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celtics hope to turn it around in game 5

the celtics expected to see a different lebron james in cleveland after the cavaliers fell into a 2-0 hole to open the eastern conference finals.two games and back-to-back wins later, james has reminded everyone exactly why he’s been to seven straight nba finals.boston will be back in the embrace of its raucous fans at td garden for game 5 on wednesday. but a team that has thrived on youth this postseason suddenly looks disoriented without a go-to player and opposite a more veteran squad that has found a new attitude thanks to the fuel being provided by its biggest star.“my teammates are putting me in position and wanting me to be in attack mode and trusting me to put our guys in position to be successful,” james said. “it’s not about me. it’s about the collective group, and i?...





49ers cornerback sherman a de facto defensive coach during his rehab

now playing: richard sherman offers practice instruction media: sfchronicle richard sherman has a temp job: the all-pro cornerback is an all-in coach.on tuesday, during the 49ers’ first offseason practice open to the media, sherman, 30, spent his time instructing, cajoling and exhorting, often in classic coach posture: hunched over on the sideline with his hands on his knees.at one point, sherman raced onto the field to celebrate after safety jaquiski tartt had blanket coverage on tight end garrett celek: “good job, tartt!” sherman yelled after the pass was incomplete.moments later, sherman, reacting as if it was the playoffs instead of a may practice, put his hands atop his 49ers baseball cap in frustration after jimmy garoppolo lofted a deep pass to marquise goodwin between...





giants’ bumgarner set to begin rehab assignment in sacramento

houston — madison bumgarner felt so good facing hitters several hours before tuesday’s game that he waited until the final round of batting practice to take his hacks, too.did he ever. bumgarner hit a few towering drives to the seats at minute maid park, another sign that he’s on his way back to the giants’ rotation.“everything feels normal now,” bumgarner said two months after undergoing surgery on the fifth metacarpal in his left hand.the left-hander threw 30 pitches and felt a noticeable improvement with his breaking pitches, and his next step is a 45-pitch rehab start at triple-a sacramento on saturday. the plan, which has fluctuated, is to make at least three rehab starts before returning to the rotation.in previous throwing sessions atop bullpen mounds, bumgarner had issu...





no evidence of doping by russian soccer players, fifa says

fifa, soccer’s world governing body, has found insufficient evidence of doping by any players in russia’s world cup squad but continues to investigate other players in the country.in an investigation sparked by world anti-doping agency evidence, fifa has been examining doping samples provided by russian players seized from a moscow laboratory along with information from former chemist grigory rodchenkov and the whistleblower’s database.it had prioritized giving a verdict on the players set to play for russia at the world cup, which kicks off in moscow on june 14. russia last week named a provisional 28-man squad, plus seven reserves.russian players have been subject to “several unannounced targeted doping controls” during the investigation, fifa said tuesday.“insufficient evide...





indians’ ramirez leads way against cubs

jose ramirez turned on a knee-high pitch and launched the indians toward a lopsided win.ramirez hit his 14th homer and cleveland routed the chicago cubs 10-1 on tuesday night in their first meeting at wrigley field since the 2016 world series.the al central leaders moved back to .500 with an easy victory against the team that beat them two years ago to end a 108-year championship drought.ramirez got cleveland going with his three-run drive in the third. the indians scored four times in the inning while chasing a wild tyler chatwood and simply poured it on after that.“he’s one of the better hitters in the game,” cleveland manager terry francona said. “you look at him (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) and i don’t know if you necessarily think you see a guy who can drive the ball out of the ba...





at winning time, the rockets were better than the warriors

you had to figure that at some point, the rockets’ season was going to come down to james harden and chris paul, the all-star backcourt duo put together with hopes of dethroning the warriors. that appeared to be the case tuesday, as with six minutes to play, the rockets trailed golden state just 84-82. harden and paul had done pretty much all the scoring damage for the rockets. not one other teammate had scored in double figures. so, of course, the determining factor down the stretch would be whether harden and paul could make the game-winning plays. right? but all of a sudden, the rockets supporting cast started supporting.





