Rusty, rested or reeling, LeBron James and the Cavaliers find a way to beat the Hawks in the playoffs every time. James scored 25 points, Kyrie Irving added 21 and Cleveland withstood a strong second-half surge by Atlanta to maintain its chokehold on the Hawks with a 104-93 victory on Monday night in the opening game of their second-round Eastern Conference series.
James converted a critical three-point play with 2:09 left for the Cavs, who blew an 18-point lead in the second half and fell behind with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter before making several clutch plays down the stretch. Cleveland swept Atlanta in last year's Eastern Conference finals and has won eight straight over the Hawks, moving to 9-0 against them in the postseason.
Dennis Schroder scored a playoff career-high 27 and rallied the Hawks before they crumbled in the closing minutes. Paul Millsap had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Kent Bazemore added 16 points for Atlanta, which got just eight points from Jeff Teague. James' three-point play, which he punctuated by flexing his biceps, came after he stripped the ball from Schroder and the Cavs kept their possession alive with a pair of offensive rebounds, one by Tristan Thompson, the other by J.R.
The Cavs did not show any rust following an eight-day break after the first round until the third quarter, when their offense slowed and the Hawks got hot. But when it mattered most, the defending conference champion came through - and, as always, James led the way. Kevin Love, who was injured when the teams met in the postseason last year, added 17 points but was just 4 of 17 from the floor and appeared to hurt his right shoulder. Thompson has been a rebounding marvel for the Cavs, comparable to what Dennis Rodman once did for Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Love, who missed six of his first seven 3-pointers, drained a pair from long range and James finished a 2-on-1 break with a thunderous dunk to give Cleveland a 72-54 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter. Atlanta, though, responded with its own deep barrage, draining four 3-pointers in a 16-3 spurt to close the quarter and pull within 75-70 entering the fourth.
But with a chance to steal Game 1 and end their futility against Cleveland, the Hawks came up short. Love, whose dislocated left shoulder ended his first postseason last year, banged his right shoulder in the fourth when he pump-faked Bazemore into the air and drew contact while shooting a 3-pointer.
During a timeout, one of Cleveland's medical personnel worked on Love, who stayed in the game. The Cavs focused on shutting down Korver, who averaged 12.2 points and took 52 shots during Atlanta's six-game victory over Boston in the opening round.
Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held on to beat San Antonio 98-97 on Monday night, evening the series at one game apiece when the Spurs failed to score on a wild sequence in the final seconds.
Kevin Durant added 28 points as the Thunder handed the Spurs just their second home loss of the season, rebounding from a 32-point beating in Game 1. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich complained to officials after the game that Dion Waiters went over the allotted five seconds to inbound the ball on Oklahoma City's final possession. Aldridge had 41 points, but the Spurs shot 43 percent as a team after shooting 61 percent in the series opener. San Antonio missed 12 of its first 13 shots, struggling to even hit the rim after seemingly making every shot it took in the opening quarter of Game 1. Oklahoma City had lost 15 games this season when leading after the third quarter, including the playoffs. Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is pumped up after scoring against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half of Monday's opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinal in Cleveland. Richardson made his first stop in Beijing on Monday, where he interacted with players participating in the finals of the Junior NBA Basketball League at LeSports Center.
On Tuesday, he made an appearance on CCTV's NBA Primetime and visited Beijing No 35 Middle School to share the values of the game with students. The 6-foot-6 guard from Saginaw, Michigan, was selected fifth overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 2001 NBA Draft. Richardson was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2002 and won the NBA slam dunk title in 2002 and 2003. The first Junior NBA Basketball League in Beijing was launched last fall as part of the existing partnership between NBA China and the Ministry of Education to promote basketball education and youth development in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and universities.
The Junior NBA teaches youngsters fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.
Rookie goalie Matt Murray made 47 saves while standing up to Capitals' avalanche of shots, and the Penguins parlayed two goals in 62 seconds in the first period into a 3-2 victory on Monday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl scored before the midpoint of the first period, and Carl Hagelin added a goal in the second to make it 3-0 and the Penguins, the NHL's best team over the past two months, held on to top the Capitals, easily the league's best team all season.
Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season against the Penguins in the third period, and linemate Justin Williams scored in the final minute as the Capitals tried frantically to rally. However, it was not enough as the 21-year-old Murray, the youngest Pittsburgh goaltender to ever win in the postseason, improved to 5-1 in the playoffs. Murray, who began the season in the minors and played only four NHL games until March, made the difference as the Penguins were outshot 49-23 yet still controlled the scoreboard even as the Capitals controlled the stats sheet. The Penguins, on the fringe of the playoff race much of the season, have won 20 of 24 games since March 8 - with Murray in net for 11 of those wins - and are 6-2 in the postseason. At least statistically, the Capitals were dominant from the start except in the number most important: goals. They doubled up the Penguins in shots for most of the first two periods - it was 28-14 after two - yet Murray turned away scoring chance after scoring chance. Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins can't make this save on Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (not pictured) in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs at Consol Energy Center on Monday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the rough-cut figure of Jamie Vardy, newly crowned Premier League champion Leicester City possesses the living embodiment of a rags-to-riches tale that has captivated fans around the world.
Six years ago, Vardy was playing amateur soccer for Stocksbridge Park Steels in England's seventh tier and working part-time at a factory making medical splints. Now he is an England international, whose 22 goals have powered Leicester to its first league title, won him the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year award and sparked talk of a Hollywood biopic.
