United Stats of America – #NBA Edition

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1.

Exclusivity…

Spurs, accompanied by Warriors, enter an exclusive club

The Spurs throttled the Magic, 107-92, to earn their 40th victory in 48 games this season. Coupled with the Warriors, who with a 44-4 record, had the night off, this marked only the fourth season in NBA history in which two different teams amassed 40 wins before they suffered 10 losses. It previously happened in the 1980-81 season with the Celtics (40-9) and 76ers (40-8), the 2008-09 season with the Celtics and Lakers (both 40-9), and last season with the Hawks (40-8) and Warriors (40-9).

null+ Green does his thing for a 4th straight game

Jeff Green scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Grizzlies to a 110-95 win at New Orleans – the fourth straight game in which Green has come off the bench to lead the Grizzlies in scoring. Not incidentally, Memphis has won all four of those games; previously, Green scored 30 points in an overtime win over Orlando, 21 points in a win over Milwaukee, and 29 points in a triumph over Sacramento.

Get a load of this one: Green became the first NBA player in more than 21 years to come off the bench in four consecutive games, to finish each of those games as the game’s leading scorer (outright or tied), and to see his team win each of them. The last player to put together four consecutive games like that was Dan Majerle with the Suns in January of 1995.

null+ Teague, in 486th game, finally earns share of king-for-a-day

Jeff Teague poured in a season-high 32 points as the Hawks thumped the Mavericks, 112-97. Teague’s game marked only the third this season in which a Hawks played accumulated at least 30 points; Al Horford provided the two other games of that sort (33 and 30 points). It was the fourth time in Teague’s career that he has scored 30-or-more points, and the Hawks have won each of those games.

Teague and Sacramento’s Rudy Gay, who scored 32 points later in the evening, shared high-scoring honors across Monday’s nine NBA games. It marked the first time in his 486-game career that Teague had been the league’s high scorer for a day, either outright or tied.

null+ Jokic’s big game evokes the young ‘Melo

Rookie Nikola Jokic won’t turn 21 years of age until February 19, but he celebrated the arrival of his birth month by achieving season-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to highlight the Nuggets’ 112-93 victory over the visiting Raptors. Jokic became only the second rookie in the Nuggets’ NBA history to produce a 25-point, 10-rebound game before his 21st birthday. Carmelo Anthony had a pair of games like that (26 and 14, and 36 and 11) 12 years ago, at the age of 19.

null+ Westbrook’s quick triple-double vs. Wizards, part II

Russell Westbrook‘s seventh triple-double of the season, and his second in his last two games, led the Thunder to a 114-98 victory over the visiting Wizards. It was Westbrook’s second triple-double against Washington this season – and in each of those games, he achieved it before the end of the third quarter. Westbrook has three before-the-end-of-the-third-quarter triple-doubles this season; no other NBA player has more than one.

Jazz still perfect in overtime vs. Bulls

Gordon Hayward scored the last three points in regulation time to tie the score, then scored six points in overtime to lead the Jazz to a 105-96 victory over the visiting Bulls. And as the game went into the extra period, perceptive Utah fans knew that that the Jazz had the Bulls exactly where they wanted them. This was the fifth regular-season game between the teams that required an overtime period, and the Jazz has won all five of those games, going back to a Feb. 3, 1992 triple-overtime victory over the Jordan-and-Pippen squad. And the only playoff overtime game between the teams also resulted in a Utah victory – in the opening game of the 1998 Finals.

+ Pistons beat the odds

Math quiz: Which team wins? Team A shoots 48.8 percent from the floor; Team B, 42.9 percent. On three-point attempts, Team A makes 43.8 percent; Team B, 33.3 percent. And from the line, Team A hits 86.7 percent; Team B, 68.8 percent. Oh, by the way, Team A is playing at home.

Yes, it’s a trick question. On Monday night, the Pistons overcame all of those disadvantages to secure a 105-100 decision in Brooklyn. In so doing, Detroit became the 17th visiting team this season to play a game in which it was out-shot from the floor by at least 5 percent, from three-point range by at least 10 percent, and from the line by at least 15 percent. But the Pistons were the first of those 17 teams to go home a winner.

+ Cavs get balanced scoring; LeBron counts by sixes

“The Cavaliers took a 111-106 overtime decision over the Pacers in Indianapolis, in a game in which, for only the second time this season, each Cleveland starter produced at least 14 points. (The other such occasion came on January 4, in a 122-100 win over the Raptors.)

LeBron James finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists – only the second time that he has reached each of those levels since he returned to Cleveland at the beginning of last season. And the other time he did it, nine nights earlier, the Cavaliers lost the game, at home, to the Bulls.

+ Gay and Acy make up for absence of Cousins

In the absence of DeMarcus Cousins, their leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings outrebounded the Bucks, 53 to 37, and Rudy Gay scored a game-high 32 points to key a 111-104 victory. Quincy Acy, who played 17 minutes, 27 seconds, collected seven offensive rebounds. No NBA player this season has corralled that many offensive rebounds in a game in which he spent so little time on the court.

Source: Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

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United Stats of America #NBA Edition + 6 Other Things

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Steph Curry and the dominant Warriors aren’t just beating teams anymore, they’re throwing staggering knockout punches against the NBA’s best – make that second-best.

In a span of eight days, Golden State have 30-point wins over Cleveland, Chicago and San Antonio. Curry scored 37 points and hit six three-pointers in three scintillating quarters Monday night, and the reigning champions showed they still rule the West by routing the Spurs 120-90.

“No moment’s too big, obviously,” Curry said. “We know this is just another regular-season game, but there was some hype around it. Every time we have an opportunity to prove who we are and take another step in the journey, we’re ready for it. It wasn’t always that way. This core has been together for a while and understands how to mentally prepare for nights like this.”……(Continue Reading: Gregg Popovich: Warriors’ slaughter of Spurs was ‘like men and boys’ | The Guardian)

+ Warriors win the first round of 2015-16 duel with Spurs

In a highly anticipated matchup, Stephen Curry (37 points) and the Warriors coasted by the Spurs, 120-90, in what was the first matchup in NBA history between two teams with winning percentages of .830 or higher (minimum 40 games played for each team). Golden State’s 30-point victory soundly ended the Spurs’ 13-game winning streak. That’s the third largest margin of victory against an opponent with a winning streak of at least 13 games entering the matchup. The Knicks defeated the Mavs, 128-94, in March 2010, ending a 13-game streak, and the Magic routed the Rockets, 114-82, in March 1991, stopping a Houston winning streak at 13.

+ Cousins with another huge game

DeMarcus Cousins scored 56 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Kings’ double-overtime loss to the Hornets on Monday. Cousins, who totaled 48 points and 13 rebounds in his last game on January 23, is the fourth player with at least 100 points and 25 rebounds in consecutive games over the last 40 years. Michael Jordan did so in March 1990 (118 points and 30 rebounds; the first of the two games was his 69-point performance against the Cavaliers), David Robinson in April 1994 (100 points and 30 rebounds; he scored 71 points in the second of the two games), and Antawn Jamison accomplished this feat in December 2000 as a member of the Warriors (102 points and 27 rebounds).

