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Weekly Top 10 Sports News Headlines and Major Events: May 22, 2022

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This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly report on the big sports news headlines and major events, plus a preview of what’s up next. For May 22, 2022, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know: the big stories and major events in sports news this week in the NFL, the NBA, MLB and more.

weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: May 22, 2022

We begin with three good news stories, which seems a proper way to start this lovely springtime Sunday.

high school sprinter sets new record

USA Today reports that Gary Martin, a senior at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, PA, broke a prestigious track and field record at the Pennsylvania Catholic League Championship this week by running a mile in under four minutes. Martin’s run broke a record that had stood for nearly 60 years. Martin ran a mile in 3:57:98 without the aid of a pacer, breaking a record that had been set by Jim Ryun in 1965. Martin is now the 14th American high school athlete to break four minutes.

U.S. soccer teams sign new collective bargaining agreement guaranteeing pay parity

The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, the U.S. Men’s National Team Players Association and the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to two collective bargaining agreements that will run through 2028. The breakthrough guarantees men and women representing the U.S. will be paid equally.

second-grade singer stuns at NHL playoff game

To kick off the NHL Eastern Conference Second Round this week, the Florida Panthers invited 7-year old Pranysqa Mishra to sing the national anthem before their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The second grader’s stunning rendition went viral and has us believing that her dream to become a pop star is definitely within reach. Listen to it here.

Here are 10 other headlines to know from the world of sports this Sunday.

1. NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals

Bucks-Celtics Conference Semifinals Game 7

A lot has happened since last week’s sports report. The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t make it as far as expected in the NBA Playoffs, given that they’re the defending national champions. The Celtics beat the Bucks 109-81 in Game 7. It was the Celtics’ second-largest Game 7 win ever.

Lots of fans had given up on Boston after they blew a large Game 5 lead at home. But the Celtics went to Milwaukee and beat the defending champs on their home floor, then returned home and did it again to take the series.

Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player ever to have 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists in a series. Despite his heroic performance, without Khris Middleton, the Bucks simply ran out of offensive power. But don’t despair, Bucks fans: CBS Sports notes that with Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and a healthy Middleton, the Bucks are well-positioned for more long postseason runs in the years to come.

Eastern Conference Finals – Boston Celtics, 1 – Miami Heat, 1.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler dominated in Game 1, with 41 points. nine rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals. CBS Sports notes that Butler is the first player in NBA playoff history to register a stat line like that. The Heat topped the Celtics, 118-107, despite playing again without Kyle Lowry, who is out with a hamstring injury. It was clear that the absences of the Celts’ Marcus Smart (foot injury) and Al Horford (out due to health and safety protocols) took their toll.

Happily for Boston fans, the Celtics bounced back in Game 2 to even up the series Thursday night with a 127-102 win over the Heat. Marcus Smart (named Defensive Player of the Year) returned with a near triple-double: 24 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Al Horford also returned, which made Boston’s defensive capability even more formidable. And the duo of Jayson Tatum (27 points) and Jaylen Brown (24 points) both passed the 20-point threshold, with 27 and 24 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Heat floundered. In Game 2, Jimmy Butler had 29 points, but no other Heat player scored more than 14. Game 3 is tonight in Boston.

2. NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals

Suns-Mavericks Conference Semifinals Game 7

This semifinal series ended with a dramatic Game 7 that people are still talking about. The Suns were the top seed in the West, and they were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in a stunning Game 7 collapse. The final score? A lopsided 123-90. The Suns’ Chris Paul is taking a lot of heat for the loss. It came out after the game that Paul was dealing with an undisclosed quad injury (the Suns never listed Paul in the injury report). In the end, it seems that Phoenix just ran out of steam: CBS Sports notes that the Suns lost the final two games of the series by 60 points combined.

The biggest story coming out of this series turned out to be the fire that Luka Doncic displayed in the clutch. His Game 7 performances are quickly becoming the stuff of legends. Doncic got 35 points, leading his team to the Mavericks’ second-largest Game 7 win ever.

