- Houston Rockets 95 – Golden State Warriors 92 (Series tied 2-2)
Highlights: Chris Paul pounded the ball down demonstratively on Stephen Curry‘s home court in sheer delight. And maybe he sent a little message: These Rockets are for real and very much remain in the championship chase. Houston handled the defending champions in their hostile, imposing home arena and sustained the latest second-half flurry by Curry, getting 30 points from James Harden and another 27 from Paul to even the Western Conference finals at two games apiece with a 95-92 victory Tuesday night. Curry scored 28 points and Kevin Durant added 27 points and 12 rebounds but the Warriors missed their final five shots from the floor and their NBA-record postseason winning streak at home ended at 16 games. Paul rebounded Klay Thompson‘s miss just before the final buzzer sounded for the first time and celebrated in front of a stunned, yellow-clad home crowd. A replay review ensued and it was determined Shaun Livingston fouled Paul before the game ended, so Paul made a free throw with 0.5 seconds left. Draymond Green wound up with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists while going at it with Paul all night in Game 4, the first nail-biter so far in a series that had featured only lopsided results of 13 points or more. Much-improved Warriors big man Kevon Looney, who shed 30 pounds last offseason, earned his first career postseason start in place of injured Andre Iguodala and had four points and six rebounds. The Warriors got another scare when Thompson briefly went to the locker room in the second quarter with a left knee strain then returned and hit baseline 3-pointers from both sides and wound up with 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Game 5 is Thursday night at Houston.
NFL Approves New Rules On Kickoff, Ejections – NFL owners gave temporary approval Tuesday for a proposal designed to make the kickoff safer. The new rule will be in place for the 2018 season but will be evaluated next spring based on injury numbers and other factors. The NFL fast-tracked the rule after medical data revealed that concussions were five times more likely to happen on kickoffs in 2017 than on other plays. A group of nine special teams coaches authored the bulk of the plan earlier this month. While it won’t look much different to many fans, the new format is intended to reduce the number of high-speed collisions involved in the play.
The primary changes include:
- The elimination of running starts for kickoff coverage teams
- A requirement that eight of the 11 men on the return team must be aligned in the “setup zone” within 15 yards of the ball
- No blocking within the “setup zone” until after the ball touches the ground
- The elimination of two-man wedge blocks
- Kickoff team must have five men lined up on either side of the ball, a move that will limit schemes designed to get free runners in coverage down the field.
Warriors List Iguodala As Doubtful For Game 4 – The Golden State Warriors have listed Andre Iguodala as doubtful for Tuesday’s Game 4 against the Houston Rockets. Iguodala sustained a left leg contusion when he banged knees with James Harden in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday night. A Warriors source said the bruise got worse overnight, so Iguodala was held out of practice on Monday. The bruise is slightly below the knee. Iguodala had an X-ray on Monday and it came back clean, but the team still listed him as doubtful Monday evening. Iguodala is averaging 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists through three games of the series. He has played a little more than 27 minutes per game.
Warriors’ Kerr Wins Rudy Tomjanovich Award – Golden State’s Steve Kerr has won the Rudy Tomjanovich Award, given to an NBA coach in recognition of his cooperation with media and fans as well as excellence on the court. The Professional Basketball Writers Association announced the winner Tuesday. The award is named for Tomjanovich, the former Houston Rockets coach. Kerr, who also won the award in 2015, beat fellow finalists Brad Stevens of Boston, Mike D’Antoni of Houston, Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers and Steve Clifford of Charlotte in voting by PBWA members. The Warriors have won two of the past three NBA titles under Kerr and have a 2-1 lead over Houston in the Western Conference finals. The PBWA said Kerr encourages players to express themselves and is generous with his time with the working press.
Incognito, Cut By Bills, Now Free to Resume Career – The Buffalo Bills released guard Richie Incognito from the reserve/retired list Monday, the team announced. Incognito told the Bills that he wanted to play again, a source told ESPN after the four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman retired in April. Incognito is now a free agent and is able to sign with any team. The Bills placed Incognito on the retired list April 12, two days after Incognito informed the NFL Players Association in a tweet that he was “done” playing football. Incognito, 34, later told The Buffalo News that he made the decision for health-related reasons, saying, “My liver and kidneys are shutting down. The stress is killing me.”
Favre Details Addiction, Recalls Trips To Rehab – Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre says he made three trips to rehabilitation centers during his career to fight his dependence on painkillers and alcohol. Favre, 48, told Sports Illustrated he took as many as 14 Vicodin at one time during the 1995 season in Green Bay. The former Packers star said “that year, when I woke up in the morning, my first thought was, ‘I gotta get more pills.’ Favre says his issues with pills caused him to spend 28 days at a center in Rayville, Louisiana, in the early 1990s. Favre also says he spent 28 days in rehab “strictly for drinking” in 1998. The story also mentions a previously reported 72-day stint at a Kansas City rehab center in the mid-1990s to get off Vicodin.
Chicago White Sox 2 – Baltimore Orioles 3
Highlights: Big swings by Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo. Impressive relief work by Mychal Givens. A couple of nice plays on defense. For one night at least, there was a lot to like for the Baltimore Orioles. Machado, Jones and Trumbo homered, helping Andrew Cashner and the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Monday. Machado hit a line drive to left field in the fourth inning for his 15th homer, moving into a tie for the major league lead with Boston’s Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Trumbo connected in the fifth against Hector Santiago, and Jones went deep in the sixth after leaving Sunday’s 5-0 loss to the Red Sox due to an illness. Cashner (2-5) got his first win since April 5. The right-hander pitched five-plus innings and was charged with two runs and eight hits. Jose Abreu, Matt Davidson and Leury Garcia had two hits apiece for Chicago (13-31), which had won three of four. Santiago (0-2) struck out seven in six innings, but remains winless in four starts and nine relief appearances this year, with the White Sox losing all 13 games.