Heat/Thunder roll, Devils/Kings cash, Kentucky Oaks, Seau + Free Plays for Friday, May 4, 2012

Knicks set record for playoff futility, Mavs on brink

The Heat spanked the Knicks 87-70 to take a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference opening round series and sending the New Yorkers to their NBA record 13th straight playoff defeat. The Knicks last playoff win came in April of 2001 when they completed a sweep of the Toronto Raptors. Lebron James had 32, DWade 20, and Mario Chalmers 19 for the Heat. Chris Bosh arrived 30 minutes before game time (returning from Miami after the birth of his son) to chip in with nine points and 10 rebounds. Carmelo had 22 points for the Knicks who scored just 30 second half points.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were lucky to get out of OKC with two wins holding home court by a combined four points. Things were a bit easier last night in Dallas as OKC led by six after a quarter and then 18 after three quarters in a 97-79 win over the defending World Champion Mavs. Kevin Durant had 31 and Russell Westbrook 20 for the Thunder, Dirk had 17 for Dallas. OKC can sweep the series with a win Saturday in Dallas. The Thunder are one point favorites and the total is 192.

Tonight, three Game III’s highlight the NBA card. Boston is an eight point home favorite over Atlanta, the total has been bet down from the 174.5 opener to 173.5. Josh Smith is doubtful for the Hawks. Rajon Rondo is expected back for Boston after serving a one-game suspension for bumping a ref in Game I. The series is tied at 1-1. Philadelphia is -1.5 over Chicago, the total is a rock solid 179 across the board. The Bulls look to get back on track after getting blown out in Game II at home. Denver is -4 over the Lakers in tonight’s 10:35 PM EST finale at the Pepsi Center. The total is 204 and the Lakers lead the series 2-0.

LA now 8-1 in the playoffs after dumping Blues

The LA Kings continued their rampage through the Western Conference playoffs, downing St Louis 4-2 and taking a 3-0 lead in that semifinal series. Drew Doughty has a goal and two assists. The Blues are now 8-1 in the playoffs winning by a 24-13 aggregate. LA can sweep the series Sunday with a Game IV win at the Staples center.

The New Jersey Devils took a 2-1 lead in their series with a 4-3 OT victory over the Flyers. Alexei Ponikarovsky got the winner on a breakaway, taking advantage of a sloppy Philly line change. Ilya Kovalchuk returned after missing Game II with a lower back injury to score a goal and add two assists. Game IV is Sunday in Newark.

Tonight, the Nashville Predators look to even their series with the Phoenix Coyotes as -165 home favorites. The total is five flat with the under -130. The Predators are 0-3 in the playoffs when they allow more than two goals, 5-0 when they don’t. The Coyotes had won the last three meetings in this building before getting blanked 2-0 on Wednesday.

The end of the line for Mariano Rivera ???

The career of the greatest closer in Major League Baseball history appears to be over. Mariano Rivera tore the ACL of his right knee while shagging fly balls in the Yankees pregame warmup in Kansas City and is likely done for the season. At age 42, this could be it for the career leader in every statistical associated with closing. Rivera has 608 saves (in 681 opportunites) and 42 post season saves. In the Yankees three straight championships between 1998-2000, Rivera was 18-18 in save opportunities with a 0.65 ERA.

Kentucky Oaks Analysis

Sportsbetting3’s official prediction of the Kentucky Oaks

Win: #1, On Fire Bay

Place: #2, Grace Hall

Show: #13, Amie’s Dini

Sportsbetting3 Potpurri

Sadly, the San Diego County medical examiner confirmed what most people already knew, Junior Seau’s death was a suicide. The body of former star NFL linebacker was found inside his home in suburban Oceanside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. The San Diego County medical examiner ruled the death a suicide on Thursday. The family will allow medical researchers to examine his brain to see if it incurred any damage from concussions.

The PGA Tour is in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Open at Quail Hollow. Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson, and Stewart Cink all shot opening round 65s to share the lead at 7-under. Ricky Fowler leads a group of five, one shot back. Tiger Woods an Phil Mickelson both shot 71s, six shots back.

It was a busy day in college basketball. Kentucky and Indiana will end their home-and-home series. Tom Crean wanted to continue at the home court venues, John Calipari wanted the series played on neutral courts. It was a sticking point that apparently was not able to be resolved. Seven schools are on the move to different conferences. Florida International, North Texas, Texas San Antonio, Louisiana Tech and Charlotte are joining Conference USA in 2013, while San Jose State and Utah State are headed to the Mountain West.

Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse scores the most amazing goal of the Premiership season an is possibly one of Top Ten of all time.
Definitely worth the watch.

Free Picks

(NBA) Lakers/Nuggets Under 204

(MLB) Cincinnati (Cueto)/Pittsburg (Correia) Under 7 +115

(MLB) ChiSox (Peavy)/Detroit (Smyly) Under 7.5 -125

(MLB) Seattle (Vargas) -133 over Minnesota (Pavano)