Review Category : National Sports

NBA Playoffs: Cavs Beat Hawks 97-89, Take Early Series Lead

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(ATLANTA) — The Cleveland Cavaliers downed the Atlanta Hawks 97-89 in Game 1 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.

The Cavs’ LeBron James scored 31 points, but after the game James gave a tip of the hat to teammate J.R. Smith, who drained eight 3-pointers – part of a 28-point performance that helped Cleveland take an early series lead.

“You get a guy like J.R. Smith who’s able just to shoot the ball and have the extreme confidence that every time they let it go, it’s going in,” James said.

Game 2 is Friday night in Atlanta.

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Terry Labonte a Member of NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 was announced Wednesday.

Two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte, drivers Bobby Isaac and Curtis Turner, modified series champion Jerry Cook, and Speedway Motorsports Executive Chairman Bruton Smith all made the cut.

Labonte won 22 races during his NASCAR career, and captured the Cup titles in 1984 and 1996.

Isaac, who died in 1977, compiled 37 wins.

Turner was an early star of NASCAR and won 17 races. He died in a plane crash in 1970.

Cook won six NASCAR modified championships, including four consecutive in the mid-1970s.

Smith’s company owns eight tracks that stage NASCAR events, including Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The seventh Hall of Fame class will be inducted on Jan. 22, 2016.

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Indianapolis Colts Discuss New Additions at OTA’s

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indianapolis Colts are back to work.

After a tough loss in the AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots, the team brought in running back Frank Gore and pro bowl wide out Andrea Johnson in the off season.

“To me, it seems like they’ve been here for the past five years, to be honest with you. They don’t miss a beat as far as the playbook, knows what to do. Every time I see them in a huddle, break a huddle to me it looks like they’re lining up to go right. They’re very talented, talented guys,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said on Wednesday when asked how his team looked at OTA’s.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck also said he was enjoying the additions of Gore and Johnson.

“I’ve admired Frank and Andre and Todd from a far for a long time, especially Andre and Frank you know. But to hand off to Frank, to see him run his routes, their huddle demeanor, to see Andre create separation and watch. To be hones it’s really fun to be out there with the guys,” he said.

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Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez Hit a Home Run That Landed in a Boat

Tina Stachelek(PITTSBURGH) — Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit a home run out of PNC Park and into a boat in the Allegheny River Tuesday night — and the owners of the boat jokingly say they want the ball back.

Ryan and Tina Stachelek parked their boat outside of PNC Park and were watching the game on television from a nearby restaurant.

“I saw [Alvarez] hit the home run but couldn’t tell if it went out of the park,” said Ryan.

When the television camera started showing a boat on TV, Ryan said he told his wife, “That’s our boat! What’s going on?”

When the Stacheleks saw a man on the boat and jump to the dock, at first they thought someone was stealing from it and that “someone was looking for the cooler,” Tina Stachelek said.

The person wasn’t looking for the cooler, but a baseball, instead.

“We want the ball back,” Ryan Stachelek jokingly said.

According to ABC affiliate WTAE-TV, Alvarez’s 461-foot home run is only the third home run to land in the Allegheny River.

“He made history by being the third person to hit it in the river,” Tina Stachelek said. “It would be great to own it.”

They don’t expect to get the ball back or even hear from the person who took it from their boat. If they did get the ball back, what would they do with it?

“Probably give it to our nephew, maybe keep it, or maybe Pedro [Alvarez] wants it,” Tina Stachelek said.

The Stacheleks park their boat outside the stadium every weekend because they can either walk right into the stadium or go to one of the local restaurants.

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Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry’s Daughter Steals the Show at Press Conference

Travis Bell/ESPN Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — There is only room for one star at a news conference, and unfortunately for Golden State Warriors’ player Stephen Curry, the star at his post-game press conference Tuesday was not him but his young daughter.

Curry held his 2-year-old daughter Riley on his lap as he spoke to reporters following his team’s Western Conference finals playoff win against the Houston Rockets.

While the NBA MVP tried to answer reporters’ questions about his 34-point, six-rebound, five-assist performance, Riley stole the show.

The toddler waved to reporters and, when things evidently got slow, lifted her arms to stretch and yawn.