There will be several abiding memories from Vardy's historic season, from the 30-yard wonder goal against Liverpool to the brace at Sunderland that left manager Claudio Ranieri blinking back tears at the final whistle. But perhaps the most lasting mark will be his run of scoring in 11 consecutive games between September and November, which set a Premier League record and helped lay the foundation for Leicester's extraordinary campaign.
Released by boyhood club Sheffield Wednesday at age 15 on the grounds that he was too small, Vardy, now 29, cannot have imagined he would one day be the toast of England.
After leaving Wednesday he spent time away from soccer, studying sports science at a local college before winding up at Stocksbridge, nestled beside northern England's Peak District, where he progressed through the youth ranks. Vardy's roguish streak occasionally caused him problems - he was sent off four times in his last season at Stocksbridge, deterring suitors Sheffield United - and he had trouble controlling his temper off the pitch. A conviction for a late-night assault temporarily obliged him to wear an electronic tag and observe a 6:30 pm curfew, which would see him substituted midway through games so that he could get home in time.
Spectacularly prolific, Vardy joined Halifax Town from Stocksbridge and then moved on to Fleetwood Town, who sold him to Leicester for a non-league record 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) in 2012.
Since then, the milestones have zipped past: 16 goals in Leicester's Championship promotion campaign, five in his first season as a Premier League player, a first England cap and, in March's 3-2 win over world champion Germany, a brilliant back-heel for his first England goal. Initially perceived as mere ballast in Roy Hodgson's squad, the wiry Yorkshireman, who wears a blue cast to protect a thrice-fractured right wrist, is now certain to go to Euro 2016. In a deeply unpleasant episode in August, he was caught on camera racially goading an Asian man at a casino, for which he issued a public apology. He missed the two matches that took Leicester to the title, meanwhile, after being sent off for diving in a 2-2 draw against West Ham United and then launching a foul-mouthed tirade at referee Jon Moss. Vardy is among a select band of players to have risen from non-league to the England team and with each goal, he has demonstrated that there is more than one route to the top.
Polo-loving Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, 58, rubs shoulders with celebrities and his surname, meaning "light of progressive glory" was bestowed by Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
But the bespectacled Thai tycoon also displays an unerring common touch, dishing out free beer and doughnuts at Leicester's King Power Stadium, where he lands his helicopter in the center circle.
Despite his popularity, Vichai remains enigmatic as he rarely gives interviews, preferring to let his son, Aiyawatt, known as 'Top', act as the family frontman. The avuncular Vichai has carefully navigated Thailand's treacherous political waters of recent years, while taking his King Power empire from strength to strength.
He has built an estimated fortune of $2.9 billion since establishing King Power in 1989 - starting with a single shop in Bangkok. With the company name emblazoned across the Leicester shirt and stadium, Vichai is now well placed to leverage soccer success into global recognition for his brand.
And as Premier League champion, Leicester's share of next season's $7.4 billion TV deal will be several times more than Vichai first paid for the club. Leicester supporters quickly warmed to Vichai after he bought the then Championship struggler for an estimated 40 million pounds ($58 million) in 2010. The devout Buddhist is a firm believer in the power of karma, flying in Thai monks to bless Leicester's pitch and give its players lucky amulets. And while pumping tens of millions of pounds into the team, club debt and infrastructure, Vichai has spent judiciously. Leicester's success has been crafted from teamwork and endeavor, and the astute leadership of manager Claudio Ranieri, rather than an expensive squad of stars. Vichai rose from relative obscurity, flourishing during the past decade of political upheaval in Thailand, a country where big contracts follow political loyalties. King Power hit the jackpot in 2006 when it won the duty-free concession at Bangkok's cavernous new Suvarnabhumi airport, and with it a captive market of tens of millions of travelers.
In 2007, a year after ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, Manchester City's former owner, was dumped from office in a coup, Vichai saw off legal moves to break his duty-free monopoly. In a kingdom where connections count, Vichai now firmly belongs to the royalist establishment that turfed out Thaksin. Before soccer, Vichai's first sporting love was polo, the pursuit beloved of the international elite, and he and 'Top' are accomplished players.
Vichai boasts a lifetime membership at London's Ham Polo club, frequented by the British royals, and has a stable of horses and players on retainer in Bangkok.
Leicester City players crowded around a television inside teammate Jamie Vardy's house on Monday, locked arm in arm, watching the action 100 miles away. In the second tier two years ago, in a relegation fight last season, a 5,000-1 long shot last summer, Leicester is now alongside Manchester United, Liverpool and the other clubs that can call themselves champions. The Foxes clinched the most improbable title of the Premier League era when second-place Tottenham was held to a 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Monday night.
With an insurmountable seven-point lead and two games remaining, Leicester is champion of England for the first time in its 132-year history. As recently as 2009-10, Leicester was in third-tier League 1, the equivalent of a Double-A baseball team filled with prospects.
Just two years ago, Morgan and many of his teammates were playing in the far-from-glamorous second-tier League Championship. But on Monday, fans who never dreamed the modest club from an East Midlands city with a population of 330,000 would conquer wealthier rivals descended on Leicester's King Power Stadium to party into the night.
Leicester, which will collect the trophy on Saturday when it hosts Everton at home, had not finished higher than second in the top tier since 1929. English soccer has not had a first-time champion of the top flight since Nottingham Forest in 1978. Unlike Blackburn's 1995 champions, Leicester has achieved its success without lavish spending. Chelsea's draw also made Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri a league title winner for the first time in his career - 12 years after the 64-year-old Italian was fired by the Blues.
