Milwaukee lead Eastern Conference finals 2-1 despite loss
Brilliant Kawhi Leonard leads way for Toronto with 36 points
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, including eight in the second overtime, and the Toronto Raptors beat Milwaukee 118-112 on Sunday night to cut the Bucks’ lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Norman Powell scored 19 points before fouling out, and Marc Gasol had 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Raptors will try to draw even when they host Game 4 on Tuesday night.
• Seven-shot lead reduced to two by runner-up Dustin Johnson • Koepka recorded five bogeys in his last eight holes
Seven shots ahead at the start of play, six shots ahead after 10 holes, one shot up on the 15th tee. Brooks Koepka opened US PGA Championship week by insisting majors were the easiest tournaments to win. “You think so, do you?” came the belated response from the golfing gods.
It seems astonishing that Koepka’s successful defence of the Wanamaker Trophy was ever in doubt. Yet in doubt it was as a supposed formality lurched towards disaster.
• Nadal wins 34th Masters title 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 • Johanna Konta loses Italian Open final 6-3, 6-4
Rafael Nadal won his 34th Masters 1000 title – a record – with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open. The Spaniard, who had shared the record of 33 with the Serb, warmed up for the defence of his French Open crown by securing his ninth Rome title.
Nadal got off to a flying start by whitewashing the world No 1 in the opening set. It was the first time there has been a 6-0 set during a meeting between the two rivals. Djokovic took the second by breaking Nadal’s serve for the first time while leading 5-4 but the second seed responded in style by storming through the decisive set.
• Slovenian makes light of rainy conditions to take ninth stage • Simon Yates loses 3min 11sec to the stage winner
Primoz Roglic emerged as the overwhelming favourite for the Giro d’Italia when he won the ninth stage, a 34.8km individual time trial from Riccione to San Marino. Britain’s Simon Yates, among other contenders, suffered a heavy loss of time to the Slovenian in wet conditions.
Brooks Koepka holds a seven-shot lead heading into the final day
Dustin Johnson and Luke List are the 2018 champion’s nearest rivals
You can send Scott your thoughts on the day’s play via email
“So, Brooks. Is there any doubt whatsoever in your mind that you’re going to win tomorrow?” “No. I feel confident. I feel good. I feel excited.” Well that’s that, then.
Brooks Koepka has been playing a different sport to everyone else this week. A new sport: Big Golf. Huge accurate drives that enable him to attack from angles no other players can find, at distances few other players can reach. Laser-guided approach play. Chipping that’s either crisp and delicate from the short stuff, powerful yet perfectly weighted from the thicker grass. A flat stick that rarely lets him down. Scrambling skills par excellence. And the mental strength to keep it all on track during the rare pocket of turbulence. Irritatingly handsome too. Is it a Tiger? Is it a Golden Bear? No, it’s SuperBrooks!
In the Realm of Perfection uses archive footage no one knew existed to chart Superbrat’s failure to win the French Open
A new documentary, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, has been called, in US Vogue, “the best tennis film ever made”. This in itself is not necessarily the greatest praise you could heap on a work of art: it is like calling a footballer “the greatest English left-sided midfielder of the 21st century”. But the writer goes even further and nominates it as “among the very best films on any sport that I’ve ever seen”.
That, for me, is a stretch. In the last decade there’s been Senna, Free Solo, Icarus and, if you’re loose with your definition of a sport film, OJ: Made in America. But In the Realm of Perfection does do something powerful and meaningful. It takes an individual you thought you knew inside out and makes you look at him anew. This really is McEnroe as you have never seen him before.
• Captain leaves on a high after City complete domestic treble • ‘The time has come for me to go. What a season to bow out’
Vincent Kompany has announced that he will leave Manchester City this summer – drawing the curtain on an 11-year spell with the domestic treble winners – and that he will make a shock return to the Belgian club Anderlecht as player-manager.
Watching Pep Guardiola’s side dismantle their opponents in the FA Cup final was gruesome and reflective of a trend across Europe that suggests the time has come for a super league
Goals! Goals! Goals! Trophies everywhere. Manchester City were brilliant on Saturday, relentless and remorseless and thoroughly deserving of equalling the record-ever margin of victory in a FA Cup final. The domestic treble is unprecedented and so too is the quality of their football: 169 goals in 61 games in all competitions, 11 times they’ve scored five or more in a game this season. And yet, and yet ...
Golden State beat Portland 110-99 to go 3-0 up in series
Blazers led by 13 points at half-time before comeback
Draymond Green notches triple-double; Curry scores 36 points
Draymond Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Green had his seventh career postseason triple-double and Stephen Curry scored 36 points for Golden State, who are now one win away from a fifth straight trip to the NBA finals. Game 4 of the series is set for Monday.
War of Will captures Preakness Stakes from the inside No 1 post
Everfast finishes a nose ahead of Owendale for second at Pimlico
Bodexpress keeps running after ejecting jockey John Velazquez
Mark Casse completed a lifelong quest two weeks after the scare of a lifetime. And he did so in a race featuring a riderless horse that threw his jockey out of the gate and kept running.
Since he was a child, Casse wanted to win a Triple Crown race, and the well-respected trainer got that victory when War of Will bounced back from a bumpy ride in the Kentucky Derby to win the Preakness on Saturday.
• Koepka has seven-stroke lead after cool third-round 70 • Dustin Johnson one of four players sharing second spot
In ordinary circumstances the missing of an opening hole, 6ft putt by a tournament leader would deliver hope to the field. But these are extraordinary times, where such aberrations by Brooks Koepka make no difference. When Koepka slipped up again, from inside 3ft at the 9th, his lead was a mere seven shots.
Koepka will begin the fourth round of the 101st US PGA Championship at 12 under par and holding a seven-stroke advantage. Hope among all others is publicly forlorn and privately non-existent. Barring a delivery of kryptonite to Bethpage, or someone placing explodable balls in his golf bag overnight, Koepka will win his fourth major in eight attempts.