At one point when Curry spoke into the microphone, his daughter quickly admonished him that it was “too loud Daddy” and to “be quiet.”

Eventually, Riley gave up on the whole sitting in her dad’s lap thing and played hide-and-seek under the table.

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Steph Curry Leads Warriors to Game 1 Victory over Rockets

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The Golden State Warriors took Game 1 of the NBA’s Western Conference finals Tuesday night, 110-106, over the Houston Rockets.

Stephen Curry led the game with 34 points — including six three-pointers — and notched six rebounds and five assists for the Warriors.

Rockets guard James Harden led Houston with 28 points on the night.

After the game, Curry admitted he had no illusions this would be an easy series: “You expected it to be a battle. We had to come in and really fight … Once we got our rhythm and figured out how to get some stops, we turned the game in our favor.”

Game 2 between the Warriors and Rockets is Thursday in Oakland.

WATCH – NBA Star Stephen Curry’s Daughter Steals Show at News Conference:

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NFL Players Association Requests Roger Goodell Recuse Himself in Tom Brady Appeal

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The National Football League’s Players Association formally requested on Tuesday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself as the arbitrator in New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady’s disciplinary appeal over penalties related to “Deflategate.”

“Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner’s role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator in this matter,” the NFLPA said in a release.

The organization also believes that Goodell’s “history of inconsistently” makes him “ill-suited” to hear Brady’s appeal

The NFL decode last month to fine the team $1 million and revoke their 2016 first-round draft pick as a result of the investigation of the team’s use of allegedly under-inflated footballs.

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John Calipari Says ‘No Interest’ in New Orleans Pelicans Job

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW ORLEANS) — John Calipari will continue to coach the Kentucky Wildcats, tweeting on Tuesday he had “no interest” in jumping to the NBA.

Calipari took to Twitter an hour after NOLA.com reported that he was interested in the vacant head-coaching job with the New Orleans Pelicans.

“Even though Anthony and Tyreke are in NOLA, I have no interest in the Pelicans or any other job. I have a great job and I’m happy at UK,” Calipari wrote.

Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans, both on the Pelican’s roster, played for Calipari while he coached at the University of Kentucky and the University of Memphis.

NOLA.com reported the team was willing to pay around $4 million to $5 million per season for the vacant spot.

Calipari now makes about $8 million annually at Kentucky.

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Patriots Owner Says He Will Not Appeal Punishment

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(BOSTON) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday that he would “accept reluctantly” the NFL’s decision to fine the team $1 million and revoke their 2016 first-round draft pick as a result of the investigation of the team’s use of allegedly under-inflated footballs.

Kraft said that he would not be filing an appeal, though that will not impact star quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal, which he already filed to fight the four game suspension he was issued.

Kraft said that his relationship with and belief in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was a major factor in his decision.

“Although I might disagree with what he decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he is doing what he believes is in the spirit of the best for the whole 32 [teams],” Kraft said this afternoon.

“I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric and we won’t appeal,” he added. “Taking this off the agenda, this is the best decision for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL.”

The Patriots are accused of using under-inflated balls during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18. The Patriots won 45-7, then went on to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Goodell has defended the process by which the punishments were determined.

“We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others,” he said. “We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.”

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Cavs’ Kyrie Irving Will Play in Game 1 Against Hawks

iStock/Thinkstock/Cleveland Cavaliers(CLEVELAND) — Fans can expect to see Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving at the start of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday, according to ESPN.

After tendinitis in his left knee and right foot strain kept him sidelined for the entire second half of the Cavs’ win over Chicago five days ago, Irving sat out of his team’s Saturday practice. But Monday, Irving was back in practice and showing significant improvement.

“I’m going to go,” Irving said of Game 1 to take place in Atlanta.

Irving said preparing with his teammates and “being able to actually feel both my feet underneath me,” has been a boost to his spirit and mental confidence.

“I think that’s the biggest thing I get out of it. I don’t want to be on the sideline at all, especially preparing for a big stage like this,” he said, according to ESPN. “I want to be as close to 100 percent before Wednesday as I can be, so just doing the necessary things in order to do that.”

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