Bruins

Why watch the ESPYs? Here are the Boston connections

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 17, 2013 12:52 PM

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There's not a whole lot of rooting interests for Boston sports fans on the ESPY Awards tonight (9 p.m., ESPN), but the Boston finalists in two categories certainly have a strong case to win.

The Bruins' epic comeback win against the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their NHL playoff series is one of three finalists for Best Game. The others are the Heat-Spurs Game 6 in the NBA Finals, and the Ravens-Broncos AFC divisional playoff game.

The Bruins rallied from a 4-1 deficit, tying the game in the final minute and a half, then winning in overtime en route to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Aly Raisman, the gold-medal winning Olympic gymnast from Needham, is a finalist for Best Female US Olympian along with fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin. The US women's gymnastics team is also up for the best team award.

One award previously announced was the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, which will go to Boston Marathon fixtures Dick and Rick Hoyt, a.k.a. Team Hoyt.

A few other awards have connections to Boston or New England:

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Vermont's Kelly Clark (snowboarding) is a finalist along with skateboarder Leticia Bufoni, surfer Stephanie Gilmore, and motocross rider Laia Sanz.

Best Coach/Manager: UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is a finalist alongside former Colts interim coach Bruce Arians, Duke lacrosse's John Danowski, Louisville coach and former Celtics coach Rick Pitino, and the Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra.

Best Fighter: UFC's Jon Jones, the brother of Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, is competing with boxing's Canelo Alvarez, Danny Garcia and Floyd Mayweather Jr., and MMA's Anderon Silva.

Best WNBA Player: The Connecticut Sun's Tina Charles is up against Tamika Catchings, Angel McCoughtry, Candace Parker, and Lindsay Whalen.

Online fan voting for the awards ends at 9 p.m., when the awards show begins.

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