Cousins’ 104 points over his last two games are the most for any player in Kings history; the previous high was 92 points by Oscar Robertson in February 1965 (when the franchise was known as the Cincinnati Royals). The last player with 100 points over a two-game span wasKobe Bryant in March 2007, netting 110 points.

+ A rare 50-point and 20-assist pairing

As though DeMarcus Cousins‘ 56-point performance was not enough, his Kings teammate Rajon Rondo dished out 20 assists in Sacramento’s overtime loss to the Hornets. It’s just the fourth game in NBA history in which one player scored at least 50 points and his teammate had at least 20 assists. The first such game was on March 2, 1962, in Wilt Chamberlain‘s 100-point game for the Warriors versus the Knicks; his teammate Guy Rodgers had 20 assists. And just under a year later, Chamberlain and Rodgers were at it again; Chamberlain scored 54 points and Rodgers totaled 20 assists for the Warriors against the Royals on March 1, 1963. The third instance was on February 10, 1998, when the Wizards’ Tracy Murray (50 points) and Rod Strickland (20 assists) did so versus the Warriors. In all three of those prior instances, the 50-point/20-assist team won the game.

+ A first for three young players

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points, Zach LaVine added 21 points, and Andrew Wiggins had 20 of his own in the Timberwolves’ loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night. Towns, LaVine, and Wiggins, all 20 years old, are the first trio of teammates under 21 years old to put up at least 20 points in the same game in NBA history. Only one other trio did so at 21 years or younger: Kevin Durant (21 years old), Russell Westbrook (21), and James Harden (20) for the Thunder against the Wizards on November 20, 2009.

Towns also grabbed 11 rebounds, becoming the first rookie with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a game against LeBron James.


1.

Wait A Second…

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball’s Top 10 prospects at each position. There has been quite a bit of turnover from last year to the 2016 edition of the Top 10 second-base prospects, with six new names joining the list, thanks to two graduations and four who dropped off the list. Scouting reports, grades, stats and video on Prospect Watch……(Continue Reading: Prospect Watch: Top 10 second basemen for 2016 | MLB.com)


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2.

Helping The Homeless…

With the Mets bringing back Yoenis Cespedes, most of baseball’s big-name free agents are off the board.

That doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare, however. There are many players left who could help plenty of teams.

Still, finding a spot at this point in the game of musical chairs is a challenge. Many clubs have filled their vacancies and/or reached their budgetary limits.

Pitchers and catchers are now less than a month from reporting, which means time is running out for the stragglers to sign before their unemployment lags into Spring Training. With that in mind, let’s spend other people’s money and see if we can find a home for 10 of the top players remaining on the market……(Continue Reading: Let’s play matchmaker for MLB players still unsigned.)


3.

Where There’s A Will There’s An Elway…

If Peyton Manning soon has the option to pull a John Elway and end a Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacking career in the glorious aftermath of a Super Bowl triumph, it will be because Elway provided him with a team capable of making it happen.

But few people in the room deserved more credit than the quarterback already enshrined in Canton who…...(Continue Reading: John Elway has put Peyton Manning in position to follow in his footsteps – The Washington Post)


4.

Get Over Yourself…

Seattle fans are still upset about something the Carolina Panthers QB did to the 12th man flag. Nevermind the crouch-grabber on your own team Seattle Fan.  Cam Newton has long moved on from thinking about the Seattle Seahawks, the team his Carolina Panthers beat two playoff rounds ago before beating the Arizona Cardinals last weekend to reach the Super Bowl.

Angry Seahawks fans have not forgot about Cam, though. #Stalker #StayClassy

Continue Reading: Bitter Seahawks fan starts petition to ban Cam Newton from CenturyLink | FOX Sports


5.

A Look Back…

Even though the Bears were 10-point favorites, the New England Patriots approached Super Bowl XX in New Orleans with confidence.

“We’ve been underdogs all year,” cornerback Raymond Clayborn said a few days before the game. “I accept it. We’ll go out and beat the Bears just like we beat everybody else. Do football players pay attention to the spread? We notice it. But we have confidence in ourselves.”……(Continue Reading: Pats thought they’d win Super Bowl XX)


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6.

#FanDuel Ultimate Value Lineup

Giving you the Perfect Lineup is easy and we tweet it, post it on Facebook and create an entire post about it in our RESULTS, so……What about if you had the greatest value lineup of all time?  A Lineup that every player chosen had low ownership, way less, and never cost you more than $6,500 – well my friends this is the #NBA Ultimate Value Lineup – culled directly from the numbers and our reports – Check Back Before 4:30p MST everyday and see who we like, and let us Teach You How To #Win!!!

pablo (2)

Getting Smart with #NBA + #NHL News o’Day (11-9-15)

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1. NBA Bounce House

Love flashes his old form in Cavs’ win

Kevin Love scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 101-97 win over the Pacers. Although Love fell one rebound short of his first 20/20 game in nearly three years, it was a performance reminiscent of his heyday in Minnesota. Love had 16 games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Timberwolves, including 11 during the 2010-11 season. No other NBA player has had a season with at least ten 20/20 games (points and rebounds) since Kevin Willis in 1991-92.


nullDurant proves his value to OKC

Kevin Durant led all players with 32 points in the Thunder’s 124-103 victory over the Suns. It was Oklahoma City’s second win by at least 20 points this season. The Thunder had only one such victory in their final 26 games last season, with Durant sidelined. Here’s a broader picture to put Durant’s value in perspective: OKC has won 33 of its last 50 games with Durant, eight by 20 points or more. In its last 50 games without Durant, Oklahoma City is barely above .500 (26-24), with only four wins by at least 20 points.­


nullWhiteside is one of NBA’s top shot blockers

Hassan Whiteside blocked six shots to complement his 20 points and 11 rebounds in Miami’s 96-76 victory over Toronto. Whiteside ranks second in the NBA with 123 blocks since making his first start for the Heat on January 14. Only Rudy Gobert has blocked more shots than Whiteside during that time … and just barely (125).


nullWill Galloway become the Knicks’ go-to shooter in the clutch?

Langston Galloway hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2:00 to play that proved to be the game-winner, as the Knicks defeated the Lakers, 99-95. Galloway has now made seven of 12 field-goal attempts (2-for-2 this season) in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime and the game within five points.


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2. Ice-Ice Baby

Bergeron leads Bruins to win over Isles

Patrice Bergeron assisted on the first goal and scored the second in the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Islanders. It was Bergeron’s third multiple-point game this season and in each of those games he recorded at least one goal and one assist. Bergeron played in 81 games for Boston last season but he had only three games in which he tallied both a goal and an assist.


nullKlingberg is top-scoring d-man

John Klingberg took over the points leadership this season among NHL defensemen with a pair of assists in the Stars’ 4-1 win against the Red Wings. Klingberg is the second defenseman in Stars franchise history with 15 points in the team’s first 15 games of a season. The first was Craig Hartsburg, who scored three goals and was credited with 12 assists in the Minnesota North Stars’ first 15 games in 1987-88.


nullPamieri powers Devils’ OT win

Kyle Palmieri scored a power play goal in overtime to earn the Devils a 4-3 win over the Canucks. It was the first time that the Devils won a home game on an overtime PPG since March 4, 2011, when Ilya Kovalchuk scored the winning goal against the Penguins. Palmieri’s overtime goal was the third of his NHL career and first for the Devils, but it wasn’t the first OT goal he scored at Prudential Center. His first overtime goal in the NHL gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Devils in Newark on Dec. 20, 2013.


