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Where "First Weekend of the NBA Playoffs" Happens
- Without question, the game of the weekend came on Satruday, where the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs began what should be an entertaining and rather physical series. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili helped to send the game into two overtime sessions (the former leading the world with 40 points and 15 rebounds), and the defending champs prevailed, 117-115.
- Chris Paul's started his playoff career with a bang as he scored 35 points, tagged a dollar (that's 10 assists or "dimes") and 4 steals in the New Orleans Hornets' 104-92 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
- Dwight Howard got almost as many points as he did rebounds (25 and 22, respectively) as his contirbution to the Orlando Magic's 114-100 playoff opener against the Toronto Raptors.
- A week after Carmelo Anthony's DUI charge, the Denver Nuggets had more motorist misadventures on Sunday. The Nuggets' team bus broke down on the Santa Monica Freeway en route to the Staples Center in LA. The Fighting George Karls probably wished they had more stops as the Los Angeles Lakers made it rain, 128-114. Anthony and Allen Iverson's 30 points apiece weren't enough to stop the triple threat of Kobe Bryant (32 points), Lamar Odom (17-14) and Pau Gasol (36-16). BTW, AI would've gotten more than 30, but was tossed late in the fourth quarter...
Where MLB Highlights Happen
- After his home-opener bomb last weekend, Johan Santana gave up four runs and three hits and struck out ten, but it was a much better outing Friday night in the New York Mets' 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Only 15 1/2 hours after their marathon game against the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies scored three times as many runs in the first inning as they did in the previous game. That, along with 2-5 and 3 RBI performances from Garrett Atkins and Troy Tulowitzki, helped in the Rox' 11-5 road win over the Houston Astros.
- Two shutouts from Saturday: Nick Blackburn, in his fourth start, scattered eight hits and struck out only one batter in 7 2/3 innings of work in the Minnesota Twins' 3-0 blanking of the Cleveland Indians. But it wasn't as impressive as Andy Sonnanstine's complete-gamer in a 5-0 Tampa Bay Rays shutout of the Chicago White Sox.
- Off the field:
- New York Yankees reliever Kyle Farnsworth was suspended three games after Wednesday's incident where he threw behind the Boston Red Sox' Manny Ramirez.
- Back to the Rays for a bit; promising rook Evan Longoria was so valued by the team, he was given a six-year contract worth $17.5 million.
- Alex Rodriguez is day-to-day with a strained right quad suffered in the Yanks' 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles, while the Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones reinjured his in a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- After coming on late last season, the Toronto Blue Jays and Frank Thomas decided to part company on Sunday.
Where "The Playoffs Most Noone Cares About" Happen
- The New York Rangers needed a crucial stop from goalie Henrik Lundqvist on a John Madden penalty shot, and got it as the Blueshirts closed their series with the New Jersey Devils, 5-3.
- Johan Franzen scored the game winner in overtime on Friday night, and his Detroit Red Wings teammates sealed the deal two days later with a 3-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators.
- The Colorado Avalanche also moved on to the conference semifinals with a 2-1 clincher over the Minnesota Wild. Meanwhile, there will be a new team hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup; the Anaheim Ducks are out after the Dallas Stars took that series.
- The Boston Bruins evened their series with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday with an OT winner from Marco Sturm, as did the Calgary Flames in their tangle with the San Jose Sharks.
Where "Going Across the Pond" Happens
- Manchester United kept their lead in the Premiership table despite a 1-1 draw with a Carlos Tevez equalizer late in their match away at Blackburn Rovers. Had United lost, Arsenal (2-0 winners at home to Reading) would have come to within three points behind the Devils for first.
- In what will probably be the last Birmingham derby for the moment, The Fighting Alexs ran crosstown rival Birmingham City out of Villa Park, 5-1 with doubles by Ashley Young and John Carew.
- Up north in the Tyne-Wear derby, Newcastle shutout out underachieveing Sunderland, 2-0, both goals coming off the foot of Michael Owen.
- Alles gut with Bayern Munich, as they copped the DFB cup (Germany's answer to the FA Cup) on Saturday 2-1 over Borussia Dortmund with a Luca Toni extra-time clincher.
Where UFC 83 happens
- Okay, so it really happened in Montreal, Canada. But, the UFC's first venture into the Great White North saw Quebec's native son Georges St. Pierre become the undisputed welterweight champion with a second-round TKO of Matt Serra.
- In the undercard, Rich Franklin needed almost eight and a half minutes to take care of Travis Lutter, while Englishman Michael Bisping scored a TKO at the end of the first round of his bout against Charles McCarthy.
Where going round in circles happens
- Over the southern border of the United States, NASCAR's Nationwide Series held its fourth annual race at Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, won by Cup driver Kyle Busch.
- The IndyCar Series saw a double bill of action on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. On this side of the ocean, Will Power powered his way to the checkered flag in the former ChampCar World Series event at Long Beach, California. Late the previous day (our time), a feat only duplicated once in auto racing history occured. What happened? Stay tuned to find out...
Where Odds and Sods happens
- An awful joke that began two years ago finally reached its punchline on Friday, as the New York Knicks' new front-office sheriff Donnie Walsh relieved Isiah Thomas of duty as that team's head coach. According to Walsh, Thomas' new job won't even have a title, believe it or not.
- Also, the NBA approved the Seattle Sonics' move to Oklahoma City, 28-2. However, the move is pending a lawsuit filed by the City of Seattle designed to prevent the team from breaking its lease of KeyArena.
- The upcoming Kentucky Derby will be without a horse once it takes place on May 3; War Pass will miss the 134th Run For the Roses with a leg injury.
- Condolences to teammates, friends, and the family of John Marzano. A player on the 1984 baseball team that won a gold medal at the Olympics and later a backup catcher with the Red Sox and Texas Rangers, died after falling down a flight of stairs at age 45 on Saturday.
Where Passing Out the Honors happens
IRL driver Danica Patrick: Since her arrival in 2005, many within the IRL bubble wondered if she would ever win a race. Well, those people can wonder no longer, cos she took the Indy Japan 300, marking her first career win in the series. Patrick is also only the second female driver ever to win at any level and/or form of motorsports; Shirley Muldowney (BORN IN...Schenectady, New York) also won in drag racing back in the day.
The Washington Nationals: So much for a fast start; the Nats (more like the "Nots") have lost 14 of their last 16 games after opening 3-0 this season.
Go back in time
We've been around for quite a while – just over a hundred articles in this series, as a matter of fact! So if you're curious about what happened on this date the past two years, click the links below to fire up the time machine:
Yanks-Sox and Remembering VA Tech – Still hitting our stride
Where "This is the end of this week's AWIR" happens
The NFL draft takes center stage next week; until then, as always, let's all be good sports...