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USWNT Add Another Win as NWSL International Break Ends

June 17, 2021
Source: USWNT/Twitter
Source: USWNT/Twitter

Euros: It’s been a wild few days in Europe. Tuesday’s matches saw a protester “accidentally” parachute into Germany’s stadium, injuring fans during Germany’s 1–0 loss to France, and Portugal's 3–0 win over Hungary made Cristiano Ronaldo (who we are not fans of, BTW) the Euros’ all-time leading goal-scorer.

  • Yesterday was a touch tamer, with wins for Wales, Italy and Russia, and three more matches are on deck today. Check out all the results and the full schedule here.
  • Also, we’re pleased to report that Denmark’s Christian Eriksen is doing well after suffering a cardiac arrest against Finland last Saturday. His team takes the pitch today at noon ET to face the Belgian powerhouse.

USWNT: The world’s best team beat No. 38 Nigeria 2–0 last night. The friendly was the last one during the NWSL’s international break, but the USWNT will be back on the pitch July 1st and 5th for Olympic tune-ups against Mexico. Dust off your vuvuzelas; the summer of soccer has begun! 

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Los Angeles: Largest Crowd Since Pandemic Shut Down Cheer Dodgers to Victory

June 17, 2021
Source: Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo
Source: Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo

🏀Clippers: While we’re still in shock that Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely with a sprained knee, the Clips took it in stride. In Kawhi’s absence, Paul George posted a huge double-double and Reggie Jackson was clutch in the Clips’ 119–111 Game 5 victory over the Utah Jazz last night. Playoff P and Mr. June, coming through.

  • Although Utah drained 17 (!!!) three-pointers in the first half, the Clips weathered the storm and came out strong after halftime. Fired up.
  • And hey, here’s hoping tomorrow night’s full capacity crowd will buoy the Clips to their first conference finals appearance ever. Staples Center, make some noise.

⚾️MLB: The energy from 52,078 fans definitely boosted the Dodgers to a 5–3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, but the Chavez Ravine faithful couldn’t lift the defending champs to a series sweep yesterday. Can’t win ’em all.

  • Meanwhile, the Angels want to shake off being swept by the Oakland A’s yesterday. Shohei Ohtani is set to take the mound at 9:38 p.m. ET/6:38 p.m. PT tonight for “Reopening Day” against the Detroit Tigers. Light that baby up. 

🏀Sparks: Even with the Ogwumike (pronounced oh-gwoo-MIH-kay) sisters out due to injuries and Te’a Cooper serving a one-game suspension, the Sparks still beat the Phoenix Mercury last night. Let’s make it two straight against Phoenix tomorrow at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. 

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Boston: Red Sox Earn Two Game Sweep Against Atlanta Braves

June 17, 2021
Source: USATSI
Source: USATSI

⚾️Red Sox: Boston got their peaches wins out in Georgia, defeating the Atlanta Braves 10–8 yesterday to complete the two-game sweep. Even the pitchers were scoring runs! Next up, the red-hot Red Sox will test their three-game win streak against the (Andrew Benintendi-less) Kansas City Royals tomorrow at 8:10 p.m. ET. Do we hear four? 

🏈Patriots: With his contract set to expire this year, four-time Pro Bowler and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore missed out on the Pats’ mandatory mini training camp this week. Gilmore is likely holding out in the hopes of securing an increased bag, but his absence has sparked trade rumors.

🏀Celtics: Jayson Tatum was totally snubbed by the recent All-NBA team announcements, but he’ll be on a much more important roster: the Olympic one. Tatum is expected to become the first Celtic to represent Team USA since Larry Bird won gold with the Dream Team in 1992. Now we just need to know if the true Tatum star will make the trip to Tokyo. 

🏀NBA Playoffs Can't Escape Influx Injuries

June 17, 2021
Source: Gary A Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Gary A Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The injuries: LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard? ACL sprain. Brooklyn Nets phenom Kyrie Irving? Right ankle sprain. Phoenix Suns’ Mr. Playoffs himself, Chris “CP3” Paul? Out indefinitely due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. In total, eight All-Stars have missed at least one postseason game, an all-time high. Yikes.

  • The playoff injury bug is not uncommon, but seeing so many big names on the sidelines is. The reason? LeBron thinks it’s because of the shortened offseason. 

The series: Despite the injuries, the playoffs must go on. The conference semifinals will wrap up this weekend as the Clippers vs. Utah Jazz (3-2), Atlanta Hawks vs. Philadelphia 76ers (3-2), and Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks (3-2) each conclude their series. Check out the bracket here

The Rookie of the Year: Speaking of injuries, even though he missed over a month of action late in the regular season due to a broken wrist, Charlotte Hornet Lamelo Ball (yes, of that Ball family) was named Rookie of the Year

After being picked third overall in the 2020 draft, Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, so this award is well deserved.  

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Philadelphia: Sixers Struggle to Keep Lead in Game 5

June 17, 2021
Source: Matt Slocum/AP Photo
Source: Matt Slocum/AP Photo

🏀Sixers: After enjoying a large lead for most of Game 5 last night, the 76ers crumbled in the fourth quarter, losing 109–106 to the Atlanta Hawks after Atlanta took the lead with less than two minutes left in the game. Ugh. 

  • Missed free throws and careless turnovers stifled the Sixers’ attempts to recover, and Trae Young and his Hawks walked out of the Wells Fargo Center with the 3-2 series lead. 
  • The highlight? Seth Curry drained three-pointers all night, scoring 36, and was only outdone by Joel Embiid with 37. It’s win or go home for the Sixers when they meet again tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET. Not, not nervous. 

⚽️Union: After nearly a month off due to the MLS break, the Union are ready to take the pitch again with head coach Jim Curtin, who signed a two-year contract extension yesterday, leading the charge. The beloved 2020 MLS Coach of the Year and Philly-area native is here to stay...and to win an MLS Cup. Step one? Beat Atlanta United on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET. 

⚾️Phillies: Though they were missing big hitters Bryce Harper and Jean Segura due to injuries, the Phillies finally took one off the Dodgers with their 2–0 win last night. Back to .500...phew.