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🏀 T-Wolves Stay Alive & an OT Game Winner in Sunrise! 🏒

T-Wolves and Panthers Stay Alive, MLB Highlights, and a French Open Showdown!

Good Morning 👋

We’re in the “one game per night” stage of the NBA/NHL Playoffs. Two teams pulled out must-win games last night. The T-Wolves are still howlin’ and the Panthers are still prowlin’. We’ve also got baseball catch-ups, Caitlin Clark’s first 30-piece, and a blockbuster tennis showdown this morning in Paris (Swiatek vs. Osaka, 9:15 am ET). Let’s get it!

WTF Stat: The People have spoken; WTF Stat is here to stay. Rafael Nadal has a win-loss record of 459-42 for a 91.6% winning percentage on Clay and once had a 46-match win streak at the Monte Carlo Masters from 2005 - 2013.tten By: TorchPro and Jeff Yoder

🏈 Ready or not, the 2024 NFL season is fast approaching, with only 100 days until the start of the regular season. A lot has happened since the Chiefs hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Presenting 100 things to know for the 2024 NFL season. (100 Days to NFL Kickoff) (CBS Sports)

🏀 Bill Walton was a legend on the court, a Hall of Famer, MVP, and a two-time champion at UCLA and in the NBA. On the mic, he truly had no equal. He was never forgettable. He was never boring. And he was never uninspired. (Bill Walton’s Best Moments) (Yahoo! Sports)

⚽️ Two more goals on Monday gave Cristiano Ronaldo the Saudi League scoring record in his first full season with Al-Nassr. He scored 35 goals in league play (50 overall), with four hat tricks. The 39-year-old is still elite. (FOX Sports)

🏀 Caitlin Clark Sets New Career-High (30 pts) in Loss to Sparks (88-82)

T-Wolves avoid the sweep in the WCF | Source: USA Today

NBA PLAYOFFS - Texas, Hold On: Wolves Still Howlin'

Timberwolves Brush Off Elimination With Survival Win in Game 4 (105-100) as Edwards (29-10-9) & Doncic (28-15-10) Go Head-to-Head

 The Timberwolves had something to say as we were getting ready to announce the NBA Finals pairing. The men in Texas held all the cards entering Tuesday night, but this was no Texas hold 'em. Minnesota finally held off a late-game flurry by the Mavs to delay the celebration and avoid the sweep. Luka Doncic (28 pts) and Anthony Edwards (29 pts) put on a show in the pivotal Game 4 showdown. Karl-Anthony Towns (25 pts) also got cooking after this week's criticism, and his contribution made the difference on Tuesday. Dallas nearly rallied from seven points down in the final two minutes, but poise on the road helped Minnesota stay alive. It’ll still take a monumental effort — the likes of which the NBA has never seen — to come back from down 3-0. but that’s why they play the games. Game 5 is back in Minnesota on Thursday.

 Top Scorers

A. Edwards (MIN): 29 pts, 10 rebs, 9 asts

L. Doncic (DAL): 28 pts, 15 rebs, 10 asts

K. Towns (MIN): 25 pts, 5 rebs

K. Irving (DAL): 16 pts

 Western Conference Finals

DAL Leads Series (3-1)

Gm 5: Thursday (8:30 pm ET, TNT)

Sam Reinhart, after scoring the game-winning goal in game 4 | Source: USA Today

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Rein-Time! Panthers Prevail in OT

Sam Reinhart’s Slapper Helps Panthers Pull Out Game 4 Against Rangers (3-2, OT) — 1st Win in 3 Straight OT Games

The script was starting to get old. After taking Game 1, the Panthers lost two overtime games to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals, both in heartbreaking fashion. Last night saw the Rangers net one in the third period to force OT again, and this series started to feel like a sick joke for Florida fans. But alas, we have a series. Sam Reinhart buried a one-timer just 1:12 into OT, and 37 saves by Rangers’ goalie Igor Shesterkin weren’t enough. The series is all square (2-2), and we have some good series in the NHL in the Conference Finals.

