SPORTS WEEKEND IN REVIEW: NBA, HORSE RACING AND MORE

NBA The Houston Rockets pulled off one of the rarer playoff comebacks in NBA history on Sunday. After trailing three games to one in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal...

NBA

The Houston Rockets pulled off one of the rarer playoff comebacks in NBA history on Sunday. After trailing three games to one in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series, they rallied to oust the Los Angeles Clippers. They won the deciding seventh game on Sunday, 113-100, and led from start to finish.

Only nine teams have come from a 3-1 deficit in a playoff series. The Rockets had lost the fourth game 128-95 on May 10 and then (pardon the expression) turned on the jets. James Harden scored 31 points in Sunday’s win, which advances the Rockets to the conference finals against the Golden State Warriors. Their series begins on Tuesday night.

The Eastern Conference finals match the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks.

HORSE RACING

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The Triple Crown is in play after American Pharoah won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, two weeks after his victory in the Kentucky Derby. No horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Pharoah won on a muddy track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Next up: The Belmont Stakes June 6 in New York. The Belmont is the longest (1 ½ miles) of the three Triple Crown races and therefore the most trying. Last year California Chrome won the first two races but ran fourth in the Belmont.

GOLF

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Rory McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked golfer, became the first two-time winner in the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., with a seven-shot victory Sunday over Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers. McIlroy closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 21-under 267 to break the tournament record by five strokes. He shot a course-record 61 on Saturday.

BASEBALL

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The Miami Marlins fired manager Mike Redmond on Sunday after a 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins are 16-22 and barely avoided being no-hit in Sunday’s game. Redmond was in his third season as manager. General manager Dan Jennings will replace Redmond.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .

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