The Champs Go Home

June 4, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

It’s another loaded sports weekend ahead, but the defending champs are officially out of the NBA Playoffs. It’s the first time in 18 years that a team with LeBron James has lost in the first round. And with the Clippers on the brink, both L.A. teams could be gone by tonight.

We’ll meet back on Monday for the rundown.

Letter Rip!



D-Book Sends the Champs Home

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images

Suns Oust Lakers Behind Devin Booker’s 47 Points; Nuggets Eliminate Blazers in 6


A pair of Game 6s saw the higher seeds close out their respective series on Thursday, and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are going home in the first round. Seven of eight second-round tickets have been punched. Only the Mavericks and Clippers (tonight) have the potential for a Game 7.


Gm 6: Suns def. Lakers (113-100)

The Suns and Lakers went back and forth through four games before Phoenix put the series to bed in Games 5 and 6. Anthony Davis was a game-time decision with a groin injury, and he only lasted a few minutes before his night ended and the Suns ran away. Devin Booker (47 points) went 8-for-10 from 3-point range, including 22 points in the first quarter. The Suns will face the Nuggets in Round 2, and the champs are going home. PHX Wins Series (4-2)


Fun Fact: It’s the first time in 18 seasons a team with LeBron James lost in the first round of the playoffs. Only twice have LBJ teams missed the postseason altogether.


Gm 6: Nuggets def. Blazers (126-115)

The Nuggets put the lid on the Blazers in Game 6 thanks to a 28-14 run in the 4th-quarter. Nikola Jokic finished with 36 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists as Denver closed an epic series with wins in back-to-back high-scoring affairs. The Blazers have now made the playoffs in eight straight seasons but failed to get out of the first round five times. The Nuggets get the Suns in Round 2. DEN Wins Series (4-2)


Tonight’s Schedule

Gm 6: Clippers at Mavericks (9:00 pm ET)

DAL Leads Series (3-2)


Additional Storylines

FOX Sports: Top Moments From Thursday’s Pair of Pivotal Game 6s

NBA: Series Preview: Sixers-Hawks Could Hinge on Joel Embiid’s Health



OTs in Game 3s

Photo: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Bruins & Hurricanes Win Game 3s With OT Winners From Brad Marchand & Jordan Staal


Two Game 3s and two OT winners on Thursday night in the NHL. The Bruins took a 2-1 series lead over the Islanders, and the Hurricanes got a game back on the Lightning. Two more games tonight. Round 2 rolls on toward Stanley’s Cup.


Gm 3: Bruins def. Islanders (2-1, OT)

A crucial swing game in the East was full of twists on Thursday night. Islanders’ center Mathew Barzal scored the game-tying goal late in the 3rd, but it was Brad Marchand with yet another winner 3:36 into the OT. Tuuka Rask was also brilliant in net, making 28 saves with one goal allowed. BOS Leads Series (2-1)


Gm 3: Hurricanes def. Lightning (3-2, OT)

Carolina has life! After blowing a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Hurricanes were staring down a potential 3-0 deficit in the series before Jordan Staal won it on a power play in OT. Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists for the ‘Canes, who can even the series on Saturday. TBL Leads Series (2-1)


Tonight’s Schedule

Gm 2: Canadiens at Jets (7:30 pm ET)
MTL Leads Series (1-0)

Gm 3: Avalanche at Golden Knights (10:00 pm ET)

COL Leads Series (2-0)


Additional Storylines

ESPN+: Early Takeaways Form the Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL: Jets’ Center Mark Scheifele Suspended 4 Games for Dirty Hit on Canadiens’ Jake Evans



⚾️ MLB: Tatis Hits 17th HR, Game-Tying Run

Fernando Tatis Jr. did it all for the Padres in Thursday’s win over the Mets (4-3). He smacked his league-tying 17th homer before scoring the game-winning run in the 8th inning. The Padres (35 wins) are now one back of the Rays for the most wins in baseball.


