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Warriors storm into 5th-straight finals with decisive victory of Portland Trail Blazers

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Stephen Curry and Draymond Green both posted triple-doubles on power the Golden State Warriors to a 119-117 overtime triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday and into a fifth straight NBA Finals.

The two-time protecting NBA champions cleared the Blazers in four games in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.

The main other team to achieve five straight NBA Finals was the Boston Celtics when they went to a record 10 out of a row from 1957 to 1966.

“I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed or underrated — five straight finals hasn’t been done since the 60s,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “It hasn’t been done for a reason, it’s really, really difficult and so I just can’t say enough about the competitive desire of the group of guys that we have here.”

The Warriors will battle for the title beginning on 30 May against either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors, meaning to turn into the main team since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000, 2001 and 2002 to three-peat as champions.

Curry and Green turned into the first teammates allied history to have triple-pairs in a similar post-season game, as indicated by the Elias Sports Bureau.

Curry finished with 37, 13 bounce back and 11 assists, while Green had his second in a row triple-double — posting double digits in three key factual classifications — with 18, 14 bounce back and 11 assists.

Fittingly, Curry and Green joined on the game-winning basket in extra time, Curry encouraging Green for a three-pointer that drove Golden State to a 119-115 lead with 39.6 seconds left in additional time.

“Obviously in that situation we want Steph to have the ball, we want Steph or Klay (Thompson) to take the shot,” Green said.

“But they were swarming them. So I was just talking to them ‘Watch out, watch out.’

“When he passed me the ball, I just let it go. When I shot it, it felt good.”

The Trail Blazers had driven 69-65 at halftime and constructed the lead to 17 in the second from last quarter — the third straight game where Portland driven by upwards of 17 just to miss the mark.

With veteran Andre Iguodala having joined hotshot Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins on the injured list, the Warriors created an all out collaboration to rally once more.

Thompson scored 17 while save Kevon Looney included 12 and 14 bounce back and Alfonzo McKinnie contributed 12 points.

“Being without Kevin these last five games has put us in a really tough spot and our guys stepped up in a big way,” Kerr said. “The group has fibre to them — when (these) guys go down they find a way to come together and compete and win.”

Warriors ‘discover a way’

The Warriors scored the last nine points of the third period to close inside 95-87 and tied the score at 104-104 on Curry’s layup with 4:34 left in guideline.

“We know we can cover 17 points in a matter of three or four minutes,” Green said. “So we always try to keep that mindset — that we’re never out of the game.”

Both teams got an opportunity to win in regulation, however Curry went before depleting a three-pointer that didn’t tally and Dame Lillard was unfit to traverse in traffic as time expired with the score tied 111-111.

Portland star Lillard, playing with excruciating isolated ribs, completed with 28 while unheralded Meyers Leonard drove the Trail Blazers with a vocation high 30 and 12 bounce back.

CJ McCollum included 26 for the Trail Blazers, yet it wasn’t sufficient for a team that had fended off elimination twice in their second-round series against the Denver Nuggets.

“We couldn’t get over the hump,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “I think it was a demonstration of how good they are and how good they have been over the years — they find a way to win.”

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Carlos Alcaraz defeats Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon

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This time, Carlos Alcaraz was prepared right away. Alcaraz started off slowly, losing the first set against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final a year ago. It took him five sets to win his maiden title at the All England Club.

The game that started Sunday’s rematch felt monumental: 20 points in over 15 minutes hinted at an engaging, back-and-forth contest that would go a long time. Both guys had their moments of genius. However, Alcaraz was superior. And for almost the entire next two hours, too.

Alcaraz won 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (4) against Djokovic to win a second straight Wimbledon title and his fourth Grand Slam overall. Alcaraz applied the skills he acquired from 2023 to 2024. And to consider: He is only 21 years old.

Alcaraz, who won the French Open last month and is now only the sixth man to win on both the red clay at Roland Garros and the grass at the All England Club in the same season, said, “At the end of my career, I want to sit at the same table as the big guys.” Alcaraz received the gold trophy from Wimbledon from Kate, the Prince of Wales. “That’s my main goal. That’s my dream right now.”

Alcaraz raised his record to 4-0 in major finals, including the 2022 U.S. Open; among men, only Roger Federer started his career with a 7-0 record.