Ranieri's task when he replaced the fired Nigel Pearson in July was just to keep Leicester in the Premier League. At Chelsea there was not bitterness that the Blues were surrendering the title to a soccer minnow, but joy that Ranieri was the beneficiary. Chelsea players will form a guard of honor for the Foxes when they play at the London club in the season finale on May 15. Leicester missed a chance to seal the title on Sunday when it was held to a draw by Manchester United, but Chelsea got the party started. Tottenham had to win at Chelsea to keep its bid for a first title since 1961 and led 2-0 on goals from Harry Kane in the 35th minute and Son Heung-min in the 44th, before Chelsea rallied in a fiery London derby where tempers frayed and tackles became wild.
Ranieri called Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink to thank him for Chelsea's part in delivering the title to Leicester, which is owned by Thai retail giant King Power. Leicester City fans celebrate winning the Premier League after watching the Tottenham-Chelsea clash in a pub on Monday. The front page of the i newspaper read "Fantastic Foxes write the greatest fairytale football has ever known" while the Daily Mirror dubbed them "The Incredibles". Many newspapers referred to the fact that before the team's ascent, bookmakers had, at one time, offered to pay out 5,000 pounds ($7,335) for every bet that Leicester would win the title. The Daily Telegraph's sports supplement printed a giant blue Leicester crest and a cheering team manager Claudio Ranieri, with the words "How Leicester's 5000-1 title dream turned into astonishing reality". Some questioned whether former England striker Gary Lineker, who played for Leicester and helped rescue the club from going out of business in 2002, would really present BBC soccer program Match of the Day in his underpants - a rash promise he made earlier in the season should Leicester be crowned Premier League champion. Others noted the fairytale story of the team's top scorer Jamie Vardy - who spent years in the lower leagues but now plays for England - already talked about as a subject for a Hollywood movie. Guardian sportswriter Barney Ronay described Vardy as a "a late-blooming, whippet-thin, scaldingly quick journeyman striker".
Leicester's success drew international reaction as well, with The New York Times describing its triumph as "one of the most remarkable seasons in soccer history".
Mark Selby holds a Leicester flag next to the Snooker World Championship trophy he won after beating China's Ding Junhui in Monday's final. Li conjured up his best round of the week, a bogey-free 64, to win the Volvo China Open by three shots and keep the title in domestic hands for the second year in a row.
The 20-year-old began the final round two shots back of overnight leaders Felipe Aguilar of Chile (69) and Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark (70), but carded a blemish-free round to finish 22-under at Beijing's Topwin Golf and Country Club.
Li succeeds Wu Ashun, who last year became the third Chinese winner of the country's oldest professional tournament.
Playing in the group ahead of Aguilar, Li tied the Chilean at 21-under with four holes remaining. As Li played a superb approach to the 17th hole to set up a birdie, Aguilar hit his worst shot of the week on the short 16th, plunking it in the water. Li said he learned he was in the lead only on the 18th fairway, and he thanked his caddy for helping him not to get carried away with an aggressive approach. The victory was a big relief for Li, who missed the cut at Genzon Golf Club the previous week and lost in a playoff at Shenzhen International last year.
Li also won the Rong Gao Tang Award as the best finisher among the four Chinese players who made the cut. Dou Zecheng, who won the award three years ago when still an amateur, finished 2-under alongside defending champion Wu Ashun, who closed with a 69. Aguilar finished 19-under, a shot ahead of Bjerregaard, England's Richard Bland and Marcel Siem of Germany. One of the week's early highlights was a 7-iron hole-in-one at the 16th by Sweden's Rikard Karlberg. Jenny Shin became the third first-time winner on the USLPGA Tour this year, coming from behind to close with a four-under 67 on Sunday and win the Texas Shootout tournament.
It took the 23-year-old Shin 135 starts since turning pro in 2010 to record her first victory. Shin played the final 43 holes at the Dallas-area Las Colinas Country Club bogey free as she finished at 14-under 270. She was two strokes in front of fellow South Koreans Amy Yang (71) and Hur Mi-jung (71) as well as American Gerina Piller - who led heading into the final round but closed with a two-over 73.
Shin joins compatriot Jang Ha-na and Japan's Haru Nomura as first-time winners in 2016 and will jump from No 38 to No 24 in the world rankings.
Cheyenne Knight, a 19-year-old University of Alabama freshman from nearby Aledo, had a 72 to tie for 30th at 1 under. China's Li Haotong gets a helping hand from his caddy in lining up a putt during Sunday's fourth round of the Volvo China Open at Topwin Golf & Country Club in Beijing. And Hamilton said he had "no reason" to believe it was happening after finishing second to Rosberg in Sunday's Russian Grand Prix. Wolff told reporters in Sochi he wanted to speak out to protect members of the team from accusations.


The defending three-time champion also said he felt very grateful to the team for helping him finish the race and score 18 points. Sunday's race saw Hamilton survive the first lap without incident for the first time this year.
Since winning at Sochi last year, Hamilton has only victory - the following race in the United States, where he clinched the title. Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat apologized for hitting Sebastian Vettel's car twice and causing the first lap carnage that knocked the four-time champion out of Sunday's race. The young Russian said he had not felt his brakes and then could not see what was happening ahead of him in the incident that left Vettel fuming at his actions for the second successive race.
Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg jumps on the podium as he celebrates winning the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi on Sunday.
Nico Rosberg joined an ultra-select group of Formula One drivers with his seventh win in a row for Mercedes at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, but the German will remain the odd man out for some time yet.
Only four drivers since the championship started in 1950 have won seven races in a row and only four have triumphed in the first four rounds of a season. Just one - Rosberg's compatriot Sebastian Vettel - won more than seven in a row when he chalked up nine for Red Bull in 2013 en routed to his fourth championship. That moment might almost have come in Sochi on Sunday, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, even if Rosberg gave every impression of enjoying a sunny afternoon drive in the Olympic Park.
