👋 Happy Monday! Welcome back to Axios Sports. Lots to get to this morning and the rest of the week, so buckle up. See you at the bottom.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
On Oct. 16, 2018, all 30 NBA teams began the season tied atop the standings at 0-0. Seven months later, just four teams remain.
Western Conference Finals: (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (3) Portland Trail Blazers
Eastern Conference Finals: (1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (2) Toronto Raptors
P.S. ... Congratulations to the Sixers and the Nuggets on phenomenal seasons. Not sure which team has the brighter future/higher ceiling…
P.P.S. ... In other NBA news, the Lakers may have stumbled into the right head coach, hiring the unsexy yet highly-respected Frank Vogel (and Jason Kidd as his lead assistant).
In a moment so dramatic it felt scripted, Kawhi Leonard buried the first Game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA history to put the Raptors through to the Eastern Conference Finals — and etch his place in playoff lore.
Tie game. 4.2 seconds left. Marc Gasol inbounds the ball to Kawhi, who drives to his right...
With time winding down, he elevates in the right corner and lets it fly over the outstretched arm of Joel Embiid...
The stadium goes quiet as the fate of two franchises hangs in the balance. Kawhi, having landed behind the backboard, crouches down to get a better view...
🚨 Thread alert: I compiled every video highlight and camera angle you could possibly need. Please enjoy.
On the final day of the Premier League season, Manchester City did as expected and beat Brighton & Hove Albion to claim the club's second consecutive league title and fourth this decade.
Why it matters: City finished just one point ahead of Liverpool, concluding the best title race in years, and maybe ever. For months, these two teams have been entrenched in what felt like a long straight sprint to the finish line that wasn't decided until yesterday.
What's next: The Champions League and the Europa League (one tier lower) will crown champions in the coming weeks, with all four contenders hailing from the Premier League.
There have been five Formula 1 races this season, and Mercedes' two drivers — Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas — have finished in first and second place in all of them after dominating in Barcelona yesterday.
Why it matters: No team has ever started a season with five 1-2 finishes, and only two teams — Ferrari at the turn of the century and this same Mercedes team last year — have done it at any point during the season.
How it works: There are 10 teams competing in F1 this season, and each team has two drivers in the field.
Current standings: Notice the insane 46-point gap between Hamilton and the closest non-Mercedes driver, Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
What's next: The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in two weeks. It's the biggest race of the season, and a track that has given Mercedes trouble in the past. In-depth preview coming next week.
P.S. ... Highly recommend watching the Netflix series, "Formula 1: Drive to Survive." It's incredibly entertaining and will teach you a ton. I blew through it in three days.
From Mike Sykes: Baseball's attendance is off to another slow start, and while those numbers will creep up during the summer months, the early drop is still indicative of a continuing and startling trend.
By the numbers:
Be smart: The decline isn't shocking. The league is filled with rebuilding and non-contending teams as a result of how this offseason played out, and the experience of watching from the couch is great — and only getting better.
Photo: Ed Garvey/Manchester City FC via Getty Images
Seven years ago today, Manchester City won its first Premier League title in 44 years (and third overall) — and they did so in dramatic fashion.
On Saturday, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture became the sixth active NHL player to reach the 10-goal mark in multiple postseasons.
Answer at the bottom.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
One of the coolest things about men's college lacrosse is that all three divisions play their respective championship games on the same field over Memorial Day weekend.
Bracket update: With two weeks left until championship weekend, here's where things stand in each division.
Women's update: The women's game doesn't benefit from such a marquee event, with each division's championship held in a different location. Here are the remaining teams, nonetheless:
Correction: This article previously left out half of the D-III women's teams still alive.
🇲🇽 Wrestling: Mexican wrestler César González Barrón, known as Silver King, died during a bout in London on Saturday after suffering an apparent heart attack. Barrón, 51, was a star in his native Mexico and appeared in the 2005 film "Nacho Libre." Rest easy, King.
🥎 Softball: Shannon Becker, a sophomore from Mahopac High School (N.Y.), struck out all 21 batters she faced last week for the rare "perfect" perfect game. ... In other news, Oklahoma earned the top overall seed in the NCAA softball tournament.
💨 Track: Texas teenager Matt Boling is at it again, setting the official high school 100-meter dash record (10.13) — this time without wind assistance. ... He also did this in the 4 x 400 relay, which actually blew my mind. This kid's special.
🏒 OHL: The Guelph Storm overcame their third straight 2-0 playoff series deficit to defeat the Ottawa 67's in the OHL Championship (basically the NHL's minor leagues). Ottawa had won a record 14 straight playoff games before losing four straight to Guelph. What a remarkable run.
⚾️ MLB: Yesterday morning, the Padres changed their Twitter handle to @madres to celebrate Mother's Day ... then some random Twitter user took the @padres handle ... so Twitter stepped in and made sure the Padres got @padres back. The most 2019 thing ever.
It took longer for Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke to throw a single pitch than it took Maximum Security to (not) win the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Slo-mo rules" Baker
Trivia Answer: Evgeni Malkin (2008, 2009, 2017), Jake Guentzel (2017, 2018), Patrick Kane (2010, 2015), Alex Ovechkin (2009, 2018), Nikita Kucherov (2015, 2016)