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Los Angeles Lakers Blown Out by Phoenix Suns in Game 5, One Loss from Elimination

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The Phoenix Suns trampled the Los Angeles Lakers 115-85 in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round series. The Lakers, despite winning last year’s NBA Championship, cannot afford to lose one more game.

What We Know:

  • The Suns used Anthony Davis’ absence to their advantage in the first quarter. During that period, the team scored 16 points, while the Lakers received none. By the second quarter, the Lakers finally scored 10 points, but the Suns had already made 32. Unfortunately, once halftime arrived, the Suns dominated the Lakers 66-36.
  • During the second half, Lebron James scored 24 points on the 9-for-19 shooting. He also acquired seven assists and 17 of those points during the third quarter; it gave the Lakers some advantage. However, James and the rest of the first unit did not play in the fourth quarter, so the other members could not compete with the Suns.
  • James was the only player who did not struggle. Throughout the game, Dennis Schroder went 0-9 for zero points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed his only shot before a sore knee ended his participation early. Alongside Schroder and Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Wesley Matthews, and Ben McLemore united to shoot 3-for-18.
  • ESPN notes that the 30-point margin represented James’ greatest halftime deficit during a postseason. The loss also constituted the first time James’ team lost two consecutive first-round playoff games. Additionally, the 66-36 intimidation marked the second-largest halftime deficit of the Lakers’ playoff history.

“We got our a** kicked. It’s just that simple… they got to whatever they wanted to get to in this game. We got to be better, obviously, if we want to force a Game 7,” said James.

  • For the Lakers to continue in the playoffs, they must win two consecutive games, starting with Thursday’s Game 6. Despite the significant challenge the seventh-seeded Lakers face against the second-seeded Suns, ESPN writes that the former team already has an advantage because James is on their team. Currently, James holds an average of 33.7 points per game in postseason elimination contests, the highest ever seen in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • In 2020, the Los Angeles Lakers made history by winning their 17th championship title during a stressful year. The team dedicated the win to Kobe Bryant, the legendary Laker who lost his life in a January 2020 helicopter crash. Bryant assisted the team in winning their previous championship in 2010.

The Lakers want to keep Bryant’s legacy going by advancing to the next round.

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Diego Maradona’s Doctor and Six Others to be Questioned in His Death

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Soccer icon Diego Maradona suffered a heart attack weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot and died in November 2020 at 60 years old. After this, two of his children filed a complaint with the Argentine Justice Department against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, citing that he allowed their father’s health to deteriorate. Medical experts agreed with their claims.

What We Know:

  • Argentina’s public prosecutor brought in a panel of twenty medical authorities to analyze Maradona’s treatment. They concluded that the care the legend received held “deficiencies and irregularities;” they also determined the medical team left his survival “to fate” and could have survived if tended to at a healthcare facility. Maradona died in a rented Buenos Aires home, where he obtained home care.
  • Alongside Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, nurses Ricardo Almiron and Dahiana Madrid, nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, and medical coordinator Nancy Forlini will face interrogation.
  • Beginning Monday and spanning two weeks, the seven will appear “one by one” before prosecutors to reply to the allegations. They may receive charges such as manslaughter if found guilty.
  • The hearings were supposed to begin last month, but officials needed to postpone them due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Prosecutors will end questioning on June 28 with Luque. Once this finishes, a judge will decide if the matter should proceed in court. This process may take months or years. While awaiting their fate, the seven must follow strict rules, such as not leaving the country. They risk eight to twenty-five years in prison if they do so.
  • Luque actively denies all the accusations against him. He claims he “tried his best” and offered Maradona everything he could. He also states that the soccer player accepted some things and denied others.

In addition, Luque says that Maradona felt very depressed in his final days; he declares that the “quarantine hit him very hard.” Because of this, Dr. Luque wants dismissal of the case. Despite his pleas, the courts will continue their movement to bring justice to Maradona’s family and fans.

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Oklahoma Sooners Beat Florida State Seminole 5-1 in Game 3 of Women’s College World Series

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The win allowed the Oklahoma Sooners to win their fifth Women’s College World Series title.