Wolff told reporters data from the power unit on Rosberg's car "gave us some grey hair" during the race. Rosberg did not mention the problem on the podium or during a subsequent media conference, when he said the car was "fantastic" and he had driven flat out to the finish with plenty of life in the tires. Asked about it later, the German conceded that he had lost "a fair chunk of performance", but teammate Lewis Hamilton openly questioned that. From the opening tip, Klay Thompson shot lights-out and even heaved one in from way out in Stephen Curry territory. Draymond Green began yapping from the start while doing his thing to make plays every which way, calling on his teammates to bring an edge on defense. With Curry sidelined because of a sprained right knee, Green and Thompson took charge again. Thompson scored 37 points in another brilliant performance as his injured fellow "Splash Brother" watched from the bench, and the Golden State Warriors again dominated without their MVP to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-106 in Sunday's opener of the Western Conference semifinal.
Thompson hit seven 3-pointers to become the first player in NBA history to make at least seven 3s in three straight playoff games. Golden State reserve Anderson Varejao and Portland's Gerald Henderson were ejected late in the third quarter after receiving their second technical fouls.
Both were hit with a technical at the 3:29 mark of the third when Varejao tripped Henderson after they collided and the Portland guard jumped up, pointing a finger at his opponent's face.
They resumed jawing a few minutes later and were tossed with 15.1 seconds left in the period. Thompson hit a Curry-esque 30-foot 3-pointer in the opening minutes followed by another jumper to put Golden State up 10-2, and the Warriors ran with it from there. Thompson scored 18 of his points in the first quarter on 7-for-10 shooting with four 3s as Golden State built a 37-17 lead. Damian Lillard had another slow start back home in the Bay Area, missing 11 of his first 13 shots before finishing with 30 points - 10 on free throws. Shaun Livingston added 12 points and six assists after scoring 16 in each of his first-round starts in place of Curry.
The MVP injured his MCL when he slipped on a wet spot just before halftime of a Game 4 win at Houston in the first round last Sunday. Curry said on Friday he hoped to do some shooting within a day or two, and that happened on Saturday. He still will have to test the knee by putting pressure on it and planting on it when he shoots, then in some 5-on-5 scrimmages. The Warriors had 38 and 30 assists their previous two games - including six quarters without Curry - by generating the kind of snappy ball movement coach Steve Kerr called for without Curry's play-making. Portland looked tired at times after eliminating the injury-plagued Los Angeles Clippers in six games on Friday night before traveling to the Bay Area on Saturday. With Mason Plumlee going up for a one-handed dunk late in the first quarter, Andrew Bogut blocked the shot, then got a hand up to bother Al-Farouq Aminu's putback attempt. These teams had reached the playoffs the same year eight times previously without matching up in the postseason.. The Miami Heat ousted the Charlotte Hornets from the playoffs with an emphatic 106-73 victory on Sunday. Miami won two elimination games to take the series 4-3 and will play the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinal, starting on Tuesday night. Goran Dragic scored 25 points in his first Game 7, Gerald Green added 16 and Luol Deng scored 15.
Frank Kaminsky scored 12 for Charlotte, which got 11 from Courtney Lee and 10 from Nic Batum. A contentious series, with too much attention getting placed on courtside fan behavior and NBA officiating reports, pushed Miami right to the limit. Charlotte had a chance to close out the Heat on its home floor in Game 6, wasting the opportunity. Miami led the whole way, taking a 12-point lead at the half and stretching it to 24 by the midpoint of the third quarter - the period that has been a problem for the Heat all season but became the catalyst to what became a rout on Sunday.
Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson is fouled by Portland Trail Blazers' Ed Davis during the second half of Sunday's opening game of their Western Conference semifinal in Oakland.
The Blues captain scored off a rebound during a powerplay 10:58 into overtime of Game 2 on Sunday for a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars that evened their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal at one game apiece.
After blowing a two-goal lead while getting outshot 13-2 in the third period, the Blues cashed in on their second powerplay in overtime. Antti Niemi stopped 19 consecutive shots after relieving Kari Lehtonen in the Dallas net until Backes scored. Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn, who scored the OT-forcing goal with 2:36 left in regulation, were thwarted by Elliott before the game-deciding penalty. Stars rookie center Mattias Janmark had a breakaway goal four minutes into the third period, and Dallas was almost immediately on the powerplay after the ensuing faceoff. Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi blocks a shot during the second period of Game 2 of the NHL's Western Conference semifinal against the St.
The City manager admitted his team's 4-2 loss to Southampton at St Mary's stadium on Sunday could affect confidence as the Premier League club prepares to invade Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. Pellegrini made no attempt to disguise his disappointment at his side's defensive display as Sadio Mane's hat-trick following an opening goal from Shane Long secured Southampton's victory. But the manager made it clear the performance was the players' responsibility, with only Kelechi Iheanacho, who scored both City goals, emerging with credit. Pellegrini, who confirmed he expects Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Kevin de Bruyne to be fit to face Real, added: "It's my responsibility for the starting lineup and after that you have their performance and you must analyze everything. The win strengthened Southhampton's bid for a Europa League place and manager Ronald Koeman singled out Mane for praise. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on Sunday compared Leicester defender Robert Huth's hair-pull on Marouane Fellaini with "sex masochism" and also tugged a television reporter by the hair in an eccentric attempt to defend his player. Leicester's Premier League title celebrations were delayed for at least another 24 hours after the leader drew 1-1 with United.
