• The Los Angeles Clippers had about as negative an experience as a playoff team can in Monday's Game 4 at the Portland Trail Blazers, losing to fall into a 2-2 series tie and seeing stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin succumb to serious injuries. Considered favorites in this first-round series and a strong contender to defeat the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors in the next round just a few hours prior, the Clippers instead were forced to face harsh new realities and the likelihood of an early exit.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    By many standards, then, the Clippers exceeded expectations in Wednesday night's Game 5 at Staples Center. They just didn't do enough to win, dropping it 108-98 to the Blazers in a result that showed much of what L.A. lacks without its two biggest names. It took Portland some time to seize control of what looked like a stunner early, but their stars eventually impressed themselves upon the proceedings and

    Read More »from Blazers stumble early, surge late for 3-2 lead on hurting Clippers
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    The seventh annual South East Asian Grappling Challenge took place at City Square Mall in Singapore last weekend, with jiujitsu practitioners from all over the region doing battle in both Gi and No Gi competitions.

    Singapore was well represented with local gym Evolve MMA claiming an incredible 38 medals, including 23 golds, to finish top of the team table. Second place went to the SYNERGY (Onyx / Elite / Dojo / Hardianism) team from Indonesia with 20 medals, while another local gym, Fight G, came third with 17 medals.

    The record-breaking turnout at the tournament is testament to how the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has grown in Singapore. As mixed martial arts (MMA) has skyrocketed in popularity, thanks largely to ONE Championship’s rising stature, interest as well as participation in submission and grappling disciplines have increased accordingly.

    Fans of ONE Championship will recognize the names of a couple of medalists at the competition. Taiwan’s Jenny Huang took home one gold and one

    Read More »from Results From the Seventh SEA Grappling Challenge in Singapore
  • Few doubts remained over the Golden State Warriors' ability to defeat the Houston Rockets without Stephen Curry before Wednesday's Game 5 in Oakland. The presumptive back-to-back MVP played just 39 minutes while active for two games before spraining the MCL in his right knee before halftime of Game 4, and the Warriors have had little trouble handling the rudderless Rockets in all but one of their matchups this series. There are questions as to how far Golden State can go without the league's leading scorer, but Houston provided little resistance.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    In many ways, then, the Warriors' series-ending win in Game 5 was very predictable. Nevertheless, the extent of the devastation was perhaps not foreseen. Because the Warriors never really gave the Rockets a chance in a wire-to-wire 114-81 victory that looked headed for a blowout after just a few minutes. For those keeping score at

    Read More »from Warriors eliminate Rockets, advance to 2nd round in breezy blowout
  • You know, for a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Courtney Lee sure seems to be a pretty important offensive rebounder.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Two nights after grabbing a crucial carom of a Kemba Walker miss with four seconds left to help ice the Charlotte Hornets' Game 4 win to even their first-round playoff series with the Miami Heat at two games apiece, Lee once again found himself in the right place at the right time. This time, though, he didn't just hold the Heat off; he put them down himself.

    With the Heat holding a one-point lead and just over 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's pivotal Game 5, Walker once again rose and fired a shot that the Hornets needed. Once again, it came up short ... and once again, Lee was there, reading the ball off the rim, seeing that he'd been left alone — his man, Dwyane Wade, had crashed down into the paint from the far corner to help rookie wing Josh Richardson keep Charlotte big

    Read More »from Courtney Lee keeps the faith, stuns Heat to give Hornets 3-2 lead
  • It's been quite an April for Smylie Kaufman.

    He had a breakout performance in his first Masters, landing a spot in the final pairing on Sunday at Augusta National alongside defending champion Jordan Spieth. Kaufman had a tough Sunday, shooting 9-over 81 to finish tied for 29th place. 

    He hasn't played on the PGA Tour since that Sunday, and he unwound from the experience with a very public vacation last week in the Bahamas with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Kaufman had himself a great time, including impersonating a TV golf commentator, playing shirtless golf in board shorts and being a 24-year-old kid.

    Now it's back to business, and it's in a very friendly place. Kaufman is playing in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in nearby Avondale, La. As a product of Louisiana State University, Kaufman is going to have a partisan gallery all week.

    "This is definitely a home game for me," Kaufman said Wednesday.

    He should

    Read More »from In front of friendly crowd, Kaufman looking to get past Masters
  • For the last several weeks, we've heard from a handful of players who have decided not to compete in the 60-player men's Olympic golf tournament in Brazil in August.

