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Strong defense propels Rockets

Chris Paul’s grit and veteran leadership have pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination. Now the Houston Rockets must wait to see if his injured leg is strong enough to help them take one last step to the Finals. Eric Gordon came off theFULL STORY

China in semis as Taiwan fumble

China’s star shuttlers are to be tested by Thailand’s dark-horse women’s team and Indonesia’s men in the last four of the Uber and Thomas Cups, with Japan also grabbing spots in both semi-finals after a dramatic knockout stage on Thursday. The prestigious biennial event has broughtFULL STORY

Brazilian fans downbeat ahead of the World Cup

Three weeks to World Cup kick-off and the Brazilians are downbeat, underperforming and generally hangdog — Brazilian fans, that is. Their team might be hot, steamrolling Latin American rivals in the qualifiers and gunning for a record sixth world title in Russia, but the yellow-shirted fanFULL STORY

Baseballs mysteriously getting extra lift

Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it is not from the exaggerated uppercuts that batters are taking, a 10-person committee of researchers hired by the MLB commissioner’s office found. “The aerodynamic properties of the ball have changed, allowing it to carry farther,”FULL STORY

Liverpool supporters stranded after Kiev flights canceled

About 1,000 Liverpool fans have been left stranded and risk missing the Champions League final in Kiev, after a travel firm canceled three flights to the Ukrainian capital. Worldchoice Sports said on Facebook that it had been unable to secure enough landing slots for the aircraft,FULL STORY

SPORTS BRIEFS

TENNIS Hsieh out before semis Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova on Thursday beat defending champion Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Internationaux de Strasbourg semi-finals, where she is to face fourth seed Mihaela Buzarnescu, who beat Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei 6-0, 6-3. Fifth seed Cibulkova hit 21 winners toFULL STORY

Caps crush Tampa to advance to finals2018-05-25

Alex Ovechkin lifted the Prince of Wales Trophy, spun around and set it back down on a table. The rest of the Capitals joined him for a team photograph after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Wednesday night in Game 7 of the NHL EasternFULL STORY

NFL orders players to stand for anthem2018-05-25

NFL team owners on Wednesday agreed to a new policy that players must stand during the US national anthem or incur fines for their clubs, unless they stay in the locker room. The issue of how to handle player protests of kneeling during the pregame playingFULL STORY

Celtics defeat Cavaliers to secure a 3-2 lead in series2018-05-25

LeBron James is tired. The young Boston Celtics seem to be getting stronger. Rookie Jayson Tatum on Wednesday night scored 24 points — his ninth 20-point game of the post-season — as Boston beat Cleveland 96-83 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven NBA EasternFULL STORY

Viviani wins his fourth stage as Yates keeps lead2018-05-25

Italy’s Elia Viviani on Wednesday won a sprint finish for his fourth stage win of this year’s Giro d’Italia as Britain’s Simon Yates held the leader’s pink jersey as the race heads for the Alps. Quick-Step Floors rider Viviani crossed first after a bunch sprint finishFULL STORY

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