Celtics collapse, Verlander One-hitter, Preakness, Champions League Final + Free Plays for Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lakers foul shooting downs Thunder

Down 0-2 to the Thunder on Friday, the Lakers didn’t have much margin for error. The Lake Show couldn’t hit water from the end of a dock but got to the foul line hitting 41 of 42 attempts in their 99-96 win over Oklahoma City. The Lakers rushed out to 12-point first quarter lead but the Thunder shook off ice cold shooting themselves to draw even and take the lead midway through the second. Kobe Bryant led six Lakers in double-figures with 36/7/6 including 18-18 from the foul line. Bryant’s two FTs with 11 seconds left iced it for LA, now down 2-1 with a quick turnaround game tonight. Kevin Durant had 31 for the Thunder. OKC also shot a remarkable 26-28 from the charity stripe. OKC is a one-point favorite in the previously mentioned quick turnaround nightcap, the total settling on 189.

Boston jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Philadelphia in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup and it looked like sayanara 76ers but … Philly just kept playing hard and chipping away. Down by 18 at one point in the 3rd quarter, the Sixers shifted gears and used a 61-37 second half to beat Boston 92-83 and even their series at 2-2. Boston could be sorry that they didn’t twist the knife when they had the chance.

Two games today, starting with the raging San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center to meet the Clippers at 3:30 PM EST.
San Antonio hasn’t lost since April 11th and five of their six playoff wins are by 12 points or more. The Spurs are 5-point faves in LA, the total 191 1/2. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are both dinged and if the first two games are any indication, the Clippers will be lucky to get one at home and avoid being swept.

Rangers/Devils Game Three

The Rangers and Devils hook up for Game Three of their Eastern Conference finals series at the Prudential Center in Newark in a 1:05 PM EST matinee. New Jersey is a -120 favorite, the total is 4 1/2 with the over -130. The Rangers won Game One 3-0 behind strong defense and opportunistic scoring. The Devils gained the split in Game Two with physical play and lots of traffic around the net. The Rangers have gone 15 straight games of scoring three or less goals, they allowed their opponents three or less in 16 straight games. New York won both their previous Game Threes on the road after losing Game Two at home.

Verlander flirts with third No-No

Justin Verlander came within two outs of throwing his third career no-hitter as the Tigers blanked the Pirates 6-0 at Comerica Park. The big Motown righty walked two and struck out 12 throwing just 109 pitches in notching his first one-hitter. Josh Harrison’s flare up the middle barely eluded Tiger SS Jhonny Peralta for the Bucs only hit. Detroit DH Delmon Young provided the offense with a homer and three RBIs.

The American League went 9-5 on the first day of Interleague play.

Champion’s League Preview: Bayern Munich vs Chelsea

Here is an extended preview courtesy of ESPN soccernet

In Lingerie win the Black-Eyed Susan

In Lingerie took over at the top of the stretch and held off a late bid from stablemate Disposablepleasure in the late stages, giving trainer Todd Pletcher a one-two finish in the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course. In Lingerie, who had won the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park in her previous start, completed the nine furlongs in 1:52.07 and paid $9.80.

The Black-Eyed Susan is the filly version of the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes from Pimlico

Sportsbetting3 sees this year’s Preakness as a three-horse race involving three of the five top finishers in the Kentucky Derby. Several of the top colts are skipping Baltimore preferring to try their luck in the Belmont and this year’s Preakness newcomers don’t really seem to have the the credentials to threaten I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, and Creative Cause.

After setting some of the fastest fractions in Kentucky Derby history, Bodemeister will be odds on to wire this field. The Preakness in a 1/16 of a mile shorter than the Derby and Pimlico’s stretch is significantly shorter than Churchill Downs. There is no significant speed to press the Baffert colt so jockey Mike Smith should be able to rate the likely front runner more prudently. Despit drawing the No.9 post, I’ll Have Another should be able to work out a similar dream trip that he had in the Kentucky Derby. The question will be whether IHA can get in gear in the turn with enough room to run down the speed. Creative Cause can’t help have a better trip than he did in the Derby where he was fifth beaten three lengths despite brutal traffic problems.

In the end, this is Bodemeister’s race to lose. Sure, he’s the favorite but this horse has the speed and talent to bottom out the field. It’s not easy to make money in the Preakness, so lets not lose any. Four of the last ten Kentucky Derby winners have won the Preakness and of the other six, three finished second, one third, one flopped and one was the ill-fated Barbaro.

Friday, speed was dead at Pimlico with most of the winners coming from off the pace. This could work to our advantage in that the public will be looking for reasons to beat Bodemeister and back the stalkers. In the end, Sportsbetting 3 will go with Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, and Creative Cause as a your stone cold trifecta of 7-9-6. Good luck and don’t forget to check out an SP3 sponsor race book to enjoy the action.

Free Plays

(NBA) Spurs) -5 over Clippers 3:30 PM EST

(NHL) Rangers +110 over Devils

(MLB) Arizona (Kennedy) -115 over Kansas City (Chen)

(MLB) Anaheim (Haren) -130 over San Diego (Stults)