Van Gaal was quizzed on the incident that saw United midfielder Fellaini escape without punishment after elbowing Huth in the neck and opted to explain why the Belgian reacted that way by getting physical with the reporter. Claiming Fellaini's hair had been grabbed by Huth in a deliberate piece of provocation, van Gaal reached out to do the same to his Sky Sports interviewer. Then in a separate interview with the BBC, van Gaal conjured up another odd expression to lambast Huth.
United will now wait to see if Fellaini is retrospectively punished by the Football Association for his transgression. Sadio Mane celebrates after completing his hat-trick during Southamption's 4-2 victory over Manchester City in their English Premier League clash at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton on Sunday.
Two goals by Andre Ayew and one from Jack Cork at Liberty Stadium proved enough for Swansea to guarantee its Premier League safety. Christian Benteke pulled one back for Liverpool, but Klopp's team was outclassed in a game sandwiched between the more significant business of its Europa League semifinal against Villarreal. Liverpool will now turn its attention to overturning a 1-0 deficit in Thursday's semifinal second leg against the Spanish side at Anfield - and Klopp was quick to concede the youngsters he brought into the lineup were in need of polish. Klopp also defended Daniel Sturridge's decision to head to the dressing room at the final whistle, rather than joining his teammates in thanking the traveling Liverpool fans. The suggestion was that England forward Sturridge was disappointed not to have been withdrawn sometime during the second half. Having played the full 90 minutes, he is now unlikely to start on Thursday after he was an unused substitute in Spain in midweek. Swansea's victory ensured a successful rescue mission for manager Francesco Guidolin, who took over with the club in danger of relegation. Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola knows he needs to prove his critics wrong by overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Atletico Madrid in Tuesday's home Champions League semifinal.
Guardiola and Bayern are bidding to avoid dropping a semifinal to a Spanish side for the third straight year after losing the first leg at Atletico last Wednesday on Saul Niguez's early strike. Having won 14 titles in four years at Barcelona and six titles in three years with Bayern, Guardiola hopes to sign off in charge of Munich by lifting the Champions League trophy after the May 28 final in Milan. Bayern lost in the Champions League semifinals to Real Madrid in 2014 and to Barcelona last year.
Another exit at the hands of Spanish opposition will not go down well in Bavaria, especially in the wake of Guardiola's decision to start the first leg in Madrid with Germany star Thomas Mueller, Bayern's top scorer in Europe this season, on the bench.
The decision drew plenty of criticism from the German media and, by his own admission, the Munich leg is Guardiola's "final bullet" in the battle to prove any critics wrong before he leaves to coach Manchester City next season.
Bayern has been unstoppable at home in Europe this season, winning all five games at Allianz Arena, but it needed extra time to come back from 0-2 to beat Juventus 4-2 at home in the second leg of the last 16. It has won 11 home games in Europe since being hammered 4-0 in the Munich leg by Real Madrid in the 2014 semifinals, having lost 1-0 in Spain. But, as it demonstrated in Saturday's 1-1 Bundesliga draw at home to Borussia Moechengladbach, Bayern is not currently playing well.
The result denied the German giant the victory which would have confirmed it as Bundesliga champion. The good news from the Gladbach draw is that Germany defender Jerome Boateng is fit again after 99 days out with a groin injury having played the first 68 minutes in Munich. In turn, Diego Simeone's Atletico was boosted by the news Uruguay defender Diego Godin and Belgium winger Yannick Carrasco took part in training on Sunday after injury.
Godin missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury and is set to return as the cornerstone of Atletico's defense in it bid to repeat its run to the 2014 final, where it lost 4-1 to Real Madrid after extra time. Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola (right) and Borussia Moenchengladbach coach Andre Schubert react after the two teams drew 1-1 in their Bundesliga match at Allianz Arena in Munich on Saturday.
China's Ding Junhui faces Mark Selby in the World Championship final when he bids to become the first Asian player to win snooker's most prestigious title.
The 29-year-old Ding reached his first World Championship final in record style, with a break of 123 completing a decisive 17-11 victory over experienced Scottish cueman Alan McManus at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre in northern England on Saturday.
Later in the day, 2014 world champion Selby, the world No 1, prevented an all-Chinese final when he defeated Hong Kong's Marco Fu 17-15. Ding's seventh century break of the semifinal saw him surpass the previous record of most centuries in a Crucible match (six) held jointly by Selby and Ronnie O'Sullivan. In the modern history of the World Championship, the only two winners from beyond Britain and Ireland are Canada's Cliff Thorburn (1980) and Australia's Neil Robertson (2010). A sign of snooker's increasing popularity in China is that, according to a tweet posted by World Snooker, 27.1 percent of the national television audience in the world's most populous country tuned in to watch his semifinal on CCTV5, an official state broadcaster. These were, in the words of the tweet, "incredible figures!" and an indication of snooker's increasing appeal in Asia. The defeated McManus had no doubts that Ding could go all the way, saying: "I think there's only one person stopping him and it's himself. Ding has been tipped to become a world champion ever since he won the UK Championship, snooker's second-most important title as an 18-year-old. The 2013-14 season saw Ding match snooker great Stephen Hendry's record of five ranking titles in a season and he rose to world No 1 in December 2014. However, a severe loss of form saw Ding drop out of the world's top 16 and meant he had to come through qualifying in order to gain a place in the main draw for this year's World Championship.
Ding Junhui of China celebrates after beating Scotland's Alan McManus in the semifinal of the Snooker World Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. He won an NBA championship his first season, went 39-4 as interim coach in place of Steve Kerr to start this season and was part of a team that set the single-season record for wins in the regular season.