Getting Smart With #NBA + #NHL NEWS o’Day (11-5-15)

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1. NBA Bounce House

You wondered how long it was going to take before some #NBA player became fed-up with those sleeved-uniforms and for LeBron, he wasn’t having it anymore.  It’s like when Costanza made the Yankees wear all-cotton uniforms – #WorstIdeaEver.  Hopefully soon, Mr. Silver will realize these too were a turr-able idea and give the shooters their free-range back in their shoulders.

Curry continues to roll in the early going

Stephen Curry scored 31 points and made seven three-pointers in the Warriors’ 112-108 win over the Clippers on Wednesday. Curry has scored 179 points in his five games played this season. Over the last 40 seasons, the only other players to score as many points as Curry through their first five games of a season are Adrian Dantley (1980-81) and Michael Jordan, who did it three times (1986-87, 1989-90 and 1991-92).

Curry’s 28 three-pointers made are by far the most any player has made through five games of a season since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979-80. The previous high was 21 by Ryan Anderson (2011-12), O.J. Mayo (2012-13) and Trevor Ariza (2014-15).


Howard is perfect from the field

Dwight Howard went 10-for-10 from the field and hauled down 14 rebounds in the Rockets’ overtime win over the Magic on Wednesday night. It marked the second time that Howard has shot 10-for-10 or better from the field in a game, having also done that on February 24, 2010 (11-for-11), ironically while he was with the Magic against the Rockets. The only other players to attempt 10 or more shots from the field and make all of them multiple times in the shot-clock era are Wilt Chamberlain (8 times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice), Bernard King (twice) and Karl Malone (twice).


Blazers’ backcourt has a big night in UtahAltX.Logo.white

Damian Lillard scored 35 points and starting backcourt mate C.J. McCollum chipped in with 27 in the Blazers’ win in Utah on Wednesday night. It’s the first time in nearly 20 years that Portland’s starting backcourt each produced at last 25 points in a road game, since Rod Strickland (32) and Clyde Drexler (30) did it against the SuperSonics in a losing effort in Seattle on January 15, 1995.


Suns win with a team effort

Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 19 points and was the team’s leader in assists with eight in a 118-97 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night. It marked the most points the Suns have scored in a game in which they did not have a single player score 20 points or hand out 10 assists since December 8, 1994, when they defeated the Nets by a final of 133-106 with Wayman Tisdale and Dan Majerle producing a team high 19 points and Elliot Perry leading the way with nine assists.


Beal’s three-pointer beats Spurs

Bradley Beal‘s three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Wizards a 102-99 victory over the Spurs on Wednesday night. Beal is the first player to win a game with a three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime against San Antonio since the Mavericks’ Steve Nash made a shot from beyond the arc with 0.6 seconds left in overtime in a 126-123 Dallas win on December 26, 2001.


Pacers frontcourt controls the boards in win over Celtics

The Pacers starting frontcourt, Lavoy Allen (11 rebounds), Paul George (10) and Jordan Hill (10) each recorded double-digits in rebounds in the Pacers’ 100-98 win over the Celtics on Wednesday. Indiana received 10 or more rebounds from each of their frontcourt starters in only one game in the previous six seasons combined (2009-10 to 2014-15), on January 8, 2013 (George, David West and Roy Hibbert).AltX.Logo.white


Nets fall to 0-5

The Nets lost their fifth consecutive game to open the 2015-16 season, dropping a 101-87 decision to the Hawks. Brooklyn has lost by margins of 15, 17, 10, 7 and 14 points in their five defeats. The only other teams in NBA history to lose each of their first five games of a season, all by more than six points, after appearing in the playoffs the previous season, are the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets (first five games) and 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers (first six games).


Cavs win by 10 after trailing by 15

The Cavaliers overcame a 15-point deficit and defeated the Knicks by a score of 96-86 on Wednesday night. It marked the first time Cleveland won a game by a double-digit margin after trailing by at least 15 points since November 3, 2009, when the Cavs overcame a 18-point deficit and beat Washington by a score of 102-90.


Raptors produce road wins over Western foes on consecutive nights

One night after beating the Mavericks in Dallas, the Raptors (5-0) beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night to improve upon the best start in franchise history. It’s the third time since the start of the 2014-15 season that Toronto has won road games against Western Conference opponents on consecutive days, having won games in Sacramento and Utah last December 2nd and 3rd; and against the Clippers in Los Angeles and Nuggets in Denver on December 27th and 28th. No other Eastern Conference team has more than two sets of back to back road wins on consecutive days against teams from the West over that span, and the only other East teams that have done that more than once are Atlanta and Detroit.


2. Ice-Ice Baby

Burmistrov’s late goal wins it for the Jets

Winnipeg’s Alexander Burmistrov scored a tiebreaking goal with 2:05 left to play in the third period and his goal was the game-winner for the Jets in their 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. It was the second time this season that a Jets player scored a go-ahead goal in the final three minutes of the third period; Dustin Byfuglien snapped a tie with 88 seconds remaining in regulation time in Winnipeg’s home game against the Flames on October 16. The Jets are the only NHL team to have scored more than one such goal this season. Before this season, the Jets had tallied only three tiebreaking goals in the last three minutes of the third period since the team relocated to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011.


Blues win after allowing five goals in the first

Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal with 1:06 remaining in overtime earned the Blues a 6-5 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago, a game in which St. Louis trailed, 5-2, at the end of the first period. It was the 11th time in NHL history that a team won a game in which it allowed five first-period goals, and it was the first such win in Blues history. Before Wednesday’s victory by St. Louis, the last time an NHL team won a game in that manner was when the Lightning beat the Flyers, 8-7, in Philadelphia on November 18, 2010, after Tampa Bay trailed, 5-4, at the first intermission.


Fehr nets another short-handed goal

Eric Fehr’s short-handed goal midway through the third period gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-2 in Vancouver. Fehr also tallied a short-handed goal in his Penguins debut on October 31 against the Maple Leafs. He is the first player in NHL history to score a short-handed goal in each of his first two games with a team.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau

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#ElectionDay #NBA + #NHL News & Notes

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1. NBA Bounce House

Duncan sets NBA record for wins with one team

Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Spurs‘ 94-84 victory over the Knicks on Monday. Duncan has 954 regular-season wins with the Spurs, passing John Stockton (953 with Jazz) for the most victories by a player with one team in NBA history. Rounding out the top three is Stockton’s teammate Karl Malone, who had 919 wins during his tenure with Utah.

Duncan has a 954-381 (.715) regular-season record with the Spurs. Among the 10 players with at least 700 wins with one team, only one has a higher winning percentage with that team: Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker. With Monday’s win, Parker improved to 728-284 (.719) in his Spurs career.


