76ers and Celtics advance, Lakers will go the limit + Free Plays for Friday, May 11, 2012

Nuggets spank Lakers to force Game 7

The Denver Nuggets got out of the gate fast to lead the Lakers 30-20 at the end of the first period and went on to trounce the Lakeshow 113-96. The Nuggets played an almost perfect game shooting the lights out going 47-91 (51%) from the field including 10-20 from behind the arc. Denver led 90-68 after three quarters and were never threatened. Ty Lawson led Denver with 32 points, Kobe Bryant had 31 for LA. The rest of the Laker team seemed disinterested, Pao Gasol finishing with 3 points and 3 rebounds. Game Seven will be Saturday at the Staples Center and the Lakes have been installed six point favorites.

The Chicago Bulls snatched defeat out of the mouth of victory with an abysmal final 12 seconds and will have all summer to think about what might have been. The Bulls were eliminated four games to two by Philadelphia Thursday night on two clutch Andre Iguodala foul shots with just 2:2 seconds left. Chicago center Omer Asik went from hero to goat in 25 seconds. Asik scored on a nice pick and roll with 25 seconds left to give the Bulls a three-point lead but then missed two foul shots with :12 seconds left and then committed the foul on Iguodala for Philadelphia’s winning points.

Bulls/76ers Game Six highlights

Boston eliminated the Atlanta Hawks with an 83-80 win at TD Gardens. Kevin Garnett was fired up over some bulletin board material provided by the Hawks owner and scored 28 points to go along with 14 rounds. Garnett took exception to being called the “dirtiest player in the NBA” by ATL co-owner Michael Gearson. Foul shooting also cost the Hawks. Al Horford had two shots to tie the game at 81 with just two seconds left but missed the first. Two fould shot by Paul Pierce iced it for the Celtics who will now meet Philadelphia in an old school Eastern Conference semifinal.

Caps and Rangers Game 7 a toss up

The New York Rangers are 4-0 in Game 7’s at Madison Square Garden but home ice appears to be the only edge they’ll have in the Saturday night elimination showdown. The Broadway Blues are -140 favorites with the total set at 4.5 and the over -135. The winner will meet the well-rested Devils for a ticket into the Stanley Cup finals against the Kings/Coyotes winner. Washngton has been to the Eastern Conference finals twice and the Stanley Cup final once. The Rangers haven’t been to the conference finals since 1997, three years after they won the Cup for the first time in 54 years.

Beckett gets booed of the field in 8-3 loss at Fenway

It was a tough day for Josh Becket on Thursday as he managed to get just seven outs before being lifted after giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. Beckett had missed his last start with a sore back but was reported golfing the next day.
It was the BoSox 11th home loss in their L12 games. Beckett was unphased after the game saying, “We get 18 off days a year, I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.” This has the makings of a very long year in Beantown.

Steven Strasburg struck out 13 Pirates including seven straight in Washington’s 4-2 win over the Pirates. Strasburg lowered his league leading ERA to 1.64 as the Nats snapped a three-game losing streak. Roger Bernadina and Adam LaRoche both homered in the six to overcome a 2-0 Buc lead. Bryce Harper went 1-for 4 and the 19YO phenom is now hitting .263 since being called up to the majors.

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The Players Championship

Ian Pouler and Martin Laird both shot 7-under 65s to share the first round lead of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Tiger Woods could manage just a first-round 74 to be T100 nine shots back and is in series danger of missing back-to-back cuts. Phil Mickelson shot an opening round 71.

Manchester City can clinch first Premiership since 1968

The of Manchester will be blue instead of red for the first time in 44 years if City beats Queens Park Rangers in their final game Saturday. City and United are level on points going into the final match of the Premier League season on Sunday, though City’s superior goal difference means they will clinch their first title since 1968 if they can match United’s result at mid-table Sunderland. Queens Park Rangers will not be a walkover however as they are threatened by relegation and coach by Mark Hughes who was City manager before being canned for current manager Roberto Mancini in 2009.

Man City manager Roberto Mancini talks about clincher with QPR

Free Plays

(NBA) Memphis/Clippers over 179

(MLB) NY Mets (Santana) +108 over Miami (Buehrle)

(MLB) Seattle (Hernandez)/NY Yankees (Kuroda) Under 7.5 +115

(MLB) ChiSox (Floyd) -125 over Kansas City (Paulino)