No Celtics opponent has won a title in Boston since 1985. That's how the Lakers did it

"You can never say again that the Lakers never beat the Celtics," said Jerry Buss after that game. (Author: Gardener)

BostonThe Golden State Warriors are on rare air as they head into Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals. Not only do they have a chance to win their fourth NBA championship since 2015; You have the chance to do so on the home ground of the Boston Celtics. Such is Beantown's playoff dominance over the decades that only one team -- the 1985 Los Angeles Lakers -- has ever won an NBA title on Boston's home floor, which was then the historic old Boston Garden. Such circumstances are rare given the Celtics' overall endgame excellence. Although this is Boston's 22nd Finals appearance in franchise history, Thursday marks only the ninth time the Celtics will face the Finals at home. Eight of the previous nine times, Boston either fended off elimination or won the championship on its home soil. And it revolved around the fate of the Lakers franchise. Despite their Hall of Famer pedigree with players like Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain in the 1960s, the Lakers were 8-0 for life in Finals games against Boston, which occurred in 1985. After picking the overall pick in the 1979 draft, Magic Johnson had transformed the Lakers and led them to two titles in his first four seasons. A. was coming off a heartbreaking seven-game final loss to the Celtics the year before after heartbreakingly giving away Game 2 in the dying seconds and then being overrun in Game 7 at the Garden. Writers dubbed Magic Johnson "Tragic Johnson" for his subpar game. When the Lakers came to Boston 3-2 in Game 5 after beating the Celtics 120-111 at the Great Western Forum, they were determined not to let history repeat itself. "In the back of our minds, we all remembered what had happened the year before," recalled Mitch Kupchak, a key reserve player for those Lakers teams and now the Hornets' president of basketball operations and general manager. ... I say that because we went back to Boston now 85, 3-2. A big part of that was how we lost the year before. We felt like we gave it away..." And (the other) part was the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. The Lakers had never defeated the Celtics (in the NBA Finals) until this year. I think they had lost seven or eight (editor's note: eight) times. To this day, Jerry probably carries that around with him. It was like a silent demon we had to exorcise. ...and then there's the normal motivation of just trying to win a ring, right? We never talked about how the Lakers had never beaten the Celtics because that was in the '60s. Then there was what every team of visitors who came to the old garden expected. We had to install air blowers. The dressing room was big enough for seven people; we had 15. Before Game 6 in 1985, CBS studio host Brent Musburger and play-by-play man Dick Stockton each alluded to the Celtics' historic playoff dominance at home. Stockton noted just before the tip, "Remember, with the (then) 15 world championships the Celtics have, they've only been beaten once in a world championship series, and that was 27 years ago on a guest pitch in St. Louis," when the then St. Louis Hawks, led by Hall of Famer Bob Pettit, handed Bill Russell his only NBA Finals loss in 12 games. "The hardwood floor has been magical for the Celtics over the years," Stockton said. After taking an early lead, the Lakers were unable to retire. Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar were each slowed by three fouls in the first half and both sat for the final 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the second quarter. With James Worthy taking over the scoring tally, the Lakers tied with the Celtics at 55 at half. "But I think the advantage is with the Lakers because they've had Magic Johnson and Kareem on that bench for an awfully long time. and that fatigue we talked about shouldn't affect those two players later on," said CBS color commentator, Hall of Famer and former Celtics player and coach Tommy Heinsohn. took over the game in the third quarter, beating Boston 27-18. Abdul-Jabbar made his first two shots of the quarter and the Lakers led 82-73 after three. But Johnson canceled his fifth foul early in the fourth. The Lakers had to turn to their 38-year-old center Abdul-Jabbar - who had been humiliated in Game 1 of the Finals in the acclaimed 148-114 "Boston Massacre" on Memorial Day. But Kareem bounced back in Game 2 — famously riding to Game 2 with his dad Al on the Lakers team bus — and had 30 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for a breakthrough at the Garden. "He played like he was 25," Kupchak recalled. Eleven days later, the Lakers again beat Boston at the Garden. In Game 6, Abdul-Jabbar scored eight of his 29 points in his team-best in the last three minutes of game four, with his iconic double fists raised in celebration after throwing in another sky hook with a minute left, symbolic of the moment was intended for him and his team. Johnson had a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, but Abdul-Jabbar was the unanimous choice for NBA Finals MVP. "Unusual sight - Celtics lose a championship at home," said Heinsohn, who won eight titles as a player in Boston. ...when you win away there's not much applause, but you appreciate the guys on the bench." The Lakers would defeat Boston again in the 1987 Finals - this time in Los Angeles - becoming the first NBA team to win since the The 1969 Celtics won back-to-back championships the following season, beating Detroit in seven games. That gave Magic and Kareem five titles in nine years, making them one of the greatest dynasties in league history. But that didn't happen until the Lakers' breakthrough in 1985. That same tiny, airless visitor's locker room at the Boston Garden was now flowing with champagne. "This removed the most obnoxious phrase from the English language," Lakers owner Jerry Buss told CBS afterwards. "You can never say again that the Lakers never beat the Celtics."


