Clippers Advance, Heat and Kings draw first blood, Kuchar win Players + Free Plays for Monday, May 14, 2012

Clippers win Game Seven of the road

Winning Game Sevens on the road is not easy. In fact, before Sunday, road teams in NBA Game Sevens had won just 21 times in 108 tries. Make it 22 for 109. With Chris Paul and Blake Griffin battling nagging injuries, the Clipper bench stepped up to score 41 of the Clippers’ 82 points and grab 23 of the Clippers’ 46 rebounds. Most importantly, 25 of the Clippers 27 points in the final stanza came from the reserves. This was just the third playoff series win in Clipper franchise history and they’ll move on to face the Spurs.

Miami and Indiana opened up their Eastern Conference semifinal with Game One is South Beach. At the 4:55 mark of the fourth quarter, George Hill knocked down a three to cut the Heat lead to 86-85. The Pacers could manage only a foul shot the rest of the way in the Miami 95-86 win. Lebron James, who received his third MVP before the game, had 32/15/5 for the Heat. Dwayne Wade added 29 points as James/Wade scored 25 of the Heat’s last 27 points. Chris Bosh had 13 points in the first half but left with a lower abdominal strain and did not play the second half. He’s questionable for Game Two Tuesday in South Beach. The Heat opened -8.5 with the total 185 1/2.

Tonight, the Lakers open up at Oklahoma City. The Thunder are 7.5 point home faves with the total 191 1/2. OKC has not played since closing out the Dallas Mavericks back on May 5th and this is the first meeting between the two since the infamous World Peace elbow of Jame Harden April 22nd. The Celtics are -4.5 at home vs Philly in Game Two of that series. The total has not moved since opening at 174. First tip is at 7:05 PM EST.

Kings pepper Coyote goal in 4-2 win

With the Kings having allowed just 14 goals in nine playoff games and the Coyotes giving up just one goal in their last eight periods, you might have thought that Game One of the Western Conference final would have been a low-scoring defensive struggle. Think again. With both team having a week’s worth of fresh legs, Game One turned into a shooting gallery as the Kings won 4-2. Los Angeles unleashed 48 shots on Phoenix goalie Mike Smith but it took a Dwight King empty-netter at 19:12 to seal the deal for the visitors who are now a perfect 6-0 on the road in the playoffs.

The Devils and Rangers play Game one of the Eastern Conference finals tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are -150 with the total 4.5 and the over -125. The teams split six regular season games that were marred by line brawls and hundreds of minutes of penalties. The teams are separated by 30 minutes and eight miles and do not like each other. The matchup features a battle of goalies as New Jersey’s Hall of Fame-bound Martin Brodeur takes on New York’s Vezina finalist Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers have scored three or less goals in 13 straight games and have allowed their opponents three or less goals in 14 straight games. Ten of the L11 Ranger games have been decided by one goal and the one that wasn’t was a 2-0 loss to Ottawa.

Two walk off grannies highlight Mother’s Day MLB action

Big things seem to happen on Mother’s Day in the MLB. In 2007, it was the Red Sox Mother’s Day Miracle win over Baltimore. In 2010 at was Dallas Braden’s perfect game in Oakland. Sunday it was two walk-off grand slams in the same day for the first time since 1998. In Cincinnati, $250 million dollar man Joey Votto beat the Nationals with a walk out granny. It was his third home run of the game. In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton big knock with the bases full keyed a six-run bottom of the ninth as the Marlins beat the Mets 8-4.

Kuchar takes Players Championship

For the last two year’s Matt Kuchar had been knocking on the door. Sunday, he kicked it in. Since 2010, Kuchar had racked up an incredible 24 top tens without getting a win. This week, Kuchar put it all together for four days to shoot a 13-under-par 275, good for a two-shot victory over Martin Laird, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Ben Curtis. It was sweet redemption for the ex-Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket who suffered somewhat of a meltdown at the Masters. The Players Championship is generally considered golf’s “fifth major” and the richest event on tour. Kuchar took home a cool $1,710,000 for the win.

Free Plays

(NBA) Lakers/Oklahoma City Over 191

(MLB) Washington (Detwiler) -151 over San Diego (Stauffer)

(MLB) Cincinnati (Bailey)/Atlanta (Delgado) Over 8.5

(MLB) NY Yankees (Nova) -115 over Baltimore (Hammel)