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Daily Jolt: Are we witnessing KD's kryptonite?

Tuesday, May 13
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Kevin Durant

For his part, Kevin Durant denied it. [Chris Paul] downplayed it. Doc Rivers dismissed it, and Scott Brooks didn't address it before getting another look the next day. ... But after Paul clamped down on Durant in the fourth quarter and spurred his Los Angeles Clippers to a pivotal comeback win in Game 4, no one needed to explain what was understood. Durant had again struggled against a smaller defender. What we witnessed Sunday was nothing new. It's an issue that dates back to at least the 2011 playoffs and one that has, at times, managed to disrupt the entire Thunder offense. Paul joined Tony Allen, Jason Kidd and Mario Chalmers as players who have flustered Durant in the playoffs. Others have done the same in spurts in the regular season. (The Oklahoman) Comment

Joe Girardi

When the Yankees signed right fielder Carlos Beltran, they'd hoped, of course, he would remain injury-free throughout the season. [Beltran] took himself out of Monday's 9-7 Subway Series loss against the Mets, and he was expected to have an MRI on his hyperextended right elbow later that night. Beltran hurt the elbow taking batting cage swings around the seventh inning. John Ryan Murphy pinch hit for him when he was due up that frame. Beltran told Joe Girardi he was done for the night, and the manager said he was concerned for his 36-year-old No. 3 hitter. "I'm concerned because it was enough to take himself out of the game," Girardi said. "I didn't have a long conversation with him about how sore he was. He seemed pretty upset." Beltran wasn't around after the game. (NJ.com) Comment

Marc-Andre Fleury

Not only are playoff legacies on the line, but jobs, too, in Rangers-Penguins Game 7. Whoever wins gets the rush of good feeling about moving on. That's incentive enough. There's also another incentive that looms large over both of these relatively successful teams. Another win means staving off what could be big changes in the offseason. The Penguins' sky very well could fall if the Rangers complete this comeback from a 3-1 series deficit. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren't going anywhere, but the team around them could change, and the fates of general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma could hang on this one game. ... At the very least, questions about Marc-Andre Fleury, who has one year and $5 million remaining on his deal, will abound. Do the Penguins need to upgrade in goal to return to elite form? (Newsday.com) Comment

Must-See Photo

LeBron James tied a career postseason high with 49 points in a Game 4 win over Brooklyn. The Heat lead the series 3-1. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty)

Must-See Video

Needing a win to stay alive, the host Canadiens responded with a 4-0 victory over the Bruins to send the series to Game 7.

Game To Watch

NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder (series tied 2-2)

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: Stan Musial
  • 1955 -- Mickey Mantle belts three home runs in a game -- including shots from both sides of the plate -- in the Yankees' 5-2 win over the Tigers.
  • 1958 -- Cardinals' legend Stan Musial becomes the eighth player in MLB history to get to 3,000 hits after smacking a pinch-hit double vs. the Cubs.
  • 1989 -- Wayne Gretzky appears as the host of Saturday Night Live.
  • 2012 -- Manchester City wins the Premier League title for the first time since 1968 after scoring two goals in stoppage time against QPR.
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