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LEADING OFF

June 10, 2013
June 10, 2013

Table of Contents
June 10, 2013

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
BASEBALL
NCAA FOOTBALL
THE BIGGEST THREE
  • IT'S A STORY THAT'S BEEN A DECADE IN THE MAKING: SAN ANTONIO'S TALENTED TRIO—A MISMATCHED GROUP OF GUYS WHO NONETHELESS COULDN'T THRIVE WITHOUT ONE ANOTHER—IS READY FOR ONE FINAL TITLE PUSH

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LEADING OFF

PHOTOPhotograph by Walter Iooss Jr. for Sports IllustratedStretched To the Limit While the Western Conference champion Spurs (page 52) rested, the Heat and the Pacers took the Eastern finals as far as they could. After Miami romped in Game 5 (left), Indiana won 91--77 in Game 6 to force a seventh-game showdown on Monday night. For full coverage and a look ahead to the NBA Finals, go to SI.com/nba.PHOTOPhotograph by Brian Kersey/Getty ImagesSwoon Dive The Cubs usually go skidding off the track in June, but they do have a knack for finding new paths to futility. Centerfielder David DeJesus face-planted on the Wrigley warning track in a vain chase for a fly ball against the Diamondbacks last Saturday. Arizona scored three runs on the play on its way to a 12--4 win.PHOTOPhotograph by Neil Leifer/Sports IllustratedRun for the Ages Forty years ago this week, Secretariat (and jockey Ron Turcotte) capped the most breathtaking Triple Crown in history with a runaway win in the Belmont Stakes. In 1990, eight months after Secretariat died, longtime SI writer William Nack wrote a moving tribute to the greatest horse he ever saw, excerpted here. To read the full story, download the SI tablet edition, available free to subscribers at SI.com/activate. I had never seen a horse so fit. The Derby and Preakness had wound him as tight as a watch, and he seemed about to burst out of his coat. I had no idea what to expect that day in the Belmont, with him going a mile and a half, but I sensed we would see more of him than we had ever seen before. Secretariat ran flat into legend, started running right out of the gate and never stopped.... He dashed to the three-quarter pole in 1:094/5, the fastest six-furlong clocking in Belmont history. I dropped my head and cursed Turcotte: What is he thinking about? Has he lost his mind? ... Halfway around the turn, he was 14 [lengths] in front ... 15 ... 16 ... 17. Belmont Park began to shake. The whole place was on its feet.... He opened his lead to 25 ... 26 ... 27 ... 28. As rhythmic as a rocking horse, he never missed a beat. I remember seeing Turcotte look over to the timer, and I looked over too. It was blinking 2:19, 2:20. The record was 2:263/5. Turcotte scrubbed on the colt, opening 30 lengths, finally 31. The clock flashed crazily: 2:22 ... 2:23. The place was one long, deafening roar. The colt seemed to dive for the finish, snipping it clean at 2:24. I bolted up the press box stairs with exultant shouts and there yielded a part of myself to that horse forever.