U.S. Defeats China, Advances to Women's World Cup Semifinals: The U.S. women's soccer team defeated China 1-0 Friday night, advancing to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup in Canada. The Americans were in solid control for most of the match but went into the half in a scoreless tie. In the 51st minute, Carli Lloyd scored on a header with a terrific pass from Julie Johnson near midfield. The U.S. will face Germany, which defeated France 5-4 on penalty kicks after being tied 1-1.
NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Champion: Cixelsyd: The winner of SportsFilter's NHL prediction contest is Cixelsyd, who earned points by choosing the Chicago Blackhawks to win, Duncan Keith to win the Conn Smythe and lead in points, Corey Crawford to have the best goals-against average and himself to win this competition. Ufez Jones seizes the Costanza in a bold move late.
Australian Rugby Player Dies After Tackle: A Queensland Cup rugby league player in Australia has died of injuries suffered during play. Sunshine Coast Falcons player James Ackerman, 24, was knocked unconscious Saturday by a tackle five minutes into a game and died on Monday. Details on the precise injury have not been released, but it was head- or neck-related. The Falcons are a regional team that serves as a feeder for the top-level Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League.
Max Scherzer Has Perfect Game Through 8 2/3, But Hits Tabata: Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer came within one strike of throwing a perfect game Saturday, but hit Jose Tabata on the elbow on a pitch Tabata leaned into. He then got Josh Harrison to fly out for a no-hitter. This follows a one-hitter on his last start, prompting an ESPN report to call this "perhaps the most dominant consecutive starts in the majors since Johnny Vander Meer pitched back-to-back no-hitters for Cincinnati in 1938." This was Scherzer's first no-hitter and the second in Nats history. He was drenched in chocolate syrup by teammates afterwards.
Brazil's World Cup Stadiums, One Year Later: ESPN looks at Brazil's 12 World Cup stadiums, some of which are barely used because they have no soccer club to fill them. One of the most glaring examples is Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, which cost $900 million to build and is only used by semi-pro clubs because the city lacks a large pro club. An estimated 30 to 40 percent of construction costs of these venues was lost to corruption.
Golden State Warriors Win NBA Title: Stephen Curry scored 25 points and dished eight assists Tuesday as Golden State defeated Cleveland 105-97 to claim the Warriors' first NBA championship in four decades. LeBron James, who almost single-handedly made the series competitive, finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists for the Cavaliers. Andre Iguodala of the Warriors was chosen as the NBA Finals MVP.
U.S. Beats Nigeria, Wins World Cup's "Group of Death": After finding out that qualification was guaranteed before the game, the United States defeated Nigeria 1-0 and won top spot in Group D of the Women's World Cup. Abby Wambach scored the only goal shortly before the half, turning a cross from Megan Rapinoe into a flying karate kick. The Americans' potential opponent in the first knockout game is looking like Thailand, France or Spain.
Chicago Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup: In front of their home faithful, the Chicago Blackhawks shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 Monday night to win the franchise's third Stanley Cup in five years. Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane scored for Chicago and goaltender Corey Crawford stopped all 25 shots he faced. Shortly before the game's end, broadcaster Mike Emrick announced that the Cup itself -- one of the most famous championship trophies in sport -- was not yet in the arena due to a weather delay and was being escorted by police.
Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship: Stephen Curry scored seven three-pointers and 37 points, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 104-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers that puts the team one win from an NBA championship. LeBron James had his second triple-double of the Finals with 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, but it wasn't enough. There were 20 lead changes in the game but the Warriors pulled away late.
Lightning Can't Get Out Of Own Way, Blackhawks Go Up 3-2: The Chicago Blackhawks are one game from another Stanley Cup, winning game 5 2-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road. Chicago's first goal was scored by Patrick Sharp on what may be the easiest score in Stanley Cup Final history when both goalies are playing. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop ventured out to clear a puck and collided with defender Victor Hedman. The puck slid past Bishop and Sharp skated it into an empty net. Asked if he came out too far to play the puck, Bishop responded, "Yeah, I guess."
Golden State Exposes Cleveland in Game 4 Rout: The Golden State Warriors played like a heavy favorite for the first time in the NBA Finals, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-82 in game 4 Thursday. Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala each scored 22 for the visitors to even the series at 2. But Daniel McGraw of The Guardian called the Warriors' performance "hardly stellar." LeBron James, who scored 20, had an eventful game off the court, banging his head on a courtside camera and accidentally flashing the ABC audience in a wardrobe malfunction.
American Pharoah vs. Secretariat: The Wall Street Journal has paired the videos of the 1973 and 2015 Beltmont Stakes to pit the two winners, Secretariat and American Pharoah, against each other.
Corey Crawford Comes Up Big as Blackhawks Even Stanley Cup at 2: The Chicago Blackhawks survived a late barrage by the Tampa Bay Lightning to win 2-1 in game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday, making the series 2-2. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, who benched Crawford earlier in the playoffs, called the game a "goalie win." Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos missed wide at point blank range in the waning seconds.
U.S. Men Beat Germany After Beating The Netherlands: The United States came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat world champs Germany in a friendly in the latter country Wednesday. Mix Diskerud scored after a terrific setup from Michael Bradley ending a 30-pass sequence by the Americans and Bobby Wood scored the winner late on a curving scorcher from just outside the penalty arc. Last Friday the U.S. achieved another surprising comeback victory, 4-3, on the road over The Netherlands.