    On Wednesday, we got affirmation of a player who does intend to make the trip to Rio to represent his country.

    Bubba Watson committed to defend the Travelers Championship title Aug. 4-7, one he won last year in a playoff with Paul Casey. Normally played the week after the U.S. Open, the Hartford, Conn., area event was moved in this Olympic year to precede the men's tournament by a week. So, not only did Watson announce he'll defend a championship he's won twice but also his commitment to represent the United States in the men's Olympic golf contingent.

    "I want to make the Olympic team," Watson said at the Tour Championship in September. "I want to represent my country, and this is probably my only year to have that shot because I'm getting older. Four years is a long time for me to

    Read More »from Bubba Watson will defend Travelers title, play Olympics the next week
  • It's the latest glimmer of a new Detroit.

    It's also a nagging reminder of the old Detroit.

    The announcement on Tuesday of a possible Major League Soccer franchise in the Motor City sent a charge through the American soccer world, which didn't even envision Detroit at the top of the expansion list until this week. It also created buzz in the city, which has had a close relationship with all of its sports franchises as far back as anyone can remember.

    [ Major League Soccer: Scoreboard and Schedule | Standings | Teams ]

    "It warms the cockles of my Detroit heart," said Michigan native Alexi Lalas, "to know this is potentially going to happen."

    The former United States men's national team star is not alone in that.

    The possibility that a city that filed for bankruptcy only three years ago might have a fourth stadium and a fourth team downtown within the next few years (and maybe a fifth, depending on the Detroit Pistons) brings hopes of a boom not only for an urban area but also the sport

    Read More »from MLS expansion plan for Detroit already has one big polarizing issue
  • Gregory Goyle has graduated from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry using a wand to cage fighting with his hands and feet.

    Former Harry Potter actor Josh Herdman. Former Harry Potter actor Josh Herdman. Josh Herdman, the actor who played Goyle in eight “Harry Potter” movies, has left his acting career behind for the time being and made his successful MMA amateur debut over the weekend at the City Pavilion outside of London, England.

    The 28-year-old, who has been training in Japanese jujitsu for the past five years, defeated Poland’s Janusz Walachowski by unanimous decision. Herdman competed for the recently launched UK promotion Rise of Champions, which was holding its second event since debuting last October.

    Herdman impressed with his striking ability and took home the decision and plans to continue fighting in hopes of eventually turning pro.

    “It’s raw, exciting and unpredictable,” the buffed-up child-actor-turned-MMA-fighter told The Mirror. “I find it more interesting than boxing although I appreciate the beauty and art in boxing. It also made

    Read More »from 'Harry Potter' villain victorious in first MMA fight
  • The biggest miracle in soccer isn't Leicester City.

    What the crafty little English club has done this season, capitalizing on the many failures of England's perennial title contenders and brazenly coming within days of snatching the Premier League crown is remarkable, certainly. But, thus far anyway, it's a onetime accomplishment, astonishing though it may be. It may very well prove to be a one-off, an aberration. It probably will.

    Atletico Madrid, however, has been at it for three years now.

    Two seasons ago, the Mattress Makers became the first Spanish champions in a decade not named Real Madrid or Barcelona. They also reached the Champions League final. This season, they are tied with Barcelona on points for the La Liga lead with three games to go. And, courtesy of Wednesday's 1-0 home win over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semifinals, thanks to Saul's magnificent goal, they stand within 90 minutes of another miraculous year.

    Yes, Atleti is a bigger club than Leicester,

    Read More »from Miracle of Atletico Madrid continues with 1-0 first-leg win over Bayern Munich
  • It’s to the Memphis Grizzlies’ great credit that the team wasn’t regarded as a laughingstock in NBA circles this year. The team was never widely mocked for fielding 28 players this season, for being swept by an average of 22 points per game in the first round, or for relying so heavily on Vince Carter and Jordan Farmar in the postseason.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Sure, there were some (enthusiastic, really!) jokes flying around Twitter when that website was alerted to the fact that Lance Stephenson, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph would all now be working on the same team, but beyond that there was nary a diss to be found. There might be plenty of silly GIFs of Lance and Tony floating around – and, in his day, black and white YouTube clips of Zach – but the NBA absolutely loves those three. And the league respects these Grizzlies.

    And it has no idea what comes next, in Memphis.

    By virtue of a series of “we’re exhausted and we just can’t do

    Read More »from The Memphis Grizzlies? Gone till November.

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