giants lose to astros, crawford wins family duel against cole

houston — a few sections of seats above the high left-field wall at minute maid park are named after the street outside that parallels the seating.they’re called the crawford boxes, and for one night, they might as well have been named after the giants’ shortstop. they were the landing point of brandon crawford’s fifth-inning home run that his family will never forget.it was the giants’ biggest highlight in tuesday night’s 11-2 inter-league loss to the astros, and it gave crawford bragging rights at the next family wingding because the homer was hit off the man who married crawford’s sister.crawford entered the game hitting .222 (4-for-18) off brother-in-law gerrit cole, with no extra-base hits. cole is the majors’ strikeout leader and boasts a 1.86 era, but even he couldn?...





a’s khris davis has grade 1 groin strain, dl decision to come wednesday

khris davis’ right groin strain could have been much more severe, but the a’s main designated hitter still figures to miss a considerable amount of time.after oakland’s 3-2, 10-inning loss to seattle on tuesday night, manager bob melvin said the results of an mri exam davis had in the afternoon showed a grade 1 strain, the mildest of the three grade designations.grade 1 strains typically require 10 days to three weeks to heal. melvin said the a’s would wait until wednesday to decide whether or not to put davis on the disabled list.davis incurred the injury on a swing in sunday’s 9-2 win at toronto. he has 13 homers this season after hitting a combined 85 over the previous two years.before the game, melvin didn’t mince words when asked how his team would handle the loss of davis...





valley christian will defend its baseball title against los gatos

valley christian’s baseball squad will get to defend its title.the chronicle’s top-ranked team got a sterling pitching performance from kevin pence and a two-run first-inning triple by steven zobac as it breezed to a 9-0 win over san benito-hollister in a central coast section open division semifinal tuesday at san jose municipal stadium.valley christian (28-3-1) plays los gatos (23-8), a 2-1 winner over serra, in friday's 7 p.m. championship game. a two-run double by thomas moore in the first inning was all los gatos needed to upend the padres.valley christian beat serra in last year’s title game. serra beat valley christian twice during the regular season to claim the west catholic athletic league round-robin title, but the warriors returned the favor by beating the padres in the ...





warriors collapse in 4th quarter as rockets even series at 2-2

as they entered the fourth quarter tuesday night, the warriors appeared poised to push their nba-record postseason home win streak to 17 games. they had another signature third-quarter run, a double-digit lead and a raucous oracle arena crowd behind them.but houston — at 65-17, the league’s best regular-season team — is a master of rallies, too. in a nightmarish final period, golden state deviated from its movement-heavy blueprint, mustered only 12 points and was left grappling with a 95-92 loss to the rockets in game 4 of the western conference finals.down three points with 0.5 of a second on the clock, the warriors got one last shot at salvaging a victory. stephen curry didn’t get off his corner three-pointer in time, however, as houston snapped golden state’s record for the lo...





view from houston: rockets’ confidence is soaring

they fought all season for this. and, really, they waited three years. in a game the 65-win rockets simply had to have, they just took it. from golden state. with stephen curry sinking surreal three-pointers and oracle arena screaming like the warriors were winning the nba finals again. after a horrendous start, the game after being blown out by 41 points. james harden. chris paul. mike d’antoni. soft? not these rockets. fatigue? “what’s that?” asked harden, capturing the resilience and heart behind a tight 95-92 victory on tuesday night in game 4 of the western conference finals. game 5 is thursday at toyota center.





rockets serve warriors notice: now we have a series

well, we finally got a game. and now we have a series. the houston rockets stole game 4 at oracle arena on tuesday night, 95-92, injecting life back into the western conference finals. the series heads back to houston now, tied at two games apiece. it’s best-of-three, and the rockets hold home court. how’d we get here? it was a slugfest. game 4 was an ugly affair at times — slow and sloppy — followed by fever pitch and high drama. there was pushing, shoving, huffing and puffing. in the end, the game finally lived up to the hype. the league’s two best teams, toe-to-toe.





killion: game 4 didn’t follow the script for the warriors

there were 19,596 people in the building who just knew that quick three-pointer by stephen curry in the final half-second of the game was going to go in and the warriors were going to win the game in overtime and the world would continue to spin on its axis. because you know that’s the way it works at oracle arena. that’s the way it works in curry’s world. it’s the law, right? the warriors win at home in the playoffs. after all, they had set a playoff record of 16 straight home victories. curry goes off in the third quarter. all is right with the world. it didn’t happen this time.