Golden State Warriors 103-90 Boston Celtics - live!

Running Report: The Golden State Warriors were too good for the Boston Celtics as they finished the finals series 4-2 (Author: Gardener)

Golden State WarriorsPlease use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Running Report: The Golden State Warriors were too good for the Boston Celtics as they finished the finals series 4-2. The warriors are a real dynasty. Six title appearances in eight seasons and four trophies. Their fans flood the Chase Center in San Francisco as they celebrate one of the biggest runs in NBA history. Stay with us for subsequent coverage of the NBA Finals. Curry hits a pair of foul shots. Robert Williams hits a layup. This fandom has given me a rough time, a really rough time, and to come out here and win is awesome...welcome back to the Warriors Invitational! Stephen Curry has the Larry O'Brien Trophy while Warriors head coach Steve Kerr speaks to ESPN. Wow, Steve Kerr has nine titles as a coach and player. Curry has his first NBA Finals MVP as his teammates sing "MVP" to celebrate his honor in front of silent Boston supporters. Read All About It For those who want to know exactly how Golden State turned Boston upside down on their own floor to win it all again, here's the game report. Also Read: Golden State Warriors Beat Celtics to Win Fourth NBA Title in Eight Seasons All eyes are on Stephen Curry as he hugs on the Garden Floor. He's probably the MVP for the first time ever, having followed his un-Currry-like performance in tonight's Game 5 with a jewel - 34 points, seven assists and seven boards in 6-11 three-point shooting. Curry speaks to ESPN TV in the US. At the start of the season nobody thought we were going to be here except everyone on this pitch...come back here and do it means the world. The Golden State Warriors are back at the top of the NBA after winning their fourth title in eight years. What's left of Boston's fans calm Tatum and Horford as they are removed from the game. Curry smiles and hugs Wiggins while putting the finishing touches on a fourth ring. Veteran Andre Iguodala is brought in by Steve Kerr for the final moments. Brown hits a three, Wiggins misses a three - GS gets the offensive rebound and Wiggins dumps a three! Curry hits from three - that's the dagger right there. Let's call it what it is: championship trash time. The Celtics have turned it over 21 times while Horford hits his third three-pointer of the game and the lead is down again to nine. Can Boston overcome the hump? No way - Curry responds with another layup. The warriors have all the answers, don't they? And it doesn't help if Tatum drives at the other end -- that's 22 TOs for Boston. This isn't championship basketball at all. Brown holds his left ankle after hitting the deck on a ride. Brown stays in then hits a threesome! It's an eight point game! Celtics switch after turnover - Horford feeds Grant Williams who scores and the foul! He hits the free throw and the Warriors' lead is down again to nine...temporarily. Curry slices through the Celts' defense and hits a layup, right on the suit. The clock is ticking as Curry enters and bangs his left hand high on the glass. Then Brown comes back with a left-handed layup of his own for Boston. Things are looking good but the Celtics need stops. A good run ended the quarter for Boston, but it's extremely physically demanding to play from behind like that - I don't think they have enough. Well, Payton: an emphatic slam at a break, at a (you guessed it) Celtics turnover. It's still a 10-point game after more than two minutes have passed. Poole is on the line for the Warriors' third and fourth foul shots in the game - he hits both. A possession later, Poole is back for more - a reverse layup. The Celtics turn the ball over - they're up to 17 now. But Boston stays on - Horford, deep down, a reverse layup, he scores and the foul!! Horford hits the foul shot and it's a single digit lead! Horford, a huge hit on Poole! Big Celtic Mojo now! Warriors have the ball and eight to shoot... Green has it at the top of the key, FIRE and HITS! Celtics: Last shot of the quarter and Brown pulls a shooting foul from Curry and goes on the line for a pair. This is Curry's third foul. Brown misses the first, hits the second. And that will do it for the third - they reduce the lead to 10 after falling 22 in the quarter. It's a start, can they finish? Brown is able to hit a three and the lead is down to 14. There's a Celtics stop and then Brown drives down the lane and gets a friendly throw. A 22-point lead has shrunk to 12! Grant Williams draws an offensive foul from Looney - Williams shot in the face so the umpires will check if it's a blatant foul. It doesn't seem blatant to me, and ESPN's US in-house referee Steve Javie agrees. Possession later, Wiggins grabs an offensive rebound and hits the layup to extend the lead. I feel like I wrote a lot of “other three”: the warriors are pretty repetitive tonight. Robert Williams taps in an offensive rebound to cut the lead on (cough) 20th Boston ball. Then Brown missed out on three. Thompson misses from 15 on the other side and then Marcus Smart can score from across the arc for the Celts! That's enough for Steve Kerr to call for time to seriously stop this run before it begins. Porter three more, then Curry - the dagger? Curry wants that