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The Lakers won and drew the Suns, entering the playoffs as favorites over No. 2-seeded Phoenix. By the middle of Game 3, it seemed like the Lakers were in control with a win in Phoenix and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. But injuries to Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope derailed the Lakers' postseason, the Suns winning the final two games to advance.Detroit Pistons

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Ainge was among those in the organization who were against the decision, sources say. Clearly, the organization ultimately sided with Ainge at the time and kept Stevens.

The Boston Celtics must make franchise-altering decisions after losing in five games to the Brooklyn Nets. So, where should they start?
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After an uber-competitive Game 1, Butler’s Heat fell hard to the Bucks in a four-game sweep. And while Butler enjoyed one of the best regular seasons of his career — when he played — he shot a combined 19-for-64 (29.7 percent) from the floor against Milwaukee, a far cry from Mimai’s run to the NBA Finals last year.Minnesota Timberwolves

In all, Doncic scored or assisted on 31 of Dallas' 37 made field goals (84 percent) on Wednesday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Doncic is only the third player in NBA history to score or assist on 80 percent or more of his team's field goals in the postseason.

What does Damian Lillard have in store after his historic 55-point outing in Game 5? With the Blazers facing elimination, anything seems possible from Lillard. But as incredible as Lillard has been, Portland needs more from the supporting cast to force a decisive Game 7 back in Denver. While Lillard is averaging 35.6 points per game in the series, MVP favorite Nikola Jokic has been just as good for the Nuggets, scoring 32.4 points per game on 52.2% shooting from the field.Washington Wizards

The new generation is here, they are fun, and most importantly, they are ready for their moment. They proved as much in the first week of the playoffs, translating their games to the postseason so seamlessly that you would think they had been here for years.Charlotte Hornets

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"I'll never forget that," Hall says. "And as much of a smile as you could see on his face, it was there." He was in. And he was going to enlist help. At 3:03 p.m. ET on Oct. 19, Hall sent an email to all 30 teams asking for support for leaguewide Lou Gehrig Day. Twins president Dave St. Peter and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy co-signed the effort. Within five minutes, the first reply came. It was from Randy Levine, the president of the New York Yankees. The group worried that because the Yankees honor Gehrig regularly, they might not join the effort.New York Mets Face Coverings

Crawford, at 34, is also a product of the Giants system and in his 11th big-league season has 11 homers and 32 RBIs and still owns the range to pick it as an elite Major League shortstop.Houston Astros Face Coverings

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The Mets beat the Padres, 4-0, on Saturday night in San Diego, as ace Jacob deGrom allowed just three hits and struck out 11 batters in seven innings.

“We know the challenge that’s ahead of us. And then hopefully we’ll go and play in something that will be very special for all of us.”Chicago White Sox Face Coverings

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Okay, “Dodgers are great” isn’t much of a fantasy hook, but here’s the actionable part of things: I am not throwing anything short of a star pitcher against these guys. Atlanta has a deep staff and yet I don’t view any of their weekend starters — Ian Anderson, Charlie Morton, or Max Fried — as auto-plays against Los Angeles. It’s like a poker game; you don’t make money off the strong opponents, you make money off the average and weak opponents. Why run uphill if you don’t have to?Kansas City Royals Face Coverings

Thursday, Lynn went just six innings in the White Sox win over the Detroit Tigers, playing it safe after feeling a little tightness late in his outing. But even in describing how he played it safe, Lynn revealed that his attitude was the same as it's always been.
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Behind a dominant outing from Kevin Gausman and a terrifying final two innings from Zack Littell and Jake McGee, the Giants took down Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 on Sunday, as San Francisco leaves Chavez Ravine with a huge four-game series win over its rivals.
The U.S. has had a decided lack of success playing Olympic baseball, winning only the 2000 gold medal in Sidney, Australia, with a team of up and coming players and grizzled veterans that was molded by Dodgers Hall-of-Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, who passed away at 93 this past Jan. 7.Arizona Diamondbacks Face Coverings

"They were sitting there talking to me like, 'What do you think?'" Lynn explained. "And I was like, 'Well, I want to go back out.' They're like, 'Do you need to?' And I was like, 'Well, I want to.'

Veteran starter Carlos Carrasco, who came along with shortstop Francisco Lindor in the mega-trade with Cleveland, still hasn’t thrown a single pitch.