But when the Los Angeles Lakers came calling, Walton could not turn down the team he began his career with and which he helped win two NBA titles. The Lakers announced Friday night that they had agreed to a contract to hire Walton just five days after firing Byron Scott.
Kerr credited Walton for helping to create the culture that allowed Golden State to win 140 games the past two regular seasons, including a record 73 this season. Walton will remain with the Warriors until their playoff run ends, while using some down time to prepare for his new job. LaMarcus Aldridge had 38 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder 124-92 on Saturday night, never trailing in Game 1 of the second-round series. As the best pros on the planet battle for the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup, a crop of young Chinese players have their eyes firmly fixed on a more distant prize: the 2022 Winter Olympics. NHL draft pick Song Andong and national under-18 teammate Zhong Wei are part of a new wave of Chinese hockey players being groomed for Beijing in six years time. Last June, the teenaged Song was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 entry draft by the New York Islanders, making him the first Chinese player to be drafted in the history of the NHL. Song, who goes by the nickname Misha, is just one of a talented group of Chinese teenagers who are scattered among high school and junior leagues across North America that the country's hockey leaders hopes will provide the base for a future national team. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Song just finished playing as a post graduate student at Phillips Andover Academy in the Massachusetts high school league. Song captained China at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation's Division II B under-18 world championships and could play for China's under-20 team at this year's Division II B world championships. Like Song, who moved to Canada from China when he was nine, Zhong started playing hockey at a young age in Beijing before moving to North America. Zhong said he started playing hockey because he liked the speed and physical side of the game. Song, who wasn't ranked among the top 210 North American skaters by the NHL's Central Scouting department, was a surprise pick by the Islanders who are owned by Shanghai-born Charles Wang. Song's selection by the Islanders raised a few eyebrows as he was chosen ahead of a US national team player and some major junior players but he is hoping to show the Islanders that one day he will fit into their organization. On a Thursday night in late July of 2011, I was at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival on the night before the festival was to begin.
I was at a performance area called a€?The Loungea€? in the campground high above the midway. Months later, in November, they would win a highly coveted formal showcase slot at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference and also appear in Acoustic Livea€™s guerrilla showcase (and many others). We conducted a recent conference call with songwriters and group leaders Ethan and Jake that would reveal the source of the brains, talent and heart of Pesky J. In his sophomore year of high school, Ethan started running a€?coffeehousesa€? out of his parentsa€™ house (with their consent). Ethan wrote a little of his own material, but focused more on learning as many Ellis Paul and Martin Sexton songs as he could, plus some acoustic versions of pop material. From seventh grade through high school, Jake was always in the school choruses and orchestra. Jakea€™s first attempt at solo songwriting occurred as he was riding a ski chairlift and was about a girl he was dating. Jake had a checkered college career at Brandeis University, enrolling and dropping out, then re-enrolling and dropping out again. After leaving college, Jake spent time singing a€?semi-professionallya€? with the a cappella groups Altavoz for two years and Six Appeal (later renamed Playback), also for two years.


In the spring of 1998 Jake had left Brandeis again but Spur of the Moment a€?quietlya€? kept him on until they could hold auditions. Emerging from the heart of Red Sox Nation, the band chose its name from three Red Sox icons.
Another member joined the group when Ethan decided that he, Dan and Jake should attend the a€?Americana Ensemblea€? music classes that Boston folk club Passim runs once each week. Two years ago, Pesky played its first show at Passim with the Wea€™re About 9 duo (Brian and Katie).
After 2009, the year of the near-tornado touchdown at Falcon Ridge, artistic director Anne Saunders needed to shorten the festival from four days a€” Thursday through Sunday a€” to three days a€” Friday through Sunday.
Ethan credits Scott Jones as the a€?technical masterminda€? behind pulling off The Lounge stage. Scott had heard about the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival from Ethan and Jake and decided to attend with his wife and five children, setting up camp with the Pesky J.
Ethan hopes to become more involved in community action using what he calls a€?tribal mischief,a€? a formal and informal art of social engineering.
On a Thursday night in late July of 2011, I was atA  the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival on the night before the festival was to begin. Jake had a checkered college career at Brandeis University, enrollingA  and dropping out, then re-enrolling and dropping out again. Atlanta's offense bogged down in crunch time and the Hawks only scored two field goals in the final four minutes. Replays showed Waiters elbowed Manu Ginobili to get the space needed to pass the ball to Durant, who was immediately stripped by Danny Green.
Ginobili was the only other San Antonio player in double figures, scoring 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
The Spurs missed six layups and Green awkwardly tossed a hard runner that ricocheted off the backboard. The All-Star forward drained his second 3-pointer of the season to pull San Antonio within 96-94 and then made three free throws after being fouled by Serge Ibaka to pull the Spurs within 98-97 with 13.5 seconds to set up the final play. Qinghua University High School beat Beijing No 4 High School 74-62 in the final of the tournament aged 16-18. Over his 13-year career, Richardson played for the Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats (now Charlotte Hornets), Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers.
Excuses are for losers, and we're not losers and we're going to try to improve in Game 4," Williams said. They were last in the Premier League in April 2015 before winning six of their last eight matches to avoid relegation, and at the start of this season betting houses favored them to drop back down.
And for the past 20 years the Premier League trophy has never left London or Manchester, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City winning all the titles.
I'm a pragmatic man; I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week," said Ranieri, who made a brief trip home to Italy on Monday to see his 96-year-old mother.
Still, Tottenham clinched no worse than fourth place and qualified for the Champions League for the second time.