ring tonight. Golden State forces a 24-second breach, but then flips it themselves - their tenth TO. Now Boston hands out to Horford, who hits another three! But GS are coming back with, yes, three more! Soul crushing points from Porter, his first in the game. Worse still, Curry hits the Warriors' 14th treble and their lead is up to 19. But then Curry sticks a threesome himself, and that takes some of the Garden's breath away. Boston needs to fly out of your gate here in the third quarter. Horford hits a three in the corner and that helps. Celtics head coach Ime Udoka tells his team there is still plenty of time, which is true. Teams leading by 15+ at halftime have been 53-1 in the NBA Finals since 1950, ESPN says in the US. Whatever Brady did here, I need the Celtics to do it too. They have Green playing well and four players in double figures, including 11 from Jordan Poole off the bench. They rebound Boston 26 to 17 while Boston has turned it over 12 times. That's really the difference here, along with the Warriors threes and the Celtics, who of course are absent. Boston has problems. It's hard to imagine them flipping it the way Golden State plays. Then again, this is the NBA, the league of unlikely heats. Wiggins misses a shot as time runs out, Green gets the rebound blocked, appeals to keeper but referees don't believe him. This is the half that started much better than it ended for Boston. Wiggins misses a wide three, Tatum comes back with a fadeaway - misses. Curry exits the game - a bit shaken up but looks OK. Rather, he gets a long breather before the break. Thompson turns it over and Brown pulls a foul - it's Curry's second. Smart and Tatum, both with three fouls, are back in and that's because the Celts are in deep trouble - particularly after Thompson scored from the top of the arc, giving them a 21-point lead. Celts are now up to 10 sales - not good. Now Curry penetrates the paint and hits a layup. Then another Celtics envelope leading to a fantastic pass from Green that hits a streaky Thompson that easily converts the layup. Boston has no answer for Green, who is playing extremely well while their star player is struggling on the bench. Curry hits his second three, and then Tatum is hit with an offensive foul, his third! So that's a big problem for Boston and he's sitting and a pretty awkward time for the Celtics. Then both teams turn around - Warriors now have six turnovers to themselves. Now Horford scores from about 12 feet and gets a small roll himself. But Wiggins comes right back and fires off a three: he gets a friendly rebound that lands the tre and that extends the Warriors' lead. Curry goes, but they don't name it - he passes straight ahead to Thompson, who hits a fadeaway. Drive over to Boston. Now Boston turns around, the ball rolls off Williams' leg. It's her sixth sale. Huge block by Williams on Stephen Curry - Celtics in turmoil, Tatum finishes with a layup and now it's Golden State who want to talk about it! It's a 7-0 run for Boston as they climb back! OK, let's see how the Celtics react, take two. Well, that's promising: Brown hits a three, and the biggest run in an NBA Finals in 50 years is over. Now Horford backs up in green and pulls a blocking foul. There's some life in the Kelly Green crowd, especially after Brown scored from the stripe and cut the lead to 10. Except now Smart hits Payton while chasing Poole and gets hit by his third foul... @LengelDavid - Hunter Felt (@HunterFelt) June 17, 2022 So, Hunter... how's the mood at the Garden just? How is Boston reacting? Well, Poole misses a jumper, Green gets the rebound, kicks it back to Poole, who hits again from downtown! Celtics turnover - Wiggins has it, fires, CONNECTS! The Golden State explosion continues! Another Celtics break! That's 21 straight points for the Warriors if they score at home. Do you remember the Celtics' dream start? Poole hits three more (he has eight points off the bench!) and then Wiggins comes in from behind a Warriors stop, takes a pass from Thompson and hits a layup while Golden Sate pushes the ball on. That's a double-digit lead for the Warriors and a Celtics timeout. You must stop this bleeding before the garden becomes a morgue. The Warriors coach told ESPN in the US that it was the ball pressure on the defensive end that helped turn that game around and they didn't "feel" us early on. Tatum fires a three with Wiggins in his face: It's off the edge. Then Curry is fouled by Wiggins for a fake pump. Now Green has a three from the corner and the Celtics lead is down to one! Curry finally hits a threesome and now it's the visitors turn! That's right, Poole became glass! That's an 11-point run for the Warriors, who end the quarter five up after being down as much as 12. Here's Payton again - he misses a three from the corner but follows his shot, gets the rebound and puts it in, just like the coach told you in high school. Curry misses his second three-pointer attempt, then Looney fouls Williams in the shooting: That's his second personal. Williams hits both shots. He hits both free throws and it's a four point game. Life from Golden State - a threesome from Wiggins helps close the gap. Then Thompson comes in from downtown, so there's a bit of a momentum shift here. However, Boston already has seven points less revenue. Curry misses his first three from the near side and