What you may have missed this weekend: 5/30 – 6/2

It’s already been a week? And it’s already that time of the week to tell you what you might have missed and boy was it a lot to miss. I mean we’ve been talking about it all week long, so I hope you didn’t miss anything from the NHL, NBA, and Champions League.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams” by mirsasha is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Before we get into the news and games that we missed this weekend that we all wish we didn’t miss, let me first talk about some other sports news that might have happened and we didn’t even expect to hear about this weekend. News like a retirement speech from one of UFC’s elite light heavyweights. A surprise early exit out tennis’ French Open. There’s also some MLB news and Aman brings us some more Cricket.

 

UFC:

Alexander Gustafsson confirms his retirement:

It came after a submission loss to Anthony Smith. Smith and Gustafsson are two of the best light heavyweights. After the match ended with 2:38 of the fourth round during the Friday Night main event. It was the biggest win of Smith’s 11-year career. Gustafsson confirmed after the fight that he will retire.

“It feels like I don’t have it in me anymore, to be honest,” Gustafsson said. “It feels like I do mistakes that I shouldn’t, so I just have the feeling it’s the time now. I don’t want to be a journeyman. I don’t want to do this because I’m getting paid. I just want to do this because I love it and I want to be at the top.”

If Gustafsson hadn’t submitted, he might have lost the bout anyways. Smith controlled the majority of the fight. But let’s look at some accomplishments of Gustafsson. He is one of 11 light heavyweights to win 10-plus fights. The only fighter in UFC history to land 100-plus strikes in two title fights and lose both (Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier). He has also recorded nine knockdowns in light heavyweight fights, 4th-most in division history.

Gustafsson finished his career 18-6 (10-6 UFC) and has lost two straight and four of his last six. With this retirement, expect Gustafsson to fix his home after putting his career first.

 

Tennis:

Serena out of French Open:

It’s been a rough year for Serena Williams and her Tennis career and this past weekend at the French Open was no different. Williams was upset by 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin in straight sets (6-2, 7-5) Saturday. Williams is on a quest for her 24th Grand Slam title and this was another failed attempt as this loss was her earliest loss at a major tournament in five years. The last time Williams was eliminated this quickly at a major came in 2014, when she lost in the second round at Roland Garros and in the third round at Wimbledon.

And this year hasn’t helped Williams this year. In the Australian Open, Williams held a 5-1 lead in the third set until losing 7-5 in the deciding set. During the Indian Wells, Williams retired in the second set of the third-round due to a viral illness. She suffered a knee injury before a third-round match of the Miami Open and withdrew. That same injury caused her to withdraw from a second-round match in Rome with her sister Venus.

Williams has 23 Grand Slam titles, one shy from Margaret Court’s mark for the most in tennis history. Williams is now 37 and she will be looking to pass Court before her career ends. But this tennis surprise was the second significant surprise in a matter of hours as we also saw No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka get eliminated 6-4, 6-2 by 42nd-ranked Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic to end Osaka’s 16-match Grand Slam winning streak.

 

NBA:

NBA Finals:

The NBA finals are underway and it has been everything we expected as the Toronto hosted the NBA Finals for the first time ever. Not only did Toronto host the Finals, but they are in the NBA Finals for the first time franchise history. It was the Toronto Raptors hosting the reigning two-time champions, Golden State Warriors.

The Raptors made game one memorable as they handed the Warriors their first game one loss of the NBA finals during their five-year appearance. Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors to the finals, but it was Pascal Siakam with the career night as he scored 32 points in the Raptors 118-109 win.

Game two was a different as the Warriors battled their way down by 12 points to scored 20 straight points in the third quarter and take control of the game to win 109-104. Unfortunately, the Warriors suffered a lot of injuries with key guys like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney, and Andre Iguodola. All of these guys are hoping to be ready for game three on Wednesday night.  We also expect the return of Kevin Durant. With the Warriors stealing a home game win from the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard and the North will be looking to get another one.  Who will step up in game three for each team?

