Friday’s Sports in Brief
CLEVELAND (AP) Stephen Curry scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 20 and a triple-double and the Golden State Warriors stamped themselves a dynasty after winning their second straight NBA title and third in four years, 108-85 over the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete a sweep and perhaps drive LeBron James from his home again to chase championships.
Overcoming obstacles all season long, the Warriors were not going to be denied and won the fourth straight finals matchup against Cleveland with ease.
It was the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one. His eighth straight appearance didn’t go well either, and now there’s uncertainty where the superstar will play next.
James, who said he ”pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand” after injuring himself in frustration following Game 1, finished with 23 points and spent the final minutes on the bench, contemplating what went wrong and maybe his next move.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Shohei Ohtani was put on the disabled list by the Los Angeles Angels with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow, an ominous injury that will be re-evaluated in three weeks and brought the two-way Japanese sensation’s remarkable rookie season to at least a temporary halt.
The Angels said Ohtani’s right ulnar collateral ligament has a Grade 2 sprain, which typically indicates some degree of damage but not a complete tear. His injury doesn’t always require surgery, while Grade 3 sprains are usually repaired by the Tommy John ligament replacement procedure that takes a year or more to recover from. For all the benefits the Angels have reaped from his nine turns on the mound and 30 starts as the designated hitter, the next feat for Ohtani will be to avoid Tommy John surgery.
”We’re hopeful that he can,” general manager Billy Eppler said, ”that this is completely treatable with the biologic prescription that the doctors recommend.”
WASHINGTON (AP) – Reveling in his pardon powers, President Donald Trump said Friday he’s thinking ”very seriously” about pardoning former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose conviction was already overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971.
It’s one of ”thousands” of cases the president’s team is reviewing, he told reporters as he left the White House en route to a world leaders’ summit in Canada. And Trump said he’s thinking about soliciting recommendations about other cases to consider from pro football players and other athletes who have protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem – a tactic Trump has fiercely denounced.
Trump said that, ”instead of talk,” he’s ”going to ask all of those people to recommend to me – because that’s what they’re protesting – people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system.”
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) – The International Skating Union has passed a series of technical reforms for figure skating, among them limiting the number of high-scoring quad jumps in individual free skates.
The quad jump came under intense scrutiny during the Pyeongchang Olympics, where men’s skaters who packed the most into their program finished atop the medal standings. Even skaters who did not land them cleanly were often awarded more points than those who did not try them.
The ISU believes the change will increase the variety shown during a skating routine.
During its biennial congress that concluded Friday, the ISU also established independent panels to evaluate scores for ”national biases” at major competitions; modified the Olympic selection process; renamed the short dance to ”rhythm dance” in ice dancing; and tweaked the grade of execution from plus- or minus-3 to plus- or minus-5, creating a greater range of scores.
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston Texans safety Andre Hal has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and insists he ”will beat it.”
He received the preliminary diagnosis of cancer of the blood cells from team physician Dr. James Muntz and has consulted with doctors at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, the team said Friday.
The Texans added that Hal is ”undergo testing and evaluation and is discussing his treatment options.”
Hal is 26 and starting his fifth year with the Texans. He was drafted by Houston in 2014 out of Vanderbilt. He started all 16 games last season and had three interceptions.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nine black former and current University of Minnesota football players who say their rights were violated in a sexual misconduct investigation sued the school on Friday, alleging they are victims of racial and gender discrimination.
The federal lawsuit stems from the university’s investigation into an alleged gang rape of a female student in September 2016 that implicated 10 players for a range of alleged misconduct. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges due to insufficient evidence, but five students were ultimately expelled or suspended, while five others were cleared.
The lawsuit alleges the university treated the plaintiffs as ”scapegoats to appease federal authorities and to deflect public scrutiny” over the school’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against white men in the athletics department, including former athletics director Norwood Teague. Teague resigned in 2015 after two high-ranking administrators said he sexually harassed them at a senior leadership retreat.