• At 11:26 p.m. ET on Monday, the Golden State Warriors finished off a 96-88 victory in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals to send them to their second straight NBA Finals, where they'll once again meet up with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers — this time, featuring healthy and fully functioning fellow stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. At 11:28 p.m. ET — just two minutes after the final buzzer — Reggie Jackson, who spent the first 3 1/2 years of his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder before leaving town via trade on some unfriendly terms — offered this:

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    Why, you ask, might the Detroit Pistons point guard deploy the smirking face emoji moments after the Thunder's loss? Well, there have been hard feelings between Jackson and the Thunder since the run-up to the Boston College product's departure at the 2015 trade deadline in a three-team deal that

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  • Stephen Curry and the Warriors are headed back to the NBA Finals. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)Stephen Curry and the Warriors are headed back to the NBA Finals. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)The Golden State Warriors entered the Western Conference Finals looking to reach a second-straight NBA Finals that would help cement their status as one of the greatest teams of all-time. After a 3-1 start for the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 73-win juggernaut faced three-straight elimination games to keep their dream season alive. They will now enter a highly anticipated finals rematch with the East champion Cleveland Cavaliers having proven their ability to overcome adversity, defy extreme odds, and continue to win with the sort of three-point shooting that the sport has never seen before.

    The Warriors followed their thrilling Game 6 win in Oklahoma City on Saturday night with another memorable victory at Oracle Arena on Monday, defeating the Thunder 96-88 to become back-to-back Western Conference champions for the first time in franchise history (and earn the franchise's first consecutive conference championships since before the NBA existed). Golden State struggled early to put up a

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  • After a series full of static, it just wouldn't have been right for Game 7 of the 2016 Western Conference finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors to go down without featuring an incident involving Thunder center Steven Adams and Warriors power forward Draymond Green.

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    With just under three minutes remaining in the second quarter on Monday night and the Thunder holding a 42-33 lead, Green and Adams once again tangled in the paint, this time fighting for rebounding position as a jumper by Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant traveled toward the basket. The shot splashed through, extending the Thunder lead to 11, but not before the two series-long combatants wound up on the deck, with Green seeming to take the worst of it:

    At first blush, it looked like the bruising Kiwi had somehow put the All-NBA Second Teamer in a headlock and dropped him to the hardwood with a maneuver that another

    Read More »from Draymond Green DDT'd himself in another tangle with Steven Adams
  • Bismack Biyombo lets loose. (Getty Images)Bismack Biyombo lets loose. (Getty Images)It may not feel like much right now, with the Cleveland Cavaliers having moved on with the East’s title and two potential champions from Oakland and Oklahoma City looking a giant step removed from the comparatively lacking Toronto Raptors, but one does have to consider where we were six weeks ago with these Raps.

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    Or, 13 months ago. Or two years, and a month ago.

    On April 16 the Raptors dropped Game 1 of their opening round series to the Indiana Pacers, a harmless team led by a president that was tapping his foot in anticipation of firing the team’s coach. Toronto played mostly undistinguished ball and needed seven games to dispatch a Pacer team that needed until the final days of the regular season to even assure its placement in the postseason.

    That Game 1 loss came on the heels of a massively disappointing 2015 first round sweep at the hands of the Washington Wizards, a team that couldn’t even make the playoffs

    Read More »from The Toronto Raptors? Gone till November.
  • SANFORD, Fla. – Kaka glides through difficult topics as easily as he glides past defenders.

    When asked earlier this month at the Orlando City SC training complex about his country's impeachment process, he called the situation "very important for us," saying "we need to change the corruption." But he stopped short of taking a firm stance on the push to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.

    When asked what he'd change about Major League Soccer, he said, "a lot of things need to change" but quickly provided context: "I don't have enough information. How you trade players, the salary cap, it's something that needs to be better. Today, it's working good, but in the future it needs to be better. The last CBA was good, but could be better. Probably the next CBA will be better and better until it's something really good for everybody."

    On one difficult subject, though, there was no nuance: Brazil's soccer reputation.

    "Brazil, at this moment, needs to get its credibility back," he told

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  • Steve Kerr. (Getty Images)Steve Kerr. (Getty Images)The 2016 Western Conference finals will be decided by a Game 7 on Monday evening. The Golden State Warriors, working from home after returning from a 3-1 series deficit, will take on a smarting Oklahoma City Thunder club.

