Bucks vs. Suns Game 4 was an instant NBA Finals classic | Midseason MLB awards

Hello everyone, Shanna McCarriston back again. This is my last newsletter until next week and by then I’ll be back in Massachusetts. Before then, I’m headed back to California and will be going to Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time. If you’ve been, head to Twitter to let me know your favorite ride, favorite food/drink there, etc.

Now to sports. We had the NBA Finals last night and, boy, is that series getting interesting or what? We will also be breaking down everything we know about the Richard Sherman situation, some MLB midseason awards and much more.

Let’s get to it.

📰 What you need to know

1. Bucks come back to knot up NBA Finals 🏀

The NBA Finals are all tied up. Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns, 109-103, at Fiserv Forum to make it a 2-2 series. It was a battle on both sides, with stars players from each team showing up, but ultimately the Bucks came out on top.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 66 points, leading the way for the Bucks. But Milwaukee also had a tough task in defending Devin Booker, who finished with a game-high 42 points.

As there is with most close games, there was a controversial play. Booker seemed to foul Jrue Holiday late in the fourth, but it went unnoticed by the officials. That would’ve been the Suns star’s sixth foul of the game and likely changed the course of the final few minutes.

Here are three takeaways from the Bucks’ Game 4 win, courtesy of our NBA scribe Sam Quinn:

  • An all-time duel: Khris Middleton and Devin Booker gave us a battle for the ages. They had a slow first quarter, but it was explosive after that. Even with the Sun’s defense playing strong, Middleton was able to change his game and step into pick-and-roll jumpers
  • Booker’s foul trouble: The Bucks would’ve been pretty upset with Booker’s fouls had they lost the game, especially with that missed one in the fourth. In minutes Booker was out the Suns, Phoenix was outscored, which will make people wonder if he should’ve stayed in the game — despite the foul trouble
  • The best player in the series: The Suns just don’t have an answer for Antetokounmpo. Last night, their focus was on stopping him and he still managed 26 points

The pivotal Game 5 is set for Saturday in Phoenix.

2. Everything we know about the Richard Sherman situation 🏈


Richard Sherman was arrested in Seattle on Wednesday and is being investigated for burglary domestic violence. The free agent was denied bail and booked at the Seattle Correctional Facility. 

Here is what we know about the situation so far:

  • The incident is being investigated as a felony
  • Police officers claim Sherman attempted to break into his in-laws house at 2 a.m. local time
  • The domestic violence specification to the burglary charge is for his relations of the address’ occupants and “not because of violence against any family member/significant other”
  • Sherman’s hearing before a judge will take place this afternoon
  • Sherman was also booked for malicious mischief for the damage caused to the door

According to reports, when an adult male family member called to say someone was trying to force their way into the home, Sherman allegedly fought with the officers who arrived at the scene, resulting in minor injuries to the officers. A K9 was called in to assist and Sherman sustained minor lacerations. 

Sherman’s wife Ashley Moss told The Seattle Times that her husband did not hurt anyone. 

  • Moss: “At this time we’re going to make no statements, except he didn’t harm anybody. My kids were not harmed in the incident. He’s a good person and this is not his character. We’re doing all right, just trying to get him out. I want people to know no one was injured.”

Sherman is also being investigated in connection to a hit-and-run and damage to state Department of Transportation property. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, police say around 1 a.m. they got a report of a single-car accident. The driver left the vehicle, but the registration belonged to Sherman. 

3. Handing out some midseason MLB awards 🏆

The first half of the 2021 MLB season is over. Can you believe it? If you told me during last year’s mess between the MLBPA and the league that we would make it halfway through a full season with no issues, I’d be very surprised.

To celebrate this accomplishment, the CBS Sports staff gave out midseason awards. According to our calculations, 55.4 percent of games, or 1,347 of 2,430 of the regular season games, have been played. So this seems like a great time to evaluate how players are doing.

Here’s how we did this: Our esteemed MLB scribes — R.J. Anderson, Katherine Acquavella, Mike Axisa, Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder — each cast a hypothetical ballot for the four major awards. We’re talking MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year. The individual ballots for each award was three names deep with three points for a first place vote, two points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Here is how it all shaped out:

  • AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani, Angels, Second place: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
  • NL MVP: Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres, Second place: Jacob deGrom, Mets
  • AL Cy Young: Lance Lynn, White Sox, Second place: Kyle Gibson, Rangers
  • NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, Mets, Second place: Zach Wheeler, Phillies
  • AL Rookie of the Year: Adolis Garcia, Rangers, Second place: Luis Garcia, Astros
  • NL Rookie of the Year: Trevor Rogers, Marlins, Second place: Jonathan India, Reds
  • AL Manager of the Year: Alex Cora, Red Sox, Second place: Dusty Baker, Astros
  • NL Manager of the Year: Gabe Kapler, Giants, Second place: Craig Counsell, Brewers

It’s not too surprising to see Ohtani on the list, and it is well deserved given what he is doing. He’s exciting to watch and is becoming the face of baseball. He’s seemed to catch the attention of non-baseball fans, something MLB could use to grow their game. I’ve had friends who know nothing about baseball, usually unable to name any players, tell me they’ve seen highlights of him play, which is what the league desperately needs.

It’s nice seeing Cora there as well, who has taken the Red Sox from a struggling team to a contender. 

4. Who will win the British Open? 🏌

CBS Sports graphic

The last major champion of 2021 will soon be crowned, as it’s time for the 149th Open Championship. The Claret Jug is up for grabs, with golfers competing at Royal St. George’s from Thursday morning through Sunday.

It’s been mostly experienced golfers holding up the Claret Jug for the past decade, with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy being the only two golfers who have won the tournament before turning 30.

Our golf expert Kyle Porter put together his predictions, picks and favorites for the tournament, saying there’s a usual list of suspects with a few surprised tossed in. Here’s Porter’s list, along with odds:

  • Jon Rahm, Odds: 7-1
  • Jordan Spieth, Odds: 18-1
  • Louis Oosthuizen, Odds: 30-1
  • Brooks Koepka, Odds: 16-1
  • Xander Schauffele, Odds: 16-1
  • Patrick Reed, Odds: 33-1
  • Tyrrell Hatton, Odds: 28-1
  • Justin Thomas
  • Rory McIlroy, Odds: 16-1

Rahm is the easy favorite, as many are picking him to win the British Open — just like he won the U.S. open. 

  • Porter: “His game is complete and has been for years, and the only thing that has changed from a month ago is that he’s cut ties with the nagging thread in his head that reminded him he was supposed to win a bunch of major championships.”

For full commentary and all the predictions ahead of the tournament, click here.

📝 Odds & Ends

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📺 What to watch tonight

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Red Sox vs. Yankees, 7:08 p.m. | NYY -128 | TV: ESPN

🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet

Vanessa Bryant brought her daughters to the WNBA All-Star Game and the girls were wearing Kobe jerseys. The All-Star Game had tons of great moments, from kids cheering on their moms to the game itself. The Bryant girls watching basketball was definitely one of these top moments. Gianna Bryant, who died in the same helicopter crash as Kobe and seven others, always had dreams of being in the WNBA, so it’s great to see the family supporting the league.

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