Sunday's performance comes a day after the A's had just three hits in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Angels.Seattle Mariners Face Coverings
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Internally, the Cardinals explored the idea, for sure. The president of the club said how could they not. They couldn’t deny the romantic possibility of a reunion and the jolt it would give their fans — right at the same time they were about to expand capacity and put more tickets on sale. The conversations within the walls at Busch Stadium were about the benefit of bringing back Pujols from a business standpoint, from the shared history and closure perspective, from the chance to capture magic, and then from the baseball view.Chicago White Sox Face Coverings

Hamilton said he couldn’t really see the ball at first, but it hung up long enough to grab.Kansas City Royals Face Coverings

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“It’s one of those things where you get away from who you are and your mechanics change a little bit. Your approach changes, you try to do a little too much," he said. "It’s kind of one of those things that you gotta go through at times. The game is extremely hard, and there’s times where it feels like it’s even harder. But you grind through it, and that’s why you play 162 games."

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The June 1st designation takes away that issue, allowing teams to pretend the player isn’t released until after. When released on June 2 or later, only the current year’s signing bonus allocation counts for the current year. The future years’ allocation will accelerate onto the following year’s cap, and that’s what makes Smith a viable trade candidate as of Wednesday.NFL Detroit Lions Team Face Coverings

"My mindset is every time I touch the ball, make things happen for the team," Samuel said. "The more plays you make, the more chances the coach will give you the ball."

Mayo has spoken in the past about the importance of this time of year for teams because it's when fundamentals are taught, when a team's culture is established (or re-established). For those reasons, not having a full complement of players -- the team was missing 25 players in a practice open to reporters last week, including Hightower and McCourty -- is less than ideal for coaches. NFL Carolina Panthers Team Face Coverings

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“The number one thing is with the Rams I was kind of reading and things like that,” Ebukam said on Wednesday. “Over here it’s just attack, don’t read. I just have to flip a 180 real quick and just get on attacking, and the people behind me will clean it up.” 

That might explain Ryan Fitzpatrick’s yo-yoing into games in big spots for the Dolphins last season.NFL Washington Redskins (Football Team) Team Face Coverings

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Smith joins Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander, and Parry Nickerson as free agent signings at cornerback this offseason. Cameron Dantzler, Harrison Hand, and Jeff Gladney return from last season, although Gladney’s availability may be compromised by an assault charge from an April incident in Texas.

1. It's my sense that a good portion of the Eagles fans that didn’t initially like the Nick Sirianni hiring (“Who is this guy?”) and doubled down on their feelings after his initial press conference are coming around. He’s won over a lot of people who didn’t like the hire just by the sheer power of his genuineness and passion and energy. You can see why players love this dude. Pro athletes look for three things from a new coach: Someone who’s honest and shoots them straight, someone who’s authentic and comes across as real and someone who’s passionate and has an obsession with the game. Take away any of those elements and that coach is going to lose the locker room in a hurry. Sirianni clearly has all that. Whether or not he succeeds will ultimately depend on the Eagles’ talent level, but he really does seem to have won over a team that was in shambles by the end of last year, and that’s a heck of a start.NFL Atlanta Falcons Team Face Coverings
After the 49ers drafted Trey Lance with the third overall pick while holding onto Jimmy Garoppolo, CEO Jed York said he would be fine with Lance sitting behind the older quarterback for two years if the team is doing well in the standings.

That, in turn, would help his former Ohio State roommate, wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Washington likes that both can run routes inside or outside. Samuel can also be used on jet sweeps, whether just going in motion or getting the ball.NFL Dallas Cowboys Team Face Coverings

Dak Prescott sneaks into the top 10. Here's hoping he has a strong season in his return from a horrific injury. He has all sorts of talent around him on offense, which should bode well for the Cowboys—if the group plays up to its expected level.NFL Tennessee Titans Team Face Coverings

“That’s good that you’re full time,” Joseph told her. “But you can’t ever lose that work ethic of being the intern trying to earn a full-time job.”