25,000 points for James

With his 22 points scored in the Cavaliers‘ win on Monday, LeBron James reached 25,001 regular-season points in the NBA, in his 915th career game. James is the 20th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points; only three of those players reached that mark in as few games as he did. Ahead of him on the list are Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Michael Jordan (782), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (889).

James also added 11 assists in Monday’s game, becoming the sixth player to record a double-double in the game in which he surpassed 25,000 points, joining Chamberlain (who had a triple double when he reached that mark in 1968), Jerry West (1973), Abdul-Jabbar (1980), Karl Malone (1997), and Tim Duncan (2014).


Westbrook joins elite groupAltX.Logo.white

Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s loss on Monday. Westbrook has 121 points, 37 assists, and 30 rebounds in four games this season. Only two other players in NBA history had at least 120 points, 30 assists, and 30 rebounds over their first four games of a season, and each did so twice: Oscar Robertson (1961-62 and 1966-67 seasons) and Larry Bird (1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons).


Harden leads the way for Rockets

James Harden scored 37 points as the Rockets earned their first win of the season, a 110-105 triumph over the Thunder. Dwight Howard had the second-highest points output for Houston in Monday’s game, with 16 points. Last season, Harden played in 12 games in which he scored at least 20 more points than any of his teammates. Only one other player had at least five such games in the 2014-15 campaign: Russell Westbrook, with eight.


Warriors win big after trailing at the end of the opening quarter

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies, 119-69, on Monday after trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter. Golden State is just the second team in NBA history to win a game by at least 50 points after being outscored in the opening quarter. The first such instance occurred on February 1, 1983, when the Bulls came out victorious over the Rockets, 129-76, after also trailing by a point at the end of the first.


Curry has another big quarter

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, including 21 in the third quarter, of the Warriors’ 119-69 victory over the Grizzlies. It’s the second straight game in which Curry scored at least 20 points in a quarter, having netted 28 points in the third period of the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday. The last player with a 20-point quarter in consecutive games was Jamal Crawford in January 2007. Crawford had 23 fourth-quarter points on January 24 against the Suns and had two 20-point quarters in his next game on January 26 versus the Heat (20 points in second quarter and 23 in third).


2. ‘Ockey News – The Quick and the Dead

Toews and Kane find success against Quick

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each scored a goal for the Blackhawks as they posted a 4-2 victory over the Kings which ended L.A.’s winning streak at seven games. Toews has scored 11 goals in his 21 regular-season games against Quick, which ties him with Radim Vrbata for the third-most goals versus the two-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder, behind Shane Doan and Patrick Marleau (12 each). Kane scored only one goal in his first 13 regular-season games versus Quick but he’s tallied seven goals in eight regular-season games against him since then.


Lupul nets a pair in Leafs’ victory

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars’ in Toronto. It was Lupul’s first multiple-goal game since the last time the Stars played at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 Maple Leafs victory on Dec. 2, 2014 in which Lupul notched the final two Toronto goals. Lupul finished the 2014-15 season by scoring only one goal in his last 30 games but he’s the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with five goals this season.

pablo (10)

Friday Dregs

Iguodala comes through for Kerr and the Warriors

Andre Iguodala didn’t start a game during the 2014-15 regular season and he hadn’t started a game during this year’s playoffs until Steve Kerr sent him to the floor to begin Game 4 of the Finals. Iguodala proceeded to score 22 points and grab eight rebounds, both tied for the Warriors’ team high, as Golden State topped the Cavaliers, 103-82, to deadlock the series.

Over the last 45 years, the only other players who started an NBA Finals game without starting a game during either the preceding regular season or earlier in that year’s playoffs were Terry Teagle (1991 Lakers), Marcus Camby (1999 Knicks) and Manu Ginobili (2013 Spurs). Ginobili (24 points in Game 5) and Iguodala (on Thursday night) are the only players among them who either scored 20 or more points or pulled down as many as eight rebounds in their first start during that year’s Finals.

Convincing road victory for Golden State

The Warriors’ 21-point margin of victory in Game 4 was the largest for any road team in an NBA Finals game in which they entered the game trailing in the series. The previous high was 16 points by Miami in its 109-93 Game 4 victory at San Antonio in 2013.

Cleveland off the mark from downtown

The Cavaliers made only four of their 27 three-point field-goal attempts in Game 4 (14.8 percent). There have been 474 instances in NBA playoff history in which a team launched at least 25 shots from three-point range; only four other teams that took 25 or more three-point shots made as low a percentage of them as did the Cavaliers, with the last such team doing it 18 years ago, when the Bulls made four of 27 three-point shots (14.8%) in an 87-80 loss at Miami in Game 4 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. The only other team to hit such a low three-point percentage (minimum: 25 shots) in a Finals game was the Bulls, who made only three of 26 three-point shots (11.5%) in losing Game 5 of the 1996 Finals at Seattle, 89-78.

Not many turnovers in Game 4

The Warriors (seven) and Cavaliers (nine) combined to commit only 16 turnovers in Game 4. That is the second-lowest total of turnovers in a NBA Finals game in any of the last 15 years. The only Finals game with fewer turnovers during that time (2001-2015) was the opener of the 2013 Finals, when the Spurs (four) and Heat (nine) combined to turn the ball over only 13 times.

Kazmir limits the Rangers to one hit, again

Scott Kazmir threw eight innings for the Athletics as they topped the Rangers, 7-0, and the only hit he allowed was a fifth-inning single by Elvis Andrus. It was the 11th major-league game this season in which a pitcher had a scoreless outing of seven or more innings without allowing more than one hit. Kazmir is the only pitcher who has had two such games and both were against the Rangers in Oakland. He pitched seven scoreless innings versus Texas on April 8, allowing one hit (a bunt single by Leonys Martin leading off the game).

nullCuddyer’s first walkoff RBI since 2006

Michael Cuddyer‘s second go-ahead RBI of the night came on a game-ending single in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave the Mets a 5-4 triumph over the Giants. Cuddyer, who hadn’t produced a game-ending RBI since he hit a walkoff homer for the Twins on April 19, 2006, played 1140 major-league games in the interim. Cuddyer entered Thursday’s game with the longest current streak of consecutive games without a walkoff RBI among active major-league players, a distinction that now belongs to San Diego’s Clint Barmes, who has played 1090 games since the only walkoff RBI of his career (a game-ending homer for the Rockies off Trevor Hoffman in the 2005 season opener).

Trout and Pujols both homer for the Angels

Mike Trout homered in the sixth inning and Albert Pujols hit a four-bagger in the ninth to help the Angels beat the Rays at Tropicana Field. It was the fifth game this season in which both Trout and Pujols homered, tying them with Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Logan Morrison for the most such games for any major-league teammates this year.

nullMarcum tosses a gem

Shaun Marcum pitched seven innings and limited the Mariners to two hits in the Indians’ 6-0 shutout on Thursday afternoon. Marcum joined Trevor Bauer (April 9) and Corey Kluber (May 13) as Cleveland starters who have won games this season in which they had a scoreless outing of at least six innings without allowing more than two hits. The only other major-league teams that have had starts of that kind by three different pitchers this season are the Athletics (Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmirand Drew Pomeranz) and Giants (Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Chris Heston).

nullGonzalez allows a run

The Rangers’ Chi Chi Gonzalez saw his career ERA balloon to 0.42 by allowing one run in seven innings versus the Athletics as he suffered his first loss in his third major-league game. Fernando Valenzuela posted a 0.33 ERA through his first three starts in the majors (in 1981), but since then, the only other pitcher who accumulated at least 20 innings through his first three major-league starts while pitching to an ERA as low as Gonzalez’s is Pat Combs, who had a 0.41 ERA to that point of his career for the 1989 Phillies.

