Pacers extinguish Heat, Clippers not match
Are the Miami Heat in trouble against the Indiana Pacers ??? If you watched Thursday’s Game III and look back historically at the NBA playoffs, the answer is a resounding, “Hell Yes”. The Pacers outscored Miami 51-32 in the second half of a 94-75 blowout to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference second round series. In series that were tied 1-1, teams winning the all important Game Three have moved on to advance 82% for the time. With Chris Bosh still nursing a strained lower abdominal muscle and Dwayne Wade having possibly the worst series of his playoff career, the Heat have their work cut out for them.
The Pacers deserve a lot of credit for playing a near flawless game killing Miami on the glass 52-36 and shooting an economical 43% from the field while holding the Heat to below 40% (37.6%) for the second straight game. George Hill led the balanced Pacer attack with 20 points while Roy Hibbert dominated the paint with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Dwayne Wade had just five points on 2-13 shooting. Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 25, the first time in the Big Three era that Bosh, Wade, or Lebron did not lead the Heat in scoring. Fortunately for the Heat, they have until Sunday to regroup for Game Four.
What can you say about the San Antonio Spurs. Thursday night they won their 16th straight game spanking the Clippers 105-88 to take a commanding two games to none lead in that series. During this run the Spurs margin of victory is by more than 17 points and this was their 13 straight double-digit win. Tony Parker had 22 points on his 30th birthday for San Antonio who was in control throughout. Blake Griffin had 20 points for the Clippers who try again Saturday at the Staple Center.
Tonight’s ESPN double-header tips off with Celtics and 76ers Game Four at 8:00 PM EST. Philadelphia trails the series 2-1 but is a small two-point favorite tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. The total has been bet up to 174 from the 172 1/2 opener. In the late game, the Lakers host Oklahoma City down two games to none. The Lakers are steady 2 1/2 point favorites but the total has plunged from the 194 opener to 191 1/2. The late show tips at 10:35 PM EST.
Kings down Coyotes again
The LA Kings money train just keeps right on rolling, now 11-1 in the playoffs after holding off Phoenix 2-1 in Game Three of their Western Conference final. Phoenix drew first blood with Daymond Langkow at 1:03 of the second period but goals by Anze Kopitar and Dwight King was enough for Jonathon Quick to put down the Coyotes. Los Angeles can punch its ticket to the Stanley Cup final with a win on Sunday.
The NHL playoffs are dark tonight but resume Saturday night with the Rangers/Devils Game Three from Newark.
Orioles win 7th straight on the road, Interleague starts today
Quick !!! Who has the best record in the American League ??? If you said the Texas Rangers or even Tampa Bay you would be wrong. It’s the upstart Baltimore Orioles who sit atop the AL East with a 25-14 record. The Birds are an impressive 13-5 on the road and 13-7 against the loaded AL East. Thursday night, the O’s won their seventh straight game on enemy ground beating the Kansas City Royals 5-3. Raging Adam Jones homered for the second straight game and has hit safely over his last ten.
NFL news thumbnails
Drew Brees says his contract negotiations with the New Orleans Saints have become “extremely frustrating.” Saddled with the franchise tag, Brees in under contract for 2012 at $14.5 million. Reportedly, Brees wants to be the highest paid QB and in football, and not by a dollar or two. Brees reportedly wants between $23-25 million per year, the Saints are offering $20 million per. We’ll see if this gets ugly. Here’s the latest from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Another unhappy camper seems to be Wes Welker who says that talks on his long term deal have actually gotten worse since he played nice and signed his franchise tag tenure. Welker said that the Patriots current offer on the table is lower than the two-year, $16 million guaranteed deal that New England offered him during the 2011 season.
The Eagles have signed running back Shady McCoy to a five-year extension. The deal is worth $45 million (with guaranteed money of $20.765 million). McCoy is now under contract through the 2017 season. McCoy’s contract is similar to the newest deals signed by Texans running back Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million, $20.75 million guaranteed), Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams (five years, $43 million, $21 million guaranteed) and Eagle WR DeSean Jackson (five years, $48.5 million, $15 million).
(NBA) Boston +2 over Philadelphia
(MLB) Chicago Cubs (Samardija) -133 over Chicago WSox (Humber) 2:20 PM EST matinee
(MLB) Baltimore (Arrieta)/Washington Nationals (Jackson) Over 7.5 -120
(MLB) NY Yankees (Pettitte) -138 over Cincinnati (Arroyo)