Peak Stephen Curry was unleashed in the Western Conference finals

PORTLAND, Ore. — There is no award for most valuable player of the conference finals. If there were, there’s a good chance Draymond Green would’ve won it for his play with the Golden State Warriors in their sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers. His defense was just sensational. His playmaking was at the highest levels he has maybe ever shown, nearly averaging a triple-double at 16.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists. He ran the floor like a point guard. And he hit the game-winning shot in overtime of Game…

Read More

For the Raptors, Game 3 came down to their will to survive

TORONTO — Nothing in the NBA playoffs goes off as planned. Lineup rotations can be tweaked and defensive coverages can be refined, but no matter how much preparation has been performed, the crucial minutes of a playoff game are nothing more than a desperate exercise in survival. Every possession is a fire drill, and few of them resemble the inspired plays drawn up on crisp whiteboards by basketball brainiacs when all is at peace. For the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, fighting for their postseason lives, unforeseen circumstances were the…

Read More

Portland becomes the latest victim of the road Warriors

PORTLAND, Ore. — On the road in the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors are (expletive) giants. Of everything this team has accomplished over the past five years, a number that personifies their dominance is the streak they extended Saturday night when they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 to take a 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals. The Warriors now have 22 consecutive series with at least one road victory. That’s already an NBA record, and it might stand for a long time. The Warriors already are flirting…

Read More

‘Turn off the lights’ — How the Yankees rallied to seize the AL East lead

NEW YORK — The game was tied, but CC Sabathia was telling his teammates they could start packing up their belongings; first place was about to be theirs. “Turn off the lights,” the New York Yankees’ 19-year veteran bellowed as those inside the home dugout settled in for an at-bat they’ve become quite familiar seeing lately. Sit tight, though. Before dissecting that pivotal three-pitch sequence that served as the finale in Friday night’s Yankees-Rays opener, it’s important to go back and look at the plays that led up to that…

Read More

How the Nationals won a series for the first time in a month

WASHINGTON — Nothing has come easy for the 2019 Washington Nationals. That includes simple tasks like … winning a series. On Thursday, the Nationals eked out a 7-6 victory over the visiting New York Mets, giving them their first series win in a month. Since taking two of three from the as-expected lowly Giants in mid-April, the almost-as-lowly-but-surprisingly-so Nats hadn’t come out on top in seven consecutive series. Although there’s little to no shame in getting the business end of meetings with teams like the Brewers, Cardinals and Phillies —…

Read More