Pay DiRT

James leads the way for Cavaliers in Game 3 victory

LeBron James scored 40 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 96-91 victory over the Warriors and a 2-1 lead in the series. James also recorded eight assists, which is one more than the combined total of the rest of the Cavaliers team. No other player in NBA history scored 40 points and recorded at least half of his team’s assists in a Finals game before James. The last player to achieve that feat in any round of the playoffs was Rajon Rondo, who scored 44 points and tallied 10 of the Celtics’ 15 assists in an overtime loss to the Heat in 2012.

James, whose three-game streak with more than 30 field-goal attempts is the longest of his career, has scored 123 points through three Finals games, breaking the record for most points in the first three games of a NBA Finals. Rick Barry had previously held that mark, having scored 122 points in the first three games of the 1967 Finals for the Warriors against the 76ers. James and Barry are also the only players to miss at least 20 field-goal attempts in three consecutive Finals games; Barry had four such games in a row to conclude the 1967 Finals while James now has three such games to begin this year’s Finals.

nullFirst 20-point effort for Dellavedova this season

Matthew Dellavedova played a huge role in the Cavaliers’ Game 3 victory as well, contributing 20 points, including 10 in the third quarter. The scoring output marked Dellavedova’s highest scoring game of the season – his high in the 2014-15 regular season was 18 points (April 15), and his playoff-high was 19 points (May 14) prior to Tuesday. Only one other player in the last 10 seasons scored at least 20 points in a Finals game without recording any 20-point games in the previous regular season or first three rounds of the playoffs. That player happens to be one of Dellavedova’s teammates – Mike Miller scored 23 points in the Heat’s Finals-clinching victory in 2012 against the Thunder, marking his only 20-point effort of the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs.

Heston throws first no-hitter of 2015

In just his 13th major-league start, Chris Heston entered the record books by throwing a no-hitter at Citi Field against the Mets. Heston, who recorded 11 K’s without walking a batter, became the first rookie pitcher to strike out more than 10 opposing hitters without issuing a walk in a no-hitter. Heston’s three HBP’s resulted in the only baserunners for the Mets on Tuesday, and it also put Heston on a list by himself – no other pitcher in major-league history hit at least three opposing batters while completing a no-hitter.

Heston threw the fourth no-hitter for the Giants over the last four seasons – Matt Cain threw a perfect game against the Astros in 2012, and Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres in 2013 and again in 2014. The only other team in major-league history to throw a no-hitter in each of four consecutive seasons is the Dodgers, though Los Angeles needed just one pitcher – Sandy Koufax – to achieve the feat.

Speaking of Sandy Koufax, the Dodgers great was the last pitcher before Heston to finish a no-hitter with three strikeouts in the final inning. Koufax K’d the last three Cubs in his perfect game on September 9, 1965.

DiRT on Monday

Is there no-one else out there besides Jeff Van Gundy who sees how terrible the refs are in this series, especially last night?  You either look at this series as Cleveland could be up 2-0, or Golden State could be – you could look at it that Golden State had a chance, even with the poor shooting of Steph Curry – and either way you look at it, last night was a game that was so ugly, it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down – but that dumpster-fire was entertaining to watch.  Do you doubt why the league suffers from conspiracy theories?  Watch the Refs in game 2 again, and you’ll see why – none of the calls and non-calls make any sense – how does Lebron not get some of those call towards the end – it was worse than Hack-A-ShaQ?  About the only thing Lebron did not do to win this weekend, was ride American Pharoah.

What I believe to know is that, Lebron is the only guy out there who knows what it takes to win and he is doing everything he can about it.  But can he continue to overcome the obstacles and JR Smith?  Can Golden State stop playing outside-in?  When will Cleveland stop trying to blow it at the end?  I have no real idea on any of it.  Thankfully, this series is turning into an all-timer, Spurs-Clippers-esque.  Hopefully whatever side of the fence you find yourself on, you’re enjoying it as much as we are here.

Notes I cannot put anywhere else:

  • LeBron James produced game-high totals of 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers to a 95-93 overtime victory over the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, knotting the series at one win each. James joined Jerry West as the only players in the history of the NBA Finals to achieve a triple-double with as many as 39 points. West scored 42 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for the Lakers in their Game 7 loss to the Celtics in 1969.
  • James became the second player to produce outright game highs of points, rebounds and assists during the NBA Finals, joining Shaquille O’Neal, who did so at Los Angeles in the Lakers’ Game 2 victory over the Nets in 2002 (40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists).
  • Stephen Curry scored 19 points in the Warriors’ loss on Sunday while making only two of his 15 attempts from beyond the arc. It was the first game of Curry’s NBA career, regular season or postseason, in which he missed as many 13 three-point field-goal attempts. His previous high was 11 missed three-pointers, done three times, twice during the regular season in the 2013 calendar year and once earlier in this year’s playoffs (7-for-18 against the Pelicans in Game 3 of the first round). The only other player in the history of the NBA Finals who missed as many as ten three-point field-goal attempts in one game is John Starks, who went 2-for-18 from the field, including 0-for-11 from three-point range, in the Knicks’ Game 7 loss at Houston in 1994.
  • The Cavaliers-Warriors series is the first in the history of the NBA Finals in which the first two games each required overtime and it’s the first series in any round of the NBA playoffs in which Games 1 and 2 both went to overtime since the Mavericks and Trail Blazers split the first two games of their best-of-five first-round series in 1985, both at Dallas, with the first game going to double-overtime and the second game decided in one extra period. It’s only the second time that two consecutive games of an NBA Finals went to overtime at any point during a series. The Knicks won Game 3 of the 1970 Finals and the Lakers won Game 4 of that series, both requiring overtime at Los Angeles.
  • Draymond Green blocked three field-goal attempts by LeBron James in Game 2, including two in overtime. The only other player who has rejected three of James’s field-goal attempts in one playoff game is Serge Ibaka, who did it for the Thunder in a Game 2 loss to the Heat in the 2012 Finals

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?  The same parable works for Horse Racing.  A triple crown winner has finally occurred after 37 years – will it save Horse-Racing?  Does it change the average persons viewpoint on the ponies?  Did you actually watch the race?  I mean before you told people on Facebook how awesome it was that it happened?  So what have we learned from an Egyptian of Jewish decent who’s horse was Grand-Sired by Empire Maker – the same horse that ruined Funny Cide’s Triple Crown in 2003 at the Belmont – you might have learned that the Triple Crown is hard in baseball and in horse racing – it’s the 12th time for horse Racing and Miguel Cabrera in 2012, was the 17th in baseball – the drought being 10 years longer in baseball.

