Everything the light touches is our kingdom
The GIST: The Toronto Raptors lead the NBA Finals 2-1 after beating the Golden State Warriors 123–109 last night in Oakland. The NBA Championship is so close we can almost smell it.
How did the Raps beat the Warriors by so much?: Honestly, it was the Raptors’ game to lose. Although it’s always hard to win on the road, this Warriors team is hurting right now. Two-time finals MVP Kevin Durant (aka KD) and “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson didn’t play last night, so it would have been embarrassing a HUGE missed opportunity if the Raps didn’t win.
That said, Warriors superstar (and other “Splash Brother”) Steph Curry had an unreal game, scoring 47 points — the most he’s EVER scored in the playoffs.
On the other hand, the Raps killed it. Kyle Lowry didn’t foul out of the game, Danny Green finally heated up, scoring 18 points, and Kawhi Leonard drained 30 points (classic) and set the NBA Finals record for free throws made in a row. Can you spell C-L-U-T-C-H?
Any drama?:Yes. Everybody and their mom have been freaking out aboutDrake and his manic courtside anticsin Toronto. But you know what Drake has never done? PUSHED AN OPPOSING TEAM’S PLAYER. And that’s exactly what happened last night.
In the fourth quarter, while Lowry was attempting to save the ball from going out of bounds, a courtside fan shoved him. Shoved him! See for yourself. Not okay man, not okay.
Anything else?: The game was a celebrity hangout. Jay-Z and Bey were courtside with G-Eazy, Metallica played the American anthem and even Canadian basketball superstar RJ Barrett was ready to cheer on the Raps.
What’s next?: Game 4 on Friday. And rumour has it Thompson and KD will be playing.
I can show you the world
The GIST: Hang on to your hat, the FIFA Women’s World Cup starts tomorrow! Taking place every four years, the World Cup is the largest and most prestigious tournament in women’s soccer.
When and where?: June 7th to July 7th in France. Click here for the full schedule.
How is it organized?: Twenty-four countries split into six groups (A-F) play a round-robin tournament, with the top 16 teams moving on to the knockout round.
What about Canada?: We’re ranked No. 5 in the world and are the top seed in Group E, with Cameroon (No. 46), New Zealand (No. 19) and the Netherlands (No. 8). The Netherlands are our biggest competition and are also the defending 2017 European champions.
Despite winning back-to-back Olympic bronze medals, Canada’s best World Cup finish came in 2003 when they placed fourth.
Who’s going to win?: Host France has a very real shot, but the No. 1 Americans are the undeniable favourite to win the tournament and defend their 2015 World Cup title. *sigh*
Anything else?: Women’s soccer has seen huge growth as of late (just look at this recent attendance record set by the Netherlands) and sports fans are winning no matter who takes the tournament.
I want more!: We thought you would say that. Go deeper with The GIST’s Guide to the World Cup.
Still want more? We thought you might say that too. So we’re trying something new: pre-game GIST content. One hour before each of Canada’s games, we’ll send you an email that gives you #thegist on things like who Canada is playing, players to watch, storylines to know and our score prediction. We promise we’ll keep it short and sweet. Sign up here now. Everyone’s doing it.
Just keep swimming
The GIST: The St. Louis Blues bounced back from a nasty 7–2 blowout in Game 3 to win Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals 4–2 on Monday, tying the series against the Boston Bruins at two games apiece.
No blues here: It was a historic win for St. Louis as it was their first-ever Stanley Cup final win on home ice. And the atmosphere? It was truly electric.
Because it’s the Cup: Meanwhile, 42-year-old gritty AF Bruins captain Zdeno Chara (who, fun fact, is also the tallest player in the NHL) broke his jaw in Game 4 after taking a puck to the face in the second period. He left the ice with blood dripping from his impressive playoff beard.
He (somehow) returned to the bench in a full face mask for the third period and while he didn’t play, his presence and support for his team was definitely felt. Macho, macho man. However, the injury may keep him out of the next game.
On to the next one: This back-and-forth battle is now a best-of-three series and heads back to Boston for Game 5 tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Buckle up.
Swing and a miss
The GIST: The French Open quarterfinals wrap up this morning, but we’re already looking ahead to Friday’s match of the tournament: Rafael “King of Clay” Nadal facing Swiss star Roger Federer in another installment of the legendary tennis rivalry.
This is Nadal’s record-extending 12th French Open semifinal and his fifth semifinal against Federer, all of which Nadal has won. In fact, in his 91 matches at the French Open, he’s lost just two. TWO!!! There’s a reason he’s considered the king.
It’s also the 39th time that these two have played against each other, with Nadal leading their head-to-head record 23-15.
The rest of the class: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will play in his 10th straight French Open quarterfinal at 8:30 a.m. ET against German Alexander Zverev (pronounced SV-AIR-EV).
At just 17 years old, American Amanda Anisimova is turning heads as the first woman born in this century to make the quarters of a Grand Slam. How old does that make you feel? Still, she’ll be in tough against defending champ and world No. 3 Simona Halep of Romania.
Her net worth is reportedly $225M and as a businesswoman, 60% of her investments have been in companies led by women or people of colour. All hail the Queen!
We are all born superstars
The GIST: A Swiss court has ruled Caster Semenya (and numerous other athletes) be allowed to compete in races of all distances without needing to medically reduce their testosterone levels, at least for now.
Give me a quick refresher: Semenya is a South African 800m runner and two-time Olympic champion who became the face of a battle between women with Differences of Sex Development (DSD) and the world athletics governing body IAAF.
In May, the IAAF ruled that women with DSD must regulate their testosterone levels in races from the 400m to the mile. SMDH.
So, what’s changed?: The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has temporarily suspended the IAAF’s hormone regulations, meaning Semenya is free to compete as the athlete she is.
Semenya has also appealed to the court to have the IAAF’s ruling permanently overturned. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time until the final chapter on this gender policing saga is closed.
What’s Up This Week?
Today + Sunday: The Stanley Cup finals continue with Game 5 and 6, both at 8 p.m. ET.
Friday: The Women’s World Cup kicks off with host France taking on South Korea at 3 p.m. ET (remember to sign up to get pre-game emails for Canada’s games here), Nadal and Federer play in the French Open semis (time TBD) and the NBA Finals continue with Game 4 between the Raptors and Warriors at 9 p.m. ET. What a day.
Oh, and we’re also going to be on CTV’s Your Morning at 8 a.m. ET. We’d love for you to tune in!
Finally, kick off Pride month in Toronto by cheering on Toronto FC at 7 p.m. ET as they proudly present their third annual Pride Night at BMO Field. Five dollars from every ticket sold supports You Can Play, a non-profit organization that works to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports — including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans. Purchase your tickets here.
All weekend: It’s time for the RBC Canadian Open men’s golf tournament! Get the deets on the tournament (including the live music) here and follow our Instagram stories on Sunday to see what it’s all about.
WE’RE HIRING!: As The GIST continues to grow, we’re looking for a kick-ass content contributor and sports lover to join our small but mighty team. Sound like you? Amazing. Learn more about applying here. Sound like someone you know? Please share with your network and let them know your fave newsletter *wink wink* is looking to expand their squad.