Minnesota and Orlando.

The Magic waived Payne in 2018 after a story emerged that he and teammate Keith Appling were investigated for sexual assault while at Michigan State. Neither was charged in the case, although Payne issued an apology to his accuser. The app has publicly stated that the relationship was consensual.

What we’re watching on Tuesday 📺

And also…

🏀 Aces at Mystics7 p.m. on Facebook
Red Sox at Braves7:20 p.m. on TBS

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Warriors, Celtics finish strong, and yes, Nikola Jokic deserves to win MVP