Saturday 14th April 2018

Event of the day

Our event of the day is the first game of the first round NBA Playoffs series between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The defending champion Warriors won the Pacific Division and finished the regular season as second best in the Western Conference with a 58-24 record, while the Spurs came seventh with a 47-35 record, their worst season since the1996/97 season. Each of these two franchises has won five NBA championships. Last year, on their way to conquering the NBA throne, Golden State completed a 4-0 clean sweep over injury-plagued San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals. This season the sides have met four times already in the regular season, with the Warriors victorious in the first three clashes, before the Spurs won the latest game in March at home. Both teams currently have injury problems with Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard, who has played only nine games this season for San Antonio due to a quad injury, likely to be unavailable for the series against Golden State, just like last season.

The league MVP from 2015 and 2016, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who equal led his side on points with 26.4 on average this term (the same as teammate small forward Kevin Durant), is set to miss the series because of a knee injury. However, the hosts can rely on the powerful trio of Durant, Klay Thompson (scorer of fifth-best in the league - 229 three-pointers at a 44% efficiency) and Draymond Green (the team’s leader in rebounds (7.6) and assists (7.3)). For the visitors, center LaMarcus Aldridge will try and repeat his brilliant regular season showing where he averaged 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. It should be a great start to another memorable series between the Warriors and the Spurs.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London. Spurs are fourth in the table with 67 points, while City, leaders with 84 points, could become champions if they win and second-place Manchester United lose tomorrow. Also in the Premier League, Southampton meet Chelsea at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. It’s Day 3 of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island; and Day 3 of the Open de España at the Centro nacional de golf in Madrid. In the NHL Playoffs, the Nashville Predators face the Colorado Avalanche at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. In Formula 1, the China Grand Prix Qualifying takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit. In MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers play against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger stadium in Los Angeles. In La Liga, Barcelona host Valencia at the Camp Nou in Barcelona; whilst Sevilla welcome Villarreal to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville. Highlights of the tenth day of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia include events in athletics, boxing, hockey, squash, table tennis and basketball. In the Indian Premier League, the Kolkata Knight Riders matchup with the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NBA

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