Grizz clinch, Pens and Canucks survive, Pudge retires, Pat Summit steps down

The Knicks, Clippers, and Mavs roll …. Bucks take dagger from the Wiz

Carmelo Anthony continued his hot play with 33 points and seven rebounds as the Knicks beat the Nets 104-95 to solidify their playoff chances. Melo is averaging 32 ppg on 50% shooting during the month of April. The Clippers remained a half game back of the Lakers in the Pacific with a 104-98 win at Denver. LA overcame a 34-22 first quarter deficit thanks to 14-24 shooting from downtown. The Lakers dumped Golden State 99-87 setting up their Friday showdown with the Spurs in San Antonio. Kobe Bryant is expected to return after sitting out seven games with a shin problem. The Memphis Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot with their 103-91 win over New Orleans.

Rounding out the other results on the busy 14-game Wednesday schedule, Philadelphia used a 31-17 3rd quarter to whack the Cavs 103-87 in Cleveland. Coupled with Milwaukee’s crushing 121-112 loss at Washington, the 76ers improved their lead over the Bucks to a game and a half for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Milwaukee has a game in hand. The Charlotte Bobcats lost their 18th straight game, 100-68 to the Bulls. Last year’s MVP Derrick Rose sat out his 25th game. After their 39-point win over the Cavs on Tuesday, the Pistons were no shows in Atlanta losing 116-84. The Hawks led by 30 at the half.

Paul Pierce had 29 points and 14 assists as Boston beat the Magic 102-98. The Celtics played without Rajon Rondo who sat it out with a bad back. Dwight Howard also sat for Orlando and will likely miss the rest of the NBA regular season and the playoffs. Dallas was down six at the end of three quarters but smoked the Rockets in the fourth for a 117-100 win. James Harden had a career-high 40 points as Oklahoma City punched out Phoenix 109-97. Utah mauled Portland 112-91 and San Antonio put a 127-102 beat down on Sacramento. With three spots up for grabs in the West, as of today … Dallas, Denver, and Utah are in, Phoenix and Houston are out.

Pat Summit steps down at Tennessee

Less than eight months after announcing that she was suffering from early-onset dementia, Pat Summit has stepped down as the coach of the Lady Vols. Long time assistant Holly Warlick will take over on the floor, Summit will continue as head coach emeritus. Summit took over the Tennessee program in 1974 and steps down at age 59.

Regarded as the John Wooden of women’s college basketball, Summit won 1098 games, 16 SEC titles, 16 SEC tournaments, and eight National Championships in her 38 years. The Lady Vols have been invited to all 31 Ladies NCAA tournaments. Summit is also almost single-handedly responsible for bringing woman’s college basketball to the highly watched and attended level it is today.

ESPN’s tribute to the career of Pat Summit

Pens drop ten on the Flyers, Vancouver skates past Kings to avoid elimination

The Pittsburg Penguins are not going down without a fight. The Pens put the biscuit in the basket ten times on Wednesday to stay alive in their best-of-seven playoff series with the Flyers. The series returns to the Igloo on Friday where the Flyers are 8-1 in the L9. Cory Schneider tuned away 42 of 43 Los Angeles Kings shot as Vancouver staved off elimination with a 3-1 win over the Kings. Vancouver avoided becoming the first President’s Trophy winner to be swept in the first round. Kyle Turris netted the winner at 2:42 of overtime as Ottawa defeated the NY Rangers 3-2 to tie their series at two apiece.

The playoffs resume tonight with four games starting with the Devils at Florida at 7:05 PM EST. New Jersey is a -175 favorite with the total five flat, the over -120. The Panthers lead the series two games to one. The Bruins are -135 favorites at Washington, the total five flat with over -130. Boston leads the Caps 2-1 in the series. Phoenix has a 2-1 series lead over the Blackhawks but Chicago is a -160 home ice favorite in Game IV. The total is 5.5 with the under -140. In the finale, St Louis is a -110 favorite at San Jose. The total is five flat with the under -120. The Blues look to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

The Coyote’s Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely for this hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa

Drogba goal just before half sends Chelsea over Barcelona

A Didier Drogba goal two minutes into stoppage time just before the half was all Chelsea needed to beat Barcelona 1-0 in their home leg of the UEFA Champion’s League semifinal. The away leg is next Tuesday in Barcelona with the winner meeting the Bayern Munich/Real Madrid winner in Munich on May 19th. Barca peppered the woodwork but could not break through.

Chelsea 1-0 over Barcelona

Sportsbetting3’s MLB Diamond Dust

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez will announce his retirement today after a 21-year career mainly spent with the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez figures to be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. Besides being a 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner, Rodriguez has to his credit an AL MVP award; seven Silver Slugger awards; 2,844 hits (good for 44th place all-time); 311 homers; 572 doubles (21st all-time); 1,332 RBI (87th all-time); 4,451 total bases (50th all-time); and 934 extra-base hits (53rd all-time). As well, Rodriguez holds the career record for games caught. Rodriguez had a cannon arm and in 2001 threw out 60% of base runners that tired to steal on him.

Bartolo Colon threw eight innings of four-hit shutout ball in the A’s 6-0 win over the Angels. At one point, Colon threw 38 straight strikes.

Cliff Lee and Matt Cain hooked up in a pitching duel for the ages as the Giants beat the Phillies 1-0 in 11 innings. Lee pitched 10 shutout innings allowing just seven hits and striking out seven. The Philly southpaw threw 81 strikes in 102 pitches. Newly paid Matt Cain was even better pitching nine innings of two-hit shutout ball. That was after thowing a one-hitter on Friday where the only player to reach was the opposing pitcher.

Free Plays

(NBA) New Orleans +4.5 over Houston

(NHL) Boston/Washington Under 5 +120

(MLB) CWSox (Floyd) -140 over Baltimore (Hammel) 2:10 PM EST

(MLB) Washington (Jackson) -155 over Houston (Norris) 7:05 PM EST