On this day in sport: Pistons stun Lakers for NBA glory, Jack Nicklaus makes history

By Sports Desk June 15, 2020

June 15 is a momentous sporting date that the Detroit Pistons and their fans will not forget in a hurry.

Sixteen years ago on this day, the team earned an emphatic 4-1 win over favourites the Los Angeles Lakers to seal glory in the NBA Finals.

This date also represents the 40-year anniversary of a famous day in golfing history, when Jack Nicklaus broke a record at the U.S. Open.

We look back at some of the top moments to occur on June 15 in the world of sport.


2004 - Pistons top Lakers 4-1 in NBA Finals

The Pistons sealed a stunning 4-1 series win over the Lakers on this day in 2004, with a 100-87 win in Game 5 ensuring they secured glory in Michigan.

Richard Hamilton top-scored with 21 points, Ben Wallace starred with 22 rebounds and Chauncey Billups had a game-high six assists.

Billups was named Finals MVP as coach Larry Brown savoured his first championship, his underdog team having won three straight after going down to an overtime loss in Game 2.

Game 5 was notable as the last game for Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton for the Lakers, who had won previously three straight titles between 2000 and 2002.

This remains the Pistons' most recent NBA title, as they lost a thrilling Finals series 4-3 to the San Antonio Spurs the following year and have not returned since.

The Lakers, meanwhile, reached three straight Finals when coach Phil Jackson returned to the team later in the decade, winning two, including their last triumph in 2010.

Kobe Bryant top-scored with 24 points in a losing effort against the Pistons in Game 5.

He would go on to be named NBA Finals MVP in each of their 2009 and 2010 successes, moving on to five rings in the process.


1980 – Nicklaus sets record in U.S. Open triumph

Jack Nicklaus' fourth and final U.S. Open victory was a special one in 1980.

The American set a new tournament scoring record with an eight-under par score of 272 to win his fourth title at the event, finishing two shots clear of Japanese challenger Isao Aoki.

Nicklaus had started the week with a magnificent 63 to take a share of the first-round lead, and led by two after a more steady effort of 71 on day two.

After moving day, he was in a share of the lead with Aoki while four other players, including Tom Watson, were within two shots.

A thrilling finale was in store for June 15 and Nicklaus delivered with a 68 to claim his 16th major, 18 years after winning his first U.S. Open.

He romped to US PGA glory later that year, before his 18th and final major arrived six years later at the 1986 Masters.
 

1974 - Evert wins first of seven French Opens

American Chris Evert holds the women's singles record with an astonishing seven French Open titles.

She won the first of her Paris crowns on this day in 1974, emphatically defeating the third seed, Russian Olga Morozova, 6-1 6-2.

In the absence of Margaret Court, who had beaten her in a three-set thriller in the previous year's final, top seed Evert thrived.

She went through the whole tournament without losing a set, with German Helga Masthoff, the fourth seed, seen off in the semi-finals in a tougher test than she ended up having in the showpiece.

Evert also won Wimbledon that year as part of a sensational 55-match winning streak.

She successfully defended her French Open title the following year, and her third success in 1979 started a streak of five wins in the space of five years.

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    Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams conceded he could have made "a better-quality decision" after being forced to miss NBA games because he visited a strip club in Atlanta.

    Williams, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, had been allowed to leave the NBA's 'bubble' in Orlando last month to return to Georgia to attend the wake of a friend's father.

    Under NBA rules, Williams was then due to observe a four-day quarantine period upon his return to Florida, yet that was extended to 10 days - a period encompassing the Clippers' first two games - after it emerged he also took a trip to the gentlemen's club, Magic City, in Atlanta.

    The 33-year-old is a frequent visitor to Magic City - a place also renowned for its chicken wings - describing it as his "favourite restaurant" in Atlanta, though he admitted his latest visit was an ill-judged one.

    "In hindsight, I think as far as the public safety issue goes, I probably could have made a better-quality decision," he told reporters after the Clippers' 117-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

    "I was a little naive in that aspect. I went somewhere after a viewing of somebody I considered a mentor, somebody I looked up to, first black man I seen with legal money in my life.

    "It's been documented how much I talk about [Magic City], how much I eat there.

    "I just did something that was routine for me. I frequent that place at that time of day, 5:30, 6 in the afternoon.

    "At the time, I thought I was making a responsible decision. After looking back on it, with everything going on in the world, the pandemic, maybe it wasn't the best-quality decision. I chalk it up as that, take my L and keep moving."

    Williams, who had seven points, six assists and six rebounds against the Suns, was one of three Clippers players granted a leave of absence by the NBA for personal reasons.

    Patrick Beverley did not miss any games after observing a four-day quarantine period but Montrezl Harrell is yet to return as he mourns his grandmother's death.

    "It's extremely difficult, man," Williams added.

    "I truly was grieving two weeks ago. I was really going through something. I was thrown under the bus, you know what I'm saying?

    "All the attention turned to Magic City because it's a gentlemen's club. I feel like if I was at a steakhouse or Hooters or whatever, it wouldn't be half the story."

  • Nets stun Giannis and Bucks, Clippers fall to Suns after Booker's buzzer-beater Nets stun Giannis and Bucks, Clippers fall to Suns after Booker's buzzer-beater

    The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks crashed to a 119-116 defeat against the Brooklyn Nets, while the Phoenix Suns upstaged the Los Angeles Clippers at the buzzer.

    Back-to-back three-pointers from Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot put the Nets ahead during the closing stages as the Bucks suffered a surprise loss in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday.

    Luwawu-Cabarrot posted a career-high 26 points for the Nets (32-25), while reigning MVP and Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 16 points before sitting out the entire second half.

    The Bucks (54-14) are yet to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference following consecutive defeats at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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    Doncic's historic triple-double leads Mavs

    Luka Doncic's 34 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 12 assists helped the Dallas Mavericks top the Sacramento Kings 114-110 in overtime. At 21 years and 158 days, Doncic became the youngest player to finish a game with 30 or more points, 20 or more rebounds and 10 or more assists.

    T.J. Warren enjoyed another fine outing with 32 points as the Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 120-109.

    A 21-point and 19-rebound Jusuf Nurkic double-double fuelled the Portland Trail Blazers' 110-102 victory over the Houston Rockets.

     

    Bogdanovic struggles

    In the Kings' loss to the Mavericks, Bogdan Bogdanovic was just one for 15 from the field in 21 minutes. The Kings shooting guard only made one of eight three-pointers for three points.

     

    Harden inspires quick basket

    A perfectly weighted inbound pass from Houston Rockets star James Harden caught the Portland Trail Blazers napping as Russell Westbrook made the catch before teeing up Ben McLemore in a swift move.

     

    Tuesday's results

    Brooklyn Nets 119-116 Milwaukee Bucks
    Dallas Mavericks 114-110 Sacramento Kings (OT)
    Phoenix Suns 117-115 Los Angeles Clippers
    Miami Heat 112-106 Boston Celtics
    Indiana Pacers 120-109 Orlando Magic
    Portland Trail Blazers 110-102 Houston Rockets

     

    Thunder face Lakers

    The Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. The Thunder are coming off a loss, while the Lakers clinched the top seed in the west on Monday.

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    Woods has only made one competitive appearance since the PGA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic in June – the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

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    Woods added: "I feel good. Obviously I haven't played much competitively, but I've been playing a lot at home. So I've been getting plenty of reps that way … the results that I've seen at home, very enthusiastic about some of the changes I've made and so that's been positive.

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