Emphatic win against Watford showcased Pep Guardiola’s men at their well-grooved best, full of invention and good habits
Welcome to the new order. Domestic games: played 51, won 43. Domestic trophies: three out of three. Five goal hauls: eleven. Defeats since Christmas: one.
Scan the history books, fan back to the big city clubs of Victorian times, linger on the red-shirted eras of the last 50 years. English domestic football has never seen anything quite like this single-season hit from Manchester City. It turns out we really do all live in a sky blue world now.
Manchester City have become the first English men’s team to win a domestic treble thanks to a record-equalling 6-0 win against Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
Watford held their own for the first quarter of the match but from the moment David Silva put City ahead in the 26th minute there looked to be no way back for Javi Gracia’s team. Silva and Raheem Sterling both won headers in the buildup before the former fired low and diagonally across Heurelho Gomes and inside the far upright.
The nature of power remains one of the least understood phenomena in all of sports
Deontay Wilder’s chiseled ebony frame is aglow with sweat as he methodically circles the perimeter inside the cramped ring at Gleason’s, landing punches on trainer Jay Deas’s mitts that ring out like gunshots above the faint whistle of jump ropes and steady thwap-thwap of leather on heavy bags in the bustling gym.
It’s a muggy Tuesday evening in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood and the undefeated WBC heavyweight champion widely regarded as boxing’s biggest puncher is going through his final preparations ahead of Saturday’s title defense against Dominic Breazeale. The focus of tonight’s workout is technique as trainer and fighter work on his four basic shots: the jab, the straight right, the left hook and the uppercut.
A place in Europe up for grabs. If City win today, Wolves will qualify for the Europa League by dint of their seventh place finish in the Premier League. The Molineux outfit would go into the second qualifying round, which starts on 25 July. A City win would also send Manchester United straight into the group stages.
However, should Watford triumph today, they would qualify for the Europa League group stages and United would have to settle for a place in the qualifiers on a date they currently have marked down for a friendly with Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai. A Watford win would also rule Wolves out of any kind of European adventure.
There will be VAR: Kevin Friend is refereeing today’s game and the official from Leicester will be able to call on a team of video assistants led by his fellow ref Andre Marriner, should he feel the need to do so. Should today’s final go to extra time, both teams will be allowed to introduce a fourth substitute.
Arsenal defender says ban also an issue for men, and garners support from Ian Wright
Héctor Bellerín, the Arsenal and Spain defender, has challenged fellow football professionals to speak out against the abortion bill passed in Alabama, in the US, this week which would make it a crime to perform a termination at any stage of pregnancy, even in cases of rape and incest.
Bellerín, 24, tweeted: “I wanted to see if anyone from our industry would speak out about the abortion bill, but I guess people are too scared. This isn’t just an issue for women, it’s one for every human being. We fight for equality and this is something men should fight for and not hide away from.”
It seems like only yesterday when Gary Woodland set a new record for the best 36-hole score at the PGA Championship, starting 64-66 at Bellerive last August. But Brooks Koepka is rewriting everything. At Bethpage Black - where a combined total of six players finished under par in the 2002 and 2009 US Opens - he’s shot 63-65. That’s overtaken Woodland’s 130 by two; Koepka’s cakewalk is, at 128, the lowest 36-hole total in major-championship history.
It doesn’t end there. Here’s the defending champion’s last five rounds in PGA Championship competition: 63-66-66-63-65. His current seven-shot lead is the largest at this stage in PGA Championship history, knocking Nick Price’s five-shot 36-hole advantage in 1994 out of the park. And putting the tin lid on it, since the 2016 PGA, Koepka’s cumulative score in the majors is 67 under par. This is absurd. Preposterous. Homeric. The man is on a plane of his own right now.
The Manchester City captain talks frankly about the wrong path he nearly took as a teenager, ‘lunatic’ politicians and life after football
It is 10am on an early spring day when I pull up at the electric gates of Vincent Kompany’s home. In the drizzle, the Manchester sprawl has given way to the leafy streets of Cheshire, where long driveways announce the grand houses of the affluent. Kompany answers the door in a black T-shirt and jeans, having just finished a workout. It’s March, and Manchester City’s battle-hardened captain and central defender is only now returning to fitness after a six-week layoff for a calf injury. “I wasn’t feeling great today, so an extra session in the gym is the way to get through it,” he says, a towel draped around his neck, his gentle Belgian accent blending with Manc vowels.
At 6ft 4in, Kompany’s stature is reassuring rather than intimidating. He makes green juice in a whizzy little machine that the players are testing. “Sometimes I have a berry one as a treat,” he says, tidying up. We take them into his home office, where we talk for the next two hours. A whiteboard marked out with a football pitch stands against one wall. On the top row of his bookshelves, trophies line up like toy soldiers; below them are biographies of Mandela, Gandhi, Obama; histories of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country that Kompany’s father, Pierre, left as a political refugee in 1975; biographies of Sir Alex Ferguson and Kompany’s teammate Sergio Agüero.
Keanon Lowe reportedly tackled armed gunman at high school
Lowe played for UO from 2011 to 2014, catching 10 touchdowns
A former college football standout at the University of Oregon was credited Friday with tackling an armed student at a Portland, Oregon, high school before anyone was injured.
Keanon Lowe, a football and track coach and a security guard at Parkrose High School, told reporters as he was leaving a police interview late Friday that he was tired but relieved at the outcome, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
• Koepka seven clear and on course to retain title • Woods bows out on first start since Masters win
They continue to swing and miss at Brooks Koepka. Closing time drunks may have more of a hit rate than those seeking to topple this major specialist. The 29-year-old has two rounds left to conclude a successful defence of the US PGA Championship. Koepka’s lead, which for now sits at seven, has not appeared under serious threat at any stage over the first 36 holes at Bethpage. This bears all the hallmarks of a sporting procession.
Danger – and plenty of it – caught up with Tiger Woods. The 43-year-old, on his first start since winning the Masters, suffered the ignominy of a missed cut. This marked only the ninth time in his career that he has lasted only until Friday evening of a major. A second round of 73 meant a Woods aggregate of five over. In truth he was sloppy throughout. Woods bowed out; others bowed towards Koepka’s 12 under par.
