The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t show any rust coming off their 9 day lay off as they easily handled the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals 115-84. The Cavaliers put up 33 points in the 1st quarter to take a 5-point lead 33-28. They followed that up with a 33 point 2nd quarter to really extend the lead going into halftime to 66-44. Still pressing in the 3rd quarter the Cavaliers added 6 points to the lead by outscoring the Raptors 29-23 in the 3rd. With a 95-67 heading into the 4th quarter the Cavaliers still outscored the Raptors in the quarter 20-17 to get the game to the 115-84 final and a 1-0 lead in the series.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 27 points and handed out a team high 5 assists. LeBron James shot 11 for 13 from the field on his way to a 24 point night. Kevin Love was the only other Cleveland player to score in double figures with 14 points. Richard Jefferson came off the Cavaliers bench to lead the team in rebounding with 11. The Cavaliers went 41 of 74 (55.4%) from inside the 3-point line in the victory.
Toronto was led by DeMar DeRozan with 18 points. DeRozan also tied for the team lead in assists with Kyle Lowry at 5 apiece. Bismack Biyombo made every shot he took as he went 5 for 5 from the field and made both his free throw attempts for 12 points. Biyombo also tied for the team lead in rebounds with Lowry and James Johnson at 4. Johnson also came off the Raptors bench to add 10 points. In comparison to Cleveland’s 55.4% the Raptors shot just 42.1% from inside the 3-point line going 32 for 76.
Game 2 will be tomorrow (Thursday) night in Cleveland. Do the Raptors have a chance to even the series? or will the Cavaliers make it 10 straight playoff victories this season?
If you listened to the Sports Time radio podcast yesterday (Tuesday) I was convinced that the Los Angeles Lakers would move up in the NBA Draft Lottery and get the #1 overall pick. I was wrong; not only didn’t the Lakers move up no one did. The Philadelphia 76ers had the best chance to get the #1 pick and they did. The Lakers stayed at 2 with the Boston Celtics at #3 on a pick they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets. The Phoenix Suns have two lottery picks and the first one is at #4. The Minnesota Timberwolves are at #5 with the New Orleans Pelicans at #6. The Denver Nuggets will pick 6th as they picked up this pick in a deal with the New York Knicks. The Sacramento Kings will pick 8th while the Raptors have the well traveled 9th pick as it was originally owned by Denver, but was sent to the Knicks and then to Toronto. The Milwaukee Bucks are at #10 with Orlando Magic at #11 and Utah Jazz at #12. The Suns show up again at #13 with a pick they acquired from the Washington Wizards. The Chicago Bulls round out the lottery with the 14th pick. The draft will be held in Brooklyn at Barclays Center on Thursday, June 23, 2016.
Both the Eastern and Western Conference finals in the NHL are tied at 1-1. The Pittsburgh Penguins used a quick goal by Sidney Crosby in overtime of Game 2 on Monday to tie up the series with the Tampa Bay Lighting. The series now shifts to Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena for tonight’s Game 3 and Friday nights Game 4.
Tommy Wingels put the San Jose Sharks up 1-0 in the 1st period of last nights game against the St. Louis Blues. Brent Burns had a power play goal in the 2nd period to make it 2-0 Sharks. Burns added another power play goal at the start of the 3rd period and then a Dainius Zubrus empty net goal made it 4-0 as the Sharks evened the series with the Blues. The series will head out west to San Jose’s SAP Center for Game 3 on Thursday and then Game 4 on Saturday night.
The suspensions where handed down by Major League Baseball (MLB) for the bench clearing brawl in Sunday’s Texas Rangers/Toronto Blue Jays game. To no one’s surprise Roughned Odor got the longest suspension of anyone at 8 games. I was quite surprised to hear that Jose Bautista received just a 1 game suspension. I really thought that Bautista would end up getting something in the 3 to 5 game area, but it turned out to be just 1. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons got a 3 game suspension. Remember Gibbons had been ejected earlier in the game and came back out on the field during the fight. Blue Jays 1st base coach Tim Leiper also got a 1 game suspension as he was also ejected, but came back out onto the field when the fight broke out. The other suspension I was a little surprised by was the 3 game one Jesse Chavez got. While Chavez did hit Prince Fielder in retaliation I thought 3 games was a little high for that. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was the other player to receive a suspension; he got 1 game. While Toronto’s Josh Donaldson and Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele where both ejected during the brawl they weren’t suspended, but where fined. It appears as Odor will be accessed the largest fine at a reported $5000. There where four other players who where just fined for the parts in the brawl. Rangers pitchers San Dyson, A.J. Griffin and Matt Bush; who hit Bautista along with catcher Robinson Chirinos where all fined as was Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar.
The Rangers series clinching victory Sunday was the final regular season meeting between the two clubs. A feud had been simmering between the teams since Bautista’s bat flip in last year’s American League Division Series.
Fredi Gonzalez became the first manager to get fired this season as the 9-28 Atlanta Braves made the move before their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. Brian Snitker, manager of Atlanta’s Triple-A Gwinnett farm team, will replace Gonzalez as the Braves’ interim manager through the end of the season. Snitker was Atlanta’s third-base coach from 2006 to 2013. Snitker also had two stints with Atlanta as the bullpen coach in 1985 and from 1988 to 1990. Gonzalez learned he was likely to be fired about an hour after Monday night’s loss, when he received an automated email from an airline notifying him that he was scheduled to be on a flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta on Tuesday, even though the Braves are playing the Pirates through Thursday. Braves general manager John Coppolella and president of baseball operations John Hart had planned to inform him Tuesday morning. Gonzalez, 52, managed the Marlins from 2007 to 2010 and was named manager in Atlanta in 2011 after Hall of Famer Bobby Cox retired. He coached third base for the Braves for four years before landing the Marlins job. Gonzalez wasn’t the only one fired. Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca, an assistant under Gonzalez in Atlanta and Miami, was also let go. First-base coach Terry Pendleton, a former Braves great, will become bench coach, with bullpen coach Eddie Perez moving to first. Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed will take Perez’s spot.
Former Braves All-Star Chipper Jones is said to not interested in managing the Braves this season,
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