 

NHL:

NHL Playoffs:

After winning game two in overtime, the St. Louis Blues were looking to build off the momentum and get game 3 as well. Unfortunately, that was not the case here.

Boston Bruins stars led them to a 7-2 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Torey Krug (1 goal, 3 assists), Patrice Bergeron (1 goal, 2 assists) Pastrnak and Brad Marchand also added goals as they went a perfect 4 for 4 on four shots during the power play. Bruins goalkeeper Tuukka Rask was also solid with 27 saves.

But Monday night in St Louis is where the Blues look to climb back in it. They just have to control their penalties in this series. The Blues have 17 penalties through the first three games of the finals. They made it this far by being the least-penalized team through the first three rounds. The Blues were also without suspended forward Oskar Sundqvist after his penalty in game two’s win. Sundqvist will be available for the Blues on Monday.

 

MLB:

Braves got 1st home series win vs AL since ’16:

The Atlanta Braves are continuing to get better as a team.  They are one of the youngest teams in the Majors and it’s the young guys doing things they haven’t done in years. In fact, the Braves won their first home series against an American League team for the first time since 2016.

With a tight game, Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson homered and scored three runs. He later scored the tiebreaker on Freddie Freeman’s double in the eighth inning as Atlanta beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on Sunday. Swanson has already hit 12 home runs this year (14 last season).

With that win, the Braves took two of three from the Tigers for its first home  series win since 2016 also beating Detroit than.

 

Cricket:

Pakistan falls to fierce West Indian bowling:

True story: I wake up on Friday morning and immediately check the Pakistan score against the West Indies: 74-4. Bad, but not terrible. I get ready for the morning and a few minutes later, Pakistan is 89-9. Yeah, that Shahid Afridi meme about missing Pakistan’s batting innings is somewhat true. It was only thanks to a few boundaries from Wahab Riaz in the end that Pakistan was able to cross 100. The West Indies chased it within 14 overs as Chris Gayle crossed 50, but Mohammad Amir was able to collect three wickets.

Sri Lanka forgets how to bat:

You can’t expect much from Dimuth Karunaratne’s team. In their opening World Cup match against New Zealand, Sri Lanka’s innings were wrapped up for 136, a poor display on Karunuratne’s captaincy debut. Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson both got three wickets and New Zealand chased the target without losing a wicket.

Australia too strong for Afghanistan:

After Afghanistan’s openers fell within the first two overs, Rahmat Shah’s 43(60) and Najibullah Zadran’s 51(49) took Afghanistan to a total of 207. But for Australia, after captain Aaron Finch’s fifty, David Warner came to the show with his 89(114)*, winning the game for the Aussies.

Bangladesh ‘upset’ weak South Africa:

South Africa was given another chance to win at The Oval in London after losing to England, and they messed it up. South Africa had the game in the bag, but a brilliant third-wicket partnership between Shakib Al-Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim took Bangladesh from 75-2 to 217-3. Forty runs from the last few overs exceled Bangladesh to their highest ever One-Day International total of 330-6.

As South Africa lost wickets, their run-rate slowed down and they became helpless in front of Bangladesh’s energetic pace attack. Despite a half-century from captain Faf du Plessis, Mustafizur Rahman’s three wickets were vital as South Africa only managed 309, 21 runs short.

 

Soccer:

Liverpool wins their first trophy since 2005:

And it wasn’t just any trophy. After losing out on the Preimer League title by just one point, Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League Finals in Madrid on Saturday. In the second minute, Mohamed Salah buried a penalty after the referee deemed Moussa Sissoko handballed. Tottenham was weaker than Liverpool throughout, but finally, in the 87th minute, Divock Origi scored from outside the box to hand Liverpool the Champions League trophy.

Jose Reyes passes away:

Ex-Arsenal player Jose Reyes passed away in a car accident on Saturday. He was a part of ‘The Invincibles’ Arsenal team which won the Premier League in 2004 and made a total of 110 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 23 times. Our thoughts and prayers to all the fans, family and friends from us at Fourth Quarter Sports.

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