is then called on for a push foul on Smart on the other side. Now Thompson Smart equalizes on one screen and gets hit with his second foul. Then Boston turns it around via a deflection from Wiggins and Tatum fouls Curry before he can take the break. The Warriors have the ball - they're cold as ice - Thompson misses a jumper and is 1-6 off the field. Marcus Smart enters the paint and pulls it up, dumping a small eight foot. Game 5 star Wiggins misses from 15 and Brown comes back losing a three. Now Tatum comes off a GS miss and hits another three. Time out warrior! Crowd rages: This is the dream start Boston desperately needs! Boston wins the tip, Al Horford is fouled on a post-up by Klay Thompson and goes to the line, hitting both free throws. The revamped Larry O'Brien Trophy is in the building should the Warriors win and capture a fourth Curry-era title and define their dynasty of champions. I personally find the Louis Vuitton box thing a bit pretentious, but I think championship trophies need to be fancy. For the third consecutive year, the Larry O'Brien Trophy will be presented to the winning team in a bespoke #LouisVuitton travel case, handcrafted in the historic Mason workshop in Asnières. #LVxNBA— NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2022 You may recall that the Celtics, red hot after beating the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, are home to Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks lost before bouncing back to dethrone the champions in seven games. Earlier this week, those Celtics found themselves on the losing side in another crucial Game 5. This time it was against the Warriors that asked Boston to accept the contest, with Stephen Curry sticking to human totals and being faded out of three-point range. Thanks to Andrew Wiggins beefing up Golden State, Boston finds itself in a similar situation again: he has two games to win. It's a big request, and I personally think Boston is out of gas. It doesn't help that their chief rim guard, Robert Williams, is limping on a surgically repaired knee. Meanwhile, the series has gone so far that the Warriors have one win away from the title and the series is 3-2 at the Golden State. The Celtics used a huge fourth quarter to roar past the Warriors in the series opener. Boston took a 2-1 lead thanks to strong performances from their core players. Stephen Curry was at his best with 43 points and went 2-2 out of the series. Game 5: Boston Celtics 94-104 Golden State Warriors. Game 5: Boston Celtics 94-104 Golden State Warriors. Game 5: Boston Celtics 94-104 Golden State Warriors. Game 5: Boston Celtics 94-104 Golden State Warriors. Andrew Wiggins obliterated a rare Stephen Curry dud to propel his team to a title win. Game 6: Thursday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET in Boston. Game 7 (if required): Sunday, June 19 at 8pm ET at the Golden State. Hey folks, and welcome to our coverage of Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics are finished and need to win their next two games to prevent the Warriors from winning their fourth title since 2015. It's a big challenge, but at least Boston is home tonight - I mean, that should help, shouldn't. t? Well, maybe not because those Celtics are only 6-5 at home in these playoffs. So they'll have to break out of their Garden mediocrity if there's going to be another cross-country haul in their future. The Celts will also have the most obnoxious basketball fans in the world to take them to a wannabe Game 7, and there's no harm in that. In the meantime, feel free to send thoughts and feelings to @LengelDavid or via email. Boston Celtics fans line up to enter Fenway Park for a watch party as the Boston Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors. Not surprisingly, Draymond Green isn't a popular man in Boston. Andrew Lawrence took a peek at the heel and his contribution to the Warriors over the years: Related: Draymond Green: Basketball's Greatest Troll and the Warriors' Heart and Soul Watch father and son: Here comes Al and Tito Horford (I suppose Tito will not play tonight). 🔊 Al & Tito Horford had a message when they arrived for Game 6 - NBA (@NBA) June 17, 2022 Stephen Curry is the favorite for the NBA Finals after some ridiculous performances early in the series, but he was (relatively) cold Game 5. Not that it mattered as former No. 1 overall Andrew Wiggins stepped forward and delivered the most important performance of his career. Here's Tom Dart with more on the Canadian: Related: Rise of the Nice Guy: Andrew Wiggins Deletes Rare Curry Dud in NBA Finals Welcome to our Game 6 coverage. The Warriors have, of course, been here before. Stephen Curry will win his fourth title with Golden State if they win tonight, and the two-time MVP says he will draw on that experience as they go to court in Boston. "You just get what the nerves are like," Curry told reporters earlier this week. The only opportunity you have is those 48 minutes." Not that he's unnerved right now: "The more you can get your mind to be in the moment and stay there, that's the best advice you can give I can give to someone in this situation," he said. "Because it's going to be the toughest game you've probably ever played in your career because of the high stakes." Golden State Warriors beat Celtics to win fourth NBA title in eight seasons


