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On The Fly: Rihanna, Like All Cavs' Fans, Disappointed In Game 1

The Cavs were blown out by Golden State in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, much to the delight of a raucous Warriors crowd — and to the chagrin of Rihanna, chirping and pointing from her courtside seat and again backstage after the game. It was kind of bizzare. "The king is still the king," yelled Rihanna, obviously a huge LeBron James fan, as she passed the Cleveland locker room. The way Game 1 looked, we're assuming the Cavs had about two dozen adjustments to work toward in advance of Sunday's Game 2. … The Washington Post put together a pretty cool list (and accompanying online graphic) of the top 40 NBA players since the ABA/NBA merger 40 years ago (with rankings based only on NBA performance). The top three, in order, are Michael Jordan, James and Tim Duncan. Ray Allen, the league's all-time leader in three-point field goals and one day to be UConn's first Hall of Fame player, checked in at No. 35.

The Yale baseball team opened NCAA Tournament play with a 5-1 victory over Nebraska in Corvallis, Ore., a few hours before Central Connecticut's game against TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, was rained out. Scott Politz went the distance for Yale, throwing 124 pitches. He allowed six hits and struck out six. The Bulldogs (33-16), in the tournament for the first time since 1994 and seeded No. 3 in the region, left the field Friday probably preparing for the daunting task of facing Oregon State Saturday. The Beavers (49-4), who opened Friday at 11 p.m. against Holy Cross, are the tournament's top overall seed. … Craig Kimbrel, who has that unhittable look as much as anyone in baseball when he's on, is the American League reliever of the month. He had quite a May: 7-for-7 in save opportunities, 122/3 innings, 25 strikeouts, one walk, one hit.

Charles Oakley is fighting to prove he wasn't in the wrong during an incident that was the boiling point of his horrible relationship with James Dolan and Madison Square Garden. The former Knicks forward, who was ejected after a run-in with MSG security Feb. 8, rejected a plea deal that would have dropped misdemeanor charges of assault, harassment and trespassing. A trial is set to begin Aug. 4. ... Tiffany Hayes of Atlanta was named the Eastern Conference player of the month for the first time in her six-year WNBA career after leading the Dream to a 4-1 May record while averaging a league-high 19.8 points (tied with Washington's Elena Delle Donne). Hayes, 27, has been an increasingly productive player in her six seasons with the Dream, increasing her scoring average every year. A two-time first-team All-Big East player and two-time national champion at UConn, she was the 14th overall draft pick in 2012.

manthony@courant.com

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