 Top Scorers

S. Reinhart (FLA): 1 Goal (Game-Winner)

A. Panarin (NYR): 2 Assists

A. Lafreniere (NYR): 1 Goal

A. Barkov (FLA): 2 Assists

 Eastern Conference Finals

Series Tied (2-2)

Gm 5: Thursday (8:00 pm ET, ESPN)

 

⚾️ MLB - 3 Strikes: MLB Storylines - Ronald Acuna Jr.’s Injury, Angel Hernandez’s Last Call & A Scorching Padres Pitcher

 Lost in the shuffle of our Memorial Day Weekend sports extravaganza were a few MLB storylines that made waves. The health of a Braves superstar, the exit of a much-maligned umpire, and a strikeout streak of record-setting proportions should help us catch up in today’s three-strike plate appearance:

The Atlanta Braves lost their most important player, again. Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his left ACL against the Pirates on Sunday, and he was ruled out for the remainder of the season following an MRI that night. The 26-year-old four-time All-Star and reigning NL MVP was coming off his best season yet — Batting .337, 41 HRs, 106 RBIs, 73 SBs — and the Braves held the best record in the majors through April. Acuna Jr. also tore his right ACL in 2021. Brutal summer ahead for Atlanta. Might they look for a trade?

This summer, we’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to write a feature on Angel Hernandez’s controversial status as baseball’s most polarizing umpire. Still, he’s not waiting around to give us a chance. The 62-year-old ump is well-liked by other umpires and most humans, but he’s been a punching bag for fans, players, and media in recent years due to some truly awful calls in timely situations. Hernandez began with MLB in 1991, but the fan hatred got louder in 2024, and he retired from baseball this weekend—no more Angel in the outfield or the infield.

Jeremiah Estrada was a waiver pickup for San Diego last November. This past week, he rung up 13 consecutive batters — that’s not a joke — setting a record that dates back (at least) to 1961. Estrada fanned five straight Reds last week before sitting five Yankees on Sunday. The streak continued last night with a three-up, three-down frame (Ks 11, 12, and 13) in his only inning of work during the Padres’ 4-0 win over the Phillies.

Which NBA franchise has made the most appearances in the NBA Finals?

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On May 29th, 1993, Texas Ranger Jose Canseco pitched the 8th inning in a 15-1 loss to the Red Sox. He gave up 3 runs on 2 hits & 3 walks, and he damaged his arm in the process.

Today’s Must-Watch List

🏒 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Gm 4: Stars at Oilers (8:30 pm ET, TNT)

DAL Leads Series (2-1)

 🎾 French Open (2nd Round)

W: #1 I. Swiatek vs. N. Osaka (9:15 am ET)

W: #3 C. Gauff vs. T. Zidansek (10:15 am ET)

M: #3 C. Alcaraz vs. J. De Jong (7:15 am ET)

M: #2 J. Sinner vs. R. Gasquet (2:15 pm ET)

*French Open Coverage on NBC Sports

 ⚾️ MLB

Pirates at Tigers (1:10 pm ET, MLBTV)

*Paul Skenes vs. Jack Flaherty

Cubs at Brewers (7:40 pm ET, MLBTV)

*Shota Imanaga vs. Bryce Wilson

Astros at Mariners (9:40 pm ET, MLBTV)

*Justin Verlander vs. George Kirby

 ⚽️ MLS

Inter Miami vs. Atlanta United (7:30 pm ET, AppleTV)

LAFC vs. Minnesota United (10:45 pm ET, AppleTV)

 🏀 WNBA

Mercury at Liberty (7:00 pm ET, CBS)

Aces at Lynx (8:00 pm ET, NBATV)

Trivia Time Answer

B.  Los Angeles Lakers. The Los Angeles Lakers hold the record for the most NBA Finals appearances. As of the 2023 season, they have made 32 trips to the NBA Finals. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the franchise's consistent excellence and storied history in the league. The Lakers have won 17 championships, tied with the Boston Celtics for the most in the history of the NBA.