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“I get it, the offseason was weird, it was hard, but I don’t want to hear Joe Burrow or anybody else talking about, ‘Hey, I didn’t learn the playbook.’ That, to me, is bad. Look, I do think he’ll be better, but sometimes, maybe, you don’t have to give everybody all of your information.”NFL Los Angeles Rams Team Face Coverings

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Then later, Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell faced off on the Jugs machine and Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham raced in another fundamental drill.NFL New Orleans Saints Team Face Coverings

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has declared Cam Newton the team's top quarterback at this time, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has already noticed a difference in Newton's second year with the club.
“It was tough to see Bote go down,” starter Jake Arrieta said. “We've consistently shown the ability to pick up the slack with guys being called up and in filling in in big situations.
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The inning was filled with about as much hard contact as you'll see. The exit velocities for the six hits: 104 mph, 106, 105, 106, 109 and 105. Dickerson's homer was the one that left the yard at 109 mph.

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Then, Eric Haase punished Marshall's fastball for a 427-foot two-run home run, giving the Tigers an 8-7 lead with two outs in the seventh.Los Angeles Angels Face Coverings

After one batter and a four-pitch walk, Nationals trainers went out to check on Stephen Strasburg. Diamondbacks Face Coverings

"It's been a little hectic," Vaughn said Saturday of the previous couple days. "I got the vaccine. I actually had (COVID-19) last December. There was a lot of hope that it was just a false positive, which it ended up being. I took five tests yesterday or two days ago, and all of them came back negative. So it was all good.Kansas City Royals Face Coverings

His outing could have gone differently if his pitch count hadn’t climbed to 33 in the first inning, partially due to an error. Kris Bryant, playing first base, bobbled a ground ball with two outs to extend the inning. Then, in the fourth inning, an errant throw from third baseman Patrick Wisdom on a slow grounder pulled Bryant off the bag.Baltimore Orioles Face Coverings

Southpaw Jon Lester barely even qualifies as an innings eater at this point, making it beyond the fifth inning only twice this season and only going four innings in his last two starts. Lester’s fastball and changeup are each down a tick from last year, sitting at 88.6 mph and 82.2 mph, respectively. Since Lester gets noticeably worse the second time through the order, it makes sense to not let there be a third.

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At least one person who knows good tight end play is willing to put Gesicki into that tier: Kelce himself. He sat down with Kayla Nicole and Bleacher Report and revealed his list of top-5 tight ends across the NFL and Gesicki checked in at No. 5 on Kelce’s list.

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“I was told a while ago by a source I trust that the Falcons would accept a hard second-round pick in 2022 (no condition on Jones’ playing time) with no responsibility to pay Jones any of the $38 million he has coming,” King wrote.

So how about the one starter from last season who did show up? It’s none other than Roquan Smith.NFL Cleveland Browns Team Face Coverings

Even if reigning NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants to be traded, the Green Bay Packers are confident in that he will return to the team this summer and ultimately play for them this fall.NFL Detroit Lions Team Face Coverings

Not surprisingly, Jones’ shadow looms large over many of the teams with veteran players who could be on the move, as cutting them to free up space for the Falcons’ wide receiver might be the key to what could wind up being one of the biggest offseason additions of all.NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Team Face Coverings

Converted linebacker Jason Cabinda now is the only fullback on the roster. He played 130 offensive snaps last season.NFL Denver Broncos Team Face Coverings

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Gore told KNBR today that he doesn’t want to retire and is hoping a contending team gives him a shot.
“I’m not in the business to validate what another person thinks of me or what everybody else thinks of me,” he said. “This game doesn’t define me. I have a family, I have very close friends that I speak with every day. To me, my relationship with them is more important than what anybody could say about me. So I have a tunnel vision at goals that I want to reach. If I sit back and worry about validation from Billy Bob or whoever it is, that’s taking away from our goal, that’s taking away focus from the real goal that’s at hand for me and my family.”Minnesota Timberwolves

The most hilarious stat in the NBA to me is that Luka is now 4 for 11 in playoff games at cracking 40 points. He’s getting to 40 points in over 36 percent of his playoff games so far lol.

Embiid hadn't been ruled out as of Tuesday night, but he was considered doubtful, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Assuming Embiid is not going to play, Game 5 against the Washington Wizards becomes a lot more interesting. New Orleans Pelicans

The image of Noah, who grew up in New York, walking around the court postgame looking for friends and family to share in his celebration still lingers.
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“I mean, we didn’t win a championship, so obviously where we are now isn’t good enough,” he said. “I don’t know what a shakeup looks like or what changes will be made or could be made, but obviously as is, it wasn’t good enough. We came up short against a team without their starting point guard and shooting guard.”