He played a decent chip after taking a drop, then missed his putt to finish with a double-bogey five. A par on the final hole clinched the title for the Hunan native, who finished sixth in last year's tournament. Her best showing before Sunday was finishing runner-up at the 2012 HSBC Women's Champions to Angela Stanford, who beat Shin in a playoff. She launched her 67 with three birdies in the first five holes, quickly whittling away at the four-shot deficit she faced at the start of the round.
The long-hitting US Solheim Cup hero grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, and played at the University Texas-El Paso. Karah Sanford, a 14-year-old high school freshman from San Diego, tied for 51st at 6 over after a 77.
Finishing second was teammate Lewis Hamilton (left) while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third. Dwayne Wade finished with 12 and Hassan Whiteside had a 10-point, 12-rebound, five-block clincher for the Heat, who have won their last four Game 7s. The Hornets' two biggest stars, Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson, never got going - combining for 13 points. And under Spoelstra, the Heat are now 15-4 in postseason series, 8-4 when facing elimination games and 15-5 in games when they have a chance to oust an opponent. Backes followed up Alexander Steen's shot 17 seconds after Antoine Roussel was called for interference. Louis had a quick extra-man chance in overtime when John Klingberg was whistled for holding as Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored 40 goals in the regular season and four in the first-round series, was charging toward the net. With the defender still hobbling from the puck hitting his knee, the Blues kept charging and Backes scored on the rebound of Steen's shot. But the Stars went 0 for 4 with the extra man, and are now 1 for 20 on powerplays at home this postseason. We did not play as well as we could and our performance was not as good as it could have been," the manager said.
That's how it'll be seen," Guardiola said after Bayern vanquished Benfica in the quarterfinals. Now it has to wait until Saturday's away game at Ingolstadt, when it could become the first club to win four straight German league titles. I hope with the emotions of the game I'll have the strength to play for the 90 minutes (against Atletico). It all came together very fast as Walton interviewed in Oakland with Lakers owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Thursday before getting the offer the following day.
He started the call by telling Kerr he had good news - he got the offer to coach the Lakers - and bad news - he was going to take it. Walton took over when Kerr was sidelined by complications from offseason back surgery to start this season and led Golden State to a record 24 straight wins to open the season. Thunder's Kevin Durant had 16 points, and Russell Westbrook added 14, but they were harassed into 11-for-34 shooting. The biggest adjustment was coping with the culture shock that included learning a new language and strange foods. Onstage, performers ecstatically sang songs round-robin, as much for each other as for the 450 festival-goers in front of them. It was the second year it was being held, but I had no idea what Ia€™d find after picking my way up the hill in the dark. A song from that CD, a€?Breathe in Autumn,a€? was a haunting reverie, with layers of harmonies and soaring instrumentation that echoed in the mind far past its last notes. In his sophomore year of high school, he started his own a cappella group that he named a€?Swingtown.a€? That continued until he graduated in 1998. His early experience with music included piano instruction when he was 5, with a a€?severe teachera€? not unlike Miss Havisham in Dickensa€™ Great Expectations. He went over the verses and chorus in his head all day as he went up and down the mountain.
His primary focus was singing with the universitya€™s a cappella group, Spur of the Moment. Not a student, he was technically not allowed to be a member of the group, but he was too valuable to let go, so they kept him on. Nixon has been working with a non-profit called the SAMFund, a foundation that raises money for young adult cancer survivors to help them pay their post-treatment bills. Seeking to meet other musicians, Anthony da Costa, Abbie Gardner and, coincidentally, Chris Oa€™Brien, whose CD Ethan had produced, came upon the Pesky campsite.
A former radio DJ with an engineering background, Scott was the startled next-door neighbor of Ethana€™s parents when Ethan brought the a cappella singers home (he was deathly afraid hea€™d moved next to a frat house). Nixon album, named Red Ducks (a€?reduxa€?), is a collection of songs of the musicians that the band has performed with and been influenced by over the last four years, featuring songs by artists such as Anthony da Costa, Gillian Welch and Tom Waits. Patty Mills missed an open 3-pointer, LaMarcus Aldridge lost the ball after grabbing the airball and Kawhi Leonard was unable to gather the ball before the buzzer sounded. A number of high school and college friends joined her family - led by her husband, PGA Tour player Martin Piller - in the gallery. We are pushing the limits on the chassis and on the engine side a lot in order to have a competitive car. It's unusual for them - the majority were on Nico's car last year and Nico's (current) guys were with me for three years. But Niemi, who took over in the Dallas net in the second period, stopped three shots in that two-minute span. The other Blues player with two OT goals in a postseason was Pierre Turgeon in 1999, the year the Stars won their only Stanley Cup.
But our performance was responsible for that and we have to recover and prepare for a big game in Thursday. There was a€?nothing much to do except listen to music on the stereo.a€? He listened to Dylan, The Beatlesa€™ Sergeant Peppera€™s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Best of Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapina€™s Gold album.
Also during that time, he heard a live folk act for the first time at the Me and Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead, Mass. By the end of high school, there were 70 to 80 in attendance and performances went on from 5:30 until midnight.
Hea€™d left the first time, worked odd jobs back home, then went back for a year and then dropped out again.
In the fall of a€™98, he didna€™t have a vote, but was asked to give his opinion during auditions.
As Ethan described her, a€?She had a wry and sarcastic sense of humor and, at the same time, she was a fierce member of the songwriting community in western Massachusetts.a€? He continued, a€?I started volunteering as sound guy at the open mics and the two of us became close friends. The child of a bassist father and drummer mother, Dan studied bass and drums for almost 10 years before focusing his attention on percussion when he reached college.
