Review Category : National Sports

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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NASCAR Reviewing Potential All-Star Race Violation Involving Jimmie Johnson’s Car

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — NASCAR is reviewing a potential infraction by a Hendrick Motorsports crew member involving Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car during the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

NASCAR.com cites a NASCAR spokesperson who says the review centers on a potential violation regarding an allegedly modified lower body panel.

The website notes that such a modification, which helps airflow over the rear of the car, was banned by NASCAR during the offseason.

A decision on the matter could come early next week.

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Report: Patriots, NFL Attempting to Resolve Deflategate Penalties

Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — The National Football League and the New England Patriots are currently engaged in “back-channel conversations” over the league’s Deflategate punishment, ESPN reports.

The Patriots have until before Friday to file an appeal of their penalties, which consist of the loss of two draft picks and a $1 million fine.

Peter King, editor-in-chief at TheMMQB.com, spoke to Kraft over the weekend and told ESPN that in their conversation Kraft was “angry” and “defiant,” but likely trying to calculate his next steps.

“This whole thing has been very disturbing,” Kraft told TheMMQB.com.

Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are expected to attend the spring owners’ meetings in San Francisco, which start Tuesday.

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Derrick Gordon to Transfer to Seton Hall

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Former UMass guard Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player, announced on Sunday that he will be transferring to Seton Hall for his senior season.

“I’m walking into a great situation,” Gordon told USA Today Sports. “This gives me a chance to showcase what I can really do in one of the best conferences [the Big East] in the country, in the national spotlight.”

Gordon told USA Today that after he announced in March he was interested in transferring, several schools weren’t interested in him due to his sexual orientation in what he called “blatant homophobia.”

“Honestly, it caught me off-guard. It really hurt. It had me stressing, crying. I was starting to lose hope,” he told USA Today. “I felt like I was being treated like an outsider, like I didn’t belong in the NCAA. I couldn’t believe it because I’m a good player and they were looking at the opposite — something that doesn’t mean anything with my [sexuality]. … ‘Nah, not the gay guy.'”

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Dave Hakstol Named Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach

Hemera/Thinkstock/Philadelphia Flyers(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia Flyers’ general manager Ron Hextall announced on Monday morning that Dave Hakstol has been named the 19th head coach in the franchise’s history.

Hakstol, 46 comes to the Flyers from the University of North Dakota where he spent the last 11 seasons compiling an overall record of 289-143-43 with a .654 winning percentage in 475 games.

“Dave brings a wealth of head coaching experience and success to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” Hextall said in a statement announcing the move. “He’s a proven winner and we are pleased to have him become part of the Flyers family.”

In 2014-15, Hextall led North Dakota to a 29-10-3 record with a .726 winning percentage and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four.

“I am extremely excited to be named the Philadelphia Flyers new head coach,” Hakstol said in a statement on Monday. “Through the process here with Ron [Hextall] and everybody in the Flyers organization I have gained even more of an understanding of the history and tradition of this organization and I’m very proud to become part of the Philadelphia Flyers today [Monday].”

North Dakota made the NCAA Tournament in every one of Hakstol’s 11 seasons and reached the Frozen Four seven times in that span, which is the most of any program in the country during that period.

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James Hinchcliffe Injured During Indy 500 Practice Run

File photo. Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — An IndyCar driver was injured in a crash on Monday during a practice run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

James Hinchcliffe, a driver with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, appeared to lose control while in Turn 2 before crashing into the racetrack’s wall, ABC News affiliate WRTV-TV reports.

“James Hinchcliffe is awake and alert but is being transported to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation,” the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said in a tweet.

Speedway officials said later in a tweet that Hinchcliffe “sustained an injury to his upper thigh” and was in surgery.

The 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 24.

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Robert Kraft ‘Angry’ over ‘Unfair’ Deflategate Report

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft isn’t too happy about the National Football Leagues’s decision to discipline Tom Brady over the game ball scandal that many are calling “deflategate.”

Peter King, editor-in-chief at TheMMQB.com, spoke to Kraft over the weekend and told ESPN that in their conversation Kraft was “angry” and “defiant,” but likely trying to calculate his next steps.

“This whole thing has been very disturbing,” Kraft told TheMMQB.com.

King told ESPN that Kraft felt the whole scandal was “unfair.”

“If they want to penalize us because there’s an aroma around this?” Kraft told King. “That’s what this feels like. If you don’t have the so-called smoking gun, it really is frustrating. And they don’t have it.”

“This thing never should have risen to this level,” Kraft said.

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Andersen Leads Ducks to Game 1 Victory Over Blackhawks

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to lead the Anaheim Ducks past the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 Sunday, in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Andersen shut down the Blackhawks high flying offense which features 10 players who had double digits in goals in the regular season.

“I think everyone in the locker room knows we can beat this team,” Andersen said. “It’s a good feeling that we showed it in Game 1. They’re going to come harder. We’ll have to play better in Game 2.”

The Ducks got their scoring started in the first period when Hampus Lindholm slapped a shot through a cluster of players and past Corey Crawford.

Kyle Palmieri scored early in the second period to make it 2-0, but Brad Richards got the Blackhawks on the board at the end of the period by taking advantage of a turnover and snapping a shot past Andersen to make it 2-1.

Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg scored in the third to give the Ducks their ninth win in 10 games this postseason.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Anaheim. The puck is scheduled to drop at 9 p.m. ET.

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McIlroy Wins Wells Fargo Championship

Stuary Franklin/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Rory McIlroy won the Wells Fargo Championship by seven-strokes over Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers Sunday.

McIlroy, who broke the course-record by shooting a 61 Saturday, shot a 3-under 69 Sunday to finish his four rounds at 21-under 267, breaking the tournament record that was set by Anthony Kim in 2010 by five strokes.

McIlroy, 26, has now won 11 times on the PGA Tour, including twice at Quail Hollow. He has six top-ten finishes in his last eight PGA Tour starts and won the Match Play Championship two weeks ago.

“Everything is firing on all cylinders for me,” McIlroy said.

Phil Mickelson finished in a three-way tie for fourth at 12-under.

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Denny Hamlin Wins Sprint All-Star Race

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Denny Hamlin won the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night.

Hamlin, who started from the pole, earned a one-million-dollar grand prize.

It was the first All-Star victory for Joe Gibbs Racing, as well as the first for Toyota.

Here are the top 10 drivers in the Sprint All-Star Race:

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kurt Busch
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Matt Kenseth
6. Kyle Busch
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Joey Logano
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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