Manchester City midfielder missed much of the title triumph but an FA Cup final win over Watford would offer consolation
Kevin De Bruyne offers a blunt response when considering whether he has any sympathy for Liverpool after they accumulated 97 points and still finished one behind the champions Manchester City.
“No,” he says. “It’s a remarkable effort but it means that we were just better than them in the end. I don’t feel sorry for them because I don’t think they’d feel sorry for us. I don’t think anybody felt sorry about the way we went out of the Champions League.”
FA Cup success on Saturday would make it five domestic trophies out of the last six for Manchester City under a manager who has made domestic dominance a habit
Veni, Vidi, City. With the Premier League title retained and an FA Cup final to follow there already something imperial about the climax to Pep Guardiola’s first three seasons in English football, a sense of nation-building zeal.
This has always been a part of the grander plan, the intention not just to win, but to win right, to embody a vision, a way of winning. There have been minor bumps in the road along the way, most notably some disorientating defeats in the first Pep-season, the what-is-tackles, let-them-eat-cake days at Leicester and Everton. But Guardiola has refused to bend, and two years later English football has in effect been brought to heel, a stage for that relentless will-to-power.
• Defending champion: ‘I’ve never been this confident’ • Tiger Woods fights for a 72 after early mistakes
Brooks Koepka is not the individual anyone would want to encounter when seeking a cure from illness at a major championship. Just ask Tiger Woods. As Koepka’s love affair with golf’s big four continued, a struggling Woods could only look on with admiration. “It could easily have been a couple better,” said Woods of Koepka’s 63, as he seized the lead at the 101st US PGA Championship. Koepka will begin day two with a one-stroke advantage over Danny Lee.
Woods, making his first start since claiming the Masters in April, produced one of his more unorthodox rounds before signing for a 72, two over par and, crucially, nine adrift of his imperious playing partner. The 15-times major champion made a double bogey at his opening hole and did likewise at the 17th, his 8th. A requirement to shake off rust was obvious; Woods had skipped his planned practice session on Wednesday, with an explanation for that arriving during round one media duties. “I wasn’t feeling that good yesterday so I decided to stay home and rest,” Woods said. “I got a little bit sick.”
McIlroy batters his third shot pin high. Only problem is, the ball’s squirted left again, and now he’s in the rough to the side of the green. He smacks his lips in the contemplative style. This is shaping up to be a miserable start for two-time PGA champ; he really needed to fly out of the traps.
Here comes Rory, and he’s already in a whole world of trouble. So much for the birdie at 18 that gave him a little boost late last night. Starting the day at +2, he’s clearly of a mind to push hard for a low score, but his decision making has already let him down. Having sent his opening drive into the fescue down the right of 10, he should probably take his medicine and pitch out, hoping to get up and down from 80 yards or so. But instead he goes for the green. The grass grabs the hosel and turns his club over, the ball squirting straight left into more bother on the other side of the hole. Meanwhile his partner Phil Mickelson wedges close having split the fairway with his tee shot. Compare and contrast.
As the clock struck 12, the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks set out into the New Jersey night. But could they tally enough birds to beat their rivals?
A white SUV ground to a stop near a sliver of New Jersey marshland, tires snarling against the gravel and sand access road. Three men – Christopher Takacs, David Bernstein, and Michael Wolfe – bounded out. Brine lingered in the moist air as they rushed forward on foot, traveling below an overpass. Reeds lined the lane, which was somewhere along the Hackensack River. Midges and ticks lurked in the dark as the trio waited for midnight. Takacs’ phone alarm chirped. It was finally midnight. As if on cue, something trilled in the near distance.
“There’s a shorebird calling!” one of the men said.
Twenty years on from the opening of the first soccer-specific stadium, should the Fire’s possible move back to an NFL venue prompt MLS to face some home truths?
It was the alliterative mantra designed to put Major League Soccer on the road to prosperity: soccer-specific stadium. Starting with the Columbus Crew in 1999, clubs began to lay the literal foundations for long-term success, sparking a construction spree. Of the 24 teams competing in the 2019 season, 18 play in homes built primarily for soccer.
So at first it sounds jarringly counter-intuitive that the Chicago Fire are seeking to become the first MLS club to quit a soccer-specific venue. They plan to return to Soldier Field, the home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, after only 13 years at SeatGeek Stadium. But it’s easy to see why a Fire exit appeals, even at a reported price of $60.5m to escape suburban Bridgeview.
Curry pours in 37 points as Warriors take 2-0 series lead
CJ McCollum misses driving jumper with 32 seconds left
These Golden State Warriors have long been able to score in fabulous, jaw-dropping flurries. Down by eight to the Portland Trail Blazers at home with four and a half minutes to go, they needed every last burst, perfect pass, driving layup and dunk.
“Our experience really paid off for us tonight having a bunch of guys who just won’t quit,” said Draymond Green, who was right smack in the middle of it all.
Nick Kyrgios has been defaulted from the Italian Open. The volatile Australian was playing his second-round match against Norway’s Casper Ruud at the Foro Italico and had levelled the clash at one set all after losing the opener.
But, after being given a game penalty to trail 2-1, reportedly for swearing, Kyrgios hurled a chair on to the court, packed up his bag and walked off the court, with the umpire awarding the match to Ruud.
Johanna Konta came back from a set down to beat Sloane Stephens for arguably the best win of her career in the second round at the Italian Open. However, she must return to the court later on Thursday to face Venus Williams.
After her match was delayed after a washout on Wednesday, the British No 1 took to the court and, despite opening a 4-0 lead, lost the first set 7-6 after a tiebreak in which she made too many errors at crucial times.
The lottery didn’t just represent the dawn of a new era. It allows New Orleans to cling to hopes of keeping six-time All-Star Davis, following last year’s will-they-won’t-they trade saga. Davis is heading into the final year of his contract, and adding Williamson may be the team’s only path to keeping Davis long term. That’s a lot of pressure to put on an 18-year-old.