🎾 TENNIS: Big 3 Move On at Roland-Garros

All three of the biggest stars in men’s tennis were winners on a must-see Day 5 Thursday at the French Open. (1) Novak Djokovic and (3) Rafael Nadal were straight-set winners as they advanced to the third round, and (8) Roger Federer smashed 16 aces in a four-set win. All three are on the same side of the draw, with an inevitable pre-finals clash coming soon.


⛳️ PGA: Morikawa Leads Rain-Delayed Memorial

Collin Morikawa (-6) is the leader after Round 1 of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. The opening round was delayed due to rain. Xander Schauffele (-4), Justin Thomas (-3) and Jon Rahm (-3) also had strong opening rounds.


🥎 WCWS: JMU Upsets #1 Oklahoma in Softball

A stunner in the NCAA women’s softball World Series! Unranked James Madison University shocked top-seeded Oklahoma (4-3) on Thursday thanks a game-winning home run from Kate Gordon and a complete game from pitcher Odicci Alexander.


⚽️ SOCCER: USMNT Advances to CONCACAF Finals

The U.S. Men’s National Team earned a 1-0 win over Honduras on Thursday night in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals, but they left a lot to be desired. A late goal from Jordan Siebatcheu (89’) was the difference-maker. The U.S. will face Mexico in Sunday’s finale.



🏈 No Hoop For You

One non-NBA athlete’s “dream” came to an unexpected end during the first round of the playoffs. Myles Garrett, the Cleveland Browns’ defensive end who has blown up social media in recent months with his basketball exploits, has officially “retired” from hooping. (FOX Sports)


🥊 Logan Paul Has No Fear

YouTube star Logan Paul carries no fear or worry of embarrassment into his exhibition showdown with Floyd Mayweather this Saturday. Paul has just one pro fight on his resume, but he still thinks he’ll be the man to stop Mayweather in his tracks. (CBS Sports)


🏀 Coach K’s 10 Best Duke Teams

Over the course of his historic 46-year coaching career in which the 74-year-old has accumulated an NCAA-record 1,170 career wins, Coach K has had some remarkable teams that have shaped the game. Here’s a look at the top 10 Duke teams in Coach K’s tenure during the last four decades. (USA Today)





The Must-Watch List

Summer sports are in full swing. There’s something for everyone this weekend, from collegiate softball to the French Open, and celebrity boxing to the Belmont Stakes. Yankees-Red Sox captures the eyes of baseball fans, and the NBA and NHL Playoffs continue into Round 2. All that in more in Monday’s recap. Enjoy the weekend!


French Open

Full Schedule


Horse Racing

151st Belmont Stakes (Sat. 5:00 pm)


Celebrity Boxing

Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather (Sat. 8:00 pm)


CONCACAF Nations League Final

USMNT vs. Mexico (Sun. 9:00 pm)


PGA Tour

The Memorial Tournament (All Weekend)


College Softball World Series

All Weekend Full Schedule



Yankees—Red Sox Series

Full MLB Schedule



Liberty at Sun (Sat. 7:00 pm)

Full WNBA Schedule


The Playoff Schedules


NBA Playoffs

Gm 6: Clippers at Mavericks (Fri. 9:00 pm)

Gm 1: Bucks at Nets (Sat. 7:30 pm)

Gm 1: Hawks at 76ers (Sun. 1:00 pm)

*Gm 7: Mavericks at Clippers (Sun. 3:30 pm)

*if necessary


NHL Playoffs

Gm 2: Canadiens at Jets (Fri. 7:30 pm)

Gm 3: Avalanche at Golden Knights (Fri. 10:00 pm)

Gm 4: Hurricanes at Lightning (Sat. 4:00 pm)

Gm 4: Bruins at Islanders (Sat. 7:15 pm)

Gm 3: Jets at Canadiens (Sun. 6:00 pm)

Gm 4: Avalanche at Golden Knights (Sun. 8:30 pm)


*All Times Eastern