Ethan talked Eric into joining them in the studio while recording Monkey Business & Mislaid Hopes, then got him to join the band. From that point forward, Pesky received a lot of airplay for Monkey Business from Bostona€™s premier folk radio station, WUMB-FM, raising its profile even higher. The album is a stripped-down living room recording offering a more intimate sound than Monkey Business & Mislaid Hopes while maintaining the same energy and humor. There was a€?nothing much to do except listen to music on the stereo.a€? HeA  listened to Dylan, The Beatlesa€™ Sergeant Peppera€™s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Best of Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapina€™s Gold album. As I approached the end of a long line of cars and tents, high up on the ridge, my jaw dropped as I saw the floodlights and a stage equipped with microphones, amplified instruments and a soundboard, all run by a generator.
Pesky was scheduled to play the festivala€™s Emerging Artists Showcase the next day and Ia€™d invited them to Acoustic Livea€™s unplugged showcases at our booth on Saturday afternoon.
As luck would have it, he was seeing Ellis Paul, a songwriter capable of a high level of sophistication and a€?telling a story within a story.a€? It made a huge impact on what Ethan would expect from his own abilities.
Talking about his parents, he said, a€?God bless them, I have no idea why they allowed me to do these things. He cana€™t quite recall, but thinks he mighta€™ve gotten rapped on the knuckles with a ruler if his hands werena€™t positioned correctly. He said he a€?wasna€™t mentally prepared for college.a€? Oddly, his chosen major was psychology.
She was the kind of songwriter who would write two fantastic songs a week and she just intimidated the heck out of me, but at the same time she was remarkably warm and nurturing when it came to helping folks bring out the songwriters in themselves.
At the University of Pennsylvania, he sang with the Jewish a cappella group Ra€™nanah and performed Gilbert and Sullivan musicals with theA Penn Singers. Back home, they were playing one show every four to five months at small cafes, just for the sake of having a gig. As soon as he heard their a cappella-honed harmonies, he said, a€?Let me introduce you around.a€? He then took them to meet all the key personalities in the campground.
When they decided to create The Lounge stage, Ethan and Scott pooled their equipment, the bulk of it coming from Scott.
Ole!" the jubilant Leicester players chanted as they jumped up and down with their arms on each other's shoulders inside Vardy's house. Toward the rear, on the outskirts of the audience, performers swarmed everywhere either waiting to go on or socializing in respectful, hushed tones. It produced a small, insular group of people who were really interested in learning about this stuff.a€? Ethana€™s at-home a€?coffeehousesa€? foreshadowed the type of gatherings that Pesky J. He wanted to quit after six months, but his mom convinced him to try studying with another teacher who had just moved to town and whose reputation included the term a€?wonderful.a€? She must have been, since Jake studied with her for the next 10 years. Recently he found an old notebook in the bench of the familya€™s piano in which hea€™d written songs during his teen years. On the second day of his freshman year, Ethan auditioned for Spur of the Moment and easily made the group. She kind of battered me into playing the open mic and after a while I started sneaking originals in when I thought no one was paying attention, but she could always tell. In his first studio experience, he provided percussion on a project with pop singer John Legend. They also got to meet Brian Gundersdorf, Katie Graybeal and Pat Klink of Wea€™re About 9, who came over to their campsite the next night. Ethana€™s major in college was English Literature and Music Composition but, as Ethan explains it, his parents told him that his major was actually a€?a cappella.a€? There were enormous chunks of time spent practicing and the groupa€™s performances were frequent (three to four practices a week for three hours each and 15 performances per semester). Our plaster monkey butler Newman, that is in most of our press shots and the monkey of Monkey Business & Mislaid Hopes, is something I inherited from her. Ironically, it was Wea€™re About 9 that Ethan had pointed out as a model for Pesky when it formed a€” a€?Therea€™s this trio that writes great songs and sings great harmony.a€? a€” Ethan recalled saying a€¦ and here they were, soon to become their cohorts in a burgeoning career. I had just gotten a big, warm introduction to the technical and community organizing skills of the group known as Pesky J. The group had to organize and arrange their own music and put out one CD every year (all self-funded). The day after she passed away she was published in Glamour magazinea€™s annual non-fiction writing contest [a heart-wrenching story of her battle with cancer].
During the following year, Pesky shared gigs with Anthony and Wea€™re About 9, doing four to five shows. Ethan took charge here, moving all 20 singers in the group into his parentsa€™ house to record in his home studio. As a cornerstone founding member of the group, Dan runs counter to the stereotypical view of drummers. Hea€™s their most organized member, keeping track of important logistics for practice and gigs. A  I learned something from every man I met or exchanged emails with, and Lou taught me a few words in Spanish.A  Ole!
We can take a little walk, maybe get our feet wet, and then lie on a blanket and listen to the waves. I do the same thing myself, when the mood strikes.A  And how about this for being an "in tune with women" kinda guy?A  A few days after I had ordered myself 2 new green dresses and several in black to add to my collection from a mail order company named Newport News, he sent an email asking:A  "So, what are you wearing right now? A  For Christ Sake!!A  How about saving the Taxpayers a buck?A  In addition to that $6 million you've already blown by hovering and covering me, and scheduling a proper Face to Base meeting in your office; at my convenience? Dramatic, but no drama.A  Short black skirt, or long black dress?A  Heels or boots?A  Camo, or commando? Until then, as in the end,there is much more to come.A A A  Once Upon a Time, a little mushroom popped through the moss covered ground of the Southeast Alaska Rainforest. Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS! HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?



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