So does this reinvigorate horse racing?  Not likely, but there is a cool stat to come out of it all – Miguel Cabrera, hit a two-run home run to give the Tigers the lead for good in their 7-1 win over the White Sox in Chicago Saturday.  The only other baseball player with a Triple Crown to his credit to hit a home run on the same day that horse racing welcomed a new member to its most elite club was Lou Gehrig. Gehrig, who led the American League in batting average, home runs, and RBIs in 1934, hit a homer on June 8, 1935, the day that Omaha won the Belmont Stakes, and two more on June 5, 1937, when War Admiral gained racing immortality.  Home Runs and Triple Crowns are hard – both on the same day is harder still.

Not sure why Bishop left in the third period, maybe he had to poop, but Vasilevskiy did just fine in stoning the Blackhawks.  In fact, the victory he earned in Game 2 is only the 4th time in NHL history that a goalie recorded a win in a Stanley Cup Final game, that he did not start.  The first time was in 1928 – one of the most famous in ‘Ockey ‘Istory – when Lester Patrick, the Rangers 44yr old coach, put himself in goal after Lorne Chabot was injured in game 2.  The “Silver Fox”, as he was known, helped the Rangers win 2-1 in overtime over the Montreal Maroons.  Vasilevskiy’s win was the first of his playoff career, making him the fourth goalie in 77 years to record their first playoff victory in a Stanley Cup Final game – the others:  Al Rollins, Toronto (’51), Hank Bassen, Detroit (’61), Jussi Markkanen, Edmonton (’06), and Patrick Roy, Montreal (’86).

 

Friday Dregs

Aside from Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, MLB has all their games playing tonight, and if you have StrikeZone you’ll get to see all of the action as it happens.  So for today we are going to give you some lineup help.  Here are 4 lineups to consider for tonight, check to see if they are playing and for rain:

#1               #2               #3               #4

P: Odorizzi     Odorizzi      Volquez      Gibson

P: Gibson       Volquez      Will.Perez   Butler

C: Posey         Saltamac    Norris         R.Martin

1: Goldschm   Goldschm  Carter         Teixeira

2: Rendon       Panik         Dozier         DJ Lemahieu

3: Gallo          Tejada        Carpenter   Donaldson

S: Jhonny P    Jhonny P   Tulowitzki    Tulowitzki

O: Rajai D       Pollock       McCutchen  Giancarlo

O: Joc Peder   Pillar          JoeyButler   Bautista

O: Burns         Moss           Springer      Gardner

As for alternate Ideas to consider for tonight here are some candidates to consider by position – remeber to check and see if they are in the lineup and for rain:

C: Saltamacchia/Cervelli/Norris/Posey/Vogt

1:  Goldschmidt/Carter/Freeman/Pujols/Posey

2:  Panik/Dozier/Phillips

3:  Carpenter/Freese/Tejada/Lawrie/Frazier/Donaldson/Arenado/MiguelC

S:  Jh.Peralta/Tulo/Tejada/Xander/Andrus/DiDi

O:  McCutchen/Pillar/Moss/JoeyButler/ShinSoo/Bruce/Deshields/A.Gordon/Pollock/Joc/Souza/Springer/Trout/Bryce Harper


 

Here we go with the recap of the last few two days….

Wednesday Review

NHL

Blackhawks rookie leads unprecedented Game 1 comeback

Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored goals in the last seven minutes of the third period which enabled the Blackhawks to overcome a 1-0 deficit and beat the Lightning, 2-1, at Tampa in the first game of the Stanley Cup Final. It’s the first time in NHL history that a team won Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final in regulation time after trailing while being shut out in the third period.

Chicago is also the first road team to record a regulation-time victory with a third-period comeback in the opening game of a Stanley Cup Final series. Three other visiting teams won Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final in overtime after trailing in the third period: the Islanders in 1980 (at Philadelphia), the Canucks in 1994 (at New York Rangers) and the Sabres in 1999 (at Dallas).

Teravainen, who assisted on the winning goal, is the first rookie in NHL history to score two third-period points in the first game of a Stanley Cup Final series. Since 1983, the only rookies before Teravainen to record more than one point in the opening game of a Cup Final wereJaromir Jagr for the Penguins in 1991 (two assists vs. Minnesota) and Ville Leino for the Flyers in 2010 (one goal and one assist at Chicago).

MLB

Gallo making powerful impression

Joey Gallo hit a home run in his major-league debut on Tuesday night and he cleared the fences with a solo shot on Wednesday evening. None of the 53 players in major-league history who hit at least 400 lifetime home runs began their careers by homering in each of their first two games. The player with the most home runs who did go deep in each of his first two big-league games is Todd Helton, who retired with 369 homers, which currently ranks him tied for 78th all time.

Tanaka returns with a win

Masahiro Tanaka made a triumphant return by throwing seven innings in a 3-1 victory at Seattle, improving his record to 16-6 in 25 major-league starts. Prior to Tanaka, the most recent pitchers to win at least 16 of their first 25 career starts–all for the Yankees–were Mel Stottlemyre (who, like Tanaka, was 16-6 through his first 25 starts) and Whitey Ford (17-2).

Astros rookie strikes out 11 with no walks

Lance McCullers, a 21-year old rookie making his fourth career start, struck out 11 Orioles batters and did not issue a walk in a complete-game win for the Astros on Wednesday night.

McCullers, at age 21, is the fourth youngest pitcher in the last 50 seasons with more than 10 strikeouts and no walks in a complete game. The three younger pitchers to do so over that span were Dwight Gooden (twice, at age 19 for the 1984 Mets), Bert Blyleven (at age 20 for the 1971 Twins) and Kerry Wood (at age 20 for the 1998 Cubs, while tying a major-league record with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game).

Braves surrender another huge lead

There have been only two major-league games this season in which a team was defeated after leading by at least six runs and the Braves have lost both of them. Atlanta surrendered an eight-run advantage in a 13-12 loss to the Nationals at Turner Field on April 28, and allowed a six-run cushion to disappear in Wednesday’s 9-8 setback against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Pirates sweep the defending champs

The Pirates, by virtue of their 5-2 win over the Giants in San Francisco, swept a series of at least three games on the road against the defending World Series champion for only the fifth time in franchise history. Pittsburgh’s other sweeps of at least three games on the home field of the reigning title holders were against the Cubs (in 1909), Giants (1922), Cardinals (1983) and Reds (1991).

Peralta pounds the Brewers

Jhonny Peralta was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Cardinals’ win over the Brewers and he now has 50 hits in 135 career at-bats (.370) versus Milwaukee. That gives Peralta the second-highest lifetime average for any active player against the Brewers (minimum: 100 at-bats), behind Troy Tulowitzki, who has batted .408 against them.

Buehrle throws a 93-pitch shutout

Mark Buehrle threw only 93 pitches in his shutout of the Nationals. That’s the fewest pitches thrown by a pitcher in a nine-inning complete-game performance this season and the second-fewest for Buehrle (again, in a nine-inning complete game) in his major-league career. He authored a shutout against the Indians while throwing just 90 pitches in July 2004, when he was 25 years old and playing for the White Sox.