What We Know:

  • The Sooners’ Jocelyn Alo started Thursday’s game with a home run. After this, Jayda Coleman “poked one over the fence” in the second inning, giving the team an early 2-0 lead. Soon after, the Seminoles got in their only run in the third inning when the Sooners’ Tiare Jennings lost a popup, and Kalei Harding took her opportunity to score.
  • Oklahoma responded automatically with Jennings scoring on a wild pitch by Florida State’s freshman reliever Emma Wilson. Coleman scored two with a “hard-line drive off the left-field wall to score two” and give the Sooners the 5-1 advantage.
  • The Sooners acquired this win because of star pitcher Giselle Juarez. Before the game, the Oklahoma softball team lacked a dominant pitcher, but Juarez “answered the call.” In Game 2, she helped the team win 6-2 against the Seminoles. During Game 3, Juarez allowed one run on two hits.
  • The crowd’s majority also stood up when Juarez took the circle in the seventh inning. ESPN writes that she caught the final out like a “popup into her glove.” After securing the catch, the other Sooners ran up to her, and “Boomer Sooner” played over the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium’s sound system.

“Honestly, I was kind of hoping it didn’t go in the sun and that they would let me catch it,” Juarez said. “But I mean, it felt so slow motion, and then just to look up after I caught it and see [Kinzie] Hansen running at me — surreal, awesome moment.”

  • In contrast, Florida State University’s Seminoles softball team aimed to win their second title in three consecutive World Series under coach Lonni Alameda. However, the Sooners shocked them with their talent. Center fielder Dani Morgan told the media she felt pride in the team despite losing.
  • Although the Seminoles did not win this time around, they made marks at the World Series. For example, freshman Kayley Mudge made 14 hits, a new record for the Women’s College World Series.

The Sooners’ other World Series wins were in 2000, 2013, 2016, and 2017, under coach Patty Gasso.

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Miami Heat President Pat Riley Fined $25K for Tampering Over Comments About Los Angeles Lakers Star LeBron James

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Miami Heat president Pat Riley told Dan Le Batard he would happily consider Lebron James rejoining the team if James wanted to. That comment cost him $25,000.

What We Know:

  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) placed a heavy fine on Riley because his words went against its anti-tampering rule. The NBA orders that its teams, players, or coaches cannot approach or lure rival athletes bound to a contract. Remarks such as Riley’s, which stated interest in acquiring a player’s talents or contacting agents about a possible trade, count as tampering.
  • Once the NBA learns about a possible tampering event, they begin investigating. The league will then determine monetary punishments based on the action’s severity. Payments can go up to a million dollars.
  • Riley accidentally expressed his desire for James to return during Le Batard’s 24-hour podcast marathon on June 4th. The host asked Riley would he ever welcome Dwayne Wade back on the team; the Miami Heat president believed the question was about James. In turn, Riley declared he would “leave a key under the doormat” if James told him he would come back. He proceeded to say that “the key is rusted now.” He also acknowledged his proclamation may result in a fine.

“LeBron, look, he’s one of the greatest of all time, and for four years down here, if we want to go back and remember what those four years were like… It was the best time for the Heat. So I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, I’ll put a new shiny key under the mat,” said Riley.

  • After finishing his statement, Le Batard corrected Riley and informed him the question was about Wade. Riley responded he did not hear that portion and affirmed Wade can always join the Heat again.

  • James’ former teammates Wade and Chris Bosh shared their thoughts on Riley’s blunder in an appearance on The Jump. Bosh stated he thought Riley wanted the NBA to consider his comments as nonchalant; however, he also believes that there may be some truth in his words. In addition, Bosh thinks Riley might just be considering ways to win and improve the roster and ended up thinking about their “last run to the Finals.” Since Wade now works as part of the ownership of the Utah Jazz and can’t talk on the matters, he just said it’s “Pat Riley doing Pat Riley things.”
  • James still has not responded to Riley’s bombshell.

The NBA legend played for the Miami Heat from 2010 until 2014. During that time, the team appeared in the NBA finals for four consecutive years. Alongside this, James helped the Heat win two straight championships in 2012 and 2013 with the help of Wade and Bosh.

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