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Hope everybody had an enjoyable Mother's Day Weekend; now on to the 'cap...
NBA Conference Semis from the Armchair
- The Utah Jazz clawed their way back from the dead in their series with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz took Game 3 on Friday, 104-99 behind a 27-point, 20-rebound double dip from Carlos Boozer. Two days later, the Jazz came up on the winning side of the second-most exciting playoff game this year, clinching Game 4 in a 123-115 overtime thriller that saw Deron Williams get 29 points and a dime shy of a buck and a half (14 assists). Both times, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant led the way scoring-wise, the latter game while fighting back spasms. Also worth noting was Ronny Turiaf's ejection in the first half due to a lagrant foul.
- The other Western Conference semifinal matchup also saw the San Antonio Spurs even things up in their series with the New Orleans Hornets. The defending champs prevailed in Game 4 on Sunday, 100-80, thanks to Tim Duncan's double shot (22 points and 15 boards).
- No Chauncey Billups, no problem. The Detroit Pistons escaped Central Florida with a 90-89 win and a 3-1 series lead over the Orlando Magic, thanks to 32 points from Richard Hamilton. This series would've been knotted a two games apiece like the aforementioned two series hadn't Hedo Turkoglu's game-winning shot went in.
- Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers rose up to further deny the top-seeded Boston Celtics' first road playoff win this year, 108-84. Lebron James led the way with 21 points and 8 assists, along with four steals on the defensive end.
Coaches on the move
- Greg Maddux made history the likes of which we might never see again; the veteran San Diego Padres pitcher got his 350th career win on Saturday in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. The night before, the Fathers fell to the defending NL champs, 4-2. Quite an improvement, considering that both teams went 22 innings the last time they met.
- Kei Igawa's fiirst start in almost a year proved to be a pain in the butt for the New York Yankees, both figuratively and literally. One of the eleven Detroit Tigers hits he scattered caromed of Igawa's posterior in a 6-5 loss to the Tigers in which he lasted only three innings.
- James Shields got a one-hit shutout of the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, 2-0, wherein he struck out eight batters. The following day, copycat was where it was at when Scott Kazmir lasted six innings and Troy Percival got his eighth save of the year, the most he's had since 2005.
- Johan Santana got his first home win of the year in the first game of a day-night doubleheader, striking out five in six innings of work as the New York Mets doubled up the Cincinnati Reds, 12-6. A better effort than four weeks ago. However, the Metropolitans dropped the nightcap, 7-1, in a game that saw the Reds' Jeff Keppinger go 5-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Keppinger was the first Red since 1970 to get all five hits in as many at-bats; the last person to do it was a man named Pete Rose.
NHL Conference Finals from the Armchair
- The Pittsburgh Penguins opened up a 2-0 lead on their Keystone State rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers with final scores of 4-2 in both games. Evgeni Malkin scored the last two goals on Friday, while fourth-liner Max Talbot proved the hero two nights later.
- The Detroit Red Wings capped a successful weekend for Michigan's pro sports teams with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars and a 2-0 series lead. However, the main point of discussion came at game's end, when Stars forward Mike Ribeiro slash Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood. Both players would later be fined and not suspended, like some had predicted.
FAPL 07/08 Finale
- Manchester United ended a near-season-long dogfight with a 2-0 win away at Wigan thanks to a 33rd-minute penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo and a clincher ten minutes from stoppage time by Ryan Giggs. Devils sealed their second consecutive Premiership title (and 17th in club history) thanks to a Chelsea draw at home to Bolton, 1-1. Last year, ManU were getting ready to face the Lions for the FA Cup. In 2008, the current episode of this rivalry will end in Moscow, where both clubs will vie for the championship of Europe.
- Bolton and Fulham both managed to escape a return to the Football League Championship in 2008-09. However, Reading and Birmingham City were not so lucky. In a case of too much, too little, too late, Blues defeated Blackburn, 4-1, while Reading's Premiership swan song saw a 4-0 shutout away at already relegated Derby County.
- Middlesbrough managed to be gracious guests at Sven-Goran Ericsson's going-away party at Manchester City, 8-1, thanks to three goals from Afonso Alves and a double dip from Stewart Downing.
- After taking the checkered flag at Darlington, South Carolina, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch showed why he's the main series' bad boy. While taking his victory lap, he eyed Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s pit crew and reportedly flipped them the bird. No word from the NSCS brass on their reax so far...
- Scott Dixon, second in the IRL IndyCar Series points, took the pole position for the 92nd Indianapolis 500. Danica Patrick earned a second row spot, but not before an incident the day before qualifying wherein she accidentally ran into a member of another driver's pit crew. Patrick had finished her practice run when all of a sudden, she ran into Charles Buckman, the chief mechanic on Mario Moraes' team. Buckman suffered a concussion and is the midst of recovery, while the IRL has since taken the blame off of Patrick's shoulders.
- Halfway around the world, Felipe Massa took his second win of the year in the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix. The Brazilian is the only repeat winner on the circuit this year, along with Kimi Raikkonen.
Odds and Sods
- Big Brown will have an entire new field of challengers at next weekend's Preakness Stakes. Recapturetheglory will not be present for the big shindig at Pimlico on May 17.
- Sergio Garcia ended a three-year PGA TOUR drought by defeating Paul Goydos on the first playoff hole to win The Players Championship in Florida.
Passing out the honors
Duke men's lacrosse player Matt Danowski: The senior became the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I history on Saturday with 347 points (167 goals and 180 assists, using the same math as in ice hockey). Danowski scored two goals and got five helps in the Blue Devils' 12-7 win over Loyola in the first round of the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament.
Nick Hogan, son of pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan. Hogan the younger was sentenced to eight months in prison after a wreck which involved John Graziano, a friend of Hogan's, leaving him virtually non compus mentis. In addition, the judge in Pinellas County, Florida, ordered Hogan to perform 500 hours of community service, five years' probation, and suspension of his drivers license until the age of 21. This reporter wonders how many times he was beaten upside the head with a steel folding chair for him to do something like that...
Go back in time
We're practically loaded next week
So join us then, won'tcha? BTW, let's all be good sports...