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Cavs sweep Hawks to reach NBA finals

LeBron James advanced to his fifth straight NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 118-88 rout of the Atlanta Hawks and a sweep of the Eastern Conference Finals. Once again James carried the Cavaliers on his back, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and sevenFULL STORY

Sharapova advances into last 32

Reigning champion Maria Sharapova yesterday brushed aside fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko to reach the last 32 of the French Open in Paris. Sharapova, who was also champion at Roland Garros in 2012 and runner-up in 2013, defeated Diatchenko 6-3, 6-1 in the first match on aFULL STORY

Rangers beat Lightning, force Game 7 in playoffs

Derick Brassard finished with five points as New York kept their perfect record alive when facing elimination with a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brassard scored a hat-trick and added two assists for the Rangers,FULL STORY

Teixeira leads New York Yankees to 5-1 Royals win

Mark Teixeira homered and drove in four runs, and Adam Warren pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning as the New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Tuesday to send the AL champions to their first three-game skid this season. Warren (3-3) wasFULL STORY

Contador boosts lead to step closer to Giro d’Italia win

Spaniard Alberto Contador took a massive step toward his second Giro d’Italia triumph by increasing his overall lead on Fabio Aru after an epic 16th stage, which was won by fellow Spaniard Mikel Landa on Tuesday. Astana rider Landa made up for team leader Aru’s difficultFULL STORY

Malik helps Pakistan outbat Zimbabwe

Shoaib Malik hit his first century in six years to help Pakistan outbat Zimbabwe in the first one-day international by 41 runs in Lahore on Tuesday, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Malik, playing his first one-dayer after two years, notched up a 76-ballFULL STORY

Hosts hoping that more teams will be willing to tour

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hoping to host more Test-playing nations after Zimbabwe became the first major international team to play in the country for six years. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Tuesday that current and former officials from the cricket boards of England,FULL STORY

Usain Bolt wins 200m at wet Golden Spike

Usain Bolt cruised to victory in the 200m at the Golden Spike meet on Tuesday, as the Jamaican star prepares for the world championships after a season marred by injuries. Facing rain and cold at the IAAF World Challenge event, Bolt had the slowest reaction ofFULL STORY

Bayliss makes Australia’s Ashes job harder: Lehmann

The appointment of Trevor Bayliss as the new England coach will make Australia’s job of winning the Ashes series much harder, Australia coach Darren Lehmann said yesterday. The 52-year-old former Sri Lanka coach, an Australian, was handed the role on Tuesday to succeed the sacked PeterFULL STORY

Most fans do not want Sepp Blatter to stand: survey

Four out of five soccer fans say that they believe Sepp Blatter should not be standing for a fifth term as FIFA president, according to a survey conducted by anticorruption watchdog Transparency International. Transparency International said 35,000 supporters in 30 countries were polled in the surveyFULL STORY

Bale vows to up game at Real

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has promised to “come back stronger” next season and quashed media speculation he might leave the club he joined in 2013 for a world-record fee. The Wales international had a disappointing second year in Spain as his team failed to winFULL STORY

Alleging racism, Palestinians seek Israel suspension

Dressed in the black and yellow of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and holding aloft banners reading “pure forever” and “Beitar good for the Jews,” La Familia is Israel’s most notorious soccer gang, denounced by the club they purport to support. As the Palestine Football Association (PFA)FULL STORY

Clarke sticks to McGinley’s format

Rather than experimenting with a new qualifying format, European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke plans to stick to a winning formula when he picks the European team for next year’s competition. Clarke said he would adopt fellow Irishman Paul McGinley’s victorious arrangement, which spurred Europe toFULL STORY

Brazilian soccer club end first Indian player’s dream

The first Indian soccer player picked to play in the coveted Brazilian league has been released by his club after spending just 21 minutes on the field, his manager said yesterday. Romeo Fernandes, 22, was taken on loan by Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense from GoaFULL STORY

Thailand targeting gold, Indonesia just want to play

At the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the men’s soccer gold medal carries more weight than any of the other 400 on offer in a region where soccer bragging rights are the most priceless of commodities. The importance of winning the 11-nation tournament led Thailand and VietnamFULL STORY

SPORTS BRIEFS

SOCCER Asisat Oshoala wins award Nigeria and Liverpool Ladies striker Asisat Oshoala has won the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award after a vote by fans around the world, the broadcaster said on Tuesday. The 20-year-old picked up the prize in Canada, where she is preparingFULL STORY

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