Warriors trump Celtics at both ends in masterful performance

The Warriors dynasty hangs another championship banner while the Celtics turn their attention to figuring out how to return to this stage and achieve a different result. (Author: Gardener)

There was a 14-2 start and a late rally, but the Warriors pulled back defensively, shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc and controlling the game for most of the night. The Celtics didn't help their cause, committing 23 turnovers, resulting in 27 points for Golden State. The Celtics' midseason turnaround and entry into the Finals was remarkable, and there's a lot to unpack looking forward this summer, but for now, a deep dive into how the Warriors won their fourth championship in eight years have gained. The Celtics went into the game with a 12-2 lead. It also featured a pull-up by Jaylen Brown from 18 feet and Brown and Jayson Tatum drilling back-to-back threes that caused the crowd at TD Garden to roar. An Andrew Wiggins three-pointer followed by a Klay Thompson baseline pull-up jump shot reduced the Golden State deficit to 14-7 with a 7-17 lead in the opening period. At the 5:24 mark, Ime Udoka Payton Pritchard came on, which is earlier than usual for Pritchard. Playing 4:03, Stephen Curry almost turned the ball over but retained possession, skipped the ball to Jordan Poole on the opposite wing, and Poole attacked the dribble for a pull-up shot that made it 20-14. That was the result of Robert Williams, who did his utmost to block his shot and was unable to unpack once he landed. With 56.3 seconds left, Curry gave the Warriors a 24-22 lead and carved out turn three. At this point, Golden State, who were holding onto defensively, was on an 8-0 run. The Celtics came out with a lot of energy and fed on their home crowd, but after some quality shots missed, the Warriors' defense threw them out of rhythm. Boston finished the frame shooting 40 percent from the field, including 2/8 (25 percent) from beyond the arc. The Celtics also conceded four turnovers, but they only brought the guests two points. Conversely, Golden State's four giveaways resulted in seven points for Boston. The Celtics also took seven points from Tatum and Brown. But Boston picked up just two points from his bench compared to nine from the Warriors' second unit. Golden State also outscored the hosts 8-4 in the first quarter. Warriors outplay Celtics on both ends in second frame The Warriors quickly took a second chance when Poole converted an offensive rebound from Draymond Green into three more points. Andrew Wiggins then converted a Thompson dish into a reverse layup that extended the lead to 32-22. Things didn't get any better for the hosts after that as Poole turned another Green offensive rebound into a three and a Brown turnover resulted in an open floor dunk for Wiggins, increasing the lead to 37-22. At the 9:57 mark, Brown drilled a three after a drive-and-kick from Tatum, ending a 21-0 run by Golden State, the longest in an NBA Finals game. At 8:54 into the first half, Marcus Smart recorded his third foul thanks to a late flop by Payton. Nearly a minute later, Robert Williams made a great effort to hold off a Curry layup, resulting in Tatum making his way to two points to make it 37-27 and instilling the energy needed by the concerned home crowd. At the 4:36 mark, an offensive rebound from Kevon Looney converted into a curry three, giving the Warriors 11 second chance points and a 47-33 lead. At the other end, Tatum hooked Wiggins and conceded his third foul. Playing at 2:39 delivered Green Thompson a dime when he slid into the basket and produced a layup that gave Golden State a 51-33 lead. At this point, the Warriors weren't just winning, they were dominating on both ends. Golden State had a 54-39 advantage when the first half ended. Curry and Thompson had a team-high 12 points, and Poole delivered 11 from the bench. The Warriors shot a scorching 10/23 (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc. They also scored 18 points in the suit, 11 on second chance opportunities, and 11 on 13 Boston turnovers. Brown led all contestants with 14 points and Tatum scored 11, but the Celtics took just two points from their second session. Boston produced 16 points in the suit and 13 of eight Golden State turnovers. But the Celtics need to play with more power, on- and off-ball activity and confidence if there's going to be a Game 7. Green opened the second half with a corner three when the shot clock ran out, an ominous start for the hosts and a bucket that extended the visitors' lead to 57-39. After an Al Horford three-pointer took it to 13, Golden State continued to make Boston pay for giving up second-chance chances when an offensive rebound from Wiggins led to a Curry three-pointer to put it 60-44 bring. The Warriors' hot shooting continued as Curry and Porter combined for four straight threes. At this point, Golden State was 6/7 from beyond the arc in the third quarter and leading 72-50, seemingly delivering the knockout blow. A Brown layup with 4-01 left put Boston on a 7-0 run to make it 72-57. But on the other end, Wiggins typed in a curry miss. The Celtics were lucky the Warriors couldn't make them pay for back-to-back turnovers and then reduced the deficit to single digits on a three-point game from Horford that made it 74-65. As the quarter ended, Boston's 16-4 run meant the hosts went into the final frame 76-66 behind. At the 8:47 mark, Robert Williams threw a dime to Tatum for a dunk in traffic, making it 82-70. About two minutes later, Grant Williams pressed Green for a turnover that resulted in Williams producing a layup and a foul on Thompson at the other end. Brown then buried a three from the left corner to make it an eight-point game, 86-78. But Wiggins adjusted it to extend Golden State's advantage to 89-78, leaving 5:11. The Warriors then turned a Brown turnover, Boston's 21st giveaway of the night, into a green layup. Curry then extended Golden State's lead to 96-81 with a three-pointer from a touchline with 3:17 to go. With 1:43 on the clock, a second chance opportunity led to an open Wiggins, who slammed down a three in the left corner to extend the advantage to 99-86. At this point, the outcome of the NBA Finals was clear. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown reflect on personal and team growth through Celtics playoff run Celtics determined to avoid warriors celebrating a title on their home floor: "All the motivation in the world" [movie room] Keys to Celtics, Jayson Tatum ins Game 5 of the NBA Finals [Film Room] In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Jaylen Brown balanced and showed how he can beat the Celtics ceiling. The anatomy of the Celtics' fourth quarter comeback in Game 1 of the NBA Finals