Brook Lopez scores 13 of his 29 points in final quarter
Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.
Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a three-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the team that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
World No 34 hammers men’s champions during podcast
Australian calls Fernando Verdasco ‘most arrogant person ever’
Nick Kyrgios has launched a remarkable volley of insults at some of the leading players in men’s tennis ahead of the 2019 French Open draw, making last year’s verbal spats with Bernard Tomic look benign in comparison.
Kyrgios used a podcast at the Rome Masters as the platform to reveal his disdain for Novak Djokovic’s “cringeworthy” post-match celebrations and Rafael Nadal’s “super salty” double standards.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa settled a scrappy Coppa Italia final after a crucial first-half refereeing decision
By the time Joaquin Correa’s shot hit the net, Lazio’s bench was already spilling on to the pitch. Team-mates charged 70 yards from the touchline to celebrate with him in the far corner. Simone Inzaghi went in the opposite direction, turning to the supporters nearest and raising his arms in triumph.
It was a scintillating goal to settle a scrappy Coppa Italia final. Correa had menaced Atalanta throughout with his pace and direct running, but it took him until the 90th minute to convert that threat into something tangible.
• Loftus-Cheek suffers suspected achilles injury in charity game • Player on crutches after win against New England Revolution
Chelsea are set to be without Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the Europa League final this month after the England midfielder suffered a suspected achilles injury during the club’s ‘Final Whistle on Hate’ charity match against New England Revolution.
Loftus-Cheek, a half-time substitute at the Gillette Stadium, which was attended by Roman Abramovich, fell awkwardly within 20 minutes of his introduction in the visitors’ 3-0 win and was left in clear agony on the turf. He was helped back to the dressing room for further treatment by two of the medical staff, and departed the stadium on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his left foot, returning to the team’s base in a car away from his teammates.
The three men with claims to the title of world’s best heavyweight will each fight in the next month, but the 19-year wait for an undisputed champion presses on
Of the many well-documented reasons for boxing’s protracted retreat toward the periphery of the mainstream, the lack of clearly identifiable champions rates high on a competitive list. At one time the heavyweight championship of the world was the most prestigious title in sports, yet boxing’s lack of central authority has left us with four major sanctioning bodies that have served to create confusion among casual observers while devaluing the currency of a title.
Only five and a half months ago, the sport’s bellwether division appeared on the cusp of a new dawn when two of the big men with legitimate claims to the title of world’s best heavyweight fought to a white-knuckle split draw in downtown Los Angeles punctuated by a meme-friendly climax straight out of a Rocky movie. Deontay Wilder kept the WBC’s version of the long-fractured heavyweight title he’s owned since 2015. Tyson Fury retained his stake to the lineal championship he earned when he ended Wladimir Klitschko’s decade-long reign the same year. And Anthony Joshua, the Olympic gold medalist who’s consolidated the WBA, WBO and IBF belts to boffo box-office numbers, abruptly dropped from the most comfortably perched of the trio to, one could reasonably argue, the least.
• City hit out at ‘unsatisfactory, curtailed and hostile process’ • Financial fair play inquiry could lead to Champions League ban
Manchester City have hit out in a strongly worded statement after a Uefa investigation into allegations of financial fair play irregularities, which could lead to a Champions League ban, was sent for a final judgment at the governing body.
The chairman and chief investigator of Uefa’s club financial control body investigatory chamber, Yves Leterme, has concluded City have a case to answer and has referred the matter to the adjudicatory chamber, which will rule on the matter.
• Two-time champion is still struggling with shoulder injury • ‘Sometimes the right decisions aren’t always the easiest ones’
Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the French Open because of a shoulder problem.
The two-time champion Roland Garros champion has not played since January and underwent surgery on her injury the following month. The 32-year-old announced on Instagram she would not be participating in this year’s tournament, which begins on 26 May.
After as rambunctious a play-off second leg as can possibly be imagined Derby County claimed the right to face Aston Villa in the final on 27 May to try for promotion to the Premier League. It was end-to-end entertainment all night, a feast of incident, goals and excitement, and neither side deserved to lose despite Scott Malone’s late dismissal for a second yellow reducing both sides to 10 men by the end.
It never ceases to astonish how full-blooded and thrilling these play-off encounters can be, when both sides must know that the likely prize on offer, financial considerations aside, will be a season of toil and tribulation in the top flight. Leeds players hit the deck in the manner of Ajax a week ago as the final whistle sounded. They had been true to Marcelo Bielsa’s attacking traditions, but let themselves down in defence on a couple of occasions.
Horse was disqualified from race earlier this month
Owners hope to have result of Derby reversed
The owners of Maximum Security have sued to reverse the horse’s disqualification from the Kentucky Derby earlier this month. They are also seeking the $1.86m winner’s share of the $3m purse, including $186,000 each for trainer Jason Servis and jockey Luis Saez.
20 min: It’s heating up now! This is ridiculous from all parties. On the right Hernandez goes to take a quick throw. Malone, however, decides to stop the Leeds winger from doing so, knocking the ball away from the Spaniard. Hernandez is less than impressed. From the turf he juts up and sends his head into Malone’s midriff. Oh dear. Malone’s booked. Hernandez sees yellow as well. Then Tom Lawrence comes over to bellow at the referee, who responds by booking the Derby man for dissent. Grown men, the lot of them, and they could all do with growing up.
Texan goes in pursuit of the US PGA from Thursday, the only major he has never won, as world No 39 and a live outsider
While the noise around Rory McIlroy’s attempts to complete a career grand slam at Augusta National reaches an annual crescendo the fact that Jordan Spieth is one major win from the same feat has long been more of an afterthought. Nobody exemplifies the fickle nature of golf more than the Texan.
Victory at the 2017 Open Championship – delivered in the enthralling style that had become a Spieth staple – edged him further towards greatness. The US PGA Championship which took place at Quail Hollow within a month of him winning the Claret Jug provided opportunity for him to become only the sixth player ever to return a complete haul of majors.
