Sunday In Sports: The Top Five Sports Stories

Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports

Who needs football on Sundays when there’s action like this? Ok, I’ll backpedal a little bit, we all need football to return as soon as humanely possible – but these Sundays packed with playoff hockey and basketball alongside some great baseball action have been pretty awesome. Let’s break down all of the great sports action from another Sunday in sports. 

1. Rockets Complete Comeback

For both teams, this Game 7 was destined to be more than just a one-game playoff to see who would face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals: This was also a major litmus test for each franchise. It was the Rockets who defeated the Clippers 113-100 and it was James Harden, the runner-up to Steph Curry for the league’s MVP award, who pushed the Rockets over the final hump – with a little help from unlikely hero Trevor Ariza.

harden Sunday In Sports: The Top Five Sports Stories

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

 

Harden scored 31 points to go with seven rebounds and eight assists and his team never trailed the Clippers in the critical game of the critical series for both teams. Meanwhile, Ariza scored 22 points for the second time in this series (Game 5), including hitting his sixth and most clutch three-pointer with 56 seconds left to seal the deal for the Rockets.

For the Clippers, the inability to close out the Rockets with a 19-point lead in Game 6 was really the end of the line for a team that has struggled to win the big one for basically the entire existence of the franchise. It was a sad end for a team that appeared as though they had left the dark days behind them and were ready to move onto the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

Alas, Chris Paul and his equally embattled organization will have to wait one more year at least to make their first conference finals appearance. Until then, the Clippers remain ripe for fodder for the rest of the NBA community.

2. Ducks Beat Hawks In Game 1 

The Ducks are rolling in the 2015 playoffs thus far and after beating the Blackhawks 4-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals are 9-1 in their first 10 postseason games. The Blackhawks looked like they were the better team for much of the game but the Ducks were opportunistic and capitalized on their grade-A chances while the Blackhawks could not. It was Anaheim’s 24-year-old third-line winger Kyle Palmieri who notched what would be the game winner with this top shelf wrister while falling down in the slot to give his team a 2-0 lead.

While the final score might not be a strong indicator, this is going to be a whale of a series. Both teams can score, hit, and have players with a flair for the playoff dramatic (See: Toews, Kane, Perry, Getzlaf, Richards, Kesler, ETC…). This series has seven games written all over it and should only get more interesting and intense from here.  

3. Rory Rolls In Wells Fargo Championship

So, uh, this McIlroy guy is pretty good. After firing the lowest round of his career – a Quail Hollow Club course record 11-under par (61) – McIlroy shot a final round 69 and won the Wells Fargo Championship by seven strokes (-21). It’s just the latest legendary performance by the 26-year-old world No. 1 golfer who probably isn’t done wowing us this season by a long shot. There are still three majors remaining, and I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see McIlroy add to his collection of four major championship victories before the year is over. 

4. Shelby Miller: Missed It By That Much

Bottom of the ninth, two outs, pinch hitter Justin Bour at the plate with a no-hitter on the line for Shelby Miller – what could possibly go wrong? 

Still an impressive performance for the Braves’ 24-year-old starter who is having a monster start to his year after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason. Miller is currently 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA and has been one of the biggest bright spots on an otherwise unspectacular Braves roster. His performance was so solid that even the Marlins gave him an E-tip-of-the-cap. 

It was a nice gesture from the organization, but their goodwill didn’t extend far beyond the end of the game on Sunday afternoon.

5. Mike Redmond Fired

Rumors had been swirling regarding Redmond’s job security since the Marlins began the season 3-11. The team seemed to have turned things around after winning nine of their next 10 games to get back to .500, but the Marlins have since stumbled again and a series sweep at the hands of the Braves was the final straw. The Marlins also dismissed their bench coach Rob Leary and have announced a press conference Monday morning to reveal the team’s new manager and bench coach. 

I can’t imagine too many people will turn down the opportunity to manage this guy.

That wraps up another great sports Sunday. This week we’ve got NBA and NHL conference finals action plus a full slate of MLB games to choose from. It should be another good one for fans of every sport around. 

More from Bryan? You can email him or find him on Twitter @bcaltman. 

 

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