The 37-year-old Djokovic, who had knee surgery less than a month ago, said of Federer, “He just was better than me in every aspect of the game.” Djokovic was aiming to become the first player in tennis history to win 25 Grand Slam events and tie Federer’s men’s record of eight Wimbledon victories. “In movement, in the way he was just striking the ball beautifully, serving great. Everything.”

Alcaraz experienced a single, fleeting glitch during a five-point period that nearly brought him to tears. It occurred when he was serving at 5-4, 40-love, and one point away from the championship. But he made a double error. Then a backhand was missed. Next, a volley. Next, a forehand. And one more forehand. All at once, it was five. Alcaraz suddenly seemed unsettled. Djokovic may feel hope suddenly.

There was intrigue all of a sudden.

but just for a little while. Alcaraz pulled together, reached the decisive vote, and ended the dispute.

Djokovic remembered, “We went toe to toe” last year.

He went on, “This year,” “it was nothing like that. It was all about him. He was the dominant force on the court and deserved to win.”

On a gloomy afternoon at Centre Court, Djokovic was not playing at his best, sporting a gray sleeve on his knee. There’s no doubt that Alcaraz had a significant role in this.

It turns out that up until the third set, the first game was the most competitive part of the match.

Not that there weren’t any signs of anticipation along the road. More so, the conclusion never truly appeared in doubt.

“The first game was incredible. One of the longest first games I’ve ever played,” Djokovic remarked. “That set the tone. He was coming out from the blocks ready to battle and ready to play his best level right away, which wasn’t the case last year.”

In the opening set, Djokovic double-failed, giving up a 5-1 lead. He started the second game with a volley into the net, down by a break, and ended it with a double fault. When Djokovic finally got going in the third, he recorded his first break of serve of the day. Fans screamed his two-syllable moniker, “No-le! No-le!” and others answered in unison,  “Let’s go, Carlos! Let’s go!”

However, given that there were real doubts about whether Djokovic would be able to compete at all in Wimbledon, this was not the body-contouring, all-out Djokovic that everyone is used to seeing.

In his matches against Alcaraz, Djokovic would sometimes land awkwardly after serving or take cautious steps in between points, almost like he was barefoot on the warm sand of a beach. When Djokovic got to the net, he only won 27 of the 53 points, missing volleys that he usually makes. Once he closed an early 11-stroke exchange with a volley, Djokovic sighed and made his way to his sideline seat to get a purple-and-green towel to wipe away perspiration. It seemed to be saying, “Come on, Carlitos, pick on someone your own age,” on his face.

Alcaraz excelled in almost every aspect, ranging from simple shots to those that others would never attempt. Although Djokovic did put an overhead shot away to earn that point, he once jumped and wrapped his racket all the way around his back to get the ball over the net. Forehand winners, Alcaraz missed the doubles alley by a considerable margin. points obtained with drop shots. Serves with a maximum velocity of 136 mph (219 kph). 14 break points total—five of which were converted—while facing just three.

Alcaraz received a lot of praise from Djokovic two days prior to the championship match when he said, “I see a lot of similarities between me and him.”

Indeed. And keep in mind that Alcaraz is only getting started.

Alcaraz declared, “I want to keep going.”

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Ostapenko Loses to Krejikova in a Match between Former French Open Champions

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Under sunny skies on Wednesday, Barbora Krejcikova advanced to her maiden Wimbledon quarterfinal by defeating Latvian 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-6 (4) in a match between former French Open champions.

Ostapenko’s attempt to win a second Grand Slam championship after winning her first in 2017 fell apart on Court One, but the 31st-seeded Czech player maintained her cool from the back of the court to force her opponent into 35 unforced errors throughout the match.

Though Krejcikova’s first Grand Slam victory came at Roland Garros in 2021, she had never before amassed a five-match winning streak on grass.

“There have been many doubts from the inside, but also from outside — from the outside world,” stated Krejcikova, who had a meager 6-9 record when she joined the All England Club in 2024. “But I’m super happy than I never gave up and that I’m standing here right now.”

The 27-year-old Ostapenko had a strong serve but had trouble placing it; in the first set, she landed fewer than half of her first serves. The 2021 French Open winner, Krejcikova, broke in the third game and won the first set.

In the second set, Ostapenko came back to break her opponent and take a 4-1 lead. But errors plagued her once more, and Krejcikova prevailed in four games to take a 5-4 lead.