Portland Trail Blazers 94-116 Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry finds shooting touch and scores 36 points
Warriors win easily despite continued absence of Kevin Durant
Stephen Curry had all kinds of room for a change and capitalized, finding his shooting touch in a hurry to get Golden State on a roll. Portland’s defenders were too far back in the paint or a step behind Curry all night.
“Practice shots,” Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said of Curry’s wide-open chances. So far, the Warriors are showing they can keep winning until Kevin Durant gets healthy. Making it look easy again, Curry knocked down nine three-pointers on his way to 36 points, leading the two-time defending champions past the Trail Blazers 116-94 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
• Video published of City players and staff chanting song on plane • Club say chant does not refer to Hillsborough or Sean Cox
Manchester City have said that any suggestion a chant apparently sung by some of their players and backroom staff as they celebrated winning the Premier League title mocks Sean Cox or the Hillsborough disaster “is entirely without foundation”.
A video emerged on social media on Tuesday which appeared to show City players and staff singing a distasteful version of Liverpool’s “Allez, Allez, Allez” song as they travelled on a plane following Sunday’s victory at Brighton which clinched the title.
After ruminating over this decision for so many years and being entirely unsure about myself, I couldn’t be happier
Firstly, it is really important for me to say that the main reason I am doing this is to make me feel most comfortable in who I am. It has taken a long time to come to this point. Most of my life, in fact.
But I couldn’t be happier that despite taking so long, ruminating over this decision for so many years and being entirely unsure about myself, I can finally come out and say it. I’m gay.
The USA star won two World Cups, the Olympics twice and scored 130 goals. Now she is looking to make a difference off the pitch
Kristine Lilly played 354 times for the United States – a record number of international appearances by any soccer player – and not unreasonably admits she doesn’t remember every single game. She scored 130 goals for the US between 1987 and 2010, won the Women’s World Cup twice, won gold medals at the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Games and somewhere in there fit in time to have her first daughter.
“I wish I could remember them all,” she says. “I remember the last one, which I wish I couldn’t because we lost to Mexico in World Cup qualifiers and I played about 20 minutes. I remember my first and I remember a lot of the World Cup games.”
The holy month began at the start of May this year. While some athletes find blending exercise and fasting tough, others say it helps them focus
For the better part of eight seasons, Hamza Abdullah played defensive back in the NFL. In each one of those seasons, thanks to the vagaries of the lunar calendar (which is roughly 10 or 11 days shorter than the solar year), the Muslim holy month of Ramadan fell either during the season or during training camp. Abdullah is a devout Muslim, which means he gives up both food and water during the sunlight hours of Ramadan. This was not an easy thing for a professional athlete to deal with, particularly during the sweaty grind of August pre-season training or the concentrated intensity of a three-hour game.
But in a way, this personal deprivation also became an opportunity for both Hamza and his brother Husain, who played defensive back for the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. Ramadan provided an opening for the Abdullahs to share their knowledge of a religion that is often misunderstood in America. And it’s also how Hamza Abdullah inadvertently convinced one of his teammates to stop eating bacon.
Barrister indicates he intends to plead not guilty
The case against former rugby league star Jarryd Hayne over an alleged rape in NSW’s Hunter Valley will continue on Wednesday, when he will reportedly be served with an additional charge.
Fairfax reports the former representative player, who last played in the NRL for Parramatta last year, is facing a new charge of sexual intercourse without consent, in relation to the same incident last year.
Pelicans buck odds to win No 1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft
Grizzlies, Knicks and Lakers to pick second, third and fourth
New Orleans have bucked the odds and won the NBA draft lottery, and now will have the first chance at choosing Zion Williamson next month.
The Pelicans won the lottery for the first time since 2012, when they selected Anthony Davis. And the lottery win comes after a season when Davis wanted a trade – something that might not seem so appealing to him now, not with Williamson likely coming to New Orleans.
Aston Villa have a shot at redemption. Twelve months on from their play-off final defeat against Fulham, Villa are back at Wembley and 90 minutes from a return to the Premier League after a long, fraught and draining contest ended with Dean Smith’s side triumphing on penalties. Tammy Abraham converted the winning kick against their West Midlands rivals, after Jed Steer had saved two penalties at the start of the shootout.
Earlier in the evening, Craig Dawson’s header, just before the half-hour mark, had levelled things up on aggregate, but the complexion of the game changed after Albion found themselves down to 10 men for the second time in four days, when Chris Brunt, their captain, picked up two yellow cards for fouls on John McGinn. Albion managed to cling on in extra time but Villa prevailed 4-3 on penalties.
Trail Blazers player is an opponent of Turkish president
Blazers could travel to play Toronto Raptors in finals
The NBA playoffs have been swept up in diplomatic drama, with US senator Ron Wyden expressing concern for the safety of Portland Trail Blazers player Enes Kanter if his team play the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals.
Kanter is a fierce critic of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling him the “Hitler of our Century”. The Turkish authorities in turn have accused Kanter of having links with an armed group behind a failed coup in the country in 2016. Last year, Kanter missed a trip to London with his then team the New York Knicks, saying he feared he could be “killed by Turkish spies”.
48 min: El Ghazi’s free-kick is rubbish, failing to beat the first man but Grealish does well to recycle possession. El Ghazi’s delivery second time around is much better, finding Tammy Abraham at the front post. But Kyle Bartley makes life difficult for the striker and Abraham can only shoot off-target.
47 min: Villa play it short and then Johansen clatters Hourihane , just as he careered into Grealish in the first half. Villa earn a free-kick out on the left flank, 20-odd yards from goal.
• McIlroy did not play at 2016 Games in Rio • World No4 said: ‘I’m excited to play for Ireland’
Rory McIlroy is expected to compete for Ireland at next year’s Olympics after revealing a change of stance regarding his participation. McIlroy was one of a number of high-profile male golfers who opted out of golf’s return to the Games, in Rio three years ago, amid concerns relating to the Zika virus. His position on 2020 had been unclear until now.
