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Basketball

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LA: Stick the landing

April 15, 2021
Source: Rand Bleimeister via UCLA Gymnastics
Source: Rand Bleimeister via UCLA Gymnastics

🎓🤸‍♀️Gymnastics: For the first time since 2006, UCLA didn’t qualify as a team to NCAA Championships, but three gymnasts will represent the Bruins at nationals. Nia Dennis, Margzetta Frazier and Chae Campbell will compete for individual titles in tomorrow’s 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT semifinal. 

  • Dennis and Frazier are competing on vault and uneven bars, respectively, so we won’t see either of their iconic Internet-breaking floor routines. Bummer.
  • Campbell, on the other hand, will compete in the all-around and rotate with the LSU Tigers, who are so pumped that they’ve learned her floor routine to do on the sideline. S’cute. 

🏀Basketball: Limited fans are back for tonight’s edition of the Lakers’ historic rivalry with the Boston Celtics. However, the talk of the town isn’t about seeing the defending champs in person, but instead Staples Center’s ableist and sexist "no bag" policy. Who approved this? 

  • Moving onto better choices, we’re starry-eyed over the Sparks’ new jerseys. And while the WNBA season’s still a month away, tap in tonight to see who the Sparks select with the seventh and 10th overall draft picks.

🏈NFL: The Rams aren’t in season, but defensive tackle Aaron Donald is in the news. A criminal complaint was filed against him yesterday for alleged assault. Stay tuned.

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Dallas: I’m gonna be your number one

April 15, 2021
Source: Eric Gay/AP Photo
Source: Eric Gay/AP Photo

🏀Wings: After trading the No. 7 pick to the LA Sparks yesterday, the Wings still have three (!!!) top-10 picks in tonight’s WNBA draft and we’re stoked that expected No. 1 overall Texas’ Charli Collier is likely staying close to home. As for the No. 5 pick, keep your fingers crossed for two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Aari McDonald still being available.

🏒Stars: Following yet another tough overtime loss on Tuesday, Stars fans got more bad news yesterday with the announcement that goalie Ben Bishop and right winger Alex Radulov will miss the remainder of the season due to injuries. Is it October yet?

⚾️Rangers: Thanks to a five strikeout, 5.2 inning gem from pitcher Kohei Arihara, the Rangers picked up a 5–1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday to take a 2-1 series lead. Pitcher Jordan Lyles will look to keep the lockdown defense rolling tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET/6:10 p.m. CT as the Rangers hunt for the series win and their third straight.  

⚽️FC Dallas: After advancing to the conference semifinals last season, FC Dallas is back this Saturday, taking on the Colorado Rapids at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. With 2020 team-leading scorer Franco Jara returning for his second year and veteran goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in net, this team is poised for another deep playoff run. #DTID!

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New York: Can’t win ’em all

April 12, 2021
Source: Yankees/Twitter.com
Source: Yankees/Twitter.com

🏒NHL: After the Rangers clobbered the Islanders on Friday, the teams’ rematch last night ended with an Islanders 3–2 victory. Defenseman Ryan Pulock’s overtime goal, which happened to be his first goal of the season, tipped the scales in favor of the Isles. Now that’s good timing. 

⚾️Yankees: The Yankees lost the first two games of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays, but they bounced back to beat their divisional rival 8–4 yesterday. Old tensions between the teams resurfaced, culminating in both teams being issued warnings in the first inning yesterday after Yank pitcher Jordan Montgomery pegged Ray Austin Meadows. Fiery. 

🏀Nets: The Nets lost 126–101 to the LA Lakers on Saturday. Normally this wouldn’t be a BFD, but it’s a tad embarrassing considering the Lakers were without stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

  • The Lakers came out strong and controlled the game, and after Kyrie Irving and Laker Dennis Schroder were ejected in the third quarter for fighting (allegedly over a racial slur), the Nets lost what little energy they had.
  • They’ll attempt to pull themselves together against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 8 p.m. ET, although the team will be without Irving due to personal reasons. 

⚽️Gotham FC: ICYMI, the NWSL is back and so is Gotham FC (formerly known as Sky Blue FC), who takes on the Orlando Pride in their first game of the Challenge Cup on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

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Chicago: All shook up

April 12, 2021
Source: Matt Patterson/AP
Source: Matt Patterson/AP

⚽️NWSL: Besides the aforementioned disappointing off-field events, on the pitch the Red Stars had a tight opening game of the Challenge Cup, tying the Dash in the scoreless effort. Chicago’s next match against the Portland Thorns on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT will be another tough one, but you know we love a Challenge. 

⚾️MLB: The 4-5 Cubs won one of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend, and the 4-5 White Sox split their two games with the Kansas City Royals. The North Siders suffered pitching woes and an uninspired offense, while the South Siders’ relief pitchers struggled, allowing a Royals home run in the ninth inning yesterday to lose the game. Sigh. 

🏒NHL: The Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4–3 on Saturday, marking only the second win in their last five games. It was an important win for Chicago’s playoff chances though, as they teeter on the edge of making the postseason

  • While we’re expecting the Hawks to be relatively quiet ahead of this afternoon’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline (especially after a big trade with the Florida Panthers last week), at least the team gave us these photos of players and their pets to keep us entertained. S’cute. 

🏀NBA: The Bulls lost 121–117 to the Minnesota Timberwolves last night. It was a disappointing performance from Chicago, especially since we thought rookie Patrick Williams being left off ESPN’s 25 under 25 ranking would fire up the squad. A missed opportunity. 

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The GIST's Quick Hits - US (April 12, 2021)

April 12, 2021
Source: AFP
Source: AFP

🏇Horse racing: Another gender barrier hurdled! On Saturday, Rachael Blackmore became the 20th female jockey to participate in, and first woman to win (!!!), the Grand National horse race in England, the premier steeplechase (think Kentucky Derby, but with jumps) in Europe. Jolly good!

🏀Basketball: We’re not sure what Alex Rodriguez’s connection to the Land of 10,000 Lakes is, but he’s been working hard to finalize a purchase of the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves. The deal would have him assume co-ownership of the WNBA and NBA teams starting in 2023. JLo (maybe) courtside at a W game? Yes, please. 

⚾️Baseball: The San Diego Padres recorded the first no-hitter of the season on Friday, and somehow the first in franchise history. Elsewhere in SoCal, the much-hated LA Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is being investigated by the MLB for using suspicious baseballs. Never a shortage of drama in La La Land.