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    Here are three things to watch, in a setting that could turn into something special:

    Steve’s Shuffle

    One would be rather foolish in presuming that Golden State’s issues – the ones that pushed them toward a 3-1 series deficit in the first place – have completely gone away. Warrior coach Steve Kerr still has his work cut out for him.

    A solid, if not resounding win in Game 5 didn’t take care of things. Game 6’s swish-happy comeback hardly did away with the woes. The Warriors are still facing down the same potential mitigating factors as it hops into a happy Game 7 as it did staring down that 3-1 mark, or those gigantic one-sided affairs that marked their first two trips to Oklahoma City.

    The team’s

    Read More »from Three Things to Watch: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City, Game 7
  • LAS VEGAS – The battle of the UFC’s young and unbeaten knockout artists was no contest.

    Cody Garbrandt is still undefeated after stopping Thomas Almeida. (AP Photo)Cody Garbrandt is still undefeated after stopping Thomas Almeida. (AP Photo)From the moment the bell rang, Cody Garbrandt was dominant over Thomas Almeida in the main event of their bantamweight fight Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

    They entered the bout a combined 29-0 and were seen as the future of the 135-pound division. Almeida, who was 21-0, was ranked fourth, though Garbrandt was unranked.

    But in racking up his ninth win in as many tries, Garbrandt pretty much guaranteed that he’ll be way up in the rankings when they come out later in the week.

    “When the lights are shining, that’s when I’m at my best,” Garbrandt said.

    Garbrandt knocked Almeida out with a brutal right cross that sent the Brazilian crashing to the canvas. The super aggressive Garbrandt could have pulled a Mark Hunt and simply walked away, because it was obviously over the moment that right landed.

    But Garbrandt was amped and out to make a point and he followed Almeida to the floor before

    Read More »from Cody Garbrandt flattens Thomas Almeida to remain undefeated
  • Chris Bosh on the Heat bench. (Getty Images)Chris Bosh on the Heat bench. (Getty Images)A new report out of Miami details just how desperate Miami Heat All-Star big man Chris Bosh was to play down the stretch of the 2015-16 season, despite working on medication provided to help save him from his life-threatening blood clots.

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    Bosh, who has been forced to sit out each of the last two seasons from February onward, reportedly wanted to time his blood thinner medication intake in a way that would allow him to still play evening games.

    The Heat center, who last played on February 9, reportedly had comeback after comeback attempt thwarted by Miami brass, who remain fearful for his health.

    From Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald:

    According to a team source, the Bosh camp spent considerable time exploring the idea of Bosh continuing to take those blood thinners, but at a time of day (such as early morning) that the medication would be out of his bloodstream by game time.

    Someone with knowledge of the

    Read More »from Report: Chris Bosh, Heat still at odds over his comeback attempts
  • For ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov, the idea of a superfight with fellow champion Shinya Aoki is still an interesting one.

    Gafurov successfully defended his title recently with another submission victory, locking up a rear-naked choke on DEEP featherweight champion Kazunori Yokota at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS.

    For the 31-year-old Russian, it was his fourteenth win in 14 fights, including the last five with ONE. All five of those victories have been submission wins – his patented rear-naked choke hold.

    As for that much-talked about matchup with Aoki, the reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion, that is up to officials.

    “If the negotiations go good with (ONE Championship), I will be happy to challenge him,” Gafurov said.

    Despite being a submission specialist with 10 tap-out victories to his credit, the Champion gym fighter from Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan was looking to showcase his other skills vs. Yokota.

    “I really don’t care how I win the fight,” he said. “I was trying

    Read More »from Marat Gafurov Intrigued by Possible Superfight with Shinya Aoki
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    A left hook, followed up by a soccer kick, was all that Timofey Nastyukhin needed at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS to place his name in the history books.

    Nastyukhin tied the record for fastest knockout in ONE history when he finished Rob Lisita in their featured bout. After connecting with a left hook, Lisita dropped to the canvas. That’s when the Russian teed off with a single technical ground kick, forcing the referee to signal an end to the fight.

    “I did not expect this fight to be so short,” Nastyukhin said. “I was ready for a long fight. He pushed forward, I threw two punches, and the punches dropped him. I landed the soccer kick and the knockout happened. That was it.”

    Nastyukhin (10-2) earned the tenth finish of his career with the win, with six of them being via knockout or TKO. The 26-year-old from Novokuznetsk, Russia is 3-1 since signing with ONE in 2014, with all three of his wins being first round stoppages.

    Following the perfectly-timed hook that first dropped Lisita, Nastyukhin

    Read More »from Timofey Nastyukhin Makes History with six-second KO at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS

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