Winners and highlights from the June 15 episode

The special edition AEW Dynamite featured a nerve-wracking match card and high-octane action. Dynamite also showed Dax Harwood taking on Will Ospreay in a great match. Later in the night, AEW Dynamite ramped up the excitement with a high-stakes tag team... (Author: Gardener)

June 15Fans were treated to a mind-blowing Road Rager edition of AEW Dynamite. The special edition AEW Dynamite featured a nerve-wracking match card and high-octane action. Dynamite also showed Dax Harwood taking on Will Ospreay in a great match. Later in the night, AEW Dynamite added to the excitement with a high-stakes Tag Team Championship Ladder match between Jurassic Express and The Young Bucks. Here are all the highlights from a wild episode of AEW Dynamite: Road Rager. Chris Jericho and Ortiz kicked off the show with a hair-to-hair match. The match ended when Fuego Del Sol appeared out of nowhere and hit Ortiz with a baseball bat. This allowed Jericho to win. Wardlow faced 20 security guards in an elimination-style match. In the edge of the seat match, Wardlow fought like a beast. After warding off the initial barrage of attacks, Wardlow systematically took out each opponent one at a time. Despite being outnumbered, Wardlow bombed his way to victory in impressive fashion. As the match progressed, Harwood began to dominate, executing five consecutive German suplexes. Harwood powerbombed Ospreay and had the Oz Cutter follow, but still failed to finish the match. Ospreay finally clinched the win when he hit Harwood with a running elbow. There was nothing separating the two wrestlers until Miro locked in the game over to claim the submission win. In the opening minutes of the game, Baker sent Toni Storm headlong onto the apron. Later in the game, Storm injured Baker with a brutal hip attack. Storm hit a German suplex and Storm Zero to end the match in impressive fashion. Jurassic Express (c) vs. The Young Bucks (AEW Tag Team Championships Ladder Match) This was the main match of the night and it lived up to its billing, offering plenty of drama and gripping action. In the first few minutes of the game, Jungle Boy hit Matt Jackson with a devastating Springboard Hurricanrana to prevent him from climbing the ladder. The two teams brutally attacked each other with all means. As the game progressed, The Young Bucks took complete control of the game. In the final minutes of the fight, Luchasaurus attempted to climb the ladder, but The Young Bucks sent him through the double-decker tables set up ringside. The Young Bucks then executed a BTE trigger on Jungle Boy. Consequently, they climbed the ladder and earned the belts to become the new AEW World Tag Team Champions.


For the third time in four rounds this postseason, Lightning is 0-1 straight... and not worried

Champions don't panic, and that was Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper's course of action Thursday morning, hours after the Avalanche's 4-3 win in Game 1 of overtime in the Stanley Cup Finals. (Author: Gardener)

Jon Cooper'sChampions don't panic, and that was Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper's course of action Thursday morning, hours after the Avalanche's 4-3 win in Game 1 of overtime in the Stanley Cup Finals. "For me, it's about winning the series, it's not about winning Game 1," Cooper said during a Zoom video conference call. “Do we want to win every single game? Like the Avalanche, the Lightning hasn't practiced and is expected to skate Friday before Game 2 on Saturday. Tampa Bay is in the finals for the fourth time since 2015. In those 16 singles rounds, the Bolts are 7-9 in Game 1, including 1-3 this year. "If this was (at best) a two out of three, maybe our emotions would be a little different, but it's a best-of-7," Cooper said. "For us, it's about getting our feet under us and understanding that we're playing a different team." The Lightning was slow to turn up in Game 1, falling 2-0, 3-1 in the first period . It found its game in the second period, scoring twice in 48 seconds to level the score. "There were two phases to the game," Cooper said. "Sure, for the first 10 minutes we sat back a little, definitely more than we wanted, and then (there) was a time after we tied it at 3 - some in the second and then the third - when I I think we were almost content to take the game into overtime.” The Lightning was overshot 12-5 in the third period and didn't have a shot in the 83-second overtime. For the second time this postseason, the Lightning has two days between games in the same round. In the second round, it ran 5-1 through Florida in Game 3 while playing on extra rest. Is an Extra Day Good for Tampa Bay After Losing to the Avs? "When you've lost a game in overtime you almost want to play the next night but because we haven't played this side in a while we have a game under our belt that the coaches can tackle and see if we can can make adjustments,” Cooper said. "It's a good thing for us.