LeBron James Puts Cavaliers Up 2-1 on Warriors: The Cleveland Cavaliers won game 3 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night, a 96-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James nearly had another triple-double and Matthew Dellavedova scored a three to halt a Warriors rally, crashed the lane and scored with a foul from Stephen Curry and dellave-dove for some loose balls. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is losing his mind over the possibility of James winning it all with such a motley crew. "This possible championship will hold the deepest significance in history," he writes. "It is the greatest basketball story told."
NBC Sports to NHL: Hey Good Lookin', Shave Those Playoff Beards: We interrupt the regularly scheduled recap of Tampa Bay's 3-2 victory over Chicago in game 3 of the Stanley Cup to bring you this special announcement: NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus has asked the NHL and its players to shave during the playoffs. "The players won't like this, but I wish they all would stop growing beards in the postseason,” Lazarus said. “Let's get their faces out there. Let's talk about how young and attractive they are. ... I know it's a tradition and superstition, but I think (the beards do) hurt recognition. They have a great opportunity with more endorsements. Or simply more recognition with fans saying, 'That guy looks like the kid next door,' which many of these guys do."
U.S. Women Impress in World Cup Opening Win Over Australia: Australia gave the U.S. a scare in the Women's World Cup opener Monday, evening the score at 1-1 27 minutes in and putting keeper Hope Solo to work with a stronger and faster attack. But over time the U.S. began to take charge in a convincing 3-1 Group D victory. Megan Rapinoe scored the first and third goal and Christen Press the second. Player of the Match Rapinoe was exceptional on the ball, and called her play "my best Messi impression -- much slower." "She is the most skillful player I've come across," said Australian midfielder Katrina Gorry
Football Coach Creates Rivalry Game Without Rival's Knowledge: UConn head football coach Bob Diaco has done something that could explode spectacularly in his face. He's commissioned a trophy and declared a "rivalry game" with the University of Central Florida. The Civil Conflict -- named for the American Athletic Conference schools being from the north and south -- pits two schools that only have played twice. Last year's UConn victory was the only Division I win for Diaco's team and UCF's only conference loss. "They don't get to say whether they are our rival or not," he said. "We might not be their rival, but they don't get to say whether they are our rival -- that is for us to decide."
James Scores Triple-Double as Cavs Even NBA Finals at 1: LeBron James scored a triple-double -- 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists -- in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 95-93 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors Sunday night that evens the NBA Finals at 1-1. As good as James was, Warriors star Stephen Curry was the opposite, shooting 5 of 23 (2 of 15 from 3-point range) with six turnovers. The Cavs shot 32.2 percent, the lowest of a winning playoff team in at least 30 years. "If you expect us to play sexy cute basketball, that's not us right now," James said. "Everything is tough and it has to be that for rest of series."
Lightning Beat Blackhawks to Even Stanley Cup at 1: In a game where Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop twice left unexpectedly and was replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 to even the Stanley Cup Final at one game apiece. Tampa took the lead on a Cedric Paquette first-period goal and only trailed for 92 seconds in the game. Lightning star Tyler Johnson scored his first playoff goal in 16 days -- becoming the franchise leader for postseason goals with 13. Fellow NHL netminder Robert Luongo responded on Twitter to Bishop's disappearance with two emojis: a toilet and a question mark.
Barcelona Wins Champions League, Completes the Treble: FC Barcelona has won the Champions League for the fifth time, defeating Juventus 3-1 Saturday on goals by Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar. Alvaro Morata scored for Juventus in the 55th minute to tie the match after Rakitic's early goal, but Lionel Messi and his teammates displayed the skill that enabled the Spanish side to complete a treble after also taking La Liga and Copa Del Ray. This was the last game in Barcelona for Xavi Hernandez, who after 17 years is leaving for the Al Sadd club in Qatar. Juventus sets a record for Champions League runner-up finishes at 6.
Fan at Fenway Struck by Broken Bat, Fighting for Life: A female spectator was taken away on a stretcher after she was struck by a broken bat during Friday night's game between the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The fan was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, according to Boston police. The incident occurred when Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie shattered his bat and part flew into the third-base side box seats. Alex Merlis, a fan sitting a row behind the woman, told ESPN the bat hit her forehead and the top of her head. He said, "It was violent. She bled a lot. A lot. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that."
Enter the Women's World Cup Confidence Pool: The Women's World Cup begins Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern as Canada hosts China. We're running a confidence pool for the tournament, a contest in which you give all 24 teams a point value from 24 to 1 and receive points each time they win or tie in the tournament. The first prize is an Adidas Performance Conext15 Glider soccer ball.
Warriors Win Game 1 of Finals Despite LeBron's 44 Points: The Golden State Warriors won game 1 of the NBA Finals, 108-100, over the Cleveland Cavaliers despite LeBron James scoring 44 points. Cavs guard Iman Shumpert had a chance to win it at the end of regulation with a desperation heave after a James airball, but it barely missed. Warriors center Andrew Bogut said of James, "We'll live with him shooting a lot of shots and scoring 40 because we feel like a lot of guys who are key to them winning a series don't get touches and don't get going." More bad news for the Cavs: Kyrie Irving hurt his knee.
Blackhawks Rally Late, Beat Lightning in Game 1 of Stanley Cup: The Tampa Bay Lightning took a 1-0 lead into the third period of the Stanley Cup Final game 1, but two Chicago Blackhawks goals in under 2 minutes changed that. Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored after defensive lapses and the Blackhawks won 2-1. The 20-year-old Teravainen is the youngest player to have a multi-point game in a Cup Final since Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr did it at 19 in 1991.