Speaking at Bethpage on Tuesday as he prepared for the US PGA Championship, McIlroy explained that he plans to retain a team commitment to Ireland that has existed throughout his golf career.
American has been dealing with a knee injury this year
World No11 had been due to face her sister, Venus
Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Premier 5 tournament in Rome, the last big event before this month’s French Open.
Williams said she has been dealing with a knee injury. “I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee,” the 37-year-old said. “I will miss the fans and competition at one of my favorite tournaments. I’ll be concentrating on rehab and look forward to seeing you all at the French Open and next year in Rome.”
Richard Carapaz of Ecuador sprinted to victory in the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday, while Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic extended his overall lead after avoiding a crash toward the end of the route.
Carapaz, who rides for Movistar, launched his sprint early and held off Caleb Ewan and Diego Ulissi on the uphill finish at the end of the undulating 235km route from Orbetello to Frascati.
Nicholas Immesberger was killed in drink driving incident
Parents says their son was served alcohol at Woods’s restaurant
Tiger Woods has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a former employee at his Florida restaurant, The Woods.
The parents of Nicholas Immesberger say their son, who worked as a bartender at The Woods, was regularly served excessive alcohol after he ended his shift, despite the fact that Woods and others at the restaurant knew he was an alcoholic. On the night of 10 December 2018, Immesberger drank after his shift and subsequently crashed his car on the way home. The 24-year-old was killed in the crash; tests showed he was three times over the legal limit for alcohol.
• Fury tells world champion to prove himself in ring • Mancunian faces Germany’s Tom Schwarz in June
Tyson Fury has told Anthony Joshua to “grow a set of nuts” and urged his fellow British heavyweight to do his talking in the ring.
While there remains little prospect of Fury and Joshua reaching a deal to fight this year, they have continued to spar in public. Fury, who will make his ESPN debut when he looks to hand the unheralded Tom Schwarz his first defeat in 25 fights in Las Vegas on 15 June, bristled at suggestions he is using his meeting with the 6ft 5in German as a preparation for a future bout with Joshua. He could barely hide his disdain after being told of the height similarities between Schwarz and the 6ft 6in IBF, WBA and WBO champion.
After the Toronto Raptors sealed victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at the death, we look at other great deciding moments in sports
Kawhi Leonard’s four-bounce buzzer beater on Sunday night will live as one of basketball’s greatest buzzer beaters. What else are the greatest moments that occurred as the clock struck zero? We have five (along with some honorable mentions) to conjure memories of the times when nobody could quite believe what they had just seen.
• City say they have ‘comprehensive proof’ of their innocence • Uefa investigatory body members feel City have case to answer
Manchester City say they have provided “comprehensive proof” of their innocence to the Uefa body investigating allegations of financial fair play irregularities, and the club is expected to contest a referral to Uefa’s disciplinary process.
A strong view that City should be referred for a full hearing of the issues, with a possible Champions League ban if the allegations are proven, is thought to have been expressed by members of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) “investigatory chamber (IC).” The chairman and chief investigatory, Yves Leterme, the former prime minister of Belgium, is currently considering whether he agrees with that view, that City do have a case to answer.
Steve Scott handed Woods the 1996 US amateur title with a sporting gesture and is in awe of his old rival’s resurgence
Steve Scott understands Tiger Woods’s propensity for heroics to a greater degree than most. It has been 23 years since he finished runner-up as Woods became the first player to win the US Amateur Championship three times in his final event before turning professional. And yet, even Scott looked on with disbelief as Woods won his 15th major at Augusta National last month.
The league is spreading its reach across North America. But some believe MLS and its owners have forgotten about clubs who helped build the league in the first place
The routine is well practised by now. The great and good of the North American soccer community are invited for an announcement to be made by Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, usually flanked by a league legend; someone like Alexi Lalas or David Beckham. Promises are made of a new stadium, a name revealed, a badge unveiled, official songsheets passed around and a new MLS franchise is confirmed.
In the past two years alone, this routine has been observed in Austin, Cincinnati, Miami and Nashville and with Garber recently revealing that MLS will expand to hit 30 teams over the next few years (26 by 2020) it won’t be the last time that such rituals are performed. Sacramento, St Louis, Charlotte, Detroit and San Antonio are already vying for position.
• Italian relegated over blocking; Fernando Gaviria awarded stage • Britain’s Simon Yates second overall behind Primoz Roglic
Elia Viviani was stripped of victory as stage three of the Giro d’Italia ended in a chaotic sprint in Orbetello.
Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Viviani crossed the line first at the end of the 219km stage from Vinci and looked to have taken victory but the Italian national champion was relegated for changing his line and blocking Trek-Segafredo’s Matteo Moschetti. He was placed 73rd, at the back of the first group of finishers. That elevated Team UAE Emirates’ Fernando Gaviria to victory with Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Démare second.
The champions have retained their title through a manager persuading players to reach into areas of unexplored potential
In the aftermath of Manchester City’s victory, Vincent Kompany said something that sounded like a Zen riddle: “We have such an incredible desire to overachieve. Because we are such a good side, overachieving is difficult.” But isn’t overachieving the business of underdogs? Surely that’s what Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester had to do to win the Premier League three years ago, not what was required from Pep Guardiola’s side, pieced together at enormous expense and with unparalleled technical resources, in order to reach the same goal.
What the City captain was saying was that in order to do what they did this season, it was necessary for the players to exceed their known abilities and to reach into the areas of unexplored potential. To persuade internationals from Spain, Brazil, Argentina, France and elsewhere to give you that is the mark of an exceptional manager. What Guardiola has given them in return is membership of a team worthy of being judged against the very best.
Former UFC fighter was arrested in March in Miami Beach
Ahmed Abdirzak dropped civil lawsuit after settlement
Prosecutors have dropped charges against former UFC champion Conor McGregor after he allegedly smashed a fan’s phone outside a Miami hotel. Prosecutors in Miami said on Monday the victim has stopped cooperating with investigators and has recanted his story. The Miami Herald reports the fan, Ahmed Abdirzak, dropped his civil lawsuit with McGregor after reaching a settlement. Abdirzak had been seeking $15,000 in damages.
