Most Dramatic Moments of the Week

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2014

Most Dramatic Moments of the Week

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Both the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final require a Game 5, and while we were not able to crown a champion this past week, we still got to see a fair share of drama across those and other sports.

    We had the opening of the World Cup, some off-the-field news, walk-off home runs and the final leg of the Triple Crown all complementing the two championship series going on.

    Let's take a look back at the most dramatic moments in sports from this past week.

Sharapova Takes French Open

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    USA TODAY Sports

    In a brilliant match on Saturday, Maria Sharapova defeated Simona Halep 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 to win the French Open.

    Halep, playing in her first Grand Slam final, gave Sharapova all she could handle, battling back in the third set to break Sharapova's serve and even it at 4-4 before the former top-ranked player in the world stormed through the next two sets to claim victory.

    It was Sharapova's second French Open win and fifth major overall.

Carter Hits Walk-off in 10th

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    Patric Schneider/Associated Press

    The Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros played in an intense 10-inning game on Thursday night that was dominated by the red-hot Chris Carter.

    The Astros didn't make it easy on themselves by going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and committing two crucial errors while also blowing a save in the top of the ninth.

    The Diamondbacks, down 4-1 going into the sixth, scored one in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings to force it into extras.

    But Carter, who has now hit seven home runs in his last 13 games, hit a walk-off solo shot to left field that sent the rejuvenated Houston crowd into a frenzy.

Sterling Calls off $2 Billion Deal

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Man, this story will just not go away.

    Roughly a week after he announced that he would approve the sale of his Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and not pursue a lawsuit, Donald Sterling has officially switched his stance.

    Per an AP report on Monday evening, Sterling has called off the deal and will now look to sue the NBA. What happens next is anybody's guess at this point.

    Sterling later released a statement about why he's suing the NBA, and it's, uh, interesting (via Rachel Nichols).

Kings Win Game 2 in Double OT

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    The Los Angeles Kings had to dig themselves out of a two-goal hole and then won in overtime of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, and they made things just as hard for themselves in Game 2.

    Down 4-2 heading into the third period, Dwight King scored on a questionable non-call (GIF here) for goalie interference. Marian Gaborik tied it up roughly six minutes later, and Los Angeles was back in business.

    Both goaltenders were spectacular for the next 40 minutes or so—stopping a number of tough shots and keeping their teams alive. One overtime was not enough, so the two teams battled into double overtime.

    Even that frame lasted almost 10 minutes before someone could find the back of the net. L.A. captain Dustin Brown finally beat Henrik Lundqvist with a beautiful deflection off a shot from Willie Mitchell and sent the Kings to New York with a 2-0 series lead.

California Chrome Comes Up Short

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    USA TODAY Sports

    On Saturday evening, California Chrome tried and failed to become the first horse in 36 years to win the Triple Crown. He became the 20th qualified horse in history to lose out on the elusive goal after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

    Coming into the race as a heavy 4-5 favorite according to OddsShark, California Chrome seemed to be a bit worn out and couldn't close it out in the end. The winner was Tonalist, who did not run in either the Derby or Preakness.

    California Chrome's owner, Steve Coburn, made headlines right after the race when he discussed that fact on air, calling out the "cowards" who entered their horses fresh into the Belmont after not running the previous races.

    But that's just how it is, and we'll have to wait another year to see a possible Triple Crown winner.

Rangers Keep Stanley Cup Hopes Alive

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    Scott Levy/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Kings won the first three games of the Stanley Cup in odd fashion. The first game went into overtime, the second took two overtimes and they thoroughly dismantled the Rangers in New York for a shutout in Game 3.

    So the Rangers really found themselves with their backs to the wall in Game 4. The home crowd was rocking at Madison Square Garden as usual, but things were a bit bleak underneath.

    The Kings came out battling shift-for-shift with the Rangers, but they fell behind 2-0 and were not able to battle back. They even outshot the Rangers by a ridiculous 15 to one margin in the third period but just could not beat Henrik Lundqvist.

    The most dramatic part of the game came with 1:11 left in the third period. A shot trickled past Lundqvist but stopped sliding just centimeters before crossing the goal line—Derek Stepan batted it away with his hand and a scrum around Lundqvist ensued. That wasn't the first goal line-saving play the Rangers made either. Both plays can be watched here via NBC Sports.

Spurs Break Records in Game 3

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    The storyline in the first half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals became less about the Miami Heat against the San Antonio Spurs and more about how unbelievable the Spurs' offense was playing.

    In a ridiculous display, the Spurs tallied 71 points through the first two quarters of play. They did this while shooting a legitimately unbelievable 75.8 percent from the field—an NBA Finals record.

    Great team play and passing helped San Antonio get off lots of good looks, but their shots were still going in at an insane pace early on (at one point they were 19-21 from the field).

    Predictably, they went on to keep their big lead and win the game—although their shooting cooled off a bit. But still, what a half.

Machado Suspended Five Games After Antics

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    Manny Machado is one of the most talented young players in all of Major League Baseball, but the 21-year-old showed a troubling side of himself last weekend against the Athletics.

    First, on Friday, Machado inexplicably freaked out when he didn't like the very routine tag that A's third baseman Josh Donaldson put on him, causing the benches to clear.

    Then the next game, after taking an inside pitch near his shins, Machado flung his bat right at the A's third baseman after following through on a swing (probably not a coincidence). Donaldson had been subbed for by this point in the blowout win, but it was a really bush-league move by Machado that again caused benches to clear.

    While those two plays grabbed the headlines, Machado also hit catcher Derek Norris in the helmet with his backswing not once, but twice, and smirked about it after the fact.

    After the bat-throwing incident, Machado was given a five-game suspension and deserved all of it (h/t ESPN).

World Cup Kicks off with Controversy

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    Warren Little/Getty Images

    Brazil and Croatia played on Thursday in the World Cup's opening match, and it finished amidst some major controversy thanks to a ref's questionable call.

    And by questionable, I really mean terrible. The obvious flop in the box was somehow given to the Brazilians by referee Yuichi Nishimura, and Neymar was able to capitalize on the penalty kick and give Brazil a 2-1 lead.

    The game got off to a crazy start. Croatia's first tally had come thanks to an own goal by Brazil before Neymar tied it up with a beautiful shot of his own.

    But then Fred took his dive, the referee fell for it and everyone rightfully freaked out. The reactions from Croatia afterwards were predictably not positive, and they had every right to be upset. 

Cowgill Hits Walk-off in 14th

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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    The Oakland Athletics have been one of the best teams in baseball this season, but on Tuesday night they became victim to the Los Angeles Angels and their five-game winning streak.

    With each team scoring just one run in regulation, the two teams were forced into extras. It took another five innings and 10 relievers for one side to finally break through.

    Collin Cowgill—an outfielder and career .254 hitter—took a two-strike changeup and hit it just barely far enough to clear the wall in left field to narrow Oakland's division lead.