Colorado Avalanche wins Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in OT

ABC News' Kayna Whitworth covers the night's biggest highlights as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime. (Author: Gardener)

ColoradoTop negotiators of a bipartisan arms security framework huddled behind closed doors for several hours Wednesday night to try to resolve lingering differences, but the group's efforts to speed up passage of an agreement have stalled, at least for now. Since a group of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans on Sunday announced agreement on a framework of proposals to curb gun violence following mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, a bipartisan group of senators has been working flat out on the turn the list of ideas into a bill for consideration in the Senate next week.


Burakowski delivers again as Avs win cup opener

Andre Burakovsky was a playoff hero again on Wednesday night, scoring the overtime winner as the Avalanche defeated the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Author: Gardener)

BurakowskiDENVER — Andre Burakovsky was like a kid on Christmas morning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday. Colorado's big winger scored the winner in overtime to lead the Avalanche 4-3 past the Tampa Bay Lightning and take a 1-0 lead in the series. Burakovsky is one of only two Colorado players, along with Darren Helm, to have won a trophy with the Washington Capitals back in 2018. "I was kind of nervous, had a little trouble sleeping last night," Burakovsky said. "I woke up at 6am and couldn't wait for the game. I feel like I've been there before and I know the situation and what's at stake." Gabriel Landeskog, who also scored in Colorado's win and was on the podium with Burakowski at the post-game press conference, couldn't help but gently mock his teammate's enthusiasm. "Just wait until you have kids," Landeskog said. Burakovsky knew before Game 1 he would have an expanded role for the cup final, playing 12:34 in a matchup packed with special teams. Nazem Kadri is still sidelined with a broken thumb sustained in the Western Conference Finals, the same series in which Burakovsky deflected a shot off his leg and missed Games 2 and 3. He was back for Game 4, replacing Kadri in Colorado's second line. Burakovsky said earlier this week that he hadn't felt anywhere near healthy until recently, but it bodes well for the upcoming series. It helped that Colorado had eight days off between beating the Edmonton Oilers in the conference finals on June 6 and Wednesday's puck drop. While the Avalanche beat Tampa Bay early and went 3-1 up after 20 minutes, the two-time defending champion hit back in the second period to equalize. The regulation ended in a 3-3 knot on the sides, and it took Burakowski under 90 seconds in that extra frame to finish the job. T.] Compher gets the puck through the neutral zone and wins fights,” he said. "And I was trying to get out as fast as I could, and then Val [Nichushkin] obviously put the puck back in and made a great game to me, it was up to me to shoot it." It was only Burakovsky's second goal of the postseason and his first since lighting the lamp in Game 4 of Colorado's first-round series against the Nashville Predators. Burakovsky's lack of production resulted in him being scratched for two games in the second round of the Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues. He overcame those adversities, as well as the recent injury, and coach Jared Bednar liked what he saw from Burakovsky in Wednesday's win across the board. "I thought he was really solid tonight," said Bednar. "He managed the puck really well. Was always above pucks. He's an excellent scorer and when he gets chances he can put the puck in the net. All-around game for him tonight. Burakovsky might not score much, but historically his post-season contributions are quite timely.When Washington was on his cup run, Burakovsky scored two goals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals -- also against Tampa Bay -- that secured the Capitals a ticket to the Finals.Now he's back become a playoff hero and took Colorado three wins away from winning the cup."It was kind of a crazy feeling," he said. "I'm just ready to be here in this final and help the team win a game , and it was definitely a nice feeling."


Injured Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano are showing progress

Injured Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri Andrew Cogliano went ice skating with an assistant coach Thursday after missing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Author: Gardener)