mariners end a’s win streak in extra innings, 3-2

seattle didn’t muster much offense against trevor cahill and the a’s first two relievers tuesday night, but the mariners scored a run off yusmeiro petit in the 10th inning and pulled out a 3-2 decision at the coliseum.the mariners extended their winning streak to four games and ended oakland’s winning streak at four games.after lou trivino struck out the side in the eighth and blake treinen did likewise in the ninth, petit allowed a one-out single to jean segura in the 10th.guillermo heredia followed with a double into the gap in right-center. center fielder dustin fowler bobbled the ball for just a moment, but that was enough to allow segura to just beat jed lowrie’s relay throw home with a headfirst slide to make it 3-2.marcus semien came oh-so-close to tying the game in the bott...





now it’s nervous time for the warriors

quite suddenly, there’s a trace of self-doubt in the warriors’ mood. heading to houston for thursday night’s game 5 of the western conference finals, they’ll have some difficulty replacing it with the same old swagger. to cast a doom-and-gloom indictment upon the warriors would be a mistake, just as it would be foolish to predict anything the rest of the way. this series is vibrant and alive, two nba heavyweights dead even at 2-2 after the rockets’ shocking 95-92 victory at oracle arena on tuesday night. this was everyone’s dream matchup as the regular season unfolded, and it has arrived — finally — in a manner that has captured the nation’s full attention.





warriors’ andre iguodala ruled out for game 4 vs. rockets

warriors forward andre iguodala has been ruled out for game 4 of the western conference finals against houston on tuesday night with a left lateral leg contusion."if he was close, he would play," golden state head coach steve kerr said. "he’s injured, so he’s not playing. we’ll see what happens in a couple of days."iguodala left sunday’s 126-85 rout of the rockets midway through the fourth quarter after knocking knees with james harden. after the game, kerr said of iguodala: "i think he’s ok there. he got banged on the knee. … he said he would be all right."iguodala didn’t practice monday morning. initially listed as doubtful, he was upgraded to questionable after his mri and x-ray confirmed no structural damage. but after meeting with trainers pregame tuesday, iguodala...





blowout city: why haven’t the warriors and houston played a close game?

will we ever get a close game in the nba playoffs? will it be tonight? there’s been three overtime games in these playoffs, all in the east. but in the conference finals, over in the east, the average margin of victory through four games has been 19.25 points. here in the west, the three games have been decided by a total of 70 points. what’s going on? “my only theory would be the prominence of the three point shot these days,” steve kerr said. “offensively teams are so explosive. the scores are much higher now than they used to be. the rules favor the offensive players.





jeff gordon seen as shoo-in for nascar hall of fame

charlotte, n.c. — when jeff gordon’s name is presented to panel of voters for the nascar hall of fame, the debate should be short and simple.yes, gordon gets a slot.the vallejo native is on wednesday’s ballot for the first time and there should be zero discussion regarding his worthiness. the four-time nascar champion played a massive role in moving stock car racing beyond its southern roots and into the national landscape. business models changed because of gordon, who appealed to madison avenue advertisers and stick-and-ball sports fans.he was the star the sport needed and it certainly didn’t hurt that he won so often.gordon’s debut was the 1992 season finale, also richard petty’s final race. he was a winner in his second full season, a nascar champion in the next year. gordo...





nfl reportedly weighs 15-yard penalty for players who kneel during anthem

published 3:53 pm, tuesday, may 22, 2018 now playing: nfl owners met tuesday in atlanta to discuss, among other things, potential solutions to the demonstrations during the national anthem that players participated in last season. media: sports illustrated could the next nfl player who kneels during the national anthem cause a 15-yard penalty against his team? it's on the table for discussion, according to a tuesday report by the hill.the method of peaceful protest, first utilized by then-san francisco 49ers quarterback colin kaepernick in 2016, has caught on across the nfl and other leagues across the country, with players regularly demonstrating their positions against racism and the use of excessive police force against the african-american community.on tuesday, a num...





rockets vs. warriors: pressure? what pressure?

rockets head coach mike d’antoni took some heat for saying the pressure was mostly on the warriors in these western conference finals, even though houston is down two games to one. “that worked out well, didn’t it?” joked d’antoni, before a crucial game 4 matchup here in oakland. the reaction to his comments after game 3 drew widespread reaction, mostly of the head-scratching variety. surely, the rockets need to win this game to have any chance? that sounds like pressure to me. but d’antoni prefers to simplify the analysis, perhaps showing his own method for dealing with the stress. “if we don’t make layups, and don’t make shots, it’s going to be hard to beat ‘em.