Florida assistant state attorney Khalil Madani said that Abdirzak “has credibility issues as he’s changed his previously sworn testimony.” He added, in a written summary that: “Based on the witness’s credibility issues, his unwillingness to respond to a subpoena and the inability of the witnesses to testify as to his subjective mindset, the State of Florida cannot prove the charges against Mr McGregor beyond a reasonable doubt.”
• Williams beats qualifier in comeback game from injury • Konta eases through, but Edmund out in first round
Serena Williams fell behind 3-1 in the first set before opening her clay court season with a routine 6-4, 6-2 win over Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson on Monday in the first round of the Italian Open.
After a shaky start, Williams began to take control with her baseline power on a windy day at the Foro Italico. When she ran down a passing attempt from Peterson and replied with a cross-court winner to break for a 5-2 lead in the second set, she let out a scream and bent over as she pumped both of her fists.
It’s Golden State v Portland in the West, and Toronto v Milwaukee in the East. We look at the factors that will decide the teams for the NBA finals
After Sunday’s two tightly contested Game 7s, the NBA Conference finals are finally set. The well-rested Milwaukee Bucks will face off against the Toronto Raptors in the East while, in the West, the Portland Trail Blazers have the difficult task of attempting to prevent the Golden State Warriors from appearing in yet another finals. Here’s our preview of the penultimate round of the NBA postseason.
Western Conference finals: Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors
Frances Tiafoe used to sleep at the tennis centre where his father was janitor. Now the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone is taking on the great names in the sport
“It’s a movie, man, an absolute movie. I say it all the time,” Frances Tiafoe exclaims of his incredible life story. Born into a family of West African immigrants, Tiafoe escaped the disadvantages of his early years in America to become one of the most exhilarating young players in world tennis. Four months ago, at the Australian Open, the 21-year-old came through a series of brutal matches to reach his first grand slam quarter-final. After each victory, Tiafoe screamed and tore off his shirt as if to show us how he had transformed his life.
Pep Guardiola adopted a more pragmatic approach in some games, including at Anfield, and while their football was maybe less exciting their season was hugely impressive
Football changed in 2008: Pep Guardiola became manager of Barcelona. Football had been evolving anyway. There had been amendments to the laws to encourage more technical, attacking football (the backpass law, the liberalisation of offside, the crackdown on intimidatory tackling). There had been changes to the economics such that the gulf between rich and poor had grown. But what Guardiola achieved at Barcelona with a supreme generation of players shifted the parameters of what was believed to be possible. It is that philosophy that continues to guide Guardiola and has underlain Manchester City’s success over the past two seasons.
On the very odd occasions when things go against his side, Guardiola can be prickly about that. “I won 21 titles in seven years: three titles per year playing in this way,” he said in his trophyless first season in England. “I’m sorry, guys. I’m not going to change.” Which is true in the broadest sense, but manifestly false on a more macro level. Guardiola is renowned for the research he does into opponents: he is forever striding through Martí Perarnau’s books, clutching portfolios of information about his opponents – what would be the point of that if he didn’t act upon it?
From a pair of stars at the Etihad and Anfield, plus Spurs’ superstar South Korean
Welcome to theguardian.com review of the 2018-19 Premier League season. We have nominated some contenders for this category but this is just to get the discussion going: offer your suggestions below the line …
• Tom Werner says: ‘We’re only going to get stronger’ • Andy Robertson: ‘We knocked on the door pretty hard’
The Liverpool chairman, Tom Werner, has shrugged off the disappointment of not winning the Premier League to declare it has been a superb season for the club.
The former Boston Red Sox chairman, who forms part of Fenway Sports Group along with the principal owner, John W Henry, said he was delighted with Jürgen Klopp and believes Liverpool have gained in popularity across the globe with their feats.
From the Premier League’s top two to an Argentinian inspiration, via impressive stints at Wolves and Watford
Welcome to theguardian.com review of the 2018-19 Premier League season. We have nominated some contenders for this category but this is just to get the discussion going: offer your suggestions below the line …
Toronto will face Milwaukee Bucks in Eastern Conference finals
Philadelphia 76ers 90-92 Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard hit a shot from the corner over Joel Embiid at the buzzer that bounced off the rim four times before falling in to give the Toronto Raptors a 92-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Carli Lloyd’s late goal takes her to fourth on all-time list
Samantha Mewis scored goals in both halves and the US women’s national team began their World Cup send-off series with a 3-0 victory over South Africa on Sunday. After missing most of 2018 with a knee injury, Mewis is finding her stride at the right time as she gets ready for her first career appearance at the World Cup. She scored last month against Belgium and followed that up against South Africa with her second career two-goal game. Carli Lloyd added her 108th career goal in second-half added time to the delight of the crowd of 22,788 in Santa Clara, California. That moved Lloyd into fourth place in career goals for the US, breaking a tie with Michelle Akers.
Manager has raised his side’s standards again, responding to Liverpool’s challenge and guiding City to a second title running
And fade to Blue. On a soft spring south-coast afternoon Manchester City retained the Premier League title, completing their sprint to the line with a 14th straight win, enough to edge out Liverpool’s own chase by the finest of margins. As the trophy was hoisted by Vincent Kompany this 4-1 defeat of Brighton felt like a performance that captured a great deal about this champion team: its luminous qualities in attack and midfield; the meticulous work of Pep Guardiola, the way his team plays at all times, win or lose, as Manchester City, unable to do anything other than be itself; and also some of its tensions, the fretfulness that can sometimes creep into the works.
Portland win Game 7 on road in Denver to take series
Nuggets miss 11 free-throws and blow 17-point lead
CJ McCollum scored 37 points and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets 100-96 on Sunday to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2000.
