The San Antonio Spurs basketball team topped the Miami Heat to capture the 2014 NBA championship, winning the series in five games. Playing under coach Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobi and Tony Parker are the winningest trio in NBA playoff history - and have captured multiple championships together.
"We had a great first quarter, but from that point on they were the better team, and that's why they're the champions in 2014," said opponent LeBron James, admitting the Spurs were just too dominant.
The Spurs-Heat series was a rematch from the 2013 season, which the Heat went on to win.
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson completely dominated Ali Bagautinov during their UFC 174 main event fight from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Johnson controlled the five-round, 25-minute fight, using both speed and great technique to keep Bagautinov from implementing his game plan.
Johnson scored a clean sweep on the judges' scorecards, easily winning the fight 50-45, with the champion now expecting the winner of Ian McCall vs. Brad Pickett. It's still unsure what is next for Johnson, as he has looked good since winning the flyweight title in 2012.
The lighter weights in the UFC struggle to capture attention from casual fans, as viewers like to see bigger fighters slug it out. However, the UFC has a true star in Johnson, with his 8-1-1 record in the UFC, successfully defending his championship four consecutive times.
Colombian cycling climbing specialist Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) won the 2014 Giro d'Italia grand tour cycling race, finishing the 21-stage race 2 minutes, 58 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), and 4 minutes, 4 seconds ahead of Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team). Incredibly, this was Quintana's second grand tour, and he looked comfortable in the mountains, able to maintain pace with any attacks on steeper inclines.
"Now that the final finish line is crossed, I am so happy," Quintana said after sealing the overall victory. "I had the support of my team, and the support of my nation. I am very content to win this Giro. It was never easy, but the team backed me in all the hard moments."
It's an impressive victory for the 24-year-old, as he also won the best young rider classification and two stages throughout three weeks. Although Quintana will skip the Tour de France in July, he could lead the Movistar team during the 2015 Tour next season.
Dutch fighter Gegard Mousasi (35-4-2) dominated veteran Mark Munoz (13-5) in their middleweight main event fight of UFC Fight Night 41 in Berlin, Germany. The former Dream and Strikeforce champion displayed excellent striking, effective takedown defense, and good submissions to set up the rear-naked choke at 3:57 of round one. Incredibly, this marked the 27th time Mousasi had a first-round finish during his 11-year-career.
"I worked a lot on the rear-naked choke and guillotine," Mousasi said post-fight. "He's a strong wrestler, so he always comes forward. I want to pick up the angle and slowly go forward."
Mousasi is now 2-1 in the UFC and shows steady improvement - despite being promoted as one of the most skilled fighters in the world just a few years ago, Mousasi was accused of being lazy and not caring about training. However, this should quickly elevate him up the ladder in a middleweight division that is fairly desperate for legitimate contenders to face current champion Chris Weidman in the future.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will reportedly purchase the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for a record $2 billion. Several serious bidders offered to pay $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion, though Ballmer's winning bid must now be approved by the current Clippers owner and by the NBA.
Despite the news, until current owner Donald Sterling signs off, nothing has been finalized. "There's been no sale," said Bobby Samini, an attorney representing Sterling. "There can be no sale without Donald's signature." Sterling has owned the team since 1981, when he paid just $12 million for the franchise.
Despite past efforts to keep basketball in Seattle, Ballmer said he wants to keep the Clippers in Los Angeles - though with the Lakers also in Los Angeles - he could try to push for a team relocation in the future. However, Los Angeles is the No. 2 media market in the United States, so it would make monetary sense to keep the Clippers in California.
BMC Racing Team time trial specialist Taylor Phinney captured the individual time trial and won the U.S. national championship, able to wear the national jersey during time trials. He controlled the 19.2-mile course in 37:48, winning ahead of 2013 champion Tom Zirbel, who came across 51 seconds slower. Phinney already had his custom skinsuit picked out and made, ready to wear it as he prepares to show off his stars and stripes in Europe.
Here is what Phinney said post-race: I'm really happy with this. This is a big weight off my shoulders. I was confident going into today, but I was actually super nervous, mainly because it was one of the first time trials I've gone into where I've been the overwhelming favorite. I still can kind of play the underdog card in all the World Tour time trials, so this is the first one where everyone was looking at me, so I was quite happy to pull it off."
Phinney will now try to win the U.S. national road race championship race on Monday, an intense 102-mile race which should prove to be exciting for cycling fans. Current U.S. road race champion Freddie Rodriguez wants to defend his jersey, though will face stiff competition from young, motivated riders trying to fight for contracts in Europe.
Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) won the 2014 Tour of California, with full support from his Sky teammates. Rounding out the final podium was Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), 30 seconds down, and Lawson Craddock (Team Giant-Shimano), one minute, 48 seconds behind Wiggins.
Team Cannondale's Peter Sagan won the green points jersey (47 points), with William Routley (Optum p/b/ Kelly Benefit Strategies) capturing the polka dot mountain jersey, and Craddock won the white jersey for best young rider.
The Tour of California continues to grow each year, with bigger names from the European peloton heading to the Golden State every May. The statewide race is the No. 1 cycling race in the United States, and will likely only garner more fan support heading into 2015.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson won a controversial decision to capture the Bellator light heavyweight tournament against rival Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. The fight went three rounds, 15-minutes, with many MMA fans thinking King Mo did enough to steal the victory - but the judges didn't see it that way.
Many thought the fight would be scored 29-28 in favor of Lawal, but Rampage won the decision, picking up a clean sweep of 29-28 against his longtime rival. It should be interesting to see what happens, as Rampage will have a shot against Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton, despite being part-time training partners.
"Emanuel and I both share the same coach, the great Antonio McKee. That guy is the secret to my success in addition to my coaches at the Wolfslair," Rampage noted following his victory. "But the fact of it is, Emanuel and I, we both share Antonio McKee. We train together sometimes."
During an interview with Swiss TV channel, the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, said that hosting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 was a terrible idea. He said: "of course it was a mistake," but when asked about the decision to host the even in the summer of the Northern Hemisphere, he said "one makes a lot of mistakes in life".
The choice of where the FIFA World Cup in 2022 would be hosted has been quite controversial, especially with summers in Qatar being very, very hot and humid. Temperatures can reach a ball-melting 120 degrees, right around the time the FIFA World Cup will take place. Qatar has promised that it will build air-conditioned stadiums, and other measures to make sure players and spectators are comfortable.
The hot weather is such an issue that some proposed that the 2022 World Cup be hosted in winter, but this decision was left behind as winter is the season when Europe and most of the world's professional clubs have their regular seasons. The issue Qatar, and the world faces now, is workers having to be in those temperatures building the stadiums and surrounding buildings.
Lebron James scored 29 while Wade added 28 to lift the Miami Heat over the Brooklyn Nets 96-94, winning the best of seven series 4-1. The Heat will face the winner of the Pacers / Wizards series in the Eastern Conference finals. The Pacers can close out the Wizards tonight in-game 6 of that series in Washington.
Out west, the San Antonio Spurs closed out the Portland Trailblazers 104 - 82 taking the best of seven series 4 - 1. Tim Duncan scored 16 and added 8 rebounds while Patty Mills scored 18 and Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard each scored 22 points overcoming an injury to Tony Parker in the second quarter. The Spurs will face the winner of the Oklahoma City Thunder / L.A. Clippers series which the Thunder can close out tonight in-game 6 being held at the STAPLES center in Los Angeles.