The match proceeded to a tiebreaker, where Krejcikova’s outstanding crosscourt forehand struck the far line to give her a mini-break. She then used that opportunity to close out the match and earn her first victory against the Latvian in their last four meetings.

In the semifinals, Elena Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon winner, will play Krejcikova.

While Rybakina relished the unusual opportunity to see the sun, she had no desire to stay on Centre Court longer than required, as she defeated Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2 to terminate her quarterfinal challenge.

Rybakina improved to 19-2 at Wimbledon in four visits by using her eighth ace to close out the victory.

“Definitely, I have an aggressive style of game,” Rybakina stated. “I have a huge serve, so it’s a big advantage.”

Her match lasted one hour and one minute, which was less time than Krejcikova’s second set against Ostapenko, during which Ostapenko once told her coach to go out of the stands.

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Angel Reese Establishes a WNBA Record for the Most Double-Doubles in a Row

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In her team’s 84-71 loss against the Seattle Storm on Sunday, freshman phenom Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky created WNBA history by recording her 13th consecutive double-double, a new league record.

Reese broke the W’s previous milestone of 12 straight double-doubles, set by all-time great Candace Parker in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the game.

“I’m just trying to be consistent for my teammates, doing whatever I can to help my team,” Reese replied. “I think I didn’t do enough tonight, but just being able to be there for my teammates and knowing that I have a job to do every day no matter if I’m a rookie or a vet.”

First-year head coach Teresa Weatherspoon described Reese’s accomplishment as “absolutely amazing to see.” “She might be surprising herself, but she’s not surprising me. It’s something that she can do because it’s something that she puts the work in to be able to do. And it’s a will and want-to… it’s awesome to see the work that you have to put in to be able to do this.”

In just 20 games, Reese also hit the 275-point, 225-rebound, and 30-steal milestones. Yolanda Griffith (1999) was the only player to record such figures in less games.

At this point in the season, Reese has 14 double-doubles, which ties him for seventh most in rookie history. Tina Charles has the first-year double-double record with twenty-two.

“It’s great for me to be able to know where I’m at right now, and obviously I’m not satisfied with where I’m at,” Reese stated. “I have coaches and teammates around me that believe in me and trust me and I just continue to trust the process of everything. I’m grateful. I’m blessed and lucky to be named with these amazing players. They’ve always been super nice to me. They’ve always been helpful and inspiring to me. I’ve watched them all my life and finally to be here in this moment and break their records and being able to be up there with them is really cool.”

The rookie has long looked up to Parker, a star who played two seasons with Reese’s Sky and led them to the franchise’s lone championship in 2021. Reese mentioned that she had also grown close to Parker’s mother.

“To continue to be named with her, I want to win, and being able to come out and come to Chicago and represent her city and bring a championship home is going to be what’s important for me and what I look forward to,” Reese said regarding Parker.

Reese, who has battled with efficiency at times this season, went 8 of 15 from the field on Sunday. In six of Chicago’s last 11 games, Reese has shot at least 50% from the field.

Regarding Reese’s in-season progress, Weatherspoon remarked, “It’s a level of confidence to do way more than what people think she can.” “She’s able to trust herself, trust her training, and shoot the ball when she’s open, believing and trusting that she can make those shots because when you put the work in, there’s no reason not to trust your training. And she’s doing that.

“She has gotten really, really good at finishing around the rim, getting our offensive rebounds and putbacks, or just simply getting positioned in our offensive sets and just finishing and finishing with power around the rim. So it’s really, really good to see. She’s only going to get better as we move forward.”

Reese, the No. 7 overall pick who had an outstanding career at Maryland and LSU (where she won the national title in 2023), was one of just two rookies to be chosen a 2024 All-Star, along with Caitlin Clark last week. Leading candidates for Rookie of the Year, the two will play together on Team WNBA when they face the American Olympic team in the WNBA All-Star Game later this month.

Reese’s teammate Marina Mabrey described him as “a joy to watch.” “She’s so consistent. She comes in every day and battles and fights and she’s super physical for a rookie, which is really hard to do. That’s usually one of the biggest transitions and she kind of just jumped in there and did all the dirty work, and now it’s all paying off for her. And this is just the beginning, so I’m excited to see where it goes.”

The Sky lost on Sunday, dropping to ninth in the rankings but still having a chance to make the playoffs.

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