Evan Turner, who scored just four points in the first six games of the series, added 14 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. The Trail Blazers advanced to face the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, beginning on Tuesday night in Oakland.
• World No 1 defeats 20-year-old Greek 6-3, 6-4 in final • Djokovic’s 33rd Masters title puts him alongside Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic, without a trophy since the Australian Open and distracted for too long by off-court politics, ground down the best young contender in the game, Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-3, 6-4, on Sunday night to win his third Madrid Open and move closer to making history at Roland Garros in three weeks’ time.
The record number of points and the individual awards were nice but all the thoughts were of what might have been
“You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates was a strange choice of song to play in the immediate aftermath of Liverpool’s title chase ending in unrewarded victory. It may prove prophetic in Madrid on 1 June but only the opening line – “What I want, you’ve got” – reflected the reality here. This was a show of pride laced with thoughts of what might have been, not dreams coming true.
Fittingly, Liverpool remained defiant to the very end as a day of hope ended with confirmation that they would be the best team not to win the Premier League. Ninety-seven points; enough to have been crowned champions of England in 116 of the previous 119 seasons. A Golden Glove award for Alisson, who set a Liverpool record of 21 clean sheets in his debut campaign. A share of the Golden Boot for 22-goal Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané. The presentations on the pitch kept the atmosphere buoyant and were reflections of Liverpool’s outstanding campaign. Victory over Wolves made it two consecutive seasons without a home defeat. But “it” was missing.
Pep Guardiola made clear before the season that retaining the Premier League title was his key ambition – and he delivered
A filthy night in the Bronx. Pep Guardiola is at Yankee Stadium to watch the last of a six-game Major League Baseball series between New York Yankees and New York Mets.
The Manchester City manager is taking a break from the club’s summer tour, his side having lost the opener against Borussia Dortmund in Chicago two days earlier. Guardiola was to throw the opening pitch of the decisive game in the Subway Series, which the Yankees are leading 3-2 but incessant rain forces a postponement and he heads for the exit.
The first anybody knew about it was the tinny roar from the Wolves end. It was the news every Liverpool supporter had been dreading and, football being the sport of schadenfreude, there was not a great deal of sympathy coming from the supporters who, for one day only, had chosen to serenade Manchester City, champions of England once again.
That was the moment when everyone associated with Liverpool had to confront the harsh realities of trying to catch, and overhaul, a side of City’s durability, knowing now that 97 points was not going to be enough and that a season of sustained brilliance was not going to get its happy ending. Not in the Premier League, anyway.
• Valtteri Bottas second with Max Verstappen third • Hamilton took lead on turn one and stayed in front
Lewis Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix with a dominant, untroubled run at the front of the field. He took the race from his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who had started on pole, after passing him into turn one and the Finn could manage only second. Max Verstappen was an impressive third for Red Bull while Ferrari’s difficult weekend yielded only fourth and fifth for Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. The win means Hamilton has retaken the lead of the world championship from Bottas and Mercedes have their fifth consecutive one-two finish.
Hamilton had started from second but having taken the lead held it throughout, with Bottas staying with him but clearly without sufficient pace advantage to challenge. Hamilton was calm and controlled and handled a late safety car which closed the pack up with ease. It was a consummate race by the five-time world champion, who also secured the extra point for the fastest lap of the race.
Further news from the grid, to quote the official F1 website: “At Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, an unscheduled change of gearbox for Antonio Giovinazzi will see the Italian go from P17 on the grid to last, following the resulting five-place penalty for the switch.”
Psychological momentum helped Spurs and Liverpool reach the Champions League final, even if they did not realise it
Whatever you think about José Mourinho, most would agree he knows a thing or two about football. Surveying the two epic semi-final second legs of the Champions League, he came to two very different conclusions about Liverpool’s and Tottenham’s unlikely victories.
In football more than in any other walk of life, people “run out of superlatives”. Often, these self-same people do not actually know what “superlative” means ... and actually, this is a good thing. By asserting things to be greatest, especially if they’ve not finished happening, or have only just happened, we forget to absorb them in the moment, which is really why we’re there in the first place.
So it goes for this season’s Premier League. It might be the greatest title race ever, it might not be; it might be the most intriguing season ever, it might not be; it might be the most transcendental season ever, it might not be; at this point, it does not matter.
Emery is entitled to a bit of a free pass in this transitional season but inevitably there’s a mood of discontent over the way we faded in the league. There would have been few complaints back in the summer if we’d been offered a European final and a top-four challenge – and no doubt all will be forgiven and forgotten if we win in Baku. But it wouldn’t mask the size of the task on his hands. This ageing squad has some obvious inadequacies, and he’s failed to motivate them too often. His relentless tinkering, in a struggle to shore up our porous defence, has left us all bemused. We’ve still no definitive vision of what “brand Unai” footie is supposed to be all about. 5/10
Masters’ winner examining his 2000 triumphs at US Open, Open and US PGA for a boost as he prepares for Bethpage
The golf world developed such a frenzied state as Tiger Woods claimed the Masters that the helpful vagaries of a new schedule were forgotten. Woods was due to go in pursuit of a 16th major within weeks, even before he took the surprising decision to skip the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. Bethpage Black has been afforded the perfect storm: Woods, in his first start since winning in such epic scenes at Augusta National, will chase his fifth US PGA Championship’s Wanamaker Trophy, and his first since 2007, from Thursday.
Woods has previous for illustrations of how less is more. In 2008, with knee problems more acute than outsiders had recognised, he finished as runner-up to Trevor Immelman at Augusta National and did not re-appear until the US Open in June. Woods duly prevailed in a play-off at Torrey Pines, with fitness matters meaning that glory is widely recognised as one of the greatest in his illustrious career. Such fairytales had been consigned to past tense until last month, as Woods donned the Green Jacket once more.
I think “all’s well that ends well” is a good enough way to sum up Leicester’s season. Try as he might Claude Puel’s footballing revolution never really caught on but thankfully we’ve found a better fit in Brendan Rodgers. There’s a sense of optimism on Filbert Way again. 7/10