Golden State Warriors, 2 – Dallas Mavericks, 0

As the conference finals got underway, the Golden State Warriors came out strong, with a 25-point win over the Mavericks in Game 1, 112-87. Seven Golden State players — including all five starters — scored in double figures. Stephen Curry led the way with 21 points (as well as 12 rebounds), and Jordan Poole had 19 points. Meanwhile, Luka Doncic only shot 6-18 from the field and 3-10 from deep in the opening game.

Game 2 was much more of a nail biter for Warriors fans (that would be us). Just seven minutes into the game, the Mavericks had a 26-10 lead. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Warriors caught fire. Jordan Poole scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. Steph Curry scored 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting nearly 7 minutes into the fourth quarter. CBS Sports notes that this was the 12th Warriors postseason comeback win after being down by at least 15 points since Steve Kerr took over as head coach in 2014-15.

Games 3 and 4 are in Dallas.


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NBA Draft Lottery results

Spin the wheel and take your chances . . . the NBA Draft Lottery was held this week, and the Orlando Magic landed the No. 1 overall pick. The Sacramento Kings made the largest leap of any team, landing the fourth pick despite having the seventh-best odds. The Detroit Pistons were disappointed, ending up with the fifth selection. And despite the fact that Portland Trail Blazers star Dreamy Damian Lillard was on hand, the Blazers had no luck, ending up with the number 7 pick.

3. MLB AL: New York Yankees on top

New York fans are pinching themselves – the Yankees have the best record in baseball at 29 – 10, and sit atop the AL. The Tampa Bay Rays are 5.5 back.

4. MLB NL: LA Dodgers lead, New York Mets top the East

The New York Mets are at the top of their division with a 27-15 record. It was a truly odd week in many ways for the Amazins. The Mets and Rockies had to reschedule their Thursday game because of snow. On a less whimsical note, Mets ace Max Scherzer will be out 6-8 weeks with an oblique strain.

Meanwhile, in the NL Central came the happy news that Chicago Cubs rookie Christopher Morel homered in his first MLB at-bat.

5. College football spat

CBS Sports reports on a public spat in college football that erupted unexpectedly this week between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher.

Saban – who at 7 has the most NCAA titles of any coach – started it, saying in an interview that “[Texas] A&M bought every player on their team.” The comment was a reference to the Aggies’ top-ranked 2022 recruiting class. The next day, Fisher — a former Saban assistant — fired back, saying “Some people think they’re God” and urging reporters to “dig into [Saban’s] past.”

Saban also disparaged Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders. Both Saban and Fisher were reprimanded by the SEC commissioner. Saban apologized for singling out Texas A&M and Jackson State.

The Aggies and Crimson Tide play each other on October 8. Stay tuned for more fireworks.

6. NFL News

OTAs underway

It wouldn’t be a sports report without mention of the NFL, right? This week, several teams have started their “Organized Team Activities (OTAs)”. These are voluntary, but they often generate some news based on who shows up for them – and who doesn’t.

some people who have been hurt by Tom Brady want you to know

In the gossip realm, this week Ryan Fitzpatrick took at shot at Tom Brady (because apparently someone has to do this once a week). “Fitzmagic” claims not both he and Nick Foles have been subjected to “handshake snubs” after beating a team that TB12 is playing on. This on top of the speculation that Fitzpatrick was the quarterback to whom Brady was referring when he appeared on HBO’s The Shop at the same time that an unnamed team backed out of courting him as he was leaving the Patriots. He said: “they’re sticking with that motherf—-er . . . ” to be exact. Which is really hurtful. We can all see that. Meanwhile, TB12 pal Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski is still holding out from re-signing with Tampa Bay and teasing about his second retirement.

Last QB standing: where will Mayfield go this season?

The NFL quarterback carousel has been spinning, with the Steelers, Browns, Colts, Broncos, Commanders, Falcons, and Seahawks all on track to open next season with new starters. In addition, the 49ers, Bears, and Texans are all expected to start the quarterbacks they drafted last year, but had on the bench at the start of the 2021 season.