Heart of the order powers Royals

The heart of the Royals’ order–Lorenzo CainEric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales–produced back-to-back-to-back RBI-doubles in the third inning of Kansas City’s 4-2 win over the Indians. It was the first time since May 2006 that three consecutive Royals batters in one inning each connected for extra-base hits that drove in a run. In that game nine years ago, four straight Kansas City batters did so–Emil BrownTony GraffaninoAngel Berroa and Doug Mientkiewicz.

Burns clears the bases

Billy Burns‘ bases-loaded triple on the first pitch of his at-bat in the second inning was the key hit in Oakland’s 6-1 win at Detroit. Burns has had a first-pitch hit in each of his last four games, one shy of the longest such streak in the major leagues this season. Kole Calhoun connected for a hit on the first pitch of an at-bat in five consecutive games last month.

Big day for Boston’s middle infielders

Dustin Pedroia (4-for-5) and Xander Bogaerts (3-for-4) helped the Red Sox defeat the Twins in the first game of a doubleheader and became only the second starting keystone combination in more than two years to each register at least three hits for Boston in the same game. Pedroia and Stephen Drew did that on May 6, 2013 in an 11-inning game that was coincidentally also against the Twins at Fenway Park.

Rookie stymies the Red Sox at Fenway

Trevor May threw seven scoreless innings to help the Twins record a 2-0 victory over the Red Sox in the second game of their doubleheader. The only other rookie in the last five seasons to earn a win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park by throwing at least seven shutout innings was Matt Shoemaker in 2014.

Franco takes Chapman deep

Maikel Franco hit a game-tying three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning and the Phillies went on to defeat the Reds in extra innings. Franco launched a game-tying homer on Tuesday night in the eighth inning of a Philadelphia win over Cincinnati. He is the first rookie with a game-tying or go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later of back-to-back games since the Twins’ Bobby Kielty in 2002.

Sale: consecutive starts with 12+ Ks and no runs

Chris Sale struck out 13 batters without allowing a run on Wednesday night, after a 12-K/no-run outing last Thursday. Prior to Sale, the most recent pitchers to make back-to-back starts with at least a dozen strikeouts and no runs allowed in each were Chan Ho Park (2000 Dodgers), Hideo Nomo (1995 Dodgers), Roger Clemens(1987 Red Sox), Nolan Ryan (1978 Angels) and Sandy Koufax (1965 Dodgers).


 

Thursday Review

NBA

Warriors shut down Cavs in OT to win Game 1

The Warriors outscored the Cavaliers, 10-2, in overtime, allowing only an uncontested layup byLeBron James in the closing seconds of their 108-100 victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. That matched the lowest point total that any team has allowed in an overtime period of the Finals. The Lakers held the Pistons to two points in OT of Game 2 of the 2004 Finals. Richard Hamilton scored Detroit’s only points in the extra period, hitting a jump shot midway through overtime.

James scores 40-plus vs. Warriors in regular season and playoffs

LeBron James led all players with 44 points in Cleveland’s loss. James scored 42 points in his only game against the Warriors during the regular season. He is the fifth player to score 40 or more points in a regular-season game and then do it again against the same opponent in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The others were George Mikan, Minneapolis vs. Washington (1948-49); Jerry West, Los Angeles vs. Boston (1965-66); Allen Iverson, Philadelphia vs. Lakers (2000-01); and Kobe Bryant, Lakers vs. Orlando (2008-09).

MLB

Jones snaps HR drought with a game-winner

Adam Jones broke a 2-2 tie with a home run off Chad Qualls in the eighth inning to give the Orioles a 3-2 victory at Houston. That blast snapped Jones’ streak of 83 at-bats without a homer, his longest since early last season. It was his 14th game-winning home run in Late-Inning Pressure Situations since joining the Orioles in 2008, tying Miguel Cabrera for the most in the American League during that time. The major-league leader is Alfonso Soriano (15).

Twins overcome early deficit for late win at Fenway

The Twins, who trailed 4-0 early, scored four runs off Koji Uehara in the ninth inning to gain an 8-4 victory at Boston. It was the first time in Uehara’s 314 major-league appearances that he allowed even one run and failed to retire a batter.

This was Minnesota’s 825th game at Fenway Park, including 523 as the Washington Senators from 1912 to 1960. It was only the second of those games in which the Senators or Twins won by at least four runs after the Red Sox had taken a lead of four or more runs. The first was in 2003 and, for what it’s worth, Minnesota faced knuckleballers in both games: Tim Wakefield 12 years ago and Steven Wright yesterday.

A’s day starts well, ends with mixed results

The Athletics took a 6-0 lead over the Tigers on Thursday and held on for a 7-5 win at Detroit. The victim of Oakland’s early assault was Shane Greene, who was charged with six runs and failed to complete five innings. It was the fifth time in 12 starts that Greene allowed more than one run per inning; the last pitcher to do so in at least five of his first 12 starts for the Tigers wasDontrelle Willis (2008-09).

The A’s day didn’t end nearly as well as it began. Stephen Vogt was removed from the game in the ninth inning after pulling up lame while chasing a foul pop-up. Coming into the day, Vogt had the highest Elias Impact Rating of any catcher in the either league (82.8), and he ranked second on his team to Sonny Gray (91.5).

Tigers suffer back-to-back series sweeps

Thursday’s victory completed the A’s three-game sweep of the Tigers after Detroit had lost four straight games to the Angels. It’s the first time that Detroit has been swept in consecutive series (of two or more games, that is), after entering each series above .500, since June 1993, when Sparky Anderson’s team went 0-9 on a road trip of three games each at Baltimore, Boston and New York, knocking the Tigers out of first place.

A first for Mayberry

John Mayberry went 4-for-5 with a home run in the Mets’ 6-2 win at Arizona. It was the first four-hit game of Mayberry’s career and it came in his 313th start. Only seven other active players have made at least 300 starts and never had more than three hits in one game: Luis Valbuena (535 starts), Mitch Moreland (457),Travis Snider (409), Brett Lawrie (397), John Jaso (374), Eric Young Jr. (329), andAaron Harang (314).

Reds show no favor to an old friend

The Reds faced a former teammate on Thursday night, defeating Aaron Harang and the Phillies, 6-4. Harang, who led the Reds with 75 wins during his eight seasons with the team (2003-10), came into the game with a 2.02 ERA that ranked fifth in the National League, but allowed a season-high six runs to suffer his sixth loss of the season.

Here’s an odd twist: It was Harang’s sixth appearance against Cincinnati, each for a different team. The others were with the Athletics (2002), Dodgers (2012), Mariners (2013), Mets (2013), and Braves (2014).

Choo delivers in the clutch

Shin-Soo Choo singled in the 11th inning to deliver Leonys Martin with the winning run in the Rangers’ 2-1 victory over the White Sox. It was the seventh time Choo has produced a walkoff win, five of them in the last three seasons. The only player with more walkoff plate appearances since 2013 is Josh Donaldson (8).

