Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Friday, highlighted by the Los Angeles Clippers’ shocking overnight addition of both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
We also will take a look at a 7.1-magnitude earthquake postponing the Pelicans and Knicks NBA Summer League game and shaking up Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, and 15-year-old Coco Gauff’s amazing comeback in her third-round match to extend her improbable run at Wimbledon.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
LATE NIGHT SHOCKER: Los Angeles Clippers Land Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George
While most of the country was asleep, the Los Angeles Clippers changed the landscape of the NBA overnight by landing both reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and All-Star forward Paul George, per sources.
After weeks of speculation of where the coveted free agent would land, Leonard has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Per sources, Leonard will sign a four-year, $142 million max contract. In recent days, Leonard had reportedly narrowed his list of teams down to the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors.
Leonard wanted to play alongside another superstar and he got his wish as the Clippers shockingly acquired Paul George via a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In return, the Thunder will receive a stock-pile of draft picks, forward Danilo Gallinari and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The draft picks will include four unprotected first-rounders, one protected first-rounder, and two pick swaps, league sources told ESPN.
According to Wojnarowski, Leonard “pushed George to find a way to get to the Clippers” and then George “approached the team and requested a trade.”
The Clippers now have one of the best 1-2 combos in the league in Leonard and George and instantly become one of the favorites to win the title this upcoming season.
Imagine the Clippers-Lakers rivalry now with Leonard & George vs. LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Bring on the NBA season!
Magnitude-7.1 Southern California Earthquake Postpones NBA Summer League’s Opening Night, Shakes Up Dodgers Stadium
A powerful 7.1 earthquake that hit Southern California on Friday night was felt in Las Vegas and caused the NBA Summer League game between the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks to be postponed.
The earthquake occurred 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, California, according to the US Geological Survey, and was felt 240 miles away in Las Vegas where the NBA Summer League was opening up Friday night.
The Thomas and Mack Center in Vegas was sold-out for the Pelicans and Knicks, which featured the highly-anticipated debut of #1 draft pick Zion Williamson. With the game in the fourth quarter, the earthquake was felt at around 8:19pm PT. The overhead scoreboard and speakers began to sway, so officials initially delayed the game while they determined if it was safe to proceed. The game was ultimately suspended following a 15-minute delay. The league is determining whether the game will continue on Saturday.
The earthquake was also felt in Los Angeles and hit Dodger Stadium in the fourth inning of the Dodgers game against the San Diego Padres. The shaking did not appear to affect the players on the field, as the game continued without interruption, but viewers of the Dodgers’ broadcast on SportsNet LA could clearly see the picture bouncing as the earthquake hit.
Back in Vegas, the WNBA game between the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics that was being played at Mandalay Bay Events Center was stopped late in the first half and ultimately postponed.
The earthquake was also felt during Rashad Evans’ acceptance speech at the UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. “Earthquake, baby!” Evans says as the room begins to sway in the video below. “That’s me bringing that heat.”
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake occurred only a day after the 6.4-magnitude quake struck in the same area centered near Ridgecrest. That earthquake is now being called a foreshock which led to Friday night’s event.
Fifteen-Year-Old Coco Gauff’s Fairy Tale Run Continues After Incredible Comeback Advances Her to the Round of 16
The 15-year-old American Cori “Coco” Gauff’s fairy tale story continues to get better with each day that passes in this Wimbledon’s fortnight.
Playing on one of the sport’s biggest stages, Centre Court, she staved off two match points on her way to a gritty, thrilling three-set win over Slovenian Polona Hercog, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 7-5.
Having had dropped the first set and trailing by a double break in the second set, it looked like the magical run was going to come to an end for Gauff. But the tennis prodigy showed poise beyond her years, digging deep to fight off two match points in the set, including one where she hit a daring backhand slice shot that would hit the line for a winner. Gauff would close out the second set in a tiebreak on an incredible 32-stroke rally.
Gauff took a 4-1 lead in the third set, but Hercog fought back to even the match at four games apiece. The American would then pick up a break and hold serve in her remaining service games to close out the match 7-5 in the third set.
As each match passes, the moment and story grow larger, as Gauff will now enter the second week at her first Wimbledon. Next up will be former #1 Simona Halep in the fourth round on Monday.
All eyes will be on the All England Club on Monday to see if the magic will continue during this fortnight.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Zion Williamson puts on a show in summer debut; kept out of second half following knee-to-knee hit
- Former Patriots linebacker and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi recovering after a stroke
- Philadelphia Phillies’ Odúbel Herrera suspended for rest of season over domestic-violence case
- 70-year-old marathoner, accused of cheating, found dead in L.A. River
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
NASCAR: Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway
The tradition of NASCAR at Daytona during the Fourth of July week will come to an end this year as the race will be moved to August beginning next season.
When: Tonight at 7:30pm ET
Wimbledon: Third Round Continues
Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will all be in third round action on Saturday.
When: Today, Coverage begins at 8am ET
FIFA Women’s World Cup Final: U.S. vs. Netherlands
The defending World Cup champion U.S. Women’s Soccer Team will face the reigning European champion Netherlands in the World Cup Final in France on Sunday.
When: Sunday, 7/7, 11am ET