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U.S. Olympic Swimming and Track & Field Teams Take Shape

June 21, 2021
Source: The Undefeated/Twitter
Source: The Undefeated/Twitter

 🏊‍♀️Swimming: After a week of qualifying action, the Olympic swimming team is set. To no one’s surprise, mermaid Katie Ledecky will compete in four events, including the debut of the 1500m women’s freestyle. 

  • She’ll be joined by Simone Manuel, who won yesterday’s 50m freestyle after an unexpected loss in the 100m freestyle. Don’t call it a comeback. In other news, none for Ryan Lochte. 

🏃‍♂️Track & Field: We’re only three days in to the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, and world records have been set and stars have been born. And even though yesterday was Father’s Day, it was a mom who stole the show: Allyson Felix made her fifth Olympic team, finishing second in the 400m. A national treasure. 

🏀NBA Conference Finals have Officially Begun

June 21, 2021
Source: NBA/Twitter
Source: NBA/Twitter

Eastern Conference: The Milwaukee Bucks overcame Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant’s 48-point performance (including this clutch shot to send things to overtime) to win Saturday’s Game 7. The Bucks will now appear in their first conference finals since 2019 and are potentially en route to ending a 47-year (!!!) finals appearance drought.

  • To get there, they’ll have to defeat the Atlanta Hawks, who eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers with yesterday’s 103–96 Game 7 win. Kevin Huerter was the difference maker, leading the Hawks with 27 points...just like we all predicted?

Western Conference: Over in the West, the Phoenix Suns jumped to an early 1-0 series lead with yesterday’s 120–114 win over the LA Clippers. Of note: both squads were missing key players, as Suns guard Chris Paul remains in COVID-19 protocol and Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.

  • With Game 2 set for tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET, it’s still TBD whether either will return to the floor in time. Watch this space. 
🏀🏒

New York City: Islanders Look to Take Game 5 Over Lightning in Stanley Cup Playoffs

June 21, 2021
Source: Twitter.com/New York Islanders
Source: Twitter.com/New York Islanders

🏒Islanders: The Isles have grit galore, and it was on full display in their Game 4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Our boys headed into the third period with a 3–0 lead, but the Lightning struck back, quickly notching two goals and hungry for the equalizer. 

  • Enter: Ryan Pulock. In the frenzied final seconds of the game, the defenseman made this desperate save to stop a buzzer-beater and seal the win. Chills.
  • As they return to Tampa, the Isles need to keep the intensity up and build an early lead over the Lightning. Puck drops on Game 5 tonight at 8 p.m. ET. See you at The Barn

🏀Nets: The Nets’ buzzer-beater story didn’t have as happy an ending. The finalé of their series with the Milwaukee Bucks was absolutely wild, with the two heavyweights of the Eastern Conference going blow-for-blow ’til the bitter end. Kevin Durant played out of his mind, sinking an almost game-winner that instead sent the teams to OT. Our hearts are still pounding.

  • But you can only hit so many game-saving shots in one night; without much help (read: literally zero points) from his bench, KD and the squad fell 115–111 to the Milwaukee Bucks in a Game 7 heartbreaker.  
  • While we’re enjoying #hotgirlsummer, we hope the injury-plagued Nets get some desperately-needed R&R. The Big 3 barely played together, but they gave us a taste of what we hope to see next year. KD, if we catch you poolside, drinks are on us. 

🔢 Box scores: 🏀The Liberty beat the LA Sparks 76–73 in Sunday’s celebration of the W’s Inaugural Game; ⚽️Gotham FC drew the league-best Orlando Pride 1–1.  

🏀

Philadelphia: Sixers Head into the Offseason After Disappointing Game 7

June 21, 2021
Source: Twitter.com/Philadelphia 76ers
Source: Twitter.com/Philadelphia 76ers

 🏀Sixers: From Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris’ double-doubles to Hawks star Trae Young’s shooting struggles, the Wells Fargo Center was crackling with confidence last night. Though the teams were neck-and-neck through the whole game, we thought that No. 1-seed swag would help pull our Sixers through and seal them a spot in the Eastern Conference finals. 

  • But sloppy play, 17 turnovers (yeesh), an unexpectedly good game from Hawks guard Kevin Huerter and a disappointingly ineffective Ben Simmons let the Hawks steal this one 103–96
  • As the Sixers head into the offseason, Simmons may feel a trade target on his back. We think president of operations Daryl Morey will do whatever it takes to keep Embiid around — and that might mean clearing some space under that salary cap. 

🔢  Box Scores: ⚽️The Union drew 2–2 with Atlanta United FC yesterday thanks to defender Jakob Glesnes’ insane goal; ⚾️The Phillies fell 11–2 to the league-leading San Francisco Giants yesterday. 

🏎🏒

Sports Quick Hits: June 21st, 2021

June 21, 2021
Source: ESPN Stats & Info/Twitter
Source: ESPN Stats & Info/Twitter

⛳️Golf: Spaniard Jon Rahm won his first major yesterday, the U.S. Open, with a 6-under-par score, beating out the likes of Louis Oosthuizen (pronounced OOST-hay-zen), Brooks Koepka (pronounced KEP-ka) and Rory McIlroy. Not a bad way to spend your first Father’s Day.

🏒NHL: Things are all tied up over in the Stanley Cup semifinals, with both series — Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens vs. Vegas Golden Knights — tied at 2-2. TikTokers aren’t the only ones with ice in their veins

🏎F1: Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen found his wings during the second-last lap of yesterday’s French Grand Prix, when he passed reigning champ Lewis Hamilton and won his third race of the season. Next up is a double-header in Austria, where the W Series season is also set to start (more about that Saturday *wink wink*).