Joe's Morning Sports-Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers enjoy a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals after beating the Houston Rockets for the second straight game.  LeBron James now has the most wins in playoff history with 162 after scoring 36 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four blocked shots in a 112-102 victory.  Teammate Anthony Davis had 26 points, 15 boards, and six assists.  Rajon Rondo sparked a fourth-quarter rally with eight straight points during a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter that put the Lakers ahead for good.  James Harden had 33 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds and teammate Russell Westbrook added 30 points for the Rockets.  

The Miami Heat are in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in six years following a 103-94 win over the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.  Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic each scored 17 points for the Heat, who overcame 22 turnovers and clinched their seventh trip to the conference finals since 2005.  Butler added ten rebounds.  Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo because of a sprained ankle, the Bucks raced out to a 28-15 lead but couldn’t sustain the momentum.

Billy Donovan won’t return after five seasons as coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Donovan took the Thunder to the playoffs every year.  He was a finalist for Coach of the Year this season after his squad outperformed expectations and pushed the Rockets to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.  Donovan went 243-157 with Oklahoma City.  Donovan was at the end of his contract.  He and the team described his departure as a mutual decision.

Logically, Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the NBA All-Defensive Team after being named Defensive Player of the year.  The Bucks forward appeared on 97 of the first-team ballots out of 100 cast by a global panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league.  Also named to the First Team are Lakers forward Anthony Davis, 76ers guard Ben Simmons, Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Celtics guard Marcus Smart.

The Kansas City Royals snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating the Cleveland Indians 8-6.  Maikel Franco drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and had an RBI single in the ninth for the Royals.  They improve to 15-28 on the season and will visit Cleveland again this evening at 5:10 in a game that can be heard on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM.

The Omaha World Herald reports that ten state lawmakers from six states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Ohio — sent a letter yesterday to Big Ten presidents and chancellors asking them to reconsider the decision to "cancel the football season."  The Big Ten leaders didn't cancel it — they postponed it to a later date — but the letter, written by Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, said football student-athletes at the 14 league schools are currently at a competitive "disadvantage" to athletes whose schools are playing.  All ten of the letter signees are Republicans.  They join Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts — who said last week the Big Ten made the wrong decision in postponing the season — and Sen. Ben Sasse, who supported a fall football season in a letter to the Big Ten just two days before its decision to postpone.

The top ranked in both polls in Class ‘C-2’ Lutheran High Northeast volleyball team remained perfect last night after a four set victory over Lincoln Journal Star second ranked Norfolk Catholic.  The 8-0 Lady Eagles beat the home-team 5-1 Lady Knights 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15.  LHNE’s Becca Gebhardt banged out 30 kills and dug up 26 balls.  Teammate Chloe Spence added 35 set assists and Halle Berner had 26 digs of her own in the win.  Norfolk Catholic’s Channatee Robles had 14 kills and Carly Marshall recorded 38 set assists and 17 digs.  Anna Neuhalfen contributed 17 digs of her own and Mary Fennessy added eight blocks.  Lutheran High Northeast now leads 13-8 in the history of the matchup.

Local Scores:  Lincoln SE 25-18-25-25 Nfk High 14-25-17-23 (VB); Fremont at Nfk High (SB DH-Ppd.); Hastings at Nfk High (B. Tenn. Dual-Ppd.).

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of Kansas City Chiefs football & Kansas City Royals baseball!

INTERLEAGUE

Final    Minnesota    7    St. Louis    3    

Final    Philadelphia    6    Boston    5    

Final    St. Louis    6    Minnesota    4    

Final    Washington    5    Tampa Bay    3    

Final    Baltimore    11    N.Y. Mets    2    

Final    Detroit    8    Milwaukee    3    

Final    Boston    5    Philadelphia    2    

Final    Pittsburgh    5    Chicago White Sox    4    

Final    San Francisco    6    Seattle    5    

___

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final    Oakland    4    Houston    2    

Final    Kansas City    8    Cleveland    6    

Final    Toronto    2    N.Y. Yankees    1    

Final    Texas    7    L.A. Angels    1    

Final    Houston    5    Oakland    4    

___

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final    Miami    8    Atlanta    0    

Final    Chicago Cubs    3    Cincinnati    0    

Final    San Diego    14    Colorado    5    

Final    L.A. Dodgers    10    Arizona    9    

___

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final    Miami    103    Milwaukee    94    

Final    L.A. Lakers    112    Houston    102    

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final    Vegas    3    Dallas    0    

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    Los Angeles    96    New York    70    

Final    Washington    89    Minnesota    86    

Final    Las Vegas    92    Indiana    86   

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