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Typically, sneaker samples in specific colorways of future retail launches are created in size 9 about a year in advance and receive "final confirmation sign-off" about eight months in advance, allowing a window for subtle tweaks to be made and execution before going into production.Charlotte Hornets

I didn’t award any extra points for actually winning a championship since that was a variable in the Basketball-Reference model. However, there is still some collinearity since you have to actually make the Finals to win a championship.Sacramento Kings

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For starters, Green is listed three inches taller than the 6-foot-1 Chase and is much more slender despite being just 10 pounds heavier. But perhaps more importantly, Chase and Green are products of two completely different eras of football.NFL Minnesota Vikings Team Face Coverings

You get the sense that the former University of Alabama standout is anxious to change things this year. “We’re all in a group chat. Tua put it in a group text,” explained wide receiver DeVante Parker (via Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post). “He texted us. We’ll just meet up and start throwing and try to get the rhythm down early.”NFL Dallas Cowboys Team Face Coverings

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The Steelers have a number of areas that could be noted as the most important weakness for the team. Roethlisberger is the biggest name while cornerback, with the loss of Mike Hilton in free agency and cutting of Steven Nelson, maybe the most under-discussed area of concern.

After the Kansas City Chiefs were broken over the knee of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55, Patrick Mahomes is gearing up for a revenge tour that is sure to lay waste to any unfortunate team that crosses into his line of sight.NFL Philadelphia Eagles Team Face Coverings

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Matt LaFleur: Robert Tonyan has progressed as much as any player we’ve had originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

“I'm feeling good,” Cook said. “I've been busting my tail all offseason trying to get ready. For me, it's all about staying patient. I want to play football right now. That's how my body feels.NFL Miami Dolphins Team Face Coverings

Stefanski apparently banning Garrett from playing basketball comes as a surprise. After Garrett released his first video back in February, Stefanski told ProFootballTalk that he was fine with Garrett playing basketball.
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“May’s been pitching lately,” Rojas said. “He’s a guy who we foresee as strikeout guy with his pitch repertoire, and the only thing that we wanted him to probably add today was the slider and the changeup, and we thought he did.

He'd be the first baseball player who isn't at least a little superstitious. We'll find out if we see that blond bat again on Friday.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB's injury plague: There has been a big increase this seasonNew York Mets Face Coverings

"We've engaged our fans and community on many aspects of our team name process," said Curtis Danburg, the team's vice president of communications and community impact. "We felt it was important to share our research journey and what we've learned so far."Texas Rangers Face Coverings

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The Dodgers became the first team to follow an 11-plus run inning in one game with an eight-plus run inning the next game since 1969.Minnesota Twins Face Coverings

If it can all work out, the Yankees will have a center field option better than any they can feasibly acquire.Los Angeles Angels Face Coverings

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New York Mets activated outfielder Kevin Pillar from the 10-day injured list on Monday, weeks after getting hit in the face by a pitch.
"One bad seed doesn't mean that the whole fruit is poison," said Smart while discussing the incident. "Our fans have been great, we just had a knucklehead decide to do something knuckleheadish, and he got taken care of." Charania reported that the 21-year-old has been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, a serious charge that shows at least locally, authorities and arenas are not going to treat such behavior lightly. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=51331,51258,51255,51252] [listicle id=51282]
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Third-seeded Denver bested the Portland Trail Blazers in six games to survive the first round and advance to the Western Conference semifinals. They'll play the Phoenix Suns, who eliminated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in six games.Oklahoma City Thunder

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"May the better man win, and the Suns were the better man throughout this year and for this series," James said.Washington Wizards

Other performances carried more significance for the franchise. “The Shot” over the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Craig Ehlo in 1989 ended years of playoff futility and began the Bulls on their dynastic quest. “The Flu Game” in a Game 5 victory over the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals epitomized Jordan's ability to reach deep with championships on the line.New Orleans Pelicans

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During Game 2 of Washington’s series in Philly, a Sixers fan dumped popcorn on Westbrook as he went to the locker room with an injury. That’s the opposite of what we means when we say “get your popcorn ready,” for the record.

If the Philadelphia 76ers want to close out the Washington Wizards at home in Game 5 on Wednesday night, they are going to have to do so without their best player, Joel Embiid.Sacramento Kings

Though Doncic (29 points on 11-of-24 shooting) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (23 on 9-of-19 shooting) still showed some brilliance, the Mavs’ respective star and dependable role player had to work awfully hard for their shots.