Bauer continues his string of strong starts

Trevor Bauer allowed two runs in six-and-two-thirds innings to earn the victory in the Indians’ rain-shortened 6-2 win at Kansas City. It was the fifth consecutive start in which Bauer held his opponents to two or fewer runs. His ERA for those five starts is 1.75, compared to a 4.40 career mark prior to that.

I went to law school – I got a football scholarship!

RIP: Patrick Swayze sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2009

Word is someone got drunk recently and thought it was a good idea to remake this movie.  Not a continuation that could have had a guest appearance by Keanu, ya know, helping with clues on how he stopped the “Ex” Presidents, blah blah – No a full-on reboot!  The remake we neither wanted nor needed, and wait until you see this trailer – should have called it something else besides “Point Break”!  Called it something else like, Jason Bourne’s Fast and Furious Twilight Adventure 10.  They took something that was simple and fun and made it moody.  I’m gonna stick up for younger me and boycott this movie purely based on principle.  How do you replace the magic of Swayze, the awkwardness of Keanu and the bat-shit-craziness of Busey?  What’s next a remake of Roadhouse?  Is someone out there intentionally trying to ruin titular movies of our youth, just for CGI cash-grabs?  This movie fails to have the gang wear the ex-presidents masks, and it is also not centered around surfing, like the original – it’s more nonsense about international markets and youth soccer – than some bruddahs searching for sum toasty-tubular waves looking out for 50yr-storms.  Even the catch-phrase: do you know how many laws you broke? Gravity? Are you serious?!  This is just cookie-cutter junk – Delroy Lindo being the stereo-typical police-chief – throw in some stunts and let the story fill itself out – just like The Last Action Hero (except that was making fun of itself).  Is Hollywood all out of ideas?  I’m so angry that I need to watch the original a few times, just to get the taste out of my mouth, because I might have thrown up a little.


NBA

James does it again

LeBron James finished the Cavaliers’ four-game sweep over the Hawks averaging 30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game. James is the first player in NBA history to average 30/10/9 in a playoff series of any length. Honorable mention to Oscar Robertson who averaged 33.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.6 assists for Cincinnati against Boston in a seven-game series in 1963.

Another Atlanta Choke-job

The Cavaliers swept the number one seed Hawks in the Conference Finals. Cleveland is only the third team under the current payoff format (since 1983-84) to sweep a playoff series against the top seed from its own conference. The Lakers swept the Spurs in 2001 and the Nets Swept the Pistons in 2003.

NHL

Brassard Hat-trick gives Rangers another Game 7

Derick Brassard scored three goals and added two assists as the Rangers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win over the Lightning. Brassard is only the third player in NHL history to record a hat trick and at least five points in a road game in which his team faced playoff elimination. Lanny McDonald (three goals, two assists) did it in 1977 for the Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh in the final game of a three-game series won by Toronto. McDonald scored or assisted on all five goals scored by the Leafs in a 5-2 win. Greg Paslawski did it for the Blues at Minnesota in 1986 (three goals, two assists).

Brassard is the fourth player in Rangers history to record a hat trick in a game in which the Blueshirts faced playoff elimination. Frank Boucher did it against Toronto in the 1932 Stanley Cup Final, Ron Duguay against Philadelphia in 1980 and Mark Messier in the “guarantee” game against New Jersey in 1994

MLB

nullKershaw, loves Chavez Ravine

Clayton Kershaw has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last 29 starts at home, the second-longest streak of that kind in major-league history. Doc White had a 32-start streak of that kind for the White Sox spanning the 1905 and 1906 seasons, when the team played at South Side Park. (Comiskey Park didn’t open until 1910.) The third-longest streak is by Adam Wainwright, who allowed no more than three runs in each of 28 straight home starts spanning 2009 and 2010 at Busch Stadium.

nullFielder en fuego

Prince Fielder had another three hits and three RBIs for the Rangers on Tuesday night (26pts-DK) giving him 14 hits and 15 runs batted in over his last five games. Over the last dozen seasons the only other major-league player with at least 14 hits and 14 runs batted in over a five-game span is Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees in August 2013 (15 hits, 18 RBI).

nullDonaldson a 48 on DraftKings

Josh Donaldson went 4-for-4 with two homers, four runs batted in and five runs scored. Donaldson is the second player in Blue Jays history to go 4-for-4 or better with at least four RBIs, four runs scored and two homers. Carlos Delgado did it against Tampa Bay on September 25, 2003 (4-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBI, 4 HR).

One of Donaldson’s homers was in the first inning and the other was a three-run walkoff blast. Only two other Blue Jays hit a first-inning homer and a walkoff homer in the same game: Otto Velez on May 4, 1980 and Reed Johnson on June 15, 2003.

nullYankees drop a deuce in the first inning

Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the Yankees cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Royals. The Yankees have scored two-or-more first-inning runs 14 times this season, four more such first-innings than any other major-league team. The Bronx Bombers are 10-4 in those 14 games.

nullPirates’ are shivering timbers

Jeff Locke did not allow a run in 5.2 innings pitched continuing a recent trend of excellent starting pitching for the Bucs. Pittsburgh’s starting pitchers are 5-0 with a 1.06 earned-run average over the last five games. The last time the Pirates’ starting pitchers went 5-0 with an ERA that low over a five-game span was in August of 1977 (5-0, 0.69 ERA). The Pirates starters in those five games were John Candelaria (twice), Bruce Kison, Jerry Reuss and Jim Rooker.

nullSeager hits two late homers – scores 39 in Draftkings

Kyle Seager hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and a game-winning homer in the tenth inning in the Mariners’ win over the Rays. Seager is the sixth player in Mariners history to hit two homers in the eighth inning or later in the same game. Donnie Scott (1985), Jim Presley (1986), Jay Buhner (1992), Russ Davis (1999) and Michael Saunders (2012) also did it.

nullSchumaker likes pinch-hit doubles

Skip Schumaker‘s pinch-hit double in the ninth inning drove in the winning run in the Reds’ win over the Rockies. Shumaker has doubled in four of his last five pinch-hit appearances. The last Reds player to have four extra-base hits over five plate appearances as a pinch-hitter was Tony Perez in 1976. Perez had a double, home run, home run, fly out and double over five pinch-hit appearances.

nullHolliday extends streak early

Matt Holliday‘s RBI-single in the first inning extended his reach-base-safely streak to 42 games tying the modern franchise record to open a season which was set byAlbert Pujols in 2008. It was the 20th time this season that Holiday extended his streak in his first plate appearance of the game.

Tigers beat Oakland, 1-0

The Tigers beat the A’s, 1-0, in Oakland on Tuesday night. It was the first 1-0 win the Tigers have ever had in a game played in Oakland. Tuesday night’s game was the 257th between these two teams in Oakland, including the playoffs.

nullCastro finally has clutch hit, leads Astros

Jason Castro‘s two-out double in the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie in the Astros’ 4-1 win over the Orioles. Castro entered the at-bat with a .138 batting average with two outs and runners on base this season (4-for-29).

nullIt’s May-tober

Madison Bumgarner improved his record to 9-1 in games played in May over the last two seasons. That’s two more May wins than any other pitcher over that span.

–Elias with the assist