We're on to the conference finals in the NBA playoffs and Stanley Cup playoffs as the final four in each sport make their final pushes for the trophy.
The Denver Nuggets moved one step closer with a Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to another stellar performance from Nikola Jokic, and the Miami Heat stole Game 1 from the Boston Celtics on the road to flip home court advantage.
The Carolina Hurricanes are the favorite to win the Stanley Cup, but they'll have to get through a red-hot Florida Panthers team that made quick work of the Maple Leafs after eliminating the NHL's best regular season team in the Boston Bruins.
Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis set the tone of the Western Conference finals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night when the two centers combined for 74 points and 31 rebounds in the contest. Davis had a game-high 40 points, but it was Jokic and the Nuggets who emerged victorious thanks to his incredibly efficient line of 34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists and two blocks while shooting 70% from the field.
The San Antonio Spurs' organization will be smiling from ear to ear for the next month as they won the NBA Draft lottery Tuesday night and have earned the rights to select French generational prospect Victor Wembanyama. It was the third time in Spurs history that the organization received the first-overall pick. History has shown that having the first pick has worked out well for San Antonio as they drafted David Robinson in 1987 and Tim Duncan in 1997.
The Boston Celtics were faced with back-to-back elimination games in their series with the Philadelphia 76ers, but they survived both to complete the comeback and book a date with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. A red-hot Jayson Tatum stifled a Philly comeback in Game 6 and his hot hand continued in Game 7. Tatum scored 51 points, the most in a Game 7 in NBA history, to lead the Celtics to a 112-88 victory. The previous record was set just a few weeks ago by Steph Curry.
In other news:
- Philadelphia fires head coach Doc Rivers
- Ja Morant suspended for allegedly flashing gun in social media video
- Heat take Game 1 over Celtics
The Seattle Kraken's historic run came to an end Monday night when the Dallas Stars eliminated them with a 2-1 Game 7 victory. The Stars move on to the West final to take on the Vegas Golden Knights, who took down the Edmonton Oilers in the conference semifinals. That elimination ensured that the Stanley Cup trophy would remain below the U.S.-Canadian border for the 30th straight year. Dallas’ Roope Hintz got the scoring going in the second period, and 20-year-old Wyatt Johnston scored the eventual game-winner with just over seven minutes left in the third period. Oliver Bjorkstrand notched the only goal of the game for Seattle with just 18 seconds left in the contest.
In other news:
- Panthers meet the Hurricanes in East final
- Kyle Dubas only interested in Leafs’ GM job
- Voters reject plan for new Arizona Coyotes arena
NBCUniversal announced Monday that its streaming service Peacock will exclusively stream an NFL wild-card playoff game on Jan. 13, 2024. Peacock and the NFL reached a one-year deal reportedly worth $110 million for the prime-time slot. It will be the first NFL playoff game to be exclusively live-streamed and becomes a huge deal for viewers, especially those that do not subscribe to Peacock content. Airing an NFL playoff game behind a paywall streaming service is a bold move for the NFL, but as many streaming services, including Peacock, report subscriber and monetary losses, it appears that's the direction we're headed.
In other news:
- 'Pat McAfee Show' coming to ESPN
- Browns acquiring Za’Darius Smith from Vikings
- Judge modifies Jackson Mahomes bond agreement
Controversy surrounded the New York Yankees in two consecutive games against the Toronto Blue Jays this week. The first incident happened Monday, when cameras caught Yankees slugger Aaron Judge's eyes shifting away from the pitcher during the at-bat. Speculation quickly swirled over what Judge was looking at and if he was attempting to steal signs as he homered shortly after it happened. Judge said after the game that he was looking into the Yankees dugout because his teammates were chirping at the umpires. On Tuesday, Yankees pitcher Domingo German was ejected in the fourth inning for using a foreign substance and will be subject to a 10-game suspension. Crew chief James Hoye said German's hand was the "stickiest hand I've ever felt." Prior to the ejection, German had retired all nine batters that he faced.
In other news:
- Verlander booed in Mets home loss to Rays
- Ryan Feltner suffers skull fracture, concussion after line drive to head
- Astros' Michael Brantley shut down indefinitely
EA Sports has struck a deal with OneTeam Partners to allow college football players to opt in to having their names and likenesses included in the returning NCAA football video game, ESPN reports. EA announced in 2021 the return of its highly-popular college football series, and much of the speculation since that announcement was surrounding the details of any potential NIL deals. ESPN also reports that any player who chooses to opt in will receive compensation for being placed in the game, although details regarding the amount of compensation or the payout structure were not clear. Any player that does not opt in will be replaced with a generic avatar in the game.
In other news:
- Sooners nab No. 1 overall seed in NCAA softball tournament
- Houston RB Alton McCaskill transferring to Colorado
- Coach K, Tyler Hansbrough highlight 2023 college hoops HoF class
- F1 Cancellation: F1's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was canceled on Wednesday after league officials determined the race in Imola, Italy, could not proceed safely due to extreme weather and flooding in the local area.
- Ace in the Hole: Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon was suspended for two games for violating workplace policies after a WNBA probe revealed that Hammon made inappropriate comments toward Dearica Hamby in connection with Hamby’s recent pregnancy.
Sports Report Quiz
- New York Yankees starting pitcher __________________ was ejected from a game against the Toronto Blue Jays for using a foreign substance.
- Nikola Jokic had 34 points, ______ rebounds, 14 assists and two blocks in Game 1 of the West finals against the Lakers.
- Peacock reportedly paid $______ to stream an NFL playoff wild-card game in 2024.
- Canada's chances to bring the Stanley Cup trophy back to the country for the first time in nearly 30 years ended when the ________________ were eliminated from the playoffs this week.
Be sure to check out next week's edition of the Sports Report to see the correct answers!
Answers from last week's quiz: 1) Black Friday 2) 86 3) Joe Pavelski 4) Las Vegas