Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, June 6, 2019

Stephen Curry set a career high for playoff points, but the Toronto Raptors still managed to take a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA Finals.  Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry combined for 71 points to trump Curry's 47 as the Raptors knocked off the two-time defending champs, 123-109 in Oakland.  Leonard scored 30 points for Toronto, which shot 52% and nailed 17 three-pointers.  Lowry hit five treys while scoring 23 points, and Green scored all 18 of his points from beyond the arc.  Curry, who also had eight rebounds and seven assists in 43 minutes, was 6-14 from three-point range and 13-14 from the line in breaking his previous playoff career high of 44 set against San Antonio in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals.  It was the sixth 40-point playoff game of Curry’s career, but he was one of just two Warriors with more than eleven points.  Golden State will host Game Four on Friday.

Craig Kimbrell finally has a new home.  ESPN reports that the All-Star closer and Chicago Cubs have agreed to a three-year, $43 million deal, ending a seven-month free agency for one of baseball's best bullpen arms.  Kimbrel will earn $10 million this season and $16 million in 2020 and 2021.  There is a $1 million buyout on a club/vesting option for the fourth year.  He will report to the Cubs for his physical today, and the expectation is that he will be ready to pitch before June 20.  Kimbrel fills a position of need for Chicago.  Cubs relievers have been spotty this season, blowing 11 saves, third-most in the majors.  Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star, struggled at times for the Boston Red Sox in 2018 but finished the regular season with 42 saves, a 2.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 62⅓ innings pitched.

Nebraska safety CJ Smith has entered the transfer portal yesterday according to the Omaha World Herald.  The 6’2, 205-pound Floridian appeared in two games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury at Northwestern.  Smith was in the process of rehabilitating from that injury this spring.  With his departure, NU is likely to rely more on incoming freshman safeties Noa Pola-Gates, Quinton Newsome and Myles Farmer for depth, although defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has said repeatedly that all of his recruits can play multiple positions, and their ultimate landing spots are not defined upon arrival.

After hearing the names of junior Will Robertson, Isaac Collins, & Jake Holton go on Tuesday, three more members of the Creighton Baseball roster got the call yesterday as seniors Mitch Ragan, Jack Strunc, & Denson Hill each were selected during the final day of the Major League Baseball Draft.  The six selections in a single draft ties for the second most in Creighton history as the 1991 team also had six taken in the MLB Draft.  The Bluejay record for draft picks in one season was set in 1993 when they saw seven players drafted.  Ragan was the first Bluejay to go yesterday, getting selected by the New York Mets in the 15th round with the 448th overall pick. The BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, Ragan closed the 2019 season with an 8-3 record, tossing 99.1 innings over 17 starts.  He posted a 4.17 ERA, allowing just 18 walks and striking out 95.  Ragan was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection and Creighton’s ace.  Strunc went to the Miami Marlins in the 25th round with the overall 741st pick. The shortstop played every inning at that position for the Bluejays this season, hitting .294 with a team-leading 20 doubles.  Hull was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 28th round with the 842nd overall pick.  In his second season at Creighton, Denson made 19 appearances and 18 starts.  He tossed a combined 72 innings, striking out 58 as he earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors.

Matt Waldron became the first Husker selected in the 2019 MLB Draft yesterday when he was picked in the 18th round by the Cleveland Indians.  Waldron finished his four-year Husker career ranked in the top ten of several categories, including career wins, games started, innings pitched, and strikeouts.  This season, he ranks second in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Waldron led the 2019 Husker pitching staff in ERA, strikeouts, and innings pitched, while tying for second in wins.  He made 16 appearances this season, which included 14 starts, and recorded a career-high eleven strikeouts in the final game of his Husker career on June 1 against Oklahoma State.

The Iowa Community College Athletic Conference announced that 53 student-athletes were named Academic All-Region for the 2019 spring semester.  Among the recipients from Northeast Community College includes Columbus’ Andrew Alstadt from the baseball team.  Honored from the men’s golf squad were Randolph’s Mason Stubbs & Fordyce’ Matthew Schaefer.  Norfolk’s Maggie Berryman was recognized from the softball team.  Receiving honors from the men’s basketball program were Scribner’s Ben Moxness, Spencer’s Caleb Rihanek, Humphrey’s Luke Rollman, & Norfolk’s Zack James.  Honored from the women’s basketball team were Burwell’s Blake Mann, South Sioux City’s Kori Fischer, & Macey Kulhanek of Howells.

Local Schedule:  Kelly’s 18’s at Fremont Avalanche (SB DH-6:30); Albuquerque at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-7:05).

Local Scores:  Columbus 6 Nfk Seniors 0 (Bsbl); Omaha Storm Chasers 5 Albuquerque 1 (Bsbl).

CBS Sports Radio at Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM Mon-Fri at 6:00 PM; Sat at 4:00; & Sun at 1:00 & the home of Kansas City Royals baseball!

 

     INTERLEAGUE

    

      Final    Washington      6    Chi  White  Sox      4

    

    

          ---

          AMERICAN  LEAGUE

    

      Final    Toronto          11    N-Y  Yankees      7

      Final    Cleveland        9    Minnesota          7

      Final    Tampa  Bay        4    Detroit              0

      Final    Texas                2    Baltimore          1,  12  Innings

      Final    Boston              8    Kansas  City      0

      Final    L-A  Angels    10    Oakland              9

      Final    Seattle          14    Houston              1

    

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  LEAGUE

    

      Final    Philadelphia      7    San  Diego              5

      Final    Arizona                3    L-A  Dodgers          2,  11  Innings

      Final    Pittsburgh          7    Atlanta                  4

      Final    N-Y  Mets              7    San  Francisco      0

      Final    Miami                    8    Milwaukee              3

      Final    Chi  Cubs              9    Colorado                8

    

    

        Cincinnati    at    St.  Louis      8:15  p.m.,  postponed

    

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION  PLAYOFFS

    

      Final    Toronto    123    Golden  State    109

    

    

          ---

          WOMEN'S  NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION  PLAYOFFS

    

      Final    Washington    103    Chicago      85

    

    

          ---

          MAJOR  LEAGUE  SOCCER

    

    Final    Montreal        2    Seattle        1

In other news

The Toronto Raptors have captured the first NBA championship in the team's 24-season history while denying the Golden State Warriors a third consecutive title.  Series MVP Kawhi Leonard capped his 22-point performance by draining three free throws in the final second to clinch the Raptors' 1…