There is still at least one domino left to fall in the quarterback market, though, with the Cleveland Browns having Baker Mayfield, even after trading for Deshaun Watson earlier this offseason. There’s been speculation that the Browns could keep Mayfield and have him start while Watson serves any suspension handed down under the personal conduct policy in the wake of him being accused by 20-plus women of sexual misconduct. A report this week from The Athletic speculates that both the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers have not yet ruled out making a play for Mayfield.

Oh, and the 49ers’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is recovering from shoulder surgery and might have a role in this mix somewhere, too.

Finally on the NFL beat, our Sports Desk is wondering how all of those athletes who decided to get paid in bitcoin are feeling about that decision after the roller coaster ride the cryptocurrency has been on in the past two weeks.

7. Stanley Cup Playoffs – conference semifinals

Hockey fans are having a fine time right now, with the Stanley Cups playoffs providing lots of great play and drama. CBS Sports writer Chris Bengal notes that for the first time in 30 years, there were five Game 7s in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Four of the five Game 7s ended up being decided by one goal and two of them went to overtime.

Here’s the rundown on the second-round matchups and their status as of this posting:

Edmonton Oilers, 1 – Calgary Flames, 1.

Hurricanes, 2 – New York Rangers, 0. Our Sports Desk notes that the Rangers lost a heartbreaker in Game 1 in OT at Carolina. Games 3 and 4 are at Madison Square Garden in New York, with Game 3 this afternoon.

Tampa Bay Lightning, 2 – Florida Panthers, 0. Game 3 is this afternoon.

Colorado Avalanche, 2 – St. Louis Blues, 1. Game 4 is tomorrow.

8. PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is underway in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and there have been startling reversals of fortune so far.

On the first day, Rory McIlroy surged to the top of the leaderboard. McIlroy hasn’t won a major since 2014 and hopes were high that he might end his drought. Meanwhile, fan favorite Tiger Woods struggled, and barely made the cut for the next round. Woods was 12 shots behind the leader heading into Saturday.

Conditions are pretty tough on this course: dry, hard soil and strong winds. And that may be why on Saturday, everything seemed to go wrong for both McIlroy and Woods. McIlroy played poorly, ending with 74 and leaving him with virtually no chance of winning. And Woods withdrew at the end of the day.

9. French Open

The second of the four Grand Slam tournaments in 2022 has started, and there’s no telling who will prevail, given all the turmoil so far this year. As you will recall, Novak Djokovic was expelled from the Australian Open because he was unvaccinated. And Rafael Nadal won his 21st Grand Slam title.

As the French Open begins, Roger Federer and Serena and Venus Williams will not be participating.

The draw has led to what will be an early exit for one of the big names on the men’s side: Djokovic (who is ranked No. 1) and Nadal could meet in the quarterfinals. Stan Wawrinka is one to watch, though: he’s the last man not named Djokovic or Nadal to win the French.

On the women’s side, 20-year old Iga Swiatek has won five titles since February. She has taken over the No. 1 ranking and has not lost since the middle of February – a 27-match winning streak. The last time someone had this kind of streak was Serena Williams in 2014-15.

Our girl Naomi Osaka exited in the second round last year in Paris, citing concerns for her emotional wellbeing. She’s back this year with a notably positive and playful spirit. We’re wishing her all the best in what will surely be an emotionally challenging week.

10. Early Voting wins Preakness Stakes

Yesterday was the running of the 147th Preakness Stakes. The pre-race favorite was Epicenter, who finished second at the Kentucky Derby. But in a surprise, the winner was Early Voting. Epicenter was second. This is the second Preakness Stakes win for owner Seth Klarman, who also picked up a victory in 2017. Personally, we just love it when early voting wins – on the racetrack, at the polls, wherever, whenever. ‘Cause why wait?

Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: May 22, 2022

That’s our take on the big sports news headlines and major events, and a preview of the week ahead, including what to know about football, basketball, baseball and more. Stay well and safe out there, dear reader. See you next week.

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Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She’s all in with the Pats, the Warriors, the Red Sox and the Wolverines. Also Naomi and Coco. And Roger. She would like to thank her advisors on the Sports Desk, without whom this column definitely would not be possible. 

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