NBA

Warriors wake up, even NBA Finals, plus Rafael Nadal is still unbeatable on clay

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a great weekend.

Let’s get right to it.

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Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

This time, there was no comeback. Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole made sure of that.

The Warriors outscored the Celtics 35-14 in the third quarter and, unlike Game 1, never looked back, beating Boston 107-88 and tying the NBA Finals at one game apiece.

  • Curry led the way with 29 points, and Poole bounced back from an awful Game 1 with 17 points, including this unbelievable buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the third quarter.
  • Kevon Looney (12), Andrew Wiggins (11) and Klay Thompson (11) all finished in double figures as well.
  • The Warriors forced 19 turnovers and scored 33 points off of them. Golden State also dominated the paint points, 40-24, after losing that battle 34-26 in Game 1.

That last bullet point is a testament to the Warriors’ excellent defense, writes NBA expert James Herbert.

  • Herbert: “Through two games, both teams have enjoyed stretches in which the opposing offense stagnates, takes tough shots and gives them opportunities to score in transition. After completely losing control in Game 1, Golden State stayed steady by stacking stops on top of stops.”

Offensively, it wasn’t the prettiest game for Golden State — Thompson shot 4 for 19, Wiggins 4 for 12 — but Curry was simply outstanding. He kept the Warriors afloat in the first half and then exploded as Poole and others finally heated up in the third quarter. Without his efforts, the Warriors easily could be staring at a 2-0 series deficit, writes NBA scribe Colin Ward-Henninger.

  • Ward-Henninger: “With all the Warriors struggling offensively despite their improved tenacity and intention, Curry went to work. It wasn’t marked by the glitz and awe of the first-quarter outburst in Game 1, but his methodical ability to keep the Warriors in the game on Sunday amid their offensive struggles was just as important. He didn’t shoot particularly well, but Curry scored 10 points in the opening frame, shooting four free throws and dishing out three assists. On the surface, it didn’t seem like Curry was dominating the game, but lo and behold the Warriors somehow held a 31-30 lead after the first quarter. That’s what leaders do…”

Honorable mentions

  • The Lightning beat the Rangers 3-2 yesterday and now trail in the series, 2-1. The Avalanche, meanwhile, are up 3-0 on the Oilers.
  • Wales is headed to the World Cup after beating Ukraine, 1-0. The Dragons join the United States, England and Iran in Group B.
  • Lionel Messi scored five — yes, five — goals in Argentina‘s friendly win over Estonia.

And not such a good morning for…


USATSI

THE UTAH JAZZ

Quin Snyder stepped down as Jazz head coach yesterday. The decision comes after several days of contemplation, and it’s one that has major ramifications for the Jazz — and, potentially, some of their best players.

  • Snyder became Utah’s coach in 2014. Since then, the Jazz have accumulated 372 regular-season wins, seventh in the NBA.
  • The Jazz also made the playoffs each of the last six seasons but didn’t make it past the second round in any of those.
  • This season, Utah lost to Dallas in six games in the first round, even with Mavericks star Luka Doncic missing the first three games of the series.

Snyder had two years left on his contract and the Jazz were even looking to extend him, but he decided to step away. While Utah went from struggling team to contender during Snyder’s tenure, the playoff struggles and the questions of whether Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert could co-exist on a championship team must have taken their toll.

Now, his exit is taking a toll on Mitchell, too. The three-time All-Star guard is reportedly “surprised and disappointed” by Snyder’s departure, and when reports like that start coming out, it’s never a good thing, writes NBA reporter Michael Kaskey-Blomain.

  • Kaskey-Blomain: “Often when a team’s star is contemplating his future with the franchise, things don’t end well. Does this mean that a trade request from Mitchell is inevitable? No, but it certainly seems like it could be a possibility. … Ultimately, it all depends on if Mitchell still wants to be in Utah long-term. He might not even know the answer to that right now. Perhaps he’ll wait to see who is selected to be the team’s next coach before making any such decisions.”

As for that next coach, Utah already has a list of potential candidates, including…

  • Jazz assistant Alex Jensen
  • Former Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts
  • Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant
  • Celtics assistant Will Hardy
  • Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin

Not so honorable mentions

Rafael Nadal wins 14th career French Open; Iga Swiatek wins women’s title 🎾

Rafael Nadal and the clay of Roland Garros. Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.

The Spanish superstar dominated Casper Rudd 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to win his 14th career French Open and 22nd career Grand Slam.

  • The 14 French Opens are most all-time, eight more than the closest man in the Open Era (Bjorn Borg had six).
  • The 22 slams are also most all-time, two more than Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
  • Nadal won the final 11 games of the match in a row. He is now 112-3 all-time at the French Open, and he’s never lost a French Open final.
  • The win came exactly 17 years after his first triumph at Roland Garros.

Nadal had to battle through a chronic foot injury throughout the tournament, but his incredible competitive spirit was ever-present, both in his management of the injury and every time he stepped onto the clay. On the women’s side, Iga Swiatek has been dominant no matter where she’s been. Her 6-1, 6-3 win over Coco Gauff in the final was her 35th consecutive match won.

  • Swiatek’s last loss was in February.
  • The 35 straight victories is the longest streak in women’s tennis since Serena Williams also had 35 straight back in 2000.
  • It’s Swiatek’s second French Open (and major) title; she also won it in 2020.

Billy Horschel gets first win in more than a year🏌


Getty Images

Leading by five strokes entering the final round at the Memorial Tournament, Billy Horschel was hoping for a relatively stress-free final round. But when the stress inevitably came, he rose to the occasion.

With his lead cut to two strokes, Horschel nailed a 55-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole to give himself all the breathing room he needed en route to a four-stroke victory.

  • It’s Horschel’s first PGA Tour win since the 2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and his first stroke-play PGA Tour win since the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson.
  • It’s Horschel’s seventh career PGA Tour win.
  • Horschel earned $2.16 million with the win, the largest payday of his career.

Horschel earned an A+ in golf expert Patrick McDonald’s grades.

  • McDonald: “One shouldn’t be surprised if Horschel receives a call this fall for the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow… While that is surely at the top of Horschel’s goals for the year, the next line likely reads a major championship victory and his best opportunity in a long time just so happens to be in two weeks. There is motivation, there is momentum, and there is a real chance Horschel plays a factor at the U.S. Open at The Country Club in two weeks.”

What we’re watching Monday 📺

🏒 Western Conference Final Game 3: Avalanche at Oilers, 8 p.m. on TNT



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