Andrew CoglianoDENVER — Injured Colorado Avalanche forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano went ice skating with an assistant coach Thursday after missing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kadri ran with a stick in hand for the first time since injuring his right thumb when he hit the boards on the last lap. Cogliano took a puck to the right hand in Colorado's series bracket in the Western Conference Finals against Edmonton. Still, Cogliano appears more ready to face the Tampa Bay Lightning than Kadri, who was injured in a hit by Evander Kane that resulted in a one-game suspension. The Avalanche lead the series 1-0 with Game 2 scheduled for Saturday night. A day after saying that he and his Colorado Avalanche goalie partner Pavel Francouz usually get a text message the night before a game telling them who's starting, Darcy Kuemper finally admitted it wasn't such a big secret, to go to the Stanley Cup finals. There was no goaltender controversy then, and there is no goaltender controversy for the Avalanche now after Kuemper made 20 saves on 23 shots in an overtime win to open the streak. Kuemper has coach Jared Bednar's confidence in Game 2. The Avalanche played it like it was some sort of debate between Kuemper, their all-season starter who has missed time in this playoff through injury, and Francouz, who is 6-0 subbed. They know they are one of only five teams in NHL history to have two different goaltenders win at least five games each during a playoff run. But most teams would like to lean on one man, and Kuemper, accidentally smacking a stick in the right eye through a hole in his mask in the first round, is the only thing stopping him from playing every game. Kuemper insists he is now fully healthy. That was evident in a couple of key stops he made on three successful penalty kills in Colorado in Game 1, which was another step for him to make the eye injury a thing of the past. "It was an unfortunate incident on the first lap," he said. It's not easy to watch some of those games but the team was so great that I was just worried about getting fit and getting healthy. Lightning star Brayden Point got off to a slightly slow start in Game 1 but that's understandable given he hadn't played in a month due to a right leg injury. Despite the long break, Point skated for nearly 18 minutes, assisting Nick Paul's goal and drawing a penalty. Having started the series in Tampa Bay's third row, Point is now a candidate to move closer to his usual front row role. "It's not per se where I'm going to place Brayden Point," trainer Jon Cooper said Thursday. "That's what's best for our team, and it's usually good for us when he's in the lineup." Cooper liked what he saw in Point in the first set, although it's clear that the Lightning's leading scorer in the latter hasn't returned to that form in both playoffs. "He handled it pretty well," Cooper said. I can expect he'll get more ice time as he gets better.” Neither team trained with an extra day between Games 1 and 2 on Thursday. Some Avalanche players have been training at the rink, but the priority is rest as almost all expect a long streak. "In a seven-game streak, you can't be caught admiring a win, or whatever you want to call it," said Colorado defenseman Bowen Byram. The extra rest day can only help the Lightning. Beyond Point, Lightning's injury front is affecting forward Brandon Hagel, who has skipped some practice but continues to play through an undisclosed illness. "The Brayden Points could use that extra day, the Brandon Hagels could use that extra day," Cooper said.


Colorado Avalanche is sky high in confidence as they win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals

These Avalanche may be the newcomers, but they are undeterred by the prospect of having to dethrone the two-time defending champion to win the Lord Stanley's Cup. (Author: Gardener)

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Lightning outperforms Avalanche in the Stanley Cup finals

By STEPHEN WHYNO AP Hockey Author DENVER (AP) — Minutes after losing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in overtime, Patrick Maroon scoffed at the idea that it was some kind of gut punch against the Tampa Bay Lightning. “This is Game 1. We just got (Author: Gardener)

AvalancheDENVER (AP) -- Minutes after losing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in overtime, Patrick Maroon scoffed at the idea that it was some kind of gut punch against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "Two really good teams are going to work," he said. “This is Game 1. Few teams in recent NHL history do it better, which is why the Lightning are unfazed by chasing the Colorado Avalanche. The two-time defending champions have won 11 consecutive series since the start of their remarkable post-season run in 2020; Tampa has lost openers in five of them — including twice this postseason — and the experience has steeled them for situations like this. "It's not about riding the wave of a game," coach Jon Cooper said Thursday. It is understandable that we are playing against another team. We can't win the series in one game, and (the players were) really good at it.” The players wasted no time moving on to Game 2 on Saturday night. After all, Tampa Bay had roared back from a 3-1 deficit in the first half to level the opener ahead of Andre Burakovsky's overtime winner. Elements from successful sections of Game 1 can feed into the team's future tweaks and changes. "We've done a great job of making adjustments after losses so we'll try to do that," said captain Steven Stamkos. "The mindset is we're here to win a series and you don't know when that's going to come: four games, five, six, seven. The Lightning have won streaks in all of these combinations for the past three postseasons. It's hard to forget that Tampa Bay was defeated by Columbus in the first round in 2019 after rolling through the rest of the league all season and winning the Presidents' Trophy with the best overall record. The adjustments, with no panic moves like firing Cooper or breaking the core, paved the way for this run. The memory of that series and the 11 since that ended with them on the smiling side of the handshake line combine to give the Lightning the perspective they have today. "That's the great thing about our group, there aren't many situations we haven't been in," said longtime winger Alex Killorn. We move forward with confidence. That includes figuring out how to slow down the fast-paced Avalanche, who wants to turn games into track meetings and use their offensive talent to score goals. Though Colorado hasn't progressed past the second round in the past four years, he also has plenty of playoff experience and knows he can expect a big pushback from the champions in Game 2. Coach Jared Bednar believes the best way to deal with this is for his team to keep playing his style. "Regardless of how Tampa plays, we have a specific identity that we must play in order to be successful," Bednar said. Tampa Bay is the first team since Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers in the mid-1980s to reach the Finals three straight years and is four wins away from the league's first three-pointer since the New York Islanders dynasty in the early '80s. As unusual as it was for Tampa Bay to trail 2-0 to the New York Rangers in the last round, the Avalanche present a different challenge behind their high-end talent. While the Lightning need to improve their game, ahead Whatever the way they start, their mentality is now their biggest asset. "It took us a while to get into that mindset, but we've really evolved that over the years